LG C2 OLED: 5 reasons to buy and 2 reasons to skip

(Image credit: LG)

If you’ve been finding Black Friday TV deals on the LG C2 OLED, but aren’t sure if you should go ahead and click buy, you’ve come to the right place. We brought the TV in for testing a few weeks ago and gave it a perfect score and an Editor’s Choice award – basically the highest honor we can bestow upon a TV in 2022.

The LG C2 OLED now holds the top spot on our best TVs of 2022 page as well as our best OLED TVs page. However, despite being exceptional and is probably the TV that most people should strive to buy this year, it's not 100% perfect.

So, what are its flaws and should you forgive them and buy one anyways? We'll break them all down below. Here’s the five reasons to buy an LG C2 OLED and two potential reasons you might want to skip it.

Reasons to buy the LG C2 OLED

The best OLED in terms of price-to-performance 

Because the LG C2 OLED is the middle child of LG’s OLED TV lineup, there are cheaper OLED TVs and there are better-performing OLED TVs. However, the LG C2 OLED is the one that provides what we believe to be the perfect price-to-performance ratio. 

Of course, we felt that way before the Black Friday deals started hitting. Now that the TV is even cheaper than before? That price-to-performance ratio is better than ever.

What LG manages to put into this TV for the price – namely, a 120Hz OLED Evo panel, the latest processor, tons of gaming-friendly features like HDMI 2.1 ports and WebOS – help this feel like a souped-up OLED that doesn’t waste any time on unnecessary features.

It uses the latest processor for better upscaling and motion handling 

At the heart of the LG C2 OLED is the new Alpha a9 Gen. 5 Processor that’s been built from the ground up for the best performance when it comes to upscaling sub-4K content and motion interpolation. While you’ll still need to do some tweaking in the settings to get things dialed in perfectly, the processor can do a lot of the heavy lifting for you.

Issues that we’d notice on other TVs like color banding and motion artefacting almost don’t exist on the LG C2 OLED. Sure, you might see some grain every once in a while, but LG has been working on its upscaling algorithm for years and has made some great progress.

There’s more to do in this area (hint, hint) but we highly recommend the LG C2 OLED over the LG A2 or B2 OLED because the C2 is the most affordable TV in the OLED lineup with the Alpha a9 Gen 5 processor.

LG C2 OLED TV streaming

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Its color reproduction and contrast are top-class 

OLED TVs are only as good as their OLED panel, and LG’s C2 OLED is using the best-of-the-best: the LG OLED Evo. The panel, introduced last year in the LG G1 OLED, offers a higher peak brightness than previous OLED panels, which in turn helps produce better contrast and color vibrancy. 

As far as OLED TVs are concerned, the OLED Evo panel is the best money can buy right now. Samsung and Sony might soon surpass that with their use of new QD-OLED panels that use blue OLED backlight panel and a quantum dot filter for an even higher peak brightness, but for now the black levels of QD-OLED aren’t as good as what we’re seeing on the LG C2 OLED.

WebOS is one of the best smart platforms 

Like other LG TVs, the C2 OLED uses the latest version of WebOS, WebOS 22. The big changes this year are the ability to create multiple viewing profiles on the TV that will have different recommendations and different arrangements of streaming services.

LG C2 OLED TV remote

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

In addition to the new features, WebOS has access to both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, offers screen-casting functionality and supports AirPlay 2. It has access to every major streaming platform and the interface nicely balances a fresh aesthetic with an easy-to-use UI. 

The competition is fierce for the best smart TV platform, but in our book, LG's WebOS is still the top dog.

The LG C2 has HDMI 2.1 ports that support 4K@120Hz 

HDMI 2.1 is the next standard of the all-important TV connection that enables devices to pass audio and visual data to one another. When you connect two HDMI 2.1 devices together, say the LG C2 OLED and Xbox Series X or PS5, you're able to get the best data transfer speeds possible, enabling 4K@120Hz gameplay. For gamers interested in getting the highest framerates, this is a huge deal. 

Not only does the TV have multiple HDMI 2.1 ports but one of them is eARC that will allow you to output Dolby Atmos sound to a soundbar or AV receiver. Gamers won't have to choose between having the best sound or the best visual fidelity. With the LG C2 OLED, you can have both.

Reasons to skip the LG C2 OLED

No ATSC 3.0 tuner inside 

This got brought up in the review…and then again frequently in our emails after the review was published: the LG C2 OLED doesn’t have an ATSC 3.0 tuner. That means when broadcasters in your area start transmitting 4K signals over-the-air, this TV won’t be able to pick them up. (Some broadcasters have already begun to adopt part of the ATSC 3.0 standard, so be sure to check out the ATSC's website to see if your county is included.)

Not having a tuner built-in is a pain, but this can be solved by picking up an external ATSC 3.0 tuner – or you might even forgo 4K over-the-air content for the next few years until more broadcasters get with the program. Both aren’t great options, admittedly. We wish that LG would’ve included an ATSC 3.0 tuner inside the C2; that way it would’ve been fully future-proof. 

For an LG OLED TV that has one, you’d have to skip the LG C2 OLED and upgrade to the LG G2 OLED, or wait for a future model of the C-Series.

The LG C3 OLED is probably going to be announced in January 

The other reason you might not want to invest in the LG C2 OLED right this second is that we’re likely only two months away from the announcement of the LG C3 OLED at CES 2023. We don’t have any definitive knowledge that a potential C3 model will be there, but given the fact that we’ve seen a new LG OLED every single year for the past six or seven years now, chances are good that we’ll get to see a new model in January.

CES show floor

(Image credit: Consumer Technology Association)

What that new model will upgrade, however, is anyone’s guess. We’re expecting that maybe a new processor will be inside a potential C3 OLED – and that could enhance the TV’s upscaling abilities. We could also see that ATSC 3.0 tuner that was missing from this year’s model. 

Regardless, whatever we find out about a potential successor for the LG C2 OLED in January, the TV wouldn’t be available to purchase until March or April of next year. 

If you’re able to hold out for another few months, we suggest waiting until at least January to make sure you don’t get any buyer’s remorse. But if you’re in the market for an OLED this year, the LG C2 is an exceptional option that we think you’ll be happy with.

Nick Pino
Managing Editor, TV and AV

Nick Pino heads up the TV and AV verticals at Tom's Guide and covers everything from OLED TVs to the latest wireless headphones. He was formerly the Senior Editor, TV and AV at TechRadar (Tom's Guide's sister site) and has previously written for GamesRadar, Official Xbox Magazine, PC Gamer and other outlets over the last decade. Not sure which TV you should buy? Drop him an email or tweet him on Twitter and he can help you out.