LG has made a big move in 2021, introducing the LG A1 OLED TV, and 4K smart TV with OLED picture and a price that's lower than the rest of the 2021 OLED lineup.
That affordability makes the cheap OLED one of the most hotly anticipated TVs of the year, so we've pulled together all the information that's been announced before the new TV hits stores this spring.
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From official announcements and news stories to rumors and our own analysis, here's everything you need to know about the upcoming LG A1 OLED TV.
LG A1 OLED TV specs and features
Price: from $1,299
Screen Sizes: 48, 55, 65, 77 inches
Resolution: 3840 x 2160
HDR: HDR10, HLG, and Dolby Vision
Refresh Rate: 60 Hz
Ports: 3 HDMI 2.0, 1 USB
Audio: 2.0 channel, 20-watt
Smart TV Software: LG webOS 6.0
The LG A1 OLED TV has a more basic feature set than other LG OLED TVs, like the LG C1 or the LG G1 OLED models. All of these TVs have 4K resolution and OLED panels, but the A1 is the most basic of the bunch, with none of the boosted brightness of the G1's OLED evo display and only 60Hz instead of the higher 120Hz refresh rate of the LG C1 OLED.
Other areas where the A1 OLED has a more basic feature set can be found in the processor, audio and port selection.
The A1 is equipped with LG's ALpha 7 Gen 4 processor, which handles all of the TV's video processing and smart functions. And while it should be quite capable in all of those things, it's still a step down from the Alpha 9 Gen 4 chip used in the C1 and G1 OLED models.
The A1 also has basic stereo speakers with 20 watts of power. That will be fine for the casual TV show or movie watcher, but it's also a step down from the mutli-channel, higher-wattage audio offered on more expensive models.
But the biggest difference might be the port selection. Instead of four HDMI ports, the A1 has three. And instead of using the latest HDMI 2.1 standard, which supports high frame rate gaming and other gamer-friendly features, the A1 OLED TV uses HDMI 2.0. With support for 4K resolution at 60Hz, it's still a capable connection, but the TV may not be the answer shoppers were hoping for when it comes to affordable OLED TVs for gaming.
LG A1 OLED TV price and availability
The A1 OLED will start selling in April and June, and we'll be updating this story with links to retail options as they come available.
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The LG A1 OLED TV will start selling in April, with the 55-inch model starting at $1,599 and a 65-inch version for $2,199. In June the less expensive 48-inch A1 OLED will offer an even lower $1,299 price. And the 77-inch model will also arrive in June for a (relatively) affordable $3,199.
Given that there are already OLED TVs on the market with lower prices – the Vizio OLED TV sells a 55-inch model for $1,299, and last year's LG BX OLED is also selling the 55-inch model for $1,299 – we had hoped for a lower launch price. Nonetheless, the LG A1 OLED TV does offer one of the lowest prices for an OLED TV to date.
LG A1 OLED TV design
Unlike most of LG's OLED TVs, the LG A1 OLED will get a much more mainstream design, closer to the looks of LG's NanoCell and UHD TVs. Instead of sleek display-on-glass aesthetics or the ultra-slim cabinets of the LG Gallery G1 OLED, the A1 will have a standard chassis, with plastic construction and attachable plastic feet.
While that departure will leave the A1 OLED looking less sophisticated than its more premium OLED siblings, it does make for a more affordable set. It could also make it easier to set up on a standard TV stand, where past pedestal designs don't provide much under-TV clearance for things like cables and soundbars.
LG A1 OLED TV smart functions
While the A1 OLED will be using a slightly less-powerful processor than it's more premium counterparts, the affordable OLED will still boast several of LG's latest smart TV improvements.
Like other LG 2021 TV models, the A1 OLED will use webOS 6.0, the latest version of LG's excellent smart TV interface. LG is updating the software with a new homescreen and unified menu design, so that you'll have more immediate access to apps and content recommendations in one place, and a more consistent experience as you adjust feature settings and shop for apps.
Other new smart TV tricks include shopping recommendations, easy access to frequently used apps and favorite cable and local channels, as well as a redesigned Magic Remote.
LG's motion-sensing Magic Remote lets you point the remote at the TV to control an on-screen cursor, making for quick and intuitive navigation that's a little like the controllers from the old Nintendo Wii. The new version gets a sleeker profile, a cleaner button layout and retains LG's excellent clickable scroll wheel/button, which makes cycling through lists and options a breeze.
LG A1 OLED TV outlook
On the whole, we're excited for the LG A1 OLED if only because having more affordable OLED TVs on the market is a good thing. But the affordable OLED category has really heated up in the last year, thanks to the introduction of the Vizio OLED TV.
Regardless of our thoughts on the pricing, we're eager to see how well LG's budget-friendly TV stacks up as it arrives in stores in the coming weeks.