Is it still the best TV for gaming?

We first saw the 48-inch LG CX at CES 2020 when the world was “normal”, pre-epidemic. Although the LG CX is available in 55, 65 and 77-inch screen sizes, it is a 48-inch variant that is marketed as a gaming monitor. Its small size, support for HDMI 2.1, FreeSync and G-Sync make it ideal for console and PC gamers. Although the larger screen size of the CX has been available in India since 2020, the 48-inch LG CX debuted in India in 2021. Is it still the end of small screen gaming TV? Find out.

LG 48-inch CX: Key Specification at a Glance

Panel size: 48-inch (available in 55, 65 and 77-inch screen sizes)
Panel type: OLED
Panel resolution: 3840 x 2160 – 4K
Panel refresh rate: 120Hz
HDR 10 support: Yes
Dolby Vision Support: Yes
Weight (including stand): 14.4 kg
HDMI port: 4
USB port: 3
Bluetooth: Yes (v5.0)
Wi-Fi: Yes
Ethernet: Yes
Speaker: 40W (2.2Ch)
Price (MOP): Rs 1,35,000 for 48-inch

LG 48-inch CX: Display panel and image quality

LG’s 2020 OLED TVs bring the same features across the board, the main difference being the design and a few features here and there. We reviewed the LG GX again in 2020, and the panel functionality of the CX is almost identical to that of the GX, with two TV designs differing in audio output and hands-free voice control. We’ll also talk about the size of the 48-inch screen and how it differs from the 55-inch variant, especially for those looking for this TV as their primary gaming device.

Description of LG CX 4k HDR TV.

The CX features LG’s Alpha 9 Gen 3 chip, which was unveiled at the LG CES 2020, and also comes with a filmmaker mode that changes the content settings to present the image to the creator’s intent. Like other LG OLEDs from 2020, the TV supports Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos and HDR 10. Let’s start with the TV performance.

LG 48-inch CX: Gaming Performance

Let’s take a look at what TV is marketed for – with its gaming performance. It has 4 HDMI 2.1 ports at 120Hz with ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode), VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) and 4K support. If you’ve been rocking an Xbox Series X (review), PS5 (review) or even RTX 30 series GPU, you can take full advantage of the TV offer.

PS5 gaming on an LG CX.

We’ve attached a PS5 to the TV to test its gaming performance and a few games that support high refresh rates, such as Dirt 5 (Review) and DMC 5 (Review). For the cinematic experience, we also played Spider-Man: Miles Morales (review). Since the PS5 does not support VRR we get a fixed refresh rate on the TV. Starting with Spider-Man, the game looks enticing with snow-filled environments and Spider-Man suit pop colors. When rocking around the city you can create bright highlights very well especially when you are rocking towards the sun. Even in the darkest sequences of the game, the blacks are deep and the shadows are clearly visible which enhances the gaming experience.

Turn on game mode on LG CX.

In a game like Devil May Cry 5 Special Edition we played it in high frame rate mode and even though the console does not support VRR, the 120Hz mode of this game has smoothed the fight. In a fast-paced game like the DMC 5, the reflections are everything and the higher frame rate clearly adds precision. Needless to say, the game was also breathtaking.

LG CX can play games in 4K at 120Hz.

Overall, if you’re looking for a gaming TV, the LG CX should be at the top of your list. The 48-inch size was small enough to fit a desk and sitting 4 feet away from the TV was a sweet spot for hours of gaming.

LG CX HDMI supports Ultra HD Deep Color.

To take advantage of the potential of this TV you need to go to settings and turn on HDMI UltraHD Deep Color. A Pro Tip – If you want to see the resolution, bit rate, and even the frame rate that the TV is generating, you can mash the green button on the remote control that gives you this information until a popup arrives.

LG 48-inch CX: 4K and HDR performance

LG has offered some of the best performance for buying OLED TVs, and the case is no different here. Whether you’re looking for a 48-inch variant for a small room or a desk or a 77-inch variant for a home theater experience, you can’t go wrong with this TV. While we have a 48-inch CX to review and we’ve reviewed the 65-inch GX, we can expect similar performance from the panel on the other screen-sized options of the CX.

With self-emitting backlighting, we get an infinite contrast ratio on this TV and the OLED colors look just as deep as before. In terms of HDR performance, the TV is great. The TV’s maximum brightness may not be as high as some of our LED TVs like last year’s Sony Z8H (review), but thanks to the pixel-level brightness control, no halo effect or bloom occurs when taking content in pitch darkness.

LG CX supports all popular streaming services.

We used a lot of content from streaming services like Netflix, Prime Video and Apple TV on HDR and Dolby Vision, and the experience was nothing short of theatrical. The panel is reflected in a well-lit room. But if you have a screen or the light in the room is not directly in front of the TV, then you should be fine.

My only problem is that the Disney + Hotstar app on LG TV does not support Dolby Vision. Considering the huge library of content on offer on the platform, it’s time to update the app. Fire TV Stick (review) and Android TV already have updated apps with support for Dolby Vision and surround sound.

The LG CX supports Dolby Vision and Dolby Atoms.

LG 48-inch CX: FHD performance

When it comes to FHD and SDR performance, again, you can’t know if you’re using FHD content unless you know what you’re looking for. Prime Video has a show like Young Sheldon on SDR, and even movies like Mission Impossible on Netflix and Spider-Man Homecoming on FHD and SDR. In standard presets, the picture looks a bit muted and that’s not a bad thing at all. If you want the colors to pop, you can always switch to vivid mode. It’s usually in the SDR content that we’ve seen Sony’s OLEDs create better color, but if you don’t put the two TVs side by side, you can’t tell the difference.

LG CX photo mode.

Overall, while some may be concerned about burn-in, this shouldn’t be a problem if you change the content used on this TV. TV for SDR, HDR and even gaming offers some of the best performance we’ve ever seen.

LG 48-inch CX: Audio performance

The LG CX has a 2.2 channel setup with 40W sound output. If you plan to use this TV as a monitor or plan to keep it in a small bedroom, the output from the TV should work for watching movies and playing games. TV speakers support Dolby Atmos, but don’t expect the sound to surround you from all angles.

LG CX supports Dolby Atoms.

In the inaugural race of Ready Player One, you walk side by side trying to avoid being destroyed by King Kong. Even if the audio is loud and clear, don’t expect it to come from above or behind you. Delightful audio from the speaker. You may miss some bass, but considering the clarity and volume level, the speakers are good enough to give an entry-level soundbar a run for its money.

LG 48-inch CX: UI

The UI of the LG 48-inch CX is exactly the same as what we saw with the GX that we reviewed last year. The TV runs on the company’s WebOS platform, which has a very fluid UI. All your apps are listed in a row at the bottom of the screen, making it easy to navigate. You have a “Home Dashboard”, which gives you control of your IoT devices.

LG has unveiled a new UI at CES 2021, which is visually different from its 2020 UI. We’re not sure if the new UI will come to CX, but it stands to reason that CX’s UI is very easy to use. The settings have changed a bit when compared to the LG C9 (review). You also have the advantage of LG’s Magic Remote, which makes navigating the UI a breeze.

LG TV runs on WebOS.

The LG GX comes with remote mic to control the TV using your voice without remote control. Unfortunately, that feature is not available in CX. You have a mic button on the remote control that gives you voice control and you can long press the prime video button to bring Alexa if you want.

LG’s UI also has an app store and while not as powerful as the Google Play Store on Android TV, it does the job for those looking for popular streaming services. Apps like Plex are available for those who use it, but an app like VLC is missing from the LG App Store.

The LG CX gets updates over the air.

LG 48-inch CX: Remote control

Again, the LG CX comes with the same remote control that we saw on the GX, C9, B9 and many more LG OLED TVs. LG’s 2021 TVs will feature a newly designed remote control and we can’t wait to see how ergonomics have changed, especially when the remote itself is very ergonomic.

The remote control is well built and has a slightly curved design. This helps give the remote control a better grip, especially when navigating the UI using a mouse-like remote control. It feels heavy in one’s hand without feeling heavy. The remote has all the traditional controls, such as a number pad at the top, a click wheel in the center, surrounded by instructional buttons, and a hotkey to bring Netflix and Prime videos to the bottom. You’ll also find a play and pause button. You also have voice control buttons on top of the instruction buttons.

The LG CX comes with a magic remote.

Overall the remote control is well made, ergonomic and we have seen that one of the advanced remote controls comes with high end TVs.

LG 48-inch CX: Build and design

The LG CX comes with a “Don’t fix it if it doesn’t break” attitude. Placed next to a C9, you don’t know which TV. It has a small tabletop stand that holds the TV from the center when placed on a tabletop. It’s relatively small, so don’t expect to have a set-top-box or gaming console under the TV. The tabletop stand looks angular and premium.

The LG CX has an angular stand.

The TV panel is extremely thin, with almost no bezel around the display. It is slightly thicker at the bottom, where you have the option of components and connections.

The LG CX has a thinner bezel.

Speaking of connectivity options, the TV has three HDMI ports and a USB port on the side. On the back, we have an HDMI port, two USB ports, AV in, LAN, optical port, 3.5mm port and a good old antenna.

The LG CX has 4 HDMI 2.1 ports.

The last row

While we look forward to the LG Evo OLED and even the LG C1 in 2021, it’s easy to recommend the CX, especially since it has all the bells and whistles on a premium OLED TV. It has four HDMI 2.1 ports which makes it ideal for gamers. The panel’s picture performance is excellent and the sound output is also good. While the Android TV still has a large library of apps, the LG App Store is where all the popular apps and streaming services need to enjoy content on this TV. If you are in the market for premium TVs then you must consider LG CX. The only downside is that the 55-inch variant of the TV will be available for around Rs 1,35,000. So, unless you’re looking for the 48-inch variant specifically to fit a specific room or desk as a replacement for your monitor, you might want to consider its older brother for a more cinematic experience.

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