Our friends over at LG Australia a couple of weeks ago were friendly enough to lend Gaming Australia one of their latest models to check out - the 48" LG OLED EVO C3. Plus, they also sent us the SC9 Sound Bar + Sub too - which was also pretty neat. I only had these on loan for a short amount of time, so I tested out as much as I could.
Before I begin this review though, I should preface that from memory, I've never owned an LG TV. I'm sure I have watched something on an LG TV before, but personally I've not used one enough to make a proper conclusion as to if I rate the brand highly or not. Currently, I have a Sony Bravia & Sony Sound Bar as my main TV and sound for gaming, streaming movies + tv shows and YouTube. I have a Samsung TV in the lounge for general movie and tv show streaming as well. So, this won't be just the first time reviewing the latest LG product, but rather the first time reviewing an LG TV in general. So, here's what I thought;
I think it's safe to say that the TV market in the last few years has significantly improved the way we play, watch and stream. Especially with next generation consoles pushing the limits and quality of gaming. At a first impression after unboxing it all, the LG OLED EVO is much more slimmer than I had expected. It's sleek, and it's genuinely easy to set up (though I would recommend having another person help out if possible)
At the time of reviewing this I had nowhere else to put the TV, Sound Bar and Sub except for my lounge room table. So, I made do and even so, it still didn't make the room look too cluttery (at a glance though, the cables behind were a bit all over the place because I had nowhere else to put them, but I digress). Keep in mind too that this area in my house has natural light beaming through, so reviewing this TV did present some issues with more glare than I was expecting. During the night though? Excellent, no issues there.
As you can see below, the interface is pretty standard with already selected downloaded apps and hubs. I didn't really have much to comment about it personally as I thought it was neat, and fairly standard to me personally. It's easy to browse, and easy to click on whatever it is you're wanting to open.
The TV remote is pretty much Wii-like, but it was just a tad bit sensitive at first (at least to me anyway). For example, if I went to click on an app, the slightest movement it would instead open the app next to it. This only happened a handful of times, but once you get used to it, it's fine (it's just been a while since I've had any remote that's sensor based, like the Wii-Remote!).
Thankfully, as per standard with any remote though there's also just the button pads. On the TV remote itself, it has a variety of streaming service buttons including Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+ and Stan. It also features LG Channels, and Alexa buttons. The Sound Bar remote is much smaller, with access to settings and Bluetooth on the remote. The remotes themselves are simple to use with no over the top complexity issues that I came across. Just simple for anyone to pick up and use.
As I mentioned previously, I didn't have the TV or Sound Bar for a long time so I wasn't able to test out as much as I wanted to. I did however watch a bit of YouTube and Twitch. I did manage to also connect my Xbox Series X for a while, and played Senua's Sacrifice start to finish in one sitting, finishing off Pentiment, and of course some multiplayer on the Master Chief Collection.
I wasn't able to test out all my gaming consoles, but from what I found with my Series X, there wasn't anything negative about it. No blur, no lag, and every game I managed to play in the short time I had this, it looked gorgeous.
I was hoping for a little less glare in general from this TV in a bright room, but on the other hand The LG OLED EVO is much better suited in a darker or complete pitch-black room. Whether it's for movie night or a gaming session, if you're someone who usually games or watches in the dark, you'll have a grand time with this TV. With it's brighter and vibrant colours, this is where the TV shines best and shows what it's capable of.
Personally, I'm usually not one to watch or play anything in complete darkness for a long amount of time (as I find it hurts my eyes and gives me headaches) but in the time I did test it out, I still found myself pretty immersed. Not just visually, but with the sound too - the LG EVO OLED doesn't mess around here.
The LG EVO OLED also offers four HDMI 2.1 Ports, which in my eyes is always a good thing to have. I remember having a TV with just two HDMI ports, and it honestly started to be a hassle to plug, switch and unplug for each separate console. Nowadays it's pretty standard across newer TV'S, and it seems like LG are keeping four as the standard.
With any TV these days, you can have the option to use the stand, or wall mount. I usually keep my TV's on stands personally, but it's always good to have the option and switch over if you change your mind.
The SC9 Sound Bar provides an immersive experience, no matter what you're doing. I don't have any previous LG speakers to compare it to, but as far as the sound goes it's crisp, and picks up a lot of detail. Playing Senua's Sacrifice for example was incredible. This game is highly recommended to be played with headphones, and while I still only used the Sound Bar (as, well, I had to test it out!) I could still hear the whispers of Senua's psychosis as if they were whispering in my ears, and the sound design in general was amplified through the SC9.
LG has also introduced the "WOW Orchestra" speaker option, which basically uses both the Sound Bar and TV Speaker to create a larger, crispier soundstage. Not to mention as well, if you also purchase this matching Sound Bar, LG has made it super simple to integrate both the TV and Sound Bar into a single bracket under your tv for a more cleaner, and simpler look. The Sub can also just sit beside the speaker or near it. The TV Speaker on it's own isn't the best quality, so it's highly recommended to use a Sound Bar for the best experience.
Overall, both the LG OLED EVO and SC9 Sound Bar are a great addition in the next generation of OLED TV's and excellent, immersive sound. My only biggest issue was the fact that there is still quite a bit of glare on the TV even in a lit up room, whereas it's perfect in a darker room.
As I mentioned in the beginning of this review, I don't have anything else to compare this to personally, but I'm impressed with LG, and I don't think you'll regret making this purchase. If you've got a room that doesn't have a lot of light come through, I can confidently say you'll likely be happy with this purchase. If you're someone who's looking for the highest standard OLED TV on the market, I don't know if I can say that about this, but I can say the LG OLED EVO C3 is still an excellent TV.