LG G3 vs G2: should you buy the 2022 OLED or wait for its brighter 2023 successor?

LG G3 vs G2
(Image credit: LG / Future / Netflix, The Adam Project)

LG finally lifted the lid on its new OLED G3 TV at the CES 2023 tradeshow in Las Vegas. But, with the G2 still being one of the best TVs we've tested, you may justifiably be wondering how the new LG OLED G3 compares to its predecessor.

Here to help give you an early idea we've created this guide detailing the key differences between the G3 - which is the first set in the LG 2023 OLED TV range - and the G2. 

This is an early guide based on the information we have as, while we did manage to get some hands-on time with a pre-production unit of the G3 in Vegas, it wasn't substantial enough for us to offer our final verdict. 

On top of that, some areas such as price haven't been disclosed by LG yet. This article will discuss our first impressions and potential upgrades and issues based on what we currently know and our experience testing the G2. 

We'll be updating this article when we hear back from LG about the missing details and have had time to properly test the G3 and see how it performs against the G2 when we get the new model in for testing later this year.

LG OLED G3 vs G2: Price

LG G3 at CES 2023

(Image credit: Future)

The LG G2 OLED range started at £2400 / $2200 / AU$4799 for the 55-inch model and topped out at £6500 / $6500 / AU$15,599 for the 83-inch variant. There is a 97-inch model, but it's a bit of an outlier with a super-premium price to match its bleeding-edge status.

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LG G2 Series Pricing
ModelUK USAustralia
LG OLED55G2£2400$2200AU$4799
LG OLED65G2£3300$3200AU$6359
LG OLED77G2£4500$4200 AU$11,399
LG OLED83G2£6500$6500AU$15,599
LG OLED97G2£25,000$25,000AU$39,995

The LG G3 retains the same 55, 65, 77 and 83-inch screen size options from last year's G2. However, there will not be a 97-inch G3 as LG has instead opted to carry over the 97-inch G2 into 2023. 

LG is yet to release official pricing news on the G3 series – we'd like to say expect similar prices to last year's models, but, if recent trends and inflation are anything to go by, we wouldn't be surprised to see the G3 receive a price bump. This also wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility as the G3 offers the most substantial upgrade that we've seen for a few generations. More on that to come. 

However, there are also rumours floating around that the G3 won't receive a dramatic price increase. We've reached out to LG for any information regarding pricing, and while we haven't been given an exact figure yet, LG has assured us that we'll hear about pricing as soon as it becomes available, so stay tuned. 

As an added layer of complexity, because the LG G2 has been out for some time, it's already seen some pretty hefty discounts, so be sure to check out the best deals below if you're after a flagship LG OLED for less.

LG OLED G3 vs G2: build 

LG G3

(Image credit: LG)

The G3 sports a similar design to last year's model, with slim bezels flanking the screen, a thin overall build and a wall-mount-centric form factor. In fact, the TV still only comes with a wall mount (now dubbed the "Zero Gap" mount) in the box, with an optional stand available to purchase separately. It looks to us to be very similar to the one that came with the G2.

Another design feature that remains the same as last year is the remote. The existing LG TV remote is feature-rich and arguably one of the best out there, so we aren't complaining. With its "Nintendo Wii-like" motion controls, scroll wheel and generally quality build, it's a fittingly premium remote based on our experience using it on older LG TVs.

The overall build of the TV remains lightweight, with its Composite Fibre material making it a less cumbersome TV to unbox, move and setup – a particularly welcome feature when you consider that it will most likely be wall-mounted. 

LG OLED G2 vs OLED G3: picture

This is where things get interesting. According to the information currently available the G3 "should" offer a very different picture to the G2 thanks to some key hardware changes. 

Foremost is LG's claim it the G3 will offer "70% higher" brightness compared with what LG describes as "traditional" OLED models such as the new B3 which is, we understand, roughly equivalent in brightness terms to 2021's C1. While LG won't be drawn on the brightness comparison between the G2 and G3, this should be a game-changing jump in performance for OLED panels. 

Specifically, based on previous LG TV's performance, that figure would, as noted initially by FlatpanelsHD, mean the new G3 could offer over 2000 nit max brightness in its vivid picture mode, though 1500 nits is what's expected in the more accurate picture modes and with more typical HDR content.

How does that stack up with the G2 then? Considering the G2 peaks at around 1000 nits of brightness, it's safe to say that this is a pretty substantial upgrade. We could be seeing brightness levels that range from 25% to 50% higher than the previous model. 

This means that the G3 will likely handle contrast and HDR content better than the G2, which would be a seriously impressive achievement. We praised the G2's HDR performance, noting that the additional brightness over the likes of the LG C2 helped to establish additional purity and gleam when it came to the likes of reflective surfaces and bright lights on black backgrounds. 

However, we did acknowledge that top-of-the-line LCDs offer even more brightness, and since the launch of the G2, we've seen a cohort of QD-OLED panels emerge which combine additional brightness with higher colour saturation.

Prior to this, QD-OLED was thought to be the primary way to solve OLEDs relative lack of brightness compared with LCD models, so LG claims that it has found an alternative solution for the G3 while sticking to its preferred traditional panel technology (now often known as WOLED), are very interesting indeed.

But how has LG achieved this? LG's remained coy about the specifics. All LG Electronics has confirmed is that its new OLED displays include Micro Lens Array (MLA) technology. Panasonic has also confirmed that it will use MLA technology in its upcoming OLED TVs with panels manufactured by LG Displays. Given the common marketing each company is making around the new sets with MLA we can connect the dots and assume it is the driving factor informing the quoted brightness increase.

MLA refers to a layer of microscopic lenses (as the name may suggest), that focus the light output from the television towards the viewer. This takes advantage of existing light output and boosts it without the need for further power consumption, or dreaded OLED burn-in from overexerting the panel. It's an admittedly smart solution from LG, and the company claims it produces serious results. We can't wait to see how it performs when we get the new G3 in for testing.

However, while this sounds awesome, we do have some concerns. The biggest being, will this boost in brightness result in less vivid colour performance? QD-OLEDs use the Quantum Dot filter to ensure saturation is retained even at higher brightness levels; LG is instead opting to boost the performance of white light through the OLED panel, which could sacrifice the integrity of colour volume. We hope this isn't the case, but it will be something that we'll look out for in our full review.

Elsewhere, the G3 and G2 appear to share a lot of picture specifications, including a 4K resolution and LG's usual suite of HDR formats including HDR10, Dolby Vision and HLG. 

LG OLED G3 vs G2: sound

LG G3

(Image credit: LG)

According to LG's launch marketing the G3 also overtakes the G2 in the sound department thanks to the new Alpha 9 Gen 6 processor's AI Sound Pro feature. This includes the WOW Orchestra sound feature, which pairs LG TVs and soundbars (including its upcoming 2023 soundbars designed to pair with the 3-series OLEDs) to create a wider soundstage, add detail and provide more impact to louder scenes such as explosions. 

One other advantage that the LG G3 has over the G2 is the potential inclusion of DTS:X – but sort of. If the G3 picks up a sound format that it doesn't recognise, it will pass it through to connected audio equipment via the eARC connection. This means that the LG G3 will be able to technically send multi-channel DTS, and even IMAX Enhanced DTS:X through to connected soundbars, speaker systems and AVRs. LG used to include DTS encoding on older OLED models, but it has been removed for a few generations now – is this be the triumphant return of DTS on LG OLEDs? We're certainly hoping so.

LG OLED G3 vs G2: gaming

In our experience, LG's 2022 OLED TVs are practically unbeatable when it comes to gaming, thanks to a multitude of hardware and software factors. Thankfully, the G3 looks to continue LG's winning streak with all of the G2's excellent gaming features carrying over to the G3. 

This includes the 4K/120Hz capability through all four HDMI 2.1 ports for detailed and smooth gameplay. An increased number of HDMI 2.1 ports means the sets are ideal for hooking up an Xbox Series X or PS5

ALLM and VRR are also supported on both, and LG has achieved a first here by adding Quick Media Switching VRR certification on the G3. This stops a black screen from appearing when switching between HDMI inputs that are running at different refresh rates. As it stands, the latest Apple TV 4K is the only source that supports the feature, but it likely won't be for long.

Game Optimiser, a much-beloved feature of the G2, also makes a return with the G3, and with some upgrades including more effective picture and sound settings for a wider variety of games. Elsewhere we can expect HDR gaming via the aforementioned HDR10 and Dolby Vision formats, both of which are supported right up to 4K/120Hz, which is still very rare in the case of the latter.

The LG G3 looks to be making only modest gaming improvements over the G2, but that's no bad thing when you consider how fully-featured the G3 already was.

LG G3 at CES 2023

(Image credit: Future)

LG OLED G3 vs G2: software

LG's trusty webOS operating system is getting refined on these new 2023 OLED flagships. Currently, webOS features what could be a daunting system of endless rows containing information, streaming suggestions, settings and more. LG has thankfully learned that less is more and that a smoother user experience is preferable to overwhelming features. 

Related cards will now be grouped together in folders called "Quick Cards", meaning you'll be able to find all your sources, streaming apps and so on in one convenient and distinct place. The webOS display will also be split in the middle now, with a selection of advertisements, recommendations and sponsored content appearing on the top of the display, and the interactive cards adorning the bottom section.

According to FlatpannelsHD (opens in new tab), LG has confirmed there are no plans to bring this refined webOS to older OLED models, meaning that the G2 could be stuck on the messier version of the OS.

LG OLED G3 vs G2: Early verdict 

As already mentioned, we cannot pass final judgement on the G3 until we have our own review unit and have conducted extensive, comparative testing. However, considering how impressed we were with last year's G2 and how promising many of the upgrades look on paper, we're itching to get our hands on the G3.

The big, obvious upgrade is clearly to the panel technology – a brightness increase as large as this could prove revolutionary and revelatory – but sound performance and gaming specs have also apparently been improved, too.

In other words, the G3 looks to be a pretty serious upgrade on the G2 it replaces, but that's assuming all of LG's claims turn out to be true. We will, of course, reserve final judgement until we've had the G3 into our test labs for a full review.

Should you still consider the G2 in the meantime? Thanks to heavy price reductions, we believe so, yes. But bear in mind that a potentially much brighter successor is on the way.

MORE:

Explore the full LG 2023 OLED TV lineup

Our full CES 2023 coverage: the best new tech reveals

Best TVs: brilliant budget to premium 4K Ultra HD

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