Following the Consumer Electronics Show in January, when many new TV models were unveiled, several manufacturers have begun selling their brand-new 2021 models. LG Electronics, which earned rave reviews for its 2020 flagship OLED, the CX, has followed up this year with the G1, which boasts a brighter OLED panel and retails for $2,200 (55-inch model). The company has also launched the A1, a more budget-friendly model without HDMI 2.1 or a 120Hz screen (instead offering 60Hz) – the A1’s 55-inch model retails for $1,600.
LG rival Samsung also offers a less expensive model of its QLED TV this year for $1,600, but the company is catering to the high-end consumer as well with 8K versions that start at $3,500 and go as high as $9,000. Beyond its QLED tech, Samsung is promoting a number of MicroLED sets that it claims rival OLED screen tech’s deep blacks. A 110-inch model currently has a pre-order price of 170 million won, which translates to a stunning $152,000.
Not one to shy from manufacturing potentially budget-stretching products, Sony’s brand has long had an association with premium quality – and the Japanese electronics firm often focuses on that reputation as a strength. This year’s new A90J OLED from Sony starts at $3,000 for the 55-inch model and $4,000 for the 65-inch size, putting the latest models far from budget territory. The A90J is already getting stellar reviews, and it’s the first Sony set to embrace HDMI 2.1, the new Google TV user interface, and feature the Bravia Core streaming service with “UHD BD equivalent quality.”
According to Interpret’s New Media Measure®, consumers who are most likely to spend more to gain better TV picture quality are either Millennials, Gen Xers, or those with household incomes above $150,000. And the good news for Sony is that its brand still manages to command higher prices. While the company may have ceded market share to competitors in recent years, falling into third place behind Samsung and LG, 27% of Sony TV owners indicate they are willing to pay more for picture quality compared to 22% of LG and Samsung owners.