LG 55UF850V review
|Review: September 2015|
Last updated October 2015
In a nutshell: The LG 55UF850V is a 4K TV, offering 55 inches of Ultra High Definition screen. It has stunning designer looks, excellent 3D viewing, and Smart TV. But there are compromises in picture quality and audio, so consider very carefully before parting with your cash.
When it launched back in March 2015, the LG 55UF850V was priced sky-high at £2,000, making it a total irrelevance in the UK market. Now the price has fallen, and it's hard to ignore a 55-inch TV that offers UHD (4K) viewing, so let's take a good look at what's on offer from this beast.
Design & looks
When it comes to looks, the UF850V is one of the best televisions available. It's a superslim model with an ultra-narrow black frame featuring a metal lower edge below the screen. The all-metal matching ribbon stand lends it an air of elegance and distinction. All told, this is a stunning-looking TV. Just make sure you have an extra-wide pedestal to stand it on, as the footprint of the ribbon stand is making no allowances for space.
The TV comes with LG's magic remote control that lets you point, use gestures or even voice commands to control the TV. If you're old-fashioned, you can of course just press the buttons.
55 inches of TV can hardly fail to impress, and we're grateful that it's flat, not curved. The IPS screen is bright - very bright - so is excellent in a sunny, daylit room. Viewing angles are nice and wide, with very little loss of brightness or contrast when viewed from the side, making this TV a good choice for a family.
There's still not much 4K source material available, but when displaying 4K content, the picture here is superbly finely detailed. The TV does a very good job of upscaling HD content too. In fact it's better than many rivals, making this a practical choice of TV as we patiently wait for more 4K content to become available. Standard definition content is more of a struggle, especially on such a big screen, but that's a criticism of large screen UHD televisions in general.
LG is the only major TV manufacturer to continue to use IPS screen technology. While IPS has wide viewing angles, it just can't match the deep blacks of screens from Samsung, Panasonic or Sony. That leads to a lack of contrast, and the picture has a slightly flat and dull quality to it. It's possible to drill down into menus and tweak advanced options for an improved experience, but most users will find this intimidating.
The screen is intrinsically slow too, leading to motion blur and a loss of resolution during fast action. It's not such a good option if you enjoy sport, gaming or movies. LG has added various motion enhancement algorithms to the TV, but these struggle due to the screen having such a slow native response. The result is either over-processing and smoothing, or else jerkiness and ghosting. The Clear Plus option helps, but significantly reduces brightness.
3D picture quality
Here, the LG claws back some love. Many rivals TVs don't even have 3D these days, so if this is a feature that's important to you, the balance may well tip back in favour of LG. As this uses passive 3D, there are no problems with crosstalk, although some ghosting is in evidence due to the slow screen response. There's no UHD standard for 3D, but the 4K screen resolution gives you Full HD in 3D. The brightness of the screen helps when wearing 3D glasses, and we'd rate this TV highly for 3D viewing.
When it comes to sound, things go wrong again. LG may boast about the Harman Kardon speakers, but the sound is lightweight and lacking decent bass.
For soap operas, news and reality TV, you'll find this acceptable, as the audio range is geared to the mid-frequencies of dialogue. But we'd strongly recommend adding a sound bar or home cinema kit to complement the UHD viewing experience.
One area where this model does well is in its Smart TV functionality. This uses LG's WebOS system to deliver a range of Smart TV services. From catch-up TV to on-demand content and other apps, you'll find nearly everything you could want here.
The system is fast and comprehensive. Catch-up TV services include the BBC iPlayer and Demand 5. There's on-demand content from the LG Content store, Netflix 4K and Amazon. You'll also find a web browser, social media, YouTube, and access to apps from the LG Store.
All these services are easily accessed by clicking on the home button of the remote. You can access devices such as a Blu-Ray player, home cinema system, etc, from the same menu.
It seems that LG has actually downgraded connectivity compared with last year's models. Instead of 4 HDMIs there are 3, of which one is ARC compatible. Hmm. It's a disappointment, but not a deal-breaker.
In addition to HDMI, you'll find built-in Wi-Fi and ethernet to connect to the internet, plus 3 USB ports, and a wide range of legacy connectors, including SCART, component input, and a digital audio optical output.
The TV is geared up to sharing, with support for network file browsing, and Miracast wireless sharing with compatible smartphones, tablets and other devices.
There's also a built-in Freeview HD tuner.
Conclusion - good value, but compromised
The LG UF850V gives you 55 inches of UHD television, for a reasonable price. UHD scenes are vibrant, and HD upscaling is good. Viewing angles are wide, and 3D viewing is outstanding. It's just the slightly washed-out contrast that bothers us. Oh yes, and the smudgy motion control too.
But the Smart TV is excellent, and there's good connectivity too. And those designer looks - they're to die for. Well, maybe not to die for, but worth compromising a little in other respects.
LG 55UF850V features include:
- 55 inch UHD LED-backlit screen
- 3840 x 2160 resolution
- 4K HEVC decoder
- Triple XD Engine
- Tru ULTRA HD Engine
- ULTRA Luminance
- Active Noise Reduction
- Dynamic Clear White
- Dynamic Colour Enhancer
- Aspect Ratio Correction
- Real Cinema 24p
- Motion rate: 100Hz
- Passive 3D (2 pairs of glasses included)
- 9 picture modes: Vivid, Photo, Standard, Eco, Cinema, Sport, Game, Expert1, Expert2
- Smart TV (WebOS)
- Freeview HD
- Audio: Harman / Kardon speakers, Dolby Digital, DTS, 3D sound, Clear Voice 2, 10W x 2 sound output
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, Ethernet x 1, HDMI x 3 (ARC x 1), USB 2.0 x 3, headphone x 1, component in (Y/Pb/Pr) x 1, composite x 1, PC Audio Input, digital audio out (optical) x 1, Scart x 1, 2 x RF In (Terrestrial / Cable input), screen mirroring, MHL 2.0, CI slot, Simplink
- Magic remote control
- Energy efficiency class: A+
- Typical power consumption: 80W
- Size without stand (WxHxD): 1234.8 x 727.3 x 50.8 mm
- Size with stand (WxHxD): 1234.8 x 781.6 x 260.6 mm
Got a question? This is the place to ask it!
Please don't ask a question that has already been asked. Duplicates will be removed.
How do I use a wireless headphone with this TV?
Asked by Santosh
on 10th Nov 2016
Please suggest compatible wireless headphones also. firstname.lastname@example.org
Can this tv be fitted to a wall bracket?
Asked by Sam
on 27th May 2016
LG 55UF680V Smart 4k Ultra HD 55" LED TV
Product code: 143473
Reply by S21
on 23rd Jun 2016
Yes, it fits standard VESA 300 x 300 wall mounts.
What is the right picture settings for this tv?
Asked by ronnie
from northern ireland
on 29th Feb 2016
The picture isn't bad on close up shoots, but very ghosty on every-thing-else. The motion is terable, when watching sports it's worse. I am conected to sky.
LG 55UF850V user reviews
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Average rating from 3 reviews:
Reviewed by Victor Gracias
from United Kingdom
on 9th Nov 2016
I brought a LG LED TV (55UF850V) last July 2015 with an invoice value of £1073.99, however just after 13 months two vertical lines appeared on the screen. By October 2016, the vertical lines became thick and increased from two to five. I tried contacting LG customer service several times and they said since the 12 month warranty is over; I will have to look for an independent technician. I called Curry's PC world to repair the TV and they said they do not repair this model. However this TV was brought online via LG Electronic website. I was very much disappointed with the customer service and LG refusal to repair the TV.
Reviewed by STEPHEN
on 23rd Aug 2016
Good but must be reduced in price.
Reviewed by Alan
on 24th Jan 2016
On Value aspect I wouldn't buy it. I was 829 in price for a few months and it went up to 1099. So I'd just wait personally.