Samsung or LG: which is the best TV brand?
If you’re trying to decide between a Samsung TV and an LG TV, we’re here to help. These top brands have introduced many technological innovations to their TVs, and many of their models make it to our best TVs list year after year.
This means that there is no absolute winner. The TV branches of Samsung and LG produce excellent TVs. In addition, these two brands offer a range of TVs with different features and price points, so there’s often a model to suit everyone, from high-end to budget.
For a while, the display technology used by each brand was different, with Samsung focusing on QLED TVs and LG making OLED TVs. Today, everything is not so clear. This Samsung and LG TV guide will highlight the many similarities and many differences between each brand to help you decide which TV manufacturer is right for your purpose.
Samsung TV vs LG TV: Review
Samsung and LG are two big tech manufacturers that sell some of the best TVs available today for both big and small budgets, but have different panel technologies for many of their high-end devices. You don’t need to know these differences yet, but they can be crucial.
These two South Korean manufacturers sell TVs all over the world with a wide base and a wide range of models released every year.
Considering the number of TVs Samsung and LG release each year, it’s hard to compare prices. There’s no good reason to put a budget, premium LG TV up against Samsung’s flagship and best model of the year. Both brands offer some of the best 32-inch smart TVs and the best 4K TVs to the best 8K TVs for super-sized devices costing thousands of dollars. No matter what size, shape, resolution or budget you’re looking for your new TV, both brands have you covered.
Samsung TV vs LG TV: smart TV platform
Both Samsung and LG use their own smart TV platform. Samsung’s Tizen and LG’s webOS are often considered two of the best smart TV platforms. They are fast and have the latest apps, but there are a few differences.
LG has been leading the way with webOS since 2014. The interface uses a horizontal menu bar with customizable placement for frequently used apps, streaming services and inputs so you can choose where your favorite apps are on board.
As you can see from the image above, the interface has changed in recent years, replacing the traditional app overlay with a more spacey full-screen view, but in our opinion, it’s still the best smart TV platform around.
Samsung’s Tizen platform isn’t much different in its presentation (we can tell it’s influenced by the first). While the operating system sometimes gets in the way of browsing, it cuts through the clutter—there are many times when you need to search for a specific app. Thankfully, this is helped by the Smart Hub media page, which separates content from apps and your own USB drives/home network. The main difference is that its search algorithm is not as impressive as LG’s ThinQ AI software.
But what about voice assistants? LG’s OLED and Super UHD TVs have Google Assistant built-in and offer limited compatibility with Alexa-controlled devices. Samsung uses its own (not so good) Bixby assistant, but again only for mid-range or high-end devices – and with the option to use Google Assistant or Alexa via third-party devices.
Samsung TV vs LG TV: panel technology
Today’s high-end TV market is divided into two panel technologies: OLED and QLED.
OLED, which stands for “organic light-emitting diode,” is a television panel that can emit its own light instead of passing it through. The advantage of OLED TV is that it allows for incredibly thin TV screens and control over the brightness of each pixel. OLEDs are known for their bright colors, deep black levels, and low brightness.
We often talk about “burned-in” images on OLED screens, but these are mostly anecdotal issues, and you’ll probably have to work hard on the TV for it to become a problem. All OLED panels are manufactured by LG Display. So even if you have a Sony OLED at home, you have LG to thank.
QLED is a special technology developed by Samsung. QLED uses a quantum dot filter to improve color and contrast, and instead of doing it with each pixel individually, it uses multiple dimming zones to vary the brightness on the screen. Although QLED TVs can struggle to display bright and dark images at the same time, they are significantly brighter (hundreds of nits) than OLEDs.
We’ve covered this discussion in more detail in our QLED vs OLED guide. Suffice it to say that OLED is generally good at high definition video formats in dark viewing environments, while Samsung TVs lag (comparatively) behind, but make up for it with a bright display and punch.
However, Samsung is getting into OLED TVs and is launching the Samsung S95B in 2022. Although technically Samsung calls it QD-OLED. Because this screen actually features an entirely new kind of OLED technology – one that combines the famous self-emissive properties of OLED with the brightness and color gamut potential of QLED.
It’s also worth noting that LG may be the name behind OLED panels, but they also have a display technology called NanoCell, similar to QLED. NanoCell TVs have a layer of nanoparticles between the LED backlight and the screen, which can improve contrast and colors. NanoCell TVs are cheaper than OLED panels and have the same advantages as QLED TVs.
Samsung TV vs LG TV: Formats
The two TV brands use a slightly different format for high dynamic range (HDR), with LG incorporating Dolby Vision on its high-end OLED and Super UHD models, while Samsung prefers HDR10+ for its high-end TVs. .
Both formats use what’s known as dynamic metadata to adapt the TV’s output to the content being displayed, so scenes in dark underground caves or brightly lit living rooms change levels of brightness, contrast and display processing.
Dolby Vision is actually a more advanced format, with a 12-bit color gamut instead of 10-bit HDR10+, which is also more common (Google’s Google TV and Chromecast and Apple TV 4K both capture some of Dolby Vision).
Admittedly, the preferred HDR format is only an issue on more expensive high-end models, but big spenders should think carefully about which services they want to see HDR content on.
It should also be noted that Panasonic is not committed to one or another HDR format, and even the affordable Panasonic GX800 LED TV supports Dolby Vision and HDR10+.
Samsung TV or LG TV: which one should you choose?
Samsung is currently the market leader, but the choice of TV brand is entirely up to you, your preferences and whether any of the differences we mentioned above are deal breakers for you. However, remember that you should compare similar products. For example, a high-end device from Samsung will always outperform a cheap device from LG and vice versa.
However, if you’re looking for the most impressive picture quality on the market, whatever the price, nothing beats LG’s OLED panels for color and contrast (read our LG C2 OLED review).
For comparison, the best Samsung TV can definitely light up a room by offering a higher pixel density than its competitors, check out our Samsung QN900B Neo QLED 8K TV review. We also like Lifestyle TVs like Samsung’s The Frame QLED 4K TV (2022) to combine performance and style. Its mid-range TVs like the Samsung BU8500 are really great value for money.
You can’t go wrong with a Samsung TV or an LG TV, but knowing some of the key differences between their display technology, smart TV platform and form factors should help you decide which TV brand is right for you.