LG G3 vs Sony A95L: will MLA OLED TV or its QD-OLED rival come out on top?

LG G3 MLA vs Sony A95L QD-OLED
(Image credit: Future)

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.

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 (here's our Sony A95L hands-on), and 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


(Image credit: Future)

The G3 and A95L are the flagship 4K OLED TVs of their respective brands, and prices will reflect that.

Of the two, we only have pricing for the LG G3. That pricing is as follows:

  • 55-inch (OLED55G3): £2600 / $2500 / AU$TBC
  • 65-inch (OLED65G3): £3500 / $3300 / AU$TBC
  • 77-inch (OLED77G3): £5000 / $4500 / AU$TBC
  • 83-inch (OLED83G3): £7500 / $6500 / AU$TBC

Sony, meanwhile, hasn't let anything slip in terms of A95L pricing, but last year's A95K was significantly more expensive than the LG G2 and we don't expect the new model to be priced lower. Assuming the A95L is priced identically to the A95K, it will still be more expensive than the LG G3.

LG G3 vs Sony A95L: build


(Image credit: Future)

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


(Image credit: Future)

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 still be able to plug a PS5, Xbox Series X and a PC in 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


(Image credit: Future)

Let's start with the LG G3, seeing as that's the TV that we've already 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's expected to allow it to hit very similar peak brightness figures to the LG G3, though we will of course test the two TVs side-by-side before we confirm which is brighter with actual HDR content.

The Quantum Dots of the QD-OLED panel will in theory allow it to express a greater range of colours than the G3, and while the prediction by some that an MLA-based OLED such as the G3 would be pale in highlights has been proved wrong, it will be interesting to find out whether the A95L produces more vibrant colours in dark scenes.

In our extended demo with a pre-production unit of the A95L, it dazzled with its enhanced brightness and more dynamic image. Even with the extra nits under its belt, the A95L didn't look overcooked or outrageously bright, although the preset on the TV during this demo did leave blues looking a bit cool. That being said, the extra punch and dynamism resulted in a crisp, lifelike image with impressive three-dimensional depth, and left us counting down the days until we could get it into our labs for further testing.

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 is thought to have essentially the same sound system as the A95K, which we described as one of the best-sounding TVs you can buy.

We will of course test both TVs side-by-side before delivering a verdict on which sounds best, but the A95L won't have to work too hard in order to beat its LG rival here, as the G3 doesn't sound great. For some reason, LG has 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.

LG G3 vs Sony A95L: early verdict


(Image credit: Future)

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 A95K 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. Only time will tell on that front: 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

Tom Parsons

Tom Parsons has been writing about TV, AV and hi-fi products (not to mention plenty of other 'gadgets' and even cars) for over 15 years. He began his career as What Hi-Fi?'s Staff Writer and is now the TV and AV Editor. In between, he worked as Reviews Editor and then Deputy Editor at Stuff, and over the years has had his work featured in publications such as T3, The Telegraph and Louder. He's also appeared on BBC News, BBC World Service, BBC Radio 4 and Sky Swipe. In his spare time Tom is a runner and gamer.