- Great picture and audio quality
- Simple and smart WebOS
- Beautiful design
- Smart remote
- Quite pricey
- Bulky speaker section
Our in-depth LG E7 OLED TV 2017 review covers the picture and audio quality and all of the smart features of this power-packed 4K HDR television.
LG and OLED are a match that is so perfect right now that other TV manufacturers are using the panels in their own televisions. So as you can imagine, getting a chance to review the LG E7 with those deep blacks, rich colours, HDR and 4K support, plus the simple yet feature-stuffed webOS system was a chance we couldn’t turn down.
Okay, excitement aside, it's time to take a deep breath and tackle this review with a level head. After all, OLED isn’t the golden child it once was. LED LCD screens are better and more affordable than ever, with 4K and HDR onboard as well. Samsung has shown off its next generation of QLED tech, which is brighter than OLED, cheaper and yet offers rich colours and deep blacks too.
So can the E7 OLED TV really stand-up to these new contenders? Here's all you need to know.
LG E7 OLED TV 2017 review: Design and build
LG does not mess about when it comes to design. Somehow the Korean manufacture has managed to create slithers of screens which make bank cards look chunky in comparison. This is mostly thanks to OLED tech being even more advanced than ever.
But while the top end OLED TVs offer a paper-thin screen for slapping straight onto your wall, the less expensive E7 has its screen pressed onto glass. That’s still super slim of course, barely visible side-on. But there’s a bulky box attached for all of the smarts.
Cleverly LG has crammed all the wiry gubbins into the speaker section at the bottom of the TV. The result is an eye-watering screen that appears to float on a metallic grilled speaker bar at the base. Pretty, for sure.
The display also features virtually no bezel, so you feel as if the image is floating in the air. Also a nice touch for practicality as it means you can cram an even bigger screen into a smaller room, without it taking up much space.
LG E7 OLED TV 2017 review: Picture quality and features
Onto the most important part: picture quality.
To kick-off, this is OLED tech. That means the fastest refresh rates out there, making ghosting a thing of the past, which is ideal for sports and fast-paced action movies. We tried to push the E7 to its limit with all the fast movie features we could find. Risking the square eyes we’d been warned about from a young age, we sat dangerously close to inspect the quality on offer. You’ll be pleased to know that the screen stood up to the test, with a silky smooth refresh rate to keep the image clean even when loads of things are happening at once.
But OLED of this quality offers plenty more besides refresh rates. Deep blacks is where this telly really excels. Since lots of movies feature dark scenes, you can often lose what you’re meant to be seeing when using an LED TV. OLED will make films you’ve watched before look brand new again and in this case it even upscales to a level we noticed when watching shows we’d been viewing on a competitor’s top-end LED TV from just a year ago.
That quality is in part thanks to the 4K UHD resolution, although it’s more than just simple pixel numbers. The High Dynamic Range (HDR) here is next level, with HDR10, Dolby Vision and the future HLG format all supported. This is great news for Netflix lovers, where lots of content is actually in the highest standard already.
Dolby Vision is better than the more common HDR10 as it supports up to 12-bit rather than 10-bit colour, meaning 68 billion colours rather than HDR10’s limit of one billion. This is probably more of a jump than 1080p to 4K was, you really feel far more immersed when on a screen this good.
LG has also managed to fix one of OLED’s fatal flaws, by making this screen brighter. It's apparently 25 percent brighter than the previous generation, quite a jump. We could spend quite a lot of time banging on about nits, but all you really need to know is that pictures on the E7 look super bright and rich even when watched in daylight. The OLED tech also means a far wider viewing angle than LCD, so it works well wherever you leave it in your room.
The extra brightness also means HDR looks better than ever. Since it’s all about range, you get that extra brightness transposed with those super dark blacks, and thanks to OLED there’s no bleed at all making visuals super lifelike and punchy. It’s a pleasure to look at.
LG E7 OLED TV 2017 review: Smart features
LG runs an operating system called webOS which has been honed from a community developed platform adapted for TV. The result is a near-perfect TV operating system.
The tab system has been copied by the competition since its launch, as was the Magic Remote that lets you move a cursor around with the movements of your hand. With the ability to write on a virtual on-screen keyboard, operation really is a doddle.
So the operating system is easy to use, looks great and works super swiftly - we struggled to slow it down. On top of all that it’s also compatible with lots and lots of apps. The usual lot like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are there, with 4K and HDR support, then you have BBC iPlayer and the other TV apps right there too.
You can also get NOW TV on board, meaning Sky programming without the need to splash out on a box or a contract. All of this runs via the tabs, so flitting between apps is simple and you can carry on right from where you left off. Google Play is on there too, so you can buy movies and TV shows easily too. Then you have Spotify support on top, allowing you to turn your TV into a giant smart speaker, something we found useful when going from room to room - like a multiroom system of sorts.
The only issue we had is with new tech like Sky Q. If you want to set up your remote to control the box you’ll have a job. We couldn’t manage it after lots of faff trying. Other Sky boxes, Virgin and BT TV should all work fine though.
LG E7 OLED TV 2017 review: Audio
You might have thought a thin TV like this would require extra money spent on a sound system. But that built-in soundbar base actually goes a long way to offering complete sound to compliment that awesome picture. It even manages Dolby Atmos audio.
Alright, in reality the lack of separate sub and extra speakers was always going to limit this setup. Even Dolby Atmos, which is very limited to some UHD Blu-rays and just one Netflix film, at time of publishing, isn’t truly surround as it's virtually created by bouncing sound. To be fair this does a good job of being immersive but for audiophiles more will be wanted.
The 40-watt amp does offer enough punch for even bigger budget movies but again that lack of sub fails to fully immerse you. That said, voices are nice and clear. This mid range can be a problem with lots of new thin TVs that have small speakers. But with the Clear Voice III mode engaged you get super crisp vocal audio that means no matter what you’re watching you will be able to follow, even if you’re hearing isn’t so great.
LG E7 OLED TV 2017 review: Verdict
The LG E7 OLED isn’t cheap at £2,349, the best price we could find at the time of publishing. But for that money you really are getting a whole lot of TV. Not only is this one of the best looking pictures on any TV right now, the design is impeccable and the operating system beats all others.
Apart from the price, it’s really difficult to find a reason not to buy this future-proof TV right now.