The first six months of 2023 have seen strong progress in the world of OLED TVs, with major performance leaps coming from LG and Samsung as they push the limits of OLED display tech. And while the most important developments have occurred at the higher-end of the price scale, there has also been some progress on the affordable TV front, with mid-range models getting modest upgrades.
The best OLED TVs regularly rank on our best 4K TVs list, with both affordable and premium sets represented. As we expected, the range of sets being launched in 2023 matches last year’s offerings, with Samsung adding a new, lower-cost series to its lineup and LG subtracting one model, the entry-level A-series.
We’ll dive into the details of the new OLED TVs that have launched so far in 2023 below, including ones TechRadar has reviewed. We’ll also discuss pending 2023 launches, along with news related to the OLED TV category that could affect next year’s offerings from either a technology or pricing standpoint. The aim here is to bring OLED TV enthusiasts up-to-date on recent developments, as well as provide key info that could help to guide any future buying decisions.
OLED TVs in 2023: what have been the biggest launches so far this year?
When we first laid eyes on Samsung’s new S95C series OLED TV at CES 2023 back in January, we knew the company had something special on its hands. Its previous S95B OLED was sold only in 55- and 65-inch screen sizes, but the new series introduced a 77-inch option.
Samsung was claiming a 30% brightness boost for the S95C series over its predecessor, both of which use the company’s QD-OLED tech that combines an OLED display panel with a quantum dot filter to enhance color detail and saturation. As the company explained at the show, that advancement was made possible via a new Quantum HDR OLED Plus feature that uses AI deep learning to fine-tune brightness on a per-pixel level.
While the enhancement was clearly visible in our initial hands-on with Samsung’s new OLED TV, it was confirmed in our Samsung S95C review, which found the brightness increase to be even better than anticipated. Add to that improvements in black uniformity and color purity, and the new S95C has proved to be the best OLED TV we’ve tested so far in 2023.
LG’s G3 is another launch we’ve been excited about since we first had an opportunity to get an up-close look at the new G3 OLED. The main reason why is that LG’s latest flagship OLED uses Micro Lens Array (MLA) and META, two tech refinements that increase peak light output by 70% over regular OLEDs such as LG’s also-new B3 series models. The G3 series also has a new α9 Gen 6 AI Processor which enhances high dynamic range images using OLED Dynamic Tone Mapping Pro, a feature that divides pictures into 20,000 blocks and optimizes each one in real time.
While we’ve had further hands-on experiences with the G3 OLED, a full review hasn’t yet been posted. But we did get the opportunity to review the mid-range C3 OLED, and found it to be a great, affordable choice for movie fans and gamers alike, one that brings slight but noticeable improvements in brightness and picture processing over the C2, our top TV of the year in 2022.
Beyond the models listed above, other OLED TVs that have launched so far in 2023 include the Samsung S90C and Sony A80L. The Samsung is a step-down model from the company’s flagship S95C that has a slightly bulkier form factor and a less advanced HDR processing algorithm. It’s also priced lower than the S95C while being sold in the same 55-, 65-, and 77-inch screen sizes.
Sony’s A80L is a new midrange OLED offering for the company that uses a standard WOLED panel rather than the QD-OLED one found in the company’s also-new A95L (more on that model below). And while it doesn’t hit the same high peak brightness levels as the LG G3 and Samsung S95C, we found in our Sony A80L review that it delivered generally excellent picture quality – something due in large part to the company’s Cognitive Processor XR picture processor.
OLED TVs in 2023: what launches are we expecting during the rest of the year?
One new TV we’re eagerly waiting on is the Sony A95L, which is the company’s flagship OLED model for 2023. We did get a chance earlier in the year to do an eyes-on A95L evaluation, and the new Sony OLED certainly looks promising.
Same as with the new Sony A80L, the A95L uses Cognitive Processor XR to enhance picture detail and HDR performance. But it goes several steps further by using a QD-OLED display panel plus a physical heat sink to increase brightness. Audio performance is also a focal point for the A95L, which has Acoustic Surface Audio Plus, a feature that positions actuators behind the display panel that vibrate the screen to emit sound.
The Sony A95L will be available in 55-, 65-inch, and 75-inch screen sizes when it arrives later this year. When it does, it should give the Samsung S95C and LG G3 strong competition at the high end of the OLED TV marketplace.
Panasonic also has new OLED TVs on the way for viewers in the UK and Europe in the second half of 2023. The main one we’re looking forward to is the MZ2000, which will be the company’s new flagship model. In our hands-on MZ2000 review, we appreciated the enhanced brightness made possible by its Micro Lens Array feature, the same one found in LG’s G3 OLED TV. Audio performance also gets attention on the MZ2000, with a 360° Soundscape feature providing an immersive audio experience similar to Dolby Atmos.
Philips also has a pair of new OLED TVs scheduled to arrive in the UK and Europe in the second half of 2023: the OLED808 and OLED+908. Of these, the OLED+908 looks to be the more attention-grabbing release, with a Micro Lens Array panel and proprietary processing that will enable the TV to reach 2,100 nits brightness levels, according to the company. That’s a sizable brightness leap over even the Samsung S95C, which hit 1,400 nits peak light output in our tests, and it would make the Philips OLED+908 a contender for the top OLED TV of 2023.
What rumored OLED TV developments do we have to report on that could affect your current or future shopping? Samsung could be adding an 83-inch screen size to its S90C series, with the new model being announced as early as September. According to the rumor mill, the 83-inch offering will feature the same WOLED display panel used by OLED TVs like the LG C3 and Sony A80L series, which is an unusual development considering that the rest of the Samsung S90C series uses a QD-OLED panel.
Another, related, rumor has Samsung buying WOLED display panels from LG to boost its TV offerings, with the end result being cheaper Samsung OLED TVs. While this news seems at odds with Samsung’s historical hesitancy to dive fully into OLED TV technology, it comes from a reliable source (Reuters) and does make sense given the growing popularity of OLED as an upmarket TV option.
Want to buy a 32-inch OLED TV? A report from TFTCentral indicates that smaller OLED TVs are on the way, with 32-inch and 27-inch 4K models soon to come from LG Display and Samsung Display. How soon? The report suggests that production will start in Q3 2024, which means the smaller-screen OLEDs could be on the market as soon as spring 2025. So, if you’ve ever wanted to use an OLED TV as a desktop gaming monitor, or you’d like a small bedroom TV with the uncompromised picture quality that OLED tech offers, your chance could be coming fairly soon.
Get daily insight, inspiration and deals in your inbox
Get the hottest deals available in your inbox plus news, reviews, opinion, analysis and more from the TechRadar team.
Al Griffin has been writing about and reviewing A/V tech since the days LaserDiscs roamed the earth, and was previously the editor of Sound & Vision magazine.
When not reviewing the latest and greatest gear or watching movies at home, he can usually be found out and about on a bike.