If you‘re looking to upgrade your home entertainment setup with a new television, you may be trying to decide between Sony and Samsung, two of the top TV brands on the market. Both companies make fantastic TVs, but they each have their own strengths and weaknesses. In this article, I‘ll compare Sony and Samsung TVs across a variety of factors to help you determine the right brand for your needs.
When looking at Sony vs Samsung TVs, some of the key differences include:
Picture technology – Sony emphasizes OLED while Samsung favors QLED display panels. OLED generally provides better contrast while QLED offers higher peak brightness.
Picture processing – Sony‘s Cognitive Processor XR leverages human cognitive intelligence for lifelike images. Samsung uses machine learning for optimized 4K upscaling.
Sound quality – Sony TVs produce more immersive audio with Dolby Atmos support on premium models. But Samsung TVs still sound great.
Gaming features – Samsung packs more enhancements for gaming like ultrawide resolution and GameBar monitoring tools. Both support 4K 120fps and VRR though.
Smart TV experience – Sony uses the Google TV platform while Samsung has its own Tizen operating system. Both offer hundreds of apps and built-in voice assistants.
Prices – Samsung‘s QLED TVs are generally more expensive than comparably sized Sony OLED models. However, both go on sale frequently.
Let‘s explore each area in more depth so you can weigh the pros and cons of Samsung vs Sony smart TVs.
The most important part of a television is the picture, so display technology is critical in comparing Samsung and Sony.
Display Panel Technology
For its flagship TVs, Sony leverages OLED display panels. OLED stands for organic light-emitting diode. Rather than using a backlight like traditional LED TVs, OLED pixels emit their own light. This allows each pixel to turn on and off independently.
The benefit is perfect black levels – when a pixel is off, it‘s completely black. This creates virtually infinite contrast for ultra-realistic images. OLED also enables wide viewing angles without color loss and faster response times.
Samsung emphasizes QLED panels on its premium TVs. QLED, or quantum dot LED, enhances a traditional LED backlight with a quantum dot nano-crystal layer. The quantum dots produce purer white light compared to normal LEDs.
This expanded color volume creates more vivid, lifelike colors on QLED TVs. Samsung‘s QLED panels also achieve much higher brightness – over 2000 nits peak compared to around 800 nits on OLED. This high luminance captures the full dynamic range that makes HDR content so stunning.
For contrast and overall picture fidelity, OLED beats out QLED. But QLED earns points for its superior brightness and bold, lush colors.
Picture Enhancement Technologies
Both Sony and Samsung incorporate proprietary technologies to enhance picture quality and upscaling.
Sony‘s current flagship processor is the Cognitive Processor XR. As the name implies, it utilizes a cognitive approach to image enhancement. The XR processor analyzes images the way human brains do. It identifies the main focal point the way our eyes work. Once it locks onto the key focal area, the TV boosts all the surrounding details to emulate human perception.
This gives pictures astonishing realism and depth. Sony TVs with Cognitive Processor XR also do a phenomenal job upscaling lower resolution content like cable TV to the 4K panel.
Samsung‘s Neural Quantum Processor 4K represents its latest AI-enhanced chip. It leverages machine learning to optimize every piece of content. The quantum processor continually adjusts the image to bring out fine details and textures. It also accounts for the source material – streaming video gets different processing than video games or movies.
Like Sony, Samsung QLED TVs excel at upscaling sub-4K content thanks to deep learning algorithms. This helps regular HD TV channels still look great on the 4K quantum dot panel.
Both the XR and Quantum processors use advanced techniques to make pictures look their best. Sony‘s cognitive abilities give it an edge in replicating ultra-realistic images. But Samsung‘s machine learning also produces stellar 4K upscaling and clarity.
Smart TV Features and Gaming
Sony and Samsung pack their TVs with smart platforms powered by intuitive interfaces. They offer access to all your favorite streaming video and music apps. You can also control and search hands-free using the built-in Google Assistant or Bixby voice assistants.
Sony smart TVs run on the Google TV platform. Google TV provides content recommendations tailored to your viewing history and subscriptions. The home screen makesfinding something new to watch simple with organized rows of shows and movies.
Samsung uses its proprietary Tizen operating system. The customizable home screen can display apps, streaming services, gaming shortcuts, and more. Samsung‘s Universal Guide acts like a channel guide to see what‘s on live TV, streaming, and available on-demand all in one place.
Both platforms offer hundreds of apps, free live TV channels, playback via USB, screen mirroring, and smart home controls. Samsung Tizen supports more apps and has better capability with Samsung Galaxy phones. But some may prefer Google TV‘s cleaner, more curated approach.
For gaming, Samsung TVs have the edge currently. New gaming features for 2022 include GameBar, which provides real-time performance monitoring and optimal picture settings for games. Samsung also supports an ultrawide 32:9 aspect ratio for more immersive play.
But Sony TVs like the X85K are also excellent for gaming. They match Samsung‘s 4K 120fps, variable refresh rate (VRR), and ultra-low input lag around 10ms. Auto HDR Tone Mapping keeps games looking their best. Sony also has dedicated Game Mode menus.
For gamers, Samsung provides more enhancements. But Sony TVs cover the core features needed for smooth, lag-free gaming. So both brands make compelling options for gaming.
While video gets the most attention, audio is critical for an immersive experience. Both Sony and Samsung tune their TVs‘ internal speakers to produce premium sound.
Even entry-level Sony 4K TVs like the X75K offer impressive audio quality thanks to the XR Sound Position technology. More advanced Acoustic Multi-Audio setups on models like the A80J incorporate tweeters for clear sound and subwoofers for powerful bass. Many premium Sony TVs also support Dolby Atmos 3D cinematic audio.
Samsung TVs utilize OTS (Object Tracking Sound) to direct audio to precisely match the on-screen motion. This creates a more immersive surround effect. QLED models hide their speakers directly behind the panel for an invisible, directional soundstage. Samsung‘s Q Symphony lets the TV speakers and compatible soundbars work together. Flagship Samsung TVs also have Dolby Atmos.
Here Sony has a clear advantage. Technologies like Acoustic Surface Audio produce a wider, punchier soundstage. Samsung TVs still sound great, but audiophiles may want to pair them with a soundbar for more impact. For the best audio experience, both brands benefit from an external speaker system.
Prices and Model Comparison
In terms of pricing, Samsung‘s premium Neo QLED 4K and 8K TVs are pricier than Sony‘s flagship OLED models. However, Samsung does offer less expensive QLED options comparable to Sony. Here‘s a look at how popular 2022 models stack up:
|Sony A95K QD-OLED
|Samsung S95B OLED
As you can see, the Samsung S95B OLED undercuts even Sony‘s entry-level OLED by a few hundred dollars. But step up to QLED and Sony X95K is far cheaper than the Samsung QN90B. This trend continues into the largest screen sizes, where premium Samsung Neo QLEDs cost several thousand dollars more than Sony LED TVs.
However, prices fluctuate frequently. I always recommend checking for discounts and comparing prices across retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, and more.
The Verdict: Which Brand is Better?
So after comparing Samsung vs Sony TVs across these different elements, which brand comes out on top?
In my opinion, Samsung takes a slight lead over Sony in overall quality and features. The QLED panel technology provides stellar brightness and colors while still offering inky blacks. Samsung‘s smart TV software is more robust, and gamers get more enhancements like GameBar on Samsung TVs.
However, Sony makes excellent televisions as well. The cognitive processing produces outstandingly realistic images that OLED‘s pixel-level dimming further enhances. Sony TVs also sound better and run the easy-to-use Google TV interface.
Here are some quick recommendations on choosing between them:
For the absolute best picture with infinite contrast, go with Sony OLED TVs. The A95K is their flagship 4K OLED.
If you want the brightest, most colorful images in a bright room, pick Samsung QLED models like the QN90B.
For the best balance of price and performance, choose the Sony X90K LED TV. You‘ll save hundreds over Samsung for nearly equal quality.
For a premium home theater experience, the Samsung QN900B 8K Neo QLED is hard to beat. But it‘s very expensive.
Hopefully this comparison gives you a better understanding of Samsung vs Sony‘s strengths and weaknesses. Let me know if you have any other questions!