New TV launches were really not as exciting as other gadgets because most of the cutting-edge stuff coming out of the TV industry is just too expensive. Curved TVs? You need a really fat wallet to buy one. OLED TVs? Possibly even bigger. Fortunately, 2016 could be the year where OLED TVs will be more affordable to the masses. If you are looking for proof of this upcoming trend, you can check out the latest lineup of LG TVs for 2015. LG is already selling OLED TVs for about $5,000. If you have been tracking TVs over the past couple of years, you will realize that high-end 4K TVs used to command those prices. Now we have 4K TVs like the LG 65UF9500 that are priced under $3,000 and come with high-end features.
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About the LG 65UF9500
The 65UF9500 can be considered the flagship 65-inch model of the entire LG LED series. This positions it just below few OLED models which can be purchased for about twice as much. So if you are not after the unmatched picture quality, you can still get a lot of the great features the top-tier models have and even enjoy some of the benefits that LED TVs still have over OLED ones.
The LG 65UF9500 looks pretty different than the much fancier LG 65EG9600 and the screen isn’t curved (which makes the former much cheaper) but the design of the UF9500 series still shows LG’s passion in making attractive TVs in the living room. In fact as a whole, the 65UF9500 looks quite different from the other run-of-the-mill LED displays. The rear casing is full on white so it should blend a little bit better with rooms with white walls. It has a very thin profile with a pleasingly thin bezel. It also has 4 HDMI ports on the side which is relieving considering the fact that the OLED ones only have 3.
LG clearly has faith in webOS and it isn’t just because the 65UF9500 uses webOS but also because it runs a fresh new 2.0 version. The new version doesn’t bring many sweeping visual changes other than a much needed app store redesign but it does feel much faster and more responsive. App loading times are reduced too thanks to the updated quad-core processor. As for the design, it still looks very fresh and far from the uninspired icon-based smart TV. You run apps via an app bar that you can bring up on the bottom and it supports multitasking. The setup process which starts the first time you turn on the TV is a fun experience too. The usual apps like Netflix and Hulu are present but other smart TV platforms have greater variety. HBO streaming fans will be disappointed but there is always the option of buying a set-top box.
The lack of apps isn’t enough to dismiss webOS as a poor smart TV experience contender because the LG 65UF9500 comes with a fantastic remote control called the LG Magic Remote. This remote is different than the older LG Magic Remote models that come with older TVs as the new one is a bit bigger and a whole lot better. Because it is bigger, it feels more solid and surprisingly more responsive when doing gestures. Plus LG made use of the extra space by putting a full number keypad. Then there is the cool scroll wheel which comes really handy especially when surfing the Web with the TV browser. The voice control is still gimmicky but the feature is there if you need it.
The 65UF9500 may not be an OLED but LG incorporated a special technology called ColorPrime Technology which effectively bridges the gap between LED and OLED TVs. This is exclusive to the high-end spectrum of LG IPS LED displays and it is actually pretty good because of its wider color gamut. The thing is, even the midrange models of the 2015 lineup have fantastic picture quality for the price. ColorPrime just makes things a little bit better in terms of color vividness. However, the black levels and contrast just don’t hold a candle to the OLED displays. Fortunately, it is only a minor issue if you enjoy your television watching with the lights on.
This high-end TV also has a Cinema 3D mode and it comes with 2 pairs of 3D glasses so two people can try it out. The latest 3D Blu-ray content and online 3D streaming sources look great and there is even support for the 3DGo! Service.
Another high-end feature the LG 65UF9500 shares with the OLED models is the Harmon Kardon speakers. These speakers pack quite a punch at 60 watts total output and there are four channels. These built-in speakers definitely won’t replace the average sound bar but they sound much better and louder than typical built-in speakers.
• Great overall picture quality and color reproduction
• Flagship-worthy design.
• webOS is pretty and speedy
• LG Magic Remote is new and improved
• Loud built-in speakers
• Sub-$3,000 price is a great deal for the features.
• Consumers less power than OLED TVs of the same size.
• Contrast degrades in dark rooms.
• webOS still lacks apps.
The 65UF9500 is a reminder that you don’t need to buy the latest and greatest TV. The LG 65UF9500 meets the definition of “latest” while being far more reasonably priced and still very good in almost all areas.