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LG webOS 2.0 review

John Archer

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Updated:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR

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LG WebOS 2.0
  • LG WebOS 2.0
  • LG WebOS 2.0
  • LG WebOS 2.0
  • LG WebOS 2.0
  • LG WebOS 2.0
  • LG WebOS 2.0

Summary

Our Score:

9

Pros

  • Exceptionally user friendly
  • Very efficient use of screen real estate
  • Stable and slick OS

Cons

  • No 4oD or ITV Player apps
  • Setup menus are clumsily implemented
  • Doesn't really add much to last year's offering

Key Features

  • All content sources treated as apps
  • Totally customisable icon 'strip' design
  • Includes most big streaming services
  • Point-and-click interface
  • Dozens of apps available via LG Content Store
  • Manufacturer: LG
  • Review Price: free/subscription

What is LG webOS 2.0?

WebOS 2.0 is the 2015 version of LG’s ground-breaking and brilliant webOS smart TV operating system first unveiled last year. The question is, does it improve substantially on its predecessor, or has it merely wallowed in its own brilliance and allowed its rivals to catch up?

LG webOS 2.0 – Design and Features

Aesthetically, very little has changed for version 2.0 of the webOS platform. It’s still defined by its fetching strip of colour-coded "folder end" icons overlaid over the TV picture, and this layout still does a superb job of combining economy of screen real estate with legibility and user friendliness.

As you move along the "folder" icons, the selected one pops up higher than the others to make where you’ve navigated to instantly obvious. At each end of the opening row of links sit well sign-posted links to further content. Moving to the left gets you to your most recently used apps and sources.

LG WebOS 2.0

One key webOS innovation is that all your sources – even your individual AV inputs – are now treated as apps too, so they can be seamlessly integrated into the webOS environment.

Moving to the right gets you to a long list of shortcuts, taking in everything from access to content on your external DLNA sources, a built-in help system, a web browser, games, "second-tier" content apps and so on.

The icons initially present on the main homepage are carefully selected to focus on what most TV users want to use on their TV. Amazon, Netflix, the TV tuner, YouTube, for example. Crucially, the list can also be customised to suit your own preferences. Just "pick up" a favourite app from the far right of the webOS app strip and shift it along to the left until it reaches the point in the Home Hub strip where you want it to sit.

Only a couple of differences from the original webOS make their presence immediately felt on the homepage – and they’re both welcome.

First, it’s immediately noticeable how much quicker and slicker the navigation process feels. This is in terms of both the responsiveness of graphics when navigating and the speed at which the TV boots any menus or apps you select.

It’s possible that this speed will vary according to the TV you’re using. We tried it on two high-end models: the 55EG960V OLED and the 65UF950V LCD. LG assures us, however, that webOS 2.0 should boot more quickly and run more slickly across pretty much its whole 2015 range – and we haven’t seen any evidence yet to suggest that this won’t prove to be true.

SEE ALSO: Best TVs 2015

The other obvious change for webOS 2.0 is the addition of a My Programmes folder option on the homepage. This turns out to be an exceptionally easy to populate Favourite Channels menu, which, once you’ve spent a few moments setting up, proves a much faster way of accessing preferred channels than trawling through the Electronic Programme Guide.

A search for further differences doesn’t uncover much more. The Content Store, from where you can find and download extra apps to your TV’s webOS environment, is much improved. It actually works in full this year, and also tries to inject some life into its rather humdrum functionality in the imaginative way it finds and presents highlight apps.

The only other "big" change is that LG has taken a stab at integrating the TV’s setup menus into the webOS 2.0 environment. A settings button on the remote and a cog icon in the top corner of the webOS homescreen call up some cool-ish icons that provide links to deeper menus for all the main TV setup areas.

The problem is that, aside from the colour coding of the menu graphics, the whole thing feels a bit bolted on. The fact that it takes a number of button presses to navigate to where you want to go underlines just how far removed it is from the near-instant access of the main webOS interface.

This is certainly an area where webOS 3.0 could seek to take the user experience to yet another level. However, at the same time, we can understand LG’s reluctance to allow anything used as rarely (except by TV reviewers!) as picture, sound and network setup menus interfere with the important day-to-day business of simply finding and watching content.

LG WebOS 2.0

One last notable feature of webOS is that it enables the TV to offer genuine multi-tasking, with multiple apps able to remain open at once for near-instantaneous switching between them. This is made possible by webOS's approach of treating everything – even the TV tuner and each HDMI input – as its own app.

So you could, for example, be watching something on Netflix and then decide to switch to the TV tuner to catch up on the news. Once the news is finished, you just choose the Netflix app – the stream you were previously watching is immediately back on-screen, paused in readiness for you to resume watching where you left off. There's no need to wait for the Netflix app to boot from scratch again.

It’s hard to convey in words just how cool such multi-tasking is in a TV environment, but rest assured that once you’ve experienced it, it makes any TV that doesn’t offer similar functionality feel primitive.

When it comes to content, webOS 2.0 is a good, rather than great, effort. As noted in passing, big-hitters such as Netflix, Amazon, the BBC iPlayer, YouTube, Wuaki.tv and Demand 5 are all present, along with the Now TV service that still seems to elude other smart TV platforms. The problem is that there’s still no support for All 4 or ITV Player, despite these now being present on all the other major brands’ smart TV platforms – sometimes as part of Freetime or YouView "apps".

Me

October 26, 2015, 9:53 pm

sorry to say, but webOS 2.0 is all but stable in my LG TV... It is impossible to watch a movie on netflix without having to restart the TV at least once. Memory leaks in software, lagging issues everywhere... even full resetting does not work... it looks good, but it is very, very bad... LG just messed up big time with this software.

Thomas Baker

November 5, 2015, 8:46 am

Hi Me,

I'm an employee of LG and regularly train on webOS TVs. I'm not exactly sure where your problems are occurring, you haven't said if you have webOS 1.0 or webOS 2.0 model. But feedback from users, journalists and staff is webOS has been excellent and efficient. I suggest checking your software updates, because recently webOS 1.0 models had a big software enhancement.
Overall, you should let LG know your TV has a problem - I might just need a technician to do a factory reset.

Good luck.

Supermamici

January 24, 2016, 4:37 pm

webOS2.0 is 3 times faster than webOS 1.0. Good job! http://televizoaresmart.ro/...

Razvan Radulescu

January 26, 2016, 8:56 pm

I can confirm that webOS 2.0 is very bad, simply ruining my OLED LGTV 55EC9300 watching experience. Every 15 minutes, during whatever you are watching, a pop up splash showing random HDMI input names.... It is interesting though how LG is managing to make it look good in "feedback from users, journalists and staff". So much for "trusted reviews"...

yt678901

March 16, 2016, 2:25 pm

I own an LG 43lf6300, Reviews every where are good, but those are LG Sponsored.
I cant understand what's so smart about it.
The browser does not support flash videos, so no videos in browser. The text resolution of browser is small, and you cant adjust it. The browser is the worst made by humans till date. It should be in world records. WebOS should also be in worst OS ever records.
The OS lags and hangs so much that you will not use it for any of its smartness.
There is no File Manager.
I could have bought a bigger screen without the stupid and useless WebOS.
WebOS is complete crap, and every one should stay away from it.

blackandwhiteohana

April 29, 2017, 9:34 pm

He said 2.0 so you need to re-read post.

Mr Savage

May 20, 2017, 7:14 am

I can't believe what I read .... I have LG smart tv with WebOS and it is the worst and absolutely the slowest operating system EVER. I could put up with everything but the speed is the biggest issue here ... it reminds me of Zx Spectrum from 1982 .... sorry but this OS is a total failure and I hate the fact that I have to use it on my TV. LG smart tv that I have is amazing in all other ways, picture is great, sound is great but WebOS is just terrible. You can not even adjust the colours on smart tv with WebOs but again ... speed is simply awful and extremely laggy. Have the latest WebOS and always making sure to check if there are any updates on it but nothing so far. I can not believe that you LG guys allowed this crap into your tsmart tvs.

Mr Savage

May 20, 2017, 7:19 am

Oh common ..... every single person complains about WebOS and then you come with this answer. Better use this time to fix this terrible OS and save us all from headaches. It is 2017 now and I have bought a brand new LG smart tv with WebOS .... same crap, same issues, same all same all ... 43LH590V model

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