After watching my favorite movies and TV series on the LG 55EA9800 Curved OLED TV, nothing else is going to look quite as good. For the ultimate in home entertainment, this unit puts the exclamation mark on hi-tech luxe! It’s going to look very impressive in corporate boardrooms as well.
- Great HD resolution
- Deep blacks; excellent contrast; strikingly vivid colors
- Good 2D to 3D conversion; convenient passive 3D glasses
- Excellent audio
- Prohibitive price
- Magic Remote could be improved
I don’t like going to the movies. I find movie theaters uncomfortably cold. Unless you go to an expensive lazyboy theater, the seats don’t allow you to stretch your legs out. If you fall asleep or need to go to the bathroom, there’s no way to catch what you missed unless you buy a ticket for another viewing.
I much prefer doing all my video consumption from the comfort of the living room couch, or snuggled under the blankets in bed. And, if I happen to rest my eyes at critical moments, there’s always the rewind button.
With the new LG 55EA9800 Curved OLED 3D Smart TV, I bet even the most avid cinema-goer will find it hard to leave home.
DESIGN 4.5 / 5
Aside from the obvious curved screen, the one most striking aspect of this TV is its wafer-thin 4.5mm edges. The bezel is so narrow you hardly notice it. The clear plastic base is surprisingly stable; no worries that the unit would accidentally fall over. And, when you turn the TV on, the crystal stand makes it seem like the screen is floating on air.
Everything about this TV points to extreme attention to detail and premium quality. The back is made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic, a lightweight material with proven durability and strength. Despite its large screen size, the 55EA9800 is only a little over 17kg.
There are also small touches that add to the luxe finish. For instance, AV input jacks are neatly hidden behind an AV cover, and the package even comes with cable management accessories to keep those unsightly wires well-organized.
HARDWARE 4.5 / 5
LG has packed a lot of cutting-edge technology on the 55EA980 to come up with a product that is sure to create a new benchmark in home entertainment devices.
Curved cinema screens were introduced in the 1950s to reduce image distortions at the edges of panoramic widescreens. Curved TV screens, on the other hand, were introduced in consumer devices only in 2013, with LG as one of the leading proponents. The gentle curvature is designed to be more ergonomic, making TV viewing a more comfortable experience.
The independently-lighted pixels of OLED (organic light emitting diode) technology deliver deep blacks, subtle contrasts, and vivid colors. Combined with 1080p resolution, images are ultra clear so you can enjoy even the finest nuances in hues and details.
The Clear Speakers embedded in the crystal stand are Kyocera piezo film speakers created from ceramic material and lamination technology in combination with a special film. This piezo actuator audio technology produces sound quality and volume that is balanced and consistent in a 180-degree range. Even with the volume turned up to maximum, the audio quality remained crystal clear and realistic, with absolutely no crackling nor hisses.
The 55EA980 has all the gamut of LG’s 3D smart TV technology, including 2D to 3D conversion, network connectivity, and Smart Share capability, among others.
USER EXPERIENCE 4.5 / 5
The 55EA980 viewing experience can be summarized in one word: “Wow!” Picture quality is jaw-droppingly awesome, and no matter which spot you pick, viewing angles are all equally great. With this TV, you’re not going to be happy with the glaringly poor resolution of regular cable channels; you will need to subscribe to HD services to get the best picture.
Fortunately, its connectivity allows you to enjoy HD video from a variety of sources. For instance, I pulled up some HD YouTube videos on my iPad and linked these for viewing on the 55EA980, and was impressed by both the quick response and the video quality. I had a movie file saved on my LG G2, so I linked the phone and TV via Miracast, to enjoy the movie on the 55EA980’s cinema screen, and in 3D!
I laud LG’s option to go with passive 3D glasses. It is so convenient to just press the 3D button on the remote and put on the glasses to enjoy immersive 3D viewing. Active 3D glasses not only need batteries, but also need to be linked to the TV, which can be annoying.
If there’s one thing that I’m not happy with, it’s the Magic Remote which I found to be quite buggy initially. Updating the TV firmware resulted in smoother cursor movement, but I still found it awkward to use. In many instances, it seemed so much easier to just use the standard remote. Looking like a cross between a mouse and a game controller, the button placements and functions on the Magic Remote did not seem intuitive. I must say that I much prefer a competitor’s touch-pad style remote control.
Another minor complaint is that with such a glossy screen, you might notice reflections at certain lights/angles, so your TV placement should take this into consideration.
VALUE 3 / 5
Priced at almost half-a-million pesos, the LG 55EA8900 is not yet destined for the ordinary home. Aside from early adopters with cash to burn, the most likely buyers would be corporates looking for an impressive boardroom centerpiece. Historically, the price of new TV technology drops quickly, so for those lusting for this lovely piece of furniture, patience is a virtue: this will eventually become more affordable.
Display: 55-inch OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode)
Internal Memory: 4.7GB
Interface: AV-in, component in + audio, HDMI input (4), optical digital out, USB 2.0 (3) USB 3.0 (1), LAN, headphone out, multi-system RF antenna
Dimensions: 1227×798.5x192mm (with stand)
Weight: 17.2kg (with stand)
First published in GADGETS Magazine, April 2014.