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.
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.
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.
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".
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.
The OLED E9 has very thin borders. There is almost no gap between the edge of the bezel and the start of the pixels.
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.
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.
Just like all OLED TVs, the picture quality of the LG OLED E9 is excellent. It produces perfect, inky blacks due to its emissive technology that allows it to switch off individual pixels, thus making dark room performance a memorable experience. It has excellent wide viewing angles and can get fairly bright both in SDR and in HDR, although brightness varies with content due to its ABL function. It has a wide color gamut and handles reflections remarkably. Sports fans will appreciate the excellent gray uniformity which produces a uniform image without dark spots, but unfortunately, like all OLED TVs, it has the risk of permanent burn-in.
The E9 can deliver perfect blacks as it can switch off individual pixels. This creates an infinite contrast ratio.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The black uniformity on the E9, just like on any OLED TV, is perfect thanks to their ability to switch off individual pixels.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The LG E9 has excellent motion handling. It has a nearly instantaneous response time that delivers crisp motion with almost no blur. This, however, creates stutter in movies, but the TV has an optional motion interpolation feature that can help. This TV, just like last year's E8, has an optional Black Frame insertion feature that can insert flicker and supports a variable refresh rate which, however, is only compatible with the HDMI Forum Variable Refresh Rate technology. Currently, this is not compatible with most existing sources, except for the Xbox One.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The LG E9 has a native 120Hz refresh rate. Unfortunately, it only supports HDMI Forum's new HDMI-VRR format, which is not compatible with FreeSync or G-SYNC. Xbox One is currently the only device on the market that supports HDMI-VRR, but it isn't possible to determine the VRR range with an Xbox One. We were only able to confirm that it does work.
It's unlikely that HDMI-VRR will remain an Xbox exclusive format. If updated drivers or new graphics cards are released that support it, we will retest the TV to determine the VRR range.
The LG OLED E9 has a remarkably low input lag and supports most of the common resolutions and refresh rates, including 1440p support, which last year's E8 didn't. There is an Auto Low Latency mode to please gamers and eARC support for enhanced sound system connectivity. It displays proper chroma 4:4:4 in all resolutions without any issues, which is great for PC use.
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.
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.
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.
The LG OLED E9 delivers a good overall sound quality. It can get fairly loud even for busy environments and produces clear dialog. It has a decent amount of punch and body to its bass but can't produce much thump or rumble. For a better sound, it's recommended to use a dedicated speaker system or soundbar.
The LG OLED E9 has a good frequency response. The low-frequency extension is decent but slightly worse than the C9 and identical to last year's E8. This results in a bass that can't produce much thump or rumble but with a decent amount of punch and body. The frequency response above the TV's LFE is well-balanced, and the TV delivers clear dialog. Finally, this TV gets fairly loud without too much pumping and compression artifacts under maximum load, which is good for noisy environments.
This TV has decent distortion performance. The overall amount of THD produced at 80dB SPL is okay. When at maximum volume, this TV performs decently, but could sound a little harsh and impure when pushed to the limit.
The LG OLED E9 has great smart features. It runs the latest version of LG's WebOS, which hasn't changed much since last year. It's very easy to use once you get used to it. This TV comes along with the same nice remote that can be used as a virtual pointer. This year there are a few new smart features, including a Home Dashboard feature that allows the TV to interact with IoT devices, similar to the Samsung SmartThings feature.
The interface is the usual excellent interface found on all of the latest high-end LG TVs. It's fast and smooth and we didn't have any issues while testing the TV.
Just like all of the LG TVs we've tested this year, the E9 OLED has ads. They are present almost everywhere and so is suggested content. Unfortunately, there is no option to opt-out of either.
LG has one for the richest content stores regarding the number of available apps. The most common apps are pre-installed, but you can always download more from the store. This TV also supports casting from your smartphone or tablet.
The remote is identical to the C9. It has a few added features, like the option to program the remote to work as a universal remote with other devices over IR. This is great especially when the other devices don't support HDMI-CEC and is very similar to Samsung's OneRemote feature.
Like with past LG TVs, the remote can be used as a mouse pointer which, once you familiarize yourself with it, makes the interface extremely easy to navigate. Finally, it allows some voice control of the TV and searching within some apps like YouTube and Netflix.