It’s fair to say LG’s C3 and G3 OLED TV ranges have a lot to offer in 2023.
C2 achieved five-star ratings across multiple screen sizes in 2022 and also dominated the TV category at the end of the year What Hi-Fi? Awards. So it’s only natural that all eyes are on C3 and whether or not it’s considered the sweet spot of LG’s new lineup in terms of performance and price.
The G2 also received a five-star review in 65-inch guise and as you’re about to read, LG has unveiled some interesting developments in the photo department for 2023. If the company’s claims are to be believed, we could see some significant gains from this step-up series that could give rival OLED models from the likes of Panasonic and Sony plenty of food for thought.
At CES 2023 we were able to take a tour of both LG’s new G3 and C3 model ranges and you can find an overview of what both these flat screens have to offer below with our first impressions.
In terms of design, there isn’t a huge difference between the 2023 G3 and last year’s G2 series, but there have been some developments for the C3.
The G3 is a slim, attractive TV with an emphasis on wall mounting thanks to the included “Zero Gap” bracket. This allows you to sit the TV flush against the wall and is aided by a special recess in the back of the TV chassis. Alternatively, a stand is available for the G3, but this is an optional extra (price to be determined).
It’s a similar, but slightly different story for the LG C3 OLED. The supplied standard is almost identical to that of its predecessor, so there is no real news on that front. However, for 2023, LG is offering customers an optional Dolby Atmos soundbar (the SC9) that has been specially designed to integrate perfectly with the C3 (its size makes it more suitable for the 55-inch and 65-inch versions), or you can buy it now want to mount it on the wall or just place it under the screen.
It’s not surprising that both the C3 and G3 get the same remote control as last year, but as we’re already big fans of the intuitive motion controls and scroll wheel setup, we’re hoping it’s a case of more of the same as we move through the new 2023- models.
Web OS 23
However, LG has made design changes to its WebOS operating system. WebOS 2023 has been refined to be more efficient, with the number of pages displaying content at your disposal reduced from three to two.
The new version of WebOS also introduces folders (also known as Quick Cards) for the first time, which are designed to collect related functions for easier access. It’s all about simplifying the user experience and making the menu systems less complicated.
Related to this is the introduction of LG’s new personalized picture wizard for both the G3 and C3 in 2023. It’s a picture setup process designed to help you get to your favorite picture settings without actually having to go into the menus.
You are presented with 6 sets of images, where each set corresponds to an area of image performance, for example color saturation, sharpness and brightness. You choose two from each set and at the end the screen image is calibrated to your preferences.
Also related to LG’s desire to make owning one of its 2023 TVs easier for the end user is a new customizable quick mode that gives you access to picture modes, sound modes, input selection, and more. All of these elements are presented in a pop-out menu on the left side of the screen, meaning you can quickly switch between different settings and see (or hear) exactly what effect they have.
Both the C3 and G3 are powered by LG’s new Alpha 9 AI Processor Gen 6 and as you can probably guess, it has a handful of picture-enhancing tricks up its sleeve. Under the “Alpha Reality” umbrella are new features such as AI Super Upscaling Pro, which is designed to enhance any content below 4K resolution and also reduce noise levels without disturbing the image grain intentionally created by the filmmaker in the image is placed.
OLED Dynamic Tone Mapping Pro allows G3 and C3 to split the image into 20,000 blocks or zones. In contrast, the previous Alpha 9 Gen 5 processor found in last year’s C2 model was only able to handle 5000 blocks.
The big news here, though, is that the G3 has one specific panel feature that isn’t on the C3. It’s called Micro Lens Array, which is basically a layer of tiny lenses that help improve the focus of the light emitted by the OLEDs for the benefit of the viewer. The G3 also seems to use a heatsink that allows it to be pushed harder and thus brighter than its C3 sibling.
LG is always at the forefront when it comes to connectivity and gaming support and 2023 will see no change here. Both the G3 and C3 have four HDMI 2.1 inputs that support 4K/120Hz, ALLM and VRR.
At CES 2023, our TV demos were somewhat limited in content, but we have to say that overall impressions for both sets are positive. Nighttime cityscapes with neon flashes and bright lights were handled quite effortlessly by the C3. The set seemed more than capable of producing a detailed image with plenty of punch in the bright areas of the screen and rich deep blacks where needed.
Another scene showed an orchestra performing in a darkened room that sparkled with shades of yellow and burnt orange. The TV seemed to do a good job of juggling and balancing the different tones and managing the levels of detail in the dark elements of the front of the stage.
We couldn’t see the same clip on the G3 for comparison. Instead, this set was fueled with content designed to show off the extra acceleration in brightness available through Micro Lens Array technology. And it felt like the G3 kicked up a gear and stepped up with its brightness levels. Vibrance wasn’t an issue, although it’ll be interesting to see how the screen performs with a wider range of content and more natural-looking scenes.
It’s obviously hard to judge two new ranges of OLED TVs purely on the basis of a short demo in a hotel suite, but you’d be shocked if the C3 and G3 didn’t prove to be top-tier for LG in 2023. On paper, there’s quite a gap between the two in terms of image
Where things can get really interesting is in terms of price and how big the gap is between the C3 and G3 and whether, if indeed the G3 differs significantly from its predecessor in terms of performance, it’s a good idea to spend the extra money on the step up model. One thing’s for sure, we can’t wait to find out and report back to you.
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