Review: LG G3 is a stunning OLED that could well be 2023's best TV

LG G3 OLED TV reviewed by Daniel Rutledge for Newshub.
The LG G3. Photo credit: supplied

Just after returning my review unit of the amazing Samsung S95C, the latest premium TV from LG turned up as one of the very, very small number of other contenders likely to pip the former to the post as the best OLED this year.

In my opinion, both of these televisions offer absolutely incredible image quality at a level only Sony has offered in New Zealand in recent years.

The G3 is the best LG television I've ever laid my eyes on, providing a stunning picture fidelity that elevates film and TV at home to a giddy new level.

I also love the homescreen and app system, which is arguably the best on the market. LG's option for the remote to be pointer style is, as always, super convenient and quick too.

While there are a few things about the LG G3 I don't like that could be improved upon, overall this is a superb TV that won't be disappointing (for anyone lucky enough to afford one).

The good

Ever since I read about the LG G3's debut at CES this year I've been excited to check it out due to a couple of compelling technological improvements. 

Firstly, to combat the lack of brightness you traditionally get with OLED (organic light-emitting diode) panels, LG has employed something called Micro Lens Array (MLA): a layer of literally billions of microscopic lenses that improve the focus of the light emitted by the OLED pixels themselves. 

It means a brighter OLED screen with a more vivid image than previously possible and is an alternative to the Quantum Dot (QD) technology other companies are using to similarly improve brightness and colour accuracy.

Secondly LG also promised a big upgrade in the brains driving this TV, with its AI-powered Alpha 9 Gen 6 processor allowing cool stuff like many more zones for individual HDR optimisation which again, means a better image.

LG G3 television mounted on wall.
Photo credit: supplied

So how is it in action? Just as stunning as I'd hoped.

The wicked brightness this achieves would have been almost unthinkable for an OLED even as recently as just a few of years ago. Contrasting with the pure, pure blacks, the bright and equally pure colours on this are jaw-dropping.

Streaming Our Planet II from Netflix in 4K was seriously enjoyable, not just because of the colours' accuracy and vibrancy, but also how well it handled the immaculate details of thousands of animals on the move.

I especially bought the 4K UHD Bluray of Top Gun: Maverick to test this tele with and boy, was that worth every penny. When you get image quality of this level, it's honestly better than 3D, I reckon. Watching with great noise-cancelling headphones, I really felt like I was in the jets with Cruise.

How the TV handles lower-resolution material is also amazing. Seinfeld on Netflix looked great, if a little grainy, but you can tone the graininess down in settings if you like. That show was shot 30 years ago, but it sure doesn't look like it on a TV of this calibre.

Compared to the QD-OLED Samsung S95C, both models have a similar look and I'd wager in a blind test most people couldn't tell them apart, but I found the upscaling was a little more impressive on the G3 - there was just something extra-clear about it.

The Samsung occasionally looked ever so slightly punchier and vibrant with its colours however, and not in that fake cranked-up brightness way you'd get with cheaper TVs. This was most noticeable with the 4K UHD Bluray of John Wick: Chapter 2, which looked slightly better on the S95C than the G3.

For gamers, you of course get the goods with the G3: four 4K 120Hz capable HDMI inputs, VRR (Variable Refresh rate) support and a 'Game Optimiser' feature that lowers input lag and displays an interface with all the pertinent settings.

The bad

This is a premium television and is priced accordingly, which will put it out of reach for many Kiwi households.

At the time of writing, the 65-inch version is asking for around $7500. That's substantially more than the roughly $4800 being asked for the same size LG C3, the company's latest standard OLED released this year, which is more than good enough for plenty of folks.

Spending that extra cash will only be worth it for people who are obsessed with as fine a picture quality as possible - even for them, convincing family members the G3 is worth the price tag may bring a certain amount of stress.

MLA-powered LG G3 television now available in New Zealand.
Photo credit: supplied

Using this so soon after the Samsung I couldn't help but compare the experiences, and I found LG's setup process less convenient. The app just wasn't as smooth during the initial setup, plus there were some errors that slowed things down.

Of course, you also don't get the same ecosystem benefits Samsung offers with its phones, tablets, audio devices and the like. Sony TVs are pretty good like this too, with a few extra little benefits when they're used with PlayStations, etc.

I'm sure the LG TVs work great with LG soundbars - I personally haven't tried that so can't speak to it - but the company just doesn't have the array of products in Kiwi homes that some of its competitors do, so can't offer the same level of device ecosystem benefits.

If you're into playing the most modern games available in as high a quality as possible, know that the G3 is capped at 120Hz, which is inferior to some other options. The G3's brightness also appears to drop a little in game mode.

As previously mentioned, there are a few instances in which I felt the viewing experience of the Samsung S95C was better than the G3. Really though, both of these TVs are extremely good, and it is just splitting hairs trying to tell which is better in which way.

The verdict

The LG G3 is about as good as 4K OLED TVs currently get and for those who are happy to pay its high asking price, it will provide untold hours of viewing pleasure.

There are a few small issues it could improve on but this is a super premium, top-end unit that emphasises what it should over all else: stunningly gorgeous image quality.

The year 2023 is turning out to be fantastic for 4K OLED TVs with at least two incredible options on New Zealand store shelves - this LG model and the Samsung S95C. Both the Panasonic MZ2000s and Sony A95L are genuinely viable contenders for best television of the year, which is great as it's not just one brand leading the charge. I look forward to checking out how they compare.

It's also nice to think about us being still at the dawn of both QD and MLA technologies for OLED televisions, which means these next-level quality screens are only going to get better - and cheaper - in the coming years.

For now though, if you want to invest in a premium TV that takes picture quality to an exciting new level, the LG G3 is a very solid option.

Newshub was supplied with an LG G3 for this review.