Not only is the gap between this year’s G4 and C4 wider than ever, but the improvements that the G4 makes on its predecessor also raises a few questions about which is the smarter buy.
Should you stick with the five-star LG G3 OLED at a now-discounted price, or are the new additions in this year's G4 worth coughing up the cash for? Here are how the two compare based on our time reviewing the older model, and our demo time with the new set at CES (as reflected in our hands-on G4 review.)
LG G4 vs LG G3: price
LG is yet to confirm pricing and availability of the newly announced LG G4 (or any of its upcoming OLED TV lineup, for that matter), and if past years are anything to go by, we aren't likely to get it until closer to its on-sale date in the spring.
We do know that the G3 launched at a higher price than the G2, so it remains to be seen whether there will be a price hike on the G4 compared with its predecessor too.
Considering the pesky cost of living crisis that's still rolling on, we're expecting at least a small uplift, but whether that turns out to be the case, we'll have to wait and see.
For reference, the LG G3 launched at the following prices:
- LG OLED55G3: £2600 / $2500 / AU$4195
- LG OLED65G3: £3500 / $3300 / AU$5295
- LG OLED77G3: £5000 / $4500 / AU$8395
- LG OLED83G3: £7500 / $6500 / AU$10,995
While they might look pretty pricey now, from experience, you can expect some movement on these fairly soon after launch.
In the UK at the moment, for example, you can find the 55-inch model of the G3 for £1700 and the 65-inch for £2300, and you can expect these prices to fall even further once the G4 is available. If you're on a budget, the G3 will likely be the better option out of the two, but we'll need to properly test both in our viewing rooms to 100 per cent confirm this.
LG G4 vs G3: design
Our first thought when we spied the new TV at CES 2024 was that the G4 looks very similar to the G3 it replaces. Both are made to be wall mounted, and traditionally the G-Series doesn't come with a stand in the box, with an optional one for the LG G3 costing around £150. That said, in a first for LG’s G-series, the 55- and 65-inch G4 will come with a pedestal in the US. We expect that will be the same case for the UK. For the other, larger sizes, buyers will have to purchase one or simply make the most of LG’s Zero Gap Wall Mount, which helps the screen sit incredibly closely to a wall.
This sleek look is only helped further by super-slim dimensions. Unlike the C-Series with its chunkier lower section, the LG G3 is uniformly thin and manages to come in at just 2.4cm thick. And the G4's main chassis is identical. If it ain’t broke, and all that…
With regards to sizing, as with the LG G3, the G4 will be available in a choice of 55-, 65-, 77- and 83-inch screen sizes. We've already gone hands-on with the G4 and that largest version was particularly impressive.
LG G4 vs LG G3: features
The G4 matches its predecessor’s HDMI prowess, with four full-bandwidth HDMI 2.1 ports (one with eARC). However this year, gamers will enjoy 4K/144Hz support, up from 120Hz, as well as support for ALLM and VRR, plus full Nvidia G-Sync certification for the first time.
LG’s most advanced chipset yet, the new Alpha 11 AI processor will power a lot of the improvements in the G4, up from the Alpha 9 in the G3. Why LG skipped over the Alpha 10 remains something of a mystery, but you can expect a 70 per cent increase in graphics power and a 30 per cent boost to general processing.
There’s also some extra brightness to be squeezed out of this new chip, courtesy of the new Peak Highlighter feature. That allows it to reach a peak brightness level that is 150 per cent higher than a traditional OLED, like the B4 – though this is only when measured on a relatively small 3 per cent window.
LG hasn't given any figures as to how this Peak Highlighter feature might offer benefits compared to an older MLA panel, but LG's David Seperson did tell us that the performance of the G4 is "measurably better" than that of the G3.
Finally, the LG G4 will feature LG's new webOS 24, and will come with support for five years of updates.
The latter means that you'll get software updates for new features and content for up to until 2028, taking a leaf out of the smartphone manufacturers' playbook.
The new version of webOS comes with a few interesting new additions, such as Chromecast built-in, Multi View for up to four screens instead of two, password protected user accounts for up to 10 people, and at some point, individual voice recognition and personalised content recommendations based on that.
The homepage has also had a bit of a rejig, getting suggested content based on your viewing history front and centre, with some design tweaks to make it more intuitive and easy to use too. Not that the webOS 23 on the LG G3 wasn't of course, the new additions just help to move it along a little more. That five-year support is a nice touch too.
LG G4 vs LG G3: picture
The G4 predictably uses the same Micro Lens Array (MLA) technology in its panel, complete with a heatsink – a combo that helped the G3 to hit the brightness levels it did.
Going by David Seperson's comments above, we would expect the G4 may eke out even more brightness compared with the G3. We won't feel confident saying that this is the case until we get the G4 in for a full review, but having seen the G4 in action (albeit not next to the G3), our instincts are that it is brighter.
The 83-inch version is the first OLED of its size to feature MLA technology and our TV & AV editor Tom Parsons said it looked "utterly glorious" at CES. "A colourful pattern popped from the display in fabulously bright, rich and vibrant fashion, and clips from Apple TV+ show Foundation were punchy while retaining authentic cinematic warmth and balanced, natural skin tones," reads our G4 hands-on review.
However, there should be other picture improvements in the G4 thanks to the Alpha 11 AI processor too. This includes the addition of a couple of new features to LG’s AI Picture Pro, including the AI Director Processing, which will automatically adapt the picture to best portray the director’s intentions with regards to colour tone, and Object Enhancing by Visual Perception, which will tweak and improve a picture through pixel-by-pixel analysis.
Certainly, the G4 is starting from strong foundations. We gave the LG G3 the full five stars in our review, praising it for its bright, impactful and insightful picture. However we did notice a little loss of colour saturation in low-light scenes, so we can only hope that the Alpha 11 in the G4 helps to retain the vibrancy and richness of colour no matter the lighting.
LG G4 vs LG G3: sound
Sound in the G4 should have a boost over the G3, also thanks to the Alpha 11 processor, promising ‘richer and fuller audio’ through the built-in 11.1.2 Atmos-capable sound system – up from the 9.1.2 setup on the G3.
With the built-in sound of LG’s OLEDs being something of a weak point in an otherwise strong proposition, we can only hope that this boost means we’re in for something better from LG's AI Sound Pro this year.
In particular, we hope it can inject a bit more excitement and enthusiasm into proceedings than we heard on the G3.
While we tend to recommend a soundbar or proper surround system for TVs, particularly at this level, it would be nice for it to be a truly complete and standalone home cinema package like some of its competitors are managing now.
LG G4 vs LG G3: early verdict
It's fair to say the improvements from the G3 to the G4 don't look to be as big as they were from the G2 to the G3 – but that doesn't mean that all those small tweaks won't add up to create a much larger overall impact.
However, which will be the better buy depends on exactly how those improvements play out in practice – something we'll understand more once we've had more hands-on time with the G4.
Price will also be a factor, too, both the cost of the G4 and how much the G3 is after the G4 is released. From a performance-per-pound perspective, the G3 could well offer better value for home cinema fans looking for a good price on an excellent TV, even if the G4 takes overall OLED performance to the next level.
Until review samples reach us, then...
Take a peek at the full LG 2024 OLED TV range
Check out the best LG TVs
Or here's the best TVs from all manufacturers