LG’s lineup of OLED TVs has been a great performer, and if you’ve bought one, you’ll agree that it’s a treat. If you bought an OLED TV in 2018, 2017 or even 2016, the performance of these OLED TVs is likely to be fairly uniform in terms of image quality. However, the biggest change has been seen in 2019 flagship TV. We’ve seen flagship TVs of 2019 get an update on their smart capabilities, support Apple AirPlay and the biggest addition – HDMI 2.1. We’ve seen limited acceptance of HDMI 2.1 with Sony 2019 OLED and flagship LED TVs, meaning that these TVs only support eARC and miss things like variable refresh rate and 4K content at 120FPS. OK, the only device that can take advantage of the variable refresh rate is the Xbox One X but later-gen consoles (PS5 and Xbox Scarlett) will be able to take advantage of this feature even more. Still, the TVT is a flagship LED TV from LG’s home. Is it worth the upgrade?
Panel size: 65-inch (available in 55-inch as well as 77-inch)
Panel type: OLED
Panel resolution: 3840 x 2160 – 4K
HDR 10 support: Yes
Dolby Vision Support: Yes
Weight: 33.9 kg
HDMI port: 4
USB port: 3
Bluetooth: Yes, 5.0
Speakers: 2.2 CH speakers with 40W output
Price: MRP for 65-inch is Rs 3,64,990
Construction and design
The design of the LG C9 is absolutely premium. For the duration of the review, we had the TV in its tabletop stand. The stand is longer and in contrast to the C8 (read our review here), which had a longer carving stand, the C9 has a shorter and more angular design. The design choice is a personal choice, but be aware that a slightly longer soundbar can interfere with your viewing experience on the C9. If you plan to keep this TV on a tabletop, you may want to set up a clean tabletop entertainment. Placed on a tabletop, the TV shakes a bit but there is nothing that gives the feeling of being broken. The C9’s shaking isn’t as bad as what we’ve seen on OnePlus TV (see our review here).
When it comes to connectivity options, the LG C9 has 4 HDMI ports; All of which offer full HDMI 2.1 bandwidth capability and 3 USB ports. It’s nice to see that there are three HDMI ports on three sides (including the ARC one) that make it easy to handle. As well as one of the three USB ports. The TV has a component, AV in, a LAN port, optical audio out and a headphone out. The layout of the ports is similar to C8 (read our review here)
The ones that are sleek, they can root the wires with a gap behind the tabletop stand for more clean cable management.
The biggest attraction of the TV is how slim the panel is. It is a bit thicker than a coin and it is very thin. The TV gets thicker at the bottom, but the reason is that it needs to be placed somewhere inside.
Overall, watching TV is a beauty and has received a lot of praise from everyone in the office.
Display panel and image quality
The LG C9’s panel is an OLED panel and since LG has been making OLED panels for some time, believe me the image quality will be something to look forward to. This year, the flagship TV is powered by LG Alpha 9 Zen 2 processor and boy it does well in image processing.
The TV has 4K resolution with support for both HDR10 and Dolby Vision and has a nice indicator that pops up in the top right corner of the TV indicating that the HDR standard is currently on the screen. The TV also supports Dolby Atmos, and the same index pops up when Atmos content is played. We will talk more about the word in the upcoming section.
The OLED panel, with its ability to create infinite contrast, makes it a desirable product to enjoy as a home theater. So how was it in our test?
The beauty of an OLED TV is its infinite contrast ratio, its ability to create truly black and deep colors. This holds true and works extremely well on the C9. Watching Netflix through the built-in app gave us access to Dolby Vision content and it looked breathtaking. The sequence of battles of the modified Carbon Season 1 Episode 7 is rich in details, the highlights are beautiful and bright and the original details are clearly visible in the dark corners. Here the face flash is completely immersed in the slow-motion sequence. From the skin tone to the texture of the clothes, the content has to look this way. Grand Tour Season 1 Episode 1 is like watching you drive a lot through the desert. If you’re looking for the ultimate 4K HDR image quality experience on a TV sitting at home, then yes, the LG C9 might be a TV to consider. However, and this is true for all OLED TVs, if you have a bright room with plenty of natural light, the panel may reflect, especially during dark periods.
India has a large catalog of 1080p content on Netflix, Prime Video, Hotstar and more. Spider-Man: From Into the Spiderverse to John Wick and much more, 1080p content looks great. Of course, if you play 4K HDR content to its full potential and instantly switch to 1080p and sit just 4 feet away from a TV like mine, you’ll be able to tell the difference. But from a viewing distance of 6 to 8 feet, the TV can reproduce the full HD and 720p content quite nicely.
One of the proofs you can get from OLED is Season 8 Episode 3 of Game of Thrones. When there is a war with the dead, there is an uproar all over the world as to why they see nothing. If you own an OLED TV, you’ll enjoy the episode as much as we did on this LG C9.
When it came to gaming, we used our Xbox One X (read our review here) to play games on TV. Xbox One X supports VRR, a feature on TVs but sadly, it’s something we can’t test to find out if it really works. That being said, the gaming experience on TV was great. Gears 5 (read our review here) which is our new benchmark for 4K HDR gaming on a TV, looks great. Some opening sequences are set on hills filled with bright outdoor and dark passages. This is where the HDR capabilities of the TV really shine. TV game mode brings less input lag. Although it’s not like gaming on a 1ms monitor, the gaming experience on this TV is absolutely cinematic.
The same can be said for a game like Doom which is 4K but not HDR. The orange planet of Mars looks rich, a sight to behold inside the details and art house.
Overall, this is the pinnacle of photo performance from a TV. One thing to keep in mind is that when using content from native streaming apps on TV, you can let the TV choose the picture mode. It does a pretty good job of optimizing photo performance. There is also an AI image mode that I suggest you enable because it uses deep learning to optimize image performance. The overall picture performance of the TV is excellent.
TV audio is usually frustrating, especially when you see the Dolby Atmos logo pop up on the screen, but it’s not bad at all. In fact, for every day viewing and even for enjoying TV shows and set-top-box content, TV speakers work well. When playing games, the audio is very clearly audible but it lacks space. The audio output from the TV, though decent, cannot keep pace with the visual glasses that the TV has. You might want to, at least, invest in a soundbar to enjoy this TV
The LG C9 comes with a remote magic wand. The remote is curved and has a slight height. The weight adds to the overall build quality and helps the curved remote fit comfortably in your hand, especially when you use its motion features. It’s a bit heavier on the back and that’s fine because it adds ergonomics.
The remote has a number of buttons, including a prime pad with a number pad and a dedicated button for Netflix. The navigation button and the scroll wheel cum select button are comfortably located in the middle of the remote. At the bottom of the remote is a dedicated play and pause button that is comfortable to reach. While dedicated buttons for next, previous, rewind, and forward would be nice, you can use on-screen navigation on streaming services to achieve this. Overall, the remote control is tried and tested and can also be used to control your set-top-box, eliminating the need for two remotes.
Software and UI
The TV runs on LG’s WebOS and is one of the smoothest OS out there. It is easy to navigate, can respond quickly and brings a level of fluidity you would expect from a flagship TV. From detecting devices connected to HDMI inputs to navigating settings, the UI is fluid and the software works. It has Google Assistant and Alexa built-in. Long press the Voice button to bring Assistant and long press the Prime Video button to bring Alexa. With the UI Dashboard, you can also control your smart home gadgets, which is really great.
The last row
If you are looking for a flagship OLED and are considering a pick, there are a few things to consider. If you want to watch streaming services, or set-top-box content or even content from 4K HDR Blu-ray, know that LG’s 2019 OLED lineup is a good choice with Sony’s 2019 offerings. Both brands bring their ‘A’ games. However, while Sony has the advantage of having some nice natural tones when watching movies, this is something that most people will not notice. LG features HDMI 2.1 full-bandwidth connectivity across all HDMI ports, bringing 4K 120FPS to TVs with eARC support and VRR. Sony TVs have eARC support but do not support 4K at 120Hz or VRR. If you are looking for future proof of your TV, HDMI 2.1 should be an important consideration that comes with the LG C9.