OLED Battle: Sony OLED vs LG OLED

So you’re looking to buy a new OLED TV and your choices are down to Sony OLED vs LG OLEDs. Which one is better? Are they the same? What are some features you should know about? I was wondering the same thing and did some research, what I found out might surprise you.

Sony OLEDs and LG OLEDs are almost identical, at least when it comes to technical specifications and price. What you need to know is each brand shines in certain areas, and many of the features are subjective. For example, some people prefer LGs WEB OS operating system over Sony’s Android TV and vice versa.

Before I get into the details, I want to mention that both high-end Sony OLED and LG OLED TVs are very good, and each has pros and cons. It mostly boils down to what features you need.

Sony OLED vs LG OLED:

When it comes to comparing the latest high-end 4K Sony OLEDs vs LG OLEDs, the picture quality is very similar. However, the picture quality on Sony OLEDs is usually better than LG OLED because Sony uses advanced video processing techniques and the panels have better out of the box colour calibration.

Nevertheless, LG OLED TVs have other attractive features, such as more HDMI 2.1 ports, supports a wide ranger of resolutions, lower input delay, and includes variable refresh rate (VRR). Most LG OLED TVs support VRR, while Sony models do not support it at the moment, although they have mentioned a firmware update may include it in the near future.

Let’s take a closer look at these features.

Picture Quality:

Since both Sony and LG use OLED panels, the picture quality is almost identical. The main difference mostly depends on the video processing features. Generally, Sony OLEDs tend to be better at upscaling 720P or 1080P media, such as cable TV, to 4K. When it comes to 4K media, both Sony and LG OLED TVs natively support 4K, so the picture quality is almost identical.

The only difference seems to be with the brightness and colours, Sony TVs usually have a higher peak brightness, with more accurate colours, at least out of the box. With a little calibration, LG TVs can have just as accurate colours, but it requires manual calibration.

Nevertheless, the average consumer probably won’t be able to tell the differences in picture quality as they are very subtle. Both Sony OLED and LG OLED TVs offer incredible picture quality with near-infinite blacks and amazing details.

HDMI 2.1 Ports:

When it comes to Sony OLED vs LG OLED, one of the main talking points is the HDMI 2.1 ports. The most common comparison is between LG C1 and Sony A80J. The LG C1 has 4 HDMI 2.1 ports while the Sony A80J only has 2 HDMI 2.1 ports.

Generally, most LG TVs have more HDMI ports. If you have more than one HDMI 2.1 compatible device (console, PC, etc) you should consider the LG C1 OLED TV. Even the newer Sony OLED A90J still only has two functional HDMI 2.1 ports.

Speaking of HDMI ports, the latest Sony OLED TVs support a broader range of audio formats through HDMI ARC. For example, Sony A80J supports 5.1 DTS:X while the C1 does not. In other words, Sony is a better option for home theatre setups because it supports more audio formats.

User Interface:

The latest Sony OLED TVs use Android’s Google TV as the operating system. It’s very easy to navigate and it allows you to install a variety of Android applications from the Google Play store, including YouTube and Netflix. It’s also possible to sideload non-support Android apps. However, for the best Google TV experience, you need to log in with a Google account.

LG OLED TVs use Web OS, which is a Linux-based operating system. Web OS also includes most of the popular streaming apps, but the app selection is much more limited than with Google TV. Before you buy an LG TV, you’ll want to make sure your favourite streaming apps are available on Web OS. For example, HBO Max was only recently added to Web OS.

Nevertheless, it’s hard to say which user interface is better. It mostly boils down to which apps and features you need. For most people, Web OS offers enough features.

Supported Resolutions:

Generally, LG OLED TVs support a broader range of resolutions. For example, LG C1 supports 1440P while the Sony equivalent does not. It’s not the most important point but something that you should know about.

Remotes:

Much like the user interface, LG and Sony have very different remotes. Most LG OLED TVs have a point and click magic remote, similar to a WII controller. The motion control makes navigating the menus a lot easier.

Sony OLED TVs do not include point and click remotes, preferring to stay with the regular button controls. Some people prefer LGs remotes while others prefer the standard ones, it depends on your personal preferences. Just remember the remotes are very different.

Sound:

Generally speaking, Sony OLED TVs have better speakers than LGs because the speakers are built-in to the screen. Sony pioneered this technology, calling it Acoustic Surface. The way it works is actuators are located around the screen and essentially vibrate the panel to create sound. It doesn’t use standard speakers.

Combined with a sub-woofer on the rear, Sony’s acoustic surface sound system can deliver some impressive audio. It also includes audio tracking which makes the sound come from the source on the screen. For example, if someone is talking the sound will appear to come from where the person is on the screen.

LG TVs don’t usually have great speakers, so a soundbar is recommended.

Conclusion:

To summarize, the latest Sony OLEDs and LG OLEDs are amazing TVs but each has pros and cons. Sony OLEDs are generally recommended for avid movie and TV watchers because the colour calibration and internal speakers are great. However, they lack HDMI 2.1 ports and have a higher response time when compared to LG OLED TVs. Not to mention Sony TVs don’t support VRR.

LG TVs have a better response time, support a broader range of resolutions, have multiple (usually 4x) HDMI 2.1 ports, and they’re usually slightly cheaper too. In other words, LG OLED TVs are better for gamers, especially next-gen gamers, while Sony OLEDs are better for movies and other media. Of course, neither option is “bad” because they’re both premium cutting edge TVs.

I hope that helped clear up the issue!

About Tim Gagnon

Timothy Gagnon is a tech blogger and writer. When he's not dissembling computers, he's researching the latest tech gadgets and trends.

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