After lusting from afar for an agonizing month, I finally got to go hands- and eyes-on with LG’s 42-inch OLED Flex TV. It’s every bit as cool as I’d imagined, and then some. I desperately crave one. But there’s no shot I’m going to buy it.
LG brought the new bendable OLED TV (yes, it’s actually a TV) to the CEDIA Expo tradeshow and an exclusive offsite unveiling event in Dallas, Texas. I thoroughly checked out the trick TV on both occasions. If my first experience set the hook, the second reeled me in. But I’m afraid this will have to be a catch-and-release situation because while I love just about everything about the LG OLED Flex, I can’t get past the price.
Make no mistake, I think LG has every right to charge a premium for this TV, but sometimes even the coolest toys are just too expensive to justify purchasing, even for an enthusiast like myself.
Before I dish and diss on the digits, here’s what makes the OLED Flex so much cooler than any other TV on the market.
At its core, the OLED Flex is a 42-inch LG C2 OLED TV — a TV series I’ve very positively reviewed as the “premium TV sweet spot — including the same excellent A9 picture processor, ultra-low input lag, HDR, Dolby Vision, and HLG support, Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) support, Nvidia G-Sync certification, perfect black levels, excellent contrast, and nearly perfect color. It also has LG’s webOS streaming platform built in, an OTA tuner, and four HDMI 2.1 inputs. As TVs go, it’s already a video gamer’s dream.
But then LG took that TV and put it into an ultra-cool, desktop-friendly package. The LG OLED Flex, as the name implies, can bend from flat to curved on demand, with varying degrees of curve available. It packs a respectable speaker system into its highly adjustable stand, which also has RGB bias lighting built in at the back. There’s even a microphone built-in for headphone-free video calls and streaming. Oh, and it also comes with an enhanced version of LG’s Magic Motion remote.
If that all sounds cool, that’s because it absolutely is. The LG OLED Flex blurs the line between high-performance TVs and gaming monitors. It’s an entertainment powerhouse with more cool-factor than I’ve seen in any other display. You’ll want it in your office. You’ll want it in your bedroom. You’ll just want it.
Did I mention how cool this thing is?
Problem is, all that cool comes at a cost. And in this case, that cost is $3,000. And with that, I just … can’t.
Gaming on the LG Flex OLED was truly next level. The pixel pitch of its 4K screen is so fine, I was able to get super close and still see game graphics with pristine clarity. With the monitor fully flexed, its curvature allowed a level of immersion unmatched even by the best ultra-wide curved gaming monitors. And when I needed a tighter field of view for competitive FPS play, I was able to size the on-screen display down to 27-inches with the press of a button.
The sound was solid, the glowing RGB lights on the back added just the right amount of bias lighting, and the TV’s multi-screen mode had me dreaming of looking at streaming videos while simultaneously playing games. The LG OLED Flex can do things no other display can.
But $3,000 is just too much. It won’t be nearly as cool, but I can get a 42-inch LG C2 TV with the same picture quality, HDR and VRR support, and low input lag for . Dell’s ultra-cool Alienware QD-OLED monitor also has incredible picture quality, HDR and VRR support, and negligible input lag, and it runs about $1,500.
So, at the end of the day, I have to ask myself if the OLED Flex has enough … well, flex … to justify costing double the closest competition. Yes, the speakers, RGB, and curving are nice adds, and the adjustability of the desktop stand is no small bonus. I also understand that making flexible OLED screens ain’t cheap to begin with, and because this is a brand-new product, they aren’t being produced at scale and are thus even more expensive to make. But my indulgence in the extravagant has a line I can’t cross.
I’m not going to buy an Audi R8 Spyder, and I’m not going to buy an LG OLED Flex. Maybe one day when the price comes down a cool $1,000, or if I win the lottery, I’ll be able to bring the LG OLED Flex home. But for now, I’ll just have to enjoy the time I get with it when I take delivery of a sample for a full review.
Something tells me I’ll be dragging my feet on returning it.