7 Best Smart TVs in the UK for 2020

Budget
Samsung 50-Inch Ru7100 HDR Smart 4K TV
Value-for-Money
Panasonic TX-50GX800B 50 inch LED 4K Ultra HD HDR Smart TV with Dolby Vision & Dolby Atmos Sound and...
Best of Best
Samsung QE55Q60R QLED TV
Title
Samsung 50-Inch Ru7100 HDR Smart 4K TV
Panasonic TX-50GX800B 50 inch LED 4K Ultra HD HDR Smart TV with Dolby Vision & Dolby Atmos Sound and...
Samsung QE55Q60R QLED TV
Rating
Display Resolution Max
3840 x 2160 pixels
3840 X 2160 pixels
1080 pixels
Display Size
50 in
50 in
55 in
Price
£439.00
£589.00
£687.00
Budget
Samsung 50-Inch Ru7100 HDR Smart 4K TV
Title
Samsung 50-Inch Ru7100 HDR Smart 4K TV
Rating
Display Resolution Max
3840 x 2160 pixels
Display Size
50 in
Price
£439.00
Value-for-Money
Panasonic TX-50GX800B 50 inch LED 4K Ultra HD HDR Smart TV with Dolby Vision & Dolby Atmos Sound and...
Title
Panasonic TX-50GX800B 50 inch LED 4K Ultra HD HDR Smart TV with Dolby Vision & Dolby Atmos Sound and...
Rating
Display Resolution Max
3840 X 2160 pixels
Display Size
50 in
Price
£589.00
Best of Best
Samsung QE55Q60R QLED TV
Title
Samsung QE55Q60R QLED TV
Rating
Display Resolution Max
1080 pixels
Display Size
55 in
Price
£687.00

Table of Contents

Top 3 Best-Sellers right now

SaleBestseller No. 1
LG Electronics 32LM630BPLA.AEK 32-Inch HD Ready Smart LED TV with Freeview Play - Ceramic Black...
50 Reviews
LG Electronics 32LM630BPLA.AEK 32-Inch HD Ready Smart LED TV with Freeview Play - Ceramic Black...
  • Enjoy entertainment in stunning detail and Generating fives times the resolution of standard...
  • To support the advanced picture processing required for bright, sharp images there are 4 cores of...
  • With active HDR adapting scene by scene to deliver image Mastering with pinpoint picture...
  • Good quality software creates a surround sound effect producing virtual audio channels for broadcast...
Bestseller No. 2
LG 43UM7100PLB 43 Inch UHD 4K HDR Smart LED TV with Freeview Play - Ceramic Black (2019 Model)...
826 Reviews
LG 43UM7100PLB 43 Inch UHD 4K HDR Smart LED TV with Freeview Play - Ceramic Black (2019 Model)...
  • Ultra HD 4K resolution is four times that of full HD producing brilliant clarity and vivid details...
  • With active HDR adapting scene by scene to deliver image mastering with pinpoint picture...
  • This sound technology creates seven virtual channels which produce the multi channel ultra surround...
  • Alexa Built-in; find information and control smart home devices by speaking into your LG Magic...
Bestseller No. 3
Sharp 2T-C40BG3KG2FB 40 Inch Full HD LED Smart TV with Freeview Play, 3 x HDMI, 2 x USB, Scart, USB...
  • This Sharp LED TV can be connected to an array of devices using the 3 x HDMI, SCART, 2 x USB,...
  • With the Smart capability of Sharp you can access a range of apps, such as Netflix, YouTube and BBC...
  • Freeview Play is live and on demand. You can watch catch up through your TV guide and stay on top of...
  • A compact unit with a multitude of features such as DTS TruSurround, Freeview HD and PVR recording,...

1.  SAMSUNG UE43NU7020

Introduction

Samsung UE43NU7020 43" Smart 4K
View on Amazon

Samsung’s UE43NU7020 Smart TV is one of the best on the market – and at a surprisingly affordable price.  This model has Ultra HD (UHD) with High Dynamic Range (HDR).

At a Glance

  • Brand: Samsung
  • Model: UE43NU7020
  • Dimensions: 20.7 x 97 x 60.5 cm
  • Weight: 9.6 kg
  • Connectivity: HDMI, USB-connection
  • Display: 42.5 in, IPS, Edge LED, 3840 x 2160 pixels
  • Refresh rate: 60 Hz
  • Frame interpolation: 1300 PQI (Picture Quality Index)
  • TV tuner: Analog (NTSC/PAL/SECAM), DVB-T, DVB-T2, DVB-C
  • Cores: 4
  • Dimensions: 970.2 x 563.2 x 58.8 mm
  • Resolution: 4K
  • Special features: UHD Smart TV

Design & Build

The Samsung model that leads our list is a Smart LED, UHD TV, which comes in black with 2 x HDMI and one USB VESA wall mount.  It is classy in appearance and super thin plus the frame is small.  The design of this TV not only looks good but also boasts prime construction materials and efficient design.

With a screen size of 43 inches, the Samsung UE43NU7020 is energy efficient A with a resolution type of 4K Ultra HD.

General Characteristics

The HDR technology affords much more detail in the shadows, which a standard panel cannot bring out, especially in scenes with low lighting.  On top of that, with HDR 10+ every scene is also highly modified for colour, contrast and even the finest details – a feature that makes a huge difference to your viewing enjoyment.

The Ultra High Definition means that viewers have far better shadow detail with better and precise colour.  The UHD dimming feature modifies the tone, brightness and clarity for the best possible image which adds to the whole family’s viewing enjoyment.

Contemporary TV’s all have UHD but the Ultra HD characteristic ensures a certifiable level to produce the very best picture quality, realistic colours and the sharpest contrast and brightness.

When you use the Smart Hub, you have the optimum choice with BBC iPlayer, Netflix plus Amazon Prime.  The best thing is that it is really easy to navigate and operate the hub menu by just clicking on your remote. This is such a nice change from past models where you needed to spend ages figuring out how to use it. A definite plus when considering the purchase of the Samsung UE43NU7020.

On the downside, there is no headphone jack or SCART socket, which means you can’t connect with older equipment or use headphones.  Also, the sound quality, while perfectly acceptable, lacks clout as in all thin Smart TVs.  You may wish to invest in a soundbar if you enjoy your films or games with crystal clear sound.

Pros
  • 4K UHD resolution means every detail is crystal clear
  • HDR powered by HDR10+
  • Connect wirelessly to the internet using Wi-Fi
  • Tizen operating system for apps & internet in one place
  • Easy to set up and use
Cons
  • No headphone connector
  • Sound is adequate but you may need a soundbar

Our Opinion

The Samsung UE43NU7020 is a really good value for money option, especially with its best feature of Ultra HD.  You certainly won’t regret the purchase even if you don’t watch any UHD content, you will still notice the stunning reality this set will offer.

So, we would certainly recommend this Smart TV, for combining a great array of features, fantastic price and effortless navigation.

2.  Samsung 50” RU7100 HDR

Introduction

Samsung 50-Inch Ru7100 HDR
View on Amazon

The Samsung RU7100 comes in 7 different sizes from 40 to 75 inches and is the cheapest 4K model in Samsung TVs. For our list, we selected the 50-inch model, which is one of the most popular picks for small and mid-sized households.

At a Glance

  • Brand: SAMSUNG
  • Model: 50” RU7100 HDR
  • Dimensions: 26.1 x 112.5 x 72.9 cm
  • Weight: 13.6 kg
  • Colour: Charcoal Black
  • Display: 49.5 in, VA, Edge LED, 3840 x 2160 pixels
  • Refresh rate: 60 Hz
  • Frame interpolation: 1400 PQI (Picture Quality Index)
  • TV tuner: Analog (NTSC/PAL/SECAM), DVB-T, DVB-T2, DVB-C
  • Cores: 4
  • 4K Ultra HD: Connected
  • Series: 4K UHD TV
  • Backlighting: Edge-lit LED
  • Dimming: UHD Dimming
  • Style: Flat Panel
  • Design: New Edge
  • Bezel Width: VNB
  • Batteries: 2 AA Batteries Required (Included)

Design & Build

Design and build feature a sturdy type of plastic, known for being solid and saving on costs of production. Note that you can choose a curved screen as a variant if desired but it doesn’t influence the quality of the image at all.

A two-legged secure stand is provided and the legs have grooves on the back with clips to enable a neat cable management. However, should you wish to wall-mount the set you will run into difficulties as some of the RU7100’s inputs are facing backwards (Ethernet & analogue inputs to be precise).

General Characteristics

The Samsung RU7100 offers good SDR image quality.  The VA-LED panel produces deep blacks with a high contrast ratio.  However, this brightness is not sufficient to get the better of glare in a brightly lit room.

The Frame Rate Control (FRC) allows the 8-Bit Panel to exhibit a 10-Bit colour depth, which means that colours and gradients look unvarying.  The colour is limited due to no wide colour scope.  On top of this, there is no dimming either, so that the effect of HDR is very weak.  The SDR material, however, is great.

The trouble with the VA-Panel is that it has a narrow viewing angle which means that you should not face the screen at an angle, and avoid watching a movie in a bright room – at least if you want the best viewing experience.

The decreased Response Time (from 10 ms to decent 8 ms) means that there is seldom a blur trail of fast-moving objects (a football for example).

Gamers will also be happy with this Smart TV, since the input lag is less than 11 ms, thus making the controls super responsive. On top of that, there are also analogue video inputs that can be used for older gaming consoles. Needless to say, for more advanced gaming features, you will need a more expensive TV.

The stereo speakers offer decent quality and the volume is adequate for small or medium rooms. Voices and dialogues are clear but the absence of a subwoofer results in the TV having difficulty coping with frequencies below 70Hz. This means there is no thump in the low bass.

You can easily improve sound quality by purchasing a soundbar but Samsung does not operate with the DTS format and cannot manage dynamic surround sound like Dolby Atmos.

The RU7100 operate on Tizen 5 OS but sadly not all features are obtainable. While it supports AirPlay 2, Alexa and Google Assistant, it does not have Samsung’s own Bixby voice assistant. It does have Bluetooth to connect with a soundbar, but, unfortunately, it cannot connect wireless with a mouse or keyboard.  If you want to use a keyboard, you must use the USB connection.

Pros
  • Deep blacks defined
  • Excellent low input lag, great for gamers
  • Good uniformity
  • High native contrast ratio
  • Alexa, Google Assistant & Apple AirPlay 2
  • Reasonable price
Cons
  • No local dimming
  • Poor HDR peak brightness
  • Image degrades when viewed at an angle
  • No DTS (Digital Theatre System)

Our Opinion

The Samsung RU7100 is a perfect choice for gamers and is a perfectly good TV.  Offered at a fair price, it proves appropriate for most usages and has a lot of good points. Of course, whether it suits you or not depends on what you are looking for.

3.  LG ELECTRONICS 5OUM7500PLA

Introduction

LG Electronics 50UM7500PLA 50-Inch UHD 4K
View on Amazon

The LG Electronics 5OUM7500PLA TV offers a great image quality thanks to its 4K resolution, which is actually four times larger than full HD.  By far the most interesting display feature is the 4K Active HDR, which is designed to create life-like images with vibrant colours which burst from the screen, it is a must for animal documentaries and game playing.

At a Glance

  • Brand: LG Electronics
  • Model: 5OUM7500PLA
  • Dimensions: 72 x 113 x 26 cm
  • Weight:  13.5 kg
  • Connectivity:
  • Screen Size: 50”
  • Display: LED
  • Viewing Angle: Wide viewing angle
  • Refresh Rate: 50Hz
  • Resolution: 4K UH (3840×2160)
  • Panel Type: VA

Design & Build

The overall design of this TV is very chic and the quality of the build is more than adequate.  The frame is fairly thin and looks best wall-mounted.  A stand is also provided if preferred.

General Characteristics

The 50OUM7500PLA can be connected to the internet so that you can find apps or stream films.  It has new artificial intelligence called ThingQ which is useful if you use the magic remote which makes browsing and general TV usage far easier than with a normal remote.  It also has Google Assistant and is compatible with Google Home and Alexa devices.  Bluetooth is available, and you can easily connect it with your Smartphone.

This model is equipped with two built-in speakers with 10W power each for a total output of 20W which is enough for most unless the room is very large.  In that case, you may need to purchase external speakers which will create a home cinema ambience.  The ultra-surround mode is excellent, especially with external speakers.

On the downside, however, especially for film buffs, is that the TV doesn’t support local dimming, which, more or less means that the blacks aren’t as good as they should be.

Pros
  • 4K Resolution & active HDR provide good picture quality
  • Compatible with Google Home & Alexa devices
  • Sound is loud & clear
  • Chic design
Cons
  • No local dimming

Our Opinion

LG50OUM7500PLA TV is an excellent buy and will meet most users’ needs.  The quality of the picture is good due to the 4K resolution and active HR technology.

The colours make up for this though with their beautiful accuracy so it really isn’t a deal-breaker. The sound is loud and clear for most room spaces. The design is good and will fit in with your home décor.  All in all, a very good buy.

4.  Samsung UE50RU7400UXXU

Introduction

Samsung UE50RU7400UXXU 50-inch
View on Amazon

The Samsung UE50RU7400 produces fantastic picture quality.  The HDR 10+ feature means that you can watch colours explode from the screen and even unveil what lurks in the shadows. It is ideal for viewing nature documentaries or playing games. It also features a Universal Guide, which recommends popular shows tailored for you based on set preferences.

At a Glance

  • Brand: Samsung
  • Model: UE50RU7400
  • Dimensions: 73.5H x 112.4W x 34.7D
  • Colour: Charcoal black
  • Weight:  16.5 kg
  • Screen size: 50”
  • Screen type: LED
  • Resolution size: 3840×2160
  • Resolution type: 4K Ultra HD
  • Energy Rating: A
  • HDMI Input: 3
  • Internet: Wi-Fi & Ethernet
  • Special Feature: VESA 200 x 200
  • USB Input: 2

Design & Build

This Samsung model has a 50” screen and an elegant, slim design which looks good from any angle. Cables are even neatly hidden away from view in one of the legs.

The TV is compatible with smart devices and Bixby, Alexa and Google Assistant, which connect through SmartThings.  It is also possible to connect a keyboard and mouse via a USB port for easier access. You will also be able to download apps in the smart hub or stream films.

UHD Dimming means shadows are better detailed with more accurate colours and tone, brightness and sharpness are adjusted accordingly., while the UHD dimming controls the darkest and brightest elements of any image for a more lifelike experience in viewing.

There is just one remote control for everything.

The TV can easily find the title of any background music or movie soundtrack.  The UE50RU7400 is equipped with two Dolby built-in speakers with a total of 20W output.  The sound quality is good but there are not enough sound pre-set settings in some people’s opinion.  A soundbar will improve things in a larger room.

Pros
  • Stunning sharpness & clarity
  • Dynamic HDR10+ vibrant colour
  • Widest range of streaming apps including Apple TV
Cons
  • Navigation needs getting used to

Our Opinion

The Samsung UE50RU7400 certainly keeps its promise for fantastic picture quality. The price is just fine if you consider the quality of the picture and the excellent features that are included. Easy to set up, with a particularly fast menu system, it will do everything it is meant to and prove an ideal addition to any modern home.

5.  Panasonic TX-50GX800

Introduction

Panasonic TX-50GX800B 50 inch LED
View on Amazon

The Panasonic TX-50GX800 offers Dolby Vision and HDR10+ dynamic metadata systems on the one TV – making it the first time this has been seen in the UK market.  More or less, it is designed to ensure that the content is played back within the capabilities of the TV and, therefore, to make sure that HDR performance be at its very best.

At a Glance

  • Brand: Panasonic
  • Model: TX-50GX800
  • Display: 49.5 in, VA, Edge LED, 3840 x 2160 pixels
  • Viewing angles (H/V): 178 °/ 178 °
  • Refresh rate: 60 Hz
  • Frame interpolation: 1600 BMR (Backlight Motion Rate)
  • TV tuner: DVB-T, Analog (NTSC/PAL/SECAM), DVB-T2, DVB-C, DVB-S2
  • Dimensions: 1120 x 651 x 62 mm
  • Weight: 14 kg / 16 Kg (With the Stand)
  • Screen size: 50”
  • Screen resolution: 4K Ultra HD
  • HDR format: Dolby Vision, HDR10+, HDR10, HLG
  • LED Backlight: LED Edge

Design & Build

The design looks conservative at first glance but on inspection, you will note that the LCD panel is located on top of the surrounding bezel instead of within.  This creates an elegant appearance of glass-on-frame.  TV is edge-lit and extremely thin.

It also has a handy centre stand, so no need to buy extra furniture.

General Characteristics

The remote control isn’t stylish at all and is a bit daunting at first glance but you will soon get used to it.  However, It has sport, Netflix as well as Freeview Play dedicated buttons.

Connections are restricted to three HDMIs, as well as two USB ports, digital optical audio out, component AV and Ethernet. The UK version has Freeview Play but there is no satellite option.  Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are both supported.  Bluetooth connectivity supports headphone pairing but there are only three HDMI inputs.

This model is really easy to use with Panasonic’s refined smart platform which is the best around at the moment.

Both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa are integrated.  The Home platform starts with a trio of buttons:  Devices, Apps and Live TV.  You can also customise the user interface by adding your own short-cuts for streaming as well as connected devices.

The Device button offers locally connected sources such as set-top TV boxes, Blu-ray player or games consoles and also recognises networked NAS devices with media servers.  Servers are immediately listed with their content playable.  File support is great too, no problem unspooling MKV files through the TV.

On top of this, the Panasonic GX800 has a wide choice of key streaming services such as Netflix, Rakuten, YouTube and Amazon Prime Video as well as less famous ones.

The addition of a two-way Bluetooth Audio link enables you to stream Bluetooth audio to the TV as well as pair wireless headphones for listening in private.

The HD/SDR performance greatly enhances the picture as well as Local Dimming technology which really highlights shadowed areas.  The contrast is well above average and clarity is improved by the HCX image processor.

With SDR, the options are Dynamic, Normal, Cinema, True Cinema, Custom and Sport.  It is ideal for gamers as well, input lag measures only 10.2ms in a dedicated Game mode.

The Normal mode proved best for daylight viewing whereas True Cinema is perfect for darker surroundings.

Even motion handling is much improved for studio content and sports, the Min setting works very well.  Motion artefacts are more noticeable on Mid and Max settings, however, horizontal pans become much smoother.

For 24Hz films, it is best to turn off IFC to remove any motion artefacts, creating only mild panning judder.  IFC is available in Min, Mid and Max or can be switched off altogether.

4K/HDR performance is enhanced with the provision of HDR10, HLG (broadcast HDR), HDR10+ as well as Dolby Vision make this a wonderful undertaking for disc collectors and streamers alike.

Dolby Vision is a real plus on a mid-brightness screen where variable tone mapping allows the screen to be able to more precisely reflect the intent of the creator.  A dynamic HDR approach enables the TV to manage high brightness and shadow details scene by scene.

A warning though, the GX800’s HDR performance, its ability to produce bright highlights is tied to the image presets.

Lastly, the sound is good, rated at 10 watts it has plenty of volume for everyday viewing.  It should be noted that it is also compatible with Dolby Atmos and with this, you will get a huge audio boost from sources like Netflix and Amazon.

Pros
  • Dolby Vision & HDR10+ Support
  • Dolby Atmos audio capable
  • Superior HCX image processing
Cons
  • Peak HDR performance tied to Dynamic viewing mode
  • Only three HDMI inputs

 

Our Opinion

The Panasonic T-50GX800 is just the ticket for HDR support and it is difficult to ignore this 4K set.  The use of dynamic metadata makes a huge difference on an HDR set such as this one.  Precise tone mapping enables images to appear much better than expected.  Bear in mind that you will have to view in Dynamic mode for the brightest and most spectacular highlights.

This set is really a brilliant buy for film fans and highly recommended.  We love it!

6.  Samsung 55” QLED Q60R

Samsung 55" QLED
View on Amazon

Introduction

This new Samsung model is the lowest price of 4K HDR TVs with Quantum Dots (QLED) technology.

At a Glance

  • Brand: Samsung
  • Model: QLED Q60R
  • Dimensions: 26.39 cm x 1.24 m x 79.09 cm
  • Display: 54.6 in, VA, Edge LED, 3840 x 2160 pixels
  • Brightness: 300 cd/m²
  • Static contrast: 6500: 1
  • Refresh rate: 120 Hz
  • Frame interpolation: 3000 PQI (Picture Quality Index)
  • TV tuner: Analog (NTSC/PAL/SECAM), DVB-T, DVB-T2, DVB-C, DVB-S2
  • Cores: 4
  • Weight: 18.6 kg
  • Colour: Charcoal Black
  • 4K Ultra HD connected
  • Scanner Resolution:
  • Backlighting: Ultra Slim Array
  • Design: New Edge
  • Bezel Width: SNB
  • Dimming Technology: Supreme UHD Dimming
  • Style: Flat Panel
  • TV Type: QLED

Design & Build

The design is excellent, the slim bezel is kept to a minimum and it has U shaped legs which sit comfortably under the screen.  It is even slim when viewed from the side and will look great wall-mounted as well.  In fact, wall-mounting is a better idea since the bezel and legs are plastic and could break or chip.

The TV is super slim because of using edge-lit design instead of full array lighting.

At the back are all the connection ports as well as four HDMI ports, all of which are HDMI 2.0 and HDMI 4 has ARC, plus two USB ports and one digital audio out port.  The USB ports can be used to power a streaming stick if you don’t wish to use Samsung’s smart built-in platform or they can be used as ports for a USB stick with extra media.

General Characteristics

The Samsung Q60R boasts Tizen which is the smart platform which acts as the brains of the set and is fast, responds well and is certainly one of the best platforms on the market.

You can connect with Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu in the US and the BBC iPlayer and ITV Hub in the UK.

The Universal Guide which is located at the far left of the home content bar will give you recommendations for new content and Samsung’s TV+ app which combines online constant feeds with OTA channels if you have an antenna.

Created to produce a brighter image (enhancing HDR) but sadly it doesn’t quite live up to its QLED moniker.  For example, it doesn’t use the One Connect box for cables.  On top of this, it doesn’t use full array lighting but instead bundles LEDs into the edge of the screen.  So actually, it isn’t quite QLED with the bright, colourful panels seen elsewhere which really make HDR content really stand out.

Having said this, it is still great for watching HD/SDR content, it just isn’t up to the standards of other QLED TVs on the market.

Ambient mode is included as well as Apple Airplay 2 and Apple TV so that you can stream films from your iTunes account and Apple devices.  Bixby is still the primary virtual assistant to help smart devices linked by your Samsung SmartThings account.

The Q60R is an excellent choice for gamers who prefer responsiveness to visual quality, as well as for people who love documentaries which don’t need cinema-type quality visuals.

The sound is adequate and you can expect good dialogue due to the new intelligent Audio feature.

Pros
  • Good price for this type of TV
  • Great HD/SDR performance
  • Fast smart platform
  • Excellent for gamers
Cons
  • Edge-lit panel
  • No OneConnect box for neat cables
  • Limited brightness

Our Opinion

To sum up, the Q60R is an excellent 4K TV, even though it doesn’t provide the best value or even performance in its class.  However, it gets top marks for HD/SDR content.

We also liked the fact that Samsung uses the same Tizen smart platform as the Q90R – for example, Quantum Processor 4K, Intelligent Audio and Freesyn support.  The major drawback is that it has no full array panel and so the performance of the picture will never live up to the more expensive models.  But again – you get what you pay for and the choice is totally up to you.

7.  LG OLED55E8PLA

Introduction

LG OLED55E8PLA
View on Amazon

Highly developed by LG, OLED or Organic Light-Emitting Diode TV provides the most advanced image quality available on the market at the moment.  It doesn’t require backlighting like LED screens, which means the colour is consistent with much-enhanced contrast levels.

The LG OLED55E8PLA is priced and is worth every penny in our opinion and also comes with a 6-year guarantee.

At a Glance

  • Brand: LG Electronics
  • Model: OLED55E8PLA
  • Dimensions: 1360W x 878H x 175D (Including Stand)
  • Display: 54.6 in, OLED, 3840 x 2160 pixels
  • Viewing angles (H/V): 178 ° / 178 °
  • Brightness: 400 cd/m²
  • Refresh rate: 120 Hz
  • TV tuner: Analog (NTSC/PAL/SECAM), DVB-T, DVB-T2, DVB-C, DVB-S, DVB-S2, DVB-T2 HD
  • Cores: 4
  • RAM: 3 GB
  • Storage: 8 GB
  • Weight: 20.5 kg
  • USB Ports: 3
  • Power Consumption: 157 annually
  • Panel Bit Depth: 10 Bits
  • HDMI: 2.0
  • Screen Resolution: 4K Ultra HD
  • Pixel Resolution: 3840 x 2160
  • Energy Rating: A
  • Local Dimming: OLED pixel
  • LED Backlight: OLED

Design & Build

This model has an elegant picture-on-glass design which made up of an ultra-thin panel with a translucent glass back.  If viewed from the side, the panel is just a bit thicker than a pane of glass.

At the back of the set, there are four HDMI inputs, three sides facing and one rear-facing and all allow 4K and HDR pass-through.  There are also two USB ports on the back and one on the side, an ethernet port as an alternative to Wi-Fi plus an optical output to connect to a soundbar or sound base.

The interesting design point is the stand – below the screen and strip of speakers, there is a glass panel which you can slot the trapezoidal-shaped stand into making the TV appear to float in the air.  The stand is metallic-finished and the thin frame of the TV looks really chic.

General Characteristics

The powerful Alpha 9 processor enhances motion handling, resulting in smoother images.  Contrast is greatly improved giving a more realistic appearance.

True Colour Accuracy Pro adds to the number of data points for colour which makes flesh tones truer and animations much more vivid.  In fact, everything appears more life-like.

The LG OLE55E8PLA has the widest range of HDR support with Active HDR.  The advanced HDR by Technicolor creates reference levels of images and colour accuracy.  This TV also offers to decode for HDR10, HLG and Dolby Vision.

Dolby Vision totally optimises the HDR format resulting in the most accurate and sharpest images possible. High Frame Rate Support via OTT gives smoother images with brilliant realism. Dolby Atmos compatible soundbar is built-in which can decode Atmos soundtracks. The 4.2 speaker is built-in with a powerful 60-watt amp giving excellent sound for a flat TV.

The incomparable ThingQ AI system allows control of a wide range of products. The more LG ThingQ AI products you have in the home, the more seamless and integrated the control.

This is the fourth year that LG has used its WebOS Smart system now with Google Assistant.  It is user-friendly and one of the most highly rated on the market.  It is now smarter than ever and can change the channel and input by voice command.  It also works with Google Photos and Google Maps as an added bonus.

Freeview Play makes catching-up TV easy.  Just find programs on BBC iPlayer or ITV Hub, All4 and Demand 5 along with over 60 TV channels and up to 15 HD channels.  Just scroll back in the TV guide to the shows you missed in the last 7 days, making sure the TV is connected to the internet and you are ready to go.

Pros
  • Leading class picture with lifelike colours
  • Beautiful design
  • The image display is extra detailed & smooth
  • Well-equipped smarts
  • ThingQ features
Cons
  • Overpriced

Our opinion

The LG OLED55E8PLA has been described as overpriced – but it actually is far from the sort. In fact, the only significant drawback is the built-in sound system – but this is a well-known deficiency of most Smart TVs. That aside, it is one of the very best performing and equipped TVs ever which is saying quite a lot.  It is an excellent buy if you can afford it and we highly recommend it.

Smart TV Buying Guide

If you are on the market for your first smart TV, there are some pointers to bear in mind.

First of all, you will naturally need a TV priced to suit your budget.
Secondly, the size of the set needs to be taken into consideration in terms of where you will put it.
Thirdly, the screen size is important but for a typically sized living room a 55” or 60” should be more than adequate.

Choose your screen resolution – 4K or HD (8K is more expensive).  A rule of thumb is the higher the resolution, the clearer the picture.  The 4K models have four times the number of pixels as current HD TV screens and give richer, more lifelike images and detail.

The different features on each TV are further discussed in the article below which we hope will be of help in deciding which TV will be the best for you and your family.

What is a Smart TV?

A smart TV, aside from the standard features of a regular TV set, offers internet connectivity and support for apps, making movie and show streaming and internet use a lot easier for the user.

Smart TV technology integrates more capabilities by the day, such as voice control or smart home integration. Basically, a smart TV can be used much like a smartphone when it comes to the internet and streaming and gaming apps, thus adding an array of entertainment options.

How Does a Smart TV Work?

While regular TVs just use an antenna to receive signals, a smart TV uses a home network for video streaming and internet services, either via Ethernet wiring or a Wi-Fi connection.

Note that most new TV sets come with built-in Wi-Fi connectivity for video streaming or app use, on-demand movie downloading and game-playing, so, in a way, most of them fall under the broad “smart TV” umbrella term. Hence, the fierce competition has forced manufacturers to improve their interfaces and add more capabilities to the new models; soon, the term “TV” will be more or less obsolete, since most sets will be used more or less as laptops or tablets.

If you plan to use the Wi-Fi connectivity, note that most new smart TVs support 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and some the much faster 802.11ax (the so-called Wi-Fi 6); you should steer clear from those still using the older 802.11n standard. You should also make sure that your Wi-Fi coverage is sufficient, especially if you have a large house. A bad signal will affect your streaming and app running. Of course, a Wi-Fi extender can do the trick in such a case.

What Should I Look for in My Smart TV?

What is the Best Screen Size for a Smart TV?

That depends on your space, the number of people that will be watching the set at the same time, and the distance between the TV and the couch and the user; and, of course, it depends on your budget.

Nowadays, the most popular smart TV screen sizes range between 55 and 65 inches. When it comes to distance, just bear in mind that the screen size should be three times smaller than the distance from the user, or two times smaller for a 4K UHD TV.

What is the Best Screen Resolution for a Smart TV?

Resolution refers to the number of pixels making up the picture. Naturally, the greater their number, the higher the resolution and the sharper the picture.

What are your options resolution-wise?

  • High Definition (a resolution of 1920 x 1080, also referred to as “full HD”) has been the standard for many years, and remains the most common choice, but the tide has already turned in favour of the much better Ultra HD resolution, also known as 4K, since it has four times more pixels than HDs and providing a much crisper picture, especially from a distance.
  • High Dynamic Range, or just HDR, is a new 4K Ultra HD feature that delivers more colours, more contrast levels and increased brightness.
  • 8k resolution has also become available in high-end models, but it is not easy yet to find content that can actually use so high a resolution to the fullest, so, before going the extra mile and paying the premium, make sure you can indeed use it.

What is the Best Refresh Rate for a Smart TV?

Well, the rule is simple here: the faster, the better!

The refresh rate refers to the number of times a picture is refreshed in one second. The standard refresh rate nowadays is 60 times per second (60 Hz, which is great for gaming), but you can get sets that reach a 120 Hz or a 240 Hz refresh rate. Some smart TVs are equipped with a High-Frame Rate (HFR) support, boasting a higher refresh rate and added support for content with higher refresh rate than 60 Hz – which is the best for live sports buffs!

On the other hand, be aware of the phrase “effective refresh rate”! It means that the actual frame rate is half the stated one!

Smart TVs & Connectivity

The more HDMI ports a smart TV set has, the better, cause you will soon find out that you will need a bunch of them. If you decide to get a 4K Ultra HD, just make sure it supports HDMI 2.0 to make the most of it. In some models, you even get an HDMI 2.1 format, which is great for 8k content.

What is the Difference Between LED and LCD Smart TV Sets?

Nowadays, we basically have two types of TVs, LCD and OLED. Let’s check their main characteristics and differences.

LED LCD TVs are HD and Ultra HD sets using LEDs to illuminate the LCD screen. this practically means that…

  • their screen is rather thin;
  • they come in a great variety of prices, sizes and features;
  • they perform great even in sunny environments;
  • they often feature full backlighting and/or quantum-dot technology.

On the downside, LED TVs’ display suffers from rapid motion imperfections (in live sports shows for instance), and the image fades a bit when viewed from the side.

OLED TVs, on the other hand, use a layer of organic LEDs to achieve much better contrast and, consequently, a better overall picture, colours, deeper blacks and shadow details, whatever the angle.

On the other hand, all these come at a premium, and you may also check out whether there is a possibility of a “burn-ins” due to a static picture.

What is the Best Contrast Ratio for a Smart TV?

The contrast ratio refers to the range of brightness levels that can be displayed, and the better it is, the crispier the picture gets. The problem is that there isn’t a standard way to measure it, and every manufacturer picks the one that paints its model with the brightest colour. So, be aware of it, especially if a smart TV uses it as its banner.

Smart TVs & Sound

Unfortunately, the sound is the weakest point in most Smart TVs, and manufacturers don’t look so keen to fix that, in an effort to force consumers to buy an extra audio system, like a soundbar. So, you shouldn’t just reject a smart TV set just because the audio doesn’t seem that impressive.