LG C2 OLED (2022) full review
LG has made some big changes to its popular C-series OLED TVs for 2022, and the results are spectacular making it one of the best TVs of the year so far.
The C2 is an Evo class screen, which essentially means it combines the latest panel technology from LG Display with the power of LG’s all-new Alpha 9 Gen 5 processor, aka the silicon that enables Brightness Boosting (more on which later).
The result is a 4K flatscreen capable of quite gorgeous imagery, plus the ability to bring out the best in next-gen games consoles like the PS5. There's also a new 42in size for people wanting a smaller OLED TV.
There are naturally some caveats… but that’s what makes life interesting, right?
Design & Build
LG has made a subtle change to the build and aesthetics of the C2, compared to its predecessor, the LG C1. A new lightweight composite material has reduced the overall weight of the model, and made it a little thinner.
The glass sits in an ultra-thin frame, upon a central pedestal stand making it easier to park on standard AV furniture.
This replaces last year’s wide lip pedestal and looks a whole lot more elegant, although note that the 48- and 83in models still have this while the 42in option has two feet much like Samsung's The Frame (2021).
LG has also slimmed down the remote control. It’s still a Magic Remote so directs an onscreen cursor, but it feels a little more conventional to wield. The handset has dedicated buttons for Netflix, Disney+, Rakuten TV and Prime Video.
Specs & Features
Connectivity is excellent as all four HDMI ports are 4K 120fps compatible (HDMI 2.1), with one of them compatible with eARC/ARC enabled soundbars. If you need it, there’s an optical digital audio output, plus Ethernet to support Wi-Fi.
The set has both a terrestrial aerial input, which is Freeview Play powered in the UK, and a satellite tuner.
Want to stream some TV? You’ve come to the right place. LG’s webOS has one best collections of streaming apps on any smart TV platform.
In addition to every headline streaming service (ie Netflix, Disney+ et al), there’s Britbox, Now (formerly Now TV), Rakuten TV and Sky Store, while Freeview Play contributes all mainstream catch-up players (BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, My5, UKTV Play and sundries).
The C2 is also compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa smart systems and supports voice content search. It also has smart home device control in partnership with LG’s ThinQ smart platform.
Picture & Sound Quality
The C2 outperforms its predecessor, the C1, when it comes to overall panel brightness, HDR precision and colour depth. Given how good the C1 was/is, this is quite a trick.
The set’s brightness bump is most obvious using the Standard and Eco picture defaults. There’s more punch to its pictures, with demonstrably brighter whites and lighter hues.
The Brightness Booster employed here is different to that found in the flagship G2 set, in that there’s no hardware element. Here it’s powered purely by algorithms, courtesy of the mighty Alpha 9 Gen 5 processor.
Able to intelligently analyse images in real time, this new chipset can prioritise brighter areas of a frame for a power boost. LG quotes a 20 per cent uplift in average picture level, compared to the brand’s A- and B- series models. Subjectively the screen has more presence in a room with higher ambient light.
It should be pointed out that this extra luminosity does not apply to the 42- and 48-inch C2 models. The pixel pitch on those models is too small for a comparable effect so you can expect them to be similar to the C1.
The Alpha 9 Gen 5 chipset also does a remarkable job upscaling, making even grotty SD channels watchable.
The C2 OLED gets a lot right with its image presets. LG’s Cinema mode strikes a convincing filmic balance between average picture levels, colour saturation and dynamic impact. Couple it with the Cinematic Movement TruMotion preset and the results would befit a West End cinema.
The Standard and Eco picture settings (there’s not much between them) are also ideal for general TV content.
Unfortunately, the Sports and Vivid settings are pretty horrible. The former grossly oversaturated greens, while the latter overcooks everything. They’re both unwatchable with live action material.
The C2’s HDR performance, though, is excellent. I measured HDR peaks upwards of 810 nits, using the Natural image preset, straight from the box. HDR support covers Dolby Vision IQ, HDR10 and HLG, but there’s no HDR10+ dynamic metadata support as favoured by Prime Video, which is disappointing.
Input lag is good. I measured latency at 13.1ms with 1080p/60fps content, with the Game mode switched on. If you want to tweak, there’s a dedicated Game Optimizer interface which allows you to set different Game Genre presets, and toggle preferred VRR options (AMD Freesync Premium or Nvidia G-Sync).
When it comes to audio, the C2 puts forward a good argument, despite a lack of dedicated audio hardware. The trick is to select AI Sound Pro, which employs sonic wizardry to give the impression that noises are coming toward you, even though the speaker drivers indicate otherwise.
There’s also support for Dolby Atmos, so the ultimate plan should be to couple the screen to an Atmos soundbar or audio system.
Price & Availability
The LG C2 is available in a wide variety of screen sizes, more than any other C range before it. You have the choice of 42-, 48-, 55-, 65-, 77-, and 83-inch models (OLED42C2, OLED48C2, OLED55C2, OLED65C2, OLED77C2, OLED83C2).
The 42- and 48in models both sell for £1,399, while the 55in is £1,899 and the 65-inch model (the one we have on our test bench) is £2,699. If you have room for even more glass, then the 77-inch C2 is £3,698 and the 83inmodel £5,499.
Stateside, the 42-, 48-, 55-, 65-, 77- and 83in C2 TVs are listed at US$1,399, US1,499, US$1,799, US$2,499, US$3,499 and US$5,499 respectively.
Pricey? Certainly, but these sets aren’t built for the bargain aisle and it's cheaper than the LG G2.
The LG C2 is a sublime set that uses next-gen panel technology and picture processing to deliver a level of performance we’ve not seen from LG before.
While this set’s EVO badge warrants serious attention, it’s not the whole story. LG has refined the overall look of the C2, with new panel backing material that’s significantly lighter than we’ve seen before. Good news if you want to wall hang.
The set also offers best in class 4K 120fps connectivity, making the C2 of particular interest to gamers.
Overall, we rate the LG C2 as an outstanding 4K TV. Our niggles don’t add up to much, leaving us to conclude this is a great option for movie fans and gamers alike.
LG C2 OLED (2022): Specs
- Sizes: 42/48/55/65/77/83in
- Model tested: 65in
- Display technology: OLED
- Resolution: 3840 x 2160 4K
- Refresh rate: 120Hz
- HDR support: Dolby Vision IQ, HDR10, HLG
- HDMI: x4 (2.1)
- Tuner: Freeview Play
- OS: webOS 22 Smart Platform
- Dimensions:1441(w) x 826(h) x 45.1(d)mm
- Weight: 14.8kg
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