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QLED vs OLED display: Which one is better?

Given the rate at which technology is developing, it can be hard to keep track of what’s new. Unless you’re closely following the news, you can get blindsided by seemingly homologous terms like QLED and OLED.

Though they sound similar, the technology of QLED televisions is a world apart from that of OLED TVs. So let’s talk about it in a bit more detail.


What is OLED display?

OLED stands for Organic Light Emitting Diode. This is how OLED technology works: A carbon-based organic film is placed between two conducting sheets.

When an electric current is passed through it, it emits light of the corresponding colour. This process takes place in every pixel in the display.

OLED has an edge over the previously prevailing LCD screens as it has a white pixel to improve colour accuracy. In addition, OLED can achieve true black colour if a pixel is turned off. LCD uses backlights to individually light up liquid crystals, which, even when turned off can affect neighboring pixels. OLED has overall better colour and contrast than LCD.

As appealing as OLED tech sounds, it is not entirely without fault.

The price of OLED TV sets is outrageously high as they are ultra-slim and, consequently, difficult to produce.

White, red, and green OLED films have a lifetime of 5 to 25 years, but the blue OLED film has only about 1.6 years. Overall luminance will eventually deteriorate due to this differential colour output.

They are easily damaged by water and cannot perform well in direct sunlight. In addition, they lack reflective technology and cannot overcome surface reflections.

Also read: LCD vs OLED displays: What’s the difference and which one is better


What is QLED Display?

QLED stands for Quantum dot Light Emitting Diode. Though QLED TVs were created to rival or even surpass OLED tech, at first glance, they seem to be a step backwards.

QLED tech was first unveiled by Samsung at CES 2017. Currently, Samsung is the only manufacturer of QLED televisions.

Here’s how it works: Quantum dots are particles of diameter less than 10 nanometers. They convert backlight into pure monochromatic colours. So the colour emitted by a quantum dot is directly related to its size.

What is a Liquid Crystal Display (LCD)? LCD and LED displays are often thought of as different concepts, but they actually refer to identical display technology. In an LCD TV, liquid crystals rotate polarized light, effectively acting like a light switch that illuminates all pixels simultaneously. Instead of the pixel-by-pixel illumination of OLED TVs. In a standard LCD TV, all light comes from a big LED powered backlight. The result is a uniformly bright, and relatively low contrast image.

Quantum dots can produce brighter and more saturated colours than their white LED counterparts. According to Samsung, quantum dots enable over a billion colours.

However, as QLED TVs make use of backlights, colour bleed is still a possibility. Samsung attempts to mitigate this by redesigning the backlights to fire from multiple angles.

Samsung’s QLED models use an edge-lit LED system, which is divided into dimming zones. Most models have 12 dimming zones; Q9 has 32. The more the number of dimming blocks, the better the contrast.

Other than the increased brightness, QLED tech is very similar to Samsung’s SUHD series. Critics speculate that perhaps the change in the narrative is more about marketing than innovation.

Also read: Capacitive vs Resistive displays; Are resistive screens still used?


QLED vs OLED

OLED’s selling point is its ability to deliver true black and set up infinite contrast. As a result, the image is sharper and more aesthetically pleasing. On the other hand, QLED images look greyish in comparison, even with local dimming.

However, they have more brightness and better colour than OLED sets. QLED tech has access to the entire spectrum of colours.

Moreover, as colours approach black, OLED tends to cut them off completely. On the other hand, QLEDs highlight the subtle transition colours and may even pick up details that OLEDs miss.

QLED vs OLED display: Which one should you purchase?

However, the colours can look washed out or strange when the QLED set is viewed off-axis. In contrast, OLED sets hold the colour and crispness of the image at any angle.

OLED also has a faster response time than QLED. Practically, this means that there is less motion blur. Regardless, OLED sets are pricier than QLED sets, even though the OLED cost came down recently.

It may not be possible to pick a clear victor. But, ultimately, it is the customer’s priorities and personal preferences that need to be kept in mind while shopping for a new TV.

Also read: 60Hz vs 120Hz vs 144Hz vs 240Hz displays

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