John Lewis 55JL9000 review

John Lewis enters the TV market in style

John Lewis

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John Lewis has set out its stall pretty nicely with its debut own-brand TV. The 55JL9000 looks gorgeous for a start, following the John Lewis theme of only attaching its name to designer goods. It's also exceptionally rich in features, courtesy in particular of its inspired webOs-driven onscreen smart TV interface.

It's also a high-level TV in terms of its picture and sound features, delivering on the John Lewis brand association with quality products.

Its struggles with producing a deep black colour may put off serious film fans though, and its non-discounted price is a bit steep. So if you like the sound of the 55JL9000, you'd probably be sensible to snap one up sooner rather than later.

We liked

Pictures are colourful and sharp, the set's design is lovely, sound is clear and punchy, and the TV's operating system is outstanding.

We disliked

The 55JL9000 suffers with that common IPS complaint of below-par contrast, leaving dark scenes looking a little grey and prone to light clouding and instability.

The test TV's input lag was too high for gaming too, and while the set is decent value at its discounted price, if this goes back up to £1700 it will start to look expensive.

Final verdict

John Lewis has got off to a fairly strong start with its first big-screen TV. Despite not being a 4K TV it establishes a high-end, uncompromising tone thanks to its gorgeously opulent metallic design, innovative audio system, peerless smart TV interface and often attractive pictures.

It's a shame the 55JL9000's dependence on an IPS-style panel means it has problems handling dark scenes. But its strengths elsewhere still make it an attractive family TV, if you can get one before the current £1300 price (possibly) goes back up to £1700.

John Archer
AV Technology Contributor

John has been writing about home entertainment technology for more than two decades - an especially impressive feat considering he still claims to only be 35 years old (yeah, right). In that time he’s reviewed hundreds if not thousands of TVs, projectors and speakers, and spent frankly far too long sitting by himself in a dark room.