LG G1 (OLED55G1) 4K OLED TV Review

Last year's model, but with bags of talent...

by Phil Hinton
SRP: £1,999.00
9
AVForumsSCORE
OUT OF
10

LG G1 (OLED55G1) 4K OLED TV Review

If you are not tempted by the latest G2 model announced at CES and want great gaming features, a TV aimed at wall mounting with a stunning design with accurate images and superb colour reproduction, the outgoing LG 55G1 is a cracking TV with the latest WebOS smart TV, including all available catchup services in the UK and a newly redesigned remote. It comes highly recommended.

The Good

  • Superb accuracy out of the box in Filmmaker Mode
  • Excellent HDR and SDR image quality
  • Excellent just above black performance and fade to and from black
  • 20% improvement in full-field HDR brightness and some peak highlight improvements
  • Dolby Vision IQ
  • Dolby Atmos
  • Excellent gaming performance and HDMI 2.1 connections
  • Very low input lag
  • Very good motion
  • WebOS 6.0 and new menu system
  • Comprehensive streaming choices
  • Freeview Play
  • Stunning design
  • Excellent build quality
  • Excellent new remote control
  • Good value for money

The Not So Good

  • No HDR10+
  • No DTS audio support

What is the 55LG G1?

With new models announced at CES 2022 with some further advances to the EVO panel, should you wait for one of the G2 models, or plump for the excellent G1 from 2021? We reviewed the 65-inch G1 in great detail back in April 2021, but with new models on the way, we take a quick final look at the 55-inch G1, which is now available at a reduced price point compared to launch. Is this all you need from an OLED or are you better waiting for the G2?

The G1 is available in various screen sizes from the 55-inch (OLED55G16LA) we are reviewing here, to a 65-inch (OLED65G16LA) and 77-inch (OLED77G16LA). Sadly, there are no 48- or 83-inch variants of the G1 with the Evo panel, so if you want those sizes you will need to drop down to the C1 model and miss out on the extra brightness offered on the G1.

The G in the model name stands for ‘Gallery Series’ which means the G1 is designed to be wall-mounted and comes with a wall bracket in the box. This is designed to make the panel flush with your wall and there is cable routing on the rear panel for your connections. Unlike normal OLED TV chassis designs, the G1 has a flat rear end and a constant panel thickness of 19.9mm. You can use stand feet with the G1 for desktop placement but these are not provided in the box and need to be purchased separately, or you could use a VESA mounted tabletop stand.

While in previous years the C and G TVs have used the same panels with just cosmetic differences to separate them in the LG lineup, for 2021 the G1 utilised a different OLED panel from the C1 model, making sure there was a difference in picture quality as well as design. The G1 panel is named OLED Evo to denote the ‘evolution of OLED’ with some differences in organic compounds within the panel makeup, which helps increase the brightness on offer. LG claims that the improvement of using new red and blue materials and a green layer offers better-focussed half-width wavelengths of light and colour, with an increase of around 20% better brightness. This is all married up to the α9 Gen4 AI processor 4K for advanced video processing, upscaling and colour accuracy.

The 55-inch G1 supports most HDR formats including HDR10, HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma), Dolby Vision and Dolby Vision IQ as well as offering the excellent Filmmaker Mode for accurate images to the industry standards for content mastering. There is no HDR10+ support.

... for 2021 the G1 utilised a different OLED panel from the C1 model, making sure there was a difference in picture quality as well as design

Gamers are well catered for with the LG G1 which includes a new Game Optimiser set-up menu. LG has partnered with NVIDIA and AMD to make LG OLED TVs the only G-SYNC and AMD FreeSync™ Premium certified TVs in 2021. There are four HDMI 2.1 (40 Gbps) inputs with support for 4K/120, HFR (High Frame Rate), VRR (Variable Refresh Rate), ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode) and eARC. There is also HGiG (HDR Gaming Interest Group) settings available for HDR gaming.

WebOS 6.0 is the smart TV system on offer with the 55-inch G1 OLED and it features a new design for the User Interface and menus. With 6.0 the launcher bar disappears from the bottom of the screen and the whole screen is now filled with layers of content based on type, which you can scroll through. As you scroll down you have apps listed horizontally, there are recommendations from Apple TV+, Disney+ and more, as well as inputs and frequently viewed TV channels. There is also a new remote control for 2021 to help navigate all these changes.

Video Review

Design, Connections and Control

The G1 design is identical to the GX from 2020 with no changes externally at all. The Gallery design is excellent with superb use of materials and solid build quality as well as a thin 19.9mm panel depth thanks to the clever placement of the speakers and electronics.

LG OLED55G1

The traditional OLED design has a super-thin panel to the top and it then gets much wider from around halfway down the rear to the bottom. This bottom area usually houses the speakers and electronics with venting to the top of the wider bottom section for heat. The Gallery design on the G1 keeps the panel width consistent over the entire surface, providing a flat back making it easy to wall-mount the panel. The housing for the wall mount on the rear panel is recessed as is the cabling channels so the G1 can fit flush with the wall and only stick out around 20mm or so.

While the G1 is predominantly designed to be wall-mounted, you can of course table mount the TV or use the new Gallery Stand which attaches to the VESA mounts. If you want to table mount the TV you will need to buy the stand feet separately, which can be as expensive as £100 direct from LG. You could also use a third party stand design that uses VESA mounts as a cheaper alternative to the LG feet, and it might feel more sturdy.

... we still find it strange that the G1 doesn’t have a separate connection and power box with just one thin cable up to the panel

The third option is the new Gallery floor stand which adds to the design flair of the G1 and also incorporates some neat storage for sources and cable management so everything remains hidden from view.

With such a thin design and a desire to be wall-mounted, we still find it strange that the G1 doesn’t have a separate connection and power box with just one thin cable up to the panel itself to make everything neat and tidy, a la Samsung’s One connect box idea. This would make more sense than trying to hide all the possible source connections up to the panel.

The connections on the 55-inch G1 are on the rear of the panel within a recess area to allow cable management and the majority of the connections face downwards.

LG OLED55G1

Sideways facing are three USB Ports and a CI slot. Downwards we have four HDMI 2.1 slots with HDMI 2 compatible with eARC/ARC. All four ports are 40Gbps which are more than enough to support 10-bit 4K/120Hz with RGB 4:4:4 chroma sampling on the G1. Also facing downwards are twin terrestrial and satellite tuners, a 3.5mm audio output that doubles as a headphone socket, an optical digital output and an Ethernet port. As well as the connections, you have Apple AirPlay 2, Bluetooth and dual-band Wi-Fi built-in.

Just like with the 65-inch G1, the now-legendary Magic Remote has been jettisoned this year for a brand new design, which thankfully retains the magic remote pointer, but adds more features.

LG OLED55G1

The length of the remote has been extended with less girth and a notch on the back that makes it fit in your hand more easily. The main area includes the directional keys and scroll wheel/enter button and is within easy thumb reach when held in the hand. Around this are the home, microphone, source, settings and back keys, with direct keys for streaming apps, including Disney+ at the bottom. Overall the new design works well with the magic pointer still accessible on-screen and good ergonomics allowing easy and intuitive button presses.

Measurements

Out of the Box

As we do with all TV reviews, we factory reset and then we measured the out of the box presets to find the closest to the industry standards so we can view the content as it was mastered and intended to be seen. On the LG 55G1 that preset is Filmmaker Mode (FMM). The ISF and Cinema presets are also very close but have some processing switched on at default, while Filmmaker Mode has all processing switched off. The purpose of FMM is to produce an image that is free from any tampering from processing, has no motion interpolation switched on and hits gamma BT.1886, D65 white and Rec.709 colour for SDR and BT.2020 colour and ST.2084 PQ EOTF for HDR. Out of the box, the OLED Pixel Brightness is set to 25 which equals 100 nits for dark room viewing, but you can adjust this control to match your room conditions and brightness without affecting the accuracy too much.

We use Calman colour calibration software, a Murideo Seven Generator and Klein K-10A meter for measurement and calibration.

LG OLED55G1

As we can see in the greyscale results Filmmaker Mode (FMM) is accurate out of the box with no visible errors as our DeltaE errors are all under the visible threshold of three. Gamma is also excellent with no visible issues present. Overall, FMM remains accurate out of the box.

LG OLED55G1

Moving to the Rec.709 HD colour gamut, results are good with only a few small issues with saturation or hue. 100% red is slightly oversaturated but slightly under at 75% saturation and below. Overall, our DeltaE error averages 0.5 and is well below the visible threshold of three which means there are no visible errors at all out of the box. FMM continues to impress with its accuracy.

Calibrated

With such accuracy out of the box in the Filmmaker Mode, the process of calibration is more about tidying up the graphs than improving the actual image quality visible onscreen.

We manually calibrated the 55-inch G1, but there is access to Calman AutoCal if you want to take that route.

LG OLED55G1

As you can see in the greyscale graph above, the calibrated results are reference quality and not that much more improved on the FMM results, which were already excellent out of the box. DeltaE errors are invisible to the eye, with nothing out of the ordinary when viewing actual TV and film content. Gamma is also tracking as desired with no signs of any black crush being introduced.

LG OLED55G1

Moving to the Rec.709 colour gamut results and once again the results are almost perfect with no major issues with the saturation or hue. The DeltaE errors were 0.4 which is well below the visible threshold and as such there are no issues with content onscreen. The LG 55G1 is very accurate following calibration, but it is also incredibly accurate out of the box in Filmmaker Mode.

HDR Results

One of the major new advances with the LG G1 is the OLED Evo panel which promises at least a 20% improvement in overall brightness performance. This is not just with peak highlights, but also with full-screen brightness with a relaxed ABL (Automatic Brightness Limiter). This should benefit scenes where there is a lot of white or bright light, such as snow-covered vistas, where the panel will not automatically dim as traditional OLED screens do. So how well does the 55-inch Evo panel perform?

LG OLED55G1

We used the most accurate out of the box Filmmaker Mode mode and measured peak brightness at 755 nits on an industry-standard 10% window and full-screen brightness of 154 nits. This is what we expected from the Evo panel at this screen size and it hits the peaks we thought it would, especially with a full 100% white window size, which is a big improvement over a normal OLED panel with standard ABL and image processing.

LG OLED55G1

Looking at the PQ EOTF we can see that it tracks the ST.2084 standard very well until it rolls off and clips at around 755 nits, which is the peak brightness in Filmmaker Mode. This is the same for 1000 and 4000 nit content and is a very good result.

LG OLED55G1

Colour gamut performance to DCI-P3 within BT.2020 is also very good with saturation tracking that is very close to where it should be. Red is slightly oversaturated, but all other points are very close to accurate and the gamut is almost 100% wide.

LG OLED55G1

We measured BT.2020 at 72% XY and 77% UV with P3 coming in at 98% XY and 99% UV.

LG OLED55G1

Best Picture Settings

Performance

We are reviewing the 55-inch version of the LG G1, but the general performance should be the same for the other screen sizes.

Filmmaker mode continues to impress with its out of the box accuracy for SDR and HDR content. It’s a setting once preset that puts the G1 in the correct Rec.709 colour, D65 white and BT1886 gamma modes for SDR with all unnecessary processing, motion smoothing and noise reduction settings switched off and the correct aspect ratio is also applied. It also does the same for HDR putting the TV in D65 white, BT.2020 colour and ST.2084 PQ for HDR10. You can then adjust the brightness to suit your environment with the OLED Pixel Brightness control.

There is no HDR10+ but every other HDR format is supported including Dolby Vision IQ when you select Dolby Vision Cinema Home. DV IQ uses the light sensor in the TV to match the screen brightness with the room conditions while attempting to maintain the director’s intent. It does this using the dynamic metadata and the light sensor. When in DV Cinema Home there is some processing switched on by default that you may want to switch off, such as Noise Reduction, MPEG Noise Reduction, Super Resolution, High Sharpness and TruMotion is on Cinematic Movement. Unlike 2020 where all of these were greyed out, only TruMotion remains greyed out on this 2021 model, you can switch off the other processing in the menu easily. To adjust TruMotion, you need to go to the AI Menu and switch off AI Genre. Once done, you can now go back to TruMotion and switch it off in DV IQ mode. While DV IQ is impressive and can help in very bright rooms, to get the most accurate results with Dolby Vision you should select Cinema which has unwanted processing switched off and targets D65 white for complete accuracy with no light sensor in use.

... DV IQ is impressive and can help in very bright rooms

As with the 65-inch version we reviewed, the panel uniformity on this 55-inch was good with all brightness levels looking clean with no major issues with dirty screen effect, vignetting or banding. Just above black 5% was good with just some light banding seen with the test slide, but not seen with actual dark viewing material in a dark room. We also didn’t notice any major issues of panel tint, with perhaps only just a slight tint visible at extreme viewing angles, but nothing that is a deal-breaker in any way.

Moving to the video processing provided by the α9 Gen4 AI-enhanced processor and just like the 65-inch, we found upscaling to be superb with no issues seen at all from 576i, 1080i and 1080p content to the panel resolution. We didn’t notice any edge enhancement, ringing or artefacts present.

Motion is also good with correct 5:5 pulldown with TruMotion switched off with no induced judder and motion blur is present within the content and displayed correctly. You can also use the 120Hz Black Frame Insertion (BFI) which has four settings: Low which applies a 70% duty cycle; Medium which applies 50%; High which applies 50% plus black frame insertion; and Auto which automatically applies an optimised duty cycle based on real-time content analysis. We found Low and Medium worked well without any noticeable flicker, but we also noted that there was also no apparent improvement in motion resolution. It’s best to use this with De-Judder and De-Blur at the zero (off) position but be aware that it is only really suitable for SDR content due to the drop in brightness.

Cinematic Movement is a new name for 2020’s Cinema Clear and this setting aims to create a judder-free image by prioritising as many real frames as possible and blending these with created frames to improve the motion smoothness without introducing Soap Opera Effect (SOE). Used with broadcast content and other video sources it appears to work as intended and is smooth without looking too processed, but if like me, you are sensitive to frame interpolation you will still notice mild SOE, especially with 24fps content.

... exceptional SDR and HDR picture performance, helped by the improved peak highlights available thanks to the Evo panel

With TruMotion switched off we also didn’t notice any frame skipping issues present with 50Hz broadcast material, even those programmes with fast-moving cuts looked smooth with no obvious issues.

Just above black performance and floating blacks are not an issue with the G1 and I didn’t see any issues of black crush when correctly set up. Fade to and from black were also handled without issue as they were with the 65-inch, with the opening fade from black in our favourite 4K test discs, The Revenant and John Wick Chapter 3, displaying perfectly with no issues.

Once again, just like the 65-inch version, this 55-inch LG G1 is a great TV for modern gaming with features that will be useful to many end-users including VRR (Variable Refresh Rate), ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode) and an HGiG (HDR Gaming Interest Group) setting under the Dynamic Tone Mapping sub-menu in the Game Optimiser mode. Plus there is support for G-Sync validated by NVIDIA and on top of that, there is support for AMD’s FreeSync VRR. The new Game Optimiser settings and menus allow direct access to the best settings for your gaming experience giving you choices for Game Genre, Black Stabiliser, White Stabiliser, Fine Tune Dark Area, VRR and G-Sync as well as settings to reduce input lag further using the Prevent Input Delay setting.

We found the image quality on the 55-inch G1 was almost identical in every way to the previously reviewed 65-inch model, with exceptional SDR and HDR picture performance, helped by the improved peak highlights available thanks to the Evo panel. I go into this in more detail within the 65-inch review which you can read here.

Other features, such as the smart TV system and new menus are identical to the 65-inch version with excellent speed and flexibility when using the various apps. The new menu design is also welcome and easy to use.

Conclusion

LG G1 (OLED55G1) 4K OLED TV Review

The G1 is an excellent OLED TV with a superb design and the updated OLED Evo panel brightness adds to HDR picture performance along with a new UI and WebOS design.

The 55-inch version of the G1 is identical to the 65-inch we reviewed in detail back in April and as the new models have now been announced in Vegas at CES 2022, is it worth picking up the G1 over the new G2?

The G1 has many great features onboard with plenty on offer for gamers with the Game Optimiser menu and picture settings. There’re also four HDMI 2.1 (40Gbps) ports supporting VRR (Variable Refresh Rate), ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode) and an HGiG (HDR Gaming Interest Group) setting. There is also G-Sync and AMD support which makes the G1 one of the most advanced gaming sets of 2021.

Just like the 65-inch version, SDR and HDR images look incredibly accurate out of the box with superb blacks and excellent just above black shadow detailing. Fade to and from black are also superb with no signs of floating blacks or flashing. Colour reproduction is excellent with superb skin tones that look life-like and there’s a cinematic flair to both SDR and HDR10 images. Dolby Vision also looks incredibly good and highlights just what a great TV the G1 is.

The G1 comes highly recommended and is worthy of a place on your demo list if you’re happy it offers everything you need and you’re not tempted with the 2022 G2 model, which will cost significantly more on launch and won’t be available for a few months yet. The choice, as they say, is yours…

Highly Recommended

Scores

Contrast/Dynamic Range/Black Level

10

Screen Uniformity

.
9

Colour Accuracy

.
9

Greyscale Accuracy

10

Video Processing

.
9

Picture Quality

.
9

SDR Picture Quality

.
9

HDR Picture Quality

.
9

Picture Quality Out-of-the-Box

10

Picture Quality Calibrated

10

Sound Quality

.
.
.
7

Smart Features

.
9

Build Quality

10

Ease of Use

100

Value for Money

.
9

Verdict

.
9

Click here

The games console used in this review was kindly supplied by our gaming partner Smyths Toys Gaming, the No.1 choice for next-gen Gaming


9
AVForumsSCORE
OUT OF
10

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