LG 32UL500-W Monitor Review

Tested using Methodology v1.1
Reviewed Jan 19, 2021 at 09:28 am
LG 32UL500-W Picture
7.5
Mixed Usage
7.5
Office
7.4
Gaming
7.6
Multimedia
7.7
Media Creation
6.8
HDR Gaming
Size 32"
Resolution 3840x2160
Max Refresh Rate
60 Hz
Pixel Type
VA
Variable Refresh Rate
FreeSync

The LG 32UL500-W is a good budget-friendly 4k monitor. It gives you plenty of screen space for multitasking, and it delivers incredibly sharp images and text. It's better suited for a dark to moderately-lit room, as it can produce deep blacks but doesn't get bright enough to overcome glare. The viewing angles are adequate and should be fine for sharing text documents; however, there's still some loss of image accuracy when viewing from the side, so it's not the best option if you need to share work that requires precise color reproduction. It has low input lag and variable refresh rate (VRR) support if you want to game on it, but the response time is a bit slow, which results in blurrier images in fast-moving scenes. Unfortunately, the ergonomics are terrible as it only allows for tilt adjustment, and even though it supports HDR, it doesn't get bright enough to make highlights pop.

Our Verdict

7.5 Mixed Usage

The LG 32UL500-W is a good monitor overall. It has a large screen and 4k resolution that make it a good option for work and media consumption. However, it's hard to place the screen the way you like because it has terrible ergonomics. Also, glare might be an issue because it doesn't get very bright. It has low input lag and VRR support for gaming, but the response time is a bit slow, so images look a bit blurry in fast-moving scenes. Unfortunately, it can't deliver a true HDR experience due to its low HDR peak brightness.

Pros
  • Large screen and high resolution.
  • Deep blacks.
  • Exceptional text clarity.
  • Flicker-free.
Cons
  • Allows for tilt adjustment only.
  • Glare might be an issue.
  • Images look slightly inaccurate from the side.
7.5 Office

The LG 32UL500-W is good for office use. It provides you plenty of screen space for multitasking, and text looks incredibly sharp thanks to its high resolution. The viewing angles are adequate, good enough for sharing text documents, but it isn't ideal if you need to share work that requires perfect image accuracy. Unfortunately, even though it has good reflection handling, it doesn't get very bright, so glare can be an issue in well-lit rooms. Also, the ergonomics are terrible because it only allows for tilt adjustment.

Pros
  • Large screen and high resolution.
  • Exceptional text clarity.
  • Exceptional SDR color gamut.
  • Flicker-free.
Cons
  • Allows for tilt adjustment only.
  • Glare might be an issue.
  • Images look slightly inaccurate from the side.
7.4 Gaming

The LG 32UL500-W is decent for gaming. It has a large screen and high resolution to deliver an immersive gaming experience, but it's better suited for slower-paced games because the response time is on the slow side. Input lag is very low, and it supports variable refresh rate technology to reduce screen tearing. It has a good contrast ratio to produce deep blacks, making it great for gaming in the dark. The viewing angles are adequate, good enough for co-op gaming, as long as you don't mind a slightly inaccurate image.

Pros
  • Large screen and high resolution.
  • Deep blacks.
  • VRR support.
Cons
  • Allows for tilt adjustment only.
  • Response time might be too slow for fast-paced games.
7.6 Multimedia

The LG 32UL500-W is good for media consumption. It has a 32 inch screen and a 4k resolution to deliver an immersive viewing experience. It can produce deep blacks, making it a great choice for dark rooms. The viewing angles are quite good for a VA panel and should be fine for sharing content casually, but images still look slightly inaccurate when viewed from the side. Also, the stand doesn't allow for swivel adjustment, making it harder to place the screen to your optimal viewing position.

Pros
  • Large screen and high resolution.
  • Deep blacks.
  • Exceptional SDR color gamut.
  • Flicker-free.
Cons
  • Allows for tilt adjustment only.
  • Glare might be an issue.
  • Images look slightly inaccurate from the side.
7.7 Media Creation

The LG 32UL500-W is good for content creation. It has an exceptional SDR color gamut with full sRGB coverage and outstanding Adobe RGB coverage. There's plenty of screen real estate to place multiple windows side-by-side, and the 4k resolution lets you see every tiny detail of your work. Although the viewing angles are adequate, there's still some loss of image accuracy when viewing off-center, so it's not the best option for sharing your work with coworkers and clients, especially if image accuracy is important. Lastly, it has terrible ergonomics, which makes it harder to place the screen for optimal viewing.

Pros
  • Large screen and high resolution.
  • Deep blacks.
  • Exceptional SDR color gamut.
  • Flicker-free.
Cons
  • Allows for tilt adjustment only.
  • Glare might be an issue.
  • Images look slightly inaccurate from the side.
6.8 HDR Gaming

The LG 32UL500-W is okay for gaming in HDR. It has a large 4k screen that feels incredibly immersive, as well as a high contrast ratio and good HDR color gamut. However, it doesn't get bright enough to make highlights stand out, and it lacks a local dimming feature. It has low input lag and VRR support, but the response time is only decent, which results in more motion blur in fast-moving games.

Pros
  • Large screen and high resolution.
  • Deep blacks.
  • VRR support.
Cons
  • Allows for tilt adjustment only.
  • Doesn't get bright enough for true HDR.
  • Response time might be too slow for fast-paced games.
  • 7.5 Mixed Usage
  • 7.5 Office
  • 7.4 Gaming
  • 7.6 Multimedia
  • 7.7 Media Creation
  • 6.8 HDR Gaming

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
Curved No
Curve Radius Not Curved
Weight (without stand)
11.7 lbs (5.3 kg)
Weight (with stand)
13.7 lbs (6.2 kg)

The LG 32UL500-W has a simple design that's well-suited for most office settings. The stand is a variation of their 'ArcLine' design and looks almost identical to the LG 32UL950-W's. Compared to other recent monitors, the borders are on the thicker side, giving it a more budget look.

Design
Stand
Width
16.0" (40.6 cm)
Depth
8.3" (21.0 cm)

The semi-circle ArcLine stand doesn't take up much desk space. It supports the monitor well, and there's very little wobble.

1.2
Design
Ergonomics
Height Adjustment
0.0" (0.0 cm)
Switch Portrait/Landscape No
Swivel Range No swivel
Tilt Range -15° to 5°

Unfortunately, the ergonomics are terrible. It only allows for tilt adjustment, so you might have trouble getting the best viewing position, and it also makes it harder to share your screen with others.

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 100x100

The back is plastic and plain. There's a removable clip on the stand that serves as basic cable management, and there's a quick-release feature to remove the stand if you want to VESA-mount it.

Design
Borders
Borders
0.6" (1.4 cm)

The borders are a little thicker than most recent monitors and might be distracting in a multi-monitor setup.

Design
Thickness
Thickness (with stand)
6.3" (15.9 cm)
Thickness (without stand)
1.9" (4.7 cm)

The LG 32UL500 is thin with and without the stand. It doesn't require a deep desk and doesn't stick out when VESA-mounted.

7.5
Design
Build Quality

The LG 32UL500-W's build quality is good. It's mostly plastic, except for the feet, which have metal below the silver plastic shell. The tilt hinge is stable, and the monitor doesn't wobble much. It doesn't feel particularly premium, but there are no issues with the construction.

Picture Quality
7.8
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
2883 : 1
Contrast With Local Dimming
N/A

The LG 32UL500-W has a good contrast ratio to produce deep blacks, making it ideal for dark rooms. It's slightly lower than the advertised 3000:1 contrast; however, this can vary between individual units.

0
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
No
Backlight
Edge

The LG 32UL500-W doesn't have a local dimming feature. The video above is provided for reference only.

6.7
Picture Quality
SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene
230 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
256 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
256 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
256 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
256 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
256 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
256 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
256 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
256 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
256 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
256 cd/m²
SDR ABL
0.000

The LG 32UL500-W has okay SDR peak brightness. There's no brightness variation when displaying different content, but it isn't quite bright enough to combat glare, so it's best suited for a dark to moderately-lit room. This is lower than the advertised 300 cd/m².

We measured the SDR peak brightness in the 'Custom' Picture Mode with Brightness set to max. We achieved 270 cd/m² in the 'HDR Effect' Picture Mode, but color accuracy is significantly worse, which is why we used 'Custom'.

5.6
Picture Quality
HDR Peak Brightness
HDR Real Scene
242 cd/m²
HDR Peak 2% Window
272 cd/m²
HDR Peak 10% Window
272 cd/m²
HDR Peak 25% Window
273 cd/m²
HDR Peak 50% Window
273 cd/m²
HDR Peak 100% Window
273 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 2% Window
272 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 10% Window
272 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 25% Window
273 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 50% Window
273 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 100% Window
273 cd/m²
HDR ABL
0.000

The HDR peak brightness is sub-par. It's again very consistent across different content, but it's only slightly brighter than in SDR and not enough to make highlights stand out the way they should in HDR content.

We measured the HDR peak brightness in the 'HDR Standard' Picture Mode with Brightness set to max.

6.8
Picture Quality
Horizontal Viewing Angle
Color Washout From Left
46 °
Color Washout From Right
47 °
Color Shift From Left
69 °
Color Shift From Right
70 °
Brightness Loss From Left
47 °
Brightness Loss From Right
48 °
Black Level Raise From Left
25 °
Black Level Raise From Right
21 °
Gamma Shift From Left
12 °
Gamma Shift From Right
13 °

The LG 32UL500-W's horizontal viewing angles are adequate, quite good for a VA panel. It should be fine for sharing content casually or playing co-op games; however, it might not be ideal for sharing work that requires perfect image accuracy because there's some gamma shift almost as soon as you move off-center. There's also an odd behavior with the brightness as it gets brightest around 10 degrees to the right, but it shouldn't affect image quality unless you're constantly moving around.

6.4
Picture Quality
Vertical Viewing Angle
Color Washout From Below
33 °
Color Washout From Above
36 °
Color Shift From Below
70 °
Color Shift From Above
70 °
Brightness Loss From Below
34 °
Brightness Loss From Above
34 °
Black Level Raise From Below
42 °
Black Level Raise From Above
45 °
Gamma Shift From Below
12 °
Gamma Shift From Above
8 °

The vertical viewing angles are mediocre, which means that images look inaccurate if you mount the monitor above eye level.

8.5
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
1.761 %
50% DSE
0.121 %
5% Std. Dev.
1.707 %
5% DSE
0.078 %

Our LG 32UL500 has excellent gray uniformity; however, this can vary between units. Dirty screen effect is very minimal, but there are a few spots that appear darker, mostly along the edges. That said, there isn't a huge difference between the lighter and darker areas and shouldn't be noticeable in most content. Uniformity is slightly better in near-dark scenes, but the backlight is more visible along the left and right edges.

7.3
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
1.105 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
N/A

Black uniformity is decent; however, this can vary between individual units due to manufacturing tolerances. There's a small amount of clouding throughout, as well as some backlight bleed at the top and bottom-left corners. This is only visible when viewing dark scenes in a dark environment.

4.8
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
Picture Mode
EBU
Luminance
173 cd/m²
Luminance Settings
55
Contrast Setting
70
RGB Controls
50-50-50
Gamma Setting
Default
Color Temperature
5942 K
White Balance dE
5.99
Color dE
4.44
Gamma
2.53

The LG 32UL500 has bad accuracy out of the box, but this can vary between units. Most colors and shades of gray are inaccurate. The color temperature is much warmer than our 6500K target, which results in a slight reddish tint. Gamma doesn't follow the curve at all, making most scenes appear darker than they should. There's a Rec. 709 color setting, but it's even more inaccurate.

9.5
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
Picture Mode
Custom
Luminance
99 cd/m²
Luminance Settings
18
Contrast Setting
68
RGB Controls
45-60-48
Gamma Setting
Gamma 2
Color Temperature
6569 K
White Balance dE
0.66
Color dE
0.60
Gamma
2.19

Accuracy is exceptional after calibration. The remaining inaccuracies aren't visible to the naked eye. The color temperature is much closer to our 6500K target, just slightly on the cooler side. Gamma is much better, but very dark and very bright scenes are now too bright.

You can download our ICC profile calibration here. This is provided for reference only and shouldn't be used, as the calibration values vary per individual unit due to manufacturing tolerances, even for the same model.

9.5
Picture Quality
SDR Color Gamut
sRGB xy
100.0 %
Adobe RGB xy
90.3 %
sRGB Picture Mode
Custom
Adobe RGB Picture Mode
Custom

The LG 32UL500-W has an exceptional SDR color gamut. It covers the entire sRGB color space used in most content, and it has outstanding coverage of the Adobe RGB color space used for photo editing.

9.7
Picture Quality
SDR Color Volume
sRGB In ICtCp
99.4 %
Adobe RGB In ICtCp
95.4 %
sRGB Picture Mode
Custom
Adobe RGB Picture Mode
Custom

The color volume is remarkable; however, it has some trouble displaying dark colors despite its high contrast ratio.

7.9
Picture Quality
HDR Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
Yes
DCI P3 xy
86.8 %
Rec. 2020 xy
71.1 %
DCI P3 Picture Mode
HDR Standard
Rec. 2020 Picture Mode
HDR Standard

The LG 32UL500-W has a good HDR color gamut. It has excellent coverage of the DCI P3 color space used in most HDR content and decent coverage of the wider Rec. 2020.

The DCI P3 coverage is lower than the advertised 95%. This is due to the way we measure DCI P3. We measure DCI P3 by sending a Rec. 2020 signal, but unlike most reviewers, we limit the colors to the DCI P3 primaries. This results in a lower but arguably more accurate measurement.

7.8
Picture Quality
HDR Color Volume
DCI-P3 In ICtCp
87.3 %
Rec. 2020 In ICtCp
68.2 %
DCI P3 Picture Mode
HDR Standard
Rec. 2020 Picture Mode
HDR Standard

The HDR color volume is good, but just like in SDR, it has trouble displaying dark colors even though it has a high contrast ratio. It also has difficulty with bright blues, although that's typical for LCDs.

10
Picture Quality
Image Retention
IR After 0 Min Recovery
0.00 %
IR After 2 Min Recovery
0.00 %
IR After 4 Min Recovery
0.00 %
IR After 6 Min Recovery
0.00 %
IR After 8 Min Recovery
0.00 %
IR After 10 Min Recovery
0.00 %

There are no signs of image retention, even after displaying a high-contrast image for ten minutes. However, this can vary between individual units.

9.7
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
10 Bit

The LG 32UL500 has superb gradient handling. You shouldn't see any banding in most content.

10
Picture Quality
Color Bleed
Pixel Row Error
0.000 %
Pixel Column Error
0.001 %

There are no signs of color bleed.

7.6
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Matte
Total Reflections
4.9 %
Indirect Reflections
2.8 %
Calculated Direct Reflections
2.1 %

The LG 32UL500 has good reflection handling, but you might still have issues with glare due to the monitor's low peak brightness, so it's best to avoid very bright rooms.

9.5
Picture Quality
Text Clarity
Sub-Pixel Layout
RGB

The LG 32UL500 has exceptional text clarity thanks to its high pixel density. Windows ClearType makes the letters look bolder (top photo), although some people might find it unnecessary since it's already very clear.

Motion
7.2
Motion
Response Time @ Max Refresh Rate
Best Overdrive Setting
Off
Rise / Fall Time
7.9 ms
Total Response Time
19.9 ms
Overshoot Error
1.0 %
Dark Rise / Fall Time
8.7 ms
Dark Total Response Time
16.9 ms
Dark Overshoot Error
3.8 %

Overdrive Setting Response Time Chart Response Time Tables Motion Blur Photo
Off Chart Table Photo
Normal Chart Table Photo
Fast Chart Table Photo
Faster Chart Table Photo

The LG 32UL500 has decent response time at its max refresh rate. It's a bit slow, which results in more motion blur in fast-moving scenes. It isn't the best for gaming, but good enough for slower-pace games. The best overdrive setting is 'Off' because it has the best total response time with the least amount of overshoot.

7.2
Motion
Response Time @ 60Hz
Best Overdrive Setting
Off
Rise / Fall Time
7.9 ms
Total Response Time
19.9 ms
Overshoot Error
1 %
Dark Rise / Fall Time
8.7 ms
Dark Total Response Time
16.9 ms
Dark Overshoot Error
3.8 %

Overdrive Setting Response Time Chart Response Time Tables Motion Blur Photo
Off Chart Table Photo
Normal Chart Table Photo
Fast Chart Table Photo
Faster Chart Table Photo

The LG 32UL500-W has a maximum refresh rate of 60Hz, so the results are the same as the response time at max refresh rate.

10
Motion
Image Flicker
Flicker-Free Yes
PWM Dimming Frequency
0 Hz

The backlight is entirely flicker-free, which helps minimize image duplication and reduce eye strain.

0
Motion
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
No BFI
BFI Maximum Frequency
N/A
BFI Minimum Frequency
N/A

The LG 32UL500-W doesn't have a Black Frame Insertion feature.

7.4
Motion
Refresh Rate
Native
60 Hz
Max Refresh Rate
60 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate
Yes
FreeSync
Yes
G-SYNC
Compatible (Tested)
VRR Maximum