LG ups the dazzle factor with its first MLA (Micro Lens Array) OLED panel. Sublime picture quality, aided by LG’s most powerful picture processor, makes the G3 a flatscreen to lust over. It’s also a design statement with excellent gaming credentials to boot. The OLED jungle has a new king!
The G3 is the most significant new OLED TV from LG in years, principally because it’s built around an all-new OLED Evo panel design from LG Display that uses a Micro Lens Array (MLA) of tiny lenses to better focus its light output. This means it can generate brighter images, without requiring more power.
Add a class-leading processor, brimming with brightness boosting algorithms and AI technologies and the upshot is stunningly fine image quality.
Of course, many buyers will simply be turned on by the G3’s premium design and finish. Or perhaps they just want a TV that will serve next-gen gamers as well as it does home cinema enthusiasts.
Whatever way you look at it, the G3 is a very special telly. Let’s dig a little deeper…
Design & Features
One Wall design
Upgraded webOS smart TV
As befits its premium price tag, the G3 is built to impress. The seamless metallic panel wrap looks luxurious, while the bodywork cleverly accommodates speakers and connectivity. It’s now called One Wall rather than Gallery Design.
As with previous G-series screens, the installation default is wall mounting, so there’s no conventional stand supplied in the box. If you want to use AV furniture, you’ll need to invest in the optional centre stand.
The set has a uniform depth, so when wall-mounted, it sits flush – even closer than the LG G2. Bundled in the box is a unique wall mount which fits within a well on the back of the TV case (although remember you’ll also need to accommodate power and cabling).
The good news for wall-hangers is that the G3 is constructed from lightweight composite fibre, which reduces the overall weight compared to old school OLEDs.
Steve May / Foundry
Rear connectivity comprises four HDMI 2.1 ports, all of which are 4K 120Hz enabled – perfect if you’re running both an Xbox Series X and PS5. There’s also eARC on HDMI 2. In addition, there’s a digital optical audio output, three USB (V2.0) jacks, and Ethernet (to support built-in Wi-Fi).
The set has a Freeview Play terrestrial tuner (in the UK), alongside a satellite tuner, and CI card slot.
Control comes via the latest iteration of the LG Magic Remote, with it’s distinctive thumbwheel and on-screen cursor like a Nintendo Wii Remote. This has dedicated buttons for Netflix, Prime Video, Rakuten TV, Disney+, Amazon Alexa (in the UK) and LG’s own collection of IP-delivered TV channels.
I’m not a huge fan of the magic remote concept, as I find the cursor a bit clunky but you may love it.
Steve May / Foundry
The good news is that LG has refreshed the webOS Home user interface for 2023, cutting back the number of curated content rails (which on previous webOS iterations scrolled down for an age).
Instead, the new UI design works on a two-page design. There are fewer thumbnails to load resulting in simplified navigation. This makes for a faster, more responsive browsing experience. Sometimes less is more.
Streaming services are grouped, rather than having separate shelves. LG has also introduced Quick Cards, folders which organise apps by content. We’ve also got a more powerful Home Hub, which now supports Matter devices; the webOS 23 platform is natively certified for Matter devices.
MLA OLED panel
Brightness Booster Max
α9 AI Processor Gen6
Spoiler alert: the G3 delivers the best looking LG OLED picture I’ve seen outside of a lab. I’m in awe as this TV is simply gorgeous to look at.
Both HD and native 4K content appear gloriously detailed, gradations and colour fidelity are superb.
Much of this refinement can be put down to the powerful α9 AI Processor Gen6 behind the glass. This has the clout to handle AI-assisted Deep Learning technology as well as new processing tricks like Dynamic Tone Mapping Pro, which promises even greater refinement, albeit from select (non-HDCP protected) sources.
And boy does it shine. Not only does the G3 use that clever new Micro Lens Array (MLA) panel, it also boasts Brightness Booster Max technology, a combination of brightness boosting algorithms, with Light Control Architecture, which is a hardware component.
LG quotes up to a 70% brightness improvement compared to standard (non Evo) LG B OLED series.
The set’s HDR performance is outstanding. I measured peak HDR brightness at 1270 nits using a 5% window, and 1180 nits with a 10% patch, in the Standard picture mode.
This means that really small specular highlights, like bright lights, glittering reflections and bright VFX, really zing off the screen, and there’s barely any difference with larger HDR objects.
Of course, measure the set with even smaller patch windows and the HDR peak brightness figure will inevitably score higher. Whatever way you look it, the G3’s HDR pictures are a knockout.
Steve May / Foundry
This luminosity bonus is immediately obvious. Pictures have an uncommon level of pop. Skies are bluer, whites more brilliant. It’s not just HDR highlights that benefit from Brightness Booster Max, the average picture level gets a substantial lift too, so even SDR content looks more appealing.
Thankfully, MLA doesn’t work at the expense of OLED’s renowned black level or its near-black (shadow) nuance.
Picture modes are many and various. There’s Cinema, Sports, Vivid, Standard, Filmmaker mode, ISF Expert settings and Game. HD support covers vanilla HDR10, HLG and Dolby Vision, but not HDR10+ (as favoured by Amazon Prime Video).
Cinema and Standard are very easy on the eye. Use the Trumotion Cinematic Movement mode to ensure films still look cinematic.
Steve May / Foundry
Latency is good. I measured input lag at 12.9ms (1080p/60fps) in Game mode. There’s also Freesync Premium and NVidia G-Sync VRR support. A dedicated Game Optimizer window groups gaming related settings together.
LG clearly takes gaming more seriously than most!
WOW Orchestra compatible
AI Sound Pro
DTS Imax Enhanced support
The set may have no obvious audio system, but it still sounds remarkably good. Using a 4.2 speaker configuration, there’s weight and detail in the soundstage.
The AI powered sound mode of the G3 delivers a more detailed, generous soundscape. It’ll decode Dolby Atmos or bitstream immersive audio out to a waiting soundbar or home cinema system.
AI powered audio modes include AI Clear sound, Auto Balance control and 9.1.2 virtual upscaling.
AI Clear sound is able to identify image content and match sound appropriately. The processor adjusts the volume of different frequencies so that treble can’t be overwhelmed by bass. It’s subtle but quite beneficial.
The G3 is also compatible with LG’s ‘Wow Orchestra’ system, which integrates a compatible LG soundbar with the set’s own audio speakers.
Price & Availability
The LG G3 is available in four screen sizes, and they’re starting to ship right now.
Choose from 55-, 65- 77- and 83in screen sizes (OLED55G3, OLED65G3, OLED77G3, OLED83G3 if you want the model numbers) are priced at £2,599, £3,499, £4,999 and £7,499 respectively.
On my test bench is the 65-inch model and you can buy the TV from LG, John Lewis and Sevenoaks.
In the US, the same models are available for $2,499, $3,299, $4,499 and $6,499 – available from LG and other retailers to follow including, we assume, BestBuy and Amazon.
The G3 effectively sits at the top of LG’s TV range, above the mainstream C3 and cheaper B and A models. The brand still offers its Signature Z 8K series, but for most buyers, it’s the G3 that will be seen as the hero model. Oh, it also comes with a five year panel warranty, which covers ‘normal TV usage.’
Check out our chart of the best TVs for more options. Remember that last year’s models, including the LG G2 and LG C2 will now be discounted and may make for a bargain if you don’t have to have the latest features.
Just when you thought OLED couldn’t get much better, along comes the LG G3. This stunner combines highly dynamic images, with beautiful levels of detail and a colour vibrancy that warms the soul.
As a home cinema display it’s sensational, and it doesn’t drop the ball when it comes to gaming either. Having 4K 120Hz support on all HDMI inputs is great and that’s not the end of the benefits for gamers.
The LG G3 may be pricey, but it sets a new benchmark other panels will be judged against. I think it’s magnificent, although it would be nice if LG included a stand for those who don’t want to wall-mount.
65in (55-, 77-, 83in also available)
OLED Evo 4K display technology with MLA
Resolution: 3840 x 2160
HDR support: HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision
webOS smart platform
Freeview Play terrestrial tuner
4.2 sound system with Dolby Atmos and DTS X support