A Review of the LG Electronics 65UF9500 65-inch 4K Ultra HD 3D Smart LED TV – UF9500
The LG UF9500 65-inch 4K Ultra HD 3D Smart LED TV isn't the very best in the LG lineup but it comes very close to being so.
Featuring a beautifully intuitive and responsive Smart TV interface that practically beats every other on the market, along with a deeply vibrant and richly saturated color gamut thanks to its quantum do nano crystal display technology, the UF9500 may not be in exactly the same league as LGs absolute top of the line OLED 4K TVs for 2015, but it’s definitely better than many other 4K TVs on sale today from anyone else.
Nonetheless, since nothing is perfect, the UF9500 ColorPrime doesn’t quite deliver as well as it could considering its high retail price and more than anything, contrast is what suffers in this particular model. Given the competitive environment around it, this is a shame since Samsung and Sony both offer 4K TVs in the same price range, with similar quantum dot technology but with definitely superior contrast levels.
On the whole however, we’re looking at one fantastic TV that delivers superb quality in certain aspects while suffering from a couple of crucial defects.
The UF9500 ColorPrime is no slouch of a 4K TV by any means. It offers some of the best technology LG has to offer and its positive features are numerous enough to really deliver a high-level home entertainment system.
For starters, there is the quantum dot nano crystal technology built into the screen. LG calls their version of this now rather popular development ColorPrime technology but it is essentially the same system that has recently been built into Samsung’s new SUHD 4K TVs such as the JS7000 and which has been in Sony 4K TVs for some time under the name “Triluminous Display”.
The quantum dot color of the UF9500 is probably its single most powerful feature and it is genuinely impressive to behold. While the nano crystals alone deliver plenty of rich color on this model, they’re helped along further by the Tru-Color Generator and Tru-Black Control features inside the UF9500. We’ll cover both of these in more detail below under the visual specs but suffice to say, the UF9500 ColorPrime 4K TV gives up color that definitely outdoes what you’d find in any normal 4K UHD LED panel.
Going beyond display technology, this model, like all of LG’s newer 4K TVs, also offers users the new WebOS 2.0 smart TV platform. On this particular technology, LG has truly excelled and the interactivity between you the user and the TV itself is markedly superior to that of older webOS models in LG TVs or in many other 4K TV smart platforms. The overall navigation, browsing and content search experience of webOS makes for a very smooth browsing and content viewing experience.
The UF9500, like all newer LG 4 TVs, delivers the full connectivity package for compatibility with pretty much any web browsing, app downloading and 4K UHD content viewing needs you’d have. Its multiple HDMI 2.0 connections are HDCP 2.2 compatible and connectivity with third party set-top media players is guaranteed in most cases.
Finally, the elegant and slightly unique design of the UF9500 is worth mentioning. The OLED-like thinness of the curved screen itself has an elegance that’s further augmented by the almost delicate looking (but very sturdy) flat pedestal and the TV comes with a distinct white rear color, in contrast to the much more common matte black.
4.2 - 15 Reviews
On the other hand, there are definitely a few negative aspects to the UF9500 ColorPrime TV. While this is definitely one of LG’s better models, the company really dropped the ball on a few features that should come as givens at this point in the development of 4K TVs.
The most annoying aspect of the ColorPrime UF9500 is its edge-lit LED array. This is a point we’ve mentioned before in our reviews of other name-brand 4K TVs (not just from LG) and its ridiculous that the technology continues to be installed in certain models in favor of the far superior full-array LED backlighting. The UF9500 isn’t some cheap little low-end 4K TV model, it costs more than $4,000 on the manufacturer’s website and LG could at least offer a full LED array at that price. The TV is already withholding OLED technology and could have given the maximum in conventional LEDs to its buyers.
Consequently, because of the edge—lit LEDs, the ColorPrime also suffers from another moderate defect: its contrast levels aren’t nearly as good as they could be. While the UF9500 offers plenty of color thanks to its quantum dot technology, the somewhat slack contrast levels offset the vibrancy of this color in a somewhat disappointing way. However, it’s not just the lack of full-array backlighting that does this. Some of Samsung’s lower end SUHD 4K TVs also come with edge-lit backlighting and still manage a better contrast level than the ColorPrime.
The LG UF9500 4K Ultra HD ColorPrime TV line is definitely a high quality offering from LG and it offers the essentials of what you need for 4K home entertainment as it stands today. However, both Samsung and Sony offer what we would argue to be better value with the same sort of quantum dot color enhancing technology at the prices the UF9500s are going for. Furthermore, the contrast issue with these TVs is a definite weakness when you consider that HDR will soon become a defining characteristic of 4K video content. The newer and alternative televisions are the LG UF7600 or the LG UF8500.
Screen size: 65 and 79 diagonal inches
Smart TV: Yes (webOS 2.0)
HEVC (H.265) Included: Yes
HD to UHD upscaling: Yes, LG 4K Upscaler engine
HDCP 2.2 Compliance: Yes
Refresh Rate: TruMotion 240Hz
Screen Lighting: edge-lit LED backlighting
Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 pixels UHD
Wireless Connectivity: Yes, includes WiFi, Blue Tooth, NFC and Ethernet port
Remotes: LG Magic Remote Control and conventional button remote
Connectivity: 4 HDMI 2.0 ports, 2 USB 2.0/1 USB 3.0, component, Digital Audio out, 1 LAN, 1 RF In Composite, Ethernet
Dynamic Contrast Ratio: Over 1 million
Audio: 4.2 Speaker System 60W with ULTRA Surround sound
65” model weight with/without stand: 56.2 lbs/65.2 lbs
Dimensions 65” model: with stand: 57.3” x 35.3” x 9.8”, TV without stand: 57.3” x 33.3” x 1.9”
Processor: Quad-Core processor
Let’s start with the LG Magic Remote on the UF9500 TV line. This same remote is included in various other LG 4K TV models and it works wonderfully with the excellent new webOS 2.0 smart TV OS. The Magic Remote comes included with the UF9500 and its infrared internal laser works in a way that’s very similar to the Wii console from Nintendo. This means lots of useful gesture control functionality.
Once the Magic Remote is paired with the TV it comes with, it can simply be pointed at the screen and used to manipulate the smart screen, menu selections and other smart TV features simply by waving your hands in certain ways. Of course, there are also buttons on the remote for more conventional control of the TV but the gesture controls are a nice and often useful touch.
On the other hand, the remote doesn’t offer a QWERTY keyboard and there isn’t even a pause button built into it. Both of these are odd omissions that slightly tarnish the otherwise great experience of using the Magic Remote with the webOS 2.0 operating system.
And speaking of webOS, this is another highlight that LG really got right in its 2015 4K TVs in general. Revamped from its original configuration in the previous generation of 4K models for 2014, webOS 2.0 is truly superb. It’s not only well designed for maximal ease of navigation, it also offers a genuinely fast browsing experience that’s optimized for lightness and functionality. The quad-core processor of the UF9500 isn’t the fastest you can find in a name brand 4K TV at this price range but thanks to the superb design of webOS 2.0, that doesn’t matter. The smart TV browsing experience in this and other LG models for this year is definitely a bonus.
Most importantly of all, webOS 2.0 offers you the ability to jump between apps, web browsing, search features and right back to any previous operation without pausing or turning any one of these operations off. This may seem like the kind of obvious ability that any fully interactive piece of display technology should have but it was a definite innovation when it arrived and LG did a particularly good job of making it work well with its now distinctive diagonal menu tiles along the bottom of the TV’s screen.
Finally, the sound system on the UF9500 series of TVs is great. It’s not absolutely amazing but it is really, really good. LG left the speakers of the UF9500 to the professionals at Harmon Kardon and the choice was definitely a good one. The newly designed onboard sound system offers 60 watts of power, surround sound and a surprisingly good cinematic experience that really captures a lot of the finer audio details in the movies and shows you watch or the music you listen to from this TV.
4.2 - 15 Reviews
As far as visual specs go, the UF9500 ColorPrime 4K TV sits somewhere in the middle between the extraordinary quality of LGs OLED 4K TVs or Samsung’s higher end SUHD models and the lower quality of Vizio’s 4K models.
The main detriments that the ColorPrime suffers from are its somewhat weak contrast ratio and its edge-lit rear LED array. Even the extremely affordable Vizio UHD models offer full-array LED backlights.
However, the color vibrancy of the UF9500 is definitely superb. Quantum dot technology is no joke and as we’ve seen in every TV which implements it, from the SUHD models by Samsung to Sony’s 2014/2015 Bravia 4K TVs, the sheer saturation and brilliance of color shown is very notable, and quite impressive. The ColorPrime definitely reaches for something good in this regard and we suspect that a large part of the reason for the UF9500’s price tag lies in having quantum nano crystals built into its screen.
To quickly explain, for those of you who don’t know what it is: quantum dot technology, or at least LG’s version of it, involves the use of a filter layer of film covered in tiny (2 to 10 nanometer, microscopic basically) nano crystals of different sizes made from semiconducting material between the LCD screen and the LED backlighting system. As the light of the LEDs passes through the nano crystal layer, it gets broken down into a more vibrant, saturated range of primary colors, depending on which crystals it passes through. What makes nano crystal quantum dots so special is that they let LG use clean blue LEDs instead of “white” LEDs which actually produce more of a yellowish, color distorting light. The end result is a much more vibrant, saturated range of on-screen colors in the content you watch on the UF9500. Thus, the ColorPrime technology really works wonderfully in the case of the UF9500 line.
On the other hand the above-mentioned contrast ratio and attendant brightness are lacking in the UF9500. Thus, some of the color vibrancy is slightly offset and watching the TV in a brightly lit room produces nowhere near the beautiful clarity of an HDR TV model like the Samsung SUHD JS9500 or even LG’s own OLED 4K TVs with their also highly intense contrast.
Moving beyond color, the UF9500 also offers an excellent HD upscaling engine to boost the quality of all the HD content you’ll mostly watch on the TV as 4K ultra HD viewing options catch up. HD upscaling is crucial since most TV content today still remains Full HD and LG’s engine for scaling that HD resolution up to something that looks even better on a 4K screen is very good at its job. LG doesn’t do upscaling as well as Sony does but their upscaling process is definitely refined and usually quite sharp for 1080p Full HD and even 720p content in some cases.
Finally, the motion performance of the UF9500 is definitely near the top end of the quality scale. The TV features a native refresh rate of 120Hz and this lets even fast action 4K sequences look smooth and stutter-free. The TV’s TruMotion technology smooths things out even further with movies or shows shot at 24 and 30 frames per second but it can also produce a bizarre effect that overdoes the smoothness. Luckily though, the TV’s control menu lets you shut TruMotion off easily
To keep things simple, the UF9500 offers the full package of connectivity options. 4 HDMI 2.0 ports offer all you need for connecting third party media device to the TV and the HDCP 2.2 compatibility of these ports ensures smooth, trouble-free content delivery of studio movies and programs. USB ports for both 2.0 and 3.0 connections are also in place for video and audio transfer to the TV.
The UF9500 is also fully HEVC (H.265) and VP9 4K video codec compatible, meaning that it’s ready for the latest in 4K streaming content or content from third party media devices like the upcoming 4k Blu-ray discs and players.
As for web connectivity, the UF9500 offers a full browser package and lets you use either WiFi or Ethernet, or LAN for connecting to the web.
Furthermore, to further underscore the connectivity of the UF9500 and LG 4K TVs in general a whole pile of apps come installed in the TV right out of the box, accessible right from the tile menu on the home screen. These include Netflix, with its 4K streaming content, Hulu plus, Amazon Instant Video (even more excellent 4K movies and programming) and YouTube (4K amateur clips and beautiful documentary video from sources like NASA and GoPro.
The UF9500 is not one of LG’s more affordable 4K TV models, but it’s also nowhere near as pricey as the larger OLED 4K TVs from the company. On the LG website, the 65 inch model, the 65UF9500, shows a suggested price of $4,499 but Amazon.com sells the 65 inch model of this TV for “just” $2,797.00.
4.2 - 15 Reviews
We’ve already covered the negative features of the UF9500 ColorPrime 4K TV from LG, but to quickly summarize the key defects: it’s too expensive for what it offers, the edge-lit LED backlighting should have been replaced by full-array LED backlighting for the price this models sells at, and the TV’s dynamic range (contrast level) is less than ideal.
• Superb webOS 2.0 platform
• Exquisite Nano Crystal color enhancement
• Full connectivity package
• The TV runs fast on its quad-core processor
• No full-array backlighting
• Poor contrast levels and no HDR compatibility
• A bit too expensive