CES 2022 is full of TVs. Big 8K ones, small OLED ones, loads of Mini LED ones and in Samsung’s booth plenty of ones that actually look really good.
Now, I am not talking about looking good in terms of picture quality. Instead I’m referring to TVs with designs that go beyond the standard screen on a stand approach. TV that are as much a piece of furniture as they are a place to catch up on a Netflix.
Samsung calls these televisions ‘Lifestyle’ models, and while they have been around for a few years now the latest iterations feel like the most complete yet. Included in the Lifestyle range is the rotating Sero that’s clearly inspired by smartphones, he freestanding Serif with its minimalistic legs and the Frame.
The 2022 edition of the Frame offers up a matte anti-glare display that really makes the screen look like a photo when you’re using ambient content like art.
I spent some time comparing the older model with this new one and the difference is instantly noticeable. Samsung said it has even has added an anti-fingerprint coating so the display won’t get too dirty from people thinking it’s an actual picture.
What I really like about these sets is that they just look good and are not simply black rectangles that are a faff to build into a room. The Frame, for example, has customisable bezels that are available in various materials and finishes while the Serif can be placed on a sleek easel-like stand so you don’t need a big media centre taking up space in a smaller room.
In its booth, Samsung had a version of the Frame TV embedded inside a shelving unit – another neat way of making a television look less like a piece of tech and more like a proper part of the room.
Of course, these televisions focus more on the design elements rather than the high-end visual fidelity you’ll find on Samsung’s more traditional TVs. For those who prefer screen quality, then Samsung’s upcoming QD Display OLED sets – which I got a very brief look at durng a demo session – should certainly pique your interest. Details on these are limited at the moment, but hopefully more information will be coming soon.
Beyond the TV
Samsung has expanded the Lifestyle range this year with the Freestyle, a portable projector and smart speaker that can run off a USB-C power bank. Like its Lifestyle televisions, the Freestyle is for someone who doesn’t want a traditional TV sitting in the middle of their lounge.
I’ve seen some demos of the Freestyle on the CES 2022 show floor and it’s certainly eye-catching in a charming way. The 1080p picture quality might not be groundbreaking, but the way it is packed with plenty of other features. It can beam a fake window onto a wall, for instance, or cycle through various light shows.