LG’s C2 OLED is a truly impressive 4K TV that provides impeccable picture quality and best-in-class gaming performance. Even though the higher-tier and more expensive G2 is LG’s flagship and offers a brighter display, the C2 is easier on your wallet and still delivers a viewing experience that can wow anyone sitting in your living room. The 65-inch C2 was reviewed by me and costs $2,499, although it is regularly on sale for much less. Thanks to those frequent discounts, the C-series has established itself as the sweet spot of LG’s lineup, and this feature-packed TV showcases everything the company has learned after years of manufacturing OLED sets. You can expect a captivating image with striking contrast and unmatched blacks. There’s been a lot of buzz this year about the arrival of QD-OLED TVs, and while they do offer some noticeable picture benefits, the first sets from Samsung and Sony are pricier than the C2 — and neither can match LG’s comprehensive gaming chops.The GoodSuperb contrast and black levelsPerhaps the best gaming TV on the marketFast performanceThe BadNot as bright as other top-tier TVswebOS is becoming a jumbled messGlossy screen can produce annoying glareHOW WE RATE AND REVIEW PRODUCTSBut one of the main improvements that LG has made to the C2 will be obvious long before you power it on. The most notable thing about this TV’s design is just how remarkably light it is. LG has drastically reduced the weight by using composite fiber materials. The 65-inch model I’ve been testing weighs 40.8 pounds with the stand or 36.6 pounds without. Stack that up against last year’s version, which came in at 71.9 pounds with the stand attached or 52.9 pounds without, and the difference is substantial. You’ll still want a helping hand when unboxing and setting up one of the larger-sized C2s, but that’s really only because of the screen’s width; the weight is entirely manageable now. The pedestal stand is also now lighter, narrower, and appreciably taller; my Sonos soundbar partially obstructed the screen with my old CX, but that’s not a problem thanks to this stand’s extra clearance. How can a premium TV weigh so little?A TV’s weight is the sort of thing you might never think about again after putting it on a media stand or mounting it, but the reduced heft should make for less strain on your wall in the latter scenario. Above all else, it’s just impressive engineering and a welcome change after years of weighty OLEDs that also happened to be very fragile. The combination of OLEDs and OLEDs can be stressful. However, the C2 was easier to open and move. You can choose from sizes starting at 42 inches ($1,399) to an enormous 83-inch model ($5,499). All of them are often on sale for significantly lower prices. No matter how big or small you go, the TVs share the same features, and all have four HDMI ports.You’re not going to be paying any attention to the C2’s thin bezels.Elsewhere, the C2 takes after its sleek predecessors in overall design, but there are still noticeable upgrades. LG has managed to shave down the bezels to the point that they’re nearly imperceptible when the TV is powered on, keeping you fully immersed in whatever’s on the screen — be that a movie, game, or those gorgeous Apple TV screensavers that can often steal my attention for minutes at a time. The glossy glass panel can reflect distracting reflections depending upon the time of the day or where it is placed in a space. I sometimes missed the antiglare coating of other TVs and the TCL 6-Series. But when the viewing conditions are right, LG’s chosen materials only enhance the richness and punch of the TV’s image. The C2 is a marvel of contrast and depth with its image. It can also play 120Hz 4K video and all of the HDMI 2.1 features. It’s nice not having to be so precious about which device gets plugged into what port. Obviously, you’ll want to ensure your soundbar is running through the eARC HDMI port, but the rest provide ample flexibility. LG has been doing this for years, and while some TV makers are finally catching up and going full-bandwidth on every HDMI port, others like Hisense and TCL still limit some of the most important features (like 120Hz) to two ports instead of the whole lot.Switch on the C2 using LG’s Magic Motion remote — yes, you can still use it like a Wii wand controller with motion controls if you want — and you’re greeted by the latest version of webOS. The company’s TV software switched to a full “homescreen” experience a couple years ago that’s more akin to Samsung’s Tizen and Vizio’s Smartcast OS. I preferred the less busy lower-third “blades” interface of older LGs, but I can’t fault the company for getting with the times. Navigating around webOS on the C2 is smooth and responsive, whether you’re browsing apps on the homescreen, using features like AirPlay 2, or toggling on smart lights through the Home Dashboard.The remote hasn’t changed much; you can use the buttons or point it at the TV for an on-screen cursor. WebOS is becoming overwhelming, bloated, and unreliable in its current state. Backlit buttons would be a nice feature. Are there many features? Sure. The C2 supports Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and LG’s own voice assistant, as just one example. AirPlay 2 (and HomeKit) are also available. LG is trying to do too many things, which makes it feel messy. There has been some experimentation and iterations on the top of the homescreen over the past few months, but no significant progress has been made. Initially, it was a hodgepodge of weather, tips for using the TV’s features, and ads. LG’s latest take on webOS feels haphazard and too ad-heavyNow there’s just a giant “webOS” logo in the top banner taking up a ton of room. Below that you will find trending recommendations mixed in with blatant advertisements. Next is the App List — the section you’ll likely use most often — and then the Home Dashboard, which combines HDMI inputs and smart home device controls in the same row. After that, it’s row after row of forgettable cruft, and the overall experience feels thrown together and convoluted. Why is an entire row on the homescreen dedicated to the built-in web browser that I’ll never open? If I have no interest in LG’s sports alert carousel, there’s no way to hide or remove it; the best I can do is move it further down the screen. Even in the Apps List row, which is customizable, many of LG’s apps can’t be removed. Then there are the repetitive rows of suggested contents, some only featuring three or four items. There’s little rhyme or reason, and I’d love to see LG rein some of this in and give webOS greater focus and purpose in its next lineup of TVs. But I’m not optimistic.Life would be better without so many homescreen ads, LG.None of these sections can be hidden or deleted. You can only rearrange them.Thankfully, the TV’s actual settings menus remain similar to past years and are straightforward enough to find what you’re looking for. By default, LG enables energy-saving features that can dim the screen and keep the C2 from looking its very best, so you’ll want to turn those off as you explore the different picture modes and other settings. And if the haphazard layout or ads of webOS’ homescreen get on your nerves, you can always hook up a streaming player from Apple, Roku, Amazon, or Google and largely ignore the TV’s software beyond the basic menus.But let me tell you: you’ll instantly forget any quibbles with the C2’s homescreen or default settings once you start watching a movie or TV. This is simply the best picture quality for the price. With HDR peaking at slightly over 800 nits, the C2 is perceptibly brighter than last year’s C1 (and certainly the CX I owned previously), even if it’s no match for Mini LED TVs like the TCL 6-Series and recent Hisense sets like the blindingly bright U8H. If your living room catches a ton of sunlight, it might make sense to go with those alternatives — or one of the QD-OLEDs I mentioned earlier, since their improved color brightness can make the whole image seem more radiant. LG’s flagship G2 also ups the total brightness beyond what the C2 is capable of with the help of an integrated heatsink.You’ll want to turn off some of LG’s default settings to get the best picture quality.So it’s not going to win out in every scenario, but the C2 never left me wanting for more. It delivers the OLEDs’ legendary dazzling contrast and deep blacks. The colors are vivid without being too bright, and HDR highlights pop thanks to support for HDR10, HDR10 and Dolby VisionIQ. This is an extraordinary experience watching Top Gun: Maverick perform on this thing. But there’s more to it than that. I’ve been genuinely impressed by how much depth and dimensionality the C2’s picture provides. I think this comes down to the way LG’s Alpha 9 Gen 5 chip separates the foreground subject from the background and optimizes the image processing of both. In the past, I’ve dismissed this sort of thing as a marketing gimmick, but I’m sold on it here. It’s not 3D by any stretch; the effect is subtle but adds just that little bit extra to the C2’s video fidelity. OLED panels’ quick response times can cause judder when watching movies or other 24fps content. If you’re sensitive to that kind of thing, LG’s Cinematic Movement toggle does a good job of smoothing things out without leaning too hard into the soap opera effect.Agree to Continue: LG C2 OLED TVEvery smart device now requires you to agree to a series of terms and conditions before you can use it — contracts that no one actually reads. It’s impossible for us to read and analyze every single one of these agreements. But we’re going to start counting exactly how many times you have to hit “agree” to use devices when we review them since these are agreements most people don’t read and definitely can’t negotiate.To use the LG C2, you must agree to the following during setup:LG Electronics terms of useLG Electronics privacy policyThere are several optional agreements as well. You can read all of them on LG’s website here. They include:Viewing information agreement (covers viewing info and device data collection) Voice information agreement (required to use voice controls)Interest-based and cross-device advertising agreementWho.Where.What? user agreement (content discovery services)Aspect privacy policy (automatic content recognition) LG Channels user agreementThe final tally is two mandatory agreements and up to six optional ones.I don’t know many people who splurge on an OLED TV only to rely on its built-in speakers, but if you find yourself without a soundbar or surround system for a while, the C2’s audio output is better than tolerable. The company uses some AI tricks to maintain good balance at moderate volume levels, but don’t expect much in the way of bass. These speakers are fine as a stopgap, but you’ll want to pair the C2 with a better sound system to bring its audio experience up to par with its visual one. The C2 is the best gaming TV available in 2022. LG automatically recognizes your hardware when you switch to a console. Pressing the settings button on the remote brings up a gaming dashboard that displays the current frame rate, lets you dial in granular black level adjustments, or choose from picture presets based on the genre of the game you’re playing. The C2 has a remarkable low input lag across all its HDMI ports. LG is the only one to support Dolby Vision gaming. This TV is a great match for the PS5 or Xbox Series X, and can benefit from the best of both consoles. Again, other TVs can go brighter, but the gaming experience isn’t always as consistent. Samsung has had some firmware growing pains with its S95B QD-OLED this year that have at times negatively affected brightness and gaming / VRR performance.LG’s C2 is a phenomenal TV, and as we enter the holiday season, it’s already being discounted into very tempting territory at many retailers. But you can also still find big savings on last year’s C1, and there’s not a ton separating the two. The C2 gets slightly brighter and offers smoother day-to-day performance, but many of its best attributes can be found in last year’s model. LG is facing impressive competition from Samsung and Sony in the OLED TV space, but it’s still the heavyweight in this market with years of expertise. The C2 combines all of this into a beautiful, versatile and surprisingly light rectangle. While you can get a very high-quality TV for hundreds less than the C2, few TVs are as uncompromising. Photography by Chris Welch/TheVerge

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