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LG OLED TV Black Friday 2018 sale: No big deal (yet)

If you were waiting for massive price drops on LG's latest OLED TVs, I've got some bad news.

LG OLEDC8P series

The LG OLED C8 series will be at its lowest price ever for Black Friday 2018.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Black Friday is packed with deep discounts on TVs, and I predicted sweet sale prices on the best-performing televisions of all: LG's OLED TVs.

I was wrong.

The good news is that LG's official Black Friday sale is going on now, and its 2018 OLED TVs are at their lowest prices yet. That includes the best TV I've ever tested, the OLEDC8P series, and the slightly cheaper, even more recommendable Editors' Choice OLEDB8P

The bad news is that prices aren't as low as I thought. Here's how the sale stacks up.

LG 2018 OLED TV Black Friday pricing

Model Size Previous price Sale price Discount
OLED65C8P 65-inch $2,800 $2,700* $100
OLED55C8P 55-inch $1,900 $1,700 $200
OLED65B8P 65-inch $2,600 $2,500 $100
OLED55B8P 55-inch $1,800 $1,600 $200

*available for $2,600 at Best Buy for Black Friday. See below for details.

The Black Friday sale pricing began Sunday, Nov. 11 and runs through Dec. 1. It's available at most major retailers.

It's nice to save a couple hundred bucks on the 55-inch sets, but the $100 discount on the 65-inch models is disappointing.  The cheapest 2018 OLED, the B8, is actually more expensive than its predecessor was last year. The B7A went on sale during Black Friday 2017 for $1,500 and $2,300 for the 55-inch and 65-inch sizes, respectively. Based on the B7A's 2017 price drop, I predicted the 2018 B8 would fall to $1,500 for the 55-inch and $2,100 or perhaps even $2,000 for the 65-inch size.

Who knows, maybe LG will announce further discounts after December 1. Anything can happen. For the record I asked LG's representative about future price drops on the B8, but haven't yet received a reply.

Meanwhile the 77-inch OLEDC8 has been available for $7,000 since September, and it's a great TV if you happen to be rich. Everyone else in that size range should look first at my top 75-inch pick, the Vizio P-Series, while the Samsung Q8 or Sony X900F are also solid 75-inch choices.

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Advice for the OLED TV shopper in late 2018

If you're ready to pull the trigger on an OLED TV and were waiting for the right price, here's my advice.

  • If you can, keep waiting. Just because LG's Black Friday sale is underwhelming doesn't mean the company won't cut prices again later in the holiday season.
  • If you must buy now, look at 2017 models. Plenty of C7 models are still available, for example, and their picture quality is nearly as good as the 2018 versions -- see my C8 review for direct comparisons.
  • If you absolutely must have a 2018 OLED TV now, go for it. These are the lowest prices yet, and maybe you're sick of waiting and want to actually experience that beautiful picture already.
  • I still recommend the cheaper B8 over the C8 for most people. The C8 has very slightly better image quality in some isolated cases -- see my B8 review for details -- but it's not worth another $100 or $200 to get the C8.
  • That said, if your peace of mind, or insistence on the last ounce of picture quality, calls for the C8, that slight extra cash outlay at this level is probably worth it.
  • If you decide you want the C8, note that Best Buy's Black Friday sale price on the 65-inch C8 is $100 lower than anybody else's so far at $2,600 (again, I'd still save $100 and get the B8). The sale starts in-store on Thanksgiving at 5 p.m. Many of Best Buy's deals appear online too and that price isn't marked "in-store only," so it could appear at BestBuy.com as well. Other vendors might also match that price for Black Friday or earlier.

Of course LG's pricing could change at any time, and when it does my advice might too. If that happens I'll let you know.

Updated to reflect current pricing as of Nov. 11, 2018.

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