Samsung's striking The Serif 2019 TV finally goes on sale

Samsung's 2019 version of its The Serif TV has finally arrived on shelves, offering a combination of the company's latest QLED display tech and a stylish design. Announced late last year, the updated The Serif revamps the original model launched all the way back in 2016.

It's the handiwork of Samsung and designers Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec, a simple frame and four slender black metal legs. As for the name, The Serif refers to the TV in profile: its cross-section resembles a serif-font "I" character.

Having a TV that looks good from all angles is great, but it obviously needs to live up to expectations (and the designer price-tag, for that matter) when it's turned on, too. For this 2019 refresh, Samsung has implemented its new 4K QLED screen technology. That promises better contrast with darker blacks, along with 100-percent color volume and HDR 10+ support.

Samsung Ambient Mode, meanwhile, has been added, to make better use of the QLED panel even when you're not watching something or playing games. It can show professional artwork, for example, or different pattern designs, and The Serif gets two different special Bouroullec Palette designs – Fabric and Leaf – each in five different colors. Alternatively, the TV can show family photos.

There's also Bluetooth streaming for music from a smartphone or other device, turning The Serif into a very expensive speaker. Pairing is made easier with NFC: you can place your smartphone on top of the set to connect them. There's also Bixby integration along with AirPlay 2, and if you have an Alexa or Google Assistant powered smart speaker you can control The Serif through them.

While at $1,599.99 for the 55-inch model isn't exactly cheap, Samsung has at least gone the extra mile to make its designer TV stand out. There's a cable guide for the power cord that runs down one of the legs, for example, so that it's not dangling out of the back of The Serif like an ugly tail. A cover makes sure the ports – which include four HDMI and two USB, among others – don't spoil the view from the rear.

Samsung says The Serif 2019 is available to order now, for the moment in white. Other colors are likely to follow.