OLED vs. QLED: what's the difference, pro and cons

OLED vs. QLED: what's the difference, pro and cons

In the world of HD televisions, two popular technologies have emerged as frontrunners: OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) and QLED (Quantum Dot Light Emitting Diode). While both promise exceptional picture quality and immersive viewing experiences, there are distinct differences between these two technologies. This article will compare the two and help you make an informed decision when choosing your next TV.

What are the differences between OLED and QLED?

Display Technology

OLED: OLED televisions utilise organic compounds that emit light when an electric current passes through them. Each pixel in an OLED display is individually lit, allowing for perfect black levels, infinite contrast ratios, and vibrant colors. This technology delivers exceptional picture quality with deep blacks, rich colors, and wide viewing angles.

QLED: QLED televisions, on the other hand, use a layer of quantum dots, tiny semiconductor particles that emit light when illuminated by a backlight. These quantum dots enhance color accuracy, brightness, and color volume, resulting in vivid and lifelike images. While they can achieve impressive brightness levels, QLED TVs struggle to achieve the same deep blacks as OLED displays.


Contrast and Black Levels

OLED: Due to the nature of OLED technology, each pixel can turn off completely, resulting in true blacks and infinite contrast ratios. This capability creates a more immersive viewing experience with enhanced details in dark scenes, providing exceptional depth and realism.

QLED: While QLED TVs can achieve impressive brightness levels, they rely on backlighting, which can limit their ability to produce deep blacks. Although advancements in local dimming zones have improved black levels in QLED displays, they still fall short of OLED's pixel-level control, resulting in less precise contrast and slightly washed-out blacks.

Color Reproduction

OLED: OLED technology excels in color accuracy and reproduction. With each pixel individually lit, OLED displays offer vibrant and lifelike colors, with excellent color saturation and wide color gamut support. This technology is particularly suited for HDR (High Dynamic Range) content, delivering stunning visuals with rich and nuanced hues.

QLED: QLED televisions utilise quantum dots to enhance color accuracy and volume. They can produce intense and vibrant colors, particularly in bright scenes. QLED displays also provide excellent color saturation and wide color gamut coverage, making them well-suited for HDR content.

Viewing Angles

OLED: One of the significant advantages of OLED technology is its exceptional viewing angles. With individually lit pixels, OLED displays maintain consistent picture quality from any angle, ensuring a captivating viewing experience for everyone in the room.

QLED: While QLED TVs have improved in this aspect compared to traditional LCD displays, they still face limitations when it comes to wide viewing angles. As the viewing angle increases, slight color and contrast degradation may occur, affecting the overall visual experience.

© Samsung QLED

OLED vs QLED: Which is better?

Choosing between OLED and QLED televisions ultimately comes down to personal preferences and priorities. OLED technology offers unparalleled contrast, true blacks, and excellent viewing angles, making it ideal for cinephiles and those seeking an immersive viewing experience. QLED displays excel in color accuracy, brightness, and color volume, providing vibrant and dynamic visuals suitable for bright environments and HDR content.

Consider your viewing environment, usage patterns, and desired features when making your decision. Regardless of the choice you make, both OLED and QLED technologies have pushed the boundaries of television displays, offering remarkable picture quality and enhancing our entertainment experiences.

Which is better for gaming: OLED or QLED?

When it comes to gaming, both OLED and QLED technologies have their advantages. Here are some factors to consider:

Response Time: OLED displays generally have faster response times, which can result in smoother motion and reduced motion blur during fast-paced gaming.

Contrast and Black Levels: OLED excels in delivering deep blacks and high contrast ratios, which can enhance the overall visual experience and make dark scenes more immersive.

Color Accuracy: Both OLED and QLED can offer excellent color accuracy, but OLED's individual pixel control can result in more precise and vibrant colors.

Brightness: QLED displays tend to have higher peak brightness levels, which can be beneficial for gaming in brightly lit environments or when HDR content is involved.

Burn-in Risk: OLED displays have a slight risk of burn-in, which is the permanent imprint of static images on the screen. This can be a concern for gaming sessions with static elements like HUDs or logos. QLED displays do not face this issue.

Viewing Angles: OLED displays maintain consistent picture quality from wider viewing angles, ensuring that everyone in the room can have an optimal gaming experience.

To resume, the main advantages of OLED are the faster response times, smoother motion, deep blacks and high contrast ratios and vibrant colours. The main disadvantage of OLED is the risk of burn-in (could particularly be an issue on game's with a HUD - think GTA 5 with the map in the corner). It is arguable that the advantages of OLED outweigh the burn-in risk. 

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