The LG OLED C1 (OLED55C1PUB) is one of the best 4K TVs you can buy right now, and hands down the best choice for gamers. It uses LG’s Alpha a9 Gen. 4 processor to deliver the most colorful, bright and rich pictures with support for most types of HDR. It remains a great option for gamers, avid TV addicts and movie fans alike.
- Exceptional 4K/HDR picture
- VRR, ALLM and 4K at 120Hz
- Four HDMI 2.1 ports
- WebOS is awesome
- No HDR10+
- Reflective glass surface
The LG C1 OLED is an excellent mid-range 4K OLED TV that continues LG’s impressive track record of delivering some of the best TVs available in the market. Although it has since been succeeded by a newer model, the OLED55C1PUB remains a top pick for anyone looking for a TV to use with next-gen consoles, and an easy, simple-to-use smart platform.
Now, of course, we have the new LG C2 OLED (2022 model) that’s topping the charts – but that doesn’t imply that the C1 OLED is destined to be thrown off the shelves. The reasons for this are simple: it’s competitive price, looks fantastic and delivers superb image quality. It also supports Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, troves of gaming features, and features an upgraded version of LG’s robust webOS smart platform.
Under the hood, the LG OLED55C1PUB uses LG’s Alpha a9 processors that make for seamless upscaling and virtual surround sound, and with four separate HDMI 2.1 ports, this TV is ready for your next-gen consoles – talk of the PS5, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and pretty every console you can throw at it. Yes, gamers will be satisfied by the new Game Optimiser menu that gives them the option to quickly adjust brightness, contrast, and VRR on the fly.
Here are the available LG OLED C1 models:
- 48-inch OLED48C1PUB
- 55-inch OLED55C1PUB
- 65-inch OLED65C1PUB
- 77-inch OLED77C1PUB
- 83-inch OLED83C1PUA
There are, of course, better TVs with higher resolutions in the market right now, including the LG Z1 OLED, which boasts 8K resolution, the LG C2 we mentioned above, and the LG G1 Gallery Series which uses the lustful OLED Evo panels that offer much better brightness. However, you’ll spend a lot to get one of those premium TVs, in that case, the LG C1 OLED makes an incredible purchase and one we can highly recommend.
About the LG OLED C1
The LG OLED C1 is a 4K (3,840 x 2,160) HDR smart TV and happens to be among the most affordable OLED from LG to feature the company’s advanced Alpha 9 Gen 4 processor with fast response time in both gaming and entertainment. The LG C1 is available in 48in, 55in, 65in, and 77in screen sizes, and there’s the massive 83in that joined the lineup this year. For this review, we’re reviewing the LG C1 OLED 55in, also known as the LG OLED55C1PUB.
The LG C1 runs the latest version of LG’s webOS smart platform, and supports HDR10, Dolby Vision, and HLG – but it doesn’t support HDR10+. All the major content streaming platforms are present and fluent, including Freeview Play, which was not available on LG’s TVs last year.
Here are some of the key specs shared by all sizes in the LG C1 series:
- Resolution: 4K (3,840 x 2,160)
- Display Type: OLED
- HDR support: Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLG
- Dolby Atmos: Yes
- eARC support: Yes
- Native refresh rate: 120Hz
- Smart platform: webOS
- Color: DCI-P3 color space/10-bit chroma resolution
- Processor: a9 Gen 4 AI Processor 4K
- Variable Refresh Rate (VRR): Yes
- Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM): Yes
- Other features: Filmmaker Mode, Game Optimizer, Free Sync, G-Sync, Google Assistant, Alexa, Apple AirPlay 2
Like every other great device, the LG OLED55C1PUB comes with its fair share of flawless, and here it must be a few issues around how the new Alpha a9 Gen.4 upscales, and how reflective the all-glass screen is when watched in direct daylight. Luckily, the issues are few and far between and don’t affect the overall watching experience too much.
Design and Connections
It can sound crazy to talk about how a TV looks like on the outside – it’s the picture that we should be talking about, after all – but we can’t just ignore how nice the LG OLED C1 looks design-wise. It continues to use the same basic design as the LG CX OLED in 2020 and the LG C9 OLED before that, with a minimalist appearance, a virtually bezel-free screen, and a tapered brushed-metal stand.
Despite the all-familiar design, the look is still stunning, thanks to the super-thin dimensions of OLED displays and LG’s display-on-glass design. The result is a panel that’s incredibly thinner than most other premium TVs, like the Sony A80J or the Samsung QN90A Neo QLED TV, that measures a respectable 1-inch thick. While the entire top half of the LG C1 measures 0.1-inch thick, there’s no competing with how polished and nearly futuristic it looks.
The pedestal stand the LG OLED55C1PUB comes with is sturdy and looks great, but if you need to wall-mount it, it will work with a standard 300 x 200 VESA bracket, but keep in mind the fixings are lower down the panel.
All connections are located at the back left of the panel, with a few facing the rear and others facing the left-hand side. They include four HDMI 2.1 inputs that support HDR, VRR (Variable Refresh Rate), ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode), 4K at 120Hz, and eARC (enhanced Audio Return Channel).
Others are terrestrial and satellite turners, a 3.5mm audio output, an optical digital output, an Ethernet port, three USB ports (two 2,0 and one 3.0), and a CI (common interface) slot. Wireless connectivity comes in way of built-in dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Apple AirPlay 2 support.
Smart TV platform and Control
The LG C1 OLED has great smart TV function, all largely thanks to the improved webOS 6.0. The updated interface has a cleaner look, with multiple rows of apps and content suggestions, bringing it closer to the interface used by Google TV than the single ribbons menu of apps that older webOS versions used.
LG’s ThinQ AI combines intuitive content search with both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa voice assistants, both available right from the remote. LG now gives a better app selection than ever before, with recent additions bringing services like Peloton and HBOmax. While the app selection may not be the biggest for any smart TV platform we’ve seen, it has most of the apps that people really want – but it’s missing a few, like Discovery+, and Philo TV among others.
One more fancy feature for gamers: LG now offers superb support for cloud gaming services. With support for both Google Stadia and Nvidia GeForce Cloud, the LG OLED55C1 is a great gaming TV even if you don’t have a game console or PC connected.
The included LG Magic Remote has been revamped this year, and while it’s finished in a combination of gloss and matte black, the revamped shape is more elegant and cooler to hold, while the onscreen cursor-style point remains a joy to use.
The main difference in this year’s model is that a few buttons have been dropped, making way for direct access to Rakuten TV and Disney Plus, along with direct activation buttons for built-in Alexa and Google assistants. It also gets a microphone for voice interactions and a newly added NFC tag.
In its 2021 OLED TV lineup, LG divides them into two categories: OLED TVs with the new OLED Evo panels and those without them. The LG OLED C1 in this review doesn’t have it – and yet, even without the new panel technology, it’s still one of the best OLED TVs you can buy as it boasts an enjoyable viewing experience.
The OLED Evo panel adds additional brightness through a new lighting element in the self-emissive pixels. That’s not present on the LG C1 OLED, but the TV isn’t really lacking in brightness. In a moderately bright living room, the C1 still delivers gorgeous, and even with some reflective glare that eats into the inky black levels, the brightness of the screen compensates nicely for the ambient light.
With the C1 OLED, you expect great picture quality out of the box by virtue of being an OLED display panel. OLED technology offers self-illuminated pixels and the ability to brighten or darken individual pixels, which results in exceptional contrast, perfect inky black levels, and superior HDR capability.
LG goes a notch higher by pairing this display with the Alpha 9 Gen 4 AI 4K processor (it needs to be improved on how it handles faces, though), the version of LG’s advanced video processing hardware. Speaking of brightness, the C1 OLED supports most flavors of HDR – including HDR10, Dolby Vision, and HLG, but skimps on HDR10+. The missing last bit means you won’t watch shows on Amazon Prime live at their full potential, but services like Netflix, Vudu, and Disney will all have Dolby Vision content enabled.
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Gamers will appreciate the OLED55C1PUB’s short 12.6ms lag time, which easily matches the premium Samsung QN90A Neo QLED (12.6ms), which is one of the shortest lag times we’ve seen in a TV. But that’s just one of the many factors that make this OLED TV a fantastic gaming TV.
LG has built-in decent gaming capabilities into the C1 OLED, starting with raw capabilities – short lag times, excellent color and contrast – to more advanced features like HDMI 2.1, which offers high-frame-rate support and auto low-latency mode (ALLM), which seamlessly switches to gaming mode as soon as you load a game on your console.
Another gaming-worth feature of HDMI 2.1 is variable refresh rate (VRR), but LG takes it a step further with a combination of exclusive features, alongside fast response times. The LG OLED55C1PUB boasts Nvidia G-Sync, making it ideal for PC gaming, and comes with added support for Dolby Vision HDR at 120Hz, which is currently only offered on the Xbox Series X.
Also, LG has roped in a unique Game Optimizer menu, which offers detailed data about the current frame rates and latency, and allows you to modify specific aspects of picture and processing, including black stabilizer, latency, VRR support, and HDR settings.
Just as premium as the display, the LG C1 OLED offers sublime sound, thanks to40 watts of 2.2 channel audio. Yes, it’s a slim TV but it boasts better-than-most sound and average. The only area the TV will not wow is in the bass quality, especially at volumes below 25% which was lackluster to balance the rest of the sound, and above 70% the bass only gets louder, and it overpowers the treble than it should. You could most likely fix both of these issues in the equalizer settings, but out of the box, the balance isn’t perfect.
Still, on sound, the LG C1 OLED offers some extra features that are not pretty standard. The TV’s Bluetooth connectivity lets you pair it with Bluetooth speakers for better surround sound, and WiSA connectivity delivers wireless 5.1 for WiSA-ready sound systems.
Should you buy the LG OLED C1?
Yes – it’s one of the best TVs this year.
The LG OLED C1 is a stellar all-rounder that’s sure to delight TV addicts, movie fans, and gamers alike. This thin OLED sports a stylish design looks as premium as ever and packs troves of useful features. The Magic Remote is lovable, webOS is as slick and comprehensive as ever, and the sound quality is surprisingly good considering the ultra-thin panel.
In the world of gaming TVs, the OLED55C1PU comes highly recommended. Everything from the basic responsiveness and picture quality to the fine-tuned gaming features and format support, this TV is built to deliver a premium gaming experience. The result is one of the best gaming TVs we’ve ever reviewed.
While there are more expensive options out there with higher peak brightness, the LG C1 strikes that perfect balance between price and performance. You’re getting 99% of the performance of top-tier TVs without emptying your savings, and it stacks up well against competitors like the Samsung QN90A Neo QLED TV among others.
But in terms of delivering a great total package, the C1 OLED is one of the best and puts it all together at a competitive price that matches the value you get. Simply put, the LG OLED C1 (OLED55C1PUB) is the best gaming TV you can buy.
Last update on 2022-08-07 at 14:01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
LG OLED C1 Series 55” Alexa Built-in 4k Smart TV (3840 x 2160), 120Hz Refresh Rate, AI-Powered 4K, Dolby Cinema, WiSA Ready, Gaming Mode (OLED55C1PUB, 2021)
$1,449.00 in stock
2 used from $1,238.46