We've tested over 20 LG TVs in the last two years. LG releases a lot of TVs every year, probably more than any other manufacturer. Over the past few years, LG has become known for its OLED options because they're especially notable for being the first of their kind to be widely distributed. They have a few high-end LED TVs and entry-level models that are cheap but don't offer good value.
The LG C1 OLED is the best LG TV we've tested with an OLED panel. It's similar to the LG G1 OLED, which has the new evo panel, but for the cost, it's worth getting the C1. Like all OLEDs, it has self-lit pixels that can turn off individually to produce a near-infinite contrast ratio and pitch-perfect blacks with no visible blooming. That makes it a great choice for movies or dark room gaming. It also has a nearly instantaneous response time that results in exceptionally smooth motion in sports and video games. More serious gamers should also appreciate its low input lag, variable refresh rate (VRR) support, and four HDMI 2.1 ports, allowing you to take full advantage of the 4k @ 120Hz capabilities of the Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X.
The biggest downside to OLED TVs is that they're susceptible to permanent burn-in if you display content with static elements, like a channel logo or game HUD, for very long periods. That said, it shouldn't be an issue if you watch varied content, and LG OLEDs come with a few settings to help reduce the risk. OLEDs are also limited in terms of brightness, but this TV still gets bright, so while we don't recommend it for very bright rooms, it can still overcome glare in moderately lit settings. Despite its limited brightness, HDR content also looks great due to its near-infinite contrast and wide color gamut. All in all, this is one of the best LG TVs you can buy.
The best LG TV we've tested in the 4k LED category is the LG QNED90. It's a high-end TV part of the new QNED lineup, which uses Mini LED backlighting. It's a very good overall TV that's well-rounded for most uses, and most people should be pleased with it. This TV gets very bright, and combined with its decent reflection handling, visibility shouldn't be an issue in most rooms. It has a flicker-free backlight at all brightness levels, which helps reduce eye strain, and motion looks smooth thanks to the great response time. It has all the gaming features fans of LG TVs are used to, like HDMI 2.1 inputs, VRR support, a 120Hz panel, and low input lag.
Unfortunately, our unit has some uniformity issues with some dirty screen effect in the center, distracting during sports. Although it has an IPS-like panel with a low native contrast ratio, the Mini LED backlighting provides greater control over the local dimming, which helps improve the contrast to display deep blacks. However, the main downside to this is that there's still lots of blooming around bright objects, which could get distracting while watching movies. It displays a wide color gamut, making it a good choice for watching HDR movies, and it supports Dolby Vision, but not HDR10+. Thanks to its IPS-like panel, it has wide viewing angles, great for placing it in a wide seating arrangement. Overall, it's the best LED TV from LG that we've tested.
The best LG TV we've tested in the budget category is the LG UP8000. It's a pretty simple TV with okay overall performance. It's available in a wide range of sizes, from 43 to 86 inches, but the 50, 60, and 70 inch models don't have an IPS-like panel like the 65 inch model we tested, so they perform differently from the other sizes. It has wide viewing angles so the image remains accurate when viewing from the sides. It comes with the same LG webOS features as the higher-end models, including the Magic Remote. Despite the low cost, it has eARC support that allows you to pass high-quality audio to a compatible receiver using a single HDMI connection.
Unfortunately, it's not a good choice for dark room viewing because it has a low contrast ratio that makes blacks look gray, and it lacks a local dimming feature. Although it has a good response time, there's image duplication with fast-moving content due to the 120Hz backlight flicker at all brightness levels. It also doesn't get very bright, so despite its good reflection handling, it struggles a bit in rooms with bright light sources, like a window. There's a cheaper model similar to this TV, the LG UP7000, that has the same panel type, but it lacks a few extra features like the ability to remove 24p judder and the Magic Remote. If you prefer those, then the UP8000 is the best LG TV we've tested that you can get for a low cost.
Samsung TVs have, on average, a better picture quality than most LG LED TVs. This is thanks to their use of VA-type LCD instead of LG's IPS, which trades contrast directly in front for wider viewing angles. This, of course, doesn't apply to LG's OLED series of TVs, which are better than Samsung's offerings in almost every aspect.
Sony is a direct competitor with LG since their lineup also has LED and OLED models. LG's OLEDs have many more gaming features and generally cost less, but Sony's LED options usually have VA panels, making for a better dark room experience.
Except for their OLEDs, most LG TVs don't offer the best value. While their IPS LCD offerings have wide viewing angles useful for larger living rooms, the competition with VA panels often outperform them in terms of overall picture quality. LG is the pioneer of OLED, and they still offer the best OLEDs on the market with many gaming features.
LG has a large lineup that covers everything from the very cheap and small lower-resolution TVs to the very high end with their OLEDs. The first letters correspond to the resolution of the TV, the second letter in their model numbers correspond to the year of release, and usually, the higher the number, the higher the price range.
For example: UN = 2020 4K TV; LM = 2019 1080p TV.
For their OLED line-up, the model numbers start with a letter, followed by a number that represents the year (9 = 2019, X = 2020, 1 = 2021). For example: G1 = 2-2021 Gallery Design; CX = 2020 OLED TV; B9 = Entry-level 2019 OLED TV.
Besides aesthetic changes, LG's webOS hasn't changed much over the years, which is a good thing. A few years ago, it was, by and large, the best solution. While competition has tightened up since then, incremental and polishing updates allowed it to remain at the top. LG updated the platform in 2021 to include a full home page instead of the banner that was found in past models.
For a long time, webOS hadn't changed much in design since its introduction, but it was completely overhauled in 2021 with the release of webOS 6.0, and it's still one of the best-looking platforms around. It's colorful, and its animations are both intuitive and beautiful. Everything feels responsive and snappy, and you are rarely left waiting for something to happen. The redesign replaces the menu ribbon of previous versions with a smart hub, complete with various widgets. Despite the new look, it still has the same smooth functionality and features that made it one of the best smart platforms.
WebOS has one glaring issue: the inclusion of advertising sprinkled around the operating system. While we've yet to see them on the main screen, they're just about everywhere else. Voice search, app store, web browser, all of them will sometimes show ads in their user interface. The worst is that there isn't a good way to disable them from within the TV itself.
The LG content store delivers just about every app one would look for on a smart TV, as well as direct rental of films. Essentials like Netflix, Amazon Video, and YouTube are all installed by default, but the range is continuously expanding. Overall, LG TVs have one of the widest selections of apps available on any smart platform.
WebOS TVs that come with LG's Magic Remote have voice control. The remote was redesigned in 2021, but it has the same functionality as past years. There's a big microphone button in the center of the remote that, once pressed, prompts the search interface. It's useful for searching for content since it goes through most of your apps and allows you to even search for actors. Unfortunately, though, it doesn't have very in-depth control of the settings, like what you find on Samsung TVs, so you can't adjust the brightness without leaving what you're watching. The only thing you can't really do is turn the TV off and adjust the volume.
Starting from 2018, WebOS 4.0 added a new voice control processor with ThinQ AI. The system can perform advanced searches similar to Siri on the Apple TV. It can identify actors in movies, search for sports scores, even find pictures in your favorite cloud service based on keywords. It can also communicate with a multitude of smart home-connected devices, including lights and thermostats. Newer LG TVs can also interact with Google Home or Amazon Alexa-connected personal assistants.
LG’s magic remote found on higher-end models offers motion-controlled point and click functionality, which makes navigating menus a lot simpler. It isn't the smallest remote we've seen, but it's nicely sculpted and very comfortable to hold.
There are many more buttons on this remote than on Samsung’s, but they're clearly labeled and make it quicker to pick up the remote and use it – no tutorial or manual required. Some lower-end versions come with this Magic Remote, but the entry-level models have a basic remote without voice control, like the remote on the LG UN7000.
LG’s remote app, called LG TV Plus, offers quick access to most of the TV's controls and is compatible with all LG smart TVs. It isn't as advanced as some of the other remote apps, but it does stream content from your phone or tablet to the TV. It can launch apps and change inputs directly without having to use a navigation button to navigate the on-screen menus.
There aren't many issues with LG webOS. The previous version had some performance issues, with occasional hiccups and frequent dropped frames in animations. For the most part, these issues have been fixed, and the latest version performs extremely well, but the interface can still hang sometimes.
Oct 14, 2021: Replaced the LG NANO90 2021 and the UP7000 with the LG QNED90 and the UP8000 because they're each the best performing TVs for their respective categories.
Jul 19, 2021: Replaced the LG NANO90 2020 and the LG UN7300 with the newer LG NANO90 2021 and LG UP7000; updated Smart Features section for webOS 6.0.
May 20, 2021: Replaced the LG CX OLED with the LG C1 OLED as 'Best LG 4k OLED TV'.
Feb 19, 2021: Updated text for clarity.
LG undeniably offers top-shelf products with OLED TVs. The technology is now quite mature and is quite definitely the best for most people. Unfortunately, these processes don't reflect the rest of their TV range. While every LG smart TV comes packaged with their excellent WebOS platform, the displays' performance often leaves a lot to be desired. They do have consistently great viewing angles, but that comes to the cost of having mediocre picture quality in a dark room; quite the opposite from their OLED offerings, some might say.