Unlike smartphones, smartwatches, and similar tech products, TVs have a much longer shelf life.
It’s not just because TVs are characteristically more resilient but also because subsequent TV releases tend not to offer many features and more value to warrant an upgrade.
The LG C1 is the 2021 version of the CX that was released in 2020. The LG CX garnered much praise and positive reviews when it came out. It was touted as the best in its category by many and is still beloved.
With the C1, LG had to meet the high expectations and surpass them. Did it manage to do an encore? Or is the C1 a lazy attempt that tries to ride the CX popularity wave?
Keep reading to find out as we compare the two and let you know what’s different and what’s being carried over.
LG OLED CX: An Overview
The LG CX (pronounced “C-10”) is a premium LG OLED TV that succeeds the well-received LG C9. It’s positioned behind LG’s GX OLED series, an even more premium lineup.
The LG CX packs in all features expected of a top-of-the-line OLED TV, such as a beautiful OLED screen with wide viewing angles, high contrast ratio, color accuracy, etc.
The 120 Hz screen, variable refresh rate support, HDMI 2.1 inputs, etc., lend the TV some serious gaming chops. And the perfect black uniformity and high contrast ratio make the TV ideal for viewing in dark environments.
The wide color gamut accentuates HDR content. However, HDR performance isn’t the best, thanks to the CX not getting sufficiently bright. In Standard mode, the panel produces peak brightness of around 750 nits. In Cinema mode, it drops to close to 650 nits.
As a result, the TV struggles to reproduce the details in movies mastered at 1000 nits. The lack of very high brightness also means the TV struggles to ward off glare from external lights.
Before the CX, there was C9. The former is better than the latter in all departments, except for one thing. The C9 could do 48 Gbps or 12 bits with its HDMI ports.
LG reduced that capability to 40 Gbps (10 bits) with the CX as it noticed a genuine dearth of content that fully utilized the 48 Gbps bandwidth.
LG OLED C1: A Minor Upgrade
The LG OLED CX is arguably the best OLED TV you can buy if you were in 2020. But since it’s not 2020, the CX is no longer the big dog. It has a successor in the form of the C1.
The LG C1 stays true to its lineage, offering only new software, processor, and user interface and making a few other minor changes to stand out. On all other fronts, it’s just like the CX.
The C1 improves upon its predecessor in multiple aspects. But those changes are so minor that you’d have to put in the effort to discern those differences.
The most obvious change is the 83” screen size option with the C1. The CX tops out at 77 inches.
LG OLED C1 vs. CX: Side-By-Side Comparison
Below mentioned are the aspects in which the C1 and CX are different from each other:
- Screen size: The LG CX TV sizes start from 48” and go up to 77”, with 55” and 65” options in the middle. The C1 one-ups the CX by offering an even larger 83” screen size option.
- Processor: The LG C1 uses the fourth-gen A9 processor instead of the CX’s third-gen A9 chip. On paper, the fourth-gen chip does a better job of removing noise, optimizing saturation and contrast, etc. However, the improvements aren’t truly noticeable in real-world use, even if you compare the two TVs side by side.
- Panel thickness: The C1 panel is slightly thinner at 4.7cm compared to CX’s 4.9-inch profile. However, the C1 isn’t flush toward its rear, unlike the more premium LG G1. Wall-mounting the TV, therefore, can be a challenge.
- Software: The C1 is based on webOS 6.0, the latest LG TV OS version. The LG CX uses webOS 5.0. The newer OS brings about layout changes, and it’s snappier overall. Which one’s better? It comes down to individual preferences.
- Remote control: The C1 Magic Remote is slimmer and more rectangular with a rounded top and bottom. The CX remote is marginally thicker and ovals out at its two ends. It also has fewer app shortcut keys. The most important thing is that both remotes have the pointer functionality, making navigating the interface much more effortless.
- Gaming: The OLED panel on both TVs come equipped with G-Sync, FreeSync, ALLM (auto low latency mode), and four HDMI 2.1 input ports capable of 120 fps 4K gaming. However, the C1 gains one over the CX with the Game Optimizer software suite, which places all gaming settings (RPG, FPS, RTS, etc.) in one easy-to-access location. Different picture presets, options for input lag and motion enhancements, etc., are available in the gaming suite.
Watch the video below for a quick demo of LG’s Game Optimizer feature:
|SPECIFICATIONS||LG C1||LG CX|
|Screen Size||48” to 83”||48” to 77”|
|Resolution||4K UHD||4K UHD|
|Refresh Rate||120Hz Native||120Hz Native|
|Processor||A9 Gen4||A9 Gen3|
|HDMI Ports||4 Input (incl. ARC HDMI 2
and HDMI 2.1)
|4 Input (incl. ARC HDMI 2
and HDMI 2.1)
|USB Ports||3 Input||3 Input|
Besides the above differences, most other things are identical.
LG smart TVs are rare breeds that support Alexa and Google voice assistants. The CX and C1 are no exceptions and support Apple AirPlay 2.
The panel design and build are the same, including the sloped stand. The bezels on both are astonishingly thin on all four sides.
The speaker setup is identical, but the new processing on the C1 could produce a cleaner, more open sound. The difference is noticeable with Dolby Atmos enabled.
However, the smoother audio in the C1 comes at the cost of a little less punch and dynamics. That difference isn’t significant, and both TVs sound better with a separate surround sound system or soundbar.
Is the LG C1 a better TV than the LG CX?
Yes, the LG C1 is better than the CX overall, but not by much. When compared side by side, the differences may be noticeable. Otherwise, it isn’t easy to distinguish the two.
The C1 panel is a tad brighter and does a marginally better job reproducing shadows. But again, those are hard to discern. With the C1 not priced significantly higher than the CX, the minor differences may seem like better value for money overall.
For gamers, the C1 would be the more sensible choice.
If you’re already using the LG CX, upgrading to the C1 won’t feel like one. But if you own neither, go with the C1 as it’s the newer device.
The CX is not “old” per se and if you’re getting a good deal on it, go for it as it will compete with the C1 and even later generations for a few more years at least.
But if you opt for the C1 because you want the latest and greatest pedestaled on your TV stand, look at the LG OLED C2 instead.
No prizes for guessing, the upgrades with the C2 are similar to how the C1 improved upon the CX—pretty minimal.
The C1 is currently a more attractive deal, especially considering the significant price cut post the C2 launch.
Catherine Tramell has been covering technology as a freelance writer for over a decade. She has been writing for Pointer Clicker for over a year, further expanding her expertise as a tech columnist. Catherine likes spending time with her family and friends and her pastimes are reading books and news articles.