LG OLED B8 vs OLED B7 / B7A Review (OLED66B8PUA vs OLED55B7A, OLED65B8PUA vs OLED65B7A)
LG OLED B8 is the entry level of LG’s 2018 4K HDR OLED TV lineup while LG OLED B7 is the predecessor. But in term of appearance, OLED B8 precisely is more similar to OLED C7 than B7A, particularly on their stand. Additionally, LG B8 is the only model of LG’s 2018 OLED TV that uses processor Alpha 7, while the higher models already use Alpha 9 processor. In the market, both of them equally come in 2 screen sizes those are 55 inch and 65 inch. And with the same screen (OLED55B8PUA vs OLED55B7A, OLED65B8PUA vs OLED65B8PUA), OLED B8 as a newer model is sold hundreds dollar more expensive than OLED B7. However, their prices certainly are not fixed and could still change at any time, particularly for LG B8 which recently launched. So, what new features offered by LG B8 and what are the advantages than the older model OLED B7?
LG OLED B8 vs OLED B7 Key Specs
|Specs and Features||LG OLED B7||LG OLED B8|
|Resolution||4K (2160 x 3840)||4K (2160 x 3840)|
|Sizes Available||55 Inch (OLED55B7A), 65 Inch (OLED65B7A)||55 Inch (OLED55B8PUA), 65 Inch (OLED65B8PUA)|
|Dimming||Pixel Dimming||Pixel Dimming|
|Backlight||Self Lighting Pixel||Self Lighting Pixel|
|HDR Engine||Active HDR with Dolby Vision||Alpha 7 Processor|
|HDR Format||HDR 10, Dolby Vision, HLG, Advanced HDR||HDR 10, Dolby Vision, HLG, Advanced HDR|
|Ultra HD Premium Certification||Yes||Yes|
|Color Technology||4 Sub pixels technology (RGBW)||4 Sub pixels technology (RGBW)|
|Other Technology and Features||Perfect Black Panel, Cinematic Color, True Color Accuracy, etc||Intense Color, True Color Accuracy, Billion Rich Color, etc|
|4K Up-scaling||Tru 4K Up-Scaler||Tru 4K Up-Scaler|
|HFR (High Frame Rate)||NO||Yes|
|Platform||WebOS 3.5||WebOS 4.0 with LG’s ThinQ AI|
|Features||Web Browser, VoD Service, Cloud Games, Samsung’s Apps store, etc||Web Browser, VoD Service, Cloud Games, Samsung’s Apps store, etc|
|Remote||LG Magic Remote||LG Magic Remote|
|RF (Terrestrial Cable)||1||1|
|Composite In (AV)||1||1|
|Wi-Fi Built In||802.11 ac||802.11 ac|
|Audio Channel||4.0 Channel||2.2 Channel|
|Dolby Atmos Decoder||No||Yes|
|Total Audio Output||40W||40W (Woofer: 20W)|
|Price||See the price on Amazon||See the price on Amazon|
Features and Technologies of LG OLED B7 and OLED B8
As a newer model, LG OLED B8 bring some improvements on their technology and some additional features that expected its performance is better than OLED B7 the predecessor. But even so, on their panel, there are not many changes brought by LG B8. On their panel, they equally use OLED panel that allow them can produce perfect black level and infinite contrast. As we know, since OLED panel has self-lighting pixel, it doesn’t need backlight to product light. Each of its pixels can emit its own light and switch /on/off individually without affected by the condition of their pixel surrounding. That is why OLED TV including OLED B8 and B& can produce perfect black level and infinite contrast. Additionally, their panel also equally has RGBW pixel structure, allow them to provide wide color gamut. Equally optimized for HDR content, both LG OLED B8 and OLED B7 also equally support the same HDR format including HDR 10, HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma), Dolby Vision, and also Advanced HDR by Technicolor. This allows you to watch HDR movies with many format options.
In term of appearance, they look different, particularly on their stand that supports their screen. The panel is supported by a small footprint with a clear support, make it looks very good on your table. Meanwhile, the width of the stand of OLED B8 is also not far different to OLED B7, even it is a bit shorter. But even so, the stand of LG B8 is precisely almost similar to the stand of OLED B7 than OLED B8. If the stand of OLED B7 has a clear support, the stand of OLED B8 has metallic finish. But essentially, since their stand is not too wide, this allows them can be placed on most tables. Meanwhile, from the back, they also looks far different where LG B7 comes with dominant colors is white while the dominant color of rear panel of LG B8 is darker.
The other major difference between LG OLED B8 than OLED B7 the predecessor is about the processor that supports them. LG OLED B8 as a newer model is powered by a new processor Alpha 7. It is not just as its picture engine, but also handles everything on LG B8 including motion blur, 24p movies, smart TV and others features. Its performance might be less powerful than Alpha 9 used higher model like C8, E8 and others, but at least, its bring some improvements and ability for OLED B8 over the predecessor. With Alpha 7 processor, LG B8 has an ability to handle HFR (High Frame Rate) content. But since HDMI ports of B8 have not support HDMI 2.1 Full bandwidth, it accept HVR content via USB or streaming only and don’t accept HFR contents via HDMI ports. Additionally, the use of this processor also makes its smart TV performance is a bit faster and more responsive then OLED B7 the predecessor.
The Level of Ultra Luminance Technology
The other difference between LG OLED B7 and OLED B8 is about the level of their Ultra Luminance Technology. As we see on comparison table above, LG OLED B8 is powered by Ultra Luminance Pro version while OLED B7 is powered Ultra Luminance Standard version. BY supported by higher level of Ultra Luminance technology, this should make OLED B8 can produce brighter peak brightness than OLED B7.
As we see on comparison table above, LG OLED B8 is equipped with 2.2 channel speaker system with built in woofer and 40 watts of total sound output, while OLED B7 is equipped with 4.0 channel speakers with 40 watts of total sound output. For this case OLED B7 is not equipped with built-in woofer. With built-in woofer, this should make OLED B7 has impressive sound quality than OLED B7, particularly at low frequency or Bass. The other advantage offered by LG B8 over the predecessor, it is also equipped with built-in Dolby Atmos Decoder, allows it is to play HDR content with Dolby Atmos sound quality without additional sound system. Meanwhile, OLED B7 only can pass through Dolby Atmos Signal via its HDMI ARC and has not equipped with built-in Dolby Atmos decoder, so for enjoying Dolby Experience, you need additional sound system that support Dolby Atmos.
The version of Smart TV
Like last year model of LG’s TV, LG OLED B7 featuring WebOS 3.5 as its smart TV platform, while for LG B8, it featuring WebOS 4.0. In term of appearance and user interface design, they are not much different. Apps and features offered are also not far different. The difference, WebOS 4.0 has been integrated with LG’s ThinQ AI, allow you to control your ThinQ AI compatible device like Air Conditioner, Refrigerator, Dish Washer, and others via your TV. Additionally, LG ThinQ AI also makes you can do more with your voice command. Meanwhile, powered by Alpha 7 Processor also makes smart TV performance of LG B8 is a bit faster and more responsive than LG B7 the predecessor.
LG OLED B8 vs OLED B7 Performance
Contrast and Black Level
As we know, one of the major advantages of OLED TV including LG OLED B7 and OLED B8 is about their perfect black level and infinite contrast. Since each of OLED panel can switch on/off/dim individually, this allows the screen doesn’t emit any light at all when they are showing totally black. This certainly makes blacks of images will look really black, even when they are set in a dark environment. Additionally, this also makes them can show dark colors excellently. The result, details in dark scene can be revealed well, makes dark scene looks excellently on their screen, particularly when playing HDR contents. As we know, one of the main purposes of HDR technology is for showing more information in dark scene, and for showing shadow details of HDR images like the creator’s intended, a HDR TV must have black level at certain level. With the black level reached by them, both LG OLED B7 and OLED B8 are able to show shadow details of HDR images like the creator’s intended, makes them as a great TV for you who like watch movies with a lot of dark scene like horror or thriller.
While performance of LG OLED B8 and OLED B7 in showing dark scene is similar, in showing bright scene, performance of LG OLED B7 precisely is a bit better than OLED B8.This is due OLED B7 has a bit brighter peak brightness than LG B8, no matter they are playing SDR or HDR contents. Nevertheless, this may be due the panel variance. When playing SDR contents, OLED B7 can produce about 400 nits of peak brightness, while peak brightness reached by LG B8 is a bit dimmer. But even so, essentially, their peak brightness is bright enough to overcome the glare in most bright rooms. Combined to their excellent reflection handling, this makes the picture displayed on their screen will look remain amazing when they are set in a bright room. Meanwhile, when playing HDR contents, their peak brightness is even brighter, more than 700 nits at small window sizes. This makes both LG B7 and B8 are able to show a small bright object in dark background fairly bright. Additionally, since its pixel can switch on/off individually, this makes blooming or unwanted adjacent light around small bright object is not visible. But a bit unfortunate, since their peak brightness is still below 1000 nits, this certainly makes them cannot show highlight of HDR images at 1000 – 4000 nits like the creator intended. Additionally, when showing a scene with all objects are bright, their peak brightness also dims to below 200 nits due to be limited by a feature called ABL (Automatic Bright Limiter). This means when they are showing totally bright scene, their brightness is too dim. Fortunately, in a HDR movie, totally bright scene is rare, so this should not be a problem. Nevertheless, for OLED TV, their peak brightness can be said excellent and at least, their peak brightness is still brighter than 550 nits as the minimum recommendation set by UHD alliance to show HDR 10 image fully.
Both LG OLED B7 and OLED B8 also equally have wide color gamut and only a bit worse than Samsun QLED TV as the TVs with the best color gamut. Their color gamut can cover more than 96% of DCI color space that means it is great for HDR contents. Almost all colors in DCI P3 can be shown fairly saturated, makes colors of HDR images mastered in DCI P3 like HDR10 contents can be shown very accurate. Additionally, its color coverage in Rec.2020 is also fairly good also wide enough to show colors of HDR images mastered in REC.2020 like Dolby Vision contents looks fairly accurate. But a bit unfortunate, their color gamut narrows significantly at high brightness due their RGBW pixel structure, makes very bright color can be shown as accurate as dark or moderately bright colors. On the other hand, both LG OLED B8 and OLED B7 also equally have excellent color gradient. But for this case, the use of Alpha 7 processor makes OLED B8 has a bit better color gradient than OLED B7 the predecessor. However, the superiority of LG B8 is not too significant, and essentially, both of them can show color gradient of HDR images smoothly and clearly. There may be some little imperfections in darker colors or gray scale, but this should not be too visible in normal content.
Side Viewing Angle
As we know, wide viewing angle coverage is one of the major advantages of OLED panel than LED panel, even for IPS panel. Like on LED panel, color may still shift at a certain angle, but the angle where the color starts to shift on OLED panel is wider than LED panel and from the wider angle, the color shift is not as significant as on LED panel. The excellence of OLED panel, it can maintain its black level and brightness up to from extremely wide angle, while on LED TV, black level will start to degrade at less than 20 degrees off center and front. The result, when viewed from an angle, the picture displayed on the screen of LG OLED B8 and OLED B7 will look more consistent, as good as when viewed from the center and front. Both of them certainly are very suitable for you who often watch TV with a group of your family or friend where they usually watch TV from multiple angles.
Motion Handling and 24p Playback
In handling motion blur, both LG OLED B7 and OLED B8 also go an excellent job. This is due they equally have excellent pixel response time, far better than the best pixel response time can be reached by LED TV. The result, when they are playing fast paced contents like sports or fast games, the picture displayed on their screen looks very clear and smooth with no motion blur visible caused by pixel response time. Blur that may be visible is more caused by 60 fps persistence. Additionally, since both of them don’t have backlight, this certainly also makes their screen is free from flicker. Screen with flicker free may make the picture displayed on their screen will looks smoother, but on the other hand this will cause persistence blur. For this case, to clear-up blur that caused by 60 fps persistence, LG B8 has an optional BFI (Black Frame Insertion) mode that will flicker the screen at 60 Hz. This is very helpful to make motion looks clearer, but on the other hand, this will make flicker is noticeable. To enable, this feature, you just need to set on “Motion Pro” on its picture setting. On the other hand, LG OLED B7 doesn’t have this feature.
Meanwhile, when playing 24p movies, both LG OLED B8 and OLED B7 also equally can do a great job. No matter the frame rate of the contents, whether it is native 24p movies like Blu-Ray or DVD’s movies, 24p movies via streaming apps like YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Videos, and others, 24p videos via 60i signal like movies from satellite TV, or even movies via 60p signal like movies from streaming device like fire TV or apple TV, both of them can show them smoothly and clearly with judder-free. But to remove the judder, you need make a certain setting like turn on the “Real Cinema”, set “Tru Motion” to “User”, and set both the “De-Blur” and “De-Judder” to “0”.
In term of connectivity, there are not many changes brought by OLED B8 over OLED B7 the predecessor. As their major connectivity, both of them are equally equipped with 4 HDMI ports where all of their HDMI ports also equally support HDCP 2.2, HDMI 2.0 full bandwidth, and 1 port also equally support ARC (Audio Return Channel). Additionally, both of their HDMI ports don’t also support HDMI 2.1 full bandwidth. For OLED B7, this may not have a big impact, but for OLED B8 that already supports 120 Hz content or HFR, this makes it cannot accept HFR content via HDMI port. But even so, since there are not many contents which have frame rate higher than 60 fps, this should not be a problem for OLED B8. IN addition to HDMI ports, both of them are also equally equipped with 3 USB ports. The difference, all USB ports of LG B8 are USB 2.0 while on OLED B&, 1 port is USB 3.0. Additionally, they are also equally equipped with 1 RF In, 1 Composite In (AV In), 1 Ethernet port, and 1 Digital Audio out (optical). Both of them are not also equally equipped with Component In. As their wireless connectivity, there are also equipped with built-in WI 802.ac and built-in Bluetooth.
Meanwhile, in term of input lags, both LG OLED B7 and OLED B8 also have similar inputs lags in “PC” and “Game Mode”. Their input lags are lower than 25 ms at 4K and 1080p resolution that means their input lags are low enough to play any games so feel responsively, even for fast paced games that require fast reflexes. Combined to their excellent picture quality, motion handling, and wide viewing angle coverage, this certainly makes both LG OLED B8 and OLED B7 as great TVs for games. But keep in mind, since they have permanent burn in risk, play the same game for a long time should be avoided.
Smart TV Platform
As we have mentioned above, both of them are equally featuring WebOS as their smart TV platform. But the difference, OLED B8 comes with 4.0 Version while OLED B7 comes with 3.5 Version. The other difference, OLED B8 is powered by Alpha 7 processor that makes its performance is a bit faster and more responsive than the predecessor. In term of appearance and navigation, there are not many changes offered by WebOS 4.0 as a newer version. Both of them equally have intuitive home layout and simple navigation. Apps provided are also not many different. They are equally have VoD service like YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Videos and more, Web Browser, Games, and many more. They also equally have an apps store named “LG’s Apps Store”, allow you to download tons of apps, games, and contents provided. The advantage offered by WebOS 4.0, now it has been integrated with LG ThinQ AI, a home intelligence app by LG. This feature can act as a hub for controlling your compatible devices like Refrigerator, Air conditioner, Dish Washer, and others via your TV with voice command on their remote. Additionally, not just ThinQ AI compatible device that can be supported, but it also supports Amazon Alexa and Google Home. Additionally, LG’s ThinQ AI also can make you can do more thing with your voice commands.
As the controller, they are also equipped with almost the same remote control that is LG’s magic remote. As we know, LG magic remote is excellent and has a lot of smart features. On their buttons, in addition it is equipped with standard buttons and some quick access buttons, it also equipped with two dedicated buttons to access Amazon and Netflix app directly. On the center of the remote, there combination of direction pad and scroll wheel that makes navigation is easier. Additionally, when the remote is pointed to the screen, you can also move the pointer on the screen by moving the remote. Not just that, this remote also has a universal ability, allow you to control other CEC compatible device connected to your TV via HDMI ports with this remote. And the difference, although both of them equally have built-in microphone for voice command, but LG ThinQ Ai on OLED B8, you can do more voice commands on OLED B8 than OLED B7.
|Performance||LG OLED B8||LG OLED B7|
As we have discussed a lot above, although LG OLED B8 bring some improvements on their technologies, particularly on their processor, this doesn’t have an impact on the quality of the picture produced. Their picture quality is almost similar and equally excellent. Both of them also equally have excellent viewing angle coverage, excellent motion handling, low input lags, and attractive smart TV platforms, makes them as a great TV for mixed usage. A new feature offered by OLED B8, it has an optional 60 Hz BFI mode that help to clear up the motion, particularly when playing 60 fps content like video games or sports. Additionally, the use of alpha 7 makes OLED B8 has ability to process 120 Hz content or HDR and makes its smart TV performance is a bit faster and more responsive. The other feature brought by OLED B8, its smart TV have been integrated with LG ThinQ Ai that offer some benefit like we have discussed a lot above. Additionally, on its sound performance, LG B8 also already equipped with built-in Dolby Atmos decoder, allow you to enjoy Dolby Atmos experience without adding external sound device. While for OLED B7, it is not equipped with built-in Dolby Atmos Decoder and only can pass through Dolby Atmos signal via their HDMI ARC, so to enjoy HDR experience with Dolby Atmos sound quality, you need additional external sound system that support Dolby Atmos.
So, which is a better choice between them? As we have mentioned above, with the advantages offered, LG OLED B8 is sold hundreds dollar more expensive than OLED B7. Now the decision comes back to you according to your preferences. If you just focus on picture quality, OLED B7 may be a good choice for you considering their picture quality is almost similar but it is sold hundreds dollar cheaper. But keep in mind, since it is a last year model, this TV has been discontinued by the manufacturer, so to get it, you must buy it immediately. On other hand, if you don’t mind to spend hundreds dollar more of your money to get the advantages offered by OLED B8, this may be better for you. But since it still has nearly full price, if you want a cheaper price, wait for a few months until its price drops might be better.