OLED vs. QLED: The ultimate TV showdown

Updated on May 29, 2024

When comparing OLED vs. QLED, OLED wins in producing deep blacks and vibrant colors with wider viewing angles, while QLED offers top-notch brightness levels and may be more affordable. Ultimately, the choice depends on individual preferences and viewing conditions.

You've probably come across the terms OLED and QLED while browsing for a new TV, but understanding their fundamental differences isn’t always easy. OLED and QLED both have their strengths and weaknesses, although advancements have bridged the gap between them in recent years.

Selecting the ideal TV isn't just about budget and brand loyalty — it's about creating an immersive viewing experience tailored to your screen time needs. So, whether you're competing in intense gaming sessions or enjoying your favorite cinematic masterpieces, choosing between OLED and QLED is a decision worth carefully considering. 

Keep reading to discover the information you need to make the best decision for your visual lifestyle.

OLED vs. QLED: Which TV is better?

Everyone has different needs and wants in life. When comparing OLED and QLED TVs, your choice depends on your viewing environment and priorities.

TV makers like LG, Sony, and Philips have supplied OLED TVs for years. While Samsung is the main manufacturer of QLED TVs, you can also find them from other brands, like Sony, Hisense, and TCL.

Leading TV manufacturers like Sony, Samsung, Philips, Skyworth, Hisense, and Vizio offer both OLED and QLED TVs, providing a wide selection for consumers. LG Electronics and Panasonic focus on OLED TVs, while TCL specializes in QLED models, each emphasizing different strengths in picture quality and technology.

Keep reading to discover the information you need to make the best decision for your visual lifestyle. 



Best for:

True black color definition; enhanced picture quality.

Saturated and vibrant colors; increased brightness.


Infinite contrast ratio, wide viewing angles, fast response time, thin and flexible design

Lower cost, quantum Dot technology for enhanced color


Limited brightness, potential for burn-in, higher cost compared to QLED

Limited viewing angles, thicker design compared to OLED, not achieving true black levels due to backlighting

Bottom line: While OLED technology wins in the picture quality category, QLED tends to be less expensive while still offering a quality viewing experience. 

If you’re looking to stay budget-friendly, buying a verified refurbished TV is a great way to save some extra dollars while also contributing to environmental sustainability.

What is OLED? 

OLED stands for Organic Light-Emitting Diode. Inside an OLED panel are individual pixels that light up when electricity passes through. These pixels provide their own light source and use green, red, or blue color filters to deliver vibrant and consistent colors across the screen. 

One of the key advantages of OLED TV technology is its ability to achieve “true blacks.” Because OLED pixels can switch off completely when displaying black content, they produce deep, rich blacks that enhance the overall picture quality. 

Additionally, OLED panels offer wider viewing angles than traditional liquid crystal display (LCD) technology, allowing for consistent image quality from virtually any viewing position. 

Home theater enthusiasts seem to prefer OLED screens over QLED screens because of their detailed picture quality. Additionally, OLED displays are typically much thinner than their competition because no backlight is needed, enhancing the aesthetic appeal of home theater setups.

An additional variation is the QD-OLED TV, which adds a quantum-dot layer to an OLED panel. This variation results in a brighter screen with more vibrant colors without sacrificing its high-end wide viewing angles and deep contrast. 

What is QLED? 

While Quantum Dot Light-Emitting Diode (QLED) may seem similar to OLED, their technology differs significantly.

QLEDs are essentially a variant of LCDs with an additional layer that improves the color display. These TVs utilize an LED backlight, sometimes multiple, to light up the screen. 

One of the standout features of QLEDs is its ability to achieve impressive brightness levels. Positioned between the backlight and pixels, the quantum-dot layer contains various-sized dots, each corresponding to a color. This results in richer, more saturated colors than a traditional LED LCD TV.

If you're dissatisfied with the amount of blooming or the halo effect around objects, consider the Mini-LED QLED. These screens feature more backlights compared to the standard QLED display, adding thousands of LED backlights. The increased backlighting results in better contrast, delivering picture quality that closely rivals the OLED display.

OLED vs. QLED display differences.


What is the life span of an OLED vs. a QLED TV?

The lifespan of OLED and QLED TVs varies. OLED TVs generally have a shorter lifespan by 4 years or more due to organic compound degradation, potentially leading to issues like burn-in. QLED TVs utilize inorganic quantum dots, typically offering a longer lifespan. Although, both types can provide reliable performance with proper care.

Which is better: 4K vs. QLED vs. OLED?

When comparing 4K, QLED, and OLED, it's important to consider your priorities. 4K offers sharp detail, QLED provides quality brightness and color accuracy, and OLED provides unparalleled contrast and true blacks. Opt for 4K for detail, QLED for vibrant visuals, and OLED for deep blacks and contrast. 

Is OLED or QLED better for gamers?

The choice between OLED and QLED ultimately depends on factors like budget and gaming preferences. OLED provides a quick response time and contrast ratio, providing smooth gameplay with vibrant colors.

QLED, with its higher brightness levels and gaming features like low input lag, is also popular among gamers, particularly for competitive play. Both OLED and QLED TVs offer advantages for gamers. 

Is upgrading from QLED to OLED worth it?

Considering an upgrade from QLED to OLED? The best decision depends on your viewing conditions and preferences.

If you’re looking for an immersive viewing experience, especially in a dimly lit setting, chances are OLED is your best bet. But if you prioritize brightness levels and vivid colors, particularly in a well-lit environment, QLED sounds like the choice for you.

If you’re in the market for a new TV, we have you covered. Back Market offers incredible deals on Verified Refurbished tech, allowing you to save money and give tech a second life. We’re here to help you find deals on Smart TVs, Apple TVs, and more.

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Written by Blanca Marín

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