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LG C1 vs LG G1: which is the best 2021 LG OLED TV?

LG C1 vs LG G1: which is the best 2021 LG OLED TV?
(Image credit: Future / Modern Love, Amazon Prime Video)

LG makes some of the best TVs we've tested. Two of its star performers? The new C1 and G1. These 2021 OLED televisions offer exceptional picture quality and stellar smart tech – but which model is better? What's are the differences between  the LG C1 and G1? And, ultimately, which one should you buy?

If those questions are currently whirling around in your brain, you've come to the right place. We've reviewed both the LG C1 and LG G1 (both at 65 inches) so we're well placed to give you an honest view of each TV's pros and cons. The detailed LG C1 vs LG G1 comparison is below, but here's a quick primer…

The 2021 C1 is the latest in the much-loved C-class line of OLEDs. These models sit at the core of LG's OLED range and are traditionally the most affordable TVs to give you the best of LG's panel and picture-processing tech.

This year, though, things are different: the 2021 G1 boasts LG's new 'OLED Evo' panel, which promises a step up in picture quality over every previous LG OLED as well as the new C1. It also comes in a unique 'Gallery' design that's specifically designed for wall-mounting.

Ready for a deep dive? Join us as we weigh up each set's design, picture quality, audio performance, connectivity, apps and controls to see which TV is best – is it the LG C1 or the LG G1?

LG C1 vs LG G1: price

The LG C1 is available in 48-inch, 55-inch, 65-inch, 77-inch and 83-inch sizes. Prices start at £1499 ($1499) for the 48-inch version (note that official pricing for Australia is TBC at the time of writing):

LG OLED48C1: £1499 ($1499, around AU$2800)
LG OLED55C1: £1699 ($1799, around AU$3100)
LG OLED65C1: £2499 ($2499, around AU$4500)
LG OLED77C1: £3999 ($3799, around AU$7200)
LG OLED83C1: £TBC ($6000, around AU$8000)

The LG G1 OLED is a bit pricier. It's available in only three sizes – 55-inch, 65-inch and 77-inch – and starts at £1999:

LG OLED55G1: £1999 ($2199, around AU$3600)
LG OLED65G1: £2999 ($3000, around AU$5400)
LG OLED77G1: £4799 ($4500, around AU$8600)

Looking for a discount? As both models are part of the LG 2021 TV line-up, we expect prices to remain firm for a while yet. That said, shop around and you might bag a discount of some sort. There are also Amazon Prime Day TV deals on the horizon.

Even when these sets do get discounted, we'd expect the C1 to remain the more affordable of the two models. And bear in mind that G1 buyers who aren't wall-mounting will also need to budget extra for feet or a pedestal stand...

*Winner* LG C1

LG C1 vs LG G1: design and build

LG C1 vs LG G1: which is the best 2021 LG OLED TV?

(Image credit: Future)

The C1 looks almost identical to last year's LG CX OLED, which is no bad thing. Viewed from the side, it has a thin panel section (about 3mm) and a thicker section that houses the connections and speakers, giving the C1 an overall depth of 4.7cm. It comes with an elegant pedestal stand but it does sit quite low to the surface on which it's placed, which could be an issue for those who want to add a soundbar.

The G1 doesn't have a super-thin panel section, but it is much slimmer overall. It's just 2cm thick and has a flat back, giving the whole TV the look of a large picture frame. This is because it's designed to be wall-mounted, to the extent that you get a flush wall-mount in the box, rather than a pedestal stand or feet. LG will sell you some bespoke feet, but they're expensive (£99, $100) and give the TV a stance that will be too wide for some furniture. Those who don't want to wall mount might be better off buying a third-party pedestal that attaches to standard VESA mounting points.

Alternatively, there's also a new optional LG Gallery Stand (pictured above), which is designed to be used with the 55-inch and 65-inch G1 (although the C1 can also actually be mounted to it). Something to consider if you like the modernist look, but it will stop you positioning your TV close to the wall. 

Put simply, if you want a stunning picture frame-like effect, you might want to splash out extra on the G1. If you don't, or aren't keen on shelling out for an optional stand, the cheaper C1 might suit you to a T (or rather 'C'). Which is best is really down to your individual taste and circumstances.

*Winner* Draw

LG C1 vs LG G1: features

LG C1 vs LG G1

(Image credit: Future)

Both these sets are a joy to use, thanks in no small part to LG's impressive, app-packed webOS 6.0 smart TV platform. 

The C1 and G1 support Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ and Apple TV, all with full support for 4K, Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos sound. There's also Google Play Movies & TV (for now) with HDR10 and 5.1, as well as Sky's Now service in the UK. UK buyers will also be pleased to find a full complement of TV catch-up apps including BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4 and My5. Disappointments? BT Sport, Apple Music and TuneIn are missing.

When it comes to raw power, the LG C1 vs LG G1 battle is even-stevens. They share the same specifications, including LG's latest Alpha 9 Gen 4 processor, which LG says uses deep learning to detect and enhance individual objects, ensuring they are properly distinguished on screen.

Both sets have support for Apple AirPlay 2 for streaming from Apple devices, as well as Bluetooth connectivity. You get built-in support for Google and Alexa voice assistants, too. Round the back, both models pack in four HDMIs (one of which supports eARC) and three USBs, in addition to ethernet, optical and headphone ports. 

If you're on the hunt for the best gaming TV, you'll be pleased to hear that all of the HDMI ports on both the C1 and G1 are HDMI 2.1-certified. They're all 40gbps ports with full support for 4K@120Hz, ALLM and all current formats of VRR. Both TVs have an HGIG setting that generally results in more accurate contrast with HDR games, and there's even a dedicated Game Optimiser menu that puts all of these options and more at your fingertips when you're playing.

Both TVs also come with the new version of LG’s Magic Remote. It's slightly thinner than its predecessor and the buttons are nicely spaced. There are plenty of shortcuts to take you to your favourite streaming services, and the pointer functionality of the previous version Magic Remote remains.

The one crucial difference in the feature set is that the C1 has a standard OLED panel, whereas the G1 gets the next-generation 'OLED Evo' panel, which promises a brighter, sharper and more detailed performance.

*Winner* LG G1

LG C1 vs LG G1: picture quality

LG OLED65G1

(Image credit: Future / Coming To America 2, Amazon Prime)

With so much emphasis on the G1 and its new panel, it's probably not a huge surprise that the C1's performance is very similar to that of last year's CX. There have been a couple of nips and tucks, most notably to the motion processing (the new Cinematic Movement option is very good) and de-contouring (banding is noticeably reduced), but by and large this is the same exemplary performance as before.

It's an effortlessly natural and convincing picture that combines punch with subtlety, pure whites and perfect blacks, fine detail and crisply defined edges. There's nothing to complain about where the C1's picture is concerned.

That said, the G1 is an undeniable upgrade. The OLED Evo panel delivers the promised extra brightness, sharpness and detail, and the result is a punchier, crisper and more three-dimensional image. We're not talking huge margins here by any means, but collectively these enhancements make the delivery more enticing and exciting, pretty much across all sources and content types.

Crucially, there's no downside to the G1's delivery. This is simply the picture performance we know and love with a little extra sparkle.

*Winner* LG G1

LG C1 vs LG G1: sound quality

LG OLED65C1

(Image credit: Future / Them, Amazon Prime)

The C1 gets the same speaker set-up as the 2020 LG CX OLED, albeit with new processing technology. The result is a cleaner and more composed delivery. The sound is more open and spacious, too, giving everything a more cinematic feel, particularly when Dolby Atmos is enabled.

The C1's sound is less punchy and dynamic than that of its predecessor, though, and that makes it a little less exciting.

Sadly, the G1 is actually less exciting than the C1, to the extent that it could even be described as dull. It's clean and clear, which will be a sonic priority for many buyers, and has similar spaciousness to to the C1, but the lack of impact and dynamism is rather disappointing.

Ultimately, we'd suggest you budget for a separate Dolby Atmos soundbar or surround sound system to accompany your new TV – just as we do with the vast majority of the TVs we review. If you're determined to stick with your new TV's built-in speakers, though, the C1 is the better of these two LGs.

*Winner* LG C1

LG C1 vs LG G1: verdict

Assuming picture quality is your highest priority, the LG G1 is undeniably better than the C1, in that it takes the same core picture quality and adds extra punch, detail and definition. It's a great picture made even better.

However, we rate products on a performance-per-pound basis (otherwise the more expensive products would almost always win) and while the G1's picture is clearly better than that of the C1, it's not by a huge margin. Add in the niche design and weaker sound, and it's a little hard to justify the higher price that the G1 commands.

For those who were always going to wall mount and use a separate sound system – and who have deep pockets – the G1 will be more or less perfect. For most people, though, the LG C1 will be the better buy.

*Overall winner* LG C1

MORE:

Save big with this week's best 4K TV deals

Our pick of the best OLED TVs

Which 2021 LG TV should you buy?

What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.


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  • What Hi-Fi? said:
    Time to compare the aggressively priced C1 with the OLED Evo G1 – which 2021 LG OLED should you buy?

    LG C1 vs LG G1: which is the best 2021 LG OLED TV? : Read more
    If it was me buying I would go for the C1 as a better option for me.
    Reply
  • WTD
    I like the idea of a 77 G1, flat to the wall, I would definitely buy that ..... however I wouldn’t buy either.

    Not until the AU price is fair and reasonable, compared to us and uk prices. In the mean while I will make do with my 2yr old Panasonic Oled.

    NB: Take VAT off the UK price and convert to AUD then add GST, I could buy an overseas holiday with the price difference. I could buy two overseas holidays with the US vs AU difference!
    Reply