A Review of the LG Electronics UF8500 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV (2015 65UF8500 and 60UF8500 Models)
LG’s LED/LCD 4K TVs don’t get nearly the same amount of praise as the company’s spectacular and highly advanced flagship OLED 4K models and with good reason: nothing in existence so far beats OLED ultra HD TVs in terms of sheer spectacular quality and perfect black tones. This applies especially to LG’s conventional LED models because they seem to have a tendency towards less than stellar performance for their class.
With that said, the UF8500 is definitely one of LG’s slightly better efforts in 4K LED television and while this model doesn’t exactly deliver any particularly spectacular results in most categories, it does feature some great connectivity, a very solid level of color saturation and the same absolutely superb WebOS 2.0 smart TV operating system that you’ll get your hands on in one of LG’s top-shelf OLED 4K models. However, when it comes to deep color vibrancy and contrast levels, the LG UF8500 is definitely not a breathtaking model and gets outclassed by superior latest-model 4K sets by Samsung and Sony at least, and for similar prices.
Nonetheless, LG has done a better than average job with the 60UF8500 and the array of specs that it does come with make for a pretty decent semi-starter 4K model that’s very much up-to-date with what you’ll need in a UHD TV if you want the latest entertainment.
For starters, there is the LG UF8500’s wonderfully user-friendly WebOS 2.0 smart TV operating system platform to gloat over in this model. This is the same OS platform that LG’s newest and best OLED TVs also come with and it definitely delivers a better user experience than previous versions of the same. Finding content and apps is easier than before and instead of a “Home” screen of some kind, the WebOS interface comes with a multi-colored menu bar along the bottom of the TV’s screen which is very easy to navigate and simple enough to get used to. Furthermore, a Simple Connection process in WebOS 2.0 is there to help users along with assorted aspects of the viewing experience and any external device connectivity they need to put together. In basic terms, WebOS 2.0 is superb because it’s designed to be as simple as possible from top to bottom without losing out on a rich array of smart TV options.
We also love the LG Magic Remote, as a complement to WebOS 2.0 and in comparison to the majority of other remotes on the market. Also designed to be a very easy to use device, the Magic Remote makes the entire viewing and smart TV manipulation process into a very user-friendly point-and-click mechanism.
Additionally, the range of connectivity and 4K content app options in the UF8500 is indeed very broad and very robust. The UF8500 also comes with full HDCP 2.2 compatibility in all of its HDMI ports and is fully capable of decoding the 4K compression codecs HEVC and VP9 which are used by virtually all streaming 4K content and ultra HD video from assorted external media devices. Also, as we mentioned, the 4K content and other media app options on the UF8500 are excellent. Largely thanks to the inclusion of WebOS 2.0, you’ll get your hands on a range of media apps, full web browsing and 4K-oriented versions of the Netflix and YouTube.
Finally, we also love the overall thinness and lightness of this model. While the UF8500 doesn’t at all compare to one of LG’s almost razor-thin OLED 4K sets in display thinness, LG still manages to maintain an elegantly minimalist, light-weight design for even this and other LED models. The company seems to be quite skilled at this.
4.1 - 43 Reviews
While the LG UF8500 definitely does better than some other LG LED 4K TVs we’ve seen in terms of overall display quality, it’s still not a particularly excellent example of a 4K LED/LCD TV and this is a pattern we’ve noticed with more than a couple other LG non-OLED models. It’s as if LG’s 4K TV branch puts so much effort into their superstar high tech OLED models that all the normal LED TVs get second class attention. We say this because quite frankly, most of the 2015 Samsung, Sony and even Panasonic 4K UHD TVs on the market right now simply do a better job of delivering high quality color, contrast and upscaling than this or at least a couple other LG non-OLED models we’ve reviewed.
While the UF8500 does perform very well on color vibrancy and accuracy (though not as well as Samsung’s lower priced SUHD 4K models for 2015), particular points of contention in the UF8500 are its somewhat mediocre content upscaling engine and the really weak dark tones it produces, thus lowering overall contrast quite badly. This is almost ironic given the virtually perfect, “infinite” contrast of LG’s OLED TVs but then OLED isn’t LED and LG isn’t selling their LED models for several thousand dollars, so it seems they can disregard delivery of really rich blacks in this and similar non-OLED models.
On the whole, while there is quite a bit to recommend about the LG UF8500, especially as far as connectivity, physical design and smart TV features are concerned, visual display on this model is something that doesn’t quite match what you can get for the same price in some of the more economical Samsung SUHD or Sony 2015 Bravia models. Furthermore, the color saturation of both of these two other brand’s 4K TVs is definitely better, as is their capacity for upscaling non-4K content.
Screen size: 64.5 diagonal inches - 65UF8500, 60-inch - 60UF8500
Smart TV: Yes
HEVC (H.265) Included: Yes
HD to UHD upscaling: Yes
HDCP 2.2 Compliance: Yes
Refresh Rate: 120Hz native refresh rate with 240Hz TruMotion simulated refresh
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 Magic Remote
Connectivity: 3 x HDMI 2.0 ports, 2 x USB 2.0 ports, 1 x USB 3.0, RF in, Component in, Composite, Ethernet, Digital Audio Out, RS-232
Sound: 10W+10W 2ch full range speakers with ClearAudio + digital sound processing
Dynamic Contrast Ratio: over 1 million
TV weight without/ stand: 69.0 lbs/ 72.2 lbs
Dimensions without stand: 57.2” x 33.5” x 2” inches/ With stand: 57.2” x 35.6” x 10.9” inches
Processor: Quad Core
In terms of highlights, the LG UF8500 doesn’t have an enormous amount of truly spectacular things to offer. For the most part, it’s a by-the-book 4K TV that offers the standard features we’ve seen in a variety of other brands. That said, a couple things are worth underlining.
First of all, we can’t help but love the WebOS 2.0 interface of the UF8500 or of any other LG TV that has it. This is truly one of the best 4K TV smart platforms we’ve seen to date and while Samsung’s Tizen system or Sony’s Android TV might be a little bit faster (debatable) WebOS 2.0 really kicks but as far as user friendliness goes. It’s intuitive, it’s still very damn fast and it does a great job of not only delivering easy access to all your favorite apps or programs but also guiding you along with installation of external devices and internal TV calibration changes.
Secondly, the IPS panel technology of the UF8500 is also a winner. This model doesn’t exactly offer the basically perfect picture clarity and contrast that OLED TVs manage to deliver at extreme angles but it still does a great job of keeping colors relatively bright and the screen fairly easy to see at up to 178 degrees of viewing space.
Finally, we can’t complain about LG’s TV design and the nearly bezel-free Cinema Screen display that the UF8500 comes with. This is a particularly nice design feature that Sony’s TVs or most Panasonic or Sharp models don’t always offer and it at least looks visually impressive here, especially with the sizeable 65 inch display space on this particular LG model.
4.1 - 43 Reviews
Visually, the UF8500 is at its weakest relative to some other competitor brand models we’ve seen but it still manages to deliver a few solid specs and features despite its larger than average limitations.
First of all, the color quality on the UF8500 is very good. While we’d argue that one of Samsung’s SUHD models like the JS7500 or JS9000 definitely create more vivid, vibrant colors, this point is slightly arguable. Unlike some other LG LED models we’ve seen, the UF8500 delivers some very nice, realistic and vivid colors, particularly with native 4K UHD content, though the effect is also very much visible when you’re watching Full HD and HD video. This also brings us to our next point, the UF8500’s ability to upscale all that majority of HD and lower resolution content which dominates content distribution still now.
While native 4K video looks pretty good or even great on the UF8500, Full HD only looks decent and 720p HD or lower resolutions like 480p really come across as fuzzier than what we’ve seen emerge from the upscaling algorithms of other 4K TV brands. This is something we’ve noted in other non-OLED LG TVs, that their 4K Upscaler engine is just not as good as that found in Sony, Samsung, Panasonic and even Sharp TVs can be.
Finally, we’d also like to mention that the contrast levels on this model are definitely subpar. LG can do excellent contrast in its OLED models but they seem to drop the ball in their LED/LCD TVs, at least a bit. Dark tones are too bright in terms of cd per m2 and the level of “dark tone” light saturation ruins overall contrast. Some owners of the LG UF8500 have even complained about light bleed from the edge-lit LED array on their models but this is something we haven’t yet noted.
On a related note, in general, LG and most of the other manufacturers should move over to installing full-array LED lighting in all of their ultra HD TV models that retail for close to $2000 or more. Vizio has pulled this off while keeping prices very low so there’s no reason why true giants of electronics development like LG, Sony, Samsung and Panasonic can’t do the same.
Connectivity-wise, the 60 inch LG 60UF8500 delivers all of the essentials that come in even the best LG TVs. Its one single flaw is the lack of a fourth HDMI 2.0 port, which for some reason is a common characteristic of most of LG’s TVs, despite the fact that most name-brand 4K TVs offer four or sometimes even five such ports. On the other hand, USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 are represented here and there is also full WiFi connectivity along with a port for a LAN connection.
WebOS 2.0, as its name clearly implies, is truly a web-friendly smart TV platform and this helps boost the otherwise great navigability of the 65UF8500’s smart features, with full web browsing and access to thousands of third party apps including Amazon Prime Instant Video, Netflix and YouTube’s 4K UHD content offerings (assuming you have a powerful enough internet connection of at least 15 Mbps). On the other hand, LG’s own app store is rather limited in its scope but this is only a relatively minor flaw in our view.
The LG 65UF8500 4K TV’s 65 inch model we’re reviewing here is currently retailing on Amazon.com for $1,897.99. Not a bad price at all for a 65 inch name brand 4K ultra HD TV but there are highly competitive alternatives currently available from all of the other major brands and some of them either rival or beat this model in terms of display quality. The LG 60UF8500 - 60-inch version is currently selling for $1,597.99.
4.1 - 43 Reviews
To summarize very quickly, the 65UF8500 offers a great connectivity package, excellent smart TV functionality and delivers some very decent color specs. However, its main weaknesses are all visual and consist of subpar contrast due to overly bright dark tones, a less than great 4K upscaling engine and frequent complaints from other reviewers of some very bad backlight bleed along the TV’s edges.
• Excellent WebOS 2.0 smart TV platform
• The LG Magic Remote is wonderful
• Great color delivery
• Thin, nearly bezel-free design
• Poor contrast
• Frequent complaints of edge-light bleeding
• Not the best at upscaling HD content