The German brand Loewe is making a comeback in France with a range of premium products. We tested its OLED TV, which focuses on design, in addition to the image.
The Loewe brand disappeared from the French market in 2019, to the chagrin of lovers of beautiful products capable of producing beautiful images and delivering good sound quality. In 2022, this German pioneer – born in 1923, almost a century ago – makes a comeback with models that are still top class.
We were able to test the image on the television, which is available in three sizes: 48, 55 and 65 inches. The price list is high (from €2,699), justified by the famous “Deutsche Qualität”. In addition to a premium design, the bild i relies on an OLED panel supplied by LG, which is already a big argument.
A very nice TV
If we look at the TV market, even high-end, there are few that offer a truly distinctive design. LG as Samsung, the two brands that come to mind first, tend to use the same silhouettes from one generation to another. To make an impression, Loewe is trying another effort: adding a lot of elegance to a product that doesn’t necessarily need it, as long as the image is pretty. When unpacking, we understand that Loewe wants to offer another experience. Everything is carefully packed – and protected – as if it was meant to give satisfaction even before the first lighting. The company knows that some people are sensitive to packaging. And we have to admit that the effort is there in terms of the picture in.
The picture in is therefore a very, very nice television lifestyle, imbued with small details that make the difference. The small label sticking out from the frame on the side, the circle surrounding the indicator light (which is shaped like a bar), the removable soundbar covered with an acoustic fabric in graphite gray (which adds texture to the whole), the presence of easy-to-install magnetic covers for to hide the back, the adjustable basalt foot which makes it possible to hide them… We feel that Loewe has thought of everything. The assembly quality is coordinated, with a real impression of durability (the materials are well chosen). We imagine that the image will inevitably evoke positive reactions from your visitors, who will wonder about the brand’s identity.
The care is also found on the metal remote control, which combines black and silver colors for a marriage with the most beautiful effect. Very long and able to drive an external amplifier (it immediately recognized my Marantz model), it has direct access to certain applications: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Deezer or even YouTube. It’s just a shame it’s so heavy and doesn’t have a backlight.
OLED technology is necessarily a good choice
What about the sound bar?
As an option, bild i can be combined with a €300 soundbar, called klang bar i, compatible with Dolby Atmos and which fits perfectly into the design. It lacks a hint of presence (especially horizontally), but has a nice reserve of power.
Loewe has logically turned to LG for the OLED technology in their television picture – which forms a good basis for achieving a noticeable visual reproduction. The German company adds its in-house calibration, which requires a few minor tweaks to deliver satisfaction. Default mode seems to be the most versatile. Just make sure to disable all tricks (motion compensation, noise reduction, etc.) and play with the colors to adjust as needed. Out of the box, some competitors do better (Sony, Panasonic, the latest LG models).
On the other hand, we don’t want to sulk in our pleasure. Armed with a panel of the latest generation, bild delivers in a show the way we like it: solid and accurate colors because they are natural, combined with really black blacks, for dizzying contrasts. The image is vivid, with a high-flying sharpness, although it’s a little too strong at times (the internal algorithm lacks a hint of restraint, but we nitpick). In HDR, compatibility with the Dolby Vision standard is reassuring for the future, knowing that the brightness peak – voluntarily limited to 800 nits to guarantee better longevity – is enough to impress with a certain balance.
In any case, we feel that Loewe has a small margin of progress to do – a little – better. The amazing OLED technology gives it a framework in which to flourish. Getting back to business, the effort is remarkable and you really won’t be disappointed with the performance.
If bild i has a game mode designed for games, it must be recognized that it is not the best television to connect with a PS5, an Xbox Series S or an Xbox Series X. The manufacturer forgot to integrate at least one HDMI 2.1 port, an interface , offering all ad hoc features (including 4K at 120 fps). Never mind, we still enjoyed the stunning graphics Forza Horizon 5 on bild i, which offers sufficiently low latency to be unnoticeable and good picture dynamics (we repeat: the colors are truly amazing). Games are your first purchase criterion? Get an LG TV instead.
A great interface, perfect ergonomics
Unlike some competitors, such as Sony and Philips, Loewe has not turned to Google for the bild operating system. He prefers to rely on his own internal ecosystem. There was everything to fear from this choice when we know that certain recognized players continue to suffer because they continue this way (hello Panasonic). But the reality is surprising: the interface of Bild i is very pleasant, both sober and modern. Better, it offers everything the user needs in terms of streaming applications (from Netflix to Amazon Prime, via MyCanal). Note that Loewe promises long-term software monitoring to make the TV develop positively – in the hope that it keeps what it promises.
Ergonomics, on the other hand, would benefit from being better. For example, the shortcut that provides quick access to picture settings is not very obvious. The remote control key is symbolized by three lines surrounded by a rectangle and located just above the Home button (which also gives access to the settings…). We feel that Loewe does not want us to spend too much time in the menus – a healthy intention, except for those and those who love to customize their experience.
We liked it
- The ultra-beautiful and versatile design
- The OLED image provides a good basis
- Great interface
We liked less
- No HDMI 2.1 port in 2022
- Ergonomics could be improved
- The price, of course (except for design lovers)
With the bild i model, Loewe is making a significant comeback in France. The German brand has not lost any of its high-end positioning, which is evidenced by a very successful lifestyle design, which gives it a real argument compared to others. In addition to production quality, there are the strengths of OLED technology, which provide an excellent image base.
In terms of pure performance, Loewe bild itself does not excel in anything. It’s not the best calibrated out of the box. It is not the best choice for video games. But its bases are solid enough to convince a maximum of users. Especially since the home interface, pleasant and modern, ensures an excellent experience.
Then you have to accept the high price. It matches the emphasis on luxurious materials.