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LG C2 vs LG C1 OLED TV: Which one should you buy?

LG C2 vs. LG C1 OLED TV
(Image credit: LG)

How are the LG C2 OLED vs. LG C1 OLED different? Since the LG C1 OLED TV is the best TV we tested last year, we have high expectations for its follow-up, the LG C2 OLED TV, which is now branded with brightness-enhancing OLED evo technology.

Most of the mainstream LG C2 OLED sizes start at the same price the LG C1 OLED TV did when it first came out. Except now the C1 has received significant discounts, and you can often find it on sale with the best TV deals. So while the C1 probably isn’t worth replacing with the C2, you might be wondering if you should splurge on the company’s newest set or buy the previous version on discount. 

Despite the closeness in naming, the LG C2 and LG C1 are two different TVs in terms of size range, picture performance and smart features. This LG C2 OLED vs. LG C1 OLED face-off can help you figure out whether one is better for you based on the upgrades offered for the LG 2022 TVs. 

LG C2 OLED TV vs. LG C1 OLED TV: Specs compared

LG C2 OLED TV vs. LG C1 OLED TV
LG C2 OLEDLG C1 OLED
Price range $1,399 - $5,499$1,499 - $5,999 (before discounts)
Screen sizes 42", 48”, 55”, 65”, 77” and 83” 48”, 55”, 65”, 77” and 83"
Resolution 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) 4K UHD (3840 x 2160)
Supported formats Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLG Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLG
Refresh rate 120Hz 120Hz
Ports 4x HDMI 2.1 4x HDMI 2.1
Audio 7.2.2 channel sound 5.2.2 channel sound
Smart TV software webOS 22 webOS 6.0
Processor α9 Gen 5 AI Processor 4K α9 Gen 3 AI Processor 4K
Voice assistant ThinQ AI, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant ThinQ AI, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant

LG C2 OLED TV vs. LG C1 OLED TV: Prices and sizes

One of the biggest upgrades of the LG C2 OLED lineup is the added size option compared to the LG C1 OLED TV. The C2 introduces LG’s most compact OLED TV to date, 42 inches. When LG announced its smallest OLED TV yet, it became an instant contender against the best gaming TVs. Both the C2 and C1 go up to 83-inch configurations.

If you’re unsure of which size TV you need, our guide to what size TV size should you buy can help.

LG C2 OLED TV vs. LG C1 OLED TV: Prices and sizes
LG C2 OLED TVLG C1 OLED TV (with discounts)
42-inch$1,399N/A
48-inch$1,499$1,096 ($996 on sale)
55-inch$1,799$1,499 ($1,096 on sale)
65-inch$2,499$2,499 ($1,696 on sale)
77-inch$3,499$3,799 ($2,696 on sale)
83-inch$5,499$4,496

LG C2 OLED TV vs. LG C1 OLED TV: Design

The LG C2 and LG C1 OLED are both premium-looking TVs. LG knows how to make incredibly thin OLED panels — a distinctive feature of OLED TVs, sure, but no less impressive when you see one set up. That said, the C1 looked pretty unchanged compared to LG CX OLED TV with a 0.1-inch thick panel and squared off component box towards the base. 

LG C2 OLED TV

The 65-inch LG C2 OLED TV is 50% lighter than last year’s LG C1 OLED TV. (Image credit: Future)

For 2022 LG made some compelling design changes to the C2 OLED. The 65-inch LG C2 model is about 50% lighter than last year’s LG C1 in the same size thanks to a new composite fiber material used in the chassis. Despite less heft, the C2 OLED TV isn’t any less sturdy when positioned on its central stand. Both the C2 and C1 can also be wall-mounted, of course.

As for ports, both TVs offer four HDMI 2.1 ports that support 4K/120 input. Neither option packs a NextGen TV or ATSC 3.0 tuner for 4K broadcasts — you’ll need to upgrade to the LG G1 OLED TV or the newer LG G2 OLED TV. LG's 97-inch G2 OLED TV is absolutely breathtaking, not going to lie.

LG C2 OLED TV vs. LG C1 OLED TV: Performance

Customers can expect a noticeable difference in picture between the LG C2 vs. C1 OLED TVs. That’s because the C2’s panel has been upgraded with the LG OLED evo technology first introduced on the G1 OLED in 2021. OLED evo can make the C2 picture up to 20% brighter compared to the C1 models, which we saw looking at the sets side-by-side in person. Paired with the refined upscaling of the Alpha 9 Gen 5 Processor 4K, the C2 is a clear improvement over its predecessor. 

That’s not to say the C1 isn’t still an excellent TV, but when it came to the shadowy scenes of Darkest Hour, the C2 displayed more sophisticated depth and better overall brightness. Even in stock reels, the C2 looked like the superior set. Of course, neither can compare to the G2 OLED in this regard, which LG is calling its brightest OLED TV yet to rival the Samsung S95B OLED TV and the first Sony QD-OLED TV.

We still need to conduct Tom’s Guide TV testing on the LG C2 OLED to see just how it scores compared to the C1 in terms of overall brightness, accuracy, lag times and more. Speaking of lag times there’s not much new in gaming performance for the C2, it still supports VRR via G-Sync and FreeSync Pro. But there are some new gaming settings worth noting, more on that in a minute.

Finally, we didn’t get an audio sample of the C2 OLED TV, though sound capabilities have been upgraded to 7.1.2 channels from 5.1.2 channels on the C1 OLED TV. For an elevated listening experience, we usually recommend pairing one of the best soundbars with even the best OLED TVs.

LG C2 OLED TV vs. LG C1 OLED TV: Smart TV features

LG B2 OLED TV

The Web OS 22 interface offers user profiles and new gaming settings. (Image credit: Future)

LG launched a completely redesigned smart TV interface for the C1 OLED TV, and the C2’s Web OS version doesn’t look all that different. Web OS 22 (for 2022, a new naming system) adds user profiles for curating recommendations and keeping each user’s relevant content in reach. 

When nothing’s being watched, the upgraded Always Ready tool is an ambient mode that displays art, photos or a music player. Samsung has mastered the Ambient Mode, and even more so with Samsung The Frame TV 2022, so clearly LG cares about creating a comparable option. 

Finally, the LG 2022 TVs will come with an array of gaming updates. Last year witnessed the debut of the Game Optimizer menu with gaming settings combined in one, easy-to-access destination. Now, Game Optimizer will support a Dark Room Mode for protecting your eyes while playing in the dark as well as  a new preset for sports gaming.

LG C2 OLED TV vs. LG C1 OLED TV: Which TV should you buy?

If you’re shopping between the LG C2 OLED vs. LG C1 OLED, you’re going to get an excellent TV either way. Both sets are among the best you’ll find right now, even if one is more than a year old. 

But the LG C2 introduces a fresher processor, brighter picture with OLED evo and newer smart TV features. We’d like to run our full testing series on the C2 before making a definitive recommendation, but from what we’ve seen, the LG C2 OLED TV will be the OLED TV to buy this year. Even more so if you’re excited by a 42-inch OLED TV that could possibly replace your gaming monitor.

Based on the LG C1 OLED’s lower prices, it’s still a fine purchase if you want a great TV for less. As long as you haven’t seen the C2 and C1 next to each other, you won’t feel like you’re missing out. 

Kate Kozuch is an editor at Tom’s Guide covering smartwatches, TVs and everything smart-home related. Kate also appears on Fox News to talk tech trends runs the Tom's Guide TikTok account, which you should be following (she'll find you if you don't.) When she’s not filming tech videos, you can find her on an exercise bike, mastering the NYT Crossword or channeling her inner celebrity chef.