Published On: December 10, 2021

LG 65″ G1 OLED Evo Review: The Best 4K TV Yet

Published On: December 10, 2021
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LG 65″ G1 OLED Evo Review: The Best 4K TV Yet

LG's brightest OLED yet is also its best 4K TV ever. If you’re looking to put a TV on your wall, there’s no reason to look any further than the LG G1.

LG 65″ G1 OLED Evo Review: The Best 4K TV Yet

By Author: John Higgins
John Higgins been a part of the AV industry since 2003, when he started working at the test studio for Home Theater Magazine, and later Sound & Vision. He’s since written for Wirecutter, IGN, Channel Guide Magazine, ProjectorCentral, and Cineluxe. When not focusing his attentions on whatever display or speakers he’s presently reviewing, John is probably either playing with his son or lost in a computer screen, working on his latest sound design, sound editing, film composition project.

Thanks to HDR, there’s been a lot of focus over the past couple of years on the light output of TVs. As content is being mastered at higher nits levels (1,000 for HDR10 and up to 10,000 for Dolby Vision), high home display brightness is being chased. And while the light output can be good to make the picture really pop, or used to combat ambient light, it leaves out an important part—I’d argue the most important—of the image quality equation. And that is black level, which is a strong suit of the subject of this review, the 65″ LG G1 OLED Evo.

Of course, color accuracy contributes significantly as well, but having a deep black level, and by consequence, a high contrast ratio, can be the difference between a good-looking TV and a bad one. This is why OLEDs have been lauded for their picture quality since the technology’s inception. With the ability to turn off their light output on a pixel-by-pixel basis, they can offer a near-infinite contrast ratio (infinitely dark, not infinitely bright). LG has been at the forefront of OLED displays for years, and with their $2,400 65-inch G1 OLED, they very well might have reached the pinnacle of what the tech offers.

LG's brightest OLED yet is also its best 4K TV ever. If you’re looking to put a TV on your wall, there’s no reason to look any further than the LG G1.
The 65″ LG G1 OLED Evo

Color and Brightness

You’d expect color accuracy on an expensive TV to already be pretty accurate, and with the G1 it turns out to be true. As you’ll see in the “How Does the LG OLED65G1 Perform?” section below, its out-of-the-box performance is excellent. But the interesting technological development with the 2021 G1 series is LG’s new Evo screen, which is designed to achieve a higher peak brightness than LG OLEDs from previous years.

One of the major drawbacks of OLED tech is its inability to output high brightness as compared to LED backlight displays. Typically, OLED’s nits are higher with smaller areas of bright light, as opposed to an entire screen. With HDR content in particular, the Evo screen boosts the brightness output across the board over previous year’s models. It still can’t compete with LED light output—we probably won’t see anything close to that on an OLED until the OLED quantum dot hybrids come out—but it’s a nice bump over what we’ve seen in the past.

Smart TV Capabilities

Another improvement over the 2020 models is the full-screen OS on the G1 instead of a banner, although depending on your taste this could be seen as a step backward. The full-screen is reminiscent of the Amazon TV OS, with trending and live shows followed by installed apps and input selections. I find the full screen to allow me to see more options and be able to navigate easily where I want, but the look can be a little overwhelming as some information (such as the weather at the top if location service is turned on) can be extraneous.



All of the major apps are available to download and add to the G1, including Netflix, Amazon, Disney+, Hulu, and Apple TV. If apps offer a Dolby Vision stream (such as on Disney+) then that HDR mode is available and selected by default. The OS itself is smooth and reacts quickly.

Setting Up the LG OLED65G1

Something very important to note is the reasoning behind the “G” nomenclature, in that it stands for Gallery. As in a picture gallery. What does this mean from a practical sense? The G1 is designed to be hung on the wall with a rather robust, and included wall mount and because of this does not include a stand to place it on a surface. If you plan on putting it on a table or credenza you will need to purchase the two feet set for $100.

The feet attach in a wide stance, almost the full 54-inch width of the TV, so make sure there’s enough space (for me the clearance was only an inch or so on each side). Also, there is no cable management system on the back or built into the feet of the G1. But to be fair, the sleek and thin construction of the G1 is perfect for wall hanging. Just make sure you have some help, as the 65-inch version is just shy of 66 pounds with the mount attached.

Connections

The G1 has all of the current, forward-looking connections you would hope from a high-end television. There are four downfacing HDMI 2.1 (yes, all four, as opposed to a mish-mosh of 2.1 and 2.0) with HDCP 2.2 that are all capable of 4K at 120Hz. HDMI 2 also has eARC for passing uncompressed or high bitrate audio streams to your Dolby Atmos- or DTS:X-enabled AVR or soundbar. Also on the downfacing panel are RF for cable or antenna, Ethernet, digital optical out, and a 3.5mm out for headphones. A second side-facing connections panel has three USB 2.0, a minijack for RS232, and an IR blaster jack. The G1 can connect to your home Wi-Fi network.

Interface and Control Settings

Not to be left out, the remote for the LG G1 has also undergone a slight redesign and is now a bit smaller than previous years while retaining its curved shape that rests well in your hand, magic wand capabilities, and adding some dedicated app and voice activation buttons at the bottom.

TV menus are easy to navigate and have a plethora of options to play with. Included is Filmmaker Mode, which shuts off pesky things like motion interpolation, as well as all the image adjustments necessary for an in-depth calibration.

As mentioned above, the G1 comes with HDMI 2.1 that will allow 4K 120Hz signals from the Xbox Series X and PS5 (as long as you’re playing games that provide it as well), and the TV has a 120Hz native panel. But something that will be particularly interesting to gamers is the Game Optimizer setting. Within the Game Optimizer portion of the menu are four different modes that affect the image, like FPS mode that enhances shadow detail or RPG mode that improves contrast. Beneath which are Black Stabilizer and White Stabilizer sliders to adjust dark and bright areas, respectively.

The menu also allows toggles for different VRR modes. On by default are VRR and G-Sync, while AMD’s FreeSync Premium needs to be turned on if you plan to use it (with the Xbox Series X, for instance). Buried a bit deeper is a “Reduce input lag” toggle with two options, Standard and Boost. Standard is the default and already keeps the input lag low (I measured it at 12.1ms), but with Boost engaged it gets into the sub-10 second territory. Is it a necessity? No. There’s little chance it will affect your gameplay at all, but it does look good on a stat sheet.

How Does the LG OLED65G1 Perform?

LG OLEDs have been an example of excellent performance for years, especially when it comes to measurement and calibration. The OLED65G1 is no exception to this. Using Calman color calibration software from Portrait Displays, my X-Rite i1Display Pro profiled against my X-Rite i1Pro 3, and a Murideo Six-G pattern generator, I was able to determine that pre-calibration DeltaE values with SDR, HDR10, and Dolby Vision signals were all 3.0 or below with many below 2.0 (lower is better and under 3.0 is considered close enough to reference to be imperceptible to most people).

After calibration using the Auto-Cal feature in Calman for LG displays, the modes were all virtually perfect, measuring below 1.0. With a display of this caliber, I strongly recommend getting a proper calibration from a certified ISF calibrator.



When it came to watching content, I chose to use Cinema or one of the ISF calibration modes. I began with Frodo’s entrance to Shelob’s Lair in the recent release of Return of the King in 4K. When displayed poorly, the rock walls behind Frodo lose definition and depth but when it’s done well, there’s plenty of shadow detail in the nooks and crannies of the rocks. With the G1 it was most certainly the latter. The detail in the rock crevices was incredible and the moistness of the rock surface and water droplets glistening on the web added to the foreboding feeling as he crept through the cave. At times it looked like the display was too good for the material and revealed some of the good, but dated CGI.

The Dolby Vision presentation of The Last Jedi on Disney+ was full of realistic and vibrant colors—in particular, the green mountainside of Ahch-To looked beautifully lush. The detail was again incredible, displaying the fine texture of Luke’s robes and the scuff’s on Kylo’s mask (before he smashed it to pieces). If I’m being critical, the lightning created by Yoda and subsequent burning of the Jedi Temple didn’t have quite the same pop to it as I’ve seen on brighter displays but it wasn’t lacking in visual impact as the surrounding night was suitably dark to highlight the moment.

I’ve been taking some time to revisit one of my favorite sci-fi shows of all time, Farscape. There have been issues over the years with the visual quality of releases (I believe the original film negatives were lost or destroyed), but the Blu-ray transfer is a vast improvement over the old DVDs, even if they aren’t up to the quality that the show deserves.

Nonetheless, the G1 was able to accentuate the detail in the transfer without adding any extra noise to the image. There’s some soft-focus inherent in the transfer that is brought out a bit—much like what happened with the older CGI in Return of the King—but overall the 1080p discs looked great. Colors were reproduced well, especially flesh tones and all of the interesting color depth within Jim Henson’s creatures throughout the show.

The excellent visual quality carried over to games. While playing Star Wars Squadrons I was constantly impressed with the deep black of space that was punctuated by distant star clusters. The flying in-game was incredibly responsive and smooth. To check screen tearing, I put in Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, which has had issues with it since launch. But the FreeSync on Xbox did its job well and drastically reduced the issue to where it wasn’t distracting anymore.

The Downside

To be honest, finding downsides for the LG G1 is difficult. The biggest is that it doesn’t come with a stand and one will cost you an extra $100. But it also isn’t meant to be put on a table or home theater credenza. It’s designed for the wall.

Comparison and Competition

The closest competitor to the G1 from a different manufacturer is the Sony A80J OLED. It’s a couple of hundred dollars cheaper for the same size and comes with a stand to put on a table, but it’s surprisingly missing key gaming features such as VRR (although considering Sony left VRR off of the PS5, maybe that isn’t so surprising) and its input lag is a bit higher. Only two of Sony’s four HDMI are 2.1, whereas all four on the LG are HDMI 2.1, as mentioned earlier.

Perhaps the biggest competitor to the G1 is LG’s own C1 OLED, which can be found for $600 less than the G1. The C1 has many of the same features as the G1—including the same low input lag and VRR support—but comes with a stand and is better suited for a table, while the slim design of the G1 is best when wall-mounted. The G1’s picture performance is also slightly better than the C1, but it isn’t something you’d be able to notice unless the sets were side by side. If you don’t plan on hanging your TV and want to save some money, the C1 is the better choice.

Final Thoughts

OLED has long been the top option for a TV in a dedicated home theater space. They might not get as bright as their LED brethren, but their phenomenal black levels more than make up for it, displaying truly engaging images with loads of depth. And the G1 is the best OLED that I’ve seen to date. Color—especially after a calibration—is near perfect, gaming features like VRR work beautifully, and the TV’s OS has all of the streaming apps you could ask for. Once you get it on your wall, it will all be worth it.



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