LG SM9500 TV Review

Tested using Methodology v1.5
Updated Jun 05, 2019 at 10:17 am
LG SM9500 Picture
7.7
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
7.0
Movies
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
8.2
TV Shows
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
7.8
Sports
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
8.1
Video Games
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
7.1
HDR Movies
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
7.9
HDR Gaming
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
8.4
PC Monitor
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
Type LED
Sub-Type
IPS
Resolution 4k

The LG SM9500 is a good UHD IPS TV with good picture quality and impressive motion handling. It can get very bright in SDR and has excellent reflection handling, suitable for bright rooms with plenty of light. The contrast ratio is mediocre, as expected from an IPS TV, and the local dimming is bad at improving the dark scene performance in a dark room. It has a wide color gamut, can get very bright in HDR, and can display rich colors and bright highlights. The gray uniformity is mediocre and the noticeable dirty screen effect might bother demanding sports fans, but the viewing angles are good and the image remains accurate when viewed from the side. The SM9500 has a very low input lag, even for the most demanding gamers, and the response time is very fast so that fast motion has only a minimal blur trail.

Our Verdict

7.7 Mixed Usage

The LG 65SM9500 is a good TV for mixed usage. It has excellent reflection handling, can get very bright, and has wide viewing angles, so it's a great choice for large bright rooms where people might be watching from the side. It has a fast response time and motion is crisp to please sports fans. The SM9500 has a very low input lag, great for gaming, but can only deliver decent dark room performance, which will disappoint movie fans.

Pros
  • Can get very bright.
  • Image remains accurate at an angle.
  • Very low input lag.
Cons
  • Blacks look gray in a dark room.
7.0 Movies

The LG SM9500 is a decent TV for watching movies. Unfortunately, it does not have a high native contrast ratio and its poor black uniformity and the poor local dimming feature don't help much. Therefore, blacks tend to look gray in a dark room and this hurts the overall picture quality in a dark room. It can play movies judder-free from most sources and has a motion interpolation feature to please the soap opera effect fans.

8.2 TV Shows

The LG SM9500 is a great TV for watching TV shows. It has excellent reflection handling and a remarkable SDR brightness so you can easily place it in a very bright room. Also, you can move around when you casually watch your favorite TV show, and the image will remain accurate thanks to the wide viewing angles. Cable content is upscaled well and the TV has motion interpolation for those who enjoy the soap opera effect.

7.8 Sports

The LG 65SM9500PUA is a very good TV for watching sports. It has excellent reflection handling and a very fast response time that only leaves a small blur trail behind fast-moving content. Unfortunately, the gray uniformity is only mediocre and there is some dirty screen effect that might bother demanding sports fans. On the upside, the image remains accurate when viewed from the side so you can invite a group of friends to watch the big game, without worrying who will sit on the side.

8.1 Video Games

This is a great TV for playing video games. It has a remarkably low input lag and feels very responsive. Gamers will also appreciate the fast response time that only leaves a small blur trail in fast-moving content. The SM9500 also supports HDMI Forum VRR for a nearly tear-free gaming experience, but currently, this is only supported on the Xbox One.

7.1 HDR Movies

This is a decent TV for watching HDR movies. The TV has a wide color gamut, can get very bright in HDR and can display a vivid image with bright highlights. HDR content on this TV looks best in a dim room where blacks don't matter as much. When viewed in a dark room, blacks tend to look like gray due to the TV's poor dark room performance.

7.9 HDR Gaming

This is a very good TV for playing HDR games mainly due to its low input lag and fast response time. If you play HDR games in a dim room where deep blacks are not that important, then you will enjoy a great HDR gaming experience. Unfortunately, the low contrast ratio and poor local dimming don't allow for deep blacks in a dark room.

8.4 PC Monitor

This is a great TV for use as a PC monitor. It has a very low input lag and a very fast response time. When you move the mouse, the arrow on the screen responds instantaneously and you won't see much blur. The SM9500 can display proper chroma 4:4:4: so text looks crisp. As an IPS panel, the SM9500 doesn't have the risk of permanent burn-in but there is some temporary image retention.

  • 7.7 Mixed Usage
  • 7.0 Movies
  • 8.2 TV Shows
  • 7.8 Sports
  • 8.1 Video Games
  • 7.1 HDR Movies
  • 7.9 HDR Gaming
  • 8.4 PC Monitor
  1. Updated Nov 27, 2020: We've retested the input lag and supported resolutions with an HDMI 2.1 source and the latest firmware version 05.00.02.
  2. Updated Jul 27, 2020: Retested the VRR range.
  3. Updated May 21, 2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.5.
  4. Updated Feb 21, 2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.4.
  5. Updated Jun 05, 2019: Review published.
  6. Updated Jun 03, 2019: Early access published.

Video

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Market Context
Market Context
Market Context

The LG SM9500 is a 2019 upper mid-range UHD LED TV in LG's NanoCell series. It's the replacement of the LG SK9500 in LG's lineup and its competitors are the Sony X950G, the Vizio P Series Quantum, or other LED IPS TVs like the Sony X850F. Some might also compare it to some higher-end VA panels with the new wide angle technology, like the Samsung Q80R or Sony Z9F.

Design
9.5
Design
Style
Curved No

The design of the LG 65SM9500PUA is excellent. The stand is plastic with a silver finish and supports the TV well. However, if you nudge the TV, it wobbles significantly. The back is very plain and made of good quality plastic. Cable management is serviced through the hollow neck of the stand. The entire construction feels solid and looks premium, and you shouldn't have any issues with the build quality of this TV. It's almost identical to LG's flagship Nanocell TV, the 75SM9970PUA, though it has an 8k resolution.

Design
Stand

The stand of the TV is plastic and resembles this year's SM8600, but with a metal finish. Although the stand supports the TV well, the TV wobbles a lot if nudged.

Footprint of the 65" TV stand: 32.6" x 12.5".

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 300x300

The back of the TV is plain with a horizontal line texture, and it's made of high-quality plastic. Just like the SM8600, the stand's neck is hollow (has a removable cover) and you can guide a few cables through to help with cable management.

Design
Borders
Borders 0.47" (1.2 cm)

The borders have a nice metal finish that give the TV a premium look.

Design
Thickness
Max Thickness 2.56" (6.5 cm)

The LG 65SM9500PUA is a thin TV. It's in the same ballpark as last year's SK9500. It won't stick out much if you wall-mount it.

8.0
Design
Build Quality

The build quality is great. There are no gaps or loose ends, but the TV wobbles more than last year's SK9500. You should have no issues with the TV's build quality.

The stand has a plastic cover and in our case, the metallic skeleton was slightly exposed as you can see in the stand picture. We fixed this easily by clipping it back on, and it did not affect our testing in any way.

Picture Quality
6.6
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
1,234 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
2,398 : 1

The LG 65SM9500PUA has a decent contrast ratio. This is expected for an IPS panel TV. When local dimming is enabled, the contrast ratio improves significantly. This is a very similar performance to last year's SK9500. Note that the contrast ratio can vary between individual units.

If you want a TV with deeper blacks, then check out the Samsung Q70R or the Vizio P Series 2018.

5.0
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
Yes
Backlight
Full-Array

The local dimming helps improve the appearance of blacks on the TV. The performance, however, isn't very good and is in the same ballpark as last year's SK9500. When LED Local Dimming is set to 'High', it's very aggressive and there's both a lot of blooming and crushing of highlights at the same time. In dark scenes, this creates a lot of flashing and makes the TV almost unwatchable.

We recommend setting LED Local Dimming to 'Medium' where the blooming and the crushing of highlights is milder.

8.8
Picture Quality
SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
695 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
558 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
624 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
657 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
688 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
691 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
557 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
624 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
657 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
688 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
689 cd/m²
SDR ABL
0.012

The LG 65SM9500PUA has excellent SDR peak brightness and can easily fight glare in a bright room, brighter than the LG SK9500.

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 momentarily reach 1590 nits with the 10% window using the default settings of the 'Vivid' Picture Mode and LED Local Dimming set to 'High'.

8.3
Picture Quality
HDR Peak Brightness
HDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
804 cd/m²
HDR Peak 2% Window
1,190 cd/m²
HDR Peak 10% Window
1,587 cd/m²
HDR Peak 25% Window
1,227 cd/m²
HDR Peak 50% Window
970 cd/m²
HDR Peak 100% Window
766 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 2% Window
463 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 10% Window
633 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 25% Window
700 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 50% Window
749 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 100% Window
765 cd/m²
HDR ABL
0.028

The HDR peak brightness is great. The LG SM9500 can get brighter in HDR than last year's SK9500.

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 1743 nits with the 10% window using the same settings but using LED Local Dimming set to 'High'.

6.1
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
6.502%
50% DSE
0.234%
5% Std. Dev.
0.852%
5% DSE
0.116%

Gray uniformity on our unit is mediocre. There's a lot of visible vignetting, but also significant dirty screen effect which will bother sports fans. In darker scenes, the uniformity is better. Note that gray uniformity can vary between units.

7.6
Picture Quality
Viewing Angle
Color Washout
29°
Color Shift
64°
Brightness Loss
34°
Black Level Raise
70°
Gamma Shift
43°

The LG 65SM9500PUA has good viewing angles, as expected for an IPS panel TV. The image remains accurate for wide angles and the TV is a good choice if you have a wide seating arrangement. This performance is better than last year's SK9500 and the SK9000. For even wider viewing angles, check out an OLED TV like the LG C9.

5.1
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
2.464%
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
3.013%

The LG 65SM9500PUA has poor black uniformity. There is significant backlight bleed throughout the screen. With local dimming enabled, blooming is noticeable around the test cross. Note that black uniformity can vary between units.

8.3
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Semi-gloss
Total Reflections
3.4%
Indirect Reflections
0.5%
Calculated Direct Reflections
2.9%

The LG 65SM9500PUA has great reflection handling. There is a semi-gloss finish that diffuses reflections across the screen, reducing their intensity. The performance is almost identical to the SK9500. You should have no issues with reflections in any room unless sunlight falls directly on the TV.

8.8
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
White Balance dE
1.54
Color dE
1.85
Gamma
2.11
Color Temperature
6,463 K
Picture Mode
Expert (Dark Room)
Color Temp Setting
Warm 2
Gamma Setting
2.2

The LG 65SM9500PUA has excellent accuracy with our pre-calibration settings. There are only minimal inaccuracies that are hard to notice without a colorimeter. Some enthusiasts might notice the inaccuracies in the pure white. The gamma does not track the target very well and thus most scenes are a bit brighter than they should be. The color temperature is almost on the target of 6500K. Note that color accuracy can vary between units.

9.4
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
White Balance dE
0.16
Color dE
1.49
Gamma
2.20
Color Temperature
6,564 K
White Balance Calibration
22 point
Color Calibration
Yes
Auto-Calibration Function
Yes

After calibration, the LG 65SM9500 has almost perfect accuracy. The white balance dE is significantly improved, whereas the color dE is better but not by much. The remaining inaccuracies are hard to notice without the aid of a colorimeter. The gamma follows the curve very well and the color temperature is close to the 6500K target.

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 65SM9500PUA upscales 480p content, like DVDs, well without any obvious upscaling artifacts. When compared to other TVs, the SM9500 has very similar performance to the SK9500.

8.0
Picture Quality
720p Input

720p content, like cable TV, is upscaled well on the LG 65SM9500PUA with no obvious artifacts or softening. This is an almost identical performance to the SK9500.

9.0
Picture Quality
1080p Input

Just like last year's SK9500, the upscaling of Blu-rays and 1080p content looks almost as good as native 4k content.

10
Picture Quality
4k Input

Native 4k content displays perfectly.

0
Picture Quality
8k Input

This TV can't display an 8k signal.

Picture Quality
Pixels
8.0
Picture Quality
Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
Yes
DCI P3 xy
88.11%
DCI P3 uv
94.33%
Rec 2020 xy
65.41%
Rec 2020 uv
73.03%

The LG 65SM9500PUA has a great wide color gamut. It is very similar to last year's SK9500. The EOTF is slightly over-brightening some very dark scenes, but, in general, it follows the input stimulus well until it starts a smooth 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 SM9500 is significantly brighter in HDR, as shown in this EOTF.

7.0
Picture Quality
Color Volume
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage ITP
79.2%
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP
48.3%
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
60.5%
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
36.8%

The color volume on the LG 65SM9500PUA is decent. Unfortunately, just like the SK9500, the SM9500 cannot produce deep, dark blacks due to its not so great contrast ratio.

9.2
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
10 Bit
Red (Std. Dev.)
0.079
Green (Std. Dev.)
0.082
Blue (Std. Dev.)
0.075
Gray (Std. Dev.)
0.048

The LG 65SM9500PUA has excellent gradient handling. There is minimal banding in some colors, but this is not very noticeable.

The Smooth Gradation feature can help reduce banding, especially when there are large areas of banding. There are cases, however, like the pattern in the photo above, where banding is visible throughout most of the colors and shades and Smooth Gradation can not help. Note that enabling this feature can cause some loss of fine details in some scenes.

7.0
Picture Quality
Temporary Image Retention
IR after 0 min recovery
1.06%
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%

The LG 65SM9500PUA has some noticeable image retention that is visible immediately after the 10 minutes burn-in scene. The retention is no longer noticeable after 2 minutes of recovery.

We had measured similar performance on our SK9500 unit, but lower retention levels on our SK9000 and SM8600 units. Temporary Image Retention can be unit specific.

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
7.7
Motion
Response Time
80% Response Time
5.4 ms
100% Response Time
13.4 ms

Excellent response time for the LG 65SM9500PUA. It is almost as fast as last year's SK9000 but slightly slower than the SK9500 and this year's SM8600. Nonetheless, the response time is very fast and only a small blur trail can be seen following fast-moving content.

4.0
Motion
Flicker-Free
Flicker-Free
No
PWM Dimming Frequency
120 Hz

Just like the LG SK9500, this TV uses PWM to dim its backlight. The flicker frequency is 120Hz and this causes some duplications and might bother some people. The backlight flickers at any Backlight setting other than 100.

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 65SM9500PUA has an optional black frame insertion feature to help make motion crisper. To enable BFI in the Tru Motion menu, set Motion Pro to 'On'. This changes the backlight flicker to 60Hz but at the same time, you might notice some drop in luminosity.

Some people find 60Hz flicker bothersome.

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

The LG 65SM9500PUA can interpolate lower frame-rate content up to 120fps. Although the TV continues to interpolate in fairly demanding scenes, when it's displaying very fast scenes, it stops interpolating to avoid creating too many artifacts. When the TV is set to higher levels of motion interpolation, and suddenly stops interpolating due to the very fast scenes, most people will notice a sudden "jerk" in motion. To enable motion interpolation, enable the TruMotion setting.

See here for the settings that control the SM9500's motion interpolation feature.

7.4
Motion
Stutter
Frame Hold Time @ 24 fps
28.3 ms
Frame Hold Time @ 60 fps
3.3 ms

The LG 65SM9500PUA has some stutter due to the very fast response time. It is, however, not as noticeable as the stutter you will observe in an OLED like the C9. If you find that stutter is bothering you, then motion interpolation can help.

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

Update 07/12/2019: The SM9500 is now able to remove judder from 60i sources with update 03.60.04. Different settings are required, however, as Trumotion "User" must be enabled with de-judder and de-blur set to "0" as well as Real Cinema "On".

The SM9500 is judder-free from most sources. It can't, however, remove 24p judder from 60i signals. This is similar to what we observed in the SM8600. Last year's SK9500 is able to remove judder from any source.

To remove judder, the Real Cinema option must be enabled in the Picture Option Settings menu.

8.2
Motion
Variable Refresh Rate
Native Refresh Rate
120 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate
Yes
HDMI Forum VRR
Yes
FreeSync
No
G-SYNC Compatible
Yes
4k VRR Maximum
60 Hz
4k VRR Minimum
48 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 07/27/2020: Updated the firmware and retested the VRR range.

Update 04/05/2020: We've received a report that firmware 04.71.25 disables G-SYNC on models that weren't supposed to support it.

Update 11/28/2019: Although not officially supported by NVIDIA, the LG SM9500 works with NVIDIA's new G-SYNC compatible mode when connected to a recent NVIDIA graphics card. Unlike officially supported TVs, like the LG C9, this must be manually enabled from the NVIDIA Control Center.

The LG SM9500 has a native refresh rate of 120Hz. The TV doesn't support FreeSync, but we can confirm that it supports HDMI Forum VRR. It's compatible with NVIDIA's G-SYNC, but since it isn't officially supported, you have to enable it manually in the NVIDIA Control Center.

Inputs
8.8
Inputs
Input Lag
1080p @ 60 Hz
13.7 ms
1080p @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
84.4 ms
1440p @ 60 Hz
14.2 ms
4k @ 60 Hz
13.7 ms
4k @ 60 Hz + 10 bit HDR
13.7 ms
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
13.7 ms
4k @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
84.3 ms
4k @ 60 Hz With Interpolation
84.3 ms
8k @ 60 Hz
N/A
1080p @ 120 Hz
7.0 ms
1440p @ 120 Hz
7.1 ms
4k @ 120 Hz
N/A
1080p with Variable Refresh Rate
6.1 ms
1440p with VRR
6.5 ms
4k with VRR
15.6 ms
8k with VRR
N/A
Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM)
Yes

Update 11/27/2020: We've retested the input lag with an HDMI 2.1 source and the latest firmware version 05.00.02. We can't provide an input lag measurement as the screen keeps flashing when displaying a 4k @ 120Hz signal using an NVIDIA RTX 3080. We'll retest it once a new firmware is available.

The LG 65SM9500PUA has an excellent low input lag. The TV feels very responsive as long as you are in 'Game' mode. To get low input lag and display proper chroma 4:4:4 you must change the input icon to PC and you can do that from any picture mode.

There's an Auto Low Latency mode called 'Instant Game Response', but just like the SM8600, it only works with compatible devices like the Xbox One. When 'Instant Game Response' detects that you're playing a game, it automatically switches to 'Game' mode so that you have the lowest input lag.

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
Yes (native support)
8k @ 30 Hz or 24 Hz
No
8k @ 60 Hz
No

Update 11/27/2020: We've retested the TV with an HDMI 2.1 source and the latest firmware version 05.00.02. Unfortunately, the screen keeps flashing when displaying a 4k @ 120Hz signal using an NVIDIA RTX 3080. However, it works properly when using an Xbox Series X. We'll retest it once a new firmware is available.

The LG SM9500, just like the C9, supports the majority of most common resolutions. It can display proper chroma 4:4:4 at all supported resolutions as long as PC mode is enabled, except for 1080p @ 120Hz.

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.

LG advertises that the SM9500, just like the C9, supports a 4k @ 120Hz input from external devices.

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
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 No
Wi-Fi Support Yes (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz)

Update 11/27/2020: We've retested the inputs with an HDMI 2.1 source and the latest firmware version 05.00.02. Unfortunately, the screen keeps flashing when displaying a 4k @ 120Hz signal using an NVIDIA RTX 3080. However, it works properly when using an Xbox Series X. We'll retest it once a new firmware is 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

The LG 65SM9500PUA supports eARC when connected to a compatible AV Receiver. This allows you to send higher quality DTS:X and Dolby Atmos via TrueHD sound from an external device to your receiver. It also supports DTS and Dolby Digital passthrough to a standard ARC receiver.

Sound Quality
6.8
Sound Quality
Frequency Response
Low-Frequency Extension
71.27 Hz
Std. Dev. @ 70
3.38 dB
Std. Dev. @ 80
3.84 dB
Std. Dev. @ Max
6.40 dB
Max
87.9 dB SPL
Dynamic Range Compression
5.74 dB

The frequency response is okay. It lacks bass extension, which means it can't produce any thump or rumble but has a decent amount of body and punch to its bass. The response above the LFE point is quite well-balanced, and the TV produces clear dialogue. This TV can get fairly loud but will produce some pumping and compression artifacts under maximum load.

6.8
Sound Quality
Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80
0.118
Weighted THD @ Max
0.610
IMD @ 80
8.60%
IMD @ Max
6.22%

The distortion performance is decent. The overall amount of produced THD is slightly elevated, but it doesn't get to the point where distracting artifacts are audible.

Smart Features
8.5
Smart Features
Interface
Smart OS WebOS
Version 4.6
Ease of Use
Easy
Smoothness
Average
Time Taken to Select YouTube
2 s
Time Taken to Change Backlight
6 s
Advanced Options
Many

The LG 65SM9500PUA has the same excellent interface found on the latest LG TVs. It's very intuitive and easy to use. Although we did not encounter any issues during our testing some apps might seem slightly slow.

The interface has a nice new function this year. 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

The LG 65SM9500PUA, just like the UM7300 and the SM8600, has ads. You can disable the Home Promotion setting, and this will remove some of them, but as ads are not always visible, we aren't certain if it's possible to completely remove them.

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 LG 65SM9500PUA gives you access to LG's app store where you can find a very large number of apps to choose from. The TV comes with the most popular apps preinstalled. If there is a specific app you would like 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 similar to last year's remote with a few added features. You can now use it as a universal remote with other devices over IR. This requires you to perform some minor setting adjustments but is great for devices that don't support HDMI-CEC. This is new this year for LG and resembles Samsung's One Remote feature.

All other features of the remote are very similar to last year's. You can still use it as a mouse pointer, which makes it very easy to navigate the interface or you can use the directional buttons if you find it easier.

Finally, there's a built-in microphone that allows you to perform certain searches using your voice.

Smart Features
TV Controls

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

Smart Features
In The Box

  • Basic user manual
  • Remote
  • Cable management strap
  • Composite breakout adapter
  • Batteries

Smart Features
Misc
Power Consumption 53 W
Power Consumption (Max) 212 W
Firmware 03.60.02

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

We tested the 65" (65SM9500), the only size available at the moment in the U.S. In Europe, the SM9500 is known as the SM9800 (SM98). Other than minor regional differences (especially inputs), we expect them to perform the same.

If someone comes across a different type of panel or if their LG 65SM9500 doesn't correspond to our review, let us know and we will update the review.

Size US Model EU Model
55" N/A 55SM9800PLA
65" 65SM9500PUA 65SM9800PLA

The LG 65SM9500 we reviewed was manufactured in March 2019.

Compared To Other TVs

Comparison picture

Top left: Vizio P Series Quantum (PQ65-F1). Bottom left: LG C9 (OLED55C9). Middle: LG SM9500 (65SM9500PUA). Top right: Samsung Q90R (QN65Q90R). Bottom right: Sony X950G (XBR55X950G). Unlike our other photographs, this picture wasn't taken under a controlled environment, so do not draw conclusions from it.

The LG SM9500 offers good performance for most viewing habits and is very well-suited for bright rooms. See our recommendations for the best TVs, the best flat screen TVs, and the best smart TVs.

LG NANO90 2020
55" 65" 75" 86"

The LG SM9500 is a bit better overall than the LG NANO90 2020. They're both IPS TVs, but the SM9500 has a slightly better contrast ratio and much wider viewing angles. It also gets much brighter, has much improved out-of-the-box color accuracy, and it supports HDMI 2.1 on all four HDMI inputs. On the other hand, the NANO90 has a quicker response time and it has better uniformity.

LG SM9000
55" 65" 75" 86"

The LG SM9500 is slightly better than the LG SM9000. The SM9500 has slightly better contrast, can get a lot brighter in SDR, and can get significantly brighter in HDR.

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

The Samsung Q70/Q70R QLED and the LG SM9500 use different panel technologies, each with their strengths and weakness. The Q70R is a better choice for watching in a dark room thanks to its exceptional contrast ratio and black uniformity. The SM9500 looks better in a brighter room and has wide viewing angles, so it's better for watching sports during the day with a large group of friends. The SM9500 is also a bit more future-proof, as it has 4 HDMI 2.1 ports, and it supports eARC.

LG SK9500
65"

The LG SK9500 and the LG SM9500 have very similar performance, and any differences are minor and unlikely to affect your viewing experience. The LG SM9500, however, supports 1440p, has lower input lag in HDR mode, and supports HDMI Forum VRR, which is great for Xbox One gamers.

Samsung Q80/Q80R QLED
55" 65" 75" 82"

The two TVs have different panels, but the Samsung Q80R has the 'Ultra Viewing Angle' technology that allows it to display wider viewing angles than typical VA panel TVs at the expense of lower contrast ratio. For most uses, the Samsung Q80R is a much better TV than the LG SM9500. The Q80R has excellent dark room performance with deep blacks thanks to its effective local dimming support. Also, the image on the Q80R remains accurate for fairly large angles. The LG SM9500 still has wider viewing angles, so it's more suitable if viewing angles are the main concern. In most other cases, the Q80R is the better choice.

LG SM9970 8k
75"

The LG SM9970 is very similar to the LG SM9500. They both have an IPS panel, but the SM9500 has a better contrast ratio, much better reflection handling, and significantly better color accuracy. On the other hand, the SM9970 has much better black uniformity, as well as a significantly better motion handling, but its viewing angles aren't as good as the SM9500. Gray uniformity is much better on the SM9970, but both TVs have visible vignetting and dirty screen effect.

LG B8 OLED
55" 65"

The LG B8 and the LG SM9500 use different panel types, each with their advantages and disadvantages. The B8 is an OLED TV, and as such, delivers outstanding dark room performance. The B8 also has a nearly-instantaneous response time, and it has better viewing angles. Unfortunately, the B8 also has a chance of permanent burn-in. The SM9500, on the other hand, is immune to burn-in. The SM9500 can also get a lot brighter and is more future-proof, as it supports HDMI 2.1, HDMI Forum's variable refresh rate technology, and eARC.

TCL 8 Series 2019/Q825 QLED
65" 75"

The TCL 8 Series 2019/Q825 QLED and the LG SM9500 have different panel types, each with its advantages and disadvantages. The TCL is more suitable for a dark room where it displays deeper and more uniform blacks thanks to its VA panel. On the other hand, the LG is a better choice if you often watch sports with a group of friends as the image remains accurate when viewed from the side. The LG has also a lower input lag, great for competitive gamers.

Sony X950G
55" 65" 75" 85"

The Sony X950G and the LG SM9500 have different panels, each with their advantages and disadvantages. The Sony has a better dark room performance but the image loses accuracy if you move off-axis. The LG is better enjoyed in a dim or a bright room where blacks don't matter as much, but on the upside, the image remains accurate for wider angles off-center, so it can accommodate a much wider seating arrangement. The 75" and 85" Sony X950G have wider viewing angles at the expense of contrast ratio.

Vizio P Series Quantum X 2019
65" 75"

The LG SM9500 and the Vizio P Series Quantum X use different panel types, each with their advantages and disadvantages. The Quantum X has a VA panel, which delivers much better dark room performance, with deep, uniform blacks, and it has a great local dimming feature. The LG SM9500, on the other hand, has wide viewing angles, great for wide seating areas, but it doesn't look as good in the dark. On the other hand, the SM9500 is slightly more future-proof, as it supports HDMI 2.1 and has some great gaming features.

LG SM8600
49" 55" 65" 75"

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.

Vizio P Series Quantum 2018
65"

The LG SM9500 and the Vizio P Series Quantum have different panels, each with their advantages and disadvantages. The LG has an IPS panel and is more suitable if you have a large room with wide seating arrangement and prefer to watch TV in a dim or a bright room, as its dark room performance is just decent. The Vizio, on the other hand, is more suitable if you watch TV in a dark room, as it can deliver excellent dark room performance, but you must sit straight in front to enjoy the most accurate image.

Sony X850F
65" 75" 85"

The Sony X850F is marginally better than the LG SM9500. The Sony has better gray uniformity, which is great if you're a sports fan. The X850F is also flicker-free, which is important for those that are bothered by flicker. The SM9500, on the other hand, can get brighter and is suitable for a very bright room. The LG has a local dimming feature that can provide some improvement with the appearance of blacks in a dark room. The LG also has a lower input lag, which is good news to gamers, but also shows some signs of temporary image retention.

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