Aug 16.2021

4K UHD vs OLED: Which one you should choose?

What is OLED?

What is 4K UHD?

Comparison of OLED and 4K UHD

Regardless, 4k UHD TVs win by a slight edge here!

Which to choose: OLED or 4K UHD?

Bottom Line

Until a certain point, the only determinants for a quality television were its structure, size, and type. Of course, among types, you were only limited to black and white or the colored variants. Luckily, we are way past that time and the modern TV is nothing like its predecessors.


But given the many new types of TV in the market, how do you find your favorite? Also, what traits define a quality television? If you were to choose between 4k UHD and OLED what would you pick? Well, these are some of the many questions we will attempt to explore in the following sections. So, if you wanted to know which technology takes the cake when it comes to 4k UHD vs OLED, here's a brief insight.


What is OLED?


Ever wondered what is OLED? Well, OLED is perhaps best defined as a diode designed to exude light. It is completely organic and is crafted from a material that has glow-in-the-dark properties. Think of the heating device in your regular toaster. Remember the glow when electricity hits it up? The same glow applies to OLED and you will witness it in your OLED TV.


Typically, an OLED comprises multiple compounds with organic properties. These properties collectively work to create the kind of light our TV emits. The collective working is especially important as every color of LED will need a specific composition of the organic property.


But what decides that the amount of light an OLED will exude? Well, this entirely depends on the electrical current as received by the different pixels of OLED. With stronger currents, you can expect higher intensities of light. Likewise, with weaker currents, your TV screen may not be as bright.


The defining aspect of this display is that it effectively produces beautifully intense blacks and other dark undertones. Additionally, it doesn't bloom along the bright parts in unclear or dark backdrops.


If you typically spend six hours daily watching a TV, your OLED screen is likely to last you for more than two decades. However, this tends to vary depending on the brand and the type of OLED used.


What is 4K UHD?


Unlike OLED, UHD is not any specific type of screen technology. Instead, it is the acronym for Ultra High Definition, which again is an advanced resolution of your display screen.


4k UHD is a notch ahead of Full HD which again simply implies a standard resolution of 1080p or 1,920 x 1,080. With a UHD TV, you can double and even quadruple this available resolution making it to 3,840 X 2,160 (also known as 4k).


Comparison of OLED and 4K UHD


Now that you have a brief idea about OLED and 4K UHD, you might be wondering how they compete against each other. So, in the following sections, we have listed the major differences between UHD 4k vs OLED. Read on to know they fare against each other.




If you're looking to choose between an OLED and 4k UHD TV, you must know that 4k UHD TVs are mostly LED TVs. Thus, when comparing the size, you need to keep this crucial factor into account. The average sizes of OLED TVs range between 48-, 55-, 65-, 77-, and 90-inch models. LEDs on the other hand are available between 19 and 90 inches.


It is important to note here that OLED tv has this high price range because it is only available in 4k. As opposed to that, you will find LED TVs starting from a mere resolution of 1080p up to a whopping 4k quality.


Typically, the picture quality of the OLED TV is deemed better and superior when compared to LED variants. This is especially true when you are comparing these models with the cheap LED versions of TVs. When comparing both, only the best version of an LED tv, which is the 4k UHD, can stand close to an OLED. That is also the reason why their prices are mostly similar.




Given the smaller size of LED TVs, the price is significantly lower. You can get quality LED tv for a couple of hundred dollars. However, for an OLED tv, you need to shell out a minimum of $1500. With that said, even LED TVs can cost more, especially if you are getting a 4k UHD variant. In that case, it will be almost the same as an OLED tv with only a negligible difference.




4k UHD has a 4k resolution and so does the OLED tv. That is why they stand at a close tie in this department.


Black level


Your TV's capacity of producing intense dark segments is perhaps the most crucial factor behind a quality picture. With deep black, you can enjoy rich colors along with superior contrast. Collectively, this leaves you with almost lifelike quality images.


OLED TVs meet this criterion. Not only do they develop pitch dark screens, but their contrast ratio is practically deeper than what you would imagine. 4k UHD tv, being the best kind of LED tv comes backed by the FLAD technology which is but complete dimming of all arrays. Even though it's close to OLEDs, it still cannot outperform them in this segment.




If we are comparing the brightness of both TVs, LEDs tend to stand an edge ahead of the OLEDs. Why? This is primarily because of the powerful backlight of a standard LED Tv. When backed by a range of quantum dots, this backlight helps preserve brightness regardless of the TV size.


OLED TVs aren't any less bright and with their exceptional level of blackness, you will find a striking contrast in the brightest section of the screen with the darkest ones. However, when you turn on the maximum brightness in your OLED tv, you end up exhausting their lifespan. The result? The light pixels will now require a longer time to get your perfectly dark screen.


With that said, it is important to understand that almost all types of modern TV including (but not limited to) OLED or LED, will produce exceptional brightness (which is often more than that you originally needed). Because of this, your primary consideration now would be to position the TV at the right spot.


If you place your OLED tv in a pitch-dark area, it will end up outperforming your 4k UHD tv. The 4k UHD tv, on the other hand, will stand out from OLEDs in brighter areas. Over the last couple of years, the brightness of OLED TVs has significantly improved, and they are thus ideal for almost all kinds of room.


Regardless, 4k UHD TVs win by a slight edge here!


Color space


Even a couple of years back, OLED used to be the winning TV in this segment. However, with the grand improvements in the quality of the blacklight and the introduction of advanced quantum lights, 4k UHDs are now almost similar to OLED in color space. If you seek ultra HD or a wide gamut of colors, you will find both these categories met by both the TVs.


Refresh rate


Refresh rate is the time taken by TVs to switch screens or displays. The speed is measured in Hz and OLED TVs come with a higher speed refresh rate when compared to their LED counterparts.


Viewing angles


OLED has a significantly wider and better viewing angle when compared to 4k UHD LED TVs. Unlike LEDs that still have shutter issues because of screen pixels, OLED comes with advanced pixels powered by self-illumination capabilities. Thus, OLED is a clear winner in this department.




Unlike LED TVs that come with a lifetime guarantee, OLED TVs will only last you two decades or more if you use your tv for five hours (or more) every day.


Eye comfort


Because OLED TVs produce significantly less blue light than LED TVs, they are deemed more comfortable. On average, OLEDs produce only 33% blue light as opposed to the 66% blue light produced by LED TVs.


Which to choose: OLED or 4K UHD?


Now that we are almost at the end of the article, you probably have a clearer and more informed idea about display technology and resolution. Because OLED is a display technology and 4k UHD is a resolution, you cannot typically compare them.


We would still recommend OLED for people who enjoy watching TV and do not have significant budget constraints. These TVs come with excellent viewing angles and they also consume drastically less energy when compared to similar counterparts. We also love the fact this technology leaves you with intense blacks and excellent contrast. Even though we cannot typically compare OLED to 4k UHD, OLED is certainly a better option than QLED variants.


For 4k UHD TV, you would need a minimum budget of $500. If you have that kind of budget and are also looking to go upwards, 4k UHD is the way to go. The picture quality is crisp, and you wouldn't regret spending your money on the TV.


If, however, you are looking for something more affordable and economical, LED TVs with 1080p should be the way to go. While they aren't as functional or superior when compared to OLED or 4k UHD, these TVs are certainly standard and budget-friendly.


Bottom Line


So, what are you waiting for? Pick your favorite and start exploring your options to end up with your perfect 4k UHD or OLED TV. Either way, you will enjoy crisp picture quality and the TV will meet and exceed your expectations.