LG vs. Samsung TV

TV & Video

Samsung is currently developing a high-end TV that combines OLED and QLED technology, making it the first of its kind.

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Which premium TV brand is best?

There are so many 4K TVs on the market today that it can be challenging to wade through them all to find the right one for you. Luckily for consumers, the emergence of Samsung and LG as consistently top TV manufacturers makes that quite a bit easier. While they both have a good number of models to choose from, direct competition between the two companies has led to impressive releases in just about every price range.

It’s hard to label either Samsung or LG as the definitively best TV manufacturer, but they do have their pros and cons. LG’s high-end OLED TVs are matched by few other TVs anywhere, while Samsung’s mid-range QLED TVs offer practically cinema-quality video at moderate prices.

LG TVs

An arm of the company called LG Display is responsible for manufacturing every single TV-bound OLED panel on the market right now. So it’s no surprise that LG’s television development branch is known for being some of the world’s top OLED TVs.

Aside from just their OLED lineup, LG does have other excellent, expensive and affordable TVs. The NanoCell technology used in their mid-range and high-end LCD TVs has long been a worthy competitor to Samsung’s QLED filtration. LG recently released a line of premium models that combine NanoCell technology and quantum dot filtration to deliver impressively wide color coverage that’s remarkably accurate even before calibration.

Another thing worth mentioning is LG’s smart TV operating system, called webOS. It doesn’t get quite the same press as others, but it’s an excellent software suite in its own right. The interface itself is user-friendly, and the hardware and optimization make it stress-free to operate.

LG TV pros

  • The lineup variety ranges from entry-level to ultra-premium models.
  • Their affordable models have wide viewing angles.
  • They’re one of just a few producers of OLED TVs in the US.
  • The latest high-end LCD TVs offer almost unparalleled color volume.

LG TV cons

  • Their OLED lineup isn’t as bright as other, more expensive OLED models.
  • The least expensive TVs use IPS panels that aren’t great for dark rooms.

Best LG TVs

LG C1 OLED

LG C1 OLED

Experts in the field consider the C1 the best high-end TV for most users, almost across the board. While it’s not cheap, it’s less expensive than most other OLED TVs and provides an almost unbeatable picture. Its infinite contrast ratio, perfect black levels and self-illuminated pixels make for one of the best HDR experiences possible. It’s outfitted with HDMI 2.1 and all the associated gaming features. The only minor drawback is that it’s not quite as bright as some Sony OLED TVs.

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LG miniLED NanoCell QNED90

LG miniLED NanoCell QNED90

An entirely new addition to LG’s stable, the QNED90 combines its NanoColor technology with quantum dot filtration to deliver almost as wide of a color gamut as its OLED lineup offers. It’s also the first LG TV series with Mini LED backlighting, allowing for some of the most effective local dimming possible. It sports a 120Hz refresh rate and supports WiSA technology for low-latency wireless surround sound. However, it’s even more costly than the company’s vaunted C1 OLED TV.

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LG NanoCell 90 Series NANO90

LG NanoCell 90 Series NANO90

This one is proof that you don’t have to spend a fortune on a great-looking TV. It’s easily one of the top mid-range models available and even the massive 86-inch version remains reasonably priced. With powerful HDR support in the form of Dolby Vision, it’s one of the best HDR TVs that doesn’t cost a ton and it’s also an excellent choice for high-frame-rate gaming.

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LG LED Smart TV UP8000

LG LED Smart TV UP8000

LG has combined its two previous entry-level models with this remarkably affordable option into one surprisingly effective budget-friendly TV. It’s the perfect choice for watching sports with your entire household or friend group and it’s decent for gaming, too. Unfortunately, its contrast ratio is a bit too low for a premium home theater experience.

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Samsung TVs

If you’re a fan of any kind of consumer electronics, you’ve heard of Samsung. The South Korean tech giant produces some of the best-known smartphones and a massive range of appliances and other gadgets. One arm of their company is even responsible for producing the physical solid-state memory chips that are part of high-speed RAM and advanced SSDs.

When it comes to televisions, they’re widely known for popularizing QLED technology. Of course, they’re not the only ones to use it. As mentioned, LG themselves have finally adopted quantum dot filtration, but Samsung was responsible for bringing it into the mainstream.

They’ve recently brought another advanced technology into the mainstream with their Neo line of high-end TVs. These next-generation TVs use Mini LED backlighting instead of the slightly less effective local dimming methods used on TVs that are lower in the lineup. To be clear, the two technologies are conceptually very similar, but Mini LED has many times the number of individually dimmable zones. This makes it significantly easier for Samsung’s dimming algorithm to decode bold HDR highlights without the blooming common among many TVs with traditional local dimming.

Samsung TV pros

  • Their top-end models have just the widest color gamut possible on an LCD TV.
  • The affordable Samsung options can be surprisingly good for a budget home theater.
  • Everything from their mid-range models up offers extensive advanced gaming features.
  • Many of their high-end options support HDMI 2.1.

Samsung TV cons

  • Except for the most expensive models, most viewing angles are narrow.
  • Samsung has been heavily criticized for including unremovable ads from highly expensive TVs.

Best Samsung TVs

Samsung 55-Inch Class Neo QLED QN90A

Samsung 55-Inch Class Neo QLED QN90A

As Samsung’s top 4K offering, there’s very little to criticize about the QN90A. Mini LED backlighting controlled by a highly effective dimming algorithm is basically at the front of the pack for HDR performance on LCD TVs. It does a decent job at overcoming Samsung’s common viewing angle issue thanks to a proprietary layer that minimizes washout when viewed at an angle. The only problem with it is, as a top offering, it’s pretty costly.

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Samsung 65-Inch Class QLED Q80A

Samsung 65-Inch Class QLED Q80A

This mid-range option performs somewhat similarly to the QN90A, although it doesn’t get quite as bright and the local dimming isn’t quite as effective because it lacks Mini LED technology. On the other hand, it’s notably less expensive than the more premium options. Plus, it uses an IPS-type panel that offers impressive viewing angles even without a special filter layer while having a lower contrast ratio. This is one of the best options for watching sports without spending an absolute fortune.

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Samsung 43-Inch Class Crystal AU8000

Samsung 43-Inch Class Crystal AU8000

If you’re on a tight budget but want a TV that’s great for movie night, look no further than the AU8000 series. It doesn’t have many fancy features to speak of, but it works well in dark rooms and has a high contrast ratio thanks to its VA panel. It’s also one of Samsung’s few TVs to come in a 43-inch version.

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Should you get an LG or Samsung TV?

Because there’s such a varied range of TVs from each manufacturer and every user’s needs differ at least a little, it’s hard to definitively say that either Samsung or LG TVs will be better for you. With that said, though, LG offers just about the best home theater TV on the market in the C1 and one of the top mid-range LCD models in the NANO90 series. On the other hand, the Samsung Neo lineup has you covered if you need something with exceptionally high brightness. 

 

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Chris Thomas writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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