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Don‘t Buy an LG G3 TV Until You Read This

With the release of their bright, feature-packed G3 series 4K OLED televisions in early 2023, LG has once again set the bar for premium TV performance. As home entertainment enthusiasts evaluate upgrading to LG’s latest-and-greatest display technology, it’s important to understand exactly how the G3 builds upon previous generations to deliver the company’s best picture yet.

This guide will break down the G3’s key advancements in visuals, sound, and smarts while also objectively comparing LG’s OLED offerings against Samsung, Sony, and other rivals. After analyzing the test results and real-world performance data behind the scenes, you‘ll have all the details to determine if the LG G3‘s steep price tag warrants stretching your budget.

The Quest for the Ultimate OLED TV

LG solidified OLED’s position as the pinnacle of display tech when it exclusively manufactured the ultra-thin, self-illuminating panels back in 2013. OLED TVs inherently excel at contrast given each of their 8.3 million self-emissive pixels can switch on and off completely independently. This creates pure blacks without light bleed and helps colorful images pop from inky backgrounds with vivid saturation.

While early generations focused mainly on perfecting contrast, LG has spent the better part of the last decade enhancing other weak points like brightness and longevity. As self-lit OLEDs carry higher max brightness caps than LED-backlit LCD panels, boosting their peak luminosity has remained an intense area of improvement.

Let’s chart LG’s OLED TV advancements through the years as they strive for a perfect picture:

Year Series Generation Highlight Upgrade(s)
2017 LG C7 2nd Gen Panel HDR10, Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos
2019 LG C9 α9 Gen 2 Processor Faster response times, black frame insertion
2021 LG G1 “Evo” Panel Up to 30% higher peak brightness
2022 LG G2 “EVO D” Display Brighter panel with optimized heat control
2023 LG G3 META Technology 70% brighter panel leveraging deuterium compounds

This brings us to the current LG G3—the culmination of LG Display’s non-stop enhancements now manifested with their new META (Most Efficient and Transparent Amorphous) panel technology exclusively available in the G3 series.

Introducing META Brightness in the LG G3 OLED

So how precisely does LG’s proprietary META tech take brightness to the next level in the G3? It comes down to implementing deuterium into OLED’s chemical make-up.

Deuterium is a hydrogen atom made up of one proton, one neutron, and one electron—making it similar to the normal hydrogen used today yet with key alterations. Firstly, its extra neutron doubles its atomic mass allowing more stabilization. And the stronger bonds with carbon translate to OLED longevity improvements.

Most importantly, META leverages this deuterium enhancement to help emit roughly 70% more light from the self-lit pixels compared to 2022’s “EVO D”-enhanced panel. Translated into numbers, META can achieve over 2,000 nits at peak compared to just under 1,200 nits in last year’s G2 model under testing:

OLED peak brightness comparisons

Credit: Insight Media

These hardware advancements combined with LG’s Brightness Booster algorithm—which accurately analyzes on-screen content to optimize luminance in real time—make for unprecedented contrast between the brightest highlights and inkiest blacks.

And color quality also sees a nice 10-15% volume expansion thanks to the light optimization translating HDR and wide color sources like Dolby Vision more purely.

AI Picture Processing Takes Another Leap

Complimenting the boosted META panel is LG’s upgraded α9 Gen6 AI Processor. This silicon brain builds on the deep learning foundations of prior generations to advance real-time picture optimizations scene-by-scene.

The processor’s AI Picture Pro mode leverages advanced machine learning honed from analyzing over 20 million images. It identifies key on-screen objects be it faces, bodies, text, landscapes, and more. From there, it applies tailored enhancments to color, contrast, clarity, and brightness tailored to that content.

So whether you‘re watching the big game, streaming a talk show interview, or gaming in 4K HDR, the α9 Gen6 chip constantly works behind the scenes to dynamically optimize picture quality.

And LG further enhanced gaming performance by integrating support for AMD FreeSync Premium along with Nvidia G-Sync to cut down on tearing and frame rate inconsistencies. Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) recognizes when a game console switches over to HDR graphics and instantly minimizes input lag for smoother responsiveness.

Audio Upgrades with AI Sound Pro

With impressive built-in speakers, the LG G3 brings Dolby Atmos sound processing to more cinematic effects. The upward-firing drivers create an immersive bubble of audio with enhanced dimensionality compared to basic stereo TV speakers.

And much like it enhances visuals, LG’s new AI Sound Pro applies machine learning to identify content types then optimize audio settings automatically. This helps clarify dialogue in movies, pump up crowd noise during sports, and customize equalizer levels based on music genres.

That said, I still recommend adding on a standalone sound system like a soundbar and subwoofer to get the most impactful, room-filling audio for big action movies or pulsating music playlists. Luckily, passing through Dolby Atmos from built-in apps over HDMI eARC keeps surround sound upgrade path simple.

webOS 23 Smart Platform Evolves

Over the past decade, LG’s webOS smart platform has provided one of the most intuitive and responsive ways to access top streaming services. And the latest webOS 23 update available exclusively in 2023 LG TVs (including the G3) brings helpful quality-of-life improvements:

  • Upgraded Launcher and Home Screen: A redesigned launcher bar provides one-click access to inputs, home dashboards, profiles, and settings. The refreshed home screen better organizes favorite apps and anticipated content.
  • Enhanced Profiles: Individual user profiles now allow customized content recommendations, app layouts, watch history and more—ideal for shared family TVs.
  • Smart Manager: This dashboard gives you device status info, storage and memory usage, self diagnosis capabilities, and troubleshooting tips to keep webOS running smoothly.
  • Newly Added Apps: webOS adds several new streaming services absent on older LG smart TVs like AMC+, PBS Kids, and more.

I prefer webOS ease of use compared to some rival platforms, but mileage varies based on streaming preferences. For instance, Android TV provides superior Google Cast integration from mobile devices and wraps in the Play Store‘s wider app selection.

Meanwhile, Samsung and Roku TVs offer system-wide voice assistants with Bixby and Roku Voice. And Apple TV+ aficionados may lean toward onboard AirPlay and HomeKit support in newer Sony Bravia models. There’s no definitively “best" platform—just personal preferences to weigh.

How LG‘s Flagship Fares Against Competing OLEDs

The premium TV marketplace grows more crowded each year as display tech commoditizes. And LG faces intense competition in the high-end OLED space once dominated almost solely by their panels:

Samsung S95C OLED TV

After exclusively sourcing from LG panels previously, Samsung invested heavily in next-gen Quantum Dot OLED (QD-OLED) production based on unique Samsung intellectual property. The resulting S95C flagship debuted in late 2022 boasting exceptional color and contrast just shy of LG‘s best OLEDs.

In comparisons, Samsung‘s panel tops out at 1500 nits peak brightness compared to LG‘s 2000+ META-enhanced levels. And viewing angles wash out sooner on Samsung QD-OLED models with a approximately 30 degree falloff versus 45+ degrees on the G3 before color distortions arise.

Gamers may however prefer Samsung‘s better input lag reduction and the overall Tizen smart ecosystem. And Samsung shaves a few hundred dollars off at most sizes. But with LG offering a bigger, brighter picture for movies and TV plus sleek webOS software, the G3 still carries advantages for users that want the pinnacle of OLED capabilities.

Sony A95K Bravia XR TV

Beyond excellent foundational contrast and color, Sony‘s added value comes from their established XR processor providing truly top-tier HDR detail and upscaling for 1080p or lesser sources. Their Acoustic Surface Audio+ eliminates need for soundbar by vibrating the entire screen as dual drivers.

Downsides of stepping up to Sony’s premium tier include paying a significant price premium over LG or Samsung for less overall brightness by comparison. And their Android TV platform necessitates more menus hopping versus LG’s streamlined webOS experience.

But with stellar picture processing and audio innovation straight out of the box, Sony appeals to users that have room in their budget and value best-in class upscaling.

Hisense 2023 U Series OLED

Production efficiencies now enable budget brands like Hisense to enter the OLED game at wallet-friendlier prices. And their U series offers solid foundational contrast starting under $1,300 for 65 inches.

Yet, limitations arise in processing power, peak brightness (capped below 750 nits), mediocre audio, lesser gaming chops, and occasional software hiccups. That makes the budget route only advisable for casual viewers less bothered by OLED‘s shortcomings when driven hard. Others will appreciate stepping up to LG, Samsung or Sony instead.

Find Your Best LG G3 Deal

So at what pricing does this pinnacle of OLED TV technology become attainable? LG sticks to premium tier pricing given the performance provided:

Size MSRP Average Sale Price*
55-inch $1,799 $1,749
65-inch $2,599 $2,499
77-inch $3,999 $3,799
83-inch $5,999 $5,499**

*_Average sale prices at major retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, etc._
**_Limited sale data available currently on just-released 83" model_

Thankfully, early discounts are already emerging on 55 and 65-inch configurations. For the best bang-for-buck based on price per square inch of screen real estate, keep an eye out for holiday sales later this year around Memorial Day, Father’s Day, Prime Day, or Black Friday when retailers incentivize home theater upgrades.

Manufacturers and sellers also tend to provide the best bundle offers and perks during these peak shopping periods. That means heavy discounting paired with free extras like extended warranties, premium audio bundles, mounts and installation gifts with purchase.

If this year’s cycle mirrors 2022, I predict up to $500 off LG G3 MSRP pricing plus stackable trade-in allowances topping out around $1,000 for older generation premium TV swaps. Budget 4K LED trade values should run $100-$400 depending on model and condition.

Waiting out and hunting the subsequent LG G4 once announced Q1 2024 could also net massive G3 price cuts—albeit without the latest generation panel and features for early adopters.

Worthy of an Upgrade?

At nearly a 70% leap in OLED brightness through pioneering META technology, I give LG immense credit for again propelling picture quality forward with the G3 series. Images showcase incredible depth between darkened shadows and blazing highlights. Self-emissive OLED contrast already impressed—but combining with over 2000 nits peak brightness and Dolby Vision IQ HDR intelligence makes the G3 captivate like no rival television before it.

If home theater is a priority and budget allows, LG rightfully retains bragging rights for unmatched performance and gorgeous aesthetic. Yes, you can still achieve solid big screen viewing for much less through LED-LCD competitors or prior generation OLED models.

Yet for distinguished home theater enthusiasts eagerly awaiting the next revolution in television technology offering a legitimate upgrade from LG‘s past milestones—your wait is over in the G3. Its META-enhanced panel and processing package justify the lofty costs for discerning videophiles and wide-eyed cinephiles portal window shopping from the couch.