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Samsung S95D: The Ultimate OLED TV Review

Unveiling the Brilliance: A Comprehensive Review of Samsung's S95D OLED TV

The Samsung S95D epitomizes the ultimate OLED experience, boasting intelligent features and innovative picture quality that set it apart as a leading OLED model in 2024, and secure its position among the top TVs of the year.

As anticipated for a high-end TV, the 65-inch S95D (the model we evaluated) is priced at $3,399 / £3,399 / AU$4,995, which is approximately $100 more than its predecessor, the Samsung S95C. However, the S95D introduces new technology that the S95C lacked.

The S95D is loaded with features to enhance picture, sound, and gaming. Nevertheless, the NQ4 AI Gen2 Processor and OLED Glare Free tech steal the spotlight, with the latter effectively eradicating annoying reflections with minimal impact on picture quality.

The standout feature of the S95D is its picture quality. With its QD-OLED panel and smart AI picture enhancements, textures appear incredibly realistic – an OLED TV has never been more detailed. Colors are vibrant and dynamic, yet maintain a natural appearance. Contrast is rich, and shadows are as deep and detailed as one could wish for. There are occasional instances of black crush due to Samsung’s use of a matte screen, but this can be corrected and it doesn’t detract from the S95D being one of the finest OLED TVs ever made.

The built-in sound of the S95D is robust, broad, and well-regulated, and while it may not outperform the Panasonic MZ2000, Philips OLED908, or Sony A80L, it will satisfy most users. However, with an OLED picture of this quality, it’s worth investing in one of the top soundbars to complement it.

Thanks to a thoughtfully designed and reassuringly sturdy stand, the S95D has a ‘floating’ appearance, and its slim profile and virtually invisible frame make it one of the most aesthetically pleasing TVs I’ve seen in years. The addition of Samsung’s One Connect Box for external connections, which helps keep things neat, is a welcome bonus.

Samsung’s TVs have been among the best gaming TVs for years, and the S95D is no exception with features such as a 144Hz refresh rate, VRR with AMD FreeSync Premium Pro support, and a superior gaming hub. Combine all this with a low 8.9ms input lag, and you have a TV that gamers dream of.

Samsung’s Tizen smart TV interface may not be as polished or feature-rich as LG’s webOS 24, but it’s still a reliable and functional platform that aims to keep things organized and straightforward for users.

While it’s still early in the 2024 TV market, the Samsung S95D has already raised the bar for other TVs and takes OLED to unprecedented heights.

Samsung S95D

SAMSUNG S95D REVIEW: COST AND LAUNCH DATE

The Samsung S95D, Samsung’s 2024 flagship OLED, hit the market in March 2024, succeeding the 2023 Samsung S95C. It comes in three sizes: a 55-inch model with a launch price of $2,599 / £2,499 / AU$3,995, a 65-inch model at $3,399 / £3,399 / AU$4,995, and a 77-inch model at $4,599 / £4,599 / AU$7,995. The slight price increase from the S95C is justified by the introduction of new anti-glare technology.

Interestingly, less than a month after its debut, the S95D is already seeing price reductions. The 65-inch model we reviewed has dropped to $2,999 in the US, with similar $300 reductions on other sizes. While there are currently no deals in the UK and Australia, they are likely to appear soon.

SAMSUNG S95D REVIEW: SPECIFICATIONS AND FEATURES

SPECIFICATIONS

SpecificationsDetails
Screen typeQuantum Dot OLED
Refresh rate120Hz
HDR supportHDR10, HDR10+, HLG
Audio supportDolby Atmos, DTS
Smart TVTizen
HDMI ports4 HDMI 2.1
Built-in tunerATSC 3.0

Key Features

  • OLED Glare Free screen
  • NQ4 AI Gen2 Processor
  • One Connect Box

The Samsung S95D inherits many features from its predecessor, the S95C, which was one of the top OLED TVs in 2023.

The S95D continues to use a QD-OLED panel, blending the deep contrast of OLED with the brightness of QLED. However, the standout feature is the new OLED Glare Free screen, a blend of anti-reflection technology and a new matte screen that effectively minimizes reflections from distracting light sources.

The S95D is equipped with the new NQ4 AI Gen2 processor, which uses AI to enhance the TV’s processing in three areas: AI Picture, AI Sound, and AI Optimization. Features like Real Depth Enhancer and OLED HDR Pro, according to Samsung, add new dimensions to picture quality.

In terms of HDR, the S95D supports HDR10+, HDR10, and HLG formats, but not Dolby Vision.

The S95D is packed with gaming features, including four HDMI 2.1 ports supporting up to a 144Hz refresh rate, VRR with AMD FreeSync Premium Pro, ALLM, and HGiG. It also includes Samsung’s Gaming Hub, a gateway to all gaming-related content, including cloud gaming services like Xbox, Nvidia GeForce Now, and Luna.

For sound, the S95D has a 4.2.2 speaker setup with 70W of power. It employs Samsung’s Object Tracking Sound+ (OTS+) to link the sound to the on-screen action and supports Dolby Atmos, which is effectively reproduced thanks to the TV’s real-height speakers.

The S95D features an Infinity One design with a super-thin frame and profile. It also includes Samsung’s One Connect Box, an external box for all connections, including HDMI, optical digital audio, and more, connected to the TV via the One Connect cable.

Samsung’s Tizen smart TV platform offers access to popular apps like Disney Plus, Netflix, and Prime Video. While Tizen hasn’t undergone many significant changes from last year, it’s worth noting for UK customers that the S95D does not come with Freeview Play but rather Samsung TV Plus, resulting in a different TV guide layout, although the same channels are supported.

Samsung S95D

SAMSUNG S95D REVIEW: IMAGE QUALITY

  • Remarkable clarity
  • Vibrant, authentic colors
  • Minor black crush with Filmmaker Mode

The S95D’s most captivating feature is its OLED Glare Free anti-reflection technology, designed to minimize onscreen reflections.

TV reflections typically take the form of mirror-like reflections, where an object or light source is clearly discernible. The S95D’s OLED Glare Free technology transforms these into Haze-type reflections, resulting in a blurred reflection that is far less intrusive, even if a light source is reflected.

In our lab, which is lit by extremely bright overhead lights, reflections on the S95D’s screen were virtually undetectable. A hazy reflection remained, but it was shapeless and not distracting, even in darker scenes.

Prior to the S95D’s launch, Samsung stated it would be approximately 20% brighter than the S95C, which we measured at 1,400 nits on a 10% HDR white window. When I tested the S95D, I recorded peak brightness at 1,868 nits and 1,688 nits on the same 10% HDR white window in Standard and Filmmaker picture preset modes, respectively. It also measured 327 and 318 nits full-screen brightness (100% HDR white window) in Standard and Filmmaker mode, respectively, making it the brightest OLED we’ve tested so far.

Upon initial viewing of broadcast TV in both standard and high definition, the S95D effectively upscaled and smoothed out any rough edges on lower-resolution shows, even on the larger 65-inch screen I tested.

After exploring the various picture presets, Filmmaker mode proved to be the most accurate overall. Movie mode was a close second, offering more brightness and slightly more contrast for darker scenes, but it didn’t quite match the level of detail provided by Filmmaker mode.

When viewing 4K movies with HDR, the exceptional detail of objects on the S95D was evident. Textures were well-defined and lifelike. While watching Top Gun: Maverick, I could discern the stitching on Maverick’s jacket even from afar. Faces and skin tones appeared almost photographically accurate, as if the characters were physically present in the room. This seems to be the result of the Real Depth Enhancer AI feature, which works impressively well.

The colors on the S95D are bold and vivid, yet they retain a natural, sophisticated quality. While watching Star Wars: The Last Jedi on Disney Plus, the throne room fight scene was dominated by the reds of the walls, the guards’ uniforms, and a lightsaber, and the S95D displayed these with a dynamic intensity that was also well-regulated. This was expected, as when I measured the S95D’s UHDA-P3 and BT.2020 color gamut coverage using Portrait Displays’ Calman calibration software, the results were nearly perfect at 99.8% and 87.9%, respectively.

The S95D handles motion expertly. In Filmmaker Mode, with all motion smoothing settings turned off by default, I observed no judder as jets swiftly flew across the screen in Top Gun: Maverick or as the Batmobile navigated through traffic in the chase scene with the Penguin in The Batman.

The S95D also excels in contrast, perfectly balancing light and dark in any scene with ease to add an extra layer of depth. Shadow details were well preserved, with The Batman maintaining its notably gloomy tone. When I measured the S95D’s gamma and grayscale accuracy, it yielded a result of 3.7 (we typically aim for below 3), which is somewhat disappointing for a TV of this caliber. However, it’s hard to deny the impressive contrast of the S95D when watching movies.

Black levels were appropriately deep and nearly identical to the ‘true black’ known for OLED TVs, although I did notice that some scenes, such as the crime scene investigation early in The Batman, showed black crush – a loss of detail in dark areas – in Filmmaker Mode. Details such as the bat on Batman’s suit and the pockets on Jim Gordon’s jacket vanished completely. But this could be due to the dimmer nature of Filmmaker Mode, as adjusting the Contrast Enhancer to Low or High in settings or switching to Movie mode resolved the issue.

The combination of the S95D’s AI picture processing, QD-OLED panel, and OLED Glare Free screen technology delivers one of the finest OLED pictures I’ve seen to date. The S95D is already setting the standard for 2024.

SAMSUNG S95D ASSESSMENT: AUDIO PERFORMANCE

4.2.2 channel speaker system Effective OTS+ Deep, well-managed bass

The S95D is equipped with a 4.2.2 speaker setup with a power of 70W and support for Dolby Atmos. It also includes AI sound features like Adaptive Sound Pro and Active Voice Amplifier that balance the audio levels within movies and TV shows, giving priority to dialogue over other elements.

Samsung’s Object Tracking Sound+ (OTS+) excels at synchronizing the sound with the action on the screen. During the Batmobile chase scene in The Batman, the sounds of skidding cars and the Batmobile’s deep, rumbling engine perfectly matched the on-screen action, and the same was true for Top Gun: Maverick, as jets zoomed across the sky.

The bass is another standout feature of the S95D, with a powerful rumble from the engines in both The Batman and Top Gun: Maverick. However, it’s not just about power; the bass is tightly controlled and precise, providing the shake movie fans crave without overpowering the rest of the mix. Dialogue remains clear regardless of what you’re watching, even with the AI sound features turned off (the default setting).

While the S95D’s built-in speakers perform admirably, its soundstage doesn’t quite match the immersive quality of some of the other top TVs for sound, such as the Sony A80L, Panasonic MZ2000, or Philips OLED908. Additionally, I would have preferred a greater variety of sound modes than the two provided: Standard and Amplify.

Although you’re unlikely to be disappointed by the S95D’s built-in sound, with a picture of this quality, it’s worth considering adding one of the top Dolby Atmos soundbars to complement it, such as the Samsung HW-Q990D – which will take advantage of Samsung’s Q Symphony feature when paired with Samsung TVs like the S95D.

REVIEW OF THE SAMSUNG S95D: DESIGN

  • One Connect Box
  • Ultra-thin frame
  • Elegant ‘floating’ screen

The Samsung S95D is undeniably one of the most aesthetically pleasing TVs available. Its premium price is justified by several design elements that lend it a high-end feel.

Firstly, for those considering wall-mounting, the One Connect Box, which accommodates all connections such as HDMI, optical digital audio, power, and more, is an external box that connects to the TV via a single cable for a tidy setup. For those opting not to wall-mount, there’s a convenient spot to store the Box on the back of the TV’s stand, out of sight.

In terms of the S95D’s stand, it’s a robust metal design that feels appropriately solid for a TV in this price bracket. Its shape and color blend in under dim lighting conditions, creating the futuristic illusion of a floating screen.

The frame of the S95D is remarkably thin. With a profile of just 11mm (0.4 inches), it imparts a sleek, contemporary look to the TV, allowing the picture to take center stage.

The S95D is accompanied by two remotes: a more ‘traditional’ one with numerous buttons and a solar-powered smart remote. Both are functional and sufficiently sturdy, but with other brands like Sony and Philips enhancing their remote offerings on premium models, it would have been nice to see some innovation from Samsung. However, this is a minor complaint about an otherwise flawlessly designed TV.

SAMSUNG S95D REVIEW: SMART TV INTERFACE & MENUS

  • Tizen smart TV interface
  • Voice command options with Alexa and Bixby
  • Organized hubs for Gaming, Daily+ and more

The S95D employs Samsung’s proprietary Tizen smart TV interface, which has seen minor updates and tweaks over the years.

Primarily, Tizen’s home menu continues to suggest trending TV shows and movies. While this feature may be beneficial for some, it results in a somewhat cluttered layout compared to cleaner interfaces like LG’s webOS 24.

There are dedicated hubs for specific categories such as Gaming and the Daily+ hub, which integrates lifestyle apps like Samsung Health, workspace, workout tracker, and SmartThings. For those intending to use their TV as a comprehensive hub for all aspects of life, Tizen delivers.

In terms of settings for adjusting picture, sound, and accessibility, Tizen offers a wealth of options compared to other platforms. Tizen remains a reliable, albeit somewhat conservative, smart TV interface with a wide selection of apps and a substantial number of settings and menus to navigate. However, it feels like it could benefit from an update to keep pace with other smart TV interfaces.

SAMSUNG S95D REVIEW: GAMING PERFORMANCE

  • Abundance of gaming features Handy Gaming Hub
  • Exceptionally low 8.9ms input lag

The S95D is equipped with a plethora of gaming features we appreciate, including 4K 120Hz (and up to 144Hz refresh rate for PC gaming), ALLM, VRR with AMD FreeSync Premium Pro support, and HGiG. It also boasts four fully-equipped HDMI 2.1 ports for those with multiple gaming consoles.

The S95D effortlessly handles graphically demanding scenes, providing a gaming experience that is fast, smooth, and uninterrupted. When playing Battlefield V, rapid navigation through environments and target switching was seamless and well-executed. This was expected, as when I measured the S95D’s input lag using a Leo Bodnar 4K HDMI input lag tester, it yielded a result of 8.9ms, an excellent score (anything under 15ms is considered professional gaming level).

The impressive picture quality that the S95D delivers for movies and TV shows is also evident in video games. Object detailing is once again exceptional, with every texture appearing incredibly refined. In Battlefield V, every component of the weapon in the center of the screen was given a 3D-like effect, making it stand out from the screen.

Samsung incorporates its Gaming Hub on the S95D, which consolidates everything related to gaming, from integrating your console into its interface (in our case an Xbox Series X) to offering a range of cloud gaming options from the likes of Xbox, Utomik, Nvidia GeForce Now, and more. The Game Bar at the bottom of the screen is also useful for adjusting gaming settings on the fly for the relevant genre such as RPG and FPS, and includes picture settings such as black level.

SAMSUNG S95D REVIEW: COST-EFFECTIVENESS

  • Priced appropriately for its quality and features
  • Competitively priced compared to other OLEDs
  • More affordable QD-OLED options available

The S95D is unquestionably a high-end OLED TV, and as such, it comes with a high-end price tag. The 65-inch model (the same size as our review unit) is priced at $3,399 / £3,399 / AU$4,995. Its main competitor for 2024, the LG G4, is priced around $3,399 / £3,299 / AU$5,295, so there’s little difference between them, and we’re likely to see price reductions on both models (the S95D has already seen a price cut in the US, although this may not be permanent).

Given its picture quality and smart and gaming features, the S95D’s price appears to be justified, though there will be TVs this year that offer better value. There’s also the more affordable Samsung S90D to consider (although it’s unclear whether you’ll get a QD-OLED or W-OLED panel).

SAMSUNG S95D ASSESSMENT: IS IT WORTH THE PURCHASE?

Consider purchasing if… You’re after exceptional picture quality The S95D, with its full utilization of QD-OLED and a combination of AI enhancements and OLED Glare Free, delivers one of the most impressive visuals we’ve ever encountered.

You’re in the market for a high-end gaming TV The S95D is equipped with nearly every gaming feature available and delivers them all with superior performance and image quality.

You appreciate a TV with an outstanding design With its trim and sleek appearance, the S95D features a ‘floating’ design that ensures all you see is the screen – plus, its One Connect Box is handy for those considering wall-mounting.

Think twice if… You prefer not to adjust settings While the S95D’s picture quality is superb, there is some black crush in Filmmaker Mode – and you’ll need to adjust some settings to correct it.

You’re looking for Dolby Vision HDR Like all other Samsung TVs, the S95D does not support Dolby Vision HDR for movies or gaming.

You’re working with a limited budget Even though it justifies its price tag, the S95D is undeniably a high-end TV and will likely exceed most people’s budgets.

SAMSUNG S95D ASSESSMENT: OTHER OPTIONS TO CONSIDER

Comparison: 65-inch TVs

FeatureSamsung S95DLG G4Sony A95LSamsung S95C
Price (65-inch)$3,399 / £3,399 / AU$4,995$3,299 / £3,299 / AU$5,295$3,299 / £3,199 / AU$5,995$2,199 / £1,899 / AU$4,399
Screen typeQD-OLEDOLED (MLA)QD-OLEDQD-OLED
Refresh rate144Hz144Hz120Hz144Hz
HDR supportHDR10+, HDR10, HLGDolby Vision, HDR10, HLGDolby Vision, HDR10, HLGHDR10+, HDR10, HLG
Smart TVTizenwebOS 24Google TVTizen
HDMI4 HDMI 2.14 HDMI 2.12 HDMI 2.14 HDMI 2.1

SUMMARY

The Samsung S95D represents the ultimate achievement in OLED television. Its breathtaking image quality, enhanced by AI and anti-glare technology, along with a plethora of features, exceptional gaming capabilities, and an elegant design, all come together to create an extraordinary TV. This sets the benchmark for what OLEDs ought to aspire to.

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Picture Quality
9.6
Design and Aesthetics
9.2
Features and Innovation
9
Pricing and Value
9.4

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The Samsung S95D represents the ultimate achievement in OLED television. Its breathtaking image quality, enhanced by AI and anti-glare technology, along with a plethora of features, exceptional gaming capabilities, and an elegant design, all come together to create an extraordinary TV. This sets the benchmark for what OLEDs ought to aspire to. Samsung S95D: The Ultimate OLED TV Review