Hey there! Looking for an in-depth review of LG‘s 2021 C1 OLED 4K smart TV? You‘ve come to the right place. I recently got my hands on the 65-inch model and have put it through its paces to see if it lives up to the hype. I‘ll be sharing my experiences across all areas – picture quality, gaming performance, design, audio, smart features, and more.
Whether you‘re considering the C1 as your next TV upgrade or just want to geek out over its tech specs, this guide has you covered. Let‘s dive in!
Overview – LG‘s Stunning OLED Display Tech
First, a quick rundown of what makes OLED TVs like the C1 special. They use self-emitting pixels that can turn on and off individually. This gives OLED TVs a couple big advantages over regular LED TVs:
Perfect blacks – With OLED, pixels can be completely turned off to achieve inky, infinite blacks since there is no backlight. This results in infinite contrast ratios and adds depth to images.
Wider viewing angles – OLED screens maintain color accuracy and contrast at wider angles compared to LED TVs where colors wash out. Great for watching at an angle!
Thin profiles – Without a backlight, OLED TVs can be super thin with slim bezels. The C1 is only about 1/4" thick!
Now let‘s see how LG‘s latest generation OLED tech performs on the C1…
Picture Quality – Stunning OLED Colors and Contrast
Simply put, the picture quality on the LG C1 is incredible. 4K movies and shows look jaw-droppingly good with perfect black levels and vibrant, accurate colors. High dynamic range (HDR) content really shines (quite literally) with intense highlight details.
Dark scenes maintain shadow detail thanks to the pixel-level dimming rather than the zones of LED TVs. Fast motion is also extremely smooth and blur-free on the C1.
Comparing the C1 directly to the Samsung QN90A Neo QLED TV, the LG has noticeably better contrast and black levels due to OLED. But the Samsung gets a bit brighter on HDR highlights.
The Sony A90J OLED is very comparable to the C1 in terms of picture but costs $300+ more for a 65" model. Overall, the LG C1 stands out as the best bang-for-your-buck high-end TV for sheer picture performance.
Some key display specs on the 65" LG C1:
- 4K Ultra HD (3840 x 2160)
- OLED Panel
- 120Hz native refresh rate
- Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLG support
- Infite contrast ratio
- DCI-P3 98.5% wide color gamut
- Peak brightness over 800 nits (over 1000 nits with HDR)
- AI 4K Upscaling
No matter what you watch on the C1, you are getting LG‘s most advanced OLED TV display technology that delivers stunning image quality.
Gaming – Next-Level Performance with HDMI 2.1
Gamers, listen up because the LG C1 has cutting-edge gaming features that make it an absolute powerhouse gaming TV.
With four HDMI 2.1 ports, you can game in 4K resolution at silky smooth 120Hz frame rates. That‘s a huge upgrade from the 60Hz 4K limit of last-gen HDMI ports. This gives a much more responsive, fluid gaming experience.
You‘ll be able to max out the visual settings in your favorite games and make the most of top-end GPUs like the Nvidia RTX 3080 and AMD RX 6800 XT. These HDMI ports also support VRR (variable refresh rate) and ALLM (auto low latency mode).
Input lag measures an extremely low 13ms which is practically instantaneous compared to most TVs. Serious competitive gamers will appreciate this responsiveness. Casual gamers get a noticeably smoother experience as well.
The C1 is also certified for AMD FreeSync Premium and Nvidia G-Sync ensuring you avoid annoying screen tearing and stuttering during fast-paced action.
Bottom line – the LG C1 is ready for the highest performance next-gen gaming with stunning visuals and incredibly fluid motion. Your games will look and play better than ever before.
Design – Sleek and Minimalist
Moving beyond the inner tech, LG also nailed the design with the C1 series. This TV pulls off a sleek, understated look that blends into any living room.
The display is only ~1/4" thick with slim bezels around the top and sides. There‘s just a small LG logo along the bottom. The included stand has a small footprint as well so you can easily place it on a credenza or table.
The back has a clean, minimalist look with only a few ports and inputs centered in the recessed connection area. All-in-all, the C1 sports a sophisticated, high-end design that looks fantastic in any room.
In terms of build quality, the C1 feels very sturdy with metal used for the stand and rear cover. The ultra thin display panel is fragile so you‘ll want to be careful moving it, but normal use poses no issues.
Audio – Big Sound from a Thin TV
Despite its thin profile, the LG C1 can kick out some impressive audio thanks to powerful downward-firing speakers. You get a nice sense of immersion with the virtual surround sound effects and Dolby Atmos height cues.
LG includes AI Sound Pro processing that analyzes the content and automatically adjusts audio settings for the best experience. Voices come through clearly and you get satisfying bass punch on explosions and action scenes.
That said, the built-in speakers still can‘t match the full surround sound performance of a dedicated sound bar. I‘d recommend budgeting for a sound bar upgrade to get room-filling audio. But for everyday TV watching, the C1 speakers are very capable.
Key audio specs:
- 40 W power output
- 2.2 channel speakers
- Dolby Atmos decoding
- AI Sound Pro
- Bluetooth audio playback
So while a soundbar is recommended for the full home theater effect, the C1 offers some of the best sound you‘ll find built into such a thin premium TV.
Smart TV Features – Intuitive webOS Platform
LG‘s webOS smart TV software provides a smooth streaming experience on the C1 with quick access to all popular streaming apps. The interface focuses on content first rather than apps, which I really like.
Recently watched shows and movies are front and center when you turn it on. You can quickly pick up where you left off rather than hunting for the specific app you were using.
You‘ll have immediate access to Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, Prime Video, Apple TV, and all the major services. Support for the latest formats like Dolby Vision and Atmos ensures you get the highest streaming quality.
Voice search via the LG Magic Remote works well for finding content across apps and services. And you can use Alexa or Google Assistant if you have an external device like an Echo Dot or Nest device connected.
While webOS may not be as sophisticated as Android TV, I‘ve found it to be very intuitive and smooth during my time with the C1. Most buyers should have no issues streaming their favorites shows.
AI Picture and Sound
LG packs some nice AI processing features into the C1 that help optimize both the picture and sound quality.
For the display, LG‘s AI Picture Pro technology uses deep learning AI to analyze content on the fly and make adjustments for the best image. This helps boost picture quality across all sources from streaming apps to game consoles and more.
On the audio side, AI Sound Pro provides virtual 5.1.2 channel surround sound so shows and movies sound spacious and lifelike. Tweaks to frequency response and volume balancing help compensate for the C1‘s slim profile and downward-firing speakers.
You also have different presets like Cinema, Sports, and Game to tailor the experience for what you‘re watching. LG‘s AI tech aims to do the audio/video fine-tuning for you.
Additional C1 Features and Capabilities
Here are some other great features and capabilities available on LG‘s C1 OLED TV:
- Excellent off-angle viewing with reduced color shifting
- Multiple sizes available from 48" up to 83" for massive OLED
- Auto Low Latency Mode quickly switches to low lag game mode
- Black frame insertion for smooth, clear motion
- Filmmaker Mode switches off extra processing for purist viewing
- Dolby Vision IQ matches Dolby Vision to ambient room lighting
- Built-in Google Assistant and Alexa control
- Apple AirPlay 2 support
- Works with LG‘s gallery-style wall mount
No matter what you‘re looking for in a premium smart TV, the LG C1 aims to deliver a best-in-class viewing experience.
Final Verdict – Worth Buying for a Stunning OLED TV
After extensively testing the 65" LG C1 OLED, I can confidently say it‘s one of the best premium TVs available in 2021. The picture quality is simply unmatched with perfect blacks and vibrant HDR. Gaming feels extremely responsive thanks to the HDMI 2.1 ports and low lag. And webOS provides great smart TV usability.
Compared to other OLED options, the C1 generally costs less than competitors from Sony and Vizio with comparable performance. If you want amazing OLED but also want to save some money, LG is the way to go.
For shoppers that don‘t require OLED contrast and can tolerate slightly worse viewing angles, the Samsung QN90A Neo QLED provides nearly as good picture quality for less cost. But the C1 is the superior overall package.
So if you want an exceptional 4K smart TV that will deliver many years of stunning viewing, the LG C1 OLED fits the bill perfectly. The mix of premium features and reasonable price make it easy to recommend. Let me know if you have any other questions!