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LG OLED CX vs OLED C9 Review (OLED55CX vs OLED55C9, OLED65CX vs OLED65C9, OLED77CX vs OLED77C9)

by on June 3, 2020
 



LG OLED CX vs OLED C9 Review

LG OLED CX is the 2020 model or the latest model of LG OLED TV C Series. Meanwhile, the LG OLED C9 is the predecessor, the 2019 model of LG OLED TV C Series. Both of them are amazing TVs for most usages, whether they are for watching movies, TV Shows, Sports Video Games, or HDR Content. As we have known, one of the major advantages of OLED TVs than LED TVs is about their infinite native contrast ratio that allows them to produce nearly perfect black. Not only that, OLED TVs also has nearly instantaneous pixel response time and wide viewing angle coverage. But of course, this doesn’t mean it doesn’t have any disadvantage than LED TV. Until now, there is no OLED TVs that has peak brightness as bright as premium LED TVs.  Additionally, risk of permanent burn-in also becomes the major shortcoming of OLED TV.

In 2020, in addition to 55 inches, 65 inches, and 77 inches model that also found on the OLED C9 predecessor, LG OLED CX now also comes in 48 inches model (OLED48CXPUB). This is certainly is a new thing considering in previous years, the smallest screen of LG OLED TVs is 55 inches model. Meanwhile, as a newer model, with the same screen size (OLED55CX vs OLED55C9, OLED65CX vs OLED65C9, OLED77CX vs OLED77C9), the LG OLED CX is priced hundreds of dollar more expensive than the LG OLED C9. So, what new features and technologies offered by the OLED CX over the OLED C9? Is performance of the OLED CX better or its performance even is worse than the OLED C9 predecessor?

Short Review of LG OLED CX and OLED C9

LG OLED CX vs OLED C9 Key Specification

Specs and Features LG OLED CX LG OLED C9
Resolution 4K (2160 x 3840) 4K (2160 x 3840)
Screen Type Flat Flat
Screen Sizes Available 48 Inches (LG OLED48CXPUB) 55 Inches (OLED55CXPUA), 65 Inches (OLED65CXPUA), 77 inches (OLED77CXPUA) 55 Inches (OLED55C9PUA), 65 Inches (OLED65C9PUA), 77 inches (OLED77C9PUB)
Panel Type OLED OLED
Dimming Technology Pixel Level Dimming Pixel Level Dimming
Picture on Glass design Yes Yes
Picture Engine Alpha 9 Gen 3 Processor Alpha 9 Gen 2 Processor
4K Up-scaling AI Up scaling 4K Up-Scaler
HDR Format Supports Dolby Vision IQ, HDR10, HLG Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLG
HDR Enhancement 4K Cinema HDR, HDR Dynamic Tone Mapping Pro, Dolby Vision IQ Cinema HDR, HDR Dynamic Tone Mapping Pro
Contrast Enhancement Object Depth Enhancer, Ultra Luminance Pro, Face Enhancing Object Depth Enhancer, Ultra Luminance Pro
Color Enhancement Intense Color, Billion Rich Colors, Advanced Color Enhancer, True Color Accuracy Pro, 4 Colors Sub Pixel Intense Color, Billion Rich Colors, Advanced Color Enhancer, True Color Accuracy Pro, 4 Colors Sub Pixel
Clarity Enhancement Quad Step Noise Reduction, Frequency Based Sharpness Enhancer Quad Step Noise Reduction, Frequency Based Sharpness Enhancer
Motion Enhancement OLED Motion Pro OLED Motion
Refresh Rate Panel Native 120 Hz Native 120 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate Support HDMI Forum VRR, G-Sync (NVidia Certified), FreeSync is on a future firmware update, HGiG HDMI Forum VRR, NVidia G-Sync with near future update. (The 77 Inches model (OLED77C9PUB) doesn’t support any VRR technology )
Platform WebOS 5 WebOS 4.5
AI TV (Artificial Intelligence) LG ThinQ AI, Google Assistant, Google Home, Amazon Alexa, Intelligence Voice Recognition, AI Picture Pro, AI Sound Pro, AI Brightness, Apple AirPlay 2, Apple Home Kit LG ThinQ AI, Google Assistant, Google Home, Amazon Alexa, Intelligence Voice Recognition, AI Picture, AI Sound, AI Brightness, Apple AirPlay 2
LG Magic Remote 2019 model 2019 model
HDMI 4 4
HDMI Supports HDMI 2.1 Full bandwidth (All), HDMI 2.0 Full bandwidth (All), HDCP 2.2 (All), ARC (HDMI 2), eARC (HDMI 2) HDMI 2.1 Full bandwidth (All), HDMI 2.0 Full bandwidth (All), HDCP 2.2 (All), ARC (HDMI 2), eARC (HDMI 2)
USB 3 3
Ethernet 1 1
RF (Terrestrial Cable) 1 1
Composite In (AV) 1 1
Component In No No
Wi-Fi Built In 802.11ac 802.11ac
Bluetooth Support Version 5.0 Version 5.0
Channel 2.2 2.2 Channel
Total Audio Output 40 Watt(WF : 20 Watts) 40 Watt(WF : 20 Watts)
Dolby Atmos Support Yes Yes

The Main Difference of LG OLED CX and OLED C9

Image Processor

In this year, LG OLED CX is powered by the third generation of Alpha 9 image processor or Called Alpha 9 Gen 3. This is an improvement over the LG OLED C9 that is powered by the second generation of Alpha 9 processor or called Alpha 9 Gen 2. There are some improvements brought by the Alpha 9 Gen 3 over Alpha 9 Gen 2 predecessor on some of their features such as their dynamic tone mapping system, their Up-scaling system, their AI- related features like AI Picture Pro, AI Sound Pro, and AI Brightness, and others.  Expected, with the improvement on some of their features, there is improvement in picture quality that produced by the LG’s 2020 OLED TV lineup including OLED CX over the 2019 model like OLED C9.

HDR Improvement (Dolby Vision IQ)

Both LG OLED C9 and OLED CX may support the same HDR formats, which are HDR10, HLG (Hybrid Lo Gamma), and Dolby Vision. But that makes different is OLED CX now already support Dolby Vision IQ. You need to know, Dolby Vision IQ actually is not new standard of HDR format. But it is a new software feature that utilizes the dynamic metadata of Dolby Vision and embedded light sensor on the TV to produce better HDR picture quality according to the brightness of the room. The result, regardless you are watching Dolby Vision Content in a bright room or dark room, Dolby Vision IQ will ensure the picture produced by OLED CX is equally intelligible. This means, the Dolby Vision will adjust the brightness and other parameters of Dolby Vision Content in order the picture produced is suitable with the room condition. Meanwhile, without Dolby Visio IQ, you can only watch Dolby Vision Content in one kind, regardless the light condition of the room.

Black Frame Insertion (OLED Motion Pro)

Actually, the LG OLED C9 has also supported Black Frame Insertion mode. But in this year, the LG OLED CX brings an improvement in its BFI mode, particularly when playing 120 fps content. In last year, the BFI mode of the OLED C9 only supports 60 fps content. This means, its screen can only flicker at 60 Hz and its BFI mode only effectively  make motion smoother for 60 fps content.  On the other hand, LG OLED CX supports both 60 Hz and 120 Hz flicker, which means, in addition to 60 fps content, its BFI mode also effectively makes motion smoother for 120 fps content.

Variable Refresh Rate (Gaming Features)

The other improvement offered by the LG OLED CX over the OLED C9 predecessor is their gaming features. Previously, the LG OLED C9 already supports VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) technology that compatible with HDMI VRR. Even in the end of the 2019 there is an update firmware that makes it is also compatible with NVidia G-Sync. On the other hand, in addition to HDMI Forum VRR and GSync, the OLED CX is now also compatible with FreeSync and HGiG (HDR Gaming Interest Group). As we have known, the VRR technology can improves game experience by reducing screen tearing. But keep in mind, currently, the OLED CX has not supported FreeSync and it requires a firmware update in future in order to support FreeSync.

Additionally, the frequency ranges of their VRR are also a bit different. On the OLED CX, their refresh rate can change between 40 Hz to 120 Hz at any resolution. Meanwhile, on the OLED C9, at 1080p and 1440p resolution, their refresh rate can change between 20 – 120 Hz while at 4K resolution, the refresh rate range is between 40 Hz – 60 Hz.

Smart TV Platform

WebOS 4.5

The LG OLED C9 and OLED CX actually run the same smart TV platform, which is WebOS that works with LG ThinQ AI. But that makes them different is their version where the OLED CX comes with 5.0 version while the OLED C9 comes with 4.5 version. Actually, there are no major changes to the overall form. Their interface is equally clean and easy to use. Additionally, there is not also serious issue on their performance. The pre-installed apps that provided are also not much different. There are VoD Service like YouTube Netflix, etc, Web Browser, Live TVs, Games, and others. They both also have a feature called Home Dashboard, which is similar to Smart Things on Samsung TV. Additionally, both of LG OLED CX and OLED C9 also supports some AI (Artificial Intelligence) features like Alexa built-in, Google Assistant built-in. If in last year, the WebOS 4.5 supports Apple Airplay 2 only, in this year, the WebOS 5.0 now also supports Apple Home Kit. Even with a future update, the WebOS 5.0 will also support Apple TV.  In addition pre-installed apps and some built-in AI features, both of them also has an apps store called LG’s apps store that provided a vast selections of apps.

The similarities

Panel Technology

WRGB OLED

There is no change on the OLED panel brought by the LG OLED CX over the OLED C9. With other words, they use OLED panel that have same technical platform. That means, the parameters that influenced by their panel like black level, peak brightness, color gamut, viewing angle, and response time are not much different. As we have known, the OLED panel of LG uses WRGB pixel structure. In addition to standard RGB sub-pixel, there is an addition white sub-pixel to boost its peak brightness. And we also have known, OLED panel has self-lighting pixels. This means, each of its pixels can switch on/off/dim individually without influenced by the condition of other pixel surrounding. Since its pixels can emit their own light, the OLED panel doesn’t need backlight. Its pixel dimming level is equivalent to the Full Array Local Dimming on LED TV with the number of dimming zones is same to the number of pixel. So, when they are showing black, the pixels in the black area are switched off so there is no light emitted at all in black area. The result, black produced is nearly perfect, even when they are showing small black in bright scene. On the contrary, when it is showing small highlight in a dark scene, there is also no visible blooming around highlight.

Native Refresh Rate Panel

Both LG OLED C9 and OLED CX have native 120 Hz Refresh rate panel. This allows them support any content with frame rate up to120 Hz. Additionally, this also allows them to interpolate lower frame rate content up to 120 Hz. And combine to HDMI 2.1, both OLED CX and C9 also already supports HFR (High Frame Rate) content such as 4K @ 120 Hz.

Inputs

The LG CX and C9 are equipped with the same inputs/outputs. They both have 4 HDMI ports where their HDMI ports support most of format and resolutions. In addition they support CEC, HDCP 2.2, and HDMI 2.0, all of their HDMI ports also already support HDMI 2.1 full bandwidth. With the support of HDMI 2.1, this allows them are able to accept HFR signal. One of their HDMI ports (HDMI2) also already supports ARC and eARC, allows them are able to send high quality Dolby Atmos via Tru HD Sound from an external compatible receiver. Additionally, their HDMI ports also support most of resolutions, from 1080p, 1440p, 4K, 4K with HDR, etc at both 60Hz and 120 Hz.

In addition to 4 HDMI ports, they both also have 3 USB ports. But unlike Sony TV that has USB 3.0, all of USB ports of the OLED C9 and OLED CX are USB 2.0 and none of them are USB 3.0. Additionally, the both also have 1 Composite In, 1 Tuner In, 1 Ethernet ports, and 1 Digital Audio Out (optical). And for wireless connection, they both are equipped with Built-in Wi-Fi 802.11 ac and Bluetooth 5.0.

Sound System

The LG OLED C9 and OLED CX also have the same sound equipment. They both are equipped with 2.2 channel speaker system with built in woofer and 40 watts of total sound output (Woofer: 20 watts). And since they both support Dolby Atmos, this allows you to enjoy Dolby Atmos Experience without additional external sound bar. But even so, a bit difference between them is about the level of their AI Sound feature where the OLED C9 has standard AI sound while the OLED CX has AI Sound Pro. There is an improvement in algorithm offered by the AI Sound Pro than AI sound in order to better identify and enhance dialog. Additionally, AI Sound Pro is expected can help compensate for the shortcomings in the speaker hardware. And expected, a TV with AI Sound Pro including OLED CX can deliver better dialog and wider sound stage than the predecessor.

Check the Latest Price
LG OLED CX LG OLED C9
48 Inches LG OLED48CXPUB on Amazon
55 Inches LG OLED55CXPUA on Amazon LG OLED55C9PUA on Amazon
65 Inches LG OLED65CXPUA on Amazon LG OLED65C9PUA on Amazon
77 Inches LG OLED77CXPUA on Amazon LG OLED77C9PUB on Amazon

LG OLED CX vs OLED C9 Performance

Black Level and Contrast

The image is only an illustration

As we have mentioned above, since OLED panel have self-lighting pixel, makes them has infinite native contrast ratio. And the result, black produced by them are nearly perfect, even when viewed in a dark room. This is one of the major advantages of the OLED TVs than LED TVs. Additionally, they both also have pixel dimming level that makes further improves their performance in a dark room. The result, shadow details of HDR images looks excellently on their screen. Additionally small highlight like subtitle in movies also looks excellent.  Overall, their performance in producing black or when used in a dark room is undoubtedly.

Winner: Draw

Peak Brightness

With SDR content, peak brightness of the LG OLED CX and OLED C9 is fairly good and their peak brightness is almost similar. The brightest peak brightness is reached by them on 2% and 10% window (2% or 10% of screen is white while the rest is black) where they both hit around 450 nits. But even so, the larger window sizes, their peak brightness drops. Even on 100% window (throughout screen is bright), their peak brightness is aggressively dropped by their ABL (Automatic Bright Limiter) to around 150 nits to prevent excessive use of power. This means, when they are showing bright scenes, the picture may look a bit dark. But even so, in general, with real SDR content, they both can hit brighter than 300 nits that means it is bright enough to fight the glare in most room. So, as long as you don’t watch TV in very bright rooms, there will not be a serious issue.

Meanwhile, when coming with HDR content, they both can hit brighter peak brightness. With real HDR content, they both can hit around 700 nits that mean good. In 10% window, they even can hit around 800 nits, bright enough to bring out highlight in HDR. But just like with SDR content, they peak brightness is dimmer when the bright area increases. Even on 100% window or throughout scene is bright, their peak brightness is dimmed down to around 150 nits by their ABL. But in general, for OLED TVs, their HDR peak brightness is great. With around 700 nits, they are able to show HDR images as bright they should in HDR. Additionally, they both are also able to show HDR images with highlight that pops. But even so, they are not still able to show HDR images at 1000-4000 nits of the target intended by content creator.  Compare between them, the C9 may be able to get a bit brighter, but I think this more due to panel variance.

Winner: Draw

Color Performance

Both LG OLED CX and OLED C9 have outstanding color gamut. In DCI P3, their color gamut can cover around 97% of color space. The result, almost all of colors of HDR images that mastered in DCI P3 like HDR 10 can be shown fairly accurate. Additionally, their color gamut coverage in Rec.2020 is also good, which is around 72%. Although not all colors of HDR images that mastered in Rec.2020 like Dolby Vision content can be shown fairly accurate, but at least they are still able to show colorful HDR images. But a bit unfortunately, their color volume is only decent. They both may be able to produce deep dark colors excellently, but at the top, they both lose volume. Their WRGB structure may make them can produce pure white, but on the other hand, this pixel structure makes them cannot produce very bright colors. Nevertheless, overall, their color reproduction is great and regardless the HDR format, HDR content can be shown colorfully.

10 bit color gradient

Additionally, both of LG OLED C9 and OLED CX also have excellent color gradient. There may be some little banding in most colors, but this should be hard to notice in normal content. Meanwhile, when they are playing low quality source that has a lot of bandings, they both also have a feature called Smooth Gradation that can reduce the banding. Enabling this feature may be able to remove banding, but on the other, this can cause the picture lose some fine details in certain scene.

Winner: Draw

Side Viewing Angle

OLED vs LED Side Viewing Angle

The image is only an illustration

Side Viewing angle of both LG OLED C9 and OLED CX are great, better than LED TV with VA panel technology that has special optical layer or LED TV with IPS panel. They both are able to maintained their black level and peak brightness up to extremely wide angle. This means, when you watch TV from extremely side angle, black level and brightness of the images will look consistent. Additionally, even though colors still look washed-out started at certain angle, which around 50 degrees, but this is still wider than what can performed by LED TVs.

Motion Handling

In addition to perfect black, nearly instantaneous pixel response time is also a major advantage of the OLED TV including LG OLED C9 and OLED CX. The result, when they are playing fast moving objects like fast movies of fast sports, the picture looks very smooth with almost no ghosting trail following fast moving object. But on the other hand, the instantaneous pixel response time can cause motion appear to stutter, particularly when they are playing low frame rate content. This issue actually can be reducing by enabling OLED Motion on the OLED C9 or OLED Motion Pro on the OLED CX, but this cannot help much. Additionally, enabling motion interpolation can also help reduce image stuttering.

OLED vs LED TV Motion Blur

The image is only an illustration

Meanwhile, unlike most LED TVs that use PWM Dimming system for dimming their backlight, both LG OLED CX and OLED C9 don’t use PWM Dimming System. Technically, this makes their screen is almost flicker-free. But on the other hand, this can cause some persistence blur. To resolve this issue, both of them have an optional BFI mode that we have discussed above.

Both LG OLED C9 and OLED CX are also good performer when judder of 24p movies. Regardless the source of the movies, they both can show them with judder-free. This means, whether they are playing native 24p movies like DVD or Blu Ray movies, 24p movies via 60i signal like movies from satellite TV, 24p movies via 60p signal like movies from streaming devices, or 24p movies from native apps like Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime, etc, you will enjoy them with judder-free. To remove the judder, you just need to simply enable “Real Cinema”. But keep in mind, when their OLED Motion is enable, enabling Real Cinema cannot remove judder.

Winner: Draw

Input Lags

Both LG OLED C9 and OLED CX also have outstanding input lags in “Game” and “PC” mode. With 60 fps content, regardless the resolution is 1080p, 1440p, 4K, 4K with 10 bit HDR, 4K @ 4:4:4, etc, their input lags are around 14 ms. Meanwhile, with 120 fps content, at 1080p and 1440p resolution, their input lags are around 7 ms and at 4K resolution, their input lag is around 12 ms. With VRR feature is enabled, their input lags are also excellent, which are around 6 ms at 1080p and 1440p and 16 ms at 4K resolution. With their input lags, this certainly makes them are very responsive for playing any games, regardless you are playing fast or casual games, HDR or non HDR games, 1080p, 1440p, or 4K games.

Winner: Draw

Check the Latest Price
LG OLED CX LG OLED C9
48 Inches LG OLED48CXPUB on Amazon
55 Inches LG OLED55CXPUA on Amazon LG OLED55C9PUA on Amazon
65 Inches LG OLED65CXPUA on Amazon LG OLED65C9PUA on Amazon
77 Inches LG OLED77CXPUA on Amazon LG OLED77C9PUB on Amazon

Conclusion

For Watching Movies

Since a dark room is a most ideal place and condition to watch movies, of course, performance of the LG OLED CX and C9 when used for watching movies is outstanding. They both have nearly perfect black, makes shadow details looks excellently in a dark room. Additionally, their pixel dimming level also further improves their performance in a dark room. Combine to their good peak brightness, excellent color gradient, and wide color gamut, and great 24p judder handling, etc, this certainly makes movies looks excellently on their screen.

Winner: Draw

For Watching Sports

Both G OLED C9 and OLED CX are also great TVs for watching sports. In addition to they both have excellent picture quality, they both have good peak brightness, allows you to watch sports in most rooms without any issues. Their nearly instantaneous pixel response time also allows you to watch sports smoothly with almost no visible blur. And lastly, their excellent viewing angle coverage ensure all of you will get best viewing when you are watching a big game with a group of your family or friend.

Winner: Draw

Video Games

When used for playing games, performance of the LG OLED C9 and OLED CX are also excellent. In addition to they both have excellent picture quality, great motion handling, and wide viewing angle, they both also have good input lags in both 60 Hz and 120 Hz, regardless the resolution. Additionally, they both also already support VRR technology that compatible with most formats like HDMI Forum VRR and GSync. Special for the OLED CX, with a future firmware update, it will also support FreeSync. With all features that offered by them, this allows you to play games responsively with excellent picture quality.

Winner: Draw

HDR Performance

Except their peak brightness, all HDR aspects of the LG OLED CX and OLED C9 are outstanding. They both have nearly perfect black, allow them to show shadow details of HDR images outstandingly. Additionally, combination of their excellent color gamut, decent color volume, and excellent color gradient makes color of HDR images can be shown very accurately with very smooth gradient. And for OLED TV, their HDR peak brightness is actually bright enough to show HDR images as bright the way they should in HDR. Additionally, their peak brightness on small window is also bright enough to bring up the highlight. But in general, their peak brightness is not still bright enough to show HDR images brighter than 1000 nits intended by the content creator.  As we have known, some premium LED TVs are able to show HDR images brighter than 1000 nit the target.

Winner: Draw

Summary

As we have discussed a lot above, technically, performance of the LG OLED CX and OLED C9 are almost similar, whether they are for watching sports, movies, TV shows, playing games, or HDR experience. And in general, their performance is great for any usage. Nevertheless, as we have discussed a lot above, even though technically, their performance is similar, but the OLED CX bring some improvement that makes its performance is better such as improvement on their AI-Related Features, 120 Hz BFI mode, some smart features in their smart TV platform, etc. And as the note, even though OLED TV has great performance in almost all aspects, but this doesn’t mean they don’t have any shortcoming. And one of the major shortcomings of the both is risk from permanent burn-in, particularly when showing static images over long time.  So, which is a better choice? Now, the decision comes back to you according to your own preferences and budget. If you main consideration is picture quality, I thing LG OLED C9 is better because it has cheaper prices.  But of course, if budget is not your main consideration, LG OLED CX certainly is better.

Check the Latest Price
LG OLED CX LG OLED C9
48 Inches LG OLED48CXPUB on Amazon
55 Inches LG OLED55CXPUA on Amazon LG OLED55C9PUA on Amazon
65 Inches LG OLED65CXPUA on Amazon LG OLED65C9PUA on Amazon
77 Inches LG OLED77CXPUA on Amazon LG OLED77C9PUB on Amazon

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