Two rival TV brands use very similar acronyms to describe their best TVs but Samsung's QLED and LG's OLED are as different as dogs and cats. For the last few years Samsung, the most popular TV-maker in the world, has been branding its best TVs "QLED." Its 2020 QLED lineup is massive, with three different series that have 8K resolution, numerous mainstream versions and design-conscious models like The Frame, Serif and the all-new Sero rotating TV that all bear the ubiquitous Q. Meanwhile LG's 2020 OLED TVs include six series, from the relatively affordable BX to the crazy-expensive 8K ZX to, yes, an RX that rolls up and costs an even crazier $60,000.
Based on the last few years of CNET's side-by-side comparison reviews, LG's OLED TVs have all delivered better overall image quality than Samsung QLED TVs. The latest example pitted the LG B9 against the Samsung Q80, both high-end 65-inch sets that cost $1,800. The LG OLED won handily, with superior contrast and off-angle viewing. The Samsung was brighter but overall it didn't stand up to the OLED.
The OLED vs. QLED battle goes beyond Samsung and LG. In late 2019 TCL also started branding its best TVs "QLED," including the 6-Series and 8-Series. Both are excellent, the best TV for the money and the best-performing non-OLED TV we tested last year, respectively. And other brands beyond LG also sell OLED TVs including Sony and, later in 2020, Konka, Skyworth and the No. 3 TV maker in the US, Vizio.