LG and Samsung TVs have fantastic reputations. Generally seen as trustworthy, reliable, and offering good value for the money – both brands deliver.
But if you’re in the market for a new TV, you’ll need to pick just one…
Which TV is Better: Samsung or LG?
With more powerful panel technology and a better SmartOS, LG’s top-tier TVs come out best. You can’t beat their screens for clarity and accuracy. However, Samsung offers users incredible value for money and are much better at mid-tier/low-tier price points. You get top quality for less if you don’t need the latest generation.
LG TVs: Pros and Cons
LG TVs are best known as the pioneers of OLED technology.
Unlike Samsung’s QLED tech, LG’s OLED tech isn’t a proprietary, so you’ll find them at many different price points.
Just like Samsung, they are a South Korean brand and have been operating since 1947.
Pros of LG TVs
Because they use OLED technology, LG TVs have self-illuminating pixels. This newer backlight type is more energy-efficient than older backlights.
LGs are also known for deep blacks and great color contrasts. The blacks are achieved because each pixel powers down to create it – you literally cannot have a blacker black.
OLED screens also offer the best viewing angles on the current market. For people who are not right in front of the TV, this is a big plus. You won’t see color degradation or dimness at any viewing angle.
OLED can be energy efficient, provided you’re not running the TV at high brightnesses. If you game on your TV, you will also find the pixels very responsive, improving the experience.
If you want a ‘better than 4k’ experience, LG is where you will find it.
Cons of LG TVs
LG TVs had a reputation for being very pricey because they were part of the first generation of OLED TVs. Their price didn’t start coming down until 4K became the standard.
Today, they can still cost more than a QLED or LED TVs.
LG has been very aggressive in recent years on price. Today, for example, the LG 55” A1 TV is at an identical price point to the Samsung 55” Q80A.
However, OLED screens are still only average in brightness levels. Its peak brightness is between 600-800 nits, which is less than QLED.
Because LG invests heavily in its panel technology, they have a reputation as a pricey brand.
Samsung TVs: The Pros and Cons
Samsung uses its proprietary QLED screens instead of OLED.
While these are a little lower in performance, they still have excellent picture quality and produce it for less.
As with LG, they have a reputation for quality components and manufacturing. This South Korean brand giant has been running since 1947.
Pros of Samsung TVs
Samsung’s QLED screen technology is one of the brightest in the market. This is an advantage if you regularly watch TV in a bright room or simply like to keep picture brightness high. They can hit up to 1200-1600 nits.
While they don’t compete with LG on color accuracy, they are better at color volume. So if you want stand-out colors and don’t care much about accuracy, you’ll prefer Samsung.
Unlike LG, Samsung has a reputation for offering a solid mid-range TV tier and kinder price points.
Cons of Samsung TVs
Because Samsung uses the QLED format and not OLED, the viewing angles are slightly subpar. It also offers less contrast and blackness as it uses the older backlight system.
LG vs Samsung – In Depth
Now that you have a better idea of the strengths and weaknesses of LG and Samsung TVs, let’s take a more in-depth look at some specific TV features from both brands.
LG Smart TVs use the software platform “WebOS“. It’s a straightforward, intuitive web interface to follow and visually sleek and simple.
They also use Google Assistant for voice prompts, which makes them integrate well with other Google Smart Home techs you are running.
LG’s WebOS has most major apps, including Netflix, AppleTV, and Amazon Prime. Their premium models ship with a smart remote that works with gestures.
Samsung uses the Tizen Smart TV platform. Its layout is comparable to LG’s, though visually fancier. Samsung also uses the proprietary Bixby voice assistant.
It is a little less polished than Google Assistant and is only used by other Samsung Smart technology, which could be annoying if you power your home with another type. You can always use Alexa and Google Assistant with your Samsung Smart TV if you prefer.
You receive free channels with Samsung TV plus, but the apps you can load are limited, and the search is a little wobbly. However, it is compatible with big names, like Amazon Prime, Apple TV, and Netflix.
Overall, LG has a more substantial reputation here, but Samsung is catching up quickly. Connectivity is excellent for both brands.
Let’s talk about High-dynamic Range (HDR).
Samsung and LG have chosen different HDR formats to back.
LG uses Dolby Vision for most of its TVs, while Samsung favors HDR10+.
Dolby Vision is far superior, using 12-bit and 10,000 nits over 10-bit and 4,000 nits. Both deliver a solid true-to-life experience, however.
Dolby Vision is more broadly compatible. While HRD10+ can be used on Amazon Video, it isn’t yet compatible with Netflix and Apple TV.
This only matters at the high-end of both ranges, however, and Samsung’s mid-range offerings continue to outperform LG at the lower price points, for all they don’t have the bells and whistles.
Do consider what streaming apps you use the most, however, and choose the one with the most compatible HDR.
Both LG and Samsung allow for HDMI connections and offer USB support. 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi support are also consistent across both ranges, and Bluetooth is offered by LG and Samsung on high-tier models.
LG and Samsung both have a good reputation for staying on the cutting edge of innovation. We’ve recently seen LG release the A1 and Nanocell TVs to try to conquer the mid-market price points. They’re also working on QNED (quantum nano-emitting diode) technology for their screens.
On the other hand, Samsung is working on larger screens, promising up to 110” sets in the near future. It is introducing microLEDs to boost picture quality and lifespan. They also want to bring in split-screen streaming.
Both companies are working on 8K TVs currently. Samsung has already released an 8K TV for the UK market, while LG has several ready to drop, albeit at an eye-watering price tag.
One of LG’s key selling points is its OLED panel technology. We’ve looked at some of the pros of this above already. To recap – great viewing angles and excellent black and color contrasts. They have a near-instantaneous pixel response time of 0.2 milliseconds.
QLED TVs, such as Samsung, can’t match this. The average pixel response time on the average QLED is 3.5 milliseconds. Still incredibly responsive but not up there with OLED. On the other hand, we’ve seen that they are much brighter. Both ranges have some flicker, but it’s minimal compared to others.
LG’s panel technology allows for greater blackness and contrast than Samsung’s. Samsung has addressed this in their newer QD-QLED screens with a quantum-dot layer (instead of older filters), but this technology is pricey to buy as it is cutting edge.
LG’s cheaper Nanocell panels are designed to offset this. They might be more affordable than OLED but less effective.
LG’s OLED screens are susceptible to burn-in, where it retains static images displayed for a long time- like logos.
Both brands have anti-glare technology that performs exceptionally in bright conditions, although Samsung has a slight edge. Both brands use either a gloss or semi-gloss finish to ensure pleasant viewing.
We haven’t spoken much about sound because both LG and Samsung offer great quality audio experiences that are pretty comparable.
That said, I’d give Samsung a slight lead on sound technology with its ability to handle moderate bass and offer better sound separation for a more realistic experience.
Samsung uses Object Tracking Sound, or OTS, to add directional movement to their sound. It’s a software-based sound solution using drivers to deliver impact.
LG currently uses the a9 Intelligent Processor. It uses a funky AI-learning algorithm and advanced processing for its pictures.
Samsung uses the Neo Quantum Processor. In addition to LG’s features, this process allows AI upscaling to improve image quality.
Durability and Lifespan
On average, LG’s OLED TVs are thinner than their QLED Samsung counterparts. This can be a positive thing for small spaces but is not always the best for homes that need more rugged TVs.
A slightly thicker design can contribute to a longer lifespan, especially in busy homes with kids and pets.
Both brands try to create a sleek profile, which appears to have few buttons, but you will find standards like the power button and certain menu buttons on the bezel.
However, durability and lifespan aren’t just about size, but how well the components last.
The OLED’s greater risk of burn-in means that individual pixels could wear quicker than those around them. It’s much better than it used to be, with newer technology to offset it, but it’s still an issue that can affect lifespan.
(A study done by LG concluded that the expected life of an OLED display is about 100,000 hours, or 11+ years of use!)
QLEDs have a longer panel lifespan than OLEDs. This means that a Samsung TV might not have quite the crip screen imaging of some LG TVs but is also likely to be more robust and last longer.
Both perform equally on the quality of components like electronics, bezels, and speakers.
Customer Service and Component Quality of Samsung and LG TVs
Samsung and LG are both considered anchor brands in the TV marketplace. You can’t really go wrong dealing with either brand.
They both consistently deliver excellent customer service and have proven to be reliable. Most warranties run for 1-year, although some high-end TVs have a 3-year warranty.
Neither brand uses external components and manufactures everything in-house, so they are both dedicated to delivering solid components with a long lifespan.
Most TVs from either range will last at least five years and an average of seven years overall.
In the current TV market, many manufacturers swap components between brands. However, LG and Samsung built their top-end tech from the ground up.
LG’s OLED delivers excellent performance across all price points. They are known for:
- Fantastic color accuracy on OLED
- Intuitive Smart TV OS
- Dolby Vision for HDR
- High comparative price points and low mid-range products
Samsung’s QLED has advanced a lot recently, but you will notice that their best color technology is concentrated in their high-end offerings.
- Samsung QLED is slightly less impactful than OLED
- They have a longer lifespan
- Excellent mid-range and low-tier TVs
If you’re looking for the best visual color experience, nothing can beat LG’s color technology with its OLED screens.
However, both ranges carry solid components, outstanding construction, and continue to support their current TV generations, so it comes down to your personal preference.
Ultimately, they are both trustworthy brands that deliver quality.