LG GX (OLED65GX) 4K OLED TV Review

A miracle of industrial design

SRP: £3,500.00

What is the LG GX?

The LG GX is the latest high-end OLED 4K TV from the manufacturer, and uses an ultra-slim gallery design that's intended to be fitted flush against the wall with a dedicated bracket. The G Series took a break last year, but returns this year in place of the now defunct E Series.

As with previous generations of LG OLEDs, the C Series and above all have the same panel, processing and features. The only difference is cosmetics, and the GX is a serious looker, with LG cramming everything into a gorgeous chassis that’s less than 20mm deep from front to back.

And there’s a lot to cram in. This OLED Ultra HD TV uses the new α9 Gen3 AI-enhanced processor, supports most HDR formats including Dolby Vision IQ, and adds a Filmmaker Mode. There’s also a full AI-enhanced sound system with support for Dolby Atmos immersive audio.

The GX boasts the latest iteration of webOS, which has recently added Apple TV+ and Disney+, and also includes Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant built-in, making this one very smart TV. For gamers there’s HDMI 2.1, a low input lag, an HGiG profile and G-Sync compatibility.

In this review we’re testing the LG OLED65GX which costs £3,499 at the time of writing (April 2020), but the GX Series is also composed of the LG OLED55GX (£2,299), and the LG OLED77GX (£5,999).

The competitive pricing from LG this year reflects the simple fact that there’s little difference between the 2019 and 2020 OLEDs. This is less of a criticism of this year’s models, and more a reflection of the fact the previous generation was incredibly well specified. So does the GX do enough to tempt you further up LG’s range, and is there enough of a difference from last year?

Design, Connections and Control

The LG GX is unquestionably a gorgeous piece of industrial design, with a chassis that’s only 19.9mm deep from front to back. That LG has managed to fit all the electronics, connections and speakers in to a TV this thin is nothing sort of a miracle, and the result is breathtaking.

The overall finish is stylish and understated, with a 5mm dark metal trim around the outer edge, and a matching rear panel. The screen itself is surrounded by an 8mm black border and that’s it, aside from a small indicator light at the bottom (which can be turned off).

LG OLED65GX
LG GX Top Bezel

The 65GX actually measures 1446 x 829 x 19.9mm (WxHxD) without any stand, and it’s worth pointing out that it doesn’t actually come with one. This TV is really designed to be wall mounted, and comes with a dedicated bracket to fix the panel flush against the wall without any gap. It's a shame LG hasn't 'borrowed' Samsung's One Connect Box idea, because the only problem with wall mounting the GX is hiding up to seven cables.

Related: Video on how to wall mount the GX

We’d recommend making sure the bracket is securely fixed, because the 65GX is extremely well made. In fact, the overall build quality is exceptional, and despite the ultra-thin nature of the chassis, this TV is very solid – clocking in at 29.8kg. LG plans to release an optional wall mounting soundbar to accompany the GX in June, but it's not cheap and will cost £999.99.

LG OLED65GX
LG GX Bottom View

The stand is also optional (£99.99), but thankfully LG sent one with the review sample – which is just as well because I wasn’t going to wall mount. The stand is actually a pair of angled feet you attach to the bottom of the TV. If you choose this option, you’ll need a surface at least 1360mm wide and 283mm deep on which to put the GX. In the box, along with the feet, are two panels – one covers the recess where the wall bracket attaches, and the other covers the connections.

 

The GX is an absolutely gorgeous piece of industrial design, with a panel that's only 19.9mm deep

The LG GX has a full complement of connections, despite the limited amount of space, and they mostly face downwards, which is good news. As with last year’s LG TVs, the HDMI connections all use the new 2.1 standard, which means they support all the latest features like HFR (high frame rates up to 120Hz), eARC (enhanced audio return channel), VRR (variable refresh rate) and ALLM (auto low latency mode).

Apparently LG has lowered the bandwidth of its 2020 HDMI connections, so instead of the full 48Gbps 12-bit 4K at 120Hz with RGB 4:4:4 chroma sampling capacity of the 2019 TVs, they are restricted to 10-bit 4K at 120Hz with RGB 4:4:4 chroma sampling. Since the panel is only 10-bit anyway, this change probably won't make any perceivable difference. LG's reason for this change is that given there's no actual 4K content that requires 48Gbps, it would rather allocate hardware resources to its AI processing.

LG OLED65GX
LG GX Connections

The downward-facing connections are composed of the four HDMI inputs, twin terrestrial and satellite tuners, a 3.5mm audio output that doubles as a headphone socket, an optical digital output, and an Ethernet port for a wired connection. Facing sideways there are three USB ports (two 2.0 and one 3.0), and a CI (common interface) slot. There’s also built-in dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and support for Apple AirPlay 2.

LG OLED65GX
LG Magic Remote Control

The included controller is the awesome Magic motion remote, which is identical to last year. But hey, if it ain’t broke… If you’re the kind of person that’s wedded to their smart device, there’s also a fairly tidy remote app. Since the GX has ThinQ AI, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant built-in, you can even use your voice to control the TV, but personally I’m happy to use pointer control offered by the Magic remote.

Related: What is HDMI 2.1?

Smart TV

The LG GX includes the latest iteration of the company’s superb webOS smart platform, and while essentially the same as last year, there a few minor changes. The launcher remains largely unchanged and retains the second tier introduced last year. It now appears as soon as you turn the TV on, although thankfully you can turn this feature off. You can also turn the promotional banners off, which is preferable in my opinion. LG has also moved the LG Store to the front, making it easier for users to search for additional apps.

LG OLED65GX
webOS Launcher Bar

In terms of the apps available on webOS, there’s an extensive selection that includes Netflix, Amazon Prime, Apple TV+, Disney+, Now TV, YouTube and Rakuten. Where available, the platform supports all these apps in 4K, HDR10, Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos.

However, LG hasn't included Freeview Play this year. The company said this was because "it had been unable to reach an agreement with Digital UK for a Freeview Play device in time for the rollout of the 2020 TV range. However, it is currently in positive discussions with the Freeview Play team, and both parties are hopeful that they will be able to come to an agreement for the 2021 models".

What that means for the 2020 models is that LG needs to re-certify all the UK TV catch-up services. This takes time, and as a result LG’s 2020 TVs don't currently include any of the UK catch-up services. The company says they will be added soon, and stressed that this issue doesn’t affect the 2019 TVs or earlier years.

Measurements

SDR Out of the Box

As is always the case we factory reset the TV before measuring its out-of-the-box performance. We measure all the picture presets, evaluating each one to establish which offers an image closest to the industry standards used for all video production. The idea is there should be at least one preset that mirrors the content creator’s intentions as closely as possible.

And this year there definitely is in the form of the new Filmmaker Mode. This has replaced the Technicolor mode in the list of picture mode options, and is essentially the same as the ISF Dark Room mode, with a few minor differences.

The Filmmaker Mode has an OLED Light setting of 25, which equates to a brightness of 100nits; while the Dark Room mode uses a setting of 60, which equates to 120nits. The only other difference is that Filmmaker Mode has TruMotion turned off, while Dark Room has it set to User.

There's a Peak Brightness setting in the Advanced Controls sub-menu, and when turned off the difference between an OLED Light setting of 25 and 60 isn't very much – as the measurements above show. This setting defaults to High with HDR content, but users can use the Low or Medium setting if they want a brighter SDR picture mode (perhaps for daytime viewing).

 

The ISF Dark Room and Filmmaker Modes deliver almost identical levels of accuracy with the greyscale and colours

Both modes actually deliver almost identical levels of performance, as you can see in the graphs below. The good news is whichever of the two you choose, you can be assured of an impressive level of out-of-the-box accuracy. The Filmmaker Mode can be manually selected, or set to automatically activate when the TV detects the necessary flag. We couldn’t test this aspect of the feature because no content currently contains that flag, so that’s one for the future.

LG OLED65GX
ISF Dark Room Greyscale
LG OLED65GX
Filmmaker Mode Greyscale

LG continues to knock it out of the park when it comes to out-of-the-box accuracy, as you can see in the graphs above. The DeltaE errors are all below three, with only a slight deficit of green and excess red and blue at 80 to 100IRE worth pointing out. This does result in a slight magenta push to peak whites, but it’s only just on the visible threshold. The gamma is also excellent, tracking the BT1886 curve almost exactly.

LG OLED65GX
ISF Dark Room Colour Tracking
LG OLED65GX
Filmmaker Mode Colour Tracking

The colour accuracy of the two modes is also very impressive, with the luminance measuring spot-on, and the various colours hitting their saturation targets very closely. There’s a slight over-saturation in red, and some minor hue errors in magenta, but nothing to write home about. Ultimately both the ISF Dark Room and Filmmaker Modes deliver excellent out-of-the-box accuracy.

SDR Calibrated

If you have access to a colour meter and CalMAN software, you can calibrate the GX yourself using the AutoCal feature and the TV’s built-in pattern generator. This year the AutoCal has had a few upgrades, including the ability to validate as well as calibrate HDR using the internal pattern generator. You can also now fine tune the greyscale after running the AutoCal using the two-point white balance control. Finally, there is an HDMI Override menu aimed primarily at professional users who want to manually configure the HDMI inputs, overriding any metadata that’s present.

 

The calibration controls are excellent, helping the GX achieve a reference level of accuracy

Of course, there’s also a complete set of manual calibration controls that include 2-, 10- and 22-point white balance controls, and a full colour management system (CMS). Since the GX is already fairly accurate, it was just a case of tweaking a few controls to get a near-perfect level of image accuracy.

Related: Should I get my TV calibrated?

LG OLED65GX
Calibrated Greyscale and Gamma
LG OLED65GX
Calibrated Colour Tracking

As you can see above, the graphs speak for themselves, and the greyscale and gamma accuracy is about as good as you’re likely to see from a consumer display. Of course, given the accuracy out of the box, all it really required was a few tweaks on the 2-point and some very minor adjustments on the 22-point white balance controls.

The colour gamut also delivers reference levels of accuracy thanks to the colour management system, and while there is some minor over saturation at 100%, the colours are hitting their targets precisely at all the other saturation points. Overall, the GX delivers an exceptional level of greyscale, gamma and colour gamut accuracy after calibration.

HDR Results

The LG GX is equally as impressive when it comes to high dynamic range, with a highly accurate and accomplished performance right out of the box. Although OLED can’t reach the brightness levels seen on higher-end LCD TVs, the absolute blacks and pixel-precise highlights result in remarkable contrast levels and an excellent HDR performance.

 

The peak brightness only measured 660nits on this particular sample, but the P3 coverage was 99%

We measured both the HDR Cinema and HDR Filmmaker Modes, and as with the SDR settings these modes deliver identical levels of brightness, gamut coverage and image accuracy. In the case of HDR they both have TruMotion turned off, so the only difference is the Dark Room Mode has the noise reduction controls set to Low, whereas these are off in the Filmmaker Mode.

LG OLED65GX
LG 65GX HDR Peak Brightness

As the graph above shows, the 65GX is able to hit over 660 nits on 2%, 5% and 10% windows, in both the Cinema and Filmmaker Modes. This is at the lower end of the scale for an OLED TV, but these measurements tend to fluctuate from panel to panel, and the average is around 700nits. Naturally, the overall brightness reduces after that and on a 100% window the GX is only able to deliver 130 nits. This is one area where OLED struggles compared to LCD TVs, and since brightness is a component of colour volume it also impacts on those measurements.

LG OLED65GX
LG 65GX P3 Gamut Coverage

The GX is able to cover almost the entire P3 colour gamut, but like all OLEDs is limited in colour volume. However, we measured the DCI-P3 wide colour gamut coverage at 98% XY and 99% UV in both the Cinema and Filmmaker Modes.

LG OLED65GX
HDR Cinema Greyscale
LG OLED65GX
HDR Filmmaker Mode Greyscale

As you can see in the graphs above, both modes deliver excellent greyscales out of the box, with errors that are below the visible threshold of three. The DeltaEs at 80 to 100 are just the result of the GX rolling off and hard clipping as it hits its peak brightness of 660 nits. Just as importantly, it tracks the PQ EOTF precisely, ensuring highly accurate tone mapping.

The Dynamic Tone Mapping feature makes no difference to static test patterns, but does offer perceivable benefits when watching normal content. Although if you prefer you can switch it off, which is the default setting in Filmmaker Mode.

LG OLED65GX
HDR Cinema Calibrated Greyscale

The graph above shows the Cinema mode after a few minor tweaks on the 2-point white balance control. The result is a near-perfect grayscale with HDR10 content.

LG OLED65GX
HDR Cinema P3 Tracking
LG OLED65GX
HDR Filmmaker Mode P3 Tracking

The DCI-P3 tracking is also very good, although there are some minor errors in most of the colours. However, most of the measurements are close to their targets and the colour performance appears very accurate with actual content.

Picture Performance

The LG GX is a superb performer with both SDR and HDR content. For a start the screen uniformity is excellent, with images that appear free of any banding or other unwanted artefacts. If you start looking at 5% slides you might see some minor banding, but I certainly never noticed any with normal viewing content.

As you’d expect from an OLED the black levels are also impressive, with fantastic shadow detail and no obvious crush. LG has gradually improved the performance of its OLED TVs just above black, and the inclusion of white balance controls at 2.5, 5 and 7.5% also help in fine tuning the shadow detail and accuracy in this part of the image.

The overall motion performance on the GX is also excellent, and easily the best I’ve seen from an LG OLED TV. There are five settings in the TruMotion sub-menu: Off, Cinema Clear, Natural, Smooth, and User. As a general rule I would always turn TruMotion off, and I certainly would never use the Natural and Smooth settings.

LG OLED65GX
LG GX Left Side View

However, the new Cinema Clear setting is very interesting because it attempts to minimise judder without introducing the ‘soap opera’ effect. It apparently uses real-time content analysis, and for the most part it works very well. It certainly performed well with test patterns, and watching film content the motion appeared 'film-like', although every now and then it seemed slightly processed. As a result, I'd probably stick with TruMotion off, but I can see a lot of people really liking this setting.

The User setting has de-blur and de-judder controls for those who want a customised setting. There's also the OLED Motion Pro option. This updated feature tries to increase motion resolution while maintaining a high panel drive frequency (100/120Hz).

There are 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. This feature has definitely been improved, and there is no longer any flicker with BFI, making it a great feature for SDR. However the darkening effect of BFI means you can't really use it with HDR.

LG OLED65GX
LG GX Wall Mounted

The α9 Gen3 AI-enhanced processor is state-of-the-art, ensuring sources are scaled with precision, and the image is free of any ringing or other unwanted artefacts. As a result, even lower resolution content can look very watchable, while higher quality material often looks stunning. This is in part due to the upscaling and motion handling, but also thanks to the exceptional image accuracy.

When it comes to SDR content OLED has no equal, with rich colours are that natural and realistic, blacks that are deep and well defined, and shadows which retain plenty of detail. The combination of absolute black, and the limited peak brightness required for SDR, results in images with exceptional dynamic range.

When it comes to HDR the 65GX performs equally as impressively, despite being restricted to a peak brightness of 660nits. The combination of deep blacks and pixel level of precision results in a perceived dynamic range that often looks better than many brighter TVs. The overall image accuracy and precise tone mapping also play their part in ensuring superior HDR images.

 

This TV is a superb performer with both SDR and HDR content, producing natural and detailed images

Watching all my favourite 4K discs revealed how impressive this TV really is, whether it's riot of colour that is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 or the incredibly detailed images found in Planet Earth II. The images always appear saturated but natural, blacks are solid but the shadows retain plenty of latitude, and the tone mapping is spot-on (as evidenced by the 'Arriving in Neverland' scene in Pan).

LG continues to shun HDR10+, feeling that this dynamic metadata format adds no real value. However, it continues to support Dolby Vision, and this year adds Dolby Vision IQ. In general the Dolby Vision performance is exceptional, whether it's The Shining, 1917 or the spectacular scenes on the moon in First Man.

For the most accurate rendition use the Dolby Vision Cinema mode, but if you select Cinema Home you engage Dolby Vision IQ. This uses a sensor in the TV to dynamically adjust the tone mapping depending on the ambient light in the room. This is definitely a useful feature, and can really help when watching a dark production like The Haunting of Hill House during the daytime (when it's less scary).

LG OLED65GX
LG GX Front View

If you’re a gamer the GX is sure to please. The inclusion of HDMI 2.1 means you not only benefit from VRR (variable refresh rate) and ALLM (auto low latency mode), but you also get support for 4K at higher frame rates up to 120Hz. In addition, the Game mode delivers an input lag of only 12.9ms, combined with a response time of only 1ms.

Of course all these benefits also apply to LG’s 2019 TVs, including an HGiG (HDR Gaming Interest Group) setting under the Dynamic Tone Mapping sub-menu in the Game mode. However LG’s 2020 TVs are the first to be G-Sync validated by NVIDIA, and LG plans to add support for AMD’s FreeSync VRR implementation via a firmware update later this year.

Gaming on the GX is excellent, with a fast response, saturated colours, exceptional levels of detail and smooth motion. The HDR performance is even better, producing an almost photorealistic level of game play. The only caveat is that while I’ve never had any issues with image retention or screen burn, this is a possibility and should be considered if you game at lot (especially in HDR).

 

A host of gaming features includes support for 4K/120Hz, VRR, ALLM, HGiG, G-Sync, and an input lag of 12.9ms

However, if you use an OLED TV in the best out of the box settings, as seen in this review, avoid static images for long periods of time, and watch a good mixture of varied content, as well as follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for using the various mitigation features such as standby wash routines, then image retention or burn-in should never be an issue for you. 

Sound Quality

The LG GX sounds surprisingly good when you consider the depth of the chassis and its downward-firing speakers. The larger screen size of the 65GX provides decent stereo separation, and the delivery has a decent mid-range. Dialogue is clear and focused on the screen, while the treble remains largely free of harshness – although the sound will become brittle if you drive the volume too high. There’s little in the way of bass, but that might be boosted slightly by the TV being mounted against a wall.

 

The GX sounds surprisingly good considering its ultra-slim chassis, and it boasts a host of audio-related features

When installing the TV you can choose between stand or wall mounting in the menu system. There’s also AI Acoustic Tuning that optimises the sound specifically for your environment. All you need to do is run the Acoustic Tuning while holding the Magic remote, and the TV will do the rest. It plays a number of test tones, which it measures using the microphone in the controller. You can then select different modes (Standard, Bass Boost, Treble boost), and compare their affect by switching them on or off.

LG OLED65GX
LG GX Right Side View

There are a number of different sound modes (Standard, Clear Voice, Cinema, Music, Sports, and Game). There’s also built-in Dolby Atmos decoding, and AI Sound which applies deep learning-based voice separation technology to improve voice clarity and enhance effects. As mentioned earlier, there will be a matching soundbar for the GX released in June, although at nearly £1,000 it's pricey. If you're planning to stand mount the GX, you could go for one of LG's regular soundbars instead.

Verdict

Pros

  • Fantastic black levels and shadow detail
  • Superb accuracy out of the box
  • Impressive SDR and HDR performance
  • CalMAN AutoCal
  • Filmmaker Mode
  • Dolby Vision IQ support
  • Dolby Atmos support
  • HDMI 2.1 connections
  • webOS is state of the art
  • Comprehensive streaming choices
  • Very low input lag
  • Stunning design and build quality

Cons

  • No HDR10+
  • Possibility of screen burn
  • Currently no UK TV catch-up services

LG GX (OLED65GX) 4K OLED TV Review

Should I buy one?

That really depends on what you want. If your main interest is the aesthetics of the TV, then the LG GX is the perfect choice. The ultra-thin chassis is gorgeous, and the build quality is exceptional. There’s no denying this is a gorgeous piece of industrial design that will look stunning when wall mounted. But if you're more interested in the features, then the cheaper CX is identical in this regard.

And what a feature set it is, with support for 4K Ultra HD, HDR (including Dolby Vision IQ), and Dolby Atmos. The newly added Filmmaker Mode ensures you can enjoy movies as the content creators intended, and the overall accuracy is really impressive. There are also extensive calibration controls, and a great autocal feature that even has a pattern generator built into the TV.

The inclusion of HDMI 2.1 inputs remains a competitive advantage for LG, who are the only manufacturer to embrace this connection on its 4K TVs. It means this OLED TV not only supports eARC but also HFR, VRR and ALLM. That’s sure to please gamers, as will a low input lag, fast response time, HGiG profile and G-Sync compatibility.

Overall, it’s a superb TV that delivers the kind of gorgeous images you expect from an OLED. Of course it’s not perfect, and if you’re looking for criticisms the HDR could be brighter and will never fully compete with an LCD TV. There’s no HDR10+ support either, although that’s not really a great loss these days as Dolby Vision dominates. There’s also the slight possibility of screen burn, so anyone who games extensively should bear that in mind.

However, in all other respects the LG 65GX is a fantastic TV that looks stunning whether it’s on or off, and comes highly recommended. It’s best suited to wall mounting, so if you’re not planning on doing that or the design isn’t that important to you, then you might want to consider the CX instead. 

What are my alternatives?

To a certain extent, LG is its own worst enemy because if you’re looking for an alternative the obvious choice is the LG E9. This TV has an equally striking picture-on-glass design, and is also extremely well made. The performance is superb, and the features just as extensive. The E9 doesn’t have Dolby Vision IQ or Filmmaker Mode, but the former isn’t essential because you can just switch between the Cinema and Cinema Home modes. In the case of the latter, as we’ve discovered in our testing, you can simply use the ISF Dark Room setting as a proxy for the Filmmaker Mode. In fact, the E9 has a few of advantages of its own – it’s cheaper for a start, and comes with a stand included. It also has Freeview Play and a complete set of UK catch-up TV services, which is something the GX currently lacks.

If you’re concerned about screen burn, or simply want your HDR experience to be brighter, then the Samsung Q95T is definitely worth considering. This QLED 4K TV delivers a fantastic SDR and HDR experience thanks to highly effective local dimming. It also supports HDR10+, although Samsung still refuses to embrace Dolby Vision. There’s no Dolby Atmos either, but you do get Object Tracking Sound that uses additional speakers in the TV to create a more immersive sonic experience. There’s a host of excellent gaming features such as VRR, ALLM and an input lag of less than 10ms. The design is attractive, the One Connect box remains a great idea, and the smart platform is comprehensive.

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

.
9

Picture Quality Calibrated

10

Sound Quality

.
.
8

Smart Features

.
9

Build Quality

10

Ease of Use

10

Value for Money

.
.
8

Verdict

.
9
9
AVForumsSCORE
OUT OF
10

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