LG has been the master of OLED tech for the last decade. But OLED and OLED Evo are now more different than ever. Here’s what you need to know in 2023.
Luke Hopewell is a gadget veteran of over 10 years. He’s reviewed over 100 TVs in his time, and been to the magic factory where they’re all made.
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But why is that, and what makes them different? Let’s get into some detail about what makes it different, and how it has improved in 2023.
What is OLED?
Put simply, OLED is the king of the TV world. And very few companies make OLED because it’s just so hard to build at scale.
LG has been building great OLED panels for years. In this my opinion after reviewing OLED TVs for almost a decade, they’re the best out there. So much so that I bought one at full price with my own money and love it to this day.
LED TVs produce an image, and shine a series of tiny LED lights through the image to make it bright and vibrant. OLED differs by producing an image by lighting individual pixels as opposed to the whole screen at once. There’s no light shone through the panel, so the black performance is as good as you can get.
Black performance refers to how well the TV can show the colour black. On traditional LED TVs, manufacturers try a lot of different tricks to replicate the colour black. But because LED is based on backlit technology, you’ll never get to 100% black reproduction.
LED will always display “black” as some form of grey, simply because a while light is being shone through the panel to produce brightness.
Manufacturers are trying to increase the number of backlights with MiniLED panels, while boosting the performance with better dimming of areas that are black to replicate OLED. But even in 2023, nothing beats the black performance of OLED.
When an OLED pixel produces a colour, it’s switched on, and powered to produce that particular colour as part of the image. When OLED is told to produce black, the pixel stays dark. That means it’s true black, and it’s a game changer.
What is OLED evo?
OLED Evo takes the best of OLED and makes it just that little bit more impressive.
OLED’s one failing is that it isn’t particularly impressive in brightly-lit rooms. A large natural light source like a window will leave the TV looking a little dim. It’s the problem a lot of OLED phone screens have, for example.
OLED Evo is designed to overcome this shortcoming. When OLED Evo was initially debuted in 2020, LG said that it could produce an image that was 20 per cent brighter compared to a traditional OLED.
What makes OLED Evo better in 2023?
At LG’s launch event last week, I was told that the new 2023 OLED Evo TVs are a whopping 70 per cent brighter than the standard OLED B Series panel.
That’s pretty stunning performance, and it doesn’t disappoint when you see it in person. I stood in front of both the 2023 B Series OLED and the new G3 OLED Evo panels from LG and was absolutely blown away by the performance. The entry-level OLED B Series panels top out at around 800 nits of brightness. The OLED Evo panel in the new Gallery G3 OLED TV peaks at 2100 nits of brightness. It’s absolutely insane.
And it doesn’t just stop at a brighter panel. LG has turned OLED Evo into the new gold standard for TVs.
On the new LG Gallery G3 TVs with their OLED Evo panels, LG has improved the image with what it calls ‘light control architecture’. Simply put, LG is now balancing power usage across the panel differently and scanning 20,000 areas across the TV to optimise the image as you watch your content.
And on top of that, the TV has a new layer of ‘lenses’ laid across the panel. The lenses are designed to control the direction of light being projected out to the user and creates a sharper and more vibrant picture. Overall, the new OLED Evo panels are able to achieve higher brightness levels without increasing energy consumption. That makes it cheaper to run over the lifetime of the TV.
OLED vs OLED evo: which is better?
OLED Evo used to give you a little bit of a boost compared to traditional OLEDs. Now it gives you an incredible leg up with a brighter, more vibrant and rich image. You’ll pay a little more for it, but if you’re someone who wants the best of the best, LG OLED Evo is for you.
OLED Evo is especially the one to pick if you’re going to use your TV in a brightly-lit space. Like if you have a lot of natural light being thrown onto your TV through a window, for example. The new B and C Series OLEDs from LG still perform well at between 700 and 1000 nits of brightness, but the G3 OLED Evo panels are more versatile and perform better overall with a whopping 2100 nits.
Plus the new layer of lenses and improved power consumption, the OLED Evo is shockingly good.
OLED Evo is still only available on LG’s Gallery model TV: the G3. It’s the only model that gives you the new image layers as well as the built-in hardware to take advantage of it.
Luke Hopewell is the editor and co-founder of Redaktör. He's previously been the Editor of Gizmodo, Founding Editor of Business Insider Australia, Editorial Lead for Twitter Australia and more.