An OLED TV can offer you this: fantastic picture quality, accurate colors, deepest blacks and inimitable uniformity and contrast ratios. But it can also do this to your bank account: -$3,000.
If you’re still set on getting yourself an LG OLED beauty that will make your living room shine for years to come, most experts agree that you don’t need to go over $1,300 to turn your dream into reality.
LG is offering a perfect OLED model out there that will likely surpass all of your high expectations. It’s the 55-inch B9 Series, and you can nab this amazing product without sacrificing a part of your mortgage payment.
The B9 matches up very well to its more expensive brethren, the C9 Series (which you can upgrade to this model for an extra $200). Aside from having minor design tweaks and slightly less processing speeds than the C9, the overall picture quality has been shown to be nearly identical.
Even compared to the high-end CX models (which feature Dolby Vision IQ, Nvidia G-Sync and Filmmaker Mode), if it’s only the picture quality you’re after, that top-notch value is unquestionably still with the B9 Series.
As expected from an LG OLED TV offering, there are plenty of extra goodies, namely the built-in Amazon Alexa and Apple AirPlay 2. It also boasts Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos and all of the HDMI 2.1 extras, including eARC, Auto Game Mode and Variable Refresh Rate.
Keep in mind that although the B9 is pretty great for gamers, if you’re still seeking that next-gen level of gameplay, the CX or BX Series might be a better fit because they support both FreeSync and G-Sync.
The minimalist-driven design of the B9 features a super-slim modern panel. LCD TVs can’t compete with the thinness of OLEDs because they do need backlighting to produce the images. There is, though, a conspicuous bulge at the bottom of the panel, but this houses the necessary inputs, power supply, speakers and other ancillary components.
Much like Samsung’s Tizen operating system, LG’s webOS is surely still a work in progress. Yes, it has a pleasant, stripped-down user interface, which hasn’t changed much since it launched, but it really lacks what’s needed for today’s data-intensive streaming TV world.
Not surprisingly, the webOS comes with essentials like Netflix, Amazon and YouTube, which are installed by default. But the overall range of offerings is a bit lackluster—perhaps that’s why many consumers still prefer Roku or Android TV. This lack of punch in the app universe and animations or Wi-Fi dropping out intermittently is even more pronounced when you are selling the best TV panels on the planet.
Be aware that, like all OLED TVs, the B9 can suffer from image retention or burn-in. There also have been instances of digital artifacts and slight banding, but these are minor issues that do not take away from the superb overall value that you’ll be getting.
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek and Arirang TV. He currently resides in Minneapolis.