LG C3 vs Sony A90J: Battle of the Best OLED TVs

OLED TVs have become the pinnacle of home entertainment technology, delivering unrivaled picture quality with perfect blacks, vibrant colors, and infinite contrast. Two of the top contenders in the OLED space are the LG C3 and Sony A90J. But which one of these flagship TVs comes out on top? Let‘s dive into a detailed comparison.


The LG C3 is LG‘s 2023 model that iterates on their renowned C-Series OLED TVs. It brings upgraded picture processing in the form of the new α9 Gen5 AI Processor 4K and the latest version of LG‘s webOS smart platform.

The Sony A90J is Sony‘s 2021 flagship OLED TV, featuring their advanced XR Cognitive Processor, XR OLED Contrast technology, and other proprietary Sony enhancements like XR Motion Clarity. As a Master Series model, it represents the pinnacle of Sony‘s TV lineup.

Quick Comparison

FeaturesLG C3Sony A90J
Screen Sizes42", 48", 55", 65", 77", 83"55", 65", 83"
Resolution4K (3,840 x 2,160)4K (3,840 x 2,160)
Display TypeOLED EvoOLED
HDR SupportDolby Vision, HDR10, HLGDolby Vision, HDR10, HLG
Refresh Rate100Hz / 120Hz100Hz / 120Hz
HDMI Ports44
Weight (65")Approx. 52.9 lbsApprox. 78.3 lbs

From this high-level comparison, we can already see a few key differences:

  • The LG C3 has more size options, including the highly popular 48" size for gaming or small spaces
  • But the Sony A90J features a heftier, more premium design befitting a flagship experience
  • The LG C3 uses an enhanced "OLED Evo" panel while the A90J uses a standard OLED

Next, let‘s take a closer look at each TV‘s picture performance.

Picture Quality

Both the C3 and A90J deliver world-class picture quality, with perfectly deep blacks and vibrant, accurate colors that OLED panels are renowned for. But they achieve this through different processing technologies.


The LG C3 features LG‘s new α9 Gen5 AI Processor 4K, powering LG‘s AI Picture Pro and AI Brightness Control. It leverages deep learning to analyze and optimize every part of the image. This 5th generation processor builds upon the α9 Gen4‘s prowess to further improve detail, sharpness, color accuracy, motion handling, and upscaling of lower resolution content.

But the C3‘s biggest upgrade is the new "OLED Evo" panel. Officially called "OLED EX," this panel can hit higher peak brightness levels, delivering punchier, more eye-catching highlights in HDR content. It retains the rich, inky blacks that OLED is known for too. So images have more "pop" while keeping strong contrast.

Gamers will appreciate exclusive features like Game Optimizer. With Game Optimizer, you can quickly adjust settings like input lag, refresh rate, and image enhancements to optimize the experience for different games. There‘s also a new Dark Room Mode that maximizes visibility when gaming in the dark.

Sony A90J

The A90J is powered by Sony‘s proprietary Cognitive Processor XR. This processor goes beyond basic upscaling to actually understand how humans see and hear. It focuses on enhancing the key elements of picture and sound quality by identifying and optimizing every object in the frame. This gives images a boost in depth, textures, and natural realism.

Powering the visual enhancements is XR OLED Contrast technology. This precisely controls the OLED panel to bring out lifelike contrast with vibrant, nuanced colors and rich shadow details. Backlight control tech is also incorporated from Sony‘s LED lineup to maximize brightness and dynamic range.

Sony‘s XR Motion Clarity tech maintains crisp, smooth action during high-speed scenes. This suppress motion blur to give sports, action films, and games more solidity and stability.

For cinephiles, the A90J brings IMAX Enhanced certification. This ensures every pixel is optimized to deliver content the way the creator envisioned – with explosive contrasts, crispness, and cinematic color.

Winner: Draw

Both TVs represent the cutting edge of OLED technology and deliver truly game-changing visuals. The LG C3‘s brighter OLED Evo panel gives it an edge for HDR content. But the Sony A90J‘s Cognitive Processor XR and XR OLED Contrast yield extremely realistic imaging too. For picture quality, this one is too close to call!

Smart Platform & Features

A modern smart TV platform should make it effortless to find and watch your favorite content while delivering premium streaming features. How do the webOS and Google TV platforms compare?


The C3 runs the latest version of LG‘s intuitive webOS platform. The home screen provides personalized recommendations based on your viewing history and streaming apps. Built-in support for AI services like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit makes controlling your smart home devices effortless.

webOS now offers Next-Gen TV tuners, delivering access to 4K over-the-air broadcasts where available. Gaming gets a boost too with the Game Optimizer and support for Nvidia G-Sync, AMD FreeSync Premium, and 4K/120Hz HDMI inputs. Auto Low Latency Mode ensures lightning-fast response times when gaming.

Sony A90J

All Sony TVs now feature the Google TV platform, which aggregates shows, movies, live TV and other content into one personalized space. The home screen displays curated recommendations from across your subscriptions and also lets you easily browse trending content.

Google Assistant is built right into the TV, allowing for hands-free voice controls. You can search for titles, look up information, control smart home devices, and more completely hands-free. Apple AirPlay support also allows you to share videos, photos, music, and screens from Apple devices with ease.

On the gaming front, there‘s Auto HDR Tone Mapping, Auto Genre Picture Switch, auto low latency mode, and eARC support for quick passthrough of lossless audio formats. Motionflow XR technology also reduces motion blur in action-oriented games.

Winner: LG C3

Both platforms make finding great content a breeze with their personalized recommendations and voice control support. However, the LG C3 pulls ahead with exclusive gaming features tailored towards serious players, plus more smart home integrations. The C3‘s Next-Gen TV tuner support also provides a degree of future-proofing.

Design & Build Quality

With premium flagship TVs like these, you want a design that makes a statement befitting their world-class performance. Let‘s see how the styling, build quality and ergonomics measure up.


Like past LG OLED TVs, the C3 sports a minimalist, gallery-style design. The display is merely millimeters thick, framed by an ultra-thin bezel on a sleek, slate gray stand. Cable management is tidy, with a cover panel to hide wires. This aesthetic allows the C3 to blend nicely into a variety of decors and spaces.

The TV feels very sturdy and stable on its stand, while VESA mounting is possible for hanging on a wall. The rear inputs are also oriented sideways for easier access. At 52.9 lbs for the 65" model, the C3 won‘t require heavy-duty mounting hardware either.

Sony A90J

Sony flagship TVs always make a bold statement, and the A90J is no exception. The display has a very premium, substantial feel with brushed metal trim along the back framing the sleek flush mount stand. There‘s very minimal bezel around the picture itself.

The stand lifts the TV a few inches for a floating effect. Inputs are oriented sideways, though fairly deep on the back which may frustrate wall mounting. At 78.3 lbs for the 65” version, you’ll also want to ensure your mount can support the weight. There is no cable management system, so external solutions may be needed to hide wires.

Winner: Draw

The LG C3‘s understated, flexible aesthetic lets it blend in anywhere while Sony‘s substantial styling makes more of a statement. Both TVs are very well-built and thoughtfully designed overall. Your preference here will come down to the desired look for your space.

Audio Performance

As display specs advance dramatically every year, audio often gets overlooked. But for a truly immersive experience, sound quality that matches the stunning visuals is crucial. How do the integrated audio systems compare?


The C3 includes LG’s AI Sound Pro technology, comprised of AI Acoustic Tuning that customizes the sound profile using built-in mics, plus Dolby Atmos support for immersive object-oriented sound. The TV analyzes incoming content and optimizes audio output in real-time based on the type of content playing.

You get a decent 40W total output through a standard 2.2 channel speaker configuration. The soundstage has reasonably good width and clarity, though bass response skews thinner without the addition of a soundbar or discrete subwoofer.

Sony A90J

Sony leverages several unique audio technologies to deliver truly cinema-grade sound. It starts with the powerful 60W total acoustic surface speaker system driven by Sony‘s XR Surround and Acoustic Auto Calibration software.

Using actuators behind the TV panel itself, Acoustic Surface Audio+ turns the screen into a multidimensional speaker system. This allows sound to emanate directly from the area where effects and action are occurring on-screen. You get a wider, more immersive soundstage that creates a remarkably realistic auditory experience without external speakers.

Winner: Sony A90J

While the LG C3 produces decent integrated audio, the Sony A90J‘s Acoustic Surface Audio+ system is leagues ahead. By turning the screen itself into a dynamic multidimensional speaker array, the A90J delivers a far more realistic and enveloping soundscape.

Smart Home Compatibility

In an ever more connected world, having your TV integrate seamlessly with other smart home devices is extremely convenient. How easily can you control, automate, and enable connectivity across platforms?


LG TVs have broad smart home ecosystem compatibility. With built-in support for Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit, you can easily link the C3 with security cameras, smart lights, thermostats, robot vacuums and more.

Through LG‘s ThinkQ app, you can analyze connected device usage patterns and even enable AI-recommended automations to trigger routines based on schedules or device interactions. This delivers effortless hands-free control of TV viewing, lighting scenes, music playback and temperature adjustments.

Sony A90J

As a Google TV, the Sony A90J plays very nicely with Google/Nest products. You can view who is at the door with Nest Hello video feeds directly on-screen and use Google Assistant to control cameras, Doorbells, smart lights, and thermostats through a single interface.

Amazon Alexa support also provides control and connectivity with Ring security devices, FireTV streaming, Amazon Smart Plugs, Hue lights and thousands more products. While not as robust as LG for home automation, you still get extensive support for major platforms.

Winner: LG C3

With broader compatibility with smart products across Amazon, Google and Apple ecosystems plus sophisticated automation features, the LG C3 is the most capable option for orchestrating a connected smart home.

Gaming Performance

Modern TVs have become multifunctional entertainment hubs. With gaming now a $200 billion industry, optimized gaming performance is more vital than ever. How well do these TVs function for serious players?


Gaming gets serious treatment on LG OLED TVs, with the C3 bringing several enhancements tailored specifically for gaming. Input lag is an ultra-responsive 5ms, while HGIG and AMD FreeSync Premium support means games play smoothly without tearing or stuttering.

There are four HDMI 2.1 ports enabling 4K gaming at 120Hz on the latest consoles like the PS5 and Xbox Series X. Gamers will also love the new Dark Room Mode that tweaks the OLED panel‘s luminosity curve to improve visibility when gaming in the dark.

The aforementioned Game Optimizer dashboard makes adjusting settings like black stabilization, input lag, and genre-specific tweaks on the fly intuitive too. With its slick gaming ergonomics and stellar picture quality, the C3 is ready to game.

Sony A90J

While not marketed primarily as a gaming display, the A90J brings plenty of performance for PS5 and Xbox Series X owners. All four HDMI ports are 2.1-enabled for 4K/120Hz gameplay. You also get Auto HDR Tone Mapping, Auto Genre Picture Switch, auto low latency mode, and eARC passthrough.

Input lag measures at just 8ms, ensuring fast response times for competitive multiplayer titles. Motionflow XR technology also smooths out framerates in action-heavy sequences. The set even brings dedicated color and motion settings for different game types.

Winner: LG C3

With its OLED Evo panel, wealth of gaming-centric enhancements, and ultra-low input lag, LG pulls ahead to deliver the absolute best gaming experience. But the Sony A90J is still highly capable if gaming is secondary to your needs.

Price Comparison

With blow-by-blow feature comparisons covered, let‘s examine the all-important value proposition. How much are these exceptional OLED TVs fetching?

LG C3 Prices


Sony A90J Prices


With more sizes catering to smaller rooms and budgets, the LG C3 generally undercuts the Sony A90J at each screen size. Of course, deals and discounts can vary too. But purely by MSRP, the C3 presents better value overall.

Winner: LG C3

More affordable pricing combined with outstanding performance makes the LG C3 a stellar value in the premium OLED space. But Sony A90J discounts could lessen the price differential for those sold on Sony‘s proprietary features and picture processing.

Verdict: LG C3 Wins By a Nose!

In one of the closest showdowns ever, the LG C3 just barely bests the Sony A90J. The C3 takes the crown with a brighter Evo panel tailored for well-lit rooms, more gaming amenities for players, broader smart home support, and friendlier pricing.

But the Sony A90J remains an incredible television. From its rich cognitive image processing to immersive audio and refined Google TV experience, it will thrill home theater enthusiasts. Its picture fidelity gives the C3 a run for its money too.

Ultimately, you can‘t go wrong with either of these advances displays. If pricing is no object and cinematic quality is your top priority, spring for Sony‘s Master Series model. Otherwise, LG‘s comprehensive feature set and newer panel technology power them to victory.

Whichever you choose, both deliver phenomenal, future-proof 4K OLED performance that‘s perfect for everything from console gaming to binging the latest shows. Enjoy years of awe-inspiring visuals and sound with two of the best TVs money can buy!

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