We explain the difference between OLED and QLED with table. In today’s television market, OLED and QLED are considered two high-quality, modern television designs. However, despite having very similar acronyms, they are not made the same at all.
The design of a QLED screen is similar to a normal LCD screen in that it has an LED backlight that shines forward through several layers to illuminate the pixels and display an image. This is known as trans-missive technology.
This is a fundamentally different design than an OLED screen, where each individual pixel creates its own light source in a multitude of different colors. This is known as emissive technology.
OLED vs QLED comparison table (in tabular form)
QLED OLED comparison parameter
|Physical size of television||More size options (49-98 inches)||Only 55 and 65 inches. Thinner|
|Color range||Very wide (83% of REC2020)||Wide (75% of REC2020)|
|Maximum brightness||2,000 NITS||550-600 nits|
|Purchase cost||Almost always cheaper||30-50% more expensive|
|Black quality||Regular. A blocked light source||Absolute black. Best possible.|
|Optimal viewing angle||As square as possible||Anywhere except the extremes|
What is OLED?
The acronym QLED is a marketing term invented by Samsung and stands for Quantum dot Light Emitting Diode.
However, this is a bit of a misnomer as the name suggests a quantum diode, or a single point that emits its own light, but the technology uses an LED that shines on an LCD screen, just like all other LCD TVs.
What differentiates it from a normal LCD screen is the ‘quantum dot filter’, which is a layer of aluminum composite between the LED backlight and the screen for light to pass through.
The quantum dot filter improves the efficiency of the light that travels and helps create a near-perfect white light that passes the LCD screen.
QLED TVs can achieve brightness levels of up to two thousand NITs, which is more than twice the minimum requirement of the HDR display and produces an incredibly vibrant picture.
The quantum layer also produces a larger color gamut and is especially efficient at maintaining well-saturated colors with extreme brightness.
This allows you to get a better picture while viewing the screen in well-lit areas, for example outdoors.
For high-end TVs, QLED displays are reasonably priced compared to other options on the market, however the power consumption can be high due to the constant LED backlighting.
One of the only downsides to the QLED display is that having a constant white backlight means that to produce the color black, the pixel “blocks” the light, rather than actually turning it off.
This means that you can end up with cloudy blacks / grays on the screen, and shadows can appear or develop over time in images where well-lit areas are bordered by darkness.
What is QLED?
The acronym OLED stands for Organic Light Emitting Diode and comes from the fact that each individual pixel on the screen is also a tiny LED, capable of producing both color and light.
Because each individual pixel has its own independent light source, it can also be turned off completely, which adds incredible quality to the color black, as it is really an absence of light.
The ability to completely turn off the light in parts of the screen also means that the contrast is very good on OLED TVs, without the need to achieve incredibly high levels of brightness.
Without the need for an LED backlight, OLED displays have become some of the thinnest devices on the market, such as the LG ‘wallpaper’ TV, which is just four millimeters wide. Some models can even curl up like a rug to hide out of sight.
Another benefit of eliminating the LED backlight is that the pixel light source is very close to the front of the screen and therefore can be seen perfectly clear from a much wider angle.
At this stage, OLED TVs have very few drawbacks, however some people have noted a higher prevalence of ‘burned out’.
This occurs when prolonged display of an icon or logo in the same position on the screen results in a permanent shadow or outline, even when the screen is turned off or is switched to another program.
With this top-of-the-line technology, it stands to reason that OLED TVs are always the most expensive option on the market.
In recent years, as technology has progressed, we have thankfully seen prices drop to the point where now, consumers can find OLED TVs that won’t break the budget.
Main differences between OLED and QLED
- QLED displays are essentially LCD displays with an additional layer of ‘quantum dots’ between the LED backlight and the LCD display, whereas OLED displays contain pixels individually capable of creating their own light and colors.
- An optimal image can be viewed from a much wider angle on an OLED screen because the light source is extremely close to the front of the screen.
- Due to the ability of pixels to turn off completely, OLED TVs black levels are far superior and are often touted as the main difference between the two technologies.
- QLED technology has a slightly higher color gamut than OLED displays, however viewers have not noticed a significant difference as OLED technology compensates for the incredible contrast achieved by its black levels.
- OLED technology also has a much faster response time to commands and scene changes, optimizing video play and action sequences in movies and television.
- The price of a new QLED TV is about thirty percent cheaper than the equivalent of an OLED; However, the gap is closing since OLED’s inception in 2013.
If you can afford the extra expense, in most categories OLED technology seems to produce a superior end product to QLED TV.
The exception is well-lit areas, such as outdoors, where the higher maximum brightness of the QLED screen will produce a clearer image.
However, both are highly regarded television display technologies, and under normal conditions, most people would be satisfied with the performance of either of them.