In the world of consumer electronics, there are a few constants. While we have seen new devices hit the market and an ever increasing desire to use smartphones, tablets or notebooks as primary screens, at the end of the day, nothing can quite beat the entertainment that a proper TV can.
It is why when you’re investing in a new panel to be the centre piece of your living room, you’re going to want something that is well sized and capable of handling what’s thrown at it.
With that in mind, we present to you the LG OLED 55CX Smart TV. It is one of a few OLED panels that the South Korean manufacturer brought into the country last year, and for the past two weeks, it has sat perched on our living room plasma unit as our primary screen of choice.
So what have we learned over the past two weeks? We discuss the 55CX Smart TV below, and why it may be the wisest investment in terms of entertainment you make in 2021.
Junk in the trunk
Let’s start as we often do for reviews, with the aesthetics.
This 55″ smart TV is a rather handsome beast, although we would not advise trying to unbox and set up solo. Sure you can do it, but this is definitely a two person job. This as much of the TV’s 23kg weight is found on the rear near the base. This is where all the components and electronics sit, along with being where you mount and screw in the base.
While this setup does make unpacking and putting together a little difficult, once placed on top of the plasma unit, it provides a weighty and solid base to provide peace of mind that the 55CX won’t topple over any time soon.
As for the set up process, that was relatively swift. We did not have to make use of an aerial connection, given that all our entertainment is digital or streaming-based, so that also cut down on setup time. Either way, once you’ve accepted the T’s & C’s and connected to WiFi, you’re good to go.
The version of WebOS TV operating system on this unit looks newly skinned, while also featuring some of the trademark elements we’ve come to know from LG. As such, getting accustom to the UI and settings was painless.
Deeper, richer colours
The other thing we noticed after unboxing the 55CX is how impressive the actual OLED panel is. Our personal TV also happens to come from LG, but it is a regular FullHD LED option and the difference when compared to the OLED variant is noticeable even though both units are sized the same.
This is because LG has ensured the 55CX is well appointed. Boasting a 4K OLED resolution of 3840×2160, every inch of the panel blooms into life when it is powered on. Added to this is a wider colour gamut compared to previous generations and the difference shows, particularly when watching live sports. As for gaming and streaming content, the Perfect Black technology as LG terms it, helps to ensure visuals remain rich and nuanced.
It was particularly impressive while playing Resident Evil Village and Cyberpunk 2077, which often necessitates fiddling with brightness settings on the older TV. On the 55CX, that is not an issue.
There are a few different picture modes on offer, many of which switch automatically depending on what you’re doing. Powering up a PS5 to play a game for example switches to HDR. There’s a specific HDR Game setting by the majority of the time we found the Standard option more than up to the task.
A Cinema and Cinema Home option is also available, with the former particularly pleasing while watching Castlevania and Master of None on Netflix.
Brimming with power
Powering many of these experiences is the α9 Gen3 AI Processor 4K onboard, which we found quite useful for motion blur while watching football. This was a problem we encountered earlier in the year on the Samsung’s 65″ The Frame Smart TV, which struggled to limit blurring as the ball was kicked around the pitch in real time.
On the 55CX, however, we did not spot any of that.
It isn’t a completely faultless experience though, with some of the UI elements not working as needed. If you’re switching between one application or platform like Netflix to DStv Now for example, the visuals free on the latter and you need to press back to wake the system up again.
Another curiosity is the lack of time being displayed when you head into settings or wish to switch between apps. There is also no option to display the time, despite trawling through all the setting options.
These are rather isolated incidents in which the 55CX Smart TV faltered slightly, and in the long term are not issues that would prove dealbreakers.
The LG OLED 55CX Smart TV currently retails for R21 999, depending on the retailer. That is not a small chunk of change, but that being said, other similarly sized or specced smart TVs command far higher price tags. While that may be out of the budget for some people, those who can afford it will be getting a truly impressive device that can sit at the heart of your home entertainment environment.
Featuring a vibrant screen that delivers superb visuals regardless of what type of content is being enjoyed on it, as investments in consumer electronics go, you could do a lot worse than the 55CX. If you are indeed wanting to upgrade from your current setup, this 2020 model from LG is well worth considering and comes highly recommended.
FULL DISCLOSURE: THE LG OLED 55CX SMART TV WAS SEEDED TO HYPERTEXT FOR REVIEW BY LG SOUTH AFRICA. IT WILL BE SANITISED BEFORE BEING COLLECTED.
LG OLED 55CX Smart TV
One of the more impressive smart TVs we've reviewed in recent years, the LG OLED 55CX features a beautiful panel and great all-around visuals to make it the centrepiece of your living room setup.