There’s probably no clearer indication that vertical video is here to stay than Samsung making a TV designed to showcase it. And that’s exactly what has happened. The company has announced that the Sero, a 43-inch 4K TV that can switch from landscape mode (the default) to a portrait orientation, is coming to the US and other global markets. So you’ll be able to watch Instagram stories, TikTok videos, Snapchat content, and the portrait video recordings from your camera roll blown up on a relatively big screen — without heinous pillarboxing black bars on the left and right sides.
The Sero originally made its debut in Korea, but is coming stateside and elsewhere in the west this year. Before it was a concept, but Samsung clearly thinks there’s something to this idea thats worth pushing global.
To pull off its clever rotating design, the Sero has an integrated, non-removeable stand that includes a 4.1-channel, 60-watt speaker system inside. That stand provides enough vertical clearance to prevent the TV from hitting the floor whenever it flips into portrait.
Galaxy phone owners can tap their device against the Sero’s frame to immediately begin screen mirroring. iPhone users will have to use the included remote control to manually switch the screen to portrait, but full support for AirPlay 2 is included.
The Sero is by no means Samsung’s most impressive TV when it comes to picture quality and specs. It’s a 4K screen with QLED color, which is fine for many, but it’s edge lit and lacks full-array local dimming. But does it need to technically be the best when it has this one-of-a-kind party trick?
That said, a 43-inch TV isn’t going to be for everybody. If you’ve got a spacious living room (or if you couldn’t care less about vertical video), you’re better off with one of the company’s standard QLED sets, which come in much larger sizes, or something from another brand like TCL, Vizio, LG, or Sony. But for a cramped living room or small apartment, the Sero might make a lot of sense.
Pricing and availability aren’t yet being disclosed, however.
The Sero is Samsung’s latest addition to its line of “lifestyle” TVs that include the Serif, designed to blend in with your living room aesthetic, and The Frame, which showcases artwork when not playing video content.
The Serif now comes in three sizes: 43, 49, and 55 inches. It also gains AirPlay 2 support and has an NFC tag for easily pairing with your Android phone.
The Frame, meanwhile, also comes in new 75, 50, and 32-inch sizes. Samsung says it features an improved art store with better curation. The store continues to cost $4.99-per-month and offers access to “thousands” of pieces of art. The Frame includes a motion sensor that can shut off the display when you leave the room, and it can also be set to power down when the lights turn off.
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