LG C9 OLED – OLED55C9, OLED65C9, OLED77C9 – Review
The LG C9 represents a triumph of OLED evolution, improving every aspect of its performance thanks to the addition of artificial intelligence. This is easily the smartest and most feature-packed 4K TV you can buy, although awesome pictures and competitive pricing will also help it stand out.
The success of OLED has created an interesting problem for LG – at this point, the company is basically competing against itself. That’s because LG Display, the technology research arm of the company sells panels to every manufacturer except Samsung (no surprise there), leaving LG Electronics to face a crowded market place of its own design. So what can the Korean giant do?
Simple, it makes its OLED 4K TVs the most feature-packed that money can buy.
That said, the C9 represents the midrange for LG’s 2019 OLED TVs, adding the superior Alpha9 processor when compared to the cheaper B9, but avoiding the expensive cosmetic features found on models further up the range. As a result the pricing is as competitive as the specs are impressive.
Even better, just like the more expensive OLED TVs in the lineup, the C9 offers a 2nd generation Alpha9 processor with AI enhancements, improved sound with AI processing, and an upgraded smart platform with, you guessed it, added AI.
On top of everything else, there’s high dynamic range (HDR10, HLG, and Dolby Vision) and support for Dolby Atmos, plus HDMI 2.1. About the only feature not included is HDR10+, but otherwise these are very competitive OLEDs.
LG C9 OLED release date and price
No matter where you live in the world, the C9 comes in three screen sizes: a 55-inch , 65-inch (reviewed here) and a 77-inch model.
All sizes of the screens should be available to buy starting in April, but sometimes the larger models don’t arrive to stores for a few weeks.
One area that the LG C9 may not seem like a massive overhaul compared to last year’s C8 is in the design category – but that’s not a bad thing. The C9 OLED retains the same sleek and minimalist appearance, as well as the sloped stand that fires sound at the listener. The bezel-less screen is surrounded by a dark metallic trim, and both the stand and rear of the panel boast an attractive brushed-metal finish.
The connections remain comprehensive and, new for this year, LG has even added HDMI 2.1. The latest version of HDMI can not only handle a staggering 48Gbps, but also supports higher frame rates up to 120Hz, dynamic metadata for HDR, eARC (enhanced audio return channel), variable refresh rates (VRR), and an auto low latency mode (ALLM).
LG is the only manufacturer to include HDMI 2.1 on its 2019 4K TVs, giving them a leg up on the competition that won’t have HDMI 2.1 until 2020. Other manufacturers would likely retort that you can deliver nearly all the same features using HDMI 2.0b, the fact that LG’s new TVs are future-proofed no matter what happens.
In total there are four HDMI inputs: three at the side and one facing the rear. There are also three USB ports, with one at the side and two facing rearwards, along with a terrestrial and satellite tuner, a LAN port, a CI slot, an optical digital output, and a line out that doubles as a headphone jack. On the wireless side of things, there’s built-in WiFi (802.11ac), Bluetooth (5.0) and AirPlay 2.
Like the rest of LG’s OLED and Nano Cell line up, the C9 includes the latest version of the Magic Remote, which retains its fantastic ergonomic design. The controller is comfortable to hold and highly intuitive to use, thanks to a precise onscreen pointer. Five minutes with this zapper and all others are stone age by comparison.
The remote looks identical to last year, but LG has replaced any lettering with icons – presumably to make it applicable to all international markets. There’s still a built-in microphone that has multiple functions this year, along with direct access keys for Netflix, Amazon, and Rakuten.
Design TL;DR: The sleek and minimalist design remains as eye-catching as ever, while the use of HDMI 2.1 ensures the C9 will stay future-proof for years to come