Since its launch at CES 2022, there has been a lot of interest in the LG C2 OLED – especially how it stands in relation to its predecessor, the LG C1 OLED.
Part of the reason the interest has been so great around these sets is that C1 won a number of awards for best TV in 2021 from technical publications (TechRadar included), but many were hesitant to pay for it when they caught wind about a new model came in March.
We knew that the LG C2 OLED would cost more than the LG C1 OLED (which it does) and that the LG C2 OLED would be a bit brighter and have a newer processor inside (again, all true), but now that the LG C2 OLED is here, but we can finally put the two against each other in a fair fight.
So to help you decide what’s best for you, we’ve gathered our thoughts on both TVs so you can decide which option is best for you in terms of price and performance.
LG C2 VS LG C1: PRICE AND SIZES
Considering that the C2 is a direct successor to the C1 OLED, you will notice a lot of similarities in terms of prices and sizes. For example, the only major difference in terms of size between the two TVs is that the C2 OLED now comes in a smaller 42-inch size rather than the 48-inch OLED TV we saw last year.
That said, it’s worth noting that the smaller sizes of this year’s LG C2 OLED still use the panels from last year and not the new Evo panels. That should change at the end of June, when LG says their supplies will catch up with the production targets – but for now, you should probably avoid the lower size C2 OLED until the Evo panels are available.
In terms of prices, here is the distribution between the two models:
- The 42-inch OLED42C2PUA costs $ 1,399 / £ 1,399 (approx. AU $ 1,800)
- 48-inch OLED48C2PUA costs $ 1,499 / £ 1,399 (approx. AU $ 1,960)
- 55-inch OLED55C2PUA costs $ 1,799 / £ 1,898 (approx AU $ 2,350)
- The 65-inch OLED65C2PUA costs $ 2,499 / £ 2,699 (approx. AU $ 3,270)
- The 77-inch OLED77C1PUA costs $ 3,499 / £ 3,699 (approx. AU $ 4,590)
- The 83-inch OLED83C2PUA costs $ 5,499 / £ 5,499 (approx. AU $ 7,200)
And here is the price for the C1 OLED:
- The 48-inch OLED48C1PUA currently costs $ 999 / £ 999 (approx AU $ 1,960)
- The 55-inch OLED55C1PUA currently costs $ 1,099 / £ 1,199 (approx. AU $ 2,350)
- The 65-inch OLED65C1PUA currently costs $ 1,699 / £ 1,599 (approx AU $ 3,270)
- The 77-inch OLED77C1PUA currently costs $ 2,699 / £ 2,699 (approx. AU $ 4,590)
- The 83-inch OLED83C2PUA currently costs $ 4,499 / £ 4,499 (approx. AU $ 7,200)
So what’s the takeaway here? The LG C1 OLED is a much cheaper TV. You can routinely save hundreds on the C1 compared to a C2 OLED model of similar size – which should give you some perspective when we talk about the differences between the two screens below.
LG C2 VS LG G2: DESIGN AND SPECIFICATIONS
There are two major design differences between last year’s LG C1 OLED and this year’s new C2 model: C2 uses the newer OLED Evo panels, which have a higher brightness – about 20% higher compared to the C1 models – and the is easier, too. This year’s 65-inch LG C2 model is about 50% lighter than last year’s LG C1.
In our review of the C2 OLED, we argued that the extra brightness from the OLED Evo panel is a big difference, and we stand by that. The extra brightness means more vibrant colors and better HDR playback. With Filmmaker Mode turned on, you really get a more cinematic experience compared to C1.
Still, when you look at the wider specifications of the two TVs, you will see that they are very similar. Both have amazing black levels and almost infinite contrast, and they each have four HDMI 2.1 ports that support 4K / 120 input. For gamers, both have a low input latency of less than 10 ms, and both support the major variants of VRR, including G-Sync and FreeSync Pro.
However, if you want a TV with a larger screen size, the C2 comes in a smaller size of 42 inches – which could be perfect for a dorm or a home office where you want to combine an excellent TV with a great gaming screen. The smallest size for the C1 is a 48-inch model, which is certainly not monstrous, but it can be useful to save the extra six-inch space.
Inside the TVs is a little different silicon. The LG C2 uses the updated Alpha a9 Gen 5 processor, while last year’s C1 OLED uses the Alpha a9 Gen 4. According to LG, the Gen 5 does a better job of focusing on the subject of the image to make it stand out from the background compared with the Gen 4 processor, and it uses a slightly different upscaling process, which the company says works better with less volume of processing.
In practice, we can not say that we have noticed a big jump in performance between the two processors, so you probably will not lose much if you choose an older C1 model instead.
LG C2 vs LG C1 OLED: Conclusion
Because there are so many similarities between the OLED TVs, it can be a little difficult to decide which model is right for you. The good news, though, is that both the C2 and C1 OLED are great TVs that you can not go wrong with. Both share many of the same features – and although the LG C2 is newer and has slightly better performance, they are far more similar than they are different.
That said, we’ll say the C2 is a better TV for the real movie people – people who really care about the overall picture quality and want the best performance on the market. The extra brightness will make a big difference in HDR content specifically as well as overall color rendering.
The LG C1 OLED is still a great TV (otherwise we would not have given it a five-star rating last year), but it’s not perfect. It has a hard time dealing with direct sunlight due to its reflective glass screen, and it performs better in light-controlled rooms than those with very ambient light – a problem you do not have to worry so much about with the C2.
Unless you are concerned about the brightness level of your room and deeply concerned about performance specifications such as maximum brightness, we feel that it is safe to save yourself some money by buying an LG C1 OLED without fear of missing out on very. We would not advise against the C2 OLED – but we would rather see some of the money you have saved on the C1 go to a good soundbar instead.