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(Pocket-lint) – After nearly a decade of absence from the OLED TV market, Samsung is back to join the party, but with a fresh spin on the popular display tech. The QE65S95B (also available in 55-inch) features a new panel design that uses quantum dots – the technology behind its QLED panels – to deliver all the benefits of OLED, combined with purer colors and brighter highlights.
The result is QD-OLED, but how does it compare to its now well-established rivals? We took the popcorn and sat down with him to find out.
The Samsung S95B is an impressive device, which uses the manufacturer’s new QD-OLED television technology to its full potential. The resulting images are sharp from the start, while saturated colors and highlights guarantee some of the best HDR seen on an OLED.
As you’d expect from an OLED, blacks are crisp, shadow detail is excellent and motion handling is impressive. HDR with gaming might be a bit overkill, but thanks to a host of cutting-edge features, the S95B delivers an impressive next-gen gaming experience.
The design is eye-catching, but the ridiculously thin panel feels a little flimsy. There’s also little room for speakers, which compromises sound quality, although there’s still Dolby Atmos, and the operating system is slow, but offers a full selection of apps from streaming and smart functions.
Overall, the S95B marks an impressive return to the OLED TV market for Samsung. It offers a winning combination of design, advanced technology and functionality; and thanks to recent price cuts, the S95B is also a bargain compared to Sony’s competing A95K QD-OLED TV.
Samsung QE65S95B review: Quantum technology at the service of the OLED display
5 Stars – Pocket-lint Editors’ Choice
- Excellent image quality
- Brilliant HDR for an OLED
- And 4K at 120Hz
- Competetive price
- No Dolby Vision
- Slightly slow operating system
- Mediocre sound.
- 4 HDMI inputs with eARC; 3x USB; ethernet
- Wireless ; Bluetooth; AirPlay 2
The Samsung S95B features an ultra-thin design that widens towards the bottom to accommodate its connections, electronics and speakers. But since the panel itself is only a few millimeters deep, and the wider bottom section only covers about half its width, the overall integrity is a little wonky.
Once secured to its stand, the S95B feels a bit sturdier, and the narrower footprint makes positioning easier, but you still need to be careful when moving the TV. If you prefer, you can mount the panel to the wall using a standard 300 x 200mm VESA mount or Samsung’s Slim Fit mount.
The S95B doesn’t use Samsung’s One Connect box, but has a full complement of connections with four HDMI inputs – two side-facing and two bottom-facing. All are capable of handling 4K/120Hz, VRR and ALLM, with HDMI 3 also supporting eARC.
There are also two USB 2.0 inputs on the side, while towards the bottom you’ll find two tuners for terrestrial and satellite broadcasts, an optical digital output and an Ethernet port. In terms of wireless connections, there’s Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and AirPlay 2 support.
The S95B comes with two remotes: a standard black plastic remote and a smart solar-powered version offering a streamlined set of controls, including direct access buttons to Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+ and Samsung TV Plus.
- Smart platform powered by Tizen
- Bixby, Google, Alexa and Siri support
- Sound with object tracking
- Dolby Atmos decoding
The Samsung S95B uses the new Tizen smart platform, which removes the launch bar at the bottom of the screen and replaces it with a full-screen homepage where the focus is on showcasing content and recommendations. The interface is good, but it is a bit slow.
There’s a comprehensive selection of video streaming apps which includes Netflix, Prime Video, Apple TV+, Disney+, Now TV, Rakuten, YouTube, and all the UK catch-up services. All of this content is presented in a cohesive manner, with personalization and recommendation features that are equally effective.
Bixby is built-in, and the S95B also works with Alexa and Google. You can even access Siri using AirPlay 2, while the SmartThings app allows for quick and easy setup, as well as some degree of control if you don’t feel like using one of the supplied remotes or your voice.
The S95B only includes Samsung’s basic Object Tracking Sound speaker system, but the inclusion of built-in Dolby Atmos decoding combined with psychoacoustic processing allows this TV to generate an enjoyable object-based experience from a limited number of speakers.
If you want to boost the sound capabilities of the TV, you can use Q-symphony to integrate it with Samsung soundbars. Finally, there’s a multi-view mode that allows users to watch two different sources simultaneously, with options to adjust size, position, and audio priority.
- QD-OLED Panel
- HDR Support: HDR10, HLG, HDR10+ Adaptive
- Processing engine: Neo Quantum 4K processor with AI
The Samsung S95B uses a new QD-OLED panel, which employs layers of blue OLEDs to automatically illuminate each pixel, with quantum dot filters used to create the red and green sub-pixels. This panel is manufactured by Samsung Display and is also used in Sony’s competing A95K device.
The logic behind this approach is that by using only multiple layers of blue OLEDs, the problem of blue degrading faster than red and green in OLEDs is eliminated. According to Samsung, this panel design also results in brighter images and more accurate colors through the use of quantum dot filters.
Like all Samsung TVs, the S95B comes in standard picture mode, which suffers from the usual bluish whites and oversaturated colors. Luckily, Filmmaker Mode solves all of these issues with the press of a single button, producing an image that matches industry standards.
Thanks to this superb level of detail, SDR images are simply stunning, with the usual deep blacks of OLEDs and excellent shadow delineation, combined with accurately rendered detail, realistic whites and natural colors when viewed. is about key factors like skin tones.
Image processing is excellent, with the 4K Neural Quantum chipset bringing out all the detail in high-quality images and giving them more depth. Both upscaling and image enhancement are superb, ensuring that even low-resolution content is very pleasing to the eye.
This impressive processing extends to the S95B’s motion handling, which is also fantastic. Movements are smooth and without obvious jerks, even when the Image Clarity feature is turned off. This option is best for movies, but if you watch a lot of fast-paced sports, you’ll find this feature useful.
The Samsung S95B lives up to the brand’s expectations of the benefits of QD-OLED technology, delivering a peak luminance of over 1000 nits over a 10% window. That’s best-in-class performance for an OLED, and it results in superior HDR that can display 1,000 nits content without resorting to tone mapping.
The quantum dot layers used for red and green help produce wider, purer colors in HDR, as evidenced by DCI-P3 coverage reaching 100%. Saturation scans for the DCI-P3 under the BT.2020 standard are also very accurate, helping to achieve quality colors with HDR content.
Overall HDR accuracy is excellent in Filmmaker mode, with red, green and blue tracking almost exactly as it should, and the EOTF mapping the PQ target accurately. The S95B supports high dynamic range in the form of HDR10, HLG and HDR10+ Adaptive, but sadly – as we’d expect from Samsung – there’s no Dolby Vision to get the most out of your Netflix subscription.
However, on 4K Blu-ray, Samsung’s HDR prowess is immediately apparent when watching The Batman, with its eerie cinematography that uses deep blacks and richly textured shadows to build the world of the titular hero. A fight scene in a hallway lit entirely by flashes of fire is particularly impressive, and perfectly demonstrates the strengths of this OLED.
The Revenant is mostly made up of snowy landscapes that often betray OLED’s limitations, but here the S95B reveals its capabilities at the other end of the scale, producing enough luminance for those crisp white vistas to retain enough of global pop.
The incredibly wide color gamut is also impressive, especially when watching movies that use deliberately oversaturated colors, like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 or Inside Out. The S95B is able to reproduce HDR in both of these films with remarkable depth and subtlety.
Although there’s no Dolby Vision, the S95B does a great job when it comes to HDR10+. In the 1917 film, the scene where the soldier wakes up at night is particularly impressive, with perfect blacks, detailed shadows and flares punctuating the dark sky.
The S95B offers a host of features aimed at next-gen gamers, including VRR (variable refresh rate) which syncs the TV’s refresh rate with the console’s frame rate to reduce tearing. 4K/120Hz high frame rate support and AMD Freesync Premium Pro are also available.
ALLM automatically detects a console and selects game mode, resulting in best-in-class 9ms input lag. There’s also Motion Xcelerator Turbo Pro technology, Game Motion Plus, and support for the ultra-wide 21:9 and 32:9 aspect ratios offered by a number of PC games.
The Game Bar 2.0 hub brings all game-related information and functions together in one convenient place. It displays automatically when a game console is detected, but can also be selected manually and includes information on HDR, frame rate and VRR, as well as game picture settings.
Performance with games is generally impressive, producing bright, crisp and detailed images, while movement is smooth as butter. HDR tone mapping can be a little aggressive in game mode, leading to some highlight clipping, but if you turn it down HDR really packs a punch.
The Samsung S95B offers excellent image precision, saturated colors and vibrant HDR. The intelligent system is complete, while the gaming functions will delight owners of next-gen consoles. The sound system is limited compared to other high-end Samsung TVs, but there’s Dolby Atmos decoding onboard, and only the lack of Dolby Vision really disappoints. Thanks to recent price cuts, this impressive, state-of-the-art QD-OLED TV is definitely one to consider.
Written by Steve Withers.