Description of Samsung vs LG TV
Samsung and LG are two of the main manufacturers of cheap televisions, but with slightly different panel technologies for their higher-end TVs. Both are South Korean manufacturers selling TVs worldwide with a significant presence in the UK and US unlike Panasonic or Philips who do not have licenses in North America with significant install base and a wide range of TVs released every anus. It's hard to compare prices, given the number of sets released each year by Samsung and LG that range from 32-inch LED and cheap 4K TVs to excellent 8K TVs that can earn you thousands of dollars. Whatever size, shape, resolution, or budget you're looking for, you're covered. Samsung and LG also compete for highly competitive territories in the smartphone market: Both make Android phones, though we don't compare their devices in this guide.
Smart TV: Tizen vs. webOS(Image credit: LG)
Samsung and LG use their own smart TV platform, and each has its own flavorSince 2014, LG has been running WebOS, a minimalist and streamlined smart TV interface. It uses a horizontal menu bar for commonly used apps, streaming services, and inputs with customizable placement that lets you choose the location of your favorite apps on your dashboard. The latest version of webOS 4.5 software also features secondary menus that appear when you hover over an app icon. Samsung's Tizen platform setup doesn't differ significantly (you can tell it was influenced by the old one), though it doesn't have as impressive a search algorithm as LG's ThinQ AI software. But what about voice assistants? LG's OLED and Super UHD packages include Google Assistant and limited compatibility with Alexa devices. Samsung uses its own Bixby assistant (slightly worse), but only for mid-range or premium packages, and with the ability to use Google Assistant or Alexa through third-party devices.
Dolby Vision vs. HDR 10+
Both offer a slightly different format for high dynamic range (HDR) with LG integrating Dolby Vision into its premium OLED and Super UHD range, while Samsung prefers HDR10+ for its premium TVs. They have formats use dynamic metadata to match the TV output to the content being displayed. For example, dark underground cave scenes or brightly lit drawing rooms vary levels of brightness, contrast, and image processing. Dolby Vision is really the most advanced format with a 12-bit color gamut instead of the 10-bit HDR10+, and it's more prevalent too. It's true that the preferred HDR format is really just a concern for higher price points, but big spenders should give some serious thought to the services they're likely to want HDR content on.
QLED or OLED?(Image credit: Samsung) Today's high-end TV market is split between two panel technologies: OLED and QLED (essentially an LCD-LED with quantum dots). OLED, which stands for Organic Light Emitting Diode, is a type of television display that can emit its own light instead of turning itself on. This made it possible to display extremely thin television screens and individually control the brightness of individual pixels. OLEDs are known for their bright colors, deep black levels, and low light. We often talk about "burn in" OLED screens, but it's largely anecdote and you probably should have worked hard to make it an issue. All OLED panels are manufactured by LG Display. Even if you have a Sony OLED at home, you have LG to thank. QLED, on the other hand, is a proprietary technology developed by Samsung. QLED uses a quantum dot filter to improve color and contrast and is happy with areas of gradation rather than individual pixel control. QLED TVs are much brighter than OLEDs (thousands of nits vs. hundreds), but may have difficulty displaying light images and dark images at the same time. There are OLED enthusiasts who hate washed-out colors on overly bright TVs, while many devices with a Samsung TV will find inferior OLED screens far less powerful. We've delved into this debate in our QLED vs OLED guide, but for now, suffice to say that OLED is generally well-suited for high-quality video formats in dark-viewing environments, while Samsung's sets are less loyal. Color reality, but make up for it with a bright, clear screen.
Samsung vs LG TV: which one to choose?
It was a difficult time for LG and Samsung. LG Display had to spend a lot on research and development for its OLED panels and posted business interruption in the first quarter of this year (via Reuters), albeit with the bet that OLED growth will eventually balance that out. Meanwhile, Samsung expects a sharp drop in profit in 2019 after smartphone sales and below-expected demand for TVs. Samsung plans to compete with LG's OLED technology, with its own QD-OLED (quantum dot OLED) hybrid, but shaky finances saw their plans pushed back a few years ago. It should be noted that regardless of the financial health of either company, the two companies are focusing on their current display technologies and will not suddenly stop supporting any of the new TVs they are currently shipping. You must choose the game you want in your living room. Whether you want a bright, dazzling QLED screen to light up your home, or a budget option like the NU7100, Samsung is your best bet. If you really want the most impressive picture quality, no matter what the price, nothing beats LG OLED panels for color and contrast (see: LG C9 OLED).