This article was updated in January 2021 to add new models.
We all love a great rivalry. And there are a ton to pick from. Nikola Tesla vs. Thomas Edison, Marvel vs. DC, Coke vs. Pepsi, Star Wars vs. Star Trek… We could go on forever. But even with this small sampling, you probably have your favorite choice. Unless you’re an outlier and you’re going with Westinghouse, Dark Horse, Dr Pepper, and Firefly. In the smart TV realm, LG vs. Samsung is the battle you’re paying attention to. Unless you’re one of those outliers again, and you’re looking at Sony.
More and more people are moving to smart TVs in their homes. But what exactly is a smart TV? Simply put, it’s a TV that is able to connect to your home internet service either with a wired ethernet cord or via Wi-Fi. It can stream various apps, connect to smart home devices, or even comes with Alexa and Google Assistant. With a smart TV, there’s no need for an extra device to stream from, so you won’t need a Roku, Fire Stick, or an Apple TV.
With the amount of streaming services we use, it only makes sense to have a TV that can do it all for us. Especially since many people are ditching the cable company and moving toward only using streaming services. You can get everything you need now without cable, for a fraction of the cost. Why wouldn’t you make the switch to ditch the cable company?
But choosing a smart TV can be a lot to take in. There are so many new terms to learn. Do you need 4K or 8K—and what do they even mean? Or do you need OLED or QLED? And what do they even mean? Why is it so difficult to pick out something you’re just going to sit around watching old episodes of The Golden Girls on? (Thanks, Hulu!)
To get you started, we’ve created a guide to help you understand all of the terminology we’re about to use below. Plus, if you’re new to the smart TV game, check this out. You’ll be able to walk into the store feeling more confident about what you need and what will work best for you. The salesperson on the floor will likely steer you toward an LG or Samsung TV, since they’re the two battling it out for numero uno right now. So, before you make the plunge and head out to get that new TV, check out our round-up of LG vs. Samsung. We decided to compare the two brands to see if we could find an outright winner.
In the smart TV market, most brands borrow technology and software from other companies. It’s easier and much less expensive. But both LG and Samsung have developed their smart TVs from scratch.
Who is winning between LG and Samsung?
LG manufactures OLED displays, which are considered to be the best in terms of color and contrast. Samsung still uses QLED technology, which can’t quite match OLED for picture quality. However, QLED TVs are giving tough competition to OLED TVs in 2020. It has been observed that the most expensive QLED TVs are performing better than the cheaper ones. This is because the high-end QLEDs come with better full-array local dimming, bright highlights, and better viewing angles, which is absent in the low-end models. This kind of significant difference is missing in OLED TVs, although OLED offers better contrast and black level. Additionally, QLED is also brighter whereas OLED has better uniformity and viewing angles. But one of the most important factors that have made QLED outperform OLED this year is the fact that they are available in bigger sizes that are actually cheaper than expected.
OLED technology trumps QLED
Another unique feature that both Samsung and LG came up with this year is 8K. Both the companies have had promising entries in 8K TVs which not only give you brighter, sharper images but also take your TV experience to the next level.
In 2021, both Samsung and LG seem to be going a step forward with MicroLED and QNED TV displays. These new TVs, announced at CES 2021, are focusing on bigger displays with higher resolution. QNED stands for Quantum Nano-Emitting Diodes and combines quantum dot and NanoCell technologies with LEDs. It’s the display technology used in these newest LG TVs, and these are the first TVs to use the two technologies together.
LG says that QNED is a huge step forward in LCD picture quality since it uses Mini LEDs as the light source with up to 30,000 Mini LEDs per panel. This should improve the brightness and contrast of the typical LCD TVs, making the QNED Mini LED TV an interesting option for consumers this year. MicroLED TVs from Samsung, on the other hand, use LED lights to eliminate any backlight and color filters used in conventional displays. Instead, the TV produces light and color from its own pixel. Not to mention that these lights offer a lifespan of up to 100,000 hours.
Another add-on from Samsung in 2021 is split-screen capability that will give you the opportunity to stream different content in one TV screen at the same time.
In the LG vs. Samsung smart TV battle, both brands offer solid operating systems.
It’s clear that LG’s webOS is a better operating system that gives you more features.
LG also wins on smart features
This is a big one for a lot of people. It might even be a make or break one for a lot of people. That is, if you have enough money to spend on it. Because if you have the money, Dolby Vision is absolutely the way to go. The picture quality is amazing, and you’re not going to find anything else out there like it. But, again, it comes with a cost. HDR10 is a definite improvement over SDR (standard dynamic range), and for most people, that’s enough. Especially if you’re not trying to break the bank.
Dolby Vision is the clear winner. (Picture: TechHive)
In this realm, LG wins with picture quality, since they utilize Dolby Vision, something other brands aren’t really going. But if your metric is price, Samsung will win this battle with HDR10.
So, after covering everything, you’d probably say that LG wins the LG vs. Samsung battle, right? But like we mentioned above, the price aspect needs to be taken into consideration. While LG seems to be technically superior at present, Samsung offers cheaper models that get the job done. And that’s all most people need for their home TV—something that gets the job done. And many people don’t have the budget to buy a much mroe expensive TV.
Both brands aren’t reaching for the top spot with a single TV. Instead, they both have a range of smart TVs that cover everything from the incredibly smart to the incredibly innovative. Here are some of the best new smart TVs from each of these big brands.
Below, you’ll find a variety of LG vs. Samsung smart TV models. We’ve done the work for you and have listed their main stats so you can easily look through the list and see which TV is offering what features. Because we all like it when things are easy.
If you’re looking for a good starter TV for a small space, this is a good place to start. This model only comes in 32″, but it comes with a lot of the great Samsung features.
You won’t have the Quantum HDR the other models have, and you won’t have the Quantum Processor.
Regular price for this model is $499.99. You can find more info about the Class Q50R QLED Smart 4K UHD TV on their website.
Image Credit: Samsung / The Samsung Q50
This TV is everything the Q50R is and more, with more sizes.
Regular price for this model, starting at 43″, is $799.99. You can find it on Samsung’s website.
Image Credit: TechRadar / The Samsung Q60
Regular price for this model, starting at 49″, is $1,249.99. You can find it on Samsung’s website.
Image Credit: TechRadar / The Samsung Q70
Regular price for this model, starting at 55″, is $1,999.99. You can find it on Samsung’s website.
Image Credit: TechRadar / The Samsung Q80
Regular price for this model, starting at 65″, is $3,499.99. You can find it on Samsung’s website.
Image Credit: The Big Screen Store / The Samsung Q90
Samsung only has one 8K TV, and it starts at $2,199.99 for the 55″. This TV is going to give you a better picture quality than the 4K TV, but it will have many of the same features as the 4K TVs.
Image Credit: Digital Trends / The Samsung Q900 TV
The TV is said to come without any frame and is just 15mm thick.
Samsung Zero-Bezel 8K TV in the Living Room
This TV is unique because it can rotate vertically for your social media content from Instagram or YouTube.
The pricing for this TV is around $1627 USD.
Samsung Sero TV in the Living Room
Because these televisions are modular, you can create the size you want.
Samsung The Wall MicroLED Modular TV Design
It’ll envelop you with its sharp, deep color that you didn’t know you were missing before.
Samsung Q800T 8K Television in the Living Room
With the Samsung Q60T QLED HDR Smart TV, you get 4K-quality images along with realistic colors.
Samsung Q60T QLED HDR Smart TV on the Wall
This 4K UHD TV adjusts to the lighting in your room thanks to its 4K Quantum processor.
Samsung Q70T 4K UHD Smart TV in the Living Room
It comes with an intelligent backlighting system that delivers incredible blacks and impressive whites.
Samsung Q80T 4K Smart TV on a Wall
This outdoor smart TV will provide you with entertainment year-round thanks to its IP55 rating.
Samsung The Terrace QLED 4K Outdoor Smart TV on Display
Using a new light source—Quantum Mini LED—the Samsung 2021 Neo QLED accessible TV lineup takes QLED technology to the next level. Upgrading its 8K QN900A and 4K QN90A TVs, the Samsung 2021 Neo QLED TVs have Quantum Matrix technology and a Neo Quantum processor. This increases the luminance scale to 12-bit with 4096 steps, making dark areas darker and bright areas brighter. With enhanced upscaling capabilities, they optimize picture quality regardless of the input quality. The Neo QLED 8K boasts an Infinity One Design with a nearly bezel-less screen.
Samsung 2021 Neo QLED in the living room
The Samsung The Frame 2021 lifestyle TV offers an updated design and form factor from previous models. Redefining television, it transforms your display into a stunning work of art. This new model offers more customization options in an even slimmer design. In fact, it’s about half as thick as previous models, so it looks just like a traditional, non-tech picture frame. What’s more, it has attachable bezel options that come in five color choices and two styles: Modern and Beveled.
Samsung The Frame 2021 lifestyle TV
Watch four videos simultaneously with the Samsung 110” MicroLED TV. With split screens, it lets you share the TV with multiple users to watch news and movies while using other apps. Also, this breathtaking TV offers immersive visuals with 4K HDR content. As a result, it provides bright, vivid visuals that are optimized for each scene. And, with eight million pixels, the colors are lifelike and bright. Furthermore, the Samsung 110” MicroLED TV offers an incredible audio experience, too.
Samsung 110” MicroLED TV
This is LG’s entry-level OLED TV. One of the awesome things about this TV is the gallery mode, which features world-famous travel attractions updated seasonally by TripAdvisor.
Regular price for this model starts at $1,599.99.
Image Credit: CNet / The LG B9
As with Samsung, each class of OLED TV is better than the previous. And though it starts to come with a heftier pricetag, it’s well worth the money.
Regular price for this model starts at $2,499.99.
Image Credit: CNet / The LG C9 TV
This is LG’s Wallpaper TV. It’s amazingly thin, and it’s pretty awesome. Anyone who came into your house would for sure be talking about this TV.
Regular price for this model starts at $5,999.99.
Image Credit: LG / The LG W9
It might be expensive, but the LG Z9 is pretty remarkable. With four times the number of pixels as 4K, plus support for Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, this thing is the king of smart TVs. This TV only comes in 88″, and it has a hefty price tag at $29,999.99.
Complete with 8K resolution, this television has four times the resolution of existing 4K TVs.
LG Z9 8K 88-inch OLED TV on the Wall
Yes, you can actually fold this TV and roll it up just like a newspaper.
LG Rollable OLED TV Concept Design
With both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, these TVs are like home theaters.
LG 2020 NanoCell LCD TV Collection on the Wall
The upcoming LG 2020 Gallery Series OLED TVs consists of televisions that actually look like artwork.
LG 2020 Gallery Series OLED TV Design
With the LG OLED 48CX 4K Ultra HD TV, you get a high-quality television in a mid-range size.
LG OLED 48CX 4K Ultra HD TV on a Wall Setup
The G in the name stands for Gallery, referencing the previous collection. However, these new OLED TVs take it up a notch with evo technology. This new panel technology adds a luminous element. In fact, it’s a layer of green that provides more brightness and color purity. This next step in OLED TV technological evolution provides incredible clarity and detail. Available in 55″, 65″, and 77″ sizes, the 4K LG G1 TVs have a slim design that hangs unobtrusively.
LG G1 Series OLED evo televisions
LG reimagines the future of TVs with the LG Display Transparent OLED TV concept. This cutting-edge TV boasts a transparent 55-inch OLED screen that rolls up from the foot of a bed. This makes for super-comfortable viewing. But that’s not the only idea behind this concept product. With 40% transparency, this innovative TV also works as a smart home device and can display information like the time, weather, or when your alarm is scheduled to ring.
LG Display Transparent OLED TV concept
The LG QNED Mini LED TV uses quantum dot and NanoCell technologies with Mini LEDs to form the light source, brightness, and contrast. In fact, this produces accurate colors, intense contrasts, and deep blacks for exceptionally lifelike images. This results in a superior contrast to conventional LCD TVs with a ratio of 1,000,000:1. Designed with OLED, the TV features self-lit pixels and independent dimming control. And, with a refresh rate of up to 120 Hz, the TV renders smoothly and naturally.
LG QNED Mini LED TV
The overall consensus is that both brands of TV are solid, and you won’t be making a poor decision if you buy one of them. In the LG vs. Samsung debate, it all depends on how much money you’re looking to spend and which features are the most important to you. Both TVs will give you fantastic picture quality, and both TVs will give you the smart TV capabilities you’re likely looking for. Do you already own a Samsung or an LG? What do you think of it? Are you someone who has owned both of these types of TVs? If so, do you have a preference for one over the other, and why?
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