Samsung's new duo of small OLED TVs could spell trouble for LG – here's why

2024 Samsung TV with information widget Now+ screen
(Image credit: Samsung)

While CES has had some more outlandish TVs announced, such as a transparent OLED from LG and a 115-inch, 5000-nit behemoth from TCL, they're not the TVs that have captured my interest. Believe it or not, it's a duo of new TVs from Samsung that, in most regards, are fairly standard. 

Samsung has announced an expansion of its OLED TV range, a market it was reluctant to get into at first, but has become a success story for the Korean conglomerate. Starting out in 2022, the company launched the S95B with its QD-OLED screen technology, followed up in 2023 with the S95C and S90C, the latter being a cheaper gateway into Samsung's OLED lineup. Now, in 2024, the OLED lineup expands once again with the S95D, S90D and S85D, with that last model undercutting the S90 as an even cheaper Samsung OLED.

As part of this new lineup, Samsung has introduced its first "small" OLED TV, as before now you had to opt for a 55-inch or larger screen size if you wanted a Samsung OLED TV. That isn't the case any more, as Samsung has announced a new 42-inch TV and a 48-inch TV as part of its new lineup; from what we gather this will be a 42-inch S85D and a 48-inch S90D. We expect the former to be a standard OLED, whereas the latter could be a QD-OLED model, although considering Samsung released a non-QD OLED S90C last year this might not be the case, and it hasn't been particularly forthcoming with information on the ground at CES.

Either way, the announcement of these TVs is easily one of the most interesting in my eyes, and for one good reason. Put simply, it should teach LG that it can't rest on its laurels with the C-series any more, as it has sat unchallenged in the small OLED field for far too long. While other 42-inch OLEDs do exist, take the excellent Sony 42A90K for example, no other company has caught the lightning-in-the-bottle effect that the 42-inch C2, C3 or (expectedly) upcoming C4 has.

Looking back at the 42-inch C3, while it was a brilliant TV, it didn't exactly revolutionise much; and other than enhanced brightness, the C4 seems to be following in its footsteps. With Samsung being LG's biggest rival, we hope that this new 42-inch OLED could give LG a reason to up its game. 

Speaking of which, it's also especially good news for gamers (like myself), who up until this point have basically had the 42-inch LG C3 as the only desk-friendly OLED TV option. It's times like this that remind me that good things come to people who wait, as I've held out on buying a small OLED TV, and now I have more options to choose from as a result.

Moving up to the S90D, this 48-inch model is especially interesting if it does come with a smaller QD-OLED panel and not a standard OLED. With the ongoing battle between the Samsung-derived QD-OLED versus the LG-made Micro Lens Array (MLA) heating up, it seems like the smaller OLED models have been ignored up until now when it comes to next-generation screen tech. Even the new LG G4 will only go as small as 55 inches, so Samsung's attempt at undercutting LG's MLA offer with a smaller QD-OLED model could turn the tides of this battle significantly. 

As someone who is invested in the idea of a modest OLED TV, evidenced by my excitement for the 48-inch LG B4, seeing Samsung take a stab at this size of OLED TV is great for me and anyone else wanting a small OLED TV, but maybe not so much for LG.


Check out the latest CES 2024 news

As well as the latest OLED news from Panasonic 

And check out LG's mindblowing transparent OLED TV

Lewis Empson
Staff Writer

Lewis Empson is a Staff Writer on What Hi-Fi?. He was previously Gaming and Digital editor for Cardiff University's 'Quench Magazine', Lewis graduated in 2021 and has since worked on a selection of lifestyle magazines and regional newspapers. Outside of work, he enjoys gaming, gigs and regular cinema trips.