Updated

LG Smart TV Platform 2015 Review
WebOS

9.5Remote
10Design
10Usability
8.0Web Browser
6.0Extra Features

LG’s 2015 smart platform is pretty much the same as last year’s, which is great news, since there wasn’t much in need of improvement. Its design still feels modern, and the app selection is a bit better than on Samsung’s new Tizen OS. WebOS TVs released in 2014 should be able to update to the new WebOS 2.0 sometime later this year, which will offer somewhat speedier performance, as well as the new features.

Picture quality of LG smart TVs

Smart TV OS Remote Our Reviews
EC9300 WebOS Smart See review
LF5800 Basic Basic See review
LF6100 Basic Basic See review
LF6300 WebOS Smart See review
UF6400 WebOS Basic See review
UF6800 WebOS Smart See review
UF7600 WebOS Smart See review
UF7700 WebOS Smart See review
UF8500 WebOS Smart See review
UF9500 WebOS Smart See review
EG9100 WebOS Smart See review
EF9500 WebOS Smart See review
EG9600 WebOS Smart See review
LH5700 WebOS 3.0 Basic See review
LH5750 WebOS 3.0 Basic See review
UH5500 WebOS 3.0 Basic See review
UH6100 WebOS 3.0 Basic See review
UH6150 WebOS 3.0 Basic See review
UH6500 WebOS 3.0 Basic See review
UH6550 WebOS 3.0 Basic See review
UH7700 WebOS 3.0 Smart See review
UH8500 WebOS Smart See review
UH9500 WebOS 3.0 Smart See review
B6 WebOS 3.0 Smart See review
C6 WebOS 3.0 Smart See review
E6 WebOS 3.0 Smart See review
C7 WebOS 3.5 Smart See review

LG TVs, for the most part, have good viewing angles and poor contrast. If you sit directly in front of your TV, you’ll get better overall picture quality by going with a different brand – most Vizio, Samsung, and Sony TVs have stronger contrast.

If you do want the viewing angle, or are a big fan of WebOS, check out our list of this year’s LG TVs, which includes links to in-depth reviews of most models.

The rest of this article reviews the smart features found in LG smart TVs. We used the LG UF7700 for this review, but will point out differences between models where applicable.

Note: The cheapest LG TVs don’t have WebOS, but most 2015 models do. Since the updated WebOS is the newest iteration of LG’s smart platform, and is the OS that is found on most of the mid-range and high-end TVs, that is what we’re focusing on in this review.

Remote Control

Like the Samsung smart remote, LG’s remote offers point-and-click functionality, which makes navigating menus a lot simpler. It’s a chunkier remote than the sleek, curved offering by Samsung, but the trade-off might be worth it.

There are many more buttons on this remote than on Samsung’s, but they are clearly labeled and make it quicker to pick up the remote and use – no tutorial or manual required. LG also added a number pad to this year’s remote, which might be nice for people who want that option for switching channels.

It does have a cheap, plastic look to it, and the shape isn’t quite as nice as Samsung’s. In terms of function, though, it’s the best.

There are a couple of different remotes available for cheaper LG TVs, but non-WebOS TVs come with this kind of remote.

Main Interface

LG Smart TV WebOS Home

The look of the WebOS platform is refreshing. The interface doesn't feel heavy as it used to. The design is lightweight and colorful, and even the mouse cursor is shaped differently.

Pressing the Home button on the remote brings up the main menu. The bottom bar lists all the main apps, as well as the current source displayed on the TV (HDMI1 in this case, which can be renamed to match what is connected to this input).

LG Smart TV WebOS Config

Pressing the home button also reveals two icons at the top right. The first allows you to switch inputs. The second lets you toggle between picture modes, sound presets, and aspect ratios, and also has options for the sleep timer, parental lock, and advanced settings.

The advanced settings button is where you can make more specific adjustments to your picture and sound settings, channel tuner, and network settings. There are also options for adjusting general settings, content and application locks, and general accessibility settings. One handy option lets you change the size of the cursor to one of three pre-determined sizes.

The tab at the far left displays all the apps currently open on the TV. Here you can close any you are finished with, or just make quick changes between the apps you are using.

The rightmost tab of the launcher opens the full list of apps and inputs on the TV. You can drag and drop them into whatever order you’d like, making it an easy thing to customize the order (and also change the names) of the icons for maximum speed and convenience.

In addition to free apps, there are a few paid options available, though nothing too exciting or interesting.

 

USB Playback

USB playback is quick and easy, and all our photos and video files opened just fine. On our LG UF7700, 4k video playback worked well, with no stuttering or audio problems.

Web Browser

Web browsers tend to be used pretty frequently on smart TVs. They’re poor options for prolonged browsing, but they’re good for the occasional search, or to stream videos from a website that does not have its own app.

Again in 2015, the rendering accuracy of the WebOS browser is spot-on. It passed the Peacekeeper HTML 5 test, but is only average for JavaScript capabilities. Its performance (887) is about on par with that of an iPhone 5, which is actually pretty good, but not up to par with even basic productivity PCs.

In terms of real-world load times, expect simple sites to take around five seconds, and busier sites closer to 30 seconds. As with last year’s iteration, trying to scroll while a web page is loading was jumpy and slow.

Voice Commands

The control has an integrated microphone. Pressing the voice control button allows you to launch apps, switch inputs, and search using Bing. You can also adjust the volume and power off the TV.

The remote didn’t have any difficulty understanding what was being said, which was great.

Known Issues

We haven’t had many issues with WebOS so far. One minor annoyance is that there are auto-playing video ads in the app store. Unless you spend lots of time browsing for apps, this isn’t likely to be a major problem.

Conclusion

It’s not a huge leap, but a few solid tweaks to the WebOS system have improved LG’s already strong smart TV platform. With Samsung’s offerings a bit more limited at the moment, LG’s WebOS is now the best smart platform around. So far this year, our favorite LG smart TV is the LG UF7700. To compare that with the rest of LG’s lineup, head over to our list of all the LG TVs we have reviewed.

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Questions & Answers

16 ANSWERED QUESTIONS
50
Can I download HBO Go?
No. That's currently only available for Samsung smart TVs.
48
LG no longer sells/supports the AN-VC 550 camera, which means there are no existing cameras on the market that will work with the 2015 LG smart TV's. Absolutely ridiculous.
Thanks for bringing this to our attention. You might want to try looking around online to see if any retailers have a couple left, but we agree that this is an issue.
30
I see no mention of Bluetooth. Can I connect a keyboard and mouse?
Unfortunately, LG TVs don't support Bluetooth keyboards and mice. Wireless USB keyboards and mice should work, though.
26
How do you scroll up and down while browsing the web on a smart TV?
It depends on your remote and which smart TV you have. On this LG WebOS, the remote has a scroll wheel.
26
Is Skype available for WebOS 2.0? I couldn't find it. It is a main reason for me to buy a smart TV.
No, it isn't available at the moment.
22
How do you play videos on WebOs on regular sites other than YouTube?
While WebOS can handle HTML 5 video just fine, it is unable to handle Flash video, which is a very common format on the internet. If the site you want to watch videos off of has Flash videos but also has a WebOS app, you should be able to watch the content through that. Otherwise, you'll need to connect a device that can play Flash to your TV and watch it off of that.
9
The speakers on our 65" wall mounted LG TV are hard to hear and sound is muffled. Is there a device to connect to TV that could then connect to Bluetooth wireless speakers? This is supposed to be a smart TV. How smart is it if it isn't Bluetooth compatible?
You'll need to get a Bluetooth transmitter that can connect to your TV's audio out. It will broadcast your TV's sound over Bluetooth, and you can then pick that up with your speakers.
7
The remote kind of sucks, as do the upgrades.
Indeed, it isn't perfect - no smart TV system is. Still, LG has one of the best remotes available. Many other smart TV remotes, including for pricier sets, offer fewer capabilities.
7
Where can I find a list of apps available for webOS download?
You can use this site to see what's available.
2
For the UF7700, is it possible to open the apps without the remote? I cannot find where to get into Netflix or WebOS.
You do need to navigate with a remote.
WebOS is the TV's program itself, similar to Android or Windows. When you turn on the TV, WebOS is already running.
To open Netflix, just press the home button on your remote and then move the cursor over the Netflix bar and click the wheel. If Netflix isn't there, click the white bar at the far right, and you should see Netflix somewhere in the lineup that appears.
2
I own a 55in smart LG TV I purchased two years ago. Extremely disappointing amount of available apps. If your looking for a smart TV, don't buy! No HBO Go and no Sling TV. I think in total only about 9 available TV Apps. Also web browser always crashes! Pass on the LG TVs if you want a smart TV!
Although LG has probably the best smart TV interface, we agree that it could use more apps. In the mean time, a Roku could bring you what you are looking for but we agree the extra expense and clutter isn't welcome (and it wouldn't fix your need for a good internet browser). A factory reset of the TV could help for the browser. If not, then hopefully a future firmware update will do. Thank you for sharing your experience.
1
Can I download Subway Surfers or Temple Run?
No. Neither is available for LG TVs.
1
I simply want to know if the OS is based on Linux, Windows, OSX, etc.
It's based on Linux.
1
Do we know when WebOS will support Skype or Hangout? Is any other video calling options available now? Mine is Web OS 2015 Model.
Unfortunately, for now, owners of 2015 LG TVs can only use external Skype devices like this one. We haven't heard anything about future support for either Skype or Google Hangout.
0
Only black and white from my dvd player.LG LF5900. Red to red, white to white, yellow to yellow-green.
We don't have this TV in hand to test it but it seems that you have the TV set to display its 'Component' inputs. Go in the input list of the TV and select 'AV' instead. You should then get the colors back.
0
Can I use this remote for any LG smart TV?
The remotes are not guaranteed to work with all LG TVs. The basic LG remote should work with all TVs of the same model year, but it may not work with other model years. The power button should always work, and simple things like the volume buttons will probably work, but other buttons may either not work or do something other than what they're labeled to do. Also the smart remote with the point and click functionality needs bluetooth for some of its buttons and features, so it will only work completely with LG TVs of the same model year that also have bluetooth.
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