Mis à jour le 13 March 2023.
The LG 42LX3 is one of a kind, with its motorized flexible OLED panel. It is both a 4K HDR OLED TV and a premium gaming screen. 4K HDR10 and Dolby Vision compatible, connected to provide access to streaming services, it also supports 120Hz 4K with VRR and Ray Tracing to enhance the picture quality of video games. Available for €2,990, the LG 42LX3 seems to be ideal for both gamers and movie lovers. Does it really manage to offer the best of both worlds?
LG 42LX3: packaging & accessories
Unlike the majority of gaming screens and 4K TVs, the LG 42LX3 television comes in one part, already mounted on its base. This means that the packaging is pretty bulky, with a box that is twice as big as that of the LG OLED42C2.
The manufacturer includes a Magic Remote and batteries, as well as three cable ties to attach behind the screen. There is also an infrared repeater and two covers for the connectors.
LG 42LX3: presentation
The LG 42LX3 features a 106cm motorized flexible OLED panel that can be tilted and adjusted in height, and is a gaming screen and OLED TV hybrid. While it offers the best of 4K OLED HDR technology to satisfy movie buffs, it also handles 4K streams up to 120Hz with a variable refresh rate to optimize the display of the latest video games.
The Filmmaker mode is included to ensure a very accurate cinematographic picture with movies. The TV is compatible with Dolby Vision, including Dolby Vision Gaming on 4K content up to 120Hz. The LG α9 Gen5AI Processor 4K optimizes picture quality, but also sound quality for movies, TV series and video games.
ALLM and VRR technologies (Nvidia G-sync and AMD Freesync) provide a perfectly smooth image without lagging or tearing for video games. There is also the dedicated video game settings menu present on the latest generation LG TVs, as well as access to the GeForce Now, Blacknut and Utomik cloud gaming services.
The Smart TV webOS interface also provides access to many streaming services such as Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV+.
The 2.2 channel audio system of the LG 42LX3 features four front drivers placed at the foot of the base: two for the highs and mids alongside two for the lows, powered by a 4 x 10 watt amplifier. A multipoint Bluetooth controller is also present, allowing you to connect one or two Bluetooth wireless speakers to the TV, or two pairs of Bluetooth headphones.
Lastly, the connectors of the LG 42LX3 include four 4K 120Hz HDMI compatible HDMI ports, four USB ports, an Ethernet port, a DTTV antenna connector and a satellite connector as well as an optical audio output and a headphone output. The only thing missing to round things off is a DisplayPort/USB-C connector.
Note that the LG 42LX3 offers a USB hub function via the USB PC port. When connected to the USB port of a computer (cable provided), it allows you to control the computer with the keyboard and mouse connected to the screen’s other USB ports.
LG 42LX3: key specifications
- Screen size: 42” (106cm)
- Motorized flexible OLED panel (ranging up to a 900R curve)
- HDR10 and Dolby Vision Gaming compatible
- HFR 120Hz 4K HDMI
- Smart TV webOS 22
- 4 x HDMI 2.1 ports
LG 42LX3: configuration
We connected the LG 42LX3 to a wall antenna socket for DTTV reception and hooked it up via network cable to the WiFi router in the Netgear Orbi RBK852 pack to access the local network and Internet. We connected the TV to the Pioneer UDP-LX500 UHD 4K Blu-ray player to play movies on 4K Blu-ray, as well as a PlayStation 5 for video games, using an Audioquest Cinnamon HDMI cable.
The TV, player and console were all plugged into filtered sockets on the Taga Harmony PF-2000 power strip. After switching on the TV, the start-up process and the installation of the TV channels only takes a few minutes.
LG 42LX3: our impressions
Flexible OLED panel
LG is the first ever gaming screen and TV manufacturer to dynamically harness the flexibility of OLED panels. The LG 42LX3’s screen curves on demand to adapt to the user’s needs. When curved, it offers more immersion for playing video games. When flat, it allows you to enjoy films and series with your family.
Placed behind the screen, two motorized mechanical arms adjust the curvature of the panel. This means that the electronics, connectors and audio section have been moved to the base, which is much bigger than those of competing gaming screens. From the side, the TV looks rather angular and bulky, despite the thin OLED panel. But when the mechanics kick in, you can’t help but be amazed by the remarkable engineering.
You simply have to press the dedicated button on the remote control to choose the curvature of the screen. Three default presets are available (flat – 50% – 100%), with a maximum curvature of 900R. It is also possible to fine-tune the setting in 5% increments from the highest position to the lowest. The screen can also be tilted to achieve the best viewing angle in gaming monitor use. The manufacturer also states that the height of the LG 42LX3 can be adjusted over a range of 14cm.
From the front, the base of the LG 42LX3 is similar to that of the LG OLED C2 range, with a silver finish and the LG OLED logo. It is L-shaped and integrates the screen’s mechanical curving system as well as the electronics and connectors in its vertical part. The connectors are situated on the left and right sides of the stand, with the possibility of attaching cable management devices.
The OLED panel of this LG gaming screen is very thin with a thickness of only 6mm.
Like the manufacturer’s other OLED televisions, the LG 42LX3 is rather sensitive to reflections in bright rooms, especially when the screen is flat. Once the latter is curved, some of the reflections disappear. However, it is still important to carefully choose the TV’s placement in order to eliminate as many reflections as possible.
Like many gaming screens, the LG 42LX3 features a lighting system with several modes. Color LED strips are built into the back of the stand to provide an Ambilight-like effect.
The player can select a single color or they can choose to synchronize the lighting with the image (HDMI sources only) or the sound.
During gaming sessions on a PlayStation 5, the dynamic synchronized mode was rather convincing, but it wasn’t as impressive as Philips Ambilight TVs or the Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box.
Like all LG OLED TVs, the LG 42LX3 features a special settings menu that is displayed as an overlay on the screen. It is divided into three sub-sections allowing you to adjust game, picture and audio settings.
It is possible to choose a picture mode that suits the type of game you are playing and customize it. The black and white balance is adjustable, as well as the contrast and, above all, the black level. This is ideal for controlling the brightness in dark areas of the image and making it easier to find enemies hidden in the dark.
The LG 42LX3 also allows you to adjust the size of the displayed image with three settings: Full (42” – 106cm), 32” (81cm) and 27” (68cm). This is useful in order to be able to see the entire image displayed when seated very close to the screen.
Very responsive, the LG 42LX3’s display allows you to enjoy the latest games without any lag. The smoothness is great and the picture is always clear and detailed. On Gran Turismo 7, the picture was gorgeous and the responsiveness flawless.
On Hogwarts Legacy with the ray tracing function activated, the lighting was beautiful and further enhanced the artistry of the interiors and backgrounds.
HD DTTV and upscaling
The LG 42LX3 is both a gaming screen and a 4K UHD TV equipped with an HD DTTV tuner and an upscaling feature. The proprietary α9 Gen5 video processor is responsible for upscaling images from standard and HD quality to 4K UHD definition.
Whether it’s HD TV programmes or 1080p HD Blu-ray discs, this LG display achieves a high level of upscaling. The 2023 World Ski Championships, for example, benefited from a razor-sharp image with plenty of detail and no artifacts. This OLED panel’s ability to deliver vivid colors was astonishing.
The LG 42LX3 also effectively optimized the overall picture quality with standard definition sources. Without achieving the finesse of an HD image, the picture was still more detailed than with DVDs.
4K HDR Dolby Vision movies
We were able to enjoy the LG 42LX3’s UHD picture quality with streaming services and 4K Blu-ray movies. On The Grand Tour series streamed in 4K HDR on Prime Video, the LG TV showed us the full range of its talent in high contrast scenes. When the hosts tested several GTs, the absolute blacks of the OLED display provided a lot of detail in the darker areas of the picture, while allowing us to enjoy excellent contrast.
The brightest zones of the image also benefited from an excellent level of nuance and detail (reflections on car bodywork, skyscraper windows).
The LG 42LX3 offers several factory preset picture modes for different programmes. The standard mode is particularly suitable for DTTV programmes as well as documentaries and sports broadcasts. It can also be selected for daytime viewing of films and series in a bright room.
In our opinion, the Cinema and Filmmaker modes should be preferred for a true cinematographic picture. They offer excellently calibrated contrast and brightness values as well as very realistic colors.
On the movie Uncharted in 4K HDR Blu-ray, the picture was very detailed with sharp contours and very accurate colors. The images were very natural and so realistic that during close-ups of faces, it was as if the actors were right in front of us!
Virtual Dolby Atmos sound
The 2.2 channel audio section of the LG 42LX3 has a power of 40 watts and is Dolby Atmos compatible, with a virtual audio reproduction over 7.1.2 channels. Unfortunately, the TV doesn’t support DTS audio formats.
In practice, the four front-firing drivers were expressive, but didn’t provide true three-dimensional spatialization. The sound remained rather frontal, but did offer convincingly wide stereo effects and good vertical range.
When playing Gran Turismo 7 and selecting the Sports game mode, the engine noises of the vehicles we overtook could be heard to the right and to the left, which improved our immersion in the atmosphere of the game.
In cinema mode, movie dialogues were clear and the sound effects were well rendered. Note that a Clear Voice Pro mode is available to further enhance the clarity of dialogues if necessary.
If you want to enjoy greater audio immersion, we recommend that you pair this screen with a soundbar. To do this, you can use the HDMI ARC/eARC connection, which is ideal for Dolby Atmos, or the optical connection.
Magic Remote and webOS
Because the LG42LX3 gaming screen is also a smart TV, the manufacturer has included a Magic Remote. Similar to the model included with the LG OLED C2 TVs, this remote is equipped with a clickable thumbwheel. It was very easy to use thanks to the cursor on the screen, the only drawback was the lack of backlighting.
The LG 42LX3’s webOS interface was smooth and responsive. It provides access to multiple streaming services and allows you to download several apps. However, LG’s catalog isn’t as rich as that of Google TV’s Play Store, which is unbeatable in this domain.
LG 42LX3: compared to…
The LG OLED42C2 and LG 42LX3 share the same OLED panel and have similar specs and features. The LG 42LX3 mainly differs with its flexible screen, the audio section which is twice as powerful, its USB hub and the ability to choose three display sizes. Unfortunately, these features considerably bump up the price.
Concerning the picture, the two perform equally well with excellent rendering on 4K HDR content and perfect smoothness with video games. However, the ability to curve its panel makes it easier for the LG 42LX3 to avoid reflections and offer more immersion in games. Although more powerful, the audio section of the LX3 produces a very frontal sound, like the LG OLED42C2, which can be improved by adding a soundbar to the screen.
Samsung Odyssey Ark 55”
Available at almost the same price, the Samsung Odyssey Ark 55” has a larger VA LCD panel with mini LED backlighting. You don’t enjoy the infinite blacks of OLED, but the contrast is still impressive. The curvature of the Samsung screen is superior, offering greater immersion, but it can’t be changed. On the other hand, this screen can rotate from landscape to portrait format if needed, which the LG screen cannot do.
The gaming features are similar, with support for 4K games and AMD FreeSync technology. The LG model is also compatible with G-Sync, but is limited to 120Hz. The Samsung Odyssey Ark forgoes the Nvidia protocol, but its refresh rate can reach 165Hz with a PC. Moreover, the latter’s connectors are situated in an external box, making it easier to connect to a PC or a console when wall-mounted.
Lastly, the Samsung screen can also connect to the internet to access the main streaming services.
LG 42LX3: who is it for?
The LG 42LX3 will appeal to those looking for a large, ultra-versatile gaming screen that has all the same features as the manufacturer’s best OLED TVs. Delivering a rich and high contrast image with movies, TV programmes and video games, and offering 4K 120Hz and G-Sync/FreeSync compatibility, it is currently the only model to have a flexible OLED display.
LG 42LX3: conclusion
The LG 42LX3 is unique on both the gaming screen and 4K OLED TV markets. A real demonstration of technological innovation with its curved panel, it is positioned at the crossroads of the video game and home theater sectors. Capable of displaying a beautiful image in 4K HDR or 1080p HD, it is very comfortable with UHD Blu-rays and TV programmes, as well as with video games up to 120Hz. The infinite contrast of OLED and rich colors allow you to enjoy games and movies with a superb image.
While effective, the audio section doesn’t fully deliver on its promise. Despite a powerful sound and consistently clear dialogue, the virtual 7.1.2 channel spatialization is not up to par. The stereo is wide with some vertical effects, but the sound remains frontal. Like with most TVs and gaming screens, it is better to use a compact soundbar to fully enjoy the soundtracks of games and movies.
- The ability to curve the screen on demand
- The excellent 4K HDR image quality
- The very comprehensive gaming settings menu
- The rich and natural colors
- The well-calibrated Cinema and Filmmaker modes
- The effective upscaling, especially with TV programmes
We would have liked
- Better sound spatialization
- Support for DTS and IMAX Enhanced
- A more effective anti-reflection filter
- Backlighting on the remote control
- A DisplayPort/USB-C input