LG NanoCell TVs: What are they? Although you are quite familiar with LG's line of OLED TVs: LG C1, LG G1, etc. NanoCell TVs next to them tend to be less in the news, and we're here to fix that.

These screens called "NanoCell" make up mid-to-high-end entry-level LCD TVs from LG, the best LG TVs that don't have OLED panels, basically. The unspoken goal here is to offer an alternative to Samsung's excellent QLED TVs, while designating the first level of LG LCD TVs.

But what exactly is LG NanoCell? How does it compare to Samsung QLED? Why should you consider buying an LG NanoCell TV? Read on for everything you need to know below.

Today's best deals for LG NANO

Should I buy an LG NanoCell TV

NanoCell FAQs

What is Nano Cell?

LG patented technology, a filter layer on top of the TV's LCD panel.

What does NanoCell do?

Enhances color depth for more vivid tones.

How much do NanoCell TVs cost?

The range is huge, starting at €600 and ending at €4000 for higher-end models.

Which televisions have NanoCell technology?

Most LG TVs with NanoCell have "NANO" in their name, but future QNED TVs will too.

Do other manufacturers have NanoCell?

This is LG technology that hasn't (yet) been licensed to other companies, so you'll only find it on LG TVs at the moment.

LG NanoCell TV explained: How does it work?

LG has not yet released the full documentation on exactly how the LG NanoCell works.. It's like the secret herb and spice recipe behind KFC Chicken in that sense.

However, we know quite well what he is doing. LG NanoCell uses a filter layer that is placed inside the TV and absorbs specific wavelengths of light.. The goal is to purify the color output to improve color depth.

An easy way to figure this out is to think in terms of paint. You can't get pure red paint if there are hints of other colors in the mix. NanoCell tries to remove these impurities.

LG NanoCell TVs (and all TVs for that matter) paint their images with little bits of blue, green, and red light set to different intensities. So while light absorption may seem like color suppression, the end result is an increase in color depth, as wavelengths that would otherwise dull those red, blue, and green sub-pixels are removed.

NanoCell vs. QLED

LG NanoCELL

LG NanoCell 2021 TV lineup (Image credit: LG)

Palomaki Consulting conducted research to learn more about NanoCell and concluded that “stating that this technology is activated by 1nm nanoparticles is misleading”, pouring cold water on the LG NanoCell's hyperfan.

This consultant believes that NanoCell uses a molecular dye. Its particles can measure a nanometer each, one billionth of a meter, but that's different from the Quantum Dot technology seen in Samsung QLED TVs.

Quantum Dot crystals emit light at certain wavelengths when supplied with ultraviolet light. Samsung QLED TVs don't rely entirely on this technology, but use a Quantum Dot layer to improve color performance. NanoCell seems to be a bit more conventional in comparison.

The real world goal in both cases is the same. Today's premium televisions are close enough to full DCI P3 color gamut coverage that most of us can't tell the difference between what we're getting and 100% coverage.

What is DCI P3? This is a standardized range of color tones designed by several of the major film production companies. It allows TVs and color dimmers to determine how a specific color should look in a movie or picture. Get close to 100% DCI P3 coverage and you get a very rich and vibrant color display.

The best NanoCell TVs like the NANO90 have very good color coverage, if not at the level of newer Samsung TVs with QLED technology (such as the Q90T). The NANO90 is also much cheaper, so slightly lower performance in this area is not a big deal.

Are LG NanoCell TVs good?

LG NanoCell TV

The DCI P3 color spectrum (Image credit: Andrew Williams)

Other areas of LG NanoCell TV technology are the ones that should make you think twice about buying any of these devices.

All LG NanoCell TVs use IPS display panels. These are cool in a way, since IPS offers very wide viewing angles. You don't have to sit centrally in front of your TV to see a clear picture.

However, IPS screens also have much lower native contrast than the VA panels used in Samsung QLED TVs, or the OLED type seen on high-end LG displays like the LG CX OLED.

In an image of black and white squares displayed on an IPS screen, the white parts will generally be around 1000 times brighter than the dark parts. This difference increases to about 4000-7000 times on a VA television.

The result: LG NanoCell TVs have a relatively narrow dynamic range. Blacks will never look that black in a dark room, and this is compounded by the lack of local gradation areas.

Local dimming is used on most high-end LCD TVs (including NanoCell and QLED, which are still LCD). This is where different sections of the backlight can be used independently, making some parts of the panel brighter than others to lower the rear floor and improve contrast.

The 90-inch LG NANO65 has 32 local dimming zones, down from 50 zones on the 80-inch Samsung Q55T o 792 Vincent Teoh* identified on the 90-inch Samsung QN65A. And arguably the LG NANO90 needs it more, as it initially has lower native contrast.

Fewer areas of local dimming means that you will see flowers around bright objects. This will be especially noticeable if you are watching a movie with subtitles, as you will probably want to disable the feature when watching movies in a foreign language.

These contrast issues explain why the most attractive LG TVs with NanoCell aren't their "NANO" TVs at all, but their new QNED screens for 2021. This line combines a NanoCell layer with a Quantum Dot color enhancer and a miniLED panel..

Mini LED panel technology is the most exciting thing to happen to LCD TVs in a long time. See the backlight LEDs shrink, so many more can fit on the screen.

LG claims the top-end 86-inch QNED set will have around 30.000 backlight LEDs, divided into just under 2.500 zones. That's almost 80 times more areas than the LG NANO90.

However, he hasn't named his TV fund "QNED" yet. These arrays are likely to still use IPS panels, and we don't know how effective a vastly greater number of dimming areas will be in enhancing the limited contrast of this panel technology.

Should I buy an LG NanoCell?

We have received criticism about LG NanoCell TVs. However, these mainly affect use in a dark room.

If you want to turn your living room into a micro theater, these TVs are not the best option, you should find one with a VA or OLED panel. Simply they don't offer the same level of performance as Samsung's best QLEDs or LG's OLED sets.

Its contrast is significantly lower, which affects its performance with HDR content and the quality of movies in a low-light room. However, we can see better results in LG's QNED devices, which also have NanoCell technology.

However, they are strong in other areas. Wide viewing angles mean more arguments over who gets the best seat on the couch. Its anti-glare screen top layer resists ambient light well. Low input lag is good news for gamers. Scaling on most NanoCell TVs is pretty good too, while range models high have 120Hz refresh rates and support features like VRR.

Above all, LG NanoCell TVs are quite competitively priced, allowing you to use key PS5 and Xbox Series X features like HDMI 2.1 and VRR without spending a fortune.

The main draw of NanoCell TVs today is that they offer high-end features at largely affordable prices, with a low cost to entry level NanoCell models that will no doubt appeal to many smaller budgets.

What are LG NanoCell TVs?

Let's take a closer look at the different NanoCell ranges you can buy today from LG's 2020 and 2021 ranges, its specific characteristics. If you are interested in learning more about the full range of 2021Also check out our LG TV 2021 guide.LG NanoCell TV

(Image credit: LG)LG NANO99 (2020)

  • Available in: 65-inch, 75-inch
  • Resolution 8K
  • 4K/120Hz
  • Local grading

Today's best deals for the LG NANO99 8K seriesLG NanoCell TV

(Image credit: LG)LG NANO96 / NANO95 (2021)

  • Available in: 55-inch, 65-inch
  • Resolution 8K
  • Local grading
  • 60 Hz
  • VRRLG NanoCell TV(Image credit: LG)

LG NANO90 / LG NANO91 (2020)

  • Available in: 55-inch, 65-inch, 75-inch, 86-inch (NANO91 only)
  • 120 Hz
  • No local dimming
  • HDMI 2.1

Today's best deals for LG 55NANO90

LG NanoCell TV

(Image credit: LG)

LG NANO88 (2021)

  • Available in: 50-inch, 55-inch, 65-inch, 75-inch
  • 120 Hz
  • Local grading
  • VRR
  • HDMI 2.1LG NanoCell TV(Image credit: LG)

LG NANO86 (2020)

  • Available in: 55-inch, 65-inch, 75-inch, 86-inch
  • 120 Hz
  • Local grading

    LG NanoCell TV

    (Image credit: LG)

LG NANO816 / NANO806 (2020)

  • Available in: 50-inch, 55-inch, 65-inch, 75-inch
  • No local dimming
  • HDMI 2.0
  • Simpler scaling processor
  • Take a look at the best TV available today
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