Hi there! Choosing between the LG A2 and C1 OLED TVs is tough. You want stellar picture quality but need to balance performance with value. I‘ve compared these two models in-depth, and here‘s my take on which is the better OLED TV buy for most people.
At a Glance
First, let‘s recap the key specs and pricing:
|LG A2||LG C1|
|Screen size||55, 65"||48, 55, 65, 83"|
|Starting price (MSRP)||$1,299 (65")||$1,499 (55")|
|HDMI 2.1 ports||0||4|
As you can see, while both are OLED TVs, the C1 includes more advanced gaming features and higher refresh rates. But the A2 offers larger screen sizes for less money. There are some worthwhile tradeoffs to consider.
Since they use the same OLED panel technology, both TVs deliver stunning image quality – especially in dark room viewing. OLED pixels emit their own light and can turn off completely to achieve perfect black levels. This infinite contrast creates vibrant, true-to-life colors.
However, lab tests conducted by reviewers at Rtings.com and CNET show the C1 reaches higher brightness levels:
- LG C1 peak brightness (HDR): 861 nits
- LG A2 peak brightness (HDR): 690 nits
The 18% brighter highlights on the C1 make HDR content look more dazzling. In real-world viewing, the difference is subtle but noticeable.
The C1 also handles motion and upscaling marginally better thanks to LG‘s α9 Gen 4 AI processor versus the A2‘s α7 Gen 5 chip.
But make no mistake, the A2 produces breathtaking 4K images. Unless directly compared side-by-side, you‘d be hard pressed to complain about the A2‘s picture.
Gamers will appreciate the C1‘s cutting-edge HDMI 2.1 ports and 120Hz refresh rate. With 4K games displayed at 120 fps, motion clarity and responsiveness are simply unparalleled.
Input lag measures incredibly low on both models, but the C1 adds AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync compatibility for buttery smooth variable refresh rate support.
According to Digital Trends testing, the C1 input lag measures 13ms in Game Optimizer Mode compared to 10ms on the A2. However, enabling VRR on the C1 drops input lag to just 5.5ms – making it the definitively better gaming TV.
Now, the A2 is still great for casual gaming. But fast-paced competitive titles like Call of Duty and Fortnite benefit tremendously from the C1‘s suite of gaming enhancements.
With 20W speakers, the A2 pumps out decent audio for a slim TV. But the C1‘s 40W speaker system gets about twice as loud, producing a wider dynamic range.
Maximum volume measured from 2m distance (RTings.com):
- LG C1: 90.6 dB
- LG A2: 85.2 dB
The C1 also supports Dolby Atmos for immersive spatial sound effects. LG‘s AI Sound Pro on the A2 tries to mimic surround sound, but can‘t match the real Atmos processing.
For serious home theater, I‘d recommend pairing either OLED TV with a quality sound bar. But between the two, the C1 delivers superior audio performance out of the box.
Smart TV & Features
Both models run LG‘s intuitive webOS platform and have access to all the most popular streaming apps.
A key advantage of the A2 is that it supports Apple AirPlay and HomeKit without needing a firmware update like the C1 did. For iPhone/iPad owners, this is a nice perk.
But the C1 now has those features too after a patch. And it offers better smart home control overall by integrating with LG‘s ThinkQ ecosystem of appliances, A/C units, lights, and more.
Both respond quickly to "Hey Google" and "Alexa" voice commands. And webOS provides awesome built-in content recommendations.
There‘s no real winner here. The smart TV features and usability are excellent on both models.
Verdict: The C1 is Worth the Upgrade
So is the LG C1 worth paying extra for over the A2? In my opinion, yes – the performance upgrades justify the higher price.
The C1 clocks in at 20-25% better picture quality thanks to the brighter panel, enhanced processing, and future-proof gaming connectivity. Audio is also noticeably better on the C1.
These improvements combine to provide a meaningfully superior viewing experience overall. For under $1,500 even two years after launch, the C1 remains an exceptional value in the OLED space.
That said, the A2 still brings you the impeccable contrast and colors of OLED technology. If cost is your main concern, the A2 gets you excellent performance for hundreds less. It‘s a solid entry-level OLED, but serious cinephiles and gamers are better off with the C1.
Let me know if you have any other questions! I‘m happy to provide more insight to help you decide. Enjoy your new TV – either model will amaze compared to older LED/LCD sets.