Both the QD-OLED contenders for 2023 have been announced, and perhaps the biggest surprise is that there aren’t more brands offering a QD-OLED TV as part of their line-up.
Instead, it’s Samsung and Sony going head-to-head once again. And with a screen developed by Samsung Display, this second-generation OLED panel looks to offer even higher brightness, stronger black levels and contrast, as well as reduce the effects of image retention.
We don’t know the full specification of both TVs, but here’s what we’ve gleaned so far from the Samsung S95C and Sony A95L, and how they compare.
Only the Sony A95L does Dolby Vision
In terms of picture quality, both brands say they honour the intent of content but they do so with different philosophies and technologies.
Samsung’s TVs feature HDR10+ Adaptive and Filmmaker mode presets, while Sony supports IMAX Enhanced, Dolby Vision and the Netflix Adaptive Calibrated Mode. Dolby Vision is the biggest difference between the two, as it’s used by Hollywood studios to master films and TVs, so you would be getting closer to the filmmaker’s intent when watching in Dolby Vision.
The A95L also supports Dolby Vision Gaming, and it’s been confirmed that it can output at 4K/120Hz. That would currently make it the only OLED outside of LG’s range to support Dolby Vision Gaming at that spec.
The Samsung has wider gaming compatibility
Despite the promise of Dolby Vision Gaming on the Sony, the Samsung S95C’s spec is much more wide ranging, and arguably makes it the better choice for gamers looking for a big screen OLED performance.
For one, it has AMD FreeSync Premium Pro support for PC gamers, and it will have 4K/120Hz support across all of its HDMI 2.1 inputs. That frees up space to add a gaming console or PC to any of the TV’s inputs, especially if you have more than one. PC gamers also get access to refresh rates up to 144Hz, which is more than any other OLED TV can currently manage.
And then there’s also cloud gaming, which Samsung has invested in with the likes of Xbox Game Pass, Nvidia GeForce NOW, Luna (in the US) and Utomik supported. For gaming on a PC, console or in the cloud, the Samsung S95C has the more accommodating specification.
They both come in the same size
Samsung Display is the manufacturer who came up with the QD-OLED screen, and as of right now it’s only available in three sizes: 55-, 65- and 77-inches. Both Samsung and Sony are bringing out TVs in those sizes. When it comes down to it, it’s the performance of the screen that will inform your purchase.
We don’t know the price of the Sony screens yet, but we do know in the US that the S95C costs $2199, $2999 and $4499. Sony often tends to be slightly more expensive, but we’ll know for sure when prices are revealed later in the year.
The A95L comes packaged with a video camera
If the pandemic highlighted one thing to TV manufacturers, it’s that people need ways of communicating if they’re not able to cross long distances that separate them. Both Samsung and Sony support the addition of video cameras, but only the A95L comes pre-packaged with one inside the box.
The Samsung works with any web camera, but the Sony A95L has the option of the Bravia Cam that was introduced a few years back. It supports gesture control if you want operate the TV, it can recognise where you’re sitting in the room (head on or even to the side) and optimise the picture quality for where you are, integrates a proximity alert to tell your kids to stay away from the brand new (and expensive) TV, and of course video chat with a slider to help with privacy.
The A95L supports more stand positions
When it comes to positioning a TV in a room, flexibility is a handy thing to have. Both TVs will support wall-mounting if you choose to go that route, and both should offer very little gap to the wall if you’re looking for that seamless installation.
Otherwise the Samsung S95C comes with a central pedestal, and that’s great as it’ll offer enough clearance to slip a soundbar beneath (the stand will also support Samsung’s ingenious One Connect box that holds all the power, connections and processors).
The A95L adheres to Sony’s One Slate design philosophy, which is another way of saying it’s very minimalist in appearance. The stand can be configured in one of three options: in the centre of the screen (if you’re planting it on small AV furniture), towards the sides or they can raise the screen so a soundbar can conveniently sit beneath.