LG C2 OLED TV evaluation: you possibly can’t go fallacious

Read Time:12 Minute, 38 Second

2022-11-13 14:00:00

LG’s C2 OLED is a very spectacular 4K TV that gives impeccable image high quality and best-in-class gaming efficiency. Although the higher-tier and dearer G2 is LG’s flagship and gives a brighter show, the C2 is simpler in your pockets and nonetheless delivers a viewing expertise that may wow anybody sitting in your lounge. 

I reviewed the 65-inch C2, which prices $2,499 however is routinely on sale for a lot much less. Because of these frequent reductions, the C-series has established itself because the candy spot of LG’s lineup, and this feature-packed TV showcases the whole lot the corporate has realized after years of producing OLED units. You possibly can depend on an engrossing picture with unmatched blacks, placing distinction, and a shocking degree of depth. There’s been a whole lot of buzz this yr concerning the arrival of QD-OLED TVs, and whereas they do supply some noticeable image advantages, the primary units from Samsung and Sony are pricier than the C2 — and neither can match LG’s complete gaming chops.

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However one of many most important enhancements that LG has made to the C2 shall be apparent lengthy earlier than you energy it on. Essentially the most notable factor about this TV’s design is simply how remarkably gentle it’s. By switching to composite fiber supplies, LG has decreased the heft in a giant manner. The 65-inch mannequin I’ve been testing weighs 40.8 kilos with the stand or 36.6 kilos with out. Stack that up in opposition to final yr’s model, which got here in at 71.9 kilos with the stand hooked up or 52.9 kilos with out, and the distinction is substantial. You’ll nonetheless need a serving to hand when unboxing and organising one of many larger-sized C2s, however that’s actually solely due to the display screen’s width; the burden is solely manageable now. The pedestal stand can also be now lighter, narrower, and appreciably taller; my Sonos soundbar partially obstructed the display screen with my previous CX, however that’s not an issue due to this stand’s further clearance. 

How can a premium TV weigh so little?

A TV’s weight is the form of factor you would possibly by no means take into consideration once more after placing it on a media stand or mounting it, however the decreased heft ought to make for much less pressure in your wall within the latter state of affairs. Above all else, it’s simply spectacular engineering and a welcome change after years of weighty OLEDs that additionally occurred to be very fragile. That mixture typically proved aggravating, however the C2 felt a lot simpler to unbox and maneuver by comparability. It is available in sizes starting from 42 inches ($1,399) all the way in which as much as a gargantuan 83-inch mannequin ($5,499). Once more, all of them are frequently on sale for considerably much less. Regardless of how huge or small you go, the TVs share the identical options, and all have 4 HDMI ports.

You’re not going to be paying any consideration to the C2’s skinny bezels.

Elsewhere, the C2 takes after its glossy predecessors in general design, however there are nonetheless noticeable upgrades. LG has managed to shave down the bezels to the purpose that they’re practically imperceptible when the TV is powered on, maintaining you absolutely immersed in no matter’s on the display screen — be {that a} film, recreation, or these beautiful Apple TV screensavers that may typically steal my consideration for minutes at a time. The shiny glass panel could be vulnerable to distracting reflections relying on the time of day or the place the TV is positioned in a room; I missed the anti-glare coating of the TCL 6-Collection and different TVs at occasions. However when the viewing situations are proper, LG’s chosen supplies solely improve the richness and punch of the TV’s picture. 

A photo of LG’s C2 with a painting on the screen.

The C2 has impeccable distinction and a shocking quantity of depth to its picture.

As for the HDMI ports, all 4 are able to 120Hz 4K gaming and the entire array of HDMI 2.1 options. It’s good not having to be so treasured about which system will get plugged into what port. Clearly, you’ll need to guarantee your soundbar is operating by means of the eARC HDMI port, however the remaining present ample flexibility. LG has been doing this for years, and whereas some TV makers are lastly catching up and going full-bandwidth on each HDMI port, others like Hisense and TCL nonetheless restrict a few of the most essential options (like 120Hz) to 2 ports as an alternative of the whole thing.

Change on the C2 utilizing LG’s Magic Movement distant — sure, you possibly can nonetheless use it like a Wii wand controller with movement controls in order for you — and also you’re greeted by the most recent model of webOS. The corporate’s TV software program switched to a full “homescreen” expertise a pair years in the past that’s extra akin to Samsung’s Tizen and Vizio’s Smartcast OS. I most well-liked the much less busy lower-third “blades” interface of older LGs, however I can’t fault the corporate for getting with the occasions. Navigating round webOS on the C2 is clean and responsive, whether or not you’re searching apps on the homescreen, utilizing options like AirPlay 2, or toggling on good lights by means of the House Dashboard.

A photo of the remote control for LG’s C2 OLED TV.

The distant hasn’t modified a lot; you need to use the buttons or level it on the TV for an on-screen cursor. Backlit buttons could be good.

Sadly, webOS has grown very busy, bloated, and random in its present state. Are there a whole lot of options? Certain. The C2 helps Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and LG’s personal voice assistant, as only one instance. AirPlay 2 and HomeKit are additionally in there. However LG is attempting to do an excessive amount of, and all of it feels messy. The highest of the homescreen has seen some iteration and experimentation over the previous couple of months, none of which has resulted in a lot progress. Initially, it was a hodgepodge of climate, ideas for utilizing the TV’s options, and advertisements.

LG’s newest tackle webOS feels haphazard and too ad-heavy

Now there’s only a large “webOS” emblem within the high banner taking on a ton of room. Beneath which might be trending suggestions combined with blatant advertisements. Subsequent is the App Listing — the part you’ll probably use most frequently — after which the House Dashboard, which mixes HDMI inputs and good house system controls in the identical row. After that, it’s row after row of forgettable cruft, and the general expertise feels thrown collectively and convoluted. Why is a complete row on the homescreen devoted to the built-in internet browser that I’ll by no means open? If I’ve no real interest in LG’s sports activities alert carousel, there’s no strategy to cover or take away it; the most effective I can do is transfer it additional down the display screen. Even within the Apps Listing row, which is customizable, lots of LG’s apps can’t be eliminated. After which there are repetitive rows of urged content material, a few of them solely that includes three or 4 gadgets. There’s little rhyme or motive, and I’d like to see LG rein a few of this in and provides webOS higher focus and objective in its subsequent lineup of TVs. However I’m not optimistic.

A photo of ads on the LG C2 OLED TV.

Life could be higher with out so many homescreen advertisements, LG.

A photo of the different homescreen sections on LG’s C2 OLED TV.

None of those sections could be hidden or deleted. You possibly can solely rearrange them.

Fortunately, the TV’s precise settings menus stay much like previous years and are simple sufficient to seek out what you’re in search of. By default, LG permits energy-saving options that may dim the display screen and maintain the C2 from wanting its best possible, so you’ll need to flip these off as you discover the totally different image modes and different settings. And if the haphazard structure or advertisements of webOS’ homescreen get in your nerves, you possibly can all the time hook up a streaming participant from Apple, Roku, Amazon, or Google and largely ignore the TV’s software program past the essential menus.

However let me let you know: you’ll immediately overlook any quibbles with the C2’s homescreen or default settings when you begin watching a film or TV. Merely put, that is the most effective image high quality you will get for the value. With HDR peaking at barely over 800 nits, the C2 is perceptibly brighter than final yr’s C1 (and definitely the CX I owned beforehand), even when it’s no match for Mini LED TVs like the TCL 6-Collection and up to date Hisense units like the blindingly brilliant U8H. In case your lounge catches a ton of daylight, it’d make sense to go together with these alternate options — or one of many QD-OLEDs I discussed earlier, since their improved colour brightness could make the entire picture appear extra radiant. LG’s flagship G2 additionally ups the overall brightness past what the C2 is able to with the assistance of an built-in heatsink.

A photo of the LG C2 OLED TV’s settings screen on the energy saving menu.

You’ll need to flip off a few of LG’s default settings to get the most effective image high quality.

So it’s not going to win out in each state of affairs, however the C2 by no means left me wanting for extra. It makes good on the dazzling distinction and inky blacks that OLEDs have lengthy been identified for. Colours are vibrant with out going overboard, and HDR highlights pop with assist for Dolby Imaginative and prescient IQ, HDR10, and HGiG. Watching High Gun: Maverick on this factor is a particular expertise. 

However there’s extra to it than that. I’ve been genuinely impressed by how a lot depth and dimensionality the C2’s image supplies. I feel this comes all the way down to the way in which LG’s Alpha 9 Gen 5 chip separates the foreground topic from the background and optimizes the picture processing of each. Previously, I’ve dismissed this form of factor as a advertising gimmick, however I’m offered on it right here. It’s not 3D by any stretch; the impact is delicate however provides simply that little bit further to the C2’s video constancy. The short response time of OLED panels can produce judder when watching films and different 24fps content material. If you happen to’re delicate to that type of factor, LG’s Cinematic Motion toggle does a very good job of smoothing issues out with out leaning too exhausting into the cleaning soap opera impact.

Conform to Proceed: LG C2 OLED TV

Each good system now requires you to conform to a collection of phrases and situations earlier than you need to use it — contracts that nobody truly reads. It’s unimaginable for us to learn and analyze each single one in all these agreements. However we’re going to begin counting precisely what number of occasions it’s important to hit “agree” to make use of units after we evaluation them since these are agreements most individuals don’t learn and positively can’t negotiate.

To make use of the LG C2, you need to conform to the next throughout setup:

There are a number of non-compulsory agreements as properly. You possibly can learn all of them on LG’s web site right here. They embody:

  • Viewing data settlement (covers viewing data and system knowledge assortment)
  • Voice data settlement (required to make use of voice controls)
  • Curiosity-based and cross-device promoting settlement
  • Who.The place.What? person settlement (content material discovery providers)
  • Facet privateness coverage (computerized content material recognition)
  • LG Channels person settlement

The ultimate tally is 2 obligatory agreements and as much as six non-compulsory ones.

I don’t know many individuals who splurge on an OLED TV solely to depend on its built-in audio system, but when you end up with no soundbar or encompass system for some time, the C2’s audio output is best than tolerable. The corporate makes use of some AI methods to take care of good stability at reasonable quantity ranges, however don’t anticipate a lot in the way in which of bass. These audio system are high-quality as a stopgap, however you’ll need to pair the C2 with a greater sound system to deliver its audio expertise as much as par with its visible one. 

A photo of LG’s C2 OLED TV playing Grand Theft Auto V with the gaming shortcuts bar displayed on the screen.

The C2 is maybe the most effective gaming TV in the marketplace in 2022.

While you jump over to a gaming console, LG routinely acknowledges the {hardware}. Urgent the settings button on the distant brings up a gaming dashboard that shows the present body fee, permits you to dial in granular black degree changes, or select from image presets primarily based on the style of the sport you’re taking part in. The C2 reveals splendidly low enter lag throughout all of its HDMI ports, and LG stands alone in supporting Dolby Imaginative and prescient gaming along with each incarnation of VRR you could possibly need, together with AMD FreeSync Premium, Nvidia G-Sync, and the open commonplace model. This TV is an ideal match for the PS5 and Xbox Collection X and might get probably the most from this era of consoles. Once more, different TVs can go brighter, however the gaming expertise isn’t all the time as constant. Samsung has had some firmware rising pains with its S95B QD-OLED this yr which have at occasions negatively affected brightness and gaming / VRR efficiency.

LG’s C2 is an exceptional TV, and as we enter the vacation season, it’s already being discounted into very tempting territory at many retailers. However you can even nonetheless discover huge financial savings on final yr’s C1, and there’s not a ton separating the 2. The C2 will get barely brighter and gives smoother day-to-day efficiency, however lots of its finest attributes could be present in final yr’s mannequin. LG is dealing with spectacular competitors from Samsung and Sony within the OLED TV area, however it’s nonetheless the heavyweight on this market with years of experience. The C2 is all of that distilled into a wonderful, versatile, and shockingly gentle rectangle. You will get an excellent TV for lots of much less, however few are as uncompromising. 

Images by Chris Welch / The Verge



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