The LG G3 OLED TV has shot my credit card bills through the roof. And you know what? I couldn’t be happier. I may have amassed some seriously spicy debt to own what I consider to be the best TV in the world, but I don’t regret it.
Alright, so it may not have claimed the recent title of ‘King of 4K TVs’ based on Value Electronics' recent celebratory A/V event — that particular honor fell to the Sony Bravia XR A95L. Yet based on my obsessive eyeball tests, the G3 and its brightness-boosting Micro Lens Array tech makes it essentially a perfect TV, whether it wears an imaginary crown or not.
I just bought the 77-inch version of the G3 (a model that currently costs $4,300/ £4,300). That’s obviously an astronomical amount to spend on a tech purchase, but hey, it’s brought me a colossal amount of happiness in the short time I’ve owned it, so I can just about accept the hideous debt.
(Not that I’m seriously suggesting you should get yourself into the sort of financially dicey situation I’ve chosen to plummet myself into in the quest to own an OLED TV of this caliber.)
As I said, the LG C2 OLED remains a sensational set that costs far less than its upgraded 2023 sibling, while the cheaper Samsung S90C is a television that can almost match the G3 in the brightness stakes at a substantially lower price point. For reference, during our tests over a 10% HDR brightness window, the S90C hit a super respectable 1,073 nits, while LG’s flagship TV has set the bar with an incredible 1,361 nits.
Historically, brightness (especially in real-world terms where many of us have to deal with sun-filled living rooms) has long been OLED as a technology’s only real weakness. The LG G3 covers up this long-time blemish thanks to two key factors. The first is the previously mentioned boost in brightness thanks to MLA tech, which is genuinely transformative.
The second is more subtle, but also easy to appreciate if you live in a house/apartment that is constantly plagued by reflection-courting rays during the summer months. The LG G3 OLED boasts a new form of anti-reflective coating that does an amazing job of cutting down upon distracting reflections. In terms of boosting real-world picture vibrancy, I’d argue it’s just as big a deal as LG’s new MLA screen, which maxes out brightness thanks to billions of convex lenses being placed on top of its OLED panel.
I found myself in the unique (and slightly unhinged) situation of being in possession of both a 77-inch version of the LG C2 OLED and the same-sized LG G3 while I was in the process of selling the former. During this obsessive screen-scanning week, I ended up taking dozens of shots to convince myself that the brightness boost the G3 offered over the C2 really was worth the bank balance-shattering investment.
For 90% of OLED lovers out there, the difference probably won't be enough to justify the upgrade, considering the costs involved. Such is my A/V obsession though, once I’ve seen a piece of tech that’s even a little better than what came before, there’s no going back.
And make no mistake, it’s incredibly easy to spot just how much brighter the LG G3 is over the C2 once you've been in the presence of both TVs for a few hours.
MLA lights the way
The numbers paint a transformative picture my eyeball tests immediately confirm. Stick both sets in Vivid mode, and the resulting 1,361 nits of the G3 compared to the 800 nits of the C2 is truly game-changing. Considering this year’s LG C3 OLED is more or less a match for the C2 when it comes to HDR brightness, it makes the LG G3 the undisputed king of the South Korean firm’s OLED line-up.
It’s not just a matter of MLA-boosting brightness that makes the LG G3 OLED such a sensational set, though. I may not have hard data to back this up, but having compared the C2 and G3 side-by-side for days, I can confidently state the image upscaling of the latter is significantly better.
As much as I adore my Nintendo Switch OLED, I found the handheld hybrid to be all but unplayable on my 77-inch C2. When your average Switch game clocks in at around 900p in Docked mode, and with Nintendo’s continued resistance to implementing anti-aliasing techniques in even its biggest games, playing my Switch on my former gargantuan OLED was often rough.
Happily, that’s not the case with the LG G3 OLED.
So improved is the image upsampling on LG’s high-end TV, games like Super Mario Odyssey look soooo much cleaner on the G3 compared to the C2.
Admittedly, I use the Marseille mClassic Upscaler to boost my Switch’s native resolution, but having used the device on both TVs, I can effortlessly say the G3 still makes 1080p signals and below look vastly superior to last year’s line-up of LG OLEDs.
So yes, the LG G3 OLED is the best TV the South Korean company has ever made. In my books, it's also the best television in history. If you can afford the more reasonably priced LG G3 55-inch OLED on sale at Amazon for $1,896, I'd recommend if without hestitation. And if you've just come into some serious cash, hot damn is the 77-inch model a sight to behold.