LG Ultra HD (4K) OLED Smart TV (OLED55C8PTA) 55-inch detailed review
LG showed off the C8 OLED at CES 2018 and it brings with it an interesting set of features over its predecessor the C7. We’d like to tell you straight up that if you have the C7, you don’t need to upgrade to the C8. However, if you want to pick up and OLED TV, then the C8 can definitely be one to consider. If you want to know why, then read our review to find out.
Panel Size: 55-inch (available in 65-inch as well as 77-inch)
Panel Type: OLED
Panel Resolution: 3840 x 2160 – 4K
HDR 10 support: Yes
Dolby Vision Support: Yes
HDMI Ports: 4
USB Ports: 3
Bluetooth: Yes, 4.2
Speakers: 2.2 CH speakers with 40W output
Build and design
The design of the LG C8 is absolute premium. For the duration of the review we had the TV on its table top stand. The stand is long and curved which helps with directing sound towards the viewer. It is a feature you can only take advantage of if you place the TV on the stand as wall mounting it will mean getting rid of the stand. There is only one major drawback of putting the TV on a table stand and that is that there is a lot of flex. Tap the TV and it will wobble a little and this made us worry a bit. However, we did move the TV around the office and it never fell off the stand. When placed on a table top you have about 2.5-inches of height to place a gaming console or a Blu-ray player. The bezels surrounding the TV are very slim. Overall the design of the TV is premium, and the build is extremely solid albeit the slight wobble of the TV when placed on the stand.
Moving over to the connectivity options, the LG C8 has 4 HDMI ports all of which offer full bandwidth capabilities, and 3 USB ports. It’s nice to see that three of the 4 HDMI ports are on the side (including one that is ARC) making it convenient for users to get cables in and out with ease. One of the three USB ports in on the side as well. The TV also has a component in, AV in, a LAN port, optical audio out and a headphone out.
The TV doesn’t have any flaps or covers for cable management in case that is something you are looking for. The connectivity options of the TV are plentiful and convenient to reach.
Display Panel and Picture Quality
The panel on the LG C8 has seen some improvements when compared to its predecessor, the C7. The basic characteristics are the same between the two with the only major change being the level of peak brightness. The TV has a resolution of 4K with support for both HDR10 and Dolby Vision and there is a nice indicator that pops up in the top right corner of the TV to indicate which HDR standard is currently on screen. This is a small thing but is useful especially, if like me, you are finicky about the quality of content you consume.
Last year’s LG C7 was a fantastic TV and this years C8 is no exception when it comes to picture quality. If you have the 4K Apple TV, you have a fantastic screen to enjoy content from that device. Thanks to the OLED panel, you get some of the best colours, deepest possible blacks and the most vivid visuals we have seen on a TV. The only downside is that the panel is reflective. This isn’t a problem with the LG TV, it’s a problem with all OLED TVs available in the market.
The beauty of an OLED TV is its ability to produce infinite contrast ratio, true blacks and deep colours. All this holds true and works extremely well on the C8. Watching Netflix through the built-in apps gave us access to Dolby Vision content and it looked breathtaking. Daredevil Season 2 episode 3 staircase fight sequences were detailed even in the darkest parts. The 4K HDR library on Netflix and Prime Videos in India is limited, but what is there is an absolute treat. The Grand Tour Season 1 episode 1 where you have many cars driving through the desert is a sight to behold on this TV. If you are looking for the ultimate 4K HDR picture quality experience on a TV at home, then yes, the LG C8 can be one of the TVs to consider.
A large catalogue of Netflix and Prime Videos content in India is in 1080p. From Spider-Man Homecoming to John Wick and a lot more we enjoyed a lot of movies on this TV. The Red Circle fight sequence from John Wick looked stellar which is a testament to the upscaling capabilities of the TV. The Red Circle fight scene has a lot of Red’s, Blue’s and darkness thrown into the mix and it looks fantastic.
Before we move to gaming there is one thing you should know. The HotStar app isn’t a part of the LG app store, and that is a bummer for you GoT fans.
Boy-o-boy is this TV a treat to game on. From God of War and Horizon Zero Dawn to Gears 4 and Halo 5, If you have an Xbox One X or a PS4 Pro, you will love this TV. The game mode works quite well in optimizing the visuals and input lag. From Forza Horizon 3’s landscape to the post-apocalyptic vistas of Horizon, all the games look detailed, rich and very colourful. A game like Rise of the Tomb Raider is a great example of how 1080p games will look on this TV. The game offers a 4K mode, a 1080p mode at 60FPS and an enriched mode.
There is one thing I’d like to add about the picture quality of this TV overall. All the preset picture settings change based on the content you are consuming be it 1080p content, Dolby Vision content or HDR 10 and even gaming. The presets are so beautifully defined that you really don’t need to change the colour or contrast or any of the settings. If you are one that doesn’t like the over smooth motion, then just switch the motion flow off and you are good to go.
If there is one aspect where the TV disappoints, it is with the sound. The TV boasts of Dolby Atmos sound and at no point did I feel that the sound was coming from above my head. As we mentioned earlier, the stand does help direct the sound towards you, but it lacks depth. Explosions and gunfire lack the thump they need and to truly make the most of this TV I recommend investing in a pair of speakers or a home theatre.
Everyday TV viewing should be fine with soap operas and shows like the Big bang Theory or Young Sheldon sounding fine. Even watching news on the TV’s built in speakers gets the job done well. However, for gaming and watching high octave action movies, you will need speakers.
The LG C8 brings with it a magic wand of a remote. The remote is curved and has slight heft to it. The weight adds to the overall build quality and the curve helps the remote fit comfortably in your hands especially when you use its motion features.
The remote does have quite a few buttons including dedicated buttons for Prime Videos and Netflix along with the number pad. The navigation buttons and scroll wheel cum select button are comfortable located in the centre of the remote. If there is one qualm I have with the remote, it is the lack of dedicated media playback buttons which are dearly missed.
Software and UI
The TV runs on LG’s WebOS and it is one of the smoothest OSes out there. It is easy to navigate, swift to respond and brings a level of fluidity you’d expect from a flagship TV. If simply navigating apps, input sources and changing settings is what you want, then yes, this OS is good. However, if you are looking at exploiting the ThinQ AI features of the TV, then you will be left disappointed.
For example, if you say, “Play Wonder Woman”, you will get search results of YouTube only. Despite the movie being on Prime Videos and Google Play movies, both of which are logged in on the TV, the result didn’t show. If I searched for Spiderman Homecoming, another movie that is there on Prime Videos, the voice search results gave me only the content available on Netflix and YouTube. This is a little disappointing as the search should be universal across apps and not just for Netflix and YouTube. Other features like asking about the weather, yielded no results. So, if you were looking forward to the AI features, you will be left disappointed.
The LG C8 is a fantastic OLED TV especially when you consider the picture quality. It brings with it an immersive movie watching experience. The picture presets do a great job of making HD and 4K content look their best. The UI is the most fluid we have seen on a TV till date. However, the TV isn’t perfect. Even though the voice recognition works well, it doesn’t scan all the preinstalled apps for the content you want to watch sticking to Netflix and YouTube as the recommended sources. Despite boasting of Dolby Atmos, the speakers on the TV are underwhelming for entertainment and gaming and only good for everyday TV viewing, which is a bummer considering the price point. Should you consider purchasing this TV? Absolutely. If you are looking for a great TV to watch movies and play game and be the centre of your home entertainment, you can’t go wrong with the LG C8.