LG OLED C9 vs Sony A8G Review (OLED55C9PUA vs XBR55A8G, OLED65C9PUA vs XBR65A8G)
LG C9 or LG OLED C9 is the mid-range of LG’s 2019 4K HDR OLED TV. In this lineup, it sits between the LG OLED B9 and E9. Look at the last year’s model, it is the successor of the LG OLED C8. On the other hand, the Sony A8G is the lowest model of the Sony’s 2019 OLED TV lineup. It is replacement of last year’s A8F. In the market, OLED C9 comes in 3 screen sizes available including 55 inches (OLED55C9PUA), 65 Inches (OLED65C9PUA), and 77 Inches (OLED77C9PUB). Meanwhile, the A8G comes in 2 screen sizes only, which are 55 inches (XBR55A8G) and 65 Inches (XBR65A8G). With the same screen sizes (OLED55C9PUA vs XBR55A8G, OLED65C9PUA vs XBR65A8G), they are priced with almost the same price. So, what are the advantages offered by each and which is one is a better choice?
LG OLED C9 vs Sony A8G Key Specification
|Specs and Features||LG OLED C9||Sony A8G|
|Sizes Available||55 inches (OLED55C9PUA), 65 Inches (OLED65C9PUA), 77 Inches (OLED77C9PUB||55 Inches (XBR55A8G), 65 Inches (XBR65A8G)|
|Panel Technology||OLED Panel||OLED Panel|
|Dimming Technology||Pixel Dimming Level||Pixel Dimming Level|
|Image Processor||Alpha 9 Gen 2||4K HDR Processor X1 Extreme|
|HDR Support||HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision||HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision|
|Clarity Enhancement||Quad Step Noise Reduction, Frequency Based Sharpness Enhancer, Tru 4K Up-Scaler||4K X Reality Pro, Dual Database Processing|
|Contrast Enhancement||Object Depth Enhancer, Ultra Luminance Pro||Dynamic Contrast Enhancer, Object-Based Remaster|
|Color Enhancement||Intense Color, Billion Rich Colors, Advanced Color Enhancer, True Color Accuracy Pro||Live Color Technology, Precision Color Mapping, Super Bit Mapping HDR, TriLuminos Display|
|Motion Enhancement||Tru Motion Pro||MotionFlow XR|
|Native Refresh Panel||120 Hz||120 Hz|
|VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) Supports||Yes (HDR Forum VRR)||No|
|Smart TV Platform||WebOS 4.5 With ThinQ AI||Android 7.0|
|Amazon Alexa Compatible||Yes||Yes|
|Apps Store||LG Apps Store||Google Play Store|
|Remote||LG Magic Remote||Sony Voice Remote|
|Voice Navigation Support||Yes||Yes|
|Audio Channel||2.2 channel||2.2 channel|
|Total Sound Output||40 watts (Woofer 20 watts)||40 watts (Woofer 20 watts)|
|Speaker Configuration||n/a||Acoustic Surface Audio (Actuator x2, Woofer x2)|
|HDMI Supports||CEC, HDCP 2.2, HDMI 2.0, HDMI 2.1, ARC, eARC||CEC, HDCP 2.2, HDCP 2.3, HDMI 2.0, ARC|
|USB Ports||3 (USB 2.0)||3 (USB 2,3: USB2.0, USB1:USB 3.0)|
|Price||See the price on Amazon||See the price on Amazon|
Features and Technology of LG C9 and Sony A8G
Even though Sony A8G is a part of Sony’s OLED TV lineup, but like the predecessor A9F, Sony still uses 4K OLED Panel from LG Display. This can be said, the LG OLED C9 and Sony A8G use the OLED panel with same technical platform. Just like last year model, the LG’s OLED panel still use WRGB pixel structure. Why does it need white sub-pixel? As we know, each of sub-pixels of OLED panel can emit its own light. When it shows black, all of the sub-pixel will switch off. This allows the screen doesn’t emit a light at all, so the black produced is perfect. On the other hand, when it shows white, each of sub-pixel (RGB) will emits its own light maximally. Nevertheless, this will make white produced is too dim that makes the OLED panel lacks in the brightness. In this case, the white sub-pixel is required for boosting the white produced so the brightness produced will be brighter. Additionally, the white sub-pixel is also required for extending color gamut, particularly in brighter colors. That’s why, black produced by OLED TVs is perfect and far deeper than LED TVs, but peak brightness reached of OLED TVs is not as bright as LED TVs, particularly when compared to premium LED TVs.
Since Sony A8G and LG OLED C8 use the OLED panel with the same technical platform, their image processor becomes one of the main keys in this comparison. As we see on comparison table above, as its image processor, Sony A8G is powered by 4K HDR Processor X1 Extreme. This processor actually is not something new considering last year’s model like Sony A8F, Sony X900Fand others also already use this processor. In this year, Sony actually has launched a new processor called X1 Ultimate that offer some improvement over the X1 Extreme. However, this is only to be found in some models of Sony’s 2019 lineup like A9G, Z9G, and X950G. Nevertheless, the performance of X1 Extreme in processing images actually is also powerful. With some technologies embedded like Dynamic Contrast Enhancer, Object-Based Remaster, Precision Color Mapping, Super Bit Mapping HDR, Dual Database Processing, and others, the X1 Extreme can process the images fairly well excellent noise reduction, result in picture with excellent fine details.
On the other hand, The LG OLED C9 is powered by Alpha 9 Gen 2 image processor, the second generation of Alpha 9 processor we found on the predecessor OLED C8 or higher model. The algorithm of the Alpha 9 Gen 2 has been generated by AI that brings a significant impact on the picture produced. In analyzing the picture, this processor utilizes a database composed of millions of images examples. This allows the picture will be optimized based on the quality and type of content, result in excellent picture quality with exceptional noise reduction and image enhancement. In addition to it can up-scaling lower resolution content precisely, the Alpha 9 Gen 2 processor also allows the OLED C9 has some intelligent feature like AI Sound, AI Brightness and others.
As we see on comparison table above, both LG OLED C9 and Sony A8G have native 120 Hz refresh rate panel. This allows them to interpolate the lower frame rate content up to 120 Hz. Meanwhile, to make motion looks smoother and crisper, particularly when they are playing 60 fps content like sports of video games, both of them have an optional Black Frame Insertion. In OLED C9, this feature is called TruMotion while In A8G is called MotionFlow. Meanwhile, special for OLED C9, it also already supports VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) that allows a superior gaming experience. It also already supports ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode) that allows the TV can change in to low latency mode like Game mode by source request. And this actually is good for gamers. But unfortunately, the VRR that is supported by LG C9 is HDMI VRR where it is not compatible with G-SYNC or FreeSync. And currently, in the market, only Xbox One already supports HDMI-VRR. On the other hand, Sony A8G doesn’t support VRR.
As their major connectivity, both LG OLED C9 and Sony A8G have 4 HDMI ports. All of their HDMI ports already support CEC and HDCP 2.2. Even for HDMI ports of A8G, they also already support HDCP 2.3. Special for LG C9, all of their HDMI ports also already support HDMI 2.0 and HDMI 2.1 Full Bandwidth. This allows the OLED C9 accept 4K @ 120 Hz signal (HFR) via HDMI. Additionally, one of its HDMI ports (HDMI 2) also already supports ARC and eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel). This allows it passes-through the Dolby Atmos and higher quality DTS:X via True HD sound from external devices to AV Receiver. Meanwhile, for Sony AG, its HDMI ports which support HDMI 2.0 Bandwidth are only 2 ports (HDMI 2 and HDMI 3). And none of them are already support HDMI 2.1 Full Bandwidth. And of course, this makes the Sony A8G cannot accept HFR (High Frame Rate) signal via its HDMI ports. The HDMI ports of both LG C9 and A8G also already support most of Video Signal. With 60 fps content, they both support 1080p, 1080p @4:4:4, 1440p, 4K, 4K @4:4:4, while with 120 FOS, they already support 1080p, and 1440p resolution. And just we have mentioned, special for 4K @ 120, the LG OLED C9 also already support this signal while the Sony A8G doesn’t.
In addition to have the same number of HDMI ports, the USB ports of them are also same. Nevertheless, a bit difference between them, all of USB ports of LG C9 are USB 2.0 and none of them is USB 3.0 while the A8G has one USB 3.0. This means, 2 ports of its USB ports are USB 2.0 and 1 port is USB 3.0 (USB 1). Additionally, the both also have 1 RF IN (Tuner In), 1 Digital Audio Out (Optical), 1 Analog Audio Out (Mini jack 3.5mm), 1 Ethernet port, Built-in Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. They also already have 1 composite In (AV In) but to use this inputs, you must use an adapter. Fortunately, the adapter is included on its buying package.
Both LG OLED C9 and Sony A8G have 2.2 channel speaker systems with 40 watts of total sound output. They both have 2 built in woofer for improving the lower frequency or bass. But even so, that make the A8G is unique, just like the predecessor A8F or A1E, it comes with acoustic surface technology. Instead using of conventional speaker, the A8G utilizes its screen as a speaker membrane and the screen is vibrated by the actuator to produce sound. Sony claims, its actuator has been upgraded to deliver a wider sound field between bass and treble. In addition can deliver better sound quality than average TV speaker, this is impressed as if voices are coming directly from the actor’s mouth rather than a speaker unit below the TV. Meanwhile, for OLED C9, just like other TVs, it still uses conventional speaker. Nevertheless, the advantage of OLED C9, it can deliver Dolby Atmos experience without adding external sound bar.
Smart TV Platform
As their Smart TV platform, LG OLED C9 runs the latest version of WEBOS that is WebOS 4.5 while Sony A8G runs the Android TV 7.0, not the latest version of Android TV. Nevertheless, it is possible that he can be upgraded to version 8.0. The interface of them is well organized. But even so, in term of performance, the OLED C9 is faster and smoother than A8G. The performance of A8G with Android 7.0 is not even as smooth as other models like A9G or X950G that already runs Android 8.0 and is powered by 4K HDR X1 Ultimate Processor. In term of apps and features provided, the both provide a lot of interesting and attractive apps and features. As their preinstalled apps, they both have VoD service like Netflix, Amazon Videos, Hulu, YouTube, and more, Web Browser, Live TV, Games, and others. They both also have an apps store that provided tons of downloadable apps, games, content and more. WebOS comes with LG apps store while Android TVs comes with LG apps store. But even so, since it is supported by a lot of more developers, what provided by Google Play store is more complete and many more than what provided by Apps Store. For improving this voice navigation, Sony A8G has been integrated with Google Voice Assistant while LG OLED C9 is integrated with LG ThinQ AI. Additionally, they both also already support Google Home Assistant, Amazon Alexa, AirPlay 2 and others.
As their controller, both of them are equipped with smart controller. Sony A8G comes with Sony Voice Controller while LG OLED C9 comes with LG Voice Remote. Their remote is equally large and have a lot of buttons. Additionally, they both also have many features like CEC Menu Control, universal ability, and more. They both are also equipped with built-in microphone for navigation where their voice control also has many features. However, a bit advantage of LG Magic Remote, it has a “Point and Click” feature. With a clickable “scroll wheel” on the center, this remote can act as the pointer like a mouse pointer on the PC.
LG OLED C9 vs Sony A8G Performance
Contrast and Black Level
As we have known, one of the major advantages of OLED TVs including LG OLED C9 and Sony A8G is their perfect black level. Since their pixels are able to switch on/off/dim individually, this allows them has pixel dimming level. Or this is equivalent with a LED TV that has local dimming with the number of dimming zones is equal to the number of pixels. This means, if LG C9 and Sony A8G have 4K resolution, as if they have more than 8 million dimming zones. And currently, this is certainly very impossible for a LED TV. Since their pixel can switch off individually, when showing black, there is no pixel that switches on. The result, black looks perfect on their screen. Even when they are showing totally black, the screen doesn’t emit light at all. The pixel dimming level also makes the small highlight in a dark scene also looks very focused on their screen. This is due to the light of the lit pixels does not affect to the condition of the other pixels around it. The result, there is no “blooming” or unwanted adjacent light around the bright object. On the other hand, they both also have excellent black uniformity.
Combination of perfect black level, excellent black uniformity, great performance in handling blooming, this makes dark scene is looks great on their screen. Let alone with HDR content, shadow details looks excellently with a lot of information revealed. Furthermore, indirectly, their perfect black level also makes the darker colors can be shown very accurate. With what offered delivered by them in producing black, this certainly makes their performance in a dark room is great. Perfect for you who like watch movies in a dark room.
While their performance in producing black is equally outstanding, in term of peak brightness, LG OLED C9 can get a bit brighter than Sony A8G. With real SDR content, LG C9 can get brighter than 300 nits, while peak brightness of A8G is a bit less than 300 nits. Meanwhile, with test window, on the screen of OLED C9, small bright object around 2% and 10% of screen can be shown a bit brighter, while on the screen of Sony A8G, they are shown at around 300 nits. But just like other OLED TVs, their peak brightness is dimmed to around 150 nits when they are showing all area of screen is bright. Overall, in an average lit or dim room, their peak brightness may be easy to overcome the glare of ambient light, but in a brighter room, the OLED C9 can perform better in overcoming the glare than A8G. The result, in a brighter room, the picture quality displayed on the screen of LG C9 will looks more consistent than on the screen of A8G.
With HDR content, they both can get brighter. But just like with SDR content, peak brightness of OLED C9 also a bit brighter than Sony A8G. With HDR real scene, the A8G can get around 600 nits, while the LG C9 can get around 700 nits. Meanwhile, with test window, the brightest peak brightness of OLED C9 is around 800 nits where it is reached when it is showing a very small bright object around 2% of screen. Meanwhile, with the same size of bright object, peak brightness reached by A8G is less than 500 nits. But even show, when they are showing all area of screen is bright, its peak brightness is dimmed to below 150 nits by their ABL (Automatic Brighter Limiter). Can be ascertained, HDR images will looks brighter on the screen of LG OLED C9 than Sony A8G. Additionally, with far brighter peak brightness when they are showing a small bright object, the highlights of HDR images also looks more prominent on the screen of OLED C9 than A8G. But even so, since their peak brightness is less than 1000 nits, they both cannot show highlight of HDR images at 1000-4000 nits of brightness range intended by content creator. Nevertheless, for OLED TVs which indeed cannot get brighter than LED TV, their peak brightness can still be fairly good. OLED C9 may be able to deliver brighter HDR images than A8G, but on the other hand, performance of A8G in showing highlight is not also too disappointing.
Winner: OLED C9
LG OLED C9 actually can deliver a bit wider color gamut than Sony A8G. However, since they both use the OLED panel with the same technical platform, this is likely due to panel variance. There difference is not too significant, so this should not be noticeable in normal content. Ignoring their difference, their color gamut is equally impressive. Their color gamut can cover almost 99% of DCI P3 color space that means it is great for HDR content that mastered in DCI P3 like HDR10. Its color coverage in Rec.2020 is also good which is around 75% where it is wide enough to make colors of HDR images that mastered in Rec.2020 like Dolby Vision looks fairly accurate. Nevertheless, since the OLED C9 has brighter peak brightness, this makes it has better color volume than A8G. In producing dark colors, they both are able to show them fairly saturated with no issue. On the other hand, their WRGB pixels structure may allow them are able to produce bright white, but they cannot produce very bright saturated colors. Meanwhile, compare between them, since LG OLED C9 can get brighter, in producing very bright colors, it is also better than Sony A8G.
In term of color accuracy, LG C9 may be a bit better, but in term of color gradient, the Sony A8G is a bit better. But in general, their color gradient actually is equally excellent and the superiority of A8G is not noticeable in normal content. Color gradient of HDR images looks very smooth on their screen. Some little imperfections may be still visible in all colors, but this should not be noticeable in normal content. But even so, you feel the banding still bothersome you, they both have Smooth Gradation Feature that can help to reduce the banding. But on the other hand, this can cause a loss of some fine details in some certain scenes. Overall, their color gradient is great even better in comparison with Samsung’s QLED TV.
Winner: OLED C9
Side Viewing Angle
As we have known, one of the superiority of OLED TV in comparison with LED TVs is it has much better side viewing angle. Their side viewing angle may be not perfect. This is caused the color still gradually lose accuracy and started at around 49 degrees off center and front, the colors look washed out. But even so, in black level and brightness, there is only a little fluctuation at wide angles. The black level and brightness can be maintained up to around 70 degrees. But even so, although not perfect, what offered by the Sony A8G and LG OLED C9 is much better than LED TVs with VA or even with IPS panel.
As is typical of OLED TV, both LG OLED C9 and Sony A8G also have excellent pixel response time. Their pixel response time is far lower than the fastest pixel response time reached by LED TVs. The result, when they are playing fast moving images like fast sports, movies, or games, the picture displayed on their screen looks very smooth with extremely clear motion. However, on the other hand, this will cause stutter is noticeable for some people, particularly when they are playing low frame rate content like movies like 24p movies or 30fps content. But even so, the stutter will be less visible when they are playing higher frame content like 60 fps or 120 Fps content. If you feel the stutter bothersome you, enabling the Motion Interpolation or Black Frame Insertion can slightly help to reduce the stutter.
Since OLED panel has self emitting pixel, it doesn’t need backlight. And unlike the LED TV that uses a backlight for dimming their backlight, both LG OLED C9 and Sony A8G don’t use PWM (Pulse Width Modulation). The result, there is no noticeable flicker on their screen. Additionally, both Sony A8G and LG OLED C9 also an optional Black Frame Insertion that makes their backlight will flicker at 60 Hz. To enable this feature, on OLED C9, the “Tru Motion” must be set to “User” and toggling the OLED Motion, while on Sony A8G, the “MotionFlow” must be set to “Custom” and “Clearness” must be set to “High”. By enabling this feature, this will makes motion looks crisper, particularly when they are playing 60 fps content. As we have mentioned above, enabling this feature also can reduce stutter when they are playing low frame rate content. But on the other hand, this will introduce flicker on their screen that may bother some people. Additionally, enabling this feature will also cause judder when they are playing 24p movies.
Meanwhile, when playing 24p movies, they both can do a great job in handling judder. Regardless the frame rate of the movies, whether it is native 24p movies like Blu Ray or DVD movies, 24p via 60i signal like movies from Satellite TV, 24p movies via 60p signal like movies from streaming devices like Apple TV, Fire TV, etc or 60 Hz PC Signal, and movies from streaming devices like movies from apps like Netflix, Amazon TV. Etc, all of them can be shown clearly and smoothly with judder-free on the screen. But even so, to remove the judder without adding “soap opera effect”, on the A8G, the “MotionFlow” must be set to “True Cinema “ and CineMotion to “High”, while on the OLED C9, you just need to enable the “Real Cinema”.
Discussing about their input lags, the LG OLED C9 has lower input lags than Sony A8G in PC and Game Mode. With 60fps content, regardless the resolution, its input lags is less than 15 ms that means it is great for gaming. Meanwhile with 120 fps content, their input lags are even much lower, which is around 7 ms. This certainly makes it is very responsive when used for playing 120 Hz games. On the other hand, the input lags of Sony A8Ga are not as great as OLED C8. With 60 fps content, at 1440 and 4K resolution, their input lags are around 30 ms. This may be not as low as OLED C9, but it is still fairly low to make it is responsive for gaming. But even so, at 1080p resolution, its input lag is around 50 ms. This is actually still acceptable for casual games, but for fast paced games that require fast reflexes, its input lag is too higher. Meanwhile, with 120 fps game, its input lags are far better that is around 20 ms, make it is still responsive for fast paced games.
Winner: OLED C9
For Watching Movies
Since both LG OLED C9 and Sony A8G has perfect black level and excellent black uniformity, this makes them are great TVs for watching movies in a dark room, even for movies with a lot of dark scene like horror or thriller. In addition to perfect black, they both also have excellent motion handling, makes them can show smooth and clear picture quality with blur-free when playing fast movies. Additionally, their pixel dimming level also makes subtitle look excellent with blooming-free. Meanwhile, their excellent performance in handling judder also allows you to watch movies with judder-free experience. But as we have mentioned above, lack of blur can cause stutter that may bother you when watching movies. Even though the stutter can be minimized by enabling Black Frame Insertion or Motion Interpolation, but stutter cannot still removed completely.
For Watching Sport
Both Sony A8G and LG OLED C8 are also great TVs for watching sports, their instantaneous pixel response time makes sports looks clear with almost no motion blur visible. Additionally, they both also an option Black Insertion Mode that makes sports looks crisper on their screen. Not only that, their excellent viewing angle coverage also allows all of you can get the best viewing when you are watching a big game with a group of your family or friend. Until here, their performance is the same. However, when they are set in a brighter room, performance of OLED C9 is a bit better since it has a bit brighter peak brightness than A8G. They both may have excellent reflection handling, allow them to absorb the ambient light fairly well. Additionally, their peak brightness is also equally bright enough to fight the glare in an average lit or dimmed room. But since peak brightness of LG C9 is brighter, it can do a better job than A8G in overcoming the glare in brighter room.
Winner: OLED C9
In term of picture quality produced when they are used for playing games, their performance may be not far different. They both have excellent picture quality and excellent motion handling that makes the picture displayed on their screen looks crisp and smooth when they are used for playing games, even for fast paced games. Additionally, their excellent viewing angle also allows all of you can get the best viewing when you are playing a game with a group of your friend or family. However, just like when used for watching sports, OLED C9 is also a bit better than A8 when used in a brighter room. Meanwhile, in term of responsiveness, the LG OLED C9 is better than A8. Its lower input lags make OLED C8 is more responsive than A8G, particularly for 1080p games. Additionally, with VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) feature, OLED C9 also offers smoother gaming experience with less screen tearing. But a bit unfortunate, it only supports HDMI Forum VRR where at for this moment, it is only supported by Xbox One.But even so, there is not a perfect TV. Even though they are great TVs for gaming, but they have a risk of permanent burn-in. This means, to prevent it from this issue, play the same game for a over long time should be avoided.
Winner: OLED C9
Both of them also offer excellent HDR Experience. Their perfect black level makes shadow details can be shown excellently with a lot of information in a dark scene revealed. Additionally, they both also have wide color gamut, makes most of colors HDR images can be shown fairly accurate. Not only that, they both also can show 10 bit content with very smooth color gradient. Even though their peak brightness is still less than 1000 nits that certainly makes then are not able to show highlight of HDR images at 1000-4000 nits of brightness range intended by the content creator, their peak brightness is still brighter than 550 nits. As we know, for OLED TVs, the minimum recommendation to show HDR images fully is 550 nits. This means, they both can show HDR images fully like that recommended for OLED TVs. Meanwhile, compare between them, since LG OLED C8 has a bit brighter peak brightness, highlight of HDR images also looks more standout on its screen than on the screen of A8G.
Winner: OLED C9
|Performance||LG OLED C9||Sony A8G|
|Smart TV Experience|
So, which is a better choice between them? As we have mentioned above, with the same screen, LG OLED C9 and Sony A8G are priced with almost the same price. And we have discussed a lot of above, since it has brighter peak brightness, OLED C9 is a bit better when used in a bright room. Additionally, the lower input lags and VRR support also make it is better and more responsive when used for playing game. Meanwhile, the advantage offered by A8G, it has acoustic surface technology that makes its screen can generate sound. This makes the sound produced is as if coming directly from the object rather than a speaker unit below the TV. But even so, ignoring their differences, essentially, they both are great TVs for any usage. Now the decision comes back to you.