Demystifying the Battle for OLED TV Supremacy: LG C1 vs C2 Comparison Guide

As a well-researched TV shopper checking out LG’s lauded OLED lineup, you may be trying to decide whether 2021’s Editors Choice award-winning C1 remains worthy of your investment against 2022’s feature-packed C2 successor nipping at its heels as LG’s new flagship.

This guide exists to decode their similarities and differences across critical categories, arm you with insider knowledge to clarify which model prevails given budget and needs. While both serve up superlative performance that outshine LED/LCD rivals, is springing the premium for C2 virtues sensible, or does the value proposition of an already-sublime C1 discount make more sense?

Let’s dive in eyes-wide-open and cut through marketing speak by pitting these heavyweight contenders spec-for-spec.

C1 vs C2 Compared – Eyeing Up The Contenders

Before assessing individual components shaping real-world experience, it’s important to clarify precisely what products we‘re dealing with:

LG C1 4K OLED TV

  • Release Year: 2021
  • Model Series: A1
  • Sizes Available: 48", 55", 65", 77", 83"
  • MSRP at Launch: $1299+

LG C2 4K OLED TV

  • Release Year: 2022
  • Model Series: A2
  • Sizes Available: 42", 48”, 55”, 65”, 77”, 83”
  • MSRP at Launch: $1399+

Note that LG‘s 2022 expansion of available screen dimensions downward to 42-inches and upward to 83-inches applies equally for both lines. Pricing also hovered very close between initial MSRPs among corresponding sizes.

However, after sitting in market for a year benefitting from promotions and subsidies, existing C1 inventory currently sells for significant dollar discounts compared to the newer C2. Just be wary of inflated markdowns on clearance units.

We‘ll now examine the enhancements under the hood powering the C2‘s leapfrogging performance numbers.

Picture Processing Power Unpacked

It may surprise those used to smartphone-style generational leaps that similarities abound between the C1 and C2‘s imaging capabilities:

Common Display Attributes:

  • Panel Type: Self-lit WOLED
  • Native Contrast Ratio: Infinite (pure blacks)
  • Color Depth: 10-bit panel w/12-bit processing
  • Refresh Rate: 40-120Hz VRR range
  • Backlighting: Not applicable (OLED excels sans backlights)
  • Viewing Angles: ~180° with no drop-off

So outside of burgeoning brightness unlocked by Evo enhancements detailed shortly, changes consist more of refinement than revolution:

  • α9 Gen 5 AI Processor 4K
    • Leverages deep learning for better upscaling/cleanup
    • Enhanced object/spatial contrast adjustments
    • Wide 5.1 surround sound simulation without added speakers
  • Support for Most Advanced Gaming/Video Formats
    • 4K/120Hz + VRR simultaneously
    • Dolby Vision 4K/120Hz gaming
    • Nvidia G-Sync / AMD FreeSync Premium
  • Latest HDMI 2.1 Across All Ports
    • 48Gbps HDMI bandwidth ceiling
  • Integrated Next-Gen TV Tuner
    • ATSC 3.0 antenna support*
    • Drop-in upgrade kit available for compatible C1‘s

So newcomer C2 buyers gain more futureproofed specs compliance, tighter software integration, and some extra convenience/format coverage, without rearchitecting OLED‘s winning formula.

OLED Evo – Brighter, Punchier Pictures

The C2‘s crowning achievement is inheriting LG‘s enhanced "OLED Evo" panel technology also found in their ultra-premium G2 Gallery Series.

But unlike that rarefied class, the C2 remarkably democratizes substantially boosted brightness and color without a four-figure price hike:

  • New luminous element
    • Expands peak brightness beyond 1,000 nits in Cinema HDR mode
    • Adds visceral punch to effects like explosions and specular highlights
  • Anti-reflective coating
    • Diffuses stray light sources hitting the panel
    • Cuts down glare while preserving clarity
  • Larger red/green/blue pixel structure
    • Widens overall color gamut
    • Enriches color volume – especially reds – appearing vividly saturated

LG Quantifies the Montiorable Improvements:

|| LG C1 | LG C2 |
|-|:-:|:-:|
|Peak Brightness | 790 cd/m2 | 900+ cd/m2
|Color Volume | 98.5% DCI-P3 | Over 100% DCI-P3

So while certainly no game-changer, excelling OLEDs via this enhanced panel and processing pays tangible dividends.

Which Model Should You Buy In 2023?

When initially launched at $1300+ MSRP against the now-discounted C1 hovering around the $1000 mark for popular sizes, that price gap felt harder to justify. But with prevailing C2 deals knocking prices to all-time-lows below the C1’s initial ask just two years ago, the value pendulum for an objectively more advanced television swings resoundingly toward 2022’s evolutionary update.

Only buyers on extreme budgets should consider last year‘s sets, where the C1 maintains a phenomenal-for-the-price offering. Discerning viewers that expect perceptibly punchier pictures and a snappier, smarter user experience should feel comfortable buying LG’s latest-and-greatest advancements wrapped in the C2 flagship right now at historically affordable pricing.

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