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LG G2 (OLED65G2) review: Stellar HDR images in a classy OLED package

Our Rating 

The LG G2 OLED is an attractive flagship that boasts amazing pictures, comprehensive smarts and extensive gaming features

Pros 
Amazing HDR images
Comprehensive smart platform
VRR, ALLM, and 4K at 120Hz
Cons 
No HDR10+ support
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The LG G2 is a high-end OLED that delivers state-of-the-art HDR images, increased brightness over last year’s G1, AI-enhanced processing and incredibly accurate tone mapping. The design is gorgeous, the sound quality impressive, the gaming features extensive, and the smart platform easy to use but comprehensive in terms of choice. Simply put, you’ll struggle to find a better 4K TV this year.

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LG G2 OLED review: Key specifications

Screen sizes available:55in OLED55G2
65in OLED65G2
77in OLED75G2
83in OLED83G2
97in OLED97G2
Panel type:OLED
Resolution:4K/UHD (3,840 X 2,160)
Refresh rate:120Hz
HDR formats:HDR, HLG, Dolby Vision IQ
Audio enhancement:AI Sound Pro, Dolby Atmos
HDMI inputs:4 x HDMI 2.1 (1 x eARC)
Freeview Play compatibility:Yes
Tuners:Terrestrial, cable, satellite
Gaming features:4K@120Hz, VRR (G-Sync and FreeSync) ALLM, Game Optimiser
Wireless connectivity:Wi-Fi 6 (2.4GHz and 5GHz), Bluetooth 5.2
Smart assistants:Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa
Smart platform:webOS 22

LG G2 OLED review: What you need to know

LG’s G2 is a 4K (3,840 x 2,160) HDR smart TV that includes the company’s latest advanced OLED panel. It's a TV designed primarily for wall mounting and as such comes with a dedicated mounting bracket in the box. There's no normal stand included, however, if you want one of those you'll have to buy it separately.

The LG G2 sports the company’s new Alpha9 Gen5 processor with advanced picture and sound enhancement technologies including AI Picture Pro, AI Sound Pro and Brightness Booster Max technology.

The range includes 55in, 65in, 77in, 83in and 97in screen sizes, making this an ideal choice for anyone who wants a very big and very bright OLED TV. It runs the latest version of LG’s smart platform – webOS 22 - and supports HDR10, Dolby Vision IQ with Precision Detail and HLG, but not HDR10+. All the major content-streaming services are present and correct, including support for Freeview Play.

LG G2 OLED review: Price and competition

The LG G2 is one of LG's most expensive OLEDs, with the 55in model costing £2,400. The 65in model reviewed here will set you back £3,300, the 77in model £4,500 and the 83in option a cool £6,500. Pricing is yet to be confirmed for the 97in variant (which will be released later in the year) but it's rumoured to cost somewhere in the region of £21,000.

LG’s biggest competition comes from the new Sony QD-OLED, the A95K, and Samsung’s S95B OLED. We don’t have pricing information for either of those options at present but will update this review as soon as it becomes available.

If you’re willing to sacrifice the increased brightness, updated operating system and latest processor, you can pick up the 55in version of last year’s LG G1 OLED for £1,500, while the 65in model costs £2,199 and the 77in option will set you back £3,800.

Those looking for a highly advanced alternative, non-OLED alternative should check out Samsung’s QN95B. It’s a 4K flagship featuring a Micro LED backlit panel that uses Quantum Dot technology and delivers fantastic visual and audio performance.

READ NEXT: LG TV model numbers explained

LG G2 OLED review: Design, connections and control

The LG G2 uses a revised design compared to last year’s G1, with a narrow bezel and non-chamfered chassis that’s only 22mm deep. The look is clean and simple, with an attractive metal trim around the outer edge and a 6mm border around the screen that extends to 10mm along the bottom.

The construction uses a composite fibre material that’s stronger and lighter than the materials used to build the G1, which not only makes wall mounting easier, but is also more eco-friendly as it allows LG to ship more units in a single container. As mentioned above, the G2 is primarily designed to be wall mounted, and comes with a dedicated bracket for that purpose. There’s also an optional stand, if you prefer.

The connections are located at the rear, with some facing sideways and some downwards. There are four sideways-facing, full-fat 48Gbits/sec HDMI 2.1 inputs that support 4K at 120Hz, VRR (Variable Refresh Rate), ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode) and eARC (enhanced audio return channel) in the case of input number two.

There are also terrestrial and satellite tuners, a 3.5mm audio output, an optical digital output, an Ethernet port, three USB ports (two 2.0 and one 3.0) and a CI (common interface) slot. In terms of wireless connections there’s built-in dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and support for Apple AirPlay 2.

The Magic Remote is the same as last year, and remains the best controller on the market, with an onscreen pointer that makes navigating the TV intuitive and fun. There are direct access buttons for Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+ and Rakuten TV, along with activation buttons for the built-in Alexa and Google assistants. There’s also a microphone for voice interaction and an NFC tag.

LG G2 OLED review: Smart TV platform

The LG G2 runs the latest version of the company’s smart platform, which is now christened webOS 22. LG’s decision to add the year is sensible, because it makes it easier to work out which version of webOS you’re dealing with and when it was released.

As with the previous generation, WebOS 22 still fills the entire screen with a homepage, but the layout has been improved. You can edit the layout, and there are more options at the top, allowing you to quickly switch between user accounts or access the most recent input used. There’s wider spacing between rows, with the selected row placed in the centre while the others are faded out.

All the video-on-demand services are in a single row, making access to the various streaming apps more intuitive. This is useful because the G2 also has a full complement of UK catch-up apps thanks to Freeview Play, along with every other streaming service imaginable, including YouTube, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+, Apple TV, Now TV and Rakuten TV.

The Family Settings feature provides access to Usage Limit Settings, Eye Care Mode, Volume Limit Mode and Screen Time Report. Other new features include Always Ready, which turns the screen off but leaves the TV able to respond to requests or instructions, such as displaying lifestyle or personalised content. There’s also a Multi View feature and remote PC access.

The interaction remains responsive and easy to navigate thanks to the Magic Remote, while the expanded ThinQ app offers full control of functions, the ability to share between the TV and mobile devices, and easy access to recently used apps, live TV or inputs. There’s also support for Alexa and Google, turning the G2 into a fully functioning smart assistant with voice control.

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LG G2 OLED review: Image quality

The LG G2 has the latest advanced OLED panel, which uses reformulated materials with more precise wavelengths for an expanded colour gamut. When combined with the Alpha9 Gen5 processor you get OLED evo, and this plus Brightness Booster Max, results in a claimed output that's 30% brighter than last year’s model. This increase in luminance is possible thanks to added heat dissipation technology built into the TV.

The new Alpha9 Gen5 processor uses AI-enhanced deep learning to reduce noise and improve deinterlacing and upscaling, with improved sharpness and de-jagging on lower resolution content. The new processor also applies genre detection, scene detection and object and background enhancements to make SDR and HDR content appear more lifelike.

The G2 retains all the usual benefits associated with OLED, such as deep and inky blacks, excellent shadow detail and bright highlights delivered with precision. The overall screen uniformity is excellent, with no signs of banding, dirty screen effect or colour tinting anywhere on our review sample. Reflections are also handled well, and the viewing angles are very wide.

The G2 delivers impressive SDR performance in Filmmaker mode, where the greyscale accuracy measures an average Delta E below two. The gamma tracking is also very good, although there is room for improvement, with some minor dips at the low end and peaks higher up. The colour performance is equally impressive, with an average Delta E that’s also below two. The closer to zero the better when it comes to Delta E, but anything below two demonstrates an impressive level of colour accuracy.

The G2’s motion handling is also very good, and the TruMotion menu offers five different options: Off, Cinematic Movement, Natural, Smooth Movement and User Selection. Anyone particularly susceptible to the effects of motion smoothing on film-based content will turn TruMotion off (or select Filmmaker Mode), but others will enjoy experimenting with different settings.

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LG G2 OLED review: HDR performance

The LG G2 is a stellar performer when it comes to high dynamic range, and the company’s claims of significantly increased brightness prove to be true in testing. The 65G2 hit 930cd/m² on a 10% window and 174cd/m² on a full-field pattern. When combined with the deep blacks and pixel-precise highlights of OLED, the result is the best HDR we have seen to date.

The Dynamic Tone Mapping Pro feature on previous LG OLEDs analysed 500 sections of the picture to detect the darkest and brightest areas, using these two extremes to apply the dynamic tone map across the entire image. The new version analyses 5,184 areas of the picture, producing wonderful near-black gradation, and drawing out every last detail out in the shadows.

The colour performance is equally impressive, with the LG hitting 99% of the DCI-P3 colour space. This means you’re getting the full benefit of HDR’s wider colour gamut, and when combined with the increased brightness the results are breathtaking. The Greatest Showman in HDR reveals rich and vibrant colours that pop off the screen.

The Filmmaker mode offers highly accurate images for HDR10 and HLG, while the Cinema mode does the same for Dolby Vision, and Cinema Home offers Dolby Vision IQ with Precision Detail. LG claims it’s the only manufacturer that currently has sufficient processing power to offer this additional feature, which pulls out greater contrast and detail from Dolby Vision content.

The G2’s dynamic tone mapping aced all of our HDR tests, delivering impactful images that precisely followed the PQ curve. The exacting specular highlights were free of clipping, while the deep blacks and detailed shadows had no crush. As a result, difficult material such as the lunar landing in First Man looked remarkable, with a pixel-precise HDR delivery and incredible contrast.

LG G2 OLED review: Gaming

The LG G2 is an awesome TV for gamers, thanks to its four HDMI 2.1 ports, all of which support 4K at 120Hz, and VRR – including Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync. In addition, the inclusion of ALLM means the TV automatically switches to the low latency Game Optimiser mode when compatible consoles are detected.

The newly expanded Game Optimiser is excellent, popping up when the Settings button is pressed, which makes access easier during gameplay. The layout is clearly presented, allowing users to immediately see all the key settings and change anything if necessary. There’s also the option to access more detailed settings, as well as the general menus.

The Game Genre options now offer an extra choice for Sports, and there’s also the Dark Room mode to reduce the brightness of HDR games when playing in an environment with low ambient light or at night. There’s also a Wide Aspect Ratio control to choose between settings for 16:9, 21:9 and 32:9 screens (when supported in the case of the latter two).

We tested the G2 with a PS5 and everything worked perfectly, with the HDMI input recognising the console and naming the input appropriately. The ALLM automatically engaged the low latency game mode, which also allowed access to the Game Optimiser and all its corresponding features without any issues.

Playing Call of Duty was hugely enjoyable, with the support for 4K/120Hz and HDR producing images that were detailed, colourful and bright, while the motion was silky smooth. The input lag in game mode was measured at 12.8ms, but this dropped down to an incredibly low 9.4ms when the Input Delay Boost option was engaged. Overall, the G2 is an ideal TV for gamers that have the budget for it.

LG G2 OLED review: Sound quality

The LG G2 includes the latest AI Sound Pro, which uses psychoacoustic processing to add virtual rear channels to the existing overhead channels. This creates a virtual 7.1.2-channel audio experience, and thanks to the increased processing power of the Alpha9 Gen5 processor, the audio scene classification has also been enhanced by applying multi-layer deep learning.

We tested the audio performance using Saving Private Ryan and Midway, both of which have very dynamic soundtracks. These films clearly benefited from the AI Sound Pro processing, which produced a soundstage that felt much bigger than last year’s model, with more width and height. Bullets were zipping around the screen and explosions were pounding away in the background.

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It was certainly an engaging experience, with the AI-enhanced processing really bringing out the various effects in the sound mixes. In fact, Saving Private Ryan and Midway also have Dolby Atmos soundtracks, but we found the AI Sound Pro mode more fun compared to watching the same scenes with Dolby Atmos engaged.

Another big advantage of the AI Sound Pro mode is that it makes dialogue much clearer. Many modern films mix the dialogue too low in the soundtrack, making it hard to understand what people are saying, but with AI Sound Pro engaged the dialogue is brought forward in the mix and thus is much more intelligible.

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LG G2 OLED review: Verdict

The LG G2 delivers incredible picture performance, with exceptional levels of accuracy and image quality. The upscaling and picture processing are impressive, while the increased panel brightness is a clear improvement. The upgraded dynamic tone mapping delivers HDR that is superior to the G1 in terms of luminance, specular highlights, shadow detail and black levels. As a result, this OLED TV is sure to please even the most demanding film fan.

The design is as classy as the pictures, the Magic Remote remains a joy to use, and webOS 22 is slick and comprehensive. The sound system with AI-enhanced immersive audio is surprisingly effective considering the ultra-slim panel, and there’s an extensive set of connections to choose from. Finally, the class-leading gaming features and insanely fast response times will put smiles on the faces of casual and hardcore gamers alike.

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