The LG C3 OLED TV made its debut at CES 2023, continuing the long line of amazing C Series OLED screens we’ve always recommended over the years.
The LG C3 sits in the middle of LG’s 2023 OLED lineup – not as affordable as the B3 or as advanced as the G3, but taking a sweet spot of compromise in the middle. Despite LG’s other offerings this year, including wireless M3 OLEDand stiff competition in the form of the Samsung S95C (which we rate the best TV we’ve seen at the show), C-series screens always fare well with reviewers and consumers alike – and the LG C3 OLED is one to watch this year.
But how does LG C3 OLED differ from other C-series screens and is it worth buying older ones LG C2 predecessor? We’ve put together a guide with everything we know about the LG C3 OLED screen.
LG C3 OLED: price and release date
The LG C3 OLED doesn’t have a confirmed price yet, but it’s expected to come close to the C2’s starting price, especially given the hardware similarity between the two sets. Here are last year’s LG C2 retail prices at launch:
- 42-inch: $1,399 / £1,399 (around AU$2,000)
- 48-inch: $1,499 / £1,399 (around AU$2,200)
- 55-inch: $1,799 / £1,999 (around AU$2,600)
- 65-inch: $2,499 / £2,799 (around AU$3,600)
- 77-inch: $3,499 / £3,699 (around AU$5,100)
- 83-inch: $5,499 / £4,799 (around AU$8,000)
We can expect the same range of screen sizes to be available on the C3, as well as a similar March-April release date, although not all sizes may launch simultaneously.
LG C3 OLED: appearance and features – what’s new?
LG C3 OLED is not a significant evolution compared to previous models. It has the same OLED Evo panel as the C2, with the ability to increase brightness in sizes 55 inches and larger (brightness is lower in smaller sizes). But there is an upgraded Alpha9 Gen6 chip which is LG’s latest and greatest image processor and should be able to push the panel a little harder.
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 scaling capabilities alongside a full suite of premium formats. The new composite fiber construction also reduces the weight of this year’s C-series screen.
The new algorithm helps to distinguish between the foreground and background of the image, seemingly helping to increase the brightness in important places. Regardless, the deep blacks and incredible contrast of self-emissive OLED displays should be suitably stunning here.
The speaker system did not receive a significant update; it is still a 3.1.2 channel speaker with 40W output power. Despite LG’s claims that the C3 can offer “virtual surround sound 9.1.2 (opens in a new tab)with AI Sound Pro’s feature, we’re a bit skeptical about it. It looks like you’ll still need one of the best soundbars if you want top quality sound from this TV – but the LG C2 sounded better than expected when used in AI mode, so we’re confident the C3 will be “decent” at least.
Some changes to the smart platform include a sleek new homepage and improved user profiles to allow for greater customization. When setting up your TV, you’re guided through a custom picture preset to make sure the defaults match your tastes, which is a nice touch.
The C3 is equipped with four HDMI 2.1 ports, including one supporting eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel) and two-way communication with the soundbar. These high spec ports are perfect for gaming on next-gen consoles, and the screen boasts an input lag of less than 10ms and a negligible response time.
This time the new feature is called Fast VRR media switching, so far unique to LG OLED TVs (although it is 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 through an HDMI 2.1 compatible TV and the ports. So if you’re jumping between Netflix and PS5 quite often, this should make for a smoother experience. This will be especially welcome for Apple TV 4K users, as this set-top box can use this feature to change the frame rate.
LG C3 OLED: What we think so far
The LG C3 OLED is likely to be a best-seller, just like the C1 and C2 TVs that came out earlier. However, not much has changed for this year’s model, and older models are likely to see a price cut when the C3 launches. With that in mind, there’s no reason to upgrade – we haven’t seen it everyone our predictions about the new C3 came true. While improved webOS support, improved lighting algorithms and fast media switching might be enough to push some towards the latest C-series OLED iteration, but probably not if you have a C2 or C1.
The C3 is still the obvious all-round choice in LG’s OLED TV range – neither too expensive nor too compromised for its price. But we’ll have more thoughts on that in our review later in the year. With Samsung’s new QD-OLED screen, it’s possible that more significant leaps from other TV makers could overshadow the C3 spotlight in the coming year – the race to be the best OLED TV of 2023 will be interesting!