2022 was nothing short of a revolutionary year for OLED TVs. LG’s G2 OLED TV reached new heights when it comes to brightness, surprising us with its overall pixel-perfect performance, as we dubbed it the company’s “best OLED yet”. It wasn’t without its flaws though, as it was certainly pricey, and it still didn’t quite reach the brightness levels of high-end LCD models.
In the Sony camp we saw the A95K make its debut, with its gloriously authentic picture and impressive sound (by TV speaker standards). We immediately noticed it thanks to the new OLED technology called QD-OLED. This Samsung-derived screen technology incorporates a Quantum Dot layer into the traditional OLED construction, boosting color vibrancy and brightness above the standards of traditional OLED TVs.
Both the LG G2 and Sony A95K performed great last year, but in 2023 we have their respective successors poised to revolutionize OLED TVs once again.
The Sony A95L has been officially unveiled and features a second-generation QD OLED panel that apparently allows it to reach a peak brightness of over 2,000 nits in its brightest HDR mode.
LG, on the other hand, has decided to take a different tack with the G3 OLED, with its own super-bright OLED panel. This uses brand new Micro-Lens-Array (MLA for short) technology, which contains a layer of billions of microscopic lenses designed to channel the light produced by the OLEDs to the user to improve peak brightness.
The real question is, which one is better? At this point, it’s too early to say, as we haven’t had any samples in our test labs for extensive, comparative testing yet. However, we’ve seen both sets in action and can use that hands-on experience – along with a deep dive into the specs and our in-depth knowledge of their predecessors – to form some early opinions on how this battle for the next generation of OLED TVs can take shape.
LG G3 vs Sony A95L: price
Both the LG G3 and Sony A95L are two of the best 4K OLEDs from the respective company, so brace yourself for prices that reflect this. Starting with the LG, we now only have US prices, but through the magic of currency conversion we can get an idea of global prices:
- 55-inch: $2499 (about £2050 / AU$3730)
- 65-inch: $3299 (about £2710 / AU$4930)
- 77-inch $4499 (about £3700 / AU$6720)
- 83-inch $6499 (about £5340 / AU$9710)
These aren’t the confirmed prices in the UK and Australia, instead reflecting how much the G3 could cost in all its size variants. There’s one thing we can deduce from this, though, and that’s the G3’s inevitable price hike over the LG G2. We’ve been predicting its arrival for months, remaining cautious that this new MLA technology could come at a higher cost, and here we are. It’s odd that each model has a different price increase, with the 55- and 77-inch models seeing a nearly $300 increase each, while the 65-inch model is only up $99 and the 83-inch is actually up from last year’s price.
Sony, on the other hand, hasn’t pushed the prices of the A95L much in the way yet, but judging by the prices of the A95K, we don’t expect it to come cheap. The A95K launched last year for £2699 / $3000 for the 55-inch model (which was not released in Australia) and £3499 / $4000 / AU$5995 for the 65-inch version. Bearing in mind that the A95L will also launch with a 77-inch model, the Sony will likely be the more expensive of the two options again this year.
LG G3 vs Sony A95L: build
LG is using what appears to be a largely recycled design from last year’s G2 for the G3. This includes a wall-mounted design with no traditional stand in the box; instead you get LG’s “Zero Gap Wall Mount”, which appears to be a rebranded version of the same slimline wall mount we saw on last year’s model. As the name suggests, the aim of the LG is to make it appear as flush against the wall as possible for a minimalist and stylish appeal. The G3 is also made from the same composite fiber material as its predecessor, making it sturdy yet light and agile – ideal for making the wall mounting process as painless as possible.
Sony changes things up a bit with the A95L with a new stand that’s simpler and lighter than last year’s admittedly nice one, but super heavy and fiddly to put together on initial TV setup. This year the A95L comes with a pair of metal feet that sit at either end of the screen, though the 77-inch variant gets a third option for the center. These stands can also be set to soundbar mode, which raises the TV a few inches to accommodate a soundbar that sits below it without blocking the screen.
Both TVs have narrow bezels and razor-thin builds as expected from their previous iterations, though we’ll probably have to take a closer look at each set alongside its predecessor to see if the bezels are actually thinner this year.
LG G3 vs Sony A95L: Features
As expected, both TVs are packed with features as they represent the very best offerings from the respective Korean and Japanese tech giants. Both have 4K resolutions with HDR support; we expect this to be HDR10, HLG and Dolby Vision on both models, as their predecessors used these formats, meaning we’re also unlikely to see HDR10+ support on either model. This isn’t a huge loss and Dolby Vision appears to be the dominant format when it comes to physical discs and streaming via Netflix, Disney Plus and Apple TV+.
Beyond the gaming capabilities of these sets, both would make admirable companions for your PS5, Xbox Series X or PC. The G3 and A95L use 120Hz panels for smoother and more lifelike motion, and when combined with the aforementioned 4K resolution you get that competitive edge thanks to the improved detail and fast response times.
However, there’s one glaring gaming omission on the Sony that makes the LG the more compelling choice for serious gamers, and that has everything to do with the HDMI 2.1 ports. LG offers four full-featured HDMI 2.1 ports, one of which is dedicated to HDMI eARC. That means that even with a soundbar or AV receiver connected, you can still connect a PS5, Xbox Series X and a PC and take full advantage of their feature sets. That means 4K/120Hz with ALLM and VRR enabled, especially in the case of the PS5 which needs HDMI 2.1 to use it.
The Sony, on the other hand, only offers two HDMI 2.1s, one of which is also dedicated to eARC; this is because Sony is using the MediaTek Pentonic 1000 chip for this new flagship model. This means that if you’re a serious gamer who moves between consoles often, and you have an audio device connected via eARC, you’ll either spend most of your time plugging and unplugging the HDMI cables, or you’ll have to settle for for compromised performance with HDMI 2.0.
LG is moving away from gaming to software and introducing a new version of its webOS operating system on the G3. This latest software aims to clean up the existing webOS 2022 version and make it easier to navigate. LG is implementing a card-based system that gives you easy access to your favorite streaming apps, settings, and input sources, which should hopefully eliminate some of the problems in the previous generation OS.
Sony is sticking with Google TV for its latest QD-OLED, a universal system used on many TVs and even Google’s own Chromecast devices. It wasn’t broken on the A95K, so there’s no point in fixing it, and thanks to the easy-to-navigate UI and wide app compatibility, we see no reason for Sony to move away from Google TV.
Finally, on audio-focused features, the LG and Sony both offer Dolby Atmos support through a supported soundbar or audio system. Connecting a Dolby Atmos soundbar should create a spacious and immersive audio experience, but these TVs also have their own brand-specific audio features. LG includes WOW Orchestra, which syncs the TV speakers with a supported first-party soundbar, meaning all available speakers are used together to supposedly create a fuller and more immersive sound experience. Sony offers something similar with Acoustic Center Sync, which turns your TV and compatible Sony soundbar into a center channel speaker for a more direct sound that supposedly more closely matches what’s happening on screen. This is made possible by Sony’s Acoustic Surface Audio+ system, where sound comes from below the screen.
LG G3 vs Sony A95L: Image
While neither of these TVs have yet undergone our rigorous testing processes, we’ve seen both models in the flesh at CES 2023 and Sony’s lineup launch event for 2023, so we have an idea of how they fare in the picture department. We know that both models offer brightness well above the capabilities of their standard OLED counterparts. As we’ve mentioned before, the LG uses MLA, while Sony sticks with QD-OLED – we expect to get these sets side-by-side to determine who the real champ is.
Both TVs are expected to have a brightness figure of around 2,000 nits, which is unheard of for an OLED to date. Even the LG G2 and A95K, which had improvements in the brightness department last year, hover around 1000 nits, so doubling this figure could be revolutionary. If we were to remain cautiously optimistic, we’d actually expect the TVs to target around 1500 nits in most modes, with the top figure reserved for the brighter movie presets – although that’s still a huge leap in brightness.
From our experience we could see an improvement when it comes to the brightness of the G3, and in our hands-on review we state that the new LG “takes brightness to the next level”. We know, of course, that the G3 will provide a crisp and detailed image if it performs as well as its G2 predecessor.
We managed to get some more of an extended demo with a pre-production unit of the A95L, and it shined with its improved clarity and more dynamic image. Even with the extra nits under its belt, the A95L didn’t look overcooked or overtly bright in our first hands-on, although the preset on the TV during this demo did make the blues look a little cool. That said, the extra punch and dynamics resulted in a crisp, lifelike image with impressive three-dimensional depth, and we counted down the days until we could get it into our labs for further testing.
LG G3 vs Sony A95L: Early verdict
It promises to be a monumental year for OLED TVs, and it has to be said that both sets here are two of the top contenders to come out on top. The LG G3 and Sony A95K both build on excellent previous iterations and go head-to-head in the battle for top-notch OLED brightness.
It’s too early to name a winner, though, as neither model is commercially available at the time of writing. You can expect full reviews for both models soon, with further updates to them once we have more details and hands-on experience with both models.
Read our Sony A95L practice test
As well as ours LG G3 and C3 OLED hands-on review from CES 2023
Or view the best tvs now available