Samsung S95B OLED Gaming Review: It’s Good

Samsung S95B OLED Gaming Review: It’s Good

OLED TVs have been considered the best of the best for the last decade, because of their extraordinary light control allowing for blacker blacks. But since 2013, when Samsung released the company’s last curved OLED TV screens, the technology has largely been the domain of LG and Sony. However, this year Samsung rejoined the OLED TV-making business, and I went to check out the Samsung S95B OLED TV to see whether it’s good for games and how it stacks up against the competition.

What is the Samsung S95B OLED?

Well, it’s an OLED TV. More than that, it’s a very good OLED TV with the following key specs:

  • HDR 10+ Certified
  • 4600 PQI
  • Ultra Viewing Angle
  • Neural Quantum Processor 4K
  • 120Hz
  • Dolby Atmos
  • Game mode with mini map zoom and Freesync Premium
  • 4 HDMI 2.1 ports
  • Fancy solar powered remote
  • 1ms pixel response time

Mostly, that’s a lot of words to say “it has a great picture and plays games good”. OLEDs have very good wide viewing angles usually, and this one allows you to see vibrant colours even if you have a crap seat on the other end of the couch, or are trying to watch from the kitchen.

Like the vast majority of OLED TVs, it’s very thin and will look good in any room, but also be utterly terrifying to carry, should you ever need to move.

How does it compare with Samsung’s mini-LED TVs?

Samsung S95B OLED with a car from Forza Horizon 5 on it
Image: Alice Clarke

Very favourably! But that’s like saying that pasta and pizza are both excellent. They are both truly wonderful foods, but they’re better for different purposes and different people have different preferences. Also, pasta is better.

Objectively, OLED TVs in general are better at black blacks, while mini-LED TVs are better at white whites while not being as bad at black blacks as their regular-sized LED cousins. OLED TVs perform better in darker rooms, while mini-LEDs are the best choice for bright rooms.

This Samsung OLED can get brighter than the OLEDs of Christmas Past, but it’s still not going to get as bright as a Neo QLED if you have direct sunlight going onto it.

However, subjectively, I prefer the colours on the mini-LED. While some people find the red on the Samsung OLED to be extremely vibrant (someone has said “too vibrant”), I found it a bit washed out on some sources. This is an interesting insight into how people see colour differently, and I think that’s beautiful. Not helpful in any way, but very beautiful.

I can’t be sure what’s at fault for the red thing, because it was on Xbox Cloud Gaming and YouTube, which are built-in apps, but then the red on Xbox Series X looked really good, and it was great on the Netflix app. Is it the apps? Because the same videos on the same apps have really vibrant reds on my NeoQLED Samsung TV. Perhaps it’s something in the apps not talking to the TV properly? Given the red was good on some sources, I’m going to say it’s probably not the TV’s fault, but it’s still worth noting.

Another thing I found irritating was that text looked slightly fuzzy on smaller captions. Boosting the captions up to a slightly larger size made it less fuzzy, but it was a bit frustrating on sources that have tiny captions only (which are always irritating anyway). This could be down to the unusual pixel structure of the TV, but it’s only noticeable on small text.

Given the price it’s at, and how good it looks, it’s a great TV for your normal, not extremely bright rooms, especially since OLED is still better at colour and brightness control than anything else out there.

Yeah, but is the Samsung S95B OLED TV good for playing games on?

Samsung S95B OLED with a car on grass from Forza Horizon 5
Image: Alice Clarke

Yes, extremely.

For casual gamers, Xbox Cloud Gaming is built right in, so you can access Xbox Game Pass games. That will be great for families who want to play without investing in an expensive console because they’re not sure how often they’ll play, or for PlayStation owners who just want to play the occasional Xbox game.

I spent about 45 minutes playing Forza Horizon 5 on the cloud, and it was a fantastic experience. The lag was surprisingly minimal, so much so that I barely noticed it. The only thing that gave away that it was on the cloud and not a console is that it looked pretty bad like it was SD, and it certainly wasn’t the 120fps I’m used to. That’s because the internet connection was suboptimal. But, given I was playing a full console game, without a console or downloading the game, that seemed like magic.

Playing Horizon 5 on the Xbox Series X looked excellent. At a buttery smooth 120fps in performance mode, it just played so well. Game mode ups the HDR brightness and gives you access to things like being able to make the minimap bigger (which I couldn’t activate in Forza for some reason), see how the variable frame rate is going, and the option to switch from 16:9 to 32:9 or 21:9 so you can get an ultra-wide view.

The other thing that makes this TV so good for gaming is how easy it is to set up pictures from multiple sources, so you can have a window with a YouTube guide when you get stuck, and another mirroring your phone for Discord chat or something else. Having multi-view will look better on the larger 65” because the 55” might not have enough real estate unless you’re sitting really, really close.

Samsung S95B OLED TV for watching stuff

Samsung S95B OLED with two characters from A League of Their Own on the screen
You should watch A League Of Their Own. Image: Alice Clarke.

Of course, TVs aren’t just for playing games, apparently, and I was really impressed with how this TV looked with a variety of different sources and videos.

On The Marvellous Mrs Maisel in 4K, the bright costumes really popped on those super dark black backgrounds in the clubs. It looked perfect.

Going from one of the more expensive TV shows going around to a web series that was made for roughly 50c many years ago, the upscaling made the Carmilla web series look significantly better than usual.

Watching 4K nature documentaries on YouTube was an utter delight, even if the red of the parrot was weirdly washed out on YouTube for no good reason I can discern.

Samsung S95B OLED TV Vs LG C2: Fight

‘Fancy OLED TV that looks really good and costs around $4000 for 65”’ might sound very familiar to people also reading about the LG C2, which is usually my most recommended OLED TV. The biggest spec difference between the two is that the LG supports Dolby Vision and HDR 10+, while Samsung only supports HDR 10+. Dolby Vision HDR just looks better if you’re a massive nerd who will notice those things. However, unless you have them side by side, or are used to a TV with Dolby Vision, you probably won’t notice much. Both Xbox Series X and PS5 can do Dolby Vision and HDR 10+, so it’s not as big of a loss for most people.

On the other hand, the Samsung uses the fancier QD-OLED technology, which is normally found in the more expensive Sony models, so it’s a decent trade between fancier technology and Dolby Vision, for less money than the Sony. Plus, the LG C2 is usually a few hundred dollars more expensive than the Samsung S95B, and with their specs this close, it’s perfectly fine to just go for whichever of these two is the cheapest at the time you’re looking to buy.

Any accessories to look at alongside this TV?

The answer to the question “do I need a sound bar with this TV?” is always yes, unless you have a full surround sound system. I tested this TV with the S-Series Ultra Slim sound bar and was blown away by how good it sounded for how small and pretty it looked. It handled everything I threw at it, from crunchy Forza Horizon 5 car revs, to smooth jazz. Without the sound bar, the TV sound was surprisingly tolerable, but with the sound bar it sounded really great. Get the sound bar.

Should I rush out and buy a Samsung S95B OLED TV immediately?

Samsung S95B OLED with Beebo from Legends of Tomorrow on Screen
Image: Alice Clarke

If you can find it at a price you like, you’re specifically after an OLED TV, and you like this one, then sure. It’s a great TV.

The only thing holding me back from full-throatedly recommending it is that it’s really hard to separate the LG C2 and Samsung S95B. They’re both really good. Also, I don’t know how bright your room is, because OLED is the best choice in a darker room, while mini-LED is the best choice in a brighter room, and that is one of the deciding factors in which TV is right for you.

That said, I really enjoyed the time I had with the S95B. The operating system is pretty good, the remote is excellent (assuming you don’t like having number buttons to watch free-to-air TV), and it’s a nice-looking set. It’s a great TV.


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