While OLED TVs have seen price drops recently, they remain too expensive for most people, and limited in variety compared to LCD TVs. Which is why LG, who continues to invest heavily in OLED, still churns out new LED LCD TV series on a very frequent basis. Available in 65, 79, 84, and 98-inch screen sizes, the UB980T is LG’s flagship 4K TV, and so naturally, it packs top-end specs and all the bells and whistles that the company can come out with, including an Ultra Clarity Index of 1,300, sound co-developed with Harman Kardon, a maximum 5.2-channel, 120W speaker system, a built-in 8-megapixel camera, support for 4K HEVC 60p decoding, and WebOS.
Now, the UI refresh brought about by WebOS is obvious right from the get-go. From tuning the TV channels, connecting to your Wi-Fi network, to pairing with the LG Magic Remote, you’re guided by an animated character named Bean Bird. All of a sudden, boring and technical configurations now seem fun and easy. And it goes deeper: there’s also a new launcher, a left-to-right scrollable straight line menu that runs along the lower portion of the screen. The idea is to allow you to browse through service or content options without having to navigate away from the existing view, not to mention letting you watch a show, play a game, or browse the Internet while searching or downloading other content at the same time.
WebOS will also know when you plug in an external device and recognize what kind of device it is, and then pops up a menu with all the relevant options. And there’s a Live Menu with channel and recording options that you can open and keep within easy reach while watching TV. The ability to resume playback (say, of a YouTube video) after you’ve switched inputs and come back to it is also delightful. All in all, even as a 1.0 release, we already like how WebOS has panned out on LG’s TVs. We’re excited to see how this year’s WebOS 2.0-based TVs fare.
Design-wise, we’re fans of LG’s hardy ‘stable screen’, though not so much of the protruding stand that runs the wide of the panel. Connectivity-wise, you’re pretty much covered by four HDMI ports (of which three support HDMI 2.0) and three USB ports. Along with support for Intel WiDi, Miracast, and MHL, you’ve got all the tools to get content on your mobile device onto the big screen at your disposal.
Refreshing WebOS UI. Sound designed by Harman Kardon.
Occasional UI sluggishness. Few rough edges in WebOS 1.0.