Samsung’s New Flagship OLED TV Is the Best Screen I’ve Ever Used

Samsung’s New Flagship OLED TV Is the Best Screen I’ve Ever Used
At Gizmodo, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.

The Samsung S95D OLED TV is easily the best TV I’ve ever used in terms of picture quality. The tech giant has pulled all the stops to make its OLED technology, already rich in its colour depth and darkness, an absolutely incredible device for cutting down on glare. Intrusive light from windows and shining room lights are no match for the thick, glossy display that Samsung’s new flagship OLED packs.

I was always expecting to rave about this TV. Last year, Gizmodo Australia reviewed its predecessor, the S95C, which hit all the same points and was fairly glare-resistant, but ultimately it’s not as bright and glare-free as the S95D. If money were no option, and if I could fit such a gigantic TV into my tiny Sydney apartment, it would be hard to turn away from the S95D. I hope Samsung use this anti-glare tech in its gaming monitors.

Samsung means ‘anti-glare’

Buzzwords are a fairly normal part of any new tech release—a quick memorable phrase that, more often than not, is meaningless. Well, I’m happy to report that when Samsung says that the S95D has ‘anti-glare’ technology, it means it.

It’s nearly impossible to see yourself in the glass as the room dims and the display goes black after an intense scene on the TV. To review this TV, Samsung put me up in a hotel with the display, a soundbar (I’ll review this separately), and the company’s new Music Frame (I’ll also review TBD).

A quick note, sound in modern flatscreen TVs is always passably fine, and that’s the case with this TV. It passes the test and gets nothing glaringly wrong, but it’s certainly not a cinematic experience by any stretch. These days, TV makers assume users will buy a soundbar along with the screen, so the speakers in the back of a TV are little more than an accessory to that. Samsung agrees. The HW-Q990D soundbar paired with this TV was amazing, and I spent most of my night using it.

When struck with an amount of light that could have worsened image quality, as hopefully these pictures will illustrate, there was hardly any glare to be seen. Morning light shone onto the TV but it hardly smeared the panel. It was like the TV was just saying ‘no’.

samsung oled
FYI, this is me, using a torch, showing how there is no glare. Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

This is not to say there wasn’t any glare, just that there wasn’t enough that could ruin my viewing experience. Not once in my night with the TV did I even see myself reflected in the darkened panel. To get any truly noticeable glare back from the TV, I used my extremely bright LED keyring torch (see above). From five metres away, sure, there was glare, but not as much as I expected. It was as if the TV was a black hole.

So, that’s the big attraction of this TV. Not necessarily its OLED capability and picture quality, which we’ll get into below, but how it treats glare. Let me underscore it: This is the best TV I have ever seen for cutting down on glare. It has no equal.

samsung oled
Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

OLED: Only Love Emitted Daily

We know what we’re getting into with a 4K OLED TV, a high-resolution picture quality matched by the leading tech for illustrating darkness. A quick refresher: OLED displays individually illuminate pixels behind the panel, as opposed to LCDs, which illuminate the entire panel. This means OLEDs naturally get less washed-out visuals and more accurate darkness by simply turning the pixels off. Samsung’s S95D OLED TV doesn’t really do anything to reinvent the wheel over last year’s model, and that’s completely fine.

samsung oled
Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

The only major improvement over the S95C is in brightness. Samsung claims a 20 per cent brightness improvement with the S95D, and although I wasn’t too accustomed to the brightness in the S95C, the S95D does a fairly good job of filling a scene with vibrance. I didn’t have much time to tinker with the TV, so I stuck to keeping it set to its default values, letting it automatically adjust picture quality to the show I’d be watching, and the results were fairly satisfying.

Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

In a scene like the campfire sequence in Fallout season 1, episode 2, the TV contrasts extremely well. In an animation, like Invincible, colours pop and are the best I’ve ever seen on a home TV.

samsung oled
Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

Picture quality in games was also great – I brought along a gaming laptop to play Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 (2023) and Forza Horizon 5 on the TV with, and although I wasn’t able to achieve the maximum rated framerate of the TV (144hz), picture quality was brilliant.

Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

Perfect software and hardware harmony

The TV has four HDMI ports for connectivity in its hub box (a separate box from the TV, which is unable to contain all of its components because the panel is so damn thin).

One of those ports is reserved for Samsung Arc, the company’s proprietary audio layer on top of HDMI, and although a non-Samsung device may work with this port, if you’ve got a Samsung soundbar, you need to be using this port. Regardless, if you’ve got your soundbar plugged into the wrong port, you’ll get a notice on your screen.

From left to right: the soundbar remote, the TV remote, and the hub box. Yes, the soundbar remote is bigger than the TV remote. Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

Samsung has made everything super easy to adjust sound output. Obviously, the TV will assume control of the soundbar’s audio, as the devices are compatible down to the software, but the TV will also automatically detect such a compatible device when connected.

If you want to adjust your picture quality, sound quality, and anything else, it’s all presented through extremely easy-to-use menus. There are expert settings for fine-tuning, but you don’t need to use these – the defaults are enough.

Naturally, too, the TV is super fast and responsive. I experienced no hangups or slowness in any Samsung menu and only noticed such hangups in third-party apps like Binge and, in particular, Amazon Prime Video.

However, as fast as it can be, there’s still one big factor that may irk a potential buyer.

Samsung’s content menu is still overwhelming

One of the notes we finished on with last year’s S95D was that Samsung’s built-in smart TV content menu was overwhelming, and in 2024, there’s nothing new to report. Inoffensive, sure, but this screen, which should be as intuitive as possible, is filled with so much clutter that you’re just never going to click on. This said, it’s difficult to point to a smart TV that doesn’t have this kind of pet peeve to it.

samsung oled
Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

I would love it if Samsung introduced a much lower-intensity home menu – it’s not just something that would make it easier for older users who maybe don’t want to scroll through dozens of options, but it would simplify things greatly for people like me who prefer a streamlined approach. But, hey, we’re just getting into wishlist stuff now.

The verdict: should you buy the Samsung OLED S95D TV?

This is Samsung’s flagship, and it’s deserving of the name. Though the largest option won’t be the biggest TV you can buy (98-inch TVs are for sure available, but the S95D only goes up to 77-inch) it’s difficult to imagine a better visual experience than this – especially if your living room gets a lot of light. If you’ve been craving the ultimate home cinema experience, you simply cannot ignore this TV.

For this reason, I recommend the Samsung OLED S95D, though I stress that it’s not the cheapest option on the market. You’ll pay $4,640 for the 55-inch model, $5,800 for the 65-inch, and up to $9,281 for the 77-inch.

The Samsung OLED S95D is available now from Samsung, JB Hi-Fi, and Bing Lee