What is the LG A1 OLED? The announcement of a new budget OLED TV model came as a surprise at CES 2021, seemingly replacing the B-series TVs we've seen in previous years (LG BX, LG B9, etc.). But what exactly has LG Electronics planned for its new entry-level OLED, and why does it matter?
LG makes some of the best and most popular OLED TVs made today. Its 2020 CX OLED handily topped our best OLED TV guide and the step-down B-series has long been a smart choice for those looking for a high-end look at a more affordable price.
So eliminating the B-Series for a new A-Series model is curious and suggests we'll see some key differences in pricing and specs.
So far there's little hard information to go on, but we've rounded up what we do know in this concise guide, and we'll be sure to update and expand on it as LG reveals more on its new A1 OLED TV.
Please note that we do not have any confirmed images of the LG A1 yet, so all the imaging features in this article will be for old and existing LG TVs.
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LG A1 OLED Specifications and Features
The most important thing to know is that the LG A1 OLED will be the worst-performing (and therefore cheapest) OLED TV launched by LG this year.
Many sounds similar to last year's B-series, with a step-down a7 processor instead of the AI a9 Gen 4 chip used in the C1 and G1 OLEDs. The a7 isn't that advanced (hence the price drop) and tends to generate more banding and video noise in dark scenes, but still delivers a generally favorable picture.
We also know that the A1 will support Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos audio and will come with 20W of built-in audio.
The two main differences between the A series and the B series seem to be that the former is slightly quieter (20W instead of the 40W of the latter) and does not support HDMI 2.1 (a feature you will find on the LG BX, and these new C1 / G1 models of the year).
HDMI 2.1 is required for a host of gamer-centric features, such as 4K / 120Hz gaming, as well as VRR (variable refresh rate), so the A1 probably won't be the TV of choice for those hoping to get the most out of it. performance of your PS5 or Xbox Series X.
LG A1 OLED price expectations
So far there is no confirmed price, but we can get some useful information by comparing it to the price of last year's BX OLED, which was the cheapest 2020 LG OLED, costing €1,399 / €1,299 / €2,995AU for the 55- in inches and €1,999 / €1,799 for the 65-inch model at launch. (Only the 55-inch model was available in Australia.)
If we assume the A-Series will be priced even more competitively, with the option of a 48-inch model, we could look at an introductory price of around €1000 / €1000 in the US and UK. For its smaller size, at this price it's likely to drop a few months after launch.
That's speculation, of course, and LG was a bit funny about the price of its 48-inch size last year (the LG CX was slightly cheaper at a 55-inch size). However, we expect to see real value for an OLED TV.
LG A1 OLED release date
There is also no confirmed release date, though last year's CX and GX models launched in mid-2020 and new TV lines tend to start in April/May.
LG tends to wait until August / September to launch its budget B-Series, but the fact that we've heard of the A1 before suggests we'll get it sooner rather than later.
OLED LG A1 sizes
LG tells us that the A1 OLED will be available in four different screen sizes: 48-inch, 55-inch, 65-inch, and 77-inch.
So the company is doing its best with this package, given that last year's BX was not available in a 77-inch model or the recently introduced 48-inch OLED size.
Of course, there are more screen sizes for OLED this year, with a new 83-inch size on the LG C1. LG Display, the panel supplier for LG Electronics' OLED TVs, told us that a new 42-inch OLED is also on the way, though that has yet to be confirmed for specific 2021 TVs.
What does "A1" really mean?
For those unfamiliar with LG lingo, the 'A1' is the specific product number applied to this year's A-series OLED.
The letter "A" denotes the television series (along with "B", "C", "G" and the now discontinued series "E"), while the number corresponds to the year of release. In 2019, these numbers were all "9", as in "C9" or "B9"; in 2020, the number has changed to 'X' ('ten'), while 2021 is reset to '1'.
Will we see a Series B OLED?
It's worth noting that LG hasn't completely ruled out an OLED B1 model. We usually see a B-Series launch much later in the year, around September, so the company has plenty of time to decide that it wants to release another OLED model for buyers with more cash problems. However, we predict that it would cost a bit more than the A-series and would likely come with HDMI 2.1 ports and all their associated benefits (VRR, eARC, 4K / 120Hz, etc.).