Designed with millennials and Generation Z in mind, Samsung’s The Sero smart TV has the ability to switch its 43-inch screen between portrait and landscape orientation with the press of a button.
Looking like a tall standing mirror, The Sero’s screen is perched on a stand angled at 76 degrees, with a set of built-in 60W (4.1-channel) front-facing speakers sited below.
It even has optional wheels ($199) for users to roll it around the home.
The best part about The Sero is that users can mirror what they are watching on compatible smartphones or tablets on its big screen in portrait orientation.
This means TikTok or Instagram Stories videos can now be displayed in full glory, while scrutinising selfies has never been easier.
As you might expect, The Sero works better with supported Samsung Galaxy smartphones via the Tap View feature. It allows you to enable mirroring by tapping anywhere on the bezel of the smartphone’s screen.
However, before you do that, you need to download the new SmartThings app (available on Android and iOS) and activate the Tap View function.
During mirroring, the screen will rotate in step with the app you are using. So, with Instagram, for instance, the screen will be in portrait orientation. But it will automatically rotate to landscape orientation when you start a racing game like Asphalt 9.
Even though the SmartThings app is available on iOS, iPhones and iPads do not support the Tap View feature. But The Sero supports Apple’s AirPlay 2 streaming protocol, so you can still stream content from your iPhone to the TV.
Running Samsung’s Tizen smart TV operating system, The Sero comes pre-loaded with the most popular content-streaming apps, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO Go, AppleTV, YouTube and Viu.
The Sero is also no slouch in terms of image quality. It features Samsung’s Quantum Dot technology that is said to produce 100 per cent real colour based on the DCI-P3 standard.
• Rotating display
• Mirror content easily from the smartphone
• Sharp visuals with great contrast
• Impressive audio output
• Screen size might be a tad small
PICTURE FEATURES: Maximum resolution of 3,840 x 2,160 pixels, HDR 10+, HLG, 4K AI Upscaling
AUDIO FEATURES: 60W output (4.1 channel), Dolby Digital Plus, DTS Digital Surround
OPERATING SYSTEM: Samsung Tizen
CONNECTIVITY: 4 x HDMI, 2 x USB, Ethernet, Wi-Fi
WEIGHT: 33.3 kg (with stand)
VALUE FOR MONEY: 3.5/5
Watching any content on The Sero is a joy with its sharp resolution as well as its bright colours. Audio quality is also impressive, with punchy bass and clear vocals.
I also like that I can mirror my favourite mobile games such as Robot Wars and Asphalt 9 on the big screen. It is like having a gaming console without buying one.
There are two other features of The Sero that I like. One is Adaptive Picture, which automatically adjusts the TV’s brightness to the viewing environment to ensure an optimal viewing experience.
The other is Active Voice Amplifier, which amplifies voices in any video so dialogue can be heard clearly.
Both worked as advertised. I opened and closed the curtains in my living room and saw the brightness of the TV change accordingly.
Playing loud music in the living room triggered an increase in the volume of the dialogue of a Korean variety show I was watching on Viu.
Standing next to my own 55-inch TV, The Sero looks huge when the screen is in portrait orientation. But when the screen is in landscape orientation, it looks small, like a regular TV.
As such, The Sero is probably best suited as a second TV – albeit a rather expensive one – for social media consumption and playing games.
Considering that a standard 43-inch ultra high-definition TV costs at most $1,000 these days, the $3,499 price tag of The Sero is quite steep.
Of course, no other TV on the market that I know of has this jaw-dropping party trick of mechanically rotating its display.
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