For LG and Samsung, this year’s IFA is all about 8K

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For LG and Samsung, this year’s IFA is all about 8K


Clockwise from left: Models pose beside Samsung Electronics’ The Wall display at IFA 2019 on Thursday in Berlin; LG Electronics’ OLED Waterfall; the entrance to LG’s “ThinQ Home” booth; Samsung Electronics’ outdoor advertising teases the Galaxy Fold showcase. [SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS, LG ELECTRONICS]

Samsung and LG Electronics took 8K televisions, folding phones and an expanded lineup of AI-powered appliances to IFA 2019 Berlin.

The annual event, which kicks off today and runs through Sept. 11, is one of the three largest trade shows in the world along with CES in Las Vegas and the WMC in Barcelona, Spain.

In TV - a sector where competition is always fierce at the home appliances show - both companies will showcase 8K-resolution TVs, which offer four times the number of pixels as a 4K screen and 16 times a full HD TV.

Samsung, a pioneer in 8K technology, showcased its 8K QLED TV at the IFA trade show last year, but for LG, this is the first time it has shown off its 8K TV sets and commercial screens using organic light-emitting diode (OLED) panels.

The company started sales of 8K OLED TVs in global markets this year, starting in Germany, France and the United States. The LG Signature OLED TV showcased at the event will not only be 8K, but is also an 88-inch screen, making it the largest commercial OLED TV in the world.

While LG pushed up its game in the high-end TV sector, Samsung took a slightly different approach by reversing “the bigger, the better” approach. It’s showing off a new 55-inch model at this year’s IFA. This is the smallest among Samsung’s OLED 8K lineup, dropping 10 inches from the original 65 to 98 inch models.

Among global TV makers, the competition for high-end TVs has been dominated by a drive for larger screens with higher resolutions. Samsung’s 55-inch TV expands consumer choice for 8K with a more affordable price tag.

Another notable point in this year’s 8K TV offerings is the entrance of new brands in the segment. Apart from LG, Sharp, Sony and Hisense are all slated to offer 8K TVs. The older 4K resolution TVs are still regarded as premium products in the consumer TV market, but the expansion of the 8K ranges means the super-premium products are likely to start to become more common.

Samsung and LG will also present new smartphones at IFA 2019. Neither company has unveiled a new phone at the German trade show for years.

The long-awaited Galaxy Fold - already revealed but only being released today - will be available for the general public to try out for the first time.

LG Electronics will unveil a new phone, likely named the V50S ThinQ, that comes with an accessory to make it into a dual-screen phone. In previous teasers, LG hinted that the new model will come with a “free-stop” hinge that can be fixed at any point between 0 and 360 degrees and a small screen on the frame accessory’s front.

Home appliances that come with artificial intelligence (AI) are another field that the two electronics makers have been investing in for years. This year, Samsung set up a “future kitchen” zone in its booth. The cooking robot arm Samsung Bot Chef is on show, helping a human chef prep ingredients and add spices to a dish.

LG dedicated the largest part of its booth to its “LG ThingQ Home” demonstration zone, which puts together home cinema systems, TVs, refrigerators and its latest AI-powered laundry machine to show how various AI assistants, including its own and those from Apple and Google, can work together.

LG’s Chief Technology Officer Park Il-pyung took to the stage on Thursday to introduce the company’s latest technology in AI and Internet of Things.

“Connectivity offers benefits like convenience, comfort and familiarity - all the essence of what a true home should be,” said Park. “Our aim is to make smart TVs, refrigerators, cars and buildings connect and learn from each other to make life better for our consumers.”

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