Hands-on Review: Samsung S95C 65-inch OLED TV
Samsung has been ranked the number one TV brand for 17 years now, and the QD-OLED 4K S95C is at the top of the pile when it comes to OLED TVs in Samsung's 2023 range. Showcasing the best in OLED technology, the S95C offers an immersive home viewing experience that blows you away.
Despite the model being Samsung's flagship TV for the year, it's only hit our shores recently – but rest assured, it was well worth the wait.
Although pricey, the S95C comes jam-packed with all the bells and whistles you'd expect from a high-end TV, making it one of the best on the market.
The QD-OLED 4K S95C is available in three sizes – 55-inch, 65-inch, and 77-inch - and comes with an RRP of $6,099.95, $7,499.96, and $12,999.95, respectively.
Setup and first impressions
Our review model was the 65-inch version, and due to its sheer size and 18.9kg weight, along with the design of the stand, the S95C was quite a challenge to set up. This is exacerbated further by the high price of the TV and being extra careful not to damage the ultra-thin screen. It's at least a two-person job to get everything ready to go.
The fiddiest part of the setup involves the stand, which is engineered to perfection. It's heavy, has a textured metallic finish, and fits perfectly onto the back of the screen via an array of different screws and a unique locking mechanism. Once the stand is connected, it matches the rest of the TV's aesthetic perfectly – slim, sleek, and sexy.
The S95C comes with Samsung's excellent One Connect box, which effectively means all connections, including media inputs and power, go through a single cable – perfect if you plan on mounting the TV onto your living room wall. The box allows you to hide everything away and plug things like your Sky box, games console, or soundbar into it directly. You can even mount the box onto the back of the stand if you like, leaving you more space on (or inside) your TV unit.
Once everything is powered up, it's just a case of following a simple setup process either by using the SmartThings app or via the remote control.
Like the TV, the remote is minimalist in design. This may not be to everyone's liking as it's particularly small, therefore easy to lose, and it lacks a dedicated source button – something Samsung has failed to reintegrate. This means switching from your PS5 to another HDMI input means navigating the menus, which can feel tedious if it's something you need to do often – a standalone button with a quick menu would improve the user experience considerably. One great feature Samsung has maintained is the inclusion of a small solar panel on the back of the remote, meaning you should never have to charge the battery. Should you be caught short, however, you can charge via a USB-C cable.
The S95C is exceptionally thin and looks stunning thanks to what Samsung calls its 'Infinity One' design. The screen's slim profile really must be seen in person to be believed – it boasts a depth of just 11mm. The bezels are almost non-existent, too, which makes the OLED screen stand out even more. The fact that even the moderately powerful built-in speakers are also somehow crammed into the rear of the TV makes the slender S95C even more incredible.
If you've experienced OLED technology before, it won't come as a surprise that the S95C boasts incredible visuals no matter what environment you're watching in. The TV was set up in a particular bright room in the house, and there was barely any glare, and the colours would always pop.
QD-OLED combines quantum dots and OLED panels, which makes the S95C brighter and more colourful than a regular OLED display. With OLED, each individual pixel can turn itself off, which results in amazing contrast. Blacks are darker, and bright colours are super vibrant. HDR content is so good on the S95C that certain scenes look almost lifelike. The TV is also PANTONE Validated – meaning there are accurate expressions of 2,030 PANTONE colours, with 110 skin tone shades added. Real Depth Enhancer mimics depth perception as a human would by increasing foreground contrast to ensure the image feels more genuine.
Films like the Lion King remake on Disney+ looked truly outstanding on the S95C, as did some other tiles on offer that have been IMAX Enhanced. Everything appeared so crisp and radiant. There was no blur or ghosting when watching quick moving sports like football and tennis, and even regular TV shows seemed surprisingly enhanced thanks to the TV's power.
For much of my time with the S95C, I had the Samsung Soundbar S800B connected, but the built-in speakers offer impressive performance. Object Tracking Sound (OTS)+ tracks on-screen action and emits 3D audio, and Dolby Atmos helps to immerse the viewer even further. I suspect most buyers of the S95C would also opt for a soundbar, and it's worth noting that Q-Symphony compatibility is available depending on the soundbar. This effectively means the soundbar and TV work in harmony to provide perfect audio.
Gaming nowadays tends to be done on a monitor, but the S95C is one of the best TVs on the market for gamers thanks to the Motion Xcelerator Turbo Pro, which allows for super smooth gameplay without any nasty lag or motion blur. Motion enhancements are capable up to 4K 144Hz, although this is only accessible via a compatible PC. I spent a fair bit of time testing various PS5 titles, including online sports and First Person Shooters – the experience was great thanks to there being
no input lag due to the HDMI 2.1 input. FreeSync Premium Pro further improves the gaming experience, offering low latency, stutter-free gaming on HDR titles.
The S95C passed pretty much every test I threw at it with flying colours.
Although you could buy a small hatchback for the same price as the S95C, if you long for an exceptional home entertainment experience, Samsung has it nailed for 2023. Whether you're a film buff, a box set binger or an avid gamer – the S95C ticks all the right boxes.
Not only does the S95C smash it out of the park in terms of performance, but it's also one of the more beautiful TVs out there. It's mindbogglingly slim, and everything seems to have been designed with utmost precision. On top of this, the One Connect box makes it more functional, as well as easier to set up.
Other than perhaps Samsung's user experience, there are very few negatives to say about the S95C. The only downside for me is that I can no longer look at my regular Samsung TV in the same way now that I've seen what I'm missing out on. Better start counting those pennies…