2022 was nothing short of a revolutionary year for OLED TVs. LG's G2 OLED TV hit new heights when it came to brightness and wowed us with its overall pixel-perfect performance as we dubbed it to be the company's "finest OLED yet".
In the Sony camp, we saw the A95K make its debut with its gloriously authentic image and impressive sound (by TV speaker standards). It immediately caught our eye thanks to its use of new QD-OLED panel technology, which incorporates a Quantum Dot layer into the traditional OLED construction, helping to boost colour vibrancy and brightness above the standards set by traditional OLED TVs.
Both the LG G2 and Sony A95K were knockout performers last year, but in 2023 we have their respective successors ready and waiting to revolutionise OLED TVs once again.
The Sony A95L has been officially unveiled and boasts a second-generation QD-OLED panel that allows it to apparently hit a peak brightness figure of over 2000 nits in its brightest HDR mode – that's twice as bright as its predecessor, the A95K.
LG, on the other hand, has decided to take a new approach with the G3 OLED, which has its own super-bright OLED panel. This one uses brand new Micro Lens Array (MLA) technology, which involves a layer of billions of microscopic lenses that channel the light produced by the OLEDs in order to improve peak brightness.
The real question is, which one is better? Of the two, we've only been able to test the LG G3 so far (click here to read our extensive, exhaustive LG G3 review), so we can't deliver the definitive verdict on which one is best. We have seen the Sony A95L in action though, in not one, but two hands-on sessions – here's our Sony A95L hands-on. We can use that experience – along with a deep dive into the specs and our in-depth knowledge of both TVs' predecessors – to form some early opinions on how this battle of the next-gen OLED TVs might shape up.
LG G3 vs Sony A95L: price
The G3 and A95L are the flagship 4K OLED TVs of their respective brands, and the prices reflect that.
The LG G3 pricing is as follows:
- 55-inch (OLED55G3): £2600 / $2500 / AU$4195
- 65-inch (OLED65G3): £3500 / $3300 / AU$5295
- 77-inch (OLED77G3): £5000 / $4500 / AU$8395
- 83-inch (OLED83G3): £7500 / $6500 / AU$10,995
The A95L is more expensive in every size. The 55-inch model costs £2999 / $2800, the 65-incher £3699 / $3500 and the 77-incher £5999 / $5000 (Australian pricing is still TBC). In the US, the A95L is cheaper than its predecessor (the A95K), but in the UK it's more expensive. And in both regions it's pricier than the G3.
But there's more. These G3 prices are at launch – they don't factor in any discounts. In the UK, the 65-inch model has already been cut by about £500. Expect it to drop even further come Black Friday.
LG G3 vs Sony A95L: build
The LG G3's design is essentially identical to that of the G2 it replaces, and that's no bad thing. This is a thin (2.4cm) and very elegant TV that's designed to be wall-mounted. So much so, it comes bundled with a wall mount rather than a typical stand. For some, that will be ideal, but for many it will involve forking out extra for a tabletop stand. LG sells its own, of course, but that will set you back around £100 / $150 / AU$300. You can alternatively buy a cheaper, third-party stand that will hold the TV by its standard VESA points.
Sony's A95L, meanwhile, looks a bit different to the A95K it replaces, most notably in the stand, which basically consists of two feet that are far simpler and lighter than last year's admittedly attractive but super-heavy and awkward-to-put-together stand.
Slightly annoyingly, with the 55-inch and 65-inch versions of the TV, those feet have to be positioned at the extremes of the set's bottom edge, giving it a footprint that will be too wide for some furniture. The 77-inch model does, at least, allow for placement closer to the centre.
All versions come with extenders for the feet that raise the TV a little higher so that a soundbar can be placed beneath its bottom edge.
LG G3 vs Sony A95L: features
As expected, both of these TVs are feature-packed as they represent the highest-end offerings from the respective Korean and Japanese tech giants. Both feature 4K resolutions with HDR support, the latter in the HDR10, HLG and Dolby Vision formats – neither brand will be adding HDR10+ support to its roster of TVs in 2023. This isn't a great loss as Dolby Vision is the dominant format when it comes to both physical discs and streaming.
Onto the gaming capabilities of these sets and either would make an admirable companion for your PS5, Xbox Series X or PC. The G3 and A95L both feature 120Hz panels for smoother and more responsive gameplay, and both can handle proper 4K/120Hz gaming signals. VRR and ALLM are supported by both sets, too, as is Dolby Vision gaming right up to 4K/120Hz.
The big gaming-related difference between the two TVs comes down to their respective arrays of HDMI sockets. LG offers four, fully-featured HDMI 2.1 ports, one of which also handles eARC. That means even with a soundbar or AV receiver plugged in, you'll be able to plug in a PS5, Xbox Series X and a PC and still be able to take advantage of the most advanced features of each.
The Sony, on the other hand, only offers two HDMI 2.1 sockets, one of which is also used for eARC. This is due to Sony using the MediaTek Pentonic 1000 chip for its new flagship model, and it means that if you need to use eARC for a soundbar or AVR, you'll have just one top-notch socket left for a console or gaming PC. Any sources beyond that will have to make do with an HDMI 2.0 socket that can handle 4K/60Hz at best.
Moving away from gaming and onto software, LG has debuted a new version of its webOS operating system with the G3. This latest software is centred around cleaning up the existing webOS 2022 version. To that end, LG has implemented a folder-based system that collects related apps and features together inside 'Quick Cards'. This reduces the number of items that are on the home screen, to the extent that it now consists of just two. This makes it much easier to find what you want and makes the whole system more responsive.
Sony is sticking with Google TV, which is a universal system used on many TVs and even Google's own Chromecast devices. It wasn't broken on the A95K so there's no point fixing it, and thanks to its easy-to-navigate UI and wide app compatibility, we see no reason for Sony to shift away from Google TV.
LG G3 vs Sony A95L: picture
Let's start with the LG G3, seeing as that's the TV that we've thoroughly tested. To cut a long story short, it delivers on its promise to deliver the brightest pictures of any OLED TV so far, and comfortably so. Admittedly, if you want to see the 2000+ nit peaks of which it's capable you'll need to brave the garish and over-processed Vivid mode, but it will still deliver peaks of around 1500 nits in its more authentic and natural Cinema and Filmmaker Mode presets.
That's a big upgrade on the G2 it replaces, which topped out at under 1000 nits, and it's obvious when watching real HDR content, which isn't only a lot brighter than before, but also boasts significantly more vibrant colours in the brightest parts of the picture. Combined with the inky blacks and pixel-level contrast control for which OLED is renowned, these improvements make for a hugely exciting and dynamic picture overall.
The G3 is an excellent all-rounder, with lots of detail, great edge definition and capable motion processing. Our only complaint is that colours in low-light images are a little pale – something that wasn't the case with the G2.
In a fun twist of fate, the Sony A95L features a second-generation QD-OLED panel that hits very similar peak brightness figures to the LG G3. Indeed, placed side-by-side with the G3 and Samsung S95C in our hands-on session, the A95L came out the clear winner – this wasn't under full review conditions in our testing rooms, but still, the early signs are very good for the A95L.
With all three TVs situated next to a BVM-HX310 pro-level mastering monitor as reference, the A95L came closest to recreating the monitor's more authentic picture. Its picture looked balanced and poised, and while it was certainly bright, it never overdid it and tipped over into artificial territory. Everything looked remarkably natural, with an amazing sense of depth that was never too exaggerated. Which bodes well.
LG G3 vs Sony A95L: sound
Sony takes a unique approach to audio with its OLED TVs by using actuators that vibrate the whole screen in order to make sound. It generally results in the picture and the sound being spatially linked in a way that other TVs struggle to match, and we can't see that being any different with the A95L.
In fact, the A95L has essentially the same sound system as the A95K, which we described as one of the best-sounding TVs you can buy.
In our first demo, the A95L was muted. Fail. In our second, the sound section was quite brief, but still gave us a flavour of the TV's audio capabilities. We were impressed.
It sounded like an improvement on the G3's rather lacklustre sound, going louder, with better dynamics and more detail. It sounded like it had more bass weight than other Sony OLEDs too, though we'll have to wait for the full review to confirm this.
The G3 doesn't sound great. For some reason, LG decided to mess with the generally decent sound of the G2 by making it smoother but much more boring. There's next to no punch or impact, so it struggles to make movies sound engaging. Which makes a soundbar a must.
LG G3 vs Sony A95L: early verdict
It's shaping up to be a monumental year for OLED TVs, and the two sets here are among the favourites to come out on top. The LG G3 and Sony A95L are both building upon the success of their respective predecessors with new, brighter panel technology that will likely leave older OLED TVs in their dust.
We already know that the G3 is excellent, but a couple of flaws mean the door is open for a rival such as the A95L to come out on top. Our more in-depth hands-on session with the Sony left us seriously impressed. It's incredibly bright, with vibrant colours, yet seems to deliver a more authentic picture than its rivals. Will that hold under full testing conditions? And if so, will it be enough to justify the higher asking price?
As soon as we've had the Sony TV in for comprehensive, comparative testing, we'll publish a full and frank review and this page will be updated to reflect our findings.
Read our Sony A95L hands-on review
As well as our LG G3 and C3 OLED hands-on review from CES 2023
Or check out the best TVs available right now