LG G3: Eye Popping OLED

10/10

Summary

LG G3 TV panel

PAT PILCHER gets a solid chunk of time with the fantastic new LG OLED G3 and was blown away by its picture-perfect presentation.

$4448 (55-inch)

As the company that put OLED in the hearts and minds of consumers globally, LG TVs get a well-deserved amount of attention. When they launch a new model, it’s big news. Their latest, the G3, is bigger than huge news because it’s their brightest OLED TV yet.

LG’s G3 is their flagship TV model and is intended to compete against the likes of Samsung’s S95. It’s available in sizes from 55″ to the positively mahoosive 83″ model.

The big news with the G3 is that it uses Micro Lens Array (MLA) OLED technology which bolsters on-screen brightness levels. The other big news is that the G3 has LG’s latest video image processing hardware. Both of these combine to deliver phenomenal on-screen peeper-pleasing video goodness.

When it comes to design, the G3 is an impressive TV. Its super sleek, almost bezel-less design looks elegant both on a cabinet or wall-mounted. An alloy edge on the G3 hints at the sophistication under its hood and the TV feels solidly built, even if it is, like most OLED TVs, wafer thin.

 


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Being an OLED TV, the sound delivered is also a little on the thin side. While it delivered some bass (which is largely sound mode dependent) and dialogue was clear, there really isn’t a lot of room in the G3’s super slim chassis for a full-on set of speakers, so adding a sound bar or home theatre setup to your purchase budget is something to consider if audio is important.

If you’re a hard-out gamer, the G3 won’t disappoint. You get 4K 120Hz support across all four 2.1 HDMI ports. Then there’s all the other gaming goodies, including Dolby Vision gaming at 120Hz, VRR, and ALLM. An intuitive Game menu is also baked in, and the Game Optimizer picture mode makes getting set up for gaming an absolute doddle.

The biggest news with the G3 is what is known as Micro Lens Array (MLA). In non-geek-speak, it consists of tiny microscopic lenses in a layer above OLED pixels. These allow more light to exit from the panel. The net result is that OLED’s near-perfect contrast levels, super vivid colours and so on are now complemented by greater brightness levels. Add to this support for Dolby Vision, HDR10 and HLG HDR formats (but still no HDR10+), and the video looks great.

LG’s other signature piece is their smart TV software, which has been updated to webOS 23. With it, you get access to all the usual apps, but the addition of a Quick Cards system on the home screen goes a long way towards decluttering the user interface, making LG’s already intuitive navigation both quicker and easier. Speaking of Navigation, LG supplies the Magic Remote, which uses an integrated gyroscope and on-screen pointer, allowing you to move the remote around. Compared to the usual click-pad arrangement found on most other TV remotes, the Magic remote really does feel like magic.

With the G3 set to filmmaker mode, I recorded a decent 1448 nits of peak brightness. This backs LG’s earlier claims that the G3 would be around 70% brighter than previous models. While numbers are nice, the reality is that the extra brightness makes for improved daytime viewing and when combined with all the other traits of OLED (contrast and vivid colour), the results are best described as eye-popping. Further helping the G3 along in the daytime viewing stakes is its excellent anti-glare screen. In most TV rooms, glare is unlikely to ever be an issue. On-screen colour reproduction was also superb. DCI-P3 coverage was 98%, which bodes well for Blu-ray viewing.

Cinema mode delivered a more balanced image, and this stood out in on-screen shadow detail. All told, there was oodles of detail while Filmmaker mode added vibrancy to colour. Action movies were handled with ease too. Fast-moving on-screen objects were smoothly rendered with no noticeable loss in detail. Watching Top Gun: Maverick showcased just how capable the G3’s video processing was. Fighter jets soared through the room and again, detail and picture quality remained top notch.

I did notice, however, that Standard video mode was a little heavy-handed in applying motion processing in which the ‘soap opera’ effect was noticeable. Thankfully, switching modes or fiddling with the many, many settings available helped avoid this. My pick of the video modes has to be Filmmaker mode which really puts the G3’s peeper pleasing capabilities to good effect.

Out of the box, audio had clear enough dialogue but sounded a bit thin. Switching into Cinema mode saw more pronounced bass levels. While there is Dolby Atmos support, it really didn’t deliver all that much in the way of height to the sound stage. As previously stated in other reviews, take any Dolby Atmos claims from manufacturers with a grain of salt (unless you’re actually buying an Atmos home theatre receiver with ceiling speaker capabilities). AI Sound Pro created a louder and more focused audio experience, but this seems to come at the expense of less bass. While LG has clearly gone to a considerable amount of effort to refine the G3’s audio capabilities – even including an Auto Acoustic Tuning mode which uses the remote’s built-in mic, my advice is to buy a decent soundbar or better still, a home theatre setup if you want sound that is equal to the G3’s stunning video capabilities.

If you’re looking for a top-end telly, for gaming, binge viewing or daytime TV, LG’s G3 should be one of your top choices. Given its excellent video capabilities, MLA OLED chops and highly usable design, the G3 is easily one of the best 4K TVs currently available.

https://www.lg.com/nz/tvs/lg-oled65g36la

 

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