The LG A1 OLED is a new entry-level OLED released in 2021. It delivers nearly identical picture quality to the more expensive OLEDs, like the LG C1 OLED, but it's limited to a 60Hz refresh rate, lacks HDMI 2.1, and doesn't support variable refresh rate technology (VRR). Like all OLEDs, it looks amazing in a dark room, with nearly perfect contrast and perfect black uniformity. It comes with the same updated Magic Remote as the C1, and the smart interface is just as smooth, running the latest version of webOS. Despite the amazing dark-room performance, it can't get very bright, so HDR content doesn't stand out as well as it should. Unfortunately, like all OLED TVs, there's a chance of permanent burn-in with static content, but we don't expect this to be an issue for most people.
The LG A1 OLED is an excellent TV for pretty much any usage. Deep, inky blacks make it an outstanding choice for watching movies in the dark. The low input lag and nearly instantaneous response times help deliver an amazing experience playing games in SDR or HDR. It's also great for watching sports or TV shows thanks to the wide viewing angles and superb reflection handling, but it can't get very bright, so it's not ideal for a bright environment.
The LG A1 is an outstanding TV for watching movies. The OLED panel delivers perfect inky blacks with no blooming, and it has great gray uniformity. Older movies are upscaled well, with no noticeable artifacts. Unfortunately, it can't remove judder from all sources, which might bother some people, and the nearly instantaneous response time results in some noticeable stutter, especially in slow-panning shots.
The LG A1 OLED is great for watching TV Shows during the day. It has outstanding viewing angles, making it a great choice if you like to walk around with the TV on, and the smart interface has a huge selection of streaming apps. It also has remarkable reflection handling, but, unfortunately, it can't get very bright, so it's not the best choice for a bright viewing environment. Low-resolution content is upscaled well, great for watching older shows, and it has impressive gray uniformity.
The LG A1 OLED is a very good TV for watching sports. The nearly-instantaneous response time results in very little blur behind fast-moving objects. Although it has outstanding reflection handling, it's not very bright, so it's not a great choice for a brighter environment. On the other hand, the outstanding viewing angles make it a great choice for watching the big game with a large group of friends, and it has impressive gray uniformity.
The LG A1 is an excellent TV for playing video games. The OLED panel has a nearly instantaneous response time, so there's almost no blur behind fast-moving objects, and it has outstanding low input lag, for a responsive gaming experience. On the other hand, it's not very future-proof, as doesn't have any HDMI 2.1 inputs, doesn't support variable refresh rate technology, and is limited to a 60Hz refresh rate.
The LG A1 OLED is excellent for watching movies in HDR. The nearly-infinite contrast ratio results in perfect blacks with no blooming, without the need for a local dimming feature. It also has an amazing color gamut, with nearly perfect coverage of the DCI P3 color space used by most current HDR content. Unfortunately, it has disappointing peak brightness in HDR, though, so small highlights in many scenes don't stand out the way the content creator intended.
The LG A1 OLED is an amazing TV for gaming in HDR. It has low input lag for a responsive gaming experience, and a nearly instantaneous response time, so motion looks clear with little blur. It has a nearly infinite contrast ratio and perfect black uniformity, as well as an amazing color gamut, all of which are important for a good HDR experience, but it can't get very bright. Unfortunately, it doesn't have any HDMI 2.1 ports, and it doesn't support variable refresh rate technology, so it can't take full advantage of the latest gaming consoles.
The LG A1 OLED is an excellent TV for use as a PC monitor, with some limitations. It has outstanding viewing angles, exceptional low input lag, and a nearly instantaneous response time. It's limited to a 60Hz refresh rate, though, and it doesn't support variable refresh rate technology or HDMI 2.1. Unfortunately, there's a chance of burn-in with static content, and the RGBW subpixel structure can cause text clarity issues in some cases.
The stand supports the TV well but has a wide footprint. It sits low, leaving about 2.4 inches between the bottom of the bezel and the table, so some soundbars won't fit without blocking part of the TV.
Footprint of the 65 inch TV stand: 44.3" x 11.0"
Overall, the LG A1 has excellent build quality. The display portion of the body is metal and feels well-built. The section that houses the electronics is plastic but seems to be well-built. The plastic stand feels a bit weaker than the solid stand on the other models, like the LG C1 OLED, making the overall package of the A1 feel a bit less premium.
As OLED displays don't have a traditional backlight, they have nearly infinite contrast, as each pixel can be individually disabled. This results in perfect, inky blacks, which is ideal in a dark room. Unlike LCDs, this doesn't vary between units.
The LG A1 has mediocre brightness in SDR. It's slightly less bright than the LG C1 OLED, but it's not a very noticeable difference. Like all OLED displays, there's a fair amount of variation in brightness depending on the scene due to the Automatic Brightness Limiter (ABL). If you find this distracting, disabling the Peak Brightness setting results in almost all scenes being displayed at about 230 cd/m².
We measured SDR brightness after calibration, using the 'Expert (Dark space, night)' Picture Mode, Color Depth set to 'Warm 50', and Peak Brightness set to 'High'.
If you want an even brighter image and don't care about accuracy, set the Picture Mode to 'Standard', set Brightness and Contrast to max, Peak Brightness to 'High', and Auto Dynamic Contrast to 'High'. We measured a peak of 458 cd/m² with a 2% windows using those settings.
Since each pixel is self-illuminating, the LG A1 produces perfect blacks with no blooming without the need for a local dimming feature. The video is for reference only, so you can see how the local dimming feature on other displays compares to one without local dimming.
There's no difference in dark scene performance in Game Mode.
Unfortunately, the LG A1 has disappointing HDR peak brightness. Although it tracks the EOTF correctly, displaying most scenes at the correct brightness, it peaks at a low brightness level and rolls of gradually. It's not bright enough for most HDR content, and small highlights don't stand out as well as they should. Like all OLED displays, there's a fair amount of variation in brightness depending on the scene due to the Automatic Brightness Limiter (ABL). If you find this distracting, disabling the Peak Brightness setting results in almost all scenes being displayed at about 370 cd/m².
We measured HDR brightness before calibration, using the 'Cinema' Picture Mode, with Brightness and Contrast set to max, Peak Brightness on 'High', and Color Depth set to '50'. All other picture processing settings were left disabled. If you want to make HDR brighter, you can try enabling HDR Tone Mapping or setting Auto Dynamic Contrast to 'High', which can help as seen in this EOTF.
To get the brightest possible image at the expense of picture quality, use the 'Vivid' Picture Mode, enable HDR Tone Mapping, and set Auto Dynamic Contrast to 'High', and leave the other settings as mentioned above. We measured a peak of 625 cd/m² in the 2% window using these settings.
Switching to Game Mode makes no difference to the peak brightness, which is great.
The LG A1 OLED has great gray uniformity, but there are some bands that appear slightly different from the rest of the screen. These aren't noticeable with regular content. In near-dark scenes, it's a bit better, but like all OLEDs we've tested, there are some faint vertical lines. These aren't really noticeable unless you're looking for them. Note that this can vary between individual units.
Since each pixel can be turned off, the LG A1 has nearly perfect black uniformity, with no sign of blooming. Unlike LCDs, this doesn't vary between units.
The LG A1 OLED has outstanding viewing angles, making this a great choice for a wide seating arrangement. Colors stay accurate to a slightly wider angle than the LG C1 OLED, and there's very little change in brightness or gamma at an angle.
The LG A1 OLED has superb reflection handling, but it's noticeably worse than the LG C1 OLED. The semi-gloss screen finish doesn't diffuse reflections as well as the glossy coating on the LG C1 OLED.
The LG A1 we tested has good accuracy out of the box, but this can vary between units. All colors are slightly inaccurate, but most people won't notice it. The white balance is the biggest issue, affecting all shades of gray, and the color temperature is a bit cold, giving everything a slightly bluish tint. Gamma is a bit high, and most scenes are darker than they should be.
Through calibration, we were able to correct almost everything. White balance is nearly perfect, and gamma tracks our target of 2.2 almost perfectly. The color temperature is very close to our target, and any remaining inaccuracies in colors aren't noticeable.
You can see our recommended settings here.
The LG A1 uses a WRGB subpixel structure. Like other OLEDs, all four subpixels are never lit at the same time. This image shows the red, white, and blue sub-pixels. You can see an alternate photo with the green, red, and white subpixels lit here.
The LG A1 has an excellent color gamut, with almost perfect coverage of the DCI P3 color space used by the majority of HDR content currently available, and good coverage of the wider Rec. 2020 color space.
The LG A1 has good color volume. Absolute color volume is slightly worse than the LG C1 OLED, but the normalized color volume (adjusted for the peak brightness of the TV) is a bit better. This means that colors are closer in brightness to pure white than on the C1, but this is mainly because pure white isn't as bright. Thanks to the nearly infinite contrast ratio of this TV, dark saturated colors are displayed properly.
The LG A1 has very good gradient handling. There's some banding in every shade, but it looks good overall. The Smooth Gradation feature can help reduce banding but not remove it completely. Note that we don't recommend leaving this setting enabled, as it can cause a loss of fine details in some content.
Although there are some noticeable signs of image retention, it's too faint for our systems to detect. Note that this can vary between units.
This test is only indicative of short-term image retention and not the permanent burn-in that may occur with longer exposure to static images.
Like most OLED TVs, the LG A1 isn't immune to permanent burn-in, but we don't expect it to be an issue if you watch varied content. It has a few features to help reduce the risk, though. These include Pixel Cleaning, Screen Move, and Adjust Logo Brightness settings. You can read more about our investigation into long-term OLED burn-in here.
The LG A1 has outstanding response times, but it does behave a bit differently from the other LG models we've tested this year, including the LG C1 OLED. Transitions from dark scenes to bright scenes are significantly slower than usual, causing a bit more noticeable blur behind fast-moving objects.
Although this TV doesn't use Pulse-Width Modulation to dim the screen, it's not flicker-free, either. There is a slight decrease in brightness that matches the TV's refresh rate. This isn't at all noticeable in person.
Unlike the rest of LG's OLED lineup, the LG A1 OLED doesn't have a Black Frame Insertion (BFI) feature.
The LG A1 OLED has an optional motion interpolation feature, which can reduce the amount of stutter when watching low framerate content. Unfortunately, we found that it doesn't perform very well, with significant artifacts and haloing in action scenes.
Due to the slightly slower response time on this TV, there's a bit less stutter than the other OLED displays we've tested, like the LG C1 OLED or the Sony A90J. It's acceptable overall but still noticeable when watching movies, especially in slow panning shots.
Update 07/30/2021: We retested the native apps and found that they can remove judder from the native apps as well. To do so, the setting Cinema Screen must be enabled.
The LG A1 can only remove judder from 24p sources and the native apps. This is different from the other LG OLEDs we've tested and is likely due to the 60Hz refresh rate.
Unlike the LG C1 OLED, the LG A1 is limited to a 60Hz refresh rate, and it doesn't support variable refresh rate technology.
The LG A1 has outstanding low input lag in Game Mode, close to most 60Hz gaming monitors. Most people won't notice any latency when gaming.
The LG A1 supports many common formats, but only at 60Hz, as it can't refresh faster than that. Although it'll accept a 120Hz 1080p signal, it just skips every other frame. All supported formats can display chroma 4:4:4 properly, but a 4k 60Hz signal can only display chroma 4:4:4 in SDR with 8-bit color due to the bandwidth limitations of HDMI 2.0.
The LG A1 OLED only supports a 4k @ 60Hz input from the next-generation consoles, as it lacks the HDMI 2.1 ports necessary for higher refresh rates. Although the TV exposes that it can accept a 120Hz signal at 1080p, it just skips every other frame, resulting in a 60Hz image.
Unlike the LG C1 OLED and above, the LG A1 only has three HDMI 2.0 ports and no HDMI 2.1 ports.
Unlike the LG CX OLED, there's no composite input, even with an adapter.
The LG A1 supports eARC, so it can pass most high-quality audio formats to a connected receiver or soundbar. It doesn't support DTS:X though, so if you have a UHD Blu-ray player, it might be best to connect it directly to your receiver instead of using eARC.
The LG A1 has an okay frequency response. The low-frequency extension (LFE) is okay, but like most TVs, the bass lacks thump or rumble. Above the LFE, the sound profile is balanced, resulting in clear dialogue. It can get loud, but there's a bit of compression at higher volume levels.
Unfortunately, although the overall distortion is acceptable, at max volume, there's significant intermodulation distortion. This varies depending on the content, though, and not everyone will even notice it.
The LG A1 runs the same webOS smart interface as the LG C1 OLED. Instead of the dual ribbons found on 2020 models, the Home hub is now full screen, with emphasis placed on rows of suggested content, connected devices, and apps. The interface is easy to use and very responsive, and we didn't notice any issues with it during testing.
Unfortunately, the interface is full of ads, both in the home menu and in the app store. There's even an entire section of the home menu dedicated to home shopping.
LG's app store has a huge selection of apps, so you shouldn't have any issues finding an app for your streaming service of choice.
LG has finally updated the design of the Magic Remote, which had remained virtually unchanged for a few years. The new remote is slimmer but still has the same great features as the previous model. The remote has built-in voice controls and can be used to change inputs, search for content, or search the web.
Note: When originally announced, the new Magic Remote was advertised to support NFC for quick pairing with a phone to cast content to the TV. It appears that only certain regions are getting this feature and that if the unit supports it, an NFC logo appears on the remote. Ours lacks that logo, but we're not sure exactly which regions are getting that feature.
We tested the LG 65 inch A1 (OLED65A1PUA), which also comes in 48 inch, 55 inch, and 77 inch sizes. For the most part, we expect our results to be valid for those models as well.
|Size||North America Model||EU Model|
If you come across a different type of panel or your LG A1 doesn't correspond to our review, let us know and we'll update the review. Note that some tests like gray uniformity may vary between individual units.
Our unit was manufactured in March 2021, and you can see the label here.
The LG A1 is a good cheaper option if you don't care about the extra gaming features on the more expensive LG models.
The LG A1 OLED and the LG C1 OLED deliver very similar picture quality but differ in the extra features available. The C1 is a better gaming TV, with four HDMI 2.1 ports, support for variable refresh rate technology (VRR), and a 120Hz refresh rate. For movie lovers, the C1 is also a slightly better choice, as it can remove judder from any source, and it has an optional Black Frame Insertion feature to help reduce persistence blur.
The LG CX OLED and the LG A1 OLED deliver nearly identical picture quality, but the CX offers better gaming features. The CX has 4 HDMI 2.1 ports, and it supports more advanced gaming features like variable refresh rate technology (VRR). The CX is also a bit better for movie watching, as it can remove judder from any source, and it has an optional black frame insertion feature to reduce persistence blur.
The LG B1 OLED is a higher-end TV than the LG A1 OLED, so it performs better overall. They deliver similar exceptional picture quality thanks to their OLED panels, and even though the B1 gets brighter, it's not a significant difference. The B1 uses a different screen finish, so it has better reflection handling. The main differences are with the gaming features because the B1 has a 120Hz panel with VRR support and HDMI 2.1 inputs, delivering a better gaming experience. The A1 is limited to a 60Hz panel with no VRR.
The Samsung QN90A QLED and the LG A1 OLED are very different TVs, as they use different panel technologies, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. The LG is a better choice for watching movies in a dark room, as it displays perfect blacks with no blooming, and has better uniformity. The Samsung is a better choice for gaming or for watching TV in a bright room, though, as it has a faster refresh rate, it supports advanced gaming features like HDMI 2.1 and variable refresh rate technology (VRR), and it's significantly brighter.
The LG BX OLED and the LG A1 OLED deliver nearly identical picture quality, but differ in their extra features and gaming performance. The BX is much better for gaming, with 2 HDMI 2.1 ports for next-gen consoles, a 120Hz refresh rate, and support for advanced gaming features, including variable refresh rate technology (VRR). The BX is also better for movies, as it has an optional Black Frame Insertion feature, and it can remove judder from all sources.
The LG NANO99 8k 2021 and the LG A1 OLED are different types of While the NANO99 is an 8k TV with an LED panel that gets bright, the 4k A1 has much deeper blacks thanks to its near-infinite contrast ratio. The 8k NANO99 supports HDMI 2.1 bandwidth and has a 120Hz panel, which the A1 doesn't have, but neither TV supports any VRR. Also, the NANO99 doesn't suffer from the risk of permanent burn-in like the C1.