LG CX OLED

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The LG CX OLED - The best TV in its price range?

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Our conclusion

With the LG CX OLED, the South Korean manufacturer has launched a successor to the excellent C9 in 2020. Due to its OLED construction it already has some advantages in comparison to others, like the perfect black or the great contrast. But will the CX set standards in its price category just like the C9? In the following article we will check it out and see if an upgrade to the CX is worthwhile!

Processing and design of the LG CX

The design of the CX is excellent and makes a first-class impression. It is very similar to the look of its predecessor, the C9. The look is almost the same, so it’s not easy to tell them apart when the power is off. The front of the CX is made of metal, which makes it look very high quality. Only the back is made of plastic, but still makes a good impression.

The TV has a very narrow frame and is extremely flat. Therefore it looks great when mounted on the wall. If the stand is used, it supports the TV very well so that it has a firm stand and does not wobble. However, the stand is quite large and protrudes far back. It should therefore only be used in a setup with enough space. The cables can be bundled through the stand for neat cable management, giving a very tidy impression.

The connections are partially oriented to the side and to the back, which can be a bit annoying when mounted on the wall.

verarbeitung LG CX OLED
Design
  • High quality design
  • Front side made of metal
  • Narrow frame
  • Extremely flat
  • very large foot
  • Stands very securely
  • Clean cable management through stand
  • Partly rear-facing connections
  • Looks exactly like the C9

Excellent image quality through maximum possible contrast and deepest black

Because OLED displays do not require backlighting, the CX has a perfect black that is unattainable for LCD or ordinary LED displays. This design also has a very positive effect on the contrast. OLEDs have the great advantage that each pixel can be individually controlled. Therefore, its brightness can be controlled independently of its nearby pixels. This means that, theoretically, an infinite contrast ratio is possible if one pixel is lit at full brightness and the nearby pixel is switched off.

In order for HDR content to be displayed to its best effect, a sufficiently high brightness is required. At slightly more than 800 nits, the CX is sufficiently bright to present highlights well, but the Automatic Brightness Limiter reduces the brightness in large bright scenes. This is a kind of protective function of the TV, so that the organic LEDs do not get too hot and burn-in does not happen. Therefore, the ABL cannot be deactivated.

Another advantage of the OLED design is the extremely wide viewing angle. Even at very oblique viewing angles, there are only slight color changes and the black level remains almost unchanged.

In a dark environment, the CX can develop its full potential. The image result is underlined by the perfect black and the colors look even more realistic than they already do. In a very bright room, the quality is not quite as convincing, but the brightness and reflection handling are also sufficient for this.

Just like the 2019 models, the device also has HDR10 and Dolby Vision. For calculating the algorithms of image processing, the powerful LG Alpha 9 of the third generation is built in – which definitely has enough power.

bildqualitaet LG CX OLED
Picture Quality
  • 10 Bit OLED Panel
  • Perfect black
  • Contrast ratio ∞:1
  • Good maximum brightness ~800 Nits
  • Automatic Brightness Limiter
  • Viewing angle
  • Powerful Alpha 9 Gen 3 processor

First-class motion handling

The motion handling is, as with its predecessor the C9, exceptionally good. The display has a Refresh Rate of 120 Hz, which is indispensable for good motion handling. The CX’s Response Time of 0.3 ms is almost perfect, which is especially excellent for fast content; there is therefore almost no motion blur. However, this has a negative effect on content with a low refresh rate, as there is no blur to smooth the image transitions between two frames. This can result in jarring movements during slow camera pans, which can be corrected well by motion interpolation. To further minimize motion blur, the CX is equipped with an excellent black frame insertion feature that ensures a very clear picture.

motionhandling LG CX OLED
Motion Handling
  • 120Hz Display
  • Response Time <1ms
  • Stutter can be removed
  • 120Hz Black Frame Insertion Feature
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Gaming on the CX

With the CX’s excellent motion handling, the gaming experience is also outstanding. The minimum input lag is ~7 ms at 120 fps and a resolution of 1080p. At 4K @ 60 fps, the input lag is higher at 14 ms, but this is still a good value. In combination with the good response time there is hardly any delay or blurring, which is excellent for gaming.

To avoid Screen-Tearing, a Variable Refresh Rate is available, which can be used either via HMDI Forum VRR or via Nvidia G-Sync. With G-Sync the TV is also compatible with PCs that contain a newer GeForce graphic card. There is no FreeSync available, but this is less important, because HDMI Forum VRR is also supported by the Xbox One and therefore there is also a possibility to use VRR. Due to an Auto Low Latency Mode a connected console is recognized and the input lag is reduced to a minimum value. Like the C9, the CX is also equipped with HDMI 2.1. Therefore it is well prepared for the upcoming consoles, as this interface allows the TV to receive and display content with 120 Hz at a 4K resolution. This should be available on both the Playstation 5 and the Xbox Series X.

Although it does not make much of a difference, the HDMI 2.1 port does not have the standard bandwidth of 48 Gbps, but only 40 Gbps which allows 4K @ 120 Hz @ 4:4:4.

gaming LG CX OLED
Gaming
  • Input lag ~14ms
  • G-Sync VRR / HDMI Forum VRR
  • Auto Low Latency Mode
  • HDMI 2.1

Decent sound but missing basses

The CX has an integrated 2.2 channel sound system with 60 W (RMS). Dialogues are reproduced clearly and the speakers can become quite loud. The sound is reasonable, but as with most integrated speaker systems, the bass is a bit weak. Strong basses are especially effective to create the right atmosphere in action scenes or while gaming. Unfortunately, the CX is lacking this possibility to create the appreciated atmosphere. For a home cinema or gaming setup, an upgrade with a soundbar or hi-fi system could help here. Since the TV has an integrated HDMI eARC interface, the dynamic sound format Dolby Atmos is supported. Unfortunately, the TV does not support DTS, which is probably the case with all 2020 devices from LG.

sound LG CX OLED
Sound
  • 2.2 channels with 60W
  • Missing basses
  • Quite loud highs and mids
  • No DTS
  • HDMI eARC
  • Dolby Atmos (Dolby True-HD)

Well developed Smart Features

The LG CX uses the smart WebOS 5.0 operating system, which is very easy and intuitive to use and is controlled by LG’s Magic Remote. This allows the user to control a cursor with hand movements, which is very similar to the way the Nintendo Wii is controlled. But it’s also possible to use classic navigation using the arrow keys on the remote, depending on your preference. The included remote control is excellently designed and allows the user to navigate very smoothly through the interface. The CX also has integrated Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant, which allows the voice control of the device. Apple Airplay 2 is also integrated. The choice of apps is huge and app classics like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and YouTube are pre-installed.

With LG ThinQ, the TV becomes the control center of other smart home applications, which can be conveniently displayed and controlled on a dashboard.

In addition, a twin tuner is integrated, which enables the Time Shift function and recording to external USB storage devices.

smarttv LG CX OLED
Smart TV
  • Intuitive WebOS 5.0
  • Good remote control
  • Smooth navigation
  • Amazon Alexa
  • Google Assistant
  • Apple Airplay 2
  • Large selection of apps
  • LG ThinQ
  • Twin Tuner
  • PVR & Time Shift

Variants of LG CX OLED

GX
Variant with design features

The LG model GX OLED has the same technical features as the CX, but brings an elegant look and the so-called “Gallery Design”. The TV is intended to look like an art object and thus to fit seamlessly into the interior of the room. To achieve this, LG has opted for a seamless wall mount and a narrow, stylish frame and makes use of the wide viewing angle of the panel. The TV can also be set up on desire, but the matching stand must be purchased separately.

Excellent picture quality and matching all-round package

The LG CX OLED, like its predecessor the C9, has a great picture quality that is hard to beat. This is mainly due to the perfect black and contrast. Even fast movements are sharply displayed thanks to good motion handling. This should be of great interest especially for sports and gaming fans. Gaming is already a lot of fun on the CX, but it is also prepared for next-gen consoles through its HDMI 2.1 port. There are really few downsides, but one might be the integrated sound system, which due to missing basses does not provide the atmosphere that is still needed for a real home cinema experience. But this problem can easily be solved by soundbars or hifi systems. It should also be noted that although the CX is sufficiently bright, it doesn’t deliver a very good picture in very bright rooms. Therefore a QLED might be a better choice under these conditions.

OLED with excellent picture quality and good all-round package
PROS
  • Impressive picture quality
  • Decent motion handling
  • Top gaming performance
  • HDMI 2.1
CONS
  • Picture quality in very bright rooms
Choose a TV size that suits you
Rating v1.13
LG CX OLED compared to ...
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Alternatives to the LG CX OLED

LG OLED C9
The previous model

The LG C9 and CX are two very similar televisions. This is already noticeable in the design of the devices. When switched off, they are almost indistinguishable.

Technically, not much has changed either. The picture quality is equally convincing on both units, but the C9 can get a little brighter and has a slightly better viewing angle. In return, the CX has better built-in speakers and the Black Frame Insertion feature is available at 120 Hz, which wasn’t the case with the C9. So both devices are excellent TVs with only slight differences and will satisfy most users.

LG OLED77C9

Samsung QLED Q80T
Better for bright rooms

All in all, the LG CX is the better TV than the Samsung Q80T. Thanks to OLED technology, the CX clearly scores higher in terms of picture quality due to the significantly better black and higher contrast ratio. Samsung’s QLED simply can not keep up with the response time of 0.3 ms, even though this incredibly low value can lead to stuttering. But this is not a real flaw, as it is very easily corrected by motion interpolation.

However, the Q80T has a lower input lag in game mode and can also be used better in bright rooms due to its better maximum brightness and more pleasant reflection handling. There is also no need for a disturbing Automatic Brightness Limiter to reduce the risk of burn-in, as is the case with the CX.

 

Samsung 85Q80T

Sony A9G OLED
For the true home cinema feeling

The Sony AG9 is the better choice especially as a home cinema system. The comparison chart doesn’t suggest this because the AG9’s essential characteristics can’t be considered in our calculation. The picture quality of both devices is equally convincing, allowing HDR content to be reproduced brilliantly; however, the AG9 has more sophisticated image processing than LG’s competitor. But the big plus of the AG9 is the Sound from Screen feature, which only the AG9 has so far. This allows the TV itself to become the centre speaker of a sound system, and the sound comes directly from the centre of the screen, creating a real cinema atmosphere.

Unfortunately, the AG9 is not really suitable for gamers, because important features such as VRR or a low input lag are missing and it does not support HDMI 2.1. Gamers who want to buy next-gen consoles should therefore rather go for the CX.

Sony 77AG9
* All prices are in USD incl. VAT, if necessary plus shipping. Interim changes of prices, ranking, delivery time and costs are possible. Last update 2020-07-08 17:48:42