Neo QLED vs OLED: Which expertise is best for you?

An image of a Neo QLED and an OLED TV in a vs scenario

Michael Gariffo/ZDNET

The ultimate 5 years or so have observed the tv marketplace diversify to the purpose the place it is onerous to maintain. Easy LCD and plasma TVs had been changed by means of a veritable alphabet soup of acronyms like QLED, Neo QLED. OLED, Mini LED, Micro LED, and more than likely a couple of different diversifications I am forgetting. It is a lot for a tech creator to stay monitor of, let on my own the common shopper.

Additionally: The most efficient TVs cash can purchase

This newsletter is designed to explain the variations between two of the preferred applied sciences available in the market: Neo QLED and OLED. We will demystify what defines every expertise, what the professionals and cons of each are, and which may highest serve you to your subsequent TV. 

What’s Neo QLED?

Three Samsung Neo QLED TVs

A trio of Samsung’s Neo QLED TVs in 4K and 8K resolutions


We will get started with the fundamentals. Neo QLED (Neo Quantum Gentle Emitting Diode) is a proprietary expertise created by means of Samsung for its 4K and 8K televisions. The panels make use of what Samsung calls Quantum Matrix expertise, which supplies backlighting by the use of 1000’s of tiny LEDs. Every LED is a small fraction of the scale of the ones in older TV backlighting setups. This makes Neo QLED’s closest non-proprietary analog Mini LED (defined under within the FAQ phase).

Additionally: The most efficient QLED TVs you’ll be able to purchase (from 50 to 98 inches)

The good thing about this kind of panel is that you’ve got 1000’s of lighting fixtures zones. In older TVs, sections of the display that are meant to had been pitch black regularly gave the impression grey or milky because of the restricted choice of lighting fixtures zones. Some older TVs have as few as 4. With Neo QLED, very actual parts of the display are lit. The result’s a picture with higher, sharper distinction between lighting and darks and extra correct colours. Colour accuracy could also be helped by means of Samsung’s use of its Quantum Dot expertise, which supplies further mild filtration on a pixel-by-pixel foundation to make the colours extra correct and richly saturated. 

What’s OLED?

LG 97-inch M3 OLED at CES 2023

A 97-inch LG OLED TV at CES 2023

June Wan/ZDNET

OLED is an older, non-proprietary expertise that differentiates itself by means of the use of a unmarried layer that gives mild and shade. The place Neo QLED and maximum different panel sorts depend on one layer to give you the colours for the person pixels and every other layer to remove darkness from the ones coloured pixels, OLED panel pixels supply their very own mild.

You’ll be able to recall to mind an OLED TV as an array of thousands and thousands of microscopic, color-changing LEDs. Every pixel emits its personal coloured mild, that means there are as many lighting fixtures zones as there are pixels. Every one too can transfer off solely, offering necessarily highest black ranges. 

Additionally: Should-have OLED TVs: The crown jewel of domestic theaters

OLED televisions had been round for years now, with essentially the most fashions having been produced by means of LG. On the other hand, virtually each primary TV producer, together with Samsung, now makes its personal OLED fashions nowadays.

Which is healthier, Neo QLED or OLED?

An example of an OLED TV that's thinner than a smartphone

This fashion of Sony OLED is thinner than the Pixel 6 Professional used within the percent. 

Rebecca Isaacs/ZDNET

As with maximum expertise comparisons, there is not any common solution right here. Your right kind solution relies on what form of TV viewing you do maximum, what your finances is, and what makes TV best for you, in particular. 

So, we are going to give you a number of a very powerful execs and cons for every expertise that will help you decide which is right for you. 

A lifestyle product shot of Samsung's Neo QLED TV mounted on a wall

Some fashions of Samsung’s Neo QLED tv function the strategy to show a couple of resources and apps without delay.


Neo QLED execs and cons  


  • Brightness – Because of its use of discrete, miniaturized LEDs for backlighting, Samsung’s Neo QLED tech creates photographs which might be  4 to 5 instances brighter than OLED panels on reasonable. This makes them nice for brightly lit rooms, or reverse home windows that obtain direct daylight.  
  • Refresh price – Whilst OLED TVs and screens are in spite of everything catching as much as their competitions’ refresh charges, there stays a much broader number of Neo QLED presentations with upper refresh charges. This stat is vital for gaming for your show, and for observing fast paced reside sports activities with out blurring. 
  • Value – There are no doubt extra budget-friendly OLED choices than ever. On the other hand, a lot of the ones fashions sacrifice such things as port variety, good TV options, and different helpful show tech to achieve the cheap value whilst nonetheless together with OLED panels. Neo QLED, on a feature-by-feature comparability, generally is available in at a worth a minimum of a couple of hundred bucks under an an identical OLED fashion.


  • Imperfect black ranges – Whilst Neo QLED is one in all OLED’s closest competition for best black ranges, it nonetheless can not fit the distinction of OLEDs. It is because it is nonetheless lighting fixtures thousands and thousands of pixels with handiest 1000’s of LEDs. The result’s minimum, however nonetheless visual, mild bleed. 
  • Variety – In contrast to OLED TVs, Neo QLED presentations are unique to Samsung. Because of this in case you are now not keen on Samsung’s Sensible TV interface, design philosophy, or the corporate as an entire, you might be out of good fortune. OLED panels are, conversely, made by means of a slew of producers you’ll be able to choose between. 
  • Thickness – It could appear comical to name a Neo QLED TV thick (maximum are round 1 inch intensive), however they are nonetheless a lot thicker than OLED panels. There is a reason why OLED expertise stays so common in smartphones. It supplies one of the most slimmest show panels you’ll be able to purchase. OLED TVs almost disappear when considered edge-on.
A Sony OLED TV in a modern living room with a pool view

OLED TVs may not provide you with a million-dollar infinity pool to have a look at at the back of them, however this Sony fashion would nonetheless glance futuristic in any front room. 


OLED execs and cons


  • Distinction and black ranges – The distinction and black ranges of OLED can not these days be beat. The tech’s skill to totally depower a selected pixel stays unrivaled, even by means of essentially the most miniaturized, commercially to be had LEDs. 
  • Thinness – Even if maximum OLED TVs could have a bit towards their backside finish that is about 2 inches thick, nearly all of the show is thinner than your smartphone, regularly shedding to one/4-inch thick in some fashions. This offers a visible enchantment and sense of top class high quality different show sorts can not fit. 
  • Fashion variety – OLED TVs have been as soon as virtually wholly the area of LG. That is modified dramatically as virtually each primary producer, Samsung incorporated, has joined the celebration. OLED fashions at the moment are to be had in a greater diversity of sizes, resolutions, and value issues than ever sooner than. 


  • Worth – Whilst OLED costs have fallen quite, an absolutely featured OLED TV will virtually at all times be dearer than selection applied sciences. 
  • Fragility – All that thinness approach the panels will also be subtle. Any tv will shatter from a troublesome blow, however OLEDs even require warning when mounting them due to their ultra-slim show panels. They may be able to’t strengthen the burden of the unit, making lifting them into position by means of their beefier backside sections specifically difficult. 
  • Burn-in possibility – Burn in occurs when a show keeps residual photographs that may not disappear, regardless of how again and again its pixels are refreshed. In the event you’ve ever had a observe with an enduring, ghostly model of a Home windows taskbar, you’ve gotten skilled this. OLED panels will also be extra vulnerable to this than competing LED expertise. Whilst producers have used a lot of how to fight this factor, and panels are extra resilient than they have been, it is nonetheless value bearing in mind, particularly if you are expecting to show static imagery for prolonged sessions of time. 
A man looking at TVs in a store

Optimistically studying this piece will save you you from being as puzzled as this man appears. 


Must I purchase a Neo QLED or OLED TV?

There are some classes of customers to whom I might counsel one kind over the opposite:

  • Avid players or sports activities lovers – Neo QLED: The extra to be had brightness, extra commonplace availability of 120Hz refresh charges, and loss of fear about in-game graphics or sports activities ranking overlays inflicting burn-in all level towards Neo QLED being the easier selection.
  • Film buffs and binge watchers – OLED: If you are development a house cinema round your new TV and need the most productive distinction ratio and richest colours, OLED is the way in which. Maximum OLED fashions shine much more when sticking to the cautious shade grading of big-budget movies and trendy status TV collection. 
  • Audience with superbright dwelling rooms – Neo QLED: OLED’s wealthy colours and darkish blacks may not subject if the picture is just too darkish to look due to ambient mild from home windows or lamps. Whilst you’ll be able to attempt to scale back that room mild the use of window remedies or dimmers, it is not at all times sensible. Because of this, the massively awesome most brightness of Neo QLED wins right here.
  • Choosy inside decorators and others who prioritize aesthetics – OLED: The ultraslim profile of an OLED TV provides it two benefits. First, it makes the TV virtually vanish when considered from the aspect. 2nd, it makes the tv a lot more straightforward to cover in a cupboard.

Finally, let me be offering some phrases of convenience: The truth is, each Neo QLED and OLED TVs are nice. There are fashions of both TV kind that may blow away the rest that got here sooner than, and can most likely make you omit any doubts you had the second one you turn it on for the primary time to your front room. 


Whichever aspect of this text you choose, it is a good suggestion to future-proof your acquire by means of settling on a fashion that helps the newest HDMI expertise. HDMI 2.1, the present same old, helps options like resolutions of as much as 10K at 120Hz, Dynamic HDR for the most productive shade efficiency, and decreased latency for gaming. Do not spoil your finances for an HDMI 2.1 fashion, however imagine if it may well be value spending just a little extra on a TV that helps it now, so you’ll be able to hold onto that show additional into the long run.

We will focal point on a very powerful and sensible ones: 

  • Mini LED – Necessarily a non-proprietary model of the similar tech utilized in Neo QLED, however with out Samsung’s Quantum Dot layer masking it. It gives a lot of the similar distinction efficiency ranges, however now not essentially the similar shade efficiency.
  • Micro LED – A expertise that guarantees to in spite of everything fit OLED by means of the use of LEDs so small they may be able to mild person pixels. It has but to achieve mass manufacturing in full-sized TV presentations. 
  • QLED – Necessarily Neo QLED’s older sibling that still will depend on quantum dot expertise to assist shade and lighting fixtures. Neo QLED outperforms it in maximum classes.
  • LED – The tech that began all of it. This older panel kind generally will depend on fewer LEDs positioned in zones at the back of the show or round its edges. It is in large part been changed by means of applied sciences that may produce extra correct lighting fixtures zones. Here is an evidence of the adaptation between LED and OLED.

Additionally: Is OLED higher than QLED?

It is a commonplace level of competition between consumers in the similar family. Some say “the largest one you’ll be able to manage to pay for” is the solution, however others word that even 4K resolutions glance much less interesting when stretched past 65 inches and considered up shut.

Samsung advises the use of “Viewing distance (in inches)/2 = really useful TV dimension” as your rule of thumb. This implies you must get a 60-inch TV in case you are making plans to sit down 10 ft (120 inches) from the show, a 30-inch fashion in case you are handiest 5 ft away, or a large 80-inch display in case you are over 13 ft away. 

Individually, I would recommend getting some cardboard or thick paper and mocking up the other possible sizes. I in finding seeing the real-world scale of the rectangle you can be looking at regularly clarifies issues higher than any equation can.

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