OLED, QLED, Neo QLED; there’s plenty of TV technology jargon that makes you wonder how these types of TVs differ from each other. Let’s see how Samsung’s Neo QLED TVs deviate from standard QLED models.
Samsung’s Improved Quantum Dot Displays
Neo QLED is an advancement of Samsung’s QLED technology (Quantum dot LED) which was originally released in 2017. Quantum dots are small particles illuminated by UV light behind the screen, producing varying levels of light.
QLED displays, therefore, tend to be brighter, more vibrant, and offer better color accuracy. Using LED lights, the intensity of light is evenly distributed across the TV’s display. However, Neo QLED uses mini-LEDs, and thousands more of them compared to the number of LED lights on a QLED screen. This results in higher picture quality since a TV panel can fit more mini-LEDs than standard-sized LED lights.
Neo QLED vs. QLED vs. OLED
OLED (Organic LED) TVs offer individual pixel control since each pixel is paired with an LED. Neo QLED, on the other hand, lights multiple pixels with one mini-LED.
While OLED TVs offer exceptional brightness control and color reproduction, they do fall short thanks to burn-in issues and degradation over time causing dimmer panels. Neo QLED displays don’t encounter these issues, making them a longer-term investment, since you won’t have to replace your Neo QLED TV due to burn-in.
Although OLED is a more widely-supported panel, QLED tends to be more favorable among consumers who really value the best TVs available. In 2017, Samsung stopped its range of SUHD (Super Ultra High Definition) TVs and rebranded them QLED (Quantum-dot Light Emitting Diode). QLED displays don’t produce their own light, but instead use their own backlighting and quantum dot color filters to offer better contrast and color.
With revamped technology, Neo QLED TVs provide better viewing angles, offer more potential brightness, and reduce blooming effects.
Advantages of Neo QLED
The main selling point of Neo QLED TVs is their higher contrast ratios. This means there are more levels to control, so blacks will look blacker, minimizing the dreaded halo effect you sometimes see with LCD displays.
OLED displays still offer the closest to true blacks, but Neo QLEDs do better in this area than regular QLED models. Similarly, Neo QLED and QLED displays can offer higher brightness levels (up to 4,000 nits) when compared to OLED (just under 600 nits), so they’re a much better choice if you plan to watch your TV in a brighter room.
Neo QLED TVs, when compared to OLED displays, tend to be better for gaming since they can go much brighter, meaning it will be easier to see what you’re doing on-screen. However, it’s important to consider other factors too, like a high refresh rate, HDMI 2.1 ports, and 4K video support.
RELATED: What Are Nits of Brightness on a TV or Other Display?
Are Neo QLED Displays Expensive?
Samsung’s cheapest Neo QLED TV is the 50-inch Class QN90A, retailing at around $899.99 for the 2021 model. However, if you’re in the market for a larger display, the 85-inch Class QN95B (2022) will cost you over $5,400.
Samsung 50-Inch Class Neo QLED QN90A Series
Boasting a Neo Quantum 4K processor, Quantum HDR 32x, and object tracking sound, this 50-inch TV features some of Samsung's latest advancements in TV technology.
In other words, yes, Neo QLED displays are expensive, but they are worth it if you don’t want to replace your TV on a regular basis due to things like burn-in issues. Let’s face it, who does? Neo QLED TVs are so impressive, in fact, that they were our top pick in the TV category at CES 2022.
Is Samsung the Only Brand That Offers Neo QLED?
Neo QLED is simply Samsung’s name for their mini-LED technology. Other manufacturers like LG, TCL, and HiSense also make mini-LED TVs, but under different names. LG, for example, calls their mini-LED TVs QNED, combining Quantum Dot and NanoCell technology, just like Samsung.
However, where Samsung has confirmed it’s already switched to vertically-aligned LCD (VA) panels, LG is likely still using their In-Plane Switching (IPS) displays (although nothing has been officially announced at the time of writing). VA panels are known for delivering better contrast in comparison to IPS, despite offering narrower viewing angles as a trade-off.
Depending on your preferences, if you’re happy with an IPS display, you can get hold of an LG QNED 55-inch 4K smart TV for under $1,000.
LG QNED 80 Series 55-inch
Using LG's a7 Gen5 AI processor, this 4K TV can adjust picture quality and sound to suit what you're watching, when you want it to.
Why Samsung Neo QLED TVs Are Worth Investing In
One of the main reasons to get a Neo QLED TV over an OLED is that you simply won’t get a brighter display elsewhere. This makes them incredible for HDR viewing, whether you’re playing the latest AAA titles on your next-gen console, watching your favorite wildlife documentary, or setting up for a movie night.
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