The LG UF9500 UHD TV is LG's flagship 4k LED TV. Despite its plethora of features, the image quality is sub-par, especially when watched in the dark. For a well-lit, wide living room with seating on the sides, it will still fit the bill, and most will enjoy its good smart functions.
The LG UF9500 looks high-end with its particular stand. The TV is very slim on the upper portion, and although the middle and bottom portions are a bit thicker, it still manages to look sharp overall. Like some other recent TVs from LG, its back is all white, which is something to keep in mind if the TV won't be close to a wall.
Because of its low contrast (and the resulting poor blacks), movies on the LG UF9500 won't look as good as on some other TVs. This is especially true in a dark room, where the UF9500's blacks will look gray. This won't be much of a problem if most of your viewing is done in a well-lit room.
The local dimming zones are too big to provide a real improvement to the picture. In our test, when the dot is moving fast, the middle zones don't appear to light up anymore. Only the left and right edges of the screen lit up (almost half of the screen lit up for each side).
Uniformity is particularly bad. In fact, it is the worst we have seen to date. Edges of the screen are very dark and banding can be seen in middle of the screen on most content. It is especially distracting for sports on long camera pans over playing surfaces. For example, in football, long passes where the camera travels from one end of the field to the other will reveal the 'dirty screen effect' (DSE).
Like other TVs that have IPS panels, the LG UF9500 has a great viewing angle. Watching from the sides won't degrade picture quality as much as most other LED TVs with VA panels.
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.
Calibration was hard to achieve, and we had to lower contrast to correct the more pronounced gamma issues. Our settings then give a less-bright picture, with lower contrast than what the TV can do by default. It was a sacrifice that has to be made to get the grayscale close to gamma 2.2.
The LG UF9500 will keep up with fast action in sports. Players moving at full speed will stay defined enough that you won't miss any important play. Unfortunately, the screen uniformity is very bad. The screen might appear dirty when the camera is looking at playing surfaces.
Gaming on the LG UF9500 is great. Controls are responsive under game mode, and the low amount of blur makes everything clearer. Games that require fast reflexes, like first person shooters, will be good on this TV.
It isn't the fastest TV around but you most likely won't complain about responsiveness. Controls will feel good for all kinds of games. Motion interpolation isn't recommended while gaming, because it increases the input lag too much.
Most PC inputs are compatible, except for 1080p @ 120Hz. For all supported modes, chroma 4:4:4 can be enabled for sharp-looking text. To enable, change the input icon to PC. While in 4k, 'HDMI ULTRA HD Deep Color' must also be turned on. Under PC mode, the input lag is the same as in game mode as long as the 'Game' picture mode stays selected.
Although we noticed some irregularities with the sound of the LG UF9500, the problems shouldn't be noticeable outside our test environment. The LG UF9500 outperforms the sound of most TVs, and has relatively good bass and maximum volume, without much distortion. Another external dedicated sound option would still be better, but for those who want to use the TV speakers, the sound of this TV will be fine.
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.
Very good distortion results overall. We did, however, experience some strange behavior (clicks and pops) with our unit. It happens only at high frequencies, with the volume on the TV set to 25 and lower (see the spikes above 3 KHz on the blue line). The problem seems to go away when the volume is increased above 25. This issue may not be audible under regular use, but it was quite audible and reproducible with our test signal.
WebOS 2.0 is the smart platform running on the LG UF9500 and it offers a very good interface. It could have been better with more apps, but the most popular ones are there. Combined with the great interface, the magic remote makes everything easy to navigate and can act as a universal remote for your other connected devices, such as a cable box and receivers. Switching inputs feels like using apps, which is great.
You can see our full review of the LG WebOS here.