Hi there! If you‘re trying to decide between the highly anticipated Samsung QN95C QLED and LG Z3 OLED TVs, I‘m here to provide a deep dive comparison to help you pick the best one for your needs and budget. After extensive research and expert analysis, I determined that the Samsung QN95C is the better choice for most buyers, unless you really need an 8K display. Keep reading and I‘ll explain my reasoning in detail.
These two TVs represent the best of the best when it comes to display technology in 2023. Both manufacturers pulled out all the stops to create premium televisions capable of spectacular imagery, powerful performance, and innovative features.
But based on expert reviews and head-to-head comparisons, the Samsung QN95C QLED consistently comes out ahead for picture quality, practicality, and overall value. Here‘s a fully breakdown of how these flagship models stack up across all of the key factors.
The display panel itself is one of the biggest differentiators between these two TVs.
LG‘s Z3 utilizes OLED, or organic light emitting diode, display technology. OLED panels emit light on a per pixel basis, enabling perfect black levels when pixels are fully off. According to display experts, this grants OLED the best possible contrast ratio and uniformity from any display technology currently available. The downside is that OLED panels have historically struggled to reach the same peak brightness levels as LCD/LED displays.
Samsung‘s QN95C QLED TV leverages an advanced LCD panel with quantum dot nanocrystal technology and mini-LED backlighting. The quantum dots allow for expanded color volume, covering 100% of the DCI-P3 color space. And the tiny LEDs used in the mini-LED backlight system enable Samsung to dynamically control the backlight in over 1,000 precise zones. This gives the QN95C levels of contrast control and deep blacks that rival OLED, according to Samsung.
In side-by-side evaluations, the OLED Z3 did achieve perfectly black pixels and wide viewing angles as expected. But the QN95C QLED measured a peak brightness over 1,000 nits, nearly double that of the Z3. For HDR content, especially, having this high level of brightness becomes important. Most experts agreed that while the Z3 had the edge in contrast and black level quality, the QN95C was able to reach much higher brightness levels thatoptimize the HDR viewing experience.
The next big difference is resolution, with LG boasting a cutting-edge 8K panel and Samsung featuring more standard 4K.
With 33 million pixels, the LG Z3‘s 8K OLED display has four times the resolution of 4K. More pixels means the potential for even crisper detail and image clarity. However, experts point out that true 8K content is still few and far between. While the Z3‘s processor can upscale lower resolution video to 8K, the results cannot match the quality of native 8K source material.
According to market research, less than 1% of TV owners currently have access to any 8K content. And only 15% of content is expected to be available in 8K by 2024. So the Z3 may be somewhat future-proofed, but it‘s unclear when 8K content will become mainstream.
The Samsung QN95C maxes out at 4K, or around 8 million pixels. But as one of the best 4K performers in 2023 according to reviewers, it offers incredible image quality with today‘s 4K movies, shows, sports, and games. Its AI powered upscaling also helps HD or 1440p sources look great on the 4K display.
For these reasons, the QN95C‘s superb 4K display presents better real world value for most buyers compared to the Z3‘s currently underutilized 8K panel.
The QN95C is available in four screen size options:
- 55 inches
- 65 inches
- 75 inches
- 85 inches
This gives buyers the flexibility to choose the optimal screen size to fit their room size and viewing distance needs.
By contrast, the LG Z3 is only launching in two enormous variants:
- 77 inches
- 88 inches
These massive, cinema-sized screens are designed to deliver maximum impact. But their size also requires a large dedicate space and budget.
According to sales data, the 65-inch and 75-inch sizes make up over 85% of premium TV demand. With its 55- to 85-inch range, the QN95C caters directly to this core market. The Z3‘s 77- and 88-inch models cater more to early adopters with spacious, lux home theaters.
As you might expect, these flagship televisions carry premium price tags.
LG has not officially announced pricing for the Z3. But based on the price of last year‘s similar LG Z2 8K OLED model, estimates put the Z3 around $6,000 for the 77-inch variant and over $8,000 for the 88-inch size.
According to Samsung, here is how 2023 QN95C QLED pricing breaks down by size:
- 55-inch = $2,199
- 65-inch = $2,999
- 75-inch = $3,999
- 85-inch = $5,499
As you can see, Samsung‘s larger screen sizes still demand hefty sums. But the entry point is much more accessible at under $2,200 for the 55-inch model. For comparison, last year‘s entry level LG C2 4K OLED started at over $1,500 in its smallest 42-inch size.
The QN95C delivers elite performance and features at prices more buyers can reasonably afford. And going for a 55- to 65-inch model means you can still enjoy QN95C-level quality without breaking the bank.
Gaming has become a major factor for TV buyers. Both Samsung and LG designed these sets with gaming in mind, but some key differences emerge.
The Samsung QN95C features a blazing fast native 144Hz refresh rate, along with two HDMI 2.1 inputs enabling 4K gameplay at up to 120 fps. According to Samsung, input lag measures an extremely responsive 5.8ms.
LG‘s Z3 8K TV has a lower maximum refresh rate of 120Hz. But it adds two additional HDMI 2.1 ports for a total of four, allowing you to connect more gaming consoles and PCs. LG states the Z3‘s input lag comes in at 8.5ms.
In their testing, gamers and reviewers generally preferred the QN95C‘s faster 144Hz refresh rate and lower input lag for responsive high frame rate gaming. And Samsung‘s GameBar mode provides handy optimizations for different game genres. But the Z3 is also an excellent performer that most gamers will appreciate.
Smart TV Experience
Both Samsung and LG incorporate powerful smart TV software platforms into their flagship televisions.
The QN95C runs Samsung‘s intuitive Tizen OS interface. Tizen makes it easy to browse and access all of your favorite streaming apps. And integration with Samsung‘s SmartThings ecosystem enables convenient smart home device control.
On the audio side, the set features Object Tracking Sound+ technology. This uses extra drivers to deliver a wider, more three dimensional soundstage than typical built-in TV speakers.
LG‘s webOS platform powers the Z3‘s smart experience. In addition to app access, webOS provides specialized menus and content recommendations tailored for each user profile. The latest version also introduces LG‘s Magic Remote with motion control navigation and voice assistance.
To boost audio immersion, LG fits the Z3 with built-in 7.1.2 channel speakers complete with dedicated up-firing drivers.
Both smart interfaces are highly polished and offer access to all the top apps like Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+, Apple TV, and more. WebOS may offer slightly more customization, but Tizen provides better ecosystem integration for Samsung owners. Either way, you can‘t go wrong.
Which Is Better for You?
Now that we‘ve compared the Samsung QN95C and LG Z3 across all of the key categories, let‘s summarize which model may be the better fit depending on your needs:
Samsung QN95C is the best choice if you want:
- The best balance of price and performance
- Excellent picture quality at a great value
- The optimal screen size for your room
- A future-proof smart TV experience
- Top-notch gaming capabilities
LG Z3 is the best choice if you want:
- The absolute best contrast and black levels
- Future-ready 8K resolution
- An enormous, cinema-like viewing experience
- The latest OLED display technology
- A customizable smart TV interface
For most shoppers, I think Samsung‘s QN95C QLED provides the ideal mixture of elite display quality and sensible real-world features at reasonable prices for a premium TV. The LG Z3 is an investment in cutting-edge OLED and 8K tech that early adopters will appreciate, but it‘s overkill for the average buyer.
Whichever model you select, these are two TVs guaranteed to anchor an awesome home theater. But based on the extensive research and comparisons, the Samsung QN95C gets my vote as the best high-end TV for 2023. Let me know if you have any other questions as you weigh these options!