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Is Samsung S95D the best OLED on the market?  We are checking [TEST]

Is Samsung S95D the best OLED on the market? We are checking [TEST]

Is Samsung S95D the best OLED on the market?  We are checking [TEST]

Does Samsung S95D continue the good streak of its predecessors? Are we once again dealing with one of the best OLED screens on the market? I decided to check it out.

S95C, last year’s flagship QD-OLED TV model from Samsung, set the bar high. Suffice it to say that EISA (one of the most prestigious associations of experts specializing in consumer electronics) recognized this device as the best TV of 2023.

I also praised the S95C model in my review,

Over the last few weeks, I had the opportunity to test the successor to the Samsung S95C, this year’s S95D model. It introduces several new features to the Korean manufacturer’s flagship TV series, and perhaps the most important is the matte screen coating, which is intended to eliminate the problem of reflections.

Does Samsung S95D continue the good streak of its predecessors? Are we once again dealing with one of the best, or perhaps the best, OLED screen on the market? I decided to check it out.

QD-OLED vs WRGB-OLED. How do they differ?

However, before we move on to the test itself, it is worth recalling once again how the QD-OLED technology used by Samsung differs from “traditional OLED matrices”. Here, of course, we will use the example of LG, a real tycoon on the OLED TV market, whose TVs with an organic matrix were (and still are) among the best in the industry.

LG uses a WRGB-OLED matrix. In addition to advantages such as excellent viewing angles, perfect black and almost infinite contrast, this solution also has some limitations. The biggest of them is the relatively low energy efficiency of the panel and, consequently, lower maximum brightness (of course, compared to the best LCD/QLED screens).

The QD-OLED matrix was intended to eliminate the problem of poorer brightness. This is due to the fact that instead of a white OLED emission layer and an RGBW color filter, Samsung Display used a blue OLED layer and an additional layer of quantum dots (QD).

This combination is intended to ensure high brightness (also in HDR mode), but while maintaining the high contrast and infinite black known from OLEDs. An additional advantage is the longer life of such a panel, better coverage of a wide range of colors, and a lower risk of burn-in.

Samsung OLED S95D – APPEARANCE

When it comes to the design of the device, it is difficult to talk about a revolution here. Samsung once again focused on a minimalist shape and very slim frames around the screen. However, they are still visible and I must admit that I am still waiting for the era of completely frameless TVs to come.

What also attracts attention is the slim silhouette of the device, whose thickness – as in the S95C model – is only 11 millimeters. This is, of course, the result of using the already mentioned QD-OLED technology (no additional backlight layer) and getting rid of all connectors and ports. These are placed in the external One Connect Pro module, which is connected to the TV using one cable.

The One Connect Pro module can be placed in a cabinet under the TV, but we can also attach it to the back of the TV stand. This is a very practical solution that I have used myself.

The stand itself is very solid and stabilizes the screen well, but – as in the case of last year’s model – its installation is not easy. Suffice it to say that it consists of three elements that are attached to each other (and the TV itself) using a combination of screws, clamps and hinges. Fortunately, 99 percent of users will go through this process only once.

Of course, the new Samsung TV can also be attached to the wall using a special holder. Unfortunately, I don’t have the conditions to choose this solution myself. It’s a pity, because the S95D looks much better on the wall than on a TV cabinet.

The mentioned One Connect Pro module is equipped with 4 HDMI 2.1 connectors, USB-A ports, an Ethernet connector and antenna ports. There is also an optical audio output.

As for the One Remote, I haven’t noticed any changes. There is a joystick, function buttons and shortcuts to the Netflix, Disney+ and Prime Video applications. The remote control is also equipped with a battery that can be charged via the USB-C port or using sunlight – there is a small solar panel on the back of the device.

Samsung OLED S95C – SCREEN AND IMAGE

The tested TV was equipped with a 55-inch screen with a resolution of 3840 × 2160 pixels with a third-generation QD-OLED matrix and a refresh rate of 144 Hz. As befits an organic panel, it is characterized by deep black and infinite contrast. In addition, there are excellent viewing angles.

One of the most important novelties in the S95D model is the use of a matte screen coating, which almost completely eliminates the problem of reflections. I tested Samsung’s equipment in a very sunny room and was shocked by how well it copes with “absorbing” light rays. I have been reviewing OLED TVs for years and have always noticed that these screens show their full potential only in “cinema conditions”, i.e. in a darkened room. The latest Samsung TV made me have to verify this view. The S95D performs perfectly in all conditions.

And I haven’t mentioned screen brightness, which is setting a new standard for the industry again this year. In 2022, I praised the S95B model for a constant and stable 1000 nits in HDR mode, which was already quite an achievement considering that OLED matrices rarely exceeded 700-800 nits. Last year, the S95C improved this result, reaching 1,200-1,300 nits.

And what is it like this year? I hasten to report that the average brightness in HDR mode for the S95D model exceeded 1,500 nits, which is both a phenomenal result and – finally – consistent with what Samsung promises in its promotional materials.

In SDR mode, the S95D model broke the barrier of 750 nits (last year’s model achieved just over 600 nits), which is also a record when it comes to OLED TVs from Samsung. The color reproduction is also excellent. The coverage of the DCI-P3 color palette is nearly 100 percent, and in the case of BT.2020 – almost 90 percent.

The S95D offers support for the HDR10+ standard, but Dolby Vision does not exist. I can’t understand why Samsung refuses to implement this standard, to the detriment of people who watch some movies and series on Netflix or play games with Dolby support.

The tested TV is powered by the new NQ4 AI Gen2 Processor, which uses artificial intelligence and neural networks to optimize the image and sound. However, this system shows its real strength when upscaling content from lower resolutions to 4K. I still remember the times when TVs were completely unable to cope with upscaling. Samsung (but also other manufacturers – including LG) has made a quantum leap in this matter.

Samsung OLED S95D – FUNCTIONS FOR GAMERS

In recent years, Samsung has focused heavily on gaming functions in its TVs. It is no different in the case of the S95D model. There are 4 HDMI 2.1 ports here. with a bandwidth of 40 GB/s, which will enable us to play in 4K resolution and 120 frames per second on both PlayStation 4 and Xbox Series X.

Samsung S95D supports Variable Refresh Rate technology, which improves the synchronization of the screen refresh rate with the frame rate. There is also support for Automatic Low Latency Mode (ALLM) – this technology reduces input lag, which in the “Game” mode is only 5 ms (4K@120 Hz).

I must admit that I have never been a fan of the so-called motion smoothers used by TV manufacturers. I was rarely satisfied with the end result, no matter how much time I spent calibrating this feature. However, I must admit that while the smoothing of video materials in the S95D model still does not convince me, in the case of games the smoothing works great.

I tested several games that run natively at 30 frames per second. Thanks to the Game Motion Plus function, I managed to achieve a stable 60 FPS in these titles, without compromising image quality, and without much which did not exceed 20 ms.

Samsung OLED S95D – SOUND

The S95D, just like last year’s model, is equipped with a 4.2.2 system with a total power of 70 watts. I like both the naturalness and neutrality of its sound. The speakers can also hit with quite solid bass, and the real challenge for their range comes only from loud battle scenes and the famous French horns from Christopher Nolan’s films.

Samsung OLED S95D – TIZEN

Samsung’s flagship TVs have been running the Tizen system for many years now. At first I wasn’t a big admirer of him, but over time we grew to like each other. Unfortunately, in the last 2-3 years, Samsung has put this friendship to the test. First of all, I am not a fan of the new home screen, which takes up almost the entire screen space, which means that the access path to some functions and settings has been extended by additional clicks with the remote control.

Secondly, the system, which has always been famous for its smooth operation, in the tested S95D model suffers from stutters and quite frequent ones. Of course, I cannot rule out that the problem only concerns the review copy.

Finally, thirdly – where is the Canal+ Online application? I looked for them everywhere, but to no avail. This problem can be partially overcome by streaming the image from a smartphone application (e.g. via AirPlay 2), but this solution is much less convenient than using the native Canal+ application.

Samsung OLED S95D – SUMMARY

I still don’t know if the S95D is the best TV of the year (there’s still some time left), but I do know that it’s the best OLED screen I’ve ever tested. In terms of image quality and smoothness, as well as brightness in HDR mode, the Samsung device is close to perfect. And there is also a new anti-reflective coating.

Of course, there are TVs on the market that are even brighter (including the top QLEDs from Samsung) and with even deeper blacks (Sony and Panasonic still have a lot to say here), but the S95D is the most universal screen with almost no weak spots. .

Almost, because I am still disturbed by the lack of support for the Dolby Vision standard and the less intuitive and less responsive Tizen. There is no denying that Samsung’s flagship OLED is an expensive device. Currently, we will have to pay almost PLN 12,000 for the tested 55-inch S95D model. For comparison, last year’s 55-inch S95C model started at PLN 9,500.

Source: Gazeta

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