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What is QD-OLED? Everything you need to know


Modern TVs have become increasingly more advanced with each passing year, with panel technologies now spanning QLED, Micro LED, Mini LED, and OLED. To make things even more confusing, consumers now have a new panel technology to worry about – QD-OLED.

QD-OLED is a display technology developed by Samsung, merging the main benefits of Quantum Dot (QD) and organic light emitting diode (OLED) into one stunning panel technology.

While QD-OLED looks revolutionary in terms of image quality, Samsung isn’t actually using QD-OLED as the marketing term – opting for OLED instead. Despite this being the case, every other brand utilizing the technology has been referring to it as QD-OLED – so we’ll do the same.

All being said, there is plenty to learn about the latest TV technology, and we’re here to shed a little light on all the fundamental features. What is QD-OLED? How does it work? When can we purchase it? and what TVs will have QD-OLED? are all questions we’ll be answering in the following guide.

What is QD-OLED

QD-OLED is the latest panel technology developed by Samsung. It’s the latest in a long line of display technologies and one that attempts to merge the best qualities of OLED and Quantum Dot (QD).

By combining these two high-end TV technologies, manufacturers will be able to offer a combination of perfect contrast, deep blacks, and QLED peak luminance. Furthermore, color accuracy and vibrance should be increased thanks to the Quantum Dot layer found in QD-OLED, delivering a much more realistic HDR experience.

(Image Source: Sony)

Additionally, as QD-OLED doesn’t use filters, these displays will lose virtually no luminance when performing color transitions – making them appear much brighter than ordinary OLED displays.

How does QD-OLED work?

QD-OLED displays use a stack of blue OLED material to illuminate pixels that contain Quantum Dot red and green color. Each of the pixels is then subdivided into three subpixels; a blue subpixel made of blue OLED material, a red subpixel with red QD, and a green subpixel with green QD. All three can be combined together to create a perfect white without losing out on luminance or accuracy.

QD OLED
(Image source: Samsung)

What does this mean for QD-OLED displays? Well, experts say the new display technology should offer a similar infinite contrast as OLEDs while producing the brightness and vibrancy of QLED – a win-win scenario.

With this design, Samsung says that QD-OLED displays with 4K resolutions will have around 8.3 million light sources that can be controlled independently for a stunning visual experience. With this number of lighting zones, QD-OLED displays will be able to show peak brightness directly next to perfect blacks – a feature that is characteristic of OLED displays.

When will QD-OLED release?

QD-OLED TVs and monitors are set for release sometime in 2022.

QD-OLED displays were first announced at CES 2022 alongside a slew of exciting QD-OLED-based TVs and monitors. While none have been officially released yet, there are several panels that are just around the corner – expected by summer 2022.

At present, the Dell Alienware AW3423DW seems to be the only QD-OLED panel up for grabs. That being said, Samsung’s S95B is imminent in the states – with no signs of launch in the UK/EU just yet.

How much will QD-OLED cost?

As you can expect with any new display technology, QD-OLED displays will likely hit shelves with a price premium. That being said, some early reports are suggesting that the new panels might not be as expensive as we first thought.

Take the Dell Alienware AW3423DW for example. Despite this monitor featuring the brand new QD-OLED technology, it will retail for $1,300 – much cheaper than we first thought (especially when you consider the cost of the brand’s 55 inch OLED gaming monitor).

Furthermore, as QD-OLED will utilize some less-expensive LED parts, we might see sub-OLED pricing right out the gate. Of course, this is all speculation at this early stage, but it’ll be interesting to see what they eventually retail for upon launch. If the Alienware is anything to go by, we could see excellent value for money from these displays.

Like always, we’ll be updating this guide with all the latest information on QD-OLED prices and availability.

QD-OLED vs OLED

So, what are the differences between QD-OLED and OLED?

OLED is a panel technology developed and manufactured by LG Displays. OLED, or Organic Light Emitting Diode, utilizes an organic compound layer that generates light when an electrical current is passed through it.

Unlike LED-based panels, OLED technology doesn’t use a backlight to generate its own luminance – with each pixel acting independently. While this is great for ‘Infinite contrast and perfect blacks’, this is the main reason why OLEDs can’t get as bright as LED alternatives. It’s also the reason why OLED TVs aren’t the best for daylight viewing.

QLED TVs are developed and manufactured by Samsung. QLED TVs work like more traditional LED panels, utilizing a large backlight to generate luminance in its pixels. While the backlight in QLED TVs is incredibly powerful, it does fall victim to some annoying screen artifacts due to its ‘always on’ nature. The Q in QLED stands for Quantum Dot and refers to a layer within the QLED TV that produces color. This layer helps QLED TVs produce might better vibrancy and accuracy in colors, resulting in a fantastic HDR experience.

QD-OLED TVs merge the two technologies together to bring you the best of both worlds. No longer will you have to choose between peak luminance and perfect blacks with QD-OLED. QD-OLED displays also make use of a blue organic layer that consists of a Quantum Dot layer laid over the top.

QD-OLED TV & monitor list

While there are only a few panels available at the time of writing this, we’ll still be keeping you up to date with all the latest QD-OLED display announcements.

Below, we’ll list all the QD-OLED displays that have been unveiled so far:

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