ZDNET’s key takeaways
- The Samsung S95C is not the newest OLED mannequin from the corporate, nevertheless it’s nonetheless among the best for high-contrast, brightly-lit OLED visuals.
- Whereas the S95C would not have the identical matte-treated show as the brand new S95D, it nonetheless sees notable enhancements from the final technology like the upper brightness and refresh fee.
- In order for you one of the best OLED TV from Samsung proper now, that is the one to purchase. In any other case, wait out for the S95D, which we’re anticipating to be a prime TV contender in 2024.
Samsung makes a lot of TVs; there’s virtually an providing for each show sort, dimension, and visible desire. However the one which’s all the time stood out to me is its OLED mannequin.
See, OLED panels on TVs, very similar to the shows on high-end telephones and tablets, are infamous for delivering inky blacks and high-contrast visuals. Naturally, these dim-lit scenes in motion pictures and video games are extra lifelike, true-to-color, and really immersive to look at.
On the flip facet, there’s additionally a standard downside with OLED panels, and that is brightness (or lack thereof). Daylight, overhead lamps, and nearly another outdoors supply of luminance can simply blow out the liveliness displayed on an OLED panel.
However that each one adjustments with Samsung’s S95C. This, from what I’ve seen, could be the best (and brightest) OLED TV available on the market proper now and is probably going your only option earlier than producers start to roll out their 2024 fashions later within the yr.
Samsung S95C OLED TV
Available in 55, 65, and 77-inch sizes, the S95C OLED builds on last year’s model with Samsung’s QD-OLED technology.
How’s the design?
What jumped out at me when first unboxing the S95C was its width, or lack thereof. The Infinity One Design, as Samsung calls it, consists of a panel that measures simply 0.4 inches thick and the corporate’s redesigned One Join Field, receptive to a number of HDMI ports, USB-A, and even Dolby Atmos by way of eArc, now housed on the TV stand itself versus the again of the show.
Collectively, you are a modern and trendy centerpiece that immediately modernizes the setting that it is in.
The unlucky factor is that with the 14.2 x 11.7 x 11.1-inch stand connected, it nearly defeats the aim of the TV’s skinny width since you’ll should accommodate furnishing house for the stand and never the show itself. Due to this fact, I like to recommend mounting the S95C as an alternative and lengthening the One Join Field down right into a drawer, which Samsung offers a cable for.
I’ll give Samsung some factors for leaving simply sufficient room between the bottom of the stand and the underside of the TV for a soundbar. For all of the visuals that you just’re getting with the S95C OLED, the back-firing audio system merely will not reduce it in case you’re hoping to be engulfed with bass and the rumblings of automotive explosions; you may want a quality soundbar to match. And, ideally, one among Samsung’s that helps its surround-sound-like Q-Symphony expertise.
As I discussed earlier, the S95C OLED impressed me probably the most with its notably correct visualization of dimmer scenes, notably in some components of Avatar: The Method of Water. All through the film, there are a number of scenes that happen in forests and darkened environments, but I did not have any hassle distinguishing the Na’vi (the blue individuals, for the unfamiliar) from the extraterrestrial props of Pandora.
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Most of that is credited to the “QD” little bit of the S95C’s QD-OLED show. Samsung’s meshed collectively its self-illuminating Quantum Dot expertise with OLED with a view to emit extra exact colours in various ranges of distinction. That is a geeky means of claiming that whether or not you are watching a brightly-lit scene or a darker one, you’ll see most, if not all, the colours that the director wished you to see.
The quantity of element that is retained within the darkness and little to no blooming is kind of a feat, nevertheless it’s additionally the TV’s understanding of when to maintain pixels turned off as an alternative of mechanically boosting the publicity or brightness that places the S95C high-up the list for me.
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Typically talking, I discovered the native shade profile of the S95C a bit extra jarring than what I used to be used to. My first response when taking part in a 4K pattern was each optimistic and damaging; I cherished how sharp the photographs seemed, however the overload of saturation led me to make a beeline to the show settings to tone issues down.
Adjusting the TV settings is largely made straightforward because of a carousel of presets for audio output, Image Mode, Bluetooth units, and extra. I say “largely” since you nonetheless should dig into the “Skilled Settings” tab to really fine-tune elements like sharpness, shade, and tint.
And in case you’re not a fan of Samsung’s AI-based movement smoothening and deblurring, which might work towards motion motion pictures mounted at 24 frames per second (fps), you may modify the 2 in the identical tab.
ZDNET’s shopping for recommendation
The underside line for the Samsung S95C (2023) is that it is the firm’s greatest OLED TV but, and fixes many of the points that plagued final yr’s mannequin, together with the brightness points and decrease refresh fee.
There’s additionally a great probability you are cross-shopping between the S95C and LG’s G3 OLED. For those who worth the flexibleness of TV mounting and freestanding, having a number of enter sources in a tidy, hidden-from-plain-sight compartment, and think about your self a gamer, then the Samsung is the higher selection.
Samsung sells the S95C for a beginning worth of $2,299 for the 55-inch model, with bigger choices accessible. For those who’re searching for one of many best OLED TVs available on the market, and do not need to wait till the matte-treated model comes out later this yr, that is the mannequin to put money into.