LG vs. Samsung: Who’s winning the smart TV war?

In recent years, two South Korean giants have dominated the smart TV market. But which one is winning? Here’s our comparison of LG and Samsung in 2019 — and a look ahead to the future of both companies.

LG vs. Samsung: Who’s winning the smart TV war?

We all love a great rivalry. And there are a ton to pick from. Nikola Tesla vs. Thomas Edison, Marvel vs. DC, Coke vs. Pepsi, Star Wars vs. Star Trek… We could go on forever. But even with this small sampling, you probably have your favorite choice. Unless you’re an outlier and you’re going with Westinghouse, Dark Horse, Dr Pepper, and Firefly. In the smart TV realm, LG vs. Samsung is the battle you’re paying attention to. Unless you’re one of those outliers again, and you’re looking at Sony.

More and more people are moving to smart TVs in their homes. But what exactly is a smart TV? Simply put, it’s a TV that is able to connect to your home internet service either with a wired ethernet cord or via Wi-Fi. It can stream various apps, connect to smart home devices, or even comes with Alexa and Google Assistant. With a smart TV, there’s no need for an extra device to stream from, so you want need a Roku, or a Fire Stick, or an Apple TV.

With the amount of streaming services we use, it only makes sense to have a TV that can do it all for us. Especially since many people are ditching the cable company and moving toward only using streaming services. You can get everything you need now without cable, for for a fraction of the cost. Why wouldn’t you make the switch to ditch the cable company?

But choosing a smart TV can be a lot to take in. There are so many new terms to learn. Do you need 4K or 8K—and what does that even mean? Or do you need OLED or QLED? And what does that even mean? Why is it so difficult to pick out something you’re just going to sit around watching old episodes of The Golden Girls on? (Thanks, Hulu!)

To get you started, we’ve created a guide to help you understand all of the terminology we’re about to use below. Plus, if you’re new to the smart TV game, check this out. You’ll be able to walk into the store feeling more confident about what you need and what will work best for you. The salesperson on the floor will likely steer you toward an LG or Samsung TV, since they’re the two battling it out for numero uno right now. So, before you make the plunge and head out to get that new TV, check out our round-up of LG vs. Samsung. We decided to compare the two brands to see if we could find an outright winner.

LG vs. Samsung: the contenders

In the smart TV market, most brands borrow technology and software from other companies. It’s easier and much less expensive. But both LG and Samsung have developed their smart TVs from scratch.

LG vs. Samsung Who’s winning the smart TV war 04

Who is winning between LG and Samsung?

LG manufactures OLED displays, which are considered to be the best in terms of color and contrast. Samsung still uses QLED technology, which can’t quite match OLED for picture quality. That said, Samsung is aiming to develop a QD-LED hybrid in the near future.

LG vs. Samsung Who’s winning the smart TV war 03

OLED technology trumps QLED

Unique operating systems

In the LG vs. Samsung smart TV battle, both brands offer solid operating systems.

LG webOS

Pros

  • Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant integration
  • Fast to navigate
  • Good app support
  • Streaming apps remain open and live. What this means is that you can switch back and forth easily without losing whatever you were streaming. Need to check a game? Pause Captain Marvel, go into another app and check the game, and then go right back into Captain Marvel.

Cons

  • Nothing that would be worth noting. It’s a solid operating system.

Samsung Tizen

Pros

  • Fast to navigate
  • You’ll receive free channels with TV Plus

Cons

  • Not a great number of apps
  • The search function isn’t always the greatest

It’s clear that LG’s webOS is a better operating system that gives you more features.

LG vs. Samsung Who’s winning the smart TV war 02

LG also wins on smart features

Dolby Vision vs. HDR10

This is a big one for a lot of people. It might even be a make or break one for a lot of people. That is, if you have enough money to spend on it. Because if you have the money, Dolby Vision is absolutely the way to go. The picture quality is amazing, and you’re not going to find anything else out there like it. But, again, it comes with a cost. HDR10 is a definite improvement over SDR (standard dynamic range), and for most people, that’s enough. Especially if you’re not trying to break the bank.

A comparison image between LG vs. Samsung picture quality

Dolby Vision is the clear winner. (Picture: TechHive)

In this realm, LG wins with picture quality, since they utilize Dolby Vision, something other brands aren’t really going. But if your metric is price, Samsung will win this battle with HDR10.

The LG vs. Samsung smart TV battle verdict

So, after covering everything, you’d probably say that LG wins the LG vs. Samsung battle, right? But like we mentioned above, the price aspect needs to be taken into consideration. While LG seems to be technically superior at present, Samsung offers cheaper models that get the job done. And that’s all most people need for their home TV—something that gets the job done. And many people don’t have the budget to buy a much mroe expensive TV.

LG vs. Samsung: smart TV models

Both brands aren’t reaching for the top spot with a single TV. Instead, they both have a range of smart TVs that cover everything from the incredibly smart to the incredibly innovative. Here are some of the best new smart TVs from each of these big brands.

Below, you’ll find a variety of LG vs. Samsung smart TV models. We’ve done the work for you and have listed their main stats so you can easily look through the list and see which TV is offering what features. Because we all like it when things are easy.

2019 Samsung 4K smart TVs

Class Q50R QLED Smart 4K UHD TV

If you’re looking for a good starter TV for a small space, this is a good place to start. This model only comes in 32″, but it comes with a lot of the great Samsung features.

  • Bluetooth headset support
  • Three HDMI input/outputs
  • 120 motion rate
  • 4K Ultra HD Connected
  • 20W sound output
  • 2CH speakers
  • Dolby
  • Anynet+™
  • Smart TV with Bixby Voice
  • Apps
  • Full web browser
  • Wi-Fi Connectivity
  • Smart Hub

You won’t have the Quantum HDR the other models have, and you won’t have the Quantum Processor.

Regular price for this model is $499.99. You can find it on Samsung’s website.

A TV with pink flamingos on the screen.

Image Credit: Samsung / The Samsung Q50

Class Q60R QLED Smart 4K UHD TV

This TV is everything the Q50R is and more, with more sizes.

  • Sizes: 43″, 49″, 55″, 65″, 75″, and 82″
  • Four HDMI input/outputs
  • Quantum Processor 4K
  • Bluetooth headset support
  • Three HDMI input/outputs
  • 120 motion rate
  • 4K Ultra HD Connected
  • 20W sound output
  • 2CH speakers
  • Dolby
  • Anynet+™
  • Smart TV with Bixby Voice
  • Apps
  • Full web browser
  • Wi-Fi Connectivity
  • Smart Hub

Regular price for this model, starting at 43″, is $799.99. You can find it on Samsung’s website.

A TV with a colorful image is sitting on an entertainment center in a living room.

Image Credit: TechRadar / The Samsung Q60

Class Q70R QLED Smart 4K UHD TV

  • Sizes 49″, 55″, 65″, 75″, 82″, and 85″
  • Quantum HDR 8X
  • 40W sound output
  • 2.1CH speakers
  • Bluetooth headset support
  • Three HDMI input/outputs
  • 120 motion rate
  • 4K Ultra HD Connected
  • Dolby
  • Anynet+™
  • Smart TV with Bixby Voice
  • Apps
  • Full web browser
  • Wi-Fi Connectivity
  • Smart Hub

Regular price for this model, starting at 49″, is $1,249.99. You can find it on Samsung’s website.

A TV with an ocean image on the screen in a living room.

Image Credit: TechRadar / The Samsung Q70

Class Q80R QLED Smart 4K UHD TV

  • 55″, 65″, 75″, and 82″
  • 240 motion rate
  • Quantum HDR 12X
  • 4.1CH speakers
  • Bluetooth headset support
  • Three HDMI input/outputs
  • 4K Ultra HD Connected
  • 20W sound output
  • Dolby
  • Anynet+™
  • Smart TV with Bixby Voice
  • Apps
  • Full web browser
  • Wi-Fi Connectivity
  • Smart Hub

Regular price for this model, starting at 55″, is $1,999.99. You can find it on Samsung’s website.

A TV is sitting on the floor against a dark gray background, with a colorful rock image on the screen.

Image Credit: TechRadar / The Samsung Q80

Class Q90R QLED Smart 4K UHD TV

  • 65″, 75″, and 82″
  • Quantum HDR 16X
  • 60W sound output
  • 4.2CH speakers
  • 240 motion rate
  • Bluetooth headset support
  • Three HDMI input/outputs
  • 4K Ultra HD Connected
  • Dolby
  • Anynet+™
  • Smart TV with Bixby Voice
  • Apps
  • Full web browser
  • Wi-Fi Connectivity
  • Smart Hub

Regular price for this model, starting at 65″, is $3,499.99. You can find it on Samsung’s website.

A large TV is on a teal TV stand in a living room, and a man and woman are watching it.

Image Credit: The Big Screen Store / The Samsung Q90

2019 Samsung 8K smart TVs

Class Q900 QLED Smart 8K UHD TV

Samsung only has one 8K TV, and it starts at $2,199.99 for the 55″. This TV is going to give you a better picture quality than the 4K TV, but it will have many of the same features as the 4K TVs.

  • 55″, 65″, 75″, 82″, 85″, 98″
  • 8K AI Upscaling² means that this revolutionary upscaler will remaster your content into 8K
  • Quantum Processor 8K is Samsung’s most powerful processor
  • Quantum HDR 24X will give you intensely deep colors and super-fine details
  • A TV has an image of Buddhist monk statues on it.

    Image Credit: Digital Trends / The Samsung Q900 TV

2019 LG OLED TVs

LG B9 Class 4K Smart OLED TV

This is LG’s entry-level OLED TV. One of the awesome things about this TV is the gallery mode, which features world-famous travel attractions updated seasonally by TripAdvisor.

  • 55″, 65″
  • 4K Ultra HD
  • AI ThinQ for Google Assistant and Alexa
  • LG OLED Display
  • LG a7 Gen 2 Intelligent Processor
  • Dolby Vision
  • Dolby Atmos
  • 4K Upscaler
  • 2.2 Channel speaker system
  • 40W output
  • Bluetooth support
  • 3 USB ports
  • 4 HDMI inputs
  • Smartphone connectivity
  • AirPlay 2
  • 1ms response time to reduce ghosting
  • 13.1 ms Input Lag for smooth game play
  • Variable refresh rate
  • Auto Low Latency Mode

Regular price for this model starts at $1,599.99.

A TV with an image of dark rocks on the screen is on a TV stand in a living room.

Image Credit: CNet / The LG B9

LG C9 Class 4K Smart OLED TV

As with Samsung, each class of OLED TV is better than the previous. And though it starts to come with a heftier pricetag, it’s well worth the money.

  • 55″, 65″, 77″
  • 4K Ultra HD
  • AI ThinQ for Google Assistant and Alexa
  • LG OLED Display
  • LG a9 Gen 2 Intelligent Processor
  • Dolby Vision
  • Dolby Atmos
  • 4K Upscaler
  • 2.2 Channel speaker system
  • 40W output
  • Bluetooth support
  • 3 USB ports
  • 4 HDMI inputs
  • Smartphone connectivity
  • AirPlay 2
  • 1ms response time to reduce ghosting
  • 13.1 ms Input Lag for smooth game play
  • Variable refresh rate
  • Auto Low Latency Mode

Regular price for this model starts at $2,499.99.

A TV is on a light wood entertainment stand with the image of a town on the screen.

Image Credit: CNet / The LG C9 TV

LG W9 Class 4K Smart OLED TV

This is LG’s Wallpaper TV. It’s amazingly thin, and it’s pretty awesome. Anyone who came into your house would for sure be talking about this TV.

  • 65″, 77″
  • 4K Cinema HDR
  • AI ThinQ for Google Assistant and Alexa
  • LG OLED Display
  • LG a9 Gen 2 Intelligent Processor
  • Dolby Vision
  • Dolby Atmos
  • 4K Upscaler
  • 4.2 Channel speaker system
  • 60W output
  • Bluetooth support
  • 3 USB ports
  • 4 HDMI inputs
  • Smartphone connectivity
  • AirPlay 2
  • 1ms response time to reduce ghosting
  • 13.1 ms Input Lag for smooth game play
  • Variable refresh rate
  • Auto Low Latency Mode

Regular price for this model starts at $5,999.99.

A modern living room with a thin TV hanging on the wall.

Image Credit: LG / The LG W9

LG Z9 8K Smart OLED TV

It might be expensive, but the LG Z9 is pretty remarkable. With four times the number of pixels as 4K, plus support for Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, this thing is the king of smart TVs. This TV only comes in 88″, and it has a hefty price tag at $29,999.99.


The smart TV war

The overall consensus is that both brands of TV are solid, and you won’t be making a poor decision if you buy one of them. In the LG vs. Samsung debate, it all depends on how much money you’re looking to spend and which features are the most important to you. Both TVs will give you fantastic picture quality, and both TVs will give you the smart TV capabilities you’re likely looking for. Do you already own a Samsung or an LG? What do you think of it? Are you someone who has owned both of these types of TVs? If so, do you have a preference for one over the other, and why?

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Meet Mark Myerson

Mark is best known for writing about apps, but he also loves the tactile, hardware side of technology. Being a professional photographer, he's pretty handy with a camera, and he's a self-confessed tweetaholic.

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