What is the LG A1 OLED? The announcement of a new budget OLED TV model came as a surprise over the CES 2021 expo, seemingly replacing the B Series televisions we’ve seen in previous years (LG BX, LG B9, etc). But what exactly does LG Electronics have planned for its new entry-level OLED, and why should you care?
LG makes some of the best and most popular OLED televisions made today. Its CX OLED from 2020 comfortably topped our best OLED TV guide, and the step-down B Series has long been a smart choice for those wanting a premium picture at a more accessible price point.
It’s curious to see an even cheaper A Series model released then, and smart shoppers will be looking to it for OLED at an even more affordable price – with a few compromises, no doubt.
We now also have pricing and a US release date, which gives us a good sense of what’s to come worldwide – though we’ll be sure to update and expand it as LG reveals more about its new A1 OLED TV.
Note that we don’t have any confirmed imagery of the LG A1 yet, so any pictures features in this article will be for older, existing LG TVs.
LG A1 OLED specs and features
The most important thing to know is that the LG A1 OLED will be the lowest-spec (and therefore cheapest) OLED TV put out by LG this year.
Much sounds similar to last year’s B Series, with a step-down a7 processor rather than the a9 Gen 4 AI chip used in the C1 and G1 OLEDs. The a7 isn’t quite as advanced (hence the price drop), and tends to lead to more banding and video noise in dark scenes, but it still makes for a generally favorable picture.
The two key differences between the A Series and B Series seems to be that the former is a bit quieter (20W rather than the latter’s 40W), and doesn’t support HDMI 2.1 (a feature you will find in the LG BX, and this year’s new C1 / G1 models).
HDMI 2.1 is needed for a host of gamer-centric features like 4K/120Hz gameplay, as well as VRR (variable refresh rate), so the A1 probably won’t be a TV of choice for those hoping to get max performance out of their PS5 or Xbox Series X.
LG A1 OLED pricing and sizes
The LG A1 OLED will be available starting in April for $1,599 (around £1,200 / AU$2,100) at a 55-inch size – though the smaller and cheaper 48-inch model will launch shortly after in June for just $1,299 (around £950 / AU$1,700). There’s also a 65-inch size and 77-inch size, retailing for $2,199 (around £1,600 / AU$2,900) and $3,199 (around £2,330 / AU$4,200) respectively.
It’s not quite what we expected, given the launch price for the 55-inch model is technically higher than last year’s BX OLED, which was the cheapest 2020 LG OLED at $1,399 / £1,299 / AU$2,995 at 55 inches.
The 48-inch size does offer a low starting point, though it’s not quite as competitive as some may have hoped, given the A Series is meant to undercut the B Series model.
There are more screen sizes for OLED releasing this year, of course, with a new 83-inch size that will come to the LG C1, though not the A1 at present. We’ve heard from LG Display – the panel supplier for LG Electronics’ OLED televisions – that a new 42-inch OLED is on its way too, though it’s yet to be confirmed for any specific 2021 TVs.
LG A1 OLED release date
There’s no confirmed release date, either, though last year’s CX and GX models launched around mid-2020, and new TV ranges tend to kick into gear April/May.
LG does tend to wait until around August/September to release its budget B Series, but the fact that we’ve heard about the A1 already suggests we’ll be getting it sooner rather than later.
- 48-inch OLED48A1PUA is available June 2021 for $1,299
- 55-inch OLED55A1PUA is available April 2021 for $1,599
- 65-inch OLED65A1PUA is available April 2021 for $2,199
- 77-inch OLED77A1PUA is available June 2021 for $3,199
What does ‘A1’ really mean?
For those not au fait 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 (alongside ‘B’, ‘C’, ‘G’, and the now-discontinued ‘E’ Series), 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 became ‘X’ (‘ten’), while 2021 is resetting to ‘1’.