According to LG, 2021 represents a major leap for its OLED TVs thanks to a new “OLED Evo” panel that outputs a brighter picture. Brightness has remained a winning factor for LCD TVs over many years; despite perfect blacks and amazing viewing angles, sometimes an OLED set just won’t get the job done if you stick it in an ultra-bright room. But LG says the Evo panel found in its new G1 series — succeeding 2020’s GX lineup — can crank higher than any of its previous OLED TVs for improved luminosity and HDR. LG likens this achievement to past OLED milestones like 4K HDR and the introduction of 8K.
The G1 series will come in 77-, 65-, and 55-inch sizes. It shares the same brains — the fourth generation of LG’s alpha9 processor — with the C1 series. Both lines feature improved image processing and can now “analyze the type of scene being shown and improve the picture accordingly.”
Last year, LG’s CX OLED was picked by many as the best TV for next-gen consoles like the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5. LG is following up on the CX with the C1, and there’s a new supersized 83-inch model in the lineup. (This is a strong indicator that LG and Sony, which announced an 83-inch OLED last week, are using the same panel from LG Display.) The 2021 lineup still supports VRR, G-Sync, and FreeSync, and it gets a brand-new “Game Optimizer” area of settings that brings together all the options most important to gamers, like refresh rate / VRR, low latency, and more. You can pick the genre of game you’re playing to have presets applied or customize everything to your own liking. Samsung is offering a similar concept on its 2021 TVs.
But now LG is putting a superior, brighter panel in the G1 series to help distinguish it from the more affordable C series in more ways than design alone. (The G1 has the “gallery” design that helps it fit flush against a wall when mounted.) Both the G1 and C1 series support LG’s new Gallery Stand (seen above), which might appeal to people who don’t want to mount their OLED.
On the audio front, these latest TVs are capable of virtual 5.1.2 surround sound, and LG says they’ll now level out volume levels to keep things consistent when you’re switching between inputs and streaming apps — and to prevent blaring ads on TV services.
At the bottom of the line, LG has the new A1 series, which can really be thought of as the next evolution of last year’s BX. It’s the cheapest way to get into OLED, and you still get all of the most important features — Dolby Vision, HDMI 2.1 (with VRR, ALLM, etc.) — if you can live with fewer HDMI ports and an older LG a7 processor inside. It sounds like a fair bargain, but we’ll need to wait for final pricing on the G1, C1, and A1 lineups closer to the spring to know which is the best buy for TV hunters this year.
As the company announced in December, it’s also introducing a new “QNED” lineup of LCD TVs that use Mini LED backlighting for improved contrast and less blooming than past full-array local dimming sets. The QNED series slots in between OLED and LG’s standard NanoCell LCD sets.