LG 55UB950V review

A talented TV that’s good to look at and great to use Tested at £2300

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Our Verdict

A talented TV that’s good to look at and great to use

For

  • Sharp, clean picture
  • Punchy colours
  • WebOS is a work of genius

Against

  • Issues with contrast
  • Could do with more subtlety

The LG 55UB950V is our first 4K TV from the company this year and it’s armed with a fancy, smart new interface, as well as all the specifications to handle 4K.

Is it too good to be true?

Interface & design

We’ll start with the most remarkable thing about this LG: WebOS, which made its debut in 2009 on the short-lived Palm. WebOS’s big appeal is the ability to multi-task, and its use here is a revelation.

No longer do you need to load up the ‘home’ or smart ‘hub’ to do anything. Instead, you get the Launcher. It shows everything (apps, inputs, live TV) as tiny cards, and appears as an overlay like the pop-up on Blu-ray discs.

Want to pause BBC iPlayer and check something on live TV? Go for it, and the next time you click on iPlayer you will be exactly where you left off, without needing to reload.

Switching from Blu-ray to live TV to catch-up apps feels just like changing channels here.

It’s an intuitive system: everything is laid out chronologically, from left-to-right.

In the centre is a large image (current choice); to the left, a list of your recently used sources, easily called back; to the right, is whatever you might use in the future.

The brightly coloured tiles are easily identifiable. All TVs should work like this. So the LG is great to play with, but how does it look? We switch to the Netflix app for a bit of House of Cards and the picture is exceedingly sharp.

The LG makes a strong case for 4K, with its 8-million pixels doing a great job with details and textures.

There’s a thin bezel around the screen, and the simple metallic stand is attractive. Around the back are four HDMI 2.0 inputs, three USBs and LAN.

LG's Magic remote has gyroscopic sensors

LG's Magic remote has gyroscopic sensors

LG’s Magic Remote (above) has gyroscopic sensors, which control an on-screen pointer in the same way you use a mouse.

If that’s not for you, though, there’s the option of a traditional black wand.

Performance

The picture is good, but it's the superb LG WebOS that is the real star of the show

The picture is good, but it's the superb LG WebOS that is the real star of the show

It’s not a particularly subtle set, however. Colours are bold and punchy, but at times it could be more nuanced in the gradation and shading of contours – which helps with the illusion of depth.

The difference is more noticeable when we load some colourful stock footage, some of which has (it seems) been tuned for retinal damage. Then there are black levels, which are rarely deep and dark.

The panel struggles with contrast, and images can appear washed out. It’s not serious with lighter images, but in a dark scene (there are quite a few in our 4K clip of Elysium), the shortcoming is apparent.

Activating local dimming helps. We turned the backlight level to just over halfway, and put local dimming on low – this made the black levels more palatable, and improved contrast.

Full HD pictures make good use of the LGs superb clarity and sharpness. Our Blu-rays are upscaled with little picture noise, and lines are clean. 3D is of the passive variety, and comes with comfy, metal-framed glasses.

The LG’s punchy colours really help here: it’s a bright, vibrant image. Standard def is much like the other resolutions, though, with typically more noise and less clarity.

LG bucks the trend of poor-sounding flatscreens here. Voices are clear without being harsh. There’s detail, and weight too. What you get is a full-bodied sound, direct and cohesive.

Verdict

The LG 55UB950V isn’t without its flaws, but we like it. The picture isn’t class-leading, but its WebOS interface is.

And if you’re after a bold, attractive picture and a great user experience, this is well worth checking out.

MORE: Best TVs 2014

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Specifications

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General Information

Product SeriesUB950V
Product NameLG 55UB950V
Product Model55UB950V
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.lge.co.uk
Brand NameLG
Product TypeLED-LCD TV
ManufacturerLG Electronics
Manufacturer Part Number55UB950V

Interfaces-Ports

HDMIYes
CI+Yes
USBYes
Total Number of HDMI Ports4

Energy and Performance

Energy Efficiency ClassA
Standby Power Consumption300 mW
Energy Consumption per Year155 kWh
Maximum Resolution3840 x 2160
Operating Power Consumption106 W

Physical Characteristics

Depth with Stand24.2 cm
Weight with Stand Approximate24.20 kg
Width with Stand123.2 cm
Weight Approximate23.10 kg
Height with Stand77.6 cm
Width123.2 cm
VESA Mount Standard400 x 400
Depth6 cm
Height73.4 cm
Dimensions73.4 cm (H): 123.2 cm (W): 6 cm (D)

Technical Information

FeaturesWeb Browser, In-plane Switching (IPS) Technology, Mobile High Definition Link (MHL), Channel Labeling
Aspect Ratio16:9
3D Type3D
Backlight TechnologyLED
Horizontal Viewing Angle178°
Internet AccessYes
Smart TVYes
PC StreamingYes
Electronic Program GuideYes
Vertical Viewing Angle178°
Screen Size139.7 cm (55")

Network and Communication

EthernetYes
Wireless LANYes
Wi-Di TechnologyYes

Video

Video Signal Standard4K UHDTV
Scan Format2160p

Audio

Sound SystemDTS, Dolby Digital, Surround Sound

Miscellaneous

Environmentally FriendlyYes
Environmental CertificationErP, RoHS