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Samsung QLED vs. OLED: Which is best?

Jordan Hutchinson

Samsung has introduced OLED anti-glare. Does it take it over the top? 

The great debate among TV enthusiasts: Should I get an OLED or a QLED TV? This is particularly a big decision when comparing a Samsung QLED to an OLED, as both offer premium experiences at high prices. Samsung has introduced three new TVs for 2024: one OLED TV, the S95D, and two QLED TVs, the QN90D and the QN900D.

The BestReviews Testing Lab tested these three models extensively, judging them on their brightness, color accuracy, saturation, design, motion blur, gaming features and smart features.

We consider all three to be quality options for anybody looking to upgrade their TV, but a few key differences might sway your buying decision. Let’s dive in. 

Samsung QLED vs. OLED  specs

Samsung is a longtime player in the 4K TV space. While they were originally known for adopting QLED technology, Samsung has recently entered the OLED space to compete with brands like LG and Sony. The result is high-quality OLED and QLED TVs that fit the needs of every consumer. 

Samsung QN90D 4K QLED specs

QLED TVs use quantum dot technology in their backlight to achieve their picture.

Product specifications

Size: 43” to 98” | Refresh Rate: 144 Hz at 4K | Resolution: 4K | Connectivity: 4 HDMI (1 eARC), Ethernet, Wi-Fi, USB, Optical Audio

The QN90D from Samsung's refreshed 2024 QLED TV lineup performed solidly during testing. While not reaching the heights of OLED displays, it impresses with its strong color accuracy, vibrant colors and good brightness. Introducing new features for 2024 like the NQ4 AI Gen2 Processor and Quantum Matrix Technology, the QN90D has enhanced video and audio compared to older versions of this model.  

Overall, this TV stands out as a robust 4K TV, particularly excelling in its gaming capabilities. Though we noticed some motion blur while using a PS5 at max settings, it still surpasses many other TVs in its class. With Samsung's Motion Xcelerator technology boosting the variable refresh rate (VRR) to 144 hertz, it compared favorably to the top tier of smart TVs.

We think the QN90D presents a compelling option for those making their first significant 4K TV purchase.

Samsung QN900D 8K QLED specs 

Samsung QN900D 8K QLED
The QN900D’s 8K technology is impressive but has limited application.

Product specifications

Screen Size: 65” to 85” | Resolution: 4K | Panel Type: QLED | Refresh Rate: 240Hz VRR | Voice Assistant Integration: 4 HDMI (1 eARC), Ethernet, Wi-Fi, USB, Optical Audio

Samsung’s QN900D is a cutting-edge 8K resolution TV tailored for home-theater enthusiasts. Representing the top of its class, this QLED smart TV comes equipped with unparalleled brightness, deep blacks, rich detail and a sophisticated design. Samsung introduced new enhancements for 2024 such as 8K AI Upscaling Pro, AI Motion Enhancer Pro and the revolutionary Infinity Air stand, which all contribute to its outstanding picture.

Overall, we think the QN900D stands out as one of the premier offerings in the QLED TV market. Its picture quality delivers crispness and clarity, while also leading the industry with gaming capabilities. With 240 Hz VRR at 4K resolution, a number only seen from high-end gaming computer monitors, it exhibited zero motion blur during our testing. With that said, these features do not come cheap. The QN900D is a heavy investment. 

For those willing to invest in and embrace 8K technology, despite its limited applications, the QN900D is an exceptional choice for an immersive premium home-theater experience.

Samsung S95D OLED specs 

Samsung S95D OLED
Viewing from an angle doesn’t degrade the S95D’s picture.

Product specifications

Screen Size: 55” to 77” | Resolution: 4K | Panel Type: OLED | Refresh Rate: 144Hz VRR | Connectivity: 4 HDMI (1 eARC), Ethernet, Wi-Fi, USB, Optical Audio

Samsung's S95D is the company’s flagship OLED offering in their 2024 lineup. With crystal-clear brightness, deep inky blacks and consistent viewing angles, it offers a fantastic picture from any vantage point in your viewing room. New for 2024 is Samsung's OLED glare-free technology, the first OLED TV to ever feature anti-glare, which ensures the same fantastic picture in dim or well-lit environments. 

This OLED TV is a true standout. Our testing revealed flawless gaming performance, showing no weakness when running a PS5 at max settings. Titles like Fortnite ran seamlessly, while live sports exhibited minimal motion blur, thanks to its 144 Hz VRR. 

OLED TVs are often hailed as the pinnacle of premium televisions, and the S95D lives up to this reputation. If you're seeking OLED excellence, look no further than the S95D.

Samsung QLED vs. OLED: What they do well

Samsung QLED vs. OLED: What they do well
OLEDs have better colors and deeper blacks, but QLEDs get brighter.

While both TVs offer high-quality displays, QLED and OLED TVs excel in different aspects. 

OLED benefits

  • Deeper black levels: Because each OLED pixel emits light individually and can turn off completely depending on the scene, OLED TVs have richer blacks and better contrast than QLEDs. 
  • Wide viewing angle: OLED displays maintain consistent picture quality even at wide viewing angles; this is ideal if you have a wide viewing room. 
  • Slim design: OLED TVs are remarkably thin and light due to the absence of a back layer; we felt that was especially true with the S95D. 
  • Energy efficiency: OLED pixels emit their own light and don’t require a constant backlight, thus OLEDs consume less power overall compared to QLEDs. 
  • Response time and motion handling: Generally, OLED TVs have a faster response time and better motion blur capabilities, including the S95D, which we felt was much better than the QN90D and on par with the QN900D. 
  • Environmentally friendly: If you’re an environmentally sensitive consumer, the lack of backlight materials makes OLEDs more environmentally friendly, so they’re easier to recycle or throw away.

QLED benefits

  • Cost: While the QN900D represents a very expensive version of a QLED TV, generally, QLED TVs are less expensive than their OLED counterparts.
  • Peak brightness: If brightness is your main goal, QLED TVs have OLEDs beat as they have a higher peak brightness. However, OLED TVs are closing this gap, as evidenced by the S95D. 
  • Performance in bright rooms: Because of their peak brightness levels, QLED TVs perform better in bright viewing areas. 
  • Color accuracy: Quantum dots allow for better color accuracy, although we felt the S95D outperformed the QN90D in this case. 
  • More customization: QLED TVs are made in several different sizes compared to OLED TVs, making them easier to fit into your home if space is an issue. 

What they could improve

While we prefer OLEDs overall, both displays have things to work out. 

OLED drawbacks

  • Cost: If budget is an issue, OLED TVs can be hard to justify. QLEDs, with premium models such as the QN900D being the exception, are generally cheaper. 
  • Burn-in: While becoming increasingly rare in recent years, OLED TVs are prone to “burn-in” if kept on the same picture for too long.  

QLED drawbacks

  • Bulkiness: While some models are pretty slim, QLEDs are bulkier and heavier than OLEDs.
  • Viewing angle degradation: If you have a wide viewing room, QLED TVs are prone to picture degradation when viewing from an angle, meaning the picture overall is of worse quality. 

Samsung QLED vs. OLED functionality

We extensively tested both Samsung QLED and OLED models, putting them through various tests to evaluate their gaming performance, picture quality, and smart features.  

Gaming performance comparison

The QN900D is an impressive gaming QLED TV. It stands out as the first TV to boast a VRR of 240 Hz, a specification typically reserved for top-tier computer monitors. The smoothness of the field of vision (FOV) was remarkable, and the TV flawlessly handled Fortnite at maximum settings on the PS5. We even felt it could tackle more demanding games, including those from the next generation of consoles, whenever they come out. 

Though not reaching the heights of the QN900D, we felt the QN90D still delivered good performance during testing. Its 144 Hz VRR is more than sufficient for the majority of gamers. While we observed some motion blur and input lag, it outperforms many cheaper TVs in this price range.

OLED TVs are favored by gaming enthusiasts due to their high refresh rates and minimal input lag, especially when compared to QLED TVs. We felt the S95D has all these features and more. During our testing, the S95D left us impressed. The graphics processing capabilities were awe-inspiring. The S95D stands out as a gaming workhorse.

The S95D boasts a 144 Hz VRR, meaning motion blur is virtually nonexistent. We noticed almost zero input lag, which is especially important in fast-paced games like Fortnite.

Design and build comparison

During our testing, we found the design of the QN90D to be underwhelming. While not bad, it doesn’t stand out among modern 4K TVs. Its build quality will feel familiar to those who have previously owned a Samsung TV. Nonetheless, its design would feel at home in a high-end conference-room setting.

In contrast, the design of the QN900D is exceptional. The Infinity Air Design stands out as an impressive new feature from Samsung. With virtually no bezel, a thickness of about a centimeter and no bulkiness from the back, it presents a futuristic aesthetic. The Infinity Air stand's floating appearance is unlike any TV stand we've encountered in our testing.

The S95D OLED is also a stunning TV, with its unbelievably slim 11-millimeter-thick screen, something OLED screens have built a reputation for. We believe that the S95D embodies both OLED and design excellence. Its sleek bezel measures about a centimeter, adding to its minimalist aesthetic. The S95D's stand, featuring only one dark-gray support in the center, adds to its elegant nature and makes it easy to integrate into your home-theater setup.

One advantage the QN900D and the S95D have over the QN90D is the use of the Samsung OneConnect Box. Samsung’s OneConnect Box has become a mainstay on Samsung’s higher-end TVs and allows users to seamlessly connect and hide wires to all of their TV devices, such as a cable box or a gaming console. It’s a very useful feature, especially if you like to wall-mount your TV. 

Picture quality comparison

The Q900D’s picture quality is fantastic and is achieved through Samsung’s NQ8 AI Gen3 processor. This technology allows the QN900D’s screen to display everything in crisp detail and vivid color. A standout feature of the QN900D is the ability to upscale older content to 8K resolution, but we had mixed results testing it out. 

While it certainly isn’t a bad picture, the QN90D pales in comparison to its older QLED brother. The screen is bright, beautiful and vibrant, but there was some inconsistency with brightness at the very edges of the screen. The QN90D also boasts AI technology, using Samsung’s updated Samsung NQ4 AI Gen2 Processor. This QLED TV still has good blacks and bright whites.

The S95D on the other hand boasts the truly remarkable picture quality we’ve come to expect from OLED screens. Samsung’s OLED TVs undergo validation by Pantone, ensuring color accuracy approved by industry-leading experts. The S95D also features OLED HDR Pro, enhancing the viewing experience with richer imagery for HDR content. During our testing, we were impressed by the S95D’s deep, velvety blacks and its strikingly bright, pure whites. Its color accuracy is superb, with even subtle hues maintaining a remarkable clarity. It excels in every aspect, making it a fantastic choice for your first OLED TV.

Smart features comparison

In terms of smart features, these TVs are all equal. They all use the updated version of Samsung’s patented operating system, Tizen OS. We found Tizen to offer a smooth and intuitive user experience, complete with a selection of all the apps you would want in a smart TV.

All of these TVs also feature the Samsung Gaming Hub, which allows for cloud gaming directly on the TV. This is a great option for gamers looking to simplify their setup. Gaming Hub features Xbox Game Pass, Sony, Origin and Steam games. 


The S95, which ranges in size from 55 to 77 inches, starts at $2,599 and is available at Samsung. The QN90D, which ranges in size from 43 to 98 inches, starts at $1,499 and is available at Samsung. The QN900D, which ranges in size from 65 to 85 inches, costs $4,999 and is available at Samsung. 

How do they compare to other TVs we tested?

Another popular Samsung QLED TV we tested is Samsung’s updated version of The Frame. The Frame is a “lifestyle TV” that’s meant to display art rather than be an everyday-use TV. Compared to Samsung’s other OLED and QLED offerings, The Frame didn’t perform as well as the S95D, the QN90D or the QN900D. The Frame is meant for the consumer looking to seamlessly blend their TV into their environment and not have it be a distraction. 

Bottom line: Should you get a Samsung QLED or OLED? 

We think OLEDs are the best TVs on the market, and the Samsung S95D is an exceptional option. Each year, OLED TVs get better and better and are matching OLEDs on the few metrics OLEDs have historically been better at. Even with its 8K technology, we still think the S95D is a better choice than the QN900D. However, if price is a concern, the QN90D is a fine option if you’d rather opt for a cheaper QLED TV. 

Prices listed reflect time and date of publication and are subject to change.

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