2022 was a real shot in the arm for OLED TVs. LG Display produced its brightest-ever OLED panel, resulting in the first 1000+ nit models, such as the LG G2. Meanwhile, the first QD-OLED TVs also appeared and used Quantum Dot technology to hit similar peak brightness figures.
That pales in comparison to the figures being touted for the new 2023 models. On the ‘traditional’ OLED side there’s new Micro Lens Array technology, and on the QD-OLED side are second-generation panels that are said to be vastly more efficient – and therefore capable of going significantly brighter – than those that have gone before. The upshot is new models on both sides that are expected to be able to hit 2000 nits or more.
Arguably, the two most significant TVs released this year will be the LG G3 and Samsung S95C. We’ve not fully reviewed either TV yet and we will wait until we can get them into our test rooms for comprehensive, comparative testing before we deliver our final verdicts, but we have had hands-on time with both and can use that experience along with a dissection of the specs to give a steer as to which might turn out to be the better buy.
With no further ado, here are our early impressions on this battle of the super-bright OLED TVs.
LG G3 vs Samsung S95C: price
We don't yet have full pricing or availability info for either the S95C or LG, but Samsung has at least revealed Euro pricing – and a single US price – for the former. While never exact with this sort of thing, using a currency converter does give us a rough idea of how much it might cost in other regions:
Samsung S95C 55-inches: €2500 (around £2200 / $2655 / AU$3885)
Samsung S95C 65-inches: €3300 (around £2900 / $3485 / AU$5175)
Samsung S95C 77-inches: €4800 / $4500 (around £4235 / AU$7525)
The pricing that's been revealed so far tells us that the S95C is priced a little higher than last year's S95B (a cheaper S90C model is also on the way).
That's interesting because LG's G2 launched at more or less the same price as the S95B. If there's no increase for the G3, it should therefore undercut the S95C. That said, the G3 features new MLA technology, and we don't currently know whether this will push up its price.
We'll update this page with full pricing and availability information just as soon as we have it. In the meantime, here are the latest, lowest prices on the 2022 LG G2 and Samsung S95B:
LG G3 vs Samsung S95C: design
The LG G3 looks very similar to the G2 it replaces. This is a TV that's specifically designed to be wall-mounted, to the extent that there's not even a stand included in the box. Instead, it's bundled with the Zero Gap wall mount, which is (as the name suggests) a wall mount that allows the TV to sit more or less flush against the surface to which it's mounted. It looks like a renamed version of the same wall mount found on the G2, but the minimalist floating design looks as sharp as ever. If you don't plan on wall mounting your LG G3, then you can purchase a stand separately – LG will produce an official one but you could instead buy a more affordable third-party pedestal that attaches to the VESA mounting holes.
Elsewhere, the LG G3 features very slim bezels around its 4K OLED panel, continuing the minimalist styling. It is also made of the same Composite Fibre material as last year's model, which makes the TV both light and sturdy and should help make the unboxing and setup process mostly painless.
The LG G3 OLED comes in four screen sizes; 55-, 65-, 77- and 83-inch. We're yet to see a smaller flagship OLED from LG, as you'll have to drop down to the LG C3 if you want a 42- or 48-inch model, which also means sacrificing the Multi-Lens Array screen technology – more on that later.
LG is continuing with the same excellent remote as before, complete with motion sensor control capabilities, a microphone for voice operation and shortcut buttons for easy access to streaming services.
Samsung's rival QD-OLED offering also features a modern and minimalist design with slim bezels, but it offers more versatility out of the box than the G3 as it includes a traditional stand.
From the front, the set retains the squared-off design of the S95B, but take a glance at the TV side-on and you'll notice more of a difference. That's because while the S95B has a super-slim panel section and a thicker plastic section for the processing hardware, speakers and connections, Samsung has opted for a uniform thickness (of around 1cm) for the whole chassis. It's very similar to the approach LG takes with the G-series, right down to the fact that it can be mounted practically flush against the wall.
The S95C will be available in the 55- and 65-inch sizes of the S95B, but there's also going to be a new 77-inch model.
The SolarCell remote has been updated, too, and now features rounded corners and an all-black finish. It still features a microphone for voice controls and shortcut buttons to streaming apps, as well as solar panels and a USB-C port for recharging the non-removable battery.
LG G3 vs Samsung S95C: picture
This is where it gets interesting, as the two TVs feature state-of-the-art OLED panels that pack some serious upgrades over prior iterations. Brightness is OLED's greatest weakness, as while these panels can create perfect blacks, which makes for awesome contrast, they traditionally can't go as outright bright as the best LCD models.
For example, the LG G2 – one of the brightest OLED TVs yet – has a peak brightness of around 1000 nits in its most authentic picture modes, and while that's by no means objectively dull, there are plenty of LED-backlit rivals that can easily surpass it.
LG and Samsung are both attempting to rectify this, but they're using different technologies to do so.
LG is going with the latest 'Meta' OLED panel from its sister division LG Display. This incorporates Micro Lens Array (MLA) technology – essentially a layer made up of billions of microscopic lenses (sometimes referred to as lenslets) that focus the existing light emitting from the OLED materials, resulting in a far brighter final image.
LG is claiming that the G3 will be able to hit a peak brightness figure of 2040 nits in its Vivid HDR setting. In its more authentic Cinema HDR mode – the one in which the G2 recorded a figure of around 1000 nits – the G3 will apparently hit just under 1500 nits. In other words, we're talking about a roughly 50 per cent increase in real-world peak brightness. This is a huge upgrade for OLED panels, as by harnessing the existing light and amplifying it, you can enhance the brightness of the display without the risk of burn-in.
Samsung, on the other hand, will be using QD-OLED in the S95C, a technology it debuted with last year's S95B, and that was also seen on Sony's A95K. QD-OLED involves a layer of red and green quantum dots that are placed over a panel of blue OLED pixels. Unlike the standard OLED technology produced by LG Display, there's no white sub-pixel involved in QD-OLED, so brightness can be boosted without there being a loss in colour vibrancy.
QD-OLED offers the same deep inky blacks we know and love from OLED, but it adds extra punch to colours, as well as upping the brightness significantly. In fact, the second-generation QD-OLED panel that Samsung is using in the S95C is expected to also reach a brightness level north of 2000 nits. Again, that's almost certainly only going to be achievable when the set is in its most vivid and least authentic picture mode – we're expecting the S95C to be in the same 1500-nit ballpark as the LG G3 when in its more cinematic presets.
We have had first-hand experience with both the LG G3 OLED and Samsung S95C QD-OLED, and in our brief time with both models, the additional brightness was immediately apparent. The G3's upgrades were obvious when we had a brief demo at CES 2023, as we felt the TV "took things up a gear" in the brightness department while remaining vibrant.
The same can be said of the S95C, which exhibited a punchier and brighter image when compared to last year's LG G2. The Samsung offered balance and authentic skin tones in a short demo of No Time To Die and a sunset scene in The Matrix Ressurections offered more depth and variation in colour when compared to its standard OLED competitor.
While we'll have to wait until both TVs are in our experienced hands for comprehensive, comparative testing before we pass full judgement, we anticipate that both will be strong performers in the picture department.
LG G3 vs Samsung S95C: features
As you'd expect with the latest flagship OLEDs, these TVs are feature-packed. Both support HDR, although as per usual each manufacturer has selected its preferred formats. Both feature HDR10 and HLG, but LG adds Dolby Vision while Samsung opts for HDR10+. Samsung is remaining steadfast in its commitment to ignoring Dolby Vision, which is frustrating as it's comfortably the more dominant of the two more advanced HDR formats across physical discs and streaming.
Gamers are well catered for by both of these sets, as they both support all of the major features offered by the PS5, Xbox Series X and PC. This includes a 120Hz refresh rate display for smoother, more realistic movement, and of course a 4K resolution for enhanced texture details. There is also HDMI 2.1 support across all ports on these TVs, meaning there should be room to connect multiple consoles and streaming devices while still leaving room for a soundbar. VRR and ALLM are also supported.
On the subject of HDMI ports, you'll find them in two very different locations on each of these TVs. LG is taking the more traditional approach by embedding them into the rear of the TV, but Samsung is instead using its One Connect box, which houses all of the necessary connections you'll need in an external unit that connects to the TV with just one, impressively thin cable. This helps to achieve the aforementioned 1cm thickness without sacrificing functionality, as well as keeping the ports themselves easy to access.
LG and Samsung are also offering a host of new software features. LG is debuting a new version of its webOS operating system, focused on cleaning up the user experience via a card system that collates streaming content, settings and switching inputs in an updated layout that should be easier to navigate than previous versions. Samsung, on the other hand, is sticking with a mostly unchanged version of its Tizen operating system from its 2022 TV range, which in itself was an overhaul from the 2021 version of the TV operating system. We commended this new version of Tizen in our S95B review on its vast app support, but we weren't enamoured with its cumbersome and sluggish performance.
Both TVs are capable of accessing a plethora of streaming services from their smart operating systems, including Netflix, Disney Plus, Apple TV+, Amazon Prime Video and much more. Gamers should also note that both also offer native game streaming options, with Samsung's partnership with Xbox allowing for Xbox Game Pass streaming via the integrated app. Both TVs also have access to NVIDIA GeForce Now, which offers an expansive list of PC gaming titles for you to stream natively through the TVs, without the need to connect any additional streaming equipment.
Finally, you'll find Dolby Atmos support on both of these TVs. Hooking up a decent Dolby Atmos soundbar or surround speaker system should yield a quality immersive audio experience, although that's not the only feature that should enhance your audio experience with these TVs. Both Samsung and LG have developed systems to combine their respective first-party soundbars and TV speakers for a supposedly fuller and more immersive sound experience. Samsung calls in Q-Symphony and has included it with its previous-generation televisions. LG, on the other hand, is introducing WOW Orchestra as part of its 2023 TV range and accompanying new soundbar range.
LG G3 vs Samsung S95C: early verdict
2023 might just be the biggest year for OLED TVs yet, as the two biggest players in the TV game are going head-to-head with brand-new OLED upgrades. These will both be vastly brighter than the OLEDs that have gone before them, and the way each one is achieving that brightness is markedly different to the other.
So which will prevail, MLA or QD-OLED? We'll have to wait until we've had both of them into our test labs for comprehensive, comparative testing before we deliver that verdict, but it's looking like it could be a very close call.
And don't forget, these aren't the only new, super-bright OLEDs in town. Team MLA will also be represented in 2023 by the Panasonic MZ2000 and Philips OLED908, and the Samsung S95C has a QD-OLED tag team partner in the form of the Sony A95L. All of a sudden, this is looking like a bit of a Royal Rumble, and it'll be fascinating to see who comes out on top.
Read our early hands-on review of the LG G3 and C3 OLED TVs
As well as our hands-on review of the Samsung S95C QD-OLED
Check out our list of the best TVs: brilliant budget to premium 4K Ultra HD
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