ULED vs QLED: Which is Better?

So you’re looking to buy a new TV and you’re wondering what are the differences between ULED, QLED, and OLED TVs. While these terms sound and even look similar, they’re not the same.

It’s important to understand the difference. In this article, I’ll explain what is ULED and how it compares to the other types of LED TVs out there.

ULED vs QLED vs OLED:

ULED is a blanket marketing term created by Hisense to describe TVs with a range of features. It’s a combination of over 20 patents, including software and panel optimizations, to improve brightness and picture quality.

QLED is Samsung’s technology that describes TVs that use a Quantum Dot colour filter to improve colour accuracy. The filter dramatically improves the richness of colours.

Is ULED or QLED Better?

QLED TVs are better than ULED TVs, but ULEDs are a little cheaper. ULED and QLED both use LED backlights and can have very high peak brightness, often 900 nits or more.

Is ULED Better Than OLED?

No. OLED is much better than ULED and QLED. OLED is completely different because it does not use a backlight. OLED TVs use an organic film layer where each pixel creates its own source of light. Almost everyone agrees the picture quality on OLED is superior to both QLED and ULED.

Generally, both ULED and QLED can achieve higher peak brightness levels than OLEDs, but OLEDs have better blacks and richer colours. Another point to consider is OLED TVs are more expensive, although most people agree the picture quality is worth the investment.

To summarize, OLED offers the best colours, with deeper blacks, making the overall picture quality superior. QLED and ULED use backlights and have high peak brightness, but the quality is not nearly as good as OLED.

ULED is not better than OLED or QLED. If OLED is out of your budget, QLED is the next best option, and I would rank ULED as the last option.

Don’t get me wrong though, ULEDS are not bad, but when compared to other TVs in the same tier, there is a significant difference.

Let’s take a closer look at Hisense’s ULED technology.

What is Hisense’s ULED Technology?

While it’s common for TV manufacturers to create vague marketing terms, Hisense takes it to the next level with their ULEDS. Describing the ULED technology is tricky because the description is incredibly vague. As it turns out, ULED is not a single technology or feature, but rather a range of features.

For instance, ULED includes over 20 patents for various categories, such as motion rates, local dimming zones, colour gamuts, software optimizations, and many others. These patents work together to enhance colour, contrast, motion, and brightness.

One selling point of ULED TVs is they offer a wide colour gamut, covering 90% of the colour spectrum. For this reason, the U in ULED is often coloured to represent the improvement in colour. Another feature of ULED TVs is 4K, every ULED TV includes 4K as a standard.

In a nutshell, it’s hard to say exactly what makes a ULED TV special because there are lots of different features. Granted, the quality of ULED TVs is good, similar to QLEDS; they’re bright, have sharp colours, offer 4K (and higher) resolution, and other features. It’s just unclear what makes them stand out from the competition.

In my opinion, ULED is Hisense’s attempt to break into the QLED and OLED marketing buzz with lower-tier TVs. Since Hisense is a lesser-known brand, their ULED TVs are much cheaper than the competition.

Is ULED Good for Gaming?

The new ULED TVs are great for gaming on both consoles and PCs because they support 4K UHD at 120 Hz through HDMI 2.1. The response time is also decent and HDR implementation makes games look great. If you’re experiencing significant input lag I recommend turning off Dolby Vision.

A fun fact for PC users, the Hisense ULED U7G supports 1440P at 120 Hz which is the sweet spot for performance when it comes to PC games. The U7G is also compatible with all of Xbox’s visual features, such as 4K 10-bit, 4K at 120 Hz, HDR10,

What I Liked About ULED TVs:

Good Mid-Range Choice

If you’re not very picky about TVs and you want a good size TV for a moderate price, a ULED is a good option. For example, there are some 65-inch ULED TVs that cost under $1,000 which is unheard of for the other big brands.

Generally speaking, the value of ULED TVs is quite good. You won’t get any super amazing features, but for most people, having a large 4K screen is good enough. These could also make good secondary TVs for bedrooms without breaking the bank.

Android TV Operating System

Most Hisense TVs, including the ULED lineup, use Google’s Android TV as the operating system. It’s very easy to use and you can install almost all the popular streaming apps including others from the Google Play Store. The remote also includes quick buttons for Netflix as well as a voice command button for Google Assistant.

Any Downsides?

ULED TVs are good mid-range options, and they aren’t many major issues. Some people have reported Android TV can be a little slow and buggy at times. Another issue people have with ULEDs is you usually have to spend some time tweaking the picture settings. Luckily most ULED TVs make it very easy to change settings and the settings are applied to every app or game that you open.

The Bottom Line:

To summarize, Hisense’s ULED lineup is pretty good for people on a budget. While the company is not as famous as Samsung it does still deliver good value. The main advantage of ULEDs is you can get a much larger TV for significantly less money. Most ULEDS include all of the features you would find on other TVs too, so for the average consumer, it’s a good deal.

Nevertheless, if you want the absolute best TV out there, I would go with an OLED because the picture quality is incredible. The downside to OLED is they’re not very bright and their price point can be out of most people’s budget.

So don’t be scared when people don’t talk about ULEDs; they’re decent TVs too, and a good choice for budget shoppers.

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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.

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