Samsung’s confusing OLED TV naming practice needs to change


Samsung 2023 S95C (left) and S90C QD-OLED TVs.

After years of dissing LG’s OLED TVs, Samsung is now 100% on staff OLED. Not solely did the corporate create its personal OLED technology called QD-OLED, it additionally struck a deal with LG Display to purchase the identical WOLED panels that Sony and LG use to construct a few of their OLED TVs. That’s a rare turnaround.

However as satisfying as it’s to see the world’s largest TV producer lastly acknowledge the advantages of OLED TV tech, we’re additionally significantly perplexed by Samsung’s complicated strategy to promoting its OLED TVs.

Earlier than we get into the main points, let’s check out fast take a look at the state of OLED TV show know-how. When you’re already conversant in the variations between WOLED, QD-OLED, and MLA, be at liberty to skip all the way down to The Samsung S90C dilemma.


LG Display OLED Micro Lens Array illustration.
An illustration of among the billions of tiny lenses in an MLA OLED show. LG Show

The OLED world is a bit more nuanced immediately than it was 5 years in the past, and never all OLED TVs are created equal.

WOLED, or white OLED, is the OG of OLED TV tech. Till lately, all OLED TVs have been WOLED TVs. LG Show has been on the forefront of this OLED panel kind for years and stays one of many solely corporations that make them. WOLED makes use of two sorts of OLED materials to create white mild, which is then separated into crimson, inexperienced, and blue subpixels with a coloration filter. A fourth white subpixel is used to boost brightness — that is the place the W in WOLED comes from.

Then got here QD-OLED — quantum dot OLED — which was first commercialized by Samsung Show. A QD-OLED panel makes use of simply blue OLED materials for every pixel after which converts a 3rd of that pixel into crimson and a 3rd into inexperienced utilizing two sorts of quantum dots, leading to a real RGB pixel that wants no additional coloration filtering.

QD-OLED’s declare to fame is that it gives extra correct colours at larger brightness ranges as a result of it doesn’t depend on WOLED’s white subpixel, nor does it use brightness-sapping coloration filters.

Does that declare go the odor check? Completely. When Digital Developments Editor At-Giant Caleb Denison received his arms (and eyes) on the primary QD-OLED TVs from Samsung (S95B) and Sony (A95K), he was unequivocal in his reward.

To not be outdone, LG Show discovered a solution to additional enhance its WOLED efficiency by including a Micro Lens Array (MLA) layer to its panels. Billions of tiny, invisible lenses launch extra mild from the panel that had been beforehand trapped because of inside reflections. When mixed with a devoted image processing algorithm, MLA-based WOLED TVs provide 22% extra brightness than their non-MLA cousins.

MLA is so efficient, that when Denison went again into the lab to match Samsung’s QD-OLED S95C versus LG’s MLA WOLED G3, he merely couldn’t declare one to be superior to the opposite.

The Samsung S90C dilemma

A press image of the Samsung 83-inch S90C OLED television.
Samsung’s WOLED-based 83-inch S90C OLED TV. Samsung

Usually with regards to TVs, if an organization makes a mannequin in a wide range of display screen sizes, you may anticipate that the general dimensions are the one variations — at the least by way of image high quality — from one dimension to a different. There are typically different specs that change, just like the included stand (or the variety of native dimming zones within the case of LED/mini-LED TVs), however that’s about it.

Not so with Samsung’s S90C. In its three smallest display screen sizes: 55-, 65-, and 77-inches, the S90C makes use of a QD-OLED panel, however in its largest format — the recently introduced S90C 83-inch model — it’s a WOLED panel.

Samsung doesn’t precisely exit of its solution to let you know this. The product page for the S90C is complicated in numerous methods. Samsung makes use of it to advertise each the S90C and its stronger huge brother, the S95C. All 4 display screen sizes are listed beneath the mannequin names, however in case you pay shut consideration, you’ll discover that clicking on the 83-inch choice all the time switches the mannequin identify to S90C, even in case you began by wanting on the S95C.

Look even nearer and also you’ll discover the one surefire giveaway that the 83-inch mannequin isn’t like the opposite sizes: there’s no point out of quantum dots wherever within the description. The three smallest sizes for each the S90C and S95C confer with “Samsung OLED Expertise,” whereas the 83-inch S90C says simply “OLED Expertise” — a refined however telling distinction.

Splitting hairs?

Are you rolling your eyes but? Am I being too pedantic? Didn’t I simply level out that even Digital Developments’ foremost TV knowledgeable can’t actually determine if he prefers QD-OLED or MLA WOLED?

It’s true, I did simply write that. However therein lies the issue. The 83-inch S90C doesn’t simply use a distinct panel know-how than the smaller variations — it additionally makes use of non-MLA WOLED, which is not equal to QD-OLED. In different phrases, the 83-inch S90C can’t declare to supply the identical image high quality because the 55-, 65-, and 77-inch variations.

To be honest, LG isn’t fully harmless. Its G3 fashions sized 83 inches and above don’t use MLA both. However at the least they’re in the identical household of OLED tech by utilizing LG’s personal WOLED panels.

Simply use one other mannequin identify already

Sony Bravia XR A95K TV.
Sony’s QD-OLED-based Bravia XR A95K TV. Dan Baker / Digital Developments

So what’s the answer? Nicely as nutty as this sounds, I feel Samsung ought to simply create a brand new mannequin designation for its WOLED-based TVs. Sony, the one different firm we all know of that sells each QD-OLED and WOLED TVs, already does this. Its A95-series Bravia TVs are strictly QD-OLED primarily based, and accessible in the identical 55-, 65-, and 77-inch sizes as Samsung’s S95C. For its WOLED fashions, it makes use of the A80- and A90-series Bravia designations, and these fashions are available 55-, 65-, 77-, and 83-inch sizes.

WOLED right here, WOLED there

As if all of this weren’t complicated sufficient already, apparently Samsung is planning a brand new OLED mannequin designation. In keeping with FlatpanelsHD, the corporate has began buying 77-inch WOLED panels from LG Display and goes to make use of them in an upcoming vary that may be known as the S89C or probably the S85C.

If that report is correct, Samsung appears to see the advantage of segregating its WOLED TVs from its QD-OLED fashions. And but — until it adjustments its technique midstream — the S90C will stay a hybrid of the 2 applied sciences relying on the dimensions you purchase.

Editors’ Suggestions

Leave a reply