The latest in high end television is OLED or QLED, depending on the manufacturer. While they do sound similar enough, they are completely different technologies. In a way it reminds one of the old battle Plasma vs LCD.
If you want to reduce this to two names, Samsung is synonymous for QLED and LG for OLED. And before we start, both systems are awesome and the picture quality is pretty similar. The difference is almost philosophical and it is well worth to know the difference between the two systems.
What is the difference between QLED and OLED?
In a nutshell: QLED stand for Quantum Dots. They are backlit and and colour the light that is passing through. In a way they are very similar to LCD, just really fancy.
OLED on the other hand uses Organic Light Emitting Diodes. There is no backlight required, so the pixel emits light in the respective colour. This and the fact that they are actually from organic materials is so totally awesome that I – personally – was sold before I even saw one.
Obviously LG is no going out hunting fireflies. Such an organic diode is basically made from plastic, so an oil based compound. In my very simplictic view, OLED is the natural successor of the plasma tv.
So which one is better
Well, that is a very good question and at the end it almost comes down to faith.
QLED is brighter which allegedly is better in a sunlit environment. They are considered more durable and the viewing angle is wider.
OLED are superior when it comes to black. The picture is absolutely brillant and watching the latest Star Trek – as in Space adventure, loads of black with fancy explosions – is a spectacular experience. OLEDs are also much thinner. Unpacking a 65 inch LG that is only Millimeters thick is almost scary. It is thinner than an iPad!
According to the OLED specification a certain degree of decay in colour and brightness starts after 20.000 hours. Tha is 833 days and I somehow doubt that it will suddenly stop being awesome. Ask me in 3 years.
As you can tell I am biased. I bought an LG OLED for myself. Two reasons for that. I like the whole organic diode thing and – actually more important – I did not want an Android / Tizen operating system.
LG has a dedicated OS for televisions and I like that. It is reasonably fast when changing channels and that is important to me. Also the menu is intuitive and – last but no least – the remote is spectacular. Also I do not like the bubblegum colours that Samsung sets as default.