Original 55 inches is generally the flagship size for a 4K TV, with 4K resolution not being found on smaller 32-inch TVs, and beginning to be worth including on 40-inch TVs. once you get to sizes larger than 55-inch, of course, it takes more pixels to seem sort of a detailed picture.
8K TVs don’t usually get smaller than a 65-inch size – and have a tendency to return with 75-inch and even 85-inch sizes too. In the US, the flagship Samsung 8K QLED this year, the Q950TS, only comes in an 85-inch size, which speaks to the type of big-screen experience Samsung is pushing for its 8K sets.
There is, however, the odd appearance of a 55-inch 8K TV. a sort of mid-size, super-high-resolution set bringing 8K to a more compact form factor and lower cost point. But is an 8K TV still worthwhile on a 55-inch screen?
4K still looks great on a 65-inch screen, or a 75-inch TV in our minds – though there’s no denying that the pixel density decreases as you expand the dimensions of the display.
Pixel density is simply what it sounds like: how to approximate pixels are crammed. If they’re far apart, the image loses sharpness, so a better pixel density is usually good. An 85-inch 8K TV, for one, has 104 PPI (pixels per inch), which is that the same density you’ll find on a 43-inch 4K TV. By comparison, an 85-inch 4K TV has only 52 PPI.
That means you would like 8K resolution for an 85-inch screen to seem as detailed and natural as a 43-inch set with 4K resolution – making a transparent argument for the upper resolution at that larger screen size.
This gets muddier on smaller sizes, though. A 55-inch 8K TV has 162 PPI, but there isn’t one TV size with 4K resolution that has such high pixel density – a 24-inch or 32-inch TV would get close, but you merely don’t need that a lot of pixels on such a little screen.
A Samsung rep tells us that 8K isn’t overly necessary at 55 inches, really coming into its own at 65 inches and above. So you would possibly want to spend your pennies on an excellent 55-inch 4K TV, or splash out on a bigger size with 8K resolution – but we suppose the choice of a 55-inch 8K TV is there for those eager to test out, buy-in, or boast the newest high-end resolution spec in their home.
What 55-inch 8K TVs are available?
55-inch 8K TVs are limited to about one new Samsung TV a year. In 2019, it had been the 55-inch model of the Q900R; in 2020, it’s the Q700T, a mid-priced 8K TV that comes in both 55-inch and 65-inch sizes.
The Q700T is currently only on sale within the UK, though US shoppers can still find last year’s 55-inch Q900R for just $2,299.
What’s interesting here is that the 55-inch Q700T starts at around $2,700, which is technically cheaper than the flagship 4K model, the Q95T – priced £2,299 for an equivalent size. So there’s certainly a price argument for getting a budget 8K model rather than a high-end 4K one.
You are making do with a 60Hz panel, though – so confine mind, if you’re thinking of shopping for this set, that the frame rate isn’t what it might be. That also means you won’t be ready to get 4K/120Hz passthrough from a next-gen games console, or maybe 8K/60Hz.