Although it’s being phased out, the LG CX 65 4K Smart OLED was one the best TVs on the market a few years ago.
|Resolution||Ultra HD 3840 x 2160|
|Display Type||4K OLED|
|Picture Processor||α9 Gen3 AI Processor 4K|
|Smart Features||HDR 10 Pro, HDR Dynamic Tone Mapping, True Color Accuracy, Ultra Luminance, Active Noise Reduction, Billion Rich Color, Motion Pro, AI 4K Upscaler|
|GAMING FEATURES||Professional Game TV, G-Sync Compatible, FreeSync, HGIG Mode, VRR (Variable Refresh Rate), Response Time|
>1 ms, ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode)
|AI FEATURES||LG AI ThinQ, |
Google Assistant (Built-in),
Apple Airplay 2, Apple HomeKit,
AI Picture Pro/ AI Picture,
Intelligent Voice Recognition,
AI UX, AI Home, AI Recommendation, Intelligent Edit, Conversational AI
2.2 Ch Speaker
Audio Output (RMS)- 40W
Sub Woofer-Yes (20W)
AI Sound Pro/ AI Sound
AI Acoustic Tuning
Clear Voice IV
Bluetooth Audio Playback
Bluetooth (V 5.0)
Simplink (HDMI CEC)
Share & Control
Mobile Connection Overlay
Magic Mobile Connection
|INPUTS & OUTPUTS||HDMI Input- 3 (Side) /1 (Rear)|
USB Ports- 1 (Side) /2 (Rear)
HDMI Audio Return Channel eARC (HDMI 2)
RF Input- 1 (Rear)
LAN- 1 (Rear)
Digital Audio Out (Optical)- 1 (Rear)
Headphone Out- 1 (Rear)
HDMI 2.1 (All 4 ports)
|POWER||Power Supply (Voltage, Hz)|
AC 100~240V 50-60Hz
Power Consumption Standby Mode- 0.5W
|Set Weight (without Stand) Kg||24 Kg|
|Set Weight (With Stand) Kg||32.6 Kg|
|Set WxHxD (without Stand) mm||1449 x 830 x 46.9: (3.9)|
|Set WxHxD (with Stand) mm||1449 x 862 x 251|
Although it’s being phased out, the LG CX 65 4K Smart OLED was one the best TVs on the market a few years ago.
LG OLED TVs have always been good – great, even. The LG CX 65 4K Smart OLED truly took things to a new level, as a host of small but important improvements added up to a TV experience movie fans will struggle to tear their eyes from.
When it was released in 2020, the LG CX 65 4K Smart OLED was the crème-de-la-crème of OLED TV models. Under the hood, LG equipped the CX with the Alpha a9 Gen. 3 processor for better upscaling than its predecessor, and outside it had four 40Gbps HDMI 2.1 ports. For a time, it was the best TV money could buy.
That said, these days the LG CX 65 4K Smart OLEDhas been passed down the line – first to the LG C1 OLED and now over to the newer LG C2 OLED. That doesn’t mean that the LG CX OLED should be cast aside for newer models if you still own one, but it does mean that prospective new owners should be looking at the C1 or C2 rather than trying to procure an older LG CX OLED model.
The LG CX 65 4K Smart OLED is gorgeous. The star of the show, as usual with OLED TV technology, is how incredibly thin its screen is: for around two-thirds of its rear area it’s insanely skinny – just a couple of millimeters deep. Though of course, unless you’re fond of looking at the back of your TV rather than the front, you probably won’t notice this much once you’ve installed the set for the first time.
The bottom third of the LG CX 65 4K Smart OLED’s rear sticks out quite a bit more than the rest. But the design still wears this pretty well – and the set’s speakers, connections, and processors do have to go somewhere.
The screen attaches to one of the centrally mounted metallic sheet stands we’ve seen for a few C-series generations now. This is nicely finished and well built, but perhaps it looks a touch chunky compared with the incredible slimness elsewhere.
Connections on the LG CX 65 4K Smart OLED are plentiful and well-specified – especially when it comes to HDMIs. There are four, all capable of handling 4K at up to 120Hz in 10-bit HDR with 4:4:4 chroma sampling. Something which might become important with the next generation of game consoles.
One of the HDMIs can also support ARC/eARC (audio return channel) so that the TV can output Dolby Atmos from streaming services or 4K Blu-rays to compatible soundbars or AV receivers.
One last design point worth mentioning is the LG CX 65 4K Smart OLED’s remote control. This is one of LG’s so-called Magic remotes, meaning you can point it at onscreen menu options rather than having to use cursor buttons to navigate all the menus. There’s also a spinning wheel in the remote’s center that lets you quickly cycle through vertical menu lists.
The point-and-click approach can be a bit imprecise, and the stiffness of the scrolling wheel can cause you to accidentally press it (for select) rather than just spin it. But it’s still overall a winning remote control design.
Smart TV (WebOS with ThinQ AI)
Like the rest of LG’s OLED TV lineup, the LG CX 65 4K Smart OLED inevitably deploys LG’s WebOS interface for its smarts. As usual, this is mostly a very good thing. The economical, no-nonsense home screen, with its row of icons connected to different content sources, is instantly accessible and easy to use and customize.
Highlighting one of the main content apps usually brings up the second tier of icons containing direct access to shows or films from the app you’ve highlighted. Though this feature only works with apps that have worked with LG to enable it.
I guess the sheer volume of content apps available these days could make WebOS’s long scrolling bar of apps a bit unwieldy for some content-hungry households. But this is a small negative against all the good stuff.
It’s worth adding, too, that LG also leads the way when it comes to voice recognition, with the LG CX 65 4K Smart OLED supporting LG’s own ThinQ AI platform, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant. Support for all these is built in, too, which means there’s no need for an external listening device.
In terms of supported apps, you’ll find relatively new additions to the streaming landscape such as Disney+ and Apple TV+, as well as all the usual suspects like Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime.
The most gimmicky of webOS’ new features is the Sports integration where, if you tell the LG CX 65 4K Smart OLED what your favorite sports teams are (from a preset list), the TV will give you score updates and remind you when broadcasts featuring your team are coming on. It’s not super useful unless you’re a sports fanatic, but it doesn’t detract from the experience either.
OLED TVs have always been particularly well suited to standard dynamic range (SDR) technology. So it’s no surprise to see the LG CX 65 4K Smart OLED looking stunning with every SDR Blu-ray or broadcast we threw at it.
The colors are vibrant, but also nuanced and balanced. Contrast is pretty much perfect, as OLED’s ability to have every single pixel produce its light brings out shadow details and dark tones with a degree of intensity and authenticity LCD screens can’t match.
The color and contrast performance are both founded on a spectacular black-level performance that’s free of the greyness and localized clouding problems you get with pretty much all LCD TVs. Just as importantly, bright highlights of mostly dark images retain a consistent level of intensity. There’s no sacrificing any of their brightness to keep the dark areas around them looking neutral, as you often see with premium LCD TVs that use local dimming.
In short, the LG CX 65 4K Smart OLED’s deft touch and per-pixel light reproduction stand out every drop of quality from SDR content. And with high-quality SDR sources such as a good Blu-ray, you may well be amazed at just how much the limited color and light range of SDR can deliver when a TV is good enough to unlock it all.
LG has also improved its upscaling. Presumably thanks to the new AI-based upscaling engine introduced by LG’s new third-generation Alpha 9 chipset, there’s a cleaner, more consistent, and more detailed look to HD content after it’s been converted to the screen’s native 4K resolution.
The improved upscaling is particularly effective in the most detailed areas of HD pictures, which look noticeably cleaner and more densely textured than they did last year. In fact, in these areas, at least, LG’s upscaling is as good as anything I’ve seen from any 4K TV to date.
Great though the LG CX 65 4K Smart OLED is with HD SDR images, it’s the improvements it brings with 4K and HDR images that count in the premium TV world.
For starters, the LG CX 65 4K Smart OLED’s black-level performance improves on 2019’s LG C9 OLEDs in two ways. First, black levels get even deeper and retain that depth and neutrality more consistently. Just occasionally an extreme dark shot can suddenly appear infused with a low-level yellowish-grey tone. This is faint though and doesn’t occur very often at all.
Second, the CX combines its improved black levels with more shadow details and dark color shading subtlety than last year’s B9s (which delivered deeper blacks than the more expensive C9s). So basically the CX’s handling of black level and dark scenes combine the best bits of both the B9 and C9. And the results are beautiful.
The LG CX 65 4K Smart OLED also suffers less with noise in dark areas and much less with exaggerated compression blocking artifacts when viewing dark scenes on some streamed shows than previous LG OLEDs have. The blocking has been reduced, too, without the loss of shadow detail that was created by LG’s early attempts to fix this widely publicized blocking phenomenon.
The LG CX 65 4K Smart OLED also improves on its predecessors at the opposite end of the brightness spectrum. For while it doesn’t measure any brighter than last year’s models using an HDR test signal (just over 800 nits in Vivid mode, or 784 and 760 nits in the more natural Standard and Cinema modes), side-by-side comparisons reveal that bright peaks in HDR pictures look punchier on the LG CX 65 4K Smart OLED than they did on the OLED65C9. It’s not a night and day difference, but it’s enough to make HDR pictures look more intense, expressive, and realistic.
The LG CX 65 4K Smart OLED improves LG’s color performance, too. The enhanced brightness management, for instance, helps the brightest colors of HDR images retain a more natural look. Washes of color across the screen look more consistent. Color blends look more consistently subtle and nuanced, with more tonal subtlety retained in the brightest picture areas.
Native 4K pictures look blisteringly sharp and detailed too, without the clarity looking forced or artificial (so long as you avoid the Vivid picture preset, anyway).
The detail doesn’t take a heavy hit when there’s a motion to handle either. The LG CX 65 4K Smart OLED’s latest motion processor – at least in its Cinema Clear setting – does a good job of reducing judder without causing the picture to either to look too fluid or throw up too many unwanted side effects.
Very complex motion, such as small objects moving within a panning image, can still cause a few glitches. So AV enthusiasts will be pleased that turning the motion processing system off finds the OLED65CX suffering less panel-related judder than previous LG OLED generations.
new picture modes
The LG CX 65 4K Smart OLED boasts two new picture modes: The Filmmaker Mode has arrived through a collaboration between the UHD Alliance and movie creatives, and is designed to recreate on the TV the sort of settings creators use when mastering content. This means turning many of the TV’s picture processing tools off, resulting in pictures that some may find a little judder, and too dull to watch in a bright room. There’s also not much difference at all, in truth, between Filmmaker Mode and LG’s Cinema Home preset.
Where Filmmaker Mode might become more interesting is if discs start carrying the flags needed to turn the LG CX 65 4K Smart OLED’s version of Filmmaker Mode on automatically. Though I’m yet to hear of any disc that carries such flags.
The other new picture mode is Dolby Vision IQ. This is essentially a Dolby Vision mode that combines the extra HDR picture information and screen optimization elements of Dolby Vision HDR with an assessment of room conditions provided by a built-in light sensor. The idea is to adjust multiple aspects of the picture in real-time to make sure the resulting image achieves a consistent look no matter how much your viewing conditions change.
Note that LG doesn’t label a picture preset ‘Dolby Vision IQ’. The mode kicks in if you have both the Dolby Vision Cinema Home mode and LG’s AI Brightness feature active. The mode works well if the TV is in a fairly regular living room environment, where the TV is likely to get watched in a wide variety of lighting situations. In a dark dedicated movie room, though, you won’t need it.
The LG CX 65 4K Smart OLED is not, inevitably, perfect. For instance, it doesn’t support the HDR10+ HDR system designed as a rival for Dolby Vision. It also doesn’t miraculously overcome the brightness limitations associated with OLED technology – even though its outstanding local contrast compensates massively for that. There’s still a little room for further improvement with its handling of near-black imagery too, and its screen can be quite reflective of bright objects in your room.
That said, the LG CX 65 4K Smart OLED is an excellent gaming display. In its Game mode, it only suffers with a puny 13ms of input lag. And unlike some LCD TVs, calling in its Game preset doesn’t lead to any obvious reduction in color and contrast performance. There’s support for both automatic low latency mode switching and variable refresh rates too. The PS5, Xbox Series X, and next-gen PCs can make use of the LG CX 65 4K Smart OLED’s 4K/120Hz/4:4:4/HDR support.
In most ways the new LG CX 65 4K Smart OLED Series sounds superb – especially when it comes to the volume levels and the scale of the soundstage it somehow manages to cast out from its incredibly skinny body: there’s genuine width and even some verticality to the sound the set produces, especially if you ditch the default Dolby Atmos sound setting and use LG’s excellent AI Sound Pro option instead. This mode optimizes the sound to the capabilities of the TV’s speakers, and the result is a much more dynamic, loud, and impactful sound.
The only issue we had with the LG CX 65 4K Smart OLED’s audio is that heavy-duty bass in a movie soundtrack can cause the speakers to start crackling and dropping out. Fortunately, there isn’t much content around that’s extreme enough to cause this problem, so the strengths of the sound system typically reign supreme. The bass crackle is certainly distracting when it happens, though.
The LG CX 65 4K Smart OLED is an outstanding TV – especially if you’re a serious film fan prone to dimming the lights for movie nights. It doesn’t reinvent the OLED wheel, but the small improvements it makes in several areas add up to a pretty profound impact on how much you get lost in whatever it is you’re watching. And if that isn’t the definition of a great TV, I don’t know what is.