When you’re buying a TV, you have to satisfy a bunch of different criteria. Price, size, features, picture quality — all these matter in a different way to different people. You usually have to make some compromises, too, and you’ll usually end up picking something around the middle of the pack. Enter the LG LF6300 — it’s not an Ultra HD or super-luxe OLED TV, but is still LG’s best 1080p LED TV for the year of 2015.
What Is It?
- Screen Size: 32-, 40-, 49-, 55-,
60-, or 65-inch
- Resolution: 1920×1080 pixels
- Smart TV: Yes, WebOS 2.0
- Connectivity: 3x HDMI, 3x USB
- Wi-Fi: Yes
The LG LF6300 is the company’s top-of-the-line Full HD edge-lit LED TV. It’s available in everything from a small-apartment-friendly 32 inches, all the way up to a cinema-room-ready 65; you’ll pay incrementally more for the $749 32-inch, $1299 40-inch, $1699 49-inch, $2099 55-inch, $2799 60-inch or $3399 65-inch variants. Obviously it’s either the 55- or the 60-inch model that makes the most financial sense; they both hit the pricing sweet spot.
The LF6300 is pretty well catered for in connectivity, with inbuilt Wi-Fi, and three side-mounted HDMI ports alongside three side-mounted USB 2.0 ports. You get a standard candybar remote control included in the box for the LF6300, too — but no Magic Remote Voice, which is the Wiimote-style clicker that gives you an onscreen cursor that you can wave around and tap to type or select items.
What’s It Good At?
LG has re-jigged its WebOS interface a little in the 2015 television line-up, and as such in version 2.0 it's somewhat more streamlined and even easier to use than the original. The big difference is how quick it is to start up from a cold boot; on old TVs you'd have to wait a minute before the Wi-Fi network connected, before you could load an app from the drawer, or before you could jump into the settings to adjust something. You can also add specific live TV channels to the app bar, which is great for quickly switching between your favourites. It works very well now.
It's also just a good looking TV when you're watching it, too. Being a Full HD 1080p panel it looks its absolute best with a Blu-ray video; Skyfall and Art Of Flight both looked amazing during an extended viewing session. The LF6300 also handles upscaling from 720p and 480p video sources surprisingly well, too, so your downloaded videos or YouTube will look just about as good as they're going to.
And, as a result, you get direct access to Netflix, amongst the suite of other top-tier streaming video on demand apps like ABC iView and SBS on Demand. Every app has been handled very well, actually; the interface is simple and straightforward and easy to understand. The Web browser is even usable. Just about the only annoyance is having to navigate the keyboard with the five-way navigational pad on the classic candybar remote control (but more on that later).
The fit and finish of the LF6300 is pretty damn good for a mid-range edge-lit LED TV. Sure, it's not up to Ultra HD or OLED levels of build quality, but it's well constructed and the bezels are up to LG's usual extremely slim grade. Setup is extremely simple, too -- the base connects to the stand with four Philips screws, and then the stand connects to the rear of the television itself with another four Philips screws.
What's It Not Good At?
Being an edge-lit LED panel, the LG LF6300 doesn't have quite the same black-to-white contrast ratio as its LED backlit competitors; its deepest black is still very slightly luminant, and if you have the (now almost impossibly) high expectations set by previously owning a good plasma or a current OLED TV, you might be disappointed. They're still improved somewhat over last year's edge-lit LEDs, but there are better alternatives out there for the unnecessarily discerning cinema enthusiast. Colours are otherwise vibrant and excellent -- it's just that you're starting from a slightly higher black level than a LED backlit TV.
Of all of LG's 2015 TVs, there are only a few that don't include the new quad-core processor and 6-step upscaling. The LF6300 is one of those models, and while it's not exactly a huge deal, there are a few points while you're navigating through the various menus that WebOS has on offer that I did notice just a few slow-downs and momentary pauses that the quad-core models (in my limited experience of them) do not have. It's not something you'll notice unless you have the two directly alongside each other, but it's worth considering buying a quad-core LG TV instead.
It's a little frustrating that LG doesn't include the Magic Remote Voice remote control with all its WebOS TVs, since it's such a natural and simple way to navigate the menus and has been engineered to work perfectly within every one of the TV's apps, too. It's a $69 accessory, so it's not a bargain, but should be a mandatory purchase along with a wall mount and any other cables and goodies that you pick up with your new TV.
There's some screen refresh rate finagling going on with the LF6300 model range. If you pick the 32- or 40-inch model, you'll only get a 50Hz native refresh rate, and the slightly jittery motion that comes along with that. If you step up to the 49- or 55-inch, you'll get 100Hz, and this is a good minimum entry level if you're going to be watching a lot of fast-moving sport or if you like your movies to look smooth. The 60- and 65-inch variants are the pick of the litter, obviously, because their 200Hz smoothing should look just that little bit better.
Should You Buy It?
LG's best Full HD LED TV is one of the best 1080p TVs you can buy at its price point, full stop. It looks great, and it's well built for a mid-range edge-lit LED, but it's the revitalised WebOS 2.0 interface that sets it apart from the crowd. Using it is incredibly straightforward and simple; the pop-up app strip at the bottom of the screen provides direct access to any of your favourite services without taking the focus away from what you're already watching.
It's unfortunate, then, that LG doesn't include the Magic Remote Voice remote out of the box with the LF6300. With a TV that's $749 at its cheapest (for the 32-inch version) all the way up to $3399 (for the 65-inch version), bundling a relatively cheap peripheral that massively improves the speed of navigation and text input just makes sense. It's a pity that it's not in there. There's small comfort in the fact that it's only a small additional cost -- and it's one I'd wholeheartedly recommend.
If you have the wall or entertainment-unit real estate, opting for at least the 60-inch model is the smartest choice over the mid-sized 55-incher, purely because you get the advantage of a 200Hz refresh rate versus 100Hz. For that reason, too, everything smaller than the 49-inch variant is at a further disadvantage since it's only 50Hz. The 100Hz 55-inch is still great, and has the usual adjustability that LG's LED-lit TVs normally have, but bigger really is better in this case.
The LF6300 acquits itself well as a piece of technology, minor input quibbles aside. In a lot of ways, it's more similar to last year's models than its 2015-era 4K Ultra HD compatriots, and that means if you're upgrading you'll see a larger improvement by moving to one of those models. But if you haven't bought a new TV for a while, you'll be impressed by its combo of good screen hardware and great software.