The LG G3 is one of the finest TVs you can buy. It's the first OLED TV to use Micro Lens Array (MLA) tech to deliver brightness levels similar to those of backlit models, but without compromising OLED's perfect blacks and pixel-level contrast control. The 65-inch model earned five out of five in our review.
But it just got better. The G4 promises a brighter picture, higher refresh rate, a new processor and new operating system with all sorts of new features in store. LG has driven a wedge between the G4 and the C4, kitting out the former with all sorts of bells and whistles the latter can't match. Could the G4 be the best TV of the year?
- LG G4 hands-on review: read our first impressions
- LG G4 vs C4: the differences between LG's new OLED TVs
- LG 2024 OLED TV range: everything you need to know
LG G4 OLED TV: price and availability
LG has only announced US pricing and availability for the G4 so far. Almost every model is $99 more expensive than the equivalent size G3.
|£TBC / $2599 / AU$TBC
|£2600 / $2500 / AU$4195
|£TBC / $3399 / AU$TBC
|£3500 / $3300 / AU$5295
|£TBC / $4599 / AU$TBC
|£5000 / $4500 / AU$8395
|£TBC / $6499 / AU$TBC
|£7500 / $6500 / AU$10,995
|£TBC / $24999 / AU$TBC
In the US, the G4 goes on sale in March. We're expecting it in the UK around April/May, but LG is yet to confirm.
LG G4 OLED TV: design
We always suspected it, but it looks like the bods at LG read What Hi-Fi?. When we were previewing the G4, we compiled a wish list of requests, one of which was to include a stand in the box. And wouldn't you know, LG has done just that. That What Hi-Fi? subscription is money well spent...
Because while previous G-series models only came with the Zero Gap Wall Mount, the two smaller models of G4 (which measure 55 and 65 inches) come with a pedestal stand, so you can place it on a TV cabinet. The larger models (77, 83 and 97 inches) still come with the wall bracket, which lets the G4 sit flush against your wall. You can buy a stand for those models, but at those sizes you really should be wall-mounting.
Other than that, it's business as usual, with a look that's very similar to the G3. That includes a picture frame-like design, with a step around the rear edges and a thickness of between 2.4cm and 2.8cm depending on which size model you buy.
LG G4 OLED TV: specs
The G4's headline spec is the new Alpha 11 processor. This is the same as used by the M4 (which is essentially just the G4 but with wireless capabilities instead of traditional sockets), but a step on from the upgraded Alpha 9 used in the C4. What happened to the Alpha 10? It may have gone the way of the Samsung Galaxy Note 6...
This new chip brings some extra brightness with it. That's courtesy of the Peak Highlighter feature that allows it to reach a peak brightness level 150 per cent higher than a traditional OLED (such as the B4) but only within a small 3 per cent window. This will allow for seriously punchy and bright highlights across small sections of the screen.
The G4 retains the same Micro Lens Array (MLA) and heatsink combo that will also increase overall brightness. It features a second-gen MLA panel made by LG Display, which is capable of going 50 per cent brighter than the first-gen, up to 3000 nits (though because of picture processing, it likely won't hit those kinds of figures within the G4). The slightly dimmer picture has been one of the chief criticisms levelled at OLED screen tech, and LG seems hellbent on addressing it.
For the first time, MLA tech now features on the 83-inch model too. Previously it was reserved for the smaller variants.
We should see improvements in other parts of the picture as well. LG says the Alpha 11 allows for a 70 per cent increase in graphics power and 30 per cent boost to general processing. It also enables two new features as part of LG's AI Picture Pro: AI Director Processing and Object Enhancing by Visual Perception. The former adapts the picture to best match the director's intended colour tone, while the latter analyses and enhances each pixel.
The Alpha 11 should improve the sound too. AI Sound Pro will now process virtual 11.1.2 surround upmixing, up from 9.1.2 on the G3, while a voice remastering feature will improve dialogue clarity. Audio has long been a weak spot for LG's OLEDs, so while we don't expect miracles, we do hope the G4 sounds better than the G3.
PC gamers will be glad to hear that LG has upped the refresh rate from 120Hz to 144Hz. The G4 retains the four HDMI 2.1 ports of its predecessor, LG's Game Optimiser menu, and ALLM and VRR. It has also added full Nvidia G-Sync certification for the first time.
LG G4 OLED TV: operating system
If the C4 is the iPhone 15 of the OLED TV world, the G4 is the iPhone 15 Pro Max. Just like the iPhones, both OLED TVs run the same operating system, in this case webOS 24. And also like the iPhones, they'll get free updates for years to come.
This is new for 2024. With at least five years of free updates, the G4 will get a slight refresh all the way up to 2028, and maybe beyond. Though if new features rely on the new hardware found in subsequent LG TVs, the G4 will miss out on them. The update also won't land as soon as new models of LG OLEDs go on sale, but we are promised that it will come "eventually".
Still, for free, it's not bad.
webOS 24 looks a bit fresher too, with Recommendations now on the home screen – something else we had in our G4 wish list – and smaller, dynamic Quick Cards. You can also jump back in to your last activity within each Quick Card without opening it first – just hover over it with the Magic Pointer remote control, and click said activity (Office 365 in Home Office, for example).
You can now add passwords to your 10 user accounts, and each has its own Picture Wizard AI setting, so you don't have to recalibrate the picture each time you load your profile. Multi View can now split the screen into four sections instead of two, thanks to the extra power afforded by the Alpha 11 processor. Two of these sources can be HDMI, so you can watch your cable box, Blu-ray player, cloud gaming and YouTube simultaneously.
webOS 24 supports Chromecast built-in so you can 'cast' what's on your phone to the screen, then switch your phone off and not affect what's on the TV. A new Accessibility tab brings together all the relevant features, and you'll soon be able to switch profiles just by the TV recognising your voice.
LG G4 OLED TV: picture
We've gone hands-on with the LG G4 at the CES trade show in Las Vegas, and we're happy to report we were impressed by what we saw.
The 83-inch version – the first of this size to have MLA tech – is absolutely stunning. "Utterly glorious" is how our man in Vegas described it, with colourful patterns appearing bright, rich and vibrant (and massive, on that screen). We also got to enjoy clips from Foundation on Apple TV+, which had plenty of punch without looking artificial, retaining a cinematic warmth particularly in the skin tones, which remained balanced and natural.
The 65-incher also impressed, albeit on a smaller scale, being noticeably brighter than last year's G3 (to our memory, at least – we didn't have the two side by side to compare). But we did have the new step-down model, the C4, on hand, which the G4 looked markedly brighter than. The G4 was also crisper and more vibrant than its mid-market brethren.
Of course, these are just first impressions, and until we get the G4 in our test room for some rigorous analysis, we're holding off giving a definitive verdict. But so far, so good.
LG G4: sound
Sadly our demo didn't include a sound demonstration, either because LG didn't want to fill the hotel suite with a cacophony of lots of TVs all playing at once, or because it didn't want us to know that the G4 doesn't sound any better than the G3. Let's hope it's the former.
The G3 sounds pretty poor. Its audio was thrashed by the Sony A95L and Panasonic M2000, and even by its own cheaper sibling, the C3. The only way to give its sound some more energy is by turning on AI Sound Pro, but unfortunately that's so thin and harsh as to be borderline unlistenable. Fingers crossed LG has come on significantly since then.
LG G4 OLED TV: early verdict
The G4 is undoubtedly the strongest G-series OLED yet. The speedier processor, brightness enhancements and extra features put some real ground between it and the C4. The addition of the stand will make it more appealing to people put off by the idea of hanging a huge TV off their wall. If it can get the price right, LG could be onto a winner.
Stay tuned for updates on pricing, as well as a full review as soon as we can.
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