Major TV makers like Samsung and Sony are marketing QD-OLED TVs as their high-end offerings in 2022. According to them, these new TVs are significantly better than the current generation OLED models. They’re so good that PC maker Dell is already pushing the tech into its flagship Alienware gaming monitor.
However, is the premium price of these TVs justified? And should you consider one even if you already have an OLED TV? Read on to understand why a QD-OLED TV is a worthwhile investment.
What is a QD-OLED TV?
Simply put, QD-OLED TV is an OLED TV with a layer of quantum dots in front of the blue pixels instead of a color filter used by conventional W-OLED TVs. For years, LG Display has been the sole maker of all the W-OLED TV panels we’ve seen from TV makers like Sony, Vizio, Panasonic, and more. However, these new QD-OLED panels are exclusively made by Samsung Display.
There are many benefits to using a quantum dot layer instead of a color filter and as a result QD-OLED panels promise the best picture quality we’ve seen on OLED TVs to date. . So, let’s look at everything they offer and why you should consider buying one.
1. Better brightness levels than OLED TVs
One of the biggest drawbacks of OLED TVs is that they couldn’t compete in the brightness department, especially against Samsung’s QLED TVs which could go well beyond 1,500 nits. Although LG Display has improved the brightness of its W-OLED panels in recent years, conventional OLED TVs still can’t reach the gold standard of 1,000 nits when it comes to peak brightness levels.
Fortunately, since QD-OLED TVs use a layer of quantum dots instead of a color filter that reduces the brightness levels of conventional OLED panels, they can deliver higher peak brightness levels, up to 1 000 nits. Sure, that’s still not up to par with Samsung’s Neo QLED TVs that hit close to 2,000 nits on some models, but it’s still plenty for a class-leading HDR viewing experience.
2. Better color volume than OLED TVs
Another benefit of the quantum dot layer in QD-OLED panels is that it can display saturated colors even at higher brightness levels. Conventional OLED TVs only cover 80% of the color volume of the P3 color space, while newer QD-OLED displays go way beyond that and cover 100%. Simply put, these TVs can reproduce more colors in the brighter areas of the picture.
Sure, Samsung’s own QLED TVs can still deliver better color volume as they can get even brighter, but that’s never been achieved on an OLED screen before. You could say that Samsung has bridged the gap between OLED and QLED with its new QD-OLED display technology.
3. Low input latency and near instantaneous response times for gamers
OLED technology is still at the heart of new QD-OLED panels, and due to the self-emitting pixels, you can expect near-instant sub-1ms response times, which is essential for gamers. Therefore, you don’t experience ghosting on these screens during fast-moving scenes.
QLEDs, on the other hand, offer sub-5ms response times, making them no match for those QD-OLED panels in terms of motion clarity. And when it comes to input lag, the new QD-OLED TVs match competing OLED and QLED displays, so competitive gamers can rest assured they’re not making any sacrifices. Just make sure to use the dedicated game mode setting before booting up your console.
4. True Black Levels
Again, QD-OLED TVs still use self-emitting OLED technology, which means that individual pixels can turn off completely depending on the content on screen. You cannot get blacks darker than 0 nits. This is one area where QLED TVs can’t match because they use an LED or mini-LED backlight that can’t turn off like OLEDs do.
Although Samsung has improved its QLED technology over the years, even the most premium models with full local dimming do let some light through. Additionally, you will notice blooming around bright objects against a dark background, which is quite noticeable when the lights are off. You wouldn’t face such issues on an OLED or QD-OLED TV because they don’t have dimming zones.
5. Competitive prices
When Sony and Samsung announced their first QD-OLED TVs in early 2022, people expected them to cost significantly more than current-generation W-OLED models. Luckily, that’s not the case, as Samsung has competitively priced its S95B QD-OLED TV at $1,999 and $2,799 for the 55-inch and 65-inch models, respectively.
By comparison, LG’s flagship G2 OLED evo TV costs $1,999 and $2,999 for the 55-inch and 65-inch variants. So you don’t pay a penny more for the new QD-OLED technology if you buy it from Samsung. However, on the other hand, Sony charges a premium for its A95K QD-OLED TV, costing $2,999 and $3,999 for the 55-inch and 65-inch screen sizes.
One important thing to note is that Samsung’s QLED and QD-OLED TVs don’t support Dolby Vision and rely on HDR10+ so the company doesn’t have to pay licensing fees. So if you want a wider range of HDR content, you’ll have to pay the full price Sony charges you.
Should you upgrade from an OLED TV?
It depends on how old your OLED TV is. As mentioned earlier, conventional OLED technology has improved dramatically in recent years. For example, LG’s new OLED evo panels are significantly brighter than its older panels. In some scenarios, the LG G2 hits a peak brightness of 1,000 nits, which is a remarkable feat for a W-OLED panel.
If you own a premium OLED TV from 2020 or later, you might not notice such a jump in brightness levels and picture quality for the price. So we suggest waiting for the second generation of QD-OLED TVs or the prices to drop. However, if you have an older model, it may be worth replacing it with a newer QD-OLED TV from Sony or Samsung.
QD-OLED TVs offer the best of OLED and QLED technologies
So far, OLED TVs have dominated when it comes to black levels, and QLED TVs have been miles ahead in the brightness department. But Samsung’s new QD-OLED panel incorporates the strengths of both OLED and QLED technologies to deliver the best picture quality we’ve ever seen on a consumer TV.
Considering this is a first generation display technology, you can only expect it to improve in the years to come. So we’re excited to see what more Samsung can do to bridge the gap between OLED and QLED TVs.