John Lewis JL22 review

This home branded television may look the part, but we found it capable rather than compelling Tested at £270.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Intriguing rather than compelling – don’t be blinded by the branding


  • +

    Full-house specification

  • +

    watchable TV tuners and punchy images overall


  • -

    Chassis looks big for a small screen

  • -

    doesn’t really do black

  • -

    easily alarmed by on-screen motion

Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.

This 22in set isn't about to bring the John Lewis/Waitrose empire to its knees, but it's hard to see how it will reflect entirely positively on the brand.

First impressions aren't great: at 22in it's one of the bigger small screens, but it's housed in a needlessly large chassis. Turn it on, and there are issues with uneven backlighting along the top and bottom of the screen.

Even the impressive specification (two HDMI inputs, 1920 x 1080 resolution) and workable on-screen menus are undermined by the horribly imprecise remote control.

Pictures from a Blu-ray of Moon are bright and reasonably punchy, with good levels of detail on display and smooth edge-definition.

The colour palette, skin tones aside, is convincingly natural, but the JL22 isn't too confident with movement and can't provide much in the way of actual black.

But while it does lack black depth, dark tones (such as they are) do provide bleaker scenes with reasonable amounts of detail.

Soft DVD images
Give it a DVD to upscale, and you get an image that's soft and short of detail. The set's signature brightness is impressive, but its inability to control complicated patterns or handle motion with any conviction disappoints.

With broadcast pictures, though, the JL22 claws back some credibility. Edges are smooth, patterns are dealt with confidently and the punchiness of the picture maintains detail well.

Sound, while thin, is fairly well composed and quite spacious. Unless you're playing games, when images are lag-free but sound is bleached and spiky.

It's hard to know who this screen will appeal to. It's a decent enough television receiver, but for a small screen it's pointlessly large and its performance can be bettered.

See all our TV Best Buys

Follow on Twitter

What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

Read more about how we test