Editor’s Pick: Samsung The Serif for the Discerning Tastemaker
Why choose between style and function when you have The Serif—a new lifestyle TV that has practicality and beauty at the same time. Visual artist, photographer, and furniture designer Jar Concengco shares some of his insights on this gorgeous design piece
Iconic 360° design with a detachable floor stand
Design siblings Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec (who also designed the minimalist Palissade chairs for HAY) didn’t want to create another flat screen TV. They wanted to veer away from that direction and reimagine how we can accept the television again in our interiors as an actual design element. They designed one that can stand on its own in the shape of the letter I in a serif typeface—giving it its name The Serif. The Serif’s shape is influenced by typography! Its black, metal legs create a sculptural silhouette and gives the television a presence in a room.
The Serif is also designed to look good in all angles. Even its backside is clean and has a clean cable management behind the removable panel to help keep things neat. This allows users to place the television practically anywhere you want and not necessarily only against a wall. You can also detach the legs and place The Serif on a console or shelf. One thing you can’t do is mount it on a wall (which defeats the purpose anyway of purchasing a television that was designed to be free from the wall).
Ambient mode and integration
If you have a smart home and other Samsung devices, you can have The Serif be a part of certain routines using SmartThings via NFC technology. For instance, every morning at 7am you can have The Serif turn on in Ambient Mode and display information such as time and the weather. The Serif also has a virtual assistant named Bixby. Other regions have Google Assistant and Alexa installed in The Serif, however our region does not.
Ambient Mode is a feature that I found to be using more and more. It may sound like what we call screen savers on our computers, but the pattern designs included are mesmerizing. The Bouroullec brothers have even designed their own pattern for Ambient Mode and is included in The Serif. So even while you’re not watching TV, it can definitely help create a mood in the room.
Amazing Color Display
Picture quality hasn’t been better than with The Serif’s QLED technology. Colors are vivid, and with HDR10+, The Serif can analyze each scene frame by frame and make sure you’re seeing realistic visuals. I thought The Serif’s picture quality definitely delivers and has a punchy and more dynamic feel.
Another intelligent innovation that The Serif has incorporated is the Active Voice Amplifier. When you’re watching a show and the TV detects sound in your environment for over 3 seconds, it automatically amplifies dialogue so you don’t miss out on important matters on the latest episode of Money Heist.
In an effort to reduce waste, Samsung is encouraging for consumers to repurpose the box The Serif comes in. The box cleverly has precise dots to help guide you to create various household items and even small housing for pets. I plan to make a magazine holder with mine. You can check this out for step-by-step guides.
One small detail that I adore is when you turn on and turn off The Serif, it imitates how a retro cathode-ray tube television would turn off—with a horizontal line in the middle. This evokes an older time when the television was a gathering place in one’s home. In my home, The Serif definitely has brought my family together for more movie nights or kids doing homework in the room while the Ambient Mode is on.
Samsung’s The Serif television design is iconic. It may not be for everyone as it does take up more space than a wall-mounted television. For design lovers, however, and for those who want their television to be more, The Serif straddles the line between furniture, art, and technology.