The LG C4 OLED isn't going to re-shape the self-emissive wheel, but it's going to add a few important upgrades to last year's best mid-range OLED TV.
Small brightness boost
Four HDMI 2.1 ports
Improvements to WebOS
No MLA OLED panel
No a11 AI Processor
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The LG C4 OLED isn't a reinvention of LG's best-selling OLED TV series as is a refinement of last year's model. It still doesn't use the Micro Lens Array technology that we saw on last year's LG G3 OLED that significantly boosts brightness, for example, but the C4 manages to gain some ground 42- and 48-inch screen sizes.
It's a similar story for the a9 AI Processor: It makes webOS faster and more responsive, but it doesn't have quite the performance of the a11 AI Processor that's going into this year's G4 and M4 OLED TVs.
It's tough to be excited for an OLED TV that's only incrementally moving the needle a few inches, especially if you already own an LG C3 or LG C2 OLED, but for first-time buyers the LG C4 presents the best version we've yet seen of the company's top-selling OLED TV range.
LG C4 OLED: Price and availability
Unfortunately, LG doesn't disclose the price or release dates of its OLED TVs at CES. It's very likely that the LG C4 OLED will be available starting in March or April (that's typically when new models from LG are released) at a price point similar to last year's LG C3 OLED. For reference, here's how much the LG C3 OLED cost at launch:
- LG OLED42C3PUA: $1,249.99
- LG OLED48C3PUA: $1,299.99
- LG OLED55C3PUA: $1,699.99
- LG OLED65C3PUA: $2,399.99
- LG OLED77C3PUA: $3,399.99
- LG OLED83C3PUA: $5,299.99
LG C4 OLED: Design
Let's start off with the bad news first: The LG C4 OLED isn't getting the 3rd Generation META OLED panel that came in the LG G3 OLED last year. LG says that it found ways to boost the brightness without it — and those gains should put it on par with some of the QD-OLED TVs we saw in 2023 — but the C4 won't be as bright as any of the top-tier 2024 OLED TVs.
The biggest change to the LG C4's design is actually to the smaller 42- and 48-inch screen sizes, which now take advantage of the same OLED panel technology that we saw in the LG C3's 55-inch and higher models last year.
All the models in the C4 range are still incredibly slim and comes with a pedestal stand. It has minimal bezel and comes with the LG Magic Remote. Spin it around back and you'll find four full-spec HDMI 2.1 ports, and it's got all the great wireless connectivity options like AirPlay and Chromecast Built-in.
Finally, LG is making some small improvements to WebOS that are worth mentioning. Starting on 2024 models, you'll see a new organizational layout that includes quick cards for accessibility as well as a Chatbot section in the settings that can help you solve the most commonly asked questions. Again, small improvements, but welcomed ones nonetheless.
LG C4 OLED: Performance
The good news is that, at the end of the day, the LG C4 OLED is still a premium OLED TV and it very much looks the part. All the content shown on the C4 OLED — a mix of teaser trailers for Amazon Prime TV series — all looked colorful and dazzlingly bright on the new C4 series.
It was slightly harder to judge how the new a9 AI Processor was performing just based on the content we saw on-screen, but representatives from LG were keen to highlight the improvements to motion processing and upscaling. Again, the new a11 AI Processor really takes both resource-intensive tasks to the next level but the LG says there'll be a noticeable difference when content is shown on both side-by-side on last year and this year's models.
What LG couldn't really hide was the reflectivity of the screen: When taking photos of the C4 OLED, it was easy to see the content playing on the screen directly in front of it. While reflectivity issues have always plagued OLED TVs, it's all-the-more painful to see them return at this year's CES where Samsung just announced a new OLED model that manages to almost eradicate glare altogether.
To end on a positive note, however, the LG C4 OLED will be among the first OLED TVs to natively accept 144Hz input from a PC. Other 120Hz panels can accept 144Hz input but need to use dithering to match refresh rates. On the new LG OLED TVs, once they detect 144Hz input, they switch refresh rates to match. Again, this isn't game-changing, but it does give the LG C4 OLED a slight edge against other gaming TVs.
LG C4 OLED: Outlook
While the rest of the LG 2024 TV lineup feels supercharged to take on the likes of Sony and Samsung, the LG C4 just got a top off. These small improvements are welcomed, don't get me wrong, but it feels a bit underwhelming compared to the new LG G4 OLED that uses the better processor and the 2nd generation of MLA panels from LG Display.
In that sense, the LG C4 OLED probably won't be worth upgrading to if you already own a 2022 or 2023 OLED TV. For first time buyers, however, the C4 represents the best version of the LG C-Series, and it should continue to be one of the best mid-range OLED TVs on the market when it launches later this year.
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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.
Why is having a reflective screen a con? Having a matte screen kills the black levels and mutes the colors, defeating some of the main reasons to get an OLED TV.Reply