A Review of the LG Electronics 49UB8200 49-Inch 4K Ultra HD 60Hz Smart LED TV
While LG isn’t exactly known for having some of the most affordable 4K ultra HD TVs on the market today, they do manage to put out what is in effect a great deal on ultra HD with select models. The 49UB8200 is an excellent example of this.
In addition to offering the general high standards of LG quality, the TV also offers a wide range of very good connectivity and visual display features while managing to sell for one very reasonable price of well below $1000. Even Vizio just barely manages to offer a 50 inch 4K TV at less than $1000, so considering that we’re talking about LG quality and modernity here, the 49UB8200 is definitely one good deal even if it does come with a few minor to moderate flaws.
The LG 49UB8200 has plenty to offer in terms of quality despite its low price and a few aspects that aren’t exactly up to par with what you’d expect from LG 4K TV technology. However, when you consider a price tag of less than $900, and the fact that this TV comes from one of the most expensive 4K TV makers among the big-name brands, you shouldn’t be too surprised.
For starters, there is the fact that you are getting some overall rather good LG quality with the purchase of this TV. While there is plenty to be said for affordable TV brands, nothing instils confidence like simply knowing that you’re buying from a major name in the industry.
As for features, the 49UB8200 offers you the core 4K home entertainment package in a somewhat compact but relatively complete system. Connectivity options are complete and include all the crucial content compatibility features like HEVC, HDCP 2.2, HDMI 2.0 and internet connectivity, visual upscaling engines, the full webOS Smart TV platform and full access to 4K content streaming apps like Amazon Instant Video and Netflix are also part of what the 49UB8200 offers.
Furthermore, the TV offers a limited but great selection of typical LG image features like HD to 4K upscaling, WiDi-powered LG Smart Share for casting content from third party mobile devices, wider possible viewing angles thanks to the 49UB8200’s IPS panel technology and an Ultra Clarity Index of 1080. 1080 isn’t the best you can get with LG TVs (or any Samsung, Sony, etc TVs for that matter) but it does provide an exceptionally clear and precise image even under fast-action sports or movie sequences.
Finally, we should cover the fact that the webOS smart TV platform which the 49UB8200 also features despite being a slightly older 4K TV model is superb. The simplicity and ease-of-use behind the revamping of webOS Smart TV is notable right off the bat and an elegantly simple single strip interface will make moving through online content, favorite programming and TV controls quick and mostly confusion-free.
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As for the bad features of the LG 49UB8200, there are also unfortunately more than a few and certainly more than we should expect from an LG 4K TV. For starters and most glaring there is the refresh rate. IT’s only 60Hz and for an ultra HD TV this is unfortunate. Luckily, the image still manages to flow quite smoothly under most circumstances but when it comes to some really fast action content, the fact that this isn’t a TV with a 120Hz refresh rate as a minimum becomes somewhat noticeable.
If Vizio and Samsung can manage to put out 49-55 inch 4K UHD TVs with refresh rates of 120Hz and price tags in the same ranges the 49UB8200’s then LG should be able to do the same thing.
Next up, there re the default viewing specs in the TV. They’re not bad but in order to really make the most of the screen, you’ll need to go in and either adjust things like the “TruMotion” engine, dynamic contrast, dynamic color and local dimming, or simply turn them off completely.
Additionally, the 49UB8200 is not a 3D compatible 4K TV. While the lack of this feature might be irrelevant for a majority of you users, some people do definitely want to have the option there in their 4K set and no such luck with the 49UB8200, despite the fact that most newer 4K models do offer active or passive 3D support.
Finally, we should also mention that there are only 3 HDMI ports on the 49UB8200. These are HDMI 2.0 ports but having only 3 of them is a bit of a deficiency as opposed to the more usual four or five.
The LG 49UB8200 isn’t a bad value for your money and for its price, considering the overall LG UHD quality you’re getting with it, but there are better offers on sale at similar or lower prices. The smallest of Vizio’s P-Series, for example, costs almost the same but offers many additional features, great visual and full-array LED backlighting.
• Screen size: 49 diagonal inches
• Smart TV: Yes
• HEVC (H.265) Included: Yes
• HD to UHD upscaling: Yes
• HDCP 2.2 Compliance: Yes
• Refresh Rate: 60Hz
• Screen Lighting: edge-lit LED backlighting with local dimming technology
• Resolurion: 3,840 x 2,160 pixels UHD
• Wireless Connectivity: Yes, includes WiFi, Blue Tooth, NFC and Ethernet port
• Remotes: LG Magic Wand remote designed for fast point and click browsing of content
• Connectivity: 3 HDMI 2.0 ports, 1 USB 3.0, 2 USB 2.0 ports, component, Digital Audio out, Composite, Headphone Socket, Common Interface Slot
• Dynamic Contrast Ratio: over 1 million
• Aspect Ratio: 16:9
• TV weight with/without stand: 70.2 lbs/78.3 lbs
• Dimensions: TV without stand: 52.8" x 31" x 1.5", TV with Stand: 52.8" x 31" x 10.2"
• Processor: Dual-Core
In terms of highlights, the LG 49UB8200 doesn’t exactly have a whole list of things to present. This is a fairly standard, somewhat minimalist K4 UHD TV from LG and as such it lacks a number of the more exotic features that LG’s top-shelf ultra HD models are known for. However, a couple things are worth mentioning.
First of all, the upscaling engine is part of the parcel with the 49UB8200 and for this we can be grateful given that most broadcast content you’re likely to watch with the TV is going to be SD, HD or 1080p Full HD. LG’s upscaling technology, known as Tru-4K Engine Pro, is known to do a very good job of making HD, particularly Full HD and even SD content look like something much better than it naturally is.
We should also mention the TV’s full HEVC compatibility. In this, LG did right by the lower end 49UB8200 and has ensured that your access to the latest streaming 4K ultra HD content from Netflix, Amazon Prime and other upcoming online 4K streaming services or third party 4K media players is unhampered by a lack of HEVC /H.265) compatibility. The HDMI connections at the back of the TV also feature one which is HDCP 2.2 compatible, thus ensuring that you’re not blocked from access to copy protected media and movies.
Also, we should mention that the 49UB8200 is a great energy-saver among LG TVs and has even been Energy Star rated as a TV that uses at least 30% less energy than a standard counterpart of equal dimensions would.
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In terms of visual specs, the LG 49UB8200, is a fairly standard issue package for an LG TV, but that doesn’t mean that it will leave you badly dissatisfied.
First of all, you do get access to an excellent quality of 4K resolution at 3840 x 2160 pixels. Beyond this, there is plenty of deep, rich color reproduction to be enjoyed here too. While lower-end models like the 49UB8200 don’t offer the kinds of fancy technologies like quantum dots and the insane contrast enhancing darkness of LG’s OLED sets, they are still excellent at their job of giving you a wide spectrum of vibrancy in the form of adjustable color reproduction, contrast and vibrancy.
Many of the out-of-the-box settings on the 49UB8200 are a bit off-kilter so you’ll likely have to go into the TVs advanced adjustment controls and play with things like the TruMotion engine, dynamic contrast, dynamic color and local dimming to create a range of settings that fit your specific tastes. Furthermore, you can set up and save several different visual settings profiles and automatically move between them depending on whether you’re engaged in gaming, movie watching or web browsing.
The 49UB8200’s 60Hz refresh rate does indeed leave a lot to be desired in an industry where most newer 4K TV models offer at least 120Hz of refresh power and often go as high as 240Hz. The 60Hz setting sets this model at about the level of a high level 4K gaming P and isn’t befitting of a full-blown UHD TV. However, the 49UB8200 still manages to deliver smooth performance and for the most part, the fact that you’re watching at 60Hz instead of 120Hz isn’t really noticeable.
When it comes to connectivity, the LG 49UB8200 gives you a decent package that doesn’t disappoint on any crucial elements. With this economy model 4K TV you get almost the same connectivity as the kind you’d find in LG’s best models. And why not? Connectivity is crucial to any 4K TV and LG can’t really afford to shirk on something like that.
Thus, although there are only three HDMI ports instead of the more normal 4, they are ate least HDMI 2.0 ports for connecting third party devices at a smooth 60Hz instead of a crappy 1.4 Hz. And one of these HDMI ports is also HDCP 2.2 compatible, meaning that you can relax about not accessing VOD or set-top media player content in 4K because it’s content piracy protected.
Additionally, there is WiFi connectivity, an Ethernet port and with these two, the 49UB8200 Smart TV interface gives you full and easy access to a whole host of media and entertainment apps as well as the whole nine yards of internet browsing capability through the highly intuitive and easy-to-use webOS interface.
There is even a Smart Share feature built into the 49UB8200 which lets you cast content, photos and videos from nearby mobile devices like smartphones and tablets or laptops onto the screen of your 49UB8200 through the use of WiDi wireless technology.
In simple terms, connectivity is one of the 49UB8200’s definite strong points and the one area in which the TV is virtually the equal of its far more expensive and feature-rich cousins.
The price of the LG 49UB8200 corresponds with that you get with the TV. It’s currently retailing on Amazon.com for just $799.00. Not a bad price but also a price that’s comparable to slightly better 4K TVs of similar size from Samsung, Panasonic and Vizio.
4.3 - 204 Reviews
As we’d already mentioned earlier, the negative features of the 49UB8200 are not too numerous but there are definitely a few of them that are worth bearing out.
To recap these: the TV’s most glaring defect is the low refresh rate that you’re getting here. Even Samsung and Panasonic, neither of which is known for making very cheap 4K TVs, manage to give you 120Hz refresh rates at similar prices. Vizio does even better and also tacks on extra screen inches and full-array backlighting for roughly the same $800 price tag.
Additionally, the 49UB8200 could do with at least one more HDMI 2.0 port and suffers from some rather iffy out-of-the-box color settings that you will have to go through the hassle of adjusting once you get the TV.
Finally, maybe this is a minor complaint but it could be annoying to some, the 49UB8200’s stand is designed so that legs are placed at either side of the bottom, meaning that they’re spread as widely apart as possible. For people who wanted to place the TV on a surface that’s narrower than the 49UB8200’s width, this will cause problems.
• Very reasonable price
• Full connectivity package
• Very good color reproduction
• IPS panels for wide angle viewing
• Solid TV overall
• 60Hz refresh rate
• Crappy out-of-the-box visual settings
• Could use one more HDMI port
• Slightly clumsy stand design
• Better TVs can be bought at same price