The 4k LG C7 OLED TV offers excellent picture quality thanks to its ability to display true blacks. It's especially good for gaming thanks to its very low input lag and motion blur. It gets fairly bright, and it can display a wide range of colors, so it's also a great HDR performer. Unfortunately, it can retain static images for a few minutes, and brightness levels fluctuate depending on the content, so it isn't perfect.
- Perfect blacks produce an infinite contrast ratio
- Virtually no motion blur, fast moving content is very clear
- Picture quality is retained, even at steep angles
- Temporary retention can happen when static images stay on screen too long
- Brightness levels vary depending on content being played (ABL)
The design of the C7P is great, and stands out in any room. It has a similar style to the LG OLEDs of 2016, but with a different stand and some minor aesthetic improvements. Unlike the 2016 models, there are no curved options available in 2017. The top third of the screen is extremely thin, even compared to the relatively thin LG B6.
The rear of the TV is similar to the B6. There is a removable cable management hook for guiding cables, but it isn't as good as the cable management on some other TVs such as the X930E. The controls are located on the rear of the TV similar to the E6. If wall-mounted, some of the inputs may be difficult to access.
The top of the TV is exceptionally thin when viewed at an angle, even compared to the 2016 OLEDs such as the B6. The max thickness measurement is taken at the thicker body of the TV, but it is still very thin. The cable management hook can be removed to sit flush against a wall.
The C7 only gets a little warm, and the heat is fairly even across the display because each pixel in an OLED produces its own light.
- 11% Contrast
- 6% Local Dimming
- 6% SDR Peak Brightness
- 6% HDR Peak Brightness
- 6% Gray Uniformity
- 7% Viewing Angle
- 4% Black Uniformity
- 2% Gradient
- 4% Pre Calibration
- 1% Post Calibration
- 6% 480p Input
- 9% 720p Input
- 11% 1080p Input
- 6% 4k Input
- 4% Color Gamut
- 4% Color Volume
- 1% Image Retention
- 6% Reflections
- 1% 3D
The LG C7P OLED TV has an excellent picture quality. The infinite contrast ratio and perfect blacks make for an amazing movie experience, especially when the TV is set in a dark room. When set in a bright room, the C7 also has good picture quality since it can get bright enough to fight glare and it does a remarkable job at dealing with reflections. The very wide viewing angle and the good gray uniformity make the C7 an excellent choice for watching sports with a large group of people or if you have a wide seating area. When it comes to HDR, this TV does a superb job making HDR content shine when compared to SDR content. The perfect contrast ratio, good HDR peak brightness and large color gamut coverage make HDR content really pop.
The LG C7 has a perfect contrast ratio, and like other LG OLED TVs, is a great performer when set in a dark room.
Since there is no need for local dimming on OLED TVs, this video is for reference only.
Good SDR peak brightness, a little brighter than the LG B6 and C6. The TV remains at a consistent ~380 cd/m2 for all content except extremely large and bright images like our 100% white window, which unfortunately dims quite significantly due to the TV's Automatic Brightness Limiter (ABL). This means that almost all scenes in SDR content will have a good brightness, but extremely bright scenes may dim.
The TV dims over time when showing a static image, but this won't happen during video. A plot of SDR peak brightness over time can be found here.
Update 04/24/2017: ABL is less of an issue if the OLED light setting is set to 35 or less, where the fluctuations between scenes will only drop by 20 cd/m2 or less.
Great HDR peak brightness, a little brighter than the LG B6 and C6. Although the TV gets very dim when showing a pure white window due to its Automatic Brightness Limiter (ABL), it is very bright when showing our real scene test, so most HDR content will be very bright. However the TV is unable to reach 1000 cd/m2 on small highlights like our 2% window, so small highlights in HDR content won't get as bright as intended.
The TV dims over time when showing a static image, but this won't happen during video. A plot of HDR peak brightness over time can be found here using the Cinema picture mode, and here using the Vivid picture mode. The TV is brighter when in Vivid mode, but colors aren't as accurate.
The overall gray uniformity of the C7 is good. There are some faint vertical lines visible when you look very closely and the right side is a bit warmer than the rest of the screen but it does not show when watching normal content. There is very little dirty screen effect which is good, especially when watching sport.
The 5% gray uniformity is also good, and when looking at our test picture, nothing really stands out. When viewed in a dark room, some vertical lines are visible, and it seems a bit worse than on the 2016 LG B6. Note that those vertical lines are mostly visible when a uniform dark image is displayed and it very hard to notice with regular content like movies or TV shows.
Great viewing angle. The true blacks of this OLED TV ensure that blacks never appear washed out even at an extreme angle, and the TV also remains very bright at all angles. Its weak point is its colors on an angle which do shift, however this should only be noticeable for people sitting at a significant angle to the TV.
The C7 has flawless black uniformity when displaying a black image. This is due to the fact that the pixels are totally turned off and emit no light when displaying a true black. No clouding whatsoever occurs and this provides one of the best experiences that a TV can provide, especially when watching movies in a dark room.
The LG C7P can display our test image smoothly without any banding typically seen on 8-bit panels. Light shades of color are displayed without problems, however small imperfections can be noticed in the darker shades of color and the dark part of the greyscale. Overall though the gradient performance is good, and these small flaws should not be a problem when watching standard content.
Out of the box the color accuracy of C7 is a bit off and this may be noticeable to enthusiasts. The white balance dE is over 4, which is pretty high and the image is warmer than our target of 6500K. The color dE is also high and only the yellow and green track the target closely. The gamma also doesn't track our 2.2 target.
Calibration on the LG C7 is done pretty easily and the white balance is particularly responsive and precise. The color space management is a bit less responsive than the white balance, but that is almost always the case for LG TVs. Even if it is a bit less responsive, the total color dE was brought down significantly to a reasonable 1.22. In the end, the gamma was spot on our desired value of 2.2.
You can see our recommended settings here.
Decent color volume. This OLED TV is able to show its wide color gamut for dark and moderately bright colors, but it is unable to show extremely bright colors at their proper brightness. This should only be a problem for extremely bright highlights in HDR content.
The C7P OLED TV is prone to image retention just like previous models. Fortunately, the image retention is less strong than what we have measured on 2016 LG OLED TVs.
If you find out that your TV has some image retention after playing video games over a long time for example, there is a function in the 'Picture settings' page, under 'OLED Panel Settings' named 'Pixel Refresher' that will 'recalibrate' the screen to get rid of any imprinted images that may still visible. This procedure lasts around one hour and the TV needs to be shut off for it to work. This can usually take care of any image retention.
Another feature is also available on the same settings page named 'Screen Shift' that will 'move' the screen slightly (you can't really notice it) to make the image retention less problematic. For our test, this feature was turned on but there is still some image retention.
The C7 is excellent at handling reflections. The purple tint present on most high-end TVs is still visible, but much less so than the 2016 OLEDs. The reflections are fine even for a bright room.
Like most 2017 models, the C7 doesn't support 3D.
Due to the RGBW pixel structure, not all of the sub-pixels on at the same time. When displaying a purple image more of the sub-pixels can be seen.
The motion handling of the C7P is excellent. The response time is near perfect resulting almost no visible motion blur. The TV doesn't flicker by default, but unfortunately, it can't enable any flicker to reduce blur further. It can play movies from most sources without any judder which is good, and is able to interpolate content up to the native 120Hz refresh rate.
Like other OLED TVs, the C7 has an almost perfect response time. This results in almost no visible blur following moving objects. Unfortunately this means that low frame rate content may appear to stutter as there is no motion blur to smooth between the frames.
The C7 doesn't flicker and instead shows each image for each frame. This makes motion appear slightly more smooth, but does result in some persistence blur (visible in the motion blur image).
The LG C7P is judder free when movies are played via 24p sources like DVDs, Blu-ray players, and native streaming apps. To be able to display 24p content without judder, the 'Real cinema' option must be turned on and the 'TruMotion' option must be set to 'User' and both the 'De-Judder' and 'De-Blur' sliders set to zero (when set to 0, no soap opera effect will be added).
When it come to movies playing via a 60p/60i source like cable boxes, the C7 was able to remove judder completely just by turning on the 'Real cinema' option.
The C7P has a 120Hz panel which is able to interpolate lower frame rate content. There are some bugs in the interpolation which causes more stuttering than usual, especially with our full-screen pattern.
To enable motion interpolation (also called the soap opera effect) set 'TruMotion' to 'User'. For a 30fps source increase 'De-Judder' and for a 60fps source increase 'De-Blur'.
The LG C7 has very low input lag in game mode which makes the TV very responsive, and it supports all the common input resolutions so most any content will be properly displayed.
Very low input lag. When in game mode the input lag is a solid 21 ms regardless of input resolution. This should be good enough for all but the most competitive gamers. This input lag is lower than any of LG's 2016 OLEDs like the B6, and is competitive with some of the best TVs from last year like the KS8000.
Update 04/24/2017: Turning on PC mode on any of the picture modes will result in input lag of about 21ms. 1080p outside game mode has been corrected after being re-tested.
- 20% 1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
- 20% 1080p @ 120Hz
- 20% 4k @ 30Hz @ 4:4:4
- 20% 4k @ 60Hz
- 20% 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
All the common input resolutions are supported. For the TV to properly display 4:4:4 color, the HDMI input in use must have its icon changed to 'PC'. To play 4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:2:2 or 4:4:4 color, 'HDMI ULTRA HD Deep Color' in the general settings must be enabled for the input being used.
Update 05/31/2017: 1080p @ 120 Hz + HDR does not work properly. Its brightness appears to be following the SDR gamma curve rather than the HDR PQ curve, making everything look off and too bright.
The LG C7 produces decent sound. It isn't very different from LG's entry-level OLED offerings from last year, but it should be usable.
Passable frequency response performance. The C7 follows somewhat of a flat shape which is desired. A lot of compression occurs at max volume, but most people will not bring it up that high.
Decent distortion performance. Remains relatively low at standard levels and the amount scales linearly with raising the volume.
The C7 runs LG's WebOS smart platform. It is easy to use and feature filled, and makes very effective use of the TV's smart remote. The remote has a few buttons that open quick menus, like the settings and inputs buttons, so the user doesn't have to go into the main settings menu. When the remote is pointed at the screen a cursor follows its movement, so menu items can be selected directly without using the arrow keys to navigate to them. The remote has a microphone for voice commands which works well. Content can be played directly from a USB drive attached to one of the TV's three USB ports.
The TV did not display ads during our testing, but there was a personalized advertising section of the user agreement so the TV may have ads in some regions.
Update 05/25/2017: Ads were found in voice search results, like the UJ7700's search ads shown here.
The C7's remote is great, and it's mostly unchanged from last year's smart remote. It has a lot of advanced features that make the TV easier to use. When the remote is pointed at the TV a cursor follows its movement, which allows the user to point at and select menu options directly. The cursor is very sensitive to movement and takes some getting used to, but it really helps when navigating the TV. The remote also has a microphone for voice commands, which works well.
Differences between Sizes and Variants
We tested the 55" (OLED55C7P). For the most part, we expect our review to be valid for the 65" (OLED65C7P).
The B7 (OLED55B7P, OLED65B7P) is a warehouse exclusive model in the USA and is also available in Canada but we expect it to have the same performance, with a slightly different design.
If someone comes across a different type of panel or if their LG OLED 55C7P doesn't correspond to our review, let us know and we will update the review. Note that some tests such as the gray uniformity may vary between individual units.
|Size||US Model||EU Model|
Compared to other TVs
The LG OLED C7 is one of the best TVs available today and its picture quality cannot be matched, but it's a very minor improvement over last year's models.
The LG B6 is 2016's entry-level OLED TV. It's been replaced by the C7, but the difference between them is very minor. The picture quality is almost identical, and the input lag is the only real advancement, although the B6 is still pretty good in that regard. Considering the big price difference, almost nobody should be buying the C7 over the B6 from last year.
The Sony X930E is one of Sony's high-end LCD TVs in 2017. It's a great TV, but the C7 has some advantages such as the perfect blacks and wide viewing angle. The X930E does get significantly brighter, but most people will find the C7 to be a more suitable choice. It is a fair bit cheaper than the C7 though which is a big advantage.
The Samsung Q7F is the entry level model from their QLED line of LCD TVs. It's a bit cheaper than the LG, but it's mostly a downgrade. It can display a wider range of colors, which is great for HDR, but it isn't worth picking over the C7.
The Vizio P Series 2016 is Vizio's top of the line TV. It features the best local dimming we've tested and has great picture quality in a dark room. It's far less versatile than the OLED, but since it's available for a fraction of the price, it can be a good buy for those on a tighter budget.