The LG C1 takes on a difficult legacy. Its award-winning predecessor is the LG CX OLED, which is rightly one of the best high-end TVs in 2020. One thing is undoubtedly certain, though. Since the C1 does not have LG’s new OLED Evo Panel, we might not expect too many differences from its predecessor. But the question naturally arises whether it can still stand out from the latter.
But can this year’s variant of the notorious C-series also convince us, or is the gap to the other manufacturers getting thinner?
LG C1 OLED - In the familiar design of the C series
Never change a running system – that’s probably LG’s motto when it comes to the design of their main 4K model. Indeed, if placed next to the 2019 C9, it would be difficult to tell them apart.
But why should it? The design is quite successful and makes a high-quality impression. The frame and stand are made of metal, which once again underlines the high-end status of the LG C1. Due to the slim frame and the low device depth, it also cuts a good figure when the TV is mounted on the wall using a suitable wall mount. Since some interfaces are aligned towards the back, they might not be quite as accessible when using a rigid wall mount.
When using the – admittedly extremely large – stand, the TV is well supported and does not wobble. However, it also requires quite a large footprint, which may not always be available. In addition, cables can be bundled through the stand, so nothing stands in the way of neat cable management.
High quality design
Connections to the back
Very large stand
Stands very securely
Clean cable management through stand
Looks exactly like C9/CX
For mounting on the wall:
Vogel's THIN 545 TV wall mount
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The typical picture quality of OLED TVs
It was probably to be expected that the LG C1 has an outstanding picture quality. Thanks to its 10-bit OLED panel, it has a perfect black and a theoretically infinitely high contrast. This is because the individual organic pixels can be controlled individually. So when one pixel is lit at maximum brightness and the neighboring one is turned off, the result is perfect contrast.
Since it wasn’t equipped with the new OLED Evo panel and doesn’t have an additional heat sink like the Sony A90J, it doesn’t really get any brighter than the 2020 high-end OLED models with a peak brightness of ~760Nits.
It does get bright enough for normal use, but the brighter the environment, the more the displayed image suffers. However, this is also due to the Automatic Brightness Limiter, which reduces the brightness in large bright scenes to protect the organic LEDs from overheating. The C1 would therefore feel less at home in sun-drenched rooms – but that’s why curtains or blinds were invented. Even the most oblique viewing angles do not cause it any problems, so the colors always remain bright and you can enjoy the great picture even with several people.
HDRHigh Dynamic Range – image/video with more dynamic range (contrast range) content can be stunningly displayed by the LG C1 OLED, even if a slightly higher peak brightness would result in an even better display of bright details. But that’s really complaining at the highest level. In terms of image qualities, there are only a few TVs that can keep up with the C1. To further optimize HDR content, the TV supports Dolby Vision IQDynamic HDR-format with a color depth of up to 12 Bits and Mastering of up to 10,000 Nits, which can adapt to the ambient brightness, which even adjusts the brightness of the TV to the ambient brightness. HDR10+License-free, dynamic HDR-format in competition with Dolby Vision is unfortunately not available.
In addition, the C1 uses the powerful Alpha9 Gen4 AI processor, so it definitely has enough power for image processing and optimization.
10 Bit OLED Panel
Peak brightness ~760 Nits
Automatic Brightness Limiter
Dolby Vision IQ
Alpha9 Gen4 AI Processor
Stunning entertainment with 4K Dolby Vision:
LG UBK90 4K BluRay-Player
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Motion blur? No such thing with the LG C1!
If you’ve been around TVs for a while, you won’t be surprised to learn that the new TV from LG’s C-series can display motion almost perfectly. It has a 120Hz panel with an almost instantaneous response time, which means that even fast movements can be displayed without motion blur – perfect for sporting events and gaming!
The response time is the time it takes for the organic LEDs to change color. For example, if a ball is moving very fast, a low response time is desirable, so that the ball can be displayed sharply during the movement.
However, this also has a disadvantage, namely that stutter can be visible in content with a low frame rate. Those who do not like this can fall back on the intermediate frame calculation, which is, however, perceived as quite unnatural by some users.
To further reduce any motion blur, the so-called Black Frame Insertion feature is also available for up to 120Hz. However, it should be noted that the brightness of the OLED decreases when using this feature, which will bother most users more than very slight motion blur.
120 Hz display
Response Time <1ms
120Hz Black Frame Insertion Feature
HDMI 2.1, VRR and an even lower input lag
As far as gaming features are concerned, the LG C1 OLED leaves nothing to be desired. The new Game Optimizer feature reduces the input lag even further, so that it is only ~5ms at [email protected] and ~10ms at [email protected] So, in conjunction with the excellent Response TimeTime it takes for a pixel to change color, there is hardly any lag and the TV feels extremely responsive when gaming.
With a total of 4 HDMI 2.1 interfaces, you can connect all your consoles and PCs without having to keep plugging them in and can play content at a 4K resolution and a refresh rateHertz is the derived SI-unit of frequency with 1Hz=1/s – When talking about TVs this means how many different pictures a TV can display in one second. of 120Hz. In addition, this interface naturally has all the features that go along with it, such as an Auto Low Latency Mode and a Variable Refresh RateVariable Refresh Rate – synchronizes the display’s refresh rate with the output refresh rate of the graphics card. Through AMD FreeSync PremiumVariable Refresh Rate with AMD graphics cards or consoles with at least 120fps at Full HD, Nvidia G-SyncVariable Refresh Rate for Nvidia graphics cards and HDMI Forum VRRVariable Refresh Rate – synchronizes the display’s refresh rate with the output refresh rate of the graphics card, both Xbox Series X, Playstation 5 and compatible graphics cards in PCs are supported to ensure tearing-free gaming.
As with the previous model, the transfer rate of the HDMI 2.1 interface is limited to 40 Gbit/s, instead of being able to transfer the full 48 Gbit/s. However, this should pose problems as the HDMI 2.1 interface is not compatible with the HDMI 2.1 interface. However, this shouldn’t be a problem since it doesn’t cause any disadvantages and it can also display 4K @ 120 HzHertz is the derived SI-unit of frequency with 1Hz=1/s – When talking about TVs this means how many different pictures a TV can display in one second. @ 4:4:4 with 40 Gbit/s.
The only thing the LG C1 doesn't quite have going for it
Since TVs are getting flatter and flatter and the device depth is getting smaller and smaller, it’s hardly surprising that the sound is falling by the wayside a bit. After all, you need one thing above all else to produce a good sound – volume.
The sound profile of the 2.2 channel sound system is quite balanced, even if it lacks a bit of bass. These are especially important to create the right atmosphere in action content and to give the user more of a feeling of being in the middle of the action. However, dialogs are rendered cleanly and understandably, so you can definitely give the integrated sound system a chance.
The speakers really reach their limits at higher volumes, so distortions are audible. However, these are not audible at normal volume levels.
For a TV in a lower price range, the sound system would be quite good, but anyone who spends so much money on their home theater probably doesn’t want to miss out on good sound.Fortunately, this circumstance can be remedied quite easily, since a home theater or gaming setup can be expanded very easily with a suitable hi-fi system or a soundbar. This then produces a much better sound and brings with it a higher degree of immersion. If you want to take the sound to the next level, you will be pleased to know that uncompressed Dolby AtmosObject-based surround sound format with 3D-Sound from any direction is also supported via the HDMI eARC and you can thus create a soundscape like in the cinema – which of course requires the right hardware. Unfortunately, DTSMulti-channel-sound-system (Surround Sound) competing with Dolby Digital is no longer available from LG.
2.2 channels with 40W
Lack of bass
Good dialog reproduction
Dolby Atmos (Dolby True-HD)
Soundbar with Bluetooth and HDMI-ARC Connectivity:
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WebOS in new splendor - and new remote control
Admittedly, LG does not reinvent the wheel with the new smart operating system WebOS 6.0, but it is still a successful operating system that can be used extremely intuitively due to the tidy dashboard.
Actually, the new 2021 version of the WebOS leaves nothing to be desired. The selection of apps is quite large and all common streaming services are available. With the new Magic Remote, navigation can either be done via hand gestures or quite classically via arrow keys on the remote control. If that is too cumbersome, you can also use the integrated voice assistants Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. Apple Airplay 2 is also available so that data exchange with Apple devices is very easy and, above all, fast.
If you have other smart home applications, LG ThinQ can conveniently display them on a dashboard and then control them with the Smart Remote. Thus, the LG C1 becomes the center of a smart home.
A twin tuner is also available, which of course includes the USB recording function and the Time Shift function.
Unfortunately, the interface is not ad-free, which can be a bit annoying – but most competitors do the same.
All-round TV with excellent performance - Just like the predecessor
That the LG C1 OLED is an absolute high-end device and can score with its brilliant picture qualities was to be expected from the start. LG’s infamous C-series rarely disappoints. HDMI 2.1, excellent motion handling, all desirable gaming features and sophisticated smart features really sound extremely good for a TV, so you don’t have to miss anything.
The only thing you can probably blame the C1 for is that you’re buying the 2020 LG CX OLED in a new box – aside from the lower input lag, the new WebOS 6.0 operating system, and the new remote. However, that’s not really a bad thing, as the CX is also a terrific TV that will win over almost any user.
Unfortunately, it also doesn’t have LG’s new OLED Evo panel, which the Korean manufacturer saved for the Gallery TV OLED G1. So if you are looking for a brighter OLED TV, you might want to take a look at this one.