LG and Samsung are two of the biggest names in the TV tech industry. For the most part, they seem comparable on price, quality, and capability, and there’s certainly a reason these two South Korean brands are considered market leaders.
But, of course, if you’re in the market for a new TV, that doesn’t really help you decide which direction to go. To help you out, we’ve put together a quick breakdown of LG vs Samsung TV, covering some of the key differences and what it means for you as a viewer.
What are you looking for in a TV?
Remember that whatever TV you choose should take into account your specific needs. What you use your TV for, as well as any budget restraints, should be at the forefront of your mind when you head to the store or start browsing online. Here’s a few key things you should be looking at and why.
- Resolution – resolution refers to the number of pixels that make up a TV screen, and while the general rule is that more pixels mean a better image, you’ll need to consider both the native resolution of your chosen TV set AND the resolution of the images you’ll be displaying. If you’re not going to be using services that provide 4K or Ultra HD video, you don’t necessarily need a TV that’s built for that.
- Screen size – screen size is as much to do with practicality as it is with viewing quality. If you can’t fit a 75-inch television in your home, don’t get one! You might find that smaller sets have sharper resolution and clearer images than larger ones because they have more pixels per inch than a larger screen.
- Weight – are you planning to mount your TV or make use of an existing TV unit? Make sure to check the weight of the TV before you agree to bring it home. If you don’t want a very expensive accident, you’ll need to be certain the wall or unit can comfortably support the extra weight.
- Budget – we all have budgets we need to stick to, so do the maths, do the research, and don’t overspend. Depending on what you plan to use your TV for, you might not need all the bells and whistles of a high-end set, so it’s important that you don’t feel pressured to spend outside your means to keep up with features you might not ever use.
The key thing to do when comparing TVs is to make sure that you compare like for like. The highest-end LG set is obviously going to run rings around a budget Samsung, and vice versa. Compare similar resolutions, sizes, and price points to get the best idea of what’s going to give you true value for money, and don’t be afraid to ask a salesperson for advice. They should know their sets inside out and will be able to point you in the right direction.
Now you know what you’re looking for when it comes to the basics, so let’s break down some specific LG and Samsung features, and how they stack up against one another.
Dolby Vision vs. HDR10+
Dolby Vision and HDR10+ are the formats used by LG and Samsung, respectively, when managing their HDR, or high dynamic range. Dynamic range refers to the extremes of light and dark that we see in an image and is probably more familiar to us as “contrast”. High dynamic range is a step above that, removing the limitations of older technology and allowing us to see more and see it more clearly.
When it comes to Dolby Vision (LG) vs. HDR10+ (Samsung), the general consensus is that Dolby has the edge, as the more advanced format with more support across other devices. That being said, this likely something you’ll only notice a difference in in the higher end sets – for most people’s needs, it won’t matter too much which direction you choose to go.
OLED vs. QLED
If you’ve even thought about buying a new television lately, these two words are probably already popping up all over your targeted ads. OLED and QLED are the two leading panel technologies available today, with LG backing their OLED technology and Samsung pioneering QLED.
OLED (organic light emitting diode) sets emit their own light, rather than having light shone through it. This keeps sets thin and lightweight, and the ability to control the brightness of individual pixels results in vibrant colours and immersive darkness. LG’s OLED sets are best suited to darker viewing environments with less ambient or natural light – think movie night, rather than Saturday morning cartoons.
QLED, on the other hand, is much more friendly to daytime viewing. Rather than lighting individual pixels, QLED uses dimming zones to manage brightness, and quantum dots to improve colour and contrast. The enhanced brightness means the contrast of light and dark won’t be quite so prominent as with OLED, but it performs better in natural light as a result.
It’s worth noting that both LG and Samsung are working on variations of the other’s technology, which could render this whole OLED vs. QLED debate redundant in the coming years. LG’s NanoCell adds a layer of nanoparticles between the LED backlight and screen, offering a cheaper alternative to OLED but with many of the advantages of QLED.
Meanwhile Samsung’s QD-LED is a new OLED technology, combining OLED’s light emitting diodes with the brightness and colour range of QLED.
While Samsung and LG have their own software (Tizen for Samsung, WebOS for LG), both support all the major streaming apps. So, whether you’re looking for the latest Star Wars and Marvel content on Disney+, or want to catch up on our 5 must-watch Netflix movies, both Samsung and LG have you covered.
If voice control is important to you, you’ll need to take a look at your own devices to work our whether LG or Samsung will work best for you.
Some higher end LGs will have Google Assistant built in, with some limited capability for Amazon’s Alexa devices. Meanwhile Samsung relies heavily on Bixby, its own voice assistant, though there are options to use Google Assistant or Alexa through third-party devices.
It’s important to remember that voice control is usually only seen on mid-range and premium sets, so if you need it, you’ll have to budget for it.
With TVs generally seen as the focal point of a living space (to quote Friends, “What’s all your furniture pointing at?”), it’s not surprising that more and more people are taking how their set looks into consideration.
This is where Samsung likely has the edge, with high-end sets such as The Frame blending the lines between the television sets and art pieces. But even here, LG is making their own statement, with the LG Posé.
So, which should you choose: LG or Samsung?
With comparable price points and technologies, it’s hard to make a strong case in either direction when it comes to LG vs. Samsung TVs. Samsung might tick a few extra boxes when it comes to aesthetics, but the prizes for colour and contrast belong to LG – and even then, it’s a close-run thing!
So how do you decide? Well, our advice is to chat with the experts. Look up a few sets online, read some reviews, and take note of the space you’re looking to place your new TV, especially the lighting. You can then take all that research to your local showroom, see those sets in action, and make an informed and – hopefully – perfect choice!
- Henry St Leger, 2023, “Samsung TV vs LG TV: which TV brand is better?”, TechRadar
- “Samsung vs LG TV: which TV brand is the best in 2023?”, Livingetc