I went hands-on with Samsung’s first QD-OLED TV — and wow

The new Samsung OLED TV isn’t a total surprise. We’ve known Samsung is working on something called QD-OLED for some time now. In the simplest terms, the technology promises to combine the best picture elements of quantum dot and OLED.

Samsung S95B OLED 4K Smart TV specs

Starting price: $2,199
Model number: S95BAFXZA
Screen sizes: 55 and 65 inches
Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160
Ports: 4 HDMI (1 eARC)
Refresh rate: 120 Hz
Ports: 4 HDMI (1 HDMI 2.1), 2 USB
Audio: 60W, 2.2.2 channel sound, Dolby Atmos
Smart TV software: Tizen

OLED notoriously struggles with brightness, with the white sub-pixels at high brightness levels hurting color volume and, in worse-case scenarios, causing OLED burn in. But by eliminating the white sub-pixel and supporting an OLED panel’s brightness with added quantum dots, Samsung’s QD-OLED should get the picture to a point of more LCD-like brightness while maintaining those perfect, inky blacks everyone loves about OLED.

Enter the Samsung S95B OLED 4K Smart TV. Available in 55-inch and 65-inch sizes (both with Dolby Atmos support!), this set is not just Samsung’s re-entry into the OLED market but a real contender for best TV of the year, looking to challenge the Sony A95K QD-OLED TV and LG G2 OLED TV

I checked out Samsung’s OLED TV in-person to get an idea of how the set stacks up. Though it’s too early to draw any firm conclusions, here are my impressions of the Samsung S95B OLED 4K Smart TV, plus everything else you might want to know about the set.

Samsung S95B OLED TV price and availability 

The Samsung S95B OLED TV is available for pre-order now, starting at $2,199 for the 55-inch model and going up to $2,999 for the 65-inch model. Though it’s not a deal-breaker, I might’ve liked to see the set come in one larger or one smaller size option like many of the best OLED TVs.

That said, there are several non-OLED Samsung 2022 TVs that go up to 85 inches and even one that goes down to 43-inches, the Samsung QN90B Neo QLED 4K TV. 

Samsung S95B OLED TV
Size Price Availability
QN55S95BAFXZA 55 inches $2,199 Mid April (pre-order now)
QN65S95BAFXZA 65 inches $2,999 Mid April (pre-order now)

Samsung S95B OLED TV design

Samsung S95B OLED TV

(Image credit: Future)

The best Samsung TVs powered by QLED (namely the Samsung QN90A Neo QLED TV) already revelled in their slim designs, but the Samsung S95B OLED TV takes thin to a new level. It looks stunning from a side view, even with the squared-off compartment on the bottom third of the panel that houses the TV’s internal components. 

I saw the Samsung S95B OLED TV situated on a single, central strand which Samsung likes to opt for instead of two feet. The set can also be wall-mounted.

Samsung S95B OLED TV

(Image credit: Future)

Samsung S95B OLED TV performance

As I mentioned above, QD-OLED marries an OLED panel with quantum dots. Quantum dots benefit brightness without limiting color volume, while the pixel-level control of OLED still allows for true blacks and complexities in high-contrast scenes. And based on my time checking out Samsung’s OLED slash QD-OLED, the range seems to be there.

Samsung S95B OLED TV

(Image credit: Future)

I watched some samples, paying close attention to both how the picture looks as a whole but also to how the set’s Neural Quantum Processor handles contrast and other key controls. It maintained a clear definition in the stock reel, and we got a good tease of how Real Depth Enhancement establishes the foreground and background. The vibrant off-angle viewing was perhaps the most impressive takeaway, with the color holding up even at 45-degrees.

Impressive though the demo was, though, I’ll have to reserve full judgement until I’ve fully tested it. For instance, I want to put the TV through the Tom’s Guide TV test to get a clearer sense of max brightness, color accuracy and lag times. I also want to see how the set handles some of my favorite movie scenes and fast-paced gaming.

Samsung S95B OLED TV audio

Samsung S95B OLED TV

(Image credit: Future)

I didn’t get to sample the Samsung S95B OLED TV audio, but Samsung has made some compelling promises about what to expect. Among the features on offer, the set has support for Object Tracking Sound and Q-Symphony with Dolby Atmos. As you might know, Samsung has held out on Dolby Atmos for quite a while, so I’m glad it’s finally here, even if it’s overdue. 

Still, sound is another of those things that will require longer, more in-depth testing to truly review. And while TV makers have devised ways to amplify OLED TV sound quality using vibrations of the thin panels, we often recommend investing in one of the best soundbars for completing your home theater set up. 

Samsung S95B OLED TV interface and remote

Samsung s95B OLED TV

(Image credit: Future)

The Samsung S95B OLED TV runs an updated version of Samsung’s Tizen smart TV platform. The “New Home Screen” features a Media Screen, Gaming Hub and refreshed Ambient Mode. Media Screen acts as a unified dashboard for your streaming apps, while Gaming Hub centralizes your game consoles through a cloud-based service so you can jump back into playing right from your TV’s home screen. Gamers will also get a Game Bar, a combined settings menu with useful mid-game tools like Zoom in Mode.

Watch Together is the other big software update. As the name suggests, the feature lets you watch movies, shows and anything on live TV with someone else virtually. Samsung has some new accessibility features, too: Smart captions move around the screen to accommodate the picture so as not to block important parts, while a sign language avatar can help translate.

Samsung 2022s TVs also have an NFT aggregation platform that lets a user turn their TV into a one-stop NFT destination. Here’s our guide on how NFTs will work on Samsung TVs.

Lastly, Samsung S95B OLED TV customers will be able to upgrade to the New Eco Remote that has a rechargeable battery pack and can be topped off via solar panel. No more running through AAA batteries.

Samsung S95B OLED TV outlook

That’s the quick breakdown and hands-on first impressions of the Samsung S95B OLED TV. Again, it costs $2,199 for the 55-inch model and $2,999 for the 65-inch model, which is competitively priced compared to the top OLED TVs from LG and Sony. And if it earns strong marks in our further testing, we’ll be able to say this is one of the most attractive TVs of the year. 

But more that, QD-OLED is shaping up to be the TV tech everyone will want in their living room. If Samsung’s got it right, we could see QD-OLED begin to phase out standard OLED’s popularity.

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