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Samsung CU8000 review: a cheap 4K TV that looks premium, but you can get better pictures
7:34 pm | October 19, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Televisions | Tags: , | Comments: Off

Samsung CU8000 review: Two minute review

The Samsung CU8000 is the second most entry-level LED TV in Samsung’s 2023 lineup, with the CU7000/7100 sitting below it. Sitting above these is Samsung’s range of QLEDs, Neo QLEDs (mini-LED) and QD-OLED TVs. 

Samsung TVs often find themselves amongst the best TVs on the market, especially when it comes to picture quality in sets like the Samsung S90C. The Samsung CU8000 has an edge-lit LED panel so certainly won’t hit these heights, but it does a decent job when it comes to color reproduction and when displaying brighter content, despite its low brightness levels. It also does a good job of handling reflections when viewing brighter images and is surprisingly effective when upscaling SDR content. But, its black levels and contrast are lacking and its poor backlight uniformity in darkened conditions mean it doesn’t quite have the picture to make it a budget gem such as the Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED

Sound quality on the CU8000 is not the strongest. With 2.0 channel speakers totaling 20W, the sound is thin and overall lacking in power and punch. Speech levels are surprisingly decent in any sound mode, but there is little-to-no bass and trebles can sound harsh at higher volumes. This is one TV that you’ll definitely need to pair with one of the best soundbars

Design is a real highpoint for the Samsung CU8000 and arguably its most standout feature. A sleek design with a razor-slim depth, super-thin bezel and attractive dark finish, the CU8000 is a really good-looking TV. It has two easy-to-install feet that can be placed in two positions for those looking to place on furniture, but it would also look stunning on the wall using one of the best TV wall mounts

Gaming performance on the Samsung CU8000 is solid enough, with motion feeling smooth despite only having a 60Hz panel. Graphically, it’s colorful and clean-looking, but the lack of next-gen gaming features including no HDMI 2.1 ports with 120Hz and VRR support might put some people off. For more casual gamers, there is the useful Game Hub, which provides access to cloud gaming apps including Xbox cloud gaming and is a welcome inclusion on the CU8000. 

Tizen is one of the better smart TV platforms available, with a neat home menu, or ‘Smart Hub’, layout and access to a wide array of apps. It also offers plenty of recommendations that aren’t plastered across the screen, which prevents them from becoming overwhelming. There are numerous settings to tweak the picture to get it as close to perfect as you’d like, with plenty of room for experimentation. 

With the Samsung CU8000,  you get a big screen from one of the world’s biggest TV brands, such as a 75-inch for around roughly $999/£999/AU$1,800 or an 85-inch for roughly $1,600/£1,500/AU$2,700 if that’s what you’re after. Just-average picture quality and features hold it back from being the Black Friday steal it could be, but if you’re after a solid and affordable second TV, the CU8000 should do the job. 

For our review, we tested the 75-inch version of the Samsung CU8000. 

Samsung CU8000 with sunset on screen

The CU8000 has punchy color but lacks decent contrast  (Image credit: Future)

Samsung CU8000 review: Prices and release date

  •  April 2023 
  •  Prices start at $399 / £370 / AU$895 for the 43-inch 
  •  Up to $1,597 / £1,499 / AU$2,695 for the 85-inch 

 The Samsung CU8000 is one of Samsung’s entry-level LEDs in its 2023 TV lineup, with only the CU7100 below it. As such, it’s the second cheapest 2023 Samsung TV. At the time of release in April, prices for the Samsung CU8000 were as below: 

  • 43-inch: $399 / £499 / AU$899 
  • 50-inch: $449 / £549 / AU$995 
  • 55-inch: $529 / £679 / AU$1,199 
  • 65-inch: $649 / £849 / AU$1,499 
  • 75-inch: $999 / £1,199 / AU$1,999 
  • 85-inch: $1,699 / £1,899 / AU$2,999 

At the time of writing, several months after release, CU8000 prices have dropped across the entire range of sizes, with particularly large price drops in the UK, averaging around 30%. For the 55-inch version, the Samsung CU8000 sits at $499 /£499/ AU$1,195, which makes it the same price as the Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED. For the 75-inch Samsung CU8000, the size used in our review, you’re looking at $949 / £925 / AU$1,795 which is a great price for such a big screen.  

Samsung CU8000 review: Specs

Feet of Samsung CU8000

Feet provided with the 75-inch Samsung CU8000 (pictured) are solid and can be installed in two different positions  (Image credit: Future)

Samsung CU8000 review: Features

  •  Tizen smart TV platform 
  •  Edge-lit LED panel  
  •  No 120Hz or VRR gaming support 

As an entry-level LED TV, the Samsung CU8000 isn’t packed with as many features as more premium models and even in comparison to other budget TVs, like the Amazon Omni QLED, it lacks some of the features you would hope for, especially from a brand like Samsung.

The CU8000 has an edge-lit LED backlight, meaning it doesn’t have the same picture quality as higher-end models and even struggles in comparison to similar models, again like the Amazon Omni QLED. In terms of HDR, the CU8000 supports HDR10+ as well as the usual HDR10 and HLG, but as with all other Samsung TVs, it doesn’t support Dolby Vision.

In terms of gaming features, there isn’t a wide array of options available. The CU8000 doesn’t make itself the most standout in terms of gaming performance, with ALLM and HGiG support, but none for 120Hz or VRR. There is, however, Samsung’s Gaming Hub that does collect cloud gaming options via Xbox, Luna and more into one place, with some game recommendations and trending information also included. 

For audio, there are 2 channels with 20W total power output, but no Dolby Atmos or DTS:X support. The CU8000 does come equipped with Q-Symphony, a feature that can add another layer to the audio experience when a Samsung TV and compatible Samsung soundbar are paired together. 

The Samsung CU8000 comes equipped with the 2023 version of Samsung’s own Tizen smart TV platform. Tizen provides a smart hub as a home page packed with apps including Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, Apple TV Plus and many more. The home page provides plenty of TV  show and movie recommendations based on your viewing and also shows what’s trending on each app. 

  • Features score: 3.5/5

Samsung CU8000 with Top Gun Maverick on screen

The CU8000 handles brighter scenes such as Top Gun: Maverick (pictured) well, even looking quite natural  (Image credit: Future)

Samsung CU8000 review: Picture quality

  •  Colors are vibrant  
  •  HD/SDR picture looks good 
  •  Black levels lacking plus backlight blooming 

The Samsung CU8000 comes equipped with a standard LED panel with edge-lighting, so it doesn’t have the strongest picture features on the market. And while it succeeds in some areas, it is definitely lacking in others. 

Viewing standard dynamic range (SDR) TV shows, including low-resolution and live HDTV via antenna, the CU8000’s picture was surprisingly detailed. Despite a large 75-inch screen to fill, low-resolution TV shows weren’t as fuzzy as expected, with textures still looking decent. HDTV looked even better, with bright colors and sharp detail on the screen. That’s not to say the image was perfect as there were still some colors looking a little overblown, particularly greens, but considering its LED panel and 75-inch size, SDR content didn’t look bad at all.

Moving on to 4K HDR movies and TV shows, the particular highlights within each different type of image were once again the colors. When measuring the DCI-P3 coverage (the color space used to master 4K movies and digital cinema releases) in Filmmaker mode, the CU8000 yielded a result of 88.32% and a BT.2020 coverage of 64%. That’s a decent enough result for a budget TV, but it also demonstrated one of the shortcomings of a model with a standard LCD panel as opposed to a QLED or OLED one. 

Measuring Delta-E values (the margin of error between the test pattern and what’s on screen) for color point accuracy, the result was 2.4 (we typically look for this to average below 3). and the grayscale average Delta-E was 2.9. Again, those are respectable numbers for a TV like the Samsung CU8000, so it’s no surprise its colors looked decent in some of the TV shows and movies I viewed. 

First viewing demo footage on the Spears & Munsil UHD HDR Benchmark Blu-ray, the CU8000 demonstrated the dynamic colors I had seen in the SDR TV shows, but suddenly looked a little more overblown than before. More neutral tones looked best, including scenes of a mountain within a desert landscape, but when it came to black levels and contrast, the Samsung CU8000's shortcomings became obvious. For example, when viewing any night footage, such as a night sky within a city landscape, the black of the night sky took on a gray hue.

When viewing The Batman, during a particularly dark fight scene within the opening of the movie, the Samsung CU8000 again struggled with black levels and shadow details and another shortcoming of the CU8000 became apparent: backlight uniformity. 

When viewed in brighter conditions, the backlight issue wasn’t too obvious, but when the lights were dimmed or turned off, it was hard to overlook. The Batman arguably became difficult to watch, as the CU8000 struggled to control its backlight and the image took on a white overall glow and the movie’s dark, moody tone was lost. 

Watching the throne room fight scene from Star Wars: The Last Jedi streamed from Disney Plus in 4K and Dolby Vision, the CU8000’s colors improved again. Red was a prominent color in this scene, and it looked dynamic but not overblown, while the skin tones were true-to-life and natural. One thing that I noted was the lightsabers seemed a bit dimmer than I’d expected, lacking the same crisp and bright punch I’d seen on other TVs like the Amazon Omni QLED. 

When measuring the peak HDR brightness levels of the CU8000 using Portrait Displays' Calman calibration software, the results were 292 nits and 324 nits on a 10% window in Filmmaker mode and Standard picture mode, respectively, which explains the dull-looking lightsaber in the Star Wars Dolby Vision scene. Despite its low peak brightness levels, the CU8000 did handle screen reflections well, even with harsh overhead lights turned on in our testing environment. 

Finally, when watching the two mission scenes from Top Gun: Maverick to check motion handling, the CU8000 did a decent enough job of processing the fast, panning shots as the jets accelerated across screen, though motion judder became obvious in certain intense moments. Thankfully, going into Settings>Picture>Picture Clarity>Judder reduction and making some minor adjustments improved the motion handling, and it did so without leading to the dreaded soap opera effect.  

  • Picture quality score: 3.5/5

Samsung CU8000 with explosion from Star Wars The Force Awakens on screen

Thin- sounding audio mean scenes with battles such as Star Wars: The Force Awakens (pictured) lack any punch (Image credit: Future)

Samsung CU8000 review: Sound quality

  •  2.0-channel speakers 
  •  Decent speech levels 
  •  Thin-sounding audio quality 

The Samsung CU8000 is an extremely slim TV, and whilst that certainly makes it an attractive TV, it does not do any favors for its audio. With a 2.0-channel speaker configuration and 20W of power, the CU8000’s audio is incredibly basic and very much on the thin side. 

There’s no Dolby Atmos or DTS:X support, as you’d usually expect on TVs around this price, though other budget TVs like the Amazon Omni QLED at least try and make up for this with better built-in sound. The Samsung CU8000 doesn’t do the same, unfortunately. Watching the Batmobile chase from The Batman, bass levels were minimal with the rumble of the Batmobile’s engine almost non-existent. Speech levels were solid enough, but treble and mid-range were also paper-thin, especially in Standard sound mode. Switching to Amplify, everything was heigthened especially in terms of volume, but not really improved.

Also checking out Top Gun:Maverick, speech levels maintained their decent level within the audio mix, but again sound was too direct and thin-sounding to create any real sense of immersion. Switching to Adaptive Sound, the CU8000 took on a slightly more surround-sound feel, but it also made the sound clinical, with any sort of warmth disappearing. 

  • Sound quality score: 3/5

Samsung CU8000 side shot in testing room

The CU8000 is delightfully thin  (Image credit: Future)

Samsung CU8000 review: Design

  •  Very sleek and attractive design  
  •  Easy to install feet, with two positions 
  •  Feels more expensive than it is 

Samsung has made a habit of designing good-looking TVs (I’m thinking of its 2023 QD-OLEDs, the S90C and S95C, in particular). It’s great to see that it hasn’t forgotten its dedication to design for budget models as well, as the Samsung CU8000 is a very attractive TV.

Featuring what Samsung calls an AirSlim design, the CU8000 is seriously thin – razor-thin in comparison to other TVs, and with a dark finish. Thanks to its minuscule depth, it would look seriously good mounted on a wall. But if that’s not your plan, there are two very easy-to-install feet that can be placed in two positions based on preference. I had it in the ‘narrow’ position during testing and it felt solid. 

The TV itself is very appealing to look at, with a marginal trim around the outside and a super-slim bezel that makes it look more expensive than it is. Despite the slim design, there’s a reassuring ‘quality’ feel to it. 

The Samsung CU8000 also comes supplied with two remotes, one of which is the more minimal smart remote, named the solar cell remote, whilst the other is the more standard Samsung remote with numbers and so on. Each remote feels decent enough in quality, with the solar cell remote in particular looking clean and visually appealing, but it’s nice to have both options.

  • Design score: 4.5/5

Samsung Cu8000 with Tizen Smart Hub home menu on screen

The Samsung CU8000 features the 2023 version of Tizen (pictured), Samsung's own smart TV platform  (Image credit: Future)

Samsung CU8000 review: Smart TV & menus

  •  Tizen smart TV platform 
  •  Smart hub 
  •  Plenty of settings options to tweak 

The CU8000 features the 2023 version of Samsung’s own Tizen smart TV platform. This itself feels like an improvement over last year’s version, with quicker response times and a more streamlined appearance. 

The Smart Hub, the ‘home’ menu of Tizen, is where you can find all the apps that the CU8000 has at its disposal, of which there are many. (Samsung has always had one of the strongest catalogs of smart TV apps.) And with access here to all you’d expect, such as Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, Apple TV+ and in the UK all the Freeview apps, such as BBC iPlayer, ITVX and so on, there really is something for everyone. Also on the smart hub, Tizen will show any trending shows by app and make recommendations based on genre as well. 

It’s worth noting, however, that, as usual, Tizen does not support Freeview Play in the UK and rather uses its own Samsung TV Plus platform for live TV. 

When it comes to settings, there are plenty of options such as contrast, brightness, sharpness, and motion that will enable you to customize the picture to how you like. There are also plenty of preset picture modes to dig into and again these can be tweaked as well. Being able to tweak picture settings and see the effect clearly on a full screen, without menus blocking the picture, is a really handy feature as well. Tizen still stands as one of the best TV smart platforms around and it’s great to see it on the CU8000.

  • Smart TV & menus score: 4.5/5

Samsung CU8000 with Game hub on screen

The CU8000 comes equipped with a Gaming Hub (pictured) to organize all things gaming  (Image credit: Future)

Samsung CU8000 review: Gaming

  •  Gaming hub 
  •  10ms input lag time  
  •  No 120Hz or VRR gaming 

When it comes to gaming, the Samsung CU8000 is a little light on physical features to get the best experience for gamers. With no HDMI 2.1 ports, there’s no 120Hz or VRR support. And with no Dolby Vision compatibility, there’s no Dolby Vision gaming, a feature that’s supported by other budget TVs such as the Amazon Omni QLED. 

Graphically, the Samsung CU8000 is perfectly adequate. Playing Battlefield V on Xbox Series X, colors were as crisp as they were when playing HDR movies and TV shows and actually looked more natural in the game itself. Textures weren’t as sharp, however, which resulted in plain-looking terrain sometimes, but they were still decent enough.

In terms of gaming performance, despite having no real gaming features, the CU8000 handled motion well enough. When measuring the CU8000’s input lag time with Game mode switched on, it clocked in at 10ms, which is an excellent score for a TV of this type. 

During an intense woodland battle in Battlefield V, switching between targets still felt smooth and despite not feeling as smooth as TVs with 120Hz, the CU8000’s performance was solid enough. 

One welcome feature in the CU8000 is the inclusion of Samsung’s Gaming Hub. This collects together all things gaming such as cloud gaming apps including Luna and Xbox, trending information, and recommendations on other video games and even the Xbox Series X itself to allow for easy navigation of anything gaming-related. 

The CU8000 isn’t going to take over the gaming world anytime soon, but it still performs well enough for those not too worried about having next-gen gaming features.

  • Gaming score: 3.5/5

Samsung SolarCell Remote

The CU8000 comes with two remotes, including the minimalist SolarCell Remote (Image credit: Future)

Samsung CU8000 review: Value

  •  Good budget price 
  •  Decent enough level of features 
  •  Better TVs available for similar price 

It’s hard to argue that the Samsung CU8000 doesn’t have a solid, budget price. At $399 / £370 / AU$895 for the 43-inch model, it has an acceptable level of performance for the price to accommodate most people. It’s also possible to get a big screen, such as the 75-inch, for under $1,000 / £1,000 / AU$2,000, if that’s what you’re looking for. 

But, when lined up against the Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED, the Samsung CU8000 doesn’t hit the same level of value. The Omni QLED beats the Samsung CU8000 in picture, sound and features, and to top all it off, is the same price or cheaper in every size, although a 75-inch Fire TV Omni QLED option isn't available in the UK or an 85-inch one in the US.

In terms of picture quality and overall performance, a lot of TVs beat the Samsung CU8000. But, if you are a Samsung fan and are looking for a budget LED TV, maybe as a secondart set for the bedroom, the CU8000 should suffice.

  • Value score: 3.5/5

Samsung CU8000 with dog and living room on screen from HD live TV

SDR TV shows look surprisingly crisp on the Samsung CU8000 (Image credit: Future)

Should I buy the Samsung CU8000?

Buy it if...

Don't buy if it...

Also consider...

Samsung Cu8000 with testing equipment attached

(Image credit: Future)

How I tested the Samsung CU8000

When testing the Samsung CU8000, I first viewed several different sources such as SDR and HDR movies and TV shows through 4K Blu-ray, streaming and live TV via antenna. I also tested video game performance using an Xbox Series X. Whilst doing this, I tested the out-of-the-box picture presets to determine which was best. 

One thing to note is that I have been previously using the Xbox Series X to test HDR content but now have access to the Panasonic DP-UB820, a UHD Blu-ray player that is compatible with multiple HDR formats including Dolby Vision. For future reviews, I will be using this to test 4K Blu-rays, but for the CU8000 testing, I viewed the same movies on both the Xbox Series X and DP-UB820 to get a comparison. 

After some running-in time, I then took measurements of the Samsung CU8000 using Portrait Displays' Calman calibration software. I used this to measure and record the CU8000's SDR and HDR peak brightness levels on a 10% and 100% window. Alongside this, I measured the Delta E averages (the margin of error between a test pattern and what's shown on screen) for grayscale, color point accuracy and gamma. Test patterns were made using the Murideo Seven 8K test pattern generator.

As well as these tests, I also measured  DCI-P3 and BT.2020 color space coverage. This demonstrates how faithfully a TV can render extended color space from UHD sources. Finally, I used the Leo Bodnar 4K input lag tester to measure the input lag of the TV while it was in its Game mode. 

  • First reviewed: October 2023
Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED review: one of the best-featured cheap 4K TVs you can buy
2:54 pm | October 5, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Televisions | Tags: , , , | Comments: Off

Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED: Two-minute review

The Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED is the latest entry into the Amazon Fire TV market, and unlike the other 2023 Fire TV Omnis, it uses QLED technology in an effort to add extra brightness and detail to the picture compared with the more basic LED-lit 4-series and 2-series. 

Competitively – aggressively, even – priced, the Amazon Fire TV Omni QLEDs offer a big screen size for a smaller price tag compared to most of the best TVs. Launched in April 2023 (for the 65-inch) and June 2023 for all other sizes, prices for the Omni are low enough by default, but are almost certainly a Black Friday 2023 and Amazon Prime Day 2023 deal waiting to happen. 

In terms of picture quality, the Amazon Omni QLED isn’t going to rival the best OLED TVs anytime soon. But, with vivid colors, decent contrast and a surprisingly detailed and natural image with certain movies and TV shows, the Omni QLED’s picture excels for its budget price. There are some backlight blooming issues, and black levels aren’t the best, but at this price it’s hard to argue against. 

Sound quality on the Omni QLED is serviceable as long as you have the sound mode set to Movie. Bass levels are punchy and speech is clear despite its basic 2.0-channel 12w speaker system, but if you’re looking for a big sound, you’ll be better off looking at pairing the Omni QLED with one of the best soundbars.

The Amazon Omni QLED’s design is nice enough, with an attractive silver frame and slim bezel around a slightly chunkier build. Its main downfall is its supplied feet which, whilst feeling solid, are so deep and far apart that people will need to have specific stands or furniture to put the Omni QLED on.

Gaming performance on the Amazon Omni QLED is surprisingly good, as are its features, for a cheaper TV. Whilst not as kitted out as the best gaming TVs, the Omni QLED does offer 4K Dolby Vision gaming, VRR and ALLM on its one HDMI 2.1 port. 120Hz support is all it's missing, but at this price range that’s not a common feature anyway. 

Fire TV is a solid smart TV platform, which can offer recommendations based on your viewing across multiple apps. There aren’t as many picture settings to adjust as other TVs but there are still plenty to tweak. Ambient Experience offers a nice bonus feature that can turn a drab, black screen during standby into a work of art. There are definitely some stutters and stops when navigating Fire TV, but it still offers a lot of options in terms of features.

Value is one of the Amazon Omni QLED's strongest categories, with the features on offer in terms of picture, gaming and smart TV greatly exceeding its budget price. TVs from rivals like Samsung, LG, Hisense and TCL don’t offer the same in terms of overall spec when compared to the Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED. As an almost certain inclusion within Amazon Prime Day and Black Friday, we could even see that excellent value increase very soon. 

We used the 65-inch Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED for this review.

Amazon Omni QLED with dusk city landscape on screen

(Image credit: Future)

Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED review: Price and release date

  • Released: April 2023 (65-inch UK/US), June 2023 (43, 50, 55-inch UK/US and 75-inch US only)
  • Price starts from $379/£549 
  • Up to $599/£999 (65-inch) and $899 (75-inch US only) 

The Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED is part of Amazon’s 2023 Fire TV lineup, also featuring the Fire TV 4-series and Fire TV 2-series. The Amazon Omni QLED range is only available in the US and UK, and there is no official word on an Australian release at the time of writing.

The 65-inch was released first in April 2023 with prices at that time being $799/£999. In June 2023, the rest of the range was released with prices being $449/£549 for the 43-inch, $529/£649 for the 50-inch and $599/£749 for the 55-inch. The 75-inch model, priced at $1,099 at time of release, was only available in the US at the time of writing.

A few months on, and prices have dropped. At the time of writing in the US, the Omni QLED starts from $379 for the 43-inch to a very competitive $899 for the 75-inch. The 65-inch, featured in this review, currently sits at an incredibly affordable $589. The pricing for the Amazon Omni QLED is always changing and we expect this to be the case on Amazon Prime Day 2023 and Black Friday 2023, with some excellent discounts to be had. So if prices go back up again, be sure they will come back down.

Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED review: Specs

Amazon Omni QLED Ambient Experience on display showing flowers on screen

Ambient Experience (pictured) on the Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED. (Image credit: Future)

Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED review: Features

  • 4K QLED panel 
  • Ambient Experience 
  • Dolby Vision IQ and HDR10+ Adaptive HDR support 

The Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED doesn’t have the connections a lot of more premium TVs offer, but for a budget TV it does come with a surprising amount of features packed into it.

The Omni QLED features a QLED display with full array local dimming in sizes 50-inch and up, while the 43-inch has direct LED backlighting (but no local dimming). In terms of HDR support, the Omni QLED features Dolby Vision IQ and HDR10+ Adaptive, both of which analyze the viewing environment to adapt picture quality. 

When it comes to gaming features, the Amazon Omni QLED doesn’t support 120Hz gaming, but it does support Dolby Vision gaming, VRR and ALLM, all of which are welcome additions for a TV priced like the Amazon Omni QLED. However, its one HDMI 2.1 port is also its eARC port for connecting to a soundbar.

Fire TV is the Amazon Omni QLED's smart TV platform, and offers plenty of options in terms of recommendations and customization. If you log in with your Amazon account, you can track what you’ve been watching as well as your most recently used apps, and Amazon will make recommendations based on your viewing and show the top trending videos.

Two other features integrated within Omni QLED are Ambient Experience and hands-free Alexa voice control. The Ambient Experience uses the premise of Samsung’s Art Mode from its Frame TVs (where artwork is displayed when the TV is in standby as opposed to a blank screen) but can also show time and date, smart widgets such as weather, and also play music and podcasts in the background. Hands-free Alexa voice control, once enabled, allows navigation of the Fire TV menus without any need for touching the remote.

  • Features score: 4/5 

Amazon Omni QLED with Top Gun Maverick on screen

Facial details are surprisingly accurate on the Omni QLED, as shown on Top Gun: Maverick (pictured)  (Image credit: Future)

Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED review: Picture quality

  • Colors are surprisingly good 
  • Average black levels 
  • Natural-looking image 

For a budget TV, the Amazon Omni QLED delivers respectable brightness levels that are similar to last year’s Samsung Q60B, another entry-level QLED set. I measured the Omni QLED at HDR peak brightness of 531 nits in Standard picture mode, and 402 nits in Movie Dark mode on a 10% window when tested. Although there is a Movie Bright mode that would have no doubt yielded a higher brightness result, the Movie Dark mode was the most accurate picture preset, and displayed the best picture on the Omni QLED. For a QLED screen, these results were a little dimmer than I might like, but as I mentioned, they're comparable to other budget options.

When measuring the Delta-E values (the margin of error between an accurate test pattern source and what’s shown on screen), we typically look for the average result to be under 3, since this is considered indistinguishable from perfect to most people. When measuring grayscale results (to test how it handles different levels of darkness) in Movie Dark mode, the result was 4.3, so a little disappointing – but this is somewhat expected with an LED screen. However, in terms of color accuracy, the Omni QLED’s Delta-E average was 1.99, which is an excellent result especially for a TV at this level. It’s worth noting adjustments in picture can be made to improve those numbers, but these were the out-of-the-box results. 

I measured coverage of the DCI-P3 color range (used for mastering 4K movies and digital cinema releases) at 97.3% and BT.2020 at 74.3%. These are very good results again, and definitely rival some of the other best 4K TVs available. 

Despite these mostly positive results, there's one clear weakness to its pictures: standard definition content. It had a muddy, fuzzy look to it. HD and 4K pictures are strong, as I'll come to in a moment, whether that's in HDR or SDR. But especially on this 65-inch model, low-resolution viewing wasn't a great experience.

When testing 4K content with Dolby Vision next, I used several scenes from various Star Wars movies streamed through Disney Plus. Switching between the TV’s Dolby Vision picture modes, Dolby Vision IQ did a good job of adapting the picture to suit the different lighting conditions that could be set in the testing room, but again I found the dark preset (Dolby Vision Dark) to be the best for quality. Despite the lack of any anti-glare screen coating, the Omni QLED also did an adequate job in regards to reflections, reducing the visibility of harsh overhead lighting effectively. 

During the throne room fight in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the colors were dynamic and punchy, and the Omni QLED displayed the predominantly red color well without making it looking overblown. Whilst contrast levels were decent, any black within the scene did take on a dark-gray tone, showcasing the shortcomings of the QLED screen’s full-array local dimming compared to mini-LED or OLED TVs.

HDR demo video on the Spears & Munsil UHD Benchmark disc showed that in brighter nature scenes, color again was accurate. Images had a surprisingly natural quality to them as well, with good texture to animals and landscapes. During some of the night scenes, particularly of a city, contrast levels were good overall but again the black levels weren't that deep, and there was some backlight blooming from light to dark areas, especially in scenes where the night sky took up a lot of the screen. 

When it comes to motion, the Omni QLED did a great job of processing Top Gun: Maverick's jets in full flight, cleanly capturing fast panning shots and extreme changes in motion. There was the odd judder, but after changing motions settings to off or low – some motion processing can still be helpful with the Omni's 60Hz panel – this improved. It was also here that I noted just how detailed people looked on the Omni QLED, with a close up shot of Maverick’s face showcasing surprising deep levels of detail.

The Omni QLED may not have the best picture on the market, but considering its price range, I was surprised with just how detailed and vivid its picture was and how well it punches above its weight.

  • Picture quality score: 4/5

Amazon Omni QLED with Star Wars The Last Jedi on screen

Movies like Star Wars: The Last Jedi (pictured) will sound okay on the Omni QLED's built-in speakers, but only okay. (Image credit: Future)

Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED review: Sound quality

  • Clean, direct sound in Movie mode
  • Decent speech levels
  • No Dolby Atmos support

With a 2.0-channel speaker system, the Amazon Omni QLED's sound isn’t going to set the world alight. In Standard mode, audio quality is a bit thin with very little bass and treble, as demonstrated in the opening scene of Top Gun: Maverick, where opening track music lacked any sort of drive. 

However, changing the sound mode to Movie completely altered the dynamic of the Omni QLED’s sound. Bass levels were elevated and the rumble of the engines from the jets in Top Gun: Maverick was much more powerful and direct. Speech levels were also surprisingly clear, with dialogue being audible even during moments where characters spoke through a crackling radio. 

Yes, there’s no Dolby Atmos support but it seems that Amazon’s intention was to create a powerful built-in TV sound that was direct and clear, and to an extent they have succeeded. Dolby Atmos would be nice but it’s not something you necessarily find in TVs of the Omni QLED’s price range.

The built-in TV speakers should suit most people and situations but if you are looking for a bolder sound, it may well be worth considering a soundbar just to add that extra level of depth.

  •  Sound quality score: 3.5/5 

Feet of the Amazon Omni QLED TV 65-inch

The Fire TV Omni's feet are very deep, even by 65-inch TV standards. (Image credit: Future)

Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED review: Design

  •  Attractive, gray steel frame 
  •  Deep feet supplied with TV 
  •  Fire TV Alexa remote 

The Amazon Omni QLED features an attractive steel-look frame in a silver, metallic finish. At 8.4cm, it isn’t the slimmest TV, especially in comparison to Samsung’s ultra-slim LCD TVs which sit in a similar price range. However, the trim of the screen itself is minimal, meaning you get a nice screen-filling picture.

One of the most noticeable design features, and one that could be a drawback for some people, are the feet provided with the Amazon Omni QLED. Although they are fairly sturdy, they are a little deeper than your average TV stand/feet. This could be an issue for some TV stands and other furniture. The Ikea TV stand we used for testing just about fit the 65-inch Omni QLED’s feet (as shown in above pic) – we've had the 65-inch LG G3 on here with no worries about it fitting. 

The remote supplied with the Omni QLED is the Fire TV Alexa remote. Slim and small in nature, the remote is compact and feels light. Simply by pushing the blue button at the top, you can access Alexa voice control if you don’t wish to use the hands-free option.

  • Design score: 3.5/5

Amazon Fire TV home menu on Omni QLED

The Amazon Omni QLED uses Fire TV as its smart TV platform.  (Image credit: Future)

Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED review: Smart TV and menus

  •  Fire TV smart TV platform 
  •  Extensive recommendations 
  •  Slightly clunky navigation 

The Amazon Omni QLED comes with the Fire TV smart TV platform, unsurprisingly. Offering a wealth of recommendations, Fire TV tracks your viewing habits to tailor these based on genre and across multiple streaming sites. Logging in with your Amazon account further adds to what you’ll get in terms of suggestions, customization of menus and more.

One of the most recent additions to Fire TV is a feature called Ambient Experience. Reminiscent of the Art Mode feature found on Samsung’s Frame TVs, Ambient Experience will display artworks or your own photos on screen when the TV is in standby mode. You can also display other widgets such as weather, smart home features, music and more. Speaking of music, you can even play music in the background whilst Ambient Experience is on.

In terms of menus, the main Fire TV menu is easy enough to navigate through but changing settings such as picture mode, input and so on is not as easy compared to other smart TV platforms. To access these settings, you have to hold down the home button rather than a settings button, which definitely slows down the process. 

One thing I did find during testing was that, although easy to navigate, Fire TV felt clunky at times. There were often frequent pauses and stutters when accessing apps, changing settings and browsing through menus, which hindered the experience a little, although thankfully these stutters weren’t common. 

Another feature of the Omni QLED is the Alexa voice control which can be accessed via the remote or, if enabled, via the Omni QLED's built-in mic for hands-free voice control. Alexa functioned well when it came to navigating Fire TV and when issued with the command to find a particular movie, it would find that movie on all possible sites, allowing for user choice.

  • Smart TV and menus score: 3.5/5

Amazon Omni QLED with Battlefield V on display

Graphics of Battlefield V (pictured) look good on the Amazon Omni QLED. (Image credit: Future)

Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED review: Gaming

  •  Dolby Vision gaming support 
  •  No 120Hz HDMI 2.1 support 
  •  Low 10.4ms input lag 

In terms of gaming features and performance, the Amazon Omni QLED delivers surprising results. The Omni QLED offers a decent picture with enough detail to make it a real viable budget gaming TV. During a night mission on Battlefield V, played through an Xbox Series X, landscapes looked natural and the weapon on screen had plenty of detail within it. Sadly, the night mission did showcase more of the slightly lacking black levels within the Omni QLED’s picture. 

With Game mode switched on, the Omni QLED processed intense moments well. Switching between targets and motion processing felt smooth, with changes from sections of calm into action feeling seamless. This is in part thanks to the Omni QLED's very low input lag time. Using the Leo Bodnar 4K input lag tester, the Omni QLED yielded a result of 10.4ms, which is an excellent result for a TV at this price and even rivals some of the best 120Hz TVs

Another welcome addition is the inclusion of gaming features like 4K Dolby Vision gaming support,and even VRR and ALLM, which are not always included on TVs within this price range. The Omni QLED offers multiple Dolby Vision game picture modes as well to give more choice to players on how they want their HDR to look in compatible games on the Xbox Series X.

The Omni QLED may not be the most comprehensive gaming TV, with no 120Hz support on any of its HDMI ports, but it’s hard to argue against what it does offer for gamers at such a budget price.

  • Gaming score: 4/5

Amazon Fire TV Alexa remote

The Omni QLED is supplied with the Amazon Alexa remote. (Image credit: Future)

Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED review: Value

  •  Very competitively priced 
  •  Well stocked with features compared to similar TVs 
  •  Frequently on sale

Value is where the Amazon Omni QLED range really shines. Priced at the time of writing at $599/£999 for the 65-inch model, it is an extremely competitive TV. At $599 in the US, you are getting good picture quality, Dolby Vision support, great gaming performance and an intuitive smart TV platform at a large 65-inch size. Although not as budget friendly in the UK as it is in the US, the features you get in the Omni QLED still make it a very competitively priced TV compared to ones from rivals such as Samsung and LG.

Another advantage with the Amazon Omni QLED being an Amazon product means it is a regular feature during seasonal discount events such as Black Friday, or on Amazon Prime Day. This means that the already well-priced Omni QLED will most likely end up being even cheaper during sales season.

It may not have the picture quality and full features of a more premium TV, and sometimes the budget nature of the Omni QLED shows via its sometimes lacking black levels, average sound quality, and slightly clunky software, but what you do get makes this TV a real bargain.

  • Value score: 4.5/5

Amazon Omni QLED with demo content of mountain on screen

(Image credit: Future)

Should I buy the Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED review: Also consider

How I tested the Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED

Amazon Omni QLED with testing equipment attached

The Amazon Omni QLED in the process of testing, with our equipment. (Image credit: Future)
  • Tested in our lab room with varying lighting conditions
  • Measurements taken using Portrait Displays' Calman software
  • Tested through a variety of sources, both SDR and HDR

When testing the Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED, I first viewed several different sources such as SDR and HDR movies and TV shows through 4K Blu-ray, streaming and live TV via antenna. I also tested video game performance using an Xbox Series X. Whilst doing this, I tested the out-of-the-box picture presets to determine which was best.

After some running-in time, I then took measurements of the Amazon Omni QLED using Portrait Displays' Calman calibration software. I used this to measure and record the Omni QLED's SDR and HDR peak brightness levels on a 10% and 100% window. Alongside this, I measured the Delta E averages (the margin of error between a test pattern and what's shown on screen) for grayscale, color accuracy and gamma. Test patterns were made using the Murideo Seven 8K test pattern generator.

As well as these tests, I also measured  DCI-P3 and BT.2020 color space coverage. This demonstrates how faithfully a TV can render extended color space from UHD sources. Finally, I used the Leo Bodnar 4K input lag tester to measure the input lag of the TV while it was in its Game mode. 

  • First reviewed: October 2023
LG B3 review: LG’s cheapest OLED TV packs a lot of performance
3:00 pm | October 1, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Televisions | Tags: , , , | Comments: Off

LG B3: Two-minute review

The LG B3 continues a trend that LG has followed for years by providing a great-quality, more affordable OLED TV choice. Upon its release in April 2023, the LG B3 was not the best value set on the market, being roughly $100 cheaper than the step-up entry in LG’s 2023 OLED range, the LG C3, but with clear reduction in features and performance. Since then, B3 prices have dropped to a more reasonable level, putting space between it and more mid-range OLEDs.

Although the LG B3 does not feature the Micro Lens Array tech adopted by the LG G3, or even the Evo panel in the LG C3, its picture quality is nothing short of superb – something you’d expect from an OLED TV. Vibrant colors, deep black levels and great contrast mean the B3 has a picture that surprisingly rivals the C3 and even holds its own against the G3, which is one of the best TVs available in 2023. 

Sound quality is one of the weaker parts of the LG B3. The 2.0 speaker system doesn’t create the same quality sound to match the excellent picture quality even on Cinema Mode, which gives decent enough audio performance. This is a TV that  could almost benefit from a sound upgrade via one of the best soundbars

Gaming performance is another area where LG’s entry-level OLED TV shines. Thanks to excellent picture quality, smooth motion processing and an extremely useful Game Optimizer feature, the B3 is certainly a TV that gamers should consider if they want OLED gaming on a budget. It’s just a shame that it doesn’t come with HDMI 2.1 across all four HDMI ports. 

For smart TV software, the LG B3 uses webOS 23, which has seen an upgrade from last year’s webOS 22. The result is a neater home menu, more customization options and a Quick Cards feature that allows for quicker and easier navigation of apps if you need. 

When it comes to design, the LG B3 has a sleek design with an extremely slim bezel  for an “all-picture” look. Unfortunately, the stand supplied with the B3, although a nice color, is made of a cheap-feeling plastic material when other TVs like the C3 come with a more substantial stand. 

The LG B3 may not have the features and picture brightness of TVs like the LG G3 or Samsung S95C, but it’s hard to argue against what it does provide for its current price. Although other TVs may offer better sound, such as the Sony A80L or Samsung S90C, or more extensive gaming features, such as the LG C3, the B3 lets people experience OLED on a smaller budget and could certainly be one of the best 4K TVs released in 2023.

For this review, I tested the 55-inch version of the LG B3.

LG B3 TV with green butterfly on screen

Detail levels on the LG B3 rival TVs much more premium than it (Image credit: Future)

LG B3 review: Prices and release date

  •  Released April 2023 
  •  From $1,299/£1,199/AU$3,145 for the 55-inch 
  •  Up to $2,199/£3,099/$AU6,495 for the 77-inch  

The LG B3 is the most widely available entry-level TV in LG’s OLED range (with the A3 not available in several major territories). At the time of its release in April 2023, prices ranged from $1,699/£1,799/$AU3,415 for the 55-inch, $2,399/£2,699/AU$4,095 for the 65-inch and $3,299/£3,799/AU$6,495 for the 77-inch. Sadly, this meant that the B3 was only on average $100 less than the more premium LG C3, leaving people without a real ‘entry-level’ option.

Thankfully at the time of writing, several months after release, prices for the LG B3 have dropped and currently sit around $1,299 for the 55-inch, $1,499 for the 65-inch and $2,199 for the 77-inch, which puts it at a much more competitive price with other entry-level OLEDs like the Sony A80L.  (It’s worth noting that in the UK and Australia, the price for the 77-inch is significantly higher at £3,099/$AU6,495.)

LG B3 review: Specs

LG B3 TV with peacock feather on screen

Contrast is impressive on the B3 (Image credit: Future)

LG B3 review: Features

  •  Alpha 7 Gen6 processor 
  •  Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos support 
  •  Two HDMI 2.1 ports for gaming  

The LG B3 may not be as well kitted out as LG's higher-end C3 and G3 models, but it does still carry a lot of the same features that those TVs do.

As other OLED TVs evolve, the LG B3 still features a standard white-OLED (W-OLED) panel as opposed to the C3’s Evo panel, which adds to the overall brightness. The G3 also features micro-lens-array technology to further enhance the brightness up to 70%. The LG B3 does however support Dolby Vision, HDR10 and HLG formats, but like all LG TVs doesn't support HDR10+. 

For gaming, the LG B3 has two HDMI 2.1 ports with support for 120Hz Dolby Vision gaming, VRR, ALLM, Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync. It also has the same Game Optimizer and game bar featured in the C3 and G3. although its Alpha 7 Gen6 processor won't be as powerful as the Alpha 9 Gen6 processor found in the C3 and G3, the B3 is still packing some very good performance for both movies and gaming. 

The B3 features a 2.0 audio system and Dolby Atmos support, though without height speakers it can’t  deliver Dolby Atmos effects at their full potential. While its speaker system isn’t as comprehensive as the ones in the C3 and G3, the B3 still supports a lot of the same audio features such as LG Sound Sync and AI Sound Pro sound mode to upmix sound to 5.1.2 when selected.

The LG B3 also comes installed with LG’s latest smart software, web OS23. One of the biggest updates to webOS23 is the addition of a Quick Cards system, which sorts apps into different categories such as Movies, Sport, Music and so on. These can be customized to allow for quicker navigation of your most used apps. The home menu has also been slimmed down to two pages as opposed to the four found in last year’s web OS22 and features less intrusive ads and recommendations.

  • Features score: 4.5/5

LG B3 TV with Star Wars Ahsoka on screen

Textures and details like skin look natural and life-like on the B3 (Image credit: Future)

LG B3 review: Picture quality

  •  Punchy and vibrant color 
  •  Natural quality to picture  
  •  Great black levels  

Starting with some numbers, the LG B3’s peak HDR brightness measured on a 10% window hit 619 nits in Filmmaker mode and 649 nits in Standard mode. That’s an improvement on its predecessor the LG B2 but lower than the LG C3 which we measured at 830 nits in Filmmaker mode, though this is to be expected given the C3’s brighter Evo panel. On a full 100% window, the B3 hit 133 nits in Filmmaker mode, which is a respectable result considering its peak brightness. 

Measured again using HDR Filmmaker picture mode, the LG B3’s average color Delta-E was around 1.3, which is a surprisingly fantastic result. (The Delta-E value indicates the difference between a test pattern and what is actually shown on the TV’s screen, with a number below three considered to be an undetectable margin of error.) Average grayscale Delta-E values came to 1.4, which is another excellent result. DCI-P3 coverage (which is the color space used to master 4K movies and digital cinema releases) was measured at 98% and BT.2020 was 73.14%, both of which are great results and actually match  the more premium LG G3. 

When I tested it in our lab, I expected the LG B3 to struggle with the harsh overhead lights in terms of reflections as it uses a standard W-OLED panel and not the MLA technology or Evo panel in the LG G3 or LG C3. Although there were some reflections in darker scenes, I was surprised to find the B3 fared better than expected and my general viewing experience wasn’t too badly hindered. 

Testing the out-of-the-box preset picture modes, the LG B3 had a brilliant picture. When first viewing in Standard mode, colors were dynamic and punchy and stood out on the screen. There was also a good deal of brightness to rival the effect of the overhead lights in our testing lab. Black levels and shadows weren’t quite as well-defined but were still good. However, once I settled on Filmmaker mode, the overall picture quality improved, with deeper black levels and a more natural look, whilst still maintaining punchy colors. 

First watching scenes from John Wick and John Wick: Chapter 2, both of which are set in a nightclub, the pulsing colors of the lights were vibrant and contrasted well with the shadows within the scene when the lights flashed off. Blacks were deep but still had great levels of detail. This was especially obvious in Wick’s black suit, the textures of which you could see despite the overall dark scene. 

To test Dolby Vision when watching in the B3’s Dolby Vision Cinema Home picture mode, I watched some scenes from Star Wars: Ahsoka. Contrast here was again impressive, with lightsabers almost jumping out of the screen against the darker backgrounds, regardless of color. The most noticeable thing when watching Ahsoka was just how natural and true-to-life textures and skin tones looked. 

For motion testing, I used the opening scene from John Wick: Chapter 2 where John Wick pursues a motorcycle. During the chase, Wick’s car drifts around a corner and the camera quickly swipes from left to right. The B3 did a great job of processing this fast-paced scene, with the quick, panning shots looking fluid as the car and motorcycle weaved in and around traffic. 

Using the Spears & Munsil UHD HDR Benchmark Blu-ray to test professional demonstration content, the B3 did a remarkable job. Night scenes within cities looked crisp, with the lights of the skyscrapers standing out from the black backgrounds. Colors were also dynamic within scenes of nature, with bright blue skies seeming natural against the rocky landscape below. One thing that became apparent however was that the B3 did impart a cooler color bias during snow demo scenes, with the white taking on a blue-ish tint. But this didn’t detract too much from the superb quality of the picture and it can be adjusted for in picture settings. 

  • Picture Quality score: 4.5/5

LG B3 OLED with music menu on screen

The music Quick Card - part of webOS 23, though music won't sound the best on the B3's lacking sound system  (Image credit: Future)

LG B3 review: Sound quality

  •  2.0 speaker system  
  •  Decent bass levels 
  •  Speech lacking a bit overall 

The LG B3 features a 2.0 speaker setup outputting 20W of power per channel, with support for Dolby Atmos. With no upward-firing speakers, LG uses its AI Sound Pro sound mode to upmix the 2.0 configuration to a 5.1.2 output in order to try and get the best out of the B3's speakers. 

In Standard sound mode, bass levels were good but sadly everything else was lacking. Speech in particular was a bit lost in the overall mix, with trebles sounding a little scratchy and brash at times. Dolby Atmos effects within this mode were almost non-existent. However, when changed to Cinema sound mode the overall sound was definitely improved, with bass, treble and mid levels being balanced to create a better overall sound. Speech was still a little lacking, but greatly improved from Standard mode. 

As mentioned above, the B3 does feature an AI Sound Pro feature that will upmix the sound to 5.1.2 configuration and although through it Dolby Atmos effects were more apparent and treble and speech levels slightly enhanced, bass took a massive hit. Playing Top Gun: Maverick through both Cinema and AI Sound Pro, I found the most balanced overall sound to be through Cinema, as the rumble I expected from the jet engines was lost in AI Sound Pro. 

The B3's sound quality is probably one of its weakest parts. Although it has better built-in sound than a lot of other TVs, the B3 is definitely lacking compared to other OLED sets like the LG C3, Sony A80L and Samsung S90C. Admittedly, these TVs cost more for better built-in sound, so it might be worth investing in a soundbar with the money you would save.

  •  Sound Quality score: 3.5/5 

LG B3 TV stand

The LG B3's stand looks nice but sadly is a bit cheap feeling  (Image credit: Future)

LG B3 review: Design

  •  Slim, attractive bezel  
  •  Nice-looking but cheap-feeling stand 
  •  LG Magic Remote supplied  

The B3 features a surprisingly thin profile and a slim bezel at the top of its screen, running to about halfway down. However, the bottom half of the TV does bulk out and although this is noticeable from the back and sides, it doesn’t stop the TV from having an attractive design when viewed from the front.  

LG designed the B3 to primarily be on a stand, which is centrally located on the TV. With a dark gray finish, its design is simple yet effective. Unfortunately, compared to its more premium models like the C3 and G3, the stand is a plastic material as opposed to metal. This makes it feel a little cheaper and with the B3 priced as it is (which is mentioned above) this is a real shame. However, unlike the G3, the B3 does come supplied with its stand.

LG’s Magic Remote that’s supplied with the B3 is as great as ever. It has a nice balance and solid quality to it, with plenty of app shortcut buttons and an easy-to-follow button layout. The central wheel is a nice way to navigate menus and the pointer allows you to explore screens without having to press arrows, but you may take some time getting the hang of this.

  •  Design score: 4/5 

LG B3 with Quick Card menu on screen

The LG Quick Card menu which can be edited to suit your needs (Image credit: Future)

LG B3 review: Smart TV and menus

  •  webOS 23 re-design for tidier home menu
  •  Quick Cards feature categorizes apps
  •  No hands-free voice control like the LG C3 and G3 

The LG B3 comes installed with the latest iteration of LG’s own smart software, webOS 23. This has been streamlined compared to last year's software, webOS 22, by limiting the amount of ads and recommendations on its home page, making for a much neater look. 

Quick Cards are probably the biggest feature introduced on webOS 23’s menu system, with the ability to categorize apps by genre such as Music, Game, Movie and so on, meaning you can easily navigate to the type of apps you like. There are plenty of customization options as well, enabling you to organize your apps into these Quick Cards as you see fit. 

The Quick Menus featured in webOS 23 are also a welcome inclusion. Pressing the gear icon on the remote will bring up a pop-up menu in the corner of the screen that enables you to quickly change settings like picture mode, sleep timer, OLED pixel brightness and so on. 

Thanks to the B3’s Alpha 7 Gen6 processor, navigating the smart TV software and menus feels seamless and easy, with no pauses or stuttering. The B3 does feature voice control capabilities while pressing the mic button on the remote, but not the new hands-free voice control found in the C3 and G3.

  •  Smart TV and menus score: 4.5/5 

LG B3 with game menu and battlefield v on display

The LG B3 comes with LG's Game Optimizer and menu, which tailors the gaming experience depending on what you're playing (Image credit: Future)

LG B3 review: Gaming

  •  4K, Dolby Vision gaming support 
  •  Game Optimizer mode for better gaming performance 
  •  Only two HDMI 2.1 ports 

Much like the other OLEDs available in LGs’ 2023 range, the B3 comes with a great selection of gaming features, including 4K 120Hz Dolby Vision support, VRR, ALLM, AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync capabilities and a Game optimizer mode to get the best settings for your gaming experience. 

Using the Leo Bodnar 4K input lag tester measuring at 60Hz, the LG B3 yielded a respectable result of 12.6ms. However, when turning on its Boost mode, found in the Game Optimizer, the result improved to 9.2ms, which is not only an excellent result but the same as I measured in the higher-end LG G3.  

The LG B3 does an excellent job in terms of gaming performance. Playing Battlefield V on Xbox Series X, with Game Optimizer mode turned on to remove any annoying picture settings like judder reduction that would hinder the game, the B3 handled graphically intense moments well. During an ambush mission in a forest, quick targeting was made easy and wide, with panning shots from one side of the screen to the other feeling seamless. 

With the Game Menu in webOS 23, there were plenty of settings to tweak to get the best possible picture including black level and even a game genre setting, which when I switched it to First-Person Shooter (FPS) automatically adjusted colors and motion settings to suit Battlefield V. After doing this, details within the picture were crisp, colors were vivid and black levels and shadow detail were superb. 

Despite brilliant overall gaming performance, the LG B3 sadly does only come with two HDMI 2.1 ports, as opposed to the four you would find on some of the best gaming TVs. Those with both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and a soundbar they hope to run through eARC (one of the two HDMI 2.1 ports) may have to seek out alternative options like the LG C3 or Samsung S90C for example. However, looking past this, the LG B3 still offers excellent gaming features and performance. 

  •  Gaming score: 4.5/5 

LG Magic Remote on brown TV stand

The LG B3 comes with LG's Magic Remote  (Image credit: Future)

LG B3 review: Value

  •  Cheaper alternative to the LG C3 
  •  Picture quality comparable to higher-end sets 
  •  Fairly priced after discounts for what features you get 

As the most widely available ‘entry-level’ OLED in LG’s range, the B3 wasn’t going to offer as many features in terms of gaming and performance as its more premium counterparts, the C3 and G3, which meant that it needed to hit a good price for those looking for a good value OLED.

At the time of its release in April 2023, the B3 was only roughly $100 cheaper than the LG C3, which comes with the superior Alpha 9 Gen 6 processor, brighter Evo panel and four HDMI 2.1 ports, meaning the B3 did not provide this cheaper alternative that should have been offered.

However, since its release, the LG B3 has seen fairly large discounts and now sits roughly $200-300 cheaper than the C3, which is a much more reasonable price and enables people to think about any soundbars or accessories they could get with the B3 with the money saved. It is worth noting, however, that at the time of writing there is quite a large disparity in prices between the US and other territories for the 77-inch model, with it being much better value in the US. 

Although there is some disparity in prices, it’s hard to argue against the B3 in terms of value, as you are getting a fantastic performing OLED TV with picture quality that in many ways rivals its more premium counterparts, for a now more reduced price.

  • Value score: 4.5/5  

LG B3 with bright image of hot spring on screen

The B3 has vibrant colors that rival some higher-end sets (Image credit: Future)

Should I buy the LG B3

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Also consider

HP Omen laptop displaying Calman Portrait Displays calibration software hooked up to Murideo 8K test pattern generator

Testing equipment we use for our tests from Murideo and Calman - in this instance connected to the Panasonic MZ2000 (Image credit: Future)

How I tested the LG B3

  • Tested in our lab room with varying lighting conditions
  • Measurements taken using Portrait Display's Calman software
  • Tested through a variety of sources, both SDR and HDR

After running in the TV for a couple of days, displaying SDR content from live TV, I tested various picture modes on the LG B3 including Standard, Cinema, and Filmmaker mode through a variety of SDR and HDR sources from 4K Blu-rays to streaming and also through an Xbox Series X.

After choosing the best picture mode, Filmmaker, I tested the LG B3's picture thoroughly using Disney Plus for 4K Dolby Vision HDR content, the Xbox Series X for gaming, 4K Blu-ray for HDR content and SDR content through live tv and Full HD on ITVX and BBC iPlayer.  

When it came time to take measurements of the B3, I used Portrait Displays’ Calman calibration software. Using this, I measured peak brightness on a 10% window and 100% window in both SDR and HDR. I then recorded the Delta-E values (which demonstrates the margin of error between the test pattern and what is displayed) for color accuracy, grayscale and gamma again using Calman. I then measured the color space looking at DCI-P3 and BT.2020 coverage. For all tests, I used the Murideo Seven 8K test pattern generator.

Finally, to measure input lag for gaming, I used the Leo Bodnar 4K input lag tester.

LG G3 OLED review: LG’s brightest OLED TV ever delivers elite pictures
5:46 pm | September 22, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Televisions | Tags: , , , | Comments: Off

LG G3: Two-minute review

The LG G3 is the latest flagship OLED TV from the company that has put OLED on the map more than any other. The G3 is another landmark set, though, taking brightness to a new level for LG, and besting what’s come before in many ways.

The LG G3 is priced like a premium flagship TV too, though its price has dropped somewhat since its launch in March 2023 – though the Samsung S95C is a similarly specified TV that’s available for less at the time of writing (though the two will battle this out in price drops, no doubt). With the G3 ranging in sizes from 55-inch to 83-inch (although the 83-inch has a less-bright panel so will perform differently), there’s an option for nearly all home theater lovers, although if you need smaller you can always look at the LG C3, which also ranks among the best OLED TVs.

With the introduction of Micro Lens Array (MLA) technology to improve brightness in its already fantastic OLED Evo panel, plus a new generation of image processor, the G3’s picture quality is phenomenal. Vibrant colors and crisp textures work in harmony with deep blacks and dynamic contrast, making the picture of the G3 nothing short of sensational – at the very top of what you can get from the world’s best TVs.

Although built-in sound in the G3 is decent, with a surprising amount of bass in some sound modes and clear dialogue generally, the LG G3 could benefit from one of the best soundbars to match the excellent quality of its picture. If stronger built-in audio quality is essential to you, you may want to look at TVs such as the Sony A80L and even the Samsung S90C.

As far as gaming goes, the LG G3 is a paradise. With extensive gaming features and compatibility including 4K 120Hz support on all four 2.1 HDMI ports, Dolby Vision gaming at 120Hz, VRR, and ALLM, this is as well-specced as it gets for games. Put all this with an intuitive Game Dashboard menu and extremely useful Game Optimizer picture mode, and it’s hard to fault. 

LGs smart TV platform, webOS 23, is intuitive and more streamlined than last year’s software, webOS 22, and offers you greater customization options in terms of categorizing apps via its Quick Card option and also tailors recommendations on what you want to look for. Thankfully, webOS 23 has also toned down the amount of recommendations compared to last year as well, because they were a little overwhelming.

In terms of design, the G3 is a stunning TV, with a sleek, bezel-less build that looks elegant when mounted on a wall. Still, though, it’s extremely frustrating that for people who want to put this TV on a stand, a desktop stand is not included and will cost you extra – it only comes with a special gap-free wall-mount.

If you’re looking for a TV to suit any situation including gaming, movie marathons or daytime viewing, with image quality that’s as good as anything else on the market, the LG G3 is definitely one of your top choices. There are cheaper high-quality OLEDs out there, such the LG C3 or Sony A80L, but they sacrifice brightness or other features compared to the G3. The biggest competitor is the Samsung S95C, which we rate slightly higher due to its better sound and great external connections box, creating slightly better value overall – but the G3 should definitely be one of your options if you’re looking to buy one of the best 4K TVs available today.

For this review, we tested the 65-inch version of the LG G3. 

LG G3 with mountainous landscape on screen

The LG G3 looks stunning with Dolby Vision content and shines with landscape shots  (Image credit: Future)

LG G3 review: price and release date

  •  Released in March 2023 
  •  From $2,099 / £1,999 / AU$4,195 (55-inch)
  •  Up to $5,799 / £5,999 / AU$10,995 for the 83-inch 

The G3 is one of LG’s most elite OLEDs, sitting only below the LG M3 and its wild wireless tech, and the 8K Z3 series. At the time of its release in March 2023, pricing for the G3 started from $2,099 / £1,999 / AU$4,195 for the 55-inch version, $2,799 / £2,699 / AU$5,295 for the 65-inch, $3999 / £4,299 / AU$8,395 for the 77-inch and  $5,799 / £5,999 / AU$10,995 for the 83-inch version. This was competitively priced with its closest competitor, the Samsung S95C. 

At the time of writing, several months after release, prices for the LG G3 have dropped but it still remains well into the higher end of the OLED market. However, expensive as it may be, compared to similarly specced TVs such as the Samsung S95C or Sony A95L, the G3’s price remains competitive.  

LG G3 review: Specs

Rear of LG G3 showing connections and ports

The LG G3 has a lot of connectivity options, including four 2.1 HDMI ports (Image credit: Future)

LG G3 review: Features

  •  Micro Lens Array (MLA) OLED Evo panel  
  •  Alpha 9 Gen6 processor 
  •  4K 120Hz with Dolby Vision support for gaming 

OLED technology continues to evolve, and the LG G3 features what LG refers to as Brightness Booster Max; a light-boosting technology that LG claims makes the G3 70% brighter than previous generation OLEDs. 

The key bit of technology in LG G3 to achieve this is Micro Lens Array (MLA) technology, which is a layer of microscopic lenses that sit in a layer above the OLED panel and enable much more of the light from the panel to reach your eyes. Absent from the more affordable LG C3, this MLA tech makes the G3 stand out in LG’s line-up. The LG G3 supports Dolby Vision, HDR10 and HLG HDR formats, but as with all LG TVs, it doesn’t support HDR10+.

In terms of gaming features, the LG G3 covers a lot of bases, with Dolby Vision gaming support, four HDMI 2.1 ports rated for 4K 120Hz, with VRR including AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync, ALLM and HGiG compatibility. Coupled with the Alpha 9 Gen6 processor, the G3 is packing some serious performance for gaming and picture processing.

The 4.2-channel speaker system, with Dolby Atmos and DTS compatibility, aims to improve on the audio performance of other OLEDs in order to attain a sound that can complement the picture on screen. 

The overhauled smart TV software, webOS 23, has access to all the major apps including Netflix, Disney Plus, Prime Video and Apple TV Plus to name a few. A new Quick Cards system in the home screen categorizes apps by genre such as Sport, Music and so on, and its main home menu has had ads and recommendations reduced, allowing the webOS 23 home screen to fit over two pages as opposed to the four it was spread over last year, leading to a neater-looking homepage.

  • Features score: 5/5

LG G3 with John Wick on screen

Contrast is brilliant and people look natural, as shown here in John Wick: Chapter 2. (Image credit: Future)

LG G3 review: Picture quality

  •  Brilliant brightness levels 
  •  Detailed and natural image 
  •  Deep black levels 

Let’s start with some numbers: with the LG G3 in Filmmaker HDR mode, we measured peak brightness at an impressive 1,449 nits on a 10% window, which actually tops the Samsung S95C’s 1,400 nits, making this marginally the brightest OLED we’ve measured so far. It hit a respectable 219 nits on a full 100% window, but that’s notably lower than the 265 nits we measured for the S95C.

LG suggested the G3 would have a 70% brightness increase on previous generations of its OLED TVs, and with these numbers, we can confirm it. Last year’s LG G2, measured in the bright Vivid mode in our review, hit 1,000 nits in a 10% window and the LG C3, in the same Filmmaker mode as the G3, hit just over half the G3’s result with 830 nits. The G3’s MLA panel has certainly boosted the peak brightness by a substantial amount.

During this test, I used the 65-inch G3 and it’s worth noting that the 83-inch G3 does not include MLA, so is likely to perform closer to the LG G2’s results for brightness, although we have yet to confirm this for ourselves. 

In Filmmaker HDR mode again, the LG yielded some great results with its color accuracy, delivering an average Delta-E value of just under three. This demonstrates the difference between a color test pattern and what’s shown on screen, and we’re happy that anything under three is accurate enough for TV viewing. DCI-P3 coverage (the color space used for mastering 4K Blu-rays and digital cinema releases) was 98% and BT.2020 was 73.8%, both of which are very good results. Grayscale Delta-E values, testing black levels and contrast accuracy, averaged around 1.9, which is another excellent result. 

One thing I noticed straight away was how well the G3, with its MLA panel and anti-glare screen, made easy work of the testing room’s bright, overhead lights and spotlights when we pushed them high to see how it fared. Only the reflection of some awkwardly placed overhead lights was visible, so the LG G3 should be fine with generally bright indoor lights. The Samsung S95C’s higher full-screen brightness will be a little better for really bright, sunlit rooms – though neither holds a candle to mini-LED TVs such as the Samsung QN95C. Nevertheless, with only minor reflections, it’s still extremely impressive how well the G3 handled the bright testing facility.

The out-of-the-box picture is certainly impressive on the LG G3. I cycled through several of the picture presets to test the G3 for color, sharpness, contrast and also brightness, seeing just what the MLA panel could do. Using a couple of scenes from The Batman to test these presets, starting with one scene where Batman lights a bright flare to guide people in a darkened, flooded room. Standard mode had a decent enough picture with bright color, but black levels weren’t as deep and brightness was pushed a little too far. 

However, switching to Cinema mode, the contrast was more balanced, enabling the G3 to show how it can accentuate shadows, giving a rich detail to the overall picture. The G3’s Filmmaker mode added further to this, giving the flare a subtle, yet vibrant feel that made it stand out without blowing out. In another scene, where Batman first appears in a subway fight, black levels were outstanding as the shadows and Batman’s suit looked truly dark without losing any detail. 

Testing Dolby Vision HDR content, again in Filmmaker mode, I streamed a lightsaber fight from Star Wars: The Last Jedi on Disney Plus. In it, the lightsabers’ colors were punchy and dynamic without being too glaring. Red was a very prominent color in the scene, as guards, Kylo Ren’s lightsaber and a chunk of the background were all red, but the G3 handled the vibrancy well, keeping a natural, yet flashy look with all the red in the scene.  

Using the Spears & Munsil UHD HDR Benchmark Blu-ray to test more HDR content, a range of demo material highlighted the phenomenal picture quality of the G3 even further. Several snowy scenes showcased how the G3 can handle vivid whites without overdoing them and keeping a natural feel. During some landscape night shots of a city, contrast levels were excellent, with the black of the night sky contrasting well with the bright lights of the buildings. 

As for motion, the G3 handled fast paced action scenes with ease. Again in The Batman, during the Batmobile chase, the darting cars looked fluid, with the G3 (with little to no motion processing on in Filmmaker mode) making light work of this testing scene. Also, during both the training and final missions of Top Gun: Maverick, the G3s’ processor effortlessly handled the swooping fighter jets, as they careered through the air at a blinding pace, still managing to keep the detail and quality of the picture. 

If you find yourself drawn to a brighter picture mode such as Standard – but not Vivid, which should be avoided at all costs – motion processing called Trumotion does create the dreaded ‘soap opera’ effect, but thankfully the G3 picture settings give you ample settings to tweak to avoid this. However, if you want the best picture, my advice is to stick with Filmmaker mode as it makes the G3 shine, putting it up there with the best OLED TVs

  • Picture quality score: 5/5

Upfiring speakers of LG G3

The LG G3 has a 4.2-channel speaker system, with speaker around the edge helping to position sounds to match the screen. (Image credit: Future)

LG G3 review: Sound quality

  •  4.2-channel speaker setup 
  •  Good, clear sound with Cinema mode  
  •  Dolby Atmos and DTS support 

Featuring a multi-speaker setup, the G3 looks to add a more positional sound system than the average TV. There are a variety of different sound preset sound modes for the G3’s TV speakers, which come with varying degrees of success.

The Standard TV preset was solid, with clear enough dialogue and good treble levels, although it was lacking in bass and the volume needed to be pushed more than on other sound modes. 

Cinema mode was definitely an upgrade, with a much deeper bass, better overall balance and thankfully, there was no sacrifice to other sounds. While watching The Batman, during the car chase scene, the rumble of the Batmobile’s engine was thunderous through the G3’s speakers in Cinema mode, with the trumpet led score still nice and clear. Dolby Atmos effects such as rain were still present but a little harder to hear.

Another sound mode featured is AI Sound Pro, one of LG’s sound technologies that in the G3 mixes sound from incoming sources to a claimed 9.1.2 mix in an effort to create a more immersive experience. When played through the same car chase in The Batman, overall volume was much louder and Dolby Atmos effects were amplified, with the rain coming through clearer in the mix. However, it became apparent that the bass had been reduced in favor of the other main channels, including dialogue. This ended up giving a more ‘clinical sound’ in comparison to Cinema, but for programs with a lot of speech, including a cooking show I watched on live TV, it definitely improved speech levels. 

The G3 also features an Auto Acoustic Tuning mode which promises to balance levels using mics in the remote, although during our test there didn’t seem to be a great deal of difference. The G3 also has the WOW Orchestra feature that combines the speakers of the TV with a compatible LG soundbar (rather than replacing the TV’s speakers with the soundbar), but I didn’t test that during my time.

The G3’s TV sound is good enough from its built-in speakers, with the highlights being Cinema mode and AI Sound Pro (for certain situations), but if you are looking for an immersive sound to go with the G3’s fantastic picture, you’re better off looking at one of the best soundbars to pair with it. If you do want a TV with more powerful, built-in audio, you’ll want to look at the Samsung S95C – our reviewers who’ve tried both recommend its sound higher. As far as TV speakers go, though, the G3 is still well above average.

  • Sound quality score: 4/5

LG G3 from a side angle on a stand

With an elegant, sleek frame, the G3 is a good-looking TV. (Image credit: Future)

LG G3 review: Design

  •  Elegant, slim design 
  •  Flush fitting to wall 
  •  Optional stand at extra cost is frustrating 

The G3 follows in the footsteps of its predecessors of the ‘Gallery’ range of TVs, with an attractive slim design that makes it look effortlessly sleek on the wall. In terms of the frame itself, its silver and metallic design make it not only look good, but also feel solid. 

This is saying a lot, considering the actual TV itself measures at a delightfully thin 2.4cm (just under 1 inch) so you’d be forgiven for thinking the TV will feel flimsy, but thankfully it doesn’t. In fact, it’s quite a heavy and solid beast.

A special flush-to-the-wall wall mount for the TV is provided in the box and sits near the top on the rear of the TV itself, which admittedly does feel like an odd place to put it, with the majority of the weight towards the bottom of the set. However, one welcome return from last year's G2 is that the included slim-fit mount does have some movement to it, enabling you to access the back of the TV to change any inputs or cables if you need to, rather than having to take the TV on and off the wall every time.

During our test, it’s worth noting that we had the optional stand attached to allow us to place it onto our cabinet. Sadly, much like the G2, this stand is not included and neither are any type of feet. Despite the visually appealing and sturdy nature of the stand, it means people looking to place their G3 on any furniture will have to pay extra ($149 / £99), so factor that into the cost.

The supplied remote, LG’s Magic Remote, a staple inclusion with LG’s TVs over the past couple of years, makes a return and still features the same voice control options, buttons and layout as before. The central wheel can still be a little fiddly to navigate menus but is definitely a quicker alternative to the normal arrows. The pointer can also sometimes feel a bit sensitive, but once you get used, it does make navigating the G3 easier.

  • Design score: 4/5

LG G3 main home menu on screen

The webOS 23 software streamlines the home menu of the G3 and adds Quick Cards for customization. (Image credit: Future)

LG G3 review: Smart TV and menus

  •  Intuitive and easy-to-use smart platform 
  •  Streamlined compared to previous year 
  •  Quick cards allows for great customization 

The G3 is loaded with LG’s smart platform, webOS 23. LG has improved on the Home screen from last year, condensing it down onto two pages rather than the several pages it was the year before. The glaring ads and recommendations have all been toned down as well, making for a much more user-friendly smart platform.

Navigating and changing settings such as picture mode, sound output (if you’re switching from TV speakers to a soundbar for example) and sleep timer is also extremely easy. A quick menu appears on the left hand side of the screen when you press the settings button (the gear icon) on the remote and these options are clearly displayed in an easy-to-use menu. For more advanced settings, the main settings page can easily be accessed and thankfully, this too is neatly laid out into four logical categories; Picture, Sound, General and Support.

The latest feature added to webOS is the introduction of Quick Cards on the main hub. Above the usual line of apps, which can be moved and customized, there sits a group of larger icons listed with titles like Game, Music, Sports. These can actually be used to organize your apps by theme, making for even greater user customization.

Another new feature is the built-in, hands-free voice control. By enabling this feature, you simply say ‘Hi LG’ and the LG awaits your commands. During my test, I found that although it was very responsive and quick to find results, it would sometimes cut me off early and didn’t take me to where I wanted to go. Although frustrating at times, it can be useful.

  • Smart TV and menus score: 4.5/5

LG G3 with Battlefield V and game bar on screen

The G3 has a game menu to tweak settings to get the best out of video games  (Image credit: Future)

LG G3 review: Gaming

  •  Game Optimizer mode and menu  
  •  4K 120Hz Dolby Vision support 
  •  Smooth and fluid motion during gameplay 

The LG G3 is packed with gaming features, including four HDMI 2.1 ports all rated for 4K 120Hz, giving gamers with multiple next-gen consoles plenty of space to plug them in and get the best out of them , whilst still leaving room for a soundbar. With VRR including AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync compatibility, and ALLM, the LG G3 offers a plethora of choice and support for gamers. 

When measuring input lag at 4K 60Hz, the LG G3 yielded a result of 12.9ms, a respectable score. But using the Game Optimizer feature to place input delay into Boost mode improved this result to 9.2ms, which is among the best in class.

When playing Battlefield V on Xbox Series X, I turned on the Game Optimizer picture mode to turn off any unwarranted ‘enhancements’ within its settings, like judder reduction or motion blur, to get the best out of the game. The motion within the game, running at 120fps, was smooth and clean, managing to feel fast paced without feeling sickening or jerky in any places. Panning and swapping between targets was a breeze and kept the action feeling pacy. 

Game Optimizer mode also managed to keep depth and details within the graphics, highlighting just how good the G3’s display was. In a stealth mission whilst infiltrating an air base in a rocky landscape, even terrain and small details such as bushes and stones looked natural, with the greens and browns still popping on screen despite darkened lighting. The sharpness of the picture gave everything a defined edge without being too defined, a problem that can occur within the sharpness detail of some TVs. 

Also featured was the Game Dashboard menu, which gave lots of opportunity for picture and sound adjustments to get the gaming experience just right. I switched between the ‘Standard’ and ‘First person shooter’ (FPS) picture options and you could see the difference having Battlefield V (a FPS) in the correct mode made, with motion becoming even more fluid compared to the ‘Standard’ game picture mode and lighting conditions improving to highlight hidden enemies. 

Much like its predecessors, the LG G3 has stellar gaming features. A wealth of connectivity and compatibility, the G3 is definitely a top choice for gamers. Paired with outstanding picture quality, the G3 finds itself amongst the best gaming TVs

  • Gaming score: 5/5

LG G3 remote in person's hand

LG's Magic Remote is featured with the G3 and offers a pointer and mic options (Image credit: Future)

LG G3 review: Value

  •  Most competitively priced with high-end TVs 
  •  Excellent performance and picture quality 
  •  A couple of minus points compared to equivalent sets  

The LG G3 is no doubt a high-end TV, and as such comes with a matching price tag. The picture quality, gaming features and increased brightness compared to normal OLED panels mean you’re getting a lot of TV for that cash, though. 

The G3’s closest rival, the Samsung S95C, is almost identical in price in a lot of territories and it looks like the competition over which of these two TVs is slightly cheaper will be hot, but with no stand included, weaker sound and lower full-screen brightness than the Samsung S95C (and given the S95C's great external connections box), the LG G3 isn’t quite as good value for money, despite beating it in some ways. 

If you are looking for a premium OLED TV, you expect to pay the money. Thankfully, since its release, the G3’s prices have dropped notably. An outstanding, detailed picture and excellent game performance definitely make this a TV worth its money – we just think Samsung S95C ekes a little more out.

  • Value score: 3.5/5

LG G3 with lake view on screen

Another landscape showing off the G3s' phenomenal picture quality  (Image credit: Future)

Should I buy the LG G3?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

LG G3 review: Also consider

How I tested the LG G3

LG G3 with snowy scene and wooden fence on screen

(Image credit: Future)
  • Tested in our lab room with varying lighting conditions
  • Measurements taken using Portrait Display's Calman software
  • Tested through a variety of sources, both SDR and HDR

After running in the TV to ensure the best OLED performance, I began to test the LG G3 with a couple of different sources including gaming on an Xbox Series X and 4K Blu-ray discs, plus streaming content from several streaming services, including Disney Plus.

After assessing its presets, I chose the LG G3 most natural preset, Filmmaker mode, and began to watch things primarily on this picture mode (though this doesn't work with Dolby Vision). I used a number of 4K Blu-rays to look at elements such as color, sharpness, black levels, brightness and motion. I also streamed content from various sources, including Disney Plus for streamed Dolby Vision HDR, and watch live broadcast digital TV.

The next step was to take measurements of the G3, using Portrait Displays’ Calman calibration software. I measured the peak brightness on a 10% and 100% white window, with both HDR and SDR. I then measured grayscale, gamma and color accuracy, again using Calman, to provide average Delta-E values (which demonstrates the margin of error between the test pattern and what is displayed) for each of these categories. I also measured color space looking at DCI-P3 and BT.2020 coverage. For all these tests, I used the Murideo Seven 8K test pattern generator to create the patterns being measured.

To analyze input lag for the G3, I used the Leo Bodnar 4K Input Lag tester.

Shadow and Bone season 2 review: hit Netflix fantasy show’s return is a magic-fuelled mishmash
11:32 am | March 16, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: | Comments: Off
Shadow and Bone season 2: key information

- Launches on Thursday, March 16
- All eight episodes drop on the same date
- Based on Leigh Bardugo's fantasy book series
- Created by Eric Heisserer
- Stars Jessie Mei Li, Ben Barnes, and Archie Renaux among others
- Picks up two weeks after the season 1 finale

Minor spoilers follow for Shadow and Bone season 2. 

Shadow and Bone seems perfectly placed to become Netflix’s new flagship fantasy TV series. With the diminishing popularity of The Witcher and the cancellation of fan-favorite shows like Warrior Nun, Netflix needs a new fantasy champion. Shadow and Bone, then, could be the savior it’s looking for.

Unfortunately, Shadow and Bone season 2 doesn’t do enough to suggest it’s on track to take on that mantle. Unlike Shadow and Bone’s first season, this isn’t a wholly faithful adaptation of Leigh Bardugo’s bestselling books, with some baffling creative decisions cramping its style. There’s a lot to like about the show’s latest entry, but its positives are nullified in such a way that it’s not as spellbinding as it could be. 

Light and shade

Alina uses her sun summoning powers as Mal watches on in Shadow and Bone season 2

Alina and Mal are back for Shadow and Bone season 2. (Image credit: Netflix)

Shadow and Bone season 2 picks up two weeks after the first season’s finale. Alina Starkov (Jessie Mei Li) and Mal Oretsov (Archie Renaux) continue their quest to locate more amplifiers to boost Alina’s Sun Summoning powers, destroy The Fold, and stop General Kirigan/The Darkling (Ben Barnes) for good. Meanwhile, Kirigan, who survived the Volcra’s attack in The Fold, tends to his wounds as he concocts a new plan to laud it over the Grishaverse.

After aiding Alina in the fight against Kirigan, The Crows – led by Kaz Brekker (Freddy Carter) – return to Ketterdam. However, rival gang leader Pekka Rollins (Dean Lennox Kelly) has seized their establishments and framed them for crimes they didn’t commit. Add Nina Zenik (Danielle Galligan), who seeks The Crows’ help in breaking her partner Matthias (Calahan Skogman) out of Hellgate prison, into the mix, and Brekker and company have plenty to deal with.

Like Shadow and Bone season 1, the show’s latest installment divides its time between two primary narratives. Well, initially at least. Alina and The Crows’ storylines are the main focus of Shadow and Bone season 2, but it’s the branching out into subplots, side quests, and other narrative offshoots that distinguish this season from what came before. 

Wildly different personas collide with a satisfying regularity throughout

Broken into its constituent parts, the show’s second season centers on five storylines. That quintet comprises Alina and Mal’s journey, Matthias’ imprisonment in Hellgate, Kirigan’s burgeoning masterplan, and two concerning The Crows. Of the latter duo, the first is a chaotically-assembled, brand-new tale that sees Brekker and co take on Rollins’ criminal empire. The second Crows-centric plot – one that draws them back into Alina and Kirigan’s orbits – is a far more entertaining and suspenseful spectacle. 

The Crows, Wylan, and Nina look out at a prison under the cover of dark in Shadow and Bone season 2

The Crows get two story arcs in the show's second season. (Image credit: Netflix)

Regardless, Shadow and Bone season 2 flits between its plots with a pleasing fluidity, competently expanding on the size and scope of season 1 through its examination of the Grishaverse’s history and useful lore, new locations, and character introductions (more on these later).

However, one of Shadow and Bone 2’s main problems is how much time it dedicates to each storyline. Understandably, it’s weighted in favor of Alina’s story – she’s the series’ main protagonist and its hero, so her journey takes precedence over The Crows’, Kirigan’s, and Matthias’. Even so, Kirigan’s season 2 story arc – outside of crossing over with Alina’s, initially in a dreamscape manner akin to the Force Dyad bond seen in Star Wars' sequel film trilogy – is thematically dense and captivating enough to deserve more screen time. 

Matthias’ Hellgate-based story is even less developed and, in some respects, an unnecessary inclusion. Ironically, its plot starts to get interesting later in the season, when a certain individual is locked up alongside everyone’s favorite Fjerdan. But, while this story belatedly bubbles away with intrigue, events that follow only act as vexing teases for what’s to come in a potential third season.

It’s General Kirigan and Kaz Brekker’s individual character arcs that are examined most closely, and in tantalizing detail

Equally, the transition between some scenes occurs in a way that oversimplifies specific plot points, even if they help the season proceed at a satisfying pace. One example, which sees Mal and Alina separated in episode 4 for reasons I won’t spoil, leads to their reunion in episode 5 in baffling circumstances, with Mal explaining his absence with a reductive throwaway line. Moments like these detract from the drama and tension that Shadow and Bone 2 tries to tee up, serving as nothing more than eye-twitching irritations.

A scarred General Kirigan looks upset in Shadow and Bone season 2

Season 2 should have leaned more into Kirigan and Alina's verbal dreamscape-style skirmishes. (Image credit: David Lukacs/Netflix)

Those issues are small fry, though, compared to the bewildering narrative deviations Shadow and Bone season 2 takes from its source material. Showrunner Eric Heisserer forewarned diehard fans that the show’s next installment would pull from three novels – Siege & Storm, Ruin & Rising, and Six of Crows – to tell its tales. Longtime fans, then, weren’t expecting season 2 to be a beat-for-beat retread of the book series’ storylines.

Even so, nothing prepared me for how radically different Shadow and Bone season 2 is from the novels. Again, this is a largely spoiler-free zone, but I was surprised – even frustrated at times – at the direction of certain narratives and plot points, including how season 2 ends. These big and arguably redundant changes are sure to irritate and even upset fans of Bardugo’s novels. 

Given the outcry over The Witcher season 2’s narrative deviations, plus those rumored to appear in The Witcher season 3, I would have expected Netflix and Shadow and Bone’s creative team to approach things differently here. Okay, diverging from the books’ plot-beats gives long-time fans something new to engage with, and brings a sense of originality to proceedings, just like season 1 did. However, I can’t help but view these changes – especially in the season 2 finale, which drags its heels in how much it sets up for the show’s likely third season – as unwarranted alterations that many fans will take exception to.

Grisha growth and alluring additions 

Nikolai Lantsov puts his hands on a table as he look as someone off camera in Shadow and Bone season 2

Nikolai Lantsov is a pleasing addition to Shadow and Bone's TV ranks. (Image credit: David Lukacs/Netflix)

Refreshingly, Shadow and Bone season 2’s predilection for thematic exploration and character development – for new and returning characters – blesses it with some truly engrossing content.

For one, Alina and Mal’s relationship runs the full gamut of emotions. Initially, there’s a tender awkwardness to the pair’s burgeoning romance, a sweet but sickly teenage-like love that’s unwavering no matter what’s thrown at them. Eventually, world-shattering challenges present themselves that put the duo’s bond to the ultimate test, which serves to exponentially ramp the tension up.

Vital as it is to explore Alina and Mal’s dynamic, it’s Kirigan and Brekker’s individual character arcs that are examined most closely, and in tantalizing detail.

In Kirigan’s case, Shadow and Bone 2 trains a lens on the physical and psychological pain inflicted upon him by Alina and company, as well as further examining the loneliness that pains him after centuries of existence. Despite the evident darkness within him, the sequel season’s exploration of his humanity is moving. His trauma, though largely self-inflicted, is similarly relatable, and speaks to the fallibility that every Shadow and Bone character is imbued with. 

Kaz and Inej share a moment in a dimly lit room in Shadow and Bone season 2

Kaz Brekker's PTSD and trauma is explored extensively in season 2. (Image credit: Timea Saghy/Netflix)

Speaking of trauma, Brekker’s mental and emotional anguish is explored through flashback sequences, which directly impact the errant decisions he makes – choices that inevitably drive a wedge between him as his closest confidants, Inej (Anita Suman) and Jesper (Kit Young). Brekker’s mix of anger and pride over his past creates a fascinating fraying of tensions between the trio and anyone else caught up in their escapades, particularly in the first of the Crows’ season 2 storylines. Plot-wise, The Crows versus Rollins’ gang is a messy affair. As a character study or wider examination of the fragility of relationships, though, it rises above its season 2 peers.

Another welcome aspect is the addition of fan-favorite characters from the books, who are given plenty of scenery to chew as the season progresses. 

Nikolai Lantsov, the swashbuckling Ravkan Prince-turned-Privateer who becomes one of Alina and Mal’s most trusted allies, is portrayed with panache, charisma, and emotional intelligence by Patrick Gibson (Tolkien). Even in his introductory scene, where Lantsov – who also goes by the alias Sturmhond – is seemingly positioned as an antagonist, Gibson’s likeability makes it hard not to immediately warm to him.

Nothing prepared me for how radically different Shadow and Bone season 2 is from the novels

The inclusion of twins Tolya Yul-Bataar (Lewis Tan) and Tamar Kir-Bataar (Anna Leong Brophy), Lantsov’s lieutenants, also brings a fun-fuelled sibling rivalry and unique characterization to the table. Add the shy but no-less-charming demolition expert Wylan Hendriks (Jack Wolfe) – who joins The Crows and Nina – into the equation, and Shadow and Bone season 2 is emboldened by its new arrivals. The manner of their character introductions feels seamless, too, helping each to feel a natural part of the Grishaverse. As such, there’s no need for any MacGuffin-style storytelling to insert them into their respective plots.

Tolya and Tamar wield their weapons as they look at something off camera in Shadow and Bone season 2

Tolya and Tamar add humor, heart, and bad-assery in equal measure to proceedings. (Image credit: David Lukacs/Netflix)

With a potent new collection of supporting characters, plus the return of other favorites, such as Genya (Daisy Head), Zoya (Sujaya Dasgupta), David (Luke Pasqualino), and Baghra (Zoe Wanamaker), there's the potential for season 2 crafts new, interesting, and fun team-ups that'll pique viewers' curiosity.

Shadow and Bone season 2 emphatically delivers on that front. Wildly different personas collide with a satisfying regularity throughout, with each new relationship supplying humor, tenderness, and melodrama in spades. Each dynamic feels novel and unforced, regardless of how season 2’s multiple storylines weave in and out of one another. The culmination of these mash-ups is a thrilling, high-octane, and crowd-pleasing crescendo that unfolds in the season’s climactic battle – occurring in episode 7, not episode 8 – and pays dividends on the new relationships built across each episode. If nothing else, it makes up for the somewhat predictable nature of episode 7’s (and the season’s) multifaceted showdown – one that, like the other battles in season 2, is at once both enjoyable and trite.

My verdict

Shadow and Bone season 2 is a two-headed beast. On the one hand, it’s a gripping, spookier, and darker entry in the series, with its character studies and rich themes cementing its position as one of the best Netflix shows around. On the other, it’s a narratively inconsistent installment that, while absorbing and shocking in some areas, perplexingly substitutes elements of its source material for story beats that will only displease the fans of the novels. Contextually, the manner in which season 2 kicks off means that some viewers will be best served by rewatching the season 1 finale in order to reacquaint themselves with where the show left off.

More casual viewers will likely find Shadow and Bone season 2 to be an enjoyable experience. For me, though, it doesn’t quite stick the superpowered, magic, and Small Science-infused landing. I’m sure other members of Shadow and Bone’s ardent fanbase will perceive similar faults with its storytelling approach, or with other aspects of its eight-episode run. Fundamentally, these issues weigh Shadow and Bone 2 down and, unless it rectifies such glaring errors in future seasons, it will fall short of achieving the lofty position of the best Netflix fantasy series.

Shadow and Bone season 2 launches in full on Netflix on Thursday, March 16.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania review – Kang rules a messy Marvel caper
8:00 pm | February 14, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: , | Comments: Off
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania: key info

- Arrives in theaters on February 17
- Third movie in Ant-Man's film series
- First project in Marvel's Phase 5 slate
- Written by Jeff Loveness
- Directed by Peyton Reed
- Stars Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, and Jonathan Majors among others

Ant-Man and its sequel – Ant-Man and the Wasp – both served as fairly low-stakes, largely standalone stories in the interconnected Marvel universe. For fans watching every Marvel movie in order, these fun heist films acted like palate cleansers amid the sweeping, universe-shaking storylines playing out across its siblings. For Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) newcomers, they work just fine on their own, too.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is the opposite. The first Marvel Phase 5 movie hinges on viewers having watched the other two Ant-Man films (at the very least). Equally, it's tasked with setting up the conflict between the MCU's superheroes and the next multi-film big bad, aka Kang the Conqueror, played with outstanding pathos here by Jonathan Majors (Lovecraft Country).

As the opening act to a bigger story, Quantumania feels suitably interesting. It's a sweeping sci-fi epic in a bizarre alien world rather than a low-key heist, which sets up Majors’ Kang as a force to be reckoned with. However, as a singular entity, it feels somewhat overloaded, with main characters and their personal arcs lost among a wave of CGI, and a performance by Majors that runs circles around his scene partners. 

Small heroes, big villain

Kang speaks to an off-screen Scott Lang in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania

Kang's second appearance in the MCU is an even stronger setup for the over-arching villain he'll be. (Image credit: Marvel)

Ant-Man 3's plot follows three generations of size-changing superheroes: Paul Rudd's Scott Lang/Ant-Man, Evangeline Lily's Hope Van Dyne/Wasp, Michael Douglas' Hank Pym, and Michelle Pfeiffer's Janet Van Dyne all returning from the diminutive hero's first two outings. The quartet are joined by Kathryn Newton as Cassie Lang, Scott’s teenage daughter who, without spoiling too much, adopts her own superhero pseudonym during the course of the flick. Chaos ensues when all five are sucked into the subatomic Quantum Realm, where they grapple with Majors’ Kang, a technologically advanced multiversal warlord. 

The heart of the film should be Scott’s changing relationship with Cassie – they begin the film butting heads over her idealistic activism – and theirs is the main emotional throughline. However, the real center of the movie is Majors – and Marvel’s big drive to orbit the next slate of movies around him starts here. 

The execution isn’t up to the bar set by the likes of Avatar: The Way of Water

Kang dominates every scene he’s in, every inch the reluctant conqueror. Gravitas oozes out of him whether he’s lying in the dirt having lost his way or sprawled upon his Time Chair throne. Without spoiling much, if he continues to deliver on this promise of a multifaceted, multi-film performance, it will cement Majors as one of the all-time great supervillain actors by the time he’s done fighting the Avengers.

Scott Lang stares at an off-camera Kang in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania

Scott Lang's third solo movie is lacking in charm. (Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Rudd and Lily, on the other hand, don’t seem to be having quite as much fun acting against CGI monsters and backgrounds. I’m reminded a little of those behind-the-scenes videos of the Star Wars prequels, where actors can be seen gamely doing their best in a void. Neither seems to be able to summon up much emotion once they get to the Quantum Realm and the action beats kick in. There are some occasionally touching scenes between Cassie, Scott, and Hope, but some of the film’s best acting is done when Pfeiffer and Majors get to act up a storm one-on-one, or when the core five are sat around the family dinner table. It was the personal, emotion-driven stakes that made the first two Ant-Man films so appealing. It's a pity this aspect of the franchise, then, is relegated here.

Everyone else does well with the material they’re given, but there will be no Oscar buzz around Quantumania’s acting in the same way there was around Angela Bassett in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Kathryn Newton is convincingly earnest as Cassie Lang, elevating the character's role in the MCU and potentially acting as a step towards a Young Avengers movie. David Dastmalchian is back in a new voice role as ooze-based Quantum Realm denizen Veb, Corey Stoll returns as MODOK (more on him shortly), and Douglas is still enjoyable as Pym's sarcastic size-changing inventor. Bill Murray has a small role but, like all his most recent performances, he largely plays himself, which is a tad immersion-breaking.

Larger than life

Scott and Cassie Lang are approached by some Quantum Realm armed personnel in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania

Quantumania takes the series from San Francisco city to something you'd likely see in Thor or Guardians of the Galaxy. (Image credit: Marvel Studios)

As for the Quantum Realm, it's a swirling CGI environment with a wide variety of bizarre biomes, from lush mushroom forests to Mad Max-inspired caravan trains across desert flats, and the almost-obligatory cantina scene ripped straight from Star Wars: A New Hope. At its best, Ant-Man 3's primary locale is a gorgeous backdrop to a bit of Kang-driven character drama, and its inventiveness in design bleeds over to the weird and wonderful creatures that inhabit each section of the realm. 

Kang dominates every scene he’s in, every inch the reluctant conqueror

Even the wildest original designs, though, can’t compare to the sheer giddiness I felt at seeing the legendary Marvel villain MODOK onscreen in all his glory. A giant head with tiny arms and legs in a floating hover-chair, the MCU is at a point in its life where even the wackiest comic-book designs can be ripped from the pages with few alterations – and MODOK is one of the silliest, most disgusting, outright hilarious looks in all the Marvel multiverse. I love that big head with all my heart, and Peyton Reed and Kevin Feige came through for me. The way the story brought him into the fold was a smart move, even if it does differ from the source material. I never thought I would see MODOK’s naked little baby butt, either, but here we are.

As fun as the designs may be, the execution isn’t up to the bar set by the likes of Avatar: The Way of Water. When the cast interact with an alien beast, for example, the physics are nowhere near as convincing as that viral hand shot in Avatar: Way of Water's first trailer, and the pitched battles are more reminiscent of the confusing mess of Aquaman than the sweeping conflicts in Lord of the Rings. The direction during those fight scenes was competent, almost workmanlike, and not enough to prevent my attention wandering. At least the size-changing effects are neat and there are a couple of sequences focused around the different uses of that power that are pleasantly inventive. 

Dawn of a new phase

Janet van Dyne looks out onto the Quantum Realm in Ant-Man and the Wasp Quantumania

Surprising absolutely nobody, Michelle Pfeiffer has some great scenes with Jonathan Majors. (Image credit: Marvel)

As a solo Ant-Man movie, Quantumania doesn’t work as well as the first two. It’s a middling comic-book adventure romp focused around exploring this new realm – something I might have expected out of the forthcoming Fantastic Four film. But, despite taking us to strange new places in a physical sense, the characters are largely static. None of them really advance or evolve enough to make their arcs compelling, which might be down to splitting the cast up early in proceedings to give equal weight to each narrative.

It does work well, though, as a franchise-builder. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is a fitting introduction to 2025’s Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, and it tees up Cassie Lang to take her role as Stature in, well, whatever awaits her next. In the comics, she's been a part of Young Avengers alongside new Hawkeye Kate Bishop, the Captain America analog Patriot, America Chavez, and Scarlet Witch’s children – all of whom have now been introduced in the MCU. Although no Young Avengers project has been announced, it would be naive to think this isn’t the plan, as Chris Hemsworth and Benedict Cumberbatch won’t be under contract forever.

Despite some unconvincing effects work and suffering from future-film-setup-syndrome, this is a fun but flawed opener for the next phase of Marvel movies. It’s got enough going for it that dedicated MCU fans will likely enjoy it anyway. In an era where diehard Marvel fans and general cinephiles have questioned the direction Marvel Phase 4 went (and where its next projects are going from story perspectives), though, Ant-Man 3 isn't the triumphant, gi-ant sized flick many will have hoped for.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania lands in theaters worldwide on Friday, February 17.