In this article, we’re taking a look at Samsung’s S95B, which is their 2022 QD-OLED. Now, we know that this is one of the best and most popular TVs we’ve seen this year. The question is, is it worth buying? Well, over the last two weeks, I’ve been using this as my main TV. I’ve watched a few movies and played a few games. Therefore, I’m ready to give you a more hands-on review of my honest opinion on the pros and cons. As a result, I have a link to their site below if you want to check out the latest deals.
Samsung S95B TV Picture Quality
So the first thing that’s worth talking about is the picture quality, and I’ll tell you what, this is easily one of if not the best TVs I’ve seen this year. The fact that it’s an OLED means the pixels are self-lit, which naturally improves the contrast and black levels more than any LCD TV. Now, OLEDs aren’t new – we’ve seen them tweaked and improved over the last five to six years, and they all look great. But this isn’t just a normal OLED, it’s a QD OLED, and that means it combines those self-lighting pixels of an OLED with the brightness and colors from a quantum dot TV. On paper, this sounds good, but in reality, you definitely notice just how much brighter this looks on screen, especially around the highlights. The colors too, they are without doubt very impressive, regardless of whether I’ve tried movies or gaming.
The first thing to note though is I am using the filmmaker mode, it’s my go-to picture preset on almost every TV, although ISF expert bright is a close second when I’m using an LG TV. Now, I watch a lot of HDR content, so it’s great to see it does support HDR, HLG, and HDR10+. So, this isn’t just for movies, but for gaming as well, and this is where you notice the brighter highlights the most. Then of course, you’ve got SDR content which, generally speaking, I don’t watch a lot, but that still looks great on this TV. Some content can look a little soft or grainy, but for me, that’s no different to any other TV that I’ve tested. Overall, the picture quality, the detail, the resolution, contrast, and colors look awesome on this TV. It’s far brighter than any other OLED that I’ve tested in the last year.
Filmmaker Mode (No DV)
Now, when it comes to movies, you want to make the most of the Filmmaker Mode, which is supported on the Samsung S95B. This gives you the option to watch the movie the way the director intended. Although HDR is supported, it’s really disappointing to see that Dolby Vision is not. I was surprised by this when testing, but I have confirmed this online. That it is not supported. Whether this can be retrospectively added via an update, I’m not too sure, but I guess if we don’t see it on this model, we will probably see it on the next one.
Samsung S95B OLED Screen Size
As for the size the Samsung S95B is the 65 inch version but it’s also available in a 55 inch version as well, that means if you did want to go for a large screen OLED like we see from the LG oleds where you could go up to 77 or even 83 inches you won’t have that choice here but for General movie watching the QD and the OLED combo is really outstanding and it gives a near perfect view and experience with impressive detail.
It’s not just watching movies that’s impressive; it’s the gaming features that make this TV a great all-rounder. With more and more of us gaming on our TVs, whether that’s on the PlayStation 5, Xbox series X, or Switch, there’s a good chance that if you’re using the s95b, you might want to hook up a console as well.
Firstly, there are four HDMI 2.1 ports. That means if you wanted to connect the PS5 to it, you’re going to be getting 4K 120 Hertz gaming support. We’ve seen this on a lot of TVs this year, but it’s still great to see it included. On top of that, it does support ALM or the Auto Low Latency Mode, as well as VRR or Variable Refresh Rate. This means if you are playing on the PS5 or Xbox series X or S, you’re able to take advantage of the variable rate rather than a locked frame rate. This will naturally mean smoother gameplay resulting in little to no stuttering or screen tearing. This is also helped by the FreeSync and G-Sync support.
It’s almost as good as some of the other OLED TVs that we’ve seen in the last year, but the motion isn’t quite as smooth as I would like it to be. However, playing games at 120 Hertz never gets old, especially on a TV that looks as nice as this. My go-to game is always Call of Duty because of how fast-paced it is. It’s a great way to test out the frame rate as well as the motion handling.
Now, there’s always a weird assumption that playing FPS or any competitive or fast-paced games on a TV is a bad idea, but this TV is fast. Depending on the mode or resolution you’re in, it’s possible to achieve anywhere from six milliseconds to a 10-millisecond input lag. That is rapid for a monitor, let alone a TV.
Game Bar and Hub
If you want to keep track of the frame rate or tweak the gaming settings, Samsung has their own game bar to access. To access this menu, you just need to press the play and pause button on the remote. It’s very similar to LG’s Game Optimizer mode, and it shows you all the information in one place, such as the picture profiles, frame rate, and aspect ratio controller. This actually lets you change the ratio to 21×9 or 32×9 at the press of a button. This feature is aimed at PC gaming, so unfortunately, it’s not something I can test out. However, the fact that you can hook up a gaming PC or laptop and run it at a wider resolution is awesome.
On top of that, if you’d rather not plug in a console or PC, Samsung has their own gaming hub that allows you to play and stream games directly to the TV. You need to sign in with your Game Pass or Stream account, and then you can play the games directly using your own controller.
Reflections and Veiwving Angles
Let me talk to you about the viewing angles and reflections on this TV. It’s not something that’s often talked about or even considered when buying TVs, but it’s really important, especially if you’re watching it during the day or in a bright room. Fortunately, as this TV combines both quantum dot and OLED technologies, the viewing angles are brilliant. I know most people will probably watch their TV straight on, but it’s always worth checking these things out just in case you plan on having your seating off-center.
This is one of the biggest selling points of OLED. You can practically see the screen from any angle within your room, and you’re not going to lose any contrast or picture quality. And this leads us onto reflections. So, this is the same with most OLEDs, but the screens are typically glossy to allow us to have that awesome contrast and black levels. But it also means they’re very reflective. However, the fact that the Samsung S95B has a very dark, mirror-like coating means the reflections are kept low. This is by far the best I’ve ever seen on an OLED.
As you can see here as I turn, you can obviously still see the window in the reflection of the TV, but it’s nowhere near as distracting as a typical OLED. And if you pair that with a brighter screen from the quantum dot technology, unless you’re in a really dark scene and watching it during the day, you’re not really going to see many reflections.
Samsung S95B Burn-In
It’s too early for me to talk about burning or image retention since I’ve only used the TV for two weeks, which isn’t a fair test. However, based on my experience with OLED TVs, I’ve never had an issue with burning even after thousands of hours of gaming on multiple TVs in my house. QD OLED is new compared to OLED and supposedly better at managing burning, but only time will tell. If you’re buying the s95b, you’re one of the early adopters.
So, you will find out first. The speakers and sound quality have really surprised me. Seeing how slim the frame is, you’d naturally think this is going to sound like every other ultra-thin OLED, but that’s not the case with this one. They are clear, punchy, and have more bass than I was expecting to hear. In fact, over the last two weeks, I’ve exclusively used the TV speakers as my AVR isn’t yet set up to use my external speakers, and I’ve had no complaints at all. Now, looking through the Samsung website, I couldn’t see any information about what speakers are actually fitted.
Samsung S95B TV Design
Looking at the design and overall appearance of the S95B, I personally think it looks awesome. The thin frame, borderless bezel, and even the stand all look different yet familiar to me. It kind of resembles a massive monitor, especially with the height of the stand. However, it is worth mentioning that I did notice a very slight bend in the panel. It’s hard to capture this on screen, so I’m not sure if you’re able to see it, but it’s definitely there in the middle. I’m not sure if this is because the panel is incredibly thin or there’s a quality control issue, and whether others would have noticed it unless they went looking for it, but it’s definitely there.
UI and Menus
So, the menus and home screen are all running on the latest Tizen operating system. This is the first time I’ve used this operating system, and my first impressions last week were great. It looks nice, it’s user-friendly, and it’s pretty intuitive. But, I have noticed how slow, laggy, and buggy it can be. I’ve tried updating and resetting it, and after a while, it just slows down completely. Navigating through apps or even just pressing the home button seems to be sluggish, and the number of times that Netflix either doesn’t load at all or crashes, I’ve lost count. Now, if you were going to use the TV with another device like a console, Apple TV, or Amazon stick, well, you’d probably be fine. But, personally, I could not use this operating system every single day without being frustrated, which is a real shame because it actually looks quite nice. I know in the comments of my last video, people have mentioned keeping this TV offline to prevent updates. It’s something I could do, but the truth is having to keep your TV offline just to make sure there are no future issues isn’t really a good start.
There are some other features worth mentioning too such as the fact that it comes to a Google Assistant Alexa and AirPlay built-in. For my testing, I’ve been able to use my voice to search and play for movies as well as mirror or AirPlay my iPhone or MacBook straight to the TV. There is a slight delay when using it this way, but if you wanted a cable-free way to show off your photos or what’s on your screen, well, it works pretty well. I also showed these wallpapers during my unboxing video last week and loads of you asked where I got it from. Well, this is actually built into the TV. It’s called Samsung’s ambient mode plus and that allows you to play a selection of animated wallpapers along with the sound. I think this is a really nice feature and it’s a lot nicer than the static wallpapers that we’ve seen on other TVs.
Issues and QC
So before I get into my final thoughts, these are the areas that I think need improvement on the S95b. Well, first of all, the UI and the menus definitely need optimization. They are far too slow and laggy, and if it’s something you’re using every day, it’s not really a nice experience. And the fact that Dolby Vision isn’t supported is a real shame. If you’ve used it on other TVs, you’ll realize just how much you’ll miss it. Maybe Samsung can provide this as an over-the-air update, but I guess only time will tell, though the chances are they probably wouldn’t. And finally, the build quality or the quality control. Obviously, my TV is slightly bent, but it doesn’t mean every single one is. But reading some of the comments from you last week, it’s implied that a few of you have had the same problem.
Samsung S95B OLED TV Price
As for the cost, obviously this varies depending on your location and the offers available. But the 55-inch model is currently priced at around 1400 pounds or 1500 dollars, while the 65-inch model is around 2200 pounds or 2000 dollars. This is a lot cheaper than when they first launched earlier this year. Comparing this to other OLEDs at a similar size, the S95B is competitively priced at these discounted rates. If the full price is tough to justify, the cost is still reasonable considering that you are getting a brighter screen with incredible colors, as well as the combination of OLED and quantum dot technology.
Should You Buy it?
The question is, is it worth buying? Well, the s95b does an incredible job of combining the pros of an OLED, such as the black levels, contrast ratio, and viewing angles, with the pros of a quantum dot TV, including more accurate colors and brightness. Now, if you were wanting the latest tech or want to be an early adopter of something, the s95b is hard to pass on. Plus, you’re not going to be disappointed with the image quality. However, if you want a snappy UI and you need Dolby Vision support, well, you’re not going to be happy with this model. But from a picture quality alone point of view, this TV is awesome. So, if you ask me, would I buy one? I would say you’re probably better off waiting for the 2023 QD-OLEDs. It can only get better from here, and if you’re spending this kind of money on a TV, you’re likely going to keep it for the next two to three years. So, buying the first generation isn’t always the best idea.