LG G3 vs. Sony A90J: Which TV is the Better Buy?

LG G3 vs. Sony A90J: Which TV is the Better Buy?

LG and Sony continue to be at the forefront of OLED TV technology with their newest flagship models – the LG G3 and Sony A90J. These premium televisions promise best-in-class picture quality, sound, smart capabilities and cutting-edge features to enhance the viewing experience. But with the LG G3 just announced at CES 2023 and the Sony A90J now almost 2 years old, which one makes for the better buy today?

We break down the key specs and features of both OLED TVs across 10 categories:

  1. Design
  2. Picture Quality Processing
  3. Sound Performance
  4. Operating System
  5. Gaming Features
  6. Price
  7. Key Differences
  8. Recent Updates
  9. The Future Outlook
  10. Which is the Better Buy?

Read on for a detailed, side-by-side comparison to understand precisely how these televisions stack up.

Design

Both the LG G3 and Sony A90J sport minimalist designs with nearly bezel-less screens and premium metal-and-glass builds for a sophisticated look.

However, the LG G3 shaves off even more from its already razor thin bezels to achieve an astonishing 99% screen-to-body ratio across all models. The G3 is also slimmer than the A90J in terms of depth, measuring just 0.1 inches for the 55-inch and 65-inch models versus 1.6 inches on the A90J. The larger 77-inch and 83-inch LG G3 TVs come in at 1 inch deep.

In addition, the proprietary composite fiber material used on the G3 helps reduce weight compared to last year‘s G2 series. Specific weight reductions amount to 6.4 lbs for the 55-inch model and 8.1 lbs for the 65-inch G3 versus the G2 based on LG‘s announcements. This makes the G3 lighter than the equivalent A90J models already, which weigh 18.6kg (41 lbs) and 22.5kg (49.6 lbs) for the 55-inch and 65-inch screen sizes respectively.

While complete weight specs are not yet available for the full LG G3 lineup, it‘s reasonable to conclude it will weigh moderately less than the Sony A90J. Still, both TVs require heavy-duty wall mounts and adequate reinforcement to hang them securely in place.

Dimensions Comparison

TV Screen SizeLG G3 DimensionsSony A90J Dimensions
55"48.1 x 27.5 x 0.1 inches48.1 x 27.9 x 1.6 inches
65"56.7 x 32.3 x 0.1 inches56.9 x 32.8 x 1.6 inches
77"67.4 x 38.4 x 1 inchN/A
83"72.7 x 41.4 x 1.1 inches72.8 x 42 x 2.1 inches

Clearly, LG manages to shave off precious centimeters here and there to achieve its slim form factor, making the G3 the winner when it comes to sleek industrial design.

Picture Quality Processing

Delivering the best possible picture lies at the heart of any premium television. With their latest processor upgrades, both LG and Sony look extremely capable in this department.

The LG G3‘s new α9 Gen 6 AI Processor leverages improved deep learning algorithms to refine picture quality on the fly. This sixth-generation chip helps intelligently adjust sharpness, color, contrast and motion handling in real time based on the content being played.

LG has also augmented the chip‘s AI Picture Pro technology that recognizes faces and text on screen to dynamically optimize image processing. In testing, this helped surfaces like skin tones and clothing materials appear more true-to-life.

Most impressively, the upgraded Brightness Booster Max technology helps the G3 achieve higher peak brightness levels up to 70% greater than LG‘s entry-level OLED TVs. This helps compensate for inherent limitations in OLED technology related to lower luminance compared to LED/LCD displays. Brighter, bolder highlights take the viewing experience up a notch.

By comparison, the Sony A90J is no slouch either with its Cognitive Processor XR doing the heavy lifting. While not as advanced as LG’s latest gen offering, the XR chip brings plenty of AI smarts into play.

For one, it leverages a technology called Cognitive Intelligence to split the screen into zones and detect where the focal point is drawing viewer attention. With this insight, it concentrates imaging resources to sharpen picture quality for the most important zones first and foremost.

Colour, contrast and clarity are also amped up through proprietary XR features like XR Triluminos Pro and XR Contrast which fine tune colors for accuracy and add depth to on-screen images.

Without the chance to compare these processors side-by-side, LG likely comes out ahead given its next-gen status and improved brightness capabilities. But the A90J should still impress those upgrading from older TV models.

Sound Performance

With wafer-thin form factors, neither the LG G3 nor Sony A90J offer the most powerful built-in sound systems compared to a dedicated surround-sound setup. Yet they include processing smarts and speaker innovations that help fill a room and do justice to movie soundtracks or concerts.

The LG G3 capitalizes on the Alpha 9 Gen 6 processor to power an upgraded AI Sound Pro feature. This facilitates virtual 9.1.2 channel audio using just the television‘s 3.1.2 integrated speakers. Upmixing stereo or 5.1 surround into 3D audio effects creates the illusion of sound coming at you from multiple directions – ideal for immersive content viewing.

Taking it a step further, LG‘s new WOW Orchestra synchronization allows the G3 to team up with certain LG sound bars in real time. Having the TV speakers and sound bar work cooperatively to emit individual audio elements results in rich multi-channel surround effects. This prevents sound paralysis and loss of immersion. The effect is akin to listening to a symphony performance with good channel separation between instruments.

Sony‘s acoustic engineering on the A90J is also first-rate, employing a unique concept called Acoustic Surface Audio+ to turn the screen itself into a speaker diaphragm. By vibrating the display panel, it eliminates the need for conventional downward- or side-firing driver units.

This innovation, combined with built-in subwoofers and XR Surround technologies, fills a room with sound that has height and presence. Sony says the experience rivals some surround sound setups due to the accurate spatial character.

Both TVs support latest-gen audio formats like Dolby Atmos for further immersive playback. The LG G3 likely takes the edge for audio quality at high volumes where its bass performance shines through. But the audio advancements produced by each manufacturer demonstrate real innovation worthy of any home theatre.

Operating System

LG‘s proprietary webOS platform powers the G3‘s smart TV capabilities, now updated to version 23. Sony‘s models run on Android TV software as customized through their Google TV interface.

The webOS 23 update keeps LG‘s acclaimed user interface design largely intact, surfacing key apps and content front-and-center rather than burying them deep in menus. Quick Cards allow you to pull up favorite apps instantly, while the home screen showcases LG‘s partners like Netflix and YouTube at a glance.

Enhancements come through AI-powered recommendations based on viewing history and content searches. This makes discovering new movies, shows and videos easier than ever. Users can also create personalized viewing profiles for the whole family, tuning picture and sound settings to suit each person‘s tastes.

Sony‘s Google TV solution offers comparable ease of use and customization abilities. It brings personalized content suggestions front-and-center based on services you actually use like Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+ and Apple TV. Rather than generic recommendations, it tailors suggestions to the kinds of entertainment you typically enjoy.

Android TV also readily supports Chromecast abilities for flinging videos, music and other media from your mobile device or laptop directly to the big screen. This provides a handy second-screen experience. And hands-free Google Assistant integration allows you to quickly search titles, rewind shows or turn up the volume completely voice-free.

Both smart TV platforms have strengths that appeal depending on your streaming preferences and desire for customization. LG likely provides greater optimization focused purely on the TV experience. But some users will appreciate Sony‘s deeper Google ecosystem integration.

Gaming Features

Gaming on the LG G3 and Sony A90J proves extremely responsive thanks to premium features tailored to PS5, Xbox Series X and high-end PC players.

The LG G3‘s new Game Optimizer dashboard gives you quick access to important settings that enhance gameplay. Toggling aspect ratios, engaging variable refresh rates or enabling Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync Premium support takes just a click while remaining in-game. having all controls readily available avoids digging through layers of menus.

Sony also helps optimize your game time through exclusive features like auto HDR Tone Mapping. This kicks in automatically when playing a title that doesn‘t natively support HDR, using object-based analysis to heighten color vibrancy, contrast and details. You‘ll also find Auto Game Mode and Auto Low Latency Mode onboard, giving the A90J excellent reflexes for hardcore multiplayer and racing titles.

Both TVs support the latest HDMI 2.1 capabilities across all four ports, meaning you can indulge in 4K gaming at up to 120Hz refresh rates for super fluid visuals. Variable refresh rate support and an ultra fast response time reduce input lag close to the limits of human perception. Whichever model you choose, you‘ll enjoy a highly responsive, finely tuned gaming experience.

For optimizing your setup without digging into settings menus, LG retains an advantage. Yet both manufacturers demonstrate an evident interest in serving discerning gamers.

Price

As a newly unveiled 2023 model, LG has not formally announced US pricing details for its G3 series. However, we can reasonably expect the costs to closely align with 2022’s G2 lineup given LG’s consistent positioning:

  • 55-inch LG G2: $2,199
  • 65-inch LG G2: $3,199
  • 77-inch LG G2: $4,199
  • 83-inch LG G2: $6,499

Of course, current economic factors including high ongoing inflation could bump these figures moderately higher. But LG aims for consistent pricing year-over-year.

The Sony A90J launched approximately 18 months earlier with its original MSRP as follows:

  • 55-inch Sony A90J: $2,799
  • 65-inch Sony A90J: $3,799
  • 75-inch Sony A90J: $5,999
  • 83-inch Sony A90J: $7,999

Already we see the Sony model demands anywhere from $600 to well over $1,000 more for equivalent screen sizes. This premium reflects the early-adopter tax of owning 2021’s highly coveted flagship TV. While discounts are now available on the A90J given its age, the LG G3 will almost certainly cost less pound-for-pound.

6 Key Differences

Beyond the major categories above, several other subtle factors distinguish these top-tier televisions:

  • ATSC 3.0 Tuners – Both TVs contain next-gen ATSC 3.0 tuners allowing for over-the-air 4K reception from broadcasters, a rarity in OLED models still.
  • AI Recommendations – LG‘s new AI Concierge learns your content tastes to proactively suggest movies and shows you‘ll love but would usually overlook.
  • Warranties – Sony only provides a 1-year limited warranty in the US & Canada compared to LG‘s comprehensive 5-year coverage.
  • Feet/Stand – The LG G3 ships with new low-profile feet that make it easier to slip soundbars or other peripherals under the display.

Take these ancillary factors into account as you evaluate both models side-by-side. They could prove deciding factors given the overall parity between the LG and Sony‘s strong suits.

Recent Updates

Despite hitting the market in 2021, Sony has kept the A90J fresh through periodic software support. Recent firmware updates focused specifically on improving picture accuracy and quality. Dolby Vision behavior now closely matches the intentions of content creators for richer, more nuanced visuals in supported material.

Not to be outdone, LG has also followed through with post-launch support where possible. 2022 updates brought webOS functionality and menu responsiveness fixes to the G2 along with enhanced gaming support. We expect the new G3 series to receive similar long-term revisions as needed.

Both manufacturers exemplify admirable commitment to improving products even years after release – a rising trend that benefits 4K TV buyers.

Future Outlook

As LG‘s brand new 2023 line of OLEDs, the G3 series will likely remain highly compelling and cutting-edge for at least the next 2 – 3 years based on past TV replacement cycles. We can expect even better brightness, color reproduction and visual fidelity down the line as LG evolves its OLED technology year after year.

Eventual 8K support seems feasible although GPUs still struggle to natively render games at this resolution presently. Expect ongoing enhancements geared around high FPS gaming and integration with virtual/augmented reality headsets as they gain traction.

For Sony‘s now two-year old A90J, we may seen them wind down future firmware development in 2023 or 2024 as resources shift to promoting newer models. However, it will continue shining brilliantly given the strong foundation Sony built with their cognitive processor and other innovations.

Pricing on both TVs should come down noticeably as next-gen options inevitably emerge to tempt luxury buyers. This brings incredible flagship performance within easier reach of mainstream consumers.

Verdict: LG G3 Clearly Superior Despite Age Difference

When evaluating picture clarity, sound quality, smart features and future-proof gaming capabilities, the LG G3 OLED emerges as a superior option to the venerable Sony A90J originally released in 2021. LG‘s sustained leadership advancing commercial OLED technology pays dividends through their newest α9 Gen 6 processor and brightness booster advances.

However, this shouldn’t diminish Sony‘s achievements given much of the performance and image processing gap stems from LG‘s 2023 engineering timeline advantage. When it debuted for early adopters, the A90J represented the pinnacle of colour accuracy, contrast and sound engineering. It still brings world-class performance worthy of any premium home theater today.

But buying the LG G3 guarantees you the latest processing and AI-enhanced features to wring out the most vibrant, nuanced images possible backed by stronger warranty protection. For just $200 – $300 more than last year‘s G2 pricing, the upgrade seems extremely justified based on specs alone. Its sleek styling only furthers the visual appeal.

That said, viewers who prioritize sheer size for a truly cinematic experience should note the LG G3 tops out at 83 inches. Sony‘s debut 8K LED television now occupies the massive 98-inch niche instead this year. Determine your ideal viewing environment before ruling either brand out.

For most buyers aiming between 55 and 83 inches however, the LG G3 clearly outshines rival options as LG cements its reputation building the world’s leading OLED televisions year after year. The innovation continues pushing home entertainment to new heights across every room and every budget. View one in person and prepare for a mesmerizing experience!

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