LG C3 OLED vs LG G3 OLED: which one should you buy?

(Image credit: Future)

The LG C3 OLED is one of the most anticipated TVs coming this year — but it’s the LG G3 OLED that will have all the latest and greatest TV technology inside of it.

As it was explained to us at CES 2023, the LG G3 OLED will benefit from LG’s new Brightness Booster Max that uses a combination of the new Alpha a9 Gen 6 Processor and new lighting algorithm changes that boost the performance. The result, according to LG, is that the LG G3 OLED is about a 70% increase in brightness compared to older OLED TVs.

When deciding which of the two to buy in the coming year, there are two important factors to take into consideration: price and performance. The LG C3 OLED, like its predecessor the LG C2 OLED and LG C1 OLED, will be the cheaper option. However, the LG G3 will be the brighter of the two OLED TVs, which will be a big help in rooms with lots of ambient light.

So which of the two should you buy? Read on to get all the details on LG's top two OLED TVs and check out Kate Kozuch's excellent feature: I just saw the LG C3 and LG G3 OLED TVs up close — here’s which one I would buy.

LG C3 vs G3 OLED: price and screen sizes 

Since their inception a few years ago, the G-Series has always been the more expensive of LG’s two leading OLED TVs. Case in point: the 55-inch version of last year’s LG C2 OLED cost $1,799 at launch while the 55-inch LG G2 OLED came in at $2,199. Unless there's some sort of major difference in the cost of production for 2023, you'll see nearly the same prices — and price differential — for this year’s models.

Here are the C3 OLED TV models LG has announced so far:

Here are the G3 OLED TV models LG has announced so far:

Obviously the lower price is a big advantage for the LG C3 OLED, but it’s not the only one — the C-Series is available in more sizes than the G-Series as well. Last year, the LG G2 came in five sizes: 55-inch, 65-inch, 77-inch, 83-inch and 97-inch models. The C2, however, came in all those sizes plus a 48-inch and 42-inch size. 

So what should you make of this? Well, the LG C3 OLED is cheaper and available in more sizes. But winning on price is only half the battle.

Winner: LG C3 OLED

LG C3 vs G3 OLED: design 

The LG C3 OLED TV on a white background.

(Image credit: LG)

So why pick an LG G3 OLED if it’s more expensive and comes in fewer sizes? The design and performance of the LG G3 are definitely its strong suits. 

New for this year, the LG G3 OLED comes with a no-gap wall mount that has been designed to sit exactly flush with the wall. In previous years, the TV might’ve stuck out a few centimeters, but this year it’s all about right up against the wall for maximum style.

The downside to the G3’s svelte new wall-mount is that the TV doesn’t come with a regular stand — instead it’s sold as an optional accessory that you have to purchase separately. The LG C3 OLED, on the other hand, comes with the stand but it’s not designed for the flush wall-mount. 

Outside of the way this TV looks when wall-mounted, both TVs offer the same amount of HDMI 2.1 ports (four) and all the same inputs and outputs. The LG G3 OLED will come with an ATSC 3.0 tuner inside that the LG C3 won’t have, so if being able to watch NextGen TV is important to you, then you should definitely opt for the G3 over the C3.

Winner: LG G3 OLED

LG C3 OLED vs G3 OLED: Performance 

The LG C3 OLED on a shelf.

(Image credit: LG)

As I mentioned earlier, better performance is another reason you might want to seriously consider the new LG G3 over the C3. Because it’s brighter, the LG G3 will definitely have more of a ‘wow’ factor than the C3 — its colors will pop a bit more and the extra brightness will help reduce the amount of screen glare from any ambient light in the room. 

The latter doesn’t sound important, but trust me, glare is probably the only issue I have with LG’s OLED TVs. It’s visible on every OLED TV LG makes and it can become a big problem if you’re someone who enjoys watching TV during daylight hours in a room with windows.

As far as upscaling and motion processing are concerned, both TVs should perform exactly the same — they share the same processor, after all — and I don’t expect there to be any problems with blooming, as each pixel produces its own light. 

Without having run the lab tests on them, I can’t give you specific numbers on how much better one is than the other, but just by looking at them side-by-side I was able to see the difference in the two models. The LG G3 feels like a huge upgrade on last year’s LG G2, while the C3 only feels like a minor upgrade on last year’s LG C2 — but those opinions could change when I get them in the lab for testing.

Winner: LG G3 OLED

LG C3 OLED vs G3 OLED: which one should you buy? 

You should only buy a TV that aligns with your budget. As much as I love TVs, they’re costly investments and can really put a strain on your budget. If you’re looking for a cost-effective upgrade on whatever TV you own now, the LG C3 OLED looks like a great pick. That said, if money’s not a factor in your decision — or you’re in the position where you don’t mind spending a bit more for a better picture — then the LG G3 is worth keeping on your radar. The additional brightness, flush wall-mount and ATSC 3.0 tuner are substantial upgrades, and they do make the G3 feel like the more premium model of the two. We’ll of course update this article again once we have the TVs in for testing, but as of right now, the G3 has the C3 beat in everything but price and smaller screen sizes.

Looking for something to put up on the wall right now? Check out the latest deals on the LG G2 OLED and LG C2 OLED, as well as our guide to the best TVs of 2023.

Nick Pino
Managing Editor, TV and AV

Nick Pino heads up the TV and AV verticals at Tom's Guide and covers everything from OLED TVs to the latest wireless headphones. He was formerly the Senior Editor, TV and AV at TechRadar (Tom's Guide's sister site) and has previously written for GamesRadar, Official Xbox Magazine, PC Gamer and other outlets over the last decade. Not sure which TV you should buy? Drop him an email or tweet him on Twitter and he can help you out.