Is Samsung's cheapest 8K QLED TV worth buying?

Samsung QN700A
(Image credit: Samsung)

The Samsung QN700A is set to be the cheapest 8K TV that the world's biggest TV seller puts out this year, making it a smart entry-level choice for those of you looking to test out 8K resolution for the first time. But what specifications do you actually get with the QN700A, and how much does it actually cost?

Samsung has been something of a market leader when it comes to 8K TVs. It has evangelized the technology for several years now, and been a big part of 8K's growth, thanks to its global scale and influence as an electronics company.

Samsung's 2021 TV range saw a total of three 8K televisions announced, though which a slight difference from the models we saw last year. This time, the entry-level '700' series – which debuted with the Q700T – was confirmed from the outset. 

Samsung clearly sees a market for its entry-level 8K QLED, and it's something of a relief to see the 8K range stripped down (2020's Q950TS and Q900TS didn't really have much to differentiate them).

An 8K QLED TV still isn't cheap, but the QN700A is still set to the be cheapest on offer from Samsung this year. And if the Q700T predecessor is anything to go by, it will also offer more compact sizes than step-up QN900A and QN800A sets.

For the time being, those of you in the US will be stuck with the QN800A as an entry-level 8K TV – as the QN700A is currently only confirmed for the UK and Europe – though the specs and pricing are pretty similar on the whole, as you'll see in this guide below.

Here's everything we know about the QN700A 8K QLED so far.

Samsung QN700A pricing and sizes

We now have pricing for the QN700A 8K QLED, with Samsung confirming that it will retail for £3,499 at a 65-inch size, and £4,499 at a 75-inch size.

There will be a smaller 55-inch size, as with last year's Q700T, though there's no official RRP just yet. The 55-inch Q700T, however, did launch at £1,999 (around $2,700 / AU$3,600), so we're expecting something similar this time around.

Of course, 55-inch 8K TVs aren't necessarily worth your while, given that you don't get all the benefit of such a high resolution at that size – but if you want to be trendsetter with an 8K TV in your home, and a 55-inch model is how you can fit or afford it, the option is certainly there.

The step-up QN800A model starts at a similar £3,599 for a 65-inch size, so there isn't too much price difference as of yet – though successive price cuts after launch may see that divide widen.

What's worth noting is that the Q700T only came to the UK and Europe – and not the US or Australia, where Samsung's 8K ranges started with the Q800T. 

We're waiting on confirmation on whether US shoppers will get the new QN700A, though it's possible Samsung intends to focus its smaller and cheaper 8K QLED on countries with on-average smaller homes.

Samsung QN700A

(Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung QN700A release date

While the QN900A and QN800A 8K QLEDs are already on sale worldwide, the QN700A is still a little while away. We now from UK retailer that the 65-inch and 75-inch models will launch on July 3, with sets already available to pre-order.

Samsung QN700A specs and features

The Samsung QN700A is this year's entry-level 8K QLED, meaning you'll get something of a saving, and the off drop in specification over more premium models. However, it's worth noting that Samsung still bundles all of its top tech together in its 8K models, saving the best in processing, backlighting, and sound systems to make its 8K sets the most desirable in its range.

The big change for Samsung TVs in 2021 is, of course, the introduction of Mini LED. This is a backlight technology that packs in tens of thousands of tiny LEDs – 1/40th the thickness of a regular light-emitting diode – for more precise brightness control and enhanced contrast over traditional Direct Full Array backlights. You're not getting quite the per-pixel control of OLED panels, but it's a big step up, and makes the question of QLED vs OLED harder than ever.

That's all helped by Samsung's latest 8K Quantum Processor, which will ensure upscaling – something Samsung excels in – is really up to scratch, showing off 4K and even HD sources capable on its 8K display.

The QN700A will feature Samsung's OTS+ audio system, with various drivers placed around the screen for vertical and horizontal immersion too. The OTS+ version is Samsung's best audio arrangement, too, with significantly more to it than the OTS Pro iteration we criticised on this year's QN90A Neo QLED.

Unlike last year's Q700T, which made do with a 60Hz panel, the new QN700A will come with a 120Hz display, which should be a boon to prospective gamers looking for good gaming TV. You are getting VRR support and an ultra-widescreen game mode, as well as four HDMI 2.1 ports for connecting next-gen consoles, with eARC support for ensuring connected soundbars can be controlled with your TV remote.

You shouldn't expect the Samsung One Connect Box, which has got a new 'slim' redesign this year and is being saved for select screens. You will, however, get the same excellent Tizen operating system of the QN800A or QN900A, with expansive app support as well as built-in Alexa and compatibility with Google Assistant (yes, there's also Bixby).

There's a new solar-powered remote, which gets rid of the need for batteries, though we're not sure whether it will come to every new QLED TV.

As a Samsung TV, you'll be getting HDR10+ instead of Dolby Vision HDR, too – so better suited to those of you with an Amazon Prime Video subscription that those that opt for Netflix movies.

The upgrade in refresh rate, and Mini LED backlighting, largely explains why there isn't much of a saving on the QN700A compared to its step-up QN800A model, but that similarity in pricing makes it an odd proposition. If you're spending £3,499 on a new 8K TV at 65 inches, will another £100 really make a difference?

Henry St Leger

Henry is a freelance technology journalist, and former News & Features Editor for TechRadar, where he specialized in home entertainment gadgets such as TVs, projectors, soundbars, and smart speakers. Other bylines include Edge, T3, iMore, GamesRadar, NBC News, Healthline, and The Times.