What is the LG G1?
The LG G1 is a direct replacement for last year’s GX model and adds in a few new features for 2021 including a new ‘Evo’ OLED panel promising better peak brightness performance. The G1 is available in screen sizes from 55-inch (OLED55G16LA), 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.
The G in the model name stands for ‘Gallery Series’ and, just like the GX, the G1 is designed to be wall-mounted and comes with a wall bracket in the box that is designed to make the panel flush with your wall. Unlike normal OLED TV chassis designs that have a very thin top section that then opens up to a much larger bottom where the speakers and electronics are situated, 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. The design is identical to the GX from last year.
While in previous years the C and G TVs have used with same panels with just cosmetic differences to separate them in the LG line-up, this year the G1 has a different OLED panel from the C1 model, making sure there is 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. We will of course be testing and measuring to see if this translates to improved performance.
The 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, but most users probably won’t miss it given the small amount of content that uses the format.
Gamers will also be very happy with the line-up of features on the LG G1 including 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. 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.
The new screen layout is neat, but . . . the top third of the screen is now wasted
New for all 2021 LG models is WebOS 6.0 and a new design for the User Interface and menus. If you own a recent LG TV, you will be used to the launcher bar along the bottom of the screen that allowed direct access to your favourite apps and features and the ability to move these around. Well, for the 6.0 update the launcher bar disappears and the whole screen is now filled with layers of content based on type, which you can scroll through. LG states that if you are hitting the home button on the remote you are no longer interested in what you are watching and are looking for something new. I don’t necessarily agree with this and often found it useful to have the launcher bar there so you could browse what was on offer, while still watching what was happening onscreen with your current viewing choice. But, I guess that’s not progress. The new screen layout is neat, but I can’t help thinking that the top third of the screen is now wasted with three large boxes with nothing exciting or useful featured, plus one will be an advert. As you scroll down you have apps listed horizontally, recommendations from Apple TV+, Disney+ and more, as well as inputs and frequently viewed TV channels. There is also a new remote control to help navigate all these changes.
So, with a new OLED Evo panel and a price point that is significantly less expensive than last year’s GX on release, is the G1 a big step up for movie and HDR viewing thanks to the extra brightness on offer? And is it worth the upgrade for those who already have LG's CX or GX? Let’s find out.
Design, Connections and Control
The G1 design is identical to the GX from last year 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. 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 dissipation. The Gallery design on the G1 keeps the panel width consistent over the entire surface, providing a flat back thereby 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. Looking at the stand feet, first of all, you will need to purchase these separately from LG for around £100 at the time of this review in April 2021. You will also need a wide enough tabletop surface as the feet fix at each end of the panel, meaning the 65-inch we are reviewing here needs at least 57-inches of width. The stand feet also have cable management channels down the middle of each foot that can be covered by a plastic cover hiding the cables. Unfortunately, the feet are so thin that you will only be able to fit one or two cables at most in each foot. The feet also raise the panel high enough to fit a modern soundbar underneath the screen.
With such a thin design . . . , 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
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. 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, à 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 G1 are on the rear of the panel within a recess area to allow cable management and the majority face downwards. 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 and all four ports are 40Gbps which are 10-bit 4K/120Hz with RGB 4:4:4 chroma sampling, which is more than enough for a 10-bit 4K panel like 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 physical connections, you have Apple AirPlay 2, Bluetooth and dual-band Wi-Fi built-in.
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. 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 is 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.
Out of the Box
As we do with all TV reviews, we factory reset and then measure 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 G1 that preset is Filmmaker Mode (FMM). The ISF and Cinema presets are also very close but have some processing switched on by 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.
As we can see in the greyscale results Filmmaker Mode (FMM) is yet again incredibly accurate out of the box with no visible errors as our DeltaE results are all under the visible threshold of three and by some margin. Only the gamma results are slightly off with darkening at 10% and 90% stimulus, but again, this is not really visible with most content viewed. Once again, FMM impresses us with the accuracy out of the box.
Moving to the Rec.709 HD colour gamut results, and again we are left impressed with the results as there are only a few small issues with saturation or hue. 100% red is slightly oversaturated with green and yellow very slightly off hue on the graph but, with actual content, these errors are not seen at all. Overall, our DeltaE error averages 0.7, so is well below the visible threshold of three, as witnessed in our testing. Overall Filmmaker Mode is a triumph of out of the box accuracy.
With such accuracy out of the box in the Filmmaker Mode, the process of calibration is more about tidying the graphs than improving the actual image quality visible onscreen. The LG G1 has all the calibration controls you will need to dial in the image perfectly, with some of the settings featuring new menu layouts and some nice new additions for fine-tuning items like the gamma following a 2- or 10-point or 22-point greyscale correction and the full HSL (Hue, Saturation Luminance) Colour Management System (CMS). As always, you will need a good quality meter and calibration software to adjust these settings which are impossible to set by eye. Once again, Calman AutoCal is also available but we are waiting for 2021 models to be added to the software at this time.
As you can see in the graph the greyscale tracking is now perfect and our DeltaE errors are well under 0.4 which is of course well below the visible threshold of three, which means that no errors are visible at all when viewing film and TV content on the LG G1. The gamma is also now tracking as it should with no issues at all.
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. We still have a slight oversaturation of red, but this is as much as we would want to add in terms of correction as too much can start to cause issues with the image processing and adding in artefacts. Overall, 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 G1 after calibration is very accurate, but it is also incredibly accurate out of the box in Filmmaker Mode.
One of the major new advances with the LG G1 is the OLED Evo panel it uses over last year’s GX and the promise of 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 scenes, where the panel will not automatically dim as traditional OLED screens do. This has always been the benefit of an LED LCD screen which can retain that brightness without needing to limit the light output. The expectations for the OLED Evo panel have been high with AV enthusiasts talking non-stop about the possible benefits on AVForums. So how well does the new panel perform?
. . . we were expecting a higher peak brightness result at 10% window size as well, so that was a little disappointing
Obviously, peak brightness is just one part of what makes an HDR image and other factors have an impact on performance too, but we measured the LG G1 in a number of picture presets (some inaccurate as well as accurate) to see how this new panel performed.
First of all, we used the most accurate out of the box Filmmaker Mode mode and measured peak brightness at 687 nits on an industry-standard 10% window and full-screen brightness of 152 nits. Last year's GX measured 660 nits on a 10% window and 129 nits full screen in the most accurate D65 mode. So in terms of the full-screen brightness, the Evo panel is around 20% brighter than the GX, which is what LG suggested. Obviously, we were expecting a higher peak brightness result at 10% window size as well, so that was a little disappointing. We also measured HDR Cinema mode and the 10% window was 741 nits and 100% was 152 nits, which is probably the best accurate preset for HDR if you want more peak brightness. In the overly blue and inaccurate HDR Standard Mode, we measured 745 nits at 10% and 162 Nits at 100%. Strangely, HDR Vivid mode managed no better in this regard. So the 20% increase over the GX is there for full-screen peak brightness, which is the major weak point for OLED when it comes to HDR, and therefore it warrants the Evolution name tag, but it hasn’t produced any major revolutionary results for peak brightness.
Update 23/04/21: LG UK has informed us that they have fixed the issue with FMM being dimmer than the Cinema Mode for peak brightness. Both presets now measure the same with FMM now matching the Cinema Mode peak brightness. This update will be applied in the next Firmware update for the G1 model.
Another major part of an HDR image is the PQ EOTF tracking to ST.2084 and the tone mapping employed. Looking at the PQ EOTF, we can see that it does track the standard very well until it rolls off and clips at around 690 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.
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 within the saturation tracing results, but most other points are very close to accurate and the gamut is almost 100% wide.
We measured BT.2020 at 73% XY and 79% UV with P3 coming in at 98% XY and 99% UV.
Best Picture Settings
We are reviewing the 65-inch version of the LG G1, but the general performance should be the same for the other screen sizes.
The G1 is a direct replacement for the GX with an identical design as well as a few new features, including the Evo OLED panel. I lived with the GX model for around 6 months and my initial assessment of the G1 was that the image quality was almost identical for every day viewing. Only with HDR content did I notice some slight improvements with peak highlights and full-screen brightness with various HDR films in HDR10 and Dolby Vision. There are differences but if you already own a CX or GX OLED I doubt the update would really be worth the extra outlay at this moment in time. It’s incremental improvements that are evolution rather than revolution, which might be disappointing to hear for some enthusiasts. That’s not to say that the G1 is not a cracking TV, far from it. The GX was a stunner and the G1 is just as good with some slight upgrades to HDR images that are visible.
Filmmaker mode continues to impress with its out of the box accuracy for SDR and HDR content. It’s a set 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 with the correct aspect ratio 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. I did a few hours of testing and viewing on the G1 in the Filmmaker Mode before calibration.
Filmmaker Mode continues to impress and there have been some changes to make Dolby Vision IQ easier to use for those looking for accuracy . . .
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 last year, where all of these were greyed out, only TruMotion remains greyed out this year, 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.
Panel uniformity was good with all brightness levels looking clean with no major issues with dirty screen effect, vignetting or banding. I did note some slight colour shift with blue edges to most white brightness points and a slightly yellow centre. Just above black 5% was reasonable with a slightly brighter left side and a darker right with some lightly visible bands seen on the test patterns. However, none of these issues were visible with normal TV and film viewing, even in a dark room.
Moving to the video processing provided by the α9 Gen4 AI-enhanced processor and 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.
Just above black performance and floating blacks had been an issue with some content in Dolby Vision and HDR10 on the GX, . . . we saw no such issues at all with the G1.
Cinematic Movement is a new name for last year’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. 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. Using the Natural and Smooth settings makes images look much smoother, with SOE visible and edges that are prone to break up with fast-moving content and are best avoided if you’re looking for image accuracy.
Just above black performance and floating blacks had been an issue with some content in Dolby Vision and HDR10 on the GX, but I am happy to report that we saw no such issues at all with the G1. Even the torture test clip from Stranger Things with Eleven in the darkness of the Upside-Down was displayed with no flashing or floating blacks. End credit scenes well known for this were also checked and displayed no issues at all. Fade to and from black was also handled without issue, with the opening fade from black in The Revenant and John Wick: Chapter 3 displaying perfectly with no issues.
Of course, the 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 & G-Sync as well as settings to reduce input lag further using the Prevent Input Delay setting. We measured the input lag at 12.5ms in 4K/60 and this was reduced to 9.5ms using the Prevent Input Delay setting (make sure you have Just Scan on in the aspect ratio menu).
The LG G1 is an exceptionally good OLED TV with a stunning design
Whether you are watching SDR or HDR content, the LG G1 offers superb, accurate image quality that brings film and TV to life with excellent cinematic images. Black levels are superb with just above black detail looking exceptional. Fade to black and fade from black are also now solid with the G1 and a real step up on last year’s black performance. We no longer have any issues with floating blacks or flashing. Colours are also strong with life-like skin tones and superb natural-looking colour balance in SDR and HDR. Dolby Vision also looks superb with no issues seen at all with streaming or disc content and, for the best performance, we would recommend the Dolby Vision Cinema setting out of the box.
So what about the 20% extra brightness, does that make any majorly noticeable differences compared to the GX I spent so much time with recently?
Overall, the G1 performance is a match for the GX in many areas, especially with everyday SDR broadcast TV image quality. I didn’t notice any major changes in brightness or colour reproduction. There are instances where the extra full-screen brightness in HDR is noticeable, with scenes like those in the completely white hold program in The Matrix looking a tad brighter than you would expect with an OLED, and the relaxed ABL certainly helps here. You also notice this with scenes involving lots of bright white content, such as snow covered landscapes in The Revenant. While I wasn’t able to do a side by side with the G1 and GX, I was able to discern some subtle peak brightness details I hadn’t seen within test footage from Spears and Munsil that I know like the back of my hand, but I can’t say I noticed the same with other well used HDR demo material. It would be fair to say that the G1 is an evolution of the GX, but the differences are not night and day.
Another big change for the G1 and all 2021 LG TVs is the introduction of WebOS 6.0 and it’s a UI you are either going to love or hate. Instead of using a launcher bar along the bottom of the screen, when you press the home button, the new update opens up a full page view so you can no longer view what you were watching on screen. LG explains that if you are pushing the home button you are clearly looking to stop watching what you had on-screen and you’re looking for something new. I personally find the new full-page system to be annoying as I liked the old launcher bar and I thought it worked nicely where you could continue to view while looking for something else or opening an app. However, if you have never used WebOS you will probably have no issues at all.
Whether you are watching SDR or HDR content, the LG G1 offers superb, accurate image quality that brings film and TV to life . . .
The layout of the new full home page is also annoying with three large blocks at the top which do nothing of any importance at all. Next, you have a horizontal list of Trending Now features highlighting TV series and films available via the various apps loaded on the TV. Under these, you have your horizontal app list where you can highlight and choose to launch an app from a large choice from Apple TV+, Disney+, NOW, Prime Video, Netflix, YouTube, BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4 and more. The next layer of tiles is the Home Dashboard with connections you have access to, including AirPlay and then there are a series of further layers highlighting available content in other applications.
The menu system has also been updated for 2021 with a new design and layout which will take some getting used to for those familiar with LG TVs. All of the most used settings are easy to find and the system is intuitive to use and it works well with the magic remote pointer.
- 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 HDR 10+
- No DTS audio support
LG G1 (OLED65G1) OLED Evo TV Review
The G1 is an excellent OLED TV with a superb design and it is a direct replacement for the GX model. It is almost identical to the GX in terms of design and performance, with just a slight update on the OLED Evo panel brightness and a new UI and WebOS design. Otherwise, performance is almost identical with the GX with everyday broadcast TV picture quality, with a slight uptick with HDR and Dolby Vision thanks to 20% more brightness from the Evo panel. This small brightness upgrade will probably come as a disappointment to some enthusiasts after the hype of CES around the Evo panel, but it does live up to the claimed 20% improvement for full-screen brightness with a slight improvement in peak highlight detail. While not a massive upgrade, it is welcome to see some improvements with OLED panels.
Filmmaker Mode continues to impress and there have been some changes to make Dolby Vision IQ easier to use for those looking for accuracy with no image processing introduced. The new menu system also offers a better layout for picture controls and some new calibration options. Calman AutoCal is also available for those looking at either a paid calibration or learning themselves, but for those who just want accuracy, Filmmaker Mode and Dolby Vision Cinema provide that for SDR and HDR content.
Gamers will also find the new Game Optimiser menu and picture settings a nice upgrade with 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. The input lag is also impressive at 12.5ms 4K/60p and 9.5ms with the Prevent Input Delay setting.
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 is 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.
Is it a major revolution in OLED technology? No. But the G1 is a steady evolution of LG’s OLED screens and with the small improvements added, the performance is also a step up with some HDR content, especially 100% field brightness with a relaxed ABL circuit allowing a more dynamic performance with HDR.
Overall, the G1 is essentially the same as the GX with some small incremental improvements and would be a good choice for those looking for a superbly designed gaming TV with very good HDR and SDR movie performance plus an uptick in full-field brightness and some improvements in peak highlight details and brightness. The G1 is also £500 less than the GX at launch and comes highly recommended.
Contrast/Dynamic Range/Black Level
SDR Picture Quality
HDR Picture Quality
Picture Quality Out-of-the-Box
Picture Quality Calibrated
Ease of Use
Value for Money
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