Sony and Samsung are two of the biggest names in the TV world, and each offers a dazzling array of 4K, HDR and even 8K TVs to fit almost any budget. But which brand makes the smartest smart TVs?
What are the pros and cons of these top brands? And which one belongs in your living room? Read on as we walk you through the battleground that is Samsung vs Sony..
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Samsung and Sony TVs might look similar when you see them in a showroom, but look beneath the surface and you’ll find they’re strikingly different.
From the use of different TV technologies in some models (OLED vs QLED) to different HDR formats supported, voice assistants and smart features, Sony and Samsung plough their own furrow.
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So, which TV brand is best for you? Both specialise in premium, high-end sets, but also offer plenty of mid-range and more affordable models.
To help you find the perfect TV, we’ve reviewed some of the best that Samsung and Sony have to offer and assessed each brand’s unique strengths and weaknesses. Here’s our handy guide to Samsung vs Sony TVs
Samsung vs Sony TV – TV technology
Samsung and Sony both offer their own cutting-edge technologies that set them apart from the competition, but their approaches differ markedly. Sony’s strength lies in its range of OLED TVs, which boast the best picture quality in the business thanks to their ability to display perfect blacks and offer a more natural, film-like image.
Sony’s X94E is a great choice if you’re looking for the ultimate in picture quality, but you’ll pay a hefty premium for that privilege.
Sony’s panels aren’t as bright as those of its rivals, so if you want a set that’s perfect for a bright living room, the Z9F – Sony’s brightest 2018 TV – is your best bet. If you find OLED a bit pricey, Sony also offers excellent LCD sets such as the X900F and A1E, which can produce vibrant, colourful images.
Samsung is the master of the TV world for a reason: the brand regularly leads the way when it comes to pushing the boundaries of TV tech, and it’s this ambition that keeps the competition on its toes.
Its QLED technology is the best of the current crop of smart TV tech, with excellent upscaling to 4K and support for a wide range of HDR formats including Dolby Vision and HLG.
Samsung has also done a commendable job of squeezing extra detail and depth out of its LCD panels, giving them the same sort of performance you might expect from an OLED display without the need for the expensive panel tech. With the launch of the Q90R, Samsung has upped its game even further with a model that offers a huge range of features, including Samsung’s very own Bixby voice assistant.
Samsung vs Sony TV – Accessories
So you’ve picked out a TV that meets your needs, but what else do you need to get the most from it?
The good news is that both Samsung and Sony offer a wide range of accessories to complement their TVs, so you don’t have to skimp on the quality of your sound system, games console, or even the TV’s remote control.
Sony’s TV accessories are often a good match for its TVs, and the brand’s latest Bravia TVs work well with the brand’s soundbars.
The XB90, XB90X and XB90XA all support Google Assistant voice commands, so you can use your compatible smartphone to play music or watch YouTube videos on the soundbar. Fire up a Netflix show, and you’ll get solid, powerful audio that’s not far behind the sound of a full 5.1 system.
Samsung is also a brand that makes waves in this area: the company’s latest soundbar, the Y7000, supports multiple audio formats including Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and DTS Virtual:X to give you a much broader range of sound options than Sony’s soundbars.
If you want to go the whole hog, you can also pick up a Samsung soundbar that incorporates its new Frame TV and a soundbar in one, so you can combine TV with sound quality in a single, stylish unit.
Samsung and Sony also make soundbases and wireless subwoofers to help you make the most of your new TV.
If you’re buying a mid-range Samsung TV this year, there’s a good chance it’ll support Tizen’s Bixby voice assistant, which allows you to control all aspects of your TV with your voice. You won’t find that with Sony TVs.
Samsung and Sony are both known for their excellent TV remotes, and both offer voice control to allow you to control your TV and its smart features with your voice.
The Samsung OneRemote is a superb bit of kit, offering voice control, a QWERTY keyboard, and even the option to connect two phones or tablets and launch an app on both at the same time to share content with friends and family. This is particularly handy when you’re watching a movie with others.
Samsung’s Q90R, Q80, Q70 and another of its QLED TVs also support the brand’s new Bixby voice assistant, which allows you to control your TV by voice, as well as use Bixby to control compatible apps on your phone, and even text messages.
Sony has stepped up its game by incorporating its own voice assistant in its new X91, X91F and X90F TVs, which means you can use your voice to control your TV. It’s not as advanced as Bixby yet, but it’s a start.
Samsung and Sony TVs might look similar when you see them in a showroom, but look beneath the surface and you’ll find they’re strikingly different. From the use of different TV technologies in some models (OLED vs QLED) to different HDR formats supported, voice assistants and smart features, Sony and Samsung plough their own furrow.
So, which TV brand is best for you? Both specialise in premium, high-end sets, but also offer plenty of mid-range and more affordable models. To help you find the perfect TV, we’ve reviewed some of the best that Samsung and Sony have to offer and assessed each brand’s unique strengths and weaknesses.