The game has officially changed. It used to be that, if you were in the market for a new OLED TV, there were a handful of brands to choose from. This year marked the release of an entirely new OLED subvariant: QD-OLED. Samsung is one of the first brands to release one such TV, the S95B, and it just so happens to be going up against the best LG OLED we’ve ever seen: the G2.
But what, exactly, is QD-OLED, and is the S95B all that it’s cracked up to be? If you’re having a hard time choosing, allow us to help. We’ve spent hours testing both the S95B and the G2 in our labs—here’s what you need to know.
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These TVs are still relatively new at the time of publishing, so you’ll likely have to wait a bit longer to see steep discounts on each. For the time being, here’s what you can expect to pay for the models in each series.
The G2 is available in five sizes. The ever-popular 55- and 65-inch options are accounted for, along with three extra-large sizes: 77, 83, and a gigantic, room-dominating 98 inches. While the price of the 97-inch model has yet to be released, we expect it to climb as high as $15,000 to $25,000—so start saving up now.
Shoppers hoping to land a QD-OLED TV in smaller or larger size options will have to wait for future releases, as the S95B is only available in the standard 55- and 65-inch options.
In addition, the prices of each series’ 55- and 65-inch models are roughly the same, so the edge goes to the LG OLED on the basis of its larger lineup.
Our pick: LG G2
The S95B and the G2 are OLED TVs. Since OLEDs don’t rely on a backlight like traditional LCD/LED TVs, their self-illuminating pixels are able to shut off independently, producing perfect black levels. This has a number of positive impacts on several other areas of performance, including color, clarity, and off-angle viewing.
But the S95B is one of the first TVs of its type: an OLED TV that also features quantum dots, which are microscopic nanocrystals that emit red or green light when struck with blue light. Quantum-dot TVs typically offer a brighter, more-colorful picture, but until now, all quantum-dot TVs have been LED TVs. They tend to get brighter than OLED TVs but lack OLED’s myriad advantages over LEDs. The S95B attempts to blend the best of both technologies.
The benefits of QD-OLED are immediately apparent when comparing the S95B with the G2. While both TVs offer an incredible, world-class picture quality, the S95B is marginally brighter in HDR. Colors on the S95B, too, are greatly improved by the addition of quantum dots. HDR colors on Samsung’s QD-OLED feature a bright, bold expression, with reds and greens looking downright psychedelic.
If we were comparing the S95B’s performance to that of the step-down LG C2, the S95B would most likely run away with it; the C2 is an incredible TV, but the S95B gets brighter than the C2 by a sizable margin. However, the G2 is the best OLED LG has ever made, and its brightness and color volume are the main reasons why.
The G2 doesn’t get quite as bright as Samsung’s QD-OLED, but the difference between 950 and 1,150 nits is much harder to spot during most HDR content, especially when that pop of brightness is coming from specular highlights. And when it comes to color, the G2 stands toe to toe with the S95B; both TVs cover about 98 to 99% of the HDR color gamut (DCI-P3).
The G2 also offers a better out-of-the-box calibration in its most-accurate picture mode (Filmmaker), so if you’re hoping to bypass the hiring of an expert calibrator, the G2 will get you a bit closer to reference standards with a few clicks of the remote. The S95B, on the other hand, tends to carry a more souped-up, colorful picture in its version of Filmmaker mode. Some folks may appreciate the extra pizzazz, while others might prefer LG’s restraint.
To sum up, the S95B offers marginally brighter specular highlights, but both TVs deliver world-class contrast and some of the best colors we’ve measured on a TV this year. This one’s too close to call.
Our pick: Draw
The G2 “Gallery” OLED gets its name from its design, as it’s intended to hang on the wall like a portrait. For anyone planning on using a more traditional, tabletop setup, an optional stand for the G2 is sold separately. However, after setting up and using the stand, we find it to be a somewhat inelegant setup that feels like an afterthought.
The separately-sold stand introduces an unsettling amount of wobble and also causes the panel to lean backward. If you’re agnostic about such things, you’ll probably get used to the panel’s slight tilt, but anyone on the fence about this particular design flourish should be wary.
That said, the G2 being designed from the ground up for wall-mounting has its advantages if you do intend to wall-mount it. Its ultra-thin wall bracket (included with the TV) keeps the G2 closer to the wall than traditional wall-mounting brackets, and its narrow, silver frame completes the art gallery look.
Since the S95B isn’t designed to sit flush against a wall, Samsung’s engineers were able to accentuate the mind-bogglingly thin nature of its OLED panel. The S95B is so thin, in fact, that you’ll need to be careful picking it up and shifting it around, as it’s liable to bend.
The S95B features a centered, pedestal-style stand that offers about 2.5 inches of soundbar clearance. The stand is flat, metallic, and features elegant, rounded corners.
If you don’t plan on wall-mounting your next TV, the S95B features the better-looking design and the security of a sensible, wobble-free stand. However, if a wall-mounted setup is in your future, the G2 is the superior choice, as it’s been designed specifically with that in mind.
Our pick: Draw
Before we discuss which features set the G2 and S95B apart, let’s break down the features they share.
The G2 and the S95B are among the best gaming TVs you can buy this year. Each model supports both Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) and Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) for smoother, low-latency gaming. In addition, all four of the HDMI 2.1 ports on both TVs support 4K gaming at 120Hz with a bandwidth of 48Gbps.
Both TVs offer a dedicated gaming settings menu that relays frame rate information, offers genre-specific picture adjustments, and gives folks easy access to each TV’s VRR settings. For Samsung, this feature is called Game Bar, and for LG, it’s called Game Optimizer. But the S95B is also equipped Samsung Gaming Hub, a software suite featuring several cloud gaming services, including Nvidia GeForce Now, Google Stadia, and Xbox Cloud Gaming. Gaming Hub lets you stream video games right to your TV—no console required.
Although these TVs are neck and neck in the gaming department, the G2 might do a better job enticing picture purists and film buffs, as it supports Dolby Vision, a popular, proprietary version of HDR whose compatible titles can be found on Blu-ray and streaming platforms like Netflix. Like all Samsung TVs, the S95B favors HDR10+, a royalty-free version of the format that works in a similar manner, over Dolby Vision. There are plenty of HDR10+ titles out there (Amazon Prime Video offers a host of HDR10+ titles, for instance), but Dolby Vision is, nevertheless, the more popular format.
Perhaps most importantly, the G2’s built-in smart platform (webOS 22) is a better overall experience than the S95B’s. Samsung’s Tizen smart platform is sluggish and more confusing to navigate. Jumping from one input to another, for instance, takes more clicks than it ought it to, and I frequently felt like my inputs were taking two or three button presses to initiate.
Given that the two TVs both offer a similar set of top-of-the-line, next-generation gaming features, this category comes down to the G2’s Dolby Vision support and all-around better software experience.
Our pick: LG G2
It’s a tie.
While I’m tempted to point to the G2’s superior smart platform, its Dolby Vision support, and its added size options as the determining factors in this matchup, I cannot overstate how much better the S95B looks on a table with its stand attached than the G2. Since most people don’t end up wall-mounting their TV, the S95B’s well-thought-out design carries it pretty far.
Most people aren’t going to buy a TV that’s 77, 83, or 97 inches, either, so it’s a little disingenuous to weigh the G2’s extra size options heavily. As far as benefits over the S95B, that leaves the G2 with a faster, easier-to-use smart platform and Dolby Vision support—two important features, to be sure, but how important are they to you?
If you intend on making an external streaming device your gateway to digital content, the built-in smart platform of your next TV isn’t as important to you as it might be to other people. And, if Dolby Vision functionality isn’t quite on your radar, the G2’s inclusion of it probably won’t affect you very much.
Personally speaking, here’s how I see it: If I were wall-mounting my next TV, I’d buy the G2. If I weren’t planning on wall-mounting my next TV, I’d buy the S95B. Both TVs are among the best I’ve ever seen, and both will remain at the top of their class for years to come.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.