Samsung’s Crystal UHD VS QLED: Which One is Better?

Are you trying to decide between QLED and Crystal UHD for your next Samsung TV purchase, but finding it difficult to determine which one is the better choice? With so many features, technologies, and specifications to consider, it’s not always clear which model is the best fit for your needs.

In this article, we’ll explore the differences between QLED and Crystal UHD, comparing their respective benefits and drawbacks to help you make an informed decision. By the end of this article, you’ll have a clearer understanding of how these two popular Samsung TV models compare, and which one might be the right choice for you.

Key Takeaways

  • QLED TVs are better than Crystal UHD TVs with superior brightness and color accuracy thanks to Quantum Dot technology.
  • Crystal UHD is a feature while QLED is a color technology.
  • QLED is better for gaming with more features such as FreeSync and G-Sync.
  • NEO QLED is an improvement over QLED with Mini-LEDs for better dynamic range, and they support 8K resolution.

Crystal UHD vs QLED: Which is Better

Crystal UHDQLED
ResolutionMax 4K (3840x2160)1080P to 8K Maximum
ProcessorCrystal 4K ProcessorQuantum Processor
Refresh Rate60 Hz60 - 120 Hz
HDRYesYes
HDMI 2.1NoYes

First things first, Crystal UHD (Ultra High Definition) and QLED are often advertised as features, but they’re very different. Crystal UHD is a feature while the other is a color technology. 

Crystal UHD is a term used by Samsung to market UHD televisions that are a step above standard 4K UHD TVs. These TVs support 4K resolution, and most of them are equipped with a Samsung “Crystal” 4K Processor for image processing and upscaling media.”

QLED TVs use the Quantum Dot technology which filters out unwanted colors and improves color accuracy. QLED TVs are still LCD TVs that use a backlight.

The resolution on a QLED TV can range from 1080P all the way to 8K on the latest models. QLED TVs also have a powerful backlight which can reach a peak brightness of 4000 nits.

Look:

If you remove the Quantum Dots from a 4K QLED TV, it would be the same UHD TV (4K).

Let’s start with Crystal UHD, then QLED, and finally explain which one is better.

What Is Crystal UHD?

Crystal UHD

Crystal UHD are Samsung TVs that support Ultra High Definition (4K) and use a Crystal 4K Processor. Certain Crystal UHD TVs support Dynamic Crystal Color, a feature that adds over a billion shades of colors.

In other words, Crystal UHD TVs are 4K TVs with Samsung’s “Crystal” brand. Remember, UHD and 4K are the same.

Crystal UHDs are Samsung’s entry-level TVs.

The image quality on Crystal UHD is pretty good. They offer decent brightness,  colors, HDR, and a crisp 4K resolution.  However, when compared to other TVs on the market (QLED, OLED, etc) the quality is not that good.

Here’s another way to look at it:

Crystal UHD is a description of the resolution capabilities. Crystal UHD TVs are LCD displays with a LED backlight. These models are usually in the entry-level to mid-range market.

Crystal UHD vs UHD:

Crystal UHD is simply Samsung’s marketing term for their TVs that support 4K and use their “Crystal” processor.

UHD means the TV supports 4K resolution. In my opinion, there’s no difference between Crystal UHD and UHD.

Why Crystal?

Samsung often markets their Crystal UHD TVs as having a “Crystal” 4K image processor that beautifully upscales all media to 4K.

Here’s the thing:

The Crystal branding is mostly a marketing gimmick. Most Crystal UHD TVs have no such processor. The only TV that is marketed to have a special Crystal Processor is the TU8000 series.

Most smart TVs already have processors that can upscale media to 4K. The Crystal term is mostly for marketing and I would suggest ignoring it.

You shouldn’t worry about whether or not your TV has a 4K-Crystal processor. It doesn’t make that much of a difference.

Instead, look for other features that you need, such as apps, size, resolution, image quality, etc.

Remember, Crystal UHD is not a panel technology. Crystal UHD TVs use LCD technology with LED backlights.

Are Crystal UHD TVs Bad?

Crystal UHD TVs are by no means bad. Almost any display that supports 4K will look good. The problem is UHD is not a special feature, panel, or technology, it simply means the TV is 4K compatible.

With the other types of TVs out there, a basic 4K TV is no longer impressive.

Reasons to buy a Crystal UHD model

  • Lower price: More budget-friendly compared to QLED TVs.
  • Solid performance: Delivers a good overall picture quality for most content.
  • Wide availability: Large TVs for cheaper (available from 43″ to 85″)
  • Wider viewing angles: Colors and contrast remain consistent at various angles, ideal for group viewing.

you’re compromising on:

  • Limited color accuracy: Colors may not be as vibrant and accurate as QLED TVs.
  • Lower contrast: Black levels and peak brightness may not be as impressive as QLEDs.
  • Standard HDR performance: HDR content may lack the depth and detail seen in QLED TVs.

What Is QLED?

QLED TV

QLED is a display technology that uses Quantum Dots, a color enhancement feature. QLED TVs can also include Samsung’s Quantum Processor which uses AI to upscale images and dynamically adjust brightness.

Typically, a TV uses an LED  backlight that shines on an LCD panel which creates the colors. QLED TVs are based on the same design but with the addition of a Quantum Dot filter.

QLED TVs also have new features, such as Object Tracking Sound, 120 Hz Refresh rates, 8K resolution, improved local dimming, advanced motion smoothing, and many others.

The exact technology is rather complicated, however, in simple terms, Quantum Dots act as a color filter. The Quantum Dot filter is a new way to reproduce accurate colors. To learn more about Quantum Dots, look at the Quantum Dot Wikipedia page.

Is QLED Better than Crystal UHD?

Samsung’s QLED TVs is better than Crystal UHD due to its superior quantum dot technology, delivering more vibrant colors, higher contrast, and better overall image quality. QLED TVs are better than Crystal UHD displays in terms of contrast, colors, and brightness, offering a superior visual experience. As a more recent innovation, QLED TVs also come with a range of advanced features, further enhancing their value and appeal.

As for picture quality, QLED offers great visuals with very vivid colors, especially at 4K. QLED TVs are also known for their peak brightness.

Since QLED TVs still use LED backlights and LCDs, they’re quite affordable. Bear in mind, that other companies besides Samsung also have QLED TVs, for example, Hisense and TCL. QLED is not exclusive to Samsung.

There are many different types of QLED TVs, ranging from entry-level to high-end 8K models. One notable 8K QLED is the 65″ Class QN900A.

For people on a budget, there are lots of affordable QLED TVs too.

The image quality and brightness are great, but QLEDS can have light bleed and other issues.

The next step up from QLED is NEO QLED, which uses mini-LEDs as the backlight. The extra LEDs add more accurate dimming zones, thus improving the dynamic range.

Reasons To Buy a QLED Model

  • Superior color reproduction: Quantum dot technology offers a wider color gamut and more accurate colors.
  • Higher contrast: Better black levels and peak brightness provide improved contrast.
  • Enhanced HDR performance: Greater dynamic range enhances details in darker and brighter scenes.
  • Less prone to burn-in: QLED panels have a lower risk of burn-in compared to OLED panels.

You’re Compromising on:

  • Higher price: QLED TVs are generally more expensive than Crystal UHD TVs.
  • Narrower viewing angles: Colors and contrast may degrade when viewed off-center.

Image Resolution

Crystal UHD TVs are capped at 4K resolution. QLED TVs can have resolutions that range from HD to 8K, with the possibility to reach even higher.

When comparing a Crystal UHD TV to a 4K QLED, the results will be quite close. Generally, the QLED will have slightly better colors.

On that note, a Crystal UHD TV will usually be cheaper than a 4K QLED. Samsung Crystal UHDs usually contain the HDR10+ version, while QLEDs, in addition to the HDR 10+, also include Quantum HDR.

If you don’t notice a difference in image quality, going with a Crystal UHD can save you some cash.

Gaming Features

The gaming features will vary from model to model.

Crystal UHD and QLED TVs have similar gaming features because they both use the same operating system.

You can find Gaming Mode on both Crystal UHD and QLED TVs, which reduces input lag by removing post-processing in games.

Generally, QLED TVs are better for gaming because they support more features such as FreeSync, G-Sync, and reduced motion blur.

For console games, Crystal UHD is acceptable, but it doesn’t offer nearly as many gaming features as newer QLED models.

Can Crystal UHD Do 4K 120 Hz?

No. The Crystal UHD TVs are limited to 4K at 60 Hz.

Can QLED Do 4K 120 Hz?

Yes. Certain QLED models support 4K at 120 Hz. For a full list, visit Samsung’s official website. 

What Processor Are These TVs Equipped With?

Crystal UHD TVs are equipped with a Crystal 4K Processor and most QLED TVs use a Quantum Processor. The problem is very little information about these processors is available to the public.

Samsung describes its Crystal 4K processor as a 4-core CPU that has powerful 4K upscaling a color mapping technology.

Likewise, Samsung’s Quantum Processor is supposed to use AI to boost contrast levels with self-learning algorithms. The exact specifications of these processors are not available, so we can’t say which one is better.

Generally, the newer TVs should have a better processor. Most TV processors will be able to handle basic TV features like 4K upscaling with no issues.

Once again, it’s mostly marketing hype. I would simply choose the TV that has the features you want.

Let’s Talk About The Price

The Samsung Crystal UHD are significantly less expensive, while the Samsung QLED have more advanced features and hence costs more.

It all depends on the picture quality you require, so keep your priorities in mind at all times.

The goal of this essay is to provide you with helpful information so that you can explain your concerns and select the model that best suits your requirements.

QLED vs Crystal UHD On Samsung’s TV Line-up

crystal uhd vs qled tv

Not sure how Crystal UHD compares to QLED?

Take a look at the image above to see the technology timeline. The model numbers mentioned are from the 2021 lineup of Samsung TVs.

To summarize the picture, Crystal UHD is an improvement on regular UHD TVs. Meanwhile, QLED is an improvement on Crystal UHD.

Taking it further, NEO QLED 4K is the next advancement, and then NEO QLED 8K is the best in the QLED lineup.

Most of these TVs share the same features, with a few upgrades here and there.

Is QLED the Same as OLED?

A couple of points worth talking about here. For one, QLED is often confused with OLED because the terms look similar on paper.

What you need to know is that QLED and OLED are very different. QLED is a color-boosted version of an LCD TV.

Meanwhile, OLED TVs use a completely different panel. The panel is made up of individual pixels that create their own light and colors. The colors on OLED are much more immersive because OLED has an infinite contrast ratio and can achieve inky-black.

While OLED is better, it has issues too, such as possible burn-in, and lower peak brightness.

What About NEO-QLED TVs?

NEO QLEDs are better than QLEDS because the backlight uses Mini-LEDs. Mini-LEDs are extremely small sand-sized lights that can be controlled in batches using a feature called local dimming.

What local dimming does is change the brightness of sections of the backlight depending on the scene. It can greatly improve the image quality in movies. The latest NEO-QLED TVs support 8K resolution. Naturally, NEO QLED is more expensive than QLED.

Crystal UHD Vs QLED Which Is Better?

If you had to choose between Crystal UHD or QLED 4K, I would choose QLED 4K because it will be much brighter and have better color coverage than plain UHD.

The only exception would be if the UHD TV has other special features that are not available on QLED models. Most people who buy QLED 4K are happy with their purchase.

Samsung’s QLED televisions are designed using cutting-edge technologies that aim to enhance picture resolution and sound quality. Since QLED TVs mostly use LEDs, they’re not very expensive, and you can get some very large QLED TVs without spending too much money.

Having said that, the best option for you would be to visit a retailer and compare Crystal UHD with QLED side by side. Not everyone is sensitive to colors and image quality.

If you can’t personally tell the difference in image quality on a Crystal UHD vs a QLED, maybe it’s a good idea to go with the Crystal UHD option because it will undoubtedly be cheaper. Of course, make sure to consider other factors and features too.

On the other hand, for image quality enthusiasts, the absolute best option would be OLED, although it’s more expensive.

FAQ

Is Crystal UHD Better Than 4K?

Crystal UHD is the same as 4K. The only difference is Crystal UHD uses Samsung’s Crystal Process for post-processing video. Every TV manufacturer has slightly different post-processing which can affect the image detail.

Which is better UHD vs Crystal UHD?

Neither, UHD nor Crystal UHD are better. They’re the same. For more information, take a look at our Crystal UHD vs UHD article. 

Is QLED Worth the Extra Money?

QLED is a well-rounded TV and certain models are worth spending extra money on.

Is OLED Better Than QLED?

Yes. OLED is much better than QLED because it’s not an LCD panel so it can achieve pure inky black with an infinite contrast ratio.

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About Tim Gagnon

Timothy Gagnon is a tech blogger and writer. When he's not dissembling computers, he's researching the latest tech gadgets and trends.

2 thoughts on “Samsung’s Crystal UHD VS QLED: Which One is Better?”

  1. Thanks for the very informative post. It is really very hard distinguish all the mamble jumbo on this TV’s. So many definitions, models, technology and other confusing trems.
    Thank you very much

    Reply
  2. I had the Q70A 55-inch for two months and absolutely loved it. Great color! Unfortunately one evening I accidentally brushed the screen just enough that the TV tilted forward and fell onto my back. When I set it back up, it’d taken enough of a blow to damage the screen (I tried later and found the stand supplied had a tendency to rock backwards slightly and then forward enough to tip over, so keep that in mind). Then I ordered the 50″ Q60A. Got it and right out of the box it had the same type of screen damage, where half the screen is blank. I sent it back to Samsung and am about to order another. This was the first TV or LED monitor I’ve ordered online that was damaged on arrival, so I’m willing to gamble. The QLED color is just too nice to pass up and I can only find the Crystal UHD sets locally.

    Reply

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