The LG OLED C1 55-Inch TV Has Been My Perfect Lockdown Companion

Melbourne is smack bang in the middle of its sixth lockdown, which means I’ve spent a probably unhealthy amount of time on my couch and quite literally jumped at the opportunity to review LG’s C1 OLED 55-inch TV.

And let me tell you, this TV has been an absolute delight for my weekend binge-watching.

© Provided by Gizmodo Australia Lead

LG OLED C1 55-inch

WHAT IS IT?

LG’s self-lit OLED TV

PRICE

$2,877

LIKE

Great picture. Great upscaling. Virtually no light bleeding.

NO LIKE

Difficult to set up on your own. OS feels filled with stuff you won’t use just for the sake of it. Glare.

Set Up And Quality Of Life

Straight out of the box, this is a very nice TV. It’s ultra thin, like… paper thin and feels very luxurious. At $2,877, I expected luxury, and upon first glance, the C1 delivered. But I must admit, it was quite a task to set up.

I hate to start this on a bad note, but I have to admit — this TV is really hard to set up on your own.

While I love the paper-thin design, it makes it extremely hard to handle, especially while screwing in the base. And once you’ve got the base attached, it’s pretty difficult to lift into place without a second set of hands to help.

I did manage to get this done without any help (yes, that’s a flex), so it is doable, but it’s not easy and you could risk damaging the TV if you try to do it yourself. I think this is worth mentioning, considering a large portion of the population is in lockdown right now and most of us can’t just phone a friend to help us lift a TV at a moment’s notice.

As for other quality of life stuff, this TV ticks all of the boxes for me.

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The remote resembles a Wii controller, with the option to use the buttons, scroll or simply point and shoot, which sort of caters to every kind of user.

Additionally, you get all of the ports you could ask for. With four HDMI 2.1 inputs, the C1 OLED is perfect if you’re a bit of a high-end console connoisseur, and has a slew of other ports for your pleasure:

  • Four HDMI inputs with HDMI 2.1, HDCP 2.2
  • Three USB 2.0 ports
  • Optical digital audio output
  • Analog audio 3.5mm headphone output
  • RF (antenna) input
  • RS-232 port (minijack, for service only)
  • Ethernet (LAN) port

However, the operating system was a bit of a swing and a miss for me. Personally, I prefer the Android TV OS, and found LG’s system to be fitted with a whole bunch of programs that clogged up the homepage and made it feel cluttered with apps that most of us won’t actually use.

Ultimately, this is a pretty minor grievance to have with an otherwise great TV, but it felt quite overwhelming to use. This is obviously a huge personal preference thing, however.

Picture

The picture quality of the C1 is virtually flawless, which is to be expected from a self-lit OLED. The blacks are dark and crisp, and the colours are vibrant. This is particularly noticeable when watching films like Jurassic Park, where the importance of those super dark blacks is critical for a great viewing experience.

Additionally, the self-emissive pixels mean you have virtually no light bleed when watching this TV, which makes for a super crisp and clear viewing experience.

Not to mention, the built-in light sensor measures the ambient light in your room and calibrates the brightness accordingly.

The only real issue is a little bit of motion blur in fast action scenes. This is pretty minimal, and wasn’t a huge issue for my viewing habits, but I imagine this would be more of an issue if you’re particularly fond of fast-paced action scenes.

While we’re on the topic of brightness, though, we need to address the elephant in the room: the glare.

© Provided by Gizmodo Australia The glare on an overcast day with no direct sunlight. Image: Lavender Baj

Unfortunately, this TV has quite a bit of a problem with glare, which is particularly noticeable when watching in my brightly lit Melbourne apartment. For people who don’t work from home and watch TV mostly at night, this wouldn’t be a huge issue, but for the price you’re paying for this model, I expected more.

But if I’m honest, the glare was the major issue when it comes to picture. Other than that, it upscaled incredibly — with even my favourite early 2000s rom-coms looking like they were shot in perfect 4K quality yesterday.

Sound

With a near-perfect visual experience, it’s hardly surprising to see that this TV is lacking in other areas, specifically sound.

The audio quality of this TV is just sort of… average. I found myself constantly adjusting the volume up and down depending on what I was watching because it just never sounded quite right.

When connected to my Bose soundbar, I had an enjoyable experience. But when it comes to reviewing a TV, I simply must deduct points if I feel like I *need* a soundbar to truly enjoy this TV, and unfortunately, that’s how the C1 felt.

I don’t have a lot to say about the audio experience of the C1 because it just didn’t really do anything for me.

Gaming

Gaming on the C1 is a truly exceptional experience and, honestly, it has been my favourite TV to game on to date.

The 2021 model introduces Game Optimiser which makes it super quick and easy to alter settings for the ultimate gaming experience.

There’s a Game Optimiser picture mode, but also a full menu that allows you to pick from four different options: standard, FPS mode, RPG mode and RTS mode — which boost shadow detail, contrast and mid-grayscale areas respectively.

If that wasn’t enough, there are also sliders for black and white stabilizers and, of course, the low blue light display makes it much easier on the eyes when you’re knees deep in a game for hours on end.

Obviously, the motion blur is a little bit of an issue when playing action-packed games, but for my gaming experience (which mostly consists of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater at the moment), I didn’t find there to be any noticeable issues with motion blur.

Final Thoughts

© Provided by Gizmodo Australia Image: Lavender Baj

All in all, this TV is fantastic. The only real issue is that the sound could be better, but if you’re spending a few thousand dollars on a TV, I’d assume you’re also decking out your space with additional speakers and soundbars for an all-round luxurious experience.

Other than that, the quality feels top-tier compared to other models I’ve tried at a similar price point. If you’re in the market for a high-end TV, this is definitely (in my opinion) the best value for money.

You can purchase the LG OLED C1 55-inch TV via LG here.

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