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Review: LG OLED65G26LA (G2-serie) OLED-TV

Review: LG OLED65G26LA (G2-serie) OLED-TV- Despite the tense competition within brand and other brands the G2 stands firm and confident.

Review: LG OLED65G26LA (G2-serie) OLED-TV: LG has given its flagship OLED TV a big boost this year. The G2 series uses the latest OLED panels that are also equipped with a cooling plate. We therefore expect a higher peak brightness. The G2 also retains its beautiful design, ideal for wall mounting, and is still a very generously equipped TV, which will also appeal to gamers.

LG has given its flagship OLED TV a big boost this year. The G2 series uses the latest OLED panels that are also equipped with a cooling plate. We therefore expect a higher peak brightness. The G2 also retains its beautiful design, ideal for wall mounting, and is still a very generously equipped TV, which will also appeal to gamers.

LG OLED65G26LA – Specifications

What Ultra HD OLED TV
Screen size 65 in (165 cm), flat
Connections 4x HDMI (4x v2.1 (48 Gbps), ARC/eARC, ALLM, VRR, HFR), 3x USB, 1x optical digital out, 2x antenna, 1x IR blaster, Bluetooth 5.0, WiSA
Extras HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision IQ, Dolby Atmos, WiFi (802.11ax) built-in, WebOS 22, AirPlay 2, USB/DLNA media player, DVB-T2/C/S2, CI+ slot, Alpha 9 Gen 5 processor
Dimensions 1,446 x 821 x 24mm (excl. foot)
Weight 22.8 kg (excl. foot)
Consumption SDR 95 (F) / HDR 213 watts (G)
Recommended retail price 3,499 euros

LG OLED65G26LA – Design

The LG G2 series (OLED65G26LA) stays true to the idea of ​​a top-of-the-line TV specifically, but not exclusively, for wall mounting. The entire device is 24 mm deep, and the back of the device is nicely flat. The finish is top notch, with a fine metal frame, and a light texture at the back. LG has also made the device considerably lighter. This G2 weighs only 22.8 kg, while the G1 of the same size brought the needle to 29.0 kg. A lot more convenient to place, and it puts a lot less strain on your wall bracket.

With the supplied wall bracket and large screws, you can hang it perfectly flat against the wall. The bracket seems to us unchanged compared to previous years. It can be folded out and allows you to pull the TV forward about ten centimeters, so that you can turn it left or right to a limited extent. Fully folded, it fits neatly into the hollow of the back so that the device fits nicely on the wall.

You can opt for a classic setup on a TV cabinet, but the stand is an optional accessory. That is also the way in which we tested the device. The stand is also a centrally placed swivel base, a handy detail.

LG OLED65G26LA – Connections

The G2 is equipped with four HDMI 2.1 connections that deliver the full 48Gbps bandwidth and support ALLM, VRR, ARC/eARC, 2K and 4K HFR. Gamers can rest assured, the G2 is ready for all your requirements.

Furthermore, the TV has three USB connections, an optical digital audio output, two antenna connections, an Ethernet port and WiFi. The headphone jack is gone, you will have to use Bluetooth for that. Just like last year, there is an IR input and IR blaster. This allows you to put connected devices in the cabinet and still operate them.

The LG G2 is also still equipped with WiSA (Wireless Speaker and Audio Association) . But where the G1 series still offered WiSA 5.1, on the G2 you are limited to 2.1. You can therefore not create a wireless surround setup. Given the limited market penetration of WiSA, this does not seem like a real drawback to us.

LG OLED65G26LA – Ease of use and smart TV

LG already gave WebOS a major makeover last year, the colorful ribbon at the bottom of the screen made way for a full-screen interface, a trend that has also been adopted by Samsung since this year. The 2022 version of WebOS received a number of improvements in terms of personalization and a few new features. LG is also switching to a new numbering system (it is now WebOS 22), but unfortunately it remains the case that new versions do not flow to older models.

The layout of the Home screen is unchanged. Centrally you will find all apps, and at the top part of the screen is still sacrificed to weather info and tips. At the top right we now find a handy tile that contains your most recent source. Also new is the option to log in, and therefore also change your profile if you wish. Different members of the family can see their own organization of the Home screen and their own recommendations.

Unfortunately, the recommendations that you see centrally (from Disney+) cannot be adjusted. If you don’t have Disney+ at home, that’s wasted space. But you can personalize the order of everything that is under the list of apps. There is, among other things, an item ‘Now streaming’ in which you can view all streaming services via a tab list. In our list we found Amazon Prime Video, Rakuten TV and YouTube, but unfortunately no Netflix or Disney+.

Other rows contain the Home Dashboard and Connections, Frequently Watched Channels, Sports Alert, and the Web Browser.

In any case, WebOS 22 works very smoothly, the interface is very responsive. With the new personalization options and minor adjustments, some of our comments have also been eliminated. It remains the case that the Home screen contains a lot of info that you may not really need or that is not customizable. However, that is a trend that we are unfortunately seeing more and more.

We hope to provide a full overview of WebOS 22 in a later article.

Remote control

The new design that the Magic Remote got last year will be preserved. The remote control has a slightly rounded rectangular shape that fits well in the hand. The keystroke requires a little too much pressure. Of course, the screen cursor can still be operated by simply pointing the remote at the screen.

The layout of the keys is also unchanged. LG still offers numeric keys, useful if you want to use the internal TV tuner, but also because you can program them as shortcuts for your favorite apps. At the bottom we find four shortcuts for Netflix, Prime Video, Rakuten TV and Disney+. We find the three keys for voice control a bit confusing, there is a general microphone key and separate keys for Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. With the NFC tag (you will find the logo just below the keys), you can quickly and easily connect your smartphone to the TV, for example to stream audio or mirror your smartphone to the TV.

Functions

The G2 is equipped with a single TV tuner for digital TV (DVB-T2/C/S2) and CI+ slot. It is not possible to watch and record another channel at the same time. For a top model like this we would have preferred a double tuner.

The LG provides Apple Airplay 2 and Google Cast for YouTube and Netflix. The media player supports the main formats, subtitles and HDR. He only refuses Xvid and DTS. He will therefore not forward DTS via eARC.

In addition to the existing Sports Alerts where sports fans can follow their favorite teams, there are two striking new features . Multi View makes it possible to view two sources at the same time. Currently the options are limited (HDMI combined with Screen Share or a USB camera, or Live TV combined with Screen Share). LG claims that more options will follow later in the year. Always Ready gives the TV a function when you are not watching. You can then put a clock on the screen, photos, works of art or a music player.

LG OLED65G26LA – Image Processing

The Alpha9 processor of the LG G2 series is already in its fifth generation. It delivers reliable and good results. For example, it excellently avoids jagged edges and combing effects when you supply interlaced images (eg from a set-top box for digital TV). It removes noise very well, both random noise and compression noise (blocking). The latter remains somewhat visible if the block formation is very extreme. The upscaling process has been further refined, so that the TV now retains very good detail when you deliver low-resolution images and here too avoids almost all jagged edges.

It removes color bands in soft color gradients well, so activate ‘Smooth Gradation’ in the lowest setting. With heavily compressed dark images, such as the Game Of Thrones test scene, you may have to switch to the middle position. But the LG OLED65G26LA also delivers very good performance with those challenging images. No annoying flickering is visible anymore. The highest setting almost completely eliminates the color bands, but costs too much detail and can therefore be avoided.

The G2 has excellent motion sharpness, like almost all OLED TVs. If you are looking for as little ‘soap opera’ effect as possible, it is best to use the ‘Cinematographic Movement’ setting for TruMotion. Personally, we preferred ‘Natural’ for an image with significantly less judder. The ‘Smooth’ setting clears pan images of any jerking and stuttering, but can introduce so many artifacts with fast movements that we don’t really recommend them.

It is striking that the G2 is no longer equipped with a 120 Hz Black Frame Insertion technology . OLED Motion Pro has therefore disappeared, and you can only switch OLED Motion on or off. However, that produces a lot of visible flicker, and is too tiring for the eyes.

Main Settings

In our article about professionally calibrating a TV , you can read all about the options for achieving the best picture settings with a professional. If you want to get started yourself. Here you will find an explanation of the most important picture settings and tips for setting up your TV.

General Advanced Setting Advanced Setting
Picture Mode: Filmmaker Mode
Aspect Ratio Setting: Original / Scan: On
Power Saving: Off
Brightness: 

OLED Pixel Brightness: 80
Contrast: 85 Screen Brightness
: 50
Auto Dynamic Contrast: Off
Maximum Brightness: Off
Gamma: 2.2 / BT.1886
Black Level: Automatic
Motion Eye Care: Off

Color:

Color Depth: 50
Tint: 0
Color Range: Auto
White Balance Color Temperature: Warm50

Purity: 

Sharpness: 10
Super Resolution: Low
Noise Reduction: Low
MPEG Noise Reduction: Low
Smooth Gradation: Low-Mid
True Cinema: On
TruMotion: Cinematic or Natural

OLED Motion: off

LG OLED65G26LA – Picture quality

The G2 is equipped with the latest OLED EX panels from LG Display. LG Electronics markets them under the name OLED evo, referring to the combination of the processor and the new panel. The new pixel structure is visibly different from previous generations.

This panel should deliver higher brightness and efficiency. It certainly has excellent uniformity, both in dark and bright images. We also notice that LG has indeed made the dithering for the darkest shades a little less aggressive, but it is still slightly visible. In practice, we do not see any negative consequences of this.

We switch to the Filmmaker Mode for the measurements. The device shows excellent results, with a few minor remarks. The color temperature is a bit too warm, which generally does not have a major impact, but we do notice that red is generally a bit too intense. As a result, skin colors pull slightly to the red side.

The gamma value is also relatively high, and that makes images very dark. Black detail is therefore pushed away, and we see that the device hides the darkest black tones. You can of course switch to gamma 2.2 in the menus or select the Cinema picture mode. Other than those minor remarks, the image is very impressive, with fresh, intense colors and strong contrast.

LG OLED65G26LA – HDR

LG still doesn’t support HDR10+, but sticks to HDR10, HLG, and Dolby Vision IQ . There has been a lot of speculation about the new OLED panels, but we have to admit, they have lived up to expectations. The combination of new OLED technology and better cooling delivers the G2 a peak brightness of 951 nits on a 10% window and 173 nits on a full white field. This puts the G2 resolutely above the G1 (which reached just under 800 nits) and profiles itself as one of the brightest OLEDs you can buy. That extra cooling also makes the G2 less sensitive to image retention.

The color gamut of 97% DCI-P3 and 70% Rec.2020 is a top result for OLED models. Together with the very high brightness, this also gives a boost to its color volume.

Filmmaker Mode also appears to present very good results in HDR. The EOTF curve perfectly follows the prescribed course, so that black and white detail is well preserved. The G2 also takes all metadata into account and delivers excellent color reproduction.

A great asset this year is the improved dynamic tone mapping that LG performs itself. By performing the analysis of the image in more detail, it can use a different tone mapping at different places in the image. This sometimes has very pronounced effects. First of all, it retains excellent black detail. In addition, you get improved white detail, but also richer color reproduction when you view images that have been mastered very clearly. The effect is clearly visible in these photos of 4000 nits of footage.

Anyone who often looks at more light would also do well to keep ‘AI Brightness’ activated. The TV will then brighten dark scenes or parts of the image so that shadow nuances remain more visible.

Gaming, Reflections and Viewing Angles

The LG G2 series (OLED65G26LA) has an excellent viewing angle, and decent anti-reflection properties. For best results, it is still recommended to avoid reflections as much as possible.

Gamers will certainly get their money’s worth with the G2. We measured an input lag of 14.0 ms (4K60) and 5.5 ms (2K120), which are top results. The four HDMI 2.1 connections provide ALLM, and VRR (both HDMI VRR, Nvidia GSync and AMD Freesync) and 4K120. Dolby Vision 4K 120Hz gaming (for Xbox Series X) is supported.

The specific game dashboard is the place where you can perfectly see how many frames your console provides, whether the lowest input lag is activated and you can also go to the game menu where LG offers you all kinds of options to adjust the display. From a ‘Dark room’ mode that is a bit softer on your eyes, to control over the black display, activating Trumotion or adjusting the aspect ratio (for ultrawidescreen gaming).

LG OLED65G26LA – Sound quality

The G2’s audio configuration delivers 60 Watts of power in a 4.2 configuration. It delivers a lot of volume and, despite the slim profile, a rich, warm sound. There is also a reasonable bass response, although we do miss (it is not really a surprise) the really deep tones. The LG also keeps its speakers well under control so that you only hear clear distortion at very high volume. A short procedure with remote creates an audio profile that is adapted to the room.

The G2 performs very well with our movie soundtracks and Dolby Atmos demos. There is a lot of depth in the sound, and even if you miss the real height channels, we are happy with the result. Dialogues are clear, and a fierce action soundtrack puts you right in the middle of the action. You can also use G2 for music, but don’t expect hi-fi performance.

LG OLED65G26LA – Conclusion

LG has a clever combination with the Alpha9 Gen5 processor and the new OLED evo panel . It’s hard to blame him for negatives. If you have a classic setup on a TV cabinet in mind, you should buy an optional stand. That’s an extra cost, and the G2 is already quite expensive. Where the G1 was launched last year at a very attractive price, the G2 (OLED65G26LA) is again a premium purchase, even if the price is in line with the competitors. The lack of HDR10+ is no longer worth a negative. But we think it’s a shame that the Home screen of webOS 22 remains so limited.

If those all seem like relatively minor comments, you’re guessing correctly. The LG OLED65G2 boasts a beautiful design and top performance. In addition to the perfect OLED contrast and rich colors, the latest OLED evo panel of the G2 delivers an impressive peak brightness, which has only left the best LCD models ahead. The AlphA9 processor works great to show all that potential as well as possible. Whether you’re looking at older low-resolution material or the brand-new 4K 120 Dolby Vision game content, the image is thumbs and fingers licking. Also in the audio field, the G2 should not leave any points, even though it must be said that a real cinema experience requires a good soundbar. Gamers really do have everything they want at their disposal.

The LG G2 series (OLED65G26LA) will face a lot of competition this year, not only from other top OLED or LCD models, but also from the new QD-OLED TVs from Samsung and Sony. But what we have seen has certainly convinced us, the G2 is a top TV that you will enjoy to the fullest.

Pros

  • Beautiful design, with supplied wall bracket
  • Very good image processing
  • Intense contrast and good black detail
  • Impressive HDR images
  • HDMI2.1 and wide selection of gamer features
  • Great sound, including Dolby Atmos
  • WebOS 22 is very smooth and offers many features
Negatives

  • No stand in the box for setting up on TV furniture
  • Home screen is not customizable enough
  • Price

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