OLED vs QLED: Understand the Differences Between Types of TV Screens | TVs

OLED and QLED are the dominant display technologies in the smart TV market. While both standards tend to deliver high quality images, they have some important differences. While OLED is the benchmark in lush images, QLED panels achieve much higher brightness. On the downsides, if OLED has a higher risk of burn-in and suffers more pronounced wear, QLED screens vary greatly in quality and can disappoint in the viewing angle. Therefore, before deciding which one to buy, it is worth knowing the specifics of each technology.

Below, we compare these two types of screens, which are very common in the Brazilian market — especially QLED, used by Samsung, TCL and LG. Learn about the qualities, limitations and indications associated with each of the two technologies.

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QLED is Samsung’s technology for high-end TVs: screens guarantee intense brightness and vibrant colors — Photo: Yuri Hildebrand/TechTudo

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QLED and OLED are two display technologies used in TVs that dominate the Brazilian market. The OLED standard beckons with the promise of imaging with great levels of contrast, color and image quality. Meanwhile, QLED stands out because it can generate much brighter images, has a longer lifespan, and appears in lower-cost products.

What complicates comparisons is that, in a way, everything that is an advantage in one technology is a disadvantage in the other. QLED’s durability, for example, is one of OLED’s biggest problems — subject to burn-in and greater wear and tear on image-producing components. On the other hand, the richness of contrast is a weakness of QLED which, using the same technology as common LED screens, generates images with less intense and natural black tones. This greatly diminishes the intensity of the difference between colors and intensities compared to OLED.

Advantages of QLED over OLED

The QLED screen is, in general, a conventional LED display that uses quantum dot technology to generate more intense and vivid colors. QLED panels are easier to manufacture and therefore more common. They even appear on cheaper televisions. Samsung, for example, already has more affordable intermediate lines with the technology.

Compared to OLED, one of the great advantages of QLED is that these screens can achieve much higher brightness levels. In general, it is the best choice for televisions that will be installed in very bright environments, as the higher brightness ends up compensating for the natural light of the room.

As it achieves more intense brightness, QLED is ideal for brighter environments — Photo: Yuri Hildebrand/TechTudo

Also, even if you have a particularly bright OLED, it’s not a good idea to leave your OLED TV on full brightness all the time. The practice accentuates the wear on the diodes that emit light and form images, which can facilitate the retention of static images on the panel — the famous burn-in. In addition, it can also cause wear and loss of pixel quality.

Over time, OLED loses color and brightness. This problem will be diluted in thousands of hours of use, but it’s important to remember that QLED is much less prone to burn-in and wears out on a much longer scale than OLED.

One thing to note about QLED is that there is a great deal of variation in the quality of this type of screen: as they are easier to manufacture, the displays can appear on more affordable devices, scenarios in which their overall quality may fall short. A tip to find screens that can come close to OLED in image quality is to pay attention to products that offer dimming technologies, such as the mini LED.

Advantages of OLED over QLED

OLEDs are displays that do not use LEDs to illuminate the array of pixels where images are created. On these screens, you can imagine each of the pixels that make up the image — there are more than 8 million of them in 4K — as tiny light bulbs, each responsible for regulating its brightness and color level. As advantages, OLED screens have higher levels of contrast, more uniform quality between different models and brands, as well as wider viewing angles.

Intense contrast is the trump card of OLED — Photo: Yuri Hildebrand/TechTudo

This nature of the technology allows OLEDs to achieve far superior quality and color accuracy in shades of black. As the pixels that need to emit black turn off, the difference between light and dark tones in the image becomes more intense and natural. This provides a quality that will impress even those who are not so keen on the subject.

It is true that OLED poses greater manufacturing challenges and that this limits its offering in simpler devices. But, on the other hand, this ensures that the technology has a more uniform quality standard between different brands and models. It is difficult to find, for example, an OLED TV with a lower quality screen.

In addition, as it is more restricted to premium devices, OLED always comes with the latest in imaging and multimedia technology. QLED devices may lack advanced HDMI features, for example, in addition to offering slower screens, in the 60 Hz range.

In addition to these factors, OLED ensures wider viewing angles. Even those who sit on the sofa with a side view of the screen will have a good view of the content, without distortions and losses. If it’s true that QLED is better for bright spaces, OLED is a better choice for the living room at home.

OLED image quality has a profound relationship with intense contrast — Photo: Anna KellenTechTudo

The differences between QLED and OLED are well defined and, in many cases, help to clarify things better when deciding on a purchase. Looking for something cheaper and longer lasting? QLEDs are your best choice. If you’re looking for the best possible picture quality, always in technology-packed packages, you won’t be disappointed with OLED.

About the typical disadvantages of each of the screens, the problems can be worked around. Burn-in and severe wear are OLED problems, but recent techniques in high-end panels tend to reduce the risks and avoid wear problems. Current OLEDs still use features that make the wear between screen pixels more even to lessen the chance of burn-in.

On the QLED side, the typical criticism made about OLED’s lack of absolute contrast is also valid. But, outside of the coldness of the technical data, you would have to be extremely demanding to attribute a defect in the image quality of a good QLED screen. Current panels, with mini LED, regain ground in terms of contrast, contributing to very intense colors.

In summary, it is more interesting to choose your new TV for practical differences, such as viewing angle favoring OLED, or brightness intensity for QLED. Depending on your budget, going for something with a minimum of 120 Hz is essential, as is a plethora of interfaces, HDMI 2.1 support and its technologies.

In the following video, see what you need to know before buying a new smart TV

Smart TV: what you need to know to buy a new device

Smart TV: what you need to know to buy a new device

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