It's that time of year – most major TV makers have unveiled their new models at the CES tech show in Las Vegas. Samsung and LG are the two biggest players in the global TV market, so theirs were highly anticipated. And they did not disappoint.
But LG has reasons to feel confident. With a new processor, MLA tech and new features, the G4 has put some real distance between it and the step-down C4. But how are things shaping up in the battle against Samsung's finest?
- LG G4 vs C4: what's the difference?
- What else is in store? What to expect from Samsung in 2024
- And what to expect from LG in 2024
LG G4 vs Samsung S95D: price
We don't have pricing for either TV yet. Neither is expected to go on sale before the spring, so it'll be at least a couple of months before prices are announced.
We would expect prices to be roughly in line with last year's models, which we've included in the table below.
|£2600 / $2500 / AU$4195
|£2699 / $2499 / AU$3999
|£3500 / $3300 / AU$5295
|£3599 / $3299 / AU$4999
|£5000 / $4500 / AU$8395
|£5099 / $4499 / AU$7999
|£7500 / $6500 / AU$10,995
As you can see, the Samsung S95C was slightly more expensive in the UK, but the LG was pricier in Australia. In the US, prices were even.
These prices have fallen significantly since launch – and are likely to plummet further now the new models are on the way. Check out the latest prices below.
LG G4 vs Samsung S95D: design
The G4 might not look like much of a change from the G3, but there is one rather large improvement: a stand. The G3 was designed purely for wall-mounting, but LG now bundles a pedestal stand with the 55- and 65-inch versions of G4. The larger models come with the Zero Gap Wall Mount – a bracket designed to sit the TV flush against your wall. We can see the stand giving the smaller models much more mainstream appeal.
Other than that, it's business as usual on the design front. The G4 has a picture frame-like design with a step around the edges. Its thickness is between 2.4cm and 2.8cm, depending on which size you buy.
The S95D has the ultra-slim bezel we would expect from Samsung. Last year's S95C had a uniform thickness of 1.1cm, making it nice and slim without feeling flimsy. It also made it perfect for wall-mounting without an unsightly gap between it and the wall.
Like its predecessor, the S95D features the One Connect Box – a separate box that houses all the connections like power and HDMI. This then runs with a single thin cable to the TV itself, giving the set a pleasingly minimalist look.
LG G4 vs Samsung S95D: features
Both of these TVs are premium models, and are suitably feature-packed.
For the first time, the 83-inch version of the G4 boasts the second-gen MLA OLED panel (last year's 83-inch G3 had a standard OLED panel lacking MLA). This can go 50 per cent brighter than the previous version, which makes the G4 stunningly bright. We've been hands-on with the G4, and while we haven't placed it side by side with the G3 to verify LG's claims, it does look very bright. Samsung has quoted similar brightness claims for the S95D, so it'll be interesting to see how they stack up come review time.
We should see this brightness in full effect using the G4's Peak Highlighter feature. This ups the brightness of small highlights (up to 3 per cent of the screen) by up to 150 per cent of the brightness of which LG's standard OLED screens are capable.
Inside, the Alpha 11 AI Processor enables Peak Highlighter, as well as AI Director Processing, which tweaks the picture to best match the director's intended colour tone, and Object Enhancing by Visual Perception, which enhances each pixel. AI Sound Pro, meanwhile, ups the virtual surround sound to 11.1.2 channels.
The refresh rate has been increased to 144Hz (up from 120Hz on the G3) – PC gamers will see the benefit, but consoles max out at 4K 120Hz, which is still supported. ALLM and VRR are also available for gamers, while there are four HDMI 2.1 ports to take a soundbar (via eARC) and up to three consoles/gaming PCs at once.
The webOS 24 operating system has some neat updates. Recommendations come back to the home page, while Quick Cards are now smaller and dynamic. It supports up to 10 user profiles, with bespoke recommendations for each, and soon it'll be able to recognise who's talking and tailor its responses to them. You also get free updates for at least five years.
The S95D has a proprietary picture quality engine and the same 144Hz refresh rate as the G4. Samsung has been less forthcoming about the exact specs of the S95D, but we're expecting the same VRR, ALLM and HGiG gaming features, and four HDMI 2.1 ports alongside the HLG, HDR10, HDR10+ formats of HDR.
New for 2024 is Samsung's 'OLED Glare Free' tech, which is specifically designed for its new OLEDs. It uses a low-reflection coating which claims to "preserve colour accuracy and reduces reflections while maintaining image sharpness to ensure an immersive viewing experience, even in daylight". Ideal for watching sports like the Olympics in the middle of the day in the height of summer.
LG G4 vs Samsung S95D: picture
We've gone hands-on with the LG G4, so while we're still a long way from a definitive verdict, we do have some idea of how it performs. And that is very well indeed.
The 83-inch model blew us away. As the first TV at this gargantuan size with MLA tech, it really is a sight to behold. "Utterly glorious" was the initial impression of our TV & AV Editor, Tom Parsons, who saw the set at CES 2024. Colours are bright, rich and vibrant, while Apple TV+'s Foundation packs plenty of punch without sacrificing authentic-looking skin tones. It's a fine balance to strike, and one the G4 managed effortlessly.
It looks significantly brighter than the C4, which was also on show during our demo. Sadly we didn't have the G3 to hand for comparison (we couldn't fit it in our hold luggage), but we can believe LG when it says the new model is brighter than the old.
We haven't been hands-on with the S95D, but our hopes are high. The S95C offers a great level of detail in the picture, which, combined with its sharpness and solidity, makes for a very three-dimensional image. The picture is tremendously impactful thanks to its stellar contrast – those bright, vibrant highlights are wedded to inky blacks. It does lack some subtlety, especially when it comes to skin tones, and there is some black crush. But generally, the S95D has a lot to live up to.
LG G4 vs Samsung S95D: sound
Our G4 demo didn't include any sound, unfortunately, so we're yet to experience its audio. The G3 sounds pretty poor for such a premium TV. The Sony A95L and Panasonic MZ2000 fare much better in this area. Of course most people will partner a TV of this calibre with a soundbar. But you should expect better sound than the G3 offers, especially if you're paying this kind of money.
The Samsung S95C features Dolby Atmos, and a 70W 4.2.2 sound system. This is a lot punchier and more engaging than the G3's sound system, and initial reports suggest the S95D will have a similar speaker set-up. We'd therefore expect Samsung's S95D to have the upper hand in this department. However, the S95C did lack a bit of bass, and its upper midrange suffered from some harshness, so it's far from a done deal.
LG G4 vs Samsung S95D: early verdict
With prices again expected to be broadly the same, the G4 and S95D will be fighting it out for a slice of the premium OLED TV market in 2024. The G4 certainly looks impressive, especially at the 83-inch size (which is admittedly impractical for most people). The addition of a stand at the smaller sizes, and the new processor and extra features help put some distance between it and the C4, offering more bang for buck.
We're still a little light on information regarding the S95D to predict how this one will play out. We'll update it when Samsung announces more info or when we get the TV into our test rooms.
Read our Samsung S95C review
LG 2024 OLED TV range: everything you need to know
Our pick of the best TVs you can buy right now