There are a lot of beautiful OLED TVs these days, and few look better than those offered by LG. The South Korean TV maker has invested a lot of thought into its premium OLED line, nowhere more than the LG E Series OLED – even though it has unfortunately been discontinued this year.
The 2019 LG E9 OLED was a master class in panel design, offering a glass screen that banished the bezel and seemed almost to float from the counter – providing a truly breathtaking visual experience. More than anything else, it looked different from any other TV released that year.
The E9 hasn't quite made the cut for 2020, however, with the new The Gallery Series GX model replaces the E Series range instead. While it probably makes sense for LG to cut the E series – which doesn't seem to have received nearly as much media attention as the cheaper (and equivalent) OLED C9, or the more affordable OLED B9 at the bottom of LG OLED Line 2019 – it is nevertheless a loss.
We were disappointed not to see an EX model unveiled at CES 2020 with the other new LG TVs on display, and we were simply told that the E series was no longer being pursued.
Neil Robinson, senior director of strategic projects at LG Electronics, tells us that “the E and G series were both evolutionary models, so the GX can be seen as the replacement for the E9.”
Given the proximity of the LG GX and LG WX in terms of design – both being slim wall-mounted TVs, with only one sound bar to differentiate between them – the removal of an E series moves away from the variety, although the GX will be sure to find its own audience.
It's a shame, given the truly unique aesthetics of the E series compared to other LG TVs. The new BX and CX models are also alike, like most TVs these days. How much can you repeat on a flat screen, after all?
Why we loved the E OLED series
Certainly, there are many subtle differences between the physical appearances of TVs, whether it is where the TV brand logo is located, what types of feet or stands support it on a counter, or the thickness and quality. screen housing. Not to mention the differences in picture quality – which are really the heart of any TV experience.
But that's why the E series was so refreshing: to offer a unique form factor in the midst of an endless catalog of identikit rectangles. Most of LG's OLED ranges share the same panel and processor, so the design differences are even greater.
In our review of the LG E9 OLED last year, we praised the package's “frameless all-glass panel” for its “open and expansive air”, as well as “a dazzling image, with crisp details and visuals really cinematic. ” Aside from the minor irritations – the lack of HDR10 + and an uneven Bluetooth connection – the E9 was and is a breathtaking television to watch.
The year before? We called the E8 OLED “arguably the ultimate expression of these OLED advances, thanks to its glamorous design, its integrated sound system and, above all, its incredibly good images.”
Other LG TVs have similarly intriguing design choices – including the TV stand for the C9 OLED, which is tilted to route audio to the viewer – but it's frustrating to see successful examples of this not being pursued, limited to one or two generations of models.
So where did the E series go?
Our senior home entertainment publisher Nick Pino speculates that “the reason for not creating one this year is not based on preexisting problems [with the E Series design], but rather that LG decided that it could not innovate enough to justify a new model. “
LG may have backed into a corner with the glass panel design. The television market demands iteration, and the unique design constraints of a glass screen may have meant that there was less room to change or improve its shape in the future compared to other designs ( the GX really looks like an iteration on the W series, rather than a standalone model).
OLED panels are also said to be often damaged during production – given their sensitive organic materials – and we also cannot imagine an all-glass screen compensating for concerns about breakage.
The LG E9 OLED is still on sale for those who want something different – which costs about half of what it did at launch at the same time last year – and we recommend you take a look. eye if you are not sold on the new Gallery Series GX OLED, which offers the only notable divergence from existing LG models. Treatment improvements are also expected to be minimal compared to the 2020 range.
But for those of us who want something different from our TVs, it looks like we will have to look elsewhere – be it Samsung's Q950TS zero bezel QLED, the rotating Samsung Sero TV, or wacky projector-TV hybrids Hisense – to do this.