Reviewed on Nov 11, 2015

LG EF9500 OLED TV REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.0
8.5
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
9.3
Movies
8.1
TV Shows
8.2
Sports
8.4
Video Games
7.8
HDR Movies
8.6
HDR Gaming
7.8
PC Monitor
Type : OLED
Resolution : 4k
Refresh Rate : 120 Hz

The LG OLED EF9500 4k TV has a very sleek design and excellent overall picture quality, especially in a dark room. Motion handling is excellent, and smart features work very well. It isn't perfect, though. Notably, the input lag is higher than average.

Test Results
Design 9.0
Picture Quality 8.6
Motion 9.3
Inputs 6.5
Sound Quality 7.3
Smart Features 9.0
Pros
  • Perfect blacks
  • Perfect flicker-free motion
  • Great color accuracy at an angle
Cons
  • Prone to temporary image retention after displaying static images
  • Constantly changing luminosity based on the scene (ABL)
  • High input lag
  • Poor color uniformity in the shadows

Check Price

9.0

Design

Curved : No

The EF9500 has a flat screen (the only one in LG's OLED lineup). The back of the TV is a white cream color. The borders around the screen are really thin.

Stand

Dimension of the 55" TV stand: 28.5" x 8.5"

Borders
Borders : 0.35" (0.9 cm)

Thickness
Max Thickness : 1.46" (3.7 cm)

8.6

Picture Quality

With its perfect blacks, the picture quality for movies is really great. The color uniformity could be better, especially with darker shades, but the issues aren't really noticeable with normal content. The TV can be enjoyed from anywhere in the room, and 3D is a nice bonus.

10 Contrast
Native Contrast
:
Inf : 1

The blacks are really black on this TV, because the pixels self-emit the TV's light.

10 Local Dimming
Local Dimming
:
No
Backlight
:
N/A

For reference, we took a video of our local dimming test.

6.1 SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Peak 2% Window
:
365 cd/m2
SDR Peak 10% Window
:
367 cd/m2
SDR Peak 25% Window
:
366 cd/m2
SDR Peak 50% Window
:
230 cd/m2
SDR Peak 100% Window
:
131 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 2% Window
:
365 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 10% Window
:
367 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 25% Window
:
366 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 50% Window
:
230 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 100% Window
:
131 cd/m2

The SDR peak brightness is bellow average and is similar to the HDR peak brightness, and the same comment about the 'ABL' apply. The overall peak brightness is a bit less than what you can achieve while in HDR mode, though.

6.2 HDR Peak Brightness
HDR Peak 2% Window
:
402 cd/m2
HDR Peak 10% Window
:
400 cd/m2
HDR Peak 25% Window
:
399 cd/m2
HDR Peak 50% Window
:
226 cd/m2
HDR Peak 100% Window
:
135 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 2% Window
:
402 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 10% Window
:
400 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 25% Window
:
399 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 50% Window
:
226 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 100% Window
:
135 cd/m2

Like other OLED TVs, it has ABL, which means the maximum luminosity of the screen varies depending on the content of the image. You can see a table of our full measurements here.

8.2 Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
:
2.046 %
50% DSE
:
0.141 %

In terms of uniformity, this is the worst OLED TV we've seen so far. Even the edges are slightly darker than the rest of the screen. This varies by unit though, so don't look at this number meaning there will be a definite problem, but more as a general indication.

8.0 Viewing Angle
LCD Type
:
N/A
Color Shift
:
35 °
Brightness
:
68 °
Black Level
:
75 °

It can maintain its picture quality at an angle without major problems (the colors change slightly, though).

Update 01/06/2017: We have changed the methodology of testing. Since this is an old TV which we don't have anymore, we extrapolated the results from 2016 TVs.

10 Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
:
0.329 %

On a purely black screen, the uniformity is perfect. However, dark grays are not as good (more on this later).

9.5 Gradient
Color Depth
:
10 Bit

9.0 Pre Calibration
White Balance dE
:
1.97
Color dE
:
1.5044
Gamma
:
2.09

9.7 Post Calibration
White Balance dE
:
0.33
Color dE
:
0.7689
Gamma
:
2.20

8.0 480p Input

Lower quality content like DVDs or SD channels are displayed without any problems. You might want to turn on 'Noise Reduction' though, to reduce a little bit the noise.

8.0 720p Input

Cable TV and other 720p content looks good on the LG EF9500.

9.0 1080p Input

Blu-rays looks good on this TV.

10 4k Input

Native 4k content looks good and sharp on the LG EF9500.

7.4 Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
:
Yes
DCI P3 xy
:
84.71 %
DCI P3 uv
:
85.70 %
Rec 2020 xy
:
61.26 %
Rec 2020 uv
:
64.05 %

9.0 Reflections
Reflection
:
0.4 %
Screen Finish
:
Glossy

The screen finish has a purple tint, which is a little bit annoying, but not a deal breaker. The screen is glossy, though, so if you have a window directly opposite the TV, your eye will be distracted.
The varying luminosity is not as bad on this OLED as the others we reviewed. With half the screen displaying white, a luminosity of 219.9 cd/m2 is not bad. See here for a table of measurements at different window sizes.

10 3D
3D
:
Yes
3D Type
:
Passive

The passive 3D on this TV is great. You don't see the alternating lines the way you do on the 1080p OLED TVs.

Pixels
9.3

Motion

The motion performance on the EF9500 is excellent. There is absolutely no motion blur trail following fast objects, and the TV can interpolate 30fps and 60fps content. Most movie sources play without judder.

9.9 Motion Blur
Response Time
:
0.3 ms
Overshoot
:
1.3 ms

Interestingly, the transitions look more like the EC9300 than the EG9100. It is not noticeable to the naked eye, though. Unfortunately (or fortunately for some), the screen doesn't flicker.

4.0 Image Flicker
PWM Dimming Frequency
:
0 Hz
BFI
:
No
BFI Frequency
:
0 Hz
BFI In Game Mode
:
No

8.6 24p Playback
Judder-free 24p
:
Yes
Judder-free 24p via 60p
:
No
Judder-free 24p via 60i
:
Yes

Update 1/25/2016: We installed new firmware (04.20.75) and no longer have judder via 24p or 24p via 60i, which means this TV is now equal to the LG EG9600 for judder-free playback. You can find the firmware and installation instructions here.

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

6.5

Inputs

The TV supports a wide range of resolutions and supports chroma for sharp text. There is a slightly higher input lag time than average. There is a wide range of inputs to plug devices in.

6.2 Input Lag
1080p @ 60Hz
:
53.5 ms
1080p With Interpolation
:
120.1 ms
1080p @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode
:
54.5 ms
1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
:
56.7 ms
4k @ 60Hz
:
51.9 ms
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
:
63.3 ms

The good news is you don't need to be in any special mode to get lower input lag. You simply need to make sure 'TruMotion' is disabled.

8.0 Supported Resolutions
1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
:
Yes
1080p @ 120Hz
:
No
4k @ 30Hz @ 4:4:4
:
Yes
4k @ 60Hz
:
Yes
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
:
Yes

As with all LG TVs, it doesn't support a 120 fps signal. To get chroma 4:4:4, you need to set the input icon to PC. For 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4, you also need to turn on UHD Color.

Side Inputs
Rear Inputs
Total Inputs
HDMI : 3
USB : 3
Digital Optical Audio Out : 1
Analog Audio Out 3.5mm : 0
Analog Audio Out RCA : 0
Component In : 1 (incl. adapter)
Composite In : 1 (incl. adapter)
Tuner (Cable/Ant) : 1
Ethernet : 1
DisplayPort : 0
IR In : 0
SD/SDHC : 0

Inputs Specifications
HDR10
:
Yes
Dolby Vision
:
No
5.1 Passthrough ARC Dolby Digital
:
Yes
5.1 Passthrough ARC DTS
:
Yes
5.1 Passthrough Optical Dolby Digital
:
Yes
5.1 Passthrough Optical DTS
:
Yes
HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth : Yes
ARC : Yes (HDMI 2)
USB 3 : Yes (1)
HDCP 2.2 : Yes
CEC : Yes
MHL : No
Variable Analog Audio Out : No

7.3

Sound Quality

The sound is pretty good, for a TV. The sound is pretty accurate, has good bass, and gets relatively loud. There also isn't much distortion.

Note: Sound Quality test for TVs reviewed before 2017 was performed at 75dB, 85dB, and Max SPL. Starting 2017, the target SPL levels have been changed to 70dB, 80dB, and Max dB SPL.

7.7 Frequency Response
Std. Dev. @ 70
:
3.56 dB SPL
Std. Dev. @ 80
:
3.35 dB SPL
Std. Dev. @ Max
:
4.83 dB SPL
Max
:
91.3 dB SPL
Low-end Cutoff
:
84 Hz

Good bass extension and loudness. The frequency response is good too, and no pumping is present.

6.6 Total Harmonic Distortion
Distortion @ 70
:
0.013
Distortion @ 80
:
0.034
Distortion @ Max
:
0.050

Very good distortion results all-around.

9.0

Smart Features

Smart OS : WebOS

LG's WebOS smart platform is great and very user-friendly. You can control the onscreen cursor with the remote by pointing at the screen. See our full review of WebOS here.

0 Ads
Ad-free
:
No
Opt-out
:
No

Ads can be found on the main page of the LG content store.

Remote
Remote : Smart

Misc
Power Consumption : 101 W
Power Consumption (Max) : 149 W
Firmware : 03.01.15

8.5 Mixed Usage

Great all-round TV. Excellent picture quality and motion handling for a range of different content. Unfortunately the screen can't get very bright and fluctuates depending on the content.

9.3 Movies

Great movie performance. OLED panel provides perfect blacks and great dark scene performance. Picture quality is excellent.

8.1 TV Shows

Great for watching TV is an an open room. Excellent picture quality can be enjoyed from all angles. Deals very well with reflections. Unfortunately can't get very bright to overcome ambient light.

8.2 Sports

Excellent sports performance. Almost perfect motion handling to minimize blur. Uniformity of screen could be better.

8.4 Video Games

Very good video game performance. Excellent picture quality, and motion handling. Unfortunately the input lag is above average for fast-paced games.

7.8 HDR Movies

HDR looks great. Supports a wide color gamut and brighter highlights. Unfortunately the whole screen can't get bright.

7.8 PC Monitor

Works well as a PC monitor. Supports a wide range of resolutions at up to 60Hz. Unfortunately there is some temporary image retention after static images.

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