February 9, 2023

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Is OLED with quantum dots really better?

Is OLED with quantum dots really better?


The Sony Bravia A95K is one of the first TVs with a QD OLED panel. Compared to traditional white OLED screens, this new type of screen offers (slightly) higher brightness, slightly better viewing angles, and improved color saturation. The Bravia A95 is a well-built TV with a nice look that performs excellently, but unfortunately is quite expensive.

Those looking for a high-end TV have had a choice of two flavors in recent years: an LCD model with a VA panel and (good) local dimming, or a device based on an OLED panel from LG Display factories. This year, an extra flavor will be added, because Samsung Display now also offers OLED panels for TVs. Samsung’s “QD-oled” panels have a different structure and different advantages and disadvantages than those of an LG monitor. The first manufacturers to use these new OLED panels were Samsung Electronics and Sony. The last manufacturer is particularly interesting, because Sony also makes TVs with LG OLED panels. This makes it possible for us to roughly compare the OLED technology of the LG screen and the Samsung screen one to one.

All OLED TVs that have been on store shelves for years use what’s called OLED white panels, a technology LG Display holds several patents. Whether you buy an OLED TV from LG Electronics, Philips, Sony or Panasonic, so far they have been equipped with such panels from LG Display without exception. Simply put, these panels use four white OLED sub-pixels per pixel, three of which are equipped with a red, green, and blue color filter, respectively. The fourth unfiltered sub-pixel is used to allow for higher light output. The maximum brightness of the oil white panels is a weak point of this screen technology.

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The QD OLED technology that Samsung Display now offers for TVs works differently. Instead of white OLEDs, blue OLEDs are used, where each pixel consists of three blue OLED sub-pixels. One of those three OLEDs emits unfiltered blue light, and the other two have a quantum dot layer that converts blue light into red and green light. The advantage of this is that the conversion of light by quantum dots is done efficiently and produces very pure primary colors, while oil-white color filters are completely ineffective and remove a lot of light. Thus, TVs with a QD OLED screen offer a slightly greater color gamut and are brighter with the same power consumption. In addition, additional white sub-pixels are no longer needed to enhance brightness. This is good news, because the higher the white pixel on white OLED screens helping to increase the brightness, the lower the color saturation of such a pixel. Like LCD monitors, QD-oled does not have this drawback.

Sony’s OLED lineup

Sony implements Samsung QD OLED panels in the new BRAVIA XR-A95KThe model series that consists of the best models from the line-up of 2022. Since Samsung Display only produces 55-inch and 65-inch QD OLED displays, these are the only screen sizes the A95K is available on. If you want a smaller Sony OLED TV, there is BRAVIA A90K-series. TVs in that series are only available in 42″ and 48″ format and use LG’s “regular” woled panels. Want a bigger Sony OLED TV? you depend on BRAVIA A80KSeries with TVs in 55, 65 and 77 format.

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The new top model isn’t cheap, of course. 55 inches large BRAVIA XR-55A95K It can be found at the time of writing for at least €3,300 at Pricewatch, and for the size 65 inches is large BRAVIA XR-65A95K You must pay at least 4,400 euros. If we compare them to the Bravia A80K models placed just below those using polished panels, the prices for these TVs are much lower at 1900 and 2800 euros for the 55″ and 65″ versions. The big question, of course, is whether QD OLED technology is worth its hefty price tag.