LG CX OLED TV Review

Tested using Methodology v1.5
Reviewed May 20, 2020 at 07:54 am
LG CX OLED Picture
8.8
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: no price info
9.3
Movies
8.2
TV Shows
8.6
Sports
9.1
Video Games
8.7
HDR Movies
8.8
HDR Gaming
8.6
PC Monitor
Type OLED
Sub-Type
WRGB
Resolution 4k

The LG CX OLED is an excellent TV and delivers amazing all-around performance. It's able to produce perfect blacks since it can turn off individual pixels, so it looks fantastic in dark rooms. It has a very wide color gamut for HDR content, impressive viewing angles, and it upscales lower resolution content well. Gamers should appreciate the variable refresh rate (VRR) support, the near-instant response time, and low input lag. Unfortunately, like all OLED TVs, it has the risk of permanent burn-in, but this shouldn't be a problem for people who watch varied content. Also, the Automatic Brightness Limiter (ABL) is aggressive, so large areas aren't as bright as they should be. Luckily, it has great out-of-the-box color accuracy, so you won't need to spend extra money to get it calibrated.

Our Verdict

8.8 Mixed Usage

The LG CX OLED is an amazing TV for most uses. Like any OLED TV, it's able to produce perfect blacks and has a near-instant response time. It has wide viewing angles, excellent reflection handling, great out-of-the-box color accuracy, and low input lag. Unfortunately, it has a risk of permanent burn-in, but this shouldn't be an issue with varied content. It's also able to interpolate motion up to 120Hz and remove judder from lower frame rate sources like a cable box or DVD player.

Pros
  • Perfect blacks.
  • Wide viewing angles.
  • Great out-of-the-box color accuracy.
  • Near-instant response time.
Cons
  • Aggressive Automatic Brightness Limiter (ABL).
  • Risk of permanent burn-in. (See here)
9.3 Movies

The LG CX OLED is outstanding for watching movies. With its OLED screen, it's able to produce perfect blacks, which is amazing for watching movies in the dark. It upscales 1080p content well, it's able to remove judder from 24p sources like Blu-ray players, and it has a quick response time, but unfortunately, that makes some content appear to stutter. Luckily, it has wide viewing angles, so you don't lose image accuracy at the side.

8.2 TV Shows

Great for watching TV shows. It has excellent reflection handling and it has decent peak brightness to combat glare in most rooms. It upscales 720p content well and has good built-in speakers. Unfortunately, like all OLED TVs, it has the risk of burn-in, which could be a problem with constant exposure to static logos. However, it has impressive viewing angles for when you want to watch your favorite show with the entire family.

8.6 Sports

The LG CX OLED is fantastic for sports. It has excellent reflection handling, decent peak brightness, and it doesn't have noticeable dirty screen effect in the center. It also has wide viewing angles, great for watching the game with a group of friends. It has a near-instant response time, but unfortunately, some fast-moving objects still look a bit blurry.

9.1 Video Games

The LG CX OLED is exceptional for playing video games. The input lag is incredibly low in 'Game' mode, it has a near-instant response time, the refresh rate is 120Hz, and it supports G-SYNC and FreeSync VRR to reduce screen tearing. Unfortunately, static menus in video games could be a problem for an OLED TV, as this TV has a risk of permanent burn-in. Luckily, it's a great choice for dark room gaming since it can produce perfect blacks.

8.7 HDR Movies

Remarkable for HDR movies. The LG CX OLED covers nearly all of the DCI P3 color space used in most HDR content and has good coverage of the wider Rec. 2020 color space. It's able to produce perfect blacks, remove judder from all sources, and has a near-instant response time. Unfortunately, its color volume is a bit limiting, but it gets bright enough in HDR to bring out highlights.

8.8 HDR Gaming

Incredible TV for HDR gaming. The LG CX OLED has great gaming features like a low input lag, VRR support, and near-instant response time. Also, it displays a very wide color gamut in HDR and gets bright enough to bring out highlights. Unfortunately, its color volume is a bit limiting, as it can't display very bright colors.

8.6 PC Monitor

All OLED TVs have a permanent burn-in risk, so it's not ideal to use the LG CX OLED as a PC monitor since static displays could cause problems. Regardless, it still has excellent performance as a PC monitor. It can display proper chroma 4:4:4, which is important for reading text, the input lag is low, and it has very wide viewing angles, great if you want to place it in a meeting room.

  • 8.8 Mixed Usage
  • 9.3 Movies
  • 8.2 TV Shows
  • 8.6 Sports
  • 9.1 Video Games
  • 8.7 HDR Movies
  • 8.8 HDR Gaming
  • 8.6 PC Monitor
  1. Update 8/18/2020: 1440p is only supported with a custom resolution, it's not natively supported.
  2. Update 8/6/2020: Updated input lag results.
  3. Update 7/8/2020: FreeSync support has been added in the latest firmware update (version 03.10.20).
  4. Update 6/30/2020: CalMAN has confirmed that the LG CX now supports auto-calibration.
  5. Update 6/25/2020: We incorrectly listed this TV as flicker-free, but it's not.
  6. Update 6/3/2020: We retested 24p judder with different BFI settings, and have updated the results below.
  7. Update 5/26/2020: We discovered an issue with the computer we were using to test input lag, so we retested it with a different PC. The new PC's results have been validated, and we've updated the numbers in the review below.
  8. Update 5/21/2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.5.

Video

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Market Context
Market Context
Market Context

The CX OLED is in LG's high-end OLED lineup. It's a direct replacement to the LG C9 OLED and sits between the LG BX OLED and LG GX OLED. Since there aren't many OLED TVs on the market, its main competitors are other LG TVs, the Sony A8H, and the Sony A9S. Its LED competitors are the Samsung Q90T and the Vizio P Series Quantum X 2020.

Design
9.5
Design
Style
Curved No

The CX has a sleek design with a premium feel to it, and it looks very similar to the LG C9 OLED. The silver metal on the back is a bit darker than its predecessor, but it has the same stand that allows the TV to sit close to the table.

Design
Stand

The stand is very solid and the TV doesn't wobble all that much. It's almost as wide as the TV, so you need a big table to place it on. Also, since the TV sits so low to the table, placing a soundbar in front of it could potentially obstruct the screen.

Footprint of the 55" TV stand: 36" x 9.6".

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 300x200

The back is identical to the LG C9 OLED and LG C8 OLED. The top part that holds the panel is solid metal, and the bottom part that holds the inputs is textured plastic with horizontal lines on it. There are both side-facing and back-facing inputs, and there's a plastic cover on the stand for cable management. If you plan on wall-mounting it and want a similar TV with a dedicated wall mount, check out the LG GX OLED.

Design
Borders
Borders 0.35" (0.9 cm)

The borders are thin and aren't distracting.

Design
Thickness
Max Thickness 1.93" (4.9 cm)

The top half of the CX is very thin, but it gets thicker at the bottom where the inputs are housed. It shouldn't stick out much if you wall-mount it.

9.0
Design
Build Quality

Outstanding build quality, like the LG C9 OLED. The front of the stand and the top half of the back are made out of metal, but there's a bit of flex on the top half of the TV. The back of the stand and the panel holding the inputs are made out of solid plastic that feels like metal.

Picture Quality
10
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
Inf : 1
Contrast with local dimming
N/A

Like all OLED TVs, the CX has an infinite contrast ratio since it's able to turn off individual pixels, resulting in perfect blacks.

10
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
No
Backlight
No Backlight

Since this TV doesn't have a backlight, it doesn't have a local dimming feature. It can dim pixels individually, so bright objects and subtitles are displayed perfectly, with no visible blooming.

7.0
Picture Quality
SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
321 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
459 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
456 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
414 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
340 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
176 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
439 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
435 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
395 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
324 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
146 cd/m²
SDR ABL
0.069

The CX has decent SDR peak brightness, enough to combat glare in most rooms. It has an Automatic Brightness Limiter (ABL) that significantly dims the screen when large areas get bright, so that's why the 'Peak 100% Window' and 'Sustained 100% Window' tests result in significantly less brightness.

Like the LG C9 OLED, the CX has a Peak Brightness setting, which changes the way the ABL performs. With this setting turned 'Off', most scenes are between 294 to 308 cd/m², and if the entire screen is bright, the brightness is 166 cd/m². Turning this setting to 'High', which is what we tested with, makes most scenes brighter, but large areas are less bright.

The measurements were taken post-calibration in the 'Expert (Dark Room)' Picture Mode, with OLED Light to '100' and Peak Brightness to 'High.' Before calibration, the TV was slightly less bright.

7.1
Picture Quality
HDR Peak Brightness
HDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
685 cd/m²
HDR Peak 2% Window
799 cd/m²
HDR Peak 10% Window
813 cd/m²
HDR Peak 25% Window
456 cd/m²
HDR Peak 50% Window
302 cd/m²
HDR Peak 100% Window
146 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 2% Window
752 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 10% Window
775 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 25% Window
433 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 50% Window
287 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 100% Window
140 cd/m²
HDR ABL
0.104

The CX has decent HDR peak brightness, enough to bring out highlights in HDR. There's quite a bit of variation when displaying different content, and it gets the least bright with large areas, which is caused by the aggressive ABL.

The measurements were taken in 'Cinema' Picture Mode, with OLED Light to '100', Peak Brightness to 'High', and Color Temperature to 'Warm 2.'

8.4
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
1.526 %
50% DSE
0.135 %
5% Std. Dev.
0.401 %
5% DSE
0.106 %

Impressive gray uniformity. There's very little dirty screen effect in the center, which is great for sports fans. Uniformity is improved in near-dark scenes, but like some other OLED TVs, there are some faint vertical and horizontal lines which could be visible in near-dark scenes in very dark rooms.

8.4
Picture Quality
Viewing Angle
Color Washout
48 °
Color Shift
32 °
Brightness Loss
62 °
Black Level Raise
70 °
Gamma Shift
57 °

The CX has great viewing angles, and the image remains accurate when viewing from the side. This TV is great for a wide seating arrangement. The LG BX OLED has slightly wider viewing angles, but this may vary between units.

10
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
0.416 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
N/A

Since this OLED TV can turn off individual pixels, the black uniformity is perfect.

9.3
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Glossy
Total Reflections
1.5 %
Indirect Reflections
0.4 %
Calculated Direct Reflections
1.1 %

Just like the LG C9 OLED, the CX has excellent reflection handling as it has an anti-reflective coating. You shouldn't have any issues placing this in a bright room.

8.3
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
White Balance dE
2.33
Color dE
1.95
Gamma
2.24
Color Temperature
6188 K
Picture Mode
Expert (Dark Room)
Color Temp Setting
Warm 2
Gamma Setting
2.2

The LG CX OLED has great out-of-the-box color accuracy, much better than the LG C9 OLED. Most colors are slightly inaccurate, but it's hard to notice. The color temperature is warmer than the 6500K target, so colors have a red/yellow tint to them. Overall, the gamma follows the target fairly well, but dark scenes are too dark and some bright scenes are too bright.

9.6
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
White Balance dE
0.16
Color dE
1.00
Gamma
2.20
Color Temperature
6512 K
White Balance Calibration
22 point
Color Calibration
Yes
Auto-Calibration Function
Yes

Update 06/30/2020: We have confirmation from CalMAN that the CX now supports auto-calibration.

After calibration, the color accuracy is nearly perfect. The white balance dE is nearly zero, so shades of gray are displayed almost perfectly. Any color inaccuracies aren't visible without the aid of a colorimeter.

The C9 has an auto-calibration feature, but the CX doesn't have one yet. We'll update the review if one is made available in a firmware update.

You can see our recommended settings here.

8.0
Picture Quality
480p Input

This TV upscales 480p content well, with no obvious upscaling artifacts.

8.0
Picture Quality
720p Input

The LG CX upscales 720p content, such as from cable boxes, well with no upscaling artifacts that we noticed on past OLED TVs.

9.0
Picture Quality
1080p Input

1080p content looks almost as good as native 4k content.

10
Picture Quality
4k Input

Even though it has an RGBW pixel structure, there are no issues displaying 4k content since every pixel has all four sub-pixels in it.

0
Picture Quality
8k Input

This TV doesn't support an 8k signal.

Picture Quality
Pixels

With an RGBW pixel structure, the LG CX uses four sub-pixels, but all four are never used at the same time. This image shows the red, white, and blue sub-pixels. You can see the green sub-pixel in our alternative pixel photo.

8.6
Picture Quality
Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
Yes
DCI P3 xy
97.32 %
DCI P3 uv
98.71 %
Rec 2020 xy
71.67 %
Rec 2020 uv
75.65 %

Excellent color gamut. It has near-perfect coverage of the DCI P3 color space used in most HDR content and good coverage of the wider Rec. 2020 color space. It's very slightly improved from the LG C9 OLED.

In 'Cinema' mode, the TV follows the PQ curve well until it rolls off at its peak brightness. In 'Game' mode, it follows the target almost the same, but there's a sharper roll off, which you can see here.

If you find HDR too dim, you can change Dynamic Contrast to 'High' and you can see the EOTF here. Enabling Dynamic Tone Mapping is inconsistent in how it changes the brightness and it made the screen darker when we measured the EOTF.

7.1
Picture Quality
Color Volume
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage ITP
80.6 %
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP
44.2 %
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
61.0 %
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
33.5 %

Despite having an excellent color gamut, the CX's color volume is only decent. It can't produce extremely bright colors, but with a perfect contrast ratio, it can display dark, saturated colors.

8.6
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
10 Bit
Red (Std. Dev.)
0.083 dE
Green (Std. Dev.)
0.105 dE
Blue (Std. Dev.)
0.092 dE
Gray (Std. Dev.)
0.081 dE

Excellent gradient handling, but there's still some banding in most colors. Enabling the Smooth Gradation feature doesn't affect the gradient test, but can reduce banding. Unfortunately, enabling this feature can cause some loss in details.

10
Picture Quality
Temporary Image Retention
IR after 0 min recovery
0.00 %
IR after 2 min recovery
0.00 %
IR after 4 min recovery
0.00 %
IR after 6 min recovery
0.00 %
IR after 8 min recovery
0.00 %
IR after 10 min recovery
0.00 %

The CX doesn't show any signs of temporary image retention.

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. We're currently running a long-term test to help us better understand permanent burn-in. You can see our results and read more about our investigation here.

2.0
Picture Quality
Permanent Burn-In Risk
Permanent Burn-In Risk
Yes

Unfortunately, like most OLED TVs, the CX isn't immune to permanent burn-in. However, we don't expect people who watch varied content to have any issues, but rather it's a problem if there are constant static displays, like if it's used as a PC monitor.

This TV has three features to help burn-in risk. Enabling Screen Shift option, and setting Logo Luminance Adjustment to 'Low' may help with this. There's also an automatic pixel refresher that can be run manually if needed.

If you're concerned about burn-in and you prefer an LED TV, check out the Samsung Q90T.

You can read about our investigation into this here.

Motion
9.9
Motion
Response Time
80% Response Time
0.3 ms
100% Response Time
1.7 ms

The CX has a near-perfect response time, but unfortunately, motion still looks blurry. With the refresh rate at 120Hz, motion blur is noticeable in most content, as you can see here.

10
Motion
Flicker-Free
Flicker-Free
No
PWM Dimming Frequency
0 Hz

Update 06/25/2020: We incorrectly stated that this TV was flicker-free, it's not. Although the flicker isn't at all noticeable, there is a slight dip in brightness every 8ms.

This TV doesn't have a pulse-width modulation (PWM) feature and is technically flicker-free. There's a slight dip in brightness every 8 ms, which coincides with its refresh rate but isn't noticeable.

10
Motion
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
Optional BFI
Yes
Min Flicker for 60 fps
60 Hz
60 Hz for 60 fps
Yes
120 Hz for 120 fps
Yes
Min Flicker for 60 fps in Game Mode
60 Hz

Update 05/26/2020: 120Hz BFI only works properly in Game mode. Since BFI isn't available when G-SYNC is enabled, to display a 4k @ 120Hz signal with BFI, you have to disable VRR from the source and manually enter Game Mode. In any other picture mode, 4k @ 120Hz signals skip frames, causing duplications when BFI is enabled.

This TV has a black frame insertion (BFI) feature to improve the appearance of motion. To turn it on, set TruMotion to 'User' and OLED Motion on 'High'. The 'Low' and 'Medium' settings offer less aggressive BFI, resulting in a brighter screen.

Motion
Motion Interpolation
Motion Interpolation (30 fps)
Yes
Motion Interpolation (60 fps)
Yes

The LG CX can interpolate lower frame rate content, such as from movies or TV shows, up to 120Hz. This is known as the 'Soap Opera Effect' and helps improve the appearance of motion.

Motion looks clear with no visible artifacting. It interpolates 30fps content a bit better than 60fps content, but this shouldn't be very noticeable with real content.

See here for the settings that control the motion interpolation feature.

4.8
Motion
Stutter
Frame Hold Time @ 24 fps
39.9 ms
Frame Hold Time @ 60 fps
14.9 ms

Since it has such a fast response time, lower frame rate content can appear to stutter as each frame is held on for longer. This can be noticeable during panning shots.

Enabling the OLED Motion or motion interpolation features can help mitigate this problem.

10
Motion
24p Judder
Judder-Free 24p
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via 60p
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via 60i
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via Native Apps
Yes

Update 06/03/2020: We retested 24p judder with different BFI settings, and found that the CX is able to play back 24p content without judder, with BFI enabled, but only with certain BFI settings.

This TV is able to remove judder from all sources, such as Blu-ray players or native apps. When watching 24p content (like movies) with BFI enabled, the CX can still play them without judder, but only if BFI is set to 'Low', 'Medium', or 'Auto'. 60p content can also be played with BFI, without judder, but only when BFI is set to either 'Auto', or 'Medium'.

See our recommended settings to remove judder here.

7.9
Motion
Variable Refresh Rate
Native Refresh Rate
120 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate
Yes
HDMI Forum VRR
Yes
FreeSync
Yes
G-SYNC Compatible
Yes (NVIDIA Certified)
4k VRR Maximum
120 Hz
4k VRR Minimum
40 Hz
1080p VRR Maximum
120 Hz
1080p VRR Minimum
40 Hz
1440p VRR Maximum
120 Hz
1440p VRR Minimum
40 Hz
VRR Supported Connectors
HDMI

Update 08/19/2020: We confirmed that it supports HDMI Forum's VRR. With the Xbox One S connected, we disabled the FreeSync setting and enabled the G-SYNC setting on the TV. The Xbox showed VRR as still working, meaning it was working with HDMI Forum VRR.

Update 07/08/2020:Support for FreeSync has been added in the latest firmware update (version 03.10.20). It works as intended at 4k @ 60Hz, but we weren't able to get it working at 4k @ 120Hz using our Radeon graphics card.

The LG CX OLED has a 120Hz refresh rate, it supports HDMI Forum's VRR to reduce screen tearing, and it's G-SYNC compatible with newer NVIDIA graphics cards. G-SYNC stops working on all resolutions below 40Hz, and at 120Hz on a 4k resolution, there's some minor glitching.

For G-SYNC to work, the TV must be on 'Game' mode with Instant Game Response Time enabled.

Currently, FreeSync isn't supported, but if it's supported on a future firmware update, we'll update the review.

Inputs
8.8
Inputs
Input Lag
1080p @ 60 Hz
13.6 ms
1080p @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
97.0 ms
1440p @ 60 Hz
13.8 ms
4k @ 60 Hz
13.6 ms
4k @ 60 Hz + 10 bit HDR