Samsung S95C review: Anything OLED can do, QD-OLED can do... better?

  • 10 min read
  • May 06, 2023

Samsung's return to the OLED fold in 2022, after more than a decade of flying the premium LED TV flag, turned out to be much more than an awkward acceptance of OLED's prowess in the industry. Samsung's new take on OLED, with added Quantum Dots, broke genuinely new ground that instantly posed a threat to all the more established TV technologies - and traditional OLED in particular.

Now Samsung's QD-OLED sequel is here, with the S95C at its helm - tested here as the QN65S95C/QE65S95C. But can Samsung really improve its OLED technology enough, at just the second time of asking, to keep up with the Micro Lens Array technology taking the regular OLED world by storm this year? Here's our full review.

Samsung S95C
Samsung S95C

Editor's Choice

The sequel to Samsung's debut QD-OLED TV is all we could have hoped for and more, delivering a level of improvement in picture and sound quality beyond anything we have the right to see in the space of just a year. Anyone who thought QD-OLED was a flash in the TV tech pan needs to think again, fast.


  • Spectacularly bright OLED pictures
  • Stunningly pure primary colours
  • Beautiful local contrast


  • No Dolby Vision HDR support
  • Messy out-of-the-box motion processing


  • 4 x HDMI inputs, all with HDMI 2.1 features
  • External connections box
  • Infinity One design

The 65-inch S95C looks quite different to its Samsung S95B predecessor, switching the 2022 model's ultra thin edges but chunky mid-section profile for a monolithic look with a rear that's as flat as the screen. The whole thing is barely a centimetre deep, so certainly delivers on OLED's trademark slenderness.

The slim rear of the S95C's 'Infinity One' design is joined by an exceptionally trim frame around the screen, too, as the TV does everything it can to minimise its hardware's footprint.

Samsung S95C OneConnect TopDown

Even cable spaghetti is consigned to the bin, courtesy of the S95C placing almost all of its connections into its One Connect box - a separate external box that pipes everything, including sound, pictures, smart features and even power, through to the screen via a single long, silvery cable.

This makes it a fantastic wall-hanging option (though note that you don't get a wall mount included in the box), but if you prefer to do as most buyers will and place the TV on a stand, the one provided with the 65S95C is centrally mounted, making it easy to fit on even narrow bits of furniture, and robustly made from a sheet of heavy duty dark metal.

Connectivity on the One Connect box is outstanding, thanks to the way all four of its HDMI inputs prove capable of handling just about everything today's video and gaming worlds have to throw at them.


This includes 4K/120Hz game signals, variable refresh rates, automatic low latency switching with compatible multi-purpose sources, and three HDR formats: HDR10, HLG and the premium HDR10+ system, with its extra scene-by-scene picture information.

The only hole in the 65S95C's connectivity is a lack of support for the Dolby Vision HDR format which, like HDR10+, provides extra scene-by-scene image data to help compatible displays deliver more precise images. It's a more readily used format in the online streaming world, so it remains a shame not to have it here.

The remote is Samsung's standard fare - slim and simple with a stripped-down button count, but more than enough for what you need. It is also solar powered, so you won't need to keep it topped up with batteries - it can even take power from your router's Wi-Fi signal, so those in less sunnier climes need not worry.


  • Second-gen 4K Quantum Dot OLED panel
  • Neural Quantum Processor 4K
  • Dolby Atmos and Object Tracking Sound audio support
  • Extensive gaming support across all HDMIs

The Quantum Dot OLED technology used by the 65S95C differs from traditional, WOLED/WRGB OLED technology used by the likes of LG and Panasonic in two key ways.

First, there's no white element in its colour reproduction - the screen's organic element produces a blue light instead that's passed through red and green layers for a pure RGB result. Second, as its name suggests, the QD-OLED panel's red and green layers use films of Quantum Dots - a technology previously associated with the LCD world, and Samsung's own QLED TVs.

This unique approach promises, on paper at least, both more brightness and greater colour volumes than traditional OLED can achieve.


Naturally QD-OLED still retains the key self-emissive benefit of all OLED screen technologies where every single pixel in the image produces its own light, meaning the brightest pixel in an image can sit right next to the darkest without either having to compromise its appearance. The result, based on previous OLED experience (including Samsung's S95B), should be gorgeously deep black colours and peerless localised contrast.

The second generation of QD-OLED panels have apparently benefitted from a trio of key improvements. First, improvements to the panel's electron transport layer have enabled a claimed brightness boost of around 20-30 per cent - a strikingly substantial advance in just a year, compared to the early days of traditional OLED.

The 65S95C also features a new pixel-level image analysis and management algorithm that's claimed to double the panel's long-term reliability, while a new screen filter does a much better job than the one in the S95B of stopping ambient light from infiltrating dark scenes.

The latest version of Samsung's Neo Quantum Processor 4K, meanwhile, has increased the number of Neural Networks it bases its image processing on to 20, yielding hopefully more effective real-time picture quality results with any type of content.

Upscaling of sub-4K content, improved noise handling, a greater sense of depth and more accurate and subtle colour mapping are claimed to be four of the biggest beneficiaries of Samsung’s latest processing upgrades.


Improvements are promised, too, for the 65S95C's audio system. This has a very respectable 70W of total power at its disposal, fed into a 4.2.2-channel speaker system created by a striking bank of eight main mid/bass drivers running right across the TV’s rear, plus smaller drivers positioned at multiple points around the TV's rear edges.

Spreading the speakers out like this helps Samsung's so-called Object Tracking Sound (OTS) system deliver both a wider soundstage and make sound effects appear to be coming from the right place on the screen.

Samsung now backs its OTS system up with Dolby Atmos decoding too, leaving us hopeful that it will have the power, dynamic range and projection that the S95B - which often sounded cramped, and sometimes distorted - did not.

Mind you, if it turns out the 65S95C's speakers do need help, Samsung has also improved its Q Symphony system for sharing the TV's speakers with those of a compatible Samsung soundbar. All the speakers in the TV and soundbar are now allowed to play along with each other, while the soundbar can draw on the TV's superior processing power when figuring out how to best handle different audio types.


Finally, the 65S95C's smart features are outstanding. Almost every video streaming app you can think of is present and correct, there's a huge collection of increasingly useful (and carefully curated) streaming channels courtesy of Samsung's TVPlus system, and there's an impressive Game Hub screen that provides direct access to multiple cloud gaming services as well as showing links to any HDMI inputs you’ve got gaming devices connected to.

The only significant absentee is Freeview Play. All the catch up apps for the main UK terrestrial broadcasters are available individually, but you can't access them through the Freeview Play umbrella portal.

The interface Samsung provides for dealing with the huge amount of content options the 65S95C carries remains a bit clunky in its presentation and navigational choices - though it is an improvement on the original 2022 redesign. Plus with a bit of practice you can often skip the menus more or less entirely thanks to Samsung's excellent voice control features.

Picture performance

  • Sensational OLED brightness
  • Unprecedentedly pure colours
  • Pixel-perfect contrast

The 65S95C takes all the QD-OLED strengths we got a grand glimpse of with 2022’s S95B QD-OLED debut and cranks them up through what feels like a whole new set of gears.

Brightness, in particular, is on a whole new level from last year. It reaches 1400 nits of brightness on a 10 per cent white HDR window, up from a maximum of around 1000 nits on the S95B. This would count as a huge increase on any screen, but it becomes a genuinely eye-popping game-changer when combined with the sort of black levels and light control the 65S95C’s QD-OLED panel can deliver.

High dynamic range sources that flood the whole screen with brightness look lighter and punchier than I’ve ever seen them look on any OLED TV, bar the LG G3.

The LG G3 actually gets a touch brighter in its most aggressive Vivid mode than the 65S95C can, but there's precious little in it when it comes to the sort of balanced, consistent and accurate picture settings most viewers will prefer to use. And perhaps, the 65S95C's brightness feels a bit more consistent right across the full width of the screen.


While the 65S95C's extra brightness with bright shots transforms what you can expect from OLED technology - making it a much more engaging bright room technology in the process - it's actually with mixed brightness content that this new brightness most makes its mark. The intensity with which bright highlights stand out against dark surroundings is unlike anything I’ve seen before except, again, on LG's G3 OLED TV.

Samsung's new Mini LED TVs, like the QN95C, can still deliver yet more peak brightness in their boldest image settings (while remaining immune to the permanent image retention issues that are still - on paper - something you need to be cautious about when using an OLED TV), especially with full-screen bright content.

There's no question, though, that the 65S95C's brightness leap drastically reduces LED's traditional peak brightness/bright room advantage, while simultaneously getting even more value from OLED's ability to pristinely put bright and dark image content just a pixel apart.

The 65S95C's ability to punch out so much extra brightness without compromising its essentially immaculate black levels feeds into two other areas of palpable improvement over the S95B, too. First, shadow detailing is much better across every preset. You hardly ever feel now as if you might be missing some subtle shade, colour or detail in the darkest parts of the picture.


This low-level detail is handled with substantially less accompanying noise than we often see with OLED technology, too, showing how well Samsung is already mastering the difficult job of dealing with OLED pixels as they transition from black (essentially off) to barely on for a very dark picture element.

The extra brightness also unlocks even more fiercely QD-OLED's apparent pure RGB colour strength. For while LG has also managed to unlock much richer, but also more natural and nuanced colours from the G3 than it did the G2, in areas of relatively pure colour, at least - a yellow bus, a red balloon, a dazzling blue sky - the 65S95C achieves levels of richness and purity that we've never seen before.

At the same time, though, Samsung has also clearly improved its control over QD-OLED's huge colour potential. The occasionally flared out or exaggerated tone that sometimes appeared, especially when gaming, on the S95B are essentially removed. At least outside of the slightly optimistic Dynamic picture preset.

Samsung's improved processing seems to find more subtle shading within the 65S95C's vibrant palette, too, ensuring that home cinema fans have plenty of finesse to go with the spectacle.

It’s that spectacle, though, that contributes to the 65S95C producing arguably the all-round most eye-catching and satisfying video game images I’ve seen on a big-screen TV. The purity of its colours with the extra brightness behind them, together with the phenomenal ability to pick out the tiniest bright detail and highlight, serves up gaming worlds of hitherto unimagined beauty and immersiveness. It gives you a new appreciation for the stunning graphics we're now enjoying from the latest consoles and PCs.

While we're on the subject of gaming, it's worth adding high and variable frame rates (including those delivered by AMD's Freesync Premium system) are handled beautifully. That input lag is as low as 9.8ms in the screen's fastest Game setting, and new gaming features, including a virtual aim point and mini map magnifier, prove great additions.

They join previous gaming-friendly options such as the ability to raise the brightness of dark areas without impacting the rest of the picture, the option to trade a little input lag for some mild motion processing, and a dedicated game-related onscreen menu.

The 65S95C's improved noise and colour blend handling helps it deliver some of the cleanest, most detailed images we've seen on a 4K TV, too. While the extra brightness and great colour volume might grab your attention initially, the extra refinement and polish evident in the 65S95C’s images across all sources - including upscaled HD ones - become one of the best things about this TV.

It reveals more than any other single factor just how much better Samsung has become in the space of the past 12 months at applying its processing to the particular capabilities of its new QD-OLED babies.

The 65S95C wraps up a consistently jaw-dropping performance by losing essentially nothing from its pictures at all if you find yourself having to watch the screen from even a severe angle.

In fact, it's seriously hard to find any fault at all with the 65S95C's pictures unless you count the lack of Dolby Vision support mentioned earlier.

At a push, I'd say the Dynamic Tone Mapping option can go a touch too far in the otherwise gorgeous-looking Standard preset mode, causing colours to lose a little of their usual vividness. Motion looks messy, too, if you stick with the TV's default Auto Picture Clarity setting. This can be much improved by setting up a Custom Picture Clarity configuration with judder and blur reduction options set below half power.

The LG G3 looks unexpectedly brighter in its actually slightly over-aggressive Vivid mode than the 65S95C does in its equivalent Dynamic mode, and LG's set also offers more granular controls over the way its video pictures look. Though on the other hand, the 65S95C carries a Smart Calibration feature that lets you achieve a surprisingly accurate, room-compensated picture calibration using just your mobile phone.


Turning to the 65S95C's sound, it proves mercifully free of the vast majority of the jarring bass distortions and weedy sounding trebles that proved such an unworthy accompaniment to the pictures of 2022's S95B. Bass now sounds clean and lively, and while it doesn't really plunge as deep into the lower frequencies as I'd like, its more realistic, contained approach is far preferable to a repeat of the S95B's phutting and distortions.

Vocals, meanwhile, sound clear and consistently like they're emerging from the mouths of the onscreen speakers, rather than from some detached place below or behind the screen. In fact, the latest OTS system's ability to correctly position and concurrently track multiple individual objects works superbly, creating an immersive and dense sound experience that draws you into the action despite the sound not really having any forward propulsion.

The sound does expand beyond the TV’s side and top edges though, meaning you at least enjoy a spread of sound to go with the impressive onscreen detailing.


The Samsung QE65S95C is another incredible 2023 TV, and pushes QD-OLED tech on further than we might have expected possible.

In any other year, the Micro Lens Array technology of LG's G3 series would have seen it romp home, as far and away the finest OLED TV of the year. However, the 65S95C's Quantum Dot approach to OLED keeps pace with its MLA-powered rival every step of the way - even, arguably, stealing LG's crown as the most exciting gaming display in town.

In a perfect world Samsung would finally have moved past its Dolby Vision blind spot and would provide a better out of the box motion experience with its otherwise enticing Standard preset.

When this is all the negativity we can find about only the second outing of a new display technology, though, it's fair to say that the 65S95C has proved not only that QD-OLED is more than a contender in 2023's already ridiculously good TV world, but that its potential for the future is almost frightening.