televisions

LG 55EC9300 OLED TV First Impressions Review

$4,999.99

LG put OLED and webOS together, and it's a beautiful thing.

LG is just having too much fun with TV lately. First they blow everyone away with two killer OLED TVs, and now they're gussying the package up even more with a shiny-new cherry on top: the delightful webOS smart platform.

I'm talking about the LG 55EC9300 (MSRP $4,999). This 55-inch, 1080p OLED display boasts a zippy new design, LG's lauded webOS smart platform, and the same breathtaking technology we tested on the company's framed Gallery OLED earlier this month.

The EC9300 is as thin as a pencil, 3D, and wall-mountable (despite its curve). LG also claims that they've found a way to increase brightness even further, enhancing the already-massive contrast. While we won't know that for sure until we get it into the lab, consumers are welcome to try it for themselves: The 55EC9300 will hit the market any day now.

The Picture

Still dropping jaws

It's well-established that OLED TVs offer world-class, arguably unmatched picture quality. True black levels, searingly bright highlights, and rich, vivid colors are all hallmarks of this expensive, futuristic technology. Even though OLED made its debut last year, it still takes my breath away.

I spoke with representatives at LG on the CE Week show floor, but many of my questions concerning the finer details of the EC9300's performance have yet to be answered—expect an update here later in the week. For now, we can assume that any complaints about this TV's picture would be erring on the side of picking nits. It looks great from practically any angle.

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The EC9300 promises stellar contrast and color performance.

In the key areas of contrast (black level and white level performance) and color production, OLED TVs are second-to-none, and the EC9300 is no exception. In fact, LG claims to have found a way to increase the EC9300's brightness (luminance) compared to last year's curved entry, but that's impossible to confirm until we get it into the lab.

The Looks

Like a leaf on the wind

The curvy EC9300 is a blue-ribbon in the looks department, offering a fresh, approachable avenue for anyone shopping LG's OLED TVs.

This model's leaf-shaped metallic pedestal feels modern and smart, a great alternative to the 2013 curved EA9800's odd transparent stand, or the EA8800's huge, wall-mount-only frame.

Trim bezels wrap the EC9300's super-thin screen, and despite its curve, we're told it's still wall-mountable.

Another area where the EC9300 is leaps and bounds ahead of its older brothers is in smart features. The TV wields the fun-to-use webOS smart platform. The bottom line: webOS is a massive, massive improvement over the older alternative you'll find on LG's other two OLED models.

The Verdict

Nothing but the best

At $5,000, the 55-inch EC9300 might make your wallet quake in its boots. Yet for what you're paying, the picture quality here is outstanding, and the fresh new design and access to LG's webOS platform truly seal the deal. With the way OLED prices have been dropping, I wouldn't be surprised to see the EC9300 dip below $4,000 by next year.

This TV delivers an almost otherworldly combination of great attributes, but we won't really know its full potential until we get it into the lab. For what it's worth, however, the EC9300 might have the best design and features of any OLED yet—and the price can only go down from here.