Manufacturers haven't given up on making 8K TVs despite the lacklustre adoption rate. I was less than sanguine about them after testing Sharp's 8K Aquos last year. And I remain unconvinced by the LG Z2, an 8K OLED TV that's huge in size, resolution, and price. It's a lovely display, of course. But like any 8K TV now, it doesn't make much sense, even if you can afford it.
- 8K resolution with HDR10, Dolby Vision IQ, and HLG
- 4x HDMI 2.1 ports (4K@120Hz)
- Comes in 77″ (tested) and 88″ sizes
- Supports Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync Premium
Unless you're shooting your own 8K videos, you'll be watching the same few native 8K videos about nature or cityscapes on YouTube. To be fair, true 8K videos on the LG Z2 have a certain hyper-realistic look and feel to them. More so if they are also shot at 60fps. But the difference between 8K and 4K isn't significant enough I feel, unless you're very close. In addition, no streaming service currently offers 8K content, while even physical media (Ultra HD Blu-ray) is capped at 4K. And things aren't likely to improve soon. So you're mostly relying on the TV to do the upscaling, which the Z2 does well, but is not quite the same.
The LG Z2 is available only in 77 and 88 inches, which means you're getting a whole lot of screen. While the 77-inch that I tested can be wall mounted (it can also stand on a pair of narrow feet), the 88-inch cannot. Instead, the massive 88-inch model comes with a floor stand of its own. Like last year's LG C1, the Z2 has four HDMI 2.1 port that support game-friendly features like auto low latency mode and variable refresh rate. LG has also outfitted the Z2 with its latest α9 Gen 5 processor. This chip is said to have better picture processing, thanks to a new dynamic tone-mapping algorithm. It's also responsible for the virtual 7.1.2 surround sound from the built-in speakers that actually sound pretty decent in movies. But I seriously doubt potential Z2 owners plan to use the TV speakers.
Thanks to its OLED panel — think deep blacks and high contrast — the Z2's picture quality is outstanding. It looks slightly better than last year's C1. For example, the slight banding at the Disney+ welcome screen that I noticed on the C1 is gone on the Z2. If I were to nitpick, the Z2 is not as bright on paper as LG's G2 and C2 TVs, which use the latest OLED Evo tech. But this is difficult to discern without a side-by-side comparison. HDR videos, though, are still best watched in a dark room. LG has further refined its webOS 22 TV interface with some new features. You can now have individual user profiles (LG accounts required), so each household member can view their preferred content and services, as well as family-friendly settings to limit screen time. It also feels more responsive than the interface on the C1.
At around S$22,000 for my 77-inch review set, the Z2 is priced for the super-rich. It's a great TV, but there's a lack of 8K content now, and likely for the near future, too. The Z2 comes with a 5-year panel warranty, which I feel is the bare minimum for such an expensive TV. However, there are better OLED TV alternatives, even if you can afford the Z2. For instance, LG's flagship G2 OLED 4K TV is half the price at around S$11,000 for a similar 77-inch model that is probably better or equal to the Z2 in everything, except for 8K. But if you're looking for bragging rights, the Z2 is available from LG on Lazada and Shopee.
Note: Review unit provided by LG.
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