The best TV of the year: LG C1 OLED review

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A gorgeous OLED, a great 4K smart TV, and the best gaming TV we've ever seen! The best TV of the year: LG C1 OLED review

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Image credit:: © LG

The LG C1 OLED continues LG's history of making some of the best TVs you can buy. The foundation of this domain is OLED technology, the best TV screen technology on the market for several years. But our LG C1 OLED review shows how LG built on that foundation, delivering an excellent 4K smart TV, with advanced features, a smart platform that supports many popular apps and unique capabilities, and a solid (and growing) collection of signature games.

The LG C1 OLED is more affordable than the higher-end LG G1 OLED and better than the budget LG A1 OLED that garnered so much attention on Black Friday. The result is one of the best OLED TVs we've seen all year, and hands down the best gaming TV you can buy today.

With great performance, a host of welcome enhancements to all features and the interface, and some of the best upgrades of any 4K smart TV, the LG C1 OLED is one of the best TVs out there.

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LG C1 OLED: SPECS

Price: $1,499
Model number: OLED55C1PUB
Screen size: 55 inches
Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160
HDR: Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLG
Refresh rate: 120 Hz
Ports: 4 HDMI 2.1 (1 with eARC), 3 USB
Audio: 40W, 2.2 channel sound
Smart TV software: webOS
Size: 48.3 x 27.8 x 1.8 inches (w/o stand)
Weight: 41.7 pounds (w/o stand)

LG C1 OLED: Price and availability

LG OLED TVs come in a wider range of sizes than ever before, and the C1 OLED offers a full range of options for a 4K OLED, starting with a compact 48-inch model up to a giant 83-inch set, which will also be too much. great for most homes, but perfect for a large home theater. If you need help determining which version is right for you, be sure to check out our What size TV should you buy the guide?


We've listed current retail prices below, but the asking prices make these TVs more affordable than ever, so we bought them ourselves. This end of the year is also the best time to buy these games, as prices are at their lowest throughout the year, but fluctuate quite a bit as major sales events, and prices fall. in anticipation of the announcement of new models in January.

  • 48-inch (Model OLED48C1PUB) — $1,299.99
  • 55-inch (Model OLED55C1PUB) — $1,499.99
  • 65-inch (Model OLED65C1PUB) — $2,099.99
  • 77-inch (Model OLED77C1PUB) — $3,299.99
  • 83-inch (Model OLED83C1PUA) — $5,499.99
For this review, we tested the 55-inch model. Since these sets vary in size but are otherwise identical in terms of software, ports, and features, we have no doubt that our recommendations will apply to all sizes, with no significant differences between them. You'll get the same great performance and features in both large and small models.


LG C1 OLED: Design

The LG C1 uses a design that should be familiar, as the look of the C series has largely remained unchanged in recent years. It's the same design we saw in our 2020 LG CX OLED review, and the LG C9 OLED before that.

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Image credit: Tom's Guide

But that's not a bad thing: the look is still impressive, thanks to the incredibly slim dimensions of the OLED displays and LG's screen-on-glass design. It's considerably thinner than any other high-end TV, like the Samsung QN90A Neo QLED TV, which measures a respectable inch thick. Across the entire top half of the TV, the LG C1 is 0.1-inch thick. There is simply no competition with this in terms of a refined and almost futuristic look.!

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Image credit: LG

With a thicker component box in the lower half of the TV, the overall dimensions of the TV are 48.3 x 27.8 x 1.8 inches and the thick base of the stand has a 9.9-inch footprint. It's not very heavy at 41.7 pounds, but you definitely want two people to help you set it up, even at the smallest 55-inch size. The thin and slightly flexible panel of the glass display is difficult to maneuver alone.



There's just no competing with the LG C1 OLED in terms of a polished, nearly futuristic look.

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Image credit: Tom's Guide

The bracket that came with the LG C1 is great, but if you want to mount it all on the wall, it will work with any 300 x 200mm VESA mount, including several models from our list of the best TV mounts.

LG C1 OLED: Ports

On the back of the TV are two-port and socket panels, one towards the back and the other towards the left. The rear panel includes an HDMI input and two USB connections, as well as a coaxial cable, Ethernet, a headphone jack for audio, a headphone-style service port, and a digital optical audio output.


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Image credit: LG

On the left panel, there are three HDMI 2.1 ports (one with eARC) and a single USB input. For wireless connectivity, the TV also integrates 802.11ac and Bluetooth 5.0.

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Image credit: LG

The fact that the C1 has HDMI 2.1 connectivity on its four HDMI ports puts it above the competition, delivering advanced capabilities like high frame rate gaming and 4K 120Hz content. Owning one of the latest game consoles, that's a huge selling point.

LG C1 OLED: Performance

We expected excellent image quality from the C1 thanks to its OLED display panel. OLED technology offers self-illuminated pixels, with the ability to brighten or darken individual pixels, resulting in exceptional contrast, perfect black levels, and superior HDR capability. But LG goes one step further by combining this display with the Alpha 9 Gen 4 AI 4K processor, the latest version of LG's advanced video processing hardware.

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Image credit: LG

Benchmark performance tests showed us what we already expected with the OLED display. The viewing angles are excellent, with no color shift even at extreme viewing angles and with perfectly even background lighting. Unlike the best LCD TVs, this meant that the C1 produced perfectly consistent corner-to-corner and edge-to-edge brightness, matching the illumination per pixel offered by OLED.

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Image credit: Tom's Guide

Watching select 4K samples really brought out the quality of the UHD display. An aerial tour of the Italian coastline showed steep cliffs and small glass buildings, all small enough to look like miniatures, but with their tiny cars on the roads and boats floating in the ocean. The blue waters of the ocean were vibrant, the green vegetation was lush, and the buildings on the cliffs were impressive.

Another 4K video of drone footage of Manhattan gave us sharp, detailed views of the Statue of Liberty, as well as various landmarks in and around Manhattan. The blue sky appears blue, the buildings glowed realistically at night, and the plans for the Brooklyn Bridge featured bricks and high-voltage cables with realistic detail. Everything looked really good.


When watching the 4K trailer for The Matrix Resurrections, the vibrant colors are all vivid and realistic, if not slightly over-amplified and saturated to provide an intentional and unrealistic visual effect. The near hallucinogenic images looked dazzling on the OLED screen, from the bright blue pills in the sink to the brightly colored clothing and the familiar green matrix code.

LG C1 OLED: Test results

Once we understood the C1 within the scope, the test results testified to the excellent performance offered by the OLED TV. Using an X-Rite i1 Pro spectrophotometer, AccuPel DVG-5000 video test pattern generator, and SpectraCal CalMAN Ultimate calibration software, we test each TV for the most basic elements of quality. image: gamut reproduction, color accuracy, and maximum brightness.

As expected for an OLED TV, the C1 has fantastic colors and reproduces 131.59% of the Rec 709 color gamut, exceeding the base standard, as we saw in the Sony Bravia XR A80J OLED (128.05 %) and the LG G1 OLED TV (133.28%). This is common in OLED displays, which regularly beat even the best LCD TVs, like the Samsung QN90A Neo QLED, which is one of the best we tested at 99.78%.

The hallucinogenic imagery in the The Matrix Resurrections trailer looked great on the OLED display, from bright blue pills in the sink to the green matrix code.

Color accuracy was also excellent, with an average Delta-E rating of 1.25, where lower scores are better - 0 is a perfect score, but anything less than 2.0 is considered very good for accuracy since the first moment. That makes it one of the most accurate TVs we've seen, ahead of last year's LG CX OLED (1.95) or this year's LG G1 OLED (1.63) and the Sony A80J (2.88), although these TVs are a few. of the best. We have seen. Even the best non-OLED TVs, like the Samsung QN90A (2.57), struggle to achieve this level of precision.

The TV also offers great brightness, an area where OLED displays have traditionally struggled. The LG C1 produced 409 nits of brightness, which is a slightly better result than the 2020 LG CX OLED (396 nits) or Vizio OLED TV (373 nits), and just behind the LG G1 OLED (412 nits), which is one of The best results of any OLED TV and features LG's boldest and brightest OLED Evo technology.

LG C1 OLED: Gaming

Gamers will also love the short 12.6-millisecond lag we measured in testing. This matches the impressive Samsung QN90A Neo QLED (12.6ms) and is one of the shortest latency times we've ever measured.

But that's just one of the many factors that make the C1 OLED a great gaming TV. LG has significantly expanded the gaming capabilities of the C1, from raw capabilities (short-latency, excellent color, and contrast) to advanced features such as HDMI 2.1, which offers a high frame rate and mode support. Low Latency Automatic (ALLM), which seamlessly switches to game mode as soon as you start a game on your console.

Gamers will love the short 12.6 milliseconds of lag time that we measured, which is one of the shortest we've ever measured.

Another key feature of HDMI 2.1 is Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), but LG goes one step further with a combination of exclusive features. The LG C1 OLED features Nvidia G-Sync, making it ideal for PC gaming, and it also added support for 120Hz Dolby Vision HDR, which is currently only offered on the Xbox series. X.

LG has also added an exclusive Game Optimizer menu, which gives you data on current frame rate and latency and allows you to adjust specific aspects of the image and processing, such as black stabilizer, latency, VRR support. and HDR settings.

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Image credit: LG

With our Xbox Series X connected, we could see that the TV supports 4K UHD games at 60Hz and 120Hz, as well as HDR 10 and Dolby Vision. When playing movies and TV shows normally, the TV has 10-bit colors at 24, 50, and 60 Hz. If supported by Xbox, LG C1 OLED supports it too.

And everything is shown in the actual game. By having a bird's eye view in Assassin's Creed Valhalla, looking through the eyes of a raven, I was able to dive above and around a highly detailed Norse village. The richly detailed world is filled with vibrant colors, with decorative ceilings, realistic snowfall, and many fluttering birds. Back at ground level, interacting with other characters, I was delighted to see finely detailed skins and embossed leather, not to mention a wide variety of brightness thanks to HDR.


From basic responsiveness and picture quality to tight features and format support, this TV is designed to deliver a premium gaming experience. The end result is one of the best gaming televisions we've ever seen.

LG C1 OLED: Audio

The LG C1 OLED offers a sound as premium as the screen. Packed with 40 watts of 2.2-channel audio, the slim TV boasts better than average sound and volume.

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Image credit: LG

In my practice time with television, I was delighted with the quality of the sound. When watching a video, the accompanying dialog was clear and easy to understand. Listening to music from Netflix's new Cowboy Bebop soundtrack, I loved how TV brought out the funky bassline and kung fu movie-inspired conga on the Blood Brothers track - and the updated version of Tank! It was very clear when playing the horns that they could overwhelm the speakers on a lesser TV.

But even the weakest sounds stand out clearly. When watching a video of a fireplace in 4K, the cracks and splinters of the burning logs were crisp and clear, while the low roar of the fire was realistic.

The only way the television didn't impress me was the quality of the bass. At volumes below 25%, the bass levels were muffled and too low to balance the rest of the sound. In contrast, when the volume was louder, around 70%, the bass not only got louder, it controlled the treble more than it should. You could probably fix both of these issues in the EQ settings, but the balance wasn't perfect with the default settings.

When it comes to sound, the LG C1 OLED also has some additional features that are superior. The TV's Bluetooth connectivity means you can pair it with Bluetooth speakers for easy surround sound, and the WiSA connectivity provides a 5.1 wireless connection for WiSA-enabled audio systems.

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Image credit: LG

Even on wired systems, Dolby Atmos support offers immersive, multi-dimensional sound, which you can get through the best soundbars.

LG's AI Sound Pro can also be used to optimize sound in the room and the TV environment, adjusting the sound to better reflect off nearby furniture and walls for a richer soundscape, even without additional speakers.

LG C1 OLED: Smart TV features

The LG C1 OLED has great Smart TV features, thanks in large part to the improvement of webOS 6.0. The updated interface has a cleaner look, with multiple rows of applications and content suggestions, closer to the interface used by Google TV than the single ribbon menu of applications used by previous versions of WebOS.

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Image credit: LG

It's smarter in a way, with features like Sports Alert, allowing you to get updates on your favorite sports and individual teams, such as event start times and current game scores, even while watching other content.

LG's ThinQ AI combines intuitive content search with the Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa voice assistants, both available directly from the remote.

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Image credit: Tom's Guide

LG's selection of apps is better than ever, too, with recent additions providing services like Peloton and HBOmax. The app selection isn't the largest of all the smart TV platforms we've seen, but it does have most of the apps that people really want, but a few are missing, such as discovery +., Philo TV, and several popular apps from the world. BBC (and even popular options like Apple TV + have been delayed for months on other TVs for help), so do your research on your must-have apps to make sure you can get them on webOS.

Another cool thing for gamers: LG also offers excellent support for cloud gaming services. With Google Stadia and Nvidia GeForce Cloud, it's a great gaming TV even if you don't have a game console or PC connected.

LG C1 OLED: Remote control

LG's Magic Remote is as good as the last time we reviewed it, having a sleeker profile than in the past, making it more comfortable to hold in hand than its bulbous predecessor. The clickable scroll wheel in the center of the remote makes it easy to navigate menus and lists, while the motion-controlled on-screen cursor gives you an intuitive way to navigate applications.

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Image credit: LG

Dedicated app buttons on the remote control give you direct access to popular apps, like Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and LG Channels, offering a wealth of free content that you can enjoy without any registration or subscription.

The rest of the remote's design is self-explanatory, with number buttons to access specific channels, up and down buttons to adjust volume and toggle channels, and buttons to open menus or use both Google. Assistant like Amazon Alexa.

LG C1 OLED review: Verdict

The LG C1 OLED is a great TV, and in many ways, it's near perfect. The image quality is fantastic. The performance and gaming characteristics are second to none. The sound quality takes a bit of tweaking to compose it, but between optimizing the AI ​​and making adjustments to personal preference, it goes from good to great very quickly and will sound even better when paired with a great soundbar or speakers. . LG's webOS is better than ever, and when combined with enhanced remote voice control and dual assistant options, it's a deeply intuitive and powerful smart TV experience.

A better-looking TV will be difficult to find, but other things, like Smart TV software, we've seen the competition take a slight edge. The Sony Bravia XR A80J OLED offers similar superior performance with Google TV (which is the best smart TV platform on the market right now), and the Samsung QN90A Neo QLED TV offers better brightness than OLED can match while still going. point by point on most features.

But in terms of offering a great total package, from the basics to the best keys, the LG C1 OLED is undoubtedly one of the best and has it all at a premium price that matches the value you are getting. Both the Samsung and Sony models have an edge in some specific areas, but there's no question that this is one of the best televisions and the best gaming television you can buy.
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