LG UN8500 TV Review

Tested using Methodology v1.5
Reviewed Oct 02, 2020 at 08:06 am
LG UN8500 Picture
6.7
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: Vizio M Series Quantum 2019
5.9
Movies
7.3
TV Shows
7.1
Sports
7.4
Video Games
5.6
HDR Movies
6.8
HDR Gaming
7.6
PC Monitor
Type LED
Sub-Type
IPS (except 82")
Resolution 4k

The LG UN8500 is an okay entry-level TV. It's sold in large sizes, from 65 to 86 inches, and mainly designed for wide seating arrangements where you sit far from the TV. Most of the sizes, including the 65 inch model we tested, have IPS panels that provide fairly wide viewing angles. It also has a low contrast ratio, so blacks appear closer to gray when viewed in the dark. It has a 120Hz panel, quick response time, and low input lag for gaming, but it doesn't support any variable refresh rate (VRR) technologies. Sadly, it doesn't display native 4k content perfectly as you may notice the pixels even when sitting at a distance. Even though it has decent reflection handling, it performs best in dim or moderately-lit rooms because it doesn't get bright enough to combat glare.

Our Verdict

6.7 Mixed Usage

The LG UN8500 is an okay overall TV. Its IPS panel provides fairly wide viewing angles, which is great for watching TV shows or sports with a large group of friends and family. It's decent for gaming due to its 120Hz refresh rate, low input lag, and quick response time. Unfortunately, it's not good for watching movies as it has a low contrast ratio, and it doesn't display a wide color gamut for HDR content. Lastly, it's good to use as a PC monitor because it displays proper chroma 4:4:4.

Pros
  • Fairly wide viewing angles.
  • Decent reflection handling.
  • Low input lag.
Cons
  • Low contrast ratio.
  • Doesn't get very bright.
  • Image duplication due to backlight's flicker.
5.9 Movies

The LG UN8500 is disappointing for movies. Its IPS panel has a low contrast ratio, so blacks appear closer to gray. There's no local dimming and black uniformity is poor. Fortunately, it upscales lower-resolution content well and it removes 24p judder from any source.

Pros
  • Removes 24p judder from any source.
Cons
  • Low contrast ratio.
  • No local dimming.
  • Poor black uniformity.
7.3 TV Shows

The LG UN8500 is decent for watching TV shows. Even though it has decent reflection handling, it's best to place it in dim or moderately-lit rooms because it doesn't get very bright. Viewing angles are fairly wide if you tend to walk around while watching TV. It upscales lower-resolution content, such as from cable boxes, without any issues.

Pros
  • Fairly wide viewing angles.
  • Decent reflection handling.
Cons
  • Doesn't get very bright.
  • Uniformity issues.
7.1 Sports

The LG UN8500 is decent for sports. It has a great response time, but you may notice image duplication due to the backlight's 120Hz flicker. It performs well in moderately-lit rooms as it has decent reflection handling, but it doesn't get bright enough to combat a ton of glare. It has fairly wide viewing angles if you want to watch the game with a big group of friends.

Pros
  • Fairly wide viewing angles.
  • Decent reflection handling.
  • Quick response time.
Cons
  • Doesn't get very bright.
  • Uniformity issues.
  • Image duplication due to backlight's flicker.
7.4 Video Games

The LG UN8500 is decent for video games. It has a 120Hz panel but doesn't support any variable refresh rate (VRR) technologies. Input lag is low and it has a quick response time, but you may notice image duplication with fast-moving content because of the backlight's flicker. It upscales 1080p content well, but there are some minor issues when displaying native 4k content.

Pros
  • Low input lag.
  • Quick response time.
Cons
  • Low contrast ratio.
  • Image duplication due to backlight's flicker.
5.6 HDR Movies

The LG UN8500 is inadequate for watching HDR movies. It has a low contrast ratio, so blacks look gray when viewed in the dark. Black uniformity is poor, and there's no local dimming feature either. It doesn't display a wide color gamut for HDR content and doesn't get bright enough to make highlights pop. It also has some issues displaying native 4k content. Luckily, it removes 24p judder from any source.

Pros
  • Removes 24p judder from any source.
Cons
  • Low contrast ratio.
  • No local dimming.
  • Poor black uniformity.
  • Doesn't get very bright.
  • Doesn't display wide color gamut.
6.8 HDR Gaming

The LG UN8500 is alright for HDR gaming. It has low input lag and quick response time, but you may notice image duplication due to the backlight's 120Hz flicker. Sadly, HDR content doesn't look good because it doesn't display a wide color gamut, can't get bright enough to make highlights pop, and has a low contrast ratio.

Pros
  • Low input lag.
  • Quick response time.
Cons
  • Low contrast ratio.
  • No local dimming.
  • Doesn't display wide color gamut.
7.6 PC Monitor

The LG UN8500 is good to use as a computer monitor. It has fairly wide viewing angles, so the image remains accurate if you sit up close. It has decent reflection handling if you want to place it in a moderately-lit room, but it doesn't get very bright. It displays chroma 4:4:4 with a 4k resolution at 60Hz, but it has a higher input lag at that resolution, so you may notice some delay when typing.

Pros
  • Fairly wide viewing angles.
  • Decent reflection handling.
  • Displays chroma 4:4:4 with a 4k resolution.
Cons
  • Uniformity issues.
  • Input lag increases when displaying chroma 4:4:4.
  • 6.7 Mixed Usage
  • 5.9 Movies
  • 7.3 TV Shows
  • 7.1 Sports
  • 7.4 Video Games
  • 5.6 HDR Movies
  • 6.8 HDR Gaming
  • 7.6 PC Monitor

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Market Context
Market Context
Market Context

The LG UN8500 is the highest-end TV in LG's 2020 entry-level lineup. It sits below the LG NANO81 in the NanoCell Series and above the LG UN7300. It's a replacement for the LG UM8070. Expect its main competitors to be the Samsung TU8000, Sony X750H, and the Vizio M8 Series Quantum 2020.

Design
7.0
Design
Style
Curved No

The LG UN8500 has a decent design and looks a lot like the LG UN7300. It's a simple-looking TV with thick bezels that aren't flush to the screen, so they stick out a bit. It's fairly well-built and made entirely out of plastic, but there's wobble and parts that flex easily.

Design
Stand

The stand is almost as wide as the TV itself, so you may need a large table to place it on. It supports the TV well but doesn't eliminate all wobble. The feet seem to bend when the TV wobbles, but we don't expect this to be too much of an issue for most people.

Footprint of the 65" inch TV: 52.4" x 10.6"

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 300x300

The back is simple with a textured finish on the plastic. Sadly, there's no cable management.

Design
Borders
Borders 0.63" (1.6 cm)

The borders are on the thick side and they stick out from the screen a bit.

Design
Thickness
Max Thickness 3.53" (9.0 cm)

The LG UN8500 isn't very thick and shouldn't stick out much when wall-mounted.

7.0
Design
Build Quality

Decent build quality. The plastic doesn't feel very premium, and the center of the back panel flexes quite easily. The TV wobbles a bit, and the feet bend slightly when it wobbles, but we don't expect this to be an issue for most people.

Picture Quality
6.2
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
1131 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
N/A

As expected from an IPS panel, the LG UN8500 has a low contrast ratio. Blacks appear closer to gray when viewed in the dark. Contrast may vary between units.

Note: The 82 inch model has a VA panel, so we expect it to have a much better contrast.

0
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
No
Backlight
Direct

This TV doesn't have a local dimming feature. The video above is provided for reference only.

5.8
Picture Quality
SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
232 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
260 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
261 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
261 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
261 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
262 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
260 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
261 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
261 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
261 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
261 cd/m²
SDR ABL
0.000

The LG UN8570 has disappointing peak brightness in SDR, similar to the LG UM8070. It doesn't get bright enough to combat glare in well-lit environments, so it's best to place it in a dim room. It keeps its brightness very consistent across our different test patterns, which is great, but it gets less bright in real scenes.

We tested the SDR peak brightness after calibration in the 'Expert (Dark Room)' Picture Mode with brightness at its max. If you want the brightest image possible, we were able to get 359 cd/m² in the 10% window with the Picture Mode set to 'Vivid'.

5.2
Picture Quality
HDR Peak Brightness
HDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
273 cd/m²
HDR Peak 2% Window
320 cd/m²
HDR Peak 10% Window
321 cd/m²
HDR Peak 25% Window
322 cd/m²
HDR Peak 50% Window
322 cd/m²
HDR Peak 100% Window
322 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 2% Window
320 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 10% Window
321 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 25% Window
322 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 50% Window
322 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 100% Window
322 cd/m²
HDR ABL
0.000

Poor HDR peak brightness. It doesn't get bright enough to make highlights pop in HDR, and even though its brightness is consistent across our test patterns, it's not as bright in real scenes.

We measured the HDR brightness in the 'HDR Cinema' Picture Mode with Dynamic Tone Mapping off. If you want the brightest image possible, use the 'HDR Vivid' Picture Mode. We were able to get 361 cd/m² in the 10% window.

6.8
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
5.536 %
50% DSE
0.203 %
5% Std. Dev.
0.771 %
5% DSE
0.104 %

The LG UN8500 has okay gray uniformity. There's some dirty screen effect in the center and significant vignetting in the corners, but these problems may vary between units. The uniformity is much better in near-dark scenes.

7.0
Picture Quality
Viewing Angle
Color Washout
27 °
Color Shift
57 °
Brightness Loss
28 °
Black Level Raise
70 °
Gamma Shift
33 °

The viewing angles are decent. It uses an ADS panel that performs similarly to an IPS panel, but the viewing angles aren't as wide as most IPS panel TVs, such as the Sony X800H. The image remains fairly accurate when viewing from the side, and it's suitable for wide seating arrangements.

Note: The 82 inch model has a VA panel, so we don't expect it to have wide viewing angles.

5.1
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
2.621 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
N/A

The LG UN8500 has poor black uniformity. There's clouding throughout and some backlight bleed along the bottom edge, but this may vary between units.

7.0
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Semi-gloss
Total Reflections
5.9 %
Indirect Reflections
0.2 %
Calculated Direct Reflections
5.7 %

The LG UN8570 has decent reflection handling. It handles a moderate amount of light well but it struggles in well-lit environments. Its reflection handling is a lot worse than the lower-end LG UN7300.

6.1
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
White Balance dE
5.40
Color dE
3.54
Gamma
1.90
Color Temperature
6398 K
Picture Mode
Expert (Dark Room)
Color Temp Setting
Warm 2
Gamma Setting
2.2

The out-of-the-box accuracy is mediocre, but this may vary between units. Most colors are only a bit inaccurate and the color temperature is close to the 6500K target. However, white balance is off and gamma follows a 1.9 target instead of the 2.2 target, even though the 'Gamma 2.2' setting was selected. This means most scenes are brighter than they should be.

9.3
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
White Balance dE
0.31
Color dE
0.97
Gamma
2.20
Color Temperature
6962 K
White Balance Calibration
22 point
Color Calibration
Yes
Auto-Calibration Function
No

After calibration, the accuracy is remarkable. There aren't any noticeable inaccuracies with colors and the white balance, and gamma follows the target almost perfectly. However, the color temperature is colder than before calibration, resulting in a blue-ish tint.

You can see our recommended settings here. However, we don't suggest copying these settings because we had to make aggressive changes in order to calibrate it properly. We don't know if we simply got a bad panel, and copying our settings may make your picture quality worse.

8.0
Picture Quality
480p Input

480p content such as DVDs is upscaled without any issues.

8.0
Picture Quality
720p Input

The LG UN8500 upscales 720p content, like from cable boxes, without any artifacts.

9.0
Picture Quality
1080p Input

1080p content, like from Blu-ray players, is upscaled well and there aren't any artifacts.

9.5
Picture Quality
4k Input

The LG 65UN8500 displays native 4k content almost perfectly, but there are some upscaling issues. You can see the pixels from a distance that you normally don't see pixels on other 4k TVs. There's also a strange sub-pixel dithering/dimming effect when displaying solid colors. It dims every second row of green pixels, and in rows where the green pixels are dimmed, the blue pixels are brighter. Rows with brighter green pixels have dim blue pixels. You can see the pixel photo here.

0
Picture Quality
8k Input

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

Picture Quality
Pixels

It uses an ADS (Advanced Dimension Switching) panel like most other entry-level LG TVs, which is technically different from an IPS panel, but the two perform very similarly. On this panel, the green pixels have a different shape than the blue and red pixels, and they look different than the green pixels on the LG NANO81.

The green and blue pixels also have a strange dimming effect where every second row has bright green and dim blue pixels, and the other rows have dim green and bright blue pixels. You can see the pixel photo here.

7.1
Picture Quality
Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
No
DCI P3 xy
77.90 %
DCI P3 uv
85.59 %
Rec 2020 xy
56.07 %
Rec 2020 uv
62.88 %

The LG UN8570 has a decent color gamut for HDR content, but it fails to display a wide color gamut. The EOTF follows the PQ curve well, but most scenes are brighter than they should be. The EOTF in 'Game' mode is similar, but the image is slightly brighter.

If you find HDR content too dim, set Dynamic Contrast to 'High', which results in a brighter image, as you can see in this EOTF.

5.8
Picture Quality
Color Volume
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage ITP
65.8 %
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP
26.9 %
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
49.8 %
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
20.3 %

Disappointing color volume. Due to the lack of a wide color gamut and low contrast ratio, it doesn't display colors at a wide range of luminance levels.

Note: The 82 inch model has a VA panel, so we expect it to have a much better contrast, which may lead to a better color volume.

7.0
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
10 Bit
Red (Std. Dev.)
0.128 dE
Green (Std. Dev.)
0.129 dE
Blue (Std. Dev.)
0.114 dE
Gray (Std. Dev.)
0.214 dE

The gradient handling is decent and similar to the LG UN7300. There's visible banding in the darker shades, especially with darker gray, green, and red. The Smooth Gradiation feature doesn't affect the test pattern; however, it smooths out gradients in real content if you set it to 'High' or 'Medium', but you may lose some fine details. It smooths out some gradients even when set on 'Low'.

10
Picture Quality
Temporary Image Retention
IR after 0 min recovery
0.00 %
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 are no signs of temporary image retention, but this may vary between units.

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

Although some IPS panels can suffer from temporary image retention, this doesn't appear to be permanent as the IPS panel in our long-term test appear immune.

Motion
8.0
Motion
Response Time
80% Response Time
4.2 ms
100% Response Time
13.4 ms

The LG UN8500 has a great response time. For the most part, motion looks smooth, but there's some overshoot in most transitions. There's also image duplication because of the backlight's 120Hz flicker.

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

The LG UN8570 uses Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) to dim its backlight. It flickers at 120Hz at all backlight settings.

6.0
Motion
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
Optional BFI
No
Min Flicker for 60 fps
120 Hz
60 Hz for 60 fps
No
120 Hz for 120 fps
Yes
Min Flicker for 60 fps in Game Mode
120 Hz

There's no Black Frame Insertion feature.

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

This TV can interpolate lower-frame rate content up to 120fps, known as the 'Soap Opera Effect'. The motion interpolation feature is okay, but it doesn't stop interpolating even in busy scenes, which results in motion artifacts with fast-moving content. There's image duplication due to the backlight's 120Hz flicker.

To find out more about motion interpolation, and how to enable it, see here.

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

Due to the LG 65UN8500's quick response time, you may notice some image stutter with lower-frame rate content because each frame is held on longer.

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

The LG UN8500 can remove 24p judder from any source, such as native apps or Blu-ray players, which helps with the appearance of motion. For it to work, simply enable Real Cinema.

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 UN8500 doesn't support any variable refresh rate technologies.

Inputs
8.7
Inputs
Input Lag
1080p @ 60 Hz
15.1 ms
1080p @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
99.0 ms
1440p @ 60 Hz