Home Review LG C1 OLED TV: Worth the price if you want the best

LG C1 OLED TV: Worth the price if you want the best

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LG C1 OLED TV: Worth the price if you want the best

OLED TVs have one of the best image high quality out there, and as we speak there’s extra decisions in OLED than ever. From the less-expensive LG A1 and Vizio H1 to the wallet-busting Sony A90J and LG G1, high-end customers who’ve selected an OLED TV face one other powerful resolution: which OLED TV, precisely? I have never reviewed all of them, however from what I’ve seen thus far, the best choice for many consumers is the LG OLED C1. It combines that unimaginable picture high quality with one of the best options — notably for players — the widest vary of display sizes and a value that is not too outrageous. 

LikeHigher image high quality than any non-OLED TVSuperior distinction and off-angle imageBest-in-class gaming featuresSleek styling with ultrathin panel

I in contrast the C1 on to its predecessor, the LG CX, in addition to to a TCL 8K QLED TV with Mini-LED that prices about the identical, and the C1 was my favourite. It and the CX have been neck-and-neck for image high quality, however the C1 pulled away with its versatile gaming choices. Meanwhile the Samsung Q90A QLED is brighter and in some methods superior, however general the image high quality of the C1 is healthier. The C1 can also be much more reasonably priced than the LG G1, and picture high quality on these two 2021 OLEDs was principally the identical. I have never reviewed the Sony A80J but, which at present prices a bit greater than the C1, however I’d be shocked if it was considerably higher. In brief, if you’d like the prevalence of OLED picture high quality, the LG C1 is my go-to-pick for 2021.

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LG C1 OLED TV evaluate: The high-end TV to beat in 2021

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Series and measurement info: I carried out a hands-on analysis of the 65-inch OLED C1, however this evaluate additionally applies to the opposite display sizes within the collection. All sizes have equivalent specs and in accordance with the producer ought to present very related image high quality.  LG OLED48C1PUB, 48-inch LG OLED55C1PUB, 55-inch LG OLED65C1PUB, 65-inch LG OLED77C1PUB, 77-inch LG OLED83C1PUA, 83-inch
Slim, glossy and superior: Up shut with the LG C1 OLED TV
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Get to know the LG C1 collectionThe C1 has extra sizes than LG’s least-expensive OLED TV, the A1 collection, in addition to higher image-quality options. The A1 lacks HDMI 2.1, has a much less spectacular processor, in addition to fewer HDMI inputs (three as a substitute of 4) and a 60Hz refresh fee.The C1 additionally has extra sizes than the more-expensive G1 collection, which gives that “Evo” panel and a slimmer, wall-mount-centric Gallery design. The C1 additionally lacks a far-field mic for hands-free voice and a Next-Gen TV tuner, each comparatively minor extras included on the G1. OLED show know-how is essentially totally different from the LED LCD know-how used within the overwhelming majority of as we speak’s TVs, together with Samsung and TCL’s QLED fashions. The finest LCD TVs I’ve reviewed thus far scored a 9 in picture high quality, whereas OLEDs TVs just like the C1 have scored a 10. High-end LCDs are brighter than OLEDs (particularly with HDR), however the image high quality on OLED TVs I’ve reviewed is superior general. All OLED TVs are extra topic to each short-term and everlasting picture retention, aka burn-in, than LCD TVs. We at CNET do not contemplate burn-in a motive for most individuals to keep away from shopping for an OLED TV, nonetheless. Check out our information to OLED burn-in for extra.
David Katzmaier/CNET
Slim, glossy and familiarIf you have seen any mainstream LG OLED TVs within the final couple of years, the C1’s design will ring a bell. The watchword is “minimalist,” with a slim border across the display on all 4 sides and a tiny, discrete LG brand. Seen from the aspect, the highest two-thirds of the TV is blade-thin, whereas the underside widens to accommodate the heart, inputs and different connections. The stand is principally the identical because the CX from final 12 months, operating virtually the entire width of the panel within the entrance and incorporating a really heavy base on the rear that saved my evaluate pattern admirably regular. One change is the colour of the again: It’s now a stark white, like some LG OLEDs of yesteryear.

David Katzmaier/CNET
LG revamped the distant a bit. It saved my favourite options, particularly the scroll wheel and motion-tracking, whereas slimming it down barely. The greatest distinction is the shortcut keys on the backside: 4 for streaming companies and two extra for the built-in voice assistants, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.  Both Google and Alexa can do all the standard assistant stuff, together with management sensible residence gadgets, reply questions and reply by way of a voice popping out of the TV’s audio system (yep, each voices). Basics like “What’s the weather?” works as you’d anticipate, full with onscreen suggestions. The C1 additionally works with Apple’s AirPlay 2 system, similar to many different TVs, permitting my iPhone to share pictures and video to the display from the Photos app and mirror my Mac and telephone screens. 
David Katzmaier/CNET
LG’s WebOS menu system bought a facelift for 2021 — and I’m not a fan. Gone is the small, unobtrusive overlay on the backside of the display that permits you to maintain tabs on what you are watching. Instead there is a full-screen homepage, just like Roku, Fire TV and Google TV. But it has fewer apps and extra, properly, junk. The prime two-thirds of the display are dedicated to the climate, setup ideas, a search window and a Trending Now part with a random assortment of TV reveals and films. Below that’s an app row and, additional down, sections dedicated to inputs and specific streaming apps. In common it seems like a hodgepodge with an excessive amount of occurring — most methods are easier and simpler to know. Features bins: CheckedKey options

Display know-how

OLED

LED backlight

N/A

Resolution

4K

HDR appropriate

HDR10 and Dolby Vision

Smart TV

Web OS

Remote

Motion

The C1 is not lacking something I’d anticipate on a high-end TV. Aside from the Evo panel, the C1 has the identical image-quality options because the step-up G1, beginning with the brand new Gen 4 a9 processing chip that provides scene detection and upgraded object enhancement over final 12 months’s model. Both the G1 and C1 even have a 120Hz refresh fee. The entry-level A1 OLEDs, in the meantime, have a extra fundamental a7 processor and 60Hz refresh fee. Just like final 12 months, LG’s OLED TVs’ image settings embody a Filmmaker Mode. As promised, it turns off the cleaning soap opera impact for film-based content material (yay) however so do many different modes within the C1. While a lot correct, Filmmaker Mode can also be comparatively dim for SDR (customary dynamic vary), so I ended up utilizing Cinema and ISF Bright for most important viewing. New for 2021 is a Game Optimizer menu with its personal set of image modes; see under for particulars.
David Katzmaier/CNET
All of LG’s current OLED fashions (besides the A1) embody the most recent model of the HDMI customary: 2.1. That means their HDMI ports can deal with 4K at 120 frames per second and variable refresh fee (VRR, together with Nvidia G-sync and AMD FreeSync), in addition to enhanced audio return channel (eARC) and automated low latency mode (auto recreation mode). In different phrases, they will benefit from the most recent graphics options out there on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and S in addition to high-end graphics playing cards. In reality the C1 is uncommon amongst high-end TVs in that each one 4 of its HDMI assist 4K/120 — nice for hardcore players with a number of next-gen gadgets. The choice of connections is in any other case top-notch, although it not helps analog part video. There’s additionally a devoted headphone or analog audio output and one other for IR blasters, which may ease some installations. Four HDMI inputs with HDMI 2.1, HDCP 2.2 Three USB 2.0 ports Optical digital audio output Analog audio 3.5mm headphone output RF (antenna) enter RS-232 port (minijack, for service solely) Ethernet (LAN) portPicture high quality comparisonsThe C1 is an outstanding performer, each bit as succesful as one of the best TVs I’ve reviewed. I wasn’t in a position to evaluate it on to the G1 for this evaluate, however in accordance with my measurements in addition to my comparisons of each panels to the CX from 2020, the C1 and G1 have practically equivalent picture high quality. The G1’s Evo panel, as I discussed in that evaluate, does not ship a serious brightness benefit over different LG OLEDs, together with the C1. In their favor, each 2021 OLEDs are wonderful and the best-performing TVs I’ve reviewed, a hair above the CX.
David Katzmaier/CNET
For this evaluate I additionally in contrast the C1 to the best-performing LCD TV I had on-hand, the TCL 65R648, which prices about the identical because the C1 and occurs to have 8K decision. In case you are questioning, I noticed no sharpness or decision benefit with the 8K TCL in comparison with the 4K OLEDs when watching HD or 4K materials. The TCL makes use of Mini-LED and full-array native dimming however does not carry out fairly in addition to the Samsung Q90A, exhibiting extra blooming points for instance. I did not have the Samsung Q90A on-hand to check straight both, however it’s nonetheless one of the best LCD-based TV I’ve reviewed. That mentioned, primarily based on my comparability with the G1, the Q90A would nonetheless fall in need of the C1, which exhibited good black ranges, wonderful mixed-scene distinction and higher off-angle viewing than any LCD I’ve examined.

Dim lighting: As anticipated, the C1 was wonderful in a darkish room, however no higher than the CX when watching cinematic materials — on this case The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King on customary 1080p Blu-ray. During the darker scenes when Frodo, Sam and Gollum journey towards Mordor, for instance, the inky blackness of each OLED TVs surpassed the distinction of the TCL, which confirmed lighter, less-realistic shadows and letterbox bars and a few brightness variation (blooming) — customary on nearly each non-OLED TV. Shadow element was additionally wonderful on the C1, if once more not any totally different from the CX. The shadowy stairs and crags of Cirith Ungol regarded life like, not too brilliant and but well-detailed. Again the TCL trailed considerably, with barely extra obscured shadows and a less-theatrical look. Bright lighting: The C1 is a lot brilliant sufficient for nearly any viewing atmosphere, however as typical it is not practically as brilliant as competing LCD-based fashions. Compared to different OLEDs it measured principally as brilliant because the G1, regardless of missing the Neo panel, and barely brighter than the CX, however the distinction is not large and proved powerful to discern in most program materials. Light output in nits

TV

Brightest (SDR)

Accurate colour (SDR)

Brightest (HDR)

Accurate colour (HDR)

Samsung QN65QN90A

1,622

1,283

2,596

1,597

Hisense 65U8G

1,619

1,612

2,288

2,288

Sony XR65X90J

951

815

945

847

LG OLED65C1

409

333

790

719

LG OLED65G1

377

334

769

763

LG OLED65CX

377

290

690

634

LG OLEDs of current classic have a setting referred to as Peak Brightness that enhances the sunshine output for SDR sources in Cinema and Expert modes, and it really works very properly. The concept is to extend brightness for daytime viewing environments whereas sustaining the superior colour accuracy of these modes. As with most TVs, the brightest mode for HDR and SDR (Vivid on the C1) is horribly inaccurate. For the correct colour columns above on the C1, I used ISF Expert Bright (Peak Brightness: High) for SDR and Cinema mode for HDR. I like to recommend C1 homeowners do the identical to get good colour in brilliant rooms particularly, as a result of the distinction between Vivid and more-accurate modes is slight. Note that with SDR you may must disable the Auto Energy Saving setting (Support > Energy Saving > Energy Saving Step > Off) to get full brightness. Like all OLED TVs the C1 will get fairly a bit dimmer than LCDs when exhibiting full-screen white — a hockey recreation, for instance — however even in these conditions it is hardly dim. The C1’s display preserved black ranges and lowered reflections very properly, however no higher than the CX.Color accuracy: No complaints right here. According to measurements and my comparisons, the C1’s colour was wonderful. During the Muster of Rohan, for instance, the crimson and blue of the tents, the inexperienced of the grassy fields and the pores and skin tones of King Theoden and Merry all regarded pure and life like. On the opposite hand all the TVs have been fairly correct, to the extent that it was troublesome to inform the distinction.Video processing: LG goes to nice lengths to tout the advance of its processing yearly, however watching numerous materials in one of the best image settings the CX and C1 regarded largely equivalent to me.  Motion dealing with on the C1 is superb and a contact higher than the CX nonetheless. Under TruMotion, the brand new Cinematic Movement setting (the default for Cinema mode) served up 24-frame cadence with a really slight trace of smoothing, bettering on final 12 months’s too-smooth Cinema Clear setting whereas preserving 600 strains of movement decision. 24p purists who need no smoothing in any respect will go for the Off place (the default for Filmmaker mode) and undergo the low movement decision, whereas tweakers will admire the wonderful granularity of the User De-Judder mode to dial in the correct amount of smoothness; something 4 or decrease launched some judder to my eye, conveying a way of movie somewhat than cleaning soap opera impact. De-Blur settings of six or greater ship the complete 600 strains of movement decision. User additionally opens up the OLED Motion Pro menu with three ranges of black body insertion that additional enhance movement decision, with 800 strains in Low and a full 1,200 in Med and High. This final possibility introduces flicker, sadly, and all three are a bit dimmer than Off, but when blur actually bugs you then they’re value experimenting with. One enchancment over final 12 months is that partaking OLED Motion Pro not completely crushes shadow element — it is a bit worse however nonetheless OK. Still, I’d select to go away it off and sacrifice some movement decision for max gentle output and shadow element. Uniformity: Like all OLEDs I’ve examined the C1 was exemplary on this space, with no important brightness or colour variations throughout the display and practically good picture high quality from off-angle. In very darkish, full-field take a look at patterns the perimeters did seem barely dimmer than the center, however that impact was invisible in any actual program materials I watched. LG’s recreation optimizer standing display reveals frames per second, image mode and different information at a look.
David Katzmaier/CNET
Gaming: Like the G1, the C1’s greatest upgrades over 2020 fashions cater to players, and collectively they assist the C1 turn into my new favourite TV for gaming. The new Game Optimizer is the identify of each an image mode and a full menu system. The latter gives all-new tweaks together with 4 recreation style modes: Standard, FPS mode (mentioned to spice up shadow element), RPG mode (to spice up distinction) and RTS mode (mentioned to reinforce mid-grayscale areas). There are additionally sliders labeled Black Stabilizer (for adjusting darkish areas) and White Stabilizer (for brilliant areas), in addition to the OLED Motion Pro setting described above (LG says it is notably helpful for video games) and the Reduce Blue gentle setting (mentioned to be simpler on the eyes). The C1 supported all superior video options from my Xbox Series X, as marketed, together with 4K/120 and VRR. Since I reviewed the G1 in April, LG has added a brand new standing display that seems everytime you’re in Game Optimizer mode and hit the settings button. Clad in aggressive purple, it shows present frame-rate, image mode, standing of VRR, low latency (to scale back enter lag) and black stabilizer. It’s a pleasant enhancement and a solution to Samsung’s recreation bar (I truly prefer it higher as a result of it reveals extra information), and for those who do not prefer it you possibly can flip it off.The style modes behaved just like what I noticed on the G1 and taking part in my present recreation, Mass Effect 3 from the Legendary Edition, I most well-liked the look of Standard, which was a very good stability of distinction and shadow visibility. FPS will most likely cater properly to players who need most shadow visibility, and the opposite settings permit you to dial it in to your coronary heart’s content material. I actually like having all these further adjustment choices in a devoted menu, particularly for the reason that calibration screens constructed into many video games typically do an insufficient job — being able to tweak specific scenes is nice.You can develop the standing display right into a full menu with quite a few different changes particular to gaming.
David Katzmaier/CNET
Buried inside Game Optimizer is one other setting labeled “Reduce input delay (input lag)” with two choices, Standard and Boost. The former, which is the default for any recreation, serves up a superb lag quantity just like previous LG OLED fashions in addition to the G1: simply 13.1ms for each 1080p and 4K HDR sources. Engaging Boost cuts lag even additional, to only underneath 10ms for each. The catch is that Boost is just out there for 60Hz sources, so you possibly can’t use it with 120Hz video games or VRR. And no, I do not assume many people would discover the additional 3ms of lag. HDR and 4K video: The C1 is an outstanding performer with HDR as properly, and whereas it lacked the brightness of the TCL and different high-end LCDs, its general picture high quality, distinction and pop have been superior. Comparing the three TVs utilizing the Spears and Munsil 4K HDR benchmark, for instance, the 2 LG OLEDs regarded constantly higher than the TCL in most scenes. The TCL was brighter, for instance, within the clouds, snowfields and mountaintops, however in additional combined bright-and-dark scenes it appeared barely washed out compared, which damage its general distinction. Meanwhile the C1 and CX regarded vibrant and highly effective, even with their barely dimmer highlights, and shadows particularly, for instance within the twilit forests and shaded rocks, regarded extra pure and life like. As typical the OLEDs actually pulled forward within the troublesome pictures of objects, for instance cacti, flowers and a honey dipper, towards black backgrounds — the black of the TCL was brighter with seen blooming close to the objects, whereas the OLEDs’ was principally good. Colors in flowers and bottles of dye additionally regarded extra vibrant on the OLEDs.

All of that mentioned, the C1 and CX have been virtually inconceivable to inform aside with Spears. Spot measurements of the C1 revealed it was very barely brighter in some highlights, just like the hub of the Ferris wheel (4:52), however with out my gentle meter I could not inform. Switching again to LOTR:ROTK on 4K Blu-ray, I noticed an excellent higher benefit for OLED. The LGs outclassed the TCL in darker theatrical scenes, for instance when Sam challenges Shelob. Their letterbox bars remained inky and true and their shadows appropriately darkish, whereas the TCL’s darkish areas have been lighter, particularly with high-contrast pictures like Sam brandishing the Phial of Galadriel on the spider (1:50:18). Given the TCL’s important brightness benefit I anticipated its rendition of the Phial to measure brighter compared, however a spot measurement confirmed the TCL, C1 and CX have been truly very shut (422, 396 and 368 nits, respectively), once more too near discern with no meter. And cease me for those who’ve heard this earlier than, however I could not inform the distinction between the CX and C1 when watching ROTK. Both have been equally very good.
David Katzmaier/CNET
Picture settings, HDR notes and chartsCNET is not publishing superior image settings for any TVs we evaluate. Instead, we’ll give extra common suggestions to get one of the best image with out itemizing the detailed white stability or colour administration system settings we could have used to calibrate the TV. As at all times, the settings offered are a guidepost, and if you’d like probably the most correct image you must get an expert calibration. Before my calibration for this evaluate the Cinema preset was probably the most correct, wonderful when it comes to grayscale and gamma. Since I now goal a 2.2 gamma for my critiques in darkish rooms, it was nearer than ISF Expert Dark or the brand new Filmmaker modes, which each goal gamma 2.4/BT 1886. ISF Bright was principally equivalent to Cinema, however I reserved that for brighter rooms. For my calibration I tweaked the two-point grayscale barely, lowered gentle output to my goal of 137 nits and elevated brightness by two pips to assist with shadow element (whereas nonetheless protecting good black ranges), however in any other case I left properly sufficient alone. The grayscale and colour have been already so correct on my LG-provided evaluate pattern that I did not want to the touch the multipoint system or the colour administration system. SDR darkish room settingsPicture menuSelect Mode: Cinema (User)Aspect Ratio Settings: 16:9 (Just Scan: On)Filmmaker Mode Auto Start: OffReduce Blue Light: OffBrightness submenuOLED Pixel Brightness: 48Adjust Contrast: 85Screen Brightness: 52Auto Dynamic Contrast: OffPeak Brightness: OffGamma (Adjust Brightness): 2.2Black Level: AutoMotion Eye Care: OffColor submenuColor Depth: 50Tint: 0Color Gamut: Auto DetectFine Tune menu: Color Upgrade: Off (no different changes)White Balance menu:Color Temperature: Warm 50 (no different changes)Clarity submenuAdjust Sharpness: 0Super Resolution: OffNoise Reduction, MPEG Noise Reduction: Off [for low-quality sources, some users may prefer to enable noise reduction]Smooth gradation: Off [for low-quality sources, some users may prefer to enable]Cinema Screen: On [may be grayed out depending on source]TruMotion: Cinematic MovementSDR brilliant room setting [all default except for below]Picture Mode Settings: ISF Bright RoomBrightness menu:OLED gentle: 100Peak Brightness: HighTV software program/firmware model examined: 3.15.36HDR notes: The two most-accurate modes, HDR Cinema and Filmmaker mode have been principally equivalent, following the goal electro-optical switch operate — how the TV converts information to a particular brightness — fairly intently and exhibiting higher grayscale than Cinema Home, the next-most correct. Game Optimizer is finest for gaming, due to its processing however fairly blue; for one of the best colour accuracy for gaming you must alter the colour temperature management all the way in which towards crimson (Color > White Balance > Color temperature > Warm50). Color checker was extra correct than on the CX from final 12 months and as typical with OLED the C1 coated the P3 HDR gamut very properly. The C1 measured principally as brilliant because the G1 and brighter than the CX or the B9 from 2019, however the C9 from 2019 truly measured brighter in its least-accurate and principally the identical in its most-accurate settings. Once once more the TV mechanically detected and engaged the HDMI Ultra HD Deep Color setting designed for HDR sources. Geek field

Test

Result

Score

Black luminance (0%)

0.00

Good

Peak white luminance (SDR)

409

Average

Avg. gamma (10-100%)

2.16

Good

Avg. grayscale error (10-100%)

0.72

Good

Dark grey error (30%)

1.14

Good

Bright grey error (80%)

0.52

Good

Avg. colour checker error

0.90

Good

Avg. saturation sweeps error

0.81

Good

Avg. colour error

0.94

Good

Red error

1.84

Good

Green error

0.60

Good

Blue error

0.97

Good

Cyan error

0.68

Good

Magenta error

0.99

Good

Yellow error

0.58

Good

1080p/24 Cadence (IAL)

Pass

Good

Motion decision (max)

1200

Good

Motion decision (dejudder off)

1000

Good

Input lag (Game mode)

13.10

Good

HDR10

Black luminance (0%)

0.00

Good

Peak white luminance (10% win)

790

Average

Gamut % UHDA/P3 (CIE 1976)

98.98

Good

ColorMatch HDR error

4.59

Average

Avg. colour checker error

1.13

Good

Input lag (Game mode, 4K HDR)

13.13

Good

LG OLED65C1PUB CNET evaluate calibration outcomes by David Katzmaier on ScribdPortrait Displays Calman calibration software program was used on this evaluate.