OLED TV LG 55C1 Review
OLED televisions have the highest image quality possible, and there are now more options in OLED than ever before. Aside from deciding between the less priced LG A1 and Vizio H1 and the more expensive Sony A90J and LG G1, high-end buyers who have made the choice to purchase an OLED TV have another difficult issue: which OLED TV to purchase.
I haven’t looked at all of them, but based on what I’ve seen so far, the LG OLED C1 seems to be the best choice for the majority of purchasers.
That excellent visual quality is complemented with some of the greatest features — notably for gamers — as well as the largest selection of screen sizes and a price that isn’t too steep.
It was our favourite of the three TVs we tested. We compared it directly to its predecessor, the LG CX, as well as to a TCL 8K QLED TV with Mini-LED that costs roughly the same as the C1.
The C1 and the CX were neck-and-neck in terms of visual quality, but the C1 won out because of its extensive gaming capabilities. Likewise, while the image quality of the Samsung QN90A QLED is brighter and in some ways greater, generally the picture quality of the C1 is superior.
The C1 is also far more cheap than the LG G1, and the picture quality on both of those 2021 OLEDs was almost identical to one another.
We haven’t yet examined the Sony A80J, which is now available for a little more money than the C1, but we wouldn’t be shocked if it’s a big improvement over the C1.
The OLED55C1 will be available for purchase for £2499 ($2500) at launch. This is a reduction of £300 ($300) from the price at when the 65-inch CX model was introduced last year.
The 65-inch G1, which has the new OLED Evo panel and is built exclusively to be wall-mounted (you don’t even receive a pedestal or feet in the box, although you can purchase these separately), is also £500 ($500) less expensive.
Those looking for a smaller OLED screen may choose from 48-inch and 55-inch models, while those looking for something larger can choose from 77-inch and even 83-inch models.
After the letter ‘C1’, there are three alphanumerics that make up the whole model number.
These pertain to the geographical area in which the set is being marketed, as well as the colour of the pedestal, bezels, and back panel, with certain variants being available only from specific shops. The performance should be the same for both.
Unlike the ‘4LB’ and ‘PUB’ models, the OLED55C16LA comes with a pedestal stand that is a lighter shade of silver than the other two models.
Also notable is the presence of an unusually bright white back panel, which may make it a little simpler to locate the connection you’re searching for.
Aside from that, this 6LA is very similar in design to the other C1 models – as well as last year’s CX, which was nearly identical in form to the C9 of 2019.
Even while it is visually appealing, keeping with the same design for three generations seems to be a little unambitious, especially considering the fact that there are certain aspects of it that we would alter.
For example, although the pedestal stand seems to be attractive, it is quite hefty, has a somewhat large footprint of around 92cm (36 inches), and places the television at a relatively low level, which may be a problem for those who want to add a sound bar.
When the C1’s stand is removed in preparation for wall installation, it seems to be no different from any other OLED TV when seen straight on: a huge screen with a thin, flush bezel and no identifying marking.
There’s a little protrusion in the center of the bottom edge that contains the infrared sensor and the standby light, but that’s about it in terms of design.
Observed from the side, the set consists of the conventional mix of a thin panel area (about 3mm) and a larger plastic component that contains the electrical circuitry, connectors, and speakers.
The C1 has an overall depth measurement of 4.7cm (1.8 inches), making it much thicker than the G1 (2cm / 0.8 inches) and even the backlit Samsung QN95A (2.6cm / 1 inch), which are both significantly thinner.
The C1 is equipped with the latest version of LG’s Magic Remote, much as the G1. Although the new model seems to be less visually appealing than its predecessor, it is somewhat slimmer and feels even better in the hand than the previous model.
Also improved is the feel of the buttons, which have been better spaced, as well as the addition of extra shortcut buttons that will take you straight to various streaming providers. In addition, the much-loved pointer feature is still present.
As with the CX, the C1 has a design that is almost similar to the CX, as is the selection and placement of its connectors.
In addition to the aerial and satellite connectors (which include Freesat capability for the United Kingdom), an ethernet port, optical and headphone outputs, three USB ports, and four HDMI ports are provided.
All four of the HDMIs are 2.1-compliant and have a data throughput of 40 GB/s.
All four of these devices support 4K@120Hz, VRR (in all current formats), and ALLM. One of these devices supports eARC.
When you include in the minimal input latency of less than 13ms, there isn’t a better-specified TV for gaming available right now.
For the first time since their year-long separation in 2020, LG and Freeview Play have rejoined for 2021, ensuring that UK customers of the C1 and its siblings will have access to the complete suite of essential catch-up applications, including BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, and My5.
These weren’t there when we examined our first sample of the G1, but they are present on the C1, which we tested later.
These apps round out a strong overall app selection that includes Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and Apple TV, all of which offer full 4K, Dolby Vision, and Dolby Atmos support.
Additionally, Rakuten is available in HDR10 and Dolby Atmos; Google Play Movies & TV is present (for the time being) with HDR10 and 5.1; and Spotify, Tidal, Amazon Music, Deezer, and BBC Sounds round out a comprehensive music offering. There are just three disappointments: BT Sport, Apple Music, and TuneIn are all absent, despite the fact that they are all available on Samsung televisions.
LG’s webOS 6.0 operating system comes pre-installed on this year’s models, and this new edition of the company’s operating system represents a significant divergence from previous versions.
The Home button no longer pulls up a row of applications that overlays whatever you are currently viewing, but instead launches a fullscreen Home menu that is heavily populated with content suggestions from different streaming providers.
More emphasis should be placed on the material itself rather than on lingering over or clicking on a particular application in order to locate anything to watch.
Unfortunately, Netflix is not included in this aggregate, as it is in many other comparable systems, and as a result, its utility is severely limited.
The cleverness of the suggestions is also somewhat dubious, with programmes for children, for example, sometimes being pushed well after the majority of youngsters will have gone to bed.
Of all, a set can only learn so much throughout the span of our evaluation period, and you may discover that the quality of the suggestions increases as time goes by.
Overall, we enjoy the new home menu, but we are a bit unhappy that LG has considered it essential to put advertisements for its soundbars in the windows at the top of the screen.
When you watch Rogue One in Dolby Vision on the Disney+ app, it becomes evident that not much has changed from the CX experience.
It’s difficult to see the difference between the two sets when they’re side by side — the C1 is a bit richer in its reds and a little purer in its whites, but that could just as well be due to panel variance as it might be due to a change in TV type.
The CX’s performance with Dolby Vision material was excellent, and the C1’s performance was equally impressive.
Beautifully vivid and solid picture with a great deal of detail and outstanding contrast, this is a must-see. Predictably, the sequences set in deep space take use of the film’s qualities, with pristine, clear blacks contrasted against brilliant, white stars to stunning effect.
The G1 provides an image that is even crisper and brighter than the C1, but not to the extent that C1 users will feel left out of the picture.
While the speaker system of the C1 seems to be the same as that of the CX, the processing has been upgraded, and the presentation has been improved as well.
That is often seen as a positive development. Just to give you an idea, the terrible flapping that Blade Runner 2049’s soundtrack caused from the CX’s speakers is not present here, at least not while the Dolby Atmos mode is turned on.
It also has a more wide and expansive soundstage, which gives everything a somewhat more cinematic sense, and the proceedings have a cleanliness and smoothness to them that the CX lacked before.
However, the sound is less snappy and dynamic, and the presentation is less thrilling overall as a result of this.
It’s not as boring as the G1, and many people would choose smoothness over excitement, but it should be feasible to have both at the same time.
Compared to its predecessor, the C1 isn’t a significant step forward, but there wasn’t much that needed to be improved.
In addition to improving the image quality and feature set with its new Cinematic Movement motion processing and increased de-contouring function, LG has improved the user interface and app selection, which has been further improved with a better menu system and a more comprehensive app selection.
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