LG B9 OLED TV Review

Tested using Methodology v1.5
Updated Aug 22, 2019 at 08:49 am
LG B9 OLED Picture
8.7
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: none
9.3
Movies
8.2
TV Shows
8.6
Sports
9.0
Video Games
8.6
HDR Movies
8.7
HDR Gaming
8.6
PC Monitor
Type OLED
Sub-Type
WRGB
Resolution 4k

The LG B9 OLED is a remarkable TV with excellent picture quality that displays perfect blacks. It has excellent wide viewing angles, good SDR peak brightness, and handles reflections well. This TV has a wide color gamut and decent HDR brightness, but the aggressive ABL can become bothersome. Motion looks crisp thanks to the nearly instantaneous response time, and the TV has a motion interpolation feature that can help minimize stutter in movies. Gamers will enjoy a responsive gaming experience thanks to the very low input lag, but unfortunately, just like all OLED TVs, it has the possibility of developing permanent burn-in.

Our Verdict

8.7 Mixed Usage

This is an excellent TV for mixed use. It has outstanding dark room performance thanks to its perfect blacks. It can also fit nicely in a bright room thanks to its good SDR peak brightness and excellent reflection handling. It delivers very crisp motion and the excellent gray uniformity and wide viewing angles make it an excellent choice for enjoying sports with a group of friends. Gamers will appreciate the low input lag.

Pros
  • Perfect blacks and black uniformity.
  • Image remains accurate when viewed from the side.
  • Nearly instantaneous response time and very low input lag.
Cons
  • Has the risk of permanent burn-in with static content (see here).
  • Automatic Brightness Limiter (ABL) can become distracting at times.
9.3 Movies

The LG B9 is an excellent TV for watching movies in a dark room. It has perfect blacks and perfect black uniformity that delivers an amazing dark room performance. The gray uniformity is also excellent and the TV can display judder-free movies. Although its fast response time creates stutter, the TV has an optional motion interpolation feature that can help minimize it.

8.2 TV Shows

The LG OLED B9 is a remarkable TV for watching TV shows in a bright room. It has good SDR peak brightness and can handle reflections well, so you can place it in a bright room without issue. The image remains accurate for wide viewing angles so you can easily do some house chores as you don't have to sit straight in front to enjoy your favorite TV show. LG content store has an abundance of apps to help you find the right one for you.

8.6 Sports

This is an impressive TV for watching sports. The nearly instantaneous response time, the wide viewing angles and the excellent gray uniformity make it a great choice for sports fans. You can place it easily in a fairly bright room without worrying about reflections thanks to its excellent anti-reflective coating. Just sit back and enjoy your favorite game.

9.0 Video Games

The LG B9 is a remarkable TV for playing video games. The response time is nearly instantaneous and the TV's input lag is extremely low. These are great for gamers who can also enjoy a smoother gaming experience thanks to the TV's support for HDMI Forum VRR. It has an Auto Low Latency Mode, so you don't have to remember to switch to 'Game' mode each time you want to play a game.

8.6 HDR Movies

The B9 is an excellent TV for watching movies in HDR. The TV has decent HDR peak brightness and a wide color gamut that delivers vivid colors. It displays perfect inky blacks thanks to its OLED technology. Unfortunately, the TV's automatic brightness limiter (ABL) causes the brightness to fluctuate with different content, which can become bothersome.

8.7 HDR Gaming

Excellent TV for gaming in HDR. It has a nearly instantaneous response time and a very low input lag which offers a very responsive gaming experience. It has an excellent wide color gamut and decent peak brightness in HDR. Unfortunately, the brightness changes with different content, and this might bother some people.

8.6 PC Monitor

The LG OLED B9 is a great TV for use as a PC monitor. It displays proper chroma 4:4:4 in most resolutions so text looks clear. It has a very low input lag and an extremely fast response time that delivers fast-moving content with almost no blur. Unfortunately, just like all OLED TVs it runs the risk of permanent burn-in and this can be an issue if you use it as a PC monitor for extended periods of time.

  • 8.7 Mixed Usage
  • 9.3 Movies
  • 8.2 TV Shows
  • 8.6 Sports
  • 9.0 Video Games
  • 8.6 HDR Movies
  • 8.7 HDR Gaming
  • 8.6 PC Monitor
  1. Update 6/25/2020: We incorrectly listed this TV as flicker-free, but it's not.
  2. Update 6/18/2020: We tested the VRR range and VRR input lag with our RTX 2070, now that this TV is G-SYNC compatible.
  3. Update 5/21/2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.5.
  4. Update 2/21/2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.4.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Market Context
Market Context
Market Context

The LG OLED B9 is a high-end 2019 TV. It replaces the 2018 LG B8 OLED. Since picture quality is very similar among all OLED TVs, the additional features and the design is what differentiates them. The main competitors are the LG C9 OLED, LG E9 OLED, Sony A9G OLED, and Sony A8G OLED. For LED competitors, the Samsung Q80R and the Sony Z9F can be considered the main ones.

Design
9.5
Design
Style
Curved No

The design of the LG B9 is outstanding. Overall, it resembles the design of the 2018 LG B8, although this year's model feels a bit less premium. This TV has a plastic stand, whereas the previous model has a metal one. The stand supports the TV well, but can't prevent all wobble. The back is plain and the TV is thin, just like most LG OLEDs. The build quality is excellent, and you shouldn't have any issues with the TV.

Design
Stand

The stand of the B9 OLED is plastic and looks very similar to last year's B8 which, however, was made of metal. The B9's stand allows more wobble than last year's model.

Footprint of the 55" TV stand: 21.9" x 9.3".

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 300x200

The back of the B9 is plain. The upper part is made of metal, and the bottom is plastic and houses the electronics. Some of the inputs are facing sideways and some are facing outwards, which can get in the way if you wall-mount the TV. Cable management is serviced with the aid of a little clip on the back, very similar to the B8.

Design
Borders
Borders 0.35" (0.9 cm)

Just like most OLED TVs, the B9 has very thin borders that aren't distracting. There is a very small gap between the edge of the bezel and the start of the pixels.

Design
Thickness
Max Thickness 1.89" (4.8 cm)

The LG B9 is a very thin TV. It's thicker at the bottom where the electronics are housed, but even then it's still thin and won't stick out much if you wall-mount it.

8.5
Design
Build Quality

The build quality of the LG B9 is excellent. It doesn't feel as premium as the C9 or E9, mainly due to its plastic stand that allows more wobble and the plastic housing of the electronics that flexes easily. Overall, you shouldn't have issues with the build quality of this TV.

Picture Quality
10
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
Inf : 1
Contrast with local dimming
N/A

The B9 delivers perfect blacks, just like all OLEDs. It can switch off individual pixels, which creates an effectively infinite contrast ratio.

10
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
No
Backlight
No Backlight

The LG OLED B9 doesn't need a local dimming feature since there is no backlight. Each pixel is self-emitting and can turn off or dim itself. In a dark room, this looks great, with no visible blooming around bright objects. Subtitles are also displayed perfectly.

7.1
Picture Quality
SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
328 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
418 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
418 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
387 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
328 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
195 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
403 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
404 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
373 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
318 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
190 cd/m²
SDR ABL
0.048

The LG B9 has good peak brightness with SDR content and is suitable for a fairly bright room. Its brightness is in the same ballpark as the LG E9 and is a little brighter than last year's LG B8. Its Automatic Brightness Limiter (ABL) is aggressive, similar to the E9, and it dims the screen significantly when larger areas of the screen get bright.

This TV, just like the C9 and the E9, has a new Peak Brightness setting that adjusts how the ABL performs. If you set it to 'Off', most scenes are displayed at around 266 cd/m² and there is no real variation in brightness according to the scene content, which is great. Increasing this setting to 'Low', 'Med', or 'High' increases the peak brightness of small highlights.

We took our measurements after calibration in the 'Expert (Dark Room)' Picture Mode, with Gamma set to '2.2', Color Temperature set to 'Warm2', Peak Brightness set to 'High', and OLED Light set to '100'. These were also the settings that gave us the brightest image.

6.4
Picture Quality
HDR Peak Brightness
HDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
526 cd/m²
HDR Peak 2% Window
603 cd/m²
HDR Peak 10% Window
603 cd/m²
HDR Peak 25% Window
446 cd/m²
HDR Peak 50% Window
296 cd/m²
HDR Peak 100% Window
140 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 2% Window
576 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 10% Window
579 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 25% Window
427 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 50% Window
282 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 100% Window
135 cd/m²
HDR ABL
0.090

The HDR peak brightness of the OLED B9 is decent. It's in the same ballpark as last year's LG B8, but can't reach the brightness levels of the C9. The ABL is a little less aggressive than the ABL found on the E9 and the C9, but you'll still notice the change in brightness with different content.

The HDR brightness measurements were taken in 'Cinema' mode, with OLED Light set to '100,' Peak Brightness set to 'High', and Color Temperature set to 'Warm2'.

Different picture modes and color temperatures will produce different results. We measured the 2% window at 767 cd/m² in the default 'Vivid' (HDR) Picture Mode.

8.6
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
0.940 %
50% DSE
0.128 %
5% Std. Dev.
0.771 %
5% DSE
0.114 %

The gray uniformity on the B9 is excellent. There's hardly any dirty screen effect, which is great for sports fans. The uniformity is just as good in near-dark scenes. Just like the E9 and other OLED TVs, you might notice some very faint horizontal and vertical lines when you're displaying almost black scenes in a pitch-black room. It's unlikely that you'll notice this under other conditions.

8.6
Picture Quality
Viewing Angle
Color Washout
47 °
Color Shift
29 °
Brightness Loss
64 °
Black Level Raise
70 °
Gamma Shift
65 °

The LG B9 has outstanding viewing angles. The brightness and black levels are good even at very large angles off-center. Just like the E9 and the C9, colors shift and lose accuracy at smaller angles. They're still better than most LED TVs, but not as good as VA panel TVs that use a special filter like the Samsung Q80R of the Sony Z9F.

10
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
0.242 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
N/A

Perfect black uniformity on the B9, as expected from an OLED TV.

9.3
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Glossy
Total Reflections
1.5 %
Indirect Reflections
0.2 %
Calculated Direct Reflections
1.3 %

The B9's reflection handling is outstanding. Just like on the C9 and the E9, the glossy filter diminishes reflections by preventing them from scattering across the screen. You should have no issue placing this TV in a room with many light sources.

The purple tint you see on the image is the result of the anti-reflective coating and is also found on other TVs like the E9 or the Q8FN.

4.9
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
White Balance dE
5.79
Color dE
4.27
Gamma
2.20
Color Temperature
5502 K
Picture Mode
Expert (Dark Room)
Color Temp Setting
Warm 2
Gamma Setting
2.2

The accuracy of the B9 with its pre-calibration settings is poor. Most people will notice the inaccuracies in the pure whites, as the color temperature is warm with a yellowish tint. Enthusiasts, however, will also notice some inaccuracies in the colors. The gamma follows the target well, but some brighter scenes don't have the proper brightness. If out-of-the-box color accuracy is important to you, check out the LG BX OLED.

9.5
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
White Balance dE
0.14
Color dE
1.33
Gamma
2.20
Color Temperature
6502 K
White Balance Calibration
22 point
Color Calibration
Yes
Auto-Calibration Function
No

The LG OLED B9 has remarkable accuracy after calibration, and you can only spot any remaining inaccuracies with the aid of a colorimeter. Unlike the C9 and the E9, this TV does not have an auto-calibration feature.

You can see our recommended settings here.

8.0
Picture Quality
480p Input

Great upscaling of 480p content, like from DVDs, without obvious upscaling artifacts.

8.0
Picture Quality
720p Input

The OLED55B9PUA upscales 720p content, like from TV boxes, well. It offers the same features as the C9 to improve upscaling. Although visually we didn't notice any difference in our test patterns, it might make a difference for some content.

9.0
Picture Quality
1080p Input

1080p content looks almost as good as native 4k content on the B9.

10
Picture Quality
4k Input

4k content looks perfect.

0
Picture Quality
8k Input
Picture Quality
Pixels

Like all other OLEDs, the B9 uses 4 sub-pixels, but all 4 are never used at the same time. This image shows the white, blue, and red sub-pixels. You can see the green sub-pixel in our alternative pixel photo.

8.5
Picture Quality
Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
Yes
DCI P3 xy
96.27 %
DCI P3 uv
97.06 %
Rec 2020 xy
70.84 %
Rec 2020 uv
74.18 %

The B9 has a wide color gamut and can deliver vivid colors with HDR content. The TV follows the target PQ curve closely (although some very dark scenes are crushed) until it rolls off relatively sharp near the TVs peak brightness. In 'Game' mode, the EOTF is nearly identical.

If you find HDR too dim, the TV has two options to help you make it brighter. Check out what to do on the TV settings page here.

7.6
Picture Quality
Color Volume
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage ITP
86.6 %
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP
43.8 %
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
65.0 %
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
32.5 %

The color volume of the B9 is good. It's significantly better than last year's LG B8 and better than this year's E9 and C9, although this could be due to panel variance. Due to its WRGB pixel structure, the TV can produce bright whites but can't deliver bright saturated colors. The perfect contrast ratio, on the other hand, allows the TV to produce dark saturated colors with no issues, unlike many LED TVs.

7.7
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
10 Bit
Red (Std. Dev.)
0.115 dE
Green (Std. Dev.)
0.123 dE
Blue (Std. Dev.)
0.133 dE
Gray (Std. Dev.)
0.097 dE

The LG B9 has good gradient handling, but not on par with the rest of the LG TVs. Some banding is evident not only in our test pattern but also with normal content. This was not expected from the B9 and we had to confirm the results three times.

Just like the C9, this TV has a Smooth Gradation feature, which, however, can't remove banding in our test photo. With normal content, when Smooth Gradation is set to 'Low', it doesn't do much, so you should set it to 'High' to see significant improvement. However, then you risk losing some fine detail.

10
Picture Quality
Temporary 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 %

Although there are no signs of temporary image retention on the panel of our B9, some panel variation is to be expected. On the E9 we tested this year, we observed some faint temporary image retention.

This test is only indicative of short term image retention, and not the permanent burn-in that may occur with cummulative longer exposure to static images. We're currently running a long-term test to help us better understand permanent burn-in. You can see our results and read more about our investigation here.

2.0
Picture Quality
Permanent Burn-In Risk
Permanent Burn-In Risk
Yes

Update 11/01/2019: Updated text to include our stance on burn-in.

Although we don't expect most people who watch varied content to have any issues, OLED TVs, such as the LG OLED B9 do have the possibility of experiencing burn in.

This TV has three features to help mitigate burn-in. We recommend enabling the Screen Shift option, and setting Logo Luminance Adjustment to 'Low.' There is also an automatic pixel refresher that can be run manually if needed.

You can read about our investigation into this here.

Motion
9.9
Motion
Response Time
80% Response Time
0.2 ms
100% Response Time
1.6 ms

The response time is nearly instantaneous and this is excellent. Motion looks crisp and there is almost no blur trail behind fast-moving content. This, however, causes stutter on movies and some people might be bothered.

10
Motion
Flicker-Free
Flicker-Free
No
PWM Dimming Frequency
0 Hz

Update 06/25/2020: We incorrectly stated that this TV was flicker-free, it's not. Although the flicker isn't at all noticeable, there is a slight dip in brightness every 8ms.

The LG B9 doesn't use PWM to dim the screen. This helps motion appear smoother, but results in some persistence blur. The slight dip in brightness that you see in the graphs appears every 8ms and coincides with the TV's refresh rate. This should not be noticeable.

8.7
Motion
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
Optional BFI
Yes
Min Flicker for 60 fps
60 Hz
60 Hz for 60 fps
Yes
120 Hz for 120 fps
No
Min Flicker for 60 fps in Game Mode
60 Hz

Update 11/26/2019: A recent firmware update fixed the black frame insertion feature on our B9. It's now working properly.

The LG B9 has an optional black frame insertion feature, known as OLED Motion, which can help improve the appearance of motion. Like the C9, enabling this option always causes judder when watching 24p content, like movies.

Motion
Motion Interpolation
Motion Interpolation (30 fps)
Yes
Motion Interpolation (60 fps)
Yes

The LG B9 has a motion interpolation feature and can interpolate content up to 120fps, which is excellent. However, just like the E9, the TV continues to interpolate even when it displays very busy scenes and this creates many artifacts that can become bothersome.

See here for the settings that control the motion interpolation feature.

4.8
Motion
Stutter
Frame Hold Time @ 24 fps
40.1 ms
Frame Hold Time @ 60 fps
15.1 ms

The LG B9 has stutter due to the nearly instantaneous response time that holds each frame on the screen for longer. This is especially noticeable in movies' slow panning shots. You can use motion interpolation to minimize it.

10
Motion
24p Judder
Judder-Free 24p
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via 60p
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via 60i
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via Native Apps
Yes

The LG B9 can display 24p content without judder no matter the source.

See our recommended settings to remove judder here.

8.3
Motion
Variable Refresh Rate
Native Refresh Rate
120 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate
Yes
HDMI Forum VRR
Yes
FreeSync
No
G-SYNC Compatible
Yes (NVIDIA Certified)
4k VRR Maximum
60 Hz
4k VRR Minimum
40 Hz
1080p VRR Maximum
120 Hz
1080p VRR Minimum
< 20 Hz
1440p VRR Maximum
120 Hz
1440p VRR Minimum
< 20 Hz
VRR Supported Connectors
HDMI

Update 06/12/2020: The B9 is now compatible with recent NVIDIA G-SYNC graphics cards, and is officially certified as G-SYNC compatible. We updated the VRR range, as we're now able to test this accurately with our RTX 2070.

The LG B9, just like the C9, has a native 120Hz refresh rate. It only supports HDMI Forum's new HDMI-VRR format. Currently, this is only supported on new Xbox Ones, or with a recent NVIDIA graphics card. The B9 is officially supported by NVIDIA's G-SYNC compatible mode, which is enabled automatically when connected to a recent NVIDIA graphics card.

Inputs
8.8
Inputs
Input Lag
1080p @ 60 Hz
13.8 ms
1080p @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
42.7 ms
1440p @ 60 Hz
13.8 ms
4k @ 60 Hz
13.7 ms
4k @ 60 Hz + 10 bit HDR
16.2 ms
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
13.7 ms
4k @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
42.7 ms
4k @ 60 Hz With Interpolation
90.5 ms
8k @ 60 Hz
N/A
1080p @ 120 Hz