The new model is due in "early summer" 2021 in 55-inch and 65-inch versions, for an unspecified price that we expect to be in the £2500-£3000 region at launch, just like its predecessor. Sadly, there won't be a US launch – Panasonic is still not intending to sell its TVs there in 2021.
- Samsung's OLED-killing MicroLED 4K TVs revealed in multiple sizes
- Sony unveils 2021 Bravia XR 4K and 8K TVs with with 'Cognitive Intelligence'
But what people in the UK and Europe will enjoy are a bunch of advancements made to the TV, while still being based on the Master HDR OLED Professional Edition panel, which is brighter than any other OLED panel. Panasonic hasn't said whether to expect changes in the panel itself, but last year's model was a major step beyond the competition (hence the high price), so it may not need to change anyway.
Elsewhere in the TV, the headline upgrades are a new HXC Pro AI Processor, cutting-edge HDR support, HDMI 2.1 functionality (plus a new Game Mode Extreme), and better speakers.
The new processor promises to use AI to "analyse and detect what content is being viewed – whether that be sports, movies, news, etc – and automatically optimise both picture and sound quality". That's pretty much what the all the AI processors from the likes of Samsung, Philips and so on do, but if it brings improved image quality to a model that was already right at the top of our list of the best TVs, then so much the better.
When it comes to HDR, the support for Dolby Vision IQ is now complemented by support for HDR10+ Adaptive, meaning this is the only TV at the time of writing to support the most advanced kind of every major HDR format.
HDMI 2.1 means there's now support for Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) and 4K at 120fps – perfect for PS5 and Xbox Series X. The new Game Mode Extreme promises to reduce lag to "amongst the very lowest figures for an OLED TV".
The built-in sound system has been improved too. As before, there's a Technics-tuned set of speakers included, but it now offers side-firing speakers for better virtual surround, while still including upfiring speakers for Dolby Atmos, forward speakers and a sub.
We think there's a good chance Panasonic will be able to hold onto its lead as the most dazzling OLED TV with this set, but the real question is whether Samsung's Neo QLED TVs improve the contrast of LCD TVs enough to make spending this much on an OLED questionable… We'll be reviewing them all as soon as we can get our hands on them.