LG OLED65G3 4K OLED TV review

LG's first 'Micro Lens Array' OLED is a startlingly fine flatscreen, says Steve May

To quote Robin Williams in Good Will Hunting: 'Ladies and gentlemen, we are in the presence of greatness!' The most beautiful LG Display OLED screen I've seen in over a decade of scrutiny, the 65G3 is everything I want from an OLED TV: perfect black, sublime near shadow detail, rich colour performance and future-proofed connectivity for gaming (or as close to it as you're likely to find in 2023).

The story, trailed at this year's CES, is that the G3 is the first LG TV to utilise an MLA (Micro Lens Array) panel. This new iteration of OLED, created by panel-beater LG Display, features a sheet of tiny lenses to better focus its light output, and thereby reduce previously wasted illumination. On the G3, this is augmented by some fascinating extra tech, marketed as Brightness Booster Max.

A combination of advanced brightness-boosting algorithms, made possible by the set's all-powerful a9 AI Processor Gen6, plus 'Light Control Architecture', which is effectively a hardware heatsink, creates more headroom for brighter peak whites. This G3 is therefore 70 per cent brighter than a standard (non EVO) LG B OLED model – all without incurring a power usage penalty.

Another upgrade is the adoption of a new anti-reflective screen coating which might take some of the stress out of room placement. LG rates this panel as about 25 per cent less reflective than last year's C2 model.

Going hand-in-hand with these new tech tricks is a smart (and slim) physical design, albeit with a caveat. As is the way with the South Korean giant's G series models, wall-mounting is the standard option. A supplied custom plate fits a recess on the TV's back panel, so that its flat rear can sit flush to the wall. There's no pedestal stand bundled, but one can be bought as an optional extra.


LG sells its G series soundbars system to match its wall-mount G3 OLED

Connectivity is above-par, with four HDMI ports all 4K/120Hz capable, and with eARC on HDMI 2. This provision makes the G3 a solid option for console gamers, particularly as there's also AMD FreeSync Premium and Nvidia G-Sync VRR support, plus a Game Optimizer menu that groups all key gaming settings together. Latency is fine, too: I measured input lag at 12.9ms (1080/60) in Game mode, good enough for FPS tourneys.

Shine a light
The G3 is available in four screen sizes. In addition to the 65-incher on our test bench, there are 55in, 77in and 83in iterations. If you're looking to buy the 83in set, be advised that this particular model is 'only' 30 per cent brighter, because it employs a different (non Micro Lens Array) panel.

The benefits of the G3's hardware design are immediately obvious. Images are radiant, and it's not only HDR peaks which benefit, as the entire picture level enjoys a boost. Regular SDR material has enhanced impact. Blu-rays look like they've been remastered.

So just how bright can the G3 go? Very, as it happens. I measured peak HDR brightness at 1,270 nits using a 5 per cent window, and a little less with a 10 per cent patch, via LG's Standard picture mode, straight from the box. This translates to intense specular highlights, and almost three-dimensional depth. There's no loss of black-level finesse either. Pure blacks remain pitch-like, with effortless shadow gradation.

Colour vibrancy is also sensational. There's a depth of hue on display which is gorgeous, and primaries leap from the screen without ever looking oversaturated. LG tells me this is the result of new firmware rather than any alteration to its white pixel OLED implementation.

One of my favourite sequences to showcase colour, contrast and HDR effects is the Times Square showdown between Electro and Spider-Man in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (4K Blu-ray), and I've never seen it look more electrifying than it does on the OLED65G3. In Cinema mode, the screen displays a symphony of bright sparks, vivid neon and dynamic explosions. Ditto the film's climactic confrontation at the Power Station; no other Spidey movie uses HDR quite so effectively, and this 4K disc really encourages the OLED65G3 to shine.

This being an LG model, it doesn't cater to HDR10+ material (found, notably, on Prime Video and some 4K Blu-rays), but is, of course, savvy with HDR10, HLG and Dolby Vision (including Dolby Vision IQ), plus the UHD Alliance's Filmmaker Mode.


The TV is the first to feature LG Display's new Micro Lens Array (MLA) panel design

The TV's motion smoothing options are varied and generally impressive. Choices include Natural, Smooth and an adjustable User setting with de-judder and de-blur, but for films I found myself plumping for the Trumotion Cinematic Movement mode, which retains a filmic aesthetic – and excellent 4K sharpness – but combats judder.

Smart overhaul
It's not just the panel which has had a refresh, as LG has reworked its WebOS platform for 2023. The user interface is now a two-page design, with nested folders for content. This means no interminable scrolling, fewer thumbnails and ostensibly quicker navigation. However, while moving away from dedicated content rails to so-called Quick Cards, which collate various apps, may be a smart idea, there's hidden functionality and features that you need a cheat sheet to access, so I don't think this fresh iteration is particularly intuitive. There is potential for customisation, though, so you can prioritise those settings you use the most.

A Freeview Play terrestrial tuner (there's also a satellite tuner for dish divas), ensures there's no shortage of catch-up TV services. The WebOS platform is similarly rich in streaming services, so all your viewing needs should be covered.

There's a lot of AI working behind the G3's glass, enabled by the new processing silicon, and this is employed to fettle both picture and sound performance. Audio sources can be upscaled to a virtual 9.1.2 soundfield through AI Sound Pro, while LG's Clear Voice Pro setting boosts certain frequencies and masks others.

My advice is not to use AI Sound Pro for movies, as it makes for quite a brittle listening experience. When Spider-Man dukes it out with Electro, tossing cars around like Frisbees, the soundstage is akin to a clattering of pans, with all the bass stripped away. Far better to listen in standard Cinema mode, which sounds remarkably good, given there's no eye-catching soundbar in use.

Obviously, you can bitstream audio (including Dolby Atmos) to a cinema system or soundbar, and if you have a compatible LG soundbar you can also take advantage of LG's WOW Orchestra system, which integrates the set's own 4.2 driver array with those of the connected 'bar, and uses the TV's a9 AI processor to balance the audio between all available speakers.

Unusually, the OLED65G3 also supports decoding of DTS, DTS:X and IMAX Enhanced audio, and will bitstream it out to an external audio solution, which is good for all those DTS-encoded Blu-ray discs you might own.

Magnificent MLA
LG's OLED65G3 is a formidable display, and on this evidence the improvement brought about by the new MLA panel tech (which will surface on OLED models from rival brands later in the year) is substantial. There are practical considerations if you shortlist one, because you'll need to spend extra on a central pedestal stand if you aren't wall-mounting, and operationally it's also a bit convoluted, but build quality is superb and image performance is magnificent. Ten years on from LG's first OLED TV, it's safe to say the brand has got the hang of it.

HCC Verdict: 5/5

Price: £3,500

We say: LG's G3 TV takes OLED performance to bright new heights. Stunning HDR and a specification to delight home cinema fans and gamers make it worth the premium price.


4K: Yes. 3,840 x 2,160 HDR: Yes. HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision TUNER: Yes. Freeview HD; satellite HD CONNECTIONS: 4 x HDMI inputs; 3 x USB; Ethernet; optical digital audio output 4K/120 PLAYBACK: Yes SOUND (CLAIMED): 4.2-channel, 60W BRIGHTNESS (CLAIMED): N/A Contrast: N/A DIMENSIONS: 1,441(w) x 826(h) x 24.3(d)mm WEIGHT: 23.9kg

FEATURES: Wi-Fi; Bluetooth; Alpha 9 Gen6 processing engine; AI Super Upscaling; WebOS 23 with ThinQ AI; Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa compatible; Filmmaker Mode; Dolby Vision IQ; Dolby Atmos; Game Optimizer; VRR; Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync; Auto Low Latency Mode; eARC; HDMI 2.1 on all inputs; Freeview Play; WiSA ready; AI Acoustic Tuning