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LG 2021 TV lineup: everything you need to know

LG OLED range 2021
(Image credit: LG)

While LG hasn't yet outlined its entire TV range for 2021, it has used CES 2021 to reveal its new TV technologies for the year and has taken the wraps off a handful of specific models.

Probably the biggest news is that there's a new OLED panel, called OLED Evo. LG says this new panel produces a brighter, punchier and more detailed picture, and looks set to act as a response to those who say OLED panel technology has hit its technical limitations.

There's a new version of the Alpha processor for 2021, too, plus an updated version of the webOS platform and even a new Magic Remote. On top of all that, there are Mini LED-based QNED sets and slimmer NanoCell LCD models.

There's a lot to get through, so let's get cracking.

LG OLED Evo

LG G1 OLED Gallery Stand

(Image credit: LG)

It's long been claimed that OLED technology has hit its technical peak, resulting in a slow rate of improvement, but LG appears to be pushing back on that claim with its new OLED Evo panel.

OLED Evo features a new luminous element to the panel structure, resulting in brighter and punchier images. LG is also promising greater detail and clarity. Evo is such a big deal, LG is claiming it represents the 'Second Evolution' of OLED, with the first having been the move to 4K/HDR in 2015.

That all sounds very exciting, but one tidbit from the announcement is that only G1 OLEDs have been so far confirmed as OLED Evo models. There's every chance that as-yet unannounced models further up the range could also get the Evo panel, but we already know that the C1 does not.

That's a big deal because in previous years the C-class OLEDs always had picture performance parity with those further up the range. It seems that if you want the best picture that LG has to offer in 2021, you're going to have to fork out for at least a G1.

As for whether other manufacturers will be able to use the new Evo panel for their own TVs (LG currently supplies all of the OLED panels used throughout the industry), LG currently won't say.

Alpha 9 Gen 4 processor

Coming as no surprise to anyone, LG's 2021 OLEDs have with a new version of the company's Alpha 9 processor. The predictably named Alpha 9 Gen 4 features the same AI Upscaling, Clearer Text, Auto Genre Selection and Genre Optimisation as before, but also upgrades a couple of existing features and brings two brand new ones to the table.

Those upgraded features are Object Enhancement, which now goes beyond faces to recognise and enhance entire bodies and objects such as cars and animals, and stereo upmixing, which can now be done up to 5.1.2 channels, rather than the 5.1 of before.

The brand new features, meanwhile, are Scene Detection, which automatically optimises the picture on a scene-by-scene basis, and Auto Volume Levelling, which ensures that volume remains consistent as you switch between channels and sources.

The idea is that these technologies all work together to automatically get the best picture and sound from all sources. As an example, it will detect that you’re watching a film, then that it’s a night scene, then it will detect and enhance individual objects, and then it will up-mix the audio to 5.1.2. Switch to watching the news and it will instead enhance the on-screen text and switch to Clear Voice in order to make the dialogue clearer.

LG webOS 6.0

LG webOS 6.0

(Image credit: LG)

LG's webOS is one of the very best TV operating systems available, so it's of little surprise that each new iteration is more evolution than revolution. For 2021, the company is introducing webOS 6.0, which is focused on getting you to the content you want as quickly as possible.

When you press the Home button you’ll get the row of app icons, as before, but now you'll see a row of recommended shows and movies (from various apps and based on your viewing history) above that, plus info and search bar at the top. Scroll down and you’ll also find categories for the likes of live TV, sports alerts (the latest football scores, for example), and individual streaming apps and the recommended content from each.

It looks very smart and stylish, although it means that pressing Home now obscures whatever you’re watching, whereas in previous years the app/source bar would be overlaid. Perhaps there’ll now be a different button that brings a pop-up app/source row without loading the full Home Screen.

UK readers will probably be aware that LG's 2020 models launched without any of usual catch-up apps, and in fact they still only have BBC iPlayer. The company isn't yet in a position to confirm anything regarding its 2021 TVs, but it says that discussions with Freeview Play concerning full integration of the UK’s catch-up apps are progressing positively.

New Magic Remote

LG Magic Remote

(Image credit: LG)

After a good few years of service, LG's original Magic Remote has finally been put out to pasture to make way for a new model.

At first glance, the new Magic Remote actually looks less slick and stylish than the old one, but it seems designed to blend that model's ergonomics and pointer functionality with more buttons.

These new buttons include dedicated ones for Google Assistant and Alexa, plus more for direct access to streaming services (the illustration provided showed shortcuts for Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ and LG Channels, but they will vary slightly for each region).

Gaming

LG Game Optimizer

(Image credit: LG)

It's fair to say that LG's OLEDs are already the best gaming TVs available, and the company is looking to push things further in 2021. HDMI 2.1 connections with ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode), VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) and HGiG support remain, of course, but a new Game Optimizer menu has been added so that gamers can quickly enable and disable specific gaming features, such as Freesync. In this menu you can also select from specific gaming genres and even adjust the amount of blue light being produced.

The company is talking about the genre selection feature producing better settings for the specific type of game you're playing, but surely we all just want the minimum input lag, the sharpest definition and the most accurate colours, and that should be consistent regardless of genre? Time will tell whether there's real value in this new feature.

One undeniably neat addition for LG's 2021 models is the integration of the Google Stadia cloud-based game streaming service. These will be the first non-Android TVs to have Stadia built-in.

LG 2021 TV range breakdown

So those are the broad technological strokes, but what about specific models? LG hasn't yet outlined its whole range, but we've pieced together the snippets of information revealed so far to give you as complete a picture as is currently possible.

In terms of OLEDs, 2021 is the year of '1' models, whereas 2020 was year 'X' and 2019 was year '9'. Therefore, the new C-class model is the C1 (replacing CX), and the G-class is G1 (replacing GX). On top of those two models, we also know there's a new Z1 8K model, and B1 and A1 models have been confirmed in the most fleeting of mentions.

We've seen no specific reference yet to an R1 model, but there's certainly a rollable model in the image at the top of the page and LG has now confirmed to us that it is indeed on the way, although details beyond that are more or less non-existent.

Disappointingly, there's not even been a hint of a W1 set, though, and LG has now confirmed to us that there are no plans for a 2021 W-class model. That's a great shame as far as we're concerned, as LG's 'Wallpaper' models remain some of the most spectacular in the industry. We were still hoping for one without speakers – just wafer-thin panel and a Samsung One Connect-style box for the connections and processing hardware. Oh well, maybe next year.

Also interesting is that there's been no mention yet of a 42-inch OLED in LG's 2021 TV range, despite the company having just announced that it is producing a 42-inch OLED panel. One has to assume that a 42-inch LG OLED TV will be announced in fairly short order, but LG tells us it's got nothing to say on that front right now. In the meantime, an extra-large 83-inch 4K OLED TV has been added to the range.

Below the OLEDs there's a new range of QNED TVs, which combine Mini LED-based backlights with a NanoCell layer for an apparently excellent balance of contrast, colours and cost, and below those you'll find a selection of standard NanoCell models, which have themselves apparently been significantly slimmed down for 2021. Finally, at the bottom of the range there'll be a number of non-NanoCell LCD TVs, but we know nothing about these at this stage other than that they exist.

LG Z1 8K OLED TV

LG 8K OLED

(Image credit: LG)

LG's top model for 2021 is, of course, an 8K OLED. We don't actually know a huge amount about this model, other than it features the new Alpha 9 Gen 4 processor and will come in 77-inch and 88-inch sizes.

One interesting thing to note is that we've not seen any confirmation of the Z1 having a new Evo panel. One would assume that the top model in the 2021 range would get the new panel tech, but we can't say for sure at this stage. We've asked LG for clarification and are expecting a response imminently.

LG Z1 specs:

  • Display type: OLED (whether Evo panel TBC)
  • Resolution: 8K
  • Sizes: 77-inch, 88-inch
  • Processor: Alpha 9 Gen 4
  • Sound: TBC
  • HDMI 2.1: Yes (x4)
  • 4K@120Hz: Yes
  • VRR: Yes

LG R1 'Rollable' 4K OLED TV

LG OLED range 2021

(Image credit: LG)

While it wasn't mentioned in any of the briefing documents, LG has now confirmed to us that the TV at the centre of the image above is indeed the R1 'Rollable' model. We don't know much beyond that, but it looks to follow the same formula as the outgoing RX, which consists of a rollable OLED panel that emerges from a TV unit that also includes a large speaker system.

  • Display type: OLED (whether Evo panel TBC)
  • Resolution: 4K
  • Sizes: TBC
  • Processor: TBC
  • Sound: TBC
  • 4K@120Hz: TBC
  • VRR: TBC

LG G1 OLED Evo TV

LG G1

(Image credit: LG)

This is where things get interesting. The G1 'Gallery' TV is the only model so far confirmed as having the new, brighter Evo panel. We know for a fact that the C1 isn't an Evo model, so if you want the best LG OLED picture quality in 2021, you're going to need to stretch at least as far as the G-class.

Like its predecessor, the excellent GX, the G1 is very thin and resembles a picture frame. Clearly, that's of great benefit if wall-mounting, but LG is also pushing a new easel-like Gallery Stand (pictured above) and has shown pictures of the G1 mounted on more traditional feet. With any luck those feet will be included in the box this time, as they were an optional extra for the GX.

  • Display type: Evo OLED
  • Resolution: 4K
  • Sizes: 55-inch, 65-inch, 77-inch
  • Processor: Alpha 9 Gen 4
  • Sound: TBC
  • HDMI 2.1: Yes (x4)
  • 4K@120Hz: Yes
  • VRR: Yes

LG C1 4K OLED TV

LG C1

(Image credit: LG)

In previous years, the C-class model has been the easy pick of LG's OLEDs. It's always been the most affordable model with the best picture quality. Spend more and you'd get a fancier design and better speakers, but the picture would be the same. Not so in 2021: while the G1 gets the new, brighter Evo panel, the C1 does not.

How big a deal that turns out to be remains to be seen, but it does look as if the C1 is otherwise very well specified, with the latest version of the Alpha 9 processor and all of the latest gaming features. It's also available in more sizes than any other model in the range (at least as far as we know so far), starting at 48 inches and going right up to a new 83-inch size.

  • Display type: OLED
  • Resolution: 4K
  • Sizes: 48-inch, 55-inch, 65-inch, 77-inch, 83-inch
  • Processor: Alpha 9 Gen 4
  • Sound: TBC
  • HDMI 2.1: Yes (x4)
  • 4K@120Hz: Yes
  • VRR: Yes

LG B1 4K OLED TV

While not officially announced in any meaningful way, the new B1 has been outed in the notes of LG's 2021 CES press release. These notes reveal only that the B1 is compatible with the new Gallery Stand (which we're taking to mean that it will come in at least 55-inch and 65-inch sizes), and that it won't have four HDMI 2.1 sockets (we're guessing that, like the outgoing BX, it will have two HDMI 2.1s and two standard HDMIs).

What's also interesting is that this B-class model appears not to be the entry-level OLED for 2021...

  • Display type: OLED
  • Resolution: 4K
  • Sizes: TBC
  • Processor: TBC
  • Sound: TBC
  • HDMI 2.1: Yes (quantity TBC)
  • 4K@120Hz: Yes
  • VRR: Yes

LG A1 OLED TV

"What the heck is the A1?", we hear you ask? While not mentioned at all during LG's CES briefing, LG has confirmed to us that the A1 is in fact a totally new, extra-affordable OLED model.

The A1 is a downgrade on the B1 in two key areas: it uses a 60Hz rather than 120Hz panel, and it does without any HDMI 2.1 sockets. That makes it less well suited to next-gen gaming than its more premium siblings, but it could be an excellent option for non-gamers who want a low-cost OLED for movies and TV.

Despite the HDMIs not being 2.1-certified, the A1 does support eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel) and ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode). On the processor front, Forbes is reporting that it will use the Alpha 7 Gen 4 – a new chip with a lower spec than the flagship Alpha 9 Gen 4.

  • Display type: OLED
  • Resolution: 4K
  • Sizes: 48-inch, 55-inch, 65-inch, 77-inch
  • Processor: Alpha 7 Gen 4
  • Sound: TBC
  • HDMI 2.1: No
  • 4K@120Hz: No
  • VRR: No

LG QNED 8K and 4K TVs

LG QNED range

(Image credit: LG)

Sitting just below LG's OLEDs is a whole range of new QNEDs that combine MiniLED backlights with Quantum Dot and NanoCell technologies.

While the full lineup is yet to be outlined, we know that there will be 10 QNED models and that at the top will be an 86-inch 8K model that boasts nearly 30,000 MiniLEDs and 2500 independent dimming zones. We believe that model will be called the QNED99, and we've also seen reference to a QNED95, which we believe to also be an 8K model. Both of these will feature the top-of-the-range Alpha 9 Gen 4 processor.

Additionally, we've seen reference to a QNED90, which doesn't have the Alpha 9 Gen 4 but does support VRR for gaming, and presumably a 4K model.

LG NanoCell 8K and 4K TVs

LG NanoCell range 2021

(Image credit: LG)

LG is continuing to produce standard NanoCell models (i.e. without Mini LEDs) in 2021, and they appear to be much slimmer than those that have gone before.

The range also includes lots of features, such as Dolby Vision IQ, VRR, eARC and Stadia, though we'd assume that many of those are reserved for the more premium models.

The only model numbers we have so far are NANO99P, NANO95P and NANO90P. The first two of those appear to be 8K models, while the last one seems to be 4K.

LG LCD TVs

LG has confirmed that it will also continue to produce standard LCD TVs in 2021, but no features, sizes, model numbers or even pictures have yet been offered.

MORE:

Compare that with the full Samsung 2021 TV line-up.

And take a look at what there is to offer in the Sony 2021 TV line-up too.