LG OLED B8 Review (OLED55B8PUA, OLED65B8PUA)
LG OLED B8 is the cheapest model of LG’s 2018 4K HDR OLED TV Lineup. Although it is sold cheaper than the series above it like C8, E8, G8, and W8, it performs almost the same as them which are sold more hundreds or even more than a thousand dollar more expensive. But even so, while the series above it are already powered by a new Alpha 9 processor that offers some improvement in color reproduction, sharpness, deep enhancement and noise reduction, OLED B8 is the only model of LG’s 2018 OLED TV lineup that still powered by Alpha 7 processor, the processor behind LG’s 2017 4K OLED TV lineup. This makes performance of OLED B8 is a bit less superior than the series above it, but the difference is not too significant. This means, if you are not so interested in the aesthetic and a bit superiority offered by the series above it, it may becomes a better alternative for you who want enjoy OLED TV experience with more affordable price. In the market, LG OLED B8 only comes in 2 screen sizes option including 55 inch (OLED558PUA) and 65 Inch (OLED65B8PUA) where you can choose it according to the size of your room.
LG OLED B8 Key Specs
Specs and Features
|Sizes Available||55 Inch (OLED55B8PUA, 65 Inch (OLED85B8PUA)|
|Resolution||4K (2160 x 3840)|
|Dimming||Pixel Level Dimming|
|Backlight||No (Self Lighting Pixel)|
|Picture Engine||Alpha 7 Intelligent Processor|
|HDR||HDR 10, Dolby Vision, HLG, Advanced HDR|
|Brightness Enhancement technology||Ultra Luminance Pro|
|Ultra HD Premium Certification||Yes|
|Clarity Enhancement||True 4K Up-Scaler|
|Color Technology||4 Sub pixels technology (RGBW) With True Color Accuracy|
|4K Up-scaling||Tru 4K Up-Scaler|
|Platform||WebOS 4.0 with LG AI ThinQ|
|Features||LG AI ThinQ, Web Browser, VoD Service, Cloud Games, Samsung’s Apps store, etc|
|Remote||LG Magic Remote|
|RF (Terrestrial Cable)||1|
|Composite In (AV)||1|
|Wi-Fi Built In||Yes (802.11 ac)|
|Speaker Channel||2.2 Channel|
|Total Audio Output||40W (Woofer: 20W)|
|Price||See the price on Amazon|
The Strong Points by OLED Panel
As we know, there is the number of superiority offered by LG OLED B8 as an OLED TV. One of its major superiority offered by LG OLED B8 is about its infinite native contrast ratio and perfect black level. This is due each pixel of OLED panel can emits its own lights and also able to switch on/off dim individually without affected by the lighting condition of other pixel surrounding. That is why OLED panel doesn’t need a backlight. The result, when displaying totally black, there is no light emitted at all, so black produced is really perfect.
Pixel Dimming Level
As we have discussed above, since each pixel of OLED panel can switch on/off/dim individually, this allows all OLED TVs including OLED B8 has pixel dimming level. This is equivalent to an LED TV with FALD (full Array Local Dimming) with the amount of dimming zones are equal to the number of its pixel or more than 8 millions of dimming zones. While we know, for this time, the TVs with the highest number of dimming zones like Samsung Q9FN, Sony Z9D or Z9F only have hundreds dimming zones or still less than 1000. The result, the lighting of OLED TVs is extremely precise. This means, when it is showing a small bright objects in a dark scene, they will be shown excellently with high lighting precision and there is no unwanted adjacent light that called “blooming” around it.
Excellent Color Reproduction
Unlike LED panel that usually use standard 3 sub-pixels (RGB), OLED panel uses 4 sub pixels technology where there is white sub pixel as the additional sub-pixel. This allows OLED TVs including LG OLED B8 can deliver excellent color gamut. The color gamut of OLED B8 may be not as wide as what delivered by Samsung QLED TVs lineup Q7FN or above, but at least its color gamut is able to cover more than 96 % of DCI P3 color space that means it is great. Color gamut delivered by OLED B8 is nearly identical to what delivered by the series above it like C8, E8, G8, W8 or Sony A8F, A9F which sold more expensive.
Excellent Side Viewing Angle Coverage
Just like other models of OLED TV, LG OLED B8 also has excellent side viewing angle coverage. This is far better than LCD TV with VA panel or even with IPS panel that indeed is maximized for side viewing angle coverage. The superiority of OLED TV including OLED B8 over LCD TV is particularly in maintaining black level and brightness level. Its performance in maintaining color may be not far different to both LED TVs with VA panel or IPS panel, but the superiority of OLED B8 over LCD TVs is particularly in maintaining black level and brightness level where it can maintain its black level and brightness level up to from extremely wide angle. This makes the picture displayed on its screen will looks remain good even when viewed from the side. And of course, this will be a great choice when used in a wide room with wide seating.
Excellent Motion Handling
The other superiority that offered by LG OLED B8 is the outstanding pixel response time. The response time of OLED B8 is almost similar to other models of OLED TVs and even far lower than the lowest reached by LED TVs. And of course, this has a big impact on its performance in handling motion blur. The result, when it is showing contents with a lot of fast scenes like sports, fast movies, or fast video games, the picture displayed looks very smooth with almost no motion trail visible. Following fast moving object, there is only an extremely short faint trail where most people may not notice this much.
Excellent and Attractive Smart TV Experience
Like other models of LG’s 2018 TV lineup, as its smart TV platform, LG OLED B8 runs the latest version of WebOS platform that is WebOS 4.0. The interesting, it now has been integrated with LG AI ThinQ, an artificially intelligence app by LG. This includes voice assistant supports and smart home apps. This means, in addition to you can enjoy attractive smart TV experience that offered by WebOS, with AI ThinQ, you can do more in controlling menus and features with your voice commands. Additionally, LG AI ThinQ also allows you to control and monitor your other AI ThinQ compatible devices like Air Conditioner, Refrigerator, Dish washer, and others via your TV. Not even just that, its smart TV platform is also claimed have support Amazon Alexa and Google Home Assistant.
Excellent LG’s Magic Remote
For navigating and controlling the menus, LG OLED B8 is equipped with excellent smart remote called LG’s Magic Remote. This remote has a lot of smart features that makes you feel more comfortable when navigating the menus. This remote is equipped with built in microphone where with the support of Ai ThinQ, its voice navigation works excellently. Not just for controlling TV functions or navigating smart TV, you can also controlling your other ThinQ compatible devices connected on your”. At the center of this remote, in addition to direction pads, there is also a clickable scroll wheel that makes you easier in moving or selecting highlighted menus. Additionally, if you point this remote at the screen, you can move the cursor on the screen by moving the remote. And just like other smart remote, it also has an universal ability, allow you to control some functions of other devices connected on your LG TV via HDMI ports.
The Weak Points of LG OLED B8
Permanent Burn-in Risk
The possibility of burn-in actually is not just the issue of LG OLED B8, but also the problem OLED TVs as the whole. This risk will come-up particularly when it is playing content with static images for a long period of time like TV shows with static logo or banner, a game with a head up display, or used as a PC monitor. Nevertheless, you don’t need to worry because LG has provided some features to decrease this risk. Enabling Pixel Refresher, Screen Shift, and setting the Logo Luminance to Low can help to decrease this risk. Additionally, until now, there is no report by OLED B8’s owner about this issue.
Low Brightness Level
Actually, brightness level of LG OLED B8 is not so bad or even it is still brighter than most models in middle class of 4K HDR LED TV. But even so, if compared to the series above it like C8 or E8 or from other brand like Sony A8F, its peak brightness is lower by around 100 nits, particularly when they are showing HDR images. Or even compared to OLED B7 the predecessor, its peak brightness is still a bit lower. Additionally, OLED B8 may be able to show a highlight quite brightly, but the larger the bright area, its peak brightness will be dimmer. And when it is showing the whole screen is bright, its peak brightness drops to below 200 nits due limited by its Automatic Brightness Limiter (ABL). For the last issue, it is not the own problem of OLED B8 since all models of OLED TVs also have ABL that limit their peak brightness, particularly when showing the large area is bright.
Less Powerful Processor than other models of LG’s 2018 OLED TV
This actually is also not a bad point of LG OLED B8. You need to know, the excepting of LG OLED B8, all models of LG’s 2018 OLED TV lineup like OLED C8, OLED E8, OLED G8, and OLED W8 are already powered by Alpha 9 Intelligence processor. Meanwhile, OLED B8 is still powered by Alpha 7 processor, the processor that also be used by SK9500 and SK9000 series. In handling noise reduction, sharpness, and color, performance of Alpha 7 is not as good as Alpha 9. Additionally, the use of Alpha 7 also makes performance of its smart TV is slower than the series above it that already powered by Alpha 9 processor. Nevertheless, for most people with untrained eyes, their difference is not too significant.
Performance of LG OLED B8
Since performance of OLED B8 in most aspects of picture quality and features that offered is strong, this makes OLED B8 is as a good TVs for mixed usage. Whether it is used for watching movies, TV shows, Sports or playing games, in a dark room or bright room, from the side or center, performance of OLED B8 is excellent.
For Watching Movies
To bring the sensation like in a cinema, most people usually prefer to watch movies in a dark room. If you are including them, OLED B8 is a great TV for you. As we know, in order to the picture produced looks excellent in a dark room, a TV must be able to produce deep black and has good black uniformity. And for this case, OLED B8 has infinite contrast ratio that makes it can produce perfect black level and excellent black uniformity, perfect when used in a dark room. Additionally, with the pixel dimming level, the lighting of OLED B8 is very precise, so there is almost no visible blooming when it is showing a small bright object in a dark background. Let alone, LG OLED B8 also has excellent color gamut in DCI P3 coverage, this certainly makes color of the picture produce looks very accurate. Combination of deep black, accurate color, adequate peak brightness, this certainly make OLED B8 is as a great TVs for watching movies, particularly in a dark room.
For Watching Sports
If when watching sports, most people usually prefer in a dark room, when watching sports like football, hockey, etc, most people usually prefer in a bright room and with a group of family and or friend. For this case, display characteristics that required are different. Since it is used in a bright room, the reflection handling and peak brightness of a TV is also very important. Additionally, since sports usually have a lot of fast moving scenes, the ability of a TV in handling motion blur is also very important. And for this case, LG OLED B8 has good performance in some aspects that required for watching sports. With around 350 nits of SDR peak brightness, the peak brightness of OLED B8 actually is bright enough to overcome the glare. And combined to its good reflection handling, this makes it is able to maintain its excellent picture quality in a bright room. Additionally, as we have discussed above, LG OLED B8 also has outstanding pixel response time, makes the picture produced looks very smooth with almost no visible motion trail. Additionally, OLED B8 also has an optional BFI (Black Frame Insertion) mode. For you who don’t feel comfortable with the blur that caused by 60 fps persistence, you can enable this mode and it performs fairly good to minimize persistence blur. Additionally, for you who often watch sports with a group of friend or family, OLED B8 also has excellent viewing angle coverage.
For Watching TV Shows
Just like when watching, most people also prefer to watch TV show like Talk Show or others in a bright room with a group of family. Nevertheless, TV Shows doesn’t have a lot of fast scene so the ability of a TV in handling motion blur is not really needed. And of course, with display performance offered, LG OLED B8 is also a good choice when used for watching TV Shows.
For Video Games
In addition to good picture quality, input lags and motion handling are also the important aspects that should be considered in searching TVs for games. And as we have discussed above, OLED B8 has outstanding pixel response time that makes it has excellent performance in handling motion blur and this is good for fast paced games that has a lot of fast scene. Additionally, although not the best, the input lags of OLED B8 is around 21 ms, no matter with 1080p or 4K source. Its input lags certainly are low enough to makes any games feel responsive, even for fast paced games that required fast reflexes. With HDR signals, the input lag of OLED B8 might be a bit higher that is about 30 ms. But even so, it is still low enough to play HD games so feels responsively without laggy. Nevertheless, as we have discussed in weak points sections, OLED B8 has permanent burn-in risk. And since most games have static images like head-display, play the same games for a long time is not recommended.
For HDR Experience
As we know, the main purpose of HDR is for making the picture produced looks more details in dark scene and bright scene with more vibrant color. And in order to a TV can give a benefits of HDR over SDR, a TV must have a display performance which has recommended. And with the display performance offered, LG OLED B8 is including the one of the best performers for HDR experience. It has perfect black level, excellent black uniformity, wide color gamut, and smooth color gradient. But a bit unfortunately, its peak brightness is still below 1000 nits. Although it still can show bright HDR images, but it cannot show highlights or bright scene of HDR images like the intended that is in 1000-4000 nits of brightness range. You can enjoy excellent HDR experience offered by OLED B8 in a dark and moderately bright room, while in a very bright room, peak brightness of OLED B8 is still less bright. If you need a brighter TV, you can go to premium LED TV like Sony Z9F or Samsung Q9FN that has outstanding peak brightness.
LG OLED B8 is the cheapest model of OLED TVs which released in 2018. Nevertheless, performance and picture quality is not much different to what offered by the series above it like C8 or E8 or from other brand like Sony A9F or A8F. Although in some certain point like in noise reduction, motion handling and others, performance of OLED B8 is not as good as them, but its performance is not far different them. On the other hand, it gives a benefit in price where it is sold hundreds or even more than thousand dollar cheaper than the series above it. Overall, performance of OLED B8 is good for mixed usage. No matter for watching movies, TV shows, sports, or playing games, you will get good excellent experience with OLED B8. If you have limited budget but still want to enjoy OLED TV experience, LG OLED B8 is a good choice for you.
- Perfect Black Level and Infinite Contrast
- Wide Color Gamut
- Excellent Viewing Angle Coverage
- Excellent Motion Handling
- Have permanent burn-in risk