Battle of the TV Giants: Samsung vs. LG
If you’re looking for a new TV, you could be forgiven for thinking they are all much of a muchness – after all, on the surface all screens look very similar; but nothing could be further from the truth.
Two South Korean based TV manufacturers have, between them, the largest presence in the US and UK. These TV tech giants are Samsung and LG, and every year the gloves come off as they release model after model, into an eager market.
From small screens, Smart TVs, and 4K all the way up to huge LED screens providing the full cinematic experience, they both promise to deliver high spec TVs whatever your budget, and want your custom.
Across the wide range of models available, both manufacturers are similar in quality, but there are, inevitably, a few peaks and troughs.
LG, with its webOS platform, and Samsung’s Tizen have a similar layout – horizontal menu bars, streaming services and both equally customizable. However, LG’s ThinQ AI has a wider, and some say better, search algorithm when compared to Tizen, whilst the latest webOS has introduced secondary menus around app icons.
LG also leads the way with Google Assistant built into their OLED models over Samsung’s first-party Bixby assistant – with its tendency to misunderstand (or maybe it’s just a very well disguised sense of humor – we’re not sure) with Alexa or Google Assistant available through third parties.
Screen displays, too, differ. LG favors Dolby Vision, which offers a full 12-bit color gamut and, with shows across the majority of streaming services, is more readily found than Samsung’s 10-bit HDR 10+.
The technology behind the displays is divided into organic light emitting diode (OLED) and QLED. OLED, developed and manufactured by LG, negates the need for backlighting by producing its own light, permitting screens to become stylishly thin. The image displayed is realistically vibrant and possesses truly deep blacks, thanks to the ability to control individual pixels.
QLED, developed by Samsung, uses quantum dots for color and contrast with dimming zones across the screen that control the brightness, as opposed to OLED’s individually controlled pixels. It struggles slightly to show both light and dark images simultaneously, although not enough to make much of a visual impact.
However, with Samsung’s potentially market-winning QD-LED hybrid due for release in the very near future, everything could change. It has to be said, though, that both OLED and QLED produce highly impressive displays and there is little to choose between the two.
Both LG and Samsung fail to reach the top spot with one single TV, but aim to spread their innovatively advantageous designs across the many models in their ranges – from the more budget friendly models, Mid range 50’’ or 65’’ screens to the best TVs they have to offer. With both manufacturers constantly improving existing technology, or developing new releases, although it appears that LG is on top, the market is constantly changing, and by this time next month, it could well be a different story.