The Serif by Samsung is an interesting proposition. Like The Frame, it exists for a very specific niche and … let’s just say that niche is being served well.
While reviewing the Samsung Neo QLED 8K QN900C Smart TV last month, the company snuck a Serif into the bedroom of the hotel room. It sat there, in the corner of a room that was oversized, cladded in timber panelling and draped with curtains that looked as inviting as the king-sized bed. Lo and behold, such a setting was a dopamine dispenser and despite the Neo QLED being the star, set up in the loungeroom I could see from the bedroom, I sat on the floor facing the smaller screen, watching some artwork on the Serif. Well played, once again, Samsung. Well played.
Samsung’s The Serif TV
The Serif 4K Smart TV is part of Samsung’s ‘lifestyle’ offering. Lifestyle because it has a little bit more furniture/ornamental products in it – compared to a TV which is a TV that sits on your TV cabinet in a space reserved for a TV in your TV room. The Serif does TV things but it also isn’t the big screen you’d likely sit in front of watching The Last of Us on. You will, however, go down a rabbit hole of YouTube loops (like I did) to set a scene that makes you feel cosy. If I had a book on me, and my two cats, I’d have happily snuggled up onto a beanbag, with a video loop of rain out a window, sending out calming sounds straight into my veins.
Still a TV that does TV things
While The Serif is art first, TV second, it still packs some pretty decent specs.
- QLED (Quantum Dot)
- Quantum HDR
- Matte Display
- 43-, 55-, and 65- inch models
- Cloud White/Cotton Blue colour options.
It also boasts Samsung’s TV UI and every app you can get on a Samsung TV you can get on The Serif.
The fancy ‘I’
It’s called The Serif because it’s shaped like an ‘I’ written in Serif-style font. Pretty straightforward. But the TV heavily leans into this bougie vibe. It sits on legs, making it near impossible for anyone strapped for space (ie living in apartment) or anyone with kids and/or a dog or cat to not stress about the thing flopping over. Behind my TV at home, for example, I’ve had to make L-shaped blockers out of timber to prevent my two cats from running behind it. And that TV is up against a wall on a cabinet. The Serif, however, just chills in the middle of the room.
With The Serif, I had the same problem I had with The Frame, Samsung’s other lifestyle TV that just chills in the middle of all that space I don’t have. When reviewing The Frame, I had to take a step back and realise that this product isn’t for me. It was only then I could truly understand its proposition. And I did with The Serif, but….there’s a lot to be said about expectation vs reality.
The above glamour shots look stunning, clean, sleek, and gorgeous. But the below, even with a beautiful backdrop that is Sydney’s QT hotel, Samsung’s The Serif looks clumpy and the cables simply can’t be hidden.
You can take it off the legs and put it on a table/TV cabinet, but then you just have a fancy-shaped TV for more money than a standard Samsung TV of the same size.
So what is its proposition?
As a second TV in a space you don’t use often. You wouldn’t game on it, you wouldn’t binge anything on it, but you might sit in the same room as it reading a book. You can display artwork on it, thanks to Samsung’s in-built gallery, but you can also do what I did for an hour or so and stream YouTube clips of calming scenes. I just wish photos did the vibe justice – iPhone doing some odd things to the colours of the backdrop in the shots I’ve shared above, but the matte screen is gorgeous and you can see just how much they pop with this close up shot below.
Although I said you wouldn’t watch TV on it, it’s perfectly fine to. The display being matte helps prevent glare, the refresh rate is fine for something that isn’t sport/gaming, and the content comes through black in the right places, bright in others and no noticeable bleeding.
It’s all about the vibes
There’s no denying that with The Serif, Samsung is not servicing everyone. It’s not terrible to look at, the quality of the television also isn’t terrible, and the sound? You guessed it, also not terrible. But it’s not your main TV. It’s bougie, but I can’t say I wouldn’t consider one if I A. had more space than I do, B. had the disposable funds, and C. didn’t have two cats who think everything is for playing with. If you have a space to fill in your home, art is your thing, and you have a spare $1,495, Samsung’s The Serif will fill a TV cum art display screen-sized hole in your heart.
Just don’t go thinking it’s a whiteboard and draw all over it.
Where to buy Samsung’s The Serif TV?
Pricing for the 43-inch model I reviewed.