The LG 48 C1 OLED is a TV that we tested as a monitor, replacing the LG 48 CX OLED from 2020. As it's a TV, it has many different features than most typical monitors. It has a large 48 inch screen, but that means it has a lower pixel density and, combined with its unique WBGR subpixel layout, text clarity isn't the best. It's advertised as a gaming monitor and has features that most gamers should enjoy. It has a 120Hz panel with FreeSync variable refresh rate (VRR) support and G-SYNC compatibility to reduce screen tearing. There are four HDMI 2.1 inputs, so you can play 4k games up to 120fps if you have a compatible graphics card, but it doesn't have a DisplayPort input. Its OLED panel can turn off individual pixels, resulting in a near-infinite contrast ratio and perfect black uniformity. However, OLEDs have the risk of permanent burn-in, which could be problematic with constant exposure to the UI elements, so we suggest using a screensaver, hiding the taskbar, or watching varied content if you're going to use it purely as a monitor.
Note: We tested the 55 inch model as a TV, which you can read about here. However, the results of the two reviews aren't comparable because of the different ways we score and test TVs and monitors.
The LG C1 48 is an excellent overall TV that we tested as a monitor. Since it has a ton more features than a normal monitor, it excels in a few areas. It's excellent for gaming because it has VRR support, a very quick response time, and low input lag. It's a fantastic choice for watching content in dark rooms due to its near-infinite contrast and perfect black uniformity. It's great for office use or content creators because it has a large screen, but text clarity is just decent as the WBGR subpixel layout isn't ideal.
The LG C1 48 is decent for office use. The large screen lets you open multiple windows, but text clarity isn't the best due to the WBGR subpixel layout. It's good to use in well-lit rooms as it has fantastic reflection handling, even though it doesn't get extremely bright in 'Game' mode. The wide viewing angles ensure the image remains accurate even when sitting close to the TV.
The LG C1 48 is excellent for gaming. It has a 120Hz panel with HDMI 2.1 inputs, allowing you to play 4k games up to 120fps from an HDMI 2.1 compatible graphics card. It has native FreeSync VRR and G-SYNC compatibility. Its response time is near-instant, and it has low input lag. It's fantastic for dark room gaming thanks to its near-infinite contrast and perfect black uniformity.
The LG C1 48 is fantastic for consuming multimedia content. The 48 inch screen is big enough for an immersive viewing experience, and it has wide viewing angles in case you want to share the screen with someone else. It has a near-infinite contrast, so blacks look deep and inky, and there's no blooming around bright objects.
The LG C1 48 is great for content creators. It has a big enough screen that you can open multiple windows, and you can view your entire video timeline without scrolling too much. It displays perfect blacks if you tend to use it in a dark room, and it has fantastic reflection handling for a well-lit room. Although its Adobe RGB color space coverage is good, there are better monitors for it, and text clarity isn't the best.
The LG C1 48 delivers a fantastic HDR experience. The near-infinite contrast ratio delivers deep, inky blacks with perfect black uniformity. There's no blooming around bright objects in dark scenes, either, which is great. It also has a great wide color gamut, with excellent coverage of the most-common DCI-P3 color space. On the other hand, it can't get very bright in HDR, so although small highlights stand out well, large bright scenes are dimmed considerably by the TV's automatic brightness limiter.
The LG C1 48 is a premium TV with a nice design. Since it's a TV, it looks different than any monitor as it comes with a metal center stand that raises the screen off the table a bit. It has thin bezels all around and should look good in any setup.
The LG C1 48 feels extremely well-built. It's made out of metal and solid plastic and feels premium throughout. There's no noticeable flex, and the screen is very stable on the stand.
As is the case with most TVs, the stand of the LG C1 48 doesn't offer any ergonomic adjustments. The back of the TV is made of metal on top, and the part where the inputs are is plastic. Luckily, you can run your cables through the stand to keep your setup clean.
The LG C1 48's stand is wide and supports the screen well. It has a very wide footprint, bigger than most monitors, so you need a large table to place it on. It raises the screen enough that you can put a keyboard or mouse in front without getting in the way of the screen. The replacement to this TV, the LG 42 C2 OLED, has a different stand with wide-set feet, so it's easy to route the cables from your mouse and keyboard underneath.
OLEDs like the LG C1 48 can turn off individual pixels, resulting in a near-infinite contrast ratio. Blacks look deep and inky when viewed in the dark.
Since the LG C1 48 can turn off each pixel and doesn't have a backlight, it doesn't have a local dimming feature. It produces perfect blacks with no visible blooming; the video above is provided for reference.
The LG C1 48 has mediocre SDR peak brightness. This is somewhat normal for an OLED, but it's an improvement over the LG 48 CX OLED. It's not bright enough to fight glare in really well-lit rooms. We tested the brightness after calibration in the 'Game Optimizer' Picture Mode with the input labeled as 'PC'. The Peak Brightness setting is disabled with either of these settings enabled.
We also measured the real scene brightness using other settings:
|Picture Mode||Calibrated||PC Label||Peak Brightness||Real Scene Brightness|
|Expert (dark space, night)||Uncalibrated||Yes||N/A||270 cd/m²|
|Expert (dark space, night)||Uncalibrated||No||High||283 cd/m²|
So overall, using the 'Game Optimizer' Picture Mode and labeling the input as 'PC' results in a dimmer image, and the Automatic Brightness Limiter (ABL) is a bit more aggressive than outside of 'Game' mode. In other picture modes, you can get a brighter screen at the cost of input lag, but for most people, it's more important to have low input lag when using it as a monitor.
The LG C1 48 has good HDR peak brightness. It gets extremely bright with small highlights, but it gets dimmer with larger areas of bright colors due to the aggressive Automatic Brightness Limiter (ABL). The brightness tracks the EOTF very well, as almost all scenes are displayed at the correct brightness level. There's a very sharp cut-off at the peak brightness, causing a loss of fine details in bright scenes.
These measurements are in the 'Game Optimizer' HDR Picture Mode with Peak Brightness set to 'High'.
The LG C1 48 has fantastic horizontal viewing angles. The image remains accurate if you view it from the side, or if you sit too close
Note: These results vary from the TV review because of the different ways we test monitors and TVs.
Once again, the LG C1 48 has very wide vertical viewing angles. The top and bottom edges remain accurate if you sit close.
Note: These results vary from the TV review because of the different ways we test monitors and TVs.
The gray uniformity of the LG C1 48 is fantastic. Solid colors look uniform across the screen, and there's hardly any dirty screen effect in the center.
As the LG C1 48 can turn off individual pixels, black uniformity is perfect and there's no blooming around bright objects.
The LG C1 48 has great accuracy out-of-the-box. Colors are noticeably off, but setting the Color Gamut to 'Auto' effectively locks colors to the sRGB color space, so they don't appear oversaturated. White balance is a bit off, but not noticeably so, and the color temperature is just slightly on the cold side. Gamma doesn't follow the sRGB target curve very well, as dark scenes are darker than intended, and bright scenes are a bit too bright.
The LG 48 C1 OLED has exceptional accuracy after calibration. Any remaining white balance and color inaccuracies can't be spotted by the human eye, and color temperature is extremely close to our 6500K target. Gamma improved, but it's still not perfect.
The LG C1 48's SDR color gamut is excellent. It has near-perfect coverage of the commonly-used sRGB color space, and it has good coverage of the Adobe RGB color space, which is used in photo editing.
The LG C1 48 has fantastic SDR color volume. It displays dark colors well, thanks to its near-infinite contrast. Despite its less-than-ideal peak brightness, it displays bright colors well.
The LG C1 48 has a great HDR color gamut. It covers both the DCI P3 and Rec. 2020 color spaces well, but tone mapping is off, so colors don't look as accurate as they're supposed to.
The LG C1 48 has good HDR color volume. It displays dark colors well thanks to the high contrast but struggles with brighter colors.
The LG 48 C1 OLED has fantastic reflection handling. Thanks to the glossy finish, light is absorbed really well, and even glare from strong light sources shouldn't be too distracting. The final score is different from the TV review because total reflections are counted in the scoring for TVs, but the individual results are similar between each.
Update 01/07/2022: We received a report from a user that there's color fringing when displaying yellow and green objects. We checked with a solid yellow square and noticed red fringing to the left and green fringing on the right. The same thing happened with non-primary green. This is due to the subpixel layout, and although you won't notice it with real content, it may become more noticeable during desktop use. We saw the same thing with the Gigabyte AORUS FO48U OLED, and you can see an example of the color fringing on that monitor here.
The LG 48 C1 has decent text clarity. Using a TV is different from a typical monitor because pixel density is lower, and there are different scaling options. Also, the WBGR subpixel layout isn't used by most programs. Windows suggests 300% scaling, which is just too large for most people, so the photos above are with 100% scaling. Enabling ClearType (top photo) helps improve the boldness of the letters, but it's still not ideal.
We took a photo of the text clarity at different scaling options, which you can see below.
|Scaling||ClearType On||ClearType Off|
|125%||ClearType On||ClearType Off|
|150%||ClearType On||ClearType Off|
|175%||ClearType On||ClearType Off|
The pixel photo above is with the blue, white, and, red subpixels turned on. It uses a WBGR sub-pixel layout, and all four pixels are never on at the same time. We took photos of the other pixel combinations:
The gradient handling is fantastic. Banding is minimal throughout, but it's a bit more noticeable in the darker shades. The LG 48 C1 has a Smooth Gradation setting, but we didn't test it.
Note: These results vary from the TV review because of the different ways we test monitors and TVs.
The fast refresh rate is great for gaming, but it's lower than most high-end gaming monitors. Unlike most monitors, it doesn't have any DisplayPort inputs, but this is normal, as this is a TV, and TVs don't usually have DP inputs. If you want a QD-OLED monitor that has a higher refresh rate and a DisplayPort input, then look into the Dell Alienware AW3423DW.
The LG 48 C1 natively supports both FreeSync and G-SYNC Compatible variable refresh rates to reduce screen tearing.
|Overdrive Setting||Response Time Chart||Response Time Tables||Motion Blur Photo|
The LG 48 C1 OLED has a near-instant response time at its max refresh rate of 120Hz, resulting in smooth motion. There's only a bit of overshoot in dark transitions, but it's hardly noticeable. Unlike most monitors, there aren't any overdrive settings.
The LG 48 C1 doesn't use Pulse Width Modulation (PWM). There's a slight dip in brightness every 8ms, which coincides with the 120Hz refresh rate, and it's not noticeable either.
The LG C1 48 has low input lag as long as it's in the 'Game Optimizer' Picture Mode with the input label set to 'PC'. We also measured the 4k @ 120Hz input lag in the 'Expert (dark space, night)' Picture Mode because this results in a brighter image, but we kept the input label set to 'PC' and the Game Optimizer setting enabled (different from the Picture Mode). We measured 13.7ms with these settings, so you can get a brighter image at the cost of a bit of input lag, which is still good for gaming.
LG has a Prevent Input Delay setting, which is new to their 2021 TVs. It aims to reduce the 60Hz input lag, which explains why it's an improvement from the LG 48 CX OLED.
The LG C1 48 has a large screen, and the 4k resolution helps deliver crisp images. However, when using it as a PC monitor, you need to set the input label you're using to 'PC' so you can get proper chroma 4:4:4, which helps with text clarity. You can read about it in our TV review.
The LG C1 48 supports all formats that are currently supported by the PS5. Since it also supports all three variable refresh rate formats, it'll also work with the PS5's promised VRR feature when Sony adds it.
This TV supports most of the formats supported by the Xbox Series S|X. Although it doesn't support 1440p @ 60Hz, this isn't an issue since the vast majority of games support 1440p @ 120Hz, which works perfectly.
The LG 48 C1 works well with recent Macs, but the variable refresh rate feature doesn't work.
Since the LG C1 48 is a TV, you get a ton more features than most monitors. There's the LG webOS built-in, which has a ton of apps available to download, and the LG Magic Remote offers voice control. There are other image processing features, like upscaling, motion interpolation, judder-free, etc., which you can read about in the TV review.
See the settings page for the TV here.
We tested the LG C1 48 inch (OLED48C1PUB) as a monitor. Although our results in this review should be valid for the other sizes, we tested the 55 inch (OLED55C1PUB) as a TV, and our results for that are more representative of how people will use the larger sizes as a TV and not a monitor.
|Size||North America Model||EU Model|
If you come across a different type of panel or your LG C1 doesn't correspond to our review, let us know and we'll update the review. Keep in mind that our results between the monitor and TV reviews aren't comparable because of the way that we test each. Some tests, like gray uniformity, may vary between units.
Our unit was manufactured in May 2021, and you can see the label here.
The LG C1 48 delivers fantastic picture quality thanks to its OLED panel, and it has much more features than most monitors. The HDMI 2.1 inputs are also good to have if you want high frame rate 4k gaming, as HDMI 2.1 inputs are only starting to come out with monitors. However, the LG is costly and, considering its risk of burn-in, it may be worth getting a standard monitor instead. If you're going to use the display for PC gaming and streaming content on the side, the burn-in risk shouldn't cause too much of a problem.
The LG 48 C1 OLED and the LG 42 C2 OLED are very similar, with the main difference being that the C2 is smaller. The smaller size increases pixel density, resulting in slightly better text clarity. The C2 also has a different stand that makes it easier to route your keyboard and mouse cables through. However, if you care about HDR or want to use the monitor in a bright room, the C1 gets brighter.
The LG 48 C1 OLED and the Dell Alienware AW3423DW are different types of OLED displays. The LG is a small TV with a traditional OLED panel, while the Dell is an ultrawide gaming monitor that uses the new QD-OLED technology. While they each display perfect blacks in dark rooms, the LG is better in bright rooms because it has a polarizing layer that makes blacks look deep and inky even when there's bright light on it, while the black levels are raised on the Dell. However, thanks to the quantum dot layer, the Dell displays a wider range of colors, and small highlights get brighter, resulting in a higher color volume.
The LG 48 C1 OLED is slightly better than the Gigabyte AORUS FO48U OLED. Both of them use very similar, if not identical panels but the LG is brighter in HDR, and it has a more versatile black frame insertion feature. The LG also has a built-in smart interface and more advanced image processing options. The Gigabyte has better connectivity, though, as it has a DisplayPort connection and a built-in USB hub with a keyboard, video, and mouse switch.
LG 48 C1 OLED is the replacement to the LG 48 CX OLED, and both are very similar in performance. The C1 has lower input lag at 60Hz because of a new 'Prevent Input Delay' setting. The built-in webOS is updated, and it comes with a new Magic Remote. The CX scores higher for SDR peak brightness, but that's because we tested it with a different Picture Mode, and the C1 has about the same brightness in that Picture Mode.
The Samsung Odyssey G7 LC32G75T and the LG 48 C1 OLED are excellent for gaming, but they have different panel types with pros and cons. The LG's OLED panel has a near-infinite contrast ratio with deep blacks, and it has much wider viewing angles than the Samsung. The LG has a larger screen with a higher 4k resolution, but text looks better on the Samsung because it has higher pixel density. The Samsung has an LED panel that gets brighter and doesn't have the risk of permanent burn-in. It also has a higher 240Hz refresh rate which you can achieve over a DisplayPort connection.
The LG 48 C1 OLED and the Gigabyte AORUS FV43U use different panel technologies, each with strengths and weaknesses, but overall, the LG is a better choice for most people. It's technically a TV, but the LG is an amazing display for use as a monitor, with perfect inky blacks, wide viewing angles, and a nearly-instantaneous response time. Sadly, the LG also has a chance of permanent burn-in, so if that concerns you, the Gigabyte is a safer choice.
The LG 48 C1 OLED and the Gigabyte M32U are very different displays with different target audiences. The LG is a large TV that we tested as a monitor that has an OLED panel. The OLED panel delivers a nearly instantaneous response time, with wide viewing angles and perfect blacks. The large screen isn't meant to be used as a desktop monitor, though, and there's a risk of permanent burn-in. Although the Gigabyte doesn't perform as well overall, it's a more traditional form factor that fits on most desks, and there's no chance of burn-in.
The Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 is a different type of display than the LG 48 C1 OLED, even though they have similar screen sizes. The Samsung is a super ultrawide LED monitor with a 32:9 aspect ratio, and the LG is a TV that we tested as a monitor, so it has a more traditional 16:9 aspect ratio. The LG has an OLED panel, providing a near-infinite contrast ratio and perfect black uniformity, but the Samsung's LED panel gets significantly brighter. They each have HDMI 2.1 inputs, but the Samsung has a much higher 240Hz refresh rate, which you can achieve using a DisplayPort connection, compared to the LG's 120Hz. Despite the faster refresh rate, the LG has a near-instantaneous response time, so motion looks better. The main advantage of the LED panel over the OLED is that the Samsung won't suffer from the risk of burn-in.
The LG 48 C1 OLED is better than the Philips Momentum 436M6VBPAB, but they use different panel types. The LG has an OLED panel with a near-infinite contrast ratio and much wider viewing angles, while the Philips has an LED panel that gets significantly brighter and doesn't have the risk of permanent burn-in. The LG is much better for gaming because it has a 120Hz panel with HDMI 2.1 inputs, and it has a much quicker response time and lower input lag. Since the LG is a TV, it also has more features like a built-in webOS, so you can stream content directly from the TV.
The Gigabyte M27Q and the LG 48 C1 OLED are both excellent for gaming, but they're different types of displays. The LG is a 48 inch TV we tested as a monitor, and it uses an OLED panel. This allows it to display a near-infinite contrast ratio with perfect black levels, and it has HDMI 2.1 inputs, allowing you to play 4k games up to 120fps over an HDMI connection. On the other hand, the Gigabyte is a typical monitor with a smaller screen and 1440p resolution, meaning it has better text clarity. It gets significantly brighter, and LED panels don't risk permanent burn-in like OLEDs.
The Acer Nitro XV282K KVbmiipruzx and the LG 48 C1 OLED are different types of displays. While the LG is a TV that we tested as a monitor, the Acer is a typical monitor that comes with an ergonomic stand. The LG is larger, but that means the Acer has higher pixel density for clearer text. The LG has an OLED panel with a much higher contrast because it can turn on individual pixels, but the LED panel on the Acer doesn't have the risk of permanent burn-in. They each have HDMI 2.1 inputs, but the Acer has a higher 144Hz refresh rate, and it has a DisplayPort connection, which the LG doesn't.
The Dell S3221QS and the LG 48 C1 OLED are different types of 4k displays. The LG is a TV that we tested as a monitor, so it has a ton more features like a built-in OS and processing features. Its OLED panel can turn off individual pixels, resulting in a near-infinite contrast. However, the Dell has an LED panel that gets brighter and doesn't have the risk of permanent burn-in like OLEDs. The LG has more gaming features such as HDMI 2.1 inputs and VRR support, and it has a near-instant response time for smooth motion.