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.
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.
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.
Good 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 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.
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 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.
Update 2017-11-07: Note that when the TV is set to 'PC' mode, via the input menu, the banding is much more visible, and this for all picture modes.
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 be 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.
Note that there is a variation in temporary image retention between units.
OLED panels such as the C7 do have the possibility of experiencing burn in. You can see our investigation into this here.
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 to dim 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 C7's OLED panel doesn't flicker, and has no optional flicker setting like the Sony A1E does; this means that flicker can't be added to make motion look clearer.
The C7P has a 120 Hz panel and is able to interpolate lower frame rate content to 120 fps, which significantly improves motion. Unfortunately the interpolation is not as good as on some other TVs: the motion stuttered at times during normal content, especially cartoons, and artifacts would appear in rare cases.
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'.
Update 11/13/2017: The motion interpolation performance has been clarified in the text.
The C7 experiences stutter, which is especially noticeable with low frame rate content. This is a result of the almost instant response time, so there is very little blur to smooth movement between frames.
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 '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 LG C7 OLED has a native 120Hz panel like other 2017 OLED TVs, but doesn't support any variable refresh rate features.
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.
Update 08/14/2017: webOS update 3.6 fixed the PC mode HDR issue, so 4:4:4 color can now be properly displayed in HDR content. The 4:4:4 + HDR input lag has been measured as ~21 for both 4k and 1080p, which is no different from the other low input lag measurements.
Update 09/20/2017: Tested 1080p @ 120 Hz input lag using our new input lag tool. It's nearly identical to the 1080p @ 60 Hz input lag, which is very unusual. The first on screen reaction input lag of 1080p @ 120 Hz on this TV is 4 ms higher than for 1080p @ 60 Hz, which counteracts the benefits of the 8 ms faster scannout of 120 Hz, producing an average input lag that is equal to the 60 Hz input lag. This may be by design, to keep the audio sync consistent between both refresh rates. Either way, ~20 ms input lag is very good for a TV, and should please most gamers.
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.
Update 08/14/2017: webOS update 3.6 fixed the PC mode HDR issue, so 4:4:4 color can now be properly displayed in HDR content.
Unlike the 2016 OLEDs, the C7 doesn't have a component input.
Since it doesn't have an analog audio out, to connect a pair of headphones, you will have to either use bluetooth or headphones with a digital optical audio input like the Turtle Beach Elite 800.
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.
The webOS interface is split into three sections: settings, inputs and apps. Each has its own button on the remote, a quick menu containing common items, and a full menu with advanced options. This makes the interface easy to use and fast to navigate, but the split nature may confuse some first time users.
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.
The C7 comes loaded with all the popular apps like Netflix, Amazon Video and YouTube. Many more apps can be downloaded from the LG Content Store.
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.
The webOS remote app has some useful features like streaming files off the device running the app, but is missing some others like text entry.
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|
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. See our recommendations for the best flatscreen TVs.
The LG C8 is a bit better than the LG C7. While the overall performance of the two is very similar, the LG C8 has an optional Black Frame Insertion feature that the C7 lacks. This feature can improve the perceived clarity of motion on the C8 at the expense of some brightness.
The LG B8 is somewhat better than the LG C7. The B8 has a black frame insertion (BFI) feature that can introduce flicker to clear blur in fast-moving content, whereas the LG C7 has a lower input lag when you play HDR games. Other differences like the B8's less temporary image retention or the C7's better gray uniformity can be attributed to panel variance.
The performance of the LG B7A and LG C7 is nearly identical. There are no major differences other than the design. The LG C7 and the B7P variant have a 2.2 speaker setup, which can internally decode Dolby Atmos sound. The B7A variant only has a 2.0 speaker setup and cannot decode Dolby Atmos internally, although the C7 and all B7 models can output Atmos to an external receiver.
The Sony A1E is marginally better than the LG C7. The Sony A1E has an optional Black Frame Insertion feature that can improve the clarity of motion. The LG C7 does not support Black Frame Insertion, but it has much better (lower) input lag, great for gaming.
The LG C7 is better than the Sony X900F, unless you consume a lot of static content and the possibility of burn-in concerns you. The LG C7 uses an OLED panel that delivers perfect dark room performance thanks to the infinite contrast and perfect black uniformity. The C7 also has wider viewing angles, good for a wide seating area. Since the C7 uses an OLED panel, there is the possibility of permanent burn-in or temporary image retention. The X900F uses a VA panel which is not prone to burn-in.
The LG E7P has a very similar performance to the LG C7. They have very similar scores in all our tests, and the main difference is the presence of a dedicated soundbar on the E7P. Also, the performance of our temporary image retention test was slightly better on the E7P, but this can be attributed to panel variance.
If you are a movie fan, then go with the LG C7, whereas if you use your TV as a PC monitor or watch the news with static banners for prolonged periods of time, go with the Sony X930E. The LG C7 has perfect blacks that are great for movies and HDR content in dark rooms. The LG C7 also has a slightly better response time and somewhat better input lag so that you can enjoy playing video games. Finally, the LG C7 has better viewing angles for those sitting on the side and better gray uniformity for those sports fans. The Sony X930E is a better choice if you worry too much about the permanent burn-in.