LG G2 (OLED65G2) OLED Evo Review
- Filmmaker Mode accuracy out of the box
- Reference level calibrated image
- Stunning HDR10/HLG performance
- Excellent Dolby Vision image quality
- Superb dynamic range performance
- Excellent video processing from the Alpha 9 Gen 5 processor
- Excellent motion
- Very good build quality and design
- WebOS 22
- Very good sound quality
The Not So Good
- No HDR10+ support
- No DTS support
- Delayed ABL switching is seen with limited content
- Pink tint seen to panel edge when off-axis
What is the LG G2?
The LG G2 is the company’s latest gallery series OLED Evo TV with an updated design and newly developed Evo panel with new materials and heat dissipation technology.
The α9 Gen 5 AI Processor has been updated this year with new algorithms to further enhance the image brightness, not just with the peaks but throughout the image including just above black and shadow detail retrieval. There is also the Brightness Booster Pro technology within the G2 which is a step up on the Brightness Booster available on the 55-inch and larger LG C2 models. This adds a claimed 30% extra brightness to images including full-screen white.
The new processor also adds a new level of Dynamic Tone Mapping Pro which this year assesses over 5000 areas of the image to determine how to apply the tone map to content. This is not accurate to the creator's intent and showing the content as intended, but it is effective and will win many fans.
The LG G2 range includes 55-, 65-, 77-, 83- and 97-inch screen sizes, which should provide a screen big enough for any use case and the larger sizes will prove to be popular with those building a 21st-century media room. We are reviewing the 65-inch model here, but the performance should be similar across all the various screen sizes.
The G2 supports all relevant HDR formats including HDR10, HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma), Dolby Vision and Dolby Vision IQ with the new Precision Detail technology from the processor. There is no support for HDR10+, but as content is thin on the ground, you are perfectly well covered by the G2 for HDR material.
Gaming wise the LG G2 continues the excellent all-in approach of recent years with support for almost all gaming formats and technologies. There are four full-fat HDMI 2.1 48Gbps inputs supporting 4K 120p along with ALLM (Automatic Low Latency Mode) and VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) including Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync support. Input Lag measures in at just 12.9ms with 4K/60 and 9.2ms when using the Input Delay Boost option which can be found in the excellent Game Optimiser menu bars. Overall, the gaming performance of the LG G2 is class-leading for OLED panels, with even better HDR performance for 2022.
The LG G2 is a step up on the G1 in a number of ways
The smart TV system is the now-familiar WebOS and from this year onwards the version running on the TVs will feature the year of release, so on the G2, this is WebOS 22. It is almost identical to last year with a full-screen home page and various tile layers for video-on-demand services and apps. It is slick and powerful and everything works as you would expect it to, with minimal fuss. Image quality via the apps is also excellent with full menu controls available for image settings.
So, the burning question has to be whether the new OLED Evo panel is enough to give the LG G2 a meaningful step forward for WRGB OLED technology and how does it compare with the competition? Let’s find out!
Editor’s Note: This review will be continually updated throughout the year as we do further testing, benchmarking and comparisons with competing TVs. Do remember to keep checking back to see how well the LG G2 continues to perform.
LG G2: Design, Connections and Control
The LG G2 is a gallery series TV and is designed to be wall-mounted. It comes with the recessed wall mount that attaches to the top rear of the panel and there is cable management built into the rear of the panel that moves cables from the source inputs to the bottom of the panel. They can then be routed down the wall or inside the rear of the optional stand.
The optional stand is a new design for this year and is now centrally mounted with a four-degree lean back. The stand can also swivel from side to side. Some may be put off by the slight lean back on the stand, but after watching the TV from my usual viewing chair, I was unaware of the lean after a few minutes of viewing, it’s not an issue in my opinion.
The overall design of the G2 is good with excellent build quality and as it uses new composite fibre materials in its construction, it also weighs much less than last year’s G1 model.
A closer look at the design
The connections are around the back with a mix of sideways and downwards facing options. To the side, we have a CI slot, a USB and two HDMI 2.1 inputs with eARC compatibility on HDMI 2. Downwards facing we have a further two USB ports and two HDMI 2.1 inputs, with a LAN, Digital Audio Out, RF and Satellite Antennas and an IR blaster input. All four HDMI 2.1 ports are full-fat 48Gbps and we double-checked this with the excellent Murideo Seven Generator - confirming they are as described. There is excellent cable management from all the sources to the bottom centre of the panel, so you can hide all of the cables for a neat installation. There are also covers available for table mounting the TV with the new stand.
... after watching the TV from my usual viewing chair, I was unaware of the lean after a few minutes of viewing
The black plastic magic remote provided with the LG G2 is certainly functional and it sits neatly in the hand, but the lack of a backlight and the fact it is black plastic doesn’t quite fit with the design ethos of the Gallery Series G2. It all feels a little cheap after the excellent work in designing such an excellent looking TV, so we would encourage LG to look at providing a slightly better designed remote for its high-end gallery series in future.
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 one closest to the industry standards so we can view the content as it was mastered and intended to be seen. With the LG G2, that preset was Filmmaker Mode which tracks D65 white, Rec.709 for HD and Gamma BT.1886 for SDR and ST.2084 PQ EOTF, D65 White and DCI-P3 for HDR10. You could also use the two ISF Expert Modes, but remember that only Filmmaker Mode switches off all unwanted processing. You will need to manually switch off items in the ISF modes.
As we have grown accustomed to with LG OLED TVs of recent times, the Filmmaker Mode is incredibly accurate out of the box for SDR. Greyscale tracking is excellent with gamma also tracking as it should. As such, DeltaE errors are well under the visible threshold of three, meaning that we see no issues with colour tints in any of the greyscale, or with actual viewing material.
The same is also true for the colour gamut for Rec.709 with just a few small errors seen on the graph with some slight oversaturation of red and a couple of hue points that don’t quite line up for green, but overall, none of these produce any issues with actual viewing content.
The LG G2 has a full suite of calibration controls available within the menu system as well as being able to use the Calman AutoCal system. We did a full manual calibration in the ISF Expert Dark mode.
Absolute reference level is the best way to describe the calibrated greyscale results on the LG G2, but we were not expecting anything less from the brand, who know what they are doing here. Our DeltaE errors average is just 0.5 which is well below the visible threshold. We have perfect results here.
And apart from a 100% red oversaturation and a slight hue error on 100% green, the Rec.709 colour gamut results are also top drawer with no visible issues seen within actual onscreen viewing. Again our DeltaE errors are averaging 0.5, and we have yet again managed to get excellent results from the manual calibration.
As we always do with the HDR testing we measured various window sizes and the peak brightness available from the LG G2. Obviously, this is one area where readers like to take notes and compare, but I will point out that there is far more to a good HDR image than just the peak brightness. Our eyes are no good at picking up differences between peak brightness levels, so to your eye, you will not perceive a difference between 800 nits and 900 nits in isolation. There will be variance in the figures posted by different reviews, but just remember that a difference of 900 nits to 980 nits, for an example, is just not going to be visible on its own, so don’t get fixated on these results, you need the full picture of what is going on, (pun intended).
We measured the LG G2 at 911.7 nits on the industry-standard 10% window with a full-screen brightness of 163 nits which is an excellent step up from last year’s G1 results (714 nits on a 10% window). As we say though, it is not all about the peak brightness on a test pattern and there are more factors to an HDR image to take into account.
Absolute reference level is the best way to describe the calibrated greyscale results on the LG G2
With HDR, dynamic range matters, but so does the just above black and mid-tone levels within the image as these are where our eyes will notice changes, and it is what gives an HDR image that depth and realism. The G2 offers a superb HDR performance as a result of much improved just above black performance that is clean from flashing or gradational artefacts.
Tone mapping to the ST.2084 PQ EOTF standard is also superb with slightly different maps for the mastering difference between 1000 nit and 4000 and above. With 1000 nits mastered content the tracking is superb to the standard up to the peak brightness limit where the set hard clips.
With 4000 nits content, it is similar but with a more gentle roll-off where it tries to retain as much peak highlight detail as possible before hard clipping. Greyscale and D65 white balance performance is also excellent with both tone maps. Switching on the Dynamic Tone Mapping Pro brings out more mapping of detail, but it also adds to the brightness of the overall image, especially in the shadows and mid-tones which takes away some of the image depth that is intended to be there, and it also moves away from the creative intent of the content. Using this will be a personal choice on your part.
Colour gamut coverage to DCI-P3 within BT.2020 is also excellent with superb saturation tracking. The points are there or thereabouts which is very good in comparison to some of the competition. We didn’t notice any major issues with saturation tracking at all playing HDR10, HLG or Dolby Vision content. The only issue we noted with the G2 was a slight washout with colours at very high brightness levels, but this is something that will not be noticed by all viewers and is more noticeable in comparison, than in isolation.
We measured BT.2020 coverage at 73% XY and 78% UV with P3 coverage coming in at 97% XY and 99% UV.
We are reviewing the 65-inch model of the LG G2 in this review, but the picture performance should be similar between the different screen sizes thanks to the Evo panel and α9 Gen 5 AI processor.
Panel uniformity is very good with no obvious banding on a 5% black slide and panel looks clear of DSE (Dirty Screen Effect) and banding at 50% and 100%. One thing that may be noticeable to some viewers is a slight pink or magenta tint to the edges of the panel and when off-axis this is even more noticeable. It is not something that jumps out at you when watching normal content, but if you are sat to one side and the scene within a film has a snowy landscape or similar, you may notice the tint to the sides of the panel. I personally didn’t see this when watching normal content from in front of the set and I didn’t find it distracting at all, however, your mileage may vary.
There are signs of watered down colours in the absolute peak brightness levels
Video processing is excellent with the new α9 Gen 5 AI processor managing to upscale SD and HD images without any real issues to the native resolution of the panel. This is a big improvement this year for LG with upscaled images looking clean and sharp with no obvious artefacts and interlaced signals are clear of jaggies. SD content does look a little soft as you would expect, but HD sources are incredibly clean with no obvious ringing to edges or artefacts. Lines are crisp and detailed with excellent detail retrieval seen within the image.
Motion is also superb and another step up this year for LG featuring good 5:5 pulldown on 24fps Blu-ray and 4K content with no induced judder noticeable and no issues with excessive motion blur. Broadcast also looks impressive with no obvious dropped frames or skipping when fast cutting and all of this is with TruMotion switched off. When using the frame interpolation there are varying levels applied, with Cinematic Movement the least obvious for most users, taking away the sample and hold effect of the OLED panel response time and prioritising normal frames over those that are created. If you are sensitive to interpolation, as I am, you will still see some mild Soap Opera Effect (SOE). Adding in more processing by moving to the Smooth Movement or Natural settings you will add in more noticeable SOE, but a big improvement this year is the suppression of false edges and artefacts introduced by the interpolation. There are still issues with fast moving content but, overall, it is another step up thanks to the new α9 Gen 5 processor.
Overall, the gaming performance of the LG G2 is class-leading for OLED panels
Out of the box in Filmmaker Mode, SDR content looks superb on the G2 with excellent image accuracy. Colours look natural and skin tones are lifelike as a result. Film content looks cinematic and detailed with superb image depth and solid blacks. Shadow detail retrieval is also superb, even with streamed HD content, with no obvious signs of blockiness or flashing in the darkest reaches of the image. Fade from and to black is also excellent for an OLED TV with no jumps in brightness as the G2 comes out of black. It does take a small step forward when compared to last year’s G1 model with a slightly better SDR image in most respects, but this would only be noticeable in comparison. There is very little in it between out of the box and Calibrated images with SDR content.
HDR content is where the G2 really adds some distance between last year’s G1 model with a noticeable brightness boost with most HDR content, which is not necessarily all about peak brightness. The extra dynamic range available has other subtle effects that make HDR10 and HLG images pop - with excellent mid-level brightness and detail retrieval added to more detail within the darker reaches of the image which in turn makes images appear more natural, detailed and with added depth. Using the absolute contrast available from an emissive display and adding that brightness boost pro technology along with the new algorithm from the α9 Gen 5 processor gives the G2 some of the best HDR images LG has ever produced on an OLED TV.
This is a big improvement this year for LG with upscaled images looking clean and sharp
Dolby Vision and Dolby Vision IQ playback is also excellent with incredibly impactful dynamic images with superb colour accuracy and depth. There are signs of watered down colours in the absolute peak brightness levels, but these are only really noticeable in comparisons. The relaxed ABL (Automatic Brightness Limiter) works really well as allowing the G2 is express its extra brightness capabilities between various light levels and scenes. We did notice some brightness lag when moving from a very bright scene to darker frames, but this was only noticeable with the Spears & Munsil test footage we use and we didn’t pick up on it with any HDR film or sports content we watched, again, this is not a deal breaker and most viewers will never notice it, but LG may want to address this with an update in future.
The G2 relies on built-in speakers and while you are restricted with the amount of air it is possible to move with such small enclosures on a TV chassis, I did find the G2 to be impressive for every day TV viewing and the occasional film. I watched The Adam Project on Netflix in Dolby Vision and Atmos and the experience was satisfying enough that I was swept up in what was going on within the movie. Yes, I could have had a subwoofer to add more bass weight and actual speakers positioned around the room, running off a dedicated AVR, but to be honest, the G2 managed to convey the action on screen and the story.
... the experience was satisfying enough that I was swept up in what was going on within the movie
A decent soundbar or high end separates system will always trounce the sound quality from small, underpowered TV drive units, but the audio processing from the α9 Gen 5 processor really does lift the G2 above your average TV sound system and makes occasional movie and TV viewing a pleasure with clear dialogue and effects.
LG G2 (OLED65G2) OLED Evo Review
The LG G2 is a step up on the G1 in a number of ways with improved video processing thanks to the new α9 Gen 5 processor while the newly developed Evo panel with brightness boost pro technology adds improved heat dissipation technology similar to that used by Panasonic and Sony in the A90J and JZ1500/2000 from last year. Meanwhile, the new video processing results in better upscaling and motion performance, bringing the G2 in line with brands like Sony and its XR processing. This results in improved image performance for both SDR and HDR with the peak brightness gains being well used to add more depth and realism to the image quality.
The G2 will compete with the Sony A95K and Samsung S95B QD OLED TVs, and of course, the Panasonic and Philips flagships when they arrive later in the year. We won’t know just how well the G2 ultimately stacks up until we do some real in-depth comparison testing, which we will do in the coming weeks and months, but as things stand, the G2 is the best OLED TV yet from LG and it comes Highly Recommended. But, will it be the AVForums' TV of 2022? Stay tuned to find out…
Note: This review will be updated throughout 2022 as we continue to test and compare with competing models.
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
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