The truly eye-watering quality of 4K UHD is here on many televisions, but not all screens were created equal. Two of the biggest brands out there, both from Korea, are going head to head on 4K televisions with their own varying types of technological offerings.
LG has gone the way of OLED while Samsung is offering its own type of technological development, that it’s calling SUHD.
Each of the makes has positives and negatives in relation to interface, quality, price and more - all of which can affect 4K. One might not necessarily be better than the other, meaning you need to determine what you want before picking one of the other.
So before you shell out, check out this comprehensive feature comparing the two offerings of LG’s OLED and Samsung SUHD technology. Remember 4K is just a pixel density, which many televisions offer, it’s the other factors that make it truly different.
LG OLED vs Samsung SUHD: What is OLED and what is SUHD?
The technology behind OLED has been around for some years now but has only recently begun to become affordable for mere mortals. The reason for this, and partly why Samsung has decided to go its own way, is because OLED screens are difficult to produce en masse without errors, making it costly.
Just because it’s difficult doesn’t mean it’s not great though. OLED is stunning, which is part of the reason why it’s still in production despite the challenges. The tech works using Organic Light Emitting Diodes which light up in varying colours based on the electrical current passed through them. The advantage here is that each section can be lit without the light bleed that traditional LCD panels suffer from.
As a result OLED screens have true blacks, amazing contrast ratios, stunning colours and super fast refresh rates - they’re also low on power consumption.
Samsung claims to have reached OLED levels of quality using traditional LCD screen panel tech in its SUHD displays. These use quantum dot tech, which Samsung terms Nano-crystal technology. Essentially it means a layer of crystals over the usual LED display which are able to change the blue backlight to pure white. The result is brighter screens with a wider colour gamut.
LG OLED vs Samsung SUHD: Which is brighter?
Here it’s the range of brightness which is key. OLED is able to produce 20 stops of brightness where traditional LCD TVs top out at 14 stops. So while the LG Signature OLED TV can hit about 600 nits of peak brightness others can hit 1000. The key is that thanks to true blacks the OLED has a wider range thanks to a stunning contrast ratio, ultimately enveloping the viewer deeper.
Samsung’s SUHD is bright with its screen hitting a peak brightness of 1,000 nits. But as mentioned above that’s not everything. Brighter isn’t necessarily better.
HDR is the term that’s leading the latest tech jump in TVs, aka High Dynamic Range. It’s this contrast between bright and dark that’s important which is why OLED is still impressive even in the face of brighter screens.
LG OLED vs Samsung SUHD: Which has better colours?
The LG Signature OLED screens are now able to produce 99 percent of the DCI-P3 colour space. In normal speak that’s a hell of a lot and more than meets the standards of the UHD Premium stamp. This is both HDR10 and Dolby Vision ready too.
Both the Samsung SUHD TVs and the LG OLEDs offer 10-bit colour which, once again plays nice with HDR content, pushing it above some 8-bit television limits.
Once again it comes back to range. Both screen have lots of colours but it’s that range which really shows off the colour on its best, most life-like scale.
One other factor is viewing angles where an OLED can be seen in full colour at 160-degrees some LCD screens can top out at 100-degrees.
LG OLED vs Samsung SUHD: Which is faster?
The refresh rates on OLED screens have been legendary for some time. But new SUHD panels are now able to offer impressive processing that also packs great high-speed responsiveness.
An OLED panel is capable of a refresh rate of 0.001ms which is about one thousand times faster than some LCD screens can manage. The result is smooth high-speed action, making it ideal for movies and sports.
Of course, processing is a factor here too but since the latest screens are all packing top processors and software, ghosting and the like shouldn’t be too much of an issue.
Another speed related issue is based on access to content via the software. Samsung’s SUHD runs Tizen while LG’s OLED runs on webOS. Both are fast, clear, filled with apps and run well so this really comes down to a matter of taste.
LG OLED vs Samsung SUHD: Pricing
One decisive point that has meant OLED has taken a back seat over the years despite its superiority over previous LCD efforts, is price.
LG now offers OLED screens from £3000 for its 55-inch B6 model but a higher end E6 is £3,500.
Samsung sells its top-end 55-inch SUHD TV for £2,099.
So OLED is still the most expensive television medium out there but for some, it will also be the best. It really depends on how you perceive colour range and if you prefer brighter more punchy images.
If the price difference isn’t a massive issue for you and you still can’t decide, we recommend heading into a shop and comparing the two. Personal preference will always win out and either way, you’re in for a real treat.
Read next: How can I watch 4K movies and TV shows?