The LG C3 OLED TV debuted at CES 2023, following a long line of stunning C-series OLED displays that we’ve always recommended over the years.
The LG C3 sits in the middle of LG’s 2023 OLED lineup — not quite as affordable as the B3, nor as advanced as the G3, but it sits nicely in the middle. Although other offerings from LG this year, incl Wireless M3 OLEDAnd, with strong competition in the form of the Samsung S95C (which we rate as the best TV we’ve seen on offer), C Series displays have always done well with reviewers and consumers alike — and the LG C3 OLED is one to watch this year.
But what is different about the LG C3 OLED compared to other C Series displays, and is it worth buying over the older ones LG C2 predecessor? We’ve put together a guide full of everything we know about the LG C3 OLED display.
LG C3 OLED: price and release date
The LG C3 OLED doesn’t have a confirmed price yet, though you can expect it to come close to the C2’s launch price, especially given how similar the hardware is for both series. Here are last year’s LG C2 retail pricing at launch:
- 42in: $1,399 / £1,399 (around AU$2,000)
- 48in: $1,499 / £1,399 (about AU$2,200)
- 55in: $1,799 / £1,999 (about AU$2,600)
- 65in: $2,499 / £2,799 (about AU$3,600)
- 77in: $3,499 / £3,699 (about AU$5,100)
- 83in: $5,499 / £4,799 (around AU$8,000)
We can expect the same range of screen sizes to be available in the C3, as well as a similar March-April release date, although not all sizes may launch simultaneously.
LG C3 OLED: Design and Features – What’s New?
The LG C3 OLED isn’t a significant improvement over previous models. It features the same OLED Evo panel as the C2, with brightness-boosting capabilities at sizes 55 inches and up (brightness is lower on smaller sizes). But there’s an upgraded Alpha9 Gen6 chip, LG’s latest and greatest image processor, and it should be able to push the board a bit more aggressively.
As always, this is a 4K HDR TV with a 120Hz panel, Dolby Vision IQ support, and Dolby Atmos compatibility — and you can expect crisp resolution and upscaling ability along with a whole host of premium formats. New composite fiber construction reduces the weight of this year’s C-Series screen.
The new algorithm helps distinguish between the foreground and background of an image, which apparently helps boost brightness in places of interest. Regardless, the deep blacks and amazing contrast of self-emissive OLEDs should be up to par here.
The speaker system hasn’t seen a meaningful upgrade; This is still a 3.1.2 channel amplifier with 40W output. Despite LG’s claims that the C3 can offer “virtual 9.1.2 surround sound (Opens in a new tab)With AI Sound Pro, we’re a little skeptical about this. By the looks of it, you’ll still need one of the better soundbars if you want quality sound from this TV — but the LG C2 sounded better than expected when using it. in its AI mode, so we’re sure the C3 will be “decent,” at least.
Some of the changes to the smart platform include a sleek new homepage and improved user profiles to allow for more customization. When you set up the TV, you’re guided through a custom picture preset to make sure the default settings suit your taste, which is a nice touch.
The C3 features four HDMI 2.1 ports, including one that supports eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel) and a two-way strip connection. These high-spec ports are great for gaming with next-gen consoles, while the display has a sub-10ms input lag and minimal response time.
New this time is a feature called Fast VRR media switching, unique so far to LG OLED TVs (although it’s part of the HDMI specification), which LG says “can eliminate the momentary ‘black screen’ that sometimes occurs when switching between content played from different source devices connected via TV compatible with HDMI 2.1a ports. So if you tend to jump between Netflix and PS5 often, this should make for a smoother experience. It will be especially welcome for Apple TV 4K users, because this set-top box can use the feature to change the frame rate.
LG C3 OLED: What we think of it so far
The LG C3 OLED is probably the best seller, like the C1 and C2 TVs that came before it. However, there isn’t much change for this model year, and older models will likely see a price drop as versions of the C3 hit the market. With that in mind, there isn’t much reason to upgrade – we just haven’t seen it any Our expectations for the new C3 model paid off. While the improved webOS experience, improved lighting algorithms, and fast media switching may be enough to nudge some towards the latest iteration of the C Series OLED, perhaps not if you have a C2 or C1.
The C3 remains the obvious, all-around choice from LG’s OLED TV lineup — it’s neither expensive nor compromised by its price tag. But we’ll have more thoughts on this in our review later in the year. With a new QD-OLED display coming from Samsung, it’s likely that the more significant leaps other TV makers have made may dim the spotlight at next year’s C3 – the race for the best OLED TV of 2023 is going to be an interesting one!