LG C4 OLED vs LG C1 OLED – what’s the leap?

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The highly anticipated release of the LG C4 OLED is fast approaching, and we wanted to know how it compares to earlier generations in the C-series. Announced at CES, in January this year, the LG C4 aims to improve upon one of LG’s most detrimental past issues, brightness. This, along with some other impressive upgrades, makes the difference between the LG C4 OLED and earlier gens, like the C1, quite substantial. In this article, we compare the LG C4 OLED vs LG C1 OLED, with the aim of demonstrating how the C-series has developed over 3 years of continuous improvements.

If you’re thinking of purchasing an LG C-series TV and hoping to find out more about the different generations, check out our other pieces on the topic. Including, our LG C3 vs LG G3 comparison guide or our LG C4 release date possibilities piece.

LG C4 OLED vs LG C1 – specs at a glance

SpecificationsLG C4 OLEDLG C1 OLED
Sizes42″, 48″, 55″, 65″, 77″, 83″48″, 55″, 65″, 77″, 83″
Ports4x HDMI 2.14x HDMI 2.1
Resolution3840 x 2160p (4K)3840 x 2160p (4K)
HDRHDR10, HLG, Dolby VisionHDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision
Smart TV softwareWeb OS 24WebOS 21
ProcessorAlpha A9 AIA9 Gen 4 
Native refresh rate144Hz120 Hz

Specs and performance comparison

Features

When comparing the LG C4 OLED to its predecessor, the LG C1, the leap in tech and performance is evident. The LG C1, with its first-generation OLED panels, laid the groundwork for what has evolved into the more advanced offering found in the LG C4. One of the most significant upgrades in the C4 is its processor; it’s equipped with the latest Alpha A9 Gen 6 AI processor, a leap from the C1’s older Alpha A9 Gen 4 chip. 

This new processor not only enhances upscaling and motion processing capabilities but also introduces AI Sound Pro. This feature transforms the TV’s basic 40W 2.2-channel sound system, providing a richer audio experience that was not available in the C1.

LG C1 Series 65-Inch Class OLED Smart TV

LG C1 OLED TV image

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Performance and brightness

The LG C4 OLED TV marks a significant advancement in performance and brightness over the LG C1. With the introduction of the C4, LG has focused on addressing the brightness levels, a common area for improvement in OLED TVs, thanks to its advanced panel technology and processing power. This enhancement creates a more vibrant and dynamic while improving visibility in well-lit environments, allowing for a more enjoyable viewing experience across various lighting conditions.

This brightness boost is certainly an improvement over past C-series generation designs. However, it is important to note that the LG C4 is not fitted with Micro lens array (MLA) technology found in other higher-end LG OLED TVs, like the LG G4 OLED. MLA technology boosts brightness levels higher than the standard OLED EVO panel, so if it’s maximum brightness you’re looking for, then it may be worth looking into the G4 model.

The C4’s Alpha A9 Gen 6 AI processor plays a pivotal role in performance. This processor significantly enhances the TV’s ability to handle fast-moving scenes and upscale content to near-4K quality, making everything you watch sharper and more detailed. The leap in processor technology from the C1’s Alpha a9 Gen 4 to the C4’s Gen 6 means smoother gradients, reduced banding, and a more lifelike picture. Additionally, the C4’s support for a higher refresh rate of up to 144Hz presents a leap forward for gaming, offering fluid motion and responsiveness that will satisfy even the most demanding gamers.

Price comparison

Interestingly, while the LG C4 series is more expensive in the smaller sizes, it offers a more competitive price for the 77-inch model, making it slightly cheaper than its C1 counterpart. This pricing reflects the technological advancements and performance enhancements inherent in the C4 series. 

SizesLG C1 OLEDLG C4 OLED
48-inch $1,499$1,599
55-inch$1,799$1,999
65-inch$2,499$2,699
77-inch$3,799$3,699

Considering the generational leap from the C1 to the C4, including improved brightness, enhanced processing power, and the introduction of features like a 144Hz refresh rate, the price difference becomes minimal in the context of the value-per-performance ratio. Ultimately, the LG C4 presents a compelling investment for those seeking the latest in OLED technology, balancing cost with significant advancements in television viewing experience.

When will the LG C4 come out?

With no official release date confirmation from LG, we’ve gone off Amazon listings which say that the LG C4 should be released on March 11th. Recently the G4 has become available for pre-order through various retailers, and if you’re hoping to get ahead of schedule with purchasing your new OLED TV, then we highly recommend pre-ordering on these websites. We go into more detail, including links to specific retailers, in our LG C4 where-to-buy guide.

Is the LG C4 better than the LG C1?

The LG C4 OLED represents a significant step forward from the LG C1, showcasing LG’s commitment to pushing the boundaries into a new era of OLED technology. The advancements in brightness, coupled with the introduction of the Alpha 9 Gen 7 processor, not only elevate picture quality but also enhance sound performance, making for more immersive viewing and overall better experience.

The C4’s ability to support a native 144Hz refresh rate further cements its position as a top choice for gamers and cinephiles alike, offering smoother motion and improved responsiveness.

LG C4 OLED vs LG C1 – Conclusion

In conclusion, while the LG C1 remains a formidable option within the OLED market, the LG C4 OLED emerges as the superior choice for those seeking the latest in television innovation. For those on the fence about upgrading or choosing between the two, the C4’s advancements provide compelling reasons to opt for the newer model, especially for users prioritizing cutting-edge technology and enhanced performance in their home entertainment setup.

Eve is a writer and copy editor at PC Guide, who focuses on a broad range of topics but main interest lies in the development of AI technology.