What Hi-Fi? Awards 2022: LG dominates an OLED-heavy TV category as one big brand misses out

(Image credit: Future / Netflix, Enola Holmes 2)

While LG's OLEDs are undoubtedly dominant in terms of premium TV popularity, you might be surprised to learn that of the 16 TV Awards dished out by us in 2020 and 2021 combined, the company won just one ('Best Gaming TV' in 2021). Now, it is back with a vengeance, with the new C2 range taking no fewer than four What Hi-Fi? Awards this year.

That will come as a surprise to some. Wasn't 2022 supposed to be the year of QD-OLED? It was, and in many ways it is, but the LG C2's combination of new, brighter 'OLED Evo' technology, super-aggressive pricing and flawless gaming features has proven irresistible.

First up is the OLED42C2 – the first 42-inch OLED TV. This is a size that has largely been starved of flagship quality for years, but the 42-inch C2 has changed all of that. It might not go quite as bright as its larger siblings, but it's nonetheless a stunning new benchmark in the 'small' TV category. Its relatively compact size and next-gen gaming features make it a superb gaming TV, too, so the OLED42C2 in fact takes two Awards: 'Best 40-43in TV' and 'Best Gaming TV'.

At the opposite end of the size spectrum, the LG C2 has also won Awards at 65 inches (with the OLED65C2) and 77 inches (OLED77C2). Again, the performance these TVs offer for the money is extraordinary. Some may feel the desire to step up to an even-brighter G2 model, but we feel that for most people the extra cost isn't quite justified by the extra performance, great though the G2 is in its own right, particularly if you're going to wall-mount your new TV.

Philips, which has had roaring success in the TVs category in recent Awards, takes another win this year with the superb 48OLED807. This 48-inch TV is a stunner, combining punchy whites and colours with inky OLED blacks and Philips's delightful Ambilight system. It's almost up there with LG's C2 for gaming specs, too.

Next up is Panasonic, with the TX-55LZ980B taking the company's first win in the TV category since 2019 – this time as the 'Best 55-inch TV'. On paper, the LZ980B looks like the least interesting model in Panasonic's 2022 OLED range, but by squeezing every drop of performance out of the hardware, majoring on as-the-creator-intended authenticity and going low on price, Panasonic has come up with an absolute gem of a TV.

Our final TV Award goes to the Samsung QE75QN900B, which is the 8K TV of the year. Yet again, Samsung is the only brand to successfully make the case for buying an 8K TV despite native 8K content still being more or less non-existent. This 75-incher is a big, beautifully sharp and bright TV that makes the most of all of the content you already watch while being somewhat futureproofed for when higher-resolution content materialises.

The obvious absences here are the new QD-OLED TVs on the block – the Sony A95K and Samsung S95B.

In truth, the Sony A95K is the best TV of the year if money is no object, but that's not how we rate products, and the A95K is just slightly too expensive to win an Award. Somewhat surprisingly considering its success in the TV category in recent years, Sony is left without a Best Buy Award in 2022.

Samsung's S95B, on the other hand, has been exceptionally aggressively priced, matching and even undercutting the LG C2 at times, which is incredible when you consider that it features an entirely new panel technology. Ultimately, though, the S95B misses out on account of slightly inconsistent colours, an occasionally frustrating new operating system and disappointing sound.

Back to our victors, and the only question left is which of these six Best Buy winners will also take home the even more coveted Product of the Year Award. That question will be answered very soon, as all 26 What Hi-Fi? Product of the Year gongs (plus a handful of extra special awards) will be announced tomorrow (Wednesday 9th November) at the official ceremony. Watch this space.


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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.