LG E9 OLED TV Review

Tested using Methodology v1.5
Updated Aug 15, 2019 at 09:44 am
LG E9 OLED Picture
8.8
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: none
9.4
Movies
8.3
TV Shows
8.7
Sports
9.1
Video Games
8.7
HDR Movies
8.8
HDR Gaming
8.7
PC Monitor
Type OLED
Sub-Type
WRGB
Resolution 4k

The LG E9 OLED is a remarkable TV. Like all OLED TVs, it has an outstanding picture quality as it can display perfect blacks and perfect black uniformity. It can get fairly bright and has excellent wide viewing angles. Motion handling is remarkable thanks to a nearly-instantaneous response time that leaves hardly any motion blur trail. This, however, creates stutter when watching movies, but the TV can remove it using its motion interpolation. The input lag is extremely low and gamers will find this TV very responsive. Unfortunately, just like all OLED TVs, it has the possibility of developing permanent burn-in that can be caused by cumulative prolonged exposure to static content.

Our Verdict

8.8 Mixed Usage

This is an excellent TV for mixed usage. It has an excellent picture quality thanks to near-perfect inky blacks its OLED panel delivers, so it has an amazing dark room performance. It can get fairly bright and can handle reflections well, suitable for a reasonably bright room, while at the same time it favors wide seating arrangement thanks to its wide viewing angles. The almost instantaneous response time delivers crisp motion and the low input lag makes it very responsive, which is great for gaming.

Pros
  • Near-perfect, uniform blacks.
  • Excellent viewing angles for a wide seating arrangement.
  • Practically instantaneous response time, and remarkably 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.
9.4 Movies

This is a remarkable TV for watching movies. It has an outstanding picture quality with perfect uniform blacks just like all OLED TVs. It displays judder-free movies and has excellent gray uniformity and great upscaling capabilities. Unfortunately, due to the practically instantaneous response time, movies and low frame rate content appear to stutter. Fortunately, this TV offers both BFI and motion interpolation features to help remove stutter.

8.3 TV Shows

This is an excellent TV to watch TV shows. It can get bright and can handle reflections very well, so you can place it in a bright room without issues. It has excellent viewing angles so you don't have to sit right in front to enjoy an accurate image. It supports motion interpolation up to 120fps for the soap opera effect fans and gives you access to an abundance of apps cover your needs.

8.7 Sports

This is an excellent TV for watching sports. You can place it in a fairly bright room as it gets bright enough and can handle reflections well. It has a nearly instantaneous response time and fast motion looks crisp with almost no blur. Thanks to its excellent wide viewing angles, all of your friends will enjoy the same accurate picture when watching the big game together. It has excellent gray uniformity with almost no dirty screen effect, so the hockey field looks clean without any dark spots.

9.1 Video Games

This is an excellent TV for playing video games. It has a remarkably low input lag and offers an Auto Low Latency Mode so you do not have to switch to 'Game' mode each time you want to play a game. Fast motion is very crisp thanks to the extremely fast response time. The TV displays lower resolution content from older consoles almost as good as native 4k. It also offers HDMI-VRR support which, however, is presently available only on Xbox.

8.7 HDR Movies

This TV is excellent for watching HDR movies in a dark room. It has an excellent picture quality thanks to its near-perfect and uniform blacks, the very good HDR peak brightness, and the wide color gamut. It displays HDR content with vivid colors and bright highlights offering you a remarkable watching experience.

8.8 HDR Gaming

This TV is excellent for playing HDR games. When in HDR Game mode, it has a very low input lag that makes the TV feel extremely responsive. It has a very fast response time and the image looks crisp even in fast motion. It has perfect blacks, good HDR peak brightness, and a wide color gamut, so it can display HDR games with vivid colors and popping highlights sure to please HDR game enthusiasts.

8.7 PC Monitor

This is an excellent TV for using it as a PC monitor. It can display proper chroma 4:4:4 so text is crisp, and has a very low input lag so it's very responsive to your actions. The fast response time delivers a crisp image even when it displays very fast motion. 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.

  • 8.8 Mixed Usage
  • 9.4 Movies
  • 8.3 TV Shows
  • 8.7 Sports
  • 9.1 Video Games
  • 8.7 HDR Movies
  • 8.8 HDR Gaming
  • 8.7 PC Monitor
  1. Update 6/25/2020: We incorrectly listed this TV as flicker-free, but it's not.
  2. Update 5/21/2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.5.
  3. Update 2/21/2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.4.

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Market Context
Market Context
Market Context

The LG OLED E9 is a high-end 2019 OLED TV and it replaces the 2018 LG E8 OLED. Picture quality is very similar among all OLED TVs, thus differentiating factors of this TV and its competitors are the additional features and the design. The main competitors are the LG B9 OLED, LG C9 OLED, Sony A9G OLED, and Sony A8G OLED. For LED competitors, the Samsung Q90R and the Sony Z9F can be considered the main ones.

Design
9.5
Design
Style
Curved No

The LG OLED E9 has an excellent design. It closely resembles last year's LG E8 with the glass panel onto which the screen is mounted. The bottom side of the glass panel also serves as the stand and supports the TV very well, but still allows a little wobble due to the TV's size. The back of the TV is very clean and consists of the upper part which is literally the back of the glass panel and the lower part which is plastic and contains all the electronics. The build quality is remarkable and you should have no issues with this TV.

Design
Stand

The E9 OLED stands on the glass panel onto which the screen is mounted with some support on the back from a plastic extension. It gives a similar floating illusion as last year's E8.

Footprint of the 55" TV stand: 48.2"x8.6".

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 300x200

The back of the TV is very clean. The upper part is the back of the glass panel onto which the screen is mounted, and the bottom is plastic and houses the electronics. There are some inputs facing outwards and some that are facing sideways. Cable management is serviced through the back of the stand and the panel to hide the side inputs.

Design
Borders
Borders 0.35" (0.9 cm)

The OLED E9 has very thin borders. There is almost no gap between the edge of the bezel and the start of the pixels.

Design
Thickness
Max Thickness 1.77" (4.5 cm)

The OLED E9 is very thin at the top part, but also quite thin at the bottom part where the electronics are located. Unlike the C9, the glass support makes the top thin part of this TV very sturdy.

9.5
Design
Build Quality

The build quality of the E9 OLED is excellent. It's very robust with no gaps or loose ends. The glass panel makes the entire build feel sturdy and more premium. You should have no issues with this TV.

Note: In our unit, HDMI port 1 was faulty as it would occasionally crash when we sent a 4k @ 60Hz signal. We don't expect you to experience this.

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

The E9 can deliver perfect blacks as it can switch off individual pixels. This creates an infinite contrast ratio.

10
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
No
Backlight
No Backlight

The LG OLED E9 doesn't need a local dimming feature, as it has no backlight. Each pixel is self-emitting and able to turn off or dim itself. In a dark room, this looks great as there is no visible blooming around bright objects. Subtitles are also displayed perfectly.

7.2
Picture Quality
SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
332 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
418 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
420 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
390 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
326 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
258 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
401 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
405 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
375 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
311 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
246 cd/m²
SDR ABL
0.032

The LG E9 has good peak brightness with SDR content. Small highlights are brighter than last year's LG E8 or LG C8, but this results in a slightly more aggressive Automatic Brightness Limiter (ABL), which dims the screen significantly when larger areas of the screen get bright.

This TV, just like the C9, has a new Peak Brightness setting, that adjusts how the ABL performs. If you set it to 'Off', most scenes are displayed at 273 cd/m², except when the entire screen is bright, in which case the luminosity is sustained at 245 cd/m². 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' and Color Temperature set to 'Warm2'. These were also the settings that gave us the brightest image.

7.3
Picture Quality
HDR Peak Brightness
HDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
742 cd/m²
HDR Peak 2% Window
831 cd/m²
HDR Peak 10% Window
837 cd/m²
HDR Peak 25% Window
517 cd/m²
HDR Peak 50% Window
299 cd/m²
HDR Peak 100% Window
145 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 2% Window
787 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 10% Window
779 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 25% Window
494 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 50% Window
285 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 100% Window
139 cd/m²
HDR ABL
0.107

The E9 has very good peak brightness levels when displaying HDR content. It's a little better than last year's E8 and in the same ballpark as the C9, but not as good as the top LEDs like the Samsung Q90R or Sony Z9F. Just like the C9, it can't deliver the same brightness in all scenes due to its aggressive ABL (Automatic Brightness Limiter) function that dims the screen with different content. This becomes more noticeable if the content has large bright areas.

We took our measurements without calibration in the 'Cinema HDR' Picture Mode, with Gamma set to '2.2' and Color Temperature set to 'Warm2'. These were also the settings that gave us the brightest image.

8.8
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
1.032 %
50% DSE
0.117 %
5% Std. Dev.
0.442 %
5% DSE
0.107 %

The gray uniformity of the E9 is excellent. There is almost no dirty screen effect, which is great news for sports fans, and the uniformity is even better in near-dark scenes. Just like the C9 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.

8.7
Picture Quality
Viewing Angle
Color Washout
46 °
Color Shift
29 °
Brightness Loss
67 °
Black Level Raise
70 °
Gamma Shift
66 °

The viewing angles of the LG E9 are outstanding. Like all OLED TVs, the brightness and black levels are good even at very large angles off-center, and much better when compared to LED TVs. However, just like the C9, colors shift and lose accuracy at smaller angles. Although they're still better than most LED TVs, they're worse than the Sony Z9F and the Samsung Q90R, which use VA panels and a special viewing angle filter.

10
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
0.128 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
N/A

The black uniformity on the E9, just like on any OLED TV, is perfect thanks to their ability to switch off individual pixels.

9.2
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Glossy
Total Reflections
1.5 %
Indirect Reflections
0.1 %
Calculated Direct Reflections
1.4 %

The E9 has remarkable reflection handling. Just like the C9, reflections are not scattered across the screen thanks to the glossy filter. and are also greatly diminished. The slight purple tint is also found on other TVs like the C9 and the Samsung Q8FN.

6.9
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
White Balance dE
4.24
Color dE
2.50
Gamma
2.15
Color Temperature
5842 K
Picture Mode
Expert (Dark Room)
Color Temp Setting
Warm 2
Gamma Setting
2.2

With its pre-calibration settings, the accuracy of the E9 is decent. Some people might notice the minor color inaccuracies, but most people will notice the inaccuracies in the pure whites as the color temperature is warm, giving off a yellowish tint. The gamma follows the target well, except in some very bright scenes that appear brighter than they should.

Check out the LG CX OLED if you want better out-of-the-box color accuracy.

9.5
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
White Balance dE
0.15
Color dE
1.37
Gamma
2.20
Color Temperature
6500 K
White Balance Calibration
22 point
Color Calibration
Yes
Auto-Calibration Function
Yes

After calibration, the LG OLED E9 has almost perfect accuracy. Any remaining inaccuracies are very hard to notice without the use of a colorimeter.

Just like the C9, this TV features an auto-calibration feature. This feature still requires a licensed copy of CalMAN and a colorimeter.

You can see our recommended settings here.

8.0
Picture Quality
480p Input

480p content is upscaled well without obvious upscaling artifacts.

8.0
Picture Quality
720p Input

The E9 upscales 720p content, like from cable boxes, well. It offers the same features as the C9 to improve upscaling, but visually we did not notice any difference in our test patterns, although 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 E9.

10
Picture Quality
4k Input

4k content looks perfect.

0
Picture Quality
8k Input
Picture Quality
Pixels

Like all other OLEDs, the E9 uses 4 sub-pixels, but all 4 are never used at the same time. This image shows the white, blue, and green sub-pixels. You can see the red sub-pixel in our alternative pixel photo.

In this photo, you can see that, although all four colors are showing, not all four subpixels are lit at the same time for any single pixel.

8.5
Picture Quality
Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
Yes
DCI P3 xy
96.34 %
DCI P3 uv
97.21 %
Rec 2020 xy
70.65 %
Rec 2020 uv
73.84 %

The E9 has a wide color gamut and can deliver HDR content with vivid colors. The TV follows the target PQ curve very closely until it rolls off relatively steeply 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.

7.1
Picture Quality
Color Volume
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage ITP
81.9 %
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP
45.4 %
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
61.0 %
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
33.7 %

The E9 has decent color volume, very similar to the C9. Unfortunately, the TV loses volume at the top due to its WRGB pixel structure, which allows it to produce bright whites but can't deliver bright saturated colors. On the upside, due to its perfect contrast ratio, this TV produces dark saturated colors with no issues, unlike many LED TVs.

9.0
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
10 Bit
Red (Std. Dev.)
0.079 dE
Green (Std. Dev.)
0.091 dE
Blue (Std. Dev.)
0.070 dE
Gray (Std. Dev.)
0.074 dE

The E9 has excellent gradient handling. The slight banding that you can see in most colors is not visible in real content.

Just like the C9, this TV has a Smooth Gradation feature that helps reduce banding and works very well when set to 'Low' without causing any noticeable loss of fine detail.

9.8
Picture Quality
Temporary Image Retention
IR after 0 min recovery
0.03 %
IR after 2 min recovery
0.05 %
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 is some faint temporary image retention on the panel of our E9 which is detected from our software. However, some panel variation is to be expected, as on the C9 we tested this year, the software did not detect any temporary image retention.

This test is only indicative of short term image retention, and not the permanent burn-in that may occur with longer exposure to static images. We are 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 E9 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 LG E9, just like all OLED TVs, has a nearly instantaneous response time.

Because of this extremely fast response time, lower frame rate content appears to stutter, and this may bother some people.

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 E9 does not use PWM, as there is no backlight. The slight dip in brightness, which shows in the graphs, appears approximately 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

There is an optional Black Frame Insertion on the LG E9 that can help improve the appearance of motion.

To activate it set TruMotion to 'User' and toggle the OLED Motion setting. This option can only be turned on or off, and it always flickers at 60Hz. Enabling this option will cause judder when playing back 24p content.

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

The E9 can interpolate lower frame-rate content up to 120Hz. Unfortunately, unlike most TVs which quickly stop interpolating in very busy scenes, this TV continues for longer and this can create more artifacts that might bother some people.

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

When the E9 displays lower frame rate content, it appears to stutter. This happens due to the nearly instantaneous response time that holds each frame on the screen for longer. It can be especially noticeable in movies when you watch a slow panning shot.

If stutter bothers you, you can enable the motion interpolation feature 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 E9 is able to play 24p content without judder, regardless of the source.

When the TV's BFI mode is enabled, there is always judder with 24p content.

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 E9 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 E9 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 E9 is officially supported by NVIDIA's G-SYNC compatible mode, which is enabled automatically when connected to a recent NVIDIA graphics card.

Inputs
8.9
Inputs
Input Lag
1080p @ 60 Hz
13.1 ms
1080p @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
50.4 ms
1440p @ 60 Hz
13.5 ms
4k @ 60 Hz
13.1 ms
4k @ 60 Hz + 10 bit HDR
13.1 ms
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
12.9 ms
4k @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
50.2 ms
4k @ 60 Hz With Interpolation
100.4 ms
8k @ 60 Hz
N/A
1080p @ 120 Hz
7.1 ms
1440p @ 120 Hz
6.9 ms
1080p with Variable Refresh Rate
6.3 ms
1440p with VRR
6.6 ms
4k with VRR
15.0 ms
8k with VRR
N/A
Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM)
Yes

Update 06/12/2020: The E9 is now compatible with recent NVIDIA G-SYNC graphics cards, and is officially certified as G-SYNC compatible. We updated the VRR input lag, as we're now able to test this accurately with our RTX 2070.

The LG E9 has outstanding low input lag as long as you are in 'Game' mode. It's much better than last year's E8 and in the same ballpark as the C9.

Just like the C9, this TV now supports an Auto Low Latency Mode. See our recommended settings for Gaming.

9.6
Inputs
Supported Resolutions
1080p @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes
1080p @ 120 Hz
Yes (native support)
1440p @ 60 Hz
Yes (forced resolution required)
1440p @ 120 Hz
Yes (native support)
4k @ 60 Hz
Yes
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes
8k @ 30 Hz or 24 Hz
No
8k @ 60 Hz
No

The E9 supports most of the common resolutions we test for. New this year, just like the C9, is the support for 1440p resolutions. This TV can display proper chroma 4:4:4 in any resolution provided that the input icon is changed to 'PC' from the Home Dashboard, and the HDMI ULTRA HD Deep Color setting is enabled for the port in use. The HDMI ULTRA HD Deep Color must be enabled if you want to use the full HDMI bandwidth, which is necessary for some resolutions like 4k @ 60Hz + HDR.

Inputs
Input Photos

There is a plastic cover for the side inputs.

Inputs
Total Inputs
HDMI 4
USB 3
Digital Optical Audio Out 1
Analog Audio Out 3.5mm 1
Analog Audio Out RCA 0
Component In 0
Composite In 1 (incl. adapter)
Tuner (Cable/Ant) 1
Ethernet 1
DisplayPort 0
IR In 0
SD/SDHC 0
Inputs
Inputs Specifications
HDR10
Yes
HDR10+
No
Dolby Vision
Yes
HLG
Yes
3D
No
HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth
Yes (HDMI 1,2,3,4)
HDMI 2.1
Yes (HDMI 1,2,3,4)
CEC Yes
HDCP 2.2 Yes (HDMI 1,2,3,4)
USB 3.0
No
Variable Analog Audio Out Yes
Wi-Fi Support Yes (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz)

The E9 is advertised to support HDMI 2.1, but with no HDMI 2.1 sources currently available, it isn't possible for us to test. We will retest and update the review once an HDMI 2.1 source becomes commercially available.

Inputs
Audio Passthrough
ARC
Yes (HDMI 2)
eARC support
Yes
Dolby Atmos via TrueHD via eARC
Yes
DTS:X via DTS-HD MA via eARC
Yes
5.1 Dolby Digital via ARC
Yes
5.1 DTS via ARC
Yes
5.1 Dolby Digital via Optical
Yes
5.1 DTS via Optical
Yes

This TV supports eARC when connected to a compatible AV Receiver, which allows it to send higher quality DTS:X and Dolby Atmos via TrueHD sound from an external device to your receiver. Like the 2018 LG OLEDs, it also supports DTS and Dolby Digital passthrough to a standard ARC receiver.

Sound Quality
7.8
Sound Quality
Frequency Response