Televisions

Is this the year you should buy a Skyworth OLED TV?

Skyworth wants to compete with LG in the OLED TV market.

Credit: Skyworth

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Today, Chinese consumer electronics manufacturer Skyworth announced that it would be debuting an expansive lineup of 4K TVs—including an OLED model—that will be available in the US market this year.

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Reviewed spoke with Skyworth's Senior VP of Sales and Marketing, John Homlish, ahead of CES 2021's Media Day. Homlish confirmed that Skyworth TVs would be available this year through traditional retail channels (like Amazon), and that the company intended to debut five new TV series: the TC6200, UC6200, UC7500, UC8500, and XC9300 (OLED) series.

Homlish also spoke at length about Skyworth's efforts to move from OEM to ODM within the consumer tech space, suggesting that the company's OLED panel factory in China would give the XC9300 series a leg up in terms of design and performance viability when compared to competing US OLED brands, such as LG Electronics.

In non-business speak, this means that Skyworth is hoping to move away from simply supplying components to other brands and move into becoming a more recognized consumer electronics brand alongside names like Samsung and Sony.

Skyworth-UC8500-TV
Credit: Skyworth

Skyworth's 2021 lineup will include Android smart platforms, and many models will feature Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos compatibility.

While there's no information on pricing yet (which is normal for CES), Homlish confirmed that the new TVs would feature the Android smart platform (in a partnership with Google) and hit over 90% of the DCI-P3 (HDR) color gamut, with upper-tier models featuring sought-after features such as 120 Hz and variable refresh rate capabilities. In short, Skyworth thinks it's TVs will look just as good—inside and out—as other 2021 models.

Here's what we know about the TV series right now:

  • TC6200: Available in 32 and 40 inches. HD (1080p) resolution.
  • UC6200: Entry-level UHD, available in 50, 55, 58, 65, 70, and 75 inches. Includes 4K/HDR compatibility.
  • UC7500: Mid-range UHD, available in 43, 50, 55, and 65 inches. Includes 4K/HDR compatibility.
  • UC8500: High-end UHD, available in 55 and 65 inches. Includes 4K/HDR compatibility.
  • XC9300: Premium OLED, available in 55 and 65 inches. Includes 4K/HDR compatibility.

As with any TV lineup, we can't make any calls until we get some into our labs for testing. However, 2021 could be the year when it's worth considering a Skyworth OLED TV. While so much of LED/LCD TV tech thrives on proprietary R&D, OLED panels are much more "raw." Their emissive nature means the panels themselves handle both luminance and color production, so you won't find as many discrepancies in base picture quality between, say, a Sony OLED and a Vizio OLED (both of which, by the way, use LG OLED panels). Skyworth partnered with LG Display in 2009 to construct the new Chinese OLED factory, which may ensure the quality of its proprietary panels while also reducing the cost in the states.

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While this doesn't mean you should bet on buying a Skyworth OLED sight unseen, it does mean that the XC9300's price may be competitive enough to tempt you when it arrives stateside. At the very least, keep an eye out for reviews: this could be the opportunity to score a great OLED TV without the brand-name boosting up its price.

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

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