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LG SM8600 vs SM9000 Review (55SM8600 vs 55SM9000, 65SM8600 vs 65SM9000, 75SM8670 vs 75SM9070)

by on September 11, 2019
 



LG SM8600 vs SM9000 Review

Overview

LG SM9000 is the second top model of the LG’s 2019 4K HDR LED TV lineup. Meanwhile, the LG SM8600 is one level below the SM9000.  Just like most other models of LG’s LED TVs, they both also come with IPS panel technology. In the market, the SM8600 is available on 4 screen sizes, which are 49 inches (49SM8600), 55 inches (55SM8600), 65 inches (65SM8600), and 75 inches (75SM8670). On the other hand, the SM9000 also comes in 4 screen sizes options including 55 inches (55SM9000), 65 inches (65SM9000), 75 inches (75SM9070), and 86 inches (86SM9070). Meanwhile with the same screen sizes (55SM8600 vs 55SM9000, 65SM8600 vs 65SM9000, 75SM8670 vs 75SM9070), as a higher model, the SM9000 has a price of hundreds of dollars more expensive than the SM8600. So, what are their differences and which is a better choice between them?

Short Review of LG SM9000 and SM8600

LG SM9000 vs SM8600 Specification

Technologies and Features LG SM8600 LG SM9000
Screen Sizes Available 49 inches (49SM8600) 55 inches (55SM8600), 65 inches (65SM8600), 75 inches (75SM8670) 55 inches (55SM9000), 65 inches (65SM9500), 75 inches (75SM9070), 86 inches (86SM9070)
Screen Resolution 4K (3840 x 2160) 4K (3840 x 2160)
Panel Technology Edge IPS with NanoCell
Backlight Technology Slim Direct LED Slim Direct LED
Yes Local Dimming Yes (Full Array Local Dimming, 75 inches and 86 inches: Full Array Local Dimming Pro)
Image Processor Alpha 7 Gen 2 Alpha 7 Gen 2
HDR (high Dynamic Range 4K Cinema HDR (Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLG), HDR Dynamic Tone Mapping Pro 4K Cinema HDR (Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLG), HDR Dynamic Tone Mapping Pro
Contrast Enhancement Object Depth Enhancer, Ultra Luminance Object Depth Enhancer, Ultra Luminance Pro
Color Enhancement Nano Color, Nano Accuracy, Billion Rich Colors, Advanced Color Enhancer Nano Color, Nano Accuracy, Billion Rich Colors, Advanced Color Enhancer
Clarity Enhancement Quad Step Noise Reduction, Frequency Based Sharpness Enhancer Quad Step Noise Reduction, Frequency Based Sharpness Enhancer
Up-Scaler Technology 4K Up-Scaler 4K Up-Scaler
Motion Enhancement TruMotion 240 TruMotion 240
Native Refresh Rate 120 Hz 120 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate Support No Yes (HDMI Forum VRR)
Smart TV Platform WebOS 4.5 with LG ThinQ AI WebOS 4.5 with LG ThinQ AI
Google Home Compatible Yes Yes
Amazon Alexa Compatible Yes Yes
Alexa Built-In Yes Yes
Remote LG Magic Remote LG Magic Remote
Speaker Channel 2.0 Channel (75SM8600: 2.2 Channel) 2.2 Channel
Sound Output 20 watts (75SM8670: 40 watts (20 watts Woofer)) 40 watts (20 watts Woofer)
Dolby Atmos Support Yes Yes
HDMI Ports 4 4
HDMI Supports HDCP 2.2, HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth, CEC HDCP 2.2, HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth, HDMI 2.1 Full Bandwidth, CEC, ALLM
ARC Yes (HDMI 2) Yes (HDMI 2)
eARC Support No Yes
USB Ports 3 (USB 2.0) 3 (USB 2.0)
Composite Input 1 1
Component Input No No
RF Input 1 1
Digital Audio Out (optical) 1 1

Features of LG SM8600 and SM9000

The Similarities

Panel Technology

IPS vs VA Panel

Just we have mentioned above, both LG SM8600 and SM9000 use IPS (In-Plane Switching) panel technology. As we have known, a TV that use IPS panel usually has good side viewing angle coverage, make the picture displayed on their screen looks remain accurate when viewed from the side. Its side viewing angle is better than LED TV with VA (Vertical Alignment) panel, even that has an optical layer that designed for improving side viewing angle coverage like “Ultra Viewing Angle” on Samsung’s TV or “X-Wide Angle” on Sony’s TV. Nevertheless, it is still worse than the side viewing angle coverage offered by OLED TV.  On the other hand, the use of IPS panel cause their native contrast ratio is weak that certainly makes them cannot produce deep black.  Meanwhile, for delivering wide color gamut, they both are also already supported by NanoCell Display technology. This is just like Quantum dot technology that applied on IPS panel.

Image Processor

Both LG SM9000 and SM8600 are powered by the new image processor Alpha 7 Gen 2, the same image processor found on LG B9. It is the second generation of the Alpha 7 chipset that first introduced in last year. Not explained in details, what the improvement offered by the Alpha 7 Gen 2 from the Alpha 7. But surely, it is more powerful than the first generation of Alpha 7 but still less powerful than the Alpha 9 processor. Additionally, the use of Alpha 7 Gem 2 chipset as their image processor allows the AI is applied not on their smart TV only, but also some automatic adjustment like AI Picture and AI Sound.

HDR Supports

Just like most of the upper middle models of LG TVs, both LG SM9000 and SM8600 also already support most of HDR formats. In addition to HDR10 and HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma) where most TVs also support these formats, they both also already support Dolby Vision, the proprietary HDR format by Dolby Laboratories that already uses dynamic metadata. But even so, they both don’t support HDR10+, the other dynamic HDR formats developed by Samsung and its alliance.

Features

Powered by the same processor, this allows them have almost the same features for improving their image quality. For improving their color reproduction, they both are supported by Nano Color, Nano Accuracy, Billion Rich Colors, and Advanced Color Enhancer. Additionally, they both also have Quad Step Noise Reduction and Frequency Based Sharpness Enhancer for improving the clarity of image. Furthermore, for up-scaling non UHD content to 4K resolution, LG SM8600 and SM9000 are both powered by Tru 4K Up-Scaler. And for improving their contrast, they both are also supported by Object Depth Enhancer and Ultra Luminance. Special for Ultra Luminance technology, their level is different.

Motion Technology

Both LG SM9000 and SM8600 have the same native refresh rate panel, which is 120 Hz. Meanwhile, to make motion is smoother when they are playing fast moving content like sports o video games, they both are also supported by TruMotion 240Hz technology. Additionally, they both also have an optional BFI (Black Frame Insertion) mode that can help to make motion is crisper. Additionally, since they both have native 120 HZ refresh rate panel, this allows them is able to interpolate the lower frame rate content at up to 120 Hz.

Connectivity

To connect with other devices, LG SM9000 and SM8600 both have 4 HDMI ports as their major inputs. Additionally they both also have 3 USB ports. Nevertheless, none of them is USB 3.0. that means all of their HDMI ports are USB 2.0. In addition to USB and HDMI ports, they both also have 1 Composite IN (AV IN), 1 Tuner IN, 1 Digital Audio Out (optical), and 1 Ethernet port. And for their wireless connectivity, they both also have a built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

Smart TV Platform

WebOS 4.5

Both LG SM8600 and LG SM9000 run WebOS 4.5 as their smart TV platform. Compare to the previous version, there is not any major changes on their interface. Just like the previous version, its interface is smooth, fast, intuitive, and easy to use. Additionally, its smart TV platform also has one of the widest selections of pre-installed apps. There are VoD Service like YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and others, Web Browser, Games, Live TVs, and many more. It also has an apps store named “LG Apps Store”. Although apps provided are not as complete as what provided by the Samsung apps store or Google Play Store, but there are still tons of downloadable apps provided. Meanwhile, the 4.5 version brings some added new features and one of them is “Home Dashboard. This feature has similar functions like SmartThing on Tizen OS of Samsung TVs, allow them can interact with many loT devices. Additionally, it has built-in Alexa and also supports AirPlay 2. And just like the previous version, it also supports voice navigation and works with LG ThinQ AI. In addition to this allows you to control same TV functions and smart TV menu with your voice command, it also allows you to control other ThinQ AI compatible device with your voice command.

Remote

LG MAgic Remote 2019

As their controller, both LG SM9000 and SM8600 come with the 2019 model of LG’s magic remote that also found on most model of LG’s 2019 TV lineup. At a glance, it is similar to the 2018 model found on most models of LG’s 2019 TVs. It has the same button layout to the last year model. But even so, some certain buttons has a change in function. This remote is also equipped with built-in microphone for voice navigation and can well work with a lot of voice command. Additionally, this remote also can act as the virtual pointer. In addition to it has a clickable scroll wheel to support its “point and click” feature, you can also move the cursor on the screen by moving the remote. This certainly makes the navigation is extremely easy. Meanwhile, a bit improvement brought by the 2019 model from the 2018 model, it now can act as a universal remote over IR. The 2018 model might be also able to act as the universal remote, but it is limited for other devices that already support CEC. Meanwhile, with this ability, in addition to CEC supported devices, it also can be used to control other devices that don’t support CEC. This feature is similar to “OneRemote” on Samsung TVs.

The Differences

Backlight Technology

The LG SM9000 and SM8600 both use IPS panel technology, but they use different backlight. The LG SM8600 uses Edge lit LED backlight with vertical local dimming, while the SM9000 uses Direct LED backlight with Full Array Local Dimming. As we have known, a full array local dimming should to be able to perform better in boosting contrast ratio and minimizing blooming than the local diming on Edge Lit Led. Nevertheless, this also depends on the number of their dimming zones. Meanwhile, special for the LG SM9000, there is difference in local dimming of the smaller model (55SM9000 and 65SM9000) and the bigger model (75SM90000 and 86SM9000). As we see on comparison table above, the smaller models come with Full Array Local Dimming while the bigger models come with Full Array Local Dimming Pro. Not explained in details, what are their differences, but I think this is just a marketing language to describe the number of their dimming zones.

The Level of Ultra Luminance

The other difference between them is the level of their Ultra Luminance technology behind them. As we see on comparison table above, the LG SM8600 is powered by Ultra Luminance while the SM9000 is powered by Ultra Luminance Pro. Unfortunately, on their official website, there is nothing that describes in details about their differences and how this technology works.

PWM Dimming Frequency

Since the LG SM9000 and SM8600 both have local dimming feature, to dim their backlight they both use PWM (pulse Width Modulation) dimming system. Nevertheless, they use different dimming frequency. By default, the dimming frequency of the LG SM8600 is 120 HZ while the SM9000 uses higher dimming frequency, which is 240 Hz. Since the SM8600 has lower dimming frequency, for some people who are sensitive to flicker, this makes backlight’s flicker is more noticeable on its screen than on the screen of SM9000. But just we have mentioned above, they both have an optional BFI mode. By enabling this mode, this will automatically change their dimming frequency to 60 Hz. This will cause the backlight’s flicker might be more noticeable for some people, but at the same time, this is very helpful to make motion looks crisper, particularly when they are playing 60 fps content like sports or video games.

Variable Refresh Rate

Both LG SM8600 and SM9000 might have the same native refresh rate panel, which is 120 Hz. But the difference, the SM9000 already supports VRR technology while the SM8600 doesn’t support any VRR technology. Just we have known, the VRR technology can improve the game experience, allow you to play game with screen tearing-free. But a bit unfortunate, the VRR technology that supported by the SM900 is HDMI Forum VRR where it is not compatible with FreeSync or GSync. Furthermore, there are no many devices that already support this VRR format. And currently, there is only X Box one that already supports this format.

HDMI 2.1, eARC, and ALLM

LG SM9000 and SM8600 might the same number of HDMI ports. Both of their HDMI ports already support HDCP 2.2, CEC, ARC (HDMI 2), and HDMI 2.1. The improvement that brought by the SM9000, it now already supports HDMI 2.1 Full bandwidth, allows its HDMI can accept HFR signal like 4K @ 120 Hz. Additionally, the SM9000 also already supports eARC (enhanced Audio Return Channel). This allows it is able to pass higher quality audio signal like DTS:X via DTS-HD MA or Dolby Atmos via True HD. The other improvement offered by the SM9000 from the SM8600, its HDMI ports also already support ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode). This allows it is able to automatically change to game mode once their HDMI ports detect the signal form a game console.

Audio System

The other difference between the LG SM8600 and SM9000 is about their audio system. As we see on comparison table above, the SM8600 has a 2.0 channel speaker system with total sound power output of 20 watts. On the other hand, the SM9000 has a 2.2 channel speaker with total sound power output of 40 watts (20 watts woofer). But even so, special for the 75 inches model of SM8600 (75SM8670), it also has with a 2.2 channel speaker with total of audio power output of 40 watts.

Check the Latest Price
LG SM8600 LG SM9000
49 inches 49SM8600 on Amazon
55 inches 55SM8600 on Amazon 55SM9000 on Amazon
65 inches 65SM8600 on Amazon 65SM9000 on Amazon
75 inches 75SM8670 on Amazon 75SM9070 on Amazon
86 inches 86SM9070 on Amazon

 

LG SM8000 vs SM9000 Performance

Contrast and Black Level

High vs Low Contrast

The image is only illustration

As we have known the TV that used IPS panel usually has weak native contrast ratio. As well as the LG SM8600 and SM9000, they both also have weak native contrast ratio. They both may have local dimming, but their local dimming cannot do a lot to boost their contrast ratio. So, even though their local dimming is enabled, there is no significant increase on their contrast ratio, or even is relatively same. You need to know, their contrast ratio is only around 1000:1. This certainly make them cannot produce true black and this will more noticeable in a dark room. So, when they are set in a dark room, black displayed on their screen looks tend to grey than really black. Additionally, this also have an impact on their performance in producing dark colors where they both cannot produce dark colors fairly well. With their weak performance in producing black, this certainly makes them are not suitable when used in a dark room.

Winner: Draw (Equally poor)

Local Dimming Performance

Just we have mentioned above, the LG SM8600 use Edge Lit backlight with vertical local dimming while the SM9000 uses Direct-Led backlight with Full Array local dimming. But unfortunately, their local dimming performance is still far for from the expectation, particularly the local dimming of the SM8600. As we know, the performance of local dimming on edge-lit backlight usually is not so good. Since it use vertical local dimming, in certain scene, the TV reacts to brightness change in small area of the screens by brightening/dimming entire vertical columns. This will cause distracting blooming in dark area of this vertical column. And since it has some vertical columns, if there is small bright are in certain vertical column, this will cause blooming on this vertical column.

On the other hand, even though the SM9000 already uses Full Array Local Dimming, but its local dimming performance cannot be said well. But its performance is still better than SM8600. Just like on SM8600, it is not also able to boost the contrast ratio of SM9000. But even so, the TV reacts to brightness change only on the certain dimming zone, not on entire vertical column or horizontal row. So, even though there is still distracting blooming, but it is just limited on the dark area of the certain dimming zone where there is small bright area.

Winner: SM8600

Peak Brightness

SDR Peak Brightness

The LG SM9000 has a bit brighter SDR peak brightness than the SM8600. With real content, the SM9000 can get around 350 nits while the SM8600 can get around 250 nits only. Meanwhile, with test window, their peak brightness has the same characteristic. Unlike most models of LED TVs with local dimming, the brightest peak brightness is reached by them is precisely when they are showing the entire screen is bright where the SM8600 hit around 280 nits while the SM9000 hit around 330 nits. On the other hand, the lowest peak brightness reached by them is precisely on 2% window (2% of screen is white while the rest is black) where the SM8600 hits around 100 nits while the SM9000 hit around 150 nits.

This certainly is different to the characteristic of most LED TVS where usually they hit their brightest peak brightness at small window. Nevertheless, apart from all this, their peak brightness is only bright enough to fight the glare in average lit or dim room. Compare between them, since the SM900 can get brighter, it can better overcome the glare in brighter room.  This makes the picture displayed on their screen will looks more consistent than SM86000 when they are used in brighter room.

Keep in mind, all of this result is reached by setting their picture mode to “ISF Expert (Dark Room)”, Local Dimming to “Medium”, Backlight to “100”, and Color Temperature to “Warm”. The different setting may get the different result, or can even get brighter, but at the same time, this will reduce the accuracy of the picture.

Winner: SM9000

HDR Peak Brightness

With HDR content, both of them can get brighter than with SDR content where the LG SM9000 can get around 450 nits while the SM8600 get around 300 only. But even so, the characteristic of peak brightness produced by them is similar to when with SDR content where the brightest peak brightness is reached on 100% window (the entire screen is bright) while the lowest peak brightness is reached on 2% window.  On 100% window, the SM9000 can get brighter than 400 nits while the SM8600 get around 350 nits. On the other hand, on 2% window, the SM9000 get around 150 nits while the SM8600 can even get brighter, that is around 250 nits. But even so, on 10 % window, the SM9000 can still get brighter, which is around 300 nits while the SM8600 can get around 250 nits only.

From all of these characteristics, can be ascertained, when showing content, the LG SM9000 can get brighter than the SM8600. But even so, very small highlight (around 2% window), the SM8600 can even show brighter than SM9000, albeit for a short time,  the SM9000 actually can hits around 450 nits on2%.  In general, the SM9000 can show HDR images fairly bright, but still less bright than as bright they should in HDR. On the other hand, the peak brightness of LG SM8600 is only mediocre and only looks fairly bright in average lit or dim room. Nevertheless, since the peak brightness of their competitors is also not different to them, for their price range, their peak brightness is not so bad or even can still be said well.

Winner: SM8600

Color Reproduction

Color Gamut and Volume

Wide color gamut

The image is only illustration

They both might be powered by Nano Cell Display technology, but the SM9000 can deliver a bit wider color gamut than the SM8600. In DCI P3, the SM9000 can cover around 94% while the SM8600 cover around 92% of color space. Additionally, in Rec.2020, the SM8600 can cover around 70% while the SM9000 can cover around 72% of color space. But even so, regardless their difference, they both can deliver great wide color gamut, wide enough to show HDR images with vivid color. But a bit unfortunate, their color volume is only decent. Since they both cannot produce deep black, this makes them are not able to produce dark colors fairly well. On the other hand, like most LED TVs, they both cannot also produce blues as bright as other colors. But even so, except dark colors and very bright blues, they both can show their wide color gamut at entire their brightness range. Overall, regardless their flaw in producing dark colors and bright blues, most colors of HDR images can be shown fairly accurate.

Winner: SM9000

Color Gradient

10 bit color gradient

The image is only illustration

LG SM8600 and SM9000 also both have excellent color gradient. On their screen, color gradient of HDR images looks very smooth. There might be still very little noticeable banding in areas of similar colors, but this should not be a problem for normal content.  Nevertheless, if you feel the banding still bother you, both of them have “Smooth Gradation” feature to minimize the banding. By enabling this feature, this can help to remove the banding, but on the other hand, this might cause some loss of fine detail. Nevertheless, the “Smooth Gradation” has the different behavior to “MPEG Noise Reduction” on most of last year model. Both of these features can be used to remove the banding, but the Smooth Gradation is able to better keep the fine details of images than the “MPEG Noise Reduction”.

Winner: Draw

Side Viewing Angle

Va vs IPS Panel

The image is only illustration

Just we have mentioned above, the use of IPS panel may cause both of them have poor contrast ratio, but on the other hand, this will make them have good side viewing angle coverage. Their side viewing angle coverage may be not as good as OLED TVS, but it is better than VA TVs, even that has Viewing Angle-optimized layer optical. The both can maintain black level at up to 70 degrees off center and front. This is far better than the VA TVS where their black level usually start to rise at around 15 degrees.  Additionally, the IPS panel also can do a better job than the VA Panel in maintaining color accuracy. If on VA panel, the colors usually will start to lose their accuracy at around 25 degrees, on their screen, the color accuracy can be maintained at far wider angle. The result, when viewing from the side, the picture displayed on their screen will looks remains accurate.

Winner: Draw

Motion Handling

The LG SM8600 actually has a bit lower pixel response time than the SM9000. Nevertheless, their difference is not too significant and doesn’t have a big impact on the normal content. And regardless their difference, their pixel response time is really excellent, which is below 14 ms. When they are playing fast moving images like fast movies and sports, their pixel response time is low enough to make motion looks clearly with almost no blur visible. Following fast moving object, there is only a ghosting short trail most where people might not notice this much. The blur that might be visible is more caused by their backlight flicker or persistence. But even so, just we have mentioned above, the persistence blur or duplications can be minimized by enabling their BFI mode, makes motion looks crisper.

Pixel Response timemobil

Th image is only an illustration

Meanwhile, when playing 24p movies, the LG SM9000 can do a bit better than the SM8600, particularly when they are playing 24p movies via 60i signal like movies from satellite TV. Nevertheless, except via 60i signal, they can do the same great job. This means, regardless the source is native 24p content like DVD or Blu-Ray movies, 24p content from native apps like Netflix, YouTube, and others, or 24p content via 60p signals like movies from streaming devices, all of them can be shown clearly and smoothly on their screen with judder-free. However, in order to the both can show them with judder-free, you must enable the “Real Cinema” on their Picture Option Setting Menu.

Winner: SM9000

Input Lags

Since they both are powered by the same image processor, this makes them have similar input lags and in general, their input lags in PC and Game Mode are great. With 60 fps content, except on at 4k @4:4:4, regardless the resolution, their input lags are around 14 ms that means it is really great.  There is a bit difference on 4K @4:4:4 where the input lags of SM8600 is around 30 ms, while the input lags of SM9000 is still around 14 ms. But even so, even though in this resolution, the input lags of SM8600 is higher, but it is still acceptable. Meanwhile, with 120 fps content, their input lags are even greater. Regardless with 1080p or 1440p resolution, their input lags are around 7 ms. With their behavior in input lags,  this certainly makes them is very response and when used for playing any games, even for fast paced games that require fast reflexes. And just we have mentioned above, the SM9000 also already supports ALLM and variable refresh rate technology that can improve its game experience.

Winner: Draw

Check the Latest Price
LG SM8600 LG SM9000
49 inches 49SM8600 on Amazon
55 inches 55SM8600 on Amazon 55SM9000 on Amazon
65 inches 65SM8600 on Amazon 65SM9000 on Amazon
75 inches 75SM8670 on Amazon 75SM9070 on Amazon
86 inches 86SM9070 on Amazon

 

Conclusion

For Watching Movies

Since most people prefer to watch movies in a dark room, of course, they both are not a good TVs for watching movies. Since they both cannot produce deep black, in a dark room, black of images look more like gray. Additionally, their black uniformity is also disappointing, as expected on IPS TV. Come with local dimming technology, their local dimming cannot do much to improve their dark room performance. But even so, as long as you don’t use it in a dark room, their performance when used for watching is good. They both have excellent motion handling, makes fast movies appear smoothly on their screen. They both also can do a good job when playing 24p movies. But just we have mentioned, when playing 24p movies via 60i signals like movies from satellite TV, the SM9000 can do a better job than the SM8600. Overall, they both might not be good TVs for watching movies in a dark room. But if you don’t mind to watch movies in a bright room, their performance is far better.

Winner: SM9000

For Watching Sports

Both LG SM8600 and SM9000 are great TVs for watching sports. Their excellent pixel response time makes fast sports can be shown smoothly and clearly with almost no motion blur. Additionally, they both also have an optional BFI mode that can help motion looks crisper, particularly when they are playing 60 fps content like sports or video games. They both have good SDR peak brightness, make them are very suitable when used in an average-lit or dim room. And combined to their good reflection handing, this makes the picture displayed on their screen looks fairly good without being distracted by glare or reflections. And finally, their good side viewing angle coverage ensure all of you to get the best viewing when you are watching a big game with a group of your friend or family. Meanwhile, compare between them, since the LG SM9000 has brighter SDR peak brightness, when used in a brighter room, the picture displayed on its screen is more consistent from distracting glare than SM8600.

Winner: SM9000

For Playing Games

Both LG SM8600 and SM9000 are also equally great TVs for playing games. In addition they both have good picture quality when used in average-lit or dim rooms due its good SDR peak brightness and excellent reflection handling, excellent motion handling that makes fast games looks smoothly, and good side viewing angle coverage, they both also have outstanding input lags. This allows you to play games responsively with crisp and good picture quality. Meanwhile, compare between them, the SM9000 is a bit better than the SM8600. This is caused the SM9000 already supports Variable Refresh rate technology and ALLM that can improve its game experience.

Winner: SM9000

HDR Experience

Both LG SM8600 and SM9000 are only decent TVs for HDR experience.  They both might have wide color gamut and smooth color gradient that makes them can produce HDR images with vivid colors without noticeable color banding. But their black level is not dark enough to show shadow details of HDR images excellently. Additionally, even though their peak brightness actually is bright enough to make HDR images looks fairly bright in a bright room, but their peak brightness is also not bright enough to show highlight of HDR images as bright they should in HDR. This means, even though they both can play most of HDR formats, overall, their HDR performance is only decent. Meanwhile, compare between them, since the SM9000 has brighter HDR peak brightness, of course, it also can show brighter HDR images than the SM8600.

Winner: SM8600

Summary

Which is a better choice between them? As we have discussed a lot above, overall, the LG SM9000 has better picture quality than the SM8600, particularly on their peak brightness. Additionally, even though its local dimming is still disappointing, but this is still better than the local dimming performance of the SM8600. Meanwhile, on other aspects like color reproduction, 24p handling, the SM9000 might be also superior, but its superiority is not too significant. In addition to picture quality, the LG SM9000 also has more features than the SM8600. It supports Variable Refresh Rate Panel and ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode) that can help to improve its game experience. Its HDMI also already supports HDMI 2.1 and eARC (enhanced Radio, allows it to play HDR content via HDMI and pass the higher sound quality. Additionally, the SM9000 also has more powerful sound system where it has 2.2 channel speaker system with total sound output of 40 watts while the SM8600 has 2.0 channel speaker system with 20 watts of total sound output, except its 75 inches model (75SM8600) that also 2.s channel speaker.

But keep in mind, with all of the advantages offered, with the same screen, SM9000 is sold hundreds of dollar more expensive then the SM8600. Now the decision comes back to you according to your budget and preferences. But as the note, they both are not a good TVs when used in a dark room. If you need a TV with high native contrast ratio, you can go on VA TVs like Samsung RU8000 or Q60R.

Check the Latest Price
LG SM8600 LG SM9000
49 inches 49SM8600 on Amazon
55 inches 55SM8600 on Amazon 55SM9000 on Amazon
65 inches 65SM8600 on Amazon 65SM9000 on Amazon
75 inches 75SM8670 on Amazon 75SM9070 on Amazon
86 inches 86SM9070 on Amazon

 

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