Are LG OLED TVs Worth Buying?
As we head into the holiday season, you'll see a lot of sales; Black Friday specials, Cyber Monday deals, and steep discounts in general as retailers push to move more product toward the end of the year.
LG in particular is known for its Black Friday sales, and today the TV manufacturer is kicking things off with its 55-inch LG Smart OLED TV (2018) for $1,696.99. That's $500 off its regular retail price.
We expect to see more LG discounts as we get closer to Black Friday. Specifically, we think you'll see big bargains on the LG 55-inch B7 OLED Smart 4K TV (OLED55B7A) and the 65-inch C7 OLED Smart 4K TV (OLED65C7P) from last year.
Should you buy one? Yes.
We've liked every LG OLED we've seen in the last year, such as the LG 55-inch C7 OLED (OLED55C7P), which we called "An unbeatable bargain," and named our Editors' Choice for entry-level OLED TVs. LG dominates the OLED market because they make a great product, and we recommend buying pretty much any of them.
But what if you want to score a really great deal, more than just wanting a really great TV? Well, you're (mostly) in luck. In terms of display quality and design, there's not a huge gap between last year's models and this years. You'll get the same great looking display-on-glass design, better-than-average audio quality and the same rich colors and perfect black levels seen on this year's models.
On top of that, older 2017 sets are already steeply discounted, with prices dropped to nearly half the original prices. Even without holiday sales prices in effect, the 55-inch B7 OLED (OLED55B7A) is going for $1599 at most retailers, a third lower than the original retail price of $2299. We'd recommend picking it up even at these prices, but if you see the B7 listed for under $1200, snap it up before it's gone.
Prices for the 65-inch C7 OLED (OLED65C7P) are even better. What started off at $4,499 is now two grand cheaper, selling for $2,499. And the same advice applies, if it's good at this price, lower prices are even better. If you see this bad boy selling for less than $2,000, then buy it and run like the cops are after you, because you just got a steal.
But you will give up one or two features when you buy a 2017 TV. For the 2018 model line, LG's OLEDs got some fine tuning for slightly better picture quality, and significantly improved processing. These are mostly niceties that won't have a huge impact on your TV viewing.
But there is one big difference: LG's ThinQ AI, which blends LG's proprietary content search and Google Assistant for some of the best voice interaction we've seen. Content search lets you ask for what you want, and then refine your search with additional search criteria, all delivered in a natural, conversational flow.
And you can do more than just search, with ThinQ AI letting you control smart home devices, search for information online, and even access services from the comfort of your couch. Older models like the B7 and C7 OLEDs may have some basic voice search, but they won't have that expanded capability.
Deals on 2018 models
Which brings us to the C8 OLED, the current LG model that's most likely to see some big price cuts for the holidays. It may not have the same price drop of year-old systems, but the 65-inch model (OLED65C8PUA) is selling for $2,696.99, already lower than its initial retail price of $3,499.
While we haven't done a full review of the C8 OLED, we have spent some hands on time with the model, and other reviewers seem to have reached the same conclusions we did. Namely, the C8 OLED is an improvement on the already excellent C7 model from last year.
But finding a great deal may be a bit more elusive for this model. That $2,799 price is still a good buy, but if it's touted as a special sales price, be aware that it's not deeply discounted. The 65-inch C8 OLED has been available for less then $3,000 since August, and down to the current lower price since mid-October.
If you find the C8 OLED listed for anything less than $2,800, you can rest assured you're getting a real bargain, since that's the lowest price it's been listed at in its 6-7 months on the shelf.
What you're more likely to see, however, is the C8 OLED selling at current prices, but bundled with additional bonuses – wall-mounting hardware, gift cards, soundbars, etc. In this case, it's all about the extra goodies. Wall mounting brackets generally sell for less than $200, but a good soundbar can easily cost more.
And while gift cards are great, it's best if it's for a store or service you actually use. Consider how much value you'll get out of it when gauging package deals.
Credit: Tom's Guide
- Top Cheap 4K TVs (Under $500), Ranked from Best to Worst
- Are TCL TVs Worth Buying?
- Best 4K TV - Reviews and Comparisons, From Budget to HDR