*WINNER* LG 49UH668V
We’re opening with what is probably the biggest bargain of the bunch - in fact, one of the biggest bargains since Man Utd picked up Zlatan Ibrahimovic as a free transfer.
The specs are obviously exciting - 4K, HDR and a 49in screen measurement - but there was always going to be a suspicion that in action the UH668V would be a letdown. Well hooray for nice surprises!
Unlike some affordable TVs that carry an HDR badge, this is a proper 10-bit panel, which means it’s able to handle millions more colours for a punchier, more thrilling HDR picture. Sure enough, plug in your PS4 Pro and load up Horizon Zero Dawn and you’re rewarded with a picture that’s astonishingly good for the money.
A non-HDR (or rubbish-HDR) telly will get flustered by an image that contains both very bright and very dark elements, essentially crushing one or the other, but the LG does a superb job of combining the two so that the digital overlay of Aloy’s focus mode punches brightly through the pitch blackness of a ruin, and so that the sunrise dazzles you as it peeps out from behind some black clouds.
It’s also got enough detail to reveal the freckles on Aloy’s face, the vibrancy to do her flame-red hair justice and an input lag of just 19.1 seconds when Game Mode is enabled. In short, this is a great telly for gamers.
That’s not to say this is a one-trick pony, though. Switch to something ‘real’, whether that’s from the built-in tuner, a set-top box or one of the myriad supported smart services, and you get a picture that’s admirably natural, clean and subtle.
It’s fair to say there’s a little bit of an issue with motion, in that the TruMotion mode introduces a touch of the dreaded soap opera effect, but turning it off leaves you with a little judder, and given the price it would be churlish to get too hung up on that.
That the TV also gets LG’s funky, wand-like Magic Remote and excellent, friendly webOS (which brings with it almost every on-demand streaming service you could desire, in 4K/HDR where available) simply underlines what an excellent bargain this TV is.
It even sounds half-decent, producing a surprisingly wide, solid sound that dialogue emerges clearly from, even before you start dabbling with the Clear Voice or virtual surround sound modes. You should definitely still add a separate speaker solution if you’re able to, but if you aren’t you certainly won’t be horrified by the LG’s own audio.
And it’s all wrapped up in a chassis that, while not stunning, looks way more expensive than the telly actually is. In short, no-one will ever know how little you paid for your TV - you’d probably forget yourself if you weren’t feeling so bloody smug about it the whole time.