For many shoppers interested in a new TV, one of the biggest decisions to make is whether to get a QLED TV or an OLED TV. And while both TV technologies have long held distinct pros and cons, there’s a standout QLED TV available this year that might beat OLED at its own game.
I spent some time checking out the new Samsung QN95C Neo QLED 4K TV ahead of the set becoming available later this month. As a follow-up to 2022’s excellent Samsung QN95B Neo QLED TV, I expected the latest-generation QLED flagship to stand out as an early contender for best TV of this year, admittedly. But I hadn’t anticipated such a significant improvement to an area that has never been QLED’s strong suit: wide viewing angles.
When it comes to QLED vs. OLED TVs, OLED TVs have self-emissive backlighting that creates a uniform picture, no matter the angle from which you’re watching. QLED TVs, on the other hand, typically struggle with picture consistency past a certain viewing angle, skewing colors and limiting brightness due to the backlit LCD panel.
Even with a 5-star rating, the QN95B Neo QLED TV didn’t have the wide-angle viewing abilities of, say, the LG C2 OLED TV. This difference is something that becomes more important as people set up entertainment spaces centered around big-screen TVs. Depending on the size of your family for movie night, or how regularly you have friends over to watch the big game, you’ll want to make sure everyone can see the same picture at every angle.
As I took a closer look at the new QN95C model, I noticed that the picture held up perfectly at slight angles (approximately 30 degrees.) But as I walked a 180-degree semi-circle around the entire front side of the screen, the image stood surprisingly strong.
Only at about 75 degrees to either side did I notice less color vibrancy and definition in the Planet Earth documentary, yet no one would comfortably watch from this angle. It’s the 45-to-55 degree range that I’ve seen other QLED TVs struggle with compared to OLED TVs, yet the QN95C defies the norm.
Samsung says that the QN95C received a huge boost to the number of local dimming zones, which helps with backlight control and blooming. But it’s one thing to read a spec and another to see the performance in action. It seems to me that Samsung truly upped the picture control of its flagship 4K QLED TV compared to last year’s model, establishing the QN95C as one of 2023’s TVs to beat — if not the TV to beat.
Should you buy the Samsung QN95C Neo QLED 4K TV?
The Samsung QN95C Neo QLED 4K TV is available to purchase starting the end of February, priced at $3,299 for the 65-inch configuration I demoed. The 75-inch model costs $4,199 and the 85-inch model costs $5,799, so it’s by no means a cheap TV.
If you’re dead-set on buying a new, premium TV ASAP, I can say with confidence that the Samsung QN95C Neo QLED 4K TV should be on your short list. Even if you had your heart set on OLED, I believe it’s worth taking a closer look at this Samsung 2023 TV.
That said, we’ll get the QN95C on our testing bench for a longer period of time before giving it a star rating and official recommendation. Plus, if you’re able to wait, TV deals should bring discounts to this model starting over the summer.