Difference Between OLED and QLED

In the current television market, OLED and QLED are regarded as two modern and high quality television designs. However, despite having very similar acronyms, they are not made at all the same.


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QLED stands for Quantum dot Light Emitting Diode and was originally a marketing term devised by Samsung, however, has since been licensed to other companies.


The difference between OLED and QLED is that the design of a QLED screen is similar to a regular LCD screen in that it has an LED backlight shining forward through several layers to illuminate pixels and display an image. This is known as transmissive technology.


This is a fundamentally different design to an OLED screen, where each individual pixel creates its own light source in a multitude of different colors. This is known as emissive technology.


Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonQLEDOLED
Physical size of televisionMore size options (49-98 inch)Only 55 and 65 inch. Thinner
Color rangeVery wide (83% of REC2020)Wide (75% of REC2020)
Peak brightness2,000 NITS550-600 NITS
Cost of buyingAlmost always cheaper30-50% more expensive
Quality of blacksSo-so. A blocked light sourceAbsolute black. Best possible.
Optimal viewing angleAs square as possibleAnywhere except extremes


What is OLED?

The acronym OLED stands for Organic Light Emitting Diode, and comes from the fact that each individual pixel on the screen is also a miniscule LED, able to produce both color and light.

Due to each individual pixel having its own independent light source, it is also able to shut off entirely, giving an incredible quality to the color black, as it is truly an absence of light.

The ability to completely shut off light to parts of the screen also means the contrast is very good on OLED televisions, without needing to achieve incredibly high levels of brightness.

Without the need for an LED backlight, OLED screens have become some of the slimmest devices on the market, like the LG “wallpaper” TV, measuring just four millimetres wide.

Some models are even able to curl up like a rug to be tucked away out of sight.

Another benefit to eliminating LED backlighting, is that the pixel’s light source is very close to the front of the screen, and is therefore able to be seen perfectly clear from a much wider angle.

At this stage, OLED televisions have very few drawbacks, however some people have noted an increased prevalence of “burn in”.

This is when the prolonged display of an icon or logo in the same position on screen results in a permanent shadow or outline, even when the screen is off or switched to another program.

With this top of the line technology it stands to reason that OLED televisions are consistently the most expensive option on the market.

In recent years as the technology has progressed, we have fortunately seen prices dropping to the point where now, consumers are able to find OLED televisions that will not break the budget.


What is QLED?

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 single point that emits its own light, but the technology uses an LED shining onto an LCD screen, just like all other LCD televisions.

What makes it different to a normal LCD screen is the “quantum dot filter” which is a layer of aluminum compound between the LED backlight and the screen for light to pass through.

The quantum dot filter improves the efficiency of the light traveling through and helps to create an almost perfect white light that passes onto the LCD screen.

QLED televisions are capable of brightness levels up to two thousand NIT, which is more than twice the minimum requirement of HDR screening and makes for an incredibly vibrant image.

The quantum layer also reportedly produces a larger gamut of color, and is especially efficient at maintaining well-saturated colors at extreme brightness.

This makes for a better picture whilst viewing the screen in well lit areas e.g outdoors.

For high end televisions, QLED screens are reasonably priced in comparison to other market options, however energy consumption can be elevated due to the constant LED backlight.

One of the only drawbacks of the QLED screen is that having a constant, white backlight means that to produce the color black, the pixel “blocks out” the light, as opposed to truly shutting it off.

This means that you can end up with murky/grey blacks on the screen, and shadows may be apparent or develop over time in images where well lit areas are bordered by darkness.


Main Differences Between OLED and QLED

  1. QLED screens are essentially LCD screens with an added “quantum dot” layer between the LED backlight and the LCD display, whereas OLED screens contain pixels individually capable of creating their own light and colors.
  2. An optimal image can be viewed from a much wider angle on an OLED screen due to the light source being extremely close to the front of the screen.
  3. Due to the ability of the pixels to completely turn off, black levels of OLED televisions are far superior, and often touted as the main difference between the two technologies.
  4. QLED technology boasts a slightly higher color gamut than OLED screens, however no significant difference has been noted by viewers due to the OLED technology compensating with the incredible contrast achieved by its black levels.
  5. OLED technology also has a much faster response time to commands and changes in scenery, optimising video gameplay as well as action sequences in films and television.
  6. The price of a brand new QLED television is approximately thirty percent cheaper than an OLED equivalent, however the gap is closing since the inception of OLED in 2013.


  1. https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/0022-3727/49/31/315101/meta
  2. https://www.osapublishing.org/abstract.cfm?uri=oe-22-S7-A1783
  3. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/7858737/
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