OLED panels are brand new panels that are now finally coming up with a better price tag. These OLED panels are known for their rapid response time, high contrast ratio with deeper blacks, and zero blooming effect. On the other hand, IPS is more affordable, covers a wider color gamut, has a good market history and there are no chances of burn-in as we see in OLED panels.
As a customer who just wanted a value-for-money TV or monitor, which one should you buy? Should you pick an OLED panel or an IPS panel? Here is everything about it.
OLED vs IPS
Before you choose which one is best for you, here is something you should know about OLED and IPS panels and the technology behind them.
The LED LCD display comes either with IPS, VA or TN panels. These LED LCD displays depend on the backlit that produces images on the screen. On the other hand, in the OLED display, each pixel emits its own light and doesn’t depend on any other backlit to produce a picture.
Since each pixel has its own source of light, the OLED display has better control over the picture quality, resulting in deep blacks, high contrast ratio, no blooming effect, and instant screen response time. The pixels can dim the light, increase the brightness and turn on/off according to the frame which is not happening in the IPS panel.
That doesn’t mean IPS panels are bad but it would also be not wrong to say that IPS is getting outdated tech. However, there are a few advantages of IPS Panels and that is, a wider color gamut coverage, more brightness, and comes with a much cheaper price tag.
When compared to OLED displays, IPS panels have the halo effect while watching HDR content or even watching darker scenes. IPS panels also have a higher response time for gaming. VA panels, which is another panel option in LED display, perform slightly better than IPS in terms of contrast ratio but VA is not as good as IPS in terms of color accuracy.
Considering the difference between OLED and IPS, OLED is much more advanced tech providing the picture quality of the future while IPS has more penetration in the market because of its cheaper price tag, wider options, and satisfactory everyday & professional performance.
OLED Vs IPS – The Differences & Which One to Buy?
To make it easier for you, here is what is good and bad about OLED & IPS.
Talking about the availability of screen size, OLED displays are limited in numbers. There are only a few options for OLED TV & monitor which also fall in the premium price segment. Most of the 4K OLED TVs (like LG C2) start from 42 inches and goes all the way to 83 inches. A lot of console gamers are already using LG C2 for PS5 and Xbox because of the availability of a 120hz Native refresh rate and HDMI 2.1 port. Here are more monitors with HDMI 2.1 port.
Now this kind of screen size is preferred for large spaces with enough distance between the eyes and the screen.
Talking about OLED monitors, there are a few OLED gaming monitors which come with 27-inch (LG 27GR95QE-B) to 48 inches (LG 48GQ900-B) screen sizes having 4K or QHD 1440p resolution. But these gaming monitors do offer higher refresh rates 240hz, and 165hz which makes them suitable for competitive gaming where each frame rate can lead to victory or defeat.
Moving forward to LED monitors with IPS Panels, the buyer has a lot of great options which come with a wider range of screen sizes and also come with a super affordable price tag. One can get an IPS monitor from 24 inches to 34 inches with 144hz, 240hz, and even 360hz refresh rate. The best thing is, there is a good gaming monitor in every price segment. It all depends on the budget and requirements of the customer.
So if you are someone who is looking for small small-sized OLED monitor or TV, well there are not many options right now. LG 27GR95QE, Samsung Odyssey G85SB, Alienware AW3423DW are a few OLED monitor options one can consider in 2023. For those looking for small 24-inch or 27-inch affordable monitors for gaming, IPS is the only choice for you.
Apart from gaming, there are certain professions where users want a high contrast ratio for deep blacks, crispy sharp resolution and a big screen, in that case, OLEDs are best best-performing display. Most programmers and developers also prefer such kinds of monitors. Here is the best monitor for programming and coding that provides crispy sharp 4K and 5K resolution for sharp picture quality.
Gaming (Response Time & Refresh Rate)
Gaming is one of the biggest reasons why people want to buy or update to a new screen. The gaming performance of OLED and IPS has some major differences. The main difference came in the response time. The response time of an OLED display is much faster than any IPS display.
There is no way, even for the fastest IPS panel to compete with the response time of an OLED display. The ghosting is negligible in OLED when compared to IPS Panels. While the best IPS panel offers a 1ms response time, an OLED panel offers a response time of as low as 0.03ms response time.
Other than response time, Refresh rate is also an important element in gaming. If you are someone who is into FPS gaming and wants the highest refresh rate possible, a 360hz IPS monitor is a better choice for you. Here are some of the best monitors for FPS gaming. Most the 4K OLED TV is limited to a 120hz refresh rate and while OLED monitor like LG 27GR95QE offers a 240hz refresh rate but also comes with an expensive price tag.
If you are ready to pay the price, believe me, a 240hz OLED panel will give you a much better experience than a 360hz IPS panel.
The OLED monitor is also recommended to single-player gamers who like to play Cyberpunk 2055, GTA V, or any other game in HDR, OLED is the way to go. Once you start playing games on the OLED panel, there is no way to go back.
So, if competitive gaming is your preference and you don’t want to leave a hole in your pocket, IPS monitors are better to go with but an OLED display still offers the lowest response time, best HDR gaming performance, and no ghosting at all.
There is ample HDR content on Netflix, Prime Video, and even gaming titles. If you are someone who wants the best-in-class HDR, there is nothing better than OLED. OLED panel has 8.3 million individual pixels that can brighten up, turn on/off, and dim according to the requirement which results in deepest black and high contrast color. When all these properties get displayed on the screen, you get the sheer HDR performance.
IPS display also performs well when it comes to HDR but there are high chances of blooming in the darker scenes. Imagine a perfect black sky and then the white glowing moon. The halo effect around the moon is called blooming which means, the pixels of the moon are leaking light to the dark sky scene that is supposed to be pitch dark. This is not the case with OLED displays because each pixel can control its brightness and can go dim according to requirements.
IPS Panels also require Full Array Local Dimming (FALD) zones to improve the contrast ratio of the display. This FALD zone implementation is expensive and that is why most of the cheap IPS monitors that claim to be HDR-supported monitor perform poorly in a real-life scenario. Most cheap HDR monitors only enhance the brightness and saturate the color to look like the HDR.
There is one more angle to see things and that is the peak brightness. Most OLED TV manufacturers don’t even mention the peak brightness of the TV. The peak brightness of an OLED TV can go up to 1000nits but as compared to a Mini LED display, it can easily go up to 2000-3000nits which gets super bright and perfect for rooms having direct sunlight.
So, there are some significant differences in the HDR performance of OLED & IPS panels. It all depends on the user and how they are gonna use the display.
For those who are into HDR gaming, an OLED display is just good to go. You will get the best HDR performance whether it is gaming or movies. On the other hand, if you want more brightness because of intense direct sunlight in the room, the Mini LED IPS display is good to go as it comes with a brightness of more than 1000nits. Overall, OLED is still the best panel type for HDR content.
OLED Burn-in – The Biggest OLED Issue (Solved)
OLED burn-in is one of the biggest issues with OLED panels. OLED Burn-in is basically a permanent mark of the static picture that might stay on the display for a longer duration of time. Sometimes it is just the image retention and can be removed by using the ‘Pixel Shifter’ or any other inbuilt technology to refresh the pixels but if it stays even after refreshing the pixels, that could be OLED burn-in.
But thankfully, OLED manufacturers are already aware of this issue and they have added pixel refresher tools built-in that prevent the OLED Burn-in. The users can also prevent the burn-in by not using the static image for an extended period of time. There should be movement in the pixel at every corner of the screen. It is also advised to run a screensaver or video without any static element in fixed intervals of time.
On the contrary, there is no burn-in issue on IPS panels. You can use it for as long as you want without worrying about picture retention or burn-in. There is another type of OLED panel called QD-OLED which is less prone to burn-in and also covers wider color gamut but there are only a few options for QD-OLED. Samsung Odyssey G85SB, Sony Bravia A95K, and Alienware AW3423DW are a few displays with QD-OLED displays.
If you are someone who uses particular software like Adobe Photoshop, Premier Pro, FL Studio, Microsoft Excel, Word, or any other software for that matter, you should resist the OLED display simply because most software UI is static and working hours with static icons, symbols can give the OLED burn-in.
For productivity and creative tasks, here is the best monitor for music production that will work better than OLED displays.
In a nutshell, if you can make the extra effort and prevent OLED burn-in by refreshing the display and taking care of static images for a longer duration of time, an OLED display is good to go but if you are someone who uses particular software and use the display to show static images, it can cause irreversible OLED burn-in and thus IPS makes more sense for you.
There is no denying the fact that IPS LED panels are cheaper than OLED panels. If someone is looking for a TV or Monitor under $300 or $500, they can easily get an IPS display under this price. There is a huge range of products in this price segment.
On the contrary, a decent OLED panel will cost somewhere around $1000, at least. It can go all the way up to $2000-$3000 depending on the size and tech it is providing. But the good thing is, OLED is getting cheaper than what we used to see 2-3 years back. In the future, we will see cheaper OLED displays but as of now, you need at least $1000 to get a OLED display.
OLED Vs IPS – Final Answer
Both OLED and IPS are good on their own. It all depends on the user’s needs and preferences. OLED is a much more advanced tech of home display and it will skyrocket your viewing experience but it also comes with an OLED Burn-in issue, which can be prevented if handled with care.
OLEDs are also expensive due to less demand and penetration in the market. The future is definitely OLED and we will see more and more cheaper OLED options. If you want the best HDR, high contrast ratio, deep blacks, and lowest response time for console/PC gaming, there is nothing better than OLED.
But, if you don’t want to experiment and want a tried and tested tech in an affordable price range, LED with an IPS panel is just good to go. The performance is tried and tested and it also comes in different sizes and variants.
LED IPS panels are also suitable for professionals who work on specific programs and software because of a lot of static icons and pictures. For gaming and high-quality entertainment experiences at home, OLED is simply the best.
Is OLED better than IPS?
In terms of technology and picture quality, OLED is definitely superior to the IPS panel. But it also depends on the user’s preference. IPS gives more brightness, is cheaper, and comes in different sizes and variants while OLED gives the best HDR performance, lowest response time, and high contrast ratio.
Is OLED better than IPS for Gaming?
Yes, OLED has the lowest response time as compared to the IPS panel which completely removes the chances of ghosting. It also gives better HDR gaming performance which looks much better than the IPS panel.
Is OLED good for Photo Editing?
In terms of color accuracy and production, IPS performs better. It also covers the wide color gamut. IPS is also better when it comes to burn-in issues as photo editing software has static icons and symbols that can become the reason for burn-in on OLED panels.