The Magic Motion remote works well to control the Chrome Web browser with Flash support, although many video-based Web sites are still blocked. Integrated voice search via a mic on the remote works OK, but I found it to be quicker to simply use the QWERTY keyboard for searches.
One addition is a selection of media grouped under the banner "3D World." It includes short documentaries of varying quality, in terms of both content and picture, with the best being "Amazing Bubbles" for its wow factor.
But in the end, the experience isn't very satisfying. If you've seen the recent Nokia ads with Chris Parnell, they're designed to spoof the supposed "beta" nature of using an Android phone. The same could extend to Google TV, which after more than a year still doesn't feel like a finished product, especially on this TV. For example, the most recent LG patch puts the TV into 2D-3D mode by default.
Picture settings: LG's typical wealth of settings, including a 20-point grayscale and color management that's been improved for 2012, are all here. Unfortunately, Google's terrible menu system makes accessing and using them quite painful. They seemed to work well, but my review sample was tweaked by LG's engineers so your mileage may vary (see the Calibration Notes for more details).
Like most TVs this year, the LG G2 boasts integrated wireless in addition to four HDMI ports and two USB. The rest of the connections are also fairly standard.
Picture quality (How we test TVs)
Yes, the LG G2 has some nifty features, but in the end picture quality matters most, and I'm sorry to say the LG sorely lacks it. It can't perform anywhere near as well as last year's LW5600, for example, which costs much less. Gloomy blacks are the major culprit and make the G2 a no-go zone for videophiles, and the screen's reflectivity in bright rooms doesn't help.
Click the image at the right to see the picture settings used in the review and to read more about how this TV's picture controls worked during calibration.
|Comparison models (details)|
|LG 47LW5600||47 inch edge-lit LED|
|Samsung UN46D6400||46 inch edge-lit LED|
|Sony KDL-55HX750||55 inch edge-lit LED|
|Samsung PN59D7000 (reference)||59-inch plasma|
Black levels: When you're paying under $500 for a TCL TV you don't expect much. But when you're paying three to four times that, you have different expectations, and I'd anticipate deep black levels, for example. But the LG simply doesn't deliver: black and dark areas looked grayish instead, and lighter than on any other TV in the lineup.
One of my main criticisms of the Sony HX750 was its lack of deep blacks, but at least it had fine shadow detail. The LG offers very little shadow detail. During the fly-by of the Romulan mining ship in the recent "Star Trek" movie, the LG wasn't able to dig out any detail of the ship itself, which appeared as a brown and beige blob. In contrast, last year's Samsung 6400 is able to imbue the scene with a sense of extra depth due to its heightened black levels. As a result, when watching the two TVs side by side, I found myself drawn to the 6400 instead.
Color accuracy: The LG's strength may be its ability to get accurate color in the low-level blacks. Its shadows were at least the "correct" brownish color in the murkier scenes of "I Am Legend" instead of blue as seen on the Sony.
Elsewhere, despite accurate charts, the colors lacked vibrancy and skin tones in particular appeared a little washed-out. The effect is due mainly to lighter blacks and isn't that unappealing in isolation, but when viewed against color powerhouses like the Samsungs or even the otherwise-lacking Sony HX750, the LG came off fourth-best again.
Video processing: It's rare that a TV manages to screw up basic things like putting an image onscreen, and despite its faults the LG isn't about to start. Whether it was correctly interpreting a 24p signal or deinterlacing video and film content, I found the processing power of the LG wasn't a problem.
Uniformity: As an adjunct to its black-levels problem, the LG is prone to distinct backlight "clouds" which give a rainbowed, oil-slick appearance to dark scenes. While this is usually a problem off-axis, it's viewable on-axis as well in some scenes. Unlike most edge-lit screens, though, it isn't apparent at the corners; my review unit showed a large discolored blob in the center of the screen.
Bright lighting: While it's not as glossy as some past LG transgressors like the LW9800, the G2's screen is glossy enough that you'll see yourself reflected in it distinctly when watching dark scenes in a bright room. As a result, the TV is best viewed in a dimly lit room.
3D: One thing that active 3D systems -- like those offered by LG's competitors -- suffer from is crosstalk or ghosting, one of the most noticeable and objectionable 3D artifacts. LG has opted for a passive system, which showed no visible crosstalk in my tests. Also, at a 7-foot seating distance I didn't notice any jagged edges or visible lines with my 47-inch sample, and images weren't as tiring as on the LW5600 due to a muted, less "pop-out" 3D effect. LG has added the option to adjust 3D depth this year, which may contribute to the muted feel of the default setting. Lighter black levels did lead to an image that was less believable overall, however.
|Black luminance (0%)||0.0283||Poor|
|Near-black x/y (5%)||0.3122/0.3305||Good|
|Dark gray x/y (20%)||0.3139/0.3308||Good|
|Bright gray x/y (70%)||0.3134/0.3283||Good|
|Before avg. color temp.||6376.8519||Average|
|After avg. color temp.||6432.2389||Good|
|Red lum. error (de94_L)||5.6894||Poor|
|Green lum. error (de94_L)||3.8998||Poor|
|Blue lum. error (de94_L)||12.2135||Poor|
|Cyan hue x/y||0.2353/0.329||Good|
|Magenta hue x/y||0.3164/0.1537||Good|
|Yellow hue x/y||0.4212/0.5201||Average|
|1080p/24 Cadence (IAL)||Pass||Poor|
|1080i De-interlacing (film)||Pass||Good|
|Motion resolution (max)||n/a||Good|
|Motion resolution (dejudder off)||280||Poor|
|PC input resolution (VGA)||1,920x1,080||Good|