The LG G3 is brighter and smarter than its 2022 predecessor and one of the best OLED TVs we’ve ever laid eyes on
- Big HDR brightness jump from 2022
- Top-notch gaming credentials
- Excellent video processing
- Underwhelming sound quality
- Doesn’t come with a tabletop stand
- Dolby Vision crushes shadows slightly
The LG G3 is LG’s flagship 4K OLED for 2023 and is significantly brighter than its predecessor thanks to its use of Micro Lens Array (MLA) technology. HDR picture quality receives a boost as a result, and this sees the G3 set new standards in the OLED TV market.
The G3 has plenty more strings to its bow, however. With a fantastic array of gaming features, impressive video processing, wide viewing angles and LG’s excellent webOS on board, it makes a strong claim for being the best OLED TV we’ve tested and is an early contender for the best TV of 2023.
LG G3 OLED review: Key specifications
|Screen sizes available:||55in OLED55G3|
|Panel type:||MLA OLED (except 83in)|
|Resolution:||4K/UHD (3,840 x 2,160)|
|HDR formats:||HDR, HLG, Dolby Vision IQ|
|Audio enhancement:||Dolby Atmos, IMAX Enhanced, WOW Orchestra|
|HDMI inputs:||4 x HDMI 2.1|
|Freeview Play compatibility:||Yes|
|Gaming features:||Game Optimiser mode, 4K at 120Hz, ALLM, VRR (FreeSync, G-Sync), HGiG|
|Wireless connectivity:||Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0|
|Smart assistants:||LG ThinQ, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant|
|Smart platform:||webOS 23|
LG G3 OLED review: What you need to know
The LG G3 sits at the top of LG’s 4K OLED lineup and is part of its OLED evo range. Unlike last year’s model, the G2, it uses a groundbreaking MLA panel that delivers higher brightness, more impactful HDR and superior colour performance.
MLA is a technology developed by WRGB OLED panel supplier LG Display, and uses the light-refracting properties of tiny lenses implemented on OLED panels to boost light output to better compete against quantum dot OLED (QD-OLED) displays such as the Samsung S90C.
The G3 is available in four screen sizes (55in, 65in, 77in and 83in) but only the three smaller options benefit from the incorporation of MLA technology. All four run LG’s webOS operating system, however, and this remains one of the best around, providing access to a comprehensive range of streaming services and smart features.
As was the case with G2, the G3 is primarily designed for wall mounting, so doesn’t come with a tabletop stand. The G2 was referred to as LG’s “Gallery edition” OLED for this reason, but the brand is marketing the G3’s design as “Zero Gap” due to the way it fits flush against your wall.
LG G3 OLED review: Price and competition
The 55in LG G3 will set you back £2,600, while the 65in LG G3 reviewed here retails for £3,500. If you’re after something even bigger, you’ll be forking out £5,000 for the 77in model and £7,500 for the massive 83in option.
The OLED market has become increasingly competitive in recent years, with just about every big-name manufacturer offering a range of choice in terms of screen sizes and prices.
Samsung released its first OLED in almost a decade – the Samsung S95B – last year and has two OLEDs available in 2023: the Samsung S90C and Samsung S95C, both of which use QD-OLED panels rather than WRGB OLED panels. The S90C is cheaper than the G3, with the 55in priced at £2,199 and the 65in costing £2,999. Meanwhile, the S95C, which will start shipping in May, is slightly more expensive than LG’s flagship: Samsung is asking for £2,699 for the 55in option, £3,599 for the 65in model and £5,099 for the 77in screen size.
Sony’s most advanced 4K OLED, the A95L, also uses a QD-OLED panel but has no firm release date at present and the Japanese manufacturer is yet to reveal pricing for each of the 55in, 65in and 77in models. Two other leading brands – Panasonic and Philips – will bring MLA OLEDs to market this year. The former revealed the MZ2000 at CES in January, while an early build of the flagship Philips OLED+908 was showcased at TP Vision’s annual event in Amsterdam in February.
It’s worth noting that both the MZ2000 and OLED+908 are unlikely to be available until the autumn, by which time the LG G3 will probably have seen some form of discount to make it a more appealing value-for-money proposition.
LG G3 OLED review: Design, connections and control
The LG G3 boasts a premium design, a slim profile and a minimalistic appearance. The 65in model I’m reviewing here measures 1,441 x 24 x 826mm (WDH) and weighs 23.9kg.
As mentioned earlier, this is a TV designed for wall mounting, so it ships with a wall bracket but no tabletop stand. You can buy a stand specifically designed for the G3 separately, but this leans the TV back slightly and exhibits some instability due to its swivel functionality. As such, a third-party VESA stand might be a better and less expensive option for those who choose not to wall-mount the G3.
Build quality is impressive, with composite fibre materials being used to keep the display lightweight enough to hang on the wall. The silver metallic trim and sturdy glass panel provide an upmarket feel, while the overall design exudes a sense of elegance and sophistication. The anti-glare filter on the panel effectively mutes reflections, although blacks may appear greyish in ambient light compared to last year’s G2.
In terms of physical connections, the LG G3 carries four HDMI 2.1 ports, three USB 2.0 ports, an Ethernet port, an optical audio output, a 3.5mm headphone jack and an antenna/cable connector. For wireless connectivity, the LG G3 supports both Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0, allowing users to stream content seamlessly from compatible devices or connect wireless headphones and sound systems for an immersive audio experience.
The Magic Remote that accompanies the LG G3 offers an intuitive and user-friendly layout, helped in no small part by the on-screen pointer functionality. The remote features a scroll wheel for quick navigation, as well as dedicated buttons for popular streaming services such as Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video. It also includes standard control buttons such as volume, channel and input selection. Additionally, the Magic Remote is equipped with a built-in microphone, enabling users to take advantage of voice control functions for added convenience. There’s no backlight on the remote, however, which is a shame as this would make for easier operation in the dark.
LG G3 OLED review: Smart TV platform
While LG’s webOS interface remains our favourite among various TV brands when it comes to ease of use and intuitiveness, especially in combination with the aforementioned Magic Remote, the company’s decision to move towards a full-screen experience last year didn’t go down well with some viewers.
Listening to feedback, LG has streamlined the interface on webOS 23, even though it still occupies the whole screen. Last year’s webOS 22 involved lots of scrolling down the page to see different recommended content categories, which can become sluggish over time due to heavy caching and loading.
This year, the new webOS 23 homescreen is significantly less cluttered, with apps of the same genre organised into folders called “Quick Cards”, beneath which you’ll find a row of the most popular streaming apps you can arrange in your preferred order.
On the second page, recommended and trending content is categorised by streaming apps, contributing to quicker loading and a more responsive user experience. All the major streaming and UK catch-up TV apps are on board, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Apple TV, YouTube, Rakuten TV and BBC iPlayer.
One notable addition is support for different user profiles, allowing multiple users to have personalised settings and preferences for content recommendations, apps and more. This improvement makes it easier for family members to enjoy a tailored viewing experience on a shared TV.
For those of you who like to tinker with TV settings, the “Quick Settings” side menu has been expanded on LG’s 2023 OLED TVs, including the G3, allowing you to access useful TV features from any screen without needing to navigate through multiple layers of menus.
This streamlined feature allows for easy adjustments of volume, brightness, picture mode and other common settings, making it more convenient to fine-tune your viewing experience.
Sports fans will appreciate the addition of sports alerts on the LG G3. With webOS 23, users can receive real-time updates and notifications for their favourite teams, ensuring they never miss a crucial moment or score update. This feature adds an interactive element to the TV-watching experience, keeping fans connected to the action even when they’re not actively watching a game.
Another innovative feature is the MultiView function, allowing users to watch two different sources simultaneously on the same screen, essentially dividing the screen into two separate viewing areas. This functionality is perfect for multitasking, such as watching a movie while keeping an eye on a live sports event, or playing a video game while monitoring a news broadcast. However, while displaying two separate HDMI feeds is supported, it has to be done by selecting the “Dual PC” option, which tops out at 4K 60Hz.
WebOS 23 also brings picture personalisation using deep learning technology to the LG G3. After guiding users through a series of on-screen images using the “Personalised Picture Wizard” to determine their preferences, this advanced feature analyses the content being displayed and optimises the picture settings accordingly, delivering image quality tailored to the specific content and user.
Popular voice assistants such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are supported, in addition to LG’s own ThinQ platform. Through seamless integration, users can control various TV functions, search for content and even manage other smart home devices, all with simple voice commands.
LG G3 OLED: Image quality
Although its higher peak brightness has rightly hogged the limelight, the increased light scattering from MLA brings another key benefit, virtually eradicating the off-axis pink tint and luminance drop normally seen on WRGB OLED panels, resulting in some of the widest viewing angles seen on a consumer OLED TV.
SDR colour accuracy was very good in Filmmaker Mode, with average Delta E errors below the humanly perceptible threshold of 3. One of the unique selling points of LG OLEDs is their 3D LUT calibration support, and running CalMAN Autocal on our G3 review unit resulted in reference-grade SDR colour accuracy with an average Delta E score under 0.5. As a result, the G3 is able to faithfully reproduce colours in real-world viewing material both before and after calibration, including tricky-to-replicate skin tones.
The LG G3 handled 24fps films correctly without exhibiting any sign of telecinic judder. However, due to OLED’s near-instantaneous pixel response time and the G3’s higher peak brightness, certain viewers may still notice the minor stutters and stroboscopic effects inherent in 24p film content.
Fortunately, LG offers a Cinematic Movement setting – the most effective motion-compensated frame interpolation among different TV brands – to mitigate these issues without introducing significant interpolation artefacts or the unnaturally smooth soap opera effect (SOE). That said, when watching 50Hz broadcast material, you’re best off disabling TruMotion altogether. With it active, there were occasions when I noticed visible microstuttering during hand gestures and facial movements, and frame skipping in slow-panning shots, particularly on stronger motion settings.
Helped by the new Alpha 9 Gen 6 processor, the LG G3’s video processing is excellent. Its upscaling algorithm retrieves sharp details from lower-resolution content, providing an impressive viewing experience for various types of media. Video-mode and film-mode deinterlacing were top-notch without any notable errors to report.
In terms of native 10-bit gradation, there was some posterisation in the skies of The Martian, but I was able to suppress it effectively by using the Smooth Gradation de-contouring filter. I wouldn’t advise going higher than the least aggressive setting of “Low”, however, as the “Medium” and “High” scrubbed away some fine detail.
LG G3 OLED review: HDR performance
HDR peak brightness measured 1,450cd/m² on a 10% window after calibration to the D65 white point, and 215cd/m² full-screen, representing the biggest luminance jump from one OLED model year to the next.
DCI-P3 colour gamut coverage came in at 99%, while Rec.2020 coverage was 76%, which is typical of WRGB OLED displays we’ve tested in recent years. The high peak brightness (for an OLED) allowed specular highlight detail to pop, injecting more punch and realism into HDR material, especially in movies graded to 4,000 nits.
Colours also appeared more vibrant when watching WCG (wide colour gamut) content thanks to a combination of the higher brightness and LG’s processing, although QD-OLED TVs still have the upper hand in outright colour luminance due to their RGB subpixel make-up as opposed to WRGB, which results in some colour dilution.
Dolby Vision implementation among various TV manufacturers can be all over the place, but based on our extensive testing, LG’s is probably the best, although shadow detail in very dark scenes was slightly crushed on our review sample in the most accurate Dolby Vision Cinema mode.
LG G3 OLED review: Gaming
The LG G3 delivers an exceptional gaming performance with input lag as low as 9.2ms at 60fps in “Game Optimiser” mode, halving to around 4.7ms at 120fps with Boost Mode engaged. Its four HDMI 2.1 ports support the full HDMI 2.1 bandwidth of 48Gbits/sec, permitting 4K 120Hz gameplay at 12-bit 4:4:4 resolution. HGiG support is implemented correctly, allowing for higher peak brightness without double tone-mapping in compatible HDR games.
Besides reducing input lag, Game Optimiser offers presets for different game genres, letting users select from various pre-configured settings based on the type of game being played, such as first-person shooter (FPS), role-playing game (RPG), real-time strategy (RTS) and more. By selecting the appropriate mode, the TV will deploy certain picture settings (which can still be further adjusted by the end user), including brightness, contrast and colour, to best suit the game’s visual requirements, resulting in a more immersive and visually arresting gaming experience.
Extended exposure to blue light emitted by screens can cause eye strain and fatigue, affecting the overall gaming experience. The LG G3 addresses this issue by offering a “Blue Light Reduction” option within the Game Optimiser menu, which adjusts the television’s colour temperature and reduces the amount of blue light emitted, thereby minimising eye strain and promoting a more comfortable gaming session.
In terms of VRR, the LG G3 supports the three main formats of HDMI Forum VRR, AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync for a smooth gaming experience without frame drops or tearing artefacts, though as is the case with all OLED TVs, some VRR flicker remains unavoidable in a handful of VRR games, particularly on static menus.
The new “4:4:4 Pass Through” option enables full chroma reproduction without increasing input lag, making it ideal for console gaming, especially since it reduces posterisation when displaying a 4K 120Hz video signal. At the time of writing, LG remains the only brand whose OLED TVs support 4K 120Hz Dolby Vision gaming on the Xbox Series X.
LG G3 OLED review: Sound quality
The audio quality generated by the 60W, 4.2-channel speakers of the 65in LG G3 is surprisingly underwhelming compared to previous G Series OLED TVs, lacking in dynamism, clarity and bass response. Dolby Atmos and DTS decoding are supported but, as is the case with the Dolby Atmos output of most flat-screen TVs, there’s little to no height information or immersive soundstage being added to the overall acoustic experience here.
An external soundbar – perhaps one of the latest LG models to take advantage of the G3’s new WOW Orchestra feature – or home theatre system is recommended to complement the TV’s outstanding picture quality. WOW Orchestra combines the TV speaker sound with a compatible LG soundbar to generate a synchronised output that’s more powerful and immersive yet harmoniously balanced.
LG G3 OLED: Verdict
Helped by its new MLA OLED panel, the LG G3 delivers an impressive brightness upgrade on the G2, extremely wide viewing angles, outstanding colour accuracy, superb video processing, top-notch gaming performance and some of the most impactful HDR seen on an OLED television yet.
Despite a few minor shortcomings, including disappointing onboard sound and the lack of a tabletop stand, the LG G3’s picture quality and gaming credentials make it an early contender for the best TV of 2023.