Sharp LC-60UI7652 LED LCD TV Review

So, is this the best TV under £500?

by Phil Hinton
SRP: £599.00

What is the Sharp LC-60UI7652?

The Sharp UI7652 is a budget level LCD TV which uses a direct LED backlight without local dimming and a 4K UHD Sharp UV2A open-cell VA panel. It is available in screen sizes of 60- and 70-inches, with the 60-inch we are reviewing retailing at £499 at the time of this review in September 2019.

The UI7652 is part of the AQUOS line-up with the Aquos Net+ Smart TV system, Active Motion 400, ACE PRO ULTRA engine, Harman/Kardon sound system and HDR10 playback.

So what kind of performance can we expect from a Sharp TV at this price point in 2019?

Sharp LC-60UI7652 Video Review

For the full in-depth review with comparisons and more, watch our video review:


Design, Connections and Control

Sharp LC-60UI7652K
The Sharp is certainly a TV built to occupy a budget price point and that can be seen with the build quality and design. While more expensive models this year have gone for bezel-less designs and thin panels, the Sharp has an obvious panel bezel at the sides and top of the screen with a larger bar at the bottom of the set. There are logos for Aquos, Harman/Kardon and Sharp printed on the bezel. The build quality is acceptable with hard plastics used in a gunmetal grey finish and two small stand feet at either end of the TV. The 60-inch screen will require you to have a mounting surface of at least 50-inches to fit the feet comfortably. The TV does feel secure on the stand feet and it doesn’t weigh nearly as much as some higher-end sets.
Sharp LC-60UI7652K
The rear of the set is plastic in nature with a raised section to the central area that houses the fixed power supply on the left, and the connections are sideways and rearward facing to the right side. Looking at the sideways connections first, we have a CI slot and SD Card reader, a service jack and a headphone jack. Below these are a USB 2.0 port, HDMI slot and a TV and Satellite antenna.

The rear-facing connections are a further two USB and HDMI ports along with an optical digital output, Ethernet, stereo audio RCA and Component RCA inputs.

The remote control supplied with the Sharp is what we would expect at this price point. It is a grey plastic affair with a logically laid out arrangement of buttons. There are direct access keys for YouTube, Netflix and Net+ Smart TV and while the remote feels plastic, light and cheap, it fits with the rest of the package and should last the life of the TV.
Sharp LC-60UI7652K
The Sharp is clearly built to a price point

Features

The Sharp UI7652 is a budget mid-level LCD TV from Sharp which has a direct LED backlight and a VA panel, but no local dimming zones. It is a 4K resolution panel and Sharp also claims the UI7652 can handle HDR10 static metadata and Wide Colour Gamut (WCG) coverage with up to 79% of BT2020.

The TV also has video processing for upscaling of lower resolution content, as well as a fast response panel and both Dolby and DTS audio support, with a decoder for DTS surround. Audio is handled by a sound system from Harman/Kardon with downwards firing speakers and a woofer on the rear of the set.

The NET+ smart TV system is rather basic in nature with only a handful of apps with 4K available such as YouTube and Netflix. BBC iPlayer is also available but we had a real issue with loading any content from the player throughout our time testing the Sharp. There are far better systems available on competing TVs from LG, Sony, Hisense, Samsung and Panasonic.

Measurements

As we always do within our reviews, we measured the out of the box picture presets to find those that get as close as possible to the industry standards. The idea of this is that a TV must get close to these standards in at least one of its picture modes so end users can see content as it was mastered and intended to be seen. Calibration is a goal for some users, but for the majority, this is not an option, so actually knowing how accurate the out of the box presets are is very important in any honest TV review. In respect to this budget Sharp TV, it is unlikely that anyone buying such a model would pay for a professional calibration, so making sure there is at least one preset which reaches or gets as close as possible to the industry standards is very important.

We see absolutely no point in assessing and reviewing TVs in only the best-calibrated picture modes as this doesn’t reflect what the vast majority of buyers will experience with this TV. Calibration and measurement are important for the overall assessment of the TV, but we don’t only focus on the calibrated performance here at AVForums. So just how close does the picture get to the standards out of the box?

The most accurate picture mode on the Sharp is Movie, which changes to Personal when you make any adjustments. We used gamma set for 2.4 and colour temperature of Warm.
Sharp LC-60UI7652K
Sharp LC-60UI7652K

Looking at the greyscale first (top left) we can see that there is a lack of red energy across most of the brightness points, with too much blue, and green lacking at the brightest part of the track. However, while this reads as if it is a major problem, the gamma is tracking close to 2.4 and our DeltaE errors are below the visible threshold of three until around 70% stimulus and higher. So, while the graph could look better, given this is a budget LCD TV, the Movie preset is fairly reasonable when it comes to accuracy. There are issues, such a darker gamma at 10%, and we have a hint of too much blue in the whites when watching an actual film or TV content, we really can’t expect much better at the price point, and what we do have is decent enough to provide an image that will look fairly natural and accurate.

Moving to the HD Rec.709 colour gamut (top right) and again we have a reasonable amount of accuracy at this level of the market. There are errors in hue and saturation which we can see within this saturation tracking chart, but the errors are in areas where they will not impact too much on actual viewing performance with film and TV content. Magenta has a large hue error and blue has issues with saturation, but everything else is within acceptable tolerances. With actual viewing material, we doubt many normal viewers would actually see the errors on-screen without a far more expensive reference image next to this Sharp. As such, the out of the box viewing is fairly decent and somewhat towards the standards. We have to mention that while most other UI7652 models will also measure close to our review sample, at this level of the market, panel variance will be present and can affect image quality.
Sharp LC-60UI7652K
Sharp LC-60UI7652K

The Sharp UI7652 has basic calibration controls available within the menu system. Mainly a single point greyscale adjustment and a full-on Colour Management System (CMS) or at least something that looks like a usable CMS.

Moving to the greyscale first (top left) and using the single point greyscale controls, we did our best to balance out the tracking to get DeltaE errors as far under the visible threshold as possible and in doing so not add any new errors, like too much red in the blacks. Thankfully, we were able to do just that with all errors at two and under, which means they shouldn’t be visible to the eye. Gamma also tracks close to our desired 2.4 curve but the clipping is still happening at 10% brightness, which means shadow detail will be lost. Given the lack of control for the white balance, we are satisfied that the results obtained with the greyscale are entirely acceptable and cause no visible issues with image quality.

After correcting the greyscale white balance, we remeasured the rec.709 colour gamut (top right) and with some slight manipulation with the CMS at certain points, we managed to get extremely good results. Colours at 75% saturation and below track well at their given points and as such we find DeltaE errors are all under one, which is well below the visible threshold meaning errors are unseen to the eye with film and TV content viewing. This is a very good result for such a budget TV.
Sharp LC-60UI7652K

Getting the main issues out of the way first, the peak brightness of the Sharp is 245 nits which is a similar figure at this price point to the recently reviewed Hisense and Panasonic LCD models. Sadly, there is no Dolby Vision support so the Sharp is only capable of playing back HDR10 static metadata content. Tone mapping is also not as advanced as other brands, with a standard track to just over 100 nits and then a steady roll off to a hard clip at 80% stimulus.

Looking at the PQ EOTF results, the white balance is very good with the EOTF tracking on the standard yellow guide until rolling off from around 120 nits to a hard clip. This means that bright highlights will just be solid without any detail within the specular highlights, and peak brightness is only 245 nits, so there is a lack of dynamic range.
Sharp LC-60UI7652K
The P3 colour gamut results are restricted within the saturation tracking chart above, with 75% and 100% points closer to each other than normal. As the 100% points cannot attain the maximum reach of the P3 gamut, the Sharp only manages 80% coverage. The 75% saturation and below tracking points are fairly accurate which should translate to decent colour reproduction within HDR content but we did note that colour luminance (brightness) was low, so colour volume is not as full as it should be.

We measured the BT.2020 coverage as 55% XY and 58% UV, with P3 coverage at 76% XY and 80% UV. Contrast performance was 2526:1 with SDR and 2848:1 with HDR.

Sharp LC-60UI7652 Performance

The UI7652 was tested in isolation and also in a comparison with the Panasonic GX800 LCD, which is a 58-inch edge-lit LCD costing roughly the same price. Both sets were calibrated to the industry standards.

The first thing we noticed was the poor viewing angles on the Sharp which affect image contrast and colours as soon as you start to get off-axis, especially from 20 degrees onwards. This will mean that any seat in your living room that is not directly in front of the screen will not be getting the best possible picture. We also noted that black levels were also quite poor and more of a dark grey, with no shadow detail visible in the near-black areas of the image. Instead, those areas were just clumps of dark grey that you can see when compared directly with the Panasonic. The Sharp also has too warm a tint to images, with a distinctly yellow tint even after calibration to the correct white point. This does make skin tones sometimes look too yellow and unnatural.

Upscaling of SD and HD images is decent but there are signs of edge enhancement that cannot be switched off and it also appeared that some noise reduction or filter was being applied behind the scenes as well. This did give images a slightly processed look and while with normal TV programmes it wasn’t really an issue, it did become more apparent with film and movie content. Motion was also decent with 50Hz content and, with 24fps, there was a small amount of induced judder and frame drops every now and again, which were noticeable if you are looking for them. Panel uniformity was also quite poor for a direct LED backlit VA panel, with patchy blotches across the panel visible as Dirty Screen Effect (DSE) when viewing content, such as football, with large areas of one colour during camera pans. There is no local dimming on the Sharp so this is there at all times.

HDR performance is also a little disappointing on the Sharp with no real dynamic range to images. The poor blacks are once again an issue with black bars never reaching a decent level of black and some blooming can also be seen from time to time. Plus, if it is a black or dark scene, the black bars are the same level as blacks within the image and the whole screen can at times become one grey mass with no image details visible, which are clearly seen on the Panasonic next to it. This lack of dynamics and contrast does make HDR content look flat and uninspiring. Colours are also a struggle and the yellow tint seen after calibration with SDR images is also present here in HDR content. We also found that images again had a false sharpness to them at times and there was no way to dial that out in the settings, pointing to back door processing being added.

Taking into account the price point of the Sharp UI7652 and the fact that this is a budget TV built to a price point, we do feel that overall the image quality is still not what should be on offer, especially when compared to the Panasonic GX800 which is only £100 more at the time of the review. The difference in picture performance feels a lot more than that.

The Sharp is built to a price point and is clearly a TV we couldn't recommended to AVForums readers who are looking for image accuracy. It is a mass market TV that does have a few features added, but doesn’t offer the kind of image quality we think enthusiasts will want, even in a second or third room TV. There are far better examples out there from Hisense, Panasonic and Samsung in this market sector.

Verdict

6
AVForumsSCORE
OUT OF
10

The Good

  • 4K 60-inch screen size at the price point
  • Decent out of the box SDR
  • Decent colour accuracy for SDR when calibrated
  • Some calibration controls available

The Bad

  • SDR and HDR picture quality is lacklustre with poor contrast and black levels and back door processing
  • Poor panel uniformity and viewing angles
  • Limited smart TV apps and features
  • Better value for money elsewhere

Sharp LC-60UI7652 LED LCD TV Review

The Sharp UI7652 is a budget LCD TV that is built to fit within a certain price point. It’s a 4K HDR TV with some smart TV capabilities from Sharp’s NET+ system. The build quality is adequate with hard plastics used throughout and a larger bezel than contemporary TVs at this price point. The gunmetal grey finish also looks budget in its appearance with stand feet at either end which means you will need a large mounting surface if table mounting.

The remote is a plastic affair that has all the buttons you would expect and, again, it fits the budget price point in terms of materials and finish. We get three HDMI connections on the rear which are HDMI 2.0 in nature with one ARC compatible.

The menus and calibration controls are also minimal - but then again we doubt anyone buying this TV will get it calibrated. Picture quality in the best Movie setting is fairly accurate when watched directly in front of the TV but other attributes do impact on that performance. The VA panel used has a distinct yellow tint, even when calibrated, which is obvious when viewing in any of the picture modes. Viewing angles are also very poor, with contrast and colour shifts as soon as you get off-axis. We also found the black levels and overall contrast performance, even directly viewed, to be poor when compared to the competition from Hisense and Panasonic. Shadow detail above black is nonexistent and behind the scenes picture processing adds noise reduction and edge enhancement that cannot be defeated. This is not a TV for anyone looking for image accuracy to the standards and decent dynamic range for HDR content.

The Sharp UI7652 is a budget TV built to a price point and it shows in the fit and finish, along with the lacklustre image quality. It will find a market with consumers looking for the latest features and for a large amount of screen real estate at a cheap price. And that screen is big for the money being asked. For AVForums members looking for a decent screen at this level of the market, there are much better TVs out there from Hisense, Samsung and Panasonic, to name three.

Scores

Sound Quality

.
.
.
7

Smart Features

.
.
.
.
6

Ease Of Use

.
.
.
.
6

Build Quality

.
.
.
.
6

Value for Money

.
.
8

Verdict

.
.
.
.
6

Picture Quality

.
.
.
7

Video Processing

.
.
.
.
6

Greyscale Accuracy

.
.
.
7

Colour Accuracy

.
.
.
7

Contrast/Dynamic Range/Black Level

.
.
.
.
6

Screen Uniformity

.
.
.
.
6

Picture Quality Out-Of-The-Box

.
.
.
7

Picture Quality Calibrated

.
.
8

HDR Picture Quality

.
.
.
7

SDR Picture Quality

.
.
.
7
6
AVForumsSCORE
OUT OF
10

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