Considering buying a new Samsung TV? You might be wondering about the differences between their Crystal UHD and QLED range, and which one of them is a better purchase.
In this article, we directly compare Crystal UHD vs QLED, with key topics like resolution, colour, brightness, and price, so that you can make the right choice for your television purchase. Let’s jump in.
Crystal UHD and QLED are both Samsung TV ranges—no other brand makes them. QLED is Samsung’s flagship television range, which they first started releasing in 2013. They are quality televisions with high resolutions, excellent colour output, and high refresh rates.
Crystal UHD, on the other hand, is Samsung’s more affordable television range, with the first model released in 2020. They might be considered an upgrade to LCD televisions from other brands, but not quite as good as Samsung’s QLEDs.
QLED models fall under Samsung’s “Q” and “QN” ranges. Their Crystal UHD models include their 6, 7, and 8 series. But you should see the terms QLED and Crystal UHD when browsing each television, which tells you its type.
Crystal UHD and QLED televisions are both based on LCD technology, which use liquid crystals to produce images. They are the most common type of modern television.
QLED televisions use quantum dots to produce colour, instead of the traditional LCD method of combining white LEDs and colour filters. This can make colour brighter and more defined, with less colour bleed.
Crystal UHD televisions are said to use a special crystal LCD panel that uses light more efficiently, which results in a better picture quality. But…it’s very difficult to find information on what this actually means, so it could be a marketing gimmick. When comparing crystal UHDs to QLEDs, you’ll want to consider screen sizes, resolution, and colour output, which we cover shortly.
As you’d expect from any television range, you can find a good variety of screen sizes for both Crystal UHD and QLEDs. Looking at JB Hi-Fi’s range, we can see the following screen sizes:
- Crystal UHD: 43”, 50”, 55”, 65”, 75”. 85”
- QLED: 32”, 43”, 40”, 44”, 65”, 75”, 85”, 98”
QLEDs have a wider range of screen sizes compared to Crystal UHD, at both ends of the scale. They offer a compact 32” TV, as well as a monstrous 98” TV, providing more choice.
Crystal UHD televisions all have a 4K resolution, which is the “UHD” part of their name. In 2022, 4K is the “best” resolution for televisions because there’s a ton of 4K content that can be watched. QLED televisions go up to 8K, but given that you’ll pay thousands of dollars extra for it, it’s considered wasted money until more 8K content becomes available. Aside from bragging rights, what’s the point of having an 8K TV if you can’t watch your favourite shows or movies on it?
The refresh rate on a television is essentially how quickly the frame changes. The faster the refresh rate, the smoother the picture will look. Crystal UHD televisions have a standard refresh rate of 60Hz, which means the image is refreshed 60 times a second. The refresh rate for QLED televisions changes depending on the model, but typically ranges from 60 to 120Hz. For the higher end of the scale, fast-moving images will feel much smoother and more pleasing to watch, and makes for a better experience for gaming and sports.
Both Crystal UHD and QLED TVs have High Dynamic Range (HDR), which essentially means that darker colours look darker, and lighter colours lighter. Blacks look super deep, and light colour looks sharp and vibrant. That’s good news for both televisions.
As for which is better, the QLED pips the post once again. When you compare the two televisions, QLED tends to display a much wider colour gamut (range), and its additional brightness makes the colours pop more. This is despite Crystal UHD having a feature called “Dynamic Crystal Colour,” which is said to allow many many more shades.
Viewing angles become important if you have a large family, or regularly have lots of people over to watch television. The more people, the better you want your viewing angles to be.
Sadly, viewing angles are pretty average for both Crystal UHD and QLEDs, with differences varying depending on the models. This is due to the technology that is used by both. If viewing angle is important to you, you might want to consider an OLED instead (Samsung now sells these too).
Input lag is the time it takes for the television to respond to input. This is most important for gamers, who want their actions to quickly reflect on the TV (crucial if you’re trying to shoot someone).
The input lag for both Crystal UHD and QLEDs are excellent, taking roughly between 10 to 11 milliseconds for the television to respond to input. That makes both ranges good choices for gamers, although QLEDs remain a much better all-round television.
As you’d expect, both televisions use Samsung’s proprietary Tizen operating system, which is considered to be a solid system as far as TVs go. It has a full app store that allows you to broaden the usage of the TV and enhance its features and is super easy to use.
QLED is Samsung’s highest-quality range of televisions, and this is reflected in their price. They are roughly 30% more expensive than their Crystal UHD range. Here is a small sample of their prices based on some popular screen resolutions (prices taken from JB-HiFi), but keep in mind that the prices for Samsung’s QLEDs vary greatly depending on their model.
Resolution – 55″
- QLED – 1495
- Crystal UHD – 1195
- Price Difference – 25%
Resolution – 65″
- QLED – 1895
- Crystal UHD – 1495
- Price Difference – 32%
Resolution – 75″
- QLED – 2495
- Crystal UHD – 1995
- Price Difference – 25%
Resolution – 85″
- QLED – 3995
- Crystal UHD – 2995
- Price Difference – 33%
Crystal UHD vs QLED—summary
Crystal UHD and QLED are both televisions by Samsung. QLED is their premium, higher-quality range, and Crystal UHD is their cheaper range, which is reflected in their price. With a QLED television, you’ll have a wider range of colour (including its dynamic range), more brightness, and improved contrast, among other benefits. So if you can afford a QLED television, it’s the better out of the two. But if you have a lower budget, you may want to opt for a Crystal UHD, which still performs well as televisions go, but isn’t quite as polished as the QLED. That’s one of the reasons why Samsung released their Crystal UHD range, for customers who want their reputation for quality, but don’t want to pay the high price of a QLED.
As usual, it really comes down to your priorities. When you find some models that you’re interested in, be sure to compare their performance to other similarly priced televisions before making a decision. You don’t have to buy a Samsung—there are tons of great manufacturers out there. Good luck!