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Samsung's S95D OLED is the best TV of CES 2024 and best in the world right now

CES 2024 saw transparent TVs, 115-inch TVs, folding TVs, and 8K projectors, but Samsung's latest OLED ruined me on every other TV.
Written by Jason Hiner, Editor in Chief
Samsung S95D OLED TV with glare-free display

Samsung S95D OLED TV with glare-free display

Jason Hiner/ZDNET

CES is a TV show again. Despite the expectations of AI being the headliner of CES 2024 -- and AI was everywhere, make no mistake -- the biggest booths, the glitziest announcements, and some of the most exciting product unveils all still centered around TVs. And one product unexpectedly stood out above them all for me: Samsung's S95D OLED TV with its breakthrough glare-free display.

This anti-reflective display is so good and so effective that it takes what was already one of the best TVs ever made and makes it even better for everyday use -- while still being affordable enough to pick up at a local Best Buy. 

Also: CES 2024: What's Next in Tech

CES 2024 saw a level of excellence across OLED, QLED, Laser TV (projectors), and LCD with new features and better products based on what consumers want -- and not just a race to the bottom on price. That means this year's TVs are ultimately going to be more immersive than ever for consuming the latest content. 

As the 2024 TV lineups were unveiled this week at CES 2024, we saw another leap forward in picture quality and brightness, new form factors, huge screen sizes, and potentially attractive prices across every category.  

Samsung's S95D OLED TV was not the TV I would have expected to impress me the most.  

After all, this show featured LG's Transparent OLED TV, TCL's 115-inch QD-MiniLED TV, The Premiere 8K 150-inch 8K projector from Samsung, Hisense's 110UX (a 110-inch TV with 10,000 nits of brightness and 40,000 dimming zones), and C SEED's 137-inch N1 folding TV that costs $200,000.  

By comparison, the Samsung S95D offers a very subtle new feature with its unique glare-free display. But the result is stunning. This TV generally provides the best combination of color, detail, contrast, dynamic range, and picture quality of any of the TVs at CES and you can view it from virtually any angle as well as in a dark room or a bright room. 

Much of that was arguably true with last year's S95C version of this Samsung OLED TV. Some would propose that LG's G3 OLED or Sony's A95L OLED might be slightly better than Samsung's flagship OLED, but there was a general consensus those three were the three best TVs in the world last year in terms of picture quality.  

Also: I saw Samsung's CES 2024 deluge of new TV tech and these 4 products impressed me

However, the new anti-reflective display on Samsung's top-tier OLED is so good that it solves one of the biggest issues all three of these OLED TVs face. They all have very glossy screens that act like mirrors when there are windows or lights in a room. That glossiness provides strong color and brightness and gives on-screen objects a glistening moistness that is naturally appealing to the human eye. But the drawback is that any bright light sources get reflected on the screen and can block parts of the picture and be distracting.  

The S95D effectively disperses those kinds of bright light sources and turns them into soft glows. CNET's David Katzmaier (see his take on the S95D) showed me a test he did where he held up a completely white screen on his phone in front of last year's S95C and it reflected back a bright, white rectangle. And then he did the same thing against the new S95D and it was a soft, round blob. ZDNET editor Kerry Wan and I replicated a version of that test using the bright flashlight LED from Kerry's phone. It was an intense white circle on the S95C and a much wider, round glow from the S95D.  

Also: The best CES 2024 gadgets you can actually buy now

The result is that the color and brightness of the S95D can now overpower the reflections from light sources in your space and make it a TV that you can watch in a bright, sun-filled room. That used to be an advantage that QLED TVs had over OLED. And while matte screens can often lose some of that color intensity, that wasn't the case in my look at the S95D at CES. Of course, I'll want to test that more fully in a non-controlled environment when the TV is officially released later in 2024. But I'm confident enough to say that the big win with this TV is that you can now enjoy the outstanding picture quality of OLED in a room with a ton of light.  

Sony didn't unveil its 2024 TV lineup at CES 2024, so we'll see if it has the technology to match in the next version of its flagship OLED TV when it's announced in the coming months. But for now, I have no problem saying Samsung's S95D OLED TV offers the best picture quality of any TV you can buy at a retail store. 

Pricing will be announced in the spring, but you can expect the S95D OLED to start at around $2,500 for the 55-inch version, based on Samsung's past pricing of its flagship OLED lineup. 

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