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

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

LikeBetter 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. In the meantime 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 inexpensive than the LG G1, and picture high quality on these two 2021 OLEDs was mainly the identical. I have never reviewed the Sony A80J but, which at the moment prices a bit greater than the C1, however I might be stunned if it was considerably higher.

Briefly, in order for you 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 evaluation: The high-end TV to beat in 2021


Collection and measurement info: I carried out a hands-on analysis of the 65-inch OLED C1, however this evaluation additionally applies to the opposite display sizes within the collection. All sizes have an identical specs and in keeping 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, modern and superior: Up shut with the LG C1 OLED TV

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Get to know the LG C1 seriesThe 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 price.The C1 additionally has extra sizes than the more-expensive G1 collection, which affords 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 as we speak’s TVs, together with Samsung and TCL’s QLED fashions. One of the best LCD TVs I’ve reviewed to date scored a 9 in picture high quality, whereas OLEDs TVs just like the C1 have scored a 10. Excessive-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 non permanent and everlasting picture retention, aka burn-in, than LCD TVs. We at CNET do not think about burn-in a cause for most individuals to keep away from shopping for an OLED TV, nevertheless. Take a look at our information to OLED burn-in for extra.
David Katzmaier/CNET
Slim, modern and acquainted

When 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, discrete LG emblem. Seen from the aspect, the highest two-thirds of the TV is blade-thin, whereas the underside widens to accommodate the center, inputs and different connections.

The stand is mainly the identical because the CX from final 12 months, working nearly the entire width of the panel within the entrance and incorporating a really heavy base on the rear that stored my evaluation 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 stored my favourite options, specifically the scroll wheel and motion-tracking, whereas slimming it down barely. The most important distinction is the shortcut keys on the backside: 4 for streaming providers 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 dwelling gadgets, reply questions and reply through a voice popping out of the TV’s audio system (yep, each voices). Fundamentals like “What is the climate?” works 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 photographs and video to the display from the Images app and mirror my Mac and cellphone screens. 

David Katzmaier/CNET

LG’s WebOS menu system obtained a facelift for 2021 — and I am not a fan. Gone is the small, unobtrusive overlay on the backside of the display that allows you to preserve tabs on what you are watching. As an alternative there is a full-screen homepage, much like Roku, Hearth TV and Google TV. However it has fewer apps and extra, properly, 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 exhibits and films. Beneath that’s an app row and, additional down, sections dedicated to inputs and explicit streaming apps. Basically it looks like a hodgepodge with an excessive amount of happening — most techniques are less complicated and simpler to know.

Options packing containers: Checked

Key options

Show know-how


LED backlight




HDR appropriate

HDR10 and Dolby Imaginative and prescient

Good TV

Net OS



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 image-quality options because the step-up G1, beginning with the brand new Gen Four a9 processing chip that provides scene detection and upgraded object enhancement over final 12 months’s model. Each the G1 and C1 even have a 120Hz refresh price. The entry-level A1 OLEDs, in the meantime, have a extra fundamental a7 processor and 60Hz refresh price. 

Identical to final 12 months, LG’s OLED TVs’ image settings embrace 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. Whereas lots correct, Filmmaker Mode can also be comparatively dim for SDR (customary dynamic vary), so I ended up utilizing Cinema and ISF Vibrant for most important viewing. New for 2021 is a Recreation Optimizer menu with its personal set of image modes; see beneath for particulars.

David Katzmaier/CNET

All of LG’s latest OLED fashions (besides the A1) embrace the most recent model of the HDMI customary: 2.1. Which means their HDMI ports can deal with 4K at 120 frames per second and variable refresh price (VRR, together with Nvidia G-sync and AMD FreeSync), in addition to enhanced audio return channel (eARC) and computerized low latency mode (auto sport mode). In different phrases, they’ll benefit from the most recent graphics options accessible on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Collection X and S 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 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 now 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.

4 HDMI inputs with HDMI 2.1, HDCP 2.2 Three USB 2.Zero 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 comparisons

The C1 is an excellent performer, each bit as succesful as the perfect TVs I’ve reviewed. I wasn’t capable of evaluate it on to the G1 for this evaluation, 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 an identical picture high quality. The G1’s Evo panel, as I discussed in that evaluation, does not ship a significant brightness benefit over different LG OLEDs, together with the C1. Of 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 evaluation 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 match straight both, but it surely’s nonetheless the perfect LCD-based TV I’ve reviewed. That mentioned, based mostly on my comparability with the G1, the Q90A would nonetheless fall wanting 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. Throughout 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 completely different from the CX. The shadowy stairs and crags of Cirith Ungol seemed sensible, not too brilliant and but well-detailed. Once more the TCL trailed considerably, with barely extra obscured shadows and a less-theatrical look.

Vibrant lighting: The C1 is lots brilliant sufficient for almost any viewing surroundings, however as standard it is not practically as brilliant as competing LCD-based fashions. In comparison with different OLEDs it measured mainly as brilliant because the G1, regardless of missing the Neo panel, and barely brighter than the CX, however the distinction is not enormous and proved robust to discern in most program materials.

Mild output in nits


Brightest (SDR)

Correct colour (SDR)

Brightest (HDR)

Correct colour (HDR)

Samsung QN65QN90A





Hisense 65U8G





Sony XR65X90J




















LG OLEDs of latest classic have a setting referred to as Peak Brightness that enhances the sunshine output for SDR sources in Cinema and Knowledgeable modes, and it really works very properly. The thought 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 Knowledgeable Vibrant (Peak Brightness: Excessive) for SDR and Cinema mode for HDR. I like to recommend C1 house owners do the identical to get good colour in brilliant rooms specifically, as a result of the distinction between Vivid and more-accurate modes is slight. Observe that with SDR you will have to disable the Auto Vitality Saving setting (Help > Vitality Saving > Vitality 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 sport, 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.

Colour accuracy: No complaints right here. In keeping with measurements and my comparisons, the C1’s colour was wonderful. Throughout the Muster of Rohan, for instance, the pink and blue of the tents, the inexperienced of the grassy fields and the pores and skin tones of King Theoden and Merry all seemed pure and sensible. Alternatively the entire 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 development of its processing yearly, however watching numerous materials in the perfect image settings the CX and C1 seemed largely an identical to me. 

Movement dealing with on the C1 is great and a contact higher than the CX nevertheless. Beneath TruMotion, the brand new Cinematic Motion setting (the default for Cinema mode) served up 24-frame cadence with a really slight trace of smoothing, enhancing 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 respect the effective granularity of the Consumer De-Judder mode to dial in the correct quantity of smoothness; something 4 or decrease launched some judder to my eye, conveying a way of movie relatively than cleaning soap opera impact. De-Blur settings of six or larger ship the total 600 strains of movement decision.

Consumer additionally opens up the OLED Movement Professional 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 Excessive. This final possibility 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 12 months is that participating OLED Movement Professional now not completely crushes shadow element — it’s kind of worse however nonetheless OK. Nonetheless, I might select to go away it off and sacrifice some movement decision for optimum gentle output and shadow element.

Uniformity: Like all OLEDs I’ve examined the C1 was exemplary on this space, with no vital brightness or colour variations throughout the display and practically good picture high quality from off-angle. In very darkish, full-field check patterns the perimeters did seem barely dimmer than the center, however that impact was invisible in any actual program materials I watched.

LG’s sport optimizer standing display exhibits 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 players, and collectively they assist the C1 develop 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 affords all-new tweaks together with 4 sport style modes: Normal, 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 Movement Professional setting described above (LG says it is significantly helpful for video games) and the Cut back Blue gentle setting (mentioned to be simpler on the eyes).

The C1 supported all superior video options from my Xbox Collection 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 Recreation Optimizer mode and hit the settings button. Clad in aggressive purple, it shows present frame-rate, image mode, standing of VRR, low latency (to cut back enter lag) and black stabilizer. It is a good enhancement and a solution to Samsung’s sport bar (I really prefer it higher as a result of it exhibits extra information), and if you happen to do not prefer it you may flip it off.

The style modes behaved much like what I noticed on the G1 and taking part in my present sport, Mass Impact Three from the Legendary Version, I most popular the look of Normal, which was an excellent stability of distinction and shadow visibility. FPS will most likely cater properly to players who need most shadow visibility, and the opposite settings can help you dial it in to your coronary heart’s content material. I actually like having all these additional 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 explicit scenes is nice.

You possibly can develop 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 “Cut back enter delay (enter lag)” with two choices, Normal and Increase. The previous, which is the default for any sport, 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. Partaking Increase cuts lag even additional, to only underneath 10ms for each. The catch is that Increase is just accessible for 60Hz sources, so you may’t use it with 120Hz video games or VRR. And no, I do not suppose many people would discover the additional 3ms of lag.

HDR and 4K video: The C1 is an excellent 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.

Evaluating the three TVs utilizing the Spears and Munsil 4K HDR benchmark, for instance, the 2 LG OLEDs seemed 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 as compared, which harm its general distinction. In the meantime the C1 and CX seemed vibrant and highly effective, even with their barely dimmer highlights, and shadows specifically, for instance within the twilit forests and shaded rocks, seemed extra pure and sensible. As standard the OLEDs actually pulled forward within the troublesome pictures 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 mainly good. Colours in flowers and bottles of dye additionally seemed extra vibrant on the OLEDs.

All of that mentioned, the C1 and CX have been nearly 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 a good 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 pictures 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 really very shut (422, 396 and 368 nits, respectively), once more too near discern with no meter.

And cease me if you happen to’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 now not publishing superior image settings for any TVs we evaluation. As an alternative, we’ll give extra common suggestions to get the perfect image with out itemizing the detailed white stability or colour administration system settings we might have used to calibrate the TV. As all the time, the settings supplied are a guidepost, and in order for you probably the most correct image it is best to get an expert calibration.

Earlier than my calibration for this evaluation 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 opinions in darkish rooms, it was nearer than ISF Knowledgeable Darkish or the brand new Filmmaker modes, which each goal gamma 2.4/BT 1886. ISF Vibrant was mainly an identical 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 evaluation 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 (Consumer)Facet Ratio Settings: 16:9 (Simply Scan: On)Filmmaker Mode Auto Begin: OffReduce Blue Mild: Off

Brightness submenu

OLED Pixel Brightness: 48Alter Distinction: 85Display screen Brightness: 52Auto Dynamic Distinction: OffPeak Brightness: OffGamma (Alter Brightness): 2.2Black Stage: AutoMotion Eye Care: Off

Colour submenu

Colour Depth: 50Tint: 0Color Gamut: Auto DetectFine Tune menu: Colour Improve: Off (no different changes)White Steadiness menu:Colour Temperature: Heat 50 (no different changes)

Readability submenu

Alter Sharpness: 0Super Decision: OffNoise Discount, MPEG Noise Discount: Off [for low-quality sources, some users may prefer to enable noise reduction]Clean 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 brilliant room setting [all default except for below]

Image Mode Settings: ISF Vibrant RoomBrightness menu:OLED gentle: 100Peak Brightness: Excessive

TV software program/firmware model examined: 3.15.36

HDR notes: The 2 most-accurate modes, HDR Cinema and Filmmaker mode have been mainly an identical, following the goal electro-optical switch perform — how the TV converts information to a particular brightness — fairly intently and exhibiting higher grayscale than Cinema House, the next-most correct. Recreation Optimizer is finest for gaming, due to its processing however fairly blue; for the perfect colour accuracy for gaming it is best to modify the colour temperature management all the best way towards pink (Colour > White Steadiness > Colour temperature > Heat50).

Colour checker was extra correct than on the CX from final 12 months and as standard with OLED the C1 lined the P3 HDR gamut very properly. The C1 measured mainly as brilliant because the G1 and brighter than the CX or the B9 from 2019, however the C9 from 2019 really measured brighter in its least-accurate and mainly the identical in its most-accurate settings. As soon as once more the TV robotically detected and engaged the HDMI Extremely HD Deep Colour setting designed for HDR sources.

Geek field

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Black luminance (0%)



Peak white luminance (SDR)



Avg. gamma (10-100%)



Avg. grayscale error (10-100%)



Darkish grey error (30%)



Vibrant grey error (80%)



Avg. colour checker error



Avg. saturation sweeps error



Avg. colour error



Crimson error



Inexperienced error



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Cyan error



Magenta error



Yellow error



1080p/24 Cadence (IAL)



Movement decision (max)



Movement decision (dejudder off)



Enter lag (Recreation mode)




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Peak white luminance (10% win)



Gamut % UHDA/P3 (CIE 1976)



ColorMatch HDR error



Avg. colour checker error



Enter lag (Recreation mode, 4K HDR)



LG OLED65C1PUB CNET evaluation calibration outcomes by David Katzmaier on Scribd

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

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