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LG TV 2016 Reviews & Prices – Ultimate Buying Guide for LG 4k TVs

 

Overview

At least as far as 2016 is concerned LG is a little bit like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in terms of their 4K UHD TVs. On the one hand, the company manufactures what are still considered to be the very best 4K ultra HD TVs in the world in the form of their OLED models, which offer absolutely stunning display specs, excellent connectivity and what is arguably the market’s best smart TV platform to date.

Then on the other hand, LG also manufactures numerous non-OLED 4K LCD TV models, most of them with flat screens, which are largely disappointing in comparison to rival LCD 4K TVs from all of the other major brands, particularly Sony, Samsung and Panasonic. With the exception of sharing the same superb webOS 2.0 (and webOS 3.0 for 2016 LG models) smart TV platform, the LCD 4K ultra HD TVs in LG’s lineup almost seem as if they were made by a different, inferior company with the sort of lower quality they deliver.

This applies particularly to LG’s more economical models and it’s particularly strange considering that rivals like Sony and Vizio, as well as even Samsung manage to produce cheaper LCD TVs which still retain some great highlights, highlights which are often decidedly better than those of their LG LCD 4K counterparts.

In other words, while LG’s OLED 4K TV models are absolute market winners in terms of quality, their LCD 4K models are TVs we rarely recommend over comparable Sony or Samsung models. So far, two of the best LG LCD 4K TV models we’ve covered are the 2016 UH8500 and UH9500 HDR televisions. We cover both further down below and they are probably the best LG LCD 4K televisions we’ve seen so far.

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Types

LG’s 4K UHD TVs for 2015 and 2016 can be divided down into five broad categories, of which we’ve reviewed three to-date. In essence, they consist of LG LCD 4K TVs, LG curved OLED 4K TVs, LG’s flat late 2015 OLED 4K TVs, LG’s Super UHD LCD TVs for 2016 and finally, their newest OLED 2016 4K TV models. All of the 2015 models –OLED or LCD—share the same smart TV platform in the form of webOS 2.0 and all of the 2016 models come with webOS 3.0. In terms of connectivity, all of LG’s TVs are also essentially identical. Where they dramatically differ is in the quality of their display specs, their internal processing capacities and in their finer display rendering features.

Here is a brief rundown of each main LG TV type

2015 4K UHD OLED TVs (curved and flat screen)

LG’s OLED 4K televisions from 2015 (and the company’s 2014 models as well) were simply the best TVs on the market since they emerged. This is our opinion of these TVs and it’s a viewpoint that many other reviewers and consumers alike have shared. Sony and Samsung, as well as Panasonic could all create some truly superb LCD televisions but none of them quite compared to the picture quality that LG’s OLED models could spin out at the viewer.

While most of LG’s OLED TVs were built with what we think to be a rather pointless and gimmicky curved design, they certainly do look good because of that curvature when sitting in a living room and in late 2015, the company also released some new flatscreen OLED televisions with their EF9500 models, which also include HDR technology to boot.

It’s also worth mentioning that LG’s OLED 4K TVs were and remain some of the priciest 4K UHD TVs on the market today, though their prices have dropped somewhat since early 2015.

LG 8k 98" Super UHD TV at CES 2016

LG 8k 98″ Super UHD TV at CES 2016

2015 4K UHD LCD TVs

From the visual marvel that are LG OLED 4K TVs, we then move down to the rather underwhelming LCD TVs released by LG in 2015. This may seem like a bit of an exaggeration based on unfair comparison to the beauty of OLED but we don’t think so. With their LCD TV TVs, in the form of the UF-Series LED/LCD 4K models, LG sells TVs that aren’t bad by any means but simply don’t measure up not only to their OLED cousins but also to other comparable LCD/LED models from major rival brands like Sony, Samsung or Panasonic.

The connectivity and smart TV platform technologies on these TVs are essentially the same as those of the OLED models, but internal processing power and display specs are quite different. Furthermore, in terms of price, these models from LG are still relatively expensive, though some very affordable models can be found among them.

 

2016 Super UHD LCD TVs

We can’t quite yet say too much about LG’s brand new 2016 LCD/LED 4K TV lineup except to say that these TVs have been branded by the company as their new “Super UHD” models and that LG seems to have finally gotten in on the uptake and dramatically improved their development of quality LCD/LED technology for 2016’s 4K models. We’ll update this section as we manage to review one or two of these TVs but for now, preliminary viewings of the LG 2016 LCD/LED TV models indicate that they’re much better than their 2015 cousins, with a display quality which rivals the best of Samsung or Sony LCD/LED 4K TV technology.

 Key Features

The following are some of the key features found in LG’s assorted TV models. Not all of these exist in all of the 4K TVs produced by the company and OLED, Perfect Black and HDR in particular are exclusive to the premium models.

OLED display

New LG OLED 4k TV at CES 2016

New LG OLED 4k TV at CES 2016

  • The showpiece of LG’s premium 4K ultra HD TV models is without a doubt OLED display technology, which up until very recently was completely exclusive to LG televisions in the entire market. This has now changed due to Panasonic’s unveiling of their own OLED 4K 2016 TV models but LG still maintains major dominance in this areas.
  • OLED stands for organic light emitting diode technology and in basic terms, it allows for pixel-precise control of light and dark in a 4K TV right down to the ability to turn off all light or activate it to full brightness right within the scope of single individual pixels on the screen. This means two things above all others:
  • First, that OLED displays can generate perfect, complete black tones due to a total (okay, down to virtually undetectable even to sensors 0.0005 nits of “brightness”) ability to cut off light in individual pixels or whole sections of the screen.
  • And second, that OLED displays can literally create 8.3 million illumination and dimming zones on the screen since each of the 8.3 million pixels can be controlled on an individual level. No LED/LCD TV, even one with hundreds of local dimming/active LED zones can match this sort of precision.
  • On the other hand, OLED TVs don’t generate quite as much luminance as their LED counterparts but this is more than compensated for by their ability to create perfect contrast via perfect dark and thus give the impression of greater brightness in the lit sections of the screen.
  • Finally, with OLED technology, colors can also be generated to a much greater degree of realism thanks to certain qualities imparted by OLED. This means that not only does OLED create beautiful contrast refinement, it also does a fantastic job of generating highly realistic colors.
Award Winning New LG OLED at CES 2016

Award Winning New LG OLED at CES 2016

HDR

  • With LG’s 2016 OLED and late-2015 EF9500 OLED flat screen 4K models, LG upped the ante on these television’s already extraordinary contrast precision and depth by adding HDR to the televisions. This is achieved mainly by first allowing the OLED TVs in question to decode HDR metadata from a source of HDR 4K content and then also upping the potential luminance of the display panels and expanding the range of dynamic contrast levels possible over the already impressive levels found in LG’s “conventional” OLED television models.
HDR display compared to SDR contrast on left side

HDR display compared to SDR contrast on left side

 

Perfect Black

 

  • This technology is pretty self-explanatory and a feature found only in LG’s OLED models. The manufacturer bills it as its own separate feature but “Perfect Black” is in essence a specific name for the core total light emission capacity of OLED display panels.

 

Tru-4K Upscaler

 

  • 4K UHD upscaling in LG’s 4K TVs of all types –LCD or OLED—is generated by what LG calls their Tru-4K Upscaler engine. From what we’ve seen it works very nicely at its job. Full HD and 720p content resolutions scale up to look crisper and more 4K UHD-like in a wonderful way and even SD video that has been decently mastered by its producers gets a rather nice boost to some remarkably sharp levels of detail. In other words, what we’re saying is that in essence, LG excels at upscaling non-4K UHD content and this means good things for those using any LG 4K UHD TV at all to view their overwhelming majority of non-4K UHD movies, sportscasts and TV shows.

 

ColorPrime Technology

 

  • ColorPrime is LG’s version of the color augmenting technology formed by quantum dot color expanding film or phosphor coating of LEDs for a more vibrant, broader color spectrum. While LG is still rather secretive about which it uses in its 4K ColorPrime TVs, the bottom line is that this particular feature results in more vibrant, wider and more realistic color combinations across the board. While LG’s OLED 4K TVs don’t come with ColorPrime (partly because they don’t need it and partly because they can’t use it thanks to the physical nature of their OLED panels) The company’s highest grade LCD TVs from both 2015 and 2016 do indeed come with ColorPrime. In either case, LG’s top-shelf 2015 LCD TV models may offer weak contrast but they don’t lack for great colors.

2016 4K UHD OLED TVs

LG's C6 OLED 2016 HDR TV

Like their 2016 LCD counterparts, the 2016 OLED lineup has undergone some major design and internal changes for the sake of giving these models better performance in 2016. For starters, the 2016 OLED TVs now come with LG’s new webOS 3.0 smart TV platform and will incorporate more of the flat screen design we started to see in the last OLED 4K models of 2015. Also, these TVs offer some dramatic new physical changes in their appearance with an ultra-thin glass panel display that’s said to be the thinnest on the consumer market, at just 2.67 mm, or less than an eighth of an inch. Finally, this is the first whole line of LG OLED TVs which offers high dynamic range across the board for a dramatically improved level of overall picture quality, color delivery (with Wide Color Gamut) and levels of peak brightness never before seen in an OLED 4K TV.

Key Features

The following are some of the key features found in LG’s assorted TV models. Not all of these exist in all of the 4K TVs produced by the company and OLED, Perfect Black and HDR in particular are exclusive to the premium models.

Smart TV Platform

webOS is LG’s non-display showpiece technology. In 2015 webOS 2.0 emerged and it impressed us and many others as the single best smart TV OS platform on the whole 4K television market, and now the newest version, called webOS 3.0 is just around the corner and likely to improve even further on what LG managed with the 2015 edition.

LG WebOS 3.0 at CES 2016

LG WebOS 3.0 at CES 2016

 

When it comes to webOS, LG has created a superb, highly intuitive, nicely web-connected and content-friendly piece of TV interface software that’s very easy to use and wonderfully light on its feet as far as speed goes. Best of all, webOS 2.0 is available in all of LG’s 2015 4K TVs, even the most economical models, meaning that even with certain display quality flaws, you can at least enjoy some superb usability.

We expect the same quality for webOS 3.0 and will be looking forward to it in all of LG’s 2016 television models.

Display Characteristics

Display-wise, LG’s 4K TVs are all over the place, so the best way to break down their pros and cons is by doing it individually for each type of 4K TV:

 

2015 LCD/LED 4K TVs

As we’ve already mentioned, LG’s LCD/LED 4K TVs from 2015 were something of a disappointment in terms of their display qualities. Maybe it’s because LG was so busy with OLED that they sort of disregarded the LCD branch of their 4K TV production but either way, in terms of contrast and also even motion control, the display characteristics of LG LCD models definitely underperform their Sony, Samsung, Panasonic and even Vizio counterparts. With the top-shelf LCD UF8500 and UF9500 “ColorPrime” televisions, colors look excellent but the contrast in particular remains poor and this somewhat spoils a lot of that color vibrancy as a side effect.

We don’t think LG’s LCD TVs are bad televisions, and many users might be perfectly happy with their display quality but when measured up against what we know 4K LCD TV technology to be capable of, they disappoint.

2016 LCD/LED Super UHD TVs

LG's Super UHD UH9500 HDR 4K TV

LG’s Super UHD UH9500 HDR 4K TV

We’ve had many complaints about the 4K LCD TVs produced by LG throughout 2014 and 2015. This finally underwent some changes in 2016. This was the year in which LG finally started delivering some truly great 4K LCD TVs instead of confining high quality to their OLED models. Thus, for the 2016 LCD TV editions, we saw excellent models like the UH9500 and UH8500 emerge along with some decent mid-range LCD TVs like the UH7700.

What all of the Super UHD TVs for 2016 come with includes support for High dynamic range color and compatibility with both Dolby Vision and HDR10 high dynamic range standards. Furthermore, the 2016 Super UHD LCD TVs offer superior levels of black performance, though their overall contrast ratings are still much lower than is normal for Sony’s and Samsung’s predominantly VA Panel technology design for their TV display panels. The 2016 Super UHD LCD TVs almost all come with IPS display pnels and this results in better viewing angles but much weaker black levels.

LG DIsplay at CES 2016

LG DIsplay at CES 2016

Connectivity

In terms of connectivity, LG is a winner across the board. It’s 4K UHD TVs of all types come with all the essentials for full access to the latest and best conventional 4K and non-4K content sources, such as HEVC, VP9, HDCP 2.2 and HDMI. Additionally, the webOS 2.0 smart platform has practically been built to excel at web browsing and easy internet access in general. Furthermore, the latest LG models are also built to accept 4K content with HDR encoding built into it.

On the other hand, we did find ourselves annoyed by one small detail that a number of both OLED and non-OLED LG models lacked. This was the absence of a fourth HDMI 2.0 port. Most televisions on the market offer between 4 and 5 HDMI Ports and in this one thing, LG for some reason decided to only go with three ports on select models. Even the company’s top-rated 2015 OLED, the EG9600 came with just three HDMI ports, oddly enough.

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The Best Models

For starters, we have the 2015 and 2014 LG OLED and LCD 4K TVs. Of these, the four best models, two in the LCD class and the other two in the OLED class are the LG UF8500 and UF9500 ColorPrime TVs, and the EF9500 and the EG9600 OLED 4K TVs on the premium side of the spectrum.

Without a single doubt, the two OLED models blow their LCD LG cousins right out of the water in terms of display quality and they’re no longer even as extraordinarily expensive as before, with the EF9500 flat screen OLED costing just under $3,000 for the 55 inch version and the 55 inch EG9600 being sold for $3,997.

Then there are the absolutely stunning 2016 LG OLED 4K TVs. These offer levels of peak luminance we’ve never before seen in an OLED TV and a new class of HDR that’s better than even what we saw in the cutting edge EF9500 from late 2015. These new 2016 OLED HDR 4K TV models are the Flgaship G6 Signature HDR TV and below that by just a slight bit in terms of specs, the E6 and B6 OLED 4K models. All offer the same extraordinary 2.5mm thick glass panel screen design and calibration for both HDR10 standards like those used by the UHD Alliance but also Dolby Vision high dynamic range.

LG'S G6 Signature 2016 HDR OLED 4K TV

LG’S G6 Signature 2016 HDR OLED 4K TV

Price Analysis

In terms of pricing, LG’s 4K ultra HD TVs are across the spectrum. The company’s top shelf 2016 OLED 4K TVs cost several thousand dollars at the very least and can go for as high as $10,000 for the largest models, while the smallest, lowest budget 4K LCD TV models retail for well below $1,000.Obviously however, between these two ends of the price spectrum, there’s a whole vast abyss of difference in display quality.

In between the two extremes, you have the premium LCD ColorPrime 4K televisions, which are much more affordable than their OLED counterparts but still overly costly in our view given their display flaws. In this range, a good average example is the 65 inch UF9500, the very top of the LG 2015 LCD line, which sells on Amazon.com for $2,797.99.

Overall, we’d argue that price-wise, LG doesn’t keep things as competitive as it should, particularly for its less than stellar LCD 4K models.

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Positives, Negatives and Final Opinion

In our final opinion, we’re mixed on LG’s 4K selections but we do have lots of praise to give to their best televisions, the OLEDs. Furthermore, our hopes for better prices and better non-OLED picture quality in 2016 are very high. For now however, while we absolutely recommend this company’s OLED 4K models for those who have the money and want the best picture quality bar none, we think that at least the 2015 LCD LG televisions are just not good enough to win a recommendation if comparable Sony, Vizio, Panasonic or Samsung models are available.

Positives

  • Absolutely fantastic OLED models
  • Lots of excellent new OLED nad LCD TVs coming in 2016
  • Absolutely superb webOS smart TV platform
  • Great connectivity and content compatbility
  • Excellent color in OLED and ColorPrime LCD models
  • HDR in select OLED and non-OLED 2016 TVs
  • Great upscaling engines

Negatives

  • 2015 LCD TVs offer weak contrast across the board
  • Most LG 4K TVs are overpriced, especially the LCD models, oddly enough
  • Somewhat inferior motion control in lower-end models.
17 comments
 
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  • Floepke
    June 16, 2016 at 12:36 pm

    Lg oled have the best colors and sharpness ! But the prices are way to expencive i hope the prices will be 50% less than now !in the verry near future !!!!!!

    Reply

  • karim
    July 1, 2016 at 3:59 am

    OLED 4k will be affordable in 2018 according to LG

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      July 4, 2016 at 1:50 pm

      We’d heard the same about 2016 and 2017 for LG OLED TVs. While we absolutely love these televisions and think they’re actually worth the price they cost due to the stunning quality they deliver, we won’t believe the affordability argument completely until we see it first-hand. However, OLED is going down in price along with 4K TV technology in general so OLED will definitely become affordable at some point in the near future.

      Reply

  • Alex
    July 13, 2016 at 2:41 pm

    OLED is affordable now folks go look around

    Reply

  • Raesean Morton
    August 28, 2016 at 12:25 am

    I just got the LG UH8500 I broke the bank to get it and I am highly disappointed. It has some serious banding issues and light bleed. You can’t even watch a movie in the dark because it makes all the bending and backlighting obvious. When everything is lit on the display it has a wonderful picture until everything gets dark. I don’t know why a company would send a TV out that we have this bad of an issue. My old 1080p LG 65 inch didn’t even have this sort of banding issues. It’s just annoying to try to watch a scary movie in the dark and see all that other stuff going on. I am really considering returning this TV back to Best Buy. I can’t say that it was worth the money considering all the flaws. But I guess if you can get past all the flaws and be happy with it. But I can’t.

    Reply

  • Winfrey holt
    September 13, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    Oled causes burn in on a stationary screen like plasma

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      September 13, 2016 at 12:03 pm

      No it doesn’t anymore Winfrey. This is a problem which LG and other OLED makers (basically just Panasonic) have worked to eliminate and the superiority of OLED to Plasma is massive in avoiding this problem, though it can happen to a much lesser degree over time. We have not yet heard a single reader complaint of an older 2014 OLED TV they bought suffering the plasma-like burn and much less is it then likely to be the case for the superior TVs of 2015 and 2016.

      Reply

  • nimblejack
    November 23, 2016 at 7:16 pm

    Some good points, but really, would it kill web sites offering reviews to date their damn articles? Majorly annoying when the date of publication and update is not up front and centre.

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      November 27, 2016 at 6:18 pm

      hello NimbleJack, we do actually try to date all of our review and new peices as well as blog posts. For all main pages and guides such as this, we try to post the dates of our last updates, since these are applied regularly. We will be looking into these dates to make sure they’re all current with the latst updates.

      Reply

  • Johnny
    November 26, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    I just bought an 2016 55 inch LG super UHD7700, could you please shed some light on this series?

    Reply

  • Ian harper
    November 27, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    Would love an OLED but can’t fit anything bigger than 50″ in my room and as of yet not made smaller than 55″ 🙁

    Reply

  • Ray
    January 15, 2017 at 2:58 am

    Hi Johnny am going for the same TV I 55 inch LG super UHD7700, is yours working fine?

    Reply

  • Candy
    February 20, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    I bought a new LG 4K TV in October 2016. I will not buy another LG. I set the timer on the tv to come on every weekday at 5:40 am. At least once or twice a week the tv comes on an hour early at 4:40 am. I get up and turn the TV off and then it will come back on at the correct time of 5:40 am. I have called LG customer service 3 times but they are no help. They have no idea why it’s doing this. Don’t buy LG.

    Reply

  • Mandar Joshi
    March 29, 2017 at 6:29 am

    Hi Can you tell me more about LG 49UH850T TV?

    Reply

  • Sudhindra J Doddihal
    July 10, 2017 at 2:20 am

    Hi Stephen…I had some queries on a New LG TV that I have purchased……The model name is 43UH750T & is 4K UHD with web OS 3.0…..First of all I want to know the launch date of this product by LG….all over the world & in India as well. Secondly What is the PMI which is being advertised by LG & what is the PMI of my TV. Also please explain me the difference between Super 4K UHD & just 4K UHD…….Actually I had a lot of expectations from this TV but it slightly fails in terms of Picture quality & Sound…..Though web OS is excellent…..I did a bit of research before buying….between Samsung, LG & Sony….I actually had Samsung SUHD in mind but LG store person told me that it does not make much difference….Also the fact that LG was affordable in comparison to Samsung made me choose LG but now I think I made a wrong decision….If I could shell out some extra money….Maybe Samsung was better option….What are your thoughts on this…? Also is there a way to keep in touch with you through facebook & gmail…..Do you have blog where I can keep contacting you…..Please get back to me on this…Thank you.

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      August 27, 2017 at 8:34 pm

      Hi there Sudhindra, so here’s a breakdown point by point:

      First, the PMI for LG TVs is something you shouldn’t pay too much attention to. The company itself sets this rate and we don’t completely trust their measurement of quality since they are after all applying it only to their own products and fundamentally trying to sell those devices. That said, all 4K TVs sold today either come with a native 60Hz refresh rate in their display or a 120Hz native refresh for more premium moodels (and some cheaper TVs) to our knowledge the UH750T delivers 60Hz refresh. This should be fine for most content except for some fast-action sportscasts maybe. But even then, all modern 4K TVs come with motion interpolation technology which you can activate to smooth out the flow of movement. This creates a bit of a soap opera effect but it’s okay for non-movie content in particular. Yes, WebOS 3.0 is excellent and also, the UH750T is not a particularly great 4K TV. You’d have been better off with a Samsung or Sony 4K HDR model from the same year (2016). Also, the in-store salesperson was falt out lying to you when they said that the SUHD TVs from Samsung perform the same as the UH750T. They do not. The SUHD models are far superior 4K HDR TVs in almost every measurement of TV display and motion performance. As for Super UHD vs. 4K UHD, Super UHD 4K is the exact same thing as 4K UHD. the phrase is just a marketing term and LG further gives it a bit of credibility by including some HDR capability in their Super UHD TVs. For the pricier models like the UH8500 or UH9500, this is fairly decent HDR but in the case of the UH750T, the phrase is mostly meaningless.

      Reply

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