When looking at a new TV, all the specs and marketing terms can be overwhelming, especially things like LED and QLED. Full Array LED and QLED are different panel types. QLED stands for Quantum dot LED and LED stands for Light Emitting Diode. To clarify, Full Array LEDs are different from standard LED TVs. As Full-Array screens are fully backlit, they offer better viewing angles and deeper black levels than standard LED TVs. In this article, Full Array LED vs. QLED goes head-to-head. We will dive into the specs of both panel types, explain their differences, look at their pros and cons, and see their best use cases.

Full Array LED vs. QLED: Side By Side Comparison

Full Array LEDQLED
Black LevelExcellentExcellent
Gray UniformityDecentDecent
BrightnessGreatExcellent
Color GamutGoodExcellent
Image RetentionExcellentExcellent
Motion BlurGoodGreat
Price and AvailabilityExcellentGreat

Full Array LED vs. QLED: 4 Must-Know Facts

  • QLED and Full Array LEDs use very similar technology, but QLEDs implement a quantum dot layer to boost brightness and color depth.
  • Technically, an LED TV is just an LCD TV, except it uses LED lights as the backlight instead of fluorescent tubes.
  • QLED TVs cover a wider color gamut than Full Array LED TVs.
  • Full Array TVs are the best budget-friendly option.

Full Array LED vs. QLED: What’s the Difference?

Samsung QLED TV
Samsung launched its QLED line of 4K TVs with quantum dot nanocrystals in 2017.

What is a QLED?

A QLED TV is an LED TV that uses a quantum-dot layer between the backlight and the LCD panel. When light hits these microscopic quantum dots, it produces brighter colors that are more heavily saturated than traditional LED TVs.

SAMSUNG 65-Inch Class QLED 4K UHD Q70A Series Dual LED Quantum HDR Smart TV with Alexa Built-In, Motion Xcelerator Turbo+, Multi View Screen (QN65Q70AAFXZA, 2021 Model)
  • 4K UPSCALING: Whatever you watch, the Quantum Processor 4K transforms it to 4K with machine learning-based AI
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  • DYNAMIC CONTRAST: See bold detail delivered by dedicated warm and cool Dual LED backlights that adjust in real time
  • A BILLION BRILLIANT COLORS: Enjoy vivid, lifelike color, regardless of brightness from 100% Color Volume* with Quantum Dot
  • EXPANDED COLOR RANGE: Go beyond HDTV with Quantum HDR that delivers a vivid spectrum of color and contrast to your Smart TV
ProsCons
Higher resistance to moisture Prone to light bleed effect
Available in higher display sizes Less saturated blue
Thin and lightweight Use backlight for illumination
Over 50 times brighter than LCD type screens

What is a Full Array LED?

Technically, an LED TV is just an LCD TV that uses LED lights as the backlight instead of fluorescent tubes. Today we are specifically looking at Full Array, which is different from edge-lit LED panels due to a grid of LEDs lighting the panel instead of the line of LEDs around one or more sides.

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  • FULL ARRAY LED CONTRAST – Precisely controlled backlighting delivers deep black, high peak brightness and is further enhanced by XR Contrast Booster 10 for real-life depth and detail
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ProsCons
Uses single LED zones to allow for local brightening and dimming Not possible to calibrate or control LED zones
Wider viewing angleIndividual LED zone failure affects the entire backlight panel
Enhances HDR content quality

Performance Tests

Now that we know the general performance of both the Full Array LED and QLED panels, let’s go deeper into the fun numbers and in-depth testing. Keep in mind that we are comparing the panel technology itself, and not necessarily the TVs themselves, so your mileage may vary from TV to TV.

Brightness

Because Full Array LEDs use backlights, they can get considerably bright. If you want the max level brightness, QLED takes the cake. Quantum dot filter boosts the light output of colors compared to regular LED TVs.

Television brightness is measured in nits. One nit is the amount of light that spreads over a square meter. Most Full Array LED TVs can reach 1,000-2,000 nits peak brightness, while QLEDs are typically at 2,000 nits. Some higher-end models can hit 4,000 nits peak brightness. If you are looking for a new TV in a room that gets a lot of light, QLED TVs are the way to go, but Full Array LED TVs are a close second.

Color

Color and brightness go hand in hand with TVs and all screens. Again with the quantum dot layer making a considerable difference, QLED TVs can produce more vibrant colors than Full Array LED TVs.

When looking at TVs, the best test for color is how much of the DCI-P3 gamut it can cover. DCI stands for Digital Cinematic Institute, and the P3 is a variant of the color space developed by Apple. For the QLED, we took results from Samsung’s Q90/Q90T QLED, and the Full Array LED was Sony’s X900H. The Full Array LED covered 85.7% of the DCI-P3 gamut, and the QLED covered 89.1%.

So with a second category going to QLED panels, this continues to be a tight race. Even though the Full Array LED TVs are not as good as QLEDs in the nitty gritty, they are not far off.

Viewing Angle

If you have many people watching your TV simultaneously, it’s crucial to consider the TV’s viewing angle. It is another close call between QLED and Full Array LED TVs. If this is a vital component to you, we suggest looking at OLED TVs instead.

However, we are focusing on QLED, and Full Array LED here, and the difference between them is almost unnoticeable to the naked eye. Some manufacturers are making a conscious effort to improve this by implementing an ‘Ultra Viewing Angle’ layer as Samsung has. We wouldn’t state this as a win for either the QLED or Full Array LED, but it is not a deal breaker for either panel type.

Cost

None of the above stuff means anything if the TV does not fit your price range. On the upside, the growing popularity of OLED TVs means you can find QLED and Full Array LED TVs for reasonable prices.

But if you are looking for a budget-friendly TV with comparable performance to its competitors, Full Array LED TVs take the win.

Full Array LED vs. QLED: Which is Better?

So after going through all the numbers and tests, it seems QLED is the better option. But I wouldn’t say it is as cut and dry as that. The Full Array LED and QLED panels perform excellently, and in many tests, the Full Array LED was just behind by a few points.

For your next TV, if you are looking at Full Array LED or QLED, you will be happy either way. Just make sure to purchase within your budget and get a TV that fits your needs and not your ultimate dreams, as fun as that might be.

Check out the Samsung QLED TV on Amazon.

Last update on 2022-11-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Full Array LED vs. QLED: Panel Types Compared FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Is QLED same as full array?

Full Array is the technology behind QLED TVs, including the quantum dot layer that boosts brightness and color depth.

Is full array worth it?

Aside from OLED TVs, LED/LCD TVs with full-array backlighting are the best on the market. They provide a wide viewing angle with excellent image quality, high color contrast, and vivid color clarity.

Is QLED worth the extra money?

Generally, a QLED TV will have better color display capability than a regular LCD, boosting brights and blacks while relying on an LED backlight, bringing out over a billion hues and shades of colors with deep darks and scintillating lights.

Which backlight type is best?

Currently, no backlight is your best option if you can afford to do so. TVs with OLED or Micro LED technology offer some of the best image quality today.

What is full array backlight?

Full Array backlighting means that there are LEDs placed all over behind a TV’s LCD panel. Edge-lit TVs only have LEDs along the sides of the screen.

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