LG CX vs C9 OLED Review (OLED55CX vs OLED55C9, OLED65CX vs OLED65C9, OLED77CX vs OLED77C9)
LG CX and C9 or OLED CX and OLED C9 are parts of the LG’s OLED TV lineup C Series. As we have known, the LG OLED C Series is one of the most-anticipated TV in year to year. As we have known, the LG C9 is a part of last year‘s model while the OLED CX is part of the 2020 model. That is unique from the OLED TVs is whether it is lowest model that has economic price like B Series or premium model that has a huge price like G or W series, they use OLED panel that has the same technical platform. This causes quality of the picture displayed on their screen is not much different. Nevertheless, year after year, the newer model always brings improvements in features and technology over the predecessor and this also apples for the LG CX to the predecessor OLED C9.
In the market, the LG C9 has 3 screen size variants including 55 inches (OLED55C9PUA), 65 inches (OLED65C9PUA), and 77 inches (OLED77C9PUA). Meanwhile, in addition the screen sizes found on the C9 (OLED55CXPUA, OLED65CXPUA, OLED77CXPUA), the LG CX also comes in 48 inches variant (OLED48CXPUB). It is the smallest sizes of OLED TV LG have launched. And this also becomes a new breakthrough made by LG considering in previous years, the smallest variant of their OLED TV is 55 inches. Meanwhile, with the same screen sizes (OLED55CX vs OLED55C9, OLED65CX vs OLED65C9, OLED77CX vs OLED77C9) the OLED CX has more expensive price than the OLED C9. This is more caused that the LG CX still have almost a full price while the price of the LG C9 has dropped a lot due to it is a older model and its existence in the market has been replaced by the OLED CX.
LG CX vs C9 Specifications
|Specs and Features||LG C9 (OLED C9)||LG CX (OLED CX)|
|Resolution||4K (2160 x 3840)||4K (2160 x 3840)|
|Screen Sizes Available||55 Inches (OLED55C9PUA), 65 Inches (OLED65C9PUA), 77 inches (OLED77C9PUB)||48 Inches (LG OLED48CXPUB, 55 Inches (OLED55CXPUA), 65 Inches (OLED65CXPUA), 77 inches (OLED77CXPUA)|
|Dimming||Pixel Level Dimming||Pixel Level Dimming|
|Picture on Glass design||Yes||Yes|
|Picture Engine||Alpha 9 Gen 2 Processor||Alpha 9 Gen 3 Processor|
|4K Up-scaling||4K Up-Scaler||AI Up scaling|
|HDR Format Supports||Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLG||Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLG|
|Dolby Vision IQ||No||Yes|
|HDR Enhancement||Cinema HDR, HDR Dynamic Tone Mapping Pro||4K Cinema HDR, HDR Dynamic Tone Mapping Pro, Dolby Vision IQ|
|Contrast Enhancement||Object Depth Enhancer, Ultra Luminance Pro||Object Depth Enhancer, Ultra Luminance Pro, Face Enhancing|
|Color Enhancement||Intense Color, Billion Rich Colors, Advanced Color Enhancer, True Color Accuracy Pro, 4 Colors Sub Pixel||Intense Color, Billion Rich Colors, Advanced Color Enhancer, True Color Accuracy Pro, 4 Colors Sub Pixel|
|Clarity Enhancement||Quad Step Noise Reduction, Frequency Based Sharpness Enhancer||Quad Step Noise Reduction, Frequency Based Sharpness Enhancer|
|Motion Enhancement||OLED Motion||OLED Motion Pro|
|Refresh Rate Panel||Native 120 Hz||Native 120 Hz|
|Variable Refresh Rate Support||HDMI Forum VRR, NVidia G-Sync with near future update. (The 77 Inches model (OLED77C9PUB) doesn’t support any VRR technology )||HDMI Forum VRR, G-Sync (NVidia Certified), FreeSync is on a future firmware update, HGiG|
|Platform||WebOS 4.5||WebOS 5|
|AI TV (Artificial Intelligence)||LG ThinQ AI, Google Assistant, Google Home, Amazon Alexa, Intelligence Voice Recognition, AI Picture, AI Sound, AI Brightness, Apple AirPlay 2||LG ThinQ AI, Google Assistant, Google Home, Amazon Alexa, Intelligence Voice Recognition, AI Picture Pro, AI Sound Pro, AI Brightness, Apple AirPlay 2, Apple Home Kit|
|LG Magic Remote||2019 model||2019 model|
|HDMI Supports||HDMI 2.1 Full bandwidth (All), HDMI 2.0 Full bandwidth (All), HDCP 2.2 (All), ARC (HDMI 2), eARC (HDMI 2)||HDMI 2.1 Full bandwidth (All), HDMI 2.0 Full bandwidth (All), HDCP 2.2 (All), ARC (HDMI 2), eARC (HDMI 2)|
|RF (Terrestrial Cable)||1||1|
|Composite In (AV)||1||1|
|Wi-Fi Built In||802.11ac||802.11ac|
|Bluetooth Support||Version 5.0||Version 5.0|
|Total Audio Output||40 Watt(WF : 20 Watts)||40 Watt(WF : 20 Watts)|
|Dolby Atmos Support||Yes||Yes|
|Price||See the Price on Amazon||See the price on Amazon|
LG C9 vs CX Technologies and Features
It seems there are not may improvements offered by the LG CX over the C9 in their panel technology. With other words, LG CX still uses the OLED panel that has similar technical platform to the panel of the LG C9. As we have known, the OLED Panel has self-lighting pixel that can emit their own light without supporting by backlight. This means each pixel of OLED panel can switch off/on/dim individually without influenced by the condition of other pixels surrounding. This certainly makes the OLED panel has pixel dimming level. This is similar to LED panel with full array local dimming that has number of dimming zones is same to the number of pixel. If both of OLED CX and C9 have 4K resolution, this means they both have around 8 million pixels. If we refer to LED TV, this is equivalent to the LED TVs with around 8 million dimming zones. And this is certainly something that is impossible for LED TVs. That’s why the OLED panel can produce nearly perfect black that becomes its major advantage to LED panel. Additionally, in addition to black level, the major advantage of the OLED panel than the LED panel is its nearly instantaneous pixel response time and side viewing angle coverage.
Meanwhile, since the OLED panel is not too bright, to boost its brightness level, on its panel, there is an additional white sub-pixel to the standard RGB sub-pixel. The use of additional white-sub pixel may make its panel can produce pure white, but on the other hand, this will de-saturates bright colors, makes OLED panel cannot produces bright saturated colors. The other shortcoming of the OLED panel is it has a risk- to permanent burn-in.
One of the improvement offered by the LG CX as a newer mode over the predecessor C9 is on their image processor. Still use the same name, the OLED CX is also powered by the Alpha 9 Processor that also as the processor of the LG C9. But even so, the difference, the LD CX is powered by Alpha 9 Gen 3 or third generation of the Alpha 9 processor while the OLED C9 is powered by Alpha 9 Gen 2 Image processor or the second generation of Alpha 9. LG has claimed that the third generation is more powerful than the second generation. It offers upgraded in AI deep learning algorithm and power processing to improve image processing, picture quality, and up-scaling. The result, after converted to 4K resolution, HD content looks cleaner, more detailed look and more consistent than the predecessor. In addition to it up-scaling that has been based on AI-algorithm, the Alpha 9 processor also has ability to provide some AI-based feature such as AI Picture, AI Brightness, and AI Sound.
The native refresh rate panel of both LG C9 and CX is 120 Hz. This means, they both content with frame rate up to 120 Hz. additionally, this also make the are able to interpolate lower frame rate content up 120 Hz. In addition to native 120 HZ refresh rate panel, both of the LG CX and C9 also already support VRR (Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) technology. With 1080p and 1440p input signals, the range of their VRR is between 40 Hz -120Z. Meanwhile, with 4K signals, the VRR range of the CX is wider than the C9. If VRR range of C9 is between 40 Hz – 60 Hz, the maximum VRR of the OLED CX is like with 1080p and 1440p signals, which is between 40 Hz – 120 Hz. IN addition to HDMI Forum VRR, their VRR technology is also compatible with G-Sync that supported by N-Vidia Graphic card. Currently, they both don’t support FreeSync. Bu in planning, with a future firmware update, they both will also support Free-Sync. As we have known, the VRR technology can further improve their gaming experience by reducing screen-tearing.
Meanwhile, to further improve their performance when handling motion, both of the LG C9 and CX have an optional BFI (Black Frame Insertion) mode called OLED Motion on OLED C9 or OLED Motion Pro on LG CX. The difference between them, the LG C9 only supports a 60 Hz BFI mode while the LG CX supports both 60 Hz and 120 Hz BFI mode. To enable their 60 Hz BFI mode, you just need to set the “TruMotion” to “User” and toggling “OLED Motion” to on/off. Regardless the OLED Motion is set on/off, it always flickers at 60 Hz. On the other hand, on the OLED CX, the OLED Motion Setting has three options which are “High”, “Medium”, and “Low” and you should it to “High”. Set the OLED Motion to “Medium” or “Low” will make their BFI is less aggressive. And to enable its 120 Hz mode, you just need set it to “Game mode” and disable “TruMotion”. As we have known, this will help to make motion smoother. But keep in mind, in order to get maximum result, the flicker frequency of their BFI mode should be matched on the frame rate of the content. Keep in mind, enabling their BFI mode may make motion smoother, but since this cause their screen flickers at 60 Hz or 120 Hz, this may bother some people, particularly for them who are sensitive to flicker.
As their major connectivity, both of the LG CX and C9 have 4 HDMI ports. That is excellent, their HDMI supports most formats such as HDMI 2.0 Full bandwidth, CEC, HDCP 2.2, or even HDMI 2.1 Full Bandwidth. As we have known, HDMI 2.1 has wider bandwidth than HDMI 2.0. This allows them are able to play HFR content (High Frame Rate) through their HDMI port. Additionally, one of their HDMI port (HDMI 2) also already support ARC and eARC (enhanced Audio Return Channel). The support of eARC makes their HDMI port can accept high-quality object-based audio like Dolby Atmos via TrueHD. Additionally, they both also have 3 USB ports. But unfortunately, none of their USB ports are USB 3.0 that means all of their USB ports are USB 2.0.
IN addition to USB and HDMI ports, they both are also equipped with other connection such as 1 Tuner IN, 1 Composite In (AV In), Digital Audio Out (optical), Analog Audio Out (Mini jack 3.5 MM), and 1 Ethernet port. Meanwhile to connect on the internet or other devices wirelessly, they both have built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
Smart TV Platform
Just like other models of LG TVs, both of them run WebOS as their smart TV platform. But as a newer model, the LG CX also runs the newer version of WebOS, which is 5.0 versions, while the LG C9 runs WebOS 4.5. In term of layout and user interface, there are not many changes boasted by the 5.0 version over the 4.5 version. Their interface is really simple and easy to use. There are some rows of icons connected to different source you can customize or access them instantly and easily. When you highlight the icon of app, the second tier icons contains popular film or direct access to the contents will pops depending on an app you have highlighted. There are a lot of pre-installed apps provided. There are streaming services like Netflix, Amazon, Videos, Hulu, etc, Games, Web Browser, Live TVs, etc. In addition to a lot of interesting pre-installed apps provided, it also has an apps store called LG apps store that has good selections of apps, games, etc.
Additionally, both of these versions also already support voice navigation. In addition to LG’s own ThinQ AI platform, they both also already support Amazon Alexa and Google Home. And the good thing, all of them has built-in on both LG OLED CX and C9, so to use these apps, you don’t need to buy additional listening devices to take the advantages that offered. Meanwhile, special for the 5.0 version, in addition to the usual suspects like Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime, etc that also found on the 4.5 version, there are some addition new apps such as Disney TV+, Apple TV+, Apple Home Kit, etc. Additionally, they both also have Home Dashboard, which is very similar to Samsung’s Smart Things system.
As their controller, both of them come with a smart controller called LG’s magic Remote. Their remote is fairly large and has a lot of buttons. The LG CX comes with 2020 model while LG C9 comes with 2019 model. But even so, they are almost similar. There is not many change boasted by the newer model over the older model. Just like other remotes, it has a lot of buttons. There number buttons, power buttons, volume buttons, direction buttons, and etc. it also has two dedicated buttons to Amazon Prime and Netflix. In addition standard button you can use it like a regular remote, it also has clickable scroll wheel that allows you to use it like a mouse pointer. Their remote also already has built-in microphone that allows you to change channel, change inputs, search for content with your voice. Additionally, it can also act as a universal remote, allow you to control other devices with your LG remote via either HDMI CEC or IR connection. This means, not only CEC-supported devices that can be controlled by this remote, but also other devices that doesn’t support HDMI CEC.
In addition to picture mode likes Movies, Game, Standard, Dynamic, etc which also found on the LG C9, the LG CX also comes with two addition new picture mode. The first is Filmmaker mode. This mode has arrived through collaboration between the UHD Alliance and movie creatives, and is designed to recreate on the TV the sort of settings creators use when mastering content. Nevertheless, there actually is not much different between Filmmaker mode and LG’s Cinema Home.
And the second is Dolby Vision IQ. It actually is not new HDR format like HDR10+as the improvement of HDR10. This is only a feature that designed to make sure the resulting Dolby Vision image achieves a consistent look no matter the light condition of a room it is used. The TV will automatically adjust multiple aspects of the picture in real time based on the combination of an assessment of room conditions provided by a built-in light sensor and the extra HDR picture information and screen optimization elements of Dolby Vision. This means, when you are watching Dolby Vision content on the LG CX, the picture will be adjusted in real time in order to suitable with the condition of a room where it is used. Meanwhile, since it doesn’t have Dolby Vision IQ feature, on the LG C9, regardless the condition of a room where it is used, you will watch one kind of Dolby Vision content.
LG CX vs LG C9 Performance
Contrast and Black Level
As we have known, contrast ratio and black level is one of the major advantages of OLED TV including LG C9 and CX. The individual self-light pixels of their OLED panel makes their screen doesn’t emit light at all when showing black, makes black produced by them is nearly perfect. Additionally, this also makes their black uniformity is also nearly perfect. Meanwhile, since they both have pixel level dimming, small bright object in a dark scene can be shown fairly focused without blooming around it. In general, performance of the LG C9 and CX in producing black is very impressive and there is no LED TV can match their performance. And of course, this certainly makes dark scene or shadow details of HDR images displayed on their screen looks excellently, even when they are set in a dark environment.
With SDR content, peak brightness of the LG CX and C9 is not so bright and not as bright as high-end models of LED TV. With real content, they both can hit brighter than 300 nits, still bright enough to overcome the glare in moderately-bright room or dim room. Meanwhile, the highest peak brightness reached by them is on 2% and 10 window (2% or 10% of screen is white while the rest is black), which is around 450 nits. But even so, when the bright areas of the screen increase, their peak brightness is dimmed by their ABL (Automatic Bright Limited) to prevent from the excess power usage. Until when the entire screen is bright, their peak brightness even drops down to around 150 nits. This certainly makes the picture displayed on their screen doesn’t look obviously when they are set in very bright room.
Meanwhile, with HDR content, they both can get brighter than when with SDR content. With real content, the LG CX is able to hit around 675 nits while the LG C9 hit around 725 nits. On 2% and 10 % window where they both hit their highest peak brightness, the OLED CX is able to hit around 750 nits while the C9 hit around 800 nits. But just like with SDR content, when the larger areas of the screen get bright, their peak brightness is dimmed by their ABL. The larger bright areas of the screen, their peak brightness will further drop until on 100% window, their peak brightness drop to around 140 nits. For OLED TV, their HDR peak brightness may be only decent, but for OLED TV, their peak brightness is excellent. They both can show HDR images as bright they should be. They are even able to show small highlight pops in HDR, albeit their peak brightness is actually still below the target of 1000-4000 nits intended by content creator. In general, their HDR peak brightness is great for OLED TV, bright enough to make HDR images looks different to SDR images, particularly in term of brightness level.
Winner: LG C9
LG CX and C9 both have outstanding color gamut. Their color gamut coverage in DCI P3 color space is nearly perfect, which is around 97% in DCI P3 xy and 98% in DCI P3 uv. This means, almost all colors of HDR content that mastered in DCI P3 such as HDR10 content. Additionally, their color gamut coverage in Rec.2020 color space is also fairly good, which is around 72% in REc.2020 xy and Rec.2020 uv. This is actually also wide enough to show HDR images that mastered in Rec.2020 like Dolby Vision content so look colorfully. But unfortunately, their color volume is only decent. They both may have outstanding contrast ratio that makes them can produce deep darks colors and saturated colors excellently. But as we have discussed above, the use of white sub pixel on their panel may make them can produce pure bright, but this will de-saturate very bright colors, cause them cannot produce extremely bright colors. But even so, in general, their color reproduction is equally excellent, makes HDR images can be shown with full vibrant color.
In addition to excellent color gamut, both of them also have excellent color gradient. Their color gradient is even including the best. In some certain colors, there may be still some little banding, but this should not be noticeable in normal content. Nevertheless, if you still feel bothered with some banding that may be visible, you can enable “Smooth Gradation” to remove banding. But keep in mind, enabling this feature can cause some loss in fine details in certain scenes. But even so, it is a bit more conservative and has different behavior to the previous models like OLED C7 or C8 where the fine details can be maintained better on the screen of the LG CX and C9 than on previous models. Meanwhile, compare between them, the LG C9 has a bit smoother color gradient than the CX. But their difference is not too significant and we can ignore it.
Side Viewing Angle
Side viewing angle coverage is the other highlights that boasted by OLED TV including LG CX and C9. Its side viewing angle is great and better than LED TV, even LED TV with IPS panel or special optical layer like “Ultra Viewing Angle” on Samsung TV or Wide X Angle on Sony TV. Black level and brightness level of images can be maintained up to extremely wide angle, which is around 70 degrees off center and front. At certain angle off center and front, colors may still shift and look washed-out. But they are still able to maintain color accuracy of images at wider angle than LED TVs. The excellence, if on IPS TV or VA TV with special anti glare optical layer, they slightly sacrifice their contrast ratio to improve their side viewing angle, both of the LG CX and C9 have both, infinite contrast ratio and Excellent side viewing angle coverage.
The other outstanding performance that offered by OLED TV including the LG C9 and CX is when handling motion. This is caused their OLED panel has nearly instantaneous pixel response time. Their pixel response time is much faster than the fastest response time LED TV reach. When they are playing fast moving images like fast sports or fast movies, there is almost no trail following fast moving object. Motion may looks a bit blurry, but it is more caused by persistence. You need to know, their instantaneous pixel response time may make motion look clearly, but on the other, this can cause motion appears to stutter, particularly when they are playing low frame rate content like 24p movies. But even so, this can be overcome by enabling motion interpolation or BFI mode. Meanwhile, to remove persistence blur, they both have a BFI mode that flickers their screen at either 60 Hz or 120 Hz. You need to know, as default, to dim their screen, they both don’t use PWM dimming system. This makes their screen is almost flicker-free. Meanwhile, enabling their BFI mode will cause their screen flickers at 60 Hz or 120 Hz, depending on setting. This will help to make motion clearer, but on the other, this will cause their screen flicker is noticeable by some people, particularly for them who sensitive to flicker.
Additionally, when playing 24p movies, they both can also do a great job. Regardless the source, all of them will be shown clearly with judder-free. To remove the judder, you just need to enable “Real Cinema” while their BFI must be disabled. Keep in mind, enabling “Real Cinema” while the OLED Motion or BFI is enabled will cause be always 24p judder.
Both of the LG CX and C9 also have excellent input lags in Game mode. With 60 fps content, regardless the resolution is 1080p, 1440p, 4K, 4K with HDR, or 4K @ 4:4:4, their input lags are around 14 ms. Meanwhile, with 120 fps content, their input lags are even faster, which is around 7 ms at both 1080p and 1440p resolution. Furthermore, when their VRR is enabled, their input lags are also excellent, which is around 7ms on both 1080p. However, on 4K resolution, the input lag of the CX in VRR mode is a bit lower, which is around 11 ms compared to the C9 that has around 16 ms. With their low input lags, can be ascertained that both of them are very responsive when used to play any games that certainly will please most gamers. Furthermore, they both also support VRR technology that compatible with HDMI Forum, HGiG, N-Vidia GSync, and may be also FreeSync with a future firmware upgrade, this certainly will further improve their game performance. And lastly, their HDMI ports also already support ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode), allow them are able to automatically change to game mode once they detect a game signal from compatible console. So, you don’t need to manually change to Game Mode when playing game.
For watching movies
Just like other models of OLED TV, both of LG OLED CX and OLED C9 are great TVs for watching movies in a dark room. Combination of their nearly perfect black and outstanding black uniformity makes dark scene can be shown excellent on their screen. Additionally, their dimming pixel level also makes them are able to show highlights such as subtitle in movies looks excellently without blooming surrounding. Furthermore, although their SDR peak brightness is not too bright, in a dark room, their peak brightness is bright enough to show bright images. And lastly, their good great performance in handling 24p judder allows you to watch any movies with judder-free, regardless the source.
For watching Sports
As long as they both don’t be used in a very bright room, their performance when used for watching sports is also excellent. Their peak brightness is bright enough to fight the glare in most bright rooms, allow you to watch sports in moderate light or dim room. Additionally, their excellent performance in handling motion also allows you to watch fast sports like F1 or Moto GP with clear picture quality. And finally, their wide viewing angle coverage allows you to watch a big game with a group of your family or friend from any viewing angle without losing picture quality. But unfortunately, in a very bright room, their peak brightness is not bright enough to fight the glare.
Their performance when used for playing video games is also equally excellent. IN addition they both have excellent picture quality and good motion handling that allows you to play game with excellent picture quality and smooth motion, they both also have low input lags in Game mode. This makes them are very responsive for any games. No matter you play casual or fast paced games, 1080p, 1440p, or 4K games, with HDR or not, you will play them responsively. Let alone they both already supports VRR technology that compatible with some gaming features, this will further please you. But keep in mind, one of the major shortcomings of OLED TV is risk of permanent burn-in, particularly when they are showing static images for a long time. Since most games have static image, play the same game for over long time should be avoided to prevent their screen from permanent burn-in.
As long as they are used in a moderate-light room or dim room, their HDR performance is really good. Their perfect black and excellent black uniformity makes details in a dark scene can be revealed well, allows you to watch dark scene of HDR images with more detail look the way they should in HDR. Additionally, even though they both cannot produce very bright colors, but combination of their wide color gamut and smooth color gradient makes color of HDR images can be shown accurately and smoothly. They both actually also has good HDR peak brightness, make them are able to bring out highlight in HDR the way they should be. But as we have discussed above, to show HDR images with brightness level like intended by content creator, their peak brightness is not bright enough. Overall, HDR performance of LG CX and C9 is great, except when they are used in a very bright room with a lot of window or lights.
As we have discussed a lot above, there is almost no significant improvement in performance offered by the LG CX over the C9. Even in some aspects like HDR peak brightness, its performance is a bit worse than the predecessor. Fortunately, the decline in some aspects doesn’t have a significant impact on the quality of the picture offered. Meanwhile, the improvement offered by the OLED CX is precisely on their feature such as Dolby Vision IQ, FilmMaker mode, AI-based up-scaling engine, etc. So, which is a better choice between them? Considering their performance is almost similar and the LG C9 is sold cheaper, if you only focus on picture quality, I thing the OLED C9 is better. Cheaper price is the only reason why the C9 is better choice. But even so, it has been discontinued and its presence in market has been replaced by LG CX. On the hand, if you want newer model with all new features offered, the LG CX is also a good choice.