Note: This review was first published on 19 Dec 2020.
Since achieving the ability to cost effectively produce large-screen OLED panels some years back, LG has been adopting the same go-to-market strategy for its OLED TVs.
And that’s to come out with many models that are mostly differentiated by their design. After all, since all of them use OLED (with variances in quality, of course, but the deltas usually aren’t night and day) and sport roughly the same feature set, there aren’t many things left outside of screen size that can justify a five-figure OLED TV over a four-figure one.
This strategy has worked well for LG so far and is again repeated this year. In broad strokes, if you’re currently shopping for an LG OLED TV and is only considering the 2020 lineup, there are only three series to choose from: CX, Gallery GX and Signature ZX.
Let’s start with the Signature ZX, an 8K OLED TV that’s only available in an 88-inch screen size in Singapore. With such specs, it’s not hard to understand this is a luxury TV that targets the very rich. If you can plonk down S$60K without batting an eyelid, this is without question one of the best price-doesn’t-matter TVs to get.
The Gallery GX is a super-thin 4K OLED TV that looks best wall-mounted and it packs all the features you’d want on a future-proof TV, including Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos object-based audio support and HDMI 2.1 features such as high frame rate, variable refresh rate (VRR), auto low latency mode (ALLM) and enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC).
The GX also takes over the W series as LG’s flagship consumer 4K TV in Singapore this year. To be clear, there’s a WX series, just that LG Singapore isn’t carrying it here. I can only posit that the Gallery GX, which sits a rung below the WX, price and design-wise, is an easier sell: it still sits flush to the wall like the WX (albeit a teeny bit thicker) and it manages to do it without the need to move its ports and speakers to an external unit like the WX.
In short, if you’ve long lusted after LG’s W series ‘wallpaper’ TVs but have been put off by their high price tags and the need to accommodate the compulsory soundbar, then the Gallery series is a more affordable, equally attractive and no less capable alternative. The GX is available in 55-, 65- and 77-inch screen sizes, priced at S$4,799, S$6,999 and S$25,999 respectively.
And then there’s the CX OLED TV. Like the non-suffix iPhone 12 in the iPhone 12 range, the CX is the one that I think most potential LG OLED TV buyers would gravitate towards. Other than losing a few design niceties and more use of plastic (e.g., the rear I/O housing), it is, on paper, as feature-rich as its more expensive and nicer-dressed siblings.
For instance, the CX uses LG’s newest α9 (Alpha 9) Gen 3 AI processor, the same one found in the Gallery GX. The Signature ZX also uses this chip, though customised to handle 8K processing.
The CX also supports Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, HDMI 2.1, NVIDIA G-Sync, FreeSync VRR and HGiG, as well as LG ThinQ AI smarts like smart home/IoT control and voice recognition — again, features that are all found on the higher-end OLEDs.
What you don’t get with the CX is the wow factor that a wall-mounted GX brings. Sure, you can also wall-mount the CX but it won’t be able to sit as flush against the wall as the 2cm-thin GX with its custom bracket because half of the CX’s back has this 5cm-thick bulge that’s home to the ports.
The included tabletop stand is sturdy and solidly built, though. To keep things neat, you can bunch up the cables and tuck them into the base before routing them through a hole at the back. One thing you’ve to take note is that this stand doesn’t elevate the TV too far off the tabletop — so any half-decent soundbar placed directly in front of the TV is going to block the picture.