LG C2 (OLED65C2) Review
LG C2 (OLED65C2) Review, Let's take a look at the LG C2 specifications, features, and other information that is currently available.
REASONS TO BUY
+ High brightness OLED panel (in some models)
+ Fantastic image processing
+ All ports have full HDMI 2.1 features
REASONS TO AVOID
- On-board audio could be more immersive
- Price increase compared to last year
The LG C2 is a tantalising follow-up to one of last year's biggest TV sensations, the LG C1. This new model usher in a new era for the C-series OLED TVs, increasing brightness with new panel technology and introducing the first 42-inch model to the lineup.
In this LG C2 review, we'll go through exactly what to expect from the enhanced OLED screen with Brightness Booster technology, backed up by LG's most powerful processor ever - but the short version is that the LG C2 sets the bar high for the best OLED TVs, and it's a major step up from the LG C1.
However, increasing the has resulted in a significant price rise, and it's crucial to note that the 42-inch and 48-inch models do not have the same brightness enhancements as larger ones. However, thanks to its future-proofed connectivity, all versions will impress with their excellent image handling, and it remains one of the best gaming TVs of all sizes.
It's without a doubt one of the best TVs on the market today, and especially one of the best LG TVs – but the price will mean it faces stiff competition from 2022's more affordable mini-LED TVs for your money, and it's only the 55-inch and up models that get the full effect of its image quality improvements, so keep that in mind as we go over all the ways it impressed us.
For this assessment, we used the 65-inch model, which has the latest brightness boosting technology.
LG C2 REVIEW: PRICE & RELEASE DATE
(Image credit: LG)
The LG C2 will be available in April 2022. C2 OLED televisions are offered in six different sizes: 42, 48, 55, 65, 77, and 83 inches.
However, don't expect to save a lot of money by downsizing. Both the 42-inch LG OLED42C2 and the 48-inch LG OLED48C2 cost £1,399 in the United Kingdom. The 55-inch LG OLED55C2 costs £1,899, the 65-inch LG OLED65C2 is £2,699, the 77-inch LG OLED77C2 is £3,698, and the 83-inch LG OLED83C2 is £5,499.
In the United States, the 42-inch model costs $1,399, the 48-inch model costs $1,499, the 55-inch model costs $1,799, the 65-inch model costs $2,499, the 77-inch model costs $3,499, and the 84-inch model costs $5,499.
This is all slightly more expensive than the LG C1's initial price, which is unfortunate – prices are growing in many sectors, so we understand, but we're seeing some aggressive prices this year from next-generation mini-LED LCD TVs, which may be better suited to more people's budgets.
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LG C2 REVIEW: FEATURES & WHAT'S NEW
(Image credit: LG)
The LG C2 is equipped with OLED Evo tech, which combines a superior panel design with some Brightness Booster gadgetry and LG's latest chipset, the Alpha 9 Gen 5.
The Alpha 9 Gen 5 has been hailed as the brand's most powerful chip yet, with the processing power to execute a variety of far-reaching image enhancing techniques, such as AI object enhancement, which aims to separate foreground elements from their background to process them for a greater sense of visual depth, and dynamic tone mapping. All of this happens in the background; you don't need to get engaged.
Upscaling has also benefited greatly from advancements made possible by improved machine learning. Normally, I avoid SD channels at all costs, but the C2 does such a good job at making them watchable that I might start paying attention.
The set's input lag is acceptable. With 1080/60 content and Game mode enabled, we observed latency at 13.1ms. However, this is only the tip of the gaming iceberg. LG's Game Optimizer interface provides console and PC users with a variety of flexibility, including game genre-specific presets – and makes the most of its four HDMI 2.1 connections.
The fact that all of its HDMI ports support VRR/4K 120Hz/ALLM is fantastic because it means that no matter how many gaming devices you have or will have in the future, you'll have enough next-gen connections to make the most of them. Essentially, it provides players with peace of mind. Support for all types of VRR (including FreeSync Pro and G-Sync) only adds to this — this is unquestionably one of the greatest PS5 TVs.
LG C2 REVIEW: PICTURE QUALITY
The headline news is that the LG C2 offers a substantial improvement in picture quality over its predecessor, the LG C1... However, it is more noticeable in some sizes than in others.
For one thing, the device we tested is brighter, which makes it easier to watch in daylight because it is more likely to break through reflections and ambient light.
The improvement in average picture brightness is most noticeable in the Standard and Eco picture settings. These come with TruMotion in their Natural setting and are ideal for both afternoon television and evening dramas.
The much-touted brightness-boosting technology used here certainly makes a significant difference in HDR performance as well. The Brightness Booster has no hardware component on this model (it's reserved for the LG G2, which can go much brighter), but it works its magic with some clever algorithms.
The Alpha 9 Gen 5 CPU can analyse images in real-time, determining where they are brighter and darker. The system then intelligently directs energy to increase the brighter portions of the image.
When it comes to movies, I think the set's Cinema Home mode is the greatest choice. I believe it provides a more punchy approach to movies than the Filmmaker mode, which sometimes appear a little flat with enhanced mid-tone brightness. There's a Cinematic Movement TruMotion preset that goes well with it.
Natural, Smooth Movement (for sports), and a user-adjustable preset with customizable de-judder and de-blur are among the other image smoothing settings.
(Image credit: LG)
The colour fidelity in its different Cinema modes is great, but if you want to see the set at its most outrageous, try the Vivid option. Greens and reds are boosted to nearly comical extremes. Despite LG's claims that it has reduced colour surplus, it's simply too oversaturated to watch for the live-action videos. You will undoubtedly enjoy the Cinema mode's balance and realism later.
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The model supports a wide range of HDR formats, including Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HLG, but not HDR10+ dynamic metadata, which is preferred by Amazon Prime Video.
Peak HDR performance is excellent. Using the Standard image preset, the C2 achieves HDR peaks of up to 810 nits right out of the box. That's a significant improvement over the LG C1's 750 nits - while the LG G2 can reach 950 nits. Full-field white screens are also noticeably brighter than those on the predecessor.
However, for these brightness measures, we're talking about the 65-inch model. Unfortunately, the 48-inch and 42-inch models do not contain the increased brightness technology, so expect brightness on par with the LG C1. That's still extremely respectable, but there's no denying that the 55-inch and larger LG C2 models pack significantly more HDR punch.
LG C2 REVIEW: SOUND QUALITY
The LG C2 lacks an immersive speaker array like the Samsung QN95B, but it performs a surprisingly good job with what it has.
When you enable AI Sound Pro (during the first setup), the TV's presentation gains a level of sonic brilliance. Audio appears to be projected forward from the screen rather than routed down from the set's base (which is where the speakers actually are). Most people would prefer this method of listening, at least when not using one of the finest soundbars for LG TVs.
Choose Standard mode if you wish to hear audio without any surround effects or voice enhancement.
Plan to add one of the top soundbars or surround sound systems to get the most of Dolby Atmos content — you won't get much of a spatial audio effect from the TV without one.
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LG C2 REVIEW: DESIGN & USABILITY
(Image credit: LG)
The LG C2 is incredibly thin and light, thanks to a material modification that adds stiffness to the back panel without adding weight. The panel itself has a whisper thin border, so there isn't much to distract you from the photos. The screen is supported by a central pedestal, which I believe looks far better than the wide lip employed last year. It's also more practical for supporting AV furniture.
In addition to the four HDMI 2.1 connections (HDMI 2 is HDMI ARC/eARC ready), there's an optical digital audio output, Ethernet, and Wi-Fi.
The television has a terrestrial aerial input, which is supported by Freeview Play for UK buyers, as well as a generic satellite tuner.
LG's Magic remote control has also shrunk. It feels more like a traditional wand in the hand, although it still employs LG's cursor-based pointing mechanism. Netflix, Disney+, Rakuten TV, and Prime Video have their own buttons on the remote.
The TV is also Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa compatible. These smart assistants, which operate in unison with LG's ThinQ smart platform, let you change channels, search for content, and control smart home devices with voice queries.
LG has modified the full-screen webOS software to incorporate Profiles for family members, promising more personalised curation for each unique person based on the numerous services you use. It's also generally pretty quick to use. If you're one of the rare people who isn't concerned about energy expenditures right now, there's a new Always Ready option that allows the set to display digital art when in Standby mode.
LG C2 REVIEW: VERDICT
(Image credit: LG)
LG has been able to achieve a new level of picture performance with the C2 OLED... at sizes of 55 inches and up... thanks to its brighter panel and all-new Alpha 9 Gen 5 CPU. Images in 4K resolution are polished and fluid, with a noticeable dynamic range, and upscaling has never looked finer. Simply, this is a beautiful show to watch.
When you combine this visual prowess with an incredible feature set, like Game Optimizer for next-generation gamers, you have a screen with massive appeal. Seeing one makes you want one.
It's excellent that LG has debuted the 42-inch OLED for the first time, and this will definitely be a fantastic choice for bedrooms and offices – especially for gaming aficionados because all HDMI 2.1 functions are still available. However, keep in mind that the 42-inch and 48-inch models lack the extra brightness and hence receive less praise from us.
It also means that, while we can accept the higher price of the LG C2 at launch compared to the C1 for versions with a brighter screen, it's more difficult to swallow for smaller models with no corresponding picture quality leap.