LG C2 OLED (OLED55C2XSC) Review - The Practical Choice!

Updated: Sep 8



OLED TVs are on the verge of their next evolution in the form of QD-OLED, and LGs WOLED has been facing serious competition from Samsung's S95B and Sony's A95K. With the higher-end G2 taking the front lines, where does the more affordable C2 fit in this tug-of-war? That's what I'll be answering in this review, and also help you decide if this is the ideal TV for your home.


Before we get into the good stuff, I want to clarify a few things. I have the 55-inch LG C2 which was bought from an offline store in Kolkata. LG India is not associated in any way and all the opinions in this review are mine alone. I've used the TV extensively and taken measures with a wide variety of content while also checking the overall functionality, performance, and software experience.


LG C2 OLED Specifications

SPECS

​LG C2 OLED (OLED55C2XSC)

Panel Type

​WOLED

Resolution

4K (3840x2160), 16:9

Refresh Rate

120 Hz

​OLED EVO

​Yes

​Processor

​α9 Gen5

​Internal Storage

2.69 GB

​HDR

​HDR10 (HDR10 Pro supported), HLG, Dolby Vision

​Audio

​2.2 Ch, 40W (20W+20W Stereo), 20W Sub Woofer, Dolby Atmos

​I/O

​4 x HDMI2.1 (including 1 x HDMI eARC), 3 x USB Type-A, 1 x RJ-45 LAN, 1 x RF, 1 x Optical (Digital Audio Out)

Connectivity

Wi-Fi 5 (802.11 ac), Bluetooth 5.0

​Gaming

​NVIDIA G-Sync, AMD FreeSync Premium, ALLM, VRR, HGIG, Game Dashboard, Game Optimizer

​Voice Assistants

​LG WebOS Assistant, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa

​Extra Features

Apple Homekit, Apple Airplay, Google Cast

​Multi View (2022)

​Yes

​Dimensions (With Stand)

​1222 mm x 756 mm x 215 mm

Weight (With Stand)

​14.4 Kilograms

Software Version (During Testing)

​03.11.35


Design & Build Quality



LG's New Design Approach


LG has completely redesigned the C2 which is highly appreciated as several predecessors had the exact same design and it was starting to feel a little outdated. The approach remains the same, but this is a big generational leap. There are even thinner bezels at the top and on the sides, and while the chin is still slightly thicker in comparison, the overall viewing experience looks even more dazzling.



There is no branding on the front, so the only way people are going to know it's an LG TV is if you stand-mount it (there's an LG OLED branding on the stand), or if they look on the back of the TV. I am a big fan of this clean look and it just adds a little more premium-ness. The only extra thin rectangle hanging below the display is housing the IR receiver.


The back has changed too. There is a new composite material that somehow makes the TV look more attractive, and the unit that houses the electronics and the speakers, is now somewhat squared off. All the ports are now on the side and the power cable runs from the middle. These upgrades stand strong while still maintaining a super-thin profile.



Proper cable management for the power cable is there, but for cables running from the ports, you'll have to use the provided external brackets, and taking them around the back can make it look a bit messy, so LG definitely could have handled cable management better.


Updated Build Materials & Durability


They finally got rid of that metal sheet on the back which although premium, had some serious worries when it came to durability, just because it was super thin including the display panel, there was a higher risk of damage in case you accidentally hit or bumped onto the TV. This new composite material feels like plastic, but it's reinforced with carbon fiber, and this makes it way more sturdy, and I think it also feels much nicer. The sides are made out of metal.


The front is all glass as you'd expect and it's quite reflective. Reflective displays make the image pop, so it's adding to that rich experience, but because OLEDs still can't get quite as bright as Mini-LED or even Full-array LED TVs, if you have a bright light source directly opposite to the TV or even on the side, you'll see those reflections and probably be a bit annoyed.



I was often distracted by reflections coming from the side window and the light on the opposite side of the TV. So clearly, the anti-reflective coating isn't doing much here. It seems to be better compared to its predecessors, but Samsung & Sony currently do much better in this area. So, if you're reading this LG, you need to improve your Anti-refective coating.


The stand is made out of metal and it's extremely premium in quality. In India, the stand doesn't come in the box though. You need to choose between the Stand or the Wall Mount at the time of the installation. I went with the stand, but you can decide based on your setup. The stand weighs around 1.7 Kg and the TV weighs around 12.7 Kg (14.4 Kg with the Stand). That's a massive weight reduction compared to the C1 (18.9 Kg, 23 Kg with the Stand). It's amazing how much heft they were able to reduce in a single generation.


Inputs, Connectivity, and Related Features



Inputs & Connectivity


The company has a major focus when it comes to providing proper Inputs/Ports in their TVs, and the C2 is no exception. It has four HDMI ports all of which support the latest HDMI 2.1 standards for 4K 120Hz and one of them even supports eARC. That's a massive win for both PC and console gamers. There are also 3 USB ports, one LAN input, one RF input, and one Optical (Digital Audio Out) port.


When it comes to connectivity, you're getting Bluetooth 5.0 which is nice, but LG is still using Wi-Fi 5 (802.11 ac) in the C2 while the G2 got upgraded to Wi-Fi 6. Why the heck does a TV that costs this much still stuck on Wi-Fi 5? In 2022, a premium TV should at least come with Wi-Fi 6.


Practical Usage & Features


As far as practical usage goes, the HDMI ports support the full 48 Gbps bandwidth this year, but you do need an HDMI 2.1 cable to access that bandwidth which does not come in the box, so you'll have to buy one separately. 120 Hz gaming is a pleasure, and the current gen PS5 and Xbox do support that, or you can also hook up a supported PC.


You're also getting VRR, and the full 4:4:4 Chroma support. The eARC port gives access to high-quality sound passthrough, so connecting a high-end sound system or soundbar with Dolby Atmos, is going to be immersive. LG is offering more flexibility than any other brand when it comes to ports, and I appreciate that.


Picture Quality



The area that matters the most for any TV, is Picture Quality, and for an OLED TV, you probably expect nothing but excellence. So, does this LG C2 OLED actually have excellent picture quality in both SDR and HDR? Yes, it does! The C2 produces rich colors, pitch-perfect Blacks, and handles both Standard and High Dynamic Range content extremely well.


SDR, HDR, and Picture Modes


For SDR, the out-of-the-box colors are surprisingly accurate once you switch from the "Standard" mode to one of the "ISF Expert Bright" or "ISF Expert Dark" modes. For content though, the "Cinema" or the "FILMMAKER Mode" is going to produce richer and more cinematic visuals. The rest of the picture modes are pretty average, but the "Sports" and "Game Optimized" modes may come in handy occasionally.



In the case of HDR, there is support for Dolby Vision, HLG, and HDR10. Although HDR10+ is not supported, I didn't miss it at all. Dolby Vision has a much better color range anyway, and it has a massive content library available from Netflix, Disney+, Apple TV+, and more, while the content for HDR10+ is still highly limited. Dolby Vision doesn't support "FILMMAKER Mode" though, but I do think the "Cinema" mode looks the best on this TV.


Image Processing & Brightness


Image Processing has improved significantly on the LG C2. There is a lot less banding in scenes compared to the C1 and there is no visible DSE (Dirty Screen Effect) which is shouting top-notch technology. Upscaling works well with 1080P footage, but anything lower than that, suffers big time, which is consistent with the competition, so I can't possibly complain about it.



Color rendering has also improved, but here the upgrades are minimal. What stands out though, is Color Brightness. Don't get me wrong, QD-OLED can produce way brighter colors, but compared to the last-gen WOLED TVs, LG's Evo tech seems to have boosted the color brightness on the LG C2 by a noticeable margin.


Overall brightness seems to be somewhere close to 400 nits on a maximum in SDR and close to 750 nits in HDR. It can get slightly brighter in HDR, but those brightness levels don't necessarily sustain and ABL might kick in. This TV is significantly brighter than its predecessor and although the G2 can reach even higher brightness levels, the C2 is still super impressive.


Motion Handling


Motion is kind of a mixed bag though. I highly recommend turning Motion Smoothing (TruMoton) off to get the best results, other than maybe in "Sports" mode. The overall motion handling is pretty good with almost non-existent artifacting. This holds up true for the majority of the content out there.



When there is too much movement though, motion can get a bit messy at times, which believe me or not, was better with the C1, so I have no idea why the C2 sometimes falls apart. Because this TV is running new and more powerful hardware, I have to guess that the issue is with software here, so maybe LG can fix it with a software update, but we'll have to see. Other than that, motion handling is what you'd expect from a modern flagship television.


Overall Viewing Experience


If you have seen a non-Evo LG WOLED before, you are going to notice that extra pop on the LG C2. Both the brightness and the color processing have noticeably improved. There is excellent Dynamic Tone Mapping in HDR, the EOTF Curve tracking is accurate, and if you can get the C2X variant (Model: OLED55C2XSC) as I have here, you also get Precision Detail through Dolby Vision IQ which is not listed for the regular C2 variant (Model: OLED55C2PSC) for some reason.



Yes, I am not 100% satisfied with Motion Handling, but the overall experience has won me over. The LG C2 produces the best image quality in its price range in 2022. That's saying a lot and I have to give the company some credit for that. I won't be worried about Pixel Burn-In either as LG's OLED care features have been taking care of those pretty well for the last couple of generations.


LG has come a long way on their C-series OLEDs and they're improving with every newest iteration. If they can iron out a few things here and there with software updates, the C2 is surely going to be even more irresistible, but as there is no confirmation on that, buy the TV based on exactly what you're getting right now.


Audio



Sound Quality has never been the strong suit of modern smart TVs unless you invest a lot of money into high-end Sony OLEDs. LG however, has been improving on their sound for some time and the C1 sounded kinda nice. The C2 has kept up that pace and it sounds maybe ever-so-slightly better.


Audio Hardware & Features


There is a 40W sound system divided between two down-firing 20W speakers and there's also a 20W Sub Woofer. This creates a 2.2 Ch speaker system and LG did put in support for Dolby Atmos. As far as AI tricks go, the "AI Acoustic Tuning" feature works well, but "AI Sound Pro" is a total bust. Also, DTS is not available which I don't care about, but if you do, keep that in mind.


Sound Quality


As far as the overall audio experience is concerned, the LG C2 sounds pretty good in its segment. Watching movies or shows, listening to music, or watching sports, is a nice experience. There is a decent amount of surround effect, but it's no match for a dedicated 5.1 or Dolby Atmos speaker setup.


The dialog clarity isn't great, but turning on "Clear Voice Pro" which is LGs premium sound mode for boosting dialogs, helps a bit. However, if you want clearer dialogs while also not missing the cinematic sound effects, a good soundbar, preferably one with Dolby Atmos support, is recommended.


WebOS, Magic Remote, and Apps



WebOS Home


LG's WebOS has also changed a lot and it now looks & feels a lot different. By default, the TV turns on to the ART Gallary mode and you need to click on the Home button to get into LGs new Home Menu. This gives you access to all the apps, suggested content, Live TV, Home Dashboard, Connections, and more.



Thankfully, there aren't any unnecessary ads in India and that's how it should be on expensive TVs, but if you live in the US, you will see ads on your Home. However, LG still gives you a personalized ID for ads, even here in India, so I don't know if they'll start showing ads in the future. For now, you get a pretty clean software experience.


App Availability and More


You can install new apps from LGs app store, re-arrange or delete apps, and the selection of apps, although limited, is still more than enough for me. Alongside Netflix, Disney+ Hotstar (Disney+ outside India), and Prime Video, you also get both Apple TV & Apple Music alongside Spotify, and Discovery Plus if you're into that.



There is also a Web Browser that loses cache memory very fast. It's okay for occasional use, but don't depend on it. Some bloatware comes pre-installed, but you can uninstall those apps quite easily. Personally, I'd take uninstallable bloatware apps over long-term ad spamming.


My family won't require any extra apps, but I still think some of you may want a wider library. What I can say is that app availability is going to differ depending on what region you're from. So, maybe check if LG has the apps you need, available in your country, before getting the TV.


Magic Remote and Controlling the TV


LG's remote control hasn't changed in the last few years. It's a traditional remote control with all the buttons you'd expect and is made of hard plastic. I do however appreciate the dedicated Input button, which for some reason Samsung skipped on their new rechargeable remote.



Speaking of rechargeable remotes, LGs magic remote is still using old-school Alkaline based batteries, and it's 2022, switch to USB-C charging already. Also, while the competition has moved on to more minimal interfaces and metal casings, the Magic Remote feels a bit dated at this point. It doesn’t feel as modern or as premium compared to what Samsung & Sony are offering for their premium TVs and it also doesn’t have proper backlighting, so it’s hard to use in complete darkness.



The functionality, however, is really good. LG’s Magic Motion tracks a cursor to the screen so it’s quicker to reach onto different stuff while navigating on the TV. The tracking works well, but the out-of-the-box speed was too fast for me, so I had to turn it down to “Slow”. Regular navigation (with buttons) also works well and LG also threw in a scroll wheel that helps to navigate up and down.


You also have a dedicated microphone to access, LG’s voice Assistant, Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. All these get their dedicated buttons and you also have Netflix, Prime Video, and Disney+ Hotstar (Disney+ outside India). So, the features are all there and I do like this remote, but it’s also true that I’d prefer this remote to be metallic and rechargeable.


The Bugs & Kinks


If you’re expecting some kind of magical bug-free experience, that’s not the case. No software is bug-free and LG’s new shiny WebOS is no exception. There are a couple of nasty issues around,


  • While starting the TV, it lands on the Art Gallery mode, and while sometimes it will show the First Row of Suggested Content (Trending Now), and the Apps right on that page, sometimes it won’t. Occasionally, the TV loads them and hides them immediately. This bug is quite consistent.

  • From the same Art Gallery page, you can go to Home, to specific apps (ones with a dedicated button), access Settings, etc., but sometimes, the TV doesn’t take any inputs from the remote in that state. However, the Magic Motion Cursor gets activated and moves around with the remote.

  • Apps start-up times are generally quick, but sometimes those same apps take too long to load or get stuck on the start screen (on the page with the logo). The only way to get them going again is to disconnect the power and then turn the TV back on.

  • Bright HDR content sometimes activates the ABL (Auto Brightness Limiter) repeatedly within a few seconds which causes the display to go Bright and Dark continuously and randomly while watching content.

  • The colors on videos rarely load wrong while starting playback. For example, if there is a scene with a Yellow highlight, it might start up with a Magenta highlight instead. This issue is very, very, rare but it is present.

  • Voice Input using LG’s own Voice Assistant is highly inaccurate.


I may come across other bugs during long-term use, so if I do, I’ll update them here. However, I do hope that LG fixes some of these issues with future software updates.



The α9 Gen5 Processor & Performance



CPU, Storage & Capabilities


There are some significant improvements on this year's Alpha 9 Gen5 processor over its predecessor, and although these aren't any massive leaps forward, it is making a difference here. LG didn't disclose how much RAM they put in this TV, but it seems to be mostly holding up fine. There is just 2.69GB of Internal Storage which in my opinion is way too low for a TV this expensive.


As far as real-world performance is concerned, the TV now feels much faster while navigating through menus & apps, and new apps install pretty quickly. α9 Gen5 doesn't have that 40 Gbps bandwidth limitation on HDMI 2.1 and supports the full 48 Gbps. It also has support for VRR, NVIDIA G-Sync, and AMD FreeSync Premium which will come in handy for gamers. But, for some reason, there is no BFI (Black Frame Insertion) support at 120 FPS, so keep that in mind.


Video Performance


When it comes to SDR and HDR playback, the processor seems to handle banding much better, and motion is also better balanced even if I don't turn on TruMotion (Motion Smoothing). However, occasionally the motion does get messed up when there is way too much movement going on. Sadly there are no Graphics benchmarks on WebOS, but if there were, I think it would not do great in complicated Physics tests.


Overall, I am somewhat satisfied with the performance, but I do not like the extremely low Internal Storage. Forget about keeping downloaded movies on this one. If you want to do that, you'll need to get an Apple TV 4K. In my opinion, premium smart TVs, unlike cheap streamers, shouldn't ship with Internal Storage so low, that they can easily get filled up and aren't really capable of keeping a few 4K movies in memory.


The Verdict



PROS

CONS

Perfect Black Levels & Poppy Colors.

Out-of-trend design and build of the Magic Remote with no proper backlighting.

Increased Brightness thanks to OLED EVO.

​Dialog clarity isn't great.

​Snappy Interface & availability of most of the important streaming apps.

​The 2.69 GB storage is too low, hence there is no Download function in the apps.

All four HDMI ports support ​HDMI 2.1.

​ABL's strange behavior sometimes makes super-bright scenes hard to watch.

Completely redesigned and much-improved build quality.

​Motion Handling can be improved.

The LG C2 is a significant leap forward for mainstream OLED televisions. This is the first C-series TV to receive the Evo upgrade which combines panel technology, the new hardware, and LG's expert processing to produce a brighter picture, and I am really enjoying that.


Sure the G2, with its dedicated heatsink, can produce an even brighter picture, but I don't really see the need to spend that extra money just for that extra brightness. If however, I wanted the TV to be wall-mounted, I'd have paid the extra to get the G2. The no-gap wall-mount and the extra brightness can make that extra price a little easier to swallow.


Also, if you are going to put the TV right opposite a bright window, you're better off with one of those high-brightness Mini-LED TVs from Samsung's Neo QLED or LG's QNED line-up. Even Sony's higher-end full-array LED TVs are going to be brighter, so if you need a TV that can sustain massively bright situations in the daytime, those TVs are better options.


If you however want the best bang for the buck OLED TV without making that doesn't make any significant compromises in features and provides excellent picture quality, the LG C2 is the TV to get. The 55-inch variant has a selling price of ₹1,59,990 ($1599 in the US) but most of the time, you can get it for a lot less. Offline stores often have great discounts on premium TVs like this, so it's better to compare online and offline prices before you purchase the TV.


In case you have any questions or maybe you just want to say thank you, please leave a comment below. Maybe even share this review with someone who's looking to buy a new OLED TV. Hope this was helpful, and thank you for sticking till the end.



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