LG Ultra HD (4K) OLED Smart TV (OLED55C8PTA) 55-inch detailed review
LG showed off the C8 OLED at CES 2018 and it brings an interesting set of features over its predecessor the C7. We want to make it clear that if you have the C7, you don’t have to upgrade to the C8. However, if you’re looking to pick up OLED TV then the C8 could certainly be a consideration. If you want to know why, read our review to find out.
Panel Size: 55″ (Available in 65″ and 77″)
Panel Type: OLED
Panel Resolution: 3840 x 2160 – 4K
HDR 10 support: Yes
Dolby Vision Support: Yes
Weight: 19.1 kg
HDMI ports: 4
USB ports: 3
Bluetooth: Yes, 4.2
Speakers: 2.2 CH speakers with an output of 40 W
Build and design
The design of the LG C8 is absolutely premium. For the duration of the review, we had the TV on its table stand. The stand is long and curved, which helps direct the sound towards the viewer. It’s a feature that you can only use if you place the TV on the stand, as wall mounting means removing the stand. There is only one big disadvantage of placing the TV on a table stand and that is that there is a lot of flex. Tap the TV and it wobbles a bit and this worried us a bit. However, we moved the TV around the office and it never fell off the stand. When placed on a tabletop, you have about 2.5″ height to accommodate a game console or Blu-ray player. The bezels around the TV are very thin. Overall, the design of the TV is premium, and the build is extremely solid, although the TV wobbles slightly when placed on the stand.
Moving on 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’s ARC), making it easy for users to easily get cables in and out. One of the three USB ports also on the side. Furthermore, the TV has a component in, AV in, a LAN port, optical audio out and headphones out.
The TV has no flaps or covers for cable management in case that’s what you’re looking for. The TV’s connectivity options are numerous and easy to access.
Display panel and image quality
The LG C8’s panel has seen some improvements compared to its predecessor, the C7. The basic features are the same between the two, with the only major change being the peak brightness level. The TV has 4K resolution with support for both HDR10 and Dolby Vision, and there’s a nice indicator that appears in the top right corner of the TV to show which HDR standard is currently in view. This is a small thing, but it’s especially useful if, like me, you’re picky about the quality of the content you consume.
In recent years LG C7 was a fantastic TV and this year the C8 is no exception when it comes to picture quality. If you have the 4K Apple TV, you have a great screen to enjoy content from that device. Thanks to the OLED panel, you get some of the best colours, the deepest possible blacks and the most vibrant images we’ve seen on a TV. The only drawback is that the panel is reflective. This is not a problem with the LG TV, it is a problem with all OLED TVs on the market.
The beauty of an OLED TV is its ability to produce an infinite contrast ratio, true blacks and deep colors. This all fits 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 stair fights were detailed even in the darkest parts. The 4K HDR library on Netflix and Prime Videos in India is limited, but what’s there is an absolute treat. The Grand Tour Season 1 Episode 1 in which you drive many cars through the desert is a feast for the eyes on this TV. If you’re looking for the ultimate 4K HDR picture quality experience on a home TV, the LG C8 could be one of the TVs to consider.
A large catalog of Netflix and Prime Videos content in India is in 1080p. From Spider-Man Homecoming to John Wick and beyond, we’ve enjoyed many movies on this TV. John Wick’s Red Circle battle series looked fantastic, which is a testament to the TV’s upscaling capabilities. Red Circle’s fight scene has a lot of red, blue and darkness thrown into the mix and it looks fantastic.
Before we get to gaming, there’s one thing you need to know. The HotStar app is not part of the LG app store, which is a shame for you GoT fans.
Boy-o-boy, this TV is a joy to game on. From god of war and Horizon Zero Dawn to gears 4 and halo 5If you Xbox One X or a PS4 Pro, you will love this TV. Game mode does a pretty good job of optimizing the visuals and input lag. From the landscape of Forza Horizon 3 to the post-apocalyptic vistas of Horizon, all games look detailed, rich and very colorful. A game like Rise of the Tomb Raider is a great example of what 1080p games will look like on this TV. The game offers a 4K mode, a 1080p mode at 60FPS and an enhanced mode.
There is one thing I would like to add about the picture quality of this TV in general. All the preset picture settings change based on the content you are using, be it 1080p content, Dolby Vision content or HDR 10 and even gaming. The presets are so nicely defined that you really don’t need to change the color or contrast or any of the settings. If you’re someone who doesn’t like the too fluid motion, just turn off the motion flow and you’re good to go.
If there is one aspect where the TV is disappointing, it is the sound. The TV has from Dolby Atmos sound and at no point did I feel the sound coming from above my head. As we mentioned before, the kickstand helps direct the sound towards you, but it lacks depth. Explosions and gunfire lack the thump they need and to really get the most out of this TV I recommend investing in a pair of speakers or a home theater.
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 right. However, you need speakers for gaming and watching high-octave action movies.
The LG C8 brings with it a magic wand of a remote control. The remote control is curved and has a small weight. The weight adds to the overall build quality and the curvature makes the remote fit comfortably in your hands, especially when using the motion functions.
The remote has quite a few buttons, including dedicated buttons for Prime Videos and Netflix, along with the numeric keypad. The navigation buttons and the scroll wheel and selection button are conveniently placed in the center of the remote control. If there’s one problem I have with the remote, it’s the lack of dedicated media playback controls that I really miss.
Software and User Interface
The TV runs on LG’s WebOS and it’s one of the smoothest operating systems out there. It’s easy to navigate, responds quickly, and offers a fluidity you’d expect from a flagship TV. If you want to easily navigate through apps, input sources, and change settings, then this OS is good indeed. However, if you want to take advantage of the TV’s ThinQ AI features, you’ll be disappointed.
For example, if you say “Play Wonder Woman” you will only get search results from YouTube. Despite the movie being on Prime Videos and Google Play Movies, both of which are logged into the TV, the result was not displayed. When I searched for Spiderman Homecoming, another movie out there on Prime Videos, the voice search results only gave me the content available on Netflix and YouTube. This is a bit disappointing because the search needs to be universal across all apps and not just Netflix and YouTube. Other features, such as weather questions, yielded no results. So if you were looking forward to the AI features, you will be disappointed.
What it comes down to:
The LG C8 is a fantastic OLED TV, especially if you look at the image quality. It brings an immersive movie experience. The picture presets do a great job of making HD and 4K content look their best. The user interface is the smoothest we’ve seen on a TV yet. However, the TV is not perfect. While the speech recognition works well, not all pre-installed apps are scanned for the content you want to watch, while Netflix and YouTube are the recommended sources. Despite bragging about Dolby Atmos, the speakers on the TV are disappointing for entertainment and gaming and only good for everyday TV viewing, which is a shame considering the price. Are you considering purchasing this TV? Absolute. If you’re looking for a great TV to watch movies, play games and be the center of your home entertainment, the LG C8 won’t go amiss.