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Samsung S95C QD-OLED 4K TV Review – OLED Nirvana


Samsung S95C panel from the side

It’s a unbelievable time to put money into a premium TV. OLED shows, already famend for his or her wonderful distinction and excellent black ranges, have gotten so much brighter in 2023, permitting them to raised compete with their juiced-up LED counterparts beneath any lighting circumstances. It’s honest to say that Samsung’s choice to get again into the OLED TV market final 12 months with the acclaimed S95B QD-OLED TV has been a driver of this innovation. 

This 12 months’s S95C is even higher and brighter, as soon as once more using a mixture of OLED’s revered show expertise and a layer of quantum dots, that are utilized in a number of the brightest TVs on the planet for enhanced colours and searing highlights. The outcomes are spectacular. This isn’t only a great-looking TV, it’s one of many highest TVs you should buy.

Highs

  • Fantastic distinction and off-axis viewing
  • Rich, inky black ranges
  • Brilliantly brilliant and correct colours
  • Impressive HDR highlights 
  • Excellent gaming options

Lows

  • No Dolby Vision or DTS help

Lengthy setup meets rugged attractiveness

Samsung S95C back panel stand mount

Set a while apart to place the S95C collectively, as a result of it’s gonna take some time. Pulling the panel from the field, I stored discovering extra items to the jigsaw puzzle, together with the multi-piece, V-shaped stand mount. A phrase of recommendation there – the stand is product of stout (and heavy) metallic so don’t drop it in your naked foot like I did. 

Once you’ve obtained the TV mounted, it’s time to arrange Samsung’s One Connect field, a separate panel for the inputs and energy port that connects to the TV over a single wire for a clear look. Samsung helpfully consists of a number of methods to mount the skinny field, together with on the panel itself, on the mounting stand, or set as a separate entity in your TV console. Both lengthy and brief connection cable choices are included to suit your desired configuration.

Samsung S95C profile

The breakaway design helps maintain the panel skinny and uniform throughout its charcoal bottom, with just a few speaker drivers on the backside disturbing the glossy traces. The panel’s profile isn’t fairly as laser skinny on the high as my LG C1 OLED, however it additionally doesn’t bulge out on the backside and feels sturdier. Up entrance, skinny bezels throughout all 4 sides full the good, trendy styling.

I can’t transfer on with out additionally mentioning Samsung’s adorably small distant, which is intuitive, surprisingly practical, and brilliantly presents photo voltaic charging as an limitless energy provide.

Inputs and codecs

Samsung's S95C is a top contender for the best TV of the year. ddb9b5ca samsung s95c qd oled tv one connect back

The S95C is as loaded within the inputs division as you’d anticipate at this value. You’ll get 4, full bandwidth HDMI 2.1 inputs (one with eARC) which help VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) and 4K content material at as much as 144Hz for high-frame-rate gaming. Other inputs embody three USB ports, Ethernet, coaxial connection, and digital optical output. You can join headphones over Bluetooth 5.2 or stream content material over AirPlay 2 and Chromecast. 

The TV helps PC or Mac connection through HDMI or wirelessly with Samsung Software. OLED panels, particularly of the QD-OLED selection just like the S95C, have gotten flack for his or her lack of PC textual content readability because of the distinctive means during which their subpixels are organized, so that you most likely received’t wish to use this show as a monitor for many functions. That stated, it’s definitely usable, and I didn’t discover a lot distinction from my LG C1 OLED.

Samsung S95C remote control
Samsung S95C distant management

As for video codecs, the TV helps HDR10, HDR10+, and HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma) HDR, however not Dolby Vision, which is unlucky. Prized for its skill to adapt to HDR content material body by body, Dolby Vision has develop into a go-to format for loads of manufacturing studios, particularly for streaming. Samsung’s HDR10+ additionally adapts rapidly to totally different HDR scenes, although, and also you’ll discover it and its extra fundamental predecessor instead with most 4K HDR content material.

On the audio aspect, the S95C supplies Dolby Atmos passthrough however, like many LG TVs (together with my C1), it doesn’t help DTS audio. There are workarounds, however when you’ve obtained a big Blu-ray assortment, it is a bummer and means you’ll wish to join outboard parts to a suitable receiver or soundbar first.

Solid interface and good options

Samsung S95C start up screen smart interface

Roku OS and Google TV (previously Android TV) are sometimes the popular good interfaces for loads of reviewers and customers alike. I get it, they’re ultra-simple and circumvent a whole lot of the muddle you’ll get with first-party interfaces like LG’s webOS and Samsung’s Tizen.

That stated, Tizen has come a good distance over time, and the newest iteration is fantastically designed. The greatest check for me is whether or not it’s a much bigger ache to make use of the built-in software program or a streaming field, and whereas I don’t love that the TV appears to maintain making an attempt to serve me Lifetime motion pictures, Samsung’s newest model handed the check there and presents some cool extras, as well.

The TV reads all of your linked gadgets immediately, and connects rapidly to new gadgets like a laptop computer or console. The apps that weren’t mechanically added have been accessible within the app retailer, and better of all, I haven’t discovered one but that didn’t enable me to log in through a QR code with my cellphone, skipping the ridiculous point-and-tap logins. 

Samsung Health presents “a whole bunch” of free hours of exercises and even health monitoring when you add a separate digicam. And though the built-in sound isn’t a lot to jot down dwelling about, when you’ve obtained a current Samsung soundbar with Q-Symphony, you should use the bar and TV audio system in live performance. The finest function, although, needs to be the built-in Gaming Hub.

Groovy gaming help

Samsung S95C Gaming Hub

Gamers are going to like this TV, not just for its speedy refresh price and high-bandwidth inputs, but additionally for the flexibility to attach a wide range of gaming controllers instantly and supply cloud gaming (i.e. stream video games) from a number of providers within the Gaming Hub – no console required. 

The Hub presently helps Nvidia GeForce Now, Amazon Luna, and Xbox Cloud Gaming. Other helpful options embody the flexibility to modify video games with out leaping again to the house display screen, view current video games, play music, watch “associated content material,” and extra.

Breathtaking image high quality

Samsung S95C Ant-Man scene

Before we get going, a number of fast notes: I did most of my testing utilizing Filmmaker Mode and Movie Mode, with minor changes together with setting the colour from Warm 2 to Warm 1 (simply my choice), and disabling ambient gentle settings.

Put merely, the S95C is one of the best 4K TV I’ve ever seen. And as somebody who’s extensively lined the TV extravaganza that’s CES in Las Vegas for a number of years, I’ve seen some beauties. 

I ought to caveat by saying I’ve not but skilled high rivals like LG’s newest “Gallery” OLED TV, the G3. Utilizing LG’s finest WOLED show tech, which provides a white subpixel (therefore the “W”) to juice up the nits, the G3 supposedly will get even brighter than Samsung’s mannequin by most metrics, peaking at effectively over 1400 nits in HDR. That’s similar to loads of top-quality LED TVs, although it received’t match the very brightest on the market. (Sony’s A95L QD-OLED, which isn’t but accessible for assessment, can also be prone to be a significant contender.)

Samsung’s TV peaks under 1400 nits in HDR by most measurements, together with these taken by Rtings, however it covers extra of the extensive shade gamut in PCI D3, at practically 100%. Put in plain English, the S95C is able to displaying just about each micro shade of shade HDR content material can throw its means. And child, do these colours sing.

Moving to the S95C from my still-fabulous, however rapidly getting old C1, I didn’t see an enormous distinction at first. Out entrance have been the acquainted inky black ranges and depth-drilling distinction created by OLED’s emissive expertise, which permits every particular person pixel to activate and off independently for unbelievable management and 0 gentle bleed. 

Then I placed on Spider-Man: Homecoming in 4K HDR, and proper from the torch within the movie’s first manufacturing emblem, I used to be hooked. Soon I used to be misplaced in blazing spectral highlights; splashes of white-hot daylight glowing on the water, the lustrous sheen of metallic armor, and even the blaze of a lampost all popped out from the background. This factor has some critical punch, making it particularly wonderful for daytime viewing when in comparison with the more and more mortal OLED shows of some years again.

It’s the S95C’s jaw-dropping shade copy that actually takes this TV to the following stage. At first, I felt like issues have been perhaps a bit overcooked, however quickly I used to be in a position to recognize what the complete spectrum of Samsung’s daring shade copy can do with top-tier content material. Honestly, I don’t wish to return. Every little bit of showy 4K HDR video I might discover appeared to drag me deeper into the motion, from MCU epics to top-tier demo reels and nature movies. 

Watching the ocean episodes on Netflix’s Our Planet was the end result. I paired the TV with JBL’s Bar 1300X Dolby Atmos soundbar, and the combo appeared to just about pull me in, from the mind-blowing distinction within the sea’s blackest depths to the electric-neon coral reefs the place I virtually had a surreal flashback of my very own Hawaiian snorkeling adventures. This is voyeuristic realism at its finest. It’s onerous to think about shows getting significantly better than this, though I do know they’ll.

Samsung S95C Ant-Man train

From grueling check patterns to good ole SDR (Standard Dynamic Range) TV broadcasts, the S95C continued to impress and show it’s greater than only a showpiece for 4K HDR. The AI upscaling, particularly from 1080i broadcast content material, is great, providing solely faint hints of blurring round ultra-crisp information reporters and speak present hosts. The NBA playoffs look clean as silk. Unlike most LED TVs, the S95C’s OLED panel appears fabulous even far off to the aspect.

The TV isn’t infallible, in fact. The brutal check that’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 in HD continues to be simply that, and a number of the darker particulars disappear in a sunlit room. With an SDR peak brightness of round 600 nits, the S95C might knock out my C1 there, however it’s on par on this division with loads of budget-friendly LED TVs. If you’re one for watching ultra-dark movies within the gentle of day, you is perhaps higher off with a scorching LED TV, reminiscent of Samsung’s QN90 sequence. I additionally observed a number of moments of movie stutter, the place the picture appears to carry on too lengthy in panning, although it hardly ever bothered me.

Even in its hardest exams, the S95C’s luscious shade quantity, wealthy distinction, and hanging black ranges look spectacular. Make no mistake, it is a heavy-weight TV in any gentle. That’s one thing you couldn’t say about OLED TVs even a short while in the past. Welcome to the long run.

Comparison and Competition

LG’s G3 is the apparent first comparability, which claims even higher brightness, however barely much less total HDR shade protection. While I haven’t seen it but, it’s been getting related acclaim and is prone to be within the operating with the S95C as one of the best TV of the 12 months. Unlike Samsung’s TV, it additionally helps Dolby Vision.

Sony’s A95L must also be accessible quickly. Another QD-OLED, the A95 sports activities Sony’s acclaimed image processing and is bound to be on the high of the listing on this very aggressive race for one of the best premium OLED. If you may’t wait, the A95K is presently accessible.

Those are my high three recommendations, and in case you have the cash, I can’t think about you’d probably be disenchanted with any of them. That stated, it can save you a whole lot of money by going with older fashions, reminiscent of final 12 months’s S95B or the brand new step-down mannequin, the S90C. Those choices don’t get fairly as brilliant, however will nonetheless look unbelievable. 

If you want one thing brighter than the S95C (maybe you’re a daytime TV junkie), you can additionally take into account a premium LED TV reminiscent of Samsung’s QN90C Neo QLED or QN90B which received’t provide the identical wonderful distinction or off-axis viewing, however will get blazingly brilliant throughout content material with fabulous colours at a a lot cheaper price.

Conclusion

What can I say? This is likely one of the high TVs in the marketplace. Its mixture of OLED distinction and black ranges and the searing highlights and shade copy supplied by quantum dots mix for a gob-smacking mix of show expertise. Sure to be in competition for one of the best TV of the 12 months, the Samsung S95C is a superb method to make investments in your house theater, and one of the best TV I’ve had the pleasure to get pleasure from but.

The put up Samsung S95C QD-OLED 4K TV Review – OLED Nirvana first appeared on ResidenceTheaterReview and is written by Ryan Waniata

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