If you’re even a tiny bit rational, the above image likely looks absurd, right? Yes, those are indeed two 77-inch LG OLED TVs residing in my living room. And yes, at time of writing, I still own both of them – though my battered bank balance is relieved to say I’m in the process of selling the slightly older model that’s not hanging on my wall. How exactly did I get into this absurd AV situation? I’ll get to that.
Before I start crying over my freshly maxed out credit card, let me say this: the LG G3 OLED TV is hands-down the best television I’ve ever owned. And I’ve owned it for all of 10 days.
Previously, I would have told you the LG C2 OLED was the finest display I’ve ever bought – and it sat atop TechRadar's list of the best TVs pretty much since its launch. It was a fabulous set when I bought it last year, and it’s still an incredible TV now… despite the fact I’m about to box it up and deliver it to its new owner, probably by the time you read this.
As we said in our hands-on LG G3 OLED review, this astonishing TV crushes almost every existing OLED TV that's come before. Thanks to its brightness-boosting Micro Lens Array (MLA) tech, it’s able to hit peak HDR brightness across a 10% white window of over 1,400 nits in our measurements (of the 65-inch version). The only other OLED TV we’ve seen reach these levels of QLED-rivaling brightness so far is the brilliant Samsung S95C, which uses quantum dot technology to reach its level of vibrancy. (Though we're about to test the Panasonic MZ2000, which should also be in the same ballpark.)
For context, the LG C2 delivers just north of 800 nits of brightness. This year’s (still superb) LG C3 OLED does the same. That's a big difference from 1,400 nits.
On paper, the LG G3 represents the biggest single year-on-year brightness boost over any existing OLED TV the South Korean firm has ever produced.
But what about the IRL experience? Well, I’m happy to say LG’s claims about its new hot tech appears to be bang on the money. At least based on my anecdotal eyeball tests of being in the extremely privileged position to live with both the G3 and the C2 over the last week or so.
Back in the habit
If it wasn't already clear, I have an unhealthy obsession with buying high-end TVs at an alarming rate. It’s an actual problem at this point. Over the past eight years, I’ve owned then sold the following sets within 12-18 months of owning each. Drum roll, please…
In 2016, I bought my first 4K ‘Organic Light-Emitting Diode’ TV, the ultra stylish 55-inch LG E6 OLED. After two years of loyal service, I decided to upgrade to the LG C8 OLED; a set that served me well up until late 2019, when I suddenly discovered a cluster of dead pixels in the center of the screen. After that, it’s all a bit of a blur.
I remember the Sony A9F OLED fondly – god, that kickstand was lovely. Then I discovered annoying levels of near-black vertical banding after running some screen uniformity tests on YouTube, and I found myself skipping into Philips country. My next panel was the lovely Philips 55OLED754 TV, which gave me my first addictive taste of the company’s wall-illuminating Ambilight TV tech.
If all of the above makes me sound like a Scottish version of Elon Musk, let me provide some context. In 2015, after a family bereavement, I inherited a figure of money that was (briefly) life-changing. In retrospect, I probably should have poured these unexpected funds into actual grown-up investments. Y’know, like a deposit on an apartment. Instead, I chose to start burning through high-end TVs at a ridiculous rate.
I’ll fully admit I’ve been irresponsible with the money I was bequeathed by the person who meant the most to me in this world. Then again, all of these OLEDs have brought me genuine happiness. None more so than the LG G3. Although I’d obviously trade every OLED TV I’ve ever owned, and every other physical possession for that matter, for just another hour with my old man.
Do the bright thing
Focusing back on less heavy matters, while doing my prep work for this feature, I took 46 comparison shots of the LG G3 vs the LG C2, which was quite the challenge seeing as I have an 18-month-old husky who kept freaking out when he saw his reflection in the latter. Thankfully, thanks to new anti-reflective coating, the G3 isn’t anywhere near the giant mirror the C2 can become in a sun-filled room.
Taking so many photos on my iPhone 14 Pro obviously sounds like obsessive overkill, but it’s been a genuine joy in seeing just how much brighter the G3 is than the older model in pretty much every viewing scenario I’ve thrown at both TVs.
While it might not be super apparent in the various photos dotted across this feature, in the real-world viewing scenarios, the LG G3 OLED knocks the stuffing out of the C2 when it comes to brightness. I primarily pitted the two TVs against each other by firing up some of the best PS5 games, then a barrage of the best Disney Plus movies and shows. The G3 was the clear winner 90% of the time.
There’s just an instantly appreciable pop with LG’s first MLA screen, and all of its billions of tiny convex lenses. During my testing, the G3 outshone my C2 in every department. When you mix the infinite black levels OLED is historically famed for with such LED-aping brightness, the results are astounding.
Whether squinting as the sun grazing the rooftops of Cyberpunk 2077’s futuristic skyscrapers or being enthralled by Thanos absurdly bright purple hide in Avengers: Infinity War, freeze frame side-by-side comparisons between the two LG sets leaves the C2 looking almost dim by in every face-off.
The future of OLED is here
More recent output, like Star Wars spin-off series Ahsoka, Avatar: The Way of Water and Disney’s recent live-action The Little Mermaid adaptation make the LG G3 OLED absolutely sing. Whether it’s the Jedi outcast’s glistening orange visage or the pristine waters of Ariel’s aquatic kingdom, the company’s premium 2023 TV is often astoundingly vivid.
Such is the boost in contrast thanks to the aforementioned anti-reflective coating and hugely upped HDR levels, the perceived real-world brightness boost is transformative compared to LG’s older C2.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m going to be paying for the privilege of upgrading to a TV that currently costs $3,999 / £4,300 (thank you very much, rip-off Britain) for a long time. And if you’re squinting at these comparison shots and struggling to tell the difference because they’re both, at heart, still sensational OLED televisions, I don’t blame you.
My card statements are going to be mega spicy for the foreseeable, no doubt. Yet after such a short yet transformative experience basking in the blistering glow of the LG G3 OLED, I don’t harbor a single regret.
Well, aside from the massive credit card debt.