We've been testing LG's latest OLED model and we are very, very impressed.
There is no secret about the fact that we here at Gamereactor have, for a long time, been madly in love with LG's OLED screens, which in many ways have been the best option for us gamers (who also watch a lot of TV series and movies) and with last year's TV C1, LG shined brightly. This year's model, C2, is not a revolution and for the uninitiated it may even be difficult to see any real change between this and its predecessor, but under the skin a lot has happened and it is noticeable that the closest competitor, Samsung's entry into the OLED market, has encouraged LG to raise their own bar.
The LG C2 is amazing.
The first thing that strikes you when you first unpack the C2 is how much lighter it is than all other OLED TVs. Much, much, much lighter. The 55-inch is downright absurdly feather-light and there are absolutely no problems mounting a stand or wall-hanging a TV like this on your own without risking breaking your own back. C2 is more evenly thin and feels more robust without being thick, compared to previous models. The back is black again, after being white for a couple of years, and there isn't the same risky feeling that you could possibly crack the panel if you happened to lift it in the upper corners. Very positive. The new stand is both super stylishly designed and lighter than the previous model (C1) and it is ingeniously designed, which means assembly takes around two minutes.
WebOS is also new, completely new and for the first time (for me who has a two-year-old Evo Gallery OLED from LG in the bedroom), this year it has been re-named WebOS 22 and here the focus is now on the user being able to customise its interface more via personal profiles. I'm not super keen on the idea of more passwords, more login boxes and more apps to be able to watch TV although some of the features are useful and nifty, which led to me turning off the whole profile thing in the C2 for most of the time during my three week long test period. I tested it though, of course, for a couple of days and the idea/concept works really well. LG wants to do a lot at once, as usual, and wants your TV to function as a smart hub and image bank and everything else, which, as I said, feels like something I could live without. However, the navigation, the look of the apps, the access to them, the speed of the system itself plus the nimble browser make this a brilliant smart TV that I still consider to be the best TV experience, overall. Google TV is good though, better than the old version (Android TV) it must be said but of everything that exists on the market today I still think WebOS is the best.
This is an ad:
When it comes to connectivity, LG is once again the best. On the market. Four HDMI 2.1 ports are offered, two of which support E-arc, three USB inputs and support for Bluetooth 5.0 as well as Wi-Fi 6. In terms of pure build quality, this TV is superior to Samsung's more expensive QD-OLED, which feels plasticky compared to the C2. The choice of materials is good and the C2 feels thoroughly luxurious and solid in a way that Samsung's counterpart unfortunately does not really do. The LG C2 comes with the same updated Magic Remote as the C1 and although a little has happened in the last ten (!) years with this remote control, it's so good that I'm not going to complain. It would be nice if LG started building a more premium-looking aluminium remote for its most expensive models, though. I would appreciate that. When it comes to the sound, LG has made the biggest progress in years thanks to the new sound chip and the new function "AI Acoustic Tuning" which, with the help of an external microphone (which is included in the box), allows you to calibrate the sound according to the room. And it works. It actually works really well. Of course, there isn't much bass to pick up here, but the voices sound clearer and cleaner than in any other OLED I've ever tested, and movies like Sea Beast and Lightyear offer a dynamic via the C2's built-in TV speakers that the predecessor C1 couldn't.
When it comes to picture quality, it's time for me to bring out the heavy artillery of lyrical superlatives, because this is a brilliant TV. Absolutely brilliant. The C2 is slightly, slightly brighter than the C1, which was already a fantastic screen and as usual with OLED, the blacks, contrast and colour reproduction are absolutely phenomenal. There's full support for HDR10, HLG and Dolby Vision here and LG's Filmmaker Mode is brilliant as is the new Dolby Vision IQ and Precision Detail system, which makes details appear a little better in a Dolby Vision-based picture. The image in the C2 is more colour neutral and thus better than the C1 and it can be seen that LG felt the competition from Samsung and Sony in particular and thus switched up its DSP.
The Alpha 9 processor is brilliant and there is depth and dynamism in image quality. Not least for us gamers. LG's Game Mode and "Game Optimiser" in the C2 are the best you will find on the market and this thanks to a number of reasons. In part, this is the only OLED that currently supports 4K/120 Dolby Vision and the only OLED with nine milliseconds of input lag in 60Hz and half of that in 120Hz via HDMI 2.1. The motion handling is superb and with the brighter panel, HDR gaming looks fantastic. There is a tiny, tiny bit of "banding" in the darkest parts of the image during certain moments and the Magic Remote feels a little plastic today, although it works (and works very well) but there is no doubt that this is the best TV you can currently buy, if, like me, you want to play games and watch a ton of movies. The LG C2 is a clean, brilliant overall package where everything feels well thought out, coordinated and balanced in a way that the competitors still can't quite manage.