I'm probably repeating myself when I say that the LG C1 OLED 4K TV is one of the best TVs you can buy now. After all, I felt the same last year when I tested its CX predecessor at my previous gig. As an OLED, the C1 offers lush vibrant visuals with true blacks while its support for gamer-centric features like variable refresh rate makes it arguably the best pick for gamers. While I tested the 55-inch model, the C1 also comes in a 48-inch version. This smaller size would be ideal for gaming dens, especially when paired with the latest consoles (PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X) or a high-end PC.
- 4K resolution with HDR10, Dolby Vision, and HLG
- 4x HDMI 2.1 ports ([email protected])
- Comes in 48″, 55″ (tested), 65″ and 77″ sizes
- Supports Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync Premium
Unlike the flagship G1 OLED TV, the mid-range C1 does not use LG's new Evo OLED panel that is said to deliver “better brightness and punchy images”. However, both the G1 and the C1 use the same α (Alpha) 9 Gen 4 AI processor that's more powerful than the one in the entry-level A1 and B1 series. This extra processing power will help with TV processing features like upscaling. The C1 also uses the revamped WebOS 6 smart TV platform. I'm divided over this new interface. It does not feel as unique as the previous version, though the new, more conventional Home screen is admittedly more friendly for newbies. Like the Chromecast with Google TV, the TV platform attempts to consolidate content recommendations from your streaming services (e.g. Amazon Prime Video). It's a good idea on paper, but it falls flat because certain services (e.g Netflix) do not support it.
LG has slimmed down its Magic Remote, and added more shortcut keys for streaming services and voice assistants. You'll still get the pointer functionality and a built-in microphone for voice commands. What has remained seemingly unchanged is the C1's pedestal mount design, which is similar to the CX. The TV's top half is slim with just the OLED panel. The electronics and ports are housed in the thicker bottom half. The C1 has four HDMI 2.1 ports (one for eARC), and supports features such as Auto Low Latency Mode and Variable Refresh Rate. The former means that the TV automatically switches to Game mode when it detects a game console. This, as well as other gaming-related settings, such as presets for game genres, are conveniently aggregated in the new Game Optimizer menu.
Picture quality is top-notch. Viewing angles are excellent and there's almost no banding. Highlights are not quite as impactful as brighter LED TVs, but HDR still looks punchy. In particular, the new Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart looks fabulous. Colours seem to pop from the screen, and the game runs smoothly at 60fps. The C1 can even run compatible PS5 or Xbox Series X games (e.g. Destiny 2 and Fortnite) at 120Hz. The built-in speakers are decent, though the cinematic-sounding AI Sound Pro mode occasionally drowns out the lyrics or dialogue. I would recommend a good soundbar instead, but the TV's short pedestal means that part of the screen may be blocked by taller soundbars.
OLED TVs have been slowly coming down in price, though LG prices the 55-inch LG C1 OLED at S$4,099, which was the launch price for the CX. But you can usually find the C1 for less from local retailers. For instance, this Shopee listing puts it at around S$3,000 — it is also available on Lazada. That's relatively affordable for an OLED TV. However, the improvements in the C1 are probably not compelling enough for existing OLED TV owners. For those shopping for a new OLED TV, the LG C1 is definitely one to consider.
Note: Review unit provided by LG.
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