LG Electronics UF6400 4K Ultra HD Smart TV Review – (43UF6400, 49UF6400)
LG’s 4K ultra HD LCD TVs definitely seem to be the product of a much weaker technological investment than the company’s top—shelf, superstar OLED 4K models such as the EG9600 , which are some of the best televisions in existence today. With this in mind, we found that the 43UF6400 follows somewhat in this same path but without some of the problems we’ve noted with other LG 4K LCD models.
In basic terms, this very small, very affordable 4K UHD model offers some great connectivity, smart TV features and color for a TV in its price range and class but also suffers from a number of the defects we’ve noted in other LG LCD models like the UF7700 . These include poor contrast performance and some really bad black uniformity at times, along with upscaling features that work only moderately well at best.
What there is to like about this little 4K UHD TV, (the model we’re specifically reviewing is the 43 inch UF6400) consists of some very decent color projection, great native 4K UHD graphics and some decent essential connectivity specs. Furthermore, this TV does come with LG’s excellent WebOS 2.0 smart TV platform, which we certainly love for its user friendliness.
In essence, the UF6400 is what you’d definitely call a bare-essentials starter 4K UHD TV and its range of features and specs reflects this thoroughly. If you want a no-frills 4K UHD TV that will offer the essentials of delivering well rendered 4K ultra HD graphics for native 4K content while also providing some decent color and the connectivity necessary for most of today’s modern 4K UHD contentnative 4K UHD video looks superbly crisp and detailed on all size variations of this model while the upscaling of 720p HD and 1080p Full HD content looks exceptionally good on the small 43 inch model in particular. On larger versions of this TV, upscaling deteriorates a bit but even then not by enough to be called lackluster. Even 480p SD content scales up with remarkable clarity in the 43 inch UF6400, which impressed us considerably since it’s not an easy achievement in any 4K UHD TV in our experience.
Moving beyond 4K display quality, we also liked the compact, slim bodied construction of this TV. It’s light, it’s easy to place in even the smallest living/entertainment space and it looks good without being flashy. The UF6400’s black body offers a modern looking flat screen with some fairly minimal bezeling and the two support legs along the bottom make this model easy to place in fairly narrow spaces.
4.0 - 13 Reviews
On the other hand, despite its very low price, there’s still also plenty not to like about the LG UF6400 in whichever size it comes in and LG could have done a lot more to make this TV work better even by the standards of highly affordable 4K ultra HD models.
At the most fundamental level, this 4K UHD TV offers little reason for someone to buy it over a larger, more affordable and better connected Full HD TV. The additional value it provides is too small simply because its smaller screen doesn’t allow full appreciation of 4K graphics, its connectivity doesn’t allow for enjoyment of the most advanced native 4K content and its other specs like contrast performance and color are either poor or average. In other words, even at a budget price, you could almost just go for a Full HD model that offers more screen real estate and sill be happy.
Furthermore, In terms of connectivity specs, the 43UF6400 is very weak even by the standards of low-price 4K TVs. This model does come with all the essential ports but LG really shirked on their quantity. There are only 2 HDMI ports on the UF6400 and just one USB port for other external media devices. This is an even further reduction from the minimum of 3 or 4 HDMI ports and at least 2 or three USB ports for most 4K television models.
Moving along to specific visual defects, while the 4K graphics on the 43UF6400 and 49UF6400 render with superb crispness (partly thanks to the small screen size of the model we’re reviewing), the UF6400’s contrast performance is very poor. This seems to be a common problem with LG’s non-OLED 4K TV models and it’s very much in evidence here. In our view, the contrast of the UF6400 was awful, and its black uniformity is also crappy, though not as bad as what we’ve seen in other models from this manufacturer. At a bottom line level, the UF6400 offers a few too many defects for even its lower price.
If you want a really bare bones 4K UHD TV at a rock bottom price for some reason that has little to do with even a basic level of home entertainment seriousness, then go for this model. The UF6400 would make a fine office waiting room-issue 4K TV for a company that wants to say it offers its customers the most advanced display resolution while they wait for an appointment but without spending any serious money. However, if you want to get your hands on a solid starter 4K TV for home entertainment, there are better models out there from Samsung, Sony and Vizio in particular.
Screen size: 43 diagonal inches - 43UF6400, 49 inches - 49UF6400
Smart TV: Yes
HEVC (H.265) Included: Yes
HD to UHD upscaling: Yes
HDCP 2.2 Compliance: Yes
Refresh Rate: 60Hz native refresh rate, TruMotion 120Hz
Screen Lighting: Edge-lit LED backlighting with Local dimming
Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 pixels UHD
Wireless Connectivity: Yes, includes both built-in WiFi and Ethernet port
Remotes: LG button remote
Connectivity: 2 HDMI 2.0 ports, 1 USB ports (USB 2.0), 1 x Ethernet, 1 x Audio out 3.5 mm, 1 x digital optical audio out, 1 x composite, 1 x component in, 1 x RF in, WiFi
Smart TV: Web OS 2.0
Sound: 20W 2ch full range speakers
Contrast Ratio: 750 : 1
Other Display Features: Tru 4K HD upscaling Engine
Weight: 19.8 lb / 8.98 kg Without Stand and 20.5 lb / 9.30 kg With Stand
Dimensions: 38.4 x 23.0 x 3.2" Without Stand/ 38.4 x 24.5 x 8.2" With Stand
Processor: Quad Core
Highlight-wise, there really isn’t a great deal to say about the LG UF6400. This little 4K UHD TV is about as barebones as you can get for a name brand 4K UHD model. Connectivity is just the basics, display features are straightforward and simple as far as a 4K UHD TV goes and the physical design of the UF6400 is a showcase of how a standard issue LG TV looks.
However, there is one characteristic worth mentioning in the UF6400’s favor. This is the fantastic webOS 2.0 smart TV platform that LG is now installing in all of its newer 4K ultra HD TVs. The UF6400 certainly comes with this too and it’s something like putting luxury furniture into a boring low rent apartment. In other words, despite being a very basic, low-end 4K TV, the UF6400 comes with one very high-end smart TV platform that’s on par with the best found in any top-shelf 4K UHD TV on the market. WebOS 2.0 is not only very light on its feet and fast, it’s also extremely user friendly, wonderfully intuitive and great as far as web connectivity goes.
4.0 - 13 Reviews
In terms of visual specs, the UF6400 43 inch model or its bigger brother the 49 inch model are about identical. In simple terms, they offer excellent rendering of 4K ultra HD resolution and very good upscaling of non-4K content in 720p HD, Full HD at 1080p resolution and moderately good upscaling of even 480p Standard Definition content, which is a rather impressive bonus quality that many otherwise better TVs can’t pull off effectively. Furthermore, the color quality in the UF6400 is what we’d call pretty good. Its levels of realism and vibrancy aren’t superb, but with a bit of out-of-the-box calibration, they work out quite nicely, particularly for a 4K TV which comes with no special color augmentation bonus technologies. In our examination, the UF6400 manages a fairly decent post-calibration gamma of 2.22 and offers up coverage for about 53% of the Rec 2020, which is not great but also not at all that bad.
On the other hand, where the UF6400 really drops the ball badly is in terms of its contrast levels. As we’ve already mentioned, LG’s LCD 4K TVs seem to often suffer this defect but in the UF6400 it’s even worse than normal. Native contrast in this TV is as low as what you’d find in many lower priced 4K UHD PC monitors at just over 740:1 and black colors on the 43 or 49 inch screen look washed out and greyish. This really works against the otherwise decent color rendering and 4K resolution clarity. Furthermore, while the UF6400 does, amazingly enough, come with local dimming technology, the local dimming zones are too large to accurately render specific dark spots in a way that looks nicely precise. On top of all these contrast and dimming problems, the black uniformity of the screen is terrible, with a number of overly bright spots along the bottom. Likewise for grey uniformity, it’s simply sub-par.
Finally, as a 4K UHD model with a native refresh rate of 60Hz and no support for 24p content frame rates, the UF6400 is a less than stellar performer and while normal native 4K or upscaled HD content will look okay, 120Hz of motion interpolation in the TV doesn’t do a great job of eliminating judder during fast action sequences or certain types of sports content and gaming usage.
In terms of physical connectivity, the UF6400 is about as bare bones as a 4K UHD TV gets. This model does offer integration with HEVC and HDCP 2.2 content copy protection in its hardware and HDMI 2.0 ports, but it only has 2 HDMI ports to offer, and on top of that comes with just one single USB port. This is subpar even by the standards of low-price 4K UHD TVs and other models we’ve seen by Samsung, Sony and LG all come with at least 3 HDMI ports and 2 USB ports.
There is on the other hand an Ethernet port (absolutely essential in any 4K TV with a web-compatible smart TV platform) and the webOS 2.0 smart TV platform offers some excellent access to the internet with full web browsing functionality, access to media apps and built in access to the Netflix app, so you can stream 4K UHD movies and shows as long as your home internet connection is fast enough to manage it.
The 43 inch UF6400 from LG is currently retailing from Amazon.com at a very low price of just $547.99. In other words, this TV costs about as much as most 4K UHD PC monitors, which makes it rather useful for PC gaming in 4K resolution if you want a slightly larger screen appearance. The 49 inch model is selling for $697.99 on Amazon.com as well.
4.0 - 13 Reviews
To summarize very briefly, the less than stellar aspects of the UF6400 mainly consist of its absolutely terrible contrast level, poor black uniformity, crappy local dimming and very limited physical connectivity options. Also, on the whole, we think this TV is barely worth more than a cheaper and larger Full HD TV.
• Superb smart TV platform with webOS 2.0
• Very decent color
• Great upscaling capability
• Crisp, sharp rendering of native 4K content
• Great price
• Terrible contrast levels
• Crappy local dimming
• Poor black uniformity
• Very limited physical connectivity port options
• Low overall value