Something really cool is happening in the TV industry – large TVs are getting smarter and much more affordable. You can give credit to the companies that are pushing the technological boundaries yet again by producing curved displays, OLED panels and even a combination of both. Meanwhile, 4K is more mainstream than ever before and that’s what matters most. You can leave the fancy curved TVs and OLED screens to the enthusiasts who really have money to burn. For the average consumer who dreams big, TVs like the LG 60UF8500 are going to be the main attraction.
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About the LG 60UF8500
The 60UF8500 is part of LG’s massive push to bring 4K displays to mainstream audiences. Launched in spring 2015, the LG 60UF8500 rests on the upper high-end tier and is one of the two 60-inch 4K LED displays in the lineup. Unlike the cheaper LG 60UF7700, the 60UF8500 is a 3D TV and two pairs of 3D glasses are included in the box. It was first announced with a price tag of $2,999 although many stores sell it for under $2,000 which is amazing considering the size, specs and features.
Even the design of the TV looks good. The bezel looks very thin and the large screen is supported by a very stable base consisting of two feet connected by a long bar. It makes the TV look elegant but you will need a fairly long surface unless you have a VESA mount and intend to mount it to your living room wall.
One of the minor weaknesses of the LG 60UF8500 is the HDMI ports – there are only three of them but at least all of them support HEVC which translates to 4K video with 60 fps. There is also a trio of USB ports with one of them being USB 3.0, built-in Wi-Fi and Ethernet, the usual component and optical ports and an RS-232 port.
Like the LG TVs produced before it, the 60UF8500 is powered by webOS but this time, it is the 2.0 version which mainly brings performance improvements and a few cosmetic changes. Speed is the best new feature because the menus and transitions no longer lag or delay and the entire experience as a whole just feels very polished. This is not only due to the webOS 2.0 upgrade but also the new quad-core processor under the hood. Those transitioning from an older Smart TV should feel very delighted with the fun and lively interface webOS brings to the table. The app bar on the bottom looks very stylish and the setup process is very user-friendly. The only downside is that the webOS platform differs from other platforms and since webOS is still quite new, the app selection is a bit weak. HBO is still missing from the lineup but Netflix and Hulu lovers shouldn’t be bothered. The LG Content Store also has a new look that will at least make app discovery a bit easier.
webOS is also easier to navigate thanks to the improved LG Magic Remote control. Most of those “gimmicky” remote controls are small and mainly intended for Smart TV navigation but LG’s new version is more fitting as a primary remote control for all purposes. It is larger and there is now a numeric keypad which should be something channel surfers should like. It can still be used as a pointing device with motion control and the built-in microphone remains. There is even this scroll wheel that is really handy when using the Web browser app.
The LG 60UF8500’s display technology is no longer the best of the best but it is still very high-end. The 4K IPS display still helps make the latest Blu-ray movies look fantastic even in 1080p since the TV has a built-in upscaler engine. The IPS technology really makes the colors pop and native 4K sources from the Web look really impressive. All those fancy LG technologies like the Triple XD Engine, Tru-Black Control and Tru-Color Generator help contribute to the overall quality too.
One of the more underrated features of the 60UF8500 is its way in handling 3D. It can handle full 4K ED content too and the entire experience is free from flickers. Even the upscaler is compatible with 3D content and the tests really show that 3D movies like Ant Man and Minions look better than when viewed on a standard 1080p 3D display. Sports fans will also like the TruMotion 240Hz technology which reduces unwanted blur normally caused by really fast motion. Details look very crisp thanks to the detailed backlight scanning.
LG’s own OLED displays beat the LG 60UF8500 in just about all aspects of picture quality and while they boast the best contrast ratio ever, those displays are still very expensive, have lower lifespan and consume far more power. The 60UF8500 is far more efficient consuming just 0.3 watts in standby mode. It is Energy Star certified as well.
• Very good picture quality.
• Attractive design
• webOS feels faster and more polished
• New LG Magic Remote is super cool
• Sub-$2,000 price.
• Energy efficient.
• Limited HDMI ports.
• webOS needs more apps.
If a 60-inch 3D display is your target, the LG 60UF8500 is a really good shortlist candidate because it finally has a killer Smart TV experience (unless you need more apps/services). Picture quality shouldn’t disappoint considering the price you are paying.