The start of the year always means two things: New Year's resolutions and new TV ranges. While most people's resolutions are already fading in the rearview mirror, the new TVs are still on the horizon – indeed, they're getting closer every day. Two of the most exciting 2022 TVs are from Sony and LG: the Sony A95K QD-OLED and the LG G2 OLED Evo.
Both TVs are next-gen OLED models, boasting brand new tech that should raise picture performance to new heights. Intriguingly, though, they also differ in approach quite dramatically.
So why are we so excited about these two new TVs? What makes them 'next-gen'? What are those differences? And – crucially – which will be right for you? Join us as we give both TVs the rundown to see just what they can do.
Sony A95K vs LG G2: price
There's no pricing as yet for either model, but we can make some educated guesses based on the models they replace.
That's easiest with the G2, which succeeds last year's G1. It builds on the G1 not only in terms of specs, but also in terms of sizes – it comes in new 83- and 97-inch models, to go with the 55-, 65- and 77-inch sizes that were available last year. We would expect prices for those models to be roughly comparable, with the 83- and 97-inchers obviously carrying bigger price tags.
Here's how the G1 range stacked up at launch.
- LG OLED55G1: £1999 / $2200 (around AU$3600)
- LG OLED65G1: £2999 / $3000 (around AU$5400)
- LG OLED77G1: £4799 / $4500 (around AU$8600)
Things are slightly trickier with the Sony A95K. It replaces the A90J at the top of Sony's OLED range, but the addition of a cutting-edge QD-OLED panel makes it more than a simple evolutionary update, and we wouldn't be surprised if the price reflects that.
We hope the price isn't too much higher, though, as the A90J was an expensive TV at launch:
- Sony XR-55A90J: £2699 / $2800 (around AU$4000)
- Sony XR-65A90J: £3499 / $3800 (around AU$5400)
- Sony XR-83A90J: £6999 / $8000 (around AU$11400)
The Sony A95K comes in far fewer sizes than the LG G1 – just 55- and 65-inch models will be available – so bad luck if you want an 83-incher. Looking for a smaller Sony? You'll want the A90K, also new this year. It comes in 48- or 42-inch flavours but doesn't have the QD-OLED panel.
Sony A95K vs LG G2: design and build
No matter how stunning your TV's picture quality, you'll still want the set itself to look good. After all, it will be switched off a fair bit of the time.
The G2 will sport slimmer bezels than the G1 – 6mm down from 10.2mm (for the 65-inch model) – which will give the screen a cleaner, more expansive look. The overall depth looks to be the same, although it will lose the G1's 45-degree Chamfered edges in favour of cleaner right angles.
At just 2cm thick, the G2 has a 'gallery design' and so is intended for wall-mounting. As with the previous model, it will likely come only with a flush wall mount in the box. It's also compatible with LG's easel-like Gallery Stand and standard feet, but these were both optional extras last year and we don't anticipate that being any different for 2022. We do expect that the G2, like the G1, will have standard VESA mounting points, though, so you could always buy a cheaper, third-party stand that makes use of those. As long as it's compatible, it should do the job just fine.
In a sea of identikit black rectangles, Sony has made its new TV look a little different. The A95K can be situated in two different styles: front and back positions. The front position has the bottom 'lip' of the TV behind the screen out of sight, making for the most immersive viewing experience, while the back position has the lip in front, letting the TV sit as close to the wall as possible. If you want the TV to look like part of the wall, this latter position is for you.
There is a caveat to this design. The TV needs to be placed on a shelf or plinth that is wider and deeper than the TV for safety reasons.
Other than that, it's business as usual, and as expected at this end of the market, discreet design is the order of the day. The TV's bezels are extremely narrow so they don't detract from what you're watching, and wire channels keep your cable spaghetti in check. Suitably premium, in other words.
Sony A95K vs LG G2: features
The G2 packs LG's latest Alpha 9 Gen 5 processor, which uses deep learning to detect and enhance individual objects, ensuring they are properly distinguished on screen.
The new software should yield more efficient AI upscaling, removing a step that could potentially add unwanted artefacts, and it boasts a new Dynamic Tone-mapping Pro Algorithm that will subdivide the screen into more discrete areas (by an order of 10) for more granular enhancement.
LG's Object Background Enhancement feature also gains a Dynamic Vivid Mode that can better differentiate foreground and background, analysing them separately and apparently creating a greater depth of field.
If you're on the hunt for the best gaming TV, you'll be pleased to hear that all of the HDMI ports on the G2 are HDMI 2.1 certified, as they were with its predecessor, but this time there's an uncapped bandwidth of 48gbps, whereas LG's 2021 and 2020 OLEDs were limited to 40Gbps. In real terms, that doesn't actually make any difference, as 40Gbps was already enough for all current video and audio formats, but perhaps having 48Gbps connections adds an extra degree of future-proofing.
What really matters is that the G2 supports all of the next-gen gaming features as the G1, so that's 4K@120Hz (with and without Dolby Vision), ALLM and all current formats of VRR. It also has an HGiG setting that generally results in more accurate contrast with HDR games, and there'll once again be a dedicated Game Optimiser menu that puts all of these options at your fingertips when you're playing. Since the latter part of last year, there's also native integration of cloud-based game streaming services Google Stadia and GeForce Now.
We expect the G2 to have the same portfolio of apps as its predecessor, with Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ and Apple TV all on board and all with full support for 4K, Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos sound. And in the UK, there should be a full complement of TV catch-up apps, including BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4 and My5, in all likelihood courtesy of a partnership with Freeview Play.
C- and G-class OLEDs have long packed in four HDMIs (one of which supports eARC) and three USBs, in addition to Ethernet, optical and headphone ports. It's normal, too, to find Apple AirPlay 2 and Bluetooth connectivity, as well as onboard Google and Alexa voice assistants. We wouldn't expect these specs to change for the G2.
Replacing the A90J, the Sony A95K has big shoes to fill. But it looks like it's up to the task. For starters, it's the first QD-OLED TV to be officially unveiled. There's more on this in the next section.
The A95K comes with Bravia Cam, a small video camera that magnetically attaches to the top edge of the TV to enable video chat and, at a later date, features such as gesture control and automatic optimisation of sound based on where you're sitting in relation to the TV. Think of it like Xbox Kinect for the 2020s.
If you'd prefer to operate the TV the old fashioned way, it also comes with a new remote that is 36 per cent smaller than the one it replaces, with a stripped-back button selection. The backlighting remains and there's a new 'Finder' function that involves the remote emitting a noise when you say 'ok Google, find my remote' to the TV.
As you'd expect, the somewhat controversial 'Perfect for PS5' program continues, so the A95K features Auto HDR Tone Mapping and Auto Genre Picture Mode for use with the PS5. Thankfully, standard ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode) and VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) are also supported out of the box – no waiting for a firmware update that may never arrive (owners of Sony's 2021 TVs are still waiting for a VRR update that Sony insists is on the way). Unfortunately, Sony has confirmed that there'll be no Dolby Vision game mode, so Dolby Vision gaming will likely be a bit laggy. There's no HGiG setting either.
Two of the A95K's HDMIs are also HDMI 2.1-certified with an uncapped data rate of 48gbps. It will support 4K@120Hz via these sockets, but be aware that one of these is also the eARC port, so you'll lose one HDMI 2.1 input if you want to connect a soundbar or AV amp via eARC.
Sony A95K vs LG G2: picture
So, Sony was first out of the gates with a QD-OLED TV in the form of the A95K. What's the big deal?
QD-OLED works by combining self-emissive OLEDs with Quantum Dots, theoretically combining the perfect blacks and impeccable contrast of the former with the vibrancy and brightness of the latter. This new TV technology has been pioneered by Samsung Display, which manufactures the panels for this Sony A95K.
Of course, the panel is only part of the picture performance puzzle, and Sony has some tricks up its sleeve in order to squeeze the maximum out of the QD-OLED display. Top billing goes to the heat diffusion sheet that creates uniform heat distribution, and the company's XR processor, which has been tweaked for even better performance.
This year the XR processor has 'Depth Control', which is designed to improve the three-dimensionality of images, and 'Flexible Colour Contrast Control', which can intelligently increase the vibrancy of colours.
As well as being brighter and having greater colour vibrancy (particularly in the brightest parts of the picture) than a standard OLED TV, Sony says that its A95K QD-OLED also boasts even better viewing angles.
But it's up against a force to be reckoned with in the form of the LG G2's OLED Evo panel tech, which has been upgraded for 2022.
OLED Evo was seen on last year's G1. It enhances the brightness of LG's standard OLEDs by using deuterium, an organic material with a longer lifespan that can withstand a higher voltage and includes a green-emitting layer. Ultimately, it made the G1 a better picture performer than LG's OLED-only TVs.
What's new for the tech? This year it has a reformulated panel and processor. And the G2 benefits from an added 'Brightness Booster' integrated into its OLED Evo tech. This new brighter panel with a heatsink should hit above 1000 nits peak brightness under certain conditions, making it brighter than last year's models.
Which technology will provide the better picture? In theory, the A95K should go brighter than the G1 and provide more vibrant colours, particularly in the brightest parts of the picture. A TV's picture performance comes down to far more than just the panel technology, though, so it would be foolish to make assumptions here. We'll be waiting until we get both sets in for review before we make a judgement that also takes pricing into account.
Sony A95K vs LG G2: sound
Thanks to the upgrade in the processor for the G2, LG's AI Sound Pro virtual up-mixing technology will be capable of creating 7.1.2 virtual channels of sound, up from 5.1.2 last year. However, what the physical driver configuration and amplifier power will be is as yet unknown.
Last year's G1 sported a 4.2, 60W system. However, it wasn't much cop – in fact, we would even go so far as to describe it as dull. Perhaps not all that surprising when you consider the scant depth of the frame. It will be interesting to see whether this year's G2 suffers similarly or provides the intended audio upgrade we're hoping for.
The A95K predictably features Acoustic Surface Audio+, which combines two subwoofers with two actuators that vibrate the entire screen in order to create sound. The actuators are larger than those of the outgoing A90J and are optimised for the new QD-OLED panel.
We loved the A90J's sound, saying in our review that it "sounds superb by TV standards". With the audio coming from the screen itself, rather than speakers to the side, the sound and picture are much more in sync than with most TVs. It was also capable of delivering satisfying bass weight and depth too. We can't wait to see whether the A95K improves on this.
As ever, we would still recommend buying some dedicated audio kit to go with your TV, especially if you're buying a TV as premium as these. Check our list of best soundbars or best home theatre speaker systems.
Sony A95K vs LG G2: the early verdict
Of course, it's early days yet. All we have to go on for both TVs are the spec sheets and press releases, along with our experience of past TVs in the same lines.
Nevertheless, these are shaping up to be two of the biggest TVs of the year. We'll update this with any new information that comes our way, and we'll bring you a full review of each as soon as we can.
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