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Sony A80J vs LG C2: Which OLED TV is Better?

Sony A80J versus LG C2: Battle of the Top-Tier OLED TVs

OLED (organic light-emitting diode) televisions represent the pinnacle of home entertainment technology today. With their infinite contrast ratios, pixel-perfect precision, and breathtaking HDR color, OLED TVs deliver simply stunning picture quality unmatched by any LED/LCD television.

However, OLED TVs come at a premium cost. So when investing over $1000 or more on a new set, it pays to do your research thoroughly first. In this guide, we compare two of the most highly-rated OLED televisions in 2022 from leading brands Sony and LG.

Brief Background on OLED Televisions

Unlike conventional LED-backlit LCD panels that require a separate backlight system, OLED pixels emit their own light. This gives OLED screens perfect black levels and pixel-level dimming control for precision contrast.

On top of this, OLED panels boast a faster response time, wider viewing angles, and the ability to be produced in curved or flexible form factors. All this makes OLED the undisputed champion display technology for image quality.

Over the past few years, LG has led the manufacturing of OLED panels with their proprietary WOLED (white OLED) architecture. Other TV brands source these OLED panels from LG to produce their own television models.

For 2022, LG released their latest generation “OLED evo” panels claiming higher brightness and color accuracy versus prior years. We will see how they stack up against Sony‘s flagship OLED TV lineup below.

Sony A80J versus LG C2 — At a Glance

Model Sony A80J LG C2
Screen sizes 55, 65, 77 inches 42, 48, 55, 65, 77, 83 inches
Release year 2021 2022
Panel type OLED “OLED evo”
Refresh rate 120Hz 120Hz
HDR formats Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLG Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLG
HDMI 2.1 ports 4 4
VRR support Yes Yes
Smart TV OS Google TV webOS

Both the Sony A90J and LG C2 series represent the highest-end 4K OLED TV offerings from each brand. Key specs like the panel technology, refresh rate, and HDMI 2.1 support are identical.

The LG C2 does have more screen size options to choose from, including a massive 83-inch model. Sony‘s A80J tops out at 77 inches. Another difference — LG makes performance enhancements claims to their “OLED evo” panels versus standard OLED, which we will examine more closely next.

Picture Quality Showdown

As flagship OLED TVs, both the A80J and C2 deliver world-class picture quality with inky blacks and vibrant HDR color. Reviewers praise the image accuracy straight out of the box on both models without extensive calibration required.

However, based on lab measurements and technical analysis from professional AV publications, Sony‘s A80J holds a slight edge in color reproduction and video processing performance:

  • Wider DCI-P3 color gamut coverage in Filmmaker mode out of the box (about 5% advantage on the A80J)
  • Higher peak brightness across various picture modes
  • Superb HDR tone mapping and near-perfect color accuracy
  • Powerful Cognitive Processor XR provides outstanding upscaling and motion handling

This gives the A80J a more refined, natural picture character with extra vibrancy and depth. The LG C2 evo panel does enable higher peak brightness this year, but some professional reviews note its colors still appear slightly saturated compared to the Sony.

So why doesn‘t Sony source their OLED panels from LG? Their partnership with Joled gives Sony greater control over the design and performance of the OLED modules in their TVs. This gives Sony‘s engineers more room for customization and fine-tuning.

All said, both TVs deliver stellar 4K HDR image quality that will please even discerning videophiles. But Sony holds a slight advantage here.

Gaming Performance

For gaming, response time and input lag are two critical metrics, and OLED panels excel in both areas. The LG C2 and Sony A80J share very similar gaming performance and features:

  • Input lag tested at 13ms or under in game mode
  • Full 48Gbps HDMI 2.1 ports enabling 4K 120fps and VRR
  • Fast response time and low latency perfect for next-gen gaming
  • New Game Optimizer menu on LG C2 and software updates to Sony A80J enhancing gaming experience

Hardcore competitive gamers may favor LG‘s Game Optimizer providing more granular gaming-related settings. Casual gamers are unlikely to notice much difference; both TVs provide a superb gaming experience.

Smart TV & Audio Performance

Both Sony and LG pack plenty of smart features into their flagship OLED TV models. Key aspects to compare here include:

  • Ease of use and customization options
  • Integrated streaming apps and services
  • Smart home platform support
  • Audio hardware performance

Sony uses the Google TV platform on their latest TVs while LG sticks with their proprietary webOS software. Both provide intuitive interfaces and access to all popular streaming apps. LG offers greater opportunities for UI customization however.

For smart home integration, LG has broader Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant support versus mainly Alexa control on Sony‘s TVs currently.

Audio hardware sees a slight advantage with Sony thanks to their Acoustic Surface Audio+ technology that vibrates the screen to act as speaker drivers. This innovative design provides more direct sound positioning that correlates with on-screen action.

LG‘s downward-firing speakers work sufficiently but can lack the clarity and channel separation of Sony‘s audio solution. Those wanting truly powerful sound are recommended to pair either OLED TV with a surround sound system.

Design & Build Quality

As premium flagship televisions, both LG and Sony OLED models feature sleek, ultra-thin designs perfect for wall mounting. Here‘s a quick comparison:

  • The A80J uses Sony‘s flush-fit wall mount for just a 2mm gap, hiding wires
  • LG‘s gallery stand on the C2 props the TV when not wall mounted
  • Sony A80J heavier due to heat sink and screen-as-speaker design
  • Bottom-mounted ports on Sony versus rear-sides on LG
  • LG offers a wider range of sizes, up to 83 inches

With both TVs only a few millimeters thin across the majority of the panel, they cut striking profiles on the wall. LG‘s optional gallery stand provides a contemporary way to stand-mount the TV as well.

Price and Value

OLED TVs demand a premium price, with 55-inch models starting around $1300 or more. Larger sizes can cost several thousand dollars easily. But the stunning image quality makes it worthwhile for home theater enthusiasts.

LG‘s superior manufacturing scale means they can price their OLED models quite competitively. Across different screen sizes, the LG C2 is $100-300 cheaper than the Sony A80J typically.

Considering that Sony‘s A80J maintains a slight but noticeable picture quality advantage over the LG C2, this makes Sony‘s OLED the better value proposition overall. Enthusiasts get superior performance that justifies the extra cost.

However, for shoppers eyeing the largest screen sizes, LG‘s 83-inch class C2 becomes compelling. This gigantic OLED TV would cost thousands more from Sony or other brands.

Sony A80J vs LG C2: The Conclusion

In the battle between these two heavy hitters of the OLED TV space, the Sony A80J takes the win but only by a narrow margin. While the LG C2 offers slightly better pricing and more sizing options, Sony‘s OLED TV delivers better-calibrated picture quality out of the box.

Gamers and streaming fans may appreciate LG‘s friendlier smart TV options more however. Ultimately, with both Sony and LG OLED TVs performing at an extremely high level, personal preferences come into play depending on priorities. Home theater purists wanting accurate cinematic images lean towards Sony A80J while more casual viewers enjoy LG‘s bright, vivid style.

For more help deciding on an OLED TV, see our detailed 2023 OLED TV buying guide at the link below:

[2023 OLED TV Buying Guide — Size, Brand, Features & Budget]