LG C1 OLED TV evaluate: One of the best high-end TV for the cash

I in contrast the C1 instantly with its predecessor, the LG CX, in addition to with 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. In the meantime the Samsung QN90A QLED is brighter and in some methods superior, however total the image high quality of the C1 is healthier. The C1 can be much more inexpensive 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 might be shocked if it is considerably higher.

Briefly, if you need the prevalence of OLED picture high quality, the LG C1 is my go-to decide for 2021.

Editor’s observe, Nov. 9, 2021: Added Editors’ Selection Award.


Watch this: LG C1 OLED TV Assessment: The Excessive-Finish TV to Beat in 2021

Sequence and dimension data: 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 similar specs and in keeping with the producer ought to present very related image high quality. Click on the hyperlinks under to get pricing on this web page applicable for the scale you are eager about.

Slim, glossy and superior: Up shut with the LG C1 OLED TV

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Get to know the LG C1 collection

  • The C1 has extra sizes than LG’s least costly OLED TV, the A1 collection, in addition to higher picture high quality options. The A1 lacks HDMI 2.1 and has a much less spectacular processor, in addition to fewer HDMI inputs (three as an alternative of 4) and a 60Hz refresh charge.
  • The C1 additionally has extra sizes than the dearer G1 collection, which presents 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 Subsequent-Gen TV tuner, each comparatively minor extras included on the G1.
  • OLED show know-how is basically completely different from the LED LCD know-how used within the overwhelming majority of at this time’s TVs, together with Samsung and TCL’s QLED fashions.
  • One of the best LCD TVs I’ve reviewed thus far scored a 9 in picture high quality, whereas OLEDs TVs just like the C1 have scored a ten. Excessive-end LCDs are brighter than OLEDs (particularly with HDR), however the image high quality on OLED TVs I’ve reviewed is superior total.
  • All OLED TVs are extra topic to each momentary and everlasting picture retention, aka burn-in, than LCD TVs. We at CNET do not think about burn-in a motive for most individuals to keep away from shopping for an OLED TV, nonetheless. Take a look at our information to OLED burn-in for extra.


David Katzmaier/CNET

Slim, glossy and acquainted

In the event you’ve 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, discreet LG emblem. Seen from the facet, the highest two-thirds of the TV are blade-thin, whereas the underside widens to accommodate the center, inputs and different connections.

The stand is principally the identical because the CX from final yr, working 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 is 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 most important distinction is the addition of shortcut keys on the backside: 4 for streaming companies and two extra for the built-in voice assistants, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa

Each Google and Alexa can do all the standard assistant stuff, together with management good house units, reply questions and reply by way of a voice popping out of the TV’s audio system (yep, each voices). Fundamentals like “What is the climate?” work as you’d count on, full with onscreen suggestions. The C1 additionally works with Apple’s AirPlay 2 system, identical to many different TVs, permitting my iPhone to share pictures and video on the display from the Images app and mirror my Mac and telephone screens. 


David Katzmaier/CNET

LG’s WebOS menu system bought a face-lift for 2021 — and I am not a fan. Gone is the small, unobtrusive overlay on the backside of the display that permits you to preserve tabs on what you are watching. As an alternative there is a full-screen homepage, much like what you get with a Roku, Fireplace TV or Google TV. Nevertheless it has fewer apps and extra, nicely, junk. The highest 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 flicks. Under that’s an app row and, farther down, sections dedicated to inputs and specific streaming apps. On the whole it looks like a hodgepodge with an excessive amount of happening — most programs are less complicated and simpler to understand.

Options packing containers: Checked

Key options

Show know-how OLED
LED backlight N/A
Decision 4K
HDR compatibility HDR10 and Dolby Imaginative and prescient
Good TV Internet OS
Distant Movement

The C1 is not lacking something I might count on on a high-end TV. Other than the Evo panel, the C1 has the identical picture high 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 yr’s model. Each the G1 and C1 even have a 120Hz refresh charge. The entry-level A1 OLEDs, in the meantime, have a extra fundamental a7 processor and 60Hz refresh charge. 

Identical to final yr, 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 of the C1’s modes. Whereas lots correct, Filmmaker Mode can be comparatively dim for traditional dynamic vary, so I ended up utilizing Cinema and ISF Vibrant for most crucial viewing. New for 2021 is a Recreation 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 normal: 2.1. Meaning their HDMI ports can deal with 4K at 120 frames per second and variable refresh charge (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 make the most of the most recent graphics options accessible from PlayStation 5 and Xbox Sequence X and S consoles in addition to high-end graphics playing cards. The truth is, the C1 is uncommon amongst high-end TVs in that every one 4 of its HDMI ports help 4K/120 — nice for hard-core avid gamers with a number of next-gen units. 

The number of connections is in any other case top-notch, although it not helps analog element video. There’s additionally a devoted headphone or analog audio output and one other for IR blasters, which might ease some installations.

  • 4 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) port

Image high quality comparisons

The 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 instantly to the G1 for this evaluate, however in keeping with my measurements in addition to my comparisons of each panels to the CX from 2020, the C1 and G1 have practically similar picture high quality. The G1’s Evo panel, as I discussed in that evaluate, would not ship a significant brightness benefit over different LG OLEDs, together with the C1. Of their favor, each 2021 OLEDs are glorious 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 with the best-performing LCD TV I had readily available, 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 contrast with the 4K OLEDs when watching HD or 4K materials. The TCL makes use of Mini-LED and full-array native dimming however would not carry out fairly in addition to the Samsung Q90A, displaying extra blooming points, for instance. 

I did not have the Samsung Q90A readily available to match instantly both, but it surely’s nonetheless one of the best LCD-based TV I’ve reviewed. That mentioned, based mostly on my comparability with the G1, the Q90A would nonetheless fall in need of the C1, which exhibited good black ranges, glorious mixed-scene distinction and higher off-angle viewing than any LCD I’ve examined.

Dim lighting: As anticipated, the C1 was glorious 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 normal 1080p Blu-ray. Through 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, much less life like shadows and letterbox bars and a few brightness variation (blooming) — normal on nearly each non-OLED TV.

Shadow element was additionally glorious on the C1, if once more not any completely different from the CX. The shadowy stairs and crags of Cirith Ungol appeared life like, not too vivid and but well-detailed. Once more the TCL trailed considerably, with barely extra obscured shadows and a much less theatrical look.

Vibrant lighting: The C1 is lots vivid sufficient for nearly any viewing setting, however as normal it is not practically as vivid as competing LCD-based fashions. In contrast with different OLEDs it measured principally as vivid 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.

Gentle output in nits

TV Brightest (SDR) Correct shade (SDR) Brightest (HDR) Correct shade (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 reinforces the sunshine output for SDR sources in Cinema and Professional modes, and it really works very nicely. The thought is to extend brightness for daytime viewing environments whereas sustaining the superior shade 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 shade columns above on the C1, I used ISF Professional Vibrant (Peak Brightness: Excessive) for SDR and Cinema mode for HDR. I like to recommend C1 homeowners do the identical to get good shade in vivid rooms specifically, as a result of the distinction between Vivid and extra correct modes is slight. Be aware that with SDR you will must disable the Auto Power Saving setting (Assist > Power Saving > Power Saving Step > Off) to get full brightness.

Like all OLED TVs, the C1 will get fairly a bit dimmer than LCDs when displaying 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 diminished reflections very nicely, however no higher than the CX.

Shade accuracy: No complaints right here. In keeping with measurements and my comparisons, the C1’s shade was glorious. Through 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 appeared pure and life like. However, the entire TVs have been fairly correct, to the extent that it was tough 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 appeared largely similar to me. 

Movement dealing with on the C1 is superb and a contact higher than the CX, nonetheless. Below TruMotion, the brand new Cinematic Motion setting (the default for Cinema mode) served up a 24-frame cadence with a really slight trace of smoothing, enhancing on final yr’s too-smooth Cinema Clear setting whereas preserving 600 traces of movement decision. These 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 respect the high quality granularity of the Person De-Judder mode to dial in the correct quantity of smoothness; something set to 4 or decrease launched some judder to my eye, conveying a way of movie quite than cleaning soap opera impact. De-Blur settings of six or increased ship the complete 600 traces of movement decision.

Person mode additionally opens up the OLED Movement Professional menu with three ranges of black body insertion that additional enhance movement decision, with 800 traces in Low and a full 1,200 in Med and Excessive. This final choice introduces flicker, sadly, and all three are a bit dimmer than Off, but when blur actually bugs you then they’re price experimenting with.One enchancment over final yr is that participating OLED Movement Professional not completely crushes shadow element — it is a bit worse however nonetheless OK. Nonetheless, I might select to depart it off and sacrifice some movement decision for optimum mild output and shadow element.

Uniformity: Like all OLEDs I’ve examined, the C1 was exemplary on this space, with no vital brightness or shade variations throughout the display and practically good picture high quality from off-angle. In very darkish, full-field check patterns the sides 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:Just like the G1, the C1’s greatest upgrades over 2020 fashions cater to avid gamers, and collectively they helped the C1 turn into my new favourite TV for gaming. The brand new Recreation Optimizer is the title of each an image mode and a full menu system. The latter presents all-new tweaks together with 4 recreation style modes: Customary, FPS mode (mentioned to spice up shadow element), RPG mode (to spice up distinction) and RTS mode (mentioned to boost mid-grayscale areas). There are additionally sliders labeled Black Stabilizer (for adjusting darkish areas) and White Stabilizer (for vivid areas), in addition to the OLED Movement Professional setting described above (LG says it is notably helpful for video games) and the Scale back Blue mild setting (mentioned to be simpler on the eyes).

The C1 supported all superior video options from my Xbox Sequence 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 hit the settings button whereas in Recreation Optimizer mode. Clad in aggressive purple, it shows present body charge, image mode, standing of VRR, low latency (to scale back enter lag) and Black Stabilizer. It is a good enhancement and a solution to Samsung’s recreation bar — I truly prefer it higher as a result of it reveals extra information — and in case you do not prefer it you possibly can flip it off.

The style modes behaved much like what I noticed on the G1 and whereas taking part in my present recreation, Mass Impact 3 from the Legendary Version, I most popular the look of Customary, which was stability of distinction and shadow visibility. FPS will most likely cater nicely to avid gamers who need most shadow visibility, and the opposite settings let you 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 usually do an insufficient job — being able to tweak specific scenes is nice.


You may increase the standing display right into a full menu with quite a few different changes particular to gaming.

David Katzmaier/CNET

Buried inside Recreation Optimizer is one other setting labeled “Scale back enter delay (enter lag)” with two choices, Customary and Enhance. The previous, which is the default for any recreation, serves up a wonderful lag quantity much like previous LG OLED fashions in addition to the G1: simply 13.1ms for each 1080p and 4K HDR sources. Participating Enhance cuts lag even additional, to only underneath 10ms for each. The catch is that Enhance is just accessible 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 nicely, and whereas it lacked the brightness of the TCL and different high-end LCDs, its total picture high quality, distinction and pop have been superior.

Evaluating the three TVs utilizing the Spears and Munsil 4K HDR benchmark, the 2 LG OLEDs appeared persistently 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 as compared, which harm its total distinction. In the meantime the C1 and CX appeared vibrant and highly effective, even with their barely dimmer highlights, and shadows specifically, similar to within the twilit forests and shaded rocks, appeared extra pure and life like. As normal the OLEDs actually pulled forward within the tough photographs of objects, for instance cacti, flowers and a honey dipper, in opposition to black backgrounds — the black of the TCL was brighter with seen blooming close to the objects, whereas the OLEDs’ was principally good. Colours in flowers and bottles of dye additionally appeared extra vibrant on the OLEDs.

All of that mentioned, the C1 and CX have been virtually unimaginable to inform aside with the Spears benchmark. 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 mild meter I could not inform.

Switching again to LOTR:ROTK on 4K Blu-ray, I noticed a fair better 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, specifically with high-contrast photographs like Sam brandishing the Phial of Galadriel on the spider (1:50:18). Given the TCL’s vital brightness benefit I anticipated its rendition of the Phial to measure brighter as 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 in case you’ve heard this earlier than, however I could not inform the distinction between the CX and C1 when watching ROTK. Each have been equally excellent.


David Katzmaier/CNET

Image settings, HDR notes and charts

CNET is not publishing superior image settings for any TVs we evaluate. As an alternative, we’ll give extra normal suggestions to get one of the best image with out itemizing the detailed white stability or shade administration system settings we could have used to calibrate the TV. As all the time, the settings supplied are a guidepost, and if you need probably the most correct image it is best to get knowledgeable calibration.

Earlier than my calibration for this evaluate the Cinema preset was probably the most correct, glorious by way of grayscale and gamma. Since I now goal a 2.2 gamma for my opinions in darkish rooms, it was nearer than ISF Professional Darkish or the brand new Filmmaker modes, which each goal gamma 2.4/BT 1886. ISF Vibrant was principally similar to Cinema, however I reserved that for brighter rooms.

For my calibration I tweaked the two-point grayscale barely, diminished mild output to my goal of 137 nits and elevated brightness by two pips to assist with shadow element (whereas nonetheless holding good black ranges), however in any other case I left nicely sufficient alone. The grayscale and shade 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 settings

Image menu

  • Choose Mode: Cinema (Person)
  • Facet Ratio Settings: 16:9 (Simply Scan: On)
  • Filmmaker Mode Auto Begin: Off
  • Scale back Blue Gentle: Off

Brightness submenu

  • OLED Pixel Brightness: 48
  • Regulate Distinction: 85
  • Display screen Brightness: 52
  • Auto Dynamic Distinction: Off
  • Peak Brightness: Off
  • Gamma (Regulate Brightness): 2.2
  • Black Degree: Auto
  • Movement Eye Care: Off

Shade submenu

  • Shade Depth: 50
  • Tint: 0
  • Shade Gamut: Auto Detect
  • Nice Tune menu: 
  • Shade Improve: Off (no different changes)
  • White Stability menu:
  • Shade Temperature: Heat 50 (no different changes)

Readability submenu

  • Regulate Sharpness: 0
  • Tremendous Decision: Off
  • Noise Discount, MPEG Noise Discount: Off [for low-quality sources, some users may prefer to enable noise reduction]
  • Easy gradation: Off [for low-quality sources, some users may prefer to enable]
  • Cinema Display screen: On [may be grayed out depending on source]
  • TruMotion: Cinematic Motion

SDR vivid room setting [all default except for below]

  • Image Mode Settings: ISF Vibrant Room
  • Brightness menu:
  • OLED mild: 100
  • Peak Brightness: Excessive

TV software program/firmware model examined: 3.15.36

HDR notes:The 2 most correct modes, HDR Cinema and Filmmaker mode, have been principally similar, following the goal electro-optical switch operate — how the TV converts knowledge to a particular brightness — fairly intently and displaying higher grayscale than Cinema Residence, the subsequent most correct. Recreation Optimizer is finest for gaming because of its processing, however fairly blue; for one of the best shade accuracy for gaming it is best to regulate the colour temperature management all the best way towards crimson (Shade > White Stability > Shade temperature > Warm50).

Shade checker was extra correct than on the CX from final yr and as normal with OLED the C1 lined the P3 HDR gamut very nicely. The C1 measured principally as vivid 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. As soon as once more the TV routinely detected and engaged the HDMI Extremely HD Deep Shade setting designed for HDR sources.

Geek field

Check Outcome Rating
Enter lag (Recreation mode, 4K HDR) 13.13 Good

Portrait Shows Calman calibration software program was used on this evaluate. 

First revealed on Aug. 26.

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