‘Best Buy’ OLED TV of the Year

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“It’s a smart UHD OLED TV, and a pre­mium Ger­man model too, yet it’s here in Aus­tralia at a price that ri­vals those from mass-market brands. Hence our ‘best buy’ award.”

How can a Loewe be one of our ‘best buy’ TVs? Aren’t they Ger­man pre­mium tel­lies? And this an OLED TV as well — the cream of TV tech­nol­ogy, and there­fore pricier (given only LG.Dis­play can yet sup­ply the pan­els, and re­cently raised its prices). So yes, the ‘best buy’ here is rel­a­tive, with the bild 3.55 OLED hav­ing an RRP of $4499 for the 55-inch. But we think it’s jus­ti­fied, as it recog­nises the re­mark­able achieve­ment of bring­ing a pre­mium Ger­man brand all the way to Aus­tralia at a price which com­petes with and in some cases beats LG’s own mass-market mod­els. And the tech is strong, with, for ex­am­ple, full sup­port for High Dy­namic Range not only us­ing the base-level HDR10, but also the dy­namic meta­data of Dolby Vi­sion.

There’s noth­ing like a thin panel to make a TV look great; here the Loewe is 4.8mm-thin at the top, thicker at the bot­tom so as to fit in elec­tron­ics and con­nec­tions. It sits on a swivel stand, al­though there are var­i­ous other mount­ing op­tions avail­able.

Slung un­der­neath the panel is a sound­bar which de­liv­ers far bet­ter than av­er­age TV sound, though we reckon a TV this good de­serves an ex­ter­nal sound sys­tem, for which ARC is sup­ported, and also a dig­i­tal au­dio out­put, un­usu­ally on coax­ial rather than op­ti­cal, which will al­low longer ca­ble runs to a sound sys­tem. There are also use­ful ex­tras, such as three USB sock­ets, one of which is USB 3.0 and sup­ports record­ing and time-shift­ing if you plug in a hard-disk drive (not a stick). The TV can also act as a DLNA server, so that you can play back the record­ings on any DLNA-com­pat­i­ble video de­vice. Nice! Loewe’s care­fully­built (and of­ten up­dated) op­er­at­ing sys­tem comes with a wide range of apps, in­clud­ing Net­flix and YouTube.

Tweaks to the de­fault set­tings we’d rec­om­mend — firstly turn off the over­scan; even UHD in­puts get scaled, which is kinda weird. Then bring down the sharp­ness, which de­faults to 3 on a scale of 0-5 — 0 is what you want. We’d also rec­om­mend chang­ing the ‘Film qual­ity im­prove­ment’ (mo­tion smooth­ing) from its de­fault ‘in­ten­sive’ down to ‘mid­dle’ or ‘soft’.

Those items sorted, re­lax and en­joy an OLED pic­ture which is a de­light at all times, and of­ten a down­right thrill. Colours are spot on, and won­der­fully rich. Dark el­e­ments are de­liv­ered beau­ti­fully, with plenty of de­tail, es­pe­cially with an HDR source, but even lower qual­ity sources shine through the cun­ning of Loewe’s pro­cess­ing. A great set, brought here at a pleas­ing price.

More info: www.in­dim­ports.com

Indi Im­ports’ Paul Ri­achi col­lects the award.

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