To the naked eye, it’s often difficult to tell which TV is best. This is especially true when they’re all arranged side by side on a big wall at your local electronics headquarters or box store. Thankfully, there’s an easier way to tell which television is worth your while: Simply comparing their specs. Let’s take a look at two options from one of the biggest OLED brands on the market today: the LG C3 vs. CX. How do these two OLED televisions stack up against one another where it matter most? Let’s take a closer look below.
LG C3 vs. CX: Side-By-Side Comparison:
|Specs||LG C3||LG CX|
|Available Sizes||42″, 48″, 55″, 65″, 77″, 83″||48″, 55″, 65″, 77″|
|Refresh Rate||120 Hz||120 Hz|
|HDR||HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG||HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG|
|Ports||4 HDMI, 3 USB||4 HDMI, 3 USB|
|Processor||α9 AI Processor Gen6||α9 AI Processor Gen3|
- 4K resolution
- α9 GEN 3 AI processor
- Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos enabled
- 120Hz native refresh rate
LG C3 vs. CX: Key Differences
Considering the specs above, you’d swear the LG C3 vs. CX were practically identical OLED televisions. In reality, the two have many differences that set them apart. It might not seem like it, but the LG C3 vs. CX have more that divides them than unites them. From the processor to the available sizes, from the special features to the finer details of their internal specs, here are the key differences that exist between the LG C3 vs. CX.
The difference in processors between the LG C3 vs. CX is pretty staggering, to say the least. While both are technically a part of the same family, with the former sporting the α9 AI Processor Gen6 and the latter equipped with the α9 AI Processor Gen3, the three-generation gap makes a whole heck of a difference. (Think of it like the sheer amount of change that took place between the iPhone 7 and the iPhone X.) These few years between the C3 and the CX gives the LG C3 an enormous technological advantage over the LG CX.
One of the most innovative features included with the LG C3 is its Game Optimizer settings. Intended to boost the gaming experience with optimized settings for picture, refresh rate, sound, and more, the presence of Game Optimizer gives the LG C3 another leg up over the LG CX. The CX, by comparison, has no such feature available. With this particular OLED model, what you see is what you get — regardless of whether you’re playing a video game, watching a movie, streaming a television series, or watching sports.
Thirdly, there’s sizing to consider. The number of sizes available for both the LG C3 and the LG CX presents another opportunity to highlight the key differences between the two. The LG C3 comes in six different sizes in all: a 42 inch, 48 inch, 55 inch, 65 inch, 77 inch, and 83 inch model. The LG CX, by comparison, comes in just four sizes to choose from: a 48 inch, 55 inch, 65 inch, and 77 inch model. In effect, the LG CX offers fewer sizing options than the LG C3, making the C3 more accessible by comparison.
When you think of operating systems, you assume that most modern products can simply download and install the latest version (even if it isn’t the latest model). However, with some televisions — including some LG OLEDs — it’s not possible to update operating systems. In other words, what comes pre-installed is the one you’re stuck with for the life of the television. So: even though both the LG C3 vs. CX are powered by webOS, the C3’s version is much newer than the CX’s version. What’s more, the CX can’t update.
Quick Media Switching
With four HDMI ports and three USB ports each, the LG C3 and the LG CX offer plenty of space for video game consoles, media streaming boxes, Blu-ray players, and whatever else is included in your particular home theater setup. However, only the LG C3 offers the ability to switch quickly between inputs. The LG CX is not equipped with the same Quick Media Switching technology that the LG C3 has. This means that the LG CX is going to come with a lot more lag when changing inputs compared to the LG C3.
Lastly, there’s connectivity to consider between the LG C3 vs. CX. We’ve touched on the fact that they share the same number of ports: four spots for HDMI and three for USB. What’s more, both have the ability to connect to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. However, the LG C3’s connectivity options are much more up-to-date than the LG CX’s. The LG C3 supports Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2. The LG CX, by comparison, only supports Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 5. This gives the LG C3 yet another edge over its CX competitor.
The History of OLED
Though the LG C3 vs. CX debate might lead you to believe that OLED is a new display technology, one that has only emerged in the last several years, the truth is that OLED technology has existed in one form or another for decades now. Kodak — the company many would associate with cameras and photography before they ever associated them with television display technology — actually served as one of the earliest experimenters in the OLED industry all the way back in 1987. Known for creating the first practical OLED device, Kodak played a vital role in the history of OLED technology.
OLED stands for organic light-emitting diodes. They’re appealing for the way they make use of electroluminescence compared to relying on the standard LED or mini LED bulbs of your average LCD television. OLEDs derive their display power from the electricity that courses through the device. Compare this to an LCD television, which needs row after row of LED or mini LED bulbs to illuminate its display. OLEDs are organic, as the name suggests — this means that there’s a layer of organic compounds inside the TV panel that is able to light up by itself when charged with electricity.
In collaboration with television manufacturer Sanyo, a Japanese tech titan, Kodak was able to create the first functional OLED display right before the new millennium. Unveiled in 1999, this puny 2.4-inch display wasn’t exactly ready to be sold in your local electronics store. However, it was a step in the right direction. By 2002, they offered a 15-inch OLED screen. By 2009, nearly all the top brands had OLED TVs ready for market. (This same year, LG purchased Kodak to become the top OLED panel manufacturer.) It would take nearly a decade for the technology to truly catch on.
LG’s 2023 OLED TVs
Judging by the way LG continues to innovate their line of OLED televisions, it’s clear that the company has not let Samsung’s return to the OLED market scare them too badly. In fact, in January of 2023, LG took the days leading up to this year’s Consumer Electronics Show to show off their latest versions of their ever-popular C Series and G Series OLED televisions. They’re called the LG C3 and the LG G3, and both represent the latest and greatest in LG OLED TV technology to date. This begins with the inclusion of the α9 AI Processor Gen6: the most powerful processor in an LG OLED TV thus far.
This remarkable new processor helps the LG C3 and G3 deliver next-level upscaling and state-of-the-art dynamic range. (Not to mention superior surround sound, bringing 9.1.2 virtual surround sound to the C Series and G Series via the built-in speakers.) In addition to these features, the LG G3 also comes with an exclusive Brightness Booster Max feature. This feature consists of an ingenious algorithm combined with an innovative OLED structure, effectively delivering 70% brighter picture quality than previous LG OLED models.
As we touched on above, the latest entry in the C Series, the LG C3, has plenty of great new features of its own. From the Quick Media Switching VRR to the α9 AI Processor Gen6 to the improved wall mount offering zero gap between the television and the wall, the LG C3 is no less impressive than the LG G3 despite not offering the Brightness Booster Max feature. It’s also worth noting that, since the LG CX has not seen a new model since its latest release in 2020, the LG C3 looks even more impressive by comparison.
5 Must-Know Facts About LG OLEDs
- Even though LG makes 8K OLED TVs alongside their ever-popular 4K OLED TVs, experts seem to be in agreement: Now is not the time to buy an 8K TV. Sure, they look incredibly sharp and vibrant on paper, but there’s very little out there to make good use of the 8K resolution. No streaming services, no broadcast cable networks, no video game consoles… no one is working with 8K yet.
- One of the greatest appeals of an LG C3 vs. CX? Perfect blacks. In dark interior or exterior scenes, OLED televisions are capable of brightening or dimming individual pixels as needed. This includes going darker than any rival LCD television is capable of doing. It has to do with the OLED’s electroluminescence, which is far superior to an LCD’s ever-present brightness — even in the dimmest scenes.
- A particularly concerning disadvantage in the realm of OLED is the lifespan of the organic light-emitting diodes. A decade ago, an OLED television was only expected to go around 36,000 hours before quality began to decline. A few years later, LG had improved these numbers to 100,000 hours before loss of quality. They continue to work on improving OLED lifespan today.
- In addition to the superior picture quality, OLED TVs are also known to have much faster picture response time. In practice, an LG OLED TV can have a picture response time up to a thousand times faster than an LCD alternative. This feature is vitally important for the best picture quality.
- For years now, Samsung and LG have flip-flopped as the world’s leading OLED panel provider. In the early 2000s, Samsung had the advantage. Then, Samsung left the market and LG took the lead for much of the 2010s — only for Samsung to return to the OLED market and take control again.
LG C3 vs. CX: Pros and Cons
|Pros of LG C3||Cons of LG C3|
|Game Optimizer and Quick Media Switching||Pales in comparison to the LG G3|
|Six different size options||No Brightness Booster Max|
|Equipped with the α9 AI Processor Gen6||Much pricier than the LG CX|
|9.1.2 virtual surround sound specification||Sure to be eclipsed by 2024’s model|
|LG CX||LG CX|
|More affordable than the LG C3||No Game Optimizer or Quick Media Switching|
|Includes VRR||Fewer sizes to choose from|
|High refresh rate||Operating system is seriously lacking|
|Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos enabled||Processor is a few generations behind|
LG C3 vs. CX: Which Is Best?
So by now, it seems quite clear. The LG C3 surpasses the LG CX in just about every meaningful way. From its picture quality to its response time to its special features to its internal specs, the LG C3 comes out ahead of the LG CX from nearly every angle. It makes sense, considering the LG CX is a good three years older than the LG C3. If your CX is still working fine, then you might not need to justify an upgrade for a few more years. But, if you’re on the hunt for a new TV, then you really can’t go wrong with the LG C3. It’s the superior option of the two by far.
- LG OLED48CXPUB Alexa Built-In CX 48″ 4K Smart OLED TV (2020)
- 4K resolution
- α9 GEN 3 AI processor
- Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos enabled
- 120Hz native refresh rate
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LG C3 and LG CX: What’s new?
There have been a few updates to the LG C3 and LG CX since February 2023, including:
- Brightness Booster Max: The Brightness Booster Max is a new brightness booster technology that can increase the brightness of the TV by up to 70% in certain scenes.
- New processor: The processor is now the Alpha 9 Gen 5 processor.
- Price reduction: The price for the CX has significantly reduced in price since it was released, making it more affordable.
- New features: The new features include support for Dolby Vision IQ and for Variable Refresh Rate (VRR).
LG C3 and LG CX: What’s next?
LG is committed to producing top of the line OLED TVs. Here are some updates to the LG C3 and the LG CX receive in the next six to 18 months:
- Improved brightness: We should see these TVs have significantly improved brightness to make them better for watching in bright rooms.
- Wider color gamut: A wider color gamut will make the colors on these TVs even more vibrant and lifelike.
- Faster response times: Faster response times will make these TVs much better for gaming and other activities that require fast-moving images.
- Lower input lag: We should see these TVs have reduced input lag to make them significantly better for gaming and other activities that require precise input.
- Improved upscaling: We can expect OLED TVs to have improved upscaling to make lower-resolution content look even better on these TVs.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Grzegorz Czapski/Shutterstock.com.