LG SJ8500 vs UJ7700 Review (55SJ8500 vs 55UJ7700, 65SJ8500 vs 65UJ7700)
LG SJ8500 and UJ7700 are the mid-end of LG’s 2017 4K HDR LED TV lineup. In the market, there are only two screen sizes available for SJ8500 including 55 Inch (55SJ8500) and 65 Inch (65SJ8500), while for UJ7700, there are four screen sizes options available including 49 Inch (49UJ7700), 55 Inch (55UJ7700), 60 Inch (60UJ7700), and 65 Inch (65UJ7700). Since the screen sizes which available on both are only 55 inch and 65 inch, this comparison certainly is as true to these sizes (55SJ8500 vs 55 UJ7700, 65SJ8500 vs 65UJ7700). When I was writing this comparison, with the same screen size, LG SJ8500 is sold about $300 more expensive than UJ7700. Nevertheless, their price certainly is not fixed and could still change at any time. So, what are the advantages of SJ85500 as a higher series than UJ7700? Is their difference in performance in accordance with their difference in price? Let’s start to discuss a lot side by side about their difference.
The differences and similarities between LG SJ8500 and UJ7700
The major difference between LG UJ7700 and SJ8500 is about the Nano Cell Technology where SJ8500 comes with this technology while UJ7700 is not equipped with this technology. It is the technology that designed for improving the renditions of color so make the picture displayed looks more life-like. Basically, this technology has similar concept to quantum dot panel but it has smaller particle. As the impact, LG SJ8500 with Nano Cell Display can deliver wider color gamut than UJ7700 that certainly also makes it has better renditions of colors. Additionally, although both of them equally use Edge-Lit backlight with local dimming technology, but the number of dimming zones of each of their local dimming is also different. LG might don’t clearly reveal how many zones for each, but certainly LG SJ8500 has more dimming zones than UJ7700. Nevertheless, since local dimming technology on edge Lit backlight didn’t work as effective as on Full Array Direct LED when improving contrast and brightness range, this certainly also didn’t have a big impact on their contrast and brightness range produced by each.
They also have a difference in their motion clarity technology where LG UJ7700 comes with Tru Motion 120 Hz based on native 60 Hz refresh rate panel, while LG UJ7700 comes with Tru Motion 240 Hz based on native 120 Hz technology, This has an impact on their ability when playing fast paced contents or interpolating lower frame rate videos. The other difference but doesn’t have an impact on their picture quality is about the number USB ports where SJ8500 is equipped with 3 HDMI ports while UJ7700 is equipped with 2 USB ports only. Still about their connectivity, there is Component inputs on UJ7700 while SJ8500 is not equipped with this input. Additionally, they also have a difference in their sound system where the sound system of SJ8500 is designed by HarmanKardon, one of the major names in sound system industries, while the sound of LG UJ7700 is not designed by HarmanKardon. This certainly makes sound quality of SJ8500 is a bit better than UJ7700.
The excepting of what we have mentioned above, LG SJ8500 and UJ7700 comes with similar technology and features. Come with HDR technology, they are powered by Active HDR technology and already support most of HDR formats including HDR 10, Dolby Vision, Advanced HDR, HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma) and also Advanced HDR. Even not only that, they also have “HDR Effect” feature that allows you to watch SDR image with the quality as close as possible to 4K HDR. Additionally, both of them also come with IPS panel that makes they have wide side viewing angle coverage. Meanwhile, for improving the picture quality, there are also the number technologies behind them like Tru Color Accuracy for improving their renditions of colors, Ultra Luminance for boosting their peak brightness, Tru 4K Up-Scaler for up-converting lower resolution contents to near 4K resolution, WebOS 3.5 as their smart TV platform, and many more. For more details, you can see on comparison table below.
LG SJ8500 vs UJ7700 Key Specs
|Specs and Features||LG UJ7700||LG SJ8500|
|Size||49 Inch (49UJ7700), 55 inch (55UJ7700), 60 Inch (60UJ7700), 65 Inch (65UJ7700)||55 Inch (55SJ8500), 65 Inch (65SJ8500)|
|Resolution||4K (2160 x 3840)||4K (2160 x 3840)|
|Panel Type||IPS Panel||IPS Panel|
|Backlighting||Edge Lit||Edge Lit|
|HDR Engine||Active HDR with Dolby Vision||Active HDR with Dolby Vision|
|HDR Formats||HDR 10, Dolby Vision, HLG, Advanced HDR||HDR 10, Dolby Vision, HLG, Advanced HDR|
|Tru Color Accuracy||Yes||Yes|
|Support wide color gamut||Yes||Yes|
|Support 10 Bit depth of color||Yes||Yes|
|UHD Up-scaling||Yes (Tru 4k Up-Scaler)||Yes (Tru 4k Up-Scaler)|
|Motion Clarity||Tru Motion 120 Hz||Tru Motion 240 Hz|
|Refresh rate||Native 60 Hz||Native 120 Hz|
|Smart TV||WebOS 3.5||WebOS 3.5|
|LG Magic Remote||Yes||Yes|
|Sound Designed by HarmanKardon||No||Yes|
|Composite In (AV In)||1||1|
|Digital Audio Out (Optical)||1||1|
|Price||See the price on Amazon||See the price on Amazon|
LG SJ8500 vs UJ7700 Performance
Overall, LG SJ8500 and UJ7700 have good picture quality for each of their class. Although SJ8500 has a bit stronger native contrast ratio than UJ7700 and its contrast ratio is including the best for IPS TV, but essentially, their native contrast ratio is weak and far below VA TV. This certainly makes their dark room performance is not so good. As we know, when set in dark room, the high native contrast ratio is very instrumental to the quality of the images produced. Meanwhile, with low contrast ratio, both of them are not able to show blacks look absolute black, however, blacks of images even look tend to grey. Since black is the most important aspect of dark scenes, this certainly also make dark scene of images displayed on their screen doesn’t look so well, particularly when set in a dark room. Indirectly, this also makes darker color cannot be shown properly. Additionally, their native contrast ratio also not strong enough to make shadow details of HDR images looks clearly, even when their local dimming is enabled. As we have mentioned, although both of them have local dimming technology, but their local dimming technology doesn’t work effectively to boost the contrast.
Once they are used in a room with natural ambient light, the picture displayed on their screen looks better. As we have known, in this light condition, the impact of high native contrast ratio is not as noticeable as in a dark room. Bright scene of the SDR images displayed on their screen also looks fairly well in this light condition. But unfortunately, when set in brighter room with a lot of ambient lights or sunny window, their peak brightness is not effectively to fight the glare, so a bit or a lot, this will degrade the quality of the picture displayed on their screen. While when inputted by SDR source, both of them have similar peak brightness, when inputted by HDR source, LG UJ7700 as a lower series precisely has higher peak brightness. The result, highlights of HDR images displayed on the screen of UJ7700 looks quite bright. Nevertheless, it is not still quite bright to shows highlight of HDR images brighter than 1000 nits like what intended. On the other hand, peak brightness of SJ8500 when inputted by HDR image might not as high as UJ7700, but it is quite bright to make highlights of HDR images in dark scene is fairly well. But when displaying real scene, highlights of HDR images are shown too dim, even far dimmer than UJ7700.
Meanwhile, talking about color gamut, essentially, both of LG UJ7700 and SJ8500 already support wide color gamut and have good renditions of color. Nevertheless, with Nano Cell Display technologies behind it, SJ8500 can cover wider color gamut and has better renditions of color than UJ7700. SJ85000 can properly show most of colors in its color coverage, while some certain colors in the color coverage of UJ7700 cannot be shown accurately, particularly in middle gamut. Like other modern TVs, both of them also still have a bit problem when showing saturated deep green. Nevertheless, although not as accurate as high end TVs like OLED C7 or Samsung QLED TV, color of the picture displayed on their screen still look fairly accurate when they are displaying HDR contents. On the other hand, LG SJ8500 also has better color volume than UJ7700. But essentially, SJ8500 and UJ7700 can show color gamut quite wide in bright color, but this will narrow significantly in darker color due their low native contrast ratio. On the other hand, both of LG SJ8500 and UJ7700 also already support 10 bit deep of colors. This means they can deliver about 1.07 billion shades of colors, far more than 8 bit TVs that only can deliver about 16 million shades of colors. The result, color gradient of the picture displayed on their screen equally looks very smooth. Although some imperfections might still be seen in the dark green and blue, but overall, this should not be a problem for them and not reduce the greatness of their color gradient.
Both of LG UJU7700 and SJ8500 do a great job when up-converting lower resolution contents to near 4K quality. Behind them, there are great UHD Up-scaling engine called Tru 4K Up-Scaler. No matter the resolution, the final imaged in 4K resolution produced looks clearly and sharply on each of their screen. When they are inputted by 480p videos like DVD movies, the final images in 4K resulted looks fairly well. Along straight lines, some hallo artifact may still be seen, but overall, the picture still looks sharply. Let alone when the source has higher resolution like 720p videos or 1080p videos, the final images in 4K resulted certainly will look sharper and clearly with small details preserved well. Even not only that, both of LG SJ8500 and UJ7700 are also equally equipped with “HDR Effect” feature. Once this feature is enabled, it will improve the brightness and color range of the SDR images, so you can enjoy them with the quality as close as possible to 4K HDR.
The use of IPS panel might make both of LG SJ8500 and UJ7700 have low native contrast ratio, but on the other hand, this makes them have good side viewing angle coverage. When on VA Panel, the picture usually look degraded started at 20 degrees of center and front, on their screen, the picture displayed will looks more consistent, even for wider side viewing angle. With this advantage, both of them are very suitable when used in wide room where there are a lot of viewers who watch TV from multiple viewing angles.
Motion Handling and 24p Movies Playback
LG SJ8500 can do a bit better job than UJ7700 when handling motion blur. This is due its pixel response time is lower than UJ7700. Nevertheless, essentially, their performance when handling motion blur is great. The result, when used for displaying fast moving images like sport program or fast movies, the picture displayed on their screen looks clearly and smoothly with almost no motion blur. Following the fast moving object, there is only a short trail where most of people might not notice about that. On the other hand, when playing 24p movies, LG SJ8500 also offer better performance than UJ7700. No matter the video sources, whether it is 24p videos like Blu Ray Movies, 24p movies via 60i/p signal like movies from satellite TV or Streaming device, LG SJ8500 is able to show all of them clearly and smoothly with judder free. On the other hand, LG UJ7700 is only able to show 24p videos like Blu Ray movies clearly and smoothly with judder-free, while when playing 24p videos via 60i/60p signals, the judder cannot be removed completely. Fortunately, most of people don’t sensitive to judder, so the drawback of UJ7700 when playing 24p videos via 60i/p should not be a problem for them. Additionally, since they have difference in native refresh rate panel where SJ8500 has native 120 Hz refresh rate panel while UJ7700 has 60 have refresh rate panel, each of them have the difference in playing lower frame rate content. LG SJ8500 has the ability to interpolate both 60fps and 30 fps while LG UJ7700 only can interpolate 30Fps contents.
The excepting of the number of USB ports, both of LG UJ7700 and SJ8500 are equipped with the same inputs outputs. On their rear or side panel, there are 4 HDMI Ports, 1 Composite In, 1 Component In, 1 RF In, 1 Ethernet, and 1 Digital Audio Out (Optical). The difference is about the number of their USB Ports where SJ8500 is equipped with 3 USB Ports while UJ7700 is equipped with 2 USB Ports. With all inputs/outputs which provided by them, this certainly is enough to cover most of your other electronic devices without adding an adapter. Meanwhile, about talking about their input lag, though LG UJ7700 has a bit lower input lag than SJ8500, but essentially, the both of them equally have low input lags at any resolution under game mode. Their input lag even is lower than most of TVs which available in the market. This certainly makes both of them are very comfortable when used for playing any kind of games, even for fast paced games.
As their smart TV platform, both of LG UJ77000 and SJ8500 equally feature WebOS 3.5, one of the best smart TV platforms. Although it has a lot of low level options and features, but it is still easy to navigate. Its home screen is designed attractively with strip bar across the bottom of the screen contains a lot of quick access to most popular apps. Additionally, its performance is also fast and responsive. Once you launch an app, it will load fastly. Additionally, switching between opened apps also feel responsively. Meanwhile, talking about the apps provided, there are a lot of preinstalled apps available. There are VoD Service like YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Videos, and more, Live TV, Cloud Games, Web browser, and many more. Additionally, there is also LG Apps Store provide tons of downloadable apps where you can directly download them for you LG TV.
One of the interesting things offered is about their Remote where they are equally equipped with LG’s Magic Remote. Compared to last year model, there are not many changes. There are not many smart features, but this precisely makes navigation is easier. One of the advantage that offered, there is “point and click” that has function like a mouse on notebook. This certainly makes surfing on the internet or navigating low level option feel easily. Additionally, the other interesting, it is equipped with built-in microphone for voice commands or voice search, allow you to control some TV functions or smart features with your voice.
|Performance||LG SJ8500||LG UJ7700|
As we have discussion a lot above, the main difference between them is about the Nano Cell Display technology where SJ8500 comes with this technology while UJ7000 is not equipped with this technology. This certainly makes SJ8500 has wider color gamut and better rendition of color. Nevertheless, although it is not equipped with Nano Cell display and its color gamut is not as wide as SJ8500, UJ7700 still support wide color gamut that means it can properly show most of colors in DCI P3 color space. The other advantage, it has higher native refresh rate panel and lower pixel response time that makes it offers a bit better performance when used for playing fast paced movies or 24p movies, especially 60i/p signal. Additionally, SJ8500 also has the advantage about the number of USB ports where it is equipped with 3 USB ports while UJ7700 is equipped with 2 HDMI ports. On the other hand, although UJ7700 is a lower model and sold cheaper, this doesn’t mean it doesn’t have the advantages than SJ8500. Its peak brightness is a bit brighter than SJ8500, particularly when inputted by HDR signals, makes highlight of HDR images displayed on its screen looks a bit better than SJ8500. Additionally, UJ7700 also has a bit lower input lags than SJ8500. Nevertheless, since its advantage is not so significant, for people who don’t sensitive about that, they might not notice about that.
So, which is a better choice between them? As we have discussed a lot above, with all advantages that offered by SJ8500, with the same screen size, it is sold about $300 more expensive than UJ7700. Meanwhile, although sold cheaper, performance offered by UJ7700 is not also far behind SJ8500. Now, the decision comes back to you according to your preferences and budget. If you don’t mind to spend hundreds dollar more, SJ8500 might be a better option for you, but even so, if your budget is limited, UJ7700 is also not a bad choice.