As you'd expect, Samsung is also making the QLED TVs smarter with Bixby integration. It replaces S-Voice, the company's middling voice interface, and lets you search for content across TV and streaming services (no Netflix yet, though). Bixby isn't as advanced as its mobile sibling, but it's a first step towards unifying the company's platforms. With SmartThings support, you'll also be able to control compatible smart devices right from your TV. That's especially useful for things like smart cameras, since they can show up on your screen.
And of course, there are plenty of image improvements in the new QLED TVs. Most notably, Samsung added Direct Full Array backlighting to the Q8F and Q9F. That'll let the TVs handle contrast and black levels better than the company's edge-lit displays. Vizio has offerrd full-array backlighting in its TVs for years, which notably cost much less than Samsung's. It's about time the Korean electronics giant caught up.
From what I could tell, the QLED sets all looked better than last year's models. The improved backlighting was easily noticeable on the higher-end models, though I wish Samsung was able to deploy it across the entire lineup. The Q6F and Q7F still rely on edge backlighting. As a tradeoff, those sets are a bit slimmer.
It's strange to think that Samsung's most exciting new feature shows up when their TVs are off. That's not exactly a put-down, though, since background blending isn't something anyone else is offering yet. Beyond that, it looks like Samsung has an interesting year in home entertainment ahead. The Wall will be available sometime in August, and these QLED sets will start rolling out later this month.