If you’re considering buying a new OLED TV in 2024 and have a decent budget to spend, we’d imagine that the LG G4 and Panasonic Z95A may well be two of the models near the top of your shortlist. After all, both are successors to two very good TVs from last year.
Considering the Z95A is Panasonic’s flagship model this year and the G4 is basically LG’s flagship too (if you take the super high-end wireless M4 out of the equation), both sets come with price tags to match, so you’ll want to know how these two shape up before making your decision.
While we haven’t reviewed these newly announced TVs in full yet – watch this space over the coming weeks – we have managed to get some hands-on time with them individually to see how they’re looking ahead of their arrival in our dedicated test rooms. We've also sized them up from a specs and features perspective, so you know how they compare on those fronts too.
Let's dive in...
LG G4 vs Panasonic Z95A: price
We don’t have any confirmed prices for either the LG G4 or the Panasonic Z95A just yet, but we can look back at the launch prices of last year’s predecessors, the G3 and MZ2000, for some idea of what to expect. Remember that Panasonic doesn’t sell its TVs in America or Australia right now, so there are only prices for the UK below.
|LG G3 (2023)
|Panasonic MZ2000 (2023)
|£2600 / $2500 / AU$4195
|£3500 / $3300 / AU$5295
|£5000 / $4500 / AU$8395
|£7500 / $6500 / AU$10,995
As you can see, where the models overlap on screen sizes, the two are priced pretty similarly, though it’s worth remembering that LG’s G-Series models have been known to drop in price a little faster than their competition in previous years.
As far as screen size goes, the LG G4 will be available in a choice of 55, 65, 77, 83 and 97 inches, making it the TV to opt for out of the two if you want a really big screen.
The Panasonic Z95A, on the other hand, is really only available in 55 and 65 inches, as the 77-inch version this year is actually the Z93A, which won’t use the next-gen Micro Lens Array (MLA) tech. More on that shortly.
In comparison, LG only drops the MLA tech at its largest 97-inch screen.
LG G4 vs Panasonic Z95A: design
Both models don’t offer any great design departure from the 2023 models they replace, which means if you’re looking for a TV that looks just as striking when it’s switched off, the LG G4 may just have the edge.
It has an almost entirely flat back panel and a super-slim universal thickness of between 2.4cm to 2.8cm, depending on the screen size. With LG’s Zero Gap wall mount, this means if it is mounted on the wall it’ll sit almost flush with it, giving it a very slick look indeed.
However, for the first time, the 55- and 65-inch screen sizes will also come with a pedestal stand in the box if you prefer not to wall mount, giving owners an option without an additional purchase (as was previously required with the LG G3).
By comparison, the Z95A (and 77-inch Z93A) is just a bit more functional in its design. Its bezels are slim enough, but the built-in speaker bar below the display and the side- and up-firing speakers mounted to the rear do add some extra heft to the TV chassis.
Of course, the upshot of this is sound performance, which we’ll discuss shortly, but from purely a design perspective, it doesn't lend itself as well to wall mounting.
Instead it comes with a circular swivelling pedestal stand in the box for both the 55- and 65-inch models. The 77-inch Z93A. meanwhile, comes with a static square stand, the same as the MZ2000.
LG G4 vs Panasonic Z95A: features
While both the LG G4 and Panasonic Z95A use next-gen MLA OLED panels from LG Display in parts of their lineup, it’s worth noting that, as alluded to in the 'price' section above, not all screen sizes will benefit from this.
As a reminder, MLA technology allows the display to get brighter than 'traditional' OLEDs can – up to 50 per cent brighter than the previous panel, according to LG. The claimed maximum brightness of this MLA OLED panel is 3000 nits.
While we have our reservations as to just how bright that improvement might appear in practice, the fact is that LG’s TVs will offer this brighter panel to more screen sizes than Panasonic.
In fact, the MLA panel will be in all of the LG G4 screens bar the biggest one, at 97 inches, meaning the 55-, 65-, 77- and 83-inch sets will all feature the next-gen technology.
For the Panasonic, this will only come to the 55- and 65-inch versions (dubbed by Panasonic as the ‘Master OLED Ultimate’), with the 77-inch Z93A using a traditional OLED panel that Panasonic is instead calling the 'Master OLED Pro'.
Considering the MLA panel is clearly available at this screen size, it is a little disappointing that Panasonic has chosen not to invest in it this year.
LG is adding a little more by way of brightness-boosting technology with the inclusion of its Peak Highlighter feature – something the TV manufacturer says can boost the brightness of the smallest highlights on the screen by up to 150 per cent compared with its traditional OLED displays, like the entry-level B4.
This is just one of the features made possible by the inclusion of LG’s new Alpha 11 AI Processor, which is exclusive to the G4 and next-model-up M4 this year.
It also adds in new features like AI Director Processing, which will automatically adjust your picture settings to suit a director’s intended colour tone, and AI Sound Pro for ‘richer and fuller audio’ – but more on that in a bit.
Panasonic also has some extra brightness-boosting tech up its sleeves for the Z95A, thanks to a new ‘multi-layer heat management configuration’, which is ultimately an upgraded heatsink. This allows the panel to be pushed harder without the risk of image retention, all made possible by the new HCX Pro AI Processor MK II.
This chip is the brains behind both the Z95A and Z93A and brings with it something Panasonic has called the ‘4K Remaster Engine’, which leans on the AI part of the chip’s name to elevate picture clarity and eliminate banding.
The processor also allows for two Dolby Vision upgrades – Dolby Vision IQ with Precision Detail, for a more refined Dolby Vision picture, and support for Dolby Vision gaming up to 144Hz… just as soon as you can actually get that into a TV, that is.
That’ll all be possible with LG’s G4 too, alongside a new Dolby Vision Filmmaker Mode, which will allow you to use the super-accurate picture setting in both SDR and HDR for the first time.
Both TVs do their bit for gamers, with 4K/144Hz support bringing PC gamers on board too. Xbox Series X and PS5 gamers will still enjoy 4K/120Hz support, alongside ALLM and VRR. What separates the two TVs is LG’s support for four top-spec HDMI 2.1 sockets compared to Panasonic offering two, one of which is your eARC port. Gamers with more than one console will likely find access to 'only' two sockets a bit of a pain, since if you also have a soundbar or AV receiver, you will have just one top-spec HDMI to spare.
The only thing that lets the Panasonic off the hook here is its inclusion of a fairly substantial integrated audio speaker system which means you probably wouldn't add an external soundbar anyway. You might, therefore, be able to manage on just the two HDMI 2.1 ports. It’s still a bit stingy though.
Finally, while LG sticks with its webOS operating system, with a few tweaks to content recommendations and layout, plus the ability to add up to 10 user profiles for a more personalised experience, Panasonic has nixed its My Home Screen system entirely.
Instead, it has switched to Amazon’s Fire OS for the Z95/Z93A. From our brief hands-on time, it feels like a good move – My Home Screen was a little basic and lacked some streaming apps, so the move to Fire OS should keep it competitive in this area.
LG G4 vs Panasonic Z95A: picture
As we mentioned from the off, our time with both of these TVs has been fairly limited so far, so we will need to reserve full judgement until we get samples of both sets into our test rooms and can conduct a comprehensive test. However, first impressions for both sets are very positive indeed – we haven’t been able to see them head to head, mind you.
We got a look at the 65- and 83-inch versions of the G4 on the show floor at CES 2024 and found both to look “utterly gorgeous” in action. Colours were rich and vibrant, the screen was very bright, and clips from Apple TV+'s Foundation were “punchy while retaining authentic cinematic warmth”.
Over with Panasonic, we got two short demos of the Z95A/Z93A, although it was all with demo footage rather than film or TV shows, and that can make it harder to draw many early conclusions.
Still, one of our takeaways was that the 55- and 65-inch MLA models look noticeably nicer than the Z93A in action. Don’t get us wrong, the Z93A looked great in isolation, but when compared with its sibling, the brightness increase of the Z95A was clear. It ensured there was more punch to colours, while the improved contrast made the overall picture look more solid and three-dimensional too.
As we’d expect from Panasonic though, colours were spot on across the board, fine detail was superb and the overall picture looked like it would be just as true to a director’s creative intent as its highly authentic predecessor was.
LG G4 vs Panasonic Z95A: sound
As we’ve already touched on, the Panasonic Z95A definitely has the edge when it comes to sound, thanks to the substantial built-in sound system called the 360° Soundscape Pro. This consists of a soundbar underneath the screen, alongside side- and upwards-firing speakers for 7.1-channel sound, complete with Dolby Atmos support.
As usual, this setup is tuned by Technics, and while the speakers themselves are the same as last year, Panasonic says some tuning tweaks should improve the sound compared with the 2023 MZ2000.
That's promising. We liked the volume and heft the MZ2000 was capable of, though felt it was missing some crispness and definition, plus it couldn't beat Sony's A95L for a true sense of three-dimensional sound.
Our brief demo at a noisy CES 2024 wasn't ideal for spotting if those things have been improved, but we were suitably impressed by the space and height we could hear in the presentation. Of course, we'll need to hear more before we come to any definitive conclusion.
By comparison, we haven’t heard the LG G4’s sound system at all, but we do know that it is improved this year, with an 11.1.2 Atmos-capable sound system – up from the 9.1.2 setup on the G3.
Those numbers sound impressive, but we’ve never been blown away by the sound performance of LG’s OLEDs, so it remains to be seen if this year’s improvements can do anything to improve that.
LG G4 vs Panasonic Z95A: early verdict
Having not seen these two TVs in our testing rooms, let alone head to head, taking any firm side in this battle would seem somewhat premature. However, there are a few key takeaways from this early comparison, at least on paper.
If you're looking for a larger screen TV, the LG G4 will offer you more screen size choices, not to mention a brighter and potentially better picture than the Panasonic will at those bigger sizes. Considering prices are somewhat similar, it feels like the 77-inch G4 would be a better buy than the 77-inch Z93A.
The G4 will also likely be a better TV for gamers, thanks to its four full-spec HDMI 2.1 ports, plus we'd give it the edge in the design stakes too – particularly if you want to wall-mount your next TV.
However, the Panasonic Z95A's impressive built-in sound system does make this a very attractive home cinema in a box, and if Panasonic's strengths in recent years continue in 2024, the 55- and 65-inch versions could very much give the LG G4 a run for its money in the picture authenticity stakes.
As usual, it's all to play for at the top of the TV market, but rest assured we'll keep this piece updated with more thoughts just as soon as we get proper time with the two TVs.
Read our LG G4 hands on review
And check out our Panasonic Z95A hands on review
LG 2024 OLED TV range: everything you need to know
LG G4 OLED TV: everything you need to know