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Samsung QD-OLED TV first test results — how it stacks up so far [Update]

Samsung S95B OLED TV
(Image credit: Future)

Correction June 2: Due to mistakes in our data collection process, we erroneously reported that the Rec709 color gamut of the Samsung S95B OLED was only 99%. After further review, it's closer to 130%, similar to what we've seen on the LG G2 OLED.

We’ve updated and changed the headline of the story to reflect this new information and apologize for the error. We will report back once we have done further testing. We are in the process of fully updating this article and will update with any further changes.

The Samsung S95B OLED TV — Samsung’s first OLED in nearly a decade and one of the first-ever QD-OLED TVs — remains one of this year’s most intriguing TVs. Coming in 55- and 65-inch configurations, it promised all the perks of OLED panels plus the brightness and color capabilities of the company’s Quantum Dot technology. Hence the name, QD-OLED.

But does QD-OLED deliver? We just ran our series of benchmark tests on the Samsung S95B OLED TV to gauge and color reproduction, picture accuracy and maximum brightness, among other key indicators we look for in the best TVs

We’ll admit, we had high expectations given the simultaneous launch of Sony’s first QD-OLED (using Samsung’s panel, but powered by Sony’s Bravia processor) and LG’s second-generation attempt at OLED evo. Now that we’ve tested two of this year’s headlining sets, the LG G2 OLED TV and Samsung S95B OLED TV, we have a sense of how QD-OLED performs. And how it stacks up against OLED evo.

Samsung QD-OLED: Color accuracy

When comparing TV test results, we look primarily at color reproduction, picture accuracy and maximum brightness. These benchmarks help inform our anecdotal viewing experience, letting us know which TVs might perform better (or worse) than others in a similar price range or place in the respective company’s TV lineup. 

In terms of color accuracy, the S95B OLED TV tested a Delta-E accuracy score of 1.9. Any result of 2.0 or less is good, with lower scores being more accurate. This means the color being displayed on-screen closely matches what the human eye should receive. The LG G2 earned a better 1.3 score, though, which means that it’s the more accurate of the two.

Samsung QD-OLED vs. OLED evo: Brightness

Max brightness is perhaps the test we anticipated most, since QD-OLED claims excellent brightness abilities we don’t usually see with OLED. OLED TVs don’t get as bright as the best QLED TVs, since making millions of self-emissive pixels brighter can dilute color volume and cause the dreaded OLED burn-in.

But by boosting brightness with quantum dots and eliminating the white subpixel in the OLED pixel, QD-OLED should be brighter than OLED, right? That's what we thought we’d see in our test results, but the numbers tell a complicated story.

The Samsung S95B OLED TV reached a brightness of 501.3 nits. That’s actually impressive for an OLED TV, and brighter than many OLED TVs we’ve tested. The exception is the LG G2 OLED evo TV, which is the best LG TV in terms of brightness yet. Reaching 590.5 nits when set to Vivid mode in a 10% window, it offered a 40% increase in brightness compared to last year’s LG G1 OLED TV.

We tested both TVs in their Filmmaker modes and these were the results — though, in Dynamic mode the results could be different. 

So the Samsung S95B OLED TV’s QD-OLED panel is beat out in our tests by this year’s updated LG OLED evo panel, which employs a new heat dissipation system to manage brightness. But the S95B OLED TV scored higher here than the first OLED evo TV, and again, 500 nits is still great for an OLED TV. But it’s average compared to LEDs and many of the best Samsung TVs. Expect more on how Samsung QD-OLED performed differently from Samsung Neo QLED soon.

Samsung QD-OLED vs LG OLED evo: Which wins?

There are several factors that go into scoring a TV besides the tested picture performance. We also consider value, design, interface, audio quality and the remote control in our star ratings. That’s why it’s not so simple to crown a winner between the Samsung S95B OLED TV and LG G2 OLED TV. Expect further information on testing soon. 

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. 

With contributions from
  • L337Fool
    All this review demonstrates is that this site has no idea what they are doing with any HDTV. It's laughable.
  • mlmcasual
    Rec 709???? ahahahahahahahahahah... Bwahahah Sweet mother of Fail! !!!
    Seriously, is Tom's trying to take the crown from the Verge's "Computer build" all time fail memes?

    For real guys... this can't be real, please tell us this is not real.
    Oh.. and 501nits?? at what window size? Where did you even pull that number from when dozens of professionals calibrators have already measured well over 1,000nits on a 10%

    For starters, maybe learn how to turn off the energy saver?
    We would call this fail piece click bait, but that would be insulting to click bait.
  • rushuna86
    mlmcasual said:
    For real guys... this can't be real, please tell us this is not real.
    Oh.. and 501nits?? at what window size? Where did you even pull that number from when dozens of professionals calibrators have already measured well over 1,000nits on a 10%
    Yeah this the most stupid thing I've read all day. 501 nit because they measuring it in SDR mode which limits brightness and even then the number isn't that accurate for the G2. Caring about Nits is SDR mode when movies in SDR are mainly graded at 100nits anyways is a big joke. Rec 709 "wide color gamut" ohhh boy. No mention that the QD OLED panels have an increase of 15%~ coverage on BT2020 over your OLEDs.. Waiting for Sony A95K to be released in my country and handing down my C1 and going to QD OLED panel. This article is so dumb that I actually registered an account to comment on how dumb it is Wonder how much LG paid for this article
  • Robert_356
    I literally thought this was a joke. Lg oled is 1/3 the color volume of qd oled. When in hdr the measurements are 1k nits I'm sure they simply measured sdr and called it a day simply lazy. Reality is even tho the lg g2 gets close in nits since it has a white sub pixel it literally turns bright yellows and reds white. So a fire doesn't look the same as qd oled. It will turn it white 🤦
  • Daddington48
    This article will help author understand that 100 % of rec709 often a misleading statement . Tom is a bit misguided lol only means that the,the size of the Rec.
  • ray279
    I had to read this "article" twice to fully appreciate this amateurish attempt at a display review. 1) No professional website measures any display characteristic in vivid mode. 2) Both of these sets display just over 99% of the DCI-P3 xy/uv color gamut as measured by multiple professional calibrators. 3) The updated Rec.2020 color gamut measurement is designed for 4K/ 8K HDR content, which is quickly becoming the norm for film viewing. The Samsung S95B diplays 86-92% of this standard, while the LG G2 and all other WRGB OLED TVs on the planet struggle to reach even 77%, meaning the all-important color volume measurement of the QD-OLED exceeds conventional OLEDs by about 11% in DCI-P3 color gamut and almost 30% in the normalized Rec.2020 coverage ITP used in HDR streaming, HDR gaming, and UHD HDR Blu-rays. 4) I also registered an account just to comment on this article. Perhaps the "reviewer" should familiarize herself with basic display measuring tools and procedures before attempting to right anything further on this subject.
  • Riot284
    This is some kind of joke right? I think you need to consider hiring some new staff
  • Gokuo64
    admin said:
    How does Samsung QD-OLED compare to LG OLED evo? Here's what our benchmarks say.

    We just tested Samsung's first QD-OLED TV — and the results will surprise you : Read more

    Please find someone that knows what they are doing.

    99%sRGB is basically 100%. No display is perfect.
    SDR and HDR nits are not the same. The standard for good SDR is around 100 nits or more, while good HDR is 1000 or more nits.
    LG's OLEDs have a white sub-pixel that increases luminance at the cost of color accuracy. QD-OLEDs don't have a white sub-pixel, so even at high luminance, they can deliver superior color accuracy.
    LGs OLEDs, may be able to compete on luminance, but not color accuracy at 1000 nits or above and viewing angles.
  • Amxw24
    Is this real life? Considering respected outfits, professionals, calibrators, etc., have shown the proof that your article is completely bogus, I am blown away that you guys would publish something like this. Supposed to be a tech-focused website but literally have no finger on the pulse? Another post was correct in saying that labeling this as clickbait would be an insult to clickbait. LOL
  • Tarunspandit
    Is this a joke?