Samsung 2024 OLED TVs could have a huge difference depending on model — what you need to know

Samsung S95C OLED TV
(Image credit: Future)

Samsung is reportedly doing something strange with its new 2024 OLED TVs: It's going to use two different panel types interchangeably in the Samsung S90D, and it might not tell buyers which units have which panel type. 

The report comes from Korean news outlet, The Elec, and was picked up by FlatpanelsHD who say that the S90D's 55-inch, 65-inch and 77-inch models could use both the new QD-OLED panels from Samsung Display and older WOLED panels from LG Display interchangeably. We've reached out to Samsung to clarify this point and will update this story as soon as we hear back.  

As for the 42-inch, 48-inch, and 83-inch S90D OLED TV models, Samsung is outfitting them with WOLED panels, so you'll know which panel you're getting.

The other good news is that the flagship Samsung S95D OLED is set to use Samsung's QD-OLED panels exclusively, while the lower-tier S85D will exclusively use WOLED panels from LG Display. It's just the middle S90D screen that's left in the lurch and might even need regional variants to cover all its bases.

Should you be worried about the so-called panel lottery?

While most consumers may not even notice these differences, Samsung’s 2024 OLEDs might be mixing at random varied panel technologies, something cinephiles might not be too happy with.  

This comes on the heels of news that Samsung TVs will be expensive in 2024, proving to be quite the kerfuffle for consumers who want to upgrade to the best possible display that meets their home entertainment setup needs. Although it’s not the first time the manufacturer has done this (FlatpanelHD claims that Samsung has been using IPS and VA LED-LCD panels interchangeably on its Samsung QN90C range for years), it might be a major drag on Samsung’s 2024 TV lineup — especially if this so-called panel lottery seeps into its other models. 

Why is Samsung doing this? According to a report published in South Korean newspaper The Elec (thanks FlatpanelsHD), Samsung is suffering from some QD-OLED panel manufacturing woes, which is causing it to outfit its forthcoming S90D OLED with the aforementioned variations. 

Thus, when purchasing a 2024 Samsung S90D OLED TV, specifically the 55-inch, 65-inch, or 77-inch models, consumers won’t know what panel type they’re getting, whether that be Samsung’s own QD-OLED or LG Display’s WOLED panel.

What's the difference between QD-OLED and WOLED?

You may not notice a drastic contrast between the two panel technologies, but there are some key differences to contend with in the WOLED vs QD-OLED bout. LG Display’s WOLED panel, which just stands for “White OLED," offers a bit better coverage for darker scenes even when the TV is situated in a bright space. 

Samsung’s QD-OLED panel proves to be a slightly better option, as it offers better color ratios and increased brightness across the board. WOLED is now slightly dated, first being introduced around 2021 and succeeded by LG Display's newer (and far better) MLA panel, which first launched in January 2023. 

LG Display's MLA panel comes highly regarded as an enticing option on OLED TVs, though it’s unclear if Samsung will use this technology in the future for its own models. Samsung and LG Display signed a 5-year supply agreement in February, which includes both OLED and LCD panels, but specifically does not mention MLA. 

Last year’s Samsung S95C OLED TV features the QD-OLED panel across the board and still proves to be an expert option among the best OLED TVs. If you’re worried about getting the short end of the stick in the panel lottery of Samsung’s 2024 S90D OLED, you might be better off picking up the 2023 model instead. 

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Ryan Epps
Staff Writer

Ryan Epps is a Staff Writer under the TV/AV section at Tom's Guide focusing on TVs and projectors. When not researching PHOLEDs and writing about the next major innovation in the projector space, he's consuming random anime from the 90's, playing Dark Souls 3 again, or reading yet another Haruki Murakami novel.