LG's G3 is a TV that'll make you wow your pants

LG G3... I remember that phone.  It was on the heels of their good G2, and led into an amazing G4...

But this review isn't about a phone from several years back, it's about the new LG line of OLED TVs.

It's funny, for the past while we had been learning to live minimally when it comes to TVs.  I watch more YouTube, and usually when washing dishes on the Nest Hub, or on my laptop or Chromebase.  Having a TV felt a little superfluous, and so we never bothered to upgrade our TVs nearly as often as my other tech.

Then we just bout a new TV for the living room and it was a true 4K TV and miles better than our previous.  I was like 'wow'.  This is pretty cool to watch TV shows again, enjoying the higher definition.

And then LG offered to let me review this G3.  The LG G3 55" 4K OLED Evo model.

I just wowed my pants when I set it up.

And not just because it's a $2500CDN TV.  That'll hit the pocket books pretty hard.

But, it really is miles above even the TV we just bought.

Let's look at the specs

  • 55" 4K UltraHD @ 120Hz
  • 𝛼9 Gen6 AI processor
  • HDR (Dolby/10/HLG)
  • 4x HDMI input
  • 3x USB input
  • 1x Ethernet input
  • 1x Optical Out
  • Bluetooth v5

It's been a few years since I'd sold TVs and had to really understand them.  Needless to say, this is a stacked device.

It's 4K UltraHD, which is the highest (there are some super expensive 8K TVs, but ... let's not consider them for the moment).  It can refresh its display 120 times a second.  Old CRT TVs would do ~30x per second, so this means that the picture will look ultra fluid and seamless as motion happens.  You may say "my TV does 60Hz, that's faster than my eye can see, right?"... but there's a difference, trust me.

The rest of the settings are about how you can connect things.  Having ethernet is good for the best streaming (I've never had to worry myself).  For me, I'm glad it has the Optical out, so I can connect it to my Soundbar below for sound.  I just like it better than the TV speakers (probably because I have the separate subwoofer).  But I'll get to that in the set up in a bit.

The big spec here is under the hood.  It has their AI brain in it, the alpha, and it uses their top level (9) variant and it's the 6th generation.  So it's got a good pedigree (6 years worth of learning for them to evolve it how it should) and then their top level model (simply meaning it's got more guts and especially more RAM).  This helps guarantee a great viewing experience, no matter what you're watching.

Okay, let's set it up.  First off, it's a big guy.  55" doesn't seem all that big, but it actually is surprisingly heavier than it looks.  Especially as, since we don't have a wall mounting option in the basement, we got the stand (which is extra, usually about $250CDN to add to the tab).  

You do need something 'substantial' to be able to attach on - little feet just doesn't give it the support - plus, the stand has a tiny rotatable bit underneath to help you if you want to turn it slightly.  

Once you have it in place (and the typical suggestions for 55" is that you want at least 7.5' distance - I used to use the '3x rule', but with modern TVs you can halve that - so 55"x1.5 = 82.5" or 6'10.5" as an extreme minimum).

Now we need to set it up, and I have to say - it was a pretty pleasant experience.  The remote they give you isn't an overly complicated looking one, the centre 'interaction' is that circle with the directions around it, and it feels nice, not just left/right/up/down buttons.  

In the centre is not just a button, but a scroll wheel.  You can also give the remote a wiggle after using those to have a pointer now displayed on screen and you can wave it around like it was a Wiimote.  

That is super handy.

For me the set up is super easy - I don't have a satellite, over the air, whatnot.  I just plunk in my Chromecast(s) and away I go.

Speaking of using the set up, they have a handy 'wizard' to walk you through that as well, and seeing how the device is of their ThinQ line, you can do it via your app on your phone, and I'll get to that in a bit

(when setting it up, it can also get your TV to act as a Matter hub - meaning if you have other Matter enabled devices, it can help pass along those communications more easily)

The other bits of the set up are to adjust the picture the way that YOU want it.  And it's neat how they do it here.  Instead of years of trying to learn do you want 'vivid' or brightness/contrast settings, they have a 'picture wizard' optimizer for you.  

They take a series of 8 scenes and you pick of those 2 that you like best.  Repeat it a few more times and they'll pick the optimum way to display the picture for you.

That being said, you still can go in and change to different styles of pictures, which you can manually 'adjust' dependant upon your preferences.

What I really like is that as you go through the settings the device actually helps explain a lot of what they mean so you're not just guessing at what an adjustment will do.

So, no guessing as you wander through the menu options.

Okay, so we've tweaked it just how we like.  Let's get using it.

We have a few ways we can do this.  

I've set it all up so that I can just use my Chromecast remote - it'll detect it 'turned on' and turn on the display, set it to Video2 and I get to watching.  Done.

You can also set up the TV remote to act as a universal remote - and I literally didn't have to do anything but go to the Universal Control Settings and just check that it 'knew' it was a Google device.

Once that was done I could use the TV remote to interact with my Chromecast.  Blew my mind it could work that way as well.  (usually, universal remotes operate by mimicing the IR commands and since Chromecast doesn't do that... well... I was impressed)

You could also use the app to control it.  I like how when it's running it pops up a little tray in the notifications for me to have simple controls, and then in the app I have full control.

I can even use the trackpad while using the Chromecast to have a pointer.  So impressed.

There's even options to connect other Bluetooth devices, like my Stadia controller, or a keyboard/mouse.  

So plenty of ways to interact, if you should want.

A quick bit about the app, you have some neat features here.  Lots to play around with, but my favourite is how you can actually use the app to send sound from the TV to your phone (and consequently any earbuds you're using).  This is great for late night watching.  

I did find that the audio was just ever so slightly out.  Not a lot, like when using Bluetooth where it's really noticeable (and hence why I wanted to use Fibre to the soundbar and not just BT connection), but it's manageable.

Okay, but all this set up leads to the question - how is it?  How does it look?

Simply put - amazing.  Really it is such an amazing picture that I cannot do it justice with any photos.

Put on some stunning YouTube clips and not only am I really noticing EVERY bit of detail that just looks so real, but what's extremely noticeable to me is how bright white the whites are and still having a scene with black blacks.

We were watching some TV and scenes where the credits came on white in a dark scene, they just glowed, and easy to see and didn't wash out any of the dark scene at all.  I'm just still impressed everytime I watch something.

And then I watched something that wouldn't be so 'fantastic', I watched the original Rambo: First Blood, a movie from 1982, well before any HD etc...

Again, lots of dark scenes and yet the lights or fire came through nicely.  The picture looked fantastic, it gave the movie a whole new feel.  When John goes to the house of his friend Delmar in the beginning.  I felt I was walking up to that clothesline too.  I was blown away that a movie over 40 years old looked so good.

AND, I don't pay for the Netflix 4K version, so it really wasn't even the best it could be.

Watching some 4K movies I had in Google TV, like Inglorious Basterds, was phenomenal.  Every scene looked so good, and cinematic.

The detail comes out strongly, the range of colours and black-white are crisp, and what's really underpinning here what you can't see is the fluidity of the scene.  There's no jankyness, no pixel trail clipping etc... everything feels like you are right there watching it happen because of that 120Hz refresh rate.  Until you switch and watch something that isn't set up that way (i.e. how it's ruined my other brand new 4K TV) you just don't realize what it's doing to make it better.

Its an amazing thing to have in the basement, and I will cry when we send it back (my wife has said that we now have to stop reviewing TVs).  The viewing experience is amazing.  The app helps continue the experience.

I didn't even mention the 'smart' apps it has (essentially, webOS is its own streaming platform with channels and apps to load Netflix).

I don't use 'em because I already have Google's, so I just bypassed them, but I can see how it would be someone's icing on the cake, that they can set those up, making their viewing all that much easier.

To me, the icing on this cake is that the TV comes with a 5 year warranty - definitely something to consider.

Now, is it worth $2500 (plus the stand?).  That's up to you.  To me, because we so rarely watch TV (I've only increased my viewing of shows and movies this past week or so BECAUSE of it, and once it goes away I think I'll go back to my minimal viewing, even if I had it) that I think for me it wouldn't warrant it, and I can 'live with' something that's just 60Hz and the a5 processor.

But, if you're someone where you do a lot of watching, or you host a lot of watching (Superbowl, Taskmaster Finale, movie nights), then I can see where that price tag comes into the $/use affordability.  I would challenge you tho' to go to the store and see it in person.  Photos I've taken here in my darker basement with low ceilings, just doesn't give it any justice.

If you are that videophile, then this is your TV to watch it on.