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Best LG TVs to buy in 2020

Best LG TVs to buy in 2020
(Image credit: LG)
PRICE
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID

What is the best LG TV of 2020? With LG Electronics putting out some of the very best OLED TVs every year, along with a renewed push into 8K technologies, there's never been a more tempting time to buy LG – which is what this guide is all about.

If you're not sure which of LG's latest sets to go for, we have everything you need. We've sat down and tested the very best LG TVs to come out this year, and are able to compare them to find out which is the best LG TV for you.

There are some high-profile LG TVs you won't see on this list yet, like the rollable LG Signature Series R, which has been well delayed past its initial 2019 launch date. The LG BX OLED – the cheapest OLED LG is putting out this year – has also now launched worldwide, and undercuts even the 48-inch CX OLED in terms of price, though we're still putting together our review to make sure it warrants a place on this list.

That said, we've been able to put a mix of OLED and LCD TVs from LG to the test this year already, meaning you can be sure any of the four options below are worth our while.

If you're buying now, here are the best LG TVs to consider. Be sure to check out our LG TV 2020 guide for the full rundown on everything that's available this year.

Best LG TVs at a glance:

  • Best LG TV: LG CX OLED
  • Most reasonably-priced: LG B9 OLED
  • Most stylish: LG GX Gallery Series OLED
  • Best LCD: LG Nano90

Why LG?

A great question. With so many outstanding TV brands out there, why should you choose LG over the rest?

Firstly, LG has become the poster child for today’s OLED TVs, as a major supplier of OLED panels to its competitors like Panasonic, Sony, or Hisense. While you may like the specific feel of other OLED ranges – Panasonic has a more grounded color palette, while Sony’s Acoustic Surface Audio+ technology emits sound from the panel itself – you’re still in a sense buying from LG.

LG’s OLED sets tend to have a slightly warmer ‘pop’ to colors than some competitors, but the difference is pretty small unless you’re looking for it. But what really marks it out is that it offers the cheapest OLED model on the market, the LG B9, that matches a baseline of quality – albeit tied in the UK with the Philips OLED 754.

Will the LG BX offer a good upgrade on the B9?

Will the LG BX offer a good upgrade on the B9? (Image credit: LG)

Samsung also doesn’t make OLED sets, preferring to push its range of QLED (quantum dot) televisions: ultra-bright LED panels that use a metallic filter to enhance color and contrast without suffering from OLED’s dim output. OLED will, however, be able to reach deeper black levels and more precise light control – down to individual pixels – and both panel technologies have their advantages. You can suss out your preference in our OLED vs QLED comparison guide.

The webOS smart TV platform on LG TVs is also fantastic, with a sleek and polished interface alongside good app support – and voice commands through the Magic Remote for all new OLED sets. Samsung’s Tizen certainly isn’t a slacker, though, and is still one of the best platforms out there.

Keep in mind, also, that LG doesn't support HDR10+, even if it has generally wide support for HDR10, Dolby Vision, and HLG formats.

Top picks

(Image credit: LG)

Best LG TV: LG CX OLED

A landmark LG TV

Incredible contrast and color
New 48-inch size
Heavy bass
No HDR10+

The LG CX OLED is topping a lot of our buying guides, and for good reason. As an iteration on last year's LG C9, it offers top-class picture quality, thanks to its a9 Gen 3 processor and infinite contrast OLED panel.

You're also getting 2.2 channel speakers, ensuring you can get some quality audio alongside those rich pictures – and even if it's a bit heavy on the bass frequencies at times, it's not enough to tarnish the overall experience of this set.

It's also more affordable than it's predecessor was, too, thanks to a new 48-inch OLED size bringing down the price to just $1,499 / £1,499 (around AU$2,100). Thanks to the range of sizes, it's a flexible choice for a range of homes and budgets, and you won't get better for an LG TV in 2020.

There are still reasons to opt for the others in this list, of course, with other models offering a slightly different form factor, price point, or panel technology – but know that they play second fiddle to the LG CX.

Read the full review: LG CX OLED

(Image credit: LG)

Best value: LG B9 OLED

OLED on a budget

LG's cheapest OLED
Incredible color contrast
Some video noise in dark scenes
Less advanced processing

Can’t afford the CX, or don’t feel like you need the latest processing to satisfy your cinephile needs?  The LG B9 OLED may be the one for you.

The B9 was a bit late to the party, only landing in the second half of 2019, but its low price point compared to the C Series or E Series makes it a necessity in any list of the best LG TVs.

While the Hisense O8B OLED beat it on price, the LG B9 is still the cheapest OLED worth buying, still offering a solid smart TV experience through LG's webOS platform, as well as enough processing smarts to bring its panel to life.

The lower price comes with caveats, of course: the B9 uses the a7 Gen 2 processor, instead of the more advanced a9 Gen 2 chip, and this means you’re not getting the best picture processing available. But aside from some mild video noise in dark scenes, and the occasional drop in frame rate, you’re still getting a high-quality picture at a (comparatively) cheap price.

Keep an eye out for the LG BX OLED, too, which has just launched worldwide and will be getting a full review through TechRadar in the coming weeks. It has a similar spec sheet to the B9, but we expect a few iterative improvements to make the case for an upgrade.

Read the full review: LG B9 OLED

(Image credit: LG)

A near-flawless OLED TV (that needs professional installation)

Awesome upscaling
Tremendous feature set
Professional installation
Imbalanced audio performance

After something a bit more stylish? The LG Gallery Series OLED replaced the gorgeous floating-glass E9 model from last year, and cleaves closer to the WX OLED – bur with an all-in-one design that keeps its Dolby Atmos speakers built into the television itself, instead of separate soundbar.

While the outside is a marvel of engineering, inside you’ve got the all-new LG Alpha a9 Gen 3 processor that adds better facial recognition and multi-step noise reduction to LG’s already-great HD-to-4K upscaling and much-improved motion processing technology. 

It’s not absolutely flawless, as it still can’t reach the brightness levels of some LED-LCD TVs and has some audio balancing issues, but otherwise it’s still a slick flatscreen for folks who don’t mind spending a bit more money on their next TV purchase.

Keep in mind, though, that this set doesn't come with a TV stand – meaning you'll need a professional installer to properly fit it with a no-gap wall mount that keeps the cables out of view.

Read more: LG Gallery Series OLED TV review

(Image credit: LG)

Best LCD option: LG Nano90

LG finally gets its LCD game on with the Nano 90

Wide viewing angle support
Much improved black levels
Backlight flickering
No HDR10+ support

LG's LCD TVs can have a hard time of it, given how much effort LG goes to when making its case for OLED's superiority. If you are after an LCD TV, though, the Nano90 is a capable 2020 TV that won't cost as much as the flagship CX OLED at the top of this list. In fact, you'll get 65 inches of screen on the Nano90 for less than a 48-inch CX – so there's certainly a case for LCD yet.

The arrival of HDR has been particularly challenging for IPS screens, putting even more strain on IPS’s inherent contrast controls. The Nano90’s new backlight power management system, though, truly transforms LG’s LCD HDR fortunes – despite some mild backlight flickering. 

Contrast is vastly improved over past LCD models, too – and black levels are, if not on a par with OLED, certainly still capable.

We imagine that if you’re after an LED set at this price range, you’ll probably be making the jump to a QLED in this list of the best Samsung TVs. For LG enthusiasts, though, the Nano90 is still a solid choice for your home.

Read the full review: LG Nano90

Naming conventions

android tv

(Image credit: LG)

Can’t make head or tail of all those numbers and letters naming those LG TVs? We don’t blame you – the name structure can be confusing, if necessary for differentiating the huge number of old, new, and incoming sets that LG releases to market. It doesn’t help, either, that each TV maker tends to use different identifiers for their sets.

For LG’s OLED TVs, the structure is slightly easier. Something like the LG C9 OLED will be listed as “LG OLED55C9PUA” – with “LG” obviously referring to the manufacturer, “OLED” referring to the panel technology, and “55” being the model size you’re looking at (55-inch). Most sets will come in several sizes, though 55-inch is the flagship size for most new televisions these days.

Here, “C” is for the mid-range “C Series” of televisions, which sees a new model every year, alongside the budget “B Series”, stylish “E Series”, wallpaper-thin panel “W Series”, and more advanced “Z Series”.

The “9” in “LG OLED55C9” refers to the year the TV was released: 2019. That’s why LG TVs that came out in 2018 were called “C8”, “E8”, and so on. At the end of the model number are three letters marking the territory the TV is sold in: “PUA” is for North America, while “PLA” is for the UK.

LG TV Guide Cheat Sheet

Here's a quick cheat sheet for reading an LG label:

Example: LG 65SM9500PUA

1. 65: Screen size (this is a 65-inch TV)
2. SM: Indicates panel technology (S for Super UHD) and year it was made (M for 2019)
3. 9500: The number here is the series (higher is better but also more expensive typically)
4. PUA: Territory that the TV is offered in (PUA for America, PLA for UK, PTA for Australia)

LED sets work a bit differently, though. LG’s LEDs are now labelled under “NanoCell”, rather than “Super UHD”, though they’re still the LED panels LG has been making for years.

The LG NanoCell 9 Series – that “9” again referring to its 2019 release, so you know it’s up to date – is listed as “LG 65SM9500PUA”, this time leading with the model size (65-inch). That’s followed by the “S” labelling for Super UHD / NanoCell TVs, compared to “U” for simpler UHD TVs, “L” for LED TVs that aren’t 4K. LG also used to use “E” for OLED and “P” or Plasma TVs (now discontinued), though you won’t find these labels on new sets.

The second letter differentiates between each year’s new product range. So, while 2019 4K LEDs from LG all have “SM” in them, 2018’s sets had “SK” instead. 2020 will no doubt use “SN” to keep this logic going.