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LG’s cheapest OLED TVs reviewed in time for Black Friday

In 2021 we've seen some of the cheapest OLED TVs ever, but is LG's A1 range as good as more expensive models?

LG’s cheapest OLED TVs reviewed in time for Black Friday

OLEDs are bound to be a major fixture of Black Friday as people look for a cheap deal on typically expensive TVs.

LG is the leading brand when it comes to OLEDs. It makes more of them than any other brand and, in 2021, it’s made an OLED range that cost less than almost any other.

The A1 range is made up of the 48-inch OLED48A16LA, the 55-inch OLED55A16LA and the 65-inch OLED65A16LA. We’ve reviewed all of them to see if LG can maintain its high standards while charging less.


  • The A1 range represents less than 2% of all the TVs we’ve tested in 2021. You can use our expert TV reviews to quickly and easily find the best model for your budget.
  • Looking for a deal? See our expert pick of the best Black Friday TV deals.

LG’s OLED A1 vs B1 vs C1

The A1 range may be the cheapest OLEDs LG has ever made, but they still aren’t exactly a bargain. Before we dive into the details, we thought we’d compare them to LG’s other OLEDs to see how they all differ.

A1 range B1 range C1 range
Price (for 55-inch model) £899 £1,099 £1,199
Resolution 4K 4K 4K
HDR formats supported HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision IQ HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision IQ HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision IQ
Processor Alpha 7 Gen 4 processor Alpha 7 Gen 4 processor Alpha 9 Gen 4 processor
HDMI inputs Three Four Four
USB ports Two Three Three
Screen refresh rate 60Hz 120Hz 120Hz
PVR Single tuner Single tuner Single tuner
VRR No Yes Yes

LG’s specs explained

The three ranges aren’t wildly different, but there are some notable changes, particularly if you’re going to play games on your OLED.

  • Processor: this is the beating heart of a TV and it’s largely responsible for making the picture look as beautiful as possible. It’s also important for upscaling to help lower resolution footage look 4K. The A1 and B1 have the same processor, but the Alpha 9 in the C1 should lead to better picture quality.
  • Screen refresh rate: this is how many times the screen can refresh the image every second. TV and film don’t need a higher refresh rate than 60, but some games look best at 120 frames per second, which you need a 120Hz screen for. It will help games look smoother. An easy way to think of it is stop motion animation where you see each individual movement. If you moved the object 60 times a second it wouldn’t look as smooth as if it was moved 120 times.
  • VRR – this is another gaming-focused feature. It stands for virtual refresh rate and it can adjust the refresh rate dynamically so games don’t appear to stutter if the frames per second dip below 60 or 120.

There are some other differences, too. The C1 range has AI picture pro and AI sound pro, while the B1 and A1 models get the same feature, but without the pro bit.

All TVs have software like this to differentiate pricier models from cheaper ones. Sometimes they make a significant difference to the score and sometimes we don’t think they impact the quality of a TV at all.


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Are the LG A1 OLEDs any good?

LG OLED48A16LA 4K OLED TV

That’s enough about how they compare – you want to know if the LG A1 OLEDs are worth buying.

Clearly, if you’re planning on hooking up an Xbox Series X/S or a PlayStation 5, then the A1 range may not be your best bet. The 60Hz display and lack of VRR means these TVs aren’t going to make the most of the latest consoles and the stunning games they can play.

There are some quirks with the operating system that we aren’t a fan of, particularly considering how excellent LG’s TV menus used to be. Settings are bundled into pages they don’t really belong in and the navigation arrows are hidden until you hover on them.

We didn’t like how obtrusive ads and trailers are on the smart home screen either.

As you’d expect for an OLED, the contrast is good and nicely balanced. Blacks feel deep, full and nicely distinct from brighter parts of the picture. It’s smooth, too. Even without the 120Hz display, we thought fast action sequences and long pans were handled well.

Ultimately, the A1 range may be cheap for OLEDs, but they are still costly TVs and they need to sound good and look pin-sharp to justify costing close to £1,000. You can read our reviews of all three for more details and to see if they are worth the price.


Narrow your search by looking at our pick of the very best TVs currently available


Other lower-priced OLED TVs

The cheaper end of the OLED market isn’t exactly overflowing with options, but there is one courtesy of Philips.

Philips OLED705 range

Philips cheapest OLED range matches the A1 range for price (the 55-inch model anyway) and some specs. It has a higher refresh rate screen at 120Hz and supports similar HDR formats. It has Dolby Vision rather than Dolby Vision IQ, which means the HDR picture can’t react to ambient light in the room.

We’ve tested the 55- and 65-inch models, so you can see how they compare.

Keep up with our Black Friday TV deals

We’re checking for new deals every single day in the lead up to Black Friday, and, of course, we’ll be looking for all the best deals on 26 November, too.

Head to best Black Friday TV deals to see the choice offers we’ve found so far.

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