LG G2 OLED review

The whole truth is revealed in the test lab. And it showed that LG didn’t promise too much: under real-world conditions, the LG OLED G2’s maximum brightness was 945 candela per square meter (cd/m2; or 945 nits). For comparison, other OLED TVs have brightness between 500 and 700 cd/m2; the previous record holder, the Panasonic JZW2004, also reached just over 900 cd/m2 with improved cooling.

LG OLED G2 in the test: the image quality is very good

Some LCD competitors are even better – 1500 to 1600 cd/m2. The question immediately arises: are such levels of brightness needed at all? It is worth looking at modern movies and TV series. Many of them capture up to 1000 cd/m2, mostly HDR (High Dynamic Range). So the new LG can almost completely reproduce this picture dynamics, no one will see the difference between 945 and 1000 cd/m2.

However, there are also materials that reach 4000 cd/m2. This is where the LG OLED G2 shows another strength: it adapts images perfectly to the capabilities of its screen. It slows down extreme brightness peaks to 945 cd/m2, and the braking effect diminishes as brightness decreases. Even in the brightest parts of the picture, no detail is lost, for example, there are no white areas in the bright summer sky.

In direct comparison, bright scenes in particular look more vibrant and contrasty on the LG OLED G2 than the competition, and the difference is surprisingly obvious. This sets the standard in its overall dynamics all the way down to deep black with the subtlest shading with no flooded areas.

It doesn’t get any better than this: near-perfect colors

 

In terms of colors, the LG OLED G2 didn’t cause any complaints either. The screen even displays the entire color spectrum of HDR movies (for the experts: the coverage of the DCI-P3 color space is 99 percent), and it does not know too pale colors. This is also true when viewed from the side: the stable viewing angle is excellent, the colors are slightly cooler, and the contrast is always high.The OLED G2 also very accurately rendered all mixed colors, including critical skin tones.

It looked realistic and also withstood critical measurement technology — color deviations were in the green range at the factory. If you want, you can optimize this with calibration. LG TVs offer deeper and more precise control options than other TVs. Thanks to a direct interface with Calman software, an industry standard, perfect tuning is possible without any problems.

New features with light and shadow

A new button for picture-in-picture or picture-by-picture display, as well as a family settings menu item. You can define usage times outside of which the TV is PIN-locked. There is also a supposedly eye-safe mode. In the picture settings (see below), the same setting is called less blue light, the health benefits can be questioned. General, the myriad of options makes the menu confusing, it would be useful to focus on the really useful features. In some places, poor translation is an additional obstacle.

“Always Ready” means a decent standby mode: after pressing the standby button on the remote or after a long period of inactivity, the screen displays the time or a gallery of images — displaying either artwork or photos you’ve taken. This looks good on the wall, but not on your energy bill. Depending on room lighting and image content, the TV consumes about 60 watts in constant standby mode, and in the test sometimes exceeded 200 watts during peak hours.

When you press the standby button again, the TV turns off completely. And if you don’t know how to use it, you can simply call up the instructions in the menu.

Voice control is also possible thanks to the microphone in the remote: LG’s own language assistant helps when searching for a particular TV channel or series. There are buttons on the remote for Alexa and Google Assistant. They are less useful for TV functions than for smart home controls, such as quickly turning off the lights from the couch at the beginning of a movie.

Perfect for gamers

The connections on the back are recessed so the TV can be easily hung on the wall. Four HDMI inputs are suitable for 4K resolution at up to 120Hz according to the current HDMI 2.1 standard – perfect for connecting the new PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X gaming consoles. Variable frame rate (VRR) is also allowed, including AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync variants. Image processing times are pleasingly short, with only 13 milliseconds of latency in standard playback at 60Hz and only 9 milliseconds in boost mode. One of the HDMI jacks serves as an audio output (eARC, an enhanced audio return channel).

The LG OLED G2 has no analog video input for older players. Television can be received via antenna, satellite, and cable, and you can record TV shows to USB hard drives. While recording, the TV shows another program if needed, this is possible thanks to dual reception. Three USB ports are available, as well as for photo and video playback.

There is no headphone output. But Bluetooth headphones can be used in pairs, alternatively the Bluetooth speakers serve as surround sound drawers. A new addition is the ability to connect a webcam. So far, their capabilities have barely gone beyond watching yourself on the screen under the yoga video – there is no app for video calls.

 

The best picture settings for the LG OLED G2

 

The LG OLED G2 can also be effortlessly set up for the best possible picture quality in the settings menu. The most important step to do this is to select the best picture mode, just like in previous LG TVs, which is Filmmaker Mode. This way, colors, brightness and gray levels are fine-tuned at the factory.

Measurements and visual tests were done in this mode in the test. Very important: the picture mode setting is required separately for playback from the TV, HDMI sources and streaming with applications installed on the TV. And that’s not all, for HDR playback you will have to switch again from the standard mode to Filmmaker. Once Filmmaker Mode has been selected in all cases, the TV remembers that selection.

The advanced settings are a series of tweaks to your liking: Brightness: The “Brightest” setting makes regular TV shows and movies without HDR technology brighter. Choose “Low” or “Medium” to your liking, and the highest setting will result in slightly overstated images.

HDR Tone Mapping

If you enable this feature, the TV will constantly adjust the contrast of the current picture to avoid sagging in dark scenes and overexposure in bright areas of the picture. All other sub-items remain at their factory default settings.
Color: All settings can remain unchanged, no improvements can be made without technical means.

Sharpness: With Automatic Noise Reduction and MPEG G2’s Automatic Noise Reduction reduces coarse image noise and smoothes out image noise without instantly removing film grain or textures.

The smooth “Medium” gradient smooths out unsightly colors and brightness levels in gradients such as evening skies. Below is the True Motion menu item for motion smoothing: the Cinematic Motion option leaves it at 24 fps and corrects only jagged motion sequences. The Smooth Motion setting calculates intermediate frames to make the movements run smoothly.

LG handled this in the test without any artifacts worth mentioning — users can decide to their liking. A user-selected menu item allows for fine manual adjustments to eliminate stuttering and improve motion clarity. With OLED Motion Pro, the TV inserts lightning-fast black phases to enhance the impression of motion clarity.

Filmmaker mode

It’s worth the brightness of the picture, but the improved motion sharpness is noticeable only to experienced viewers at very close range.
Filmmaker mode Auto Adjustment: This switch is of interest only if you have set a picture mode other than Filmmaker mode, such as Cinema. Then Auto Adjustment causes a change as soon as a player connected via HDMI or a streaming service signals a movie.

Less blue light: This gives the image a clear red hue because the TV reduces the blue color components in the image. This is also supposed to slow down ultraviolet (UV) light, which is considered a stimulant. However, the facts on this are unclear, and there is no indication of health damage from UV radiation from screens. In short: there is no clear benefit, and in return the switch negates all efforts to ensure proper image reproduction.

Brightness

LG OLED G2 is very good at adapting the brightness of the image to the environment, but this option is very well hidden in the menu. It can be found starting from the main menu, in the “General” area under “OLED care” and under “Device self-care”. There in the submenu “Energy Saving” offers the option “Energy Saving “. With the setting Automatic the light sensor is activated.

The menu bar below indicates the minimum brightness in the new model is adjustable, which was not possible with previous LG televisions. From the factory is a little dim, in the test at maximum settings the picture was better. In addition, there are some options related to artificial intelligence, which can be found in the ” General ” under “AI Services”. First of all, the AI brightness setting is recommended, a subtle correction of the tone value according to the brightness of the environment.

Surprisingly good sound with an acoustic trick

Hidden under the AI services is also a very useful sound enhancement feature. Given the flat design with no visible speakers, the LG OLED G2 does not seem to have the right conditions for good sound. Nevertheless, the sound experience is decent and can be greatly improved. The AI acoustic tuning adapts the TV’s speaker setup to the spatial environment.

The process is self-explanatory thanks to on-screen instructions, with the TV using the microphone in the remote control to control the sound. Subsequent correction resulted in clearer speech reproduction and brighter tops in the test. The switchable virtual 3D Dolby Atmos sound caused more spatial sounds in the test and was therefore left off.

More tweaks with the game optimizer

 

Gamers will also find special settings for the game mode, the corresponding menu item is called Game Optimizer. There you can activate FreeSync and G-Sync, as well as Boost mode. There are also a number of presets for different game genres, such as shooters or sports. As well as manual controls called Black Stabilizer and White Stabilizer. This allows you to optimally adjust the lightest and darkest parts of the image. Dark figures shouldn’t disappear into the shadows, and the backlight shouldn’t obscure them. Only trial and error and a careful approach help.

Conclusion on the LG OLED G2 test

The LG OLED65G29LA, or LG OLED G2 for short, is at the top of the TV leaderboard. It’s not flawless, for example, it lacks a headphone output in terms of features. The settings menu causes unnecessary confusion with unnecessary options. And everyday TV functions slip out of sight in the start menu. On the other hand, offers great comfort and every conceivable streaming option, as well as an excellent remote control.

Sound quality does not go unnoticed either. On the most important test criterion LG OLED G2 can not be surpassed, the picture quality is outstanding. The new generation of OLED screens significantly improves brightness, contrast and colors become almost perfect. The TV on the wall also looks good when turned off, which is not unimportant for such large TVs.

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