Samsung’s flagship KS9800 is bold, beautiful, and wicked smart

When Samsung showed off its new line of TVs at CES in Las Vegas last January, some of us were left scratching our heads. Many were expecting to see the company’s new flagship TV, one that would replace the vaunted JS9500 that earned such rave reviews in 2015. That’s not what we got. Instead, we were left to believe the ultra-slim KS9500, which we previewed just a few weeks ago, might be the best Samsung would offer this year. Not so! Today, Samsung surprised us with the KS9800, a no-holds-barred, everything-and-the-kitchen sink TV that’s just as brilliant and beautiful as we could ever have hoped for.

While Samsung’s competitor, LG, has been honing its OLED TV lineup to a fine point, Samsung has done its part to make LED/LCD TVs perform their absolute best. The KS9800 is the embodiment of those efforts, and you can see it in every one of its tiny 8 million pixels.

You’ll never need a universal remote again.

Like Samsung’s entire premium SUHD lineup, the KS9800 uses quantum dots to achieve extremely bright, highly accurate colors, and more shades of those colors than ever before. It supports high dynamic range, with peak brightness topping out at more than 1,000 nits, which, if you’re not familiar with nits, means the TV produces the brightest, most sparkling highlights you can buy in a TV today. But the most important thing to video enthusiasts is that this TV, unlike the KS9500 we previewed earlier this month, has a full-array local dimming backlight system. And that means that, while the TV is a little thicker than the ultra-slim step-down model, it has better black levels and, therefore, much better overall contrast; that’s what makes this TV’s picture leap off the screen with an almost natural 3D effect.

In terms of picture quality, the KS9800 offers everything we had hoped for. It matches or exceeds the picture quality we saw in last year’s model, only, in the end, this is a better TV. That’s due in part to the fact that Samsung’s Smart TV system is looking like it might just be the best in the business now.

Related: Check out the whole Samsung TV family here

A feature new for this year, Samsung’s Tizen-powered smart TV system can automatically detect what you connect to it, be it your cable/satellite box, game console, or streaming set-top box like Apple TV, and control it automatically. You’ll never need a universal remote again. The system also does some really great things with lining up Live TV up with the apps you love to stream with, making the whole interface feel like individual channels. Channel surfing has finally been brought back in the 21st century, and, frankly, we like it. A lot. If you know someone who tends to get frustrated with their TV because they can’t figure out how to control it, Samsung’s new system will change that in a hurry.

And if all that wasn’t enough, the simple addition of a special USB dongle, simply called Samsung Extend — and due to be sent out free of charge to anyone who purchases a Samsung 7, 8, or 9-series SUHD TV — instantly transforms the TV into a Smart Home control system. Packing Samsung’s Smart Things system compatibility, this TV can control any number of smart lights, thermostats, wireless cameras, and outlets — all from different brands — by bringing them together under one very simple, easy-to-use interface, right there on the TV screen. Check to see who’s at the door, or set the system up so that it dims the lights when you watch a movie. The possibilities are limited only to your imagination, and how many smart devices you might have in your home.

Overall, the KS9800 is every bit the top-tier TV we expected from Samsung, and its bound to get rave reviews later this year as reviewers, ourselves included, finally get some extended one-one-one time with the TV.

Yeah, we’ll just be over here, “working.”

For now, know that the 65-inch version of the KS9800 comes available this June, the 78-inch will come as soon as May for $10,000, and the monstrous 88-inch version, also due this June, will beg a pocketbook-draining $20,000

Sound expensive? Well, they are. The best costs a bit of money. However, consider that the last year’s 65-inch JS9500 was introduced at the same price, but is now available for about $3,400 online. So, the prices will calm down eventually (to a degree). For now, Samsung deserves to charge a premium for the KS9800, because it most certainly plays the role of a premium TV — probably one of the best we’ll see all year.

Deals

Walmart Memorial Day sale: 4K TVs, laptops, and Apple iPads get price cuts

The Walmart Memorial Day sale has begun. With some pretty nice savings on Apple iPads, Samsung and Vizio 4K TVs, laptops, and Google Home devices, now is a great time to snag some electronics for cheap.
Home Theater

The best TVs you can buy right now, from budget to big screen

Looking for a new television? In an oversaturated market, buying power is at an all-time high, but you'll need to cut through the rough to find a diamond. We're here to help with our picks for the best TVs of 2019.
Home Theater

Dell drops $100 off this 49-inch LG 4K smart TV with a Memorial Day deal

There’s never been a better time to upgrade to a 4K TV, and that’s because Dell has slashed $100 off one of LG’s most popular 49-inch models, offering you an awesome picture from a small footprint.
Home Theater

Walmart drops great deals on Samsung 4K smart TVs for Memorial Day

You don't have to wait till Black Friday to buy your next TV. Walmart has slashed the price of a number of Samsung's latest and greatest 4K TVs, including some of its top-of-the-line QLEDs, to celebrate Memorial Day.
Home Theater

Throw away those EarPods — we dug up the best headphones in every style

Trolling the internet for hours to find headphones is no way to live. Instead, leverage our expertise and experience to find the best headphones for you. Here are our favorites, with all the features you want.
Home Theater

These TVs might cost less than $1,000, but they certainly don’t perform like it

Check out our picks for the best TVs under $1,000 to enjoy top-shelf features like 4K Ultra HD, High Dynamic Range, and gorgeous image processing. Park yourself here to find the absolute best values in TV land.
Home Theater

LG’s 2019 TVs slide Alexa next to Google Assistant, with Siri on the way

LG announced that Alexa will be coming to its 2019 lineup of ThinQ A.I. TVs, joining Google Assistant. Users will be able to control their TVs and smart home devices with their remote, no extra speaker required.
Deals

Dell slashes price on this JBL Harman Kardon Allure smart speaker

Dell has knocked $135 off the Harman Kardon Allure, but there's a catch: There's a limited amount of stock available, so those wanting to scoop up one on the cheap will need to act fast.
Home Theater

What is Android TV? Google’s smart TV software fully explained

Google's Android TV might not be a household name yet, but with growing support from brands like Sony, it will be soon. But what exactly is Android TV, how do you get it, and what are the benefits? We explain it all.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Netflix in March, from Buster Scruggs to Roma

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Home Theater

Here’s how to watch The Big Bang Theory online — including season 12

We've rounded up all the best places to watch The Big Bang Theory online (and triple-checked to ensure that the entire article is free of spoilers, so there's no need to read with one eye closed).
Deals

The Best 4K TV deals for Memorial Day: Vizio, Samsung, and LG get discounts

Credit cards at the ready — there's a massive sale on 4K TVs to celebrate Memorial Day, and with pricing starting as low as $230 for a 40-inch and $330 for a 55-inch, there's bound to be something for everyone.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (May 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Deals

Take a gander at the best 4K smart TV deals for May 2019

A good 4K smart TV is the only way to enjoy all your favorite shows, movies, and games in glorious Ultra HD. We've got the best 4K TV deals, including a few Memorial Day weekend offers, right here.