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Should I buy an 8K OLED TV?

LG Z9 OLED
(Image credit: LG)

Want an 8K OLED TV? If you're after the most premium TV experience around, you may be wondering if it's possible to get both an OLED panel and 8K resolution together.

The good news? Yes you can. The bad news? It really will cost you a lot.

Both OLED and 8K are gaining a lot of traction in the TV market. While the former has been steadily growing as the premium TV technology of choice for most TV brands – over, say, LCD or QLED – the latter is still getting started. 

But with heavyweights like Samsung now releasing at least three 8K TVs each year, and others like LG investing in 8K models as well as its OLED range, it's clear that the 4K resolution successor is here to stay.

But if you don't want to have to choose between an 8K LCD and a 4K OLED, you really don't have many options – and that's what we'll be discussing in this 8K OLED guide.

What 8K OLED TVs are there?

To date, there's only a couple of commercially-available 8K OLED TVs. The main entry to consider is the LG Z Series OLED. It sits at the very top of the 2021 LG TV range, above the C Series and G Series models that make do with 4K resolution.

LG's Z Series continues to get a new model every year, first launching with the Z9 OLED in 2019, getting a follow-up ZX in 2020, and a new Z1 iteration coming in 2021.

In our review of the LG Z9, we called it "superbly specified with a comprehensive smart platform, extensive features and a big soundstage", with "astonishing picture quality."

LG ZX OLED

LG ZX OLED (Image credit: LG)

An 'upgrader' box that's free to Z Series owners, too, allows you to switch out inputs with the latest standards (i.e. HDMI 2.1) and compression codecs, so you don't need to buy another 8K OLED every couple of years to stay at the forefront of TV technology.

There's also the Beovision Harmony, a LG and B&O collaboration that got an 88-inch 8K model in mid-2020, offering an even more premium experience with an oak and aluminium panel that partially covers the screen when not in use – and opens up to bring the TV's speakers to either side of the set. There are also separate finishes available, including “warm brass tone aluminium” with “smoked oak,” and “bronze tone aluminium with walnut” – in case you needed to up the fancy level even more.

How much does an 8K OLED TV cost?

Last year's LG ZX OLED first retailed for $29,999 / £29,999 at an 88-inch size, though that has since dropped to a more reasonable £19,999 in the UK after a recent price cut. LG did also release a 77-inch model that currently costs $19,999 / £11,999.

It's a lot of money for a TV, and the upcoming Z1 model is likely to cost at least as much at launch, though it's hard to tell at the moment if LG will be offering a cheaper entry-point due to lower manufacturing costs, or whether the small number of units will keep that price tag just as high.

The designer Beovision Harmony TV knocks that price tag out of the park, though, costing $49,000 / £44,100 (around AU$74,000) for an 88-inch size.

Beovision Harmony

B&O Beovision Harmony (Image credit: B&O)

By comparison, the LG GX OLED (a premium 4K model) originally started at $2,699 / £2,299 (around AU$4,500) for a 55-inch size, and maxes out at $5,999 / £5,999 / AU$11,399 for a 77-inch size. When you can get a 77-inch OLED for half the price, without an 8K resolution you might not need (more on this below), it's well worth weighing up your options.

This year's top Samsung 8K TV, the QN900 Neo QLED, will cost $6,999 (£5,100 / AU$9,100) for a 75-inch size too, which is also a fraction of the cost of the 8K OLED TV above.

Do I need 8K and OLED?

The thing about 8K resolution and an OLED panel is that they both bring very distinct advantages to the table – and some may be more important to you than others.

If you're after an astonishing level of detail on a massive screen, 8K resolution is a must. Though we must remember that you don't really get the benefit of 8K at smaller sizes, meaning you need a large 77-inch / 88-inch screen or be sat somewhat close to a 65-inch TV to see the difference compared to a 4K model. (A 55-inch 8K TV just isn't really worth it.)

OLED TVs, on the other hand, excel at deep blacks and bright highlights – something that's hard to recreate with LCD technology, but is increasingly possible with Mini LED backlights. You'll generally find realistic and vivid colors, and brightness control that banishes blooming or halo effects around light sources.

If you only want one of those technology's benefits, then it doesn't make much sense to opt for both, given the increased cost.

However, these days, it's hard to get the very latest processing and highest specification anywhere except at the top of a TV maker's range. Samsung is now saving its best processors for its 8K models, meaning even its best 4K TV can't compete in terms of specs.

8k tv

Samsung 8K TVs (Image credit: TechRadar)

8K OLED TV sizes: not so important anymore

Previously, when you wanted a massive OLED TV, you could only really opt for a max 77-inch size. That changed with the introduction of 8K models, which brought in the 88-inch OLED panel size.

As of 2021, a new 83-inch panel size will be coming to a number of OLED TVs, including the LG C1 OLED, and it does mean 4K models can pretty much compete with 8K when it comes to sizing options. If you want the biggest OLED TV you can afford, 8K isn't a necessity any more.