Prime Day TV deals: Should you buy OLED or QLED?

LG C1 OLED TV with a Tom's Guide deal tag
(Image credit: LG)

With Prime Day TV deals bringing major discounts, you might find yourself stuck between several different shopping decisions. For example, should you buy an OLED TV or a QLED TV? What's the difference between the two? And what type of panel is a better deal?

These questions don't only apply to Prime Day deals. The best OLED TVs and best QLED TVs from most major manufacturers often see discounts throughout the year. But right now, Amazon Is taking hundreds of dollars off top-tier sets as part of it's annual 2-day sales event.

In one of our favorite early Prime Day TV deals so far, Amazon has the 65-inch LG C1 OLED TV on sale for $1,596 (opens in new tab). That's more than $900 off regular price of an impressive LG OLED TV. 

LG 65" C1 OLED: was $2,499 now $1,796 @ Amazon (opens in new tab)

LG 65" C1 OLED: was $2,499 now $1,796 @ Amazon (opens in new tab)
LG's C1 OLED packs in everything we love from the best TVs, like Dolby Vision IQ, Dolby Atmos sound, HDMI 2.1 and Nvidia G-Sync. It all adds up to a great TV, and a killer gaming display, and it's selling for the lowest price we've seen.

There's a bit more variety when it comes to QLED TVs. While LG and Sony dominate the OLED market, there are multiple QLED makers in the ring. Samsung is perhaps best known for touting QLED technology, Quantum Dot sets from TCL, Hisense and Vizio perform well, too. 

That said, one of best TVs we've tested is on a big discount lowest price ever. Amazon has the 65-inch Samsung Neo QLED QN90A TV on sale for $1,596 (opens in new tab). This configuration normally costs $2,197, so you'll save about $600. 

Samsung 55" QN90A Neo QLED TV: was $2,197 now $1,599 @ Amazon (opens in new tab)

Samsung 55" QN90A Neo QLED TV: was $2,197 now $1,599 @ Amazon (opens in new tab)
This 2021 TV uses mini-LED backlighting for unmatched picture brightness. With its 1-inch thin profile, it's also one of the best-looking sets you can buy. It features HDR10/HDR10+/HLG support, 120Hz refresh rate, Samsung's Tizen OS, and a voice remote.

But the best QLED deals aren't just at Amazon. Right now, the 65" Hisense U6H 4K ULED TV is just $549 at Best Buy (opens in new tab)

65" Hisense U6H 4K ULED: was $899 now $549 @ Best Buy (opens in new tab)

65" Hisense U6H 4K ULED: was $899 now $549 @ Best Buy (opens in new tab)
Hisense's U6H line is affordable, but still offers great performance. It has Quantum Dot, Dolby Vision IQ, HDR 10+ and FiImMaker Mode. Running at 60Hz, the TV also has HDMI 2.1 ports, Game Mode Plus and variable refresh rate, so it's a good budget TV for gamers.

Just because you see a stellar deal on an OLED TV or a QLED TV doesn't mean it's the right TV for you. Our TV buying guide covers everything you'll want to consider before purchasing a new centerpiece for your entertainment set up. But when it comes to QLED vs. OLED TVs, and which you should buy during this Black Friday deals season, here's what you'll want to know.

OLED vs. QLED TV: What's the difference?

OLED and QLED are both names for specific kinds of TV panel technology. Neither is necessarily "better" than the other; instead, each have advantages and disadvantages.

OLED stands for organic light-emitting diode, a very precise way of creating a picture. Unlike traditional LED or LCD TVs, organic pixels emit their own light when activated, meaning each pixel can be completely turned on or off separately. The result is sharp details, wide viewing angles and deep blacks. In fact, OLED TVs are the only TVs that can deliver true blacks. 

By contrast, QLED panels require LED backlighting, which means black areas of the screen will still exhibit some degree of light. QLED is an abbreviated form of "quantum-dot LED," and while the term is most closely associated with the best Samsung TVs, the technology is by no means proprietary. 

So no, QLED doesn't get the same inky blacks as OLED, but it has its benefits. For one, QLED almost always beats OLED in terms of brightness and contrast. QLED isn't as susceptible to burn-in, either.

OLED vs. QLED TV Prime Day deals

Perhaps Prime Day OLED TV deals get more attention than QLED TV deals because OLED TVs are generally more expensive. It's rare to find an OLED under $1,000 outside of the Vizio OLED TV. But right now Amazon has the 48-inch LG A1 OLED TV on sale for $676 (opens in new tab). At more than $350 off regular price, that's one of the cheapest OLED offerings (if not the cheapest overall) we've ever seen.

LG 48" OLED A1: was $1,199 now $676 @ Amazon (opens in new tab)

LG 48" OLED A1: was $1,199 now $676 @ Amazon (opens in new tab)
LG's most affordable OLED TV gets even better, with the 48-inch LG A1 OLED selling for an incredible $676. With webOS and LG's impressive Game Optimizer settings, the smallest OLED is a huge deal for gamers and anyone that wants a great 4K smart TV for a smaller space. 

But LG might not be your brand of choice. Luckily, Sony has some attractive Prime Day OLED TV deals, too. Best Buy has the Sony 55-inch A80J OLED TV on sale for $999 (opens in new tab), or $700 off its normal price. In our Sony Bravia XR A80J OLED review, we found it's one of the most well-rounded TVs we've ever tested.

Sony 55" A80J OLED: was $1,699 now 999 @ Best Buy (opens in new tab)

Sony 55" A80J OLED: was $1,699 now 999 @ Best Buy (opens in new tab)
You can get one of the best OLED TVs on the market for a steal. The 55-inch Sony Bravia XR A80J OLED TV is more than just a great OLED TV, it's also one of the smartest TVs you can buy, with Google TV software, amazing sound-from-screen technology and cutting edge features like HDMI 2.1 and an integrated ATSC 3.0 tuner.

You'll find more flexibility with Prime Day QLED TV deals. There are typically discounts making QLED TVs cheap. The TCL 55" Class 5-Series QLED 4K UHD Smart Google TV is on sale for $429 at Amazon. (opens in new tab), for example. The TCL 5-Series Google TV was already killer QLED value, but it's even better for Prime Day deals

TCL 55" 4K QLED TV: was $549 now $429 @ Amazon (opens in new tab)

TCL 55" 4K QLED TV: was $549 now $429 @ Amazon (opens in new tab)
Editor's Choice: The TCL S546 is our favorite QLED TV when it comes to value. In our TCL 5-series review (opens in new tab), we said it offered killer performance and a wide variety of features. These include support for Dolby Vision/HLG/HDR10/HDR10 Plus, voice remote with Alexa support, auto game mode, and Google TV. Priced at $429, it's an epic bargain. 

And if you were looking for something even cheaper, Amazon has the Insignia 50" QLED 4K Fire TV on sale for $299 (opens in new tab). It's normally $429, so you'll save big thanks to Prime Day TV deals.

Insignia 50" QLED 4K Fire TV: was $429 now $299 @ Amazon (opens in new tab)

Insignia 50" QLED 4K Fire TV: was $429 now $299 @ Amazon (opens in new tab)
This 50-inch Insignia QLED TV offers impressive image quality no matter what you're watching. With Fire TV features you can also stream all your favorite shows and movies and control them all with your voice thanks to full Alexa support. This 2021 TV is now at its lowest price and one of the most affordable Prime Day TV deals we've seen for a QLED. 

Should you buy OLED or QLED?

If you're looking for the most affordable TV options, you'll want to shop QLED. There are a number of options for budgets big and small. You can usually find a good variety of QLED sizes, too.

Another reason to buy QLED is for brightness. If you plan on setting up your new TV in a room with lots of natural light, and would like to watch it during the day time, QLED won't be washed out as easily as OLED.

But if you want the most cinematic viewing experience, complete with perfect blacks and an ultra-precise picture, OLED is the ultimate treat. And with Prime Day deals, you can buy one at the lowest prices of the year.

Kate Kozuch is an editor at Tom’s Guide covering smartwatches, TVs and everything smart-home related. Kate also appears on Fox News to talk tech trends and runs the Tom's Guide TikTok account (opens in new tab), which you should be following. When she’s not filming tech videos, you can find her on an exercise bike, mastering the NYT Crossword or channeling her inner celebrity chef.