Samsung goes modular with new appliances

Its new range includes a modular fridge and TV, plus a folding smartphone.

People attending Samsung's showcase at IFA Berlin 2019.

Day two of IFA Berlin was all about big announcements from the big players – first, Samsung.

The Korean giant held a massive event, taking up an entire hall, with so many in attendance that I almost didn’t get in. But I’m glad I did.

While Samsung talked up its new cheaper 5G phone and 8K TV range, the star of the show was a fridge. And not even a smart fridge.

Bespoke fridge

The Bespoke is a modular refrigerator. Want a single door with a freezer underneath? Done. Want two freezer units with a double door on top? Done. The Bespoke allows for dozens of fridge configurations.

Samsung Bespoke fridge in different configurations and colours.

It also means you can create the fridge you want for the space you have in your kitchen, or if your Bespoke is too small, you can make it bigger. You can also choose the colour of each door panel separately, giving you more freedom with your home décor.

I wasn’t expecting to be wowed by a fridge at IFA, but here we are.

The Wall TV

Samsung’s other spectacular product was also modular: The Wall. The Wall is a TV made up of individual panels that can be put together in any configuration and placed on a wall. The design of the panels is so good that, even up close, I couldn’t spot the joins.

Samsung's The Wall TV mounted on a wall at home.

It was like something out of a science-fiction film. Massive walls covered in high-definition images of forests or beaches or whatever you want. Now this isn’t a product everyone will have in their homes for a number of reasons, not least of which is because it won’t come cheap. However, it is an interesting development for future TVs.

There were other announcements. Samsung’s 8K range is expanding to include a cheaper 55” model. The Frame TV (the TV that looks like a picture on your wall) is going from strength to strength – and New Zealand is in the top five countries for Frame sales. Samsung is still number one in sales for fridges and front-loading washing machines. It’s also entered the competitive stick vac market.

Serif TV

Samsung Serif TVs on display at IFA Berlin in Burgundy Red and Ivy Green.

Another new launch was the Serif television – a strange design made to sit on its own stand, or on furniture, rather than being mounted to a wall. From the side it looks like a capital I and the flat top contains an NFC reader so you can quickly pair your phone. The main attraction for the Serif seems to be the range of colours it comes in, so you can match your home’s colour scheme (or your Bespoke fridge).

Unlike the Bespoke fridge or The Wall TV, which haven’t yet been announced for New Zealand, the Serif is already available here, with 43” and 55” screens.

Galaxy Fold smartphone

Samsung Galaxy Fold smartphone unfolded and folded in half.

Lastly, Samsung announced the Fold would be going on sale this month – but not in New Zealand. The Fold is the mobile phone with a foldable screen Samsung launched at the start of the year, to much scepticism. This was compounded when early review units broke. Unsurprisingly then, this announcement was met with only a smattering of applause.

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Our tech writer, Hadyn Green, reports from one of the world's largest trade shows for consumer electronics to bring you the latest trends in consumer tech and home appliances.

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