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LG OLED A1 vs OLED C1 Review (OLED48A1PUA vs OLED48C1PUB, OLED55A1PUA vs OLED55C1PUB, OLED65A1PUA vs OLED65C1PUB, OLED77A1PUA vs OLED77C1PUB)

by on August 27, 2021
 

LG A1 or OLED A1 is the entry level model of LG’s 2021 OLED TV lineup. You need to know; the A1 series is a new series that released by LG in 2021. In this lineup, it sits below the LG B1 or B Series, the lowest model of LG OLED TV lineup in previous years. On the other hand, the LG C1 or OELD C1 is the mid-range model of the LG’s 2021 OLED TV lineup and at the same time is also the successor of the LG CX in last year. Just we have known, all OLED TV use the OLED panel that have the same technical platform. This means, although OLED A1 is sold much cheaper than the OLED C1, picture quality offered is not much different to what offered by the step-up model. As expected from OLED TV, both of them also have infinite contrast ratio, nearly perfect black uniformity, pixel dimming level, nearly instant response time, and good side viewing angle. Nevertheless, as a lower model that sold much cheaper, the LG A1 of course lacks some features found on LG C1 like HDMI 2.1, VRR technology, only has 60HZ native refresh rate panel, etc. Additionally, it is also powered by lower-level processor, so its performance that is influenced by its processor certainly is not as good as what offered by LG C1. So, what are their difference and is the LG A1 is worth to buy?

LG OLED A1 vs OLED C1 Short Review

LG A1 OLED TV

LG A1 or OLED A1 is a budget friendly model of LG’s 2021 OLED TV lineup. Although it may be sold much cheaper than the step-up model, picture quality and performance offered is not much different to the higher model that sold hundreds or even thousands dollar more expensive. Just like other model of OLED TVs, it also has infinite contrast ratio, nearly perfect black, and nearly perfect black. Additionally, it also has nearly instant response time that makes it can do a great job in handling motion. The LG A1 also has wide viewing angle. Nevertheless, as lower model that sold much cheaper, it lacks some features offered by the higher model like HDMI 2.1, VRR technology, etc. Additionally, in certain aspects that influenced by its image processor, it may be also not as good as the higher series. The LG A1 also comes with native 60 Hz refresh rate only that means it is not support 120 fps content. So if you are a gamer, you may not able to play high quality games supported by modern game console like 4K @120 games.

PROS

Excellent SIde Viewing Angle
Infinite Contrast Ratio
Peak brightness is extremely bright Nearly Perfect black uniformity
Outstanding Color Gamut
Wide Viewing Angle

CONS

Vulnerable to permanent burn-in
Limited SDR Peak Brightness
Lack of HDMI 2.1

Check Price of LG A1 on Amazon

LG C1 OLED TV

LG OLED C1

LG C1 or OLED C1 is the mid-range model of the LG’s 2021 OLED TV lineup and also the successor of the LG CX. In this lineup, it sits between the LG G1 and LG B1. It is a great TV for any usage, especially when used in a dark room thanks to its infinite contrast ratio, pixel dimming level, and nearly perfect black uniformity. Just like the LG A1, it is also has nearly instantaneous pixel response time and combined to its BFI mode, motion looks very smooth on its screen. Unlike the A1 that has native 60 Hz refresh rate panel, the LG C1 has native 120 Hz refresh rate panel. It also has HDMI 2.1, allowing it can play HFR (High Frame Rate) content like 4K @120 Hz. In this year, LG C1 also comes with some upgrade and tweaks like the new “Game Optimizer” feature that can maximize its performance when used for playing games. It also already supports VRR technology that compatible with some gaming features like FreeSync and GSync. But unfortunately, it has limited SDR peak brightness, so when used in a bright room, it may have an issue in visibility.  Nevertheless, the LG C1 is great TV for mixed usage overall.

PROS

Excellent SIde Viewing Angle
Infinite Contrast Ratio
Nearly Perfect black uniformity
Outstanding Color Gamut
Wide Viewing Angle

CONS

Vulnerable to permanent burn-in
Limited SDR Peak brightness

Check Price of LG C1 on Amazon

Sony X85 J vs X80J Side by Side Comparison

Dark Room Performance

Score: 100/100

Panel Type: LED VA
Backlight: Direct LED
Contrast Ratio: 100/100
Local Dimming: 100/100
Black Uniformity: 100/100

LG A1 and C1 is outstanding TV for a dark room

There is no doubt about performance of OLED TV including the LG C1 and A1 in a dark room. As we have known, OLED panel don’t use backlight and as the light source, each of its pixel can emit its own light. And since each pixel of OLED panel can individually turn on/off/ dim without affected by the condition of other pixel surrounding, this makes the LG A1 and C1 has pixel dimming level. So, when they are showing black, there is no light at all emitted from black area. The result is that black produced really perfect. Additionally, its pixel dimming level also allows them to show small highlight in bright scene without blooming. On their screen, dark scene looks exceptional, even if the are set in a pitch-dark room. Shadow details of HD images can be shown excellently without a lot of crushed black. Overall, their performance in a dark room is nearly perfect and there is no LED TV can beat their performance..  

Score: 100/100

Panel Type: OLED
Backlight: N/a
Contrast Ratio: Inf:1
Local Dimming: 100/100
Black Uniformity:100/100

Bright Room Performance

Score: 69/100

SDR Peak Brightness: 94/100
Reflection Handling: 91/100
Screen Finish : Glossy

May be notbright enough in a bright room

While performance of the LG A1 and C1 is nearly perfect in a dark room, their performance in a bright room is mediocre. With real SDR Scene, the LG C1 can gets around 300 nits of peak brightness while the LG A1 gets around 260 nits only. There’s a fair amount of variation in brightness depending on the scene due to their Automatic Brightness Limiter (ABL). They both gets their highest peak brightness at 2% and 10% white window where the OLED C1 hits around 390 nits while the OLED A1 hits around 330 nits. Meanwhile on 100% white window where they get their lowest peak brightness, the LG C1 get around 130 nits while the LG A1 hits around 120 nits. This means, they both are good only when used in a moderate-lit or darker room while on bright room with a lot of lights or sunny window, their peak brightness may be not bright enough to combat the glare. Fortunately, they both have excellent reflection handling, so there will be not an issue with reflection.

Score: 74/100

SDR Peak Brightness: 67/100
Reflection Handling: 93/100
Screen Finish : Glossy

Picture Quality

Score: 83/100

Side Viewing Angle: 70/100
Gray Uniformity:
8K Inputs: 0/100
4K Inputs: 100/100
1080p Inputs: 90/100
720p Inputs: 80/100
480p Inputs: /80/100
Screen Resolution: 4K

Both have excellent picture quality

The LG C1 and A1 both have good up-scaling engine. With new algorithm based on AI, both of them can up-scale lower resolution content to 4K excellent. This is certainly is good for sports or TV shows from Cable TV. Even if the source only has 480p resolution like DVD movies or has 720p resolution, you can enjoy them in 4K quality with a lot of small details are still preserved well. And of course, the higher resolution of the source like 1080p or native 4K, picture that produced is more detail. Additionally, the LG A1 and C1 also have good gray uniformity. This is good for a content with a large area that has the same color field in sport. And their wide viewing angle coverage ensure that the picture displayed on their screen will look remain accurate, even if viewed from extremely angle.

Score: 83/100

Side Viewing Angle: 89/100
Gray Uniformity:
8K Inputs: 0/100
4K Inputs: 100/100
1080p Inputs: 90/100
720p Inputs: 80/100
480p Inputs: /80/100
Screen Resolution: 4K

HDR Performance

Score: 81/100

Contrast Ratio
Local DImming: 80/100
Black Uniformity: 100/100
Color Gamut: 87/100
Color Volume: 77/100
Color Gradient: 79/100
HDR Peak Brightness: 59/100
HDR Support: HLG, HDR10, HDR10+

They are perfect in shadow details but highlight doesnt look standout

Just like other model of OLED TVS, the LG C1 and A1 has good HDR performance, particularly in showing shadow details or in color reproduction. Combination of perfect black and pixel dimming level makes shadow details of HDR images can be shown with almost no crushed black, as detail as the expected. Additionally, they both also have outstanding color gamut. In DCI P3 color space, their color coverage is nearly perfect while in Rec.2020, their color coverage is still good. Additionally, their infinite contrast ratio also makes them can produce deep, dark colors fairly well. But unfortunately, the use of white subpixel may make them can produce pure white, but on the other hand, this will de-saturate bright color, making them cannot produce saturated bright color. But in general, their color coverage is equally great. They both also have good color gradient. The use of higher-level image processor may make the C1 can do a better job in handling banding, however, performance of the LG A1 is actually also already good. Fortunately, they have limited HDR peak brightness, particularly for the OLED A1. With real HDR scene, the LG C1 hits around 630 nits while the OLED A1 hits around 450 nits only. On small white window like 2% and 10% window, the C1 gets around 730 nits while the A1 hit around 480 nits. On the screen of the C1, small highlight of HDR images can still pop, but doesn’t look too standout. On the other hand, LG A1 struggles to show highlight of HDR images the way they should be.

Score: 84/100

Contrast Ratio
Local DImming: 100/100
Black Uniformity: 100/100
Color Gamut: 86/100
Color Volume: 71/100
Color Gradient: 84/100
HDR Peak Brightness: 68/100
HDR Support: HLG, HDR10, Dolby Vision

Motion Handling

Score 71/100

Native Refresh Rate: 120 Hz
Response Time: 94/100
Flicker Free: 100/100
60 Hz BFI: No
120 Hz BFI: No
24p Judder: 78/100
VRR: No

Equally great in handling fast moving images, but the LG A1 lacks BFI and VRR technology

Just like other model of OLED TVS, both of the LG A1 and C1 can do a great job in handling motion thanks to their nearly instantaneous pixel response time. This makes fast moving image looks very clear on their screen. There is only a very short faint trail following fast moving object that should be hard to notice. Special for the LG C1, it also has an optional BFI mode that help improve its motion appearance. On the other hand, the A1 lacks BFI (Black Frame Insertion) mode. Additionally, the LG C1 also has native 120 Hz refresh rate panel. It also already supports VRR technology that compatible with most popular gaming features like FreeSync and GSync. In VRR mode, regardless the resolution, its refresh rate ranges between 20 Hz to 120 Hz. On the other hand, the LG A1 only has native 60 Hz refresh rate panel. Additionally, it doesn’t also support VRR technology. Additionally, the LG C1 also can do a better job in handling 24p judder. The LG C1 can remove judder from any source while the LG A1 can remove judder only if the source is native 24p movies or movies from native apps while when the source is 24p via 60i or 60p signal, it cannot remove judder completely.

Score 99/100

Native Refresh Rate: 120 Hz
Response Time: 98/100
Flicker Free: 100/100
60 Hz BFI: Yes
120 Hz BFI: Yes
24p Judder: 100/100
VRR: 94/100

Inputs

Score 74/100

Input Lags @ 60 Hz: 10 ms
Input Lags @ 120 Hz: Na
Input Lags @ VRR: Na
Supported Resolution @60 Hz: 1080p, 1440p , 4K, 4K @ 4:4:4
Supported Resolution @120 Hz: Na
HDMI Port: 3
HDMI 2.1: No
HDMI eARC: Yes
ALLM: Yes
USB 2.0: 2
USB 3.0: 0

They both actually have great input lags, but the LG A1 has less number of HDMI ports and lacks HDMI 2.1

Both of the LG C1 and A1 actually have excellent input lags in Game Mode. Regardless the resolution, with 60 fps games, its inputs lag is around 10 ms, low enough to play any games responsively, even for fast paced games that require fast reflexes. With 120 fps games or in VRR mode, input lags of the LG C1 is even lower, which is around 5 mm – 6 ms. Unfortunately, the LG A1 doesn’t support 120 Hz content and VRR technology. Additionally, the other advantage of the OLED C1 is that it also has SUB 2.1 port while the OLED A1 doesn’t have. This makes the LG C1 supports all common resolution for next gen consoles like PS 5 or X Box X Series.  

Score 98/100

Input Lags @60 Hz: 10 ms
Input Lags @120 Hz: 11 ms
Input Lags @ VRR: 6 ms
Supported Resolution @60 Hz: 1080p, 1440p (forced resolution required), 4K, 4K @ 4:4:4
Supported Resolution @120 Hz: 1080p, 1440p, 4K
HDMI Port: 4
HDMI 2.1: 4 (HDMI 1,2,3,4)
HDMI eARC: Yes
ALLM: Yes
USB 2.0: 3
USB 3.0: 0

Sound Performance

Score 69/100

Speaker Channel : 2.0
Total Power Output: 60 watts
Built-in Woofer: No
Max Volume: 93 dB SPL
Sound Quality: 69/100

LG C1 has good sound performance, the A1 is average

In addition to coming with more setup channel, the LG C1 also have better sound performance than the LG A1. You need to know, the OLED A1 has standard 2.0 speaker setup with 20 watts of total sound output. On the other hand, the OLED C1 comes with 2.2. speaker setup and total sound output of 40 watts. This means, the OLED C1 has built-in speaker while the OLED A1 doesn’t have. Meanwhile, talking about their sound performance, the LG C1 is also better. At max volume, the LG A1 may be able to get slightly louder, but the LG C1 has better frequency response, albeit sound profile of the LG A1 is already well balanced. The LG C1 also has better distortion performance than the OLED A1.

Score 76/100

Speaker Channel: 2.0
Total Power Output: 40 watts
Built-in Woofer: Yes
Max Volume: 91 dB SPL
Sound Quality: 67/100

Smart Features

Score 85/100

Smart TV Platform : Google TV 10
Apps and Features: 90/100
Cast Capable: Yes
HDR in Streaming Apps: Yes
Voice Control: Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, LG ThinQ AI
Apple App: AirPlay, HomeKit
Remote App: LG TV PLus

Easy to use and smooth Smart TV platform with good selection of apps

The LG OLED C1 and A1 run the same smart TV platform, which is WebOS 6.0. Compared to the last year version or 5.5 version, its user interface has been redesigned. In previous versions, icons are arranged into the ribbons of tiles, in this version, it has a smart hub with various widgets and apps. Nevertheless, its user interface is still easy to use and very responsive. Meanwhile, although not as great as Android TV on Sony TV or Tizen OS on Samsung TV, the WebOS also has a good selection of apps. Almost all streaming Apps are available. Additionally, it also already supports voice navigation and well work with Amazon Alexa or Google Home. And finally, their excellent LG magic remote makes navigation is easier.

Score 85/100

Smart TV Platform : WebOS 6.0
Apps and Features: 90/100
Cast Capable: Yes
HDR in Streaming Apps: Yes
Voice Control: Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, LG ThinQ AI
Apple App: AirPlay, HomeKit
Remote App: LG TV Plus

Samsung QN90A vs LG C1 Performance

Movies

Score 82/100

Great TV for Watching Movies

Just like other model of OLED TV, the LG A1 is actually also great TV for watching movies in a dark room. It has infinite contrast ratio, nearly perfect black uniformity, and pixel dimming level. But unfortunately, unlike the higher model, it cannot remove judder completely, particularly when the source is via 50i or 60p signal. Fast motion movies also look smooth on its screen, but it doesn’t have BFI feature that can further improve its motion performance.

Dark Room Performance: 30%
Bright Room Performance: 15%
HDR Performance: 20%
Picture Quality: 20%
Motion Handling: 10%
Inputs: 5%
Sound Performance: 5%

Score 88/100

Unbeatable in dark room

Performance of the LG C1 when used for watching movies in a dark room is outstanding. In addition to have outstanding performance in a dark room, it also can remove judder completely, regardless the source. Additionally, combination of its nearly instantaneous pixel response time and Black Frame Insertion technology makes fast motion movies looks very smooth on its screen. Although 24p movies may appear to stutter due to its near instant response time, but it can be solved by enabling its BFI mode or Motion Interpolation.  And although it may have limited HDR peak brightness, but in a dark room, highlight of HDR movies can still pop.

TV Shows

Score 79/100

Great TVs for TV Shows with clear dialogue

As long as you use it in moderate-lit to darker room, performance of the LG A1 when used for watching TV Shows is good. In addition to it has good picture quality, it also has well balanced sound profile, making voice of TV presenter is heard clearly. But unfortunately, it has limited SDR brightness. So, you may get an issue with a glare when use it for watching TV Shows in a bright room, especially with a lot of lights or sunny window.

Dark Room Performance: 20%
Bright Room Performance: 30%
Picture Quality: 30%
Motion Handling: 5%
Sound Performance: 15%

Score 84/100

A bit better in a bright room

The LG C1 also has good performance when used for watching TV Shows. Just like the LG A1, it also has excellent picture quality and b well balanced sound profile. Its sound can also get very loud, so you will obviously hear presenter’s voice, even if in large room or crowded party. A bit better than the LG A1, it also has limited SDR brightness, so watch TV shows in a very bright room should be avoided if you don’t want to get an issue with the glare.

Sports

Score 78/100

Good TV for Sports, but not in a bright room

Unlike for watching TV Shows, its performance is not so good when used for watching sports in a bright room due its limited SDR peak brightness. Nevertheless, as long as you don’t watch sports in a bright room with a lot of lights, its performance is good. Its has nearly instantaneous pixel response time that makes fast sports look very smooth on its screen. Additionally, it also has excellent side viewing angle, make it is great TV for watching a big game together with your family or friend. Its good gray uniformity also makes field of sports look very good without a lot of dirty screen effect. But unfortunately, it doesn’t have BFI mode that can improve its motion performance.

Dark Room Performance: 20%
Bright Room Performancee: 30%
Picture Quality: 20%
Motion Handling: 30%
Sound Performance: 5%

Score 87/100

Great for sports but not in a very bright room

In term of picture quality, its performance is not much different to the LG A1. The LG C1 also has nearly instantaneous, allowing you to watch fast motion sports like MotoGP or F1 look very smooth on its screen. The advantage of the LG C1 than the A1 is that it has BFI feature that can make fast sports looks smoother on its screen. It also has a bit brighter SDR peak brightness, although in a very bright room, it may also get an issue with glare.

Games

Score 77/100

Good TV for gaming but lacks some fetaure like HDMI 2.1, VRR, and 120 Hz Refresh rate

The LG A1 is actually good TV for gaming. It has excellent picture quality and good motion handling, allowing you to play any games with excellent picture quality and smooth motion. It also has low input lags in game mode that will please most gamers. Unfortunately, it lacks VRR technology that can improve its gaming performance. Additionally, lack of HDMI 2.1 and native 120 Hz refresh rate also make it doesn’t support high quality games supported by modern game console. When used for playing HDR games, highlight cannot also look standout due its limited HDR peak brightness

Dark Room Performance: 5%
Bright Room Performance: 15%
HDR Performance: 15%
Picture Quality: 20%
Motion Handling: 20%
Inputs: 20%
Sound Performance:5%

Score 89/100

Great TV for gaming, but play the same game over long time should be avoided

In term of picture quality of games, performance of the LG C1 may be not much better than the LG A1. But even so, it has BFI mode that can further improve motion appearance, so motion will look smoother. IT also already support VRR technology that compatible with FreeSync, GSync, and HDMI Forum. This will improve your gaming experience with screen tearing free. And combination of HDMI 2.1 and native 120 Hz refresh rate panel allows you to play high quality games supported by modern game consoles. As long as you don’t play game in a room with a lot of lights, highlight of HDR images also can pop the way they should be. Fortunately, it has a risk to permanent burn-in when showing static image for long time, you play the same game for long time should be avoided. mode when there is a signal from a game console detected. But even so, since it is vulnerable to permanent burn in when displaying static images for long time, play the same game over long time should be avoided.

Our Conclusion

Score 79/100

LG A1 OLED Review

Check Price of LG A1 on Amazon

Lack of some feature may make the LG A1 is not as good as the LG C1, but in term of picture quality, they are not much diifferent

Although the LG A1 is sold much cheaper than the LG C1, but its picture quality is not much different. Since they use the OLED Panel that have same technical platform, what influenced by its panel performance like contrast ratio, color gamut, response time, viewing angle coverage, etc is not much different. Nevertheless, as a TV that should cheaper, the A1 lacks some features found on LG C1 like VRR technology, is limited to 60 Hz refresh rate, HDMI 2.1, and BFI technology. This will influence on its performance in handling motion or when used for playing games. Additionally, its native refresh rate that is limited to 60 Hz only makes it cannot play 120 Fps content. So, which is a better choice? OF course, the decision comes back to you according to your budget and own preference. If you have limited budget, the LG A1 is the best option for you who want to have OLED TV with more friendly budget. But even so, if you have extra budget, the LG C1 certainly is a better choice.

Score 87/100

Check Price of LG C1 on Amazon

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