Oled or Qled: Which is the better technology? – Differences & Advice


If you’re on the hunt for a new TV, you’re probably drowning in a sea of technical terms like HDMI 2.1, 4K, 8K, HDR & Crystal UHD . And while they are absolutely worth familiarizing yourself with, one of the biggest choices you will have to make is about two very important acronyms: OLED or QLED.

They may look similar, but when it comes to how they affect your TV viewing experience, they couldn’t be more different. We will delve into where these visualization technologies come from, how they differ from one another, and what they do well or not so well in comparison with one another.

What is QLED?

QLED stands for Quantum Light-Emitting Diode. Simply put, this means that a QLED TV is just like a regular LED TV, except that it uses tiny nanoparticles called quantum dots to supercharge its brightness and color. The technology was introduced by Sony in 2013, but soon after, Samsung began selling its QLED TVs and established licensing partnerships with other manufacturers, which is why you will also find QLED TVs from Vizio, Hisense, TCL, and many other small brands. If, on the other hand, you want to know whether a Crystal UHD or QLED TV is better, we have a separate article for you…

As interesting as the quantum dots are, a QLED TV still produces light in much the same way as a regular LED TV: Using a backlight composed of hundreds or thousands of LEDs, which is behind a traditional LCD panel. It is these LEDs that give the LED its name.

The LCD panel

Essentially millions of tiny shutters that open and close too quickly to be seen-in conjunction with color filters creates the image you see by letting out just the right amount of light and color and reaching your eyes. It is a clever system, but it relies on a combination of dimming the LED backlight and using shutters to block out the remaining light to produce accurate blacks on the screen, and it does not always succeed.

What is OLED?

OLED stands for Organic Light-Emitting Diode. Somewhat surprisingly, the “Light Emitting-Diode” part that has nothing to do with an LED backlight. Instead, it refers to the fact that every single pixel of an OLED TV is also a tiny LED light, incredibly thin and capable of producing both light and color in a single element.

In other words, OLED TVs do not need a backlight because each OLED pixel produces its own light. The greatest advantage is the superb level of blackness that can be achieved. An OLED TV simply turns off the pixel, and when the pixel is off, it emits no light and no color, making it as dark as when the TV itself is off.

OLED or QLED: Which technology is better?

Now that you know what all those letters stand for and what they mean in terms of technology. We will compare QLED and OLED in the categories that matter most when buying a TV: Brightness, contrast, viewing angles, response time, and lifespan. We will discuss all important factors for when you decide to shell out money for a new TV set.


QLED TVs have a considerable advantage when it comes to brightness. Because they use separate backlights, these LED backlights can be made incredibly bright. Add the ability of a quantum dot to maximize that light. By producing brighter hues in the color spectrum without losing saturation, and you will have a display that is more than bright enough to be seen clearly even in the brightest rooms.

OLED panels cannot compete on a pure brightness basis. Their individual light-emitting pixels simply cannot produce the same amount of light. In a dark room, this is not a problem. In fact, we argue that it is preferable because OLED can achieve the same contrast with less brightness, making viewing in a dark room a less retina fatiguing experience. But in well-lit rooms, or where a lot of daylight comes in through windows, QLED TVs are more visible-especially if you’re playing HDR content in these conditions.

OLED panels have become much brighter over the years, but they still cannot match QLED TVs.

Black levels and contrast

Contrast is the difference between the darkest part of an image and the brightest part. If a TV can offer a truly black dark part, it does not have to make the bright parts as bright to achieve good contrast levels. That’s why, when it comes to black levels, OLED reigns as the undisputed champion-thanks to its ability to go completely black when needed.

QLED TVs, are forced to reduce their LED backlight and block out the remaining light, something that is very difficult to do perfectly.

If you are watching an intense action movie and two characters are running through a parking lot at night, for example, you might notice a slight glow on parts of the scene that should be black, for example in the bars at the top and bottom of the screen while watching a movie that uses a wider format than 16:9.

For now, OLED has the upper hand. If a pixel receives no electricity, it produces no light and thus remains completely black.

Viewing angle

With QLED screens, the best viewing angle is the center, and image quality decreases in brightness, color, and contrast the more you move from side to side or up and down. While the severity differs from model to model, it is always noticeable-despite efforts by TV manufacturers to eliminate the problem.

OLED screens, in comparison, can be viewed without luminance degradation even at drastic viewing angles-up to 84 degrees. Some QLED TVs have improved in terms of viewing angle, with anti-reflection layers helping, but OLED retains a clear advantage. So if you like to arrange family screenings of your favorite movies and want to make sure there is no bad seat in the house, an OLED TV is best for you.

Reaction time, input lag and refresh rate

If you are primarily interested in a TV that is good for gaming, you should focus on criteria other than OLED or QLED.

OLED or QLED – Which is the best choice for gaming?

OLED TVs will be the best for achieving natural contrast, and will help make cinematic games truly breathtaking. LG models are equipped with Nvidia G-Sync to increase the fluidity of the image during gaming.

However, QLEDs go much brighter, and may be better for practical visibility in games you are playing, drawing out environments and objects.

Criteria for a Gaming TV

The OLED or QLED reaction time

This refers to the time it takes for a pixel to move from one state to another. The faster the reaction time, the sharper the image, especially during fast action scenes. Although there is probably a speed of response time beyond which the human eye cannot tell the difference, we know from standardized measurements that OLED TVs are much faster.

Typical QLED response times range between 2 and 8 milliseconds, which sounds pretty good until you realize that the response time of OLEDs is about 0.1 millisecond.

Input lag,

On the other hand, it refers to the delay between performing an action (such as pressing a button on a game controller) and seeing the result of that action on the screen. As such, input lag is really a concern for gamers.

Moreover, the amount of input lag experienced has little to do with one display technology versus another. But more to do with the amount of image processing that takes place on the TV behind the scenes. Both QLEDs and OLEDs can achieve very low levels of input lag if you turn off all the extra video processing or simply use the TV’s Game mode, which effectively does the same thing.

The frequency of updating

It is another category that will be inherently more important to players than to casual spectators. Refresh rate is the number of times per second the TV updates what it is showing on the screen. It is closely related to frame rate, which is the number of times per second your TV show, movie or video game sends a new update to the TV.


Some games running on consoles or PCs will change their frame rate from scene to scene. To keep everything as it should, televisions need a feature called VRR, or Variable Refresh Rate. This allows your TV to alter its native refresh rate to accommodate these frame rate changes. If your TV does not support VRR, it can cause some unwanted side effects. Such as screen tearing when used with the types of games that require VRR.

VRR models can be found in both OLED and QLED TVs. Currently, you can find VRR TVs from Samsung, Sony and LG. If you are a PC gamer who wants a big-screen gaming experience, VRR support is a key feature to look for.

OLED vs QLED Lifespan

In theoria the QLED has higher decay but given the latest tests we can say that in our opinion it does not change between OLED or QLED.

LG says you would have to watch its OLED TVs five hours a day for 54 years before they drop to 50 percent brightness.

With OLED TVs there is in theoria the risk of burn in. If a static image is left on the screen for hours a Logo for example. Burn in is possible, but with regular viewing habits you should not worry about this problem.