Samsung is making it harder to know what type of OLED TV you’re getting

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A marketing image for Samsung's 83-inch S90C, its first OLED TV to quietly use an LG Display WOLED panel.
Enlarge / A marketing image for Samsung’s 83-inch S90C, its first OLED TV to quietly use an LG Display WOLED panel.

Samsung

Samsung rejuvenated the OLED TV market when its display manufacturing subsidiary, Samsung Display, announced QD-OLED two years ago. Quantum dot-infused OLED panels brought the promise of richer color compared to LG Display’s white OLED panels (WOLED) and represented a viable competitor to what had become OLED TVs’ only option. Various companies, from Samsung Electronics to Sony, bragged about the purported advantages QD-OLED brought over WOLED. Samsung is not so boastful these days.

Samsung’s 2024 OLED TV lineup will feature TVs that use QD-OLED and WOLED panels. Samsung started doing this last year with the 83-inch S90C. But this year, it will reportedly be even harder to tell if a new Samsung OLED TV has quantum dots.

Samsung announced the entry-level S85D, the S90D, and the flagship S95D in January without specifying the type of OLED panel tech(s) involved. But it was still apparent that the S90D would include WOLED options since Samsung said it would come in 42-, 48-, 55-, 65-, 77-, and 83-inch sizes. QD-OLED doesn’t come in 42, 48, or 83 inches.

But a report this week from Korean news outlet The Elec spotted by FlatPanelsHD said, per a Google translation, that the other S90D screen sizes may be WOLED or QD-OLED.

Vincent Teoh, the display expert behind the HDTVTest YouTube channel, in a video shared Saturday said:

Samsung won’t explicitly advertise any of its 2024 OLEDs as QD-OLED.

Teoh added, though, that at a showcase Samsung recently held in Frankfurt, there was a 55-inch S90D on display that he confirmed was QD-OLED, “based on its subpixel configuration.”

The Elec reported this week, per Google’s translation, that Samsung’s use of both WOLED and QD-OLED for its S90D TVs stems from LG Display requesting that Samsung not position WOLED as lesser than QD-OLED. Notably, though, it’s expected that Samsung’s most expensive 2024 OLED TV, the S95C, will use QD-OLED for all sizes.

Samsung was long resistant to selling OLED TVs, opting to sell LCD panels with quantum dots as its premium TV option instead. However, amid LCD manufacturing partners in China increasing prices, growing consumer interest in OLED, and reported pressure from the South Korean government, Samsung sought to get into OLED and eventually formed a partnership with rival LG.

The Elec also reported that Samsung is considering making its cheapest 2024 OLED TV, the S85D, only available with WOLED but that Samsung hasn’t made a final decision. When checking out a unit on display at CES 2024, Teoh confirmed that that specific unit had WOLED.

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