If you’re spending big money on a television, you’ll naturally want to do your research and make sure you’re getting the best. However, that choice is a lot more complicated now than it was a few years ago, particularly with the introduction of new screen technologies such as Mini-LED changing the classic dynamics of the premium TV space. That said, OLED televisions still command a premium, both in terms of capabilities as compared to the competition, as well as price.
The television I’m reviewing here is part of a series that has long been among the most popular options among OLED televisions in India. The LG C2 range is the successor to the popular C1 and CX ranges, and promises improved performance and capabilities, along with the benefits that OLED screen technology typically brings to televisions. Is this the best premium (around Rs. 2,00,000) 55-inch television you can buy in India right now? Find out in this review.
LG C2 55-inch OLED TV (OLED55C2PSC) design and specifications
The LG C2 series is available is various sizes, ranging from 42 inches (priced at Rs. 1,39,990) to 83 inches (priced at Rs. 11,74,990). The variant sent to me for review is the 55-inch option, which is officially priced at Rs. 2,19,990. All televisions in the range, regardless of size, are Ultra-HD (3840×2160 pixels) OLED TVs with a refresh rate of up to 120Hz, and have largely similar specifications and features. Dolby Vision IQ and Dolby Atmos are supported on the TV.
LG’s C-series of televisions aren’t typically known for flourishing, premium design, and the 55-inch C2 TV is nowhere as impressive to look at as the similarly-priced Samsung 55QN95B. However, it’s still a well put together television with a slim profile at the edges, easy-to-reach ports and sockets, and narrow borders around the display that allow you to focus your attention on what’s playing on the screen.
There are no markings at the front of the TV, not even an LG logo. At the bottom, there is just the power button, located on a module that also has the status light and IR receiver. All of the ports and sockets are to the left of the screen and are easily accessible even with the TV wall-mounted. The speakers are bottom firing, and on the whole, the design is as straightforward as it gets.
The LG C2 55-inch television weighs 12.7kg without the stand, and 14.4kg with the centre stand which is included in the box. This stand design ensures that the TV can be placed on even a relatively small table and doesn’t have a large footprint. I had the television wall mounted for my review, using a VESA-standard low-profile wall-mount kit of my own; the wall-mount kit for the TV isn’t included in the box, but can be availed of during the free installation by the brand.
The ports and sockets on the LG C2 55-inch TV include four HDMI ports (all supporting 4K at 120Hz resolution, one of which support eARC), three USB Type-A ports, LAN, Optical Digital Audio-out, a single-socket AV-in to be used with an adapter, antenna and cable sockets, and an analogue socket for an IR blaster. Notably, there is no wired headphone connectivity on the TV.
In addition, there is NVIDIA G-sync, variable refresh rate (VRR), and AMD FreeSync support for gaming. The LG C2 supports dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5 for connectivity, and has a rated sound output of 40W for its 2.2-channel speaker system. The television is powered by LG’s a9 Gen 5 AI processor 4K, which enables various AI-based features that’s claimed to optimise the viewing experience.
LG C2 55-inch OLED TV (OLED55C2PSC) remote and features
LG’s magic remote concept has been a popular one, and the C2 55-inch TV has this unique remote included. It’s a full-sized unit, and is designed to be bottom-heavy for better grip and manoeuvrability, which is needed for its wand-like functions. The remote creates a floating cursor on the screen of the TV, and you can wave the remote around to point and click. You can also stick to the traditional d-pad, scroll wheel, and button controls, if you prefer; either way, the remote is easy to use and gets you around the interface quickly.
The remote has hotkeys for Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+ Hotstar, along with separate buttons to invoke Google Assistant and Alexa. Usefully, it’s possible to use both voice assistants simultaneously on the TV, which isn’t something I’ve seen too often. The rest of the remote is fairly standard, with buttons to control power, volume, source selection, and open the settings menu from anywhere within the UI, or even when content is playing.
Other features on the LG C2 television include support for Apple AirPlay and HomeKit, hands-free voice control, and LG’s AI ThinQ suite, which is able to sense the surroundings including daylight and other conditions, to set up the picture and sound for the conditions. It’s also possible to link the TV to the LG ThinQ app on your smartphone, which lets you use the phone as a remote for the TV and adjust certain settings, among other things.
LG C2 55-inch OLED TV (OLED55C2PSC) software and interface
LG’s webOS platform has come a long way over the years, from originally being built for Palm smartphones to being the default operating system for its TVs. It’s even changed a fair bit in the past year or so, with a growing focus on content curation and recommendations. Some elements of the interface continue to appear as overlays, such as the Settings and Source selection menus, but much of the interface covers the entire screen.
This includes the Home Dashboard, which shows a tile display of connected devices, and allows for quick access to AirPlay and any IoT devices you have connected through the LG ThinQ app. The main smart TV interface is now a full-screen affair, with tiles for weather, content recommendations, apps, and the web browser, so pressing the home button will pause what’s playing, unlike before.
Many of the popular apps that you’d usually want on a smart TV are already installed, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+ Hotstar. Others can be installed through the app library, which have been optimised for the big screen. There are also various games, social media apps, and tools to choose from. Although not as well put together and extensive as the Google Play store for Android TV, the app library on webOS is decent enough, and apps work just as well on the platform as on other popular TV platforms.
I found the overall software experience a bit cluttered and unpredictable on the whole, and things sometimes took a bit too long to load. That said, there were no significant issues, and webOS is entirely usable as it is.
LG C2 55-inch OLED TV (OLED55C2PSC) performance
At over Rs. 2,00,000, the LG C2 55-inch television is firmly a premium option and would naturally be expected to perform at a level that justifies the price. LG’s OLED televisions have typically delivered on this and the C2 is no different; this is among the best televisions in its segment right now when it comes to picture quality and overall performance.
In terms of specifications, the LG C2 55-inch TV is well equipped for all kinds of content with support for various HDR formats up to Dolby Vision IQ, Dolby Atmos audio, and the pixel-level dimming feature that comes with an OLED display. What truly stood out about the C2’s picture performance was its ability to almost intuitively adapt to the content and lighting conditions in the room, making practically everything I watched look as good as it could be.
Ultra-HD Dolby Vision content was first on my list, and I watched various shows and movies on the TV, including Obi Wan Kenobi, The World’s Most Amazing Vacation Rentals, Uncharted, and Man Vs Bee, to name a few. Across content and genres, the LG television delivered excellent performance, particularly when it came to contrast levels.
The true pixel-level blacks of an OLED television mean that contrast is virtually infinite, but getting it right is often a challenge. The LG C2 aces this aspect, delivering a picture that never looked like it was trying too hard and didn’t seem to need to highlight the deep blacks, as is usually the case with more affordable OLED televisions.
The colours felt understated, going more for accuracy and realism than the kind of bright, sometimes excessively vibrant picture, that many mid-premium and high-end televisions usually offer. Dolby Vision’s excellent handling of colours was made significantly better by the LG C2 55-inch TV, particularly with the visually stunning locations in The World’s Most Amazing Vacation Rentals.
The brightness was usually on point for the lighting conditions in the room, with LG’s AI ThinQ functionality doing a surprisingly good job at reading the content and lighting to set up the picture properly, getting the picture calibration right with the dark, detailed scenes of Obi Wan Kenobi. That said, the television did sometimes take a couple of minutes to react to changes in lighting conditions (such as turning a light on), but when it did, picture quality was impressive.
OLED televisions aren’t known for very high brightness levels and although LG claims to have enhancements in place to make the C2 brighter than previous models in the series, it doesn’t quite get there. This wasn’t often a problem for me as I usually watched television at night with the room dimly lit, but on the occasions that I tried to watch something during the day, it proved to be a bit of a challenge.
Unlike the very bright Samsung QN95B Mini LED TV, the LG struggled to adjust to even overcast conditions during the day, and I needed to draw the curtains for a watchable experience. This can be a challenge even in brightly lit rooms, so it’s something you should consider if ambient lighting can’t be quickly and easily adjusted.
While Dolby Vision and HDR10 content was viewable in a brightly-lit room thanks to the brightness of the TV being bumped up automatically, non-HDR content was a bit difficult to watch in anything but a dimly lit room. Episodes of Better Call Saul were detailed thanks to the Ultra-HD resolution, but the dull nighttime scenes of this iconic show were occasionally challenging to watch. The black levels were handled well, but skin tones and the nondescript suburban setting of the show seemed to lack character and feel at times.
Although I did face some issues with brightness levels, sharpness and motion handling were rarely ever an issue with the LG C2 55-inch OLED TV. The television’s seemingly intuitive ability to tweak the picture for the content was on full display here. During the slow scenes of Man Vs Bee, the LG C2 kept the focus on Rowan Atkinson’s priceless range of facial expressions, while the fast, exciting action sequences of Uncharted saw clean, flowing motion, with the right amount of blur and barely any noticeable artefacts.
With lower-resolution content, the LG C2 did reasonably well with bright, colourful content. However, the brightness issues meant that generally dark content tended to affect the picture quality a fair amount. The Batman on Amazon Prime Video was occasionally disappointing to watch, with the TV unable to do much with the low resolution and generally bad quality of the stream. However, it was considerably better than on the (much more affordable) Philips Ambilight 7900 series TV on test, suggesting that the LG C2 is trying a lot harder to upscale and process lower quality content.
Sound quality on the LG C2 55-inch TV was decent in certain situations; Dolby Atmos made for a good soundstage, and even standard audio encoding was clear enough provided the volume was turned up. However, this itself was an issue for me; I often had to have the TV at the 90 percent volume level to hear anything properly in an otherwise quiet room, so I couldn’t quite get the loud and impactful sound that movies such as Uncharted and The Batman deserved. You will likely want to get a soundbar or speaker system to go with this television.