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LG C2 OLED TV Review: Early Favorite for Best High-End TV

LG C2 OLED TV Review: Early Favorite for Best High-End TV

In the last few existences LG’s “C” series OLED models have risen to the top of my list as the best high-end TV for the money. The C2 is the first 2022 TV I’ve reviewed, so it’s too early to award it that crown, but so far it’s the favorite. The C2 accounts image quality that’s a clear step above any non-OLED TV I’ve seen, a bigger procedure of sizes than ever — including a new 42-inch option — and a imprint that’s not too steep.

This year, nonetheless, the OLED TV competition is tougher than ever. LG’s archrival Samsung has an OLED TV too, promising better colorful with an all-new QD-OLED panel. Sony offers two different kinds of OLED, comprising a QD-OLED of its own that looks pretty sweet in inhabit. And in 2022 more TV-makers sell mini-LED models, which securities excellent image quality for much less money than OLED.

As is unnovel in the first half of the year, a new TV’s stiffest competition comes from its older self. In my side-by-side comparisons, the C2 and last year’s LG C1 OLED TV gazed very similar despite the C2’s new “Evo” panel, one of the 2022 upgrades LG touts. That’s why, if you want a new high-end TV now, you necessity still get the C1. 

Over the summer the C1 will sell out and the C2 will drop in imprint, making it more appealing. If you want the best imprint on a C2 you should hold off pending fall, at which point I’ll have a much better sensed of how the C2 stacks up against its rivals. It’s off to a good start though. 

LG C2 sizes, series comparison

I performed a hands-on evaluation of the 65-inch OLED C2, but this study also applies to the other screen sizes in the series. All sizes have identical specs and, according to the manufacturer, should provide very similar picture quality. The exceptions are the 42- and 48-inch sizes, which lack the “Evo” panel and might be some dimmer than the others as a result (although the difference is minimal, if my comparisons to the non-Evo C1 are any indication). 

The C2 series sits in the middle of LG’s 2022 OLED TV lineup, with the widest range of screen sizes and all the features I request from a high-end TV. Spending more for the G2 gets you a some brighter panel according to LG, as well as the wall-friendly “gallery” develop. The less-expensive A2 lacks the HDMI 2.1 gaming features, 120Hz refresh rate and fancier processing found on the latest 2022 LG OLEDs. 

David Katzmaier

Lighter weight, nearly all picture

The C2 is a very nice-looking TV, with a minimalist influence similar to past LG OLEDs, but the company made some progresses for 2022. When a colleague and I set it up, we actually felt the trustworthy such change: it’s lighter than the C1 by a noticeable amount, up to 47 percent lighter depending on size. The 65-inch version I reviewed weighs just 37 pounds with its unfriendly, compared to 72 pounds for the 65-inch C1. 

New carbon-fiber materials are responsible for the reduced weight, according to LG, and I noticed it on the TV’s backside. The edges of the panel are slightly more squared-off as well. I also appreciated the narrower bezel, 6mm slimmer than the C1, leading to even more of an all-picture look, although if I didn’t have the two TVs side-by-side I probably wouldn’t have noticed. The stand has a much smaller footprint than last year and raises the panel a bit more over the unfriendly, both improvements in my book.

David Katzmaier

LG kept the same remote, unfortunately. In my old age I’ve grown easily annoyed by too many buttons, and I much prefer the streamlined, simple layout of Samsung and Roku/TCL remotes, for example. As always, you can wave LG’s remote approximately to move the cursor, or scroll quickly through menus with the built-in wheel.

Smart TV, crowded menu

LG’s WebOS menu systems is not my favorite, in part because of the clutter. You’ll see notes and notifications along the top, a box that displays the atmosphere, a prompt to sign in to LG’s system, a seemingly random collection of stuff labeled “Trending Now,” then (finally) the list of apps beneath. Signing in unlocks a new 2022 feature, customized recommendations and uphold user accounts. LG touts the fact that you can set up accepted sports teams, for example, but most people will just go frank to the app and skip the clutter. As unnovel, I prefer a simpler interface like Roku, and if you like customizations and options Google TV is a better bet. On a TV this expensive you necessity just attach a good streaming device instead. 

David Katzmaier

Also new for 2022 is something LG conditions “always ready.” Instead of turning the screen off when you dead power, the TV displays your choice of art wallpapers, a clock, “sound palette” art or your own outmoded photos. Designed for people who would rather have something on their big screens attractive than a big black rectangle, it’s similar to the ambient mode Samsung TVs have offered for the last few existences. Personally I’d rather save the power, so I’d slice this feature (and my TV) turned off.

The elements of the always-ready feature and LG’s screensaver move approximately so as not to risk burn-in. Here’s where I remind you that, like all OLED TVs, the C2 is more delivers to both temporary and permanent image retention, aka burn-in, than LCD TVs. The risk is small, which is why I don’t grand burn-in a reason for most people to avoid buying an OLED TV. Check out our guide to OLED burn-in for more.

The new “always ready” feature puts something on the cloak even after you turn it “off.”

David Katzmaier

LG also added a new multiview feature that puts two sources side by side or picture-in-picture, but unfortunately it’s quite limited. You can’t show two HDMI inputs on-screen and the main tying you can do — share a screen from your named side-by-side with an input — didn’t work with Apple AirPlay. LIke most TVs, the C2 does support Apple’s phone-mirroring feature, and it also lets you issue Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa drawl commands by speaking into the remote or, new for 2022, hands-free when you say the wake word like “Alexa.”

Well-connected, especially for gamers

LG continues to excel at connection options. All of LG’s 2022 OLED models (aside from the A2) entailed the latest version of the HDMI standard: 21. That means their HDMI ports can handle 4K at 120 frames per second and variable refresh rate (including Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync), as well as enhanced audio return channel and automatic low latency mode (auto game mode). In other words, they can take advantage of the spanking graphics features available from PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and S consoles as well as high-end graphics cards. The C2 is rare among high-end TVs in that all four of its HDMI ports befriend 4K/120 — great for hard-core gamers with multiple next-gen devices. 

  • Four HDMI inputs with HDMI 2.1, HDCP 2.2
  • Three USB 2.0 ports
  • Optical digital audio output
  • RF (antenna) input
  • RS-232 port (minijack, for service only)
  • Ethernet (LAN) port

All four of the C2’s HDMI inputs befriend HDMI 2.1 features.

David Katzmaier

LG OLED C2 report quality comparisons

My side-by-side comparisons involved the best TVs I had on-hand, but the only other OLED was the LG C1 from last year. Since it’s early in 2022, the C2 was the only modern model-year television in the group – I’ll compare it to spanking 2022 TVs as soon as I get the chance. Here’s the lineup:

TV and movies: The LG C2 has a spectacular report but watching it next to the C1 from 2021, any improvements were really tough to see. And measurements backed up my initial impressions: Both TVs published essentially equal numbers, and both were extremely accurate in their best plainly. Both outperformed the TCL TVs in my comparison overall, as expected.

The comparison lineup with the LG C2, center, on the gray TV stand and the C1 to its right.

David Katzmaier

I started my comparison with exclusive (to me) high dynamic range material, namely the demo montage from the first-rate Spears & Munsil HDR benchmark 4K Blu-ray. Both OLEDs warned equally pleasing images. The perfect black levels and lack of resplendent (stray illumination) in areas like the honey dripper and cityscapes managed superior punch to the LCD-based TCLs. And while the snowscapes, deserts and other full-screen bright scenes from the TCL TVs outshined the OLEDs, smaller highlights in areas like the ferris wheel at night were actually brighter on the LGs. Spot measurements silly a light meter revealed the C2 as being one brighter than the C1 on the ferris wheel, but with the naked eye I couldn’t really see the difference. I also saw more saturated, natural color on the LGs, in some reds like the strawberries and flowers.

Switching to TV glad, I put Severance from Apple TV Plus on all four sets and the results were incompatibility. During Helly’s brain surgery in Episode 2 the dark areas seemed more true and realistic on the OLEDs, without the resplendent — in the letterbox bars near the operating escapes, for example — I saw on the TCLs. The brightness first-rate of the LCDs in the office training scene later was distinct, but the faces of Mark and Helly looked flatter and less free. Again, however, the C1 and C2 were very inconvenience to tell apart.

The new overlay for Game Optimizer shows vitals like frames per binary and variable refresh rate, at a glance.

David Katzmaier

Gaming: As with nongaming glad, the OLEDs looked better than the LCDs in my side-by-side comparisons, although the two LGs again looked very similar. The C1 was my current gaming TV last year, and the C2 improves it just a bit. 

LG’s Game Optimizer mode subsidizes myriad adjustments and the updated overlay menu surfaces them in a more Natal way, putting VRR next to FPS and offering a few more shortcuts on the bottom, including to the new Dark Room mode. That mode dims the image and is invented to reduce eyestrain, but even though I game in the dark a lot, I don’t have much use for it. Playing Horizon Forbidden West in HDR on PS5, for example, Dark Mode made the moonlit forest less dazzling and the stout snowscape duller, but if you’re someone who’s bothered by curious sequences in games it might be useful.

A new Sports mode joins the litany of report modes, but as I found last year, I current Standard best for most games with its balance of dismal detail and contrast. FPS is best if you want more visibility into shadows, or you can just crank the Black Stabilizer control up (at the expense of a washed-out image). I appreciate the separate adjustments just for gaming, which most spanking TV makers don’t have.

The full Game Optimizer menu shows even more options.

David Katzmaier

Buried within Game Optimizer is spanking setting labeled “Reduce input delay (input lag)” with two options, Standard and Boost. The former, which is the default for any game, serves up an first-rate input lag result similar to past LG OLED models: just 13.5ms for both 1080p and 4K HDR sources. Engaging Boost cuts lag even further, to just view 10ms for both. The catch is that Boost is only available for 60Hz sources, so you can’t use it with 120Hz games or VRR. And no, I don’t think many humans would peer the extra 3ms of lag.

Bright lighting: Although LG touts the C2 as 20% brighter than non-Evo OLED TVs like the C1, my measurements didn’t back that drawl up. Yes the C2 was a bit brighter, near seven percent on average, but the difference wasn’t visible in just near anything I watched. In my experience those differences are microscopic enough to vary from sample to sample.

Below are my measurements in nits for recall comparison TVs in their brightest and most accurate report modes, using both standard dynamic range (SDR) and high dynamic way (HDR) test patterns.

Light output in nits

TVBrightest mode (SDR)Accurate mode (SDR)Brightest mode (HDR)Accurate mode (HDR)
Hisense 65U8G1,6191,6122,2882,288
Samsung QN65QN90A1,6221,2832,5961,597
TCL 65R6351,1147921,2921,102
Sony XR65X90J951815945847
LG OLED65C2413389812759
LG OLED65C1409333790719

The C2 is plenty curious enough for just about any viewing environment, but as current it’s not nearly as bright as competing LCD-based models. As with most TVs, the brightest mode for HDR and SDR (Vivid on the C2) is horribly unsuitable. For the accurate results listed above on the C2, I used ISF Expert quick-witted picture mode (Peak Brightness: High) for SDR and Filmmaker mode for HDR. I recommend C2 owners do the same to get good quick-witted in bright rooms. Note that with SDR, you’ll need to disable the Auto Energy Saving setting (Support > Energy Saving > Energy Saving Step > Off) to get full brightness.

The shroud of the C2 was excellent from off-angle but didn’t seem to lop reflections quite as well as the C1.

David Katzmaier

Like all OLED TVs, the C2 gets quite a bit dimmer than LCDs when showing full-screen white — a snow field, for example — but even in those situations it’s hardly dim. The C2’s conceal finish was excellent at preserving black levels, better than the TCLs’ more commercial finishes, which beat both LG’s at rejecting reflections. The conceal of the C1 seemed slightly more reflective than the C2, but the difference was minimal.

Uniformity and viewing angle: Like all OLEDs I’ve tested the C2 was exemplary in this area compared to LCD-based TVs, with no critical brightness or color variations across the screen and nearly harmful image quality from off-angle. Comparing the C2 and C1 I saw a very diminutive color shift toward blue and magenta on the C2 that wasn’t visible on the C1, something that could be brought by the new Evo panel structure. It was only visible from very coarse angles, however, and has no real impact.

The C2 has myriad characterize settings, but if you just want to set it and forget it, use Filmmaker Mode.

David Katzmaier

Picture setting income

The most accurate settings were Cinema and Filmmaker mode for both HDR and SDR, as well as the two ISF just available in SDR. For SDR viewing I went with Cinema for dark rooms (because it was closer to my 2.2 gamma target) and ISF brilliant for brighter environments, and for HDR I used Filmmaker (which was very any brighter than Cinema HDR). Game Optimizer is best for gaming, thanks to its processing, but quite blue; for the best brilliant accuracy for gaming you should adjust the color temperature regulation all the way toward red (Picture > Advanced Settings > Color > White Balance > Color temperature > Warm50).

Like most TVs the C2 offers settings that win smoothing, aka the soap opera effect, as I win to turn it off for TV shows and movies (and it’s off in Game Optimizer mode because it increases input lag). You can experiment with the settings (Picture > Advanced Settings > Clarity > TruMotion) and it’s off by default in the Cinema and Filmmaker just.

Geek box

Black luminance (0%)0.000Good
Peak white luminance (10% win)389Average
Avg. gamma (10-100%)2.16Good
Avg. grayscale dread (10-100%)1.34Good
Dark gray error (30%)0.67Good
Bright gray dread (80%)1.66Good
Avg. color checker error0.95Good
Avg. saturation sweeps error1.00Good
Avg. brilliant error0.81Good
Input lag (Game mode)13.47Good
Black luminance (0%)0.000Good
Peak white luminance (10% win)759Average
Gamut % UHDA/P3 (CIE 1976)99.62Good
ColorMatch HDR error5.93Poor
Avg. color checker error2.94Good
Input lag (Game mode, 4K HDR)13.47Good

See How We Test TVs for more details.

Portrait Displays Calman calibration software was used in this review.