LG 55EA8800 Review
55 inch Passive 3D Gallery Smart OLED TV
by Jack Burden, Reviewer
The LG 55EA8800 is a special kind of OLED that aims to take advantage of the beauty of the screen. LG deems this the Gallery OLED. The name comes from the frame around the screen that doubles as a speaker. This one lacks the 4K resolution and the curved screen, but we don't really see those things as a fault. A 55-inch 1080p OLED screen is capable of producing beautiful images, especially with the right source material. Pricing for this elegant TV starts at around $5,500. Considering the $10K+ price tags we were seeing on last year's OLED's, the prices are dropping fast on this technology. As far as flat OLED TVs for 2014, this is a great option. It is important to note that this is a Wall-mount Only TV.
Picture Quality Rating: 96/100
OLEDs produce their own light. That means black levels are top notch in this TV, just like plasma display technology. The EA8800's picture is not affected by viewing angle or ambient brightness either. Contrast and color deterioration are basically non-existent due to the RGBW display LG uses in this set. This is the 4-color system highlighted in the features list on this model. The problem of motion judder is addressed in this OLED TV as well. The EA8800 features a native 120Hz refresh rate that does a great job of smoothing out any fast motion. A huge plus for live sports programming and scenes with fast action or panning camera movement.
Super high contrast and deep black levels immediately apparent from this image. Excellent detail and color reproduction are seen as well
Infinite Contrast Ratio
Contrast ratio is measurement of the brightest whites and the blackest blacks a display can offer. The number can sometimes be kind of outrageous while making little to no difference on the actual effectiveness of the panel. This OLED does away with the numbers by offering an infinite contrast ratio. This means optimal contrast will be delivered no matter what the ambient brightness level or viewing angle happens to be.
As if the almost perfect picture quality does not create a desire in you to posses this TV, LG has loaded the EA8800 with all of its top-tier features to make it irresistible. The TV is 3D ready with LG's Cinema 3D technology. This is passive 3D, which means glasses will be much less expensive and there is no need to worry about keeping glasses charged.
Dual View is the 3D feature that allows two different images to play simultaneously on the screen. Special passive 3D glasses allow viewers to choose which image they want to see. This is great for split screen multiplayer gaming or letting the kids watch cartoons while the game is on. The AG-F400DP Glasses are required for this feature to work.
Features Rating: 88/100
Smart TV Focused on VOD
If Simple is the name of the game on the WebOS smart TVs, the 55EA8800 is just plain easy to use. We were a bit surprised that LG decided to leave the WebOS features off this one. Instead of the flashy WebOS menu system, LG has provided a very streamlined Smart TV experience with a focus on things users actually want to use: Streaming Video. You get access to the premium video on demand services like Netflix, Hulu, Youtube, and many more. Since LG has cut so much from the Smart TV platform, performance is going to be better than what we have seen in the past. Buffering issues surely aren't completely gone, but a lot depends on the speed of the internet getting to the TV. If you are thinking a robust Smart TV platform will just gather virtual dust, this might be the right way to go. Plus it will save you a bit of cash.
This is the updated look for the Magic Remote accessory. It's got all of the necessary buttons (even an Input button) and a mic button for engaging the voice controls
Magic Remote Control Initial Set up very easy. Shake the remote to get the cursor working, the arrow pops up immediately if you have a hot signal going into the TV. We have always liked the point and click operation of the Magic remote and still do. It speeds section and browsing. This year the new magic remote control has even better voice recognition technology. It works very well to find the programming you are looking for by speaking into the mic on the remote control. A list of potential fits and the various channels appear down the right hand side on-screen. And it finally has an input selection button. This has been a fault that we have noted for the past few years.
Sound Quality - Excellent
LG is always pushing the limits when it comes to on-board sound quality. The frame of this gallery model cleverly hides 100 watts of speaker power in a 2.2 channel configuration all around the display. That's really impressive. It sounds impressive too! Since minimalism is key with this OLED, the need for a home theater system is greatly reduced with the impressive speaker performance.
Design and Appearance
The gallery aspect of this slick OLED TV should be pretty obvious. The screen is the painting and the speakers frame it. Most importantly, this is a wall-mount only TV. The screen has a super slim depth of about one inch and there are almost no bezels surrounding the display. The speaker frame is a bit wider and silver in color. This is a gorgeous looking TV that will add great aesthetic value to whatever room it is placed in.
Value Rating: 83/100
Like any rising technology, the EA8800 has a bit of a steep price. This OLED starts at around $5,500. Last year's LG OLED can be had for around $500 less while similar sized 4K LEDs can be had for much less. LG's 55UB8500 and the Samsung UN55H8550 come to mind as flat screen contenders. The price does get the best picture quality on the market and a fantastic sound system built right into the TV.
Overall Rating: 89/100
- 55" Screen (54.6" diagonal measurement)
- 1920 x 1080p
- Screen Dimensions: 48.43" x 28.15" x 1"
- Dimensions including Frame: 56.30" x 34.06" x 2.52"
- Screen Weight: 29.10 lbs
- Frame Weight: 52.90 lbs
- 100 watts of speaker power
- 4 HDMI inputs, 3 USB 2.0 ports
- Magic Remote, 4 pairs of 3D glasses included
|Jack Burden has been reviewing and writing reviews in the consumer electronics category for 7 years with CEAG. He considers grayscale gradation, film patterned retarders, and focus field drives to be fun topics. Read more about Jack|