Samsung and Son are two of the leading TV manufacturers with an international install base.They may not seem too different at first, but if you're looking to choose your next TV, you'll want to shop knowing what you're getting and what you may be sacrificing along the way.
Even consumer brand sets can vary greatly in terms of format support, panel technologies, processing techniques, as well as the types of cases and media that are produced with the screen.
Although Sony and Samsung TVs have more in common, they are all frames for viewing motion pictures. After all, the two TV makers are trying to stand out in an overcrowded market.
Be that as it may, with so many televisions being broadcast each year, just one brand of televisions will make the process that much easier.
If you're still planning on using LG, Panasonic, Hisense, or TCL TVs, you can dive into our 24/XNUMX tour of the best TVs, but if you just want to know how to distinguish the difference between samsung and sony tvs, this guide is for you.
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Description of Sony vs Samsung TV
Let's set the stage. First of all, Samsung is a South Korean manufacturer and by far the largest TV manufacturer in the world, followed by LG and TCL. Sony, however, is not far behind and the Japanese manufacturer remains a force to be reckoned with.
Sony and Samsung meet budgets of all sizes and do everything, from small 32-inch TVs to massive 75-inch screens with an annual product cycle that updates most of these devices every year. Most are 4K TVs, although you can find the cheap HD screen with both brands.
They sell TVs worldwide with a presence in the UK and the US unlike Panasonic or Philips who are not licensed in North America.
Both brands also make many consumer products outside of televisions. You wouldn't have a PlayStation 4 without Sony and the upcoming PS5 should be a huge product launch for the company. Also, make sure that Sony makes TVs that can display everything its next-gen console can do, and that both manufacturers also have a flagship TV with 8K resolution.
Sony and Samsung also compete for highly competitive territory in the smartphone market: They both make Android phones, although we don't compare their phones in this guide. (We have separate pages for the best Sony or Samsung phones, if you like.)
Smart TV: Tizen vs. Android TV
Sony Android TV Smart Platform
Usually there is a different smart TV platform for each TV brand, each with its own style.
Samsung uses its Tizen operating system for your mid-range and high-end televisions. Tizen is easy to navigate and generally easy to clean with a constantly updating "recent" chart that lets you keep track of your most used apps. Overall, it's a fairly competent experience, though the universal search feature isn't as comprehensive as LG's webOS platform.
Sony, on the other hand, uses Android TV, which offers a bit more content and menus than its competitor. A little more crowded, but also more on hand. This is actually what you prefer, although Android TV is also known to be a bit more out of sync and more crash-prone than other smart TV platforms.
However what about voice assistants? Sony's advanced TVs will integrate the Google Assistant, which makes sense, since Android TV is a platform developed by Google.
However, Sony has added an Amazon Alexa app for music, cameras and TV control to your 2019 TVs and some mid-range models from previous years. This will allow you to control third party smart home products and speakers through basic Alexa features such as Amazon Echo or Ring security cameras and use Alexa voice commands for D&C functions, power source power and TV volume.
Samsung's Bixby voice assistant is found in mid-range and higher-end devices, though it's known to lag behind Alexa or Google Assistant in terms of smart understanding or voice recognition. However, this is enough for the minimal TV controls you'll probably use Bixby for and you can still connect your TV to an Alexa speaker if you really want to.
Dolby Vision vs. HDR 10+
If you buy a mid-range TV that goes to one of the higher-end devices, it's likely to be accompanied by support for High Dynamic Range (HDR), but you may not realize that.
All HDR TVs support the basic HDR10 format which offers a wider color gamut and improved contrast compared to a conventional SDR TV. Most TV content today is still in SDR, but every year more movies, shows, and shows are in HDR.
But beyond that, there are two HDR formats that add "dynamic metadata" to enhance TV pictures by changing the TV's picture settings according to the scene you're watching and the type of picture on the screen.
The first was Dolby Vision, which is supported by Sony and LG and is found especially in Vizeo, TCL and Hisense TVs. Then there's HDR10+, supported by Samsung and Panasonic, although the latter has now pivoted to offering both formats on its mid-range and high-end TVs.
Dolby Vision is really the most advanced format, with 12-bit color gamut instead of the 10-bit HDR10+ and it's also more prevalent. (Although there are several HDR10+ shows on Amazon Prime, you won't find it supported on Netflix or on devices like the Chromecast Ultra and Apple TV 4K.)
Admittedly, the preferred HDR format is really just a concern for higher prices, but those who spend a lot should give serious thought to services where they will likely want HDR content.
Today's market for high-end TVs is divided into two panel technologies: OLED and QLED (essentially an LCD-LED with quantum dots).
During the last years, Samsung has been using its QLED screens which are known for their bright 1,000 to 2,000 nit displays, enabling vivid HDR scenes and high-impact television images.
They're certainly much brighter than the OLEDs (organic LEDs) used by Sony for their high-end TVs that struggle to get brighter than about 800 nits, though the comparison isn't quite right.
Although OLED displays tend to be lower, they offer a more natural color contrast, given the organic film used in production. OLED displays are also self-emitting, meaning that each individual pixel emits its own light, allowing extremely precise control of light and dark on the screen. Blacks actually look black, and while overall brightness suffers, bright sections don't bleed into surrounding areas of the screen (as is often the case with LEDs).
We often talk about "burn-in" OLED screens, but it's largely an anecdote and you probably should have worked hard to make it an issue.
We have deepened this debate in our QLED vs OLED guideAlthough for now it will suffice to say that OLED is generally adequate for high-quality video formats in dark viewing environments, while Samsung's setup is less contrasty (comparatively), but make up for it with a bright, eye-catching screen. However, keep in mind that both technologies are very impressive and most users will be very satisfied with them.
Samsung vs Sony TV: which one to choose?
Sony and Samsung are the two main manufacturers of traditional televisions and it is unlikely that you will be fooled with a purchase of one or the other. Most of our premium claims for Sony and Samsung define format support: Image quality is usually brilliant in both cases. And if you agree to use the HDR format Dolby Vision or HDR10 +, your decision will be made in your favor.
Samsung's QLED games will have great brightness, and if you're more of a daytime viewer than a movie buff huddled in the dark, the brightest screens may be what you're looking for. Otherwise, Sony OLEDs will deliver a sharp image with incredible contrast best suited for your late night movie sessions.
It should be noted that Samsung's 2019 QLEDs feature the new Ultra Viewing Angle technology, which dramatically improves off-axis viewing. For its part, Sony is generally competent enough to digitally scale from low resolution sources and to manage motion in quick shots.
Typically, Samsung equipment will also be a bit cheaper for what they offer, hence the way Samsung has managed to outperform Sony, although this is a recent development in the TV market. OLEDs will mostly cost more than a QLED equivalent, although this could change in the coming years.
And while Sony tends to play around with TV boxes and pedestal design more often, with mis-oriented tilted displays, like the incredible AF9 OLED, came to the fore in 2019.
Then, What TV brand is the best? It depends on what you expect from a new TV. If price is more important to you than any other aspect ratio or contrast comparison, here's a list of the latest prices offered for Sony and Samsung TVs. (If you're looking for the best TV and your budget is tight, the Samsung NU7100 is probably your best bet.)