July 13, 2024
Sony vs. Samsung: Whose TV belongs in your front room?

For years now, Sony and Samsung have been two of the fiercest opponents on this planet of TVs. Every producer prioritizes all of the integral components that go right into a world-class show, together with decision, backlighting, image upscaling, and the good TV expertise. Each manufacturers additionally produce TVs in many various sizes, starting from 32-inch units which might be nice for bedrooms to monolithic 85-inch-plus fashions that is likely to be a squeeze for even the most important residing rooms.

Sony and Samsung TVs have loads in frequent, however there are additionally just a few key areas the place these TV titans differ. This is the reason we’ve in contrast each manufacturers that will help you resolve which is finest for you.

Design

An image of bowls with lemon, raspberries, and mint displayed on a Samsung S95C.
Samsung S95C Zeke Jones / Digital Developments

Each Sony and Samsung make a few of the best-looking TVs, even earlier than you get thinking about image high quality. Whether or not you’re going tabletop or wall-mounted, razor-thin bezels and extremely small depth measurements are shared between Sony and Samsung — though the latter goes a bit extra gung-ho in that regard.

Take the Samsung S95C OLED, for instance: As the corporate’s flagship mannequin, the S95C is a part of Samsung’s Infinity One Design, eliminating the perimeter bezel across the display for an enhanced, distraction-free viewing expertise. And with out the stand, the 65-inch model of this TV is barely 0.4 inches from entrance to again! You gained’t discover any HDMI ports on the S95C both as a result of they’re all housed within the separate slim One Join Field.

Sony TVs are fairly skinny, too, although. The flagship 65-inch XR A95L QD-OLED is barely 1-3/8 inches with out the stand. Razor-thin bezels complement the display, and in contrast to the centered S95C stand, the A95L comes with two toes that connect to both aspect of the set. This enables the underside of the A95L to be suspended mere centimeters from the highest of your TV stand.

An image of a bird on the Sony A95L QD-OLED.
Sony A95L QD-OLED Zeke Jones / Digital Developments

Chassis-wise, Sony and Samsung are inclined to favor industrial grays and matte-black shell colours. For fashions with out Samsung’s Slim One Join, you’ll discover HDMI ports and different connections on the again and sides of Sony and Samsung units (relying on the mannequin).

Typically talking, Sony units are a bit bulkier than Samsung’s TV lineup. Do take into account, although, that as you begin mid-range and entry-level fashions from each manufacturers, bezel measurement and general depth have a tendency to extend.

Show

Picture of a bird on a Sony A95L QD-OLED.
Zeke Jones / Digital Developments

In terms of decision, Samsung and Sony’s TVs have gotten you coated. Each corporations produce 4K and 8K fashions, together with some 1080p and 720p choices (largely smaller sizes). Whereas 4K tends to be the typical TV pixel depend today, it doesn’t damage to spend money on an 8K set — though your choices for 8K content material are nonetheless quite restricted.

So far as precise panels and lighting goes, Sony and Samsung produce just a few several types of units. On the underside rung, each manufacturers make conventional LED-LCDs with both edge-lit or full-array backlighting. Within the midrange and premium tiers, you’ll discover QLEDs, LED-LCDs, QLEDs with mini-LED lighting, and QD-OLEDs.

Sony and Samsung’s extra superior LED and QLED fashions make the most of options like native dimming to regulate the backlighting of those units extra successfully. This all however eliminates mild blooming and haloing throughout darker scenes whereas delivering improved distinction ranges general.

Fashions just like the Sony XR X93L and the Samsung QN90C are additionally a few of the brightest TVs available on the market, which bodes properly for these of us watching films and reveals in brightly-lit rooms.

QD-OLEDs are at present solely made by Sony and Samsung, and this newer TV tech is barely in its second era. Combining self-emissive OLED pixels with quantum dots for enhanced colours, vivid brights, and pure blacks, fashions just like the Samsung S95C and Sony A95L are a few of the finest TVs cash should buy.

Colours, upscaling, and movement

The Samsung QN90C ron a media stand with white speakers.
Zeke Jones / Digital Developments

Samsung’s Neural Quantum Processor and Sony’s Cognitive Processor XR are the image engines chargeable for frame-by-frame optimization. Whether or not you’re watching a brand-new Extremely HD film or outdated dwelling movies, Samsung and Sony TVs are designed to ship as a lot shade and element as potential.

HDR efficiency is simply as integral as a strong image engine, although. Happily, Sony and Samsung TVs are class-leading relating to HDR decoding. Each manufacturers assist in style codecs like HDR10, Dolby Imaginative and prescient, and HLG. Samsung TVs do have a leg-up relating to HDR10+ assist, although, as Sony TVs don’t.

Sony and Samsung are additionally terrific at 4K and 8K upscaling. Even in the event you’re watching an historic DVD, each manufacturers use AI-driven upscaling instruments to make even the grandest lo-fi pictures look extra like Extremely HD.

For probably the most half, Sony and Samsung refresh charges are capped at 120Hz native, however we’re beginning to see fashions able to 144Hz (for appropriate PC connections). In the event you’re a giant sports activities fan otherwise you love enjoying video video games, options like Samsung’s Movement Xcelerator add an additional digital increase to that 120Hz baseline.

Sure midrange fashions and most entry-level Sony and Samsung units are capped at 60Hz.

Sound high quality

There’s no hiding that the majority TVs aren’t superb at delivering pulse-pounding audio. That being mentioned, Sony and Samsung TVs have some fairly genius sound optimizations.

Each manufacturers assist a number of completely different audio codecs, together with encompass virtualization codecs like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. Then there’s Sony’s Acoustic Floor Audio+, a characteristic you’ll discover on a few of the firm’s high-end fashions. With actuators behind the panel, this tech permits appropriate Sony TVs to provide sound from the middle of the display. That’s on high of two built-in subwoofers.

In the event you’re the sort of one that at all times wants a separate audio system to go together with your TV (we get it!), sure Samsung TVs embody a characteristic referred to as Q-Symphony. This enables the TV audio system to work in unison with appropriate Samsung soundbars to ship an immense soundstage on your films, reveals, and video games.

Good TV and consumer interface

NFL Sunday Ticket on Google TV.
Phil Nickinson / Digital Developments

Behind the scenes (and all the image and sound processing instruments), Sony and Samsung TVs have easy-to-navigate consumer interfaces and good TV platforms.

For Sony, the OS of alternative is often Google TV, though you’ll nonetheless discover a few fashions that use Android TV as an alternative. Over in Samsung Land, the Tizen OS runs the present.

In the event you spend quite a lot of time streaming films and reveals from apps like Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video, Google TV affords one of the crucial intuitive Dwelling Display screen experiences. By retaining tabs in your viewing habits, Google TV will suggest content material to you. You’ll additionally be capable of benefit from Chromecast for beaming media out of your smartphone or pill to your TV.

Many Google TV-powered Sony have Google Assistant in-built too. Not solely will you be capable of use the digital companion to seek for films and management your good dwelling gear, however you can too see stay views out of your Google Nest safety cams in your TV!

Samsung’s Tizen could not ship film and present suggestions, however the OS helps an immense app library, display sharing between appropriate gadgets, and voice assistant assist for Samsung’s Bixby, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant.

Moreover, a number of Sony and Samsung TVs assist Apple AirPlay 2 and Apple HomeKit.

Gaming

A PlayStation 5 connected to a TV, showing the Sony Pictures Core interface.
Sony

Video video games are in all places, so making certain your TV can deal with every part a next-gen console or souped-up gaming PC can throw at it will be significant. Fortunately, Sony and Samsung TVs embody a lot of gaming optimizations and movie presets.

The HDMI 2.1 normal is likely one of the finest methods to make sure your TV provides you with strong gaming efficiency. Sooner refresh charges, much less enter lag, and higher bandwidth are only a few of HDMI 2.1’s laurels, and, fortunately, a number of Sony and Samsung units embody HDMI 2.1 inputs.

Many Samsung TVs embody a built-in Recreation Bar. Consider this as a dashboard for all of your gameplay and movie settings, permitting you to regulate options like HDR and Variable Refresh Price (VRR) in a pinch. That’s on high of an automated Recreation Mode that’s activated everytime you activate a next-gen console.

With Xbox Recreation Move Final, you’ll additionally be capable of play Xbox video games in your Samsung TV, with out even having the system linked!

In the event you’re the proud proprietor of a PlayStation 5, pairing your console with a Sony TV is likely one of the finest belongings you’ll ever do. Because of options like Auto HDR Tone Mapping, an automated Recreation Mode, and PS Distant Play assist, your PS5 gameplay will appear and feel near-perfect.

You’ll additionally discover different gaming optimizations, reminiscent of AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync, supported by each Sony and Samsung TVs.

Distant management

The Samsung SolarCell TV remote.

This class could be troublesome to guage primarily based on whether or not or not you want your TV remotes to have quite a lot of buttons or only a few. Samsung remotes are inclined to signify the latter.

Most mid- and top-tier Samsung TVs come packaged with a sleek-looking Bluetooth distant that handles all of the necessities, together with quantity controls, channel up/down, energy, and a house button that fires up the good TV menu. In the event you’re into loading apps up with voice instructions, there’s even a built-in mic for doing so.

Sure Samsung TVs now include SolarCell remotes. When positioned in a well-lit surroundings with the photo voltaic panel dealing with up, the SolarCell re-ups your distant battery. You can even cost SolarCell remotes with a USB-C cable.

Whereas minimalist and cozy to choose up, one factor we’ve seen with this lineup of remotes is that the Bluetooth can get a bit wonky sometimes, leading to an “un-paired” distant (particularly when the battery degree is low). Happily, re-pairing is so simple as holding just a few buttons down, however we thought we’d point out this little inconvenience.

Sony remotes are actually extra button-packed. On mid- and top-tier fashions, you’ll discover just about something you’ll anticipate from a contemporary TV distant, together with numbers, quantity controls, a house button for good TV capabilities, jump-to-app buttons like Netflix and YouTube, and a mic button for voice instructions. Sony remotes even have a extra conventional TV distant look in comparison with Samsung’s extra futuristic design.

The Sony X900F remote.
Dan Baker/Digital Developments

The one minor bummer for each manufacturers: no backlighting. It’s by no means enjoyable to choose at buttons at the hours of darkness, and neither Samsung nor Sony has a button on their remotes for illuminating buttons.

After all, there’s a battlefield of one of the best TV manufacturers to select from, however hopefully, you’ve realized sufficient about a few of the strengths and weaknesses of each Samsung and Sony TVs to make a extra knowledgeable alternative.

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