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LG vs Samsung TV: Which TV brand should you buy?

You may have heard a lot about LG's OLED TVs and Samsung's QLED TVs, but choosing one brand or the other isn't as simple as picking a panel type. We break down different features from each manufacturer to help you choose the right television for you.
Written by Maria Diaz, Staff Writer
Reviewed by Kelsey Adams
LG vs Samsung TV
LG/Samsung/Edited by ZDNET

Whether you're looking for a smart television for everyday viewing, a 4K or an 8K option for a gaming room, a large TV for a home theater, or just the right fit for your living room, you may be wondering how to choose the best TV to meet your needs. Samsung and LG, two of the leading TV manufacturers in the world, are popular brands with options for all: from the budget-conscious to the premium, no-holds-barred consumers. 

Both LG TVs and Samsung TVs offer a pretty wide array of options for customers, so it wouldn't be fair to narrow down each brand to just one television for the sake of comparison, and neither range is overwhelmingly better overall. That being said, the two companies offer different TVs that may suit your particular needs better, and we'll break down the features for you so you can see what suits your needs better.

Also: OLED vs QLED: Which is right for you?

Samsung is most notably known for its wide array of QLED televisions, while LG is most popular for OLED technology for TV panels. But neither company exclusively manufactures one type of panel; the S95B is an example of an OLED Samsung TV, and Samsung Display is known for putting OLED panels in handheld and wearable devices. 

You should buy a Samsung TV if...

Samsung 65-inch Class QN800B Samsung Neo QLED 8K Smart TV
Rebecca Isaacs/ZDNET

1. You want a brighter picture than most

Samsung's QLED (quantum-dot light-emitting diode) technology is top of the line for full-array local dimming. The company's QLED screens have become popular among those looking for the best picture quality around, most recently with Samsung's Neo QLED series leading the charge. 

Also: The best QLED TVs from 50 to 98 inches

The technology, which employs an LED backlight projected onto a quantum dot layer, is known for its brightness and vibrancy, but has drawbacks of potential white bleeding. This results in graying of the blacks displayed onscreen and lower contrast. The brightness power of the LED backlight, however, is unmatched by OLED technology and makes QLED TVs a great option for any room, whether dim or brightly lit.

2. You want a fantastic 8K television, without a fantastical price

It's no wonder that OLED 8K TVs sound like a myth: The retail price alone of such a combination of features is enough to balk at, though both manufacturers do make these. This LG OLED 8K 77-inch television with an MSRP of $13,000 is an example. 

Samsung's Neo QLED QN900B 8K 75-inch TV, in contrast, retails at $5,500, less than half the price.

Also: Samsung's 8K TV gave me a glimpse of the future -- and a big reason to look away

Generally speaking, Samsung has more options for 8K-resolution TVs than LG, especially when it comes to choosing the panel with the best and most versatile picture for different areas, either dimly lit or bright. While LG has a decent, budget-friendly 8K option in the QNED MiniLED 99 Series, the picture quality of Samsung's QN900B TVs exceeds the former, particularly in contrast and vibrancy.

3. All your smart things are important to you

Samsung has SmartThings, one of the most popular and widely compatible home automation systems. Many of the latest Samsung TVs double as a SmartThings Hub, able to connect smart devices like compatible smart lights and plugs, via Wi-Fi. Samsung also has the option of purchasing a separate SmartThings Hub Dongle for your Samsung TV, to add Zigbee devices to your system. 

SmartThings is one of the best home automation systems available and it's a pretty perfect fit for anyone who enjoys a Samsung ecosystem. Just adding a compatible Samsung TV to your home means you have a built-in smart home hub to get you started, where all the smart home devices around your house connect and you control them via your smartphone or tablet.  

Also: The 6 best home automation systems: Put your home on autopilot

You should buy an LG TV if...

LG C2 OLED 4K WebOS smart TV

1. You want your choice from the best OLED TVs

Ok, so whether LG makes the best OLED televisions is up for debate and depends on personal preferences, but the company is certainly well-known for these displays. Over the years, LG has largely cornered the OLED TV market, as LG Display has grown to become the leading OLED TV panel manufacturer in the world. If you have a preference for OLED, then you can't go wrong with an LG television, like the LG C2 and the G2 -- though that doesn't mean Samsung doesn't have any OLED screens, as evidenced by the highly acclaimed Samsung S95C and the popular S95B televisions.

Also: The best OLED TVs of 2023

2. You prefer better contrast and blacker blacks

With LG being the top manufacturer of OLED TV panels worldwide while Samsung Display dominates QLED panels for TVs, the LG TVs versus Samsung TVs debate can easily turn into an OLED vs QLED question. If you're looking for a stronger, crisper contrast in your image and colors, with deeper blacks that don't gray out on your TV screen, many would tell you to go with an OLED panel. And they wouldn't be mistaken: This rich contrast and true black is what has made OLED technology so popular, particularly for home theaters and dark rooms.

LG also has alternate NanoCell panels for some televisions, which tend to sell for a lower price than OLED TVs, but you can notice the difference in lower contrast and brightness when comparing NanoCell with OLED, so they're not the best option for dimly lit or dark rooms.

3. You use HomeKit as your smart home system

Smart LG TVs run WebOS, the company's operating system. It's an intuitive platform that can be compatible with home automation systems like HomeKit. And if you're familiar with Apple's smart home system, you're likely aware of how rare it is to find something compatible with it. 

Not all LG smart televisions are compatible with HomeKit -- models launched before 2018 are unlikely to -- so check the box or list of specifications for the "Works with Apple HomeKit" label.

Some smart LG TVs are also compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, if one of these home assistants is more your speed. 

Also: Apple HomePod (2023) review: Better than a soundbar for my Apple TV

Alternatives to consider

Open to other brands of televisions beyond LG and Samsung? Consider these ZDNET-recommended options:

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