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Looking for a new TV? Find out if LG's 65-inch C1 4K TV is worth splashing the cash on.
The LG C1 is a premium 4K OLED TV that combines cutting-edge picture processing with an advanced feature set that makes it particularly appealing to serious console gamers.
It’s smarter than the average flatscreen, thanks to features like ThinQ AI and Deep Learning, which are both trained to enhance its AV performance and usability. Long story short, if you’re looking for a new telly with all the toys, this model is one to shortlist.
The LG C1 is an outstanding 4K OLED flatscreen, offering an excellent picture performance, advanced smart platform and best-in-class connectivity for next-gen gamers. But plan to add a soundbar, as its audio is unremarkable.
Price: The RRP of the 65-inch C1 is £1,899, but you can buy the TV from Currys for £1799.
The LG C1 is a well-equipped 4k OLED TV, available in 48-, 55-, 65,- 77- and 83-inch screen sizes (OLED485C1, OLED55C1, OLED65C1, OLED77C1 and OILED83C1, respectively). The sample on our test bench is the 65-inch model.
The 65-inch C1 sells for around £1,899. The 48-, 55-, 77- and 83inch models are listed at £1,299, £1,399, £3,499 and £5,499 respectively.
The LG C1 isn’t cheap, but it’s competitively priced when it comes to premium OLED screens. It may not be the sort of set you’ll pick up for a song in the bargain aisles, but in the more rarefied air of large screen 4k HDR OLEDs, it can be considered good value.
To put its price tag in context, rival models like the Sony XR65A8 and Panasonic TX-55JZ1500, sell for around £2,199 and £1,999, respectively.
The C1 bristles with smart functionality. It works with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, uses its own ThinQ AI smart engine for voice control and search and has a streaming platform, web OS, with exhaustive app support. If you want loads of catch-up TV on tap, you’ve come to the right place.
Handheld control is via the latest version of LG’s Magic Remote. This zapper differs from rival pointers in that it presents a cursor on the screen to click and drag stuff.
LG has made some big changes to its webOS smart platform this year. The all-new webOS v6.0 offers a fullscreen menu of streaming shows and curated content, replacing last year’s launcher bar.
One irritation with the new look is a lack of customisation. The TV pushes services and programmes that you are not subscribed to, which quickly becomes wearisome.
That said, streaming app support is comprehensive. Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+, NOW, and AppleTV+, join all the usual Freeview Play UK catch-up TV apps (BBC iPlayer, ITVHub, All4, UKTV Play and My5). And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
New for 2021 is a Game Optimizer. This pulls gaming parameters together in one place for quick adjustment: you can optimise the screen for the game genre you’re playing, select various types of VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) and monitor input lag.
We measured screen latency at 12.6ms (with a 1080/60 source), with Game mode on, which can be considered very good. Of course, if you’re just amusing yourself with Animal Crossing, you don’t need to worry about any of this.
The LG C1 is a super slim OLED display, with electronics and inputs filling out its lower third. Build quality, and overall finish is high.
A centre-weighted stand features an almost full-width fascia lip, so the screen is virtually flush with your furniture. There’s no room to place a soundbar beneath.
Connectivity is excellent. There are four HDMI inputs, all of which are the latest v2.1 specification. They support 4k@120Hz sources, good news for demanding gamers.
There’s also a digital optical audio output, three USBs and Ethernet. Wireless connectivity comes via Bluetooth, AirPlay 2 and Wi-Fi.
Initial setup and tuning are straightforward, guided by onscreen prompts. Make sure you have your Wi-Fi network password nearby.
Straight from the box, the LG C1 offers fabulous image quality. Pictures are gloriously sharp, with vibrant colour fidelity and excellent contrast. Like all OLED screens, the set’s self-lit pixels deliver deep black with plenty of subtle shadow detail.
When it comes to HDR performance, the set shines. We measured peak HDR brightness at around 750 nits. This is enough for bright specular highlights with HDR content, which add extra depth and texture to images and make sporting events look more three dimensional.
The C1’s Alpha 9 picture engine uses AI techniques, including Deep Learning, to optimise images in real-time. An AI Picture Pro mode applies noise reduction and sharpness, while AI Brightness gives an HDR-style boost to regular SDR programmes. The set looks its best with native 4k programmes from Netflix, Prime Video and Disney+, but it upscales HD material a treat too.
HDR support covers regular HDR, HLG and Dolby Vision IQ, but not HDR10+. Prime Video favours the latter standard, and it’s a shame LG isn’t offering compatibility.
When it comes to audio, the C1 is largely unremarkable. It has a 40W sound system, so it will certainly play loud and has Dolby Atmos compatibility, but its downward-firing speaker array isn’t good enough to do cinema soundtracks real justice. You’ll get by, and it’s fine for uncritical listening, but it’s best to budget for a soundbar or home cinema system if you plan to make the most of your movie nights.
If you’re shopping for a premium 4K TV with top-notch picture quality and advanced connectivity, the LG C1 should be near the top of your list. In terms of performance and value, it’s a winner.
But there are (minor) caveats. We like the latest webOS smart platform, but it could stand to be a little more user friendly and offer greater customisation. At least there’s no shortage of streaming services and catch-up TV apps.
For next-gen gamers, we rate it a terrific model to partner with a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X. It also makes a superb home cinema display, thanks to the power of LG’s new Alpha 9 picture processor. Couple it with an external Dolby Atmos sound system for a really immersive viewing experience.