There are plenty of TV brands out there, but when it comes to which is the best, it’s Samsung vs Sony. Keeping in mind that each model of TV will have its own unique blend of strengths and weaknesses, which we highlight in our in-depth testing and reviews, here’s how the two best TV brands stack up.
Samsung vs Sony TV: While the two TV brands may sound comprehensively similar from the start, there’s really a difference between them on what makes a decent TV – from whether OLED TV beats QLED TV, which sounds arrangements are best for watchers, and the kinds of smart TV platforms that can really keep up in today’s increasingly connected world.
Without a doubt, any TV offers similar essential features, so when you buy on a smaller budget there is generally not too much of a difference. But there may be a major effect on particular device support, specifications, and processors – and the difference may not be particularly evident when skimming product pages for a brand new TV.
That’s why we’ve put together an in- Sony and Samsung comparison to make sure you realize what you get – or sacrifice – by preferring one over the other. Of course, there is more work to be done after that – you still have to select a model from Sony TV 2020 and the latest Samsung TV ranges – but it’s certainly a good start.
In case you’re considering LG TVs, Panasonic TVs, Hisense TVs, or TCL TVs given all, you may need to go to our list of the best overall brands on TVs. Be that as it might, in case you actually need to know how to differentiate between Samsung and Sony TVs, this is the guide for you.
Sony vs Samsung TV: an overview
Let’s just set the scene. First, Samsung is a manufacturer in South Korea, and by far the world’s largest television producer, followed by LG and TCL.
However, Sony is not far behind – and the Japanese manufacturer is still a competing force.
Sony and Samsung produce budgets of all sizes, from 40-inch small TVs to large 65-inch screens, with an annual product cycle upgrading most of these sets every year. The majority are best 4K TVs, but with either brand, you will find the strangely cheap HD display.
They sell television worldwide, with a presence in both the United Kingdom and the United States-unlike Sony or Philips, which do not have licenses in North America.
Both brands also produce a number of consumer products outside televisions. Without Sony, you wouldn’t have a PlayStation 4 and the upcoming PS5 is going to be the company’s major product launch. Also, be assured that Sony makes televisions capable of showing off what its next-gen console can do – and both TV makers do have an 8K-resolution branded TV.
Even in the highly competitive smartphone industry, Sony and Samsung are battling for territory: they both produce Android phones, although we will not compare their handsets in this specific guide.
Smart TV: Tizen vs Android TV
With each television make there appears to be a specific smart TV platform, each with its own unique style.
Samsung aims for the mid-range and luxury televisions with its Tizen OS. Tizen is easy to navigate and typically uncluttered – with a continuously refreshing ‘latest’ box that helps you to keep track of your most commonly used apps. Overall, a pretty competent experience, but not as accomplished as the webOS framework of LG’s universal search feature.
On the other side, Sony uses Android TV, which provides a little more functionality and menu boards than their competitor. It’s a little more cluttered but more at your control as well. Although Android TV is also considered to be somewhat buggier and prone to crashes than other smart TV platforms, it’s really up to your choice.
But what of voice assistants? Advanced Sony TVs will come with Google Assistant integration – which makes sense, given Android TV is a Google-developed platform.
However, Sony has now added an Amazon Alexa Music, Cameras and TV Control feature to its best 4k TVs, as well as some previous-year mid-range versions. This will allow you to control smart home devices and speakers from third parties via some basic Alexa features – such as the Amazon Echo or security cameras from Ring – and use Alexa voice commands for the power and volume functions of the TV.
Samsung’s Bixby voice assistant can be found on mid-range sets and beyond, but in terms of smarts or voice recognition, it is considered to lag behind Alexa or Google Assistant. But for the limited TV controls, you are likely to use Bixby for, it’s more than enough – and you can still connect your TV with an Alexa speaker if you really want to.
QLED or OLED?
Today’s premium television market is divided into two-panel technologies: OLED and QLED (basically an LED-LCD screen with quantum dots).
The best all-around TV that money can buy. That is the answer to what is an OLED TV. They offer the most high-end result while maintaining a relative cost to their performance, unlike QLED TV. In this case then, if you find yourself with a large budget and want a TV that will outperform all other TVs, then an OLED TV will be the best for you
On the other side, QLED is a unique technology that Samsung develops. QLED utilizes a quantum dot filter to improve color and contrast, which utilizes a variety of dimming zones to adjust brightness throughout the panel – rather than being able to do so individually for each pixel. QLED TVs are often much clearer than OLEDs, but they can struggle to continuously display both light and dark images.
Dolby Vision vs HDR 10+
If you buy a mid-range television up to one of the top-of-the-line sets, it will definitely come with high-dynamic-range (HDR) support, but you might not know that HDR comes in various types.
Any HDR TVs support a base HDR10 format – which has a wider variety of colors and better contrast compared to standard SDR TV. Most of the TV content these days is still in SDR, but every year more films, series, and shows are made in HDR.
Even beyond this, there are two HDR formats this adds ‘dynamic metadata’ to improve TV pictures by adjusting the picture settings of the TV depending on the scene you are watching and the types of pictures on the screen.
The first was Dolby Vision, supported by both Sony and LG, and found amongst others in TVs across Vizio, TCL, and Hisense. Then there’s HDR10 +, sponsored by Samsung and Panasonic – although the latter has now been tilting to offer both mid-range and luxury television formats.
Dolby Vision is the most advanced format, with a 12-bit color gamut instead of the 10-bit HDR10 +, which is also used more commonly. (While Amazon Prime has a range of HDR10 + shows, you won’t find it supported on Netflix or devices such as Chromecast Ultra and Apple TV 4K.)
Admittedly, preferred HDR format is really only an issue at the higher end of the price range, but those large spending should carefully consider on which services they are likely to want HDR content.
Samsung vs Sony TV: which should you choose?
Not sure about either of those? Both Sony and Samsung are capable mainstream TV makers, so one or the other is unlikely to get you out with a purchase. Most of our concerns about premium Sony and Samsung sets gear around format support – the quality of the picture is generally brilliant either way. And if you are dedicated to Dolby Vision or HDR10 + as an HDR format, your decision for you.
Samsung’s QLED sets are going to go big on brightness, and if you’re more of a daytime spectator than a huddle-in – the-dark cinephile, the brighter displays are maybe more of what you’re after. Otherwise, Sony’s OLEDs would give your late-night movie sessions a crisp image with incredible contrast.
It is worth noting that the QLEDs of Samsung features a new Ultra Vision Angle system, which makes vision off-axis dramatically improved. On the other hand, Sony is typically very capable of upscaling from low-resolution sources, and of handling motion in fast-moving images.
But which television brand is better? It depends on what you want from a new TV – and if price affects you more than any snazzy formats or contrast comparisons, we’ve listed some of the current prices below for Sony and Samsung TV. (You can get on a tight budget if you’re after the best TV, though, the Samsung NU7100 is probably your best bet)