I’m blown away by how much better the LG C4 is than the C3

65-inch LG C4 TV photographed straight-on on a wooden stand. On the screen is an image of a golfer celebrating.
(Image credit: What Hi-Fi? / Netflix, Full Swing)

I was really disappointed by the LG C3. It’s not that it’s a bad TV, because it isn’t. It’s that it represented almost no upgrade at all on the C2 – and was more expensive to boot. Today, the C3 is available for vastly less than its launch price, making it a very solid buy, but I still remember the pang of disappointment I felt when we started running the C3 through its paces and realised how overly familiar it was.

I, and many others, got a strong whiff of déjà vu when we were first briefed on the new C4 ahead of its official announcement at CES 2024. Not only had the first-generation brightness-boosting MLA tech of last year’s G3 not trickled down to the C4, but it also looked identical to the C3 and had a near-identical specification sheet. The addition of 144Hz gaming support, an upgraded version of the C3’s Alpha 9 chip and some extra sound processing certainly weren’t enough to get me all hot and bothered.

I did get a hint that there might be something more going on beneath the ho-hum specs when LG’s Dave Seperson told me that "all of the C4s will get brighter this year than they were last year", but that really didn’t prepare me for the size of the upgrade.

The Sony A80L and LG C4 TVs photographed next to one another with the same image of a golfer being sprayed with champagne on both

The new C4 (on the right) set up against last year's best performance-per-pound TV, the Sony A80L (Image credit: What Hi-Fi? / Netflix, Full Swing)

Last year’s C3 was pretty much embarrassed by the technically similar Sony A80L in terms of brightness and ‘pop’, but as soon as we got the C4 out of its box and set it up for some photography, I could see that it was punching through the bright room lighting even more impressively than its Sony rival, which we had set up for comparison.

That was before any real setup, but it suggested that LG had been very coy when it revealed the C4, and this was borne out through all of the testing for our LG C4 review, which took place over a number of days.

The C4 isn’t just brighter than the C3, but sharper and more detailed, too. It’s got the warm cinematic tone that we’ve come to expect from LG’s OLEDs (and which the Sony A80L lacks), and it maintains consistent vibrancy in its colours from the brightest to the darkest parts of the picture – something that even last year’s G3 didn’t quite master.

I’m perhaps even more shocked and impressed by the upgrade in sound quality, primarily because this is something that LG has been struggling with for years. I firmly believe that a TV this good should be partnered with a good soundbar at the very least, but if you’re determined to stick with the integrated speakers, you will appreciate that the C4 is engaging, weighty and dynamic – at least by general TV standards.

Last year’s C3 was the OLED TV of choice for those who prioritise gaming over movies and TV, but it lost the all-rounder status of its predecessors. It’s still early days for 2024 TVs and a stunning rival may yet materialise to ruin LG’s party but, at this stage, the C4 seems to have recaptured that near-perfect blend of performance, features and price that made the C-series legendary in the first place.


Read the full LG C4 review

Here's our hands-on preview of the LG G4

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Tom Parsons

Tom Parsons has been writing about TV, AV and hi-fi products (not to mention plenty of other 'gadgets' and even cars) for over 15 years. He began his career as What Hi-Fi?'s Staff Writer and is now the TV and AV Editor. In between, he worked as Reviews Editor and then Deputy Editor at Stuff, and over the years has had his work featured in publications such as T3, The Telegraph and Louder. He's also appeared on BBC News, BBC World Service, BBC Radio 4 and Sky Swipe. In his spare time Tom is a runner and gamer.