Typical Price: $1,499.99
CNET Editors' Rating: 2.5 / 5
The good: The attractive exterior design of the LG G2 series gives an inkling of LG's "back to the drawing board" approach this year. The hybrid Magic Remote with QWERTY is one of the best TV peripherals on the market. The passive 3D system creates significantly less crosstalk than its active competitors.
The bad: Picture quality suffers from poor black levels, desaturated colors, a glossy screen, and lack of uniformity. The Google TV interface isn't as easy to use as any other TV interface you'd care to name.
The bottom line: While it may sport high-end looks and a cutting-edge remote, LG's G2 series is a disappointing attempt at Google TV with ho-hum picture quality and a frustrating user experience.
Design, Features & Performance (out of 10)
Editors' note: This review also takes into account a subrating of 5 for Value.
Despite the generally poor reviews and financial fallout associated with Google TV over the past 18 months, Google has made good on at least one promise to deliver more hardware to the marketplace. That hardware is the LG G2 series. Fresh from a name change (it was formerly the "LMG620 series") and a paring down (a second series, the LMG860, was scrapped) it represents the only actual television since 2010's disappointing Sony GT1 to support the Google TV platform.
While the rejiggered interface -- part Google and part LG -- is welcome, I still wish the Google ecosystem came with a better TV. The picture quality of the Sony was OK but, despite superior specifications, the G2 is actually worse. Black levels are some of the poorest I've seen this side of TCL, yet the 55-inch G2 is $500 more expensive than my current favorite TV, the Panasonic ST50. The LG's exterior design is striking and the QWERTY remote is the current "best in show" in terms of usability, but that can't save the LG G2 from being an also-ran to all but the most hard-core of Google geeks.
Series information: I performed a hands-on evaluation of the 47-inch LG 47G2, but this review also applies to the 55-inch model. The two sizes have identical specs and according to the manufacturer should provide very similar picture quality.
The arena of TV design is a place where an intense rivalry between the two Korean TV manufacturers, LG and Samsung, has been fought out. Samsung has maintained the upper hand for a while, and despite the occasional eyepopper such as the Scarlet, LG's TVs have lagged a little in the looks department. This year it's different. The 2012 range is, to my mind at least, one of the most attractive on the market, with the ribbon stand in particular being very eye-catching.
Yet despite its appearance in the photos, there isn't any metal in the bezel or stand. It's all brushed plastic, but it will fool most people. The look of the G2 is striking in person, and though the mix of two-tone chrome and brushed aluminum can look tacky in a dark room, in a brighter room it looks great.
The non-Google LM6200 has a similar design, but its bezel is gunmetal instead of silver in color and could prove more versatile domestically. The TV appears to float above the ribbon stand although it actually attaches to it high and at the rear.
LG has chosen a hybrid Google/LG home screen that aims to incorporate the best of both systems. Unsurprisingly, it looks a lot like the all-new 2012 LG interface with some tweaks, though the menu system is the major departure -- and a major weak point.
The TV interface is based on the Android Honeycomb interface, and while this means some apps are transferrable between the TV and your tablet, it also means some common functions are buried in nests of menus. For example, to get into the picture settings menu you need to press three different buttons (including the Smart TV menu) a total of five times and navigate submenus using the Magic Motion remote. This is ridiculous -- most TVs require one or two button presses -- and it's a problem shared with the Sony GT1. My suggestion to the engineers at Google is to work more closely with the people who have been creating these interfaces for years, and to themselves concentrate on advanced features such as search integration. Still, a TV should also get the basics right.
Vizio and Samsung unveiled QWERTY keyboard remotes last year, and since Samsung nixed its flipper this year in favor of a touch-heavy version, it's now up to LG to continue the charge. Unlike the minimalist Magic Motion remote that ships with LG's other sets, the wider Google TV remote features several more buttons on the front and a QWERTY keyboard on the flip side. It's light in the hand and intuitive to use -- the motion sensitivity works much better than the Sony GT1's thumb pad, for example -- but I wish it had dedicated Input and Settings buttons.
|Key TV features|
|Display technology||LCD||LED backlight||Edge-lit|
|Screen finish||Glossy||Remote||QWERTY Magic Motion|
|Smart TV||Yes||Internet connection||Built-in Wi-Fi|
|3D technology||Passive||3D glasses included||4 pairs|
|Refresh rate(s)||120Hz||Dejudder (smooth) processing||Yes|
|Other: Universal voice search|
The major feature and, to be honest, the only reason to even consider this TV, is to get Google's Smart TV platform (see below). The feature set is otherwise midrange-basic, with 120Hz and an edge-lit LED backlight that lacks LG's LED+ local dimming (more info). That feature, the effects of which we liked on last year's LW5600, starts with the LM6700 series this year.
The G2 boasts passive 3D like most of the LG's models this year, complete with four pairs of new-look glasses. Sadly, LG has ditched its matte finish on most sets this year, going with what it calls "semigloss." I call it "glossy."
Smart TV: With the Honeycomb interface the TV now supports umpteen Android apps, though the range of apps that are useful on a TV isn't as comprehensive as on most other Smart TV systems, or even on LG's non-Google models. While the G2 has Netflix and Pandora, for example, it lacks apps for Hulu Plus and Amazon Instant Video (the latter works only via the browser). If you're willing to keep a PC running all the time you can install Plex to get access to services such as Spotify and DLNA streaming, but I'd prefer dedicated apps.
We've seen Google TV 3.0 on the Logitech Revue and the Sony GT1 TV and were underwhelmed by it. The LG debuts a hybrid interface I haven't seen before: the Google TV ticker overlaid on the regular LG Smart TV landing page. And you know what? It mostly works. The reason is because both the components are easily configurable and it doesn't push its own apps in quite the same way that Samsung's new interface seems to. That said, there are fewer quality apps to be had.
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|
|Product Description||55 in LED-LCD|
|Diagonal Size||55 in|
|Dimensions (WxDxH)||49.7 in x 13.0 in x 32.7 in|
|Digital Television Certification||HDTV|
|Resolution||1920 x 1080|
|LCD Backlight Technology||LED Backlight technology|
|Image Aspect Ratio||16:9|
|Sound Output Mode||Surround Sound|
|Speaker System||2 speakers|
|Built-in Decoders||Dolby Digital|
|Remote Control||2-sided Magic Motion QWERTY remote|
|Manufacturer Warranty||1 year parts and labor warranty|
Average User Rating: 2.5 / 5
User Rating Breakdown
5 Star: 5
4 Star: 0
3 Star: 0
2 Star: 0
1 Star: 0
Stunning TV as usual
Rating: 5 / 5
on June 20, 2012
1 out of 1 users found this review helpful
Pros: Great quality, remote with lot of features, best UI I've seen on TV so far
Cons: glossy screen
Summary: LG never disappoints me!
Great powerful TV
Rating: 4.5 / 5
on December 14, 2012
0 out of 0 users found this review helpful
Pros: Tons of things to do & see. App market content will no doubt expand just as the ph. and tablet market expanded so I'm not worried about the lack of apps available. Still plenty to choose from. Netflix, Google movies etc. play very well. Qwerty remote
Cons: Not for the technically challenged. Takes some research patience & time to play with & learn. Only has 2gb of memory with no expansion. Picture quality is better than Cnet states yet is not quite great. Adjustments can be made but it takes some ti
Summary: Overall this is a great TV with lots of current enjoyment and tons of future potential. As stated the picture quality leaves a tad to be desired but really nothing major, however with some tweeks I have gotten a very good picture on mine. I went from a Sony DLP 42" to this 55" LED and I think part of my problem is that the larger screen just magnifies everything in a picture that the smaller screen hid. Not to mention I probably should have a 50" for my living room not 55". Bigger isn't always better but it was either the 47" or the 55", there are no othr size options. Amazon has a good reveiw with some very helpful tips from Marty. http://www.amazon.com/LG-55G2-55-Inch-LED-LCD-Glasses/product-reviews/B0074WVYNO/ref=sr_1_1_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1 Read his reveiw and make sure to read the comments section for the tips. Just click on "Comment". I built my picture settings a bit differently but used his suggestions to start. He also tells you where to get calibration methods to get the most out of the TV, however I haven't done that because I have obtained a pretty good picture without it. I did not find that the picture wizard helped me at all. I never could quite get what I wanted using that. Also I do like having the High resolution setting ON. Marty recommends turning it all off. We all like something a little different so Again play with it till you find your sweet spot and I am certain that you will love your TV as much as I do. I also chose to connect with an ethernet cord rather than WIFI. I just find a more stable signal with virtually no buffering that way. Simply put I gave this TV a 4 1/2 out of 5 because I would like to be able to expand the memory or have more than 2gb available and though I have gotten a really good picture out of it, it is still not quit what my 42" Sony provided, but not far off. The screen is sorta glossy but I haven't found it to be a problem. I love that the TV is like a big android tablet essentially. You can surf the web, Facebook and play Pandora along with many other things and very easy to do with the qwerty remote. There are 4 HDMI inputs and 3 usb ports so you can hook up an external drive, flash drive or any other USB device. I will say that if you have a smaller living room then get the 47" because in 3D mode if you're too close it doesn't look good. My living room is right at the threshold of the distance recommended and sometimes doesn't quite look right unless you sit at the farthest point. The 55" is about a 9 ft minimum distance for veiwing and my closest point is just about that. Plain and simple there is no such thing as perfect but I love my LG 55G2 TV and I haven't even scratched the surface of all it can really do. Just do the research and spend a little time making some adjustmens and you too will surely fall in love with this tv as well.
CNET's reviews are not the most reliable.
Rating: 4.5 / 5
on July 25, 2012
0 out of 0 users found this review helpful
Pros: -ANDROID on your TV!
-Google Play marketplace on your TV
-Amazing price point.
-Picture quality is pretty decent
Cons: -Not exactly the BEST picture quality, but for the price point, I think it's great
-I seem to have problems occasionally while streaming, but I think it can be fixed with an update.
-not as many apps specifically for smart TVs.
Summary: If you're looking for a smart TV, this is the one you should get. Simply put, there are no other smart TV markets out there that can compete with Google, especially since Google is also sell their top box sets. I'm sure given enough time, the market will swell with many, many more applications.
This TV is powerful!
Rating: 5 / 5
on July 8, 2012
0 out of 0 users found this review helpful
Pros: Google Play Store, LG plus Google Smart Menu lay-out, The QWERTY remote does everything quickly and easily
Cons: semi-glossy screen
Summary: I'd like to start out by saying that there is a lot of misunderstanding and some controversy over this product. But the truth is that this is absolutely the most powerful Google TV device so far with LG 3D tech which is superb plus the picture quality is uncomparable to what other leading TV makers have, the Edge-lit LED with 1920 x 1080p resolution.
The LG L9 dual-core processor made this machine really compatible with the services that Google TV can offer. Just like many people, I am familiar with computers or smartphones, this is really an intuitve system to learn especially since I am fond of downloading new and cool apps from the Google Play Store.
There is this feature that I like. It is simple to do yet very useful. When I click the Home button on the remote, the live TV screen will shrink and go to the upper left of the home dashboard. In that way, I don't miss watching a show while checking out some stuff on the smart TV menu.
LG and Google are surely cooking a more delicious TV than this one but who cares, with all the things i can do with this TV, both companies don't realize that they made a future-proof smart 3D TV.
Now we can actually own the TV of the future
Rating: 5 / 5
on July 2, 2012
0 out of 0 users found this review helpful
Pros: Google Chrome, LG Magic Remote, Google TV
Cons: Glossy screen
Summary: Log on to your Google account or create one to take advantage of the Google TV experience. It integrates the normal TV broadcastS with the results made by Google when you access videos, photos, and information. It does the personalization work for you. The Google TV provides the information that matters to you.
I can even easily select 3D movies in the Netflix app. The access to 3D content is even more accessible. Although not only does it carry the LG Smart TV platform alone but also the Google TV platform (which is actually a combination of 2 great Smart TV platforms), it still gives the same great 3D quality that the LG Cinema 3D TV product line offers.
Updated on Jul 16, 2012
An app where you can draw on your big screen would be the best app for artists. I hope LG, Google TV and a certain app developer can deliver that anytime soon. Like a more professional Draw Something App