Published On: June 17, 2024

The Best OLED I’ve Ever Tested - 2024 LG G4 Review

Published On: June 17, 2024
Last Updated on: July 2, 2024
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The Best OLED I’ve Ever Tested - 2024 LG G4 Review

Can the latest LG OLED raise the bar further?

The Best OLED I’ve Ever Tested - 2024 LG G4 Review

  • Connor has an intense passion for monitors, TVs, and anything with a display. He has been working with tech for over a decade, and he launched his YouTube channel in 2022 in hopes to drive the display industry to create better products for buyers at better prices through fair critiques. Connor has spent countless hours researching and testing displays and is familiar with the tools necessary to accurately measure them.

If you're looking for the best OLED TV in 2024 the LG G4 simply has to be part of the conversation, and I don’t say that lightly. In the last year alone I’ve reviewed a whopping 23 OLEDs, and I can safely say that LG’s 2024 G4 series not only pushes the boundaries of OLED technology once again, but with the use of their new Alpha 11 AI processor, which works in tandem with LG's MLA (micro lens array) technology LG has once again improved their brightness and color performance while adding new impressive features to their OS. In today’s review I’m going to explain exactly why the LG G4 sets itself apart from the competition, and whether or not you should buy one.

TL;DR

LG has returned with a serious attempt to retake the TV crown in 2024 via the use of their latest MLA equipped WOLED panels in combination with their brightness boosting Alpha 11 AI processor bringing significant advancements in picture quality, brightness, color, and overall performance, making it a compelling choice.

The G4's advancements extend beyond its image processing capabilities. LG has also paid close attention to the TV's design, opting for a glossy finish that offers some anti-reflective properties but exceptional clarity in light-controlled environments. While LG's OLED technology can't match the color volume and gamut of Samsung QD OLED tech, it is still very good and both HDR and SDR content look amazing.

For gaming enthusiasts, the G4 offers an unparalleled experience. With a native 144Hz refresh rate, the TV provides smooth and responsive gameplay, excellent motion performance, and extremely low input lag. Moreover, LG has addressed a critical issue that plagued its previous models—the suboptimal color performance in gaming mode. The G4 now delivers consistent color performance across all modes, ensuring that gamers can enjoy vibrant, true-to-life visuals without compromising on the competitive edge.

While the G4's impressive specifications come at a premium price point, it represents a worthwhile investment for discerning buyers who prioritize quality and reliability in their entertainment setup. The TV's ability to deliver deep, inky blacks, courtesy of OLED's self-emissive pixels, coupled with its remarkable brightness and color enhancements, creates a viewing experience that surpasses that of traditional LCD displays.

Testing Methodology

Now in order to review a serious OLED display like this you need some serious equipment which is why I’ll be using an X-Rite i1 Pro spectrophotometer, Color Checker Display Plus colorimeter, Calman Ultimate, Portrait Displays Video Forge Pro 8K pattern generator, a Sony RX100 VII 1000fps camera, an SM208 Screen Luminance Meter, & a Sony Cinema Line FX3 mirrorless video camera. All together at least $12,000 worth of testing equipment alone and of course years of experience testing displays.

Before we dive into the review as always here are the specs, which are not much different than the G3, but that doesn’t mean the performance won’t be.

Resolution3840x2160
Refresh Rate144Hz
PanelMLA V2 WOLED
ProcessorA11 AI Gen 7 processor
HDR SupportHDR10, HLG, & Dolby Vision
Price55” $2,600, 65” $3,399.99, 77” $4,599.99, 83” $6,499.99, & 97” (non MLA) $24,999.99
Warranty1 year parts and labor, OLED display 2-5 years

Overall the specs look excellent, but the price as always from LG is quite high, so LG will need to bring incredible performance to pursued enthusiasts to drop a minimum of $2,600 on a TV in 2024.

Pros

  • Excellent brightness 
  • Clear glossy coating
  • Higher 144Hz refresh rate and great motion performance 
  • Much improved game mode color
  • Great Film Maker Mode accuracy

Cons

  • High price
  • Slight magenta lift in bright environments
  • Peak brightness locked in SDR
  • Can’t match QD OLED color volume

Performance - Color

Let’s get straight to the performance, starting with the color—wow, LG has made an enormous leap in terms of color brightness on the G4. Last year with the G3, LG introduced their new MLA (micro lens array) technology, which sits above the subpixels to refocus lost light and massively boost image brightness. This year, it makes a return on the G4, further improved by the new Alpha 11 AI processor, which enhances brightness and colors even more. As someone who uses a 42” LG C4 as a monitor daily (and yes, the 55” & up are much brighter than the 42”), I must say, despite the impressive leap from the C3 to the C4, the G4 still puts the C series to shame when it comes to color brightness.

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Of course none of this means anything if the color can’t be shown accurately, and out of the box these TVs do typically ship in power saving mode causing huge inaccuracies in white point, color balance, and EOTF tracking, but simply by swapping over to Film Maker Mode and making some minor adjustments to white balance, a very accurate result can be achieved for both sRGB and HDR.

Testing Deep Dive - sRGB Gamma 2.2 (click to expand)
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Testing Deep Dive - HDR DCI-P3 Gamma ST.2084 (click to expand)
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Now there are a ton of small adjustments you can make to get the G4’s image just how you want, or make it a better user experience, but overall LG has done very well with their Filmmaker Mode this year, and I would highly suggest using it for everything except gaming, where you can achieve these same results with some minor adjustments, however speaking of game mode a HUGE and I really mean huge improvement on the G series this year is that color luminance has now been fixed in game mode. 

As was found by YouTube creator Tech with KG the LG G3 had serious issues with color in game mode where it looked somewhat washed out when compared to Film Maker Mode. Well no longer. I can confirm both Game Mode and Filmmaker Mode have the same excellent color luminance and punch. My only gripe is that LG appears to have implemented some sort of minor sharpening by default, so it would be great for purests if we could completely disable it, though I’m sure many will prefer the slight clarity boost. 

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Game Mode Color Fixed
Testing Deep Dive - Color Volume SDR and HDR (Click to Expand)

Additionally looking at color volume here, you can see LG is nailing it with about 96% DCI-P3 in SDR.

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However in HDR the same cannot be said. Unfortunately the G4 still suffers from the WOLED issues of reduced color volume at very high brightness. This is definitely one area where Quantum Dot OLED still has a sizable lead, although LG is definitely getting closer each year in real world content, and unlike my experience with the S95B, S95C, and S90C, LG appears to use their color brightness responsibly giving more accurate skin tones and fine color detail especially on the G series when using FMM without needing major color correction.

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Color Volume HDR

Performance - Brightness

The main issue with OLED TVs today is brightness. Many OLED TVs in the past have struggled to display convincing HDR images when the content is meant to be very bright. Although OLED can turn each individual pixel on and off, leading to infinite contrast, the power requirements and heat generated by OLED have been enormous, meaning they simply could not compete with mini LED in terms of brightness.

However, LG and Samsung have made a concerted effort to change that. The LG G4 can now compete with some of the brightest mini LED displays. This results in stunning HDR impact in movies and games that exceed 1000 nits. If you’re using a regular LCD TV today, the G4 is sure to impress you with its depth and tantalizing highlights.

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LG G4 Playing (Real 4K HDR 60fps: LG Jazz HDR UHD)
Testing Deep Dive - Brightness Test (click to expand)

To prove just how impressive the G4 is here are some window brightness tests which do include some monitors I’ve reviewed on YouTube to give some perspective on just how bright the G4 can really get.

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As you can see the LG G4 is so far the brightest display I’ve seen. Even a modified QD OLED S90C TV can’t quite match it in both the 100% and 10% windows which are the most important metrics for getting a rough idea on a display's HDR potential.

Though to get a good idea of just how bright it is in real content I decided to measure a high APL (Average Picture Level) scene in the game Baldur’s Gate 3 because it scales up to 4000nits and is a great way to separate the boys from the men per say when it comes to OLED.

Can the latest LG OLED raise the bar further? bedf2d71 image

Once again the G4 pulls ahead just outpacing the modified S90C proving that not only can the G4 get bright in window measurements, but even color luminance has been raised greatly leading to a punchy HDR experience in real world content of which few displays can truly compete with. In terms of HDR in my opinion this is likely the best of the best so far in 2024, but I would need to compare it directly with Sony’s A95L QD OLED TV to be sure.

Performance - Gaming

LG has always had a good reputation for gaming consistently pulling in the low latency and of course instantaneous response times leading to unmatched motion performance that OLED is famous for, but this year LG has stepped it up again. Not only has game mode color been fixed, but for the first time ever LG has finally matched Samsung and is offering a 144Hz mode for PC gaming. 

Now this only matters for PCs with a 48Gbps HDMI port for full 4K 144Hz gaming without DSC (Display Stream Compression), and only 24fps higher may not sound like much, but I can tell you 144Hz is a significant and noticeable jump over 120Hz, and really makes LG an excellent option for PC gamers looking for the best HDR they can get on PC. 

However, none of that matters if the latency is high. Thankfully that is not the case.

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The LG G4 comes in at a total of 29ms of total system latency including the peripherals and a whole PC. While this does fall short of the fastest 240Hz OLED monitors I’ve reviewed, for a TV this is incredibly fast and is comparable to other good 144Hz monitors making it excellent not only for couch gaming, but even hard core online competitive gaming is no sweat on this TV. Personally I had a great time playing some of my favorite games on this TV when hooked up to a PC, and I think my wow moment was when I was speeding down the highway in Cyberpunk 2077 in excess of 100fps on a scorching day watching the piercing sun glint of my Porche 911 in all that OLED motion glory. This is something no other display technology has been able to match for me. Though of course if you're a professional gamer, you would likely be better looking at 360Hz OLED monitors, for that slight edge in motion clarity and latency.

Speaking of motion performance the LG G4 is also excellent in this area.

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At 144Hz it does have a slight clarity advantage over 120Hz, mostly noticeable where the text becomes more clear, but this TV definitely shines at 120Hz and above. Even at 120Hz the LG G4 absolutely puts 144Hz Mini LED displays to shame as it shows very little ghosting or trailing. Overall gaming on the LG G4 has been greatly improved and is an excellent experience.

Performance - Clarity

Now text clarity is certainly a weak point for OLEDs these days, and the G4 is no exception. While it does a good job showing black text against a white background, the extra white subpixel and unusual GRWB subpixel arrangement leads to pretty bad text fringing against gray backgrounds, and this can also lead to some images even during normal viewing appear to have a form of chromatic aberration. Ideally LG will move their TVs to RGWB or even better a true RGB layout which would also improve color volume in HDR.

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Green, Red, White, Blue G4 subpixel arrangement

Despite that, LG uses an excellent glossy finish with minor anti-reflective properties, leading to overall great clarity at a 4K resolution. However, the G series, unlike the C series, does suffer from some magenta tinting in ambient light. It is best to use the G4 in a somewhat light-controlled room to preserve black levels. To my eye, the tinting is about half as bad as that on QD OLED panels, making it far more manageable. Overall, while this could be improved, I would say the G4 has a great coating and good clarity.

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LG’s Glossy Finish Reflection Handling

Viewing Angles & Uniformity

One issue I have had, and still have with LG WOLED is the bad viewing angles on their non-MLA panels. This is something I don’t see discussed often, but LG has had serious issues with their TVs appearing somewhat pink near the center and green near the edges, or just completely slightly green tinted when viewed off angle depending on your distance. Thankfully this issue has been almost entirely eliminated with MLA. 

There are still some very slight remnants of this issue if you look really hard, but it's effectively been all but eliminated on the G4. Now QD OLED’s have zero issues like this and are generally more clean and uniform as LG still suffers from vertical banding on gray screens and minor dirtiness which can be mostly cleaned with a pixel refresh, but regardless remains an area where LG needs to improve in order to catch QD OLED.

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Vertical Banding Before Pixel Clean

Performance - Audio

Look, or should I say listen… (stop me when it gets too funny) if you want really good sound I suggest investing in a high quality audio setup, but honestly LG has pretty great audio for speakers included in a TV. They don’t have the intense power or bass rumble many will be looking for, but they do deliver a relatively clean and detailed sound for what it is, and there is ok bass extension and power all things considered without the rattle I have experienced on displays like the S90C. Overall I'm pretty impressed, and there's lots of room to tweak it to your preferences.

Menu & Firmware

In my opinion, LG has a pretty solid software experience. I’ve never had an issue with them badly messing up features or performance with updates. There is a lot of room to customize your experience, and overall the speed is acceptable. Don’t get me wrong, it still feels fairly slow, and I know many people are getting concerned over ads, but thankfully LG does give options to disable ads.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it, the LG G4 is an absolute treat for watching movies, TV shows, or even PC gaming thanks to its infinite contrast ratio, excellent peak brightness, fixed game mode color, higher 144Hz refresh rate, greatly improved viewing angles over regular WOLED, great color and shadow detail accuracy in FMM, and also advanced software adjustment capability allowing you to adjust the picture and sound to whatever you like, whether that be an extremely colorful and brightness boosted image, or true to the creator's intent. 

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All things considered while the LG G4 is likely not to be a monumental leap over the G3 when it comes to watching movies, especially for gamers the G4 provides substantial improvements and fixes making it a far superior overall package. 

My biggest gripe is the high price of the LG G4, especially in comparison to the excellently priced 2023 S90C available for $1,000 less at the same size; which is also a great, but not quite as good TV in my opinion. Yet despite that, so far in 2024 I would like to say that the LG G4 may be the best HDR TV money (a lot of money) can buy, but I can’t say it with absolute authority yet, as I haven’t had a chance to directly compare it to last year’s champ the Sony A95L or the incredibly bright 2024 Bravia 9 which is somewhat of a wild card ditching OLED for mini LED technology. 

Regardless, I can wholeheartedly recommend the LG G4 as one of the best displays ever created, having the best display quality I’ve tested so far.

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