Review: 2020 LG 65 CX OLED TV

    After recently reviewing LG’s new 2020 NanoCell TV, it was a great opportunity to back-to-back that with their premium OLED TV. Naturally, the top-end models come with bigger price tags, so the question really is, what are you getting for the extra money?

    With both TVs being 65″ in size, the biggest difference between the two is really the display technology. The CX model comes from LG’s OLED line of TVs and to say the black levels are amazing would be an understatement. In a dark room, the black areas of the screen are really indistinguishable from the surrounding room and the wall behind it.

    Unlike LED backlighting, OLED has no light emitted where the image contains black areas, the pixel itself is not illuminated. This precise level of control over the display’s illumination, means you get a different viewing experience.

    As humans, we can be easily distracted and taken out of immersive experiences like watching movies, when things aren’t right. When a scene is shot in a dark environment and you notice the screen is grey, when it should be black, it takes your focus away from the cinematography, the suspense, the storyline and the score.

    Something that surprised me the most with this display is just how bright it could go. Most of the review was conducted in our Rumpus and while it can be light controlled, plenty of viewing was done during the day with the blinds open. Even with sunlight beaming into the room from 2 sets of windows, the OLED was still really visible and offered up an incredible colour spectrum.


    What bezels?

    When it comes to design, we are all pretty aware that OLED displays are among the thinnest displays on the market. While the top 2/3rds of the display was amazingly thin, there was a surprisingly thick base to the display.

    For many people and most installations, this won’t be a problem, but it is worth noting that this is much thicker than something like the LG OLED wallpaper TV that sits flush against your wall.

    Most homeowners these days, plan for a wall-mount installation and the cables coming out of the wall will likely be the limiting factor, as to how close it can be to the wall, but it’s something I was surprised to see.

    Compared to the cheaper NanoCell range, the OLED is much thinner, so it is all relative to where you’re coming from. I only mention the thickness as this price point represents the best of the best, so expectations are incredibly high.

    In terms of the bezel on the display, it’s incredibly tiny. This means the image displayed, consumes almost the entire front face of the TV. This not only looks great, but also avoids any possible distractions, it’s just pixels.

    LG also run the black bezels which I really love and helps frame the image like a piece of art, while some manufacturers go for a silver bezel, I definitely prefer black, which allows the black pixels to be indistinguishable from the border.


    How does it perform ?

    Measuring the performance of the TV really comes down to two main tests. How fast is the panel, most relevant when watching sports or playing games on the display and also how responsive the interface is. Given the LG 65CX OLED TV is near the top of the model list, you’d expect exceptional performance and I have to say I was seriously impressed.

    From TV startup time to navigating around the interface and calling upon the voice assistant, the TV UI generally feels really fast, and allows you to rapidly dart between apps or input sources. This is most beneficial when flicking between content across streaming services. Armed with the right internet connection, switching between Netflix and YouTube, or Amazon Prime Video and OTA TV is an absolute breeze.

    When it comes to gaming, there are few things more intense you can throw at a display than the requirements demanded by a modern 4K video game. If you connect a gaming PC with an Nvidia G-Sync compatible graphics card, then you’ll get an amazing experience. The graphics resolution is amazing, the colours are amazing, lighting amazing and most importantly, there’s no screen tearing, even during the fastest scenes. This is easily the best TV gaming experience I’ve had to date.

    If you’re on the AMD side of the gaming world, not to worry, LG have also included support for AMD FreeSync Premium, all designed to deliver fast gaming with ultra-low latency. The difference between gaming on a gaming monitor versus this OLED, is very quickly becoming irrelevant.


    Stand out features of this display.

    This TV is not only great for watching movies but thanks to some stunning image quality, low-input lag and amazing colour reproduction, the 65CX is also fantastic for gaming. Whether you connect the Xbox or PlayStation, or even full-blown gaming PC, you won’t be disappointed. Typically TVs struggle to compete with monitors when it comes to gaming, but you can absolutely have a great experience when playing games of all genres, be it strategy, racing, or first-person shooter. Given the size of the 65″ model, it provides a great level of immersion.

    LG’s 65CX OLED TV runs the same WebOS software, which runs on their cheaper models. The difference really comes in the form of a different processor. Being in their top-tier of displays, LG includes an Alpha 9 Gen3 AI Processor 4K processor which means the UI is just a little bit faster as compared to the NanoCell reviewed earlier.

    Interacting with our TVs using voice is increasingly becoming a great option and thankfully manufacturers are no longer pushing their own voice assistant, instead, opting to include the best in the business. LG has included support for both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa with this TV, which allows you to choose your favourite. By now most people have chosen the voice assistant for their smart homes and it’s great that users no longer have to decide. I often turn on, turn off the TV using voice commands because that’s simply far more convenient than looking for remote control. In reality, there’s a growing list of functions you can call up with your voice.

    With support for HDMI 2.1, the CX can support 4K with HDR at 120fps with a variable refresh rate. There’s also the new eARC, perfect for connecting that new Sonos Arc soundbar. You’ll also find support for no less than 3 HDR formats (Dolby Vision, HDR10 and HLG), along with HDR10 Pro support. There are 10 standard picture modes including Filmmaker mode, along with 5 Dolby Vision picture modes, to ensure you’re seeing content exactly how the director intended it.



    Not everything’s perfect

    There is really not much to complain about with a display of this quality. With a premium price tag, it’s possible to include amazing image quality, a great processor to power a really slick user experience.

    My biggest complaint really is around that remote. It’s the thing I liked the least from the TV, however, you do have the option to control the UI from the mobile app, so I found myself, often using that instead. While the TV’s design is pretty slick, the remote feels like a real afterthought and not something representative of the premium price tag. I really hope LG revisit this in next year’s models.

    My only other complaint is around the thickness of the lower part of the display. We all know the OLED panels are ultra-thin, but the section where the brains of the TV are is 3-4x than the width of the glass. I’d actually prefect the components were distributed across the entire back of the display, allowing them to be thinner (let’s say 1-2x thicker than the glass). The overall goal here is to get the TV as close to the wall as possible and with a thicker lower quarter, that’s simply not possible.



    How much and when can you get one ?

    The LG CX 65 inch 4K Smart Self-Lit OLED TV w/ AI ThinQ, is available now from LG directly, or from one of their retail partners.

    Available in 55″, 65″ and 75″, the 65″ model we reviewed comes with a Recommended Retail Price of A$5,399. If you hunt around, you can find it substantially cheaper than that, however being in their premium tier of TVs, naturally, it attracts a premium price.


    Final thoughts

    Hanging on the wall in my living room is a 65″ QLED TV from Samsung, a couple of years old now, but still really impressive. I had expected LG’s OLED to blow it out of the water, but to be honest, I’m really impressed with how it holds up. Both offer stunning black levels which result in amazing colours and the 4K resolution provides outstanding image quality.

    If you had the two displays side-by-side, I’m sure the LG would be marginally better, but the reality is, you’re going to be upgrading from a 4-5 year old TV, so replacing it with anything made in 2020 would be a massive upgrade. The question with the CX is really if it can justify the fairly steep price tag.

    LG expects this CX model to be one of their best sellers this year and it’s easy to see why. It offers absolutely stunning visuals, and while it’s in the premium line of OLEDs, it’s not the most expensive. While many will lust after the flagship 8K models, the reality is most this year will still be buying 4K and the CX is a great choice.

    More information at LG.

    Jason Cartwright
    Jason Cartwright
    Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021

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