The LG CX was the company’s main 4K OLED TV back in 2020, taking a high place in our list of the best TVs at the time by offering an impressive combination of design, features and performance. It was replaced by the LG C1, 2021's model, so if you can find either on offer which is more worthwhile? There's the newer LG C2 that's a step above both, but as it's newer it's also pricier.
It's a testament to the comprehensive nature of the CX’s feature-set and its status as one of the best OLED TVs and that the C1 didn't really add anything new – while its rivals are adding HDMI 2.1 support, for example, the CX already ranks among the best gaming TVs.
LG C1 vs LG CX: Prices & features
The LG CX and C1 both come in 48-, 55-, 65- and 77-inch screen sizes. Both have recently enjoyed a number of price reductions. Stock is pretty limited on the CX, though, as you can see from the real-time widget below. That means you may actually find a better C1 deal as a result.
LG C1 vs LG CX: Design & connections
The LG CX and C1 are virtually identical in look, with the same ultra-slim design and angled stand that has been employed for a number of years now. The self-emissive nature of OLED allows for an incredibly thin panel and virtually no bezel, but the panel is deeper towards the bottom where the electronics, connections and speakers are housed.
Both TVs offer the same in terms of connections, with three sideways and one rear-facing HDMI 2.1 input. One of the HDMI 2.1 inputs supports eARC (enhanced audio return channel), and all of them handle the latest gaming features such as 4K 120Hz, Variable Refresh Rate to stop frame tearing in games, and ALLM, which automatically switches into the low-latency game mode.
In terms of the other connections, the two TVs include three USB ports, terrestrial and satellite tuners, a digital optical output, a line output, a headphone socket, and an Ethernet port. Both also sport a number of wireless connections such as Bluetooth, Apple’s AirPlay 2 and dual-band Wi-Fi.
LG C1 vs LG CX: Picture quality
The LG CX is hard to beat with a comprehensive set of features. This 4K OLED TV supports basic HDR10, the HLG broadcast standard, and Dolby Vision IQ, which uses dynamic metadata to deliver superior HDR combined with a sensor to optimise the experience depending on ambient light. There’s no support for the competing HDR10+ format, but Dolby’s is more popular and used by Netflix, Disney+, and Apple TV+, along with a number of Blu-rays. There’s also a dedicated Filmmaker Mode to ensure films are seen as the creator’s intended
The CX uses LG's α9 Gen3 AI-enhanced image processor, which uses deep-learning algorithms to analyse and optimise content, before automatically adjusting the picture and sound as necessary. The result is a superb 4K performance, effective upscaling, and motion enhancements to improve fast-paced sporting action. The CX is a great choice for gamers, with all the previously mentioned gaming features, and a sub-10ms input lag.
The new LG C1 uses the upgraded α9 Gen4 AI-enhanced processor, which LG claims will improve the upscaling further and deliver more accurate colours. For gamers there’s also the new Game Optimiser, which collates all the gaming options in a single useful interface, thus making it easier for you to customise your gaming experience – Samsung is offering something similar on its 2021 TVs, including the Samsung QN95A.
As far as the OLED panel itself goes, there doesn't seem to be any difference. Which is not to say that LG's new processor won't get more from the current panel (that's what happened with the CX), but there's no big leap in image quality here – the more expensive LG G1 is where you'd have to go for that.
LG C1 vs LG CX: Sound quality
The LG CX uses a pair of downward-firing speakers and two woofers, all with 10W of power each, and these deliver a decent sonic performance. There’s also the bonus of Dolby Atmos decoding producing greater immersion through added width and height, thanks to psychoacoustics. The AI processor also analyses the audio signals, allowing the TV to enhance regular soundtracks.
The new LG C1 employs a near-identical audio system and set of sound features compared to the BX, resulting in a similar sonic experience. However LG claims the new α9 Gen4 AI-enhanced processing now allows the TV to analyse an audio signal and create a more immersive sonic experience using a pseudo 5.1.2-channel delivery, rather than the CX’s 5.1 channels, getting more from Atmos track in particular.
That said, the thin size and limited numbers of speakers on both models mean that neither will stand up to what the best soundbars can do – we'd still factor in wanting to add one of those if you want audio as good as the OLED visuals.
LG C1 vs LG CX: Smart TV
The CX sports LG’s webOS smart platform, which has been the pre-eminent operating system for the last five years due to its comprehensive choice of streaming apps, and highly intuitive interface thanks to the magic remote. There’s also built-in Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.
However, last year LG dropped Freeview Play from its 2020 TVs in the UK, which forced the company to re-certify all the TV catch-up apps. This took longer than planned, and as a result last year’s models currently only support the BBC and ITV streaming services, which is a shame.
The new LG C1 includes webOS (6.0), which now uses a full-page home screen, rather than a launcher bar at the bottom. There’s also a revised user interface and menu system, plus a redesigned magic remote. Best of all, Freeview Play is once again available to ensure a complete set of TV catch-up services and the ability to move back through the EPG.
LG C1 vs LG CX: Verdict
The LG CX remains one of the best-performing and attractively-priced OLED TVs you can buy, despite its age, with exceptional picture and sound, AI-enhanced processing, impressive smarts, and plenty of useful features. Most of the UK TV catch-up apps are missing, but otherwise the CX is hard to beat.
The LG C1 is the next step in the evolution and if you can obtain it for a better price then it's the obvious one to go for. LG CX stock is getting more limited being part of that reason.
There’s also one other major difference and that’s when it comes to screen sizes. The C1 adds an 83-inch version to the continuing 48-, 55-, 65- and 77-inch options, and that makes this new model the perfect choice for anyone looking for super-sized OLED action.