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LG C4 OLED evo 4K TV review: Excellent mid-range OLED

LG C4 OLED evo 4K TV review: Excellent mid-range OLED


It's not everyday that I get the chance to test a newer version of a product that I know all too well. I'm referring to my LG C1 OLED TV, which has served me well so far. But with each passing year (and after testing newer OLED TVs), I can see where it's falling behind. Especially when compared with the latest iteration, the LG C4, which is not only brighter with better picture quality, but also offers a more responsive, and user-friendly interface.

Quick specs

  • 4K resolution with HDR10, Dolby Vision, and HLG
  • 4x HDMI 2.1 ports (4K@120Hz)
  • Comes in 42″, 48″, 55″, 65″ (tested), 77″ and 83″ sizes
  • Supports Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync Premium

The LG C4 is clearly brighter than my three-year-old LG C1. The 65-inch LG C4 review unit has a Brightness Booster feature — thanks to a new processor — that's up to 30% brighter than its predecessor. Note that this feature isn't available for the 42- and 48-inch C4 models. The C4's picture quality is also better. For starters, the blacks in the night scenes in the finale of Netflix's Beef are not as heavily crushed on the C4 compared with the C1. Another plus: The subtitles are not as glaringly bright on the C4 as the C1. You can also expect other typical OLED TV characteristics, from the wide viewing angle to excellent screen uniformity.

Now for a mid-range OLED TV, the LG C4 is really good. However, flagship OLED TVs are still a step up. The LG G4, for one, has an Micro Lens Array (MLA) layer, which debuted last year, that significantly increases the brightness. There's also no heatsink in the LG C4, unlike the G4. Meanwhile, Samsung's latest S95D OLED TV boasts a truly impressive matte layer that dramatically reduces reflections. While the reflection handling is much improved on the C4 compared with the C1, it's still not quite at the same level as Samsung's.

Credit: Vincent Chang/Can Buy or Not

Since the LG C3, the ports and connectors are all on the left side, and relatively easy to access. It's the same for the LG C4. My LG C1 has one HDMI near the centre of the rear panel, and I always struggle to reconnect the cable to this HDMI, since my TV is wall-mounted. As usual, the actual OLED panel for the C4 is super-thin, with a matte and textured plastic back.

Meanwhile, the included pedestal stand doesn't elevate the TV sufficiently to fit my Sonos Arc soundbar. LG's own SC9S soundbar complements the LG C4, as well as the older C2 and C3, quite nicely, especially with its WOW bracket. Not just in terms of physical design — you can have the soundbar output audio together with the built-in TV speakers. While this soundbar has a subwoofer, the audio quality is middling at best. On the other hand, the LG C4's speakers are actually decent for TV speakers, though I would still recommend getting a soundbar.

LG's SC9S soundbar just about fits under the screen, but not my Sonos Arc soundbar. Credit: Vincent Chang/Can Buy or Not

Like its predecessors, the LG C4 remains a no-brainer recommendation for gamers who want an OLED TV. Not only does it have four HDMI 2.1 ports supporting 4K 120Hz — so you don't have to choose between the Xbox and PlayStation game consoles — the LG C4 also improves over its predecessor as it now offers a 144Hz refresh rate with a compatible PC. There's support for both Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync Premium variable refresh rate technologies. In addition, LG Game Optimizer mode automatically kicks in when you turn on a connected game console. This mode minimises input lag, while a pop-up game bar lets you quickly adjust gaming settings.

With a new processor, the LG C4 unsurprisingly feels responsive when I'm navigating its latest webOS 24 interface. Coupled with the tweaks to the user interface — there are now Cards, which are like folders for similar types of apps, that make it easier to find what you want. The Quick Menu introduced with the LG C3 is handy, and gives the TV a smartphone-like feel. I definitely prefer the LG C4's interface over Samsung's recent Tizen OS. I even like it over Google TV, despite the latter having a lot more apps. The LG C4 will also get four webOS upgrades over the next five years, but this doesn't apply to older models like my LG C1.

See Also
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The LG C3 saw a substantial price hike at launch over the C2. Prices for the LG C4 are more palatable (S$4,699 for the 65-inch), but still expensive for a mid-range OLED. LG has also gradually restricted its best TV features — top processor, MLA etc — to its flagship G series OLEDs, so the mid-range C series is less of a steal nowadays. Especially when the older 65-inch LG C3 is still available for around S$3,000. That being said, the LG C4 remains an accomplished OLED TV that will satisfy users with its picture quality, gaming features, and sleek design. Get it now on Shopee and Lazada.

Note: Review unit provided by LG.

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Everything you want in a mid-range OLED

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