I’ve reviewed more than half a dozen 4K TVs this year—I mean in 2021. But apart from your regular LED rectangles, I desperately wanted to lay my eyes on an OLED TV as well. And lo and behold, I finally got myself the 55” LG C1 OLED 4K TV this holiday season whose review I will share in this article. Would’ve been so much cooler if this was a Christmas present from Santa though! (haha..)
Anyway, the C1 has been ranked among the best OLED TVs in the books of many top tech reviewers—so there was always a ripple of excitement inside me to set this thing up, turn it on, and sit back on the couch to enjoy my favorite movies and shows.
But before getting into the nitty-gritty details, let’s go through its pricing first. The LG C1 is available in screen sizes ranging from 48″ to 83″—whereas the 55” model that I have cost about $1500 in the US, some Rs. 142,000 in India and Rs. 265,000 here in Nepal.
LG C1 OLED 55″ 4K TV Specifications:
- Body (55″): 23kg (w/stand), 18.92kg (w/o stand)
- Display: 55-inch OLED panel, 4K UHD, 3840 x 2160 resolution, 120Hz
- HDR Formats: Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLG
- Response Time: 1ms
- Video Processor: α9 Gen 4 AI Processor 4K
- HDMI Standard: VRR, FreeSync Premium, G-Sync, ALLM
- OS: webOS 6.0
- Voice Assistants: Google Assistant, Alexa
- Remote: LG Magic Remote
- Ports: 4 x HDMI 2.1 ports (4 x [email protected], 1 x eARC/ARC), 3 x USB-A 2.0 ports, 1 x RF Input, 1 x Ethernet, 1 x Digital Audio Output (Optical), 1 x Headphone jack
- Audio: 2x 20W speaker, Dolby Atmos, WiSA Ready
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac), Bluetooth 5.0
- Price in Nepal: NPR 265,000
LG C1 OLED 55″ 4K TV Review:
- Minimal bezels
As usual, let’s strike up the conversation with the design. Looking at it from the front, the C1 means business with its premium “next-to-no-bezel” design—and ticks all the boxes you’d expect from an expensive TV. On the bottom, there’s quite a hefty silver stand that holds the TV upright which looks visually distinct too.
Spinning the TV around, you’ll find a thin sheet of the OLED panel on the top half of the TV, while the bottom half is a bit thicker to accommodate the internal components. Speaking of which, you’ll also find all the I/O ports here.
Unlike most 55” TV I’ve used so far, the C1 is stuffed with four HDMI 2.1 ports that support up to 4K/120Hz output. Plus, one of the HDMI ports also supports eARC for external soundbars or other AV devices. Moreover, there are three USB Type-A, one 3.5mm headphone jack, one RF tuner, LAN, and one digital audio output port.
- 55″ 4K UHD resolution, OLED panel
- 120Hz refresh rate, 1ms response
- Dolby Vision compatible, ALLM
- Nvidia G-Sync, AMD FreeSync Premium, VRR
OLED has been LG’s trump card for almost a decade when it comes to high-end TVs. So it’s no wonder that the company has held the title of the world’s no.1 brand in OLED TVs for the past eight years.
The LG C1 continues this legacy with practically unrivaled picture quality. Its OLED panel means—unlike a normal LED TV—it can control each pixel lighting individually to display true depth and detail in pictures. On top of that, it’s a 10-bit color display with compatibility for different HDR formats, including Dolby Vision IQ.
So, with all this tech packed inside, contents look bang-on with pixel-perfect precision and no halo effect and any of that stuff. The LG C1 delivers awesome deep blacks, perfect contrast, and the most true-to-life colors I’ve ever seen on a TV. And, you don’t need to worry about the viewing angle either, since that’s a child’s play for this thing.
Moreover, it can intelligently upscale normal HD content to 4K as well—thanks to the Alpha a9 Gen 4 processor. I watched HD shows and movies like Sherlock Holmes and Fantastic Beasts, and I’m really amazed to see how clean the upscaled content looks. In fact, they look as if they were actually shot in 4K.
Nonetheless, you’ll definitely need to get familiar with the available picture preset for the best, most immersive viewing experience. I am personally fond of the “FILMMAKER MODE” which is the perfect setting for watching any movies or shows. However, if you’re watching something with relatively more dimly-lit scenes, I’d suggest going with the “ISF Bright” mode since it’s better equipped to display better details in shadows. Likewise, Dolby Vision content runs on the pre-tuned Dolby Vision picture settings.
Another thing I’d like to highlight here is that the C1’s panel is quite glossy. It’s certainly not a dealbreaker—but yeah—I would recommend installing it someplace where you don’t have direct light coming in as much. Despite this, I found the brightness of this TV to be perfectly adequate when stationed in our moderately bright living room.
Now, while the LG C1 is certainly a cinematic banger, it’s a treat for gamers too. You get the support for a 120Hz refresh rate here, on top of a 1ms response time, Nvidia G-Sync, AMD’s FreeSync Premium, and whatnot. There’s also a dedicated “Game Optimizer” setting that allows you to select the black/white stabilizer value, game genre, sound, and other parameters to enhance the gaming experience.
Here, I played games like Cyberpunk 2077, CS: GO, and Control via my gaming laptop. And there wasn’t even a single instance where I had to deal with screen tearing or input latency issues. While everything went smoothly, one little quibble I’d experienced is that the C1 fails to recognize Nvidia G-Sync compatibility every now and then. Luckily—with VRR turned on—my gaming experience was still smooth, although I am hoping for a fix soon.
But that’s not all. LG is among the first TV brands to offer GeForce Now cloud gaming support on its select 2021 4K OLED, QNED, Mini LED, and NanoCell TVs. The C1 also falls under the compatible category but I couldn’t test it out since GeForce Now isn’t available here in Nepal.
With all that out of the way, let’s see how LG is dealing with the dreaded “pixel burn” issue here. Since an OLED panel’s reliability is so dependent on pixels, it’s critical to make sure they’re always up to snuff.
Thus, the company employs a technique called “Pixel Refresher” into all its OLED TVs, which scans for pixel deterioration once every four hours of continual use and fix it as necessary. However, if you observe any image retention, there’s also the option to manually perform pixel refresh via the Pixel Cleaning menu in the OLED Panel Care setting.
All in all, the LG C1 has undoubtedly met my expectations from a premium TV.
I’ll say it right out—4K resolution combined with an OLED display is a match made in heaven. Add the reliability from a brand like LG into the mix, there’s nothing more one could wish for.
- webOS 6
On the software side of things, this TV boots on webOS 6, which introduces quite a few visual changes to the user interface compared to webOS 5. The new version replaces the handy floating app window on the bottom with something that covers the entire screen.
At the top, there are three tiles now which take up a large portion of the screen and display information such as weather forecasts, account settings, and such. Frankly, that seems like an unwanted addition to me. Below these tiles, you’ll discover popular series and movies, recommended mostly from Prime Video. Next, we have a list of installed apps and a Home Dashboard menu. Then there’s the row of Sports Alert tiles alongside the app and movie recommendation sections from LG.
Fair to say that instead of this cluttered layout, I’d go with the minimal UI of webOS 5 in a heartbeat.
Besides these odd adjustments, webOS 6 does bring one of the coolest features for sports enthusiasts—called “Sports Alert”. As a die-hard football fan, I make it a point to never miss a Premier League game. But owing to my busy schedule—every now and again—I lose track of the game timetable. Yet, thanks to webOS 6, I can now choose my favorite teams from a variety of sports, and the TV will keep me up-to-date on the match schedule, goals, and the final score. That’s bloody brilliant!
Moreover, the C1 has ThinQ AI-powered Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa to further ease your TV experience. Both can do all the usual stuff like adjusting the volume and brightness—whereas you can even control smart home devices using your voice here.
- Magic Remote
This time around, LG’s Magic Remote gets an upgrade as well. Compared to its 2020 version, the newer one houses rounded number keys, a tad smaller scrollable wheel, and a fairly flat design—besides all the keys you’d require regularly. Similarly, the back of the remote also has a wide groove for finger rest.
Not to forget, NFC is quite a worthwhile addition to this year’s Magic Remote. It essentially assists you in pairing your smart TV with the LG ThinQ app.
- 2 x 20W speakers
- Dolby Atmos, WiSA certified
Let’s now talk about its audio quality. Equipped with a 2.2 channel speaker system with a total 40W output, this slim TV boasts better-than-average sound. The loudness is more than enough for a medium-sized room, and it also supports Dolby Atmos surround sound.
All this doesn’t imply that LG C1’s speaker system is flawless. They’re powerful enough for booming bass, but at the higher volume levels, the bass becomes overpowering—affecting the mids and highs. Thus, to match this bang-on picture quality and for a proper home theater experience, I would recommend going with a good soundbar instead.
Moving on, you can also connect this TV with Bluetooth speakers, while it’s certified by Wireless Speaker and Audio Association (WiSA) too. As a result, the C1 is compatible with WiSA-ready sound systems for high definition and low latency surround sound.
LG C1 OLED 55″ 4K TV Review: Conclusion
Wrapping it all up, the LG C1 is one heck of a TV for the price. From its unrivaled picture quality to the top-notch gaming performance and all the other assorted features, it delivers them all. Similarly, the webOS optimization along with the upgraded Magic Remote ensures a truly smart TV experience. The C1 is a direct competitor to Sony’s A80J, although the latter is a more expensive set, costing $200 more for this exact 55-inch variant. And considering all their similarity, the C1 definitely feels like a better value-for-money.
LG C1 OLED 55″ 4K TV Review: Pros and Cons
- Unmatched picture quality
- 120Hz refresh rate, Nvidia G-Sync, AMD Freesync Premium
- Optimized webOS 6.0
- Upgraded Magic Remote
- GeForce Now support (available in certain regions)
- Support WiSA sound systems
- Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant support
- Value for money
- Reflective surface
- A bit cluttered UI