LG is fond of using new buzzwords aimed at helping consumers understand the differences between its various TV technologies. Since 1958, we’ve seen everything from Plasma to OLED. With the emergence of NanoCell and QNED TVs, the differences between LG’s technologies have become even more complex.
The discontinuation of Plasma TVs officially made OLED the golden standard. And, to be frank, few other technologies could match OLED’s superior picture performance. The first LG NanoCell TV came about in 2019 and was quickly met with praise. But the most significant difference between NanoCell and OLED came with the emergence of LG’s QNED TVs in 2021.
A 2023 LG TV lineup will see you select from three tiers: Good, Better, and Best. The Good tier is the NanoCell lineup. The Better tier is the QNED lineup, and the Best tier is still OLED. Much like OLED, QNED TVs offer excellent picture quality and features. So, what exactly are the differences between LG’s latest NanoCell and QNED TVs?
LG NanoCell vs QNED TVs: Side-by-Side Comparison
Before we dig deeper into the differences between LG’s NanoCell and QNED TVs, let’s do a quick side-by-side comparison.
|LG NanoCell||LG QNED|
|Display Technology||NanoCell||Quantum Dots and NanoCell Technologies|
|Resolution||4K and 8K||4K and 8K|
|HDR Format||HDR 10, HLG, Dolby Vision, Advanced HDR||Dolby VisionTM, HDR10, HLG|
|Picture Processor||Alpha 9 Gen 4 AI||Alpha 7 Gen 4 AI, AI picture Pro|
|Backlighting Type||Full Array LED||Mini LED|
|Sizes Available||43, 55, 65, 75, and 86||65, 75, 86|
|Contrast and Black Level||Lack real deep black||Black is more realistic|
LG NanoCell vs QNED TVs: What’s the Difference?
One of the main reasons behind NanoCell engineering was bringing the quality we see in OLED TVs to LED TVs. In other words, LG wanted to make LED TVs look better; precisely what they did with the NanoCell filtering technology. However, the company took it a notch higher with their QNED TVs.
QNED stands for Quantum Nano-emitting Diode. It’s a new technology that combines LG’s NanoCell filtering technology and Quantum Dot technology. Adding Mini-LED technology to the picture, LG created something almost matching OLED’s performance.
You’ll notice some features in NanoCell TVs are also present in QNEDs. However, you’ll also notice that these features function alongside ones that are exclusive to QNED TVs. They enhance specific aspects of the picture quality.
For instance, you’ll find the NanoCell technology in both LG’s NanoCell and QNED TVs. This tech works by filtering colors to reduce distortion and enhance color accuracy. On the other hand, QNED TVs include Quantum Dots, and Mini Led technology for more precise and accurate colors.
We also want to clarify that not all QNED and NanoCell TVs are created equal. LG offers different levels of NanoCell and QNED TVs, all with varying features. Therefore, consider the type of backlighting, the number of Mini-LED zones, and other factors when comparing.
Below is a detailed breakdown of the differences between LG’s NanoCell and QNED TVs.
- REAL 4K NANOCELL DISPLAY: Bring your favorite shows to life with vivid NanoCell. See natural, lifelike picture with Nano Color enhanced by a billion rich colors.
- QUAD CORE PROCESSOR 4K: Our Quad Core Processor 4K gives you a smooth, crisp viewing experience with enhanced contrast, color and black.
- HOME CINEMA EXPERIENCE: See and feel like you're in the action with Active HDR. See movies exactly how directors intended with Filmmaker Mode. And with built-in access to Netflix, Prime Video, Apple...
- ULTIMATE GAMEPLAY: Experience gaming on NanoCell. Game Optimizer gives you easier access to all your game settings and you'll get Auto Low-Latency Mode plus HGiG for a detailed gaming picture.
- GOOGLE ASSISTANT AND ALEXA BUILT IN: There’s no need for an extra device – just ask your TV for music, weather, news, your Amazon shopping list, and more. Plus, conveniently control your connected...
For most people, picture quality is about how well a TV can reproduce colors. True; the higher the resolution, the better. But it’s also about how accurately a TV can reproduce colors and highlight details without color bleeds or brightness issues. You want subtle details such as shadows, highlights, and skin tones to appear clearly while maintaining accurate color reproduction.
Both LG QNED and NanoCell TVs come in 4K and 8K resolutions. So, that’s not a significant differentiating factor here. However, the picture quality of each tier is different. QNED TVs use Mini LED technology, Quantum Dot tech, and their proprietary NanoCell filtering to create an even more precise color accuracy than what you get with NanoCell TVs.
QNED uses more Mini-LED zones to display brighter images than NanoCell TVs. As a result, you get more contrast and detail in the dark parts of the picture. Coupled with Dolby Vision and Filmmaker Mode, colors look more accurate and natural.
Refresh rate is the ability of a screen to update its image at a certain frequency. The higher the refresh rate, the better and smoother the motion. Typically, most TVs have a native refresh rate of 60Hz. However, LG’s QNED and NanoCell TVs have higher refresh rates for smoother motion.
You’ll see most of LG’s QNED TVs support a 120Hz native refresh rate while most of their NanoCell models offer a 60-120Hz native refresh rate. Some OLEDs have up to a 240Hz native refresh rate. That said, the refresh rate of the NanoCell and QNED TVs is still quite good for casual sports and gaming.
Contrast and Black Level
Contrast is how bright the brightest parts of an image appear compared to the darkest parts. The higher the number, the more vivid and sharp the images appear. When looking at contrast and black level, the feature that we look at is the backlighting a TV uses.
In a basic sense, backlighting is the source of light behind the LCD panel. It’s what illuminates the pixels on an LCD, enabling it to show images. More expensive TVs use better and more advanced backlighting, which results in better contrast and black levels.
Contrast levels and black levels vary from model to model. Some NanoCell TVs have good blacks and perform well in dark rooms. That’s especially true if they use full array local dimming (FALD). Meanwhile, QNED TVs have deeper blacks and more vibrant colors because of the thousands of individually controlled Mini LEDs.
The more advanced backlighting of QNED TVs makes them deliver better contrast and black levels than what you get with NanoCell TVs. You’ll experience more realistic black levels, vibrant colors, and a wider range of contrast.
- The fifth generation α7 AI Processor uses algorithms to automatically adjust the sound and picture as you watch
- Quantum Dot NanoCell Color Technology delivers more vivid and accurate colors
- Supports HDR10, HLG, and Dolby Vision
- FreeSync Premium, VRR, Auto Low-Latency Mode, and HGiG compliance
- 120Hz refresh rate for colorful and sharp images
Viewing angles refer to how well the picture is visible even when viewed from an angle. The wider the viewing angles, the better. This is a big deal if you have multiple people watching the TV from various positions in the room. And the feature that affects viewing angles the most is the type of panel used.
Both QNED and NanoCell TVs use an IPS LCD panel, which means they have good viewing angles. However, LG’s QNED TVs have an advantage because of their Quantum Dot Enhancement Film (QDEF) layer. This Nanosized particle layer blocks light leakage, so the picture looks just as good when viewed from an angle.
Overall, both LG NanoCell and QNED TVs have good viewing angles, but QNED TVs take it up a notch. With the QDEF layer, you can be sure that your picture will remain clear and vibrant even when viewed from an angle.
Given the current state of televisions, HDR is one of the features you must consider when shopping for a new TV. High Dynamic Range (HDR) increases the contrast, brightness range, and color spectrum of what you’re watching on your TV.
Both LG’s QNED and NanoCell TVs support HDR10, HLG, and Dolby Vision. That said, the performance of these formats varies from model to model. On the one hand, some NanoCell models struggle a bit with HDR content. On the other hand, some of LG’s QNED models offer more accurate colors, better contrast, and higher peak brightness.
When looking at the HDR Format, you must consider the available content and the TV’s ability to display it. LG NanoCell TVs are able to deliver exemplary levels of contrast, but their peak brightness levels can vary depending on the model. On the other hand, LG QNED TVs offer excellent color accuracy and a better overall HDR experience.
Sizes and Versions Available
Finally, it’s important to consider the size and version of each TV. LG NanoCell TVs come in a wide range of sizes from 43” to 86”. They also have 4K (UltraHD) and 8K versions. On the other hand, QNED TVs are available in 65 “, 75”, and 86” versions. Like NanoCell TVs, they also have 4K and 8K versions.
There are a few things to keep in mind when looking at sizes and versions. First, 8K TVs are expensive, and there isn’t much 8K content available currently. Second, the larger the size of the TV, the more expensive it is. Finally, 4K TVs are more affordable, and there’s plenty of content available in that resolution.
LG NanoCell vs QNED TVs: 6 Must-Know Facts
Below are some must-know facts when considering LG NanoCell vs. QNED TVs:
- The defining difference between NanoCell and LED TVs is the nanoparticles that filter out unwanted colors and improve picture quality in NanoCell TVs.
- LG NanoCell TVs use Full Array Local dimming to provide better contrast and dark levels than edge-lit LEDs.
- LG NanoCell TVs also use a Wide Color Gamut to produce true-to-life colors, while LED TVs may suffer from color inaccuracies.
- QNED TV uses quantum dot nanocrystals to produce a greater range of color than conventional LED TVs. With Full-Array Local Dimming and thousands of mini LEDs, QNED TVs offer an impressive array of contrast and true deep blacks.
- Each mini LED in QNED TVs measures less than 300 microns and is clustered in zones, providing precision control and impressive contrast.
- QNED encompasses Precision Dimming Pro+, LG’s most advanced dimming technology, which gives you an even higher level of precision.
LG NanoCell and QNED TVs: What’s new?
Some of the technology advances that have been made to LG NanoCell TVs and QNED TVs since February 2023 are:
- Improved color accuracy: NanoCell TVs display more accurate colors with a wider gamut and better consistency across the screen.
- Increased brightness: Some models are now capable of producing over 1,000 nits of peak brightness, making them better suited for HDR content.
- Improved viewing angles: Viewing angles have been improved, making all angles a great angle for viewing.
- Faster response time: QNED TVs have a faster response time, making them better for gaming and fast-paced content.
- Improved upscaling: A more powerful upscaling processor is used that can upscale lower-resolution content to near-4K quality.
- New features: Several new features have been introduced, such as support for Dolby Vision IQ and Filmmaker Mode.
LG NanoCell and QNED TVs: What’s next?
As technology gets better, we can expect to see improvements to LG NanoCell and QNED TVs. Here are some improvements we might see for both TVs in the next six to 18 months:
- Mini LED backlights: Mini LED backlights are expected to be used in some NanoCell and QNED TVs in the coming months. Mini LED backlights offer better contrast and black levels than traditional LED backlights, which significantly improves the picture quality of TVs.
- Increased brightness: These TVs are expected to get brighter, which would make them even better suited for HDR content.
- Improved viewing angles: Viewing angles are expected to continue to improve on both NanoCell and QNED TVs. This would allow you to enjoy accurate colors even when you’re not sitting directly in front of the TV.
LG NanoCell vs QNED TVs: Which One Is Better?
At the end of the day, you must make the decision between LG NanoCell and QNED TVs based on your budget, needs, and preferences. From what we’ve discussed above, it’s clear that both TVs have their pros and cons.
If you’re looking for the best possible picture quality, QNED TVs offer more accurate colors, better contrast levels, higher peak brightness, realistic black, more color nuances, and more precision. LG NanoCell TVs are also great. They have great picture quality and are more affordable than QNED TVs.
However, don’t forget that in LG’s product line, we also have OLED TVs that have much better picture quality than NanoCell and QNED TVs. Ultimately, you want something that fits your lifestyle and expectations. And if budget isn’t an issue, why not go for the best?
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Grzegorz Czapski/Shutterstock.com.