I was lucky enough to have one of the best OLED TVs of 2023, LG's flagship G3 OLED TV, sitting neatly in my living room for the past six months. During that time, I not only realized how much it is Improved gaming experiencebut it's also comfortable fended off much more expensive competition.
Simply put, in my opinion, nothing comes close to the image that the G3 OLED provides. But I'm someone who likes to try everything at least once, so when LG offered me the chance to check out one of his QNED TVs, I thought, “What's the harm?” I did.
As it turns out, no harm was done. The LG QNED that I lived with for a few weeks is a great TV. But I'm still an OLED fan. Here's why:
What is QNED?
QNED is LG's proprietary technology that combines quantum dots, mini-LEDs (on some but not all models), and LG's proprietary NanoCell layer. The first two features mentioned above are also present in his QLED found in Samsung TVs, but the differentiator here is LG's NanoCell layer, the source of the “N” in QNED. .
Interestingly, when LG first introduced QNED technology in 2021, the acronym stood for “Quantum Nano Light Emitting Diode” and was used in TVs that were powered solely by mini LEDs. That is no longer the case, and the NanoCell layer applied to QNED screens is designed to better guide light through the quantum dot layer, with the intended result being increased contrast and brightness.
david vs goliath
LG still makes QNED screens with mini-LEDs, but the model I was using is the edge-lit version. This is a clear disadvantage compared to OLED as the lighting technology is less advanced, but QNED81 (UK/Australia) / QNED80 (US) costs $2,000 / £2,000 / less than G3 OLED. AUD$3,000 cheaper and instantly better. An attractive option for those on a budget.
Combine this with the fact that the QNED81 comes from one of the world's most successful TV manufacturers, and there's a lot to be excited about. At least on paper.
I say this because it's possible to get a more technologically superior TV for the same, comparable, or even less than the QNED81's asking price.of Hisense U8K is a prime example, retailing at about the same price as the LG QNED, but with superior mini-LED backlight technology and enhanced support for HDR such as Dolby Vision (although the QNED81 does not support Dolby Vision). (Supports HDR10 and HLG).
However, that doesn't mean you should ignore the LG QNED81 right away, as it may finally offer everything you want in a TV. First of all, I found the color reproduction to be impressive.
When viewed side-by-side with the G3 OLED, we found that the QNED81 produces images much closer to that OLED's level than its huge price difference might first suggest…at least when it comes to color.
I started by looking Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget For Netflix, use the Netflix app, which is built into both TVs. I quickly noticed that the QNED81 had a lively performance. Various brown, red, and beige chicken feathers (if you can call it modeling clay feathers anyway) pop off the screen. I also tend to use the word saturated, but I don't mean it in a negative way. It was a fun watch.
The same goes for almost every other colorful animated movie.I noticed a similar effect Mr.incredibles and super mario bros movie.
What the QNED81 couldn't quite manage, however, was expressing a sufficient sense of depth in images. I believe this is due to the way both TVs illuminate the image on the screen. OLED TVs are capable of true blacks, of course, since they light up from the back of the screen, but the contrast levels are much better, so the Chicken Run stream looked more 3D-like on the G3.
Highlight low points
Unfortunately, however, it's not all good news for QNED81. During an HD stream, I was able to identify areas where his mid-range QNED screen fell short of his OLED's advantage. top gun: maverick. In the opening scene, Maverick, played by Tom Cruise, rides his motorcycle to an air force base, but the sky above him is bright white rather than blue. When he viewed the same scene on his G3 OLED, it became clear that there was indeed a blue sky.
This was interesting because I didn't expect this to happen since the NanoCell layer on the QNED screen is designed to better control light. However, since it's an edge light, you ultimately have no control over the behavior of that light. LG says the QNED81 has a local dimming feature, but in many ways this is redundant on an edge-lit screen.
Local dimming refers to your TV's backlight, which allows you to adjust the brightness of specific areas of the screen to improve contrast. But since the QNED81 is lit from the edges, it has to be left “on” virtually all the time so you can actually see anything, and you certainly have control over what happens in the center of the screen. I can't.where is the sky top gun The stream happened to be that way.
Also, as is the case with almost all edge-lit TVs, if there are dark areas towards the edges, there will be a lot of light bleed. Again, this is better if your TV is backlit, as you can turn off the edge light (in the case of OLED) or dim it significantly (depending on the capabilities of your screen). can be controlled.
However, edge-lit LCDs need to provide light for what's happening toward the center of the display, so that light will be visible on the sides. This was especially noticeable in the opening scene of the first episode. Stranger Things. The show begins with a shot of the starry night sky, but whereas the G3 OLED can only illuminate each star individually, the QNED81 has to illuminate the sky from the edges. Also, the LEDs around the screen are very noticeable when the sky is pitch black.
plenty of time to reflect
One thing I noticed about the LG QNED81 TV is how reflective it is on the front. If you look at the image above, you can see that the couch in the living room stands out more than what's actually playing on the screen. The G3 OLED doesn't have exactly the same problem.yes, I have Several There are some reflections during the day, but I don't experience anything close to the level of display issues I encountered with the QNED81.
The TV was placed near a window, which let in plenty of sunlight during the day, but I noticed similar reflection issues at night and when I turned on the floor lamps. Turning everything off and blocking out the sunlight definitely improves the situation, but as it turns out, the QNED81 is not a TV you'd want in a bright room.
Mini LEDs could bring significant improvements
Of course, these discrepancies only apply to the QNED81, which I was using, and probably the lower specced QNED75 (one of the big drawbacks of this series is that the refresh rate is reduced to 60Hz compared to 120Hz on the QNED81) ).
With all this in mind, you might ask, “Why should I compare QNED81 and G3 OLED?” That would be a fair question. My main purpose in this comparison is to see what you're getting for the extra money you need to pay to buy OLED, and then what you're essentially missing out on by saving the cash. was.
If the best possible picture quality is at the top of your wish list when buying a new TV, the QNED81 is not for you. However, the QNED81 is at least worth a listen if, for example, you have a checkbox on your wishlist for an affordable price and his 4K 120Hz support for gaming.
If spending as little as possible is most important to you, consider a mini LED TV. LG's QNED86 series uses mini-LED backlighting, essentially delivering images with little to no light bleed and giving you better control over how each frame is lit. In this case, all I can say is “should”. Because I have never seen his QNED86 with my own eyes and could instead leverage my experience of seeing other mini LED screens.
The LG QNED86 has an MSRP of £1,699 / AU$3,499. The QNED81 has an asking price of £1,499 / AU$2,299, but you won't find anything comparable to this TV in US stores. This could be a much more absorbable cost increase and a much more achievable path to near-OLED quality.
I think you need to wear your best puppy eyes to request that loan unit from LG to determine where you should really spend your money. But for now, I'll stay loyal to OLED.