Samsung’s 2022 TV lineup includes a couple of new types of TVs; QD OLED and NEO QLED. If you’re looking to buy a new TV, you might be struggling to figure out which is better.
Navigating the TV industry is tricky because there are so many different types of technologies, terms, and features. Feeling a bit overwhelmed? Don’t worry, that’s normal. Today I’ll compare Samsung’s new QD OLED and NEO QLED TVs and help you decide which one is best for you.
First, I’ll provide a brief explanation of the technologies and then we’ll get into the pros and cons.
What is QD OLED?
Samsung and Sony are launching QD OLED TVs in 2022. QD OLED is a new type of TV that combines Quantum Dots with OLED panels. QD OLED TVs are supposed to have a broader range of colours when compared to OLEDs, making the colours appear much more vivid.
When it came to colours, OLED was the superior type of TV because it can achieve pure black. QD OLED is an attempt to take the OLED technology even further. Samsung claims their QD OLED TVs will improve on traditional OLED TVs with improved colour, better contrast ratios, and other features.
Is QD OLED Better than OLED?
QD OLED works about the same as regular OLED with a couple of key differences. For one, QD OLED has a sheet of quantum dots in front of the OLED panel which change to either red or green. The blue colour passes through the filter. Combining those three colours can produce all the colours on the spectrum.
QD OLEDs won’t necessarily be brighter than regular OLEDs because each pixel on OLED panels is a light source. QD OLEDs have an additional colour filter that improves the colours but not the brightness.
However, since the quantum dot filter is extremely efficient, the colours on QD OLED TVs often look clearer and more vivid. For that reason it can look like the QD OLED TVs are brighter than OLED, but it’s only because of the improved colour filtering process. The QD filter is more efficient than the normal filters used on OLED TVs.
QD OLED TVs do not have a backlight because OLED panels create their own light. We haven’t been able to do a complete breakdown of the new QD OLED TVs yet but we will update this article when more information is available.
Note: QD OLED technology is also coming to gaming monitors, it’s not exclusive to TVs.
What is NEO QLED?
In 2021, Samsung launched a new lineup of TVs called NEO QLEDs. Basically, NEO QLEDs are an improved version of the QLED technology with the addition of Mini-LEDs and an improved processor. NEO QLEDs use quantum dots and mini-LEDs to create extremely accurate pictures.
To compare, QLED TVs (and all LCD TVs) use strips of LEDs for the backlight. NEO QLED takes it further by using a whole panel of extremely tiny LEDs for the backlight. For that reason, NEO QLEDs are usually very thin, although not as thin as OLEDs. The mini-LEDs are individually controlled by the Neo 4 or 8K processor and Quantum Matrix technology.
The Mini-LEDs make it possible to have plenty of local dimming zones, some NEO QLED TVs have 792 dimming zones. What that means is the TV will dynamically adjust the brightness of the LEDs depending on the scene, allowing you to see more details.
Samsung’s most recent NEO QLED model is the NEO QLED 8K.
What are Quantum Dots?
The Quantum Dot (QD) display structure is a little different from typical LCD displays. It takes a more streamlined approach, using a blue light-emitting source as the backlight, and a layer of quantum dots that filter colours.
Displays that use the quantum dot technology have a broader range of colours and can be quite bright too, depending on the backlight.
QLED TVs are traditional LCD TVs that use the quantum dot filter to improve the colours. QLED
QD OLED vs NEO QLED
The colours on QD OLEDs should be more vivid than on NEO QLEDs because OLED has deeper blacks and therefore a better contrast ratio. Combine that with the new and enhanced colours from the quantum dot technology and QD OLED is the winner.
QD OLED has a contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1 or which is also called an infinite contrast ratio. The reason for that is that the minimum brightness on OLEDs is zero and you can’t divide by zero. The OLED pixels can be turned off completely and therefore have no light which is why OLEDs can achieve pure black.
NEO QLEDs have a range of contrast ratios, depending on the specific model. In most cases, it ranges from 3,510:1 to 367,593:1. While the contrast ratio is good, it’s not nearly as good as QD OLED.
Resolution & Features
Both types of TVs have similar features. At the moment the QD OLED lineup only supports 4K resolutions, although some 8K models are rumoured to arrive soon. NEO QLED has had an 8K TV on the market for about a year now. Keep in mind, that there are very few sources for 8K media at the moment.
When it comes to brightness, the NEO QLED wins by far because Mini-LEDs are much brighter than OLEDs. The QD OLEDs claim to achieve a higher peak brightness than OLEDs but only with HDR and certain content. Generally, NEO QLED is the brighter TV.
However, most people watch movies in a dark room, and that’s really where the QD OLED excels.
Burn-in is an issue that plagues OLED TVs. While it’s not nearly as common as people claim, it can happen after prolonged use. Certain colours are more prone to burn-in, for example, red is one of the colours that degrades the fastest. QD OLEDs added some measures to protect against burn-in.
For example, Samsung claims the QD OLED TVs will include automatic burn-in diagnostic tools that will adjust the brightness of individual colours to reduce the chances of burn-in. The panel also isn’t working at maximum output all the time, further prolonging the lifetime of the colours.
There is still a risk of burn-in, which all OLED panels have, but it’s reduced with the new technology.
NEO QLEDs are not prone to burn-in because they use dedicated backlights that don’t change colours. The colours are created when the light shines through the quantum dot layer.
At the moment, QD OLED TVs will be more expensive than Neo QLEDS. The reason for that is that OLED requires a specific panel and materials. OLED TVs are also a relatively new design.
NEO QLED TVs use the standard LCD display design but with more enhancements. Nevertheless, we are seeing the price of OLED TVs come down. In most cases, a year or two after a new OLED TV launches, the price drops to a much more affordable level.
QD OLED and NEO QLED are very different technologies so it’s not easy to say which one is better. I personally lean towards the QD OLED side because OLED has that incredible contrast ratio and deep blacks that are very noticeable in dark rooms.
Samsung has promised that QD OLEDs will be brighter than regular OLED panels, but that remains to be seen. On the other hand, these two types of TVs are closely matched. The Mini-LEDs on NEO QLED TVs add plenty of dimming zones too. It’s not quite the same as OLED, but the effect is similar.
While I lean towards QD OLED over NEO QLED, I have to admit NEO QLED TVs are incredible too. If you’re not particularly picky about colours and black levels, a NEO QLED will work for you. Especially considering there are NEO QLED TVs that support 8K media. You also don’t need to worry about burn-in on a QLED TV.