MicroLED TVs were supposed to be OLED killers — here's the proof they’re not

The LG Magnit 118-inch Display on a wall.
(Image credit: LG)

From Samsung’s new 98-inch 8K QLED TV to the newly announced 100-inch version of the Hisense U8K ULED, it seems every TV maker has an all-new monstrous Mini-LED TV to announce — everyone, that is, except LG. 

Instead, LG has announced a 118-inch MicroLED TV that will offer both incredible black levels and a native 120Hz refresh rate. It’s called the LG Magnit 4K Micro-LED residential display and it was just unveiled at a custom installer-focused show called CEDIA.

In addition to its MicroLED panel, the Magnit display will come with a pair of integrated 50-watt speakers and a stand or wall mount that allow you some flexibility in whether you want the TV to sit flat on the floor or up on the wall. 

The Magnit display uses the same Alpha a9 Gen 6 Processor that goes into the LG G3 OLED and LG M3 OLED, plus it comes with LG’s WebOS smart TV on-board. Those features, in addition to the panel itself, would make the display a real threat to QLED and OLED TVs alike…if it didn’t cost $237,000. 

Will MicroLED ever be an OLED killer?  

LG isn’t the first and likely won’t be the last TV maker to announce a MicroLED TV — Samsung kicked off the trend with its 292-inch configurable display called The Wall that promised the brightness of Mini-LED and the black levels of OLED in any size TV.

Since then, however, MicroLED has taken a backseat to the innovations happening in OLED — namely, QD-OLED and PHOLED — while MicroLED prices have remained ridiculously high. 

Last year, for example, LG announced a 136-inch MicroLED TV (also called Magnit) that was available through custom installers for $300,000. Comparatively, the $237,000 118-inch model is a bit of a bargain, though it's still roughly nine times the price of LG's 97-inch wireless OLED TV, the M3 OLED.

Until MicroLED can prove that it can deliver the same cutting-edge performance at a lower cost, though, we don't see it replacing OLED anytime in the near future.

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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.