LG OLED TVs just tipped for a seriously big upgrade

lg oled ex 97 inch tv at sid
(Image credit: LG)

Update: If brighter OLEDs aren't your thing, check out these transparent OLED displays that could revolutionize TVs forever.

LG may have made an important breakthrough in OLED technology. According to a new report from The Elec, LG Display might have found a way to boost OLED TV brightness by as much as 20% — taking the upper limit to 1,200 nits.

According to the report, LG Display managed this by applying a micro lens to an existing OLED display panel. That lens is a thin transparent layer, made up of thousands of tiny lenses. According to the company, this means it’s possible to optimize each light path, increasing the brightness and lowering power consumption. 

Lower power consumption is good for two reasons. The obvious one is that it lets you have a bright TV without asking for too much power — which is great for your power bills. Excessive power consumption is also known to reduce a display’s lifespan. That means the micro lens should boost brightness while offering the same lifespan as a display without one.

None of that matters if you’re not going to see this upgrade in a TV anytime soon. Fortunately, the project is said to be in an “advanced” stage, and close to being introduced. It’s suggested that we could see them as early as next year, inside LG’s OLED.EX panels.

OLED.EX have already made some improvements to OLED brightness, using deuterium compounds to improve screen brightness by 30%.The displays were also said to use “personalized algorithms” to ensure stability and efficiency of the OLEDs themselves.

The inclusion of the micro lens layer should only enhance those features. However, it is worth mentioning that LG is not the only company said to be doing this. It’s rumored that Samsung has used similar tricks in flagship phones, going back to last year’s Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. Chinese electronics firm Seeya is also said to be working on an ultra-portable OLED display with micro lens tech.

But as important as the micro lens upgrade is, it can’t compete with Samsung’s cutting-edge QD-OLED display. TVs with those panels, which start at $2,200, use quantum dots to offer up to 1,500 nits of brightness. (It's worth noting that Samsung intended to create a rival OLED TV of its own, but those plans have since come to a halt.)

Still progress is progress, and it can only mean good things for the best OLED TVs that are still to come. Plus, LG's OLED TVs and already improving on the brightness front: as we show in our LG G2 OLED review, the latest version of LG's flagship TV is massively brighter than last year's model. 

LG Display has confirmed that it will be unveiling its 97-inch OLED.EX TV at SID in San Jose, alongside the rest of its new OLED solutions. SID kicks off later today, May 10, and will continue until May 12. It’s as good a place as any to confirm The Elec’s report, and the inclusion of the micro lens.

Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.