Review – LG SK9500 4K HDR Smart AI SUPER UHD TV w/ ThinQ

Review – LG SK9500 4K HDR Smart AI SUPER UHD TV w/ ThinQ

The giant Korean brand LG just made their 2018 super UHD 4K flagship TV model available on , the LG SK9500. It will be available in 65-Inch and in 55-Inch.

The LG SK9500PUA is the successor of the brands 2017 super UHD 4K flagship TV, the LG SJ9500. Unlike the SJ9500, the LG SK9500PUA features a more advanced nano-cell technology called “Nano Cell Colour Pro“. Furthermore, it features an LG α7 processor, it is the same processor used on LG’s B8 OLED TVs.

The LG SK9500PUA is definitely an amazing TV. With the combination of α7 processor, Nano Cell Pro technology and a Full Array LED backlighting, this TV is capable of enhancing 4K HDR content as well as blacks and shadow for a truly cinematic experience. Especially for wide viewing angles.

LG SK9500 4K HDR Smart AI SUPER UHD TV

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Design

In terms of aesthetics and overall design, the LG SK9500 retained a majority of the design of LG SJ9500. It still features a crescent-shaped stand, an almost bezeless display, and an almost identical dimension. It features an elegant design with a metallic aluminum finish accent. Although on one note, the LG SJ9500 was only available in black with a silverish accent. The LG SK9500PUA is available in black and gold.

LG SK9500PUA Side Size Dimension

One of the noticeable difference between the successor and the predecessor is the overall width of the display. With the LG SK9500, the width of the display is distributed along the back of the panel. With the LG SJ9500, about more than half of the panel is very thin. It is also noticeable that LG changes the design of their stand as can be seen above. The stand is also different. From a triangular crescent shape to a uniform four-sided crescent shape stand.

LG SK9500PUA

Depending on the country, the I/O could vary but on specs, the LG SK9500 features 4x HDMI 2.0 and 3x USB 2.0. Before, with the LG SJ9500, it has 1x USB3.0 and 2x USB 2.0. We think that manufacturers are slowly removing USB 3.0 on their models. This is probably due to the number or decreasing demand for it. I mean, USB 2.0 is capable of providing 480Mbps of bandwidth with an effective throughput of 35MB/s. Depending on the video encoding, 35MB/s is usually fast enough to provide and feed a TV with 4K content data.

Picture Quality

LG SK9500PUA

The LG SK9500 has probably one of the best picture quality we have ever seen on a TV so far from a 2018 TV model. The combination of the brands α7 Intelligent Processor, that’s designed to provide lifelike images with enhanced depth, sharpness, and colour accuracy, Ultra HD 4K resolution, Nano Cell™ Colour Pro Display that dramatically improves the colour reproduction of the display, advanced HDR technology, and a true 10 bit panel display enables this TV to produce pictures with high depth, vivid colours, and lifelike details. Totally raising the standard of 4K content.

The brand definitely addressed what the predecessor has been lacking. The LG SJ9500 was suffering from a poor black uniformity and from a mediocre contrast ratio. With the LG SK9500, blacks are far better and consistent uniform through all out the display. Its contrast may not have much of an improvement but that is to be expected from an IPS panel. Actually, it is fairly decent for an IPS panel which tends to have low contrast ratio. So it’s best to place this TV in a room with moderate lighting so that the effect of a low contrast ratio is less noticeable.

LG ThinQ

What is LG ThinQ? actually, one of the main features of LG’s 2018 TV lineup is the inclusion of their smart platform called LG ThinQ. This platform or system is basically a way for the brand to group together premium appliances and consumer electronics under the one system. Furthermore, products that carry this branding features artificially intelligent. This gives the brand a chance to understand and learn their customer’s habits and usage. By doing so, the brand will have a better understanding of their customers and give better product service.

The LG SK9500 supports Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

Audio

The SK9500 features a built-in 2.2 Channel 40W (WF: 20W) speakers. It’s quite a powerful speakers in full honesty but like most TVs, the sound quality is about average. The audio loudness and clarity are there but it can’t match the experience provided by a soundbar system. So to speak, it gets the job done but for you to enjoy the audio, it’s best to place the TV in a small room.

Gaming

In terms of gaming, the LG SK9500 offers an outstanding low input lag. At 15ms on game mode, it definitely is low enough to please any gamer. Furthermore, in ‘PC’ mode, all picture modes have low input lag too ranging from 14ms to 17ms. In terms of chroma subsampling, this TV is capable of 4:4:4 colour but in PC mode only. Overall, this TV offers one of the best input lag to ease the worries of gamers and that’s coming from a TV. Its performance is actually little better than most Samsung TVs and LG OLEDs.

Our Verdict

65SK9500PLA 8

  Pros

  • Excellent picture quality.
  • Elegant Bezel-less Design.
  • Advanced HDR10 with Nano Cell Pro Display.
  Cons

  • Mediocre Contrast Ratio.
  • Expensive.

Overall, the LG SK9500 4K HDR Smart AI SUPER UHD TV w/ ThinQ is a great TV. It has an amazing picture quality in most environments and use-cases. Unfortunately, its contrast can be an issue. Though it’s not noticeable and casual users as well as owners will rarely make a fuss out of it given that it doesn’t greatly affect the picture quality. That’s probably thanks to the α7 processor, nano cell display, and advanced HDR technology, the display is able to cope up with the lack of contrast performance.

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11 thoughts on “Review – LG SK9500 4K HDR Smart AI SUPER UHD TV w/ ThinQ”

  1. does it have the same front glass panel look of sj9500 ? your pictures are not enough to find out , so answer me please .

    • Hi, thanks for asking us. Yes, the SK9500 has a glass look design too just like the SJ9500. But to what we mentioned above, it may look different than the glass like the design of the SJ9500 because of the difference in their overall design. If you noticed, the SK9500 has a thicker display design and a thicker backside. But nonetheless, SK9500 looks elegant than the SJ9500 in our opinion.

  2. The contrast on the SJ9500 was about 1500:1 which is pretty good for an ips panel they’re usually about 900:1, so with that said what is the contrast on the SK9500?

    • Hi Pete, thanks for asking. The SK9500 has the same contrast ratio of 1500:1. However, the SK9500 features a Direct LED style compared to SJ9500’s EDGE LED Style so the SK9500 has better contrast performance than the SJ9500 despite having the same contrast ratio.

  3. Hi Phineas ,

    I`m deciding on this or Eg910t oled tv , but i`m afraid of its crushing black , my galaxy a7 smart phone suffer from it , and i cant do calibration at all , so what is your advise please ?

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for asking my advice. Fast answer, I’d go for the LG SK9500. For one, the LG EG910T is a very old OLED TV for me. It’s a 2015 model to be precise. Thus it has either outdated features or not much support from the manufacturer anymore. Furthermore, it lacks the latest big thing in TVs today. HDR. However, in terms of picture quality, LG EG910T still offers the best picture when compared against SK9500 since it’s OLED and it has perfect black. On the other hand, the LG SK9500 features all the best technology and features of a TV except for OLED. Furthermore, to compensate the perfect black of OLED, the SK9500 features a full array local dimming with nano cell technology and HDR10. Giving it an excellent picture quality. Overall, I’d go for SK9500 than EG910T.

  4. Hi Phineas ,

    Phineas : i dont care about { HDR } right know , my internet speed is only ok for 1080p , so all what i want right know is the best 1080p picture , i know EG910 has better picture , but how much better with youtube ? plus can i fix crushing blacks and shadow details on eg910 without calibration ? is it worth to skip Sk9500 for better 1080p picture or not ? is it worth it ?

    • Hi, thanks again for asking.

      I see your point. For YouTube quality, the picture quality is negligible unless compared side by side. I’d still go for SK9500 though.
      Usually, the best way to fix OLEDs crushing blacks and losing details on shadows is by playing with the picture settings. The best way to do this is by playing with the brightness level, gamma, dynamic contrast settings, and other settings that affect the overall contrast of the TV. Calibrating is the best way to do it though but other than that, the best alternative way is to play with the TV’s picture settings.

      If you already have EG910 then it’s best to skip SK9500. Otherwise, if you seem to dislike the perfect blackness of OLEDs, then SK9500 is definitely a good choice.

      • Hi phineas ;

        thank you for replying to me again .

        about black levels alone , i dont care about it , but i read on review sites that oled have significantly better { clarity , smoothness } and more natural picture as a result of it super panel ,,, so , i just wondering how much better picture i gonna skip , if i choose to go with EG910 over SK9500 ? and the reason ( why ) i dont go with current 4k oleds , is because they are douple the price of eg910 in my country , plus i heared that they are { so faithfull to the source } making my youtube look ( crash ) so, i have better to go with EG or lcd , they simply doesn`t worth it .

        • Hi,

          Hmm. OLEDs are really better overall. If you’re gonna go with EG910, I believe you will skip a significant amount of picture quality. In our personal opinion, for one, EG910 is not 4K. For us, 1080p resolution on a 55-Inch screen TV is just not right. Pixels will become apparent and noticeable at that range. Picture quality will surely be degraded as well given that a 1080p resolution is stretched out. But if you also don’t care about that, then it will not be an issue then.

          True, OLED is superior but in this case, the LG SK9500 outshines EG910 in terms of picture quality. It features full-array local dimming and LG’s Alpha 7 processor, the same one found in last year’s high-end OLED TVs, plus more local dimming zones and better brightness. For us, the only thing good with EG910 is that its OLED but other than that, everything else goes to SK9500.

          You also mentioned before that your internet is only good for 1080p, that’s actually fine with SK9500. 1080p videos will be better with SK9500 than EG910. That’s for our opinion.

          • Hi Phineas :

            Thank you for replying to me fast as always { I start to like you } .

            REALLY : 1080p videos will look better on sk9500 than eg910 ?

            ARE you sure please ; however i can`t disbelieve you , i never watch sk9500 in person , but i did a comparison all the night last night , between my old lcd tv ( hd ready 2009 ) and my a7 galaxy smart phone ,

            i also find it more faithful to the source ( but more natural ) , shadow details , color accuracy , varies between the two , but galaxy looks much more saturated , and punchy .

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