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Samsung QE65S95D

Samsung has been refining its Quantum Dot OLED TVs for a while now, pushing the envelope of what’s possible from this self-emissive technology. The new S95D range represents the zenith of the brand’s evolutionary process, promising brightness that will redefine the capabilities of OLED.

Not content with boosting the luminance to previously unseen levels, the S95D also ports over the ‘Glare Free’ filter first introduced on Samsung’s lifestyle TV ‘The Frame’. This revolutionary coating borders on sorcery - it rejects light so effectively that nothing seems to reflect off the screen.

This QD OLED 4K TV also features all the usual benefits (such as inky blacks and more saturated colours), along with features such as an updated AI-enhanced processor, HDR10+ dynamic metadata, Dolby Atmos, a comprehensive smart system, next-gen gaming features, and Object Tracking Sound Plus.

Picture quality

The Samsung S95D impresses right out of the gate - just make sure you switch from the default ‘Eco’ mode into ‘Filmmaker’, otherwise you’ll be looking at a picture with blue-tinged whites and colours so saturated football pitches  look fluorescent and the players on them sunburned.

Call me old-fashioned, but I prefer images that match the industry standards - I like to see what the content creators intended. Thankfully, ‘Filmmaker’ mode does exactly what it says on the tin, producing images so accurate that professional calibrators will be quaking in their boots. Whites now look white, while colours appear rich - but not at the expense of looking natural.

Of course, since the S95D is an OLED TV you can also enjoy all the other benefits associated with this display technology: those remarkably deep blacks, for instance,  incredibly wide viewing angles, and highlights delivered with pixel precision. The latter is an area where OLED wipes the floor with LCD TV technology (no matter how many dimming zones the LCD in question might have), because every single pixel on an OLED panel is self-illuminating.

Where LCD has previously had an advantage is in terms of peak brightness - but Samsung’s QD OLED panels have rewritten the rulebook in this regard. The latest generation pushes brightness measurements even higher, with the peaks hitting over 1,700 nits. That’s brighter than most LCD TVs, and certainly the best I’ve seen from an OLED TV. To put this into perspective, the first HDR-capable OLED TVs were capable of reaching highlights of 600-700 nits.

But there’s no point having all this luminance if you don’t know what to do with it, of course, and end up losing detail in the dark areas of the image or blowing out the brighter parts. Here the ‘Static HDR’ setting reveals exceptional fidelity, with precise tone-mapping that ensures information at both ends of the dynamic range is delivered without crushing shadows or clipping the highlights.

The result is an impactful picture with exceptional levels of contrast, although these days a lot of HDR grades can appear very dark (I’m looking at you, House of the Dragon). To address this, Samsung includes ‘Active HDR’ to boost the brightness using dynamic tone mapping - but it does so without introducing unwanted black crush or highlight clipping. It’s certainly a useful feature and definitely helps to make darker grades more watchable, especially during the day.

Which brings us neatly to the new ‘Glare Free’ filter, and frankly this is nothing short of a revelation. I know Samsung has explained that it uses an embossed surface with a new coating that diffuses light in various directions, but I wouldn’t be surprised to discover it also involved witchcraft. When I pointed a torch directly at the screen there was barely a reflection, and it did a fantastic job of rejecting ambient light and improving the perceived black levels during the day.

The quantum dot filters used in the OLED panel don’t just boost the peak brightness, they also deliver a wider colour gamut than any other TV I’ve tested to date. The resulting colours are richer and more nuanced and, when combined with the increased luminance, the result is HDR that bursts from the screen with dazzling vitality.

The latest NQ4 AI Gen2 processor applies 20 individual neural networks and deep-learning algorithms to take all that improved contrast and those expanded colours, and then applies class-leading processing to produce 4K images that are wonderfully clean and bursting with fine detail. And even if the source content looks a bit rubbish, the S95D can use all this upscaling and image-enhancement wizardry to turn the picture into something watchable.

The motion-handling is as impressive as all the other picture attributes, with the 24fps motion of movies and TV dramas rendered perfectly. The result is movement that’s free of unwanted judder or artefacts. Personally, I abhor any frame interpolation being applied to film-based content because it just ends up looking like cheap video, but this kind of extra processing can really help with fast-paced sports (which are generally shot on video anyway), making it easier to follow important objects like the ball.

Sound quality

The S95D has no right to sound as good as it does, given the panel’s size-zero proportions. It’s only 11mm deep, so you find yourself wondering how on earth Samsung has managed to cram a 4.2.2-channel speaker system inside. There are four speakers along the bottom, two at the top, and a pair of rear woofers. There’s also 70W of amplification, allowing the TV to hit unsociable volumes without distorting.

Samsung then takes all these speakers and applies its Object Tracking Sound Plus (OTS+) audio technology. It uses the AI-enhanced processor to create a more expansive sonic presence, moving sounds around in relation to on-screen action. It’s quite effective, especially when it come to keeping dialogue intelligible. The inclusion of Dolby Atmos also adds a degree of dimensionality, but you’ll need to manage your expectations when it comes to the level of immersion.

There’s a feature to optimise the acoustics for your room, and the stereo separation is often quite good. There’s a clear midrange, a clean treble and some nice bass - just don’t expect the S95D to compete with a decent soundbar/subwoofer combo. Although if you have a Samsung soundbar and it supports Q Symphony, this feature allows the TV to sync with it and operate in harmony. In testing this works well, with the S95D and HW-Q990D automatically connecting and syncing to create a bigger front soundstage.

Living with

The Samsung S95D boasts a stunning ultra-slim and bezel-less ‘Infinity One’ design that’s both elegant and extremely well-made. The Slim One Connect box keeps all connections separate and, as a result, the panel itself is ludicrously svelte. You’ll be hard-pushed to find a better-looking TV.

A robust all-metal stand provides solid support and sufficient clearance for a soundbar, while its small footprint makes positioning on narrow surfaces easier. If you prefer, you can wall-mount the TV using a standard 400x300mm VESA bracket or Samsung’s Slim Fit support

The S95D is a cinch to set up, thanks to Samsung’s SmartThings app. The Tizen-powered operating system is intuitive to use and offers a comprehensive selection of video streaming apps. There’s also a choice of Bixby, Alexa and Siri (via AirPlay 2) if you want a smart assistant.

Samsung provides two remotes: a standard black plastic zapper and the Solar Cell controller with its stripped-down choice of buttons that cover all the main functions and controls. It also has direct access keys for Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+ and Samsung’s TV Plus.

The Slim One Connect box is unique to Samsung, and very useful if you’re wall mounting because not only does the super-slim panel look amazing, but there’s just a single cable attached to it. The box itself and everything connected to it can be hidden away, or mounted at the rear of the stand.

The box offers a full complement of connections, including four HDMI inputs that all support 4K/144Hz, HDR10, HLG, HDR10+ Adaptive, and auto low latency mode (ALLM), plus eARC on HDMI 3. There’s also support for variable refresh rates (VRR), including AMD Freesync Premium and Nvidia G-Sync. In terms of wireless connectivity you get Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.2 and AirPlay 2.

While I personally think the S95D’s greatest strengths relate to watching TV and movies, it’s also a top-drawer telly for gamers – not only because of support for features such as 4K/144Hz, VRR and ALLM, but also thanks to an incredibly low input lag of 9.2ms. There’s a useful ‘Game Bar’ that pops up with all the game-related info and settings in a single interface, and even a ‘Game Hub’ that offers access to a choice of cloud-gaming services.


The Samsung QE65S95D 4K HDR TV sets a new benchmark for OLED performance thanks to its incredibly deep blacks, super-bright highlights and wonderfully rich colour palette. The image accuracy is superb, the picture processing is state-of-the-art, and the new screen filter is so effective it borders on magic. The result is some of the best SDR and HDR images you’ll see from a consumer display.

If that wasn’t enough, this flagship model boasts a stunning design, comprehensive smart system, surprisingly good sound and every next-gen gaming feature imaginable. The continued lack of Dolby Vision support remains a bone of contention, but otherwise this high-end beauty is hard to fault. It’s still early days, but the S95D may already be the OLED TV to beat this year.

Viewing notes

First Man (4K Blu-ray disc)

This Neil Armstrong biopic boasts some of the most challenging HDR scenes imaginable - especially the sequence where the crew of Apollo 11 first go into lunar orbit and the moon’s surface gradually appears through the window, piercing the darkness and illuminating the astronauts’ faces. These high contrast moments destroy LCD TVs, but look stunning on the S95D.

Inside Out  (4K Blu-ray disc)

This wonderful Pixar movie deliberately uses colour as a narrative device, especially as Joy and Sadness venture deeper into Riley’s mind. The filmmakers push the colour saturation beyond the usual standards to emphasise this imaginary world, and the S95D is one of the few TVs capable of accurately rendering this exaggerated palette to deliver the full effect.

Oppenheimer  (4K Blu-ray disc)

Shot on 65mm and IMAX cameras, this film about the father of the atomic bomb delivers stunning landscapes in breathtaking detail. The S95D’s pin-sharp, accurate and super-bright images bring the desert vistas of New Mexico vividly to life, while this OLED’s dynamic range is perfectly demonstrated by the bright light generated during the Trinity test.

What the press say

Why you should buy it

If you’re looking for a high-end 4K HDR TV that redefines the possibilities of OLED, the Samsung QE65S95D is for you. The upgraded panel pushes the boundaries of brightness and colour, while AI-enhanced neural processing further enhances the images. Whether you’re vegging-out in front of the TV, enjoying a movie night or indulging in a spot of gaming, the S95D has you covered.

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