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Lifewire / Emily Isaacs
Intuitive, user-friendly interface
Low input lag
LG Magic remote included for easy navigation
Flawless OLED picture quality
Great picture at wide viewing angles
HDMI 2.1 connectivity
While not a significant improvement over 2018’s model, LG’s C9 OLED is still our pick for the top OLED TV of 2019 thanks to its rich colors, smart features, and ease of handling.
The LG OLED C9 (OLED65C9PUA) may not be a significant improvement over its predecessor, but it’s still our pick for the best OLED TV of 2019, combining 65 inches of near-perfect color with an ease of use that will leave you loving LG’s interface. We tested this TV for a month and here’s what we had to say.
OLED TVs are among the best money can buy, characterized by their ability to produce a wide range of colors alongside deep, rich blacks by toggling individual pixels to emit their own light. On top of this, OLED frames are thinner and lighter than their LED predecessors. It’s a powerful combination that makes for a startlingly realistic picture alongside an expanded range of placement options. In the case of the LG C9, it’s a design that’s as smart as it is sleek thanks to the inclusion of Google Assistant and Alexa.
With its excellent smart features, gorgeous 4K image quality, and an easy-to-use interface, LG has only improved on last year’s model with the LG OLED 65-inch C9 (OLED65C9PUA).
The LG C9 itself is comprised of a pane of glass that covers the OLED panel. This pane stretches across the front of the TV, leaving a remarkable 0.3 inches between the end of the OLED panel and the metal edge. When it is mounted on a wall, the C9 looks fantastic thanks to this slim, bezel-less design, and while it boasts an impressive 65-inch screen, at no point does this top-of-the-line model exceed a width of 1.8 inches.
For customers with multiple external devices, such as Blu-ray players or gaming consoles, ports are located along the TV’s left-hand side and directly on its backside. These connection options include 4 HDMI 2.1 ports, 3 USB ports, one cable/antenna input, one LAN port, and audio connections. The HDMI 2.1 ports are especially important since consoles begin emerging in 2020 that will rely on HDMI 2.1 such as the Playstation 5.
Due to its large size and fragile nature, consider where the LG C9 will be most secure before moving ahead with setup. It shouldn’t be placed anywhere where there’s a risk it could be knocked down or climbed on, for instance, so choose a location safely tucked away from pets and children.
Setup options include securing the TV to the wall or using the provided stand as a table mount. Be careful, however, as the slim frame means that it needs to be handled with care regardless of where it’s placed, otherwise the TV is at risk of bending which could damage the OLED panel. You’ll want to make sure you’ve got an extra pair of hands for any lifting or adjusting in order to ensure its safety.
The LG C9 has a surprisingly good sound system all things considered—but a soundbar would still be recommended.
We found the mounting setup process to be straightforward for an afternoon DIY project. When choosing a wall mount, be sure to consider your individual needs as not all mounts are compatible with all building materials. If you have a plaster or masonry, for instance, you’re going to need stronger hardware than a typical mount has to offer. If you have drywall then the majority of TV mounts will be compatible with your home.
The other important factor when selecting a mount is the weight and screen size the mount is capable of holding. In this case, these measurements are 65 inches and 56 pounds. After this, considerations are based on preferences rather than hardware limitations. Do you want your mount to be fixed or flexible? Would you prefer installing the TV at eye level or would you like it to rest higher? Will you be placing it in a corner or on a flat wall? These are important questions to ask because they influence the kind of mount you’ll bring home. When in doubt, most manufacturers include a compatibility check for the TV’s make and model on their website. If you’re not comfortable measuring, leveling, and drilling into studs, it's well worth the peace of mind to hire a handyman once you’ve made your selection.
Once the TV has been installed, LG’s WebOS guides the first-time setup process by prompting inputs for settings ranging from time zone and language up to and including any necessary user agreements. The LG C9 will complete a scan in order to identify the devices and then you’re free to customize the TV’s settings by pressing the gear button on the LG Magic Remote. The first setting we changed was the Auto Power Saving (APS) picture mode, which reduces power use by dimming the brightness of the TV. The other important setting to disable is TruMotion, which smooths motion in TV shows and movies by altering the frame rate of the programming. If your LG’s picture looks a bit too much like a soap opera, chances are you need to disable this setting.
The image quality on the LG C9 is, frankly, stunning thanks in large part to its excellent contrast and wide range of colors, combined with the OLED panel’s ability to turn individual pixels on and off. Even from wide viewing angles, the 4K picture maintains its excellence, with limited washing out and color loss.
John Wick’s dynamic action scenes and stunning backdrops shine through in gorgeous, gritty detail in Parabellum; magical realism pops off the screen in Elton John’s biopic Rocketman; and the intricate wonders of the natural world appear in extraordinarily sharp detail in Planet Earth II.
The image quality on the LG C9 is, frankly, stunning thanks in large part to its excellent contrast and wide range of colors, combined with the OLED panel’s ability to turn individual pixels on and off.
These pictures are further enhanced with LG’s α9 Gen 2 intelligent processor, new to 2019’s model. It excels at drawing out detail and correcting quality discrepancies within the picture, such as banding which creates textures and strips in areas of the screen that would otherwise be smooth. This is particularly important given the large screen size and high resolution. While it’s not as bright as an LED TV since it lacks backlighting, it doesn’t need it as the TV already possesses excellent color, a change here would risk washing out the inky blacks on the screen.
While OLED TVs aren’t generally known for their great sound quality, the LG C9 has a surprisingly good sound system all things considered—but a soundbar would still be recommended. Audio in TV or movies is generally good, but it struggles to regulate loud and soft noises in a scene. Streaming Lizzo’s Cuz I Love You on Spotify produces a surprising depth of sound, but it’s simply not comparable to a more robust system that a soundbar or home theater system would provide.
As with earlier models, the LG WebOS powers the C9. It’s a user-friendly interface that makes navigating the TV incredibly smooth, enabling you to switch between apps and features built into the smart TV with ease. Meanwhile, the LG Magic Remote can function as a traditional remote control, as a mouse would for a computer screen, or issue voice commands with Google Assistant and Alexa, making navigating the menus second nature. While most major streaming services are already included (Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Google Play Movies & TV, to name a few) it’s also possible to download additional apps through the LG store. The drawback to the store, however, is that the apps are somewhat limited in availability.
In addition to the WebOS software, the LG C9 also comes with Google Assistant as well as Amazon’s Alexa. It makes it easy to search content, switch between apps and features, or check the weather, among other things. These controls extend into your home as well, enabling you to make use of any basic home control features already in place like updating the temperature on your Nest Smart Thermostat. You simply choose which assistant you want at a given time by pressing either the Amazon button on the Magic Remote to toggle Alexa or the microphone button to toggle Google Assistant.
In addition to the WebOS software, the LG C9 also comes with Google Assistant as well as Amazon’s Alexa. It makes it easy to search content, switch between apps and features, or check the weather, among other things.
65-inch 4K TV’s generally retail for between $800-$5,000, and this cost jumps further as screen size increases. The LG C9 is a premium 4K TV that sits at the top of this curve, offering integrated smart technologies and excellent picture with an intuitive, easy-to-use interface. As such, it comes at a premium price of $2,500 (Amazon) that exceeds the cost of many competitor models, but with so many additional features it’s worth the high price—even if it’s difficult to swallow.
It’s easy to see why the LG C9 is such an attractive model. Between its many bells and whistles, it offers superior quality at a premium price. For users looking for a more down-to-earth price point, QLED TV models offer great picture quality at a lower cost and are a major competitor for OLED models.
The Samsung 65-Inch Class Q60R (QN65Q60RAFXZA) is a QLED TV that relies on edge lighting behind its screen to transmit light. This light shines through quantum dots within the LED panel which then transmit color through to the screen and create a picture. This differs from the LG C9 model which toggles pixels on and off individually to create inkier blacks and better contrast. While this isn’t a deal breaker for the Q60R, it does mean that the LG C9 panel will have a little more punch since it’s better equipped to balance bright whites with darker blacks.
If image quality is most important to you or if you have a space with wider viewing needs, the LG C9 is the clear winner.
The Q60R also uses Bixby, Samsung’s AI assistant. Unfortunately, the Bixby integration feels somewhat clunky. It’s not uncommon to repeat instructions when Bixby has difficulty understanding basic instructions. The other caveat to be aware of is that the picture does wash out slightly and lose color when looked at from wide viewing angles. If image quality is most important to you or if you have a space with wider viewing needs, the LG C9 is the clear winner.
Unlike OLED models, QLED models aren’t prone to burn-in. This is a condition where discoloration occurs over a portion of the screen. This happens when OLED TVs are left on the same channel for extensive periods of time. The Q60R also doubles as an excellent gaming TV or monitor thanks to its variable refresh rates and low input lag which allows the screen to adjust the refresh rate to that of the source. While the C9 also has a variable refresh rate and a low input lag, its variable refresh rate is only compatible with the Xbox One for now since nothing else uses HDMI 2.1 yet. Generally retailing for around $1,000, the Q60R is less than half the cost of the LG C9, making it a better choice for those concerned about price.
An excellent TV you shouldn’t hesitate to buy if you value ease of use and superb image quality.
With its excellent smart features, gorgeous 4K image quality, and an easy-to-use interface, LG has only improved on last year’s model with the LG OLED C9. That said, these improvements aren’t significant leaps, mainly coming from processor improvements and the addition of HDMI 2.1 ports. If you’re simply looking for the best TV from last year and price isn’t a consideration, look no further. On the other hand, there are other great 65-inch 4K TV models that may not have all the extra features the C9 does, but do have comparable quality without breaking the bank.
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