LG vs Samsung TV: Which is the better brand in 2021?

With so many TV brands on the market, narrowing your choices to two or three is not an easy task. However, if you’re considering your options between Samsung and LG, you’re on the right track. These two giants rank at the top of the best global TV manufacturers and present a rivalry of their own within the saturated consumer market.

So, which brand is a better choice for you? If you’re looking for the answer to this question, you’ve come to the right place! We’ve done a thorough LG vs Samsung TV comparison to help you work out which brand is best for you.

LG vs Samsung TV – Quick Comparison

Before we dig deeper into the differences and similarities between these two brands, let’s start with a few basics worth remembering. Both Samsung and LG are South Korean tech brands that began operating in 1938 and 1947, respectively. The two brands have an equally global reach and have a strong presence in the US and Europe.

Considering their size and reputation, it is no surprise that the two companies churn out several models of TV sets each year. Regardless of your budget or whatever size, shape, picture quality, or processing features you’re looking for, LG and Samsung have got you covered.

Moreover, it also means that comparing the two brands as a whole can be challenging. We’ll go over the most significant characteristics of both brands and single out a few models from both manufacturers to see how they stack up against each other.

Features Face to Face

Panel Technology

Panel technology is one of the first and most significant aspects in which the two manufacturers noticeably differ. LG TVs employ OLED technology, a panel type that can emit its own light instead of having a backlight through it. This allows for vibrant colors, deep black levels, and excellent diming qualities.

Samsung panels utilize QLED technology. QLED panels are LED panels boosted by Samsung’s quantum dot technology. Overall, both panel technologies are equally superb. That said, OLED technology is better suited for high-quality video formats in dark environments, while QLED panels can deliver significantly brighter displays.

Image Processor

Besides utilizing different panel technology, the two companies also use different image processors. LG uses the α9 Intelligent Processor, the latest in the line of its processors. It combines advanced picture processing with an AI-powered deep learning algorithm.

Samsung TVs use a Neo Quantum Processor, an image processor of similar capabilities to what LG can offer. In addition, the Neo Quantum Processor features advanced AI upscaling technology to produce stunning images. This technology is particularly noticeable in Samsung’s high-end 8K TVs.

Motion Technology

Both manufacturers have mastered motion technology for their TV sets. That said, LG has the edge in terms of motion technology, as most of its TVs offer instantaneous response times. Still, Samsung models also offer outstanding response times, with most sets offering full pixel transition in under ten seconds. And, while you may notice some flickering in both LG and Samsung TVs, this is barely noticeable even when gaming in high resolution.

Picture Quality

As the two leading TV manufacturers, LG and Samsung provide a diverse lineup of TV models. In terms of supported resolutions, their TVs range anywhere from 1366×768 to 8K and cover all possible resolutions in between. When assessing overall picture quality, we need to take into consideration a handful of key features. We’ll cover them one by one in the following sections:

Contrast Ratio / Black Level

The contrast ratio is another element in which you can see a noticeable difference between the two brands. LG is a significantly better performer than Samsung in this category because it delivers an infinite contrast ratio. In addition, LG TVs can switch off individual pixels. This allows them to provide perfect blacks, even in dim environments.

On the other hand, Samsung TVs, especially higher-end ones, generally offer an excellent contrast ratio. That said, they can’t match up to what LG TVs can provide. While contrast ratio can vary between different Samsung models, these TVs have lower native contrast due to the “Ultra Viewing Angle” layer. This feature improves viewing angles at the expense of contrast ratio.

Local Dimming

When it comes to local dimming capabilities, LG outperforms Samsung in this category. Like when talking about contrast ratio, LG’s ability to switch off each pixel individually eliminates the need for local dimming. In other words, all LG OLED TVs come without a backlight feature.

In comparison, while Samsung TVs can’t go toe to toe with LG models in this category, they still offer excellent local dimming features. If you get any medium-range model or better, you can count on full array dimming features. 

Peak Brightness 

In contrast to the previous two categories, Samsung is significantly better when it comes to peak brightness performance. This applies across the board for all price ranges and TV models. To give you a better sense of just how much Samsung outperforms LG in this category, we’ll use the example of Samsung Q90 and LG B8. In the table below, you can see a detailed comparison of their peak brightness characteristics:

Peak Brightness MeasureLG B8Samsung Q90
SDR Real Scene Peak Brightness830+ cd/m²Around 290 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% WindowAround 1,300 cd/m²Around 300 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window500+ cd/m²Less than 150 cd/m²
HDR Real Scene Peak BrightnessAround 1,300 cd/m²Less than 550 cd/m²
HDR Peak 2% Window1,140+ cd/m²Around 720 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 100% WindowAround 530 cd/m²Around 150 cd/m²

Color

Samsung and LG TVs both have an equally impressive wide color gamut. Nonetheless, Samsung TVs are generally better at displaying color volumes.  Due to the nature of their panels, Samsung models can easily produce bright and dark colors but struggle with creating strong blues. By contrast, LG TVs can’t deliver bright colors.

Viewing Angle

One of the main issues with Samsung’s OLED panel technology are the relatively poor viewing angles compared to what LG can offer. Samsung models with the Ultra Viewing Angle optical layer significantly improve this, but still not to the level that it could stack up against what LG delivers.

Conversely, LG TVs provide excellent picture quality even at wide viewing angles. There are still some color shifts, but not nearly to the same extent as in Samsung models. So, regardless of which OLED LG TV you opt for, you can always count on better viewing angles with LG TVs than their Samsung counterparts in the same price range.

Reflections / Anti-glare

Even though the two brands use different panel technology, they offer equally high-performing reflection handling. For this reason, both LG and Samsung TVs are excellent choices for bright rooms. Most LG and Samsung TVs come with a glossy screen finish or at least a semi-gloss finish. This provides for better-defined reflections and improved light diffusion compared to TV brands and models that don’t use this finish.

Sound Quality

When it comes to sound performance, the two brands are fairly equal across the board. Their medium-range models offer decent frequency response and sound distortion performance. As you move to the higher-end models, you can expect more robust bass and louder speakers. Nevertheless, sound quality isn’t something LG or Samsung models particularly stand out for compared to the rest of the competition.

Smart TV Platform (Operating System)

Both brands use their proprietary OS platforms. LG employs webOS, a straightforward and minimalistic OS that’s very easy to navigate. The latest webOS version is 6.0, which introduced many changes, primarily to the home screen. Still, this version is only available in newer models, as most LG TVs use the 4.0 webOS platform.

Samsung keeps a similarly streamlined Smart TV platform with its Tizen OS. Both Smart platforms use the same horizontal app placement. That said, LG’s ThinQ AI software is more impressive than Samsung’s search algorithm. Overall, Samsung and LG have equally outstanding Smart TV platforms. Here’s a more simplified overview of how the two brands compare in terms of OS:

OS FeaturesLG TVsSamsung TVs
OS PlatformwebOSTizen
App Selection/Variety8/106/10
App Smoothness9/109/10
Ease of Use8/108/10
Interface Layout 7/108/10

Connectivity

When comparing modern TVs, especially from reputable brands such as LG and Samsung, strong connectivity properties are expected on all medium-range and better models. And, these two brands don’t fail to deliver. Both offer comprehensive connectivity features, which you’ll see through our comparisons of their inputs, voice assistants, and supported wireless technologies.

Inputs

TV input specifications can vary from model to model, not to mention when comparing two different brands. But, to help you better understand the similarities and differences between the two brands, we’ll again use the Samsung Q90 and LG B8 to compare input details. These two models are in a reasonably similar price range, so the comparison will showcase which TV offers you better value for money in terms of input features. With that in mind, let’s see the comparison table:

Input SpecsLG B8Samsung Q90
HDMI44
USB33
EthernetYesYes
5.1 DTS (ARC/Optical)YesNo
HDR 10+NoYes
Dolby VisionYesNo

Voice Assistants

Most LG models that have come out since 2018 offer excellent voice assistance capabilities. They offer a mix of Google Assistant and ThinQ AI to provide a solid range of actions. These include the ability to change between HDMI ports with voice command, open up apps and even search for content in popular apps like Youtube and Netflix. Additionally, some LG TVs are also compatible with Amazon Alexa.

Samsung comes with proprietary voice assistance technology in the form of its Bixby digital assistant. Bixby offers solid voice control support but isn’t quite as comprehensive as LG’s voice assistant. You can use essential features like searching for content and setting basic commands. 

However, in-app control and search functions are a bit of a hit or miss, as there’s no clear information as to which apps support Bixby voice search. Considering all of this, LG has slightly better voice assistant features than Samsung.

Wireless Technologies

In the context of wireless technologies, there’s not much room for differentiation between the two brands. Both Samsung and LG come with the same wireless technology. Wi-Fi support is a must on all Smart TV models, with 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz support.

Additionally, if you opt for a higher-end model from either brand, you can count on Bluetooth support. From this perspective, regardless of which manufacturer you choose, you can expect equally adept wireless technology characteristics.

Standout Features

As the two premium TV manufacturers, LG and Samsung infused many advantageous standout features into their products. In the context of this comparison, we’ll single out two premium features pertaining to HDR. LG includes Dolby Vision into its higher-end models, while Samsung incorporates HDR 10+.

Both formats are crucial for providing better quality visuals, as they tailor the output of the content being displayed. However, Dolby Vision is a slightly more advanced format than HDR 10+. This is because it uses a 12-bit color gamut compared to the 10-bit color gamut on the HDR 10+ Samsung models.

Price

Of course, there’s no way to determine which TV is best for your needs and preferences without considering your budget. And, when discussing TV prices, this is an area in which LG has a clear advantage

Samsung TVs, much like the company’s other products, generally come with a higher price tag than competitor products. So, if you have a tight budget and can’t afford to pay for the Samsung brand, LG TVs are the perfect alternative. You can often get an LG TV with nearly identical features as a Samsung one, except at a noticeably lower price. 

Conclusion

Considering all of the points we’ve discussed in this LG vs Samsung TV brand comparison, it’s safe to say both TV brands offer top-quality TVs. So, choosing between the two doesn’t put you in a position to make a poor decision if you pick one over the other. Both TVs can deliver impressive picture quality, high-performing Smart TV platforms, and many other user-friendly features.

This comparison primarily boils down to specific preferences you might have when picking your new TV. If you’re budget-minded, favor OLED screen technology, and want a slightly more capable Smart platform overall, LG TVs are the right option. In contrast, if you’re looking to buy a TV with a stronger brand behind it, want features like HDR 10+, and prefer QLED displays, Samsung is the better choice for you.

About Jon

Hey, I'm Jon. I'm an engineer by trade, so it makes sense that I'm obsessed with anything technology related! On the weekends, you can find me playing around with my computers or fixing something around the house. Feel free to leave a comment if you want to get in touch.

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