The LG C2 and Sony A80K share a similar position in their respective lineups. They aren’t each brand’s best OLED TVs this year, but they share many benefits, such as excellent contrast and colour. If you’re looking for an OLED but don’t want to spend a fortune, these are two of the best options available.
Despite their second-tier status, the A80K and C2 are both impressive TVs with a lot of potential for gamers, cinephiles, and casual viewers. As luck would have it, both of these televisions are significantly discounted at the time of publication. If you’re having trouble deciding, we can help; we’ve spent hours testing both. Here’s what you should know.
As previously stated, these televisions have been marked down significantly since their release earlier this year. For the sake of context, I’m reporting both the original MSRP and the sale price at the time this is written. There’s no guarantee that these prices will remain the same by the time you read this, but I don’t expect them to rise much further in the future.
Sony Alpha A80K:
55-inch (Sony XR-55A80K), MSRP $1,799.99 (on Amazon for $1,298).
65-inch (Sony XR-65A80K), MSRP $2,299.99 (on Amazon for $1,698)
77-inch (Sony XR-77A80K), MSRP $2,699.99 (on sale at Amazon for $2,698)
The Sony A80K is only available in three sizes, the smallest being a 55-inch model. Right now, the 55-inch model costs around $1,300, while the 65-inch model costs around $1,700.
42-inch (LG OLED42C2PUA), MSRP $1,399.99 (on Amazon for $896.99).
48-inch (LG OLED48C2PUA), MSRP $1,499.99 (on Amazon for $996.59).
55-inch (LG OLED55C2PUA), MSRP $1,799.99 (on Amazon for $1,296.99).
65-inch (LG OLED65C2PUA), MSRP $2,499.99 (on Amazon for $1,696.99).
77-inch (LG OLED77C2PUA), MSRP $3,499.99 (on Amazon for $2,496.99)
83-inch (LG OLED83C2PUA), MSRP $5,499.99 (on Amazon for $4,496.99)
The LG C2, on the other hand, comes in six different sizes, including 42-, 48-, and 83-inch models that aren’t available in the A80K series. The 55-inch version, like the A80K, is currently available for around $1,300, and the 65-inch version is available for around $1,700. Given that both TVs are roughly the same price in each of their shared sizes, the LG C2 wins this category due to its three additional size options.
The C2’s panel is the first thing you’ll notice about it, aside from its impressive picture. It’s only slightly thicker than a typical smartphone at its thinnest point. Its chassis widens at the midsection, which houses the TV’s internals.
LG OLEDs are significantly lighter this year than in previous years, thanks to a lightweight, composite-fiber material and a new, lightweight stand. The pedestal-style stand is angled downward, with only a couple inches of space between the bottom of the C2’s screen and the surface it’s resting on. Taller soundbars may obscure your view of the screen due to the limited amount of clearance. The pedestal-style stand is replaced by a pair of wide-set, angular feet that sit near the panel’s corners on the 42-inch C2.
The A80K isn’t quite as thin as the C2 at its thinnest point, but it’s still thinner than almost every LCD TV I’ve seen this year. The A80K, like the C2, becomes bulkier around the middle.
The A80stand K’s is what distinguishes it the most. It does not use a pedestal and instead has three stand configurations to choose from, depending on your needs and preferences. The TV’s feet draw less attention to themselves in the two lower-set configurations, giving the A80K an elegant, sophisticated appearance. A third option raises the panel high enough above the surface to accommodate a soundbar (though you’ll still only have about 2.5 inches of clearance).
While I prefer the C2’s head-turning swankiness and whisper-thin panel, there’s no denying the A80versatility. K’s
Platform features and intelligence
Before we get into what differentiates these two OLED TVs, let’s look at what they have in common:
4K resolution (3,840 x 2,160)
OLED is the display type.
Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HLG are all supported.
Yes, Dolby Atmos is supported (native decoding)
Yes, eARC is supported.
120Hz native refresh rate
Color space: DCI-P3/10-bit chroma resolution
Yes, there is a variable refresh rate (VRR).
Yes, Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM).
Other features include: A/V enthusiasts and cinephiles will feel right at home with either TV thanks to G-Sync compatibility, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Apple AirPlay 2. Dolby Vision, one of the most popular HDR formats, is supported by both. Furthermore, both TVs can decode Dolby Atmos audio natively or pass it to Dolby Atmos soundbars via eARC in either the uncompressed (Dolby TrueHD) or compressed format (Dolby Digital Plus).
For gamers, the C2 has a significant advantage. While both TVs support Variable Refresh Rate, Auto Low Latency Mode, and G-Sync out of the box, the C2 supports 4K gaming at 120Hz (as well as the aforementioned gaming enhancements) across all four of its HDMI 2.1 ports. The A80K, on the other hand, only has two HDMI 2.1 ports that support these features, one of which also functions as the TV’s dedicated eARC port. If you own an Xbox Series X, a PlayStation 5, and an eARC-enabled device, you’ll most likely have to relegate one of your consoles to a basic HDMI 2.0 port with a 4K/60Hz maximum resolution.
Dedicated streamers, on the other hand, may feel more at ease with the Sony A80Google-based K’s smart platform, whose simple menus and quick speed make finding and accessing content remarkably simple. LG’s webOS platform is mostly fine, but the layout isn’t as refined and the navigation isn’t as quick.
If you’re a serious gamer, the C2 provides more assistance. If you’re a casual gamer—or don’t game at all—the A80more K’s sophisticated smart platform will likely be more important to you than its lack of gaming-ready inputs.
The primary advantage of an OLED TV is its contrast. The A80K and C2, like all OLED displays, can produce perfect black levels, which create a level of depth and clarity that non-OLED TVs can’t quite match. Because there is no light bloom, the illumination from brighter picture elements does not spill into their surroundings. Another advantage of OLED TVs is their ultra-wide viewing angles; their colour and contrast hold up better off-axis than any LED TV on the market.
Both of these TVs have fantastic colour, with the A80K covering approximately 99% of the wide HDR colour gamut (DCI-P3) and the C2 covering approximately 97%. Importantly, each TV includes very accurate out-of-the-box picture modes for picture purists who want their content to look as close to what the creators intended as possible. In other words, these TVs are not only colourful, but also close to reference standards.
The C2, on the other hand, outperforms the A80K in one crucial area: brightness. The C2 provides not only a brighter overall image in SDR and HDR, but also brighter specular highlights. On the C2, city lights in a skyline, sparks from an explosion, and reflections of sunlight bouncing off the ocean appear brighter than on the A80K.
For most people, the difference is subtle; you’re far more likely to notice it when you compare the two TVs side by side. It’s also worth noting that both TVs provide excellent image processing, with Sony TVs this year offering some of the best upscaling I’ve seen to date. However, if you want the brightest possible image out of the two, the C2 is the way to go.
The winner is…
While both of these TVs are impressive in their own right, most people will prefer the LG C2. It’s an especially strong contender for gamers, as its four HDMI 2.1 inputs provide more flexibility for those who have more than one HDMI 2.1-capable device connected. And, while the A80K upscales sub-4K content slightly better than the C2, the C2’s added brightness really makes its image pop, especially in HDR.
However, if you’re only a casual gamer and want your next TV’s built-in smart platform to be your daily driver, I’d recommend the Sony A80K. Google TV is faster and simpler to use than LG’s webOS.
Regardless of which of the two you choose, there’s no time like the present; these two OLEDs are currently on sale.