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LG is the largest manufacturer of OLED panels in the world and supplies the screens used by many of its competitors. In this context, it would be logical to think that the LG OLED E9 will offer the same quality as most other TVs. However, the quality of the panel is only as important as the electronics that manage it. And thus it is here that we find the main differences between models.
The LG OLED E9 is more of an update of last year’s E8 (Check on Amazon.com) rather than an evolution. It features improved aesthetics, connectivity, and sound, but it is not much else. The image quality is largely the same and only the advent of the second-generation Alpha 9 processor brings some minor image processing improvements.
This doesn’t mean that the LG OLED E9 is not worth it. In fact, it is maybe the best premium TV of 2019 [the other contender is the Sony Master Series A9G (Check on Amazon.com)], offering excellent image quality, above-average sound, and a price that has dropped to (Check on Amazon.com).
LG OLED E9 – Design
The main novelty of the LG OLED E9 is its exquisite design. Once again, the chosen materials are glass and polycarbonate with a brushed metal finish.
The LG OLED E9 insists on its floating screen concept (first seen in last year’s E8), but this time around takes it a step further, using the front glass as a base and adding to it a mirror finish that accentuates the floating design.
This grants the LG OLED E9 its minimalist, elegant and refined look that all premium TVs should have.
In the front lower part we also find the new sound system that presents itself in the form of a small soundbar perfectly integrated into the set.
Looking at the TV from the back we can see the base that supports the TV. It is surprising that this support, that occupies a good part of the TV’s width, can remain invisible from the front, but it does.
The base extends towards the rear, providing great stability.
Protected by a plastic cover the base also features a cable management system. The connections are grouped into two distinct panels in the lower right corner (viewed from the rear). The antenna, satellite and digital audio output are in the rear panel which is less accessible; while the remaining HDMI and USB ports are on the side.
LG OLED E9 – Magic Remote
The Magic Remote is an old acquaintance. This remote control not only allows us to use the TV in the traditional way but also acts as a pointer with which you can navigate the interface in a more intuitive “point and click” way.
It also comes with a dedicated button that activates the integrated microphone and voice assistant.
In addition, it can also function as a universal remote for all your other smart devices.
LG OLED E9 – Picture
The fact that LG is the leading manufacturer of OLED panels may lead you to think that it reserves the best panels for its range of premium TVs, and probably does so. However, a really good TV needs a very good processor.
The LG OLED E9 uses the second-generation Alpha 9 processor. It adds more artificial intelligence technology with which it can automatically optimize both image and sound, depending on the content being reproduced and the characteristics of the room in which the TV is located.
It comes therefore as no surprise that the image quality is extremely sharp, with excellent contrast and realistic colors, that are a tad oversaturated, but you can always adjust them to your liking.
The best all-round mode is the Standard one, which offers somewhat colder tones but well saturated. It is the best mode for TV shows but leaves something to be desired with films or when watching Netflix or Amazon Prime series.
For those, it is best to opt for the ISF Bright/Dark (Imaging Science Foundation) or HDR Technicolor modes. These color profiles provide a more cinematic aspect to the content, without subtracting realism from the colors.
The Alpha 9 processor does an excellent job at upscaling SDR (Standard Dynamic Range) lower resolution content, using artificial intelligence to create well-defined images that are difficult to differentiate from native 4K content.
Screen brightness in SDR content is very balanced, but when HDR content is displayed, the Automatic brightness limiter (ABL) kicks in and delivers a somewhat inconsistent result that, on occasion, can reduce brightness way too much.
Except for this inconsistency, which appears occasionally, the behavior of HDR is impressive. It provides vivid and well-defined colors thanks to the AI tone mapping and gradient control.
The LG OLED E9 is also compatible with the most common HDR standards. Sadly LG has opted for Dolby Vision (for dynamic metadata) over HDR10+, a standard that will become much more common in the next years.
One of the great advantages offered by OLED panels is their wide viewing angles and the LG OLED E9 doesn’t delude us.
Movement wise the E9 has a native refresh rate of 120Hz and offers smooth movement with the activation of TruMotion (motion interpolation). This mitigates the judder effect that occurs in low-speed filmed contents such as 24fps movies. TruMotion strikes a good balance between fluidity and sharpness, although it will still display some artifacts in extremely fast scenes.
But where the LG OLED E9 really stands out is in its gaming performance. With Game mode active, the TV reduces image processing to a minimum so as to deliver a lower latency. The input lag is measured at just 12.9ms which is perfect.
It is also future proof since it comes equipped with HDMI 2.1 that supports technologies such as Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), and Automatic Low Latency Mode (ALLM) and on top of all that LG recently added support for Nvidia’s G-Sync.
LG OLED E9 – webOS
LG’s webOS has become one of the most solid and secure Smart TV platforms of the moment. With fluid handling and excellent connectivity, webOS offers a great central hub for your ecosystem of smart devices.
The only problem here is that all these features, functions and configuration options sometimes work against it, creating a labyrinthine menu framework that is not easy to navigate. Furthermore, the advanced user will eventually find out that certain options deactivate by themselves for no apparent reason depending on the sound mode or image mode you select and without offering an explanation of why.
WebOS also supports both Google’s and Amazon’s voice assistants that let you control almost everything with voice commands.
Last but not least, it supports Miracast and Apple AirPlay allowing you to display content directly from your smartphone or tablet.
LG OLED E9 – Sound
The 4.2 audio system consists of a 20W subwoofer responsible for the lower frequencies, and four 10W speakers.
The frontal positioning of the speakers provides a considerable improvement over the previous model and allows the viewer to perceive the origin of dialogues coming directly out of the screen.
All in all the sound has more body and consistency and, although it can’t reach the volume or quality of a dedicated surround system, it is more than enough to meet the needs of most users who can now avoid the purchase of a dedicated soundbar.
LG OLED E9 – Verdict
The LG OLED E9 (Check on Amazon.com) is better than Samsung’s QLED TVs and the best alternative to Sony’s premium Master Series models.
Its worst enemy is LG’s own C9 (Check on Amazon.com). LG has done such a good job with the C9 that most users will prefer its better value to E9’s overall awesomeness.
Read more: LG OLED C9 review: the best got even better