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When we think about buying an OLED TV, one of the first brands that come to mind is LG. The Korean manufacturer has been producing OLED TVs for many years now, so it has the largest catalog. And among them, we find a somewhat cheaper model than the rest. The LG OLED B8 (Check on Amazon.com) was the entry-level model for 2018. And is still the most affordable OLED TV you should buy.
Does the price mean that it is much worse than the premium models? No! The B8 maintains the vast majority of features of the flagship models but uses a less powerful image processor.
LG OLED B8 – Design
The LG OLED B8 is an elegant TV, but it doesn’t have a groundbreaking design. In fact, I have an LG OLED C7 (Check on Amazon.com) at home and the design of the B8 is practically identical to that of the 2017 model. Still, it looks really good.
It has a dark gray metal support, which is more ergonomic since it’s quite narrow and should fit on top of most furniture.
For the rest, the front of the TV is practically all screen. It has very thin frames that become almost invisible when the TV is on.
The back is also quite simple. We have a very slim upper half, with a really nice shiny finish. The lower half is more pronounced and houses all of the TV’s electronics, speakers and ports.
Most HDMI inputs are on the side (3xHDMI, 1xUSB), which facilitates access to them if you decide to hang up the TV (VESA compatible). However, all the other ports are oriented towards the back.
The overall build quality of the LG OLED B8 is excellent. There are no gaps between components and the TV gives the feeling of a solid device. Of course, when handling it you must take care of the thin upper half since it is much more fragile (it takes two persons to take it out of the box, place it on a piece of furniture, or mount it on the wall).
LG OLED B8 – Picture
LG’s top 2018 models [W8 (Check on Amazon.com), G8, E8 (Check on Amazon.com), and C8 (Check on Amazon.com)] all include the Alpha 9 image processor, which offers improvements in noise reduction, sharpness, depth and color reproduction. For its part, the LG OLED B8 has the same panel as its more expensive siblings, but it has the Alpha 7 processor for a more competitive price.
Even so, the Alpha 7 is a powerful 12-bit processor that incorporates a processing technology capable of obtaining crisp and deep colors thanks to double image cleaning. The Alpha 9 processor performs a quadruple image cleaning, so it should offer somewhat sharper images.
Anyhow, in practice, the image of the LG OLED B8 is more than remarkable. The OLED panel grants it an almost infinite contrast ratio and perfect blacks. The peak brightness is also good, although it does not become as bright as some LCD models.
On the other hand, we have very good gray uniformity and excellent viewing angles, something innate in OLED models. In addition, the LG OLED B8 handles reflections very well. Its panel has a glossy finish that undermines the intensity of the reflections.
The image quality of both SD and HD sources is really good. The TV does a great job of upscaling and low-resolution video looks pretty good.
Of course, in 4K image quality improves dramatically. The images are sharp, with an excellent range of colors and a fairly decent HDR. As I said it lacks in peak brightness, thus the HDR image is less spectacular, but this is something that you will notice only occasionally (if ever). As for the image settings. We recommend that you use Cinema or Expert mode and then fine-tune them to your liking.
And despite having a less powerful processor that its premium siblings, the LG OLED B8 is also capable of reproducing almost all HDR formats on the market. It is compatible with HDR10, Hybrid Log-Gamma, and Dolby Vision. It also has the Technicolor format, a special mode that comes quite well-calibrated.
Last but not least the B8 sports a very low input lag, which makes it ideal for gaming.
The biggest problem with OLED panels is image retention but the LG OLED B8 has three systems designed to reduce the risk of permanent burn-in. With normal use, you shouldn’t experience any problems.
I was surprised by the sound quality of the LG OLED B8. It cannot be compared with models that have a built-in soundbar, but the sound has improved with respects to the LG OLED C7.
It is equipped with a 2.2-channel sound system that achieves a total power output of 40W. In addition, like all OLED models, the B8 supports the Dolby Atmos technology. It is also capable of decoding and transmitting DTS sound to an external device. For an even better sound, and to take advantage of Dolby Atmos, you’ll have to invest in an external audio system.
LG OLED B8 – Smart TV
The LG OLED B8 runs LG’s webOS operating system. The interface is really smooth and runs all apps without problems. In addition, navigating the interface via the Magic Remote control is a true joy; this is perhaps the best remote on the market.
All this is complemented by LG’s ThinQ Artificial Intelligence system that is very similar to that offered by Google Home.
LG OLED B8 vs C8
The LG OLED B8 is very similar to the C8. Both TVs use the same type of OLED panel, but the C8 has a slightly better image processor. This should produce a slightly sharper image.
We were curious to see whether there was a visible difference in image quality between the two. In real-life conditions and with the two sets placed side by side there was little to no difference between the two models. If the C8 is better, then this is very subtle.
LG OLED B8 – Verdict
The LG OLED B8 is an amazing TV. It offers very good image quality, both in SD and HD, and is great for video games.
It has an elegant and discreet design. The small stand allows you to easily place it almost anywhere in the house and its premium materials will blend in with any decor.
The webOS remains one of the most intuitive and visually appealing Smart TV software. The remote with motion support offers us a simple way to control the TV and Google’s Voice Assistant allows us to control almost everything with our voice.
In short, a great entry-level OLED TV for those on a budget. You can currently find the LG OLED B8 (Check on Amazon.com).