LG G2 OLED TV Review : 1st Place In The Television Leaderboard | Tech Reviews
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The LG OLED65G29LA, or LG OLED G2 for short, is at the top of the television leaderboard. It is not flawless, for example, it lacks a headphone output when it comes to equipment. In return, the G2 offers a lot of comfort and all conceivable streaming options as well as a great remote control. The sound quality is not neglected either. In the most important test criterion, the LG OLED G2 can’t be beat, the picture quality is outstanding. With the new OLED screen generation, the brilliance increases significantly, contrast and colors are practically perfect. The television on the wall also looks good when it is switched off – a not unimportant aspect with such large televisions.
Pros & Cons
Perfect color rendering
Image contrast and brilliance outstanding
Very good remote control
No headphone output
You have to see it for yourself: OLED televisions show inimitably plastic, almost three-dimensional images with enormously clear colors – if necessary very colorful, but also with very natural nuances. The high image sharpness is maintained even in fast movements, and colors and contrast do not fade even when viewed from the side. These strengths are typical of OLED televisions. The biggest disadvantage so far compared to similarly expensive LCD models with all their LED, QLED and mini-LED variants is a lower maximum brightness.
Whether it’s a winter sports broadcast or a brightly colored video game in the afternoon – in such situations, OLED TVs have so far been less brilliant. That should now be history with the new LG OLED G2. According to the manufacturer, it has the currently brightest OLED screen. In addition, the television should be a bright little fellow, that simplifies operation with artificial intelligence and improves picture and sound. COMPUTER BILD tested whether the new LG OLED G2 keeps its promises. The 55-inch version will be available at a significantly reduced price on Black Friday 2022.
LG OLED G2: Beautiful Gallery Design
The type designations of televisions are often a willless jumble of letters and numbers, with the LG OLED G2 it is essentially made up of screen technology and design ideas. The G stands for “Gallery”, the TV can be hung on the wall like a picture. Does that work with any TV? Yes, but not as consistently as with the LG OLED G2: A special wall bracket is included in the scope of delivery. It nestles in a specially designed recess in the back of the TV so that the TV hangs on the wall without a gap.
The entire device is only a good thumb thick, framed by a narrow metal bar and with a flat back. In order to reach the cable, the television can be pulled forward by about two hand widths thanks to a sophisticated mechanism in the bracket from the 2021 model year, with the G2 being more angular and linear in detail. In addition, the black outer edge of the picture is only 4 millimeters narrow instead of the previous 6 millimeters – this is how you can recognize the new OLED generation. The rotating stand in the photos is an optional accessory, floor stands are also available.
The full name of the test device is LG OLED65G29LA. The 65 designates the screen diagonal in inches, on the local continent that is 164 centimeters. This is too big? The sister model OLED55G29LA with 55 inches measures 140 centimeters, with otherwise identical technology. LG also offers larger variants: 77 and 83 inches or 195 and 211 centimeters. In addition, 97 inches or 246 centimeters have been announced – the latter will then be the largest OLED TV in the world. Finally, the suffix “9LA” indicates the intended market and housing color, so far no alternatives have appeared.
OLED Evo and OLED EX: This is better on the G2
For increased image brightness, LG is taking several measures with the new OLED G2. These include improved heat dissipation on the back of the screen and optimized control with a fresh 5th generation Alpha 9 processor. In addition, sister company LG Display mixed together a new organic luminous substance. This forms the approximately 8 million self-illuminating pixels of the screen – with today‘s standard UHD resolution it is 3840×2160 pixels. Depending on the image content, each of these self-luminous pixels can display any color and brightness, down to perfectly deep black – then a pixel is simply switched off, less light is not possible.
That’s the big advantage over LCD TVs . The individual pixels are more or less transparent, only a large white light source behind them, the so-called backlight, makes LCDs glow. The disadvantage of this arrangement: They can hardly display very deep black. Even if the pixels are switched to be opaque, something from the backlight always penetrates. This brightening makes the images appear less deep and less clear than on OLED TVs, although it is minimal on top devices. So far, this has been offset by a larger maximum brightness. That’s where the new LG OLED G2 wants to attack – with the new OLED EX screen generation and the other measures, the overall package is called “OLED Evo” on LG televisions.
LG OLED G2 in the test: The picture quality is so good
Enough theory, the truth is revealed in the test lab. And that showed that LG hadn’t promised too much: Under realistic conditions, the LG OLED G2 managed a maximum brightness of 945 candelas per square meter (cd/m2; or 945 nits). For comparison: Other OLED TVs are around 500 to 700 cd/m2, the previous record holder Panasonic JZW2004 also achieved just over 900 cd/m2 with improved cooling.
However, some LCD competitors are even better at 1,500 to 1,600 cd/m2. The question quickly arises: are such levels of brightness necessary at all? It’s worth taking a look at current cinema and series productions. Many of these capture up to 1,000 cd/m2, that’s where HDR comes in(High Dynamic Range) the speech. The new LG can therefore reproduce this image dynamic almost completely; nobody sees the difference between 945 and 1,000 cd/m2.
However, there are also productions that reach up to 4,000 cd/m2. The LG OLED G2 thus shows another strength: it adapts the images perfectly to the possibilities of its screen. It slows down extreme brightness peaks to its 945 cd/m2, and the braking effect decreases with decreasing brightness. Even in the brightest areas of the picture, no detail is lost, there are no white areas in the bright summer sky, for example. In a direct comparison, bright scenes in particular look more lively and contrast-stronger on the LG OLED G2 than on previous OLED televisions, the difference is surprisingly clear. This sets standards in its overall dynamics down to deep black with the finest shading without flooded areas.
It doesn’t get any better than this: practically perfect colors
In terms of colors, the LG OLED G2 also gave no cause for criticism. The screen even displays the entire color spectrum of HDR films (for experts: DCI-P3 color space coverage of 99 percent), and it does not know colors that are too pale. This also applies when viewing from the side, the viewing angle stability is excellent with only slightly cooler colors and consistently high contrast. The OLED G2 also met all mixed colors, including critical skin tones, very precisely.
It looked realistic and also stood up to critical measurement technology – the color deviations were in the green range ex works. If you want, you can optimize this with a calibration. LG televisions offer more in-depth and finer control options than other televisions. Thanks to the direct interface to the Calman software– an industry standard – a perfect adjustment is easily possible. Experienced dealers can take care of this. Media Markt and Saturn, for example, offer this calibration service .
Very smart: All streaming offers on board
The day-to-day operation of the LG television is unusual, but quickly learned: The handy remote control has buttons for all important functions, the central OK button is also a wheel for scrolling through the channel list, for example. In addition, the remote control reacts to hand movements. A mouse pointer can be moved across the screen, which saves the usual typing through the menus. If the mouse pointer turns purple, a long press on the OK button opens a context menu with helpful information and other functions. After pressing the home button, the start screen appears with a colorful program mix: recommendations for TV programs, films and series from various providers can be seen in the middle.
It’s not particularly useful because the suggestions cannot be limited to favorite or subscribed providers. The installed apps can be seen below, users can adjust the order as they wish, and quickly delete apps they do not need. All major streaming providers are represented with their apps, for Amazon Prime Video , Netflix and Disney+ as well as the feature film provider Rakuten TV have their own buttons on the remote control. The number keys can be assigned to additional apps or, in the conventional way, to TV channels.
LG WebOS 22 for multiple users
LG uses its own operating system WebOS for its Smart TVs, after version number 6 WebOS 22 will obviously follow for the 2022 model year program source and for the user profiles. If desired, each family member can see their own start screen. However, each profile requires registration with LG including an email address. Impractical: The lists of connected devices and the TV channels last watched only appear further down on the second screen page. Fortunately, annoying advertising can be hidden in the main menu: General – System Settings – Additional Settings– Start page settings – Home promotion off , and it’s quiet.
New features with light and shadow
A button for picture-in-picture or picture-by-picture display is new, as well as the menu item family settings . Times of use can be defined, outside of which the television is then locked with a PIN. There is also a supposedly eye-friendly mode. In the image settings (see below) the same setting is called less blue light , a health-related benefit can be doubted. All in all, the countless options make the menus confusing; a focus on really useful functions would be helpful. In some places, bad translations are an additional hurdle. That’s what ” always ready” means a prettied up standby mode:
After you press the standby button on the remote control or after a long period of inactivity, the screen shows the time or a picture gallery – either works of art or photos you have taken are displayed. That looks good on the wall, but not on the electricity bill. Depending on the brightness of the room and the picture content, the TV draws around 60 watts in the always-ready mode, and it was sometimes over 200 watts at peak times in the test. Another press on the standby button shuts the television down completely to the correct standby with only 0.5 watts (network standby around 2 watts).
And if you don’t know how to use it, you can simply call up the instructions in the menu.
Voice control is also possible thanks to the microphone in the remote control: LG’s own language assistant helps when searching for a specific TV channel or series. The remote also has buttons for Alexa and the Google Assistant . They are less useful for TV functions than for smart home control, for example to quickly switch off the light from the couch at the start of a film.
Perfectly equipped for gamers
The connections on the back are recessed into recesses to allow the TV to hang seamlessly on the wall. The four HDMI inputs are suitable for 4K resolution up to 120 Hertz according to the current HDMI 2.1 standard – perfect for connecting the new PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X game consoles. Variable frame rates (VRR) are also allowed, including AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync variants. The throughput time of the images is pleasingly short, with standard playback at 60 Hertz the latency is only 13 milliseconds, and in boost mode it is only 9 milliseconds. One of the HDMI connections serves as an audio output (eARC, enhanced Audio Return Channel).
The LG OLED G2 does not have an analogue video input for old players. TV can be received via antenna, satellite and cable, and TV recordings can be made on USB hard drives. During a recording, the television shows a different program if required, double reception parts make this possible. There are three USB ports available, also for photo and video playback. There is no headphone output. But Bluetooth headphones can be used couple, alternatively Bluetooth speakers serve as surround sound effect boxes. A new addition is the option of connecting a webcam. So far, their abilities have hardly gone beyond observing themselves on the screen alongside yoga videos – there is no app for video calls.
The best picture settings for the LG OLED G2
The LG OLED G2 can be easily trimmed to the best possible image quality in the settings menu. The most important step for this is the choice of the optimal picture mode, as with previous LG televisions, this is the Filmmaker Mode . Colors, brightness and gray levels are thus perfectly adjusted ex works. The measurements and visual tests were carried out in this mode in the test. Very important:
The setting of the picture mode is required separately for TV playback, HDMI sources and streaming with the apps installed on the television. And that’s not all, for HDR playback you have to switch from standard mode to Filmmaker again. Once Filmmaker Mode has been selected in all cases, the television remembers this choice. In the advanced settings a number of fine adjustments are then possible according to taste:
Brightness: The Brightest option makes normal TV programs and films without HDR technology look more brilliant. Choose Low or Medium to suit your tastes, while the highest setting will result in slightly overblown images. HDR Tone Mapping : With this, the television constantly adjusts the contrast to the current images in order to avoid sagging in dark scenes and overexposure in bright areas of the image. All other sub-items remain in the factory settings.
Color: All settings can remain unchanged, no improvements can be achieved without technical aids.
Clarity: With Auto Noise Reduction and Auto MPEG Noise Reduction, the G2 reduces gritty image noise and smooths out image clogs without instantly removing film grain or textures. Smooth gradation Medium irons out unsightly color and brightness levels in gradients such as evening skies. Below that is the True Motion menu item for motion smoothing: The Cinematic Motion option leaves it at 24 film frames per second and only corrects bumpy motion sequences. The Smooth Motion settingcalculates intermediate frames so that movements run smoothly. The LG managed this in the test without any artefacts worth mentioning – taste can decide. The menu item user selection allows manual fine adjustment for de-stuttering and for increased motion sharpness. With OLED Motion , the television inserts lightning-fast black phases to increase the impression of sharpness in movements. This costs image brightness and can flicker slightly, but the improved motion sharpness is only noticeable to experienced viewers from a very short distance.
Filmmaker mode Auto setting: This switch is only of interest if you have set a different picture mode than Filmmaker mode, such as cinema. The auto setting then causes a change as soon as a player connected via HDMI or a streaming service signals a movie.
Less blue light: This gives the picture a clear red cast because the television reduces the blue color components in the picture. This should also slow down ultraviolet light (UV), which is considered a stimulant. The facts on this are somewhat unclear, but there are no indications of damage to health from UV light from screens. In short: A real benefit is not recognizable, on the other hand, the switch thwarts all efforts to ensure undistorted image reproduction.
The LG OLED G2 is very good at adapting its image brightness to the environment, but this option is very well hidden in the menu. It can be found starting from the main menu in the General area under OLED care and there under Self- care of the device . There, the Energy Saving submenu offers the Energy Saving Step option . With the Automatic setting , the light sensor is activated.
The minimum brightness can be set in a menu line below . From the factory it is a bit dim, in the maximum setting the picture was better in the test. In addition, there are some options related to artificial intelligence, which can be found in General, there under AI Services . First and foremost, the AI brightness setting is recommended, a subtle tonal value correction to match the ambient brightness.
Amazingly good sound with acoustic trick
A very useful sound enhancement function is also hidden under the AI services. In view of the flat design without visible speakers, the LG OLED G2 doesn’t seem to have the right conditions for good sound. However, the sound impression is respectable with few distortions and a good bandwidth. It can usually also be improved: The AI acoustic tuning adapts the speaker tuning of the television to the spatial environment.
The process is self-explanatory thanks to the on-screen instructions, the TV uses a microphone in the remote control to control the sound. The subsequent correction resulted in clearer speech reproduction and more brilliant highs in the test. The switchable virtual 3D sound Dolby Atmos produced harder than more spatial sounds in the test and therefore remained switched off.
Even more tuning with the game optimizer
Gamers will also find special setting options for the game mode, the associated menu entry is called Game Optimizer . FreeSync and G-Sync as well as the Boost mode can be activated there. There are also a number of presets for different game genres such as shooters or sports, as well as manual controls called black stabilizer and white stabilizer . This allows the brightest and darkest areas of the image to be optimally adjusted – dark figures should not disappear in the shadows, backlight should not outshine them. Only trying and careful approach helps.
If the size does not suit you, you will find variants within the OLED G2 model series with exactly the same technology and with identical qualities, but different screen sizes. With a screen diagonal of 55 inches or 140 centimeters, the LG OLED55G29LA also fits into smaller rooms, which is perfect for a viewing distance of around three meters. Bigger is also possible, the LG OLED77G29LA measures an opulent 195 centimeters.
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