Your wallet may just adore LG's new A1 OLED series
This might be the year OLED TVs truly become mainstream.
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However, one of the most exciting LG OLED TVs for 2021—the new A1 series—isn't exciting because of what it adds. It's exciting because of what it takes away.
We've loved OLED for years. The emissive-style display tech looks incredible in a phone or tablet, but is truly jaw-dropping in a TV. That's one reason LG OLEDs keep topping our list of the best TVs you can buy, year after year. Yet OLED has one major drawback: it's a newer tech with few proprietary manufacturers, meaning any given OLED TV is pricier than an LED/LCD TV of the same size.
With the A1 series, LG is finally feeling settled enough into OLED production to specialize. Generally, OLED TVs come packed to the gills with the best new AV features and components a company can swing; they're premium from corner to corner. But with the A1 series, LG wants to deliver the steak without all the extra sizzle. Here's how it shakes out:
- The LG A1 OLED series will be available in a wider range of sizes than we've seen in previous years. There should be 48-, 55-, 65-, and 77-inch models available.
- The A1 doesn't jump up to the newest 4th Gen. A9 processor, but uses the older A7 processor.
- The A1 doesn't have HDMI 2.1 ports, but instead uses the older HDMI 2.0b inputs.
- The A1 is capped at a 50/60 Hz refresh rate, and doesn't have the newer/brighter "OLED Evo" panel.
What does this mean for interested buyers? Essentially it means you're getting a perfectly serviceable 4K/HDR TV here, but one that isn't kitted out optimally for video games. The A1 models won't be as fast and snappy overall as the other 2021 LG OLEDs, but these sacrifices allow LG to keep the starting price a lot lower.
How much lower? It's hard to say, but we wouldn't be surprised if both the 48- and 55-inch versions of the A1 launched around or less than $1,000. Last year, Vizio debuted its first OLED, with the 55-inch available at a starting price of $1,300. We would not be surprised if the A1 dips lower than that—otherwise, what's the point?
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.