LG C2 vs LG G2: Is LG’s Gallery OLED worth the upgrade?
Two of the best TVs of the year square off
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Before splashing out on one of these high-end OLED TVs, there are several important factors to consider. We’ve spent hours lab-testing both TVs to their limits to help you decide between the two. Here’s how the C2 and the G2 compare, from features to performance.
Updated September 15, 2022: The opening paragraph was updated to reflect that the G2 is our pick for Best Upgrade.
These TVs are still relatively new at the time of publishing, so you’ll likely have to wait a bit longer to see deep discounts on each model. Here’s how each series shakes out.
- 42-inch (LG OLED42C2PUA), MSRP $1,399.99
- 48-inch (LG OLED48C2PUA), MSRP $1,499.99
- 55-inch (LG OLED55C2PUA), MSRP $1,799.99
- 65-inch (LG OLED65C2PUA), MSRP $2,499.99
- 77-inch (LG OLED77C2PUA), MSRP $3,499.99
- 83-inch (LG OLED83C2PUA), MSRP $5,499.99
The C2 is available in six sizes: the standard 55- and 65-inch models, along with a couple of smaller models and a pair of larger models. The larger models are great options for those looking to upgrade a home theater, while the 42-inch model is sure to be a hit with gamers.
- 55-inch (LG OLED55G2PUA), MSRP $2,199.99
- 65-inch (LG OLED65G2PUA), MSRP $3,199.99
- 77-inch (LG OLED77G2PUA), MSRP $4,199.99
- 83-inch (LG OLED83G2PUA), MSRP $6,499.99
- 97-inch (LG OLED97G2PUA), price TBA
The G2 is less flexible on the smaller end of the scale; its most compact model is 55 inches.
One thing that might be relevant to a small contingent of shoppers: LG announced a gargantuan 97-inch version of the G2, the largest OLED ever made. Its price has yet to be revealed, but we reckon that this model will be at least $10,000.
Given the lower cost and added flexibility of the C2, this one’s a pretty easy call.
Our pick: LG C2
It’s not often that the design category carries the most weight in a head-to-head matchup of premium TVs, but I believe it to be the case here. For the C2 and the G2, the manner in which you plan on showcasing your new TV ought to factor heavily in your decision-making.
The G2 “Gallery” OLED gets its name from its design, as it’s intended to hang on the wall like a portrait. An optional stand for the G2 is sold separately, but it’s a somewhat inelegant setup that, frankly, feels like an afterthought.
But being designed from the ground up for wall-mounting has its advantages, and few TVs look better on a wall than the G2. Its ultra-thin wall bracket (which comes with the TV) keeps the G2 closer to the wall than traditional wall-mounting brackets, and its narrow, silver frame completes the art gallery look.
If you purchase the separately-sold G2 stand for a tabletop setup, you may be disappointed—as we were—by the amount of wobble it generates. (You’ll want to be sure that kids, pets, and tipsy party guests don’t get too close to it.) The optional G2 stand also causes the panel to lean backward, much like an easel. I imagine most folks will grow accustomed to the tilt, but it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea.
The C2, on the other hand, features a more console-friendly design. Every size in the series (other than the 42-inch model) features an elegant, pedestal-style stand that keeps the C2’s panel securely in place. (The 42-inch C2 offers a pair of feet in place of the center-fixed pedestal.)
The C2’s lightweight, composite-fiber material also makes it easy to shuttle around the house, should you decide to move it. And while the G2 needs to be thicker than most OLED TVs in order for its panel to sit flush against a wall, the C2 is free to be as thin as a smartphone at its narrowest point.
Although the C2’s super-slim panel would look quite nice on a wall, the G2 is a much better choice for wall-mounting due to its overall design philosophy. But the C2 looks better on a table or media console and doesn’t wobble nearly as much, making its design significantly more accommodating.
Our pick: LG C2
Features and smart platform
From a software and features perspective, the C2 and the G2 are basically identical. Before I expand on this further, let’s take a look at the long list of shared features.
- Resolution: 4K (3,840 x 2,160)
- Display type: OLED
- HDR support: Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLG
- Dolby Atmos: Yes (native decoding)
- eARC support: Yes
- Native refresh rate: 120Hz
- HDMI: 4x HDMI 2.1
- Color: DCI-P3 color space/10-bit chroma resolution
- Smart platform: webOS 22
- Variable Refresh Rate (VRR): Yes
- Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM): Yes
- Other features: FreeSync Premium, G-Sync compatibility, Game Optimizer, Google Stadia, GeForce Now, Filmmaker Mode, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple AirPlay 2, ASTC 3.0 tuner, hands-free voice control
Both TVs come with the latest version of LG’s webOS smart platform. From webOS’s dedicated home screen, you can choose from a wide variety of streaming apps like Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, Prime Video, and HBO Max. There are surplus apps available for download, too, should you decide to make webOS your main streaming hub.
The G2 and the C2 are gaming powerhouses in equal measure. Each TV supports both Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) and Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) for smoother, low-latency gaming. In addition, all four of the HDMI 2.1 ports on both TVs support 4K gaming at 120Hz with a bandwidth of 48gbps.
Cinephiles and picture purists will appreciate the fact that both TVs support HDR10 and Dolby Vision, a popular, proprietary version of HDR. Dolby Vision titles can be streamed on platforms like Netflix and Apple TV, and Blu-rays are often mastered for Dolby Vision, too.
While LG TVs no longer support DTS audio, both the C2 and the G2 can decode Dolby Atmos audio natively, and both can pass it via eARC to Dolby Atmos soundbars—either in the uncompressed format or the compressed format (Dolby Digital Plus).
No matter which LG OLED you spring for, you’ll be securing a TV that’s on the bleeding edge of home entertainment technology.
Our pick: Draw
Contrast is an OLED TV’s bread and butter. Its self-lit pixels allow for perfect black levels, rich color, and unparalleled viewing angles, among other benefits. The C2 and G2 are no exception; their infinite contrast is the foundational element of their exceptional performance.
While both of these LG OLEDs are sensationally bright for their class, the G2 delivers a brighter, more-colorful picture—just as advertised. In viewing these TVs side by side, you might not notice a difference in overall, full-screen brightness. Instead, you’ll see the G2’s punchier highlights, particularly during HDR content. The added brightness goes a long way toward enhancing the picture’s perceived depth.
Side-by-side, eagle-eyed viewers might also notice—as I did—that the G2 offers a slightly more nuanced color palette due to its class-leading HDR color gamut. It’s quite subtle, but the G2 is more adept at expressing color gradients. During testing, I noted that the green-to-yellow color shift of a toucan’s feathers were better represented on the G2 than on the C2.
Ultimately, the G2 is undeniably the better performer of the two, and its difference in picture quality will be appreciated by discerning viewers in search of perfection. If you set aside their difference in brightness and color volume, the C2 and the G2 offer similar performance across all types of content. Both TVs look incredible, but the G2 has a slight edge.
Our pick: LG G2
And the winner is…
For most people, the LG C2 is the better pick. It offers the same set of features as the G2 across a wider selection of screen sizes, and while the G2 is technically sporting a better picture, the difference in picture quality doesn’t quite justify the higher price tag.
If you’re planning on using a stand, the case for the C2 is even stronger; I would not choose the G2 over the C2 if I wasn’t planning to wall-mount my next TV. Of course, if you are looking for a TV to mount on your wall, the G2 is the best option on the market. Everything about it practically screams, “put me on your wall,” with the loudest of the voices being its questionable stand design.
Most people, however, won’t end up wall-mounting their next TV. They probably wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between the C2 and the G2 in their most-accurate picture mode, either. And, for what it’s worth, 48- and 42-inch TVs are far more popular than 97-inch TVs. For all of these reasons, the C2 is the better choice for most shoppers.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.