LG SM8600 TV Review

Tested using Methodology v1.5
Updated May 28, 2020 at 02:03 pm
LG SM8600 Picture
7.0
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
6.1
Movies
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
7.5
TV Shows
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
7.6
Sports
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
7.7
Video Games
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
6.0
HDR Movies
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
7.2
HDR Gaming
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
8.1
PC Monitor
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
This TV was replaced by the LG NANO85
Type LED
Sub-Type
IPS
Resolution 4k

The LG SM8600 is a decent overall 4k TV that uses an IPS panel. It has fairly wide viewing angles, but that comes at the cost of a low contrast ratio, and it has poor black uniformity and a bad local dimming feature, so its dark room performance isn't good. However, most gamers should be pleased with the quick response time, low input lag, and black frame insertion feature to improve the appearance of motion. It's able to remove judder from most sources, like Blu-ray players or native apps, and it upscales lower resolution content well, with no visible artifacts. Unfortunately, it doesn't get bright and fails to make highlights pop in HDR. Luckily, its interface is easy to use and LG's Content Store has a large selection of apps available. 

Our Verdict

7.0 Mixed Usage

The LG SM8600 is a decent TV for mixed usage. It's a good choice for gaming, watching TV shows, or sports. It has a low input lag and a quick response time, resulting in minimal motion blur. It also has excellent reflection handling and fairly wide viewing angles. It's not a good choice for watching movies in dark rooms since it has mediocre native contrast, poor black uniformity, and its local dimming feature doesn't further deepen any blacks. It's also a great choice to use as a PC monitor since it doesn't have any risk of permanent burn-in.

Pros
  • Excellent low input lag.
  • Image remains accurate when viewed from the side.
Cons
  • Sub-par dark room performance.
  • HDR doesn't add much.
6.1 Movies

The LG SM8600 is mediocre for watching movies. It doesn't have good dark room performance as it has a low contrast ratio, poor black uniformity, and a bad local dimming feature. However, it upscales 1080p well and it's able to remove judder from most sources, like a Blu-ray player or native apps.

7.5 TV Shows

Good for TV shows. The LG SM8600 has fairly wide viewing angles if you want to watch your favorite show with the entire family. It also upscales 720p content, like from cable boxes, well with no issues. Unfortunately, it doesn't get very bright, but it has excellent reflection handling, so you shouldn't have any issues placing this in fairly bright rooms.

7.6 Sports

The LG SM8600 is good for sports. It has wide viewing angles, so you can watch the game with a few friends, and it has excellent reflection handling. Unfortunately, it doesn't get very bright and it has some uniformity issues, which could get distracting during sports. Luckily, it has a great response time, so fast-moving content has minimal motion blur.

7.7 Video Games

The LG SM8600 is a good choice for video games. It has a low input lag, a great response time, and a black frame insertion feature to help improve the appearance of motion. It has an Auto Low Latency mode that automatically switches the TV to 'Game' mode so you save some time instead of doing it yourself. Unfortunately, it doesn't support any variable refresh rate technology and it's not good for dark room gaming as it has a low contrast ratio and poor black uniformity.

6.0 HDR Movies

Mediocre for HDR movies. Even though the LG SM8600 displays a wide color gamut for HDR content, it doesn't get bright enough to bring out highlights in this mode. It also doesn't have good dark room performance as it has a low contrast ratio, poor black uniformity, and the local dimming feature is bad. Luckily, it removes judder from most sources and it has excellent gradient handling.

7.2 HDR Gaming

The LG SM8600 is decent for HDR gaming, mainly due to its good gaming performance. It has a low input lag and quick response time, and it has a black frame insertion feature to improve the appearance of motion. Unfortunately, it doesn't get bright enough in HDR to bring out highlights and blacks appear closer to gray due to its low contrast ratio.

8.1 PC Monitor

The LG SM8600 is great to use as a PC monitor. It has a low input lag, resulting in a responsive desktop experience. It's able to display proper chroma 4:4:4, which is important for reading text, and it has fairly wide viewing angles. Unfortunately, it doesn't get very bright, but it has excellent reflection handling. Like any LED TV, you won't have to worry about permanent burn-in with static displays.

  • 7.0 Mixed Usage
  • 6.1 Movies
  • 7.5 TV Shows
  • 7.6 Sports
  • 7.7 Video Games
  • 6.0 HDR Movies
  • 7.2 HDR Gaming
  • 8.1 PC Monitor
  1. Updated May 21, 2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.5.
  2. Updated Feb 21, 2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.4.

Video

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Market Context
Market Context
Market Context

The LG SM8600 is a 2019 mid-range UHD TV in LG's NanoCell series. It's the replacement of the LG SK8000 in LG's lineup and its direct competitors are other mid-range LED TVs like the Sony X850F the Samsung RU8000, or the Vizio M Series 2018.

Design
9.0
Design
Style
Curved No

The LG SM8600 has an excellent design. The stand is made of plastic and supports the TV well. However, the TV wobbles significantly if you nudge it. The back of the TV is made of thin metal and has a mild brushed texture. The TV is thin and won't stick out much if wall-mounted. Finally, the build quality is decent and we don't expect you to have any issues with it.

Design
Stand

The stand of the TV is plastic and resembles the LG SK8000. Although the stand supports the TV well, its neck has a lot of flex and the TV wobbles significantly if nudged.

Footprint of the 55" TV stand: 33.1" x 9.25".

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 300x300

The back of the TV is plain with a mild brushed texture. It's made of a metal sheet that flexes easily if you gently push it inwards. The stand's neck has a removable cover and you can guide the cables through for cable management.

Design
Borders
Borders 0.45" (1.2 cm)

The borders are thin and made of metal. They look good and give the TV a premium feel.

Design
Thickness
Max Thickness 2.50" (6.4 cm)

The LG 55SM8600PUA is a relatively thin TV. It's slightly thinner than the LG SK8000 but thicker than the LG SK9000. The TV won't stick out too much if you wall-mount it.

7.0
Design
Build Quality

The SM8600 has a decent build quality. It has a metal back which has a little flex, and the stand allows more wobbling than the LG SK8000. However, the TV feels solid, and the border finish gives it a more premium feel. You shouldn't have any issues with it.

Picture Quality
6.3
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
1,176 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
1,182 : 1

Like most IPS panel TVs, the SM8600 has a mediocre contrast ratio. Blacks appear closer to gray, and enabling the local dimming feature doesn't deepen blacks all that much. If you want a TV with a much better contrast ratio, check out the TCL 6 Series 2018 or the Vizio P Series 2018.

1.5
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
Yes
Backlight
Edge

The LG SM8600 has bad local dimming. It's an edge-lit TV and has vertical local dimming zones which can cause issues with local dimming performance. With LED Local Dimming set to 'High,' in certain scenes, the TV reacts to brightness changes in small areas of the screen by brightening/dimming entire vertical columns, which causes significant blooming and this is very distracting.

Setting LED Local Dimming to 'Medium' makes this issue a lot milder, although many people may still find this vertical blooming distracting. We recommend you to set the LED Local Dimming to 'Medium,' as seen in the video above.

The local dimming performance is very similar to the LG SK8000, but the SM8600 has a less aggressive performance when LED Local Dimming is set to 'Medium.'

5.8
Picture Quality
SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
253 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
104 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
182 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
283 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
282 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
281 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
103 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
181 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
283 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
281 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
281 cd/m²
SDR ABL
0.070

The SDR peak brightness is disappointing. It's slightly brighter than 2018's LG SK8000 and it's suitable for dim or moderate-lit rooms.

We measured the peak brightness after calibration, using 'ISF Expert (Dark Room)' Picture Mode, with Backlight set to '100,' LED Local Dimming set to 'Medium,' and Color Temperature set to 'Warm2.'

If you don't care about image accuracy, you can obtain higher brightness levels. We were able to reach 487 nits with the 10% window using the default settings of the 'Vivid' Picture Mode and LED Local Dimming set to 'Medium.'

5.5
Picture Quality
HDR Peak Brightness
HDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
308 cd/m²
HDR Peak 2% Window
432 cd/m²
HDR Peak 10% Window
428 cd/m²
HDR Peak 25% Window
377 cd/m²
HDR Peak 50% Window
336 cd/m²
HDR Peak 100% Window
336 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 2% Window
240 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 10% Window
270 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 25% Window
334 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 50% Window
335 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 100% Window
335 cd/m²
HDR ABL
0.024

The HDR peak brightness is disappointing. Small highlights get really bright, but overall, it can't get bright enough to bring out highlights in HDR.

We measured the peak brightness before calibration, using 'Cinema' Picture Mode, with BackLight set to '100,' LED Local Dimming set to 'Medium,' and Color Temperature set to 'Warm2.'

If you don't care about image accuracy, you can obtain higher brightness levels. We were able to reach 455 nits with the 10% window using default settings of the 'Vivid' Picture Mode.

7.3
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
4.707%
50% DSE
0.167%
5% Std. Dev.
0.467%
5% DSE
0.116%

The LG 55SM8600PUA has decent gray uniformity. The edges of the screen are a little darker than the rest and there's some minor dirty screen effect in the center. In darker scenes, the uniformity is better and you hardly notice any distracting blooming.

6.8
Picture Quality
Viewing Angle
Color Washout
26°
Color Shift
45°
Brightness Loss
30°
Black Level Raise
70°
Gamma Shift
28°

Despite having an IPS panel, which are known to have wide viewing angles, this TV only has okay viewing angles. Overall, the image remains fairly accurate when viewing from the side, but you start losing some image accuracy at large viewing angles. This TV's successor, the LG NANO85, has wider viewing angles.

4.9
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
2.050%
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
4.766%

The LG 55SM8600PUA has disappointing black uniformity, which is expected on IPS panel TVs. When local dimming is disabled, there's visible backlight bleed and blooming. With local dimming enabled and set to 'Medium,' the edges are a little darker but a significant area around the center cross remains lit. The overall black uniformity performance is better than the LG SK8000.

8.5
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Semi-gloss
Total Reflections
3.0%
Indirect Reflections
0.5%
Calculated Direct Reflections
2.4%

The reflection handling is excellent. The semi-gloss filter diffuses reflections, reducing their overall intensity so you won't be distracted if your room has a few lights. If you prefer a newer TV with even better reflection handling, check out the LG NANO81.

6.0
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
White Balance dE
5.12
Color dE
3.47
Gamma
2.11
Color Temperature
5,905 K
Picture Mode
Expert (Dark Room)
Color Temp Setting
Warm 2
Gamma Setting
2.2

The LG SM8600 has mediocre accuracy with our pre-calibration settings. There are significant inaccuracies that most people might notice both in the shades of gray and in the colors. The gamma doesn't track the target very well and thus most scenes are a bit brighter than they should be. The color temperature is significantly warmer than the target of 6500K, and the image has a red-yellowish tint.

Its successor, the LG NANO85, has much better out-of-the-box color accuracy.

9.5
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
White Balance dE
0.62
Color dE
0.85
Gamma
2.16
Color Temperature
6,526 K
White Balance Calibration
22 point
Color Calibration
Yes
Auto-Calibration Function
Yes

After calibration, the SM8600 has excellent color accuracy. Most colors are very accurate, but the gamma doesn't follow the target well and dark scenes aren't as dark as they should be.

The TV features an auto-calibration feature which still requires the use of colorimeter.

You can see our recommended settings here.

8.0
Picture Quality
480p Input

The LG 55SM8600PUA upscales 480p content, like DVDs, well without any obvious upscaling artifacts.

8.0
Picture Quality
720p Input

720p content, like cable TV, is upscaled well, with no strange artifacts.

9.0
Picture Quality
1080p Input

Blu-rays and 1080p content look almost as good as native 4k content.

10
Picture Quality
4k Input

Native 4k content displays perfectly.

0
Picture Quality
8k Input

This is a 4k TV that can't display an 8k signal.

Picture Quality
Pixels
7.8
Picture Quality
Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
Yes
DCI P3 xy
85.69%
DCI P3 uv
91.67%
Rec 2020 xy
63.26%
Rec 2020 uv
70.41%

The SM8600 has a good wide color gamut. The EOTF is slightly over-brightening some very dark scenes, but, in general, it follows the input stimulus well until it starts a sharp roll off towards the TV's peak brightness. The 'Game' mode EOTF is almost identical as you can see here.

If you find HDR too dim, check out our recommendations here. With these settings, the SM8600 is a little brighter in HDR, as shown in this EOTF.

We also measured the tone mapping at 50% stimulus to check if the TV is prioritizing brightness over color accuracy. As we can see from the results for the Rec. 2020 color space, and the results for the DCI-P3 color space, the tone mapping is much better at the 50% stimulus. This means that the TV has better color accuracy at lower brightness levels since the tone mapping is better.

6.8
Picture Quality
Color Volume
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage ITP
77.2%
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP
35.0%
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
59.3%
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
26.8%

The SM8600 has decent color volume. However, the TV is unable to produce deep, dark colors mainly due to its mediocre contrast ratio.

8.8
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
10 Bit
Red (Std. Dev.)
0.087
Green (Std. Dev.)
0.096
Blue (Std. Dev.)
0.075
Gray (Std. Dev.)
0.077

The LG SM8600 has excellent gradient handling, similar to the LG SK8000. In most real-life content gradients are excellent but there are cases, like the pattern in the photo above, where banding is visible throughout most of the colors and shades. Our test is not run on the picture shown above. It's designed to measure gradient performance in situations that resemble more real-life content, and this is depicted in the results.

If you wish to smooth out gradients, you can enable the Smooth Gradation setting. This setting seems to work well with real-life content but doesn't do anything in our test pattern photo. Enabling Smooth Gradation might cause some loss of fine detail.

9.8
Picture Quality
Temporary Image Retention
IR after 0 min recovery
0.06%
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%

There's some very minor temporary image retention, but it disappears quickly and shouldn't bother most people.

10
Picture Quality
Permanent Burn-In Risk
Permanent Burn-In Risk
No

While some IPS panels can have some temporary image retention, this doesn't seem to be permanent as the IPS panel in our long-term test appears to be immune.

Motion
8.1
Motion
Response Time
80% Response Time
4.2 ms
100% Response Time
12.4 ms

The LG 55SM8600PUA has a great response time. There's a bit of overshoot and the overall performance is very similar to the LG SK8000.

6.0
Motion
Flicker-Free
Flicker-Free
No
PWM Dimming Frequency
240 Hz

The LG 55SM8600PUA uses Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) to dim its backlight. The flicker frequency can be as high as 240Hz, such as some of the TV's picture modes that are primarily aimed at movies ('Cinema,' 'ISF Expert (Dark Room),' etc). However, when TruMotion is enabled, the flicker switches to 120Hz in these modes.

The other picture modes like 'Game,' 'Standard,' 'Sports,' etc always have 120Hz flicker.

10
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
Yes
Min Flicker for 60 fps in Game Mode
60 Hz

The LG SM8600 has an optional black frame insertion feature that can lower the flicker frequency and help reduce motion blur.

To activate this option, enable TruMotion to 'User' and this immediately makes the flicker frequency 120Hz no matter the picture mode. If you set Motion Pro to 'On' then the flicker frequency becomes 60Hz.

Unfortunately, this decreases the picture brightness, and 60Hz flicker can be bothersome to some people.

When you are in 'Game' mode the flicker frequency is always 120Hz. To lower the frequency to 60Hz, you must follow the same procedure as before.

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

The LG SM8600 can interpolate lower frame-rate content up to 120fps. The TV stops interpolating in very fast scenes to avoid creating too many artifacts. When this happens, the sudden change in frame rate can be noticeable as a sudden "jerk" in motion. To enable motion interpolation, enable the TruMotion setting.

See here for the settings that control the SM8600's motion interpolation feature.

Note that just enabling TruMotion changes the backlight flicker to 120Hz.

7.2
Motion
Stutter
Frame Hold Time @ 24 fps
29.3 ms
Frame Hold Time @ 60 fps
4.3 ms

The SM8600 has a fast response time, which makes the image appear to stutter in movies or other lower frame rate content. If stutter bothers you, motion interpolation or the optional black frame insertion feature can help.

8.9
Motion
24p Judder
Judder-Free 24p
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via 60p
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via 60i
No
Judder-Free 24p via Native Apps
Yes

The SM8600 is able to remove judder from most sources. Unfortunately, during our test, the TV was unable to completely remove 24p judder from 60i signals. To remove judder, the Real Cinema option must be enabled in the Picture Option Settings menu.

0
Motion
Variable Refresh Rate
Native Refresh Rate
120 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate
No
HDMI Forum VRR
No
FreeSync
No
G-SYNC Compatible
No
4k VRR Maximum
N/A
4k VRR Minimum
No VRR support
1080p VRR Maximum
N/A
1080p VRR Minimum
No VRR support
1440p VRR Maximum
N/A
1440p VRR Minimum
No VRR support
VRR Supported Connectors
No VRR support

The LG 55SM8600PUA has a native refresh rate of 120Hz. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear to support any of the variable refresh rate technologies, including FreeSync or the HDMI 2.1 VRR format. We tested this with an Xbox One S, which did support HDMI-Forum VRR on the C9. Although we can't be sure it won't work from an HDMI 2.1 source, we don't expect it to.

Inputs
8.7
Inputs
Input Lag
1080p @ 60 Hz
14.0 ms
1080p @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
34.6 ms
1440p @ 60 Hz
14.0 ms
4k @ 60 Hz
14.0 ms
4k @ 60 Hz + 10 bit HDR
13.8 ms
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
30.5 ms
4k @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
34.7 ms
4k @ 60 Hz With Interpolation
82.3 ms
8k @ 60 Hz
N/A
1080p @ 120 Hz
6.8 ms
1440p @ 120 Hz
6.8 ms
4k @ 120 Hz
N/A
1080p with Variable Refresh Rate
N/A
1440p with VRR
N/A
4k with VRR
N/A
8k with VRR
N/A
Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM)
Yes

The SM8600 has a very low input lag which is great news for gamers. To get the lowest input lag you must set the TV in 'Game' mode. To get low input lag and proper chroma 4:4:4 just change the input icon to PC. The picture mode does not matter.

The TV supports an Auto Low Latency mode that LG calls 'Instant Game Response,' but it only works with compatible devices like the Xbox One. When 'Instant Game Response' detects that you're playing a game, it switches to 'Game' mode. After that, if you switch to another picture mode, you're still getting low input lag and the only available settings are the 'Game' mode ones. This means that all picture modes can have the same low input lag when 'Instant Game Response' is activated.

See our recommended gaming settings here.

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
4k @ 120 Hz
No
8k @ 30 Hz or 24 Hz
No
8k @ 60 Hz
No

The LG 55SM8600PUA supports the majority of most common resolutions including 1440p.

All supported resolutions can display proper chroma 4:4:4 as long as PC mode is enabled, except the 1080p @ 120Hz which doesn't.

Some of the high bandwidth resolutions, like 4k @ 60Hz + HDR, require the HDMI ULTRA HD Deep Color setting to be enabled for the port in use.

Inputs
Input Photos
Inputs
Total Inputs
HDMI 4
USB 3
Digital Optical Audio Out 1
Analog Audio Out 3.5mm 0
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
No
CEC Yes
HDCP 2.2 Yes (HDMI 1,2,3,4)
USB 3.0
No
Variable Analog Audio Out No
Wi-Fi Support Yes (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz)

It's unclear if the LG 55SM8600PUA supports HDMI 2.1 or not. We couldn't confirm this either way, as we had no way of sending an HDMI 2.1 signal.

Inputs
Audio Passthrough
ARC
Yes (HDMI 2)
eARC support
No
Dolby Atmos via TrueHD via eARC
No
DTS:X via DTS-HD MA via eARC
No
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

Like the 2018 LG OLEDs, the LG SM8600 supports DTS and Dolby Digital passthrough to a standard ARC receiver. It doesn't support eARC as the LG C9 OLED does.

Sound Quality
5.2
Sound Quality
Frequency Response
Low-Frequency Extension
151.02 Hz
Std. Dev. @ 70
3.48 dB
Std. Dev. @ 80
4.20 dB
Std. Dev. @ Max
7.06 dB
Max
84.8 dB SPL
Dynamic Range Compression
4.77 dB

The frequency response is poor. The bass of this TV won't have any thump or rumble, and lacks quite a bit of punch too. The frequency response above the low-frequency extension (LFE) point is decent and relatively well-balanced so it produces clear dialog. This TV doesn't get loud and doesn't have a room correction system.

6.2
Sound Quality
Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80
0.184
Weighted THD @ Max
0.955
IMD @ 80
8.52%
IMD @ Max
20.95%

The distortion performance is mediocre. The overall amount of produced THD is a bit elevated, but it doesn't reach a point where distracting artifacts are audible.

Smart Features
8.5
Smart Features
Interface
Smart OS WebOS
Version 4.5
Ease of Use
Easy
Smoothness
Average
Time Taken to Select YouTube
2 s
Time Taken to Change Backlight
9 s
Advanced Options
Many

The LG 55SM8600PUA has an excellent interface that is easy to use. It is relatively smooth, and we didn't have any serious issues with it.

The interface has a few new functions in 2019. The Home Dashboard appears to be the most significant change and it's very similar to Samsung's Smart Things.

0
Smart Features
Ad-Free
Ads
Yes
Opt-out
No
Suggested Content in Home
Yes
Opt-out of Suggested Content
No

We have not found ads on this TV, but LG TVs have ads and suggested content. You can see it in this photo of the UM7300, where 'LG Nanocell' TVs are advertised. Unfortunately, you can't completely opt-out, but there's a menu option called 'Home Promotion' which lets you turn off the square on the home bar.

8.0
Smart Features
Apps and Features
App Selection
Great
App Smoothness
Average
Cast Capable
Yes
USB Drive Playback
Yes
USB Drive HDR Playback
Yes
HDR in Netflix
Yes
HDR in YouTube
Yes

The SM8600 has a great selection of built-in apps, just like most LG TVs. LG's Content Store hosts one of the largest selections of apps available. If there's a specific app you want us to check for, let us know in the discussions down below!

9.0
Smart Features
Remote
Size
Large
Voice Control
Many Features
CEC Menu Control
Yes
Other Smart Features
Yes
Remote App LG TV Plus

The remote is identical to the LG C9 OLED remote and has similar functionalities. It's also similar to the LG SK8000 but has a few added features. You can now program the remote to work as a universal remote with other devices over IR, and this is great if HDMI-CEC is not supported. This is similar to Samsung's One Remote feature.

Like with past LG TVs, the remote can be used as a mouse pointer, but you can also navigate the interface using the directional buttons. The remote has a built-in mic that allows you to perform certain functions and searches with your voice.

Smart Features
TV Controls

The controls are in the center of the TV. It's a single button that allows you to turn the TV on/off, adjust the volume, or change channels.

Smart Features
In The Box

  • Basic user manual
  • Remote
  • Cable management strap
  • Composite breakout adapter
  • Batteries
  • Not Shown: Power cable

Smart Features
Misc
Power Consumption 54 W
Power Consumption (Max) 116 W
Firmware 03.50.20

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

We tested the 55" LG SM8600 (55SM8600). For the most part, we expect our review to be valid for the 49" model (49SM8600), 65" model (65SM8600), and the 75" (75SM8670) model.

There is a European only variant, the SM8500, which has a slightly different design, but we expect its performance to be almost identical.

If someone comes across a different type of panel or if their LG SM8600 doesn't correspond to our review, let us know and we will update the review.

Size US Canada UK
49" 49SM8600PUA 49SM8600AUE 49SM8600PLA
55" 55SM8600PUA 55SM8600AUE 55SM8600PLA
65" 65SM8600PUA 65SM8600AUE 65SM8600PLA
75" 75SM8670PUA 75SM8670PUA 75SM8610PLA

 

The 55SM8600 we reviewed was manufactured in March 2019.

Compared To Other TVs

Comparison picture

Top left: LG UM7300 (55UM7300). Bottom left: Samsung RU7300 (UN55RU7300). Middle: LG SM8600 (55SM8600. Top right: Vizio V Series (V505-G9). Bottom right: Samsung RU7100 (UN55RU7100).

The LG SM8600 is a decent TV with good gaming performance. See our recommendations for the best TVs, the best 4k TVs, and the best HDR gaming TVs.

LG NANO85
49" 55" 65" 75"

The LG NANO85 is a bit better TV than its predecessor, the LG SM8600. The NANO85 gets much brighter, the viewing angles are improved, it has better out-of-the-box color accuracy, it's able to remove judder from any source, and the built-in speakers are better. On the other hand, the SM8600 has a better overall style due to its sleeker, center-mounted stand.

Samsung Q60/Q60T QLED
43" 50" 55" 58" 65" 75" 82" 85"

The Samsung Q60/Q60T QLED and the LG SM8600 have very similar overall performance. The Samsung has a significantly better contrast ratio and black uniformity due to its VA panel, but the LG's IPS panel has much better viewing angles, and it has better reflection handling for bright rooms. Response time is much faster on the LG, and it can remove judder from low frame rate content; however, the Samsung has better uniformity and gets a lot brighter.

Samsung TU8000
43" 50" 55" 65" 75" 85"

The LG SM8600 and the Samsung TU8000 perform similarly but each is better suited to different uses. The LG uses an IPS panel which gives it much better viewing angles, good if your couch is to an angle to your TV, or if you watch a lot of sports games with a large group of people. On the other hand, the Samsung uses a VA panel which gives you much deeper and uniform blacks, making it better for dark room viewing, but also has narrow viewing angles so the image looks washed out from the side. 

Sony X800H
43" 49" 55" 65" 75" 85"

For a budget TV, the LG SM8600 performs slightly better than the Sony X800H. Motion looks a lot clearer on the LG thanks to its better response time and black frame insertion feature to help reduce motion blur. Its native refresh rate is higher at 120Hz and it's also able to remove judder from lower frame rate sources, such as native apps. The Sony has significantly better viewing angles, black uniformity, and it can get much brighter with both SDR and HDR content.

LG NANO81
55" 65" 75"

The LG SM8600 and the LG NANO81 are similarly performing TVs and have a similar design with a center-mounted stand. The SM8600 has a 120Hz refresh rate, a much quicker response time, a BFI feature, and it removes judder from any source except 24p via 60i. However, the NANO81 has wider viewing angles, better reflection handling, and it has a lower input lag.

LG UM7300
43" 49" 50" 55" 65"

The LG SM8600 is a little better than the LG UM7300. The SM8600 has a faster response time, which is great for sports, and a wide color gamut, which is great for HDR. The UM7300 can get brighter, which is great for watching TV in a brighter room, and its Automatic Brightness Limiter doesn't change the brightness according to the scene.

Samsung Q60/Q60R QLED
43" 49" 55" 65" 75" 82"

The Samsung Q60/Q60R QLED and the LG SM8600 use different panel technologies, each with their strengths and weaknesses. The Q60R has better dark room performance, but you have to sit directly in front of it. It's also much brighter, but has worse reflection handling. The LG SM8600 is better-suited for rooms with a wide seating arrangement as the image remains accurate when viewed from the side.

LG SM9000
55" 65" 75" 86"

The LG SM9000 is better than the LG SM8600. The SM9000 is brighter and has a better (but still disappointing) local dimming feature. The SM9000 is a bit more future-proof, as it supports HDMI 2.1, eARC, and HDMI Forum's new variable refresh rate technology.

Samsung Q70/Q70R QLED
49" 55" 65" 75" 82" 85"

Although the Samsung Q70/Q70R QLED and the LG SM8600 use different panel technologies, for most people, the Q70R is a better choice. The Q70R can get brighter, has better blacks in a dark room, and is loaded with gaming features like FreeSync support and low input lag with motion interpolation. The SM8600 has an IPS panel that delivers wide viewing angles, which is great if you often watch TV from the side.

Sony X900F
49" 55" 65" 75" 85"

The Sony X900F and the LG SM8600 use different panel types, each with strengths and weaknesses. The LG SM8600 has an IPS panel, which maintains a more accurate image for wider angles off-center but doesn't look as good in a dark room. The LG also has a much lower input lag, which is great for gamers. The X900F, on the other hand, has a VA panel with a much better dark room performance and is much brighter, suitable for rooms of any brightness.

LG SK8000
49" 55" 65"

The LG SK8000 and the LG SM8600 both have very similar performance. The LG SM8600 supports 1440p, has an auto low latency option, and has a slightly lower input lag for HDR gaming. On the other hand, the LG SK8000 can remove 24p judder from 60i sources.

Sony X850G
55" 65" 75" 85"

The Sony X850G is marginally better than the LG SM8600. The Sony can get much brighter, has better gray uniformity, better viewing angles, and slightly better motion handling. On the other hand, the LG has better contrast, local dimming, and a wider color gamut.

Samsung RU8000
49" 55" 65" 75" 82"

The Samsung RU8000 and the LG SM8600 use different technologies, each with its strengths and weaknesses. The Samsung is better-suited for viewing in a dark room thanks to the high contrast of its VA panel. The LG is better suited for a brighter room, and the wide viewing angles of its IPS panel are better for side seating. Beyond these differences, the Samsung is brighter but has worse reflection handling.

Sony X800G
43" 49" 55" 65" 75"

The LG SM8600 is a better TV than the Sony X800G. Both TVs use an IPS panel, which results in mediocre contrast and bad black uniformity, but improves the viewing angle over a TV with a VA panel. The LG has better reflection handling, a wider color gamut, better motion handling, and much lower input lag. On the other hand, the Sony is brighter, has more accurate colors out-of-the-box, and has better viewing angles.

LG B8 OLED
55" 65"

The LG B8 and the LG SM8600 use different panel technologies, each with their strengths and weaknesses. The B8 uses an OLED panel, which delivers outstanding dark room performance and crystal-clear motion, thanks to the nearly-instantaneous response time. Unfortunately, the B8 also has a chance of permanent burn-in, which is not an issue on the LG SM8600.

LG SM9500
65"

The LG SM9500 is better than the LG SM8600. The SM9500 can get much brighter in SDR, can easily fight glare in a bright room, and is more accurate before calibration. Also, the SM9500 has wider viewing angles can get brighter in HDR, and has full-array local dimming. The SM8600, on the other hand, has better gray uniformity, which is important to sports fans.

Samsung RU7100
43" 50" 55" 58" 65" 75"

The Samsung RU7100 and the LG SM8600 are both good TVs. The LG is a better option for sports due to its better motion handling and its IPS screen that allows for much wider viewing angles. On the other hand, since the Samsung uses a VA panel, it has much better contrast and black uniformity, so it's better for watching movies in a dark room. The Samsung also has much better color accuracy out-of-the-box, but the LG is better for HDR content due to its wider color gamut and higher peak brightness. If you use your TV in a very bright room, the LG also does a better job at handling reflections.

LG SK9000
55" 65"

The LG SK9000 is better than the LG SM8600. The SK9000 can deliver a better dark room performance as it has more effective local dimming. The SK9000 is also more suitable for a bright room as it can get brighter in SDR and can deliver better HDR highlights thanks to its better HDR peak brightness. The SM8600, on the other hand, has a faster response time and a lower input lag that is great for playing video games.

Vizio M Series 2018
55" 65" 70"

These two TVs have different panel types, each with their advantages and disadvantages. The Vizio M Series 2018 has a VA panel and is a better choice for those who watch TV in a dark room and sit straight in front. The LG SM8600 has an IPS panel and is more suitable for those who watch TV with some lights on and often sit at an angle. The Vizio can display deeper and more uniform blacks in a dark room and has better HDR performance. The LG, apart from the better refection handling and the wider viewing angles, has a motion interpolation feature for the soap opera effect fans. The LG also supports 1440p and has a lower input lag, which is great for playing video games.

Sony X850F
65" 75" 85"

The Sony X850F and the LG SM8600 both have very similar performance. The Sony is more suitable for a brighter room as it can get brighter in SDR and can also display HDR content with bright highlights. The LG has a slightly better dark room performance with a higher contrast ratio and a local dimming feature. The SM8600 also has lower input lag, which is great for gamers, and a better black frame insertion implementation that can make the motion crisper.

Samsung NU8000
49" 55" 65" 75" 82"

The Samsung NU8000 and the LG SM8600 use different panel technologies, each with their strengths and weaknesses. The NU8000 has a much better dark room performance, provided you sit directly in front of it. The LG SM8600 is a better choice for a room with a wide seating arrangement. Apart from these differences, the NU8000 is brighter but has worse reflection handling.

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