When you want to buy a TV, you want to enjoy the best quality, but there are different technologies to choose from and sometimes the search for a new TV becomes complicated. The two best-selling brands are Samsung and LG and among their catalog of TVs offer different technologies. In this article, we will see the differences between NanoCell vs QLED, the first one used by LG and the second one by Samsung.
The terms can be confusing, especially since the two types of TVs are almost in the same price range. So what do the terms mean and which one is the better choice for you
Next, let’s help you understand the differences between the two technologies and which one is better suited to your TV viewing habits.
NanoCell vs QLED comparison – Which one is better?
Both NanoCell and QLED TVs are based on similar technology to LCD TVs. However, each uses its own enhancement technique that comes with its pros and cons. So what’s the difference between the two
Before we go into detail, we want to emphasize that not all NanoCell and QLED TVs are the same. You have to take into account the type of backlighting, as you will see NanoCell and QLED TVs with lower-end Edge LED backlighting, but also models with Full Array and Mini LED system that will give a much higher performance, but reserved for higher ranges.
What is LG NanoCell technology?
LG NanoCell technology uses nanoparticles integrated into the panel itself to achieve better color filtering and remove impurities. These nanoparticles act as filters that remove incorrect and unwanted color waves creating purer and more faithful colors.
The nanoparticles used, which are 1 nanometer in size, are placed in front of the LCD screen in the form of a layer. When light passes through the layer of nanoparticles, the layer filters out all impure colors and produces the purest green, red and blue colors.
LG TVs with NanoCell technology display images with richer colors compared to the company’s conventional UHD models. This can be seen in white backgrounds that are more neutral and not contaminated by other colors, or in greens and reds that have a more natural hue.
This year, LG launched its new line of QNED TVs, which combine NanoCell technology with Quantum Dots to achieve a wider color palette and better color filtering.
Advantages of NanoCell
As we have seen, the main advantage that LG’s NanoCell TVs offer, is to achieve a purer and more faithful color by filtering out the incorrect color waves.
But apart from this advantage in color reproduction, better viewing from the sides is also achieved in a IPS panel. On NanoCell TVs, the viewing angles are wider, not only because IPS panel is used, but because this layer added to the panel makes it even better to see from any position.
However, not all NanoCell models have an IPS panel. These are the cases of the 50-inch versions, where they are always VA panels. However, as we say, NanoCell particles help to improve the poor viewing angles of VA panels. Buying a NanoCell TV, you are going to have one thing for sure and that is that you are going to see it properly from any position.
Another advantage of NanoCell TVs is that they offer better response time. Therefore, they are more effective in reducing motion blur, resulting in a more comfortable viewing experience when there is fast motion.
Disadvantages of NanoCell
No technology is perfect and NanoCell panels, too, offer a number of disadvantages and they are significant, so you need to be aware of them.
Firstly, LG uses in most of its LED TVs, IPS panels, which as we have seen previously in TV & Hi-Fi Pro, offer lower contrast compared to VA panels. The latter as we will see now, are the ones almost always used by Samsung. But as we say, in the 50-inch versions this changes as they always have a VA panel, so the contrast will be higher.
The main problem with IPS panels, is that they have a rather poor contrast ratio, which makes blacks not very deep. However, in the QNED models with Mini LED backlighting, which also use NanoCell particles, the contrast increases significantly despite still carrying IPS panel. This is due to the backlighting system with smaller bulbs and a much more precise zone control where a group of Mini LEDs can be switched on and off without affecting other zones.
What is LG’s QNED?
LG has launched its new line of QNED TVs, which combine NanoCell technology with Quantum Dots to achieve a wider color palette and better color filtering. In this series, there are models that use Direct LED backlighting, such as the QNED816 series, and from the QNED876 model onwards, Mini LED backlighting is used, which provides improved brightness and black levels.
In the QNED models with Mini LED backlighting, which also use NanoCell particles, the contrast is significantly improved, although the panel is still IPS. This is due to the backlight system using smaller bulbs and much more precise zone control, where a group of Mini LEDs can be turned on and off without affecting other zones.
For example, if we compare the contrast values of equivalent models of LG NanoCell TVs and Samsung QLED TVs, there are significant differences. And also how the high-end QNED models from LG still lag behind Samsung’s Neo QLED models, but thanks to the Mini LED backlighting, they already get a quite acceptable contrast.
|Native Contrast (without Local Dimming)|
|LG NANO75 (IPS)||952 : 1|
|Samsung Q60C (VA)||7.300 : 1|
|LG QNED80 (IPS)||731 : 1|
|Samsung Q70C (VA)||7.400 :1|
|LG QNED85 (IPS)||1,320 : 1|
|Samsung QN90C (ADS)||1,700 : 1|
|LG QNED99 8K (IPS)||552 : 1|
Which LG models are NanoCell?
Listed below is a list of current LG models that feature NanoCell technology.
Recommended LG NanoCell TV’s
What is Samsung QLED technology?
Now it’s time to see how Samsung’s QLED technology works and what advantages and disadvantages it offers over LG’s NanoCell technology. The QLED system, makes use of Quantum Dot technology, which as we saw in the case of LG’s NanoCell, are microscopic nanoparticles. In fact, these Quantum Dots are 20,000 times smaller than a human hair. Thanks to this, millions can be added, thus improving the color palette that the TV can reproduce.
Quantum Dots, refer to microscopic molecules that emit different colored light when struck by light. The quantum dots are on a film that is used as a color filter and the light comes from an LED backlight, which in this case is blue. The light moves inside the TV through the layers, including a liquid crystal display (LCD) layer. This helps to create the image.
Depending on the size, Quantum Dots can create a different wavelenght, for example, a quantum dot with a core of 2nm will emit a blue light while one with a 6~7nm core will emit red.
The LED backlight is transmissive, as it is transmitted through several layers to the surface of the TV screen. Since 2016, Samsung has been using quantum dots for its LED TVs, which debuted with the so-called SUHD TVs. But the debut of the QLED acronym took place in 2017.
Advantages of QLED
One of the most prominent advantages of choosing a QLED TV over a NanoCell is the use of VA panels. This panel ensures that the TV offers excellent brightness, deep blacks and high contrast. These features help to enhance HDR content.
In general, if we compare the contrast of a Samsung TV with an LG, we can see how the blacks are deeper on a Samsung TV and also how the detail in the shadows is superior.
When we compare the contrast of a Samsung TV with an LG TV, we can see how the blacks are deeper on a Samsung TV and also how the detail in the shadows is superior.
It is for this reason, that Samsung’s QLED TVs, are a better choice if you want to view them in a dark room and mainly for watching movies.
However, it is also important to emphasize again, that not all QLED TVs are the same. And is that depending on the type of backlight, the contrast and black level will be better or worse. For example, it has nothing to do with the contrast that gives us a Q60A series with Edge LED backlighting, than a QN90A with Mini LED system. In the second the blacks are much purer by having a much more precise light control.
Disadvantages of QLED
As with NanoCell technology, QLED TVs also have a number of disadvantages.
First, because Samsung uses VA panels in most cases, viewing angles are more limited than LG’s NanoCell panels. This causes colors to lose saturation when viewed from the side and the image appears more washed out.
This can be seen in the Q60A and Q70A series, where there is a loss of color when viewed from the side. From the Q80A onwards this is slightly improved and from the QN85A series onwards, by incorporating a filter to improve viewing angles, viewing from the side improves exponentially. Therefore, the low-end QLED models have a poor viewing angle, but the Neo QLED models provide an excellent viewing angle.
What is Samsung’s Neo QLED?
Samsung’s high-end LED models are called Neo QLED and differ in that they implement better panels and mini LED backlighting. Since the QN85 series already implements this mini bulb system as we have seen in LG’s high-end QNED models.
The number of bulbs is multiplied and Samsung has also eliminated the capsule that covers the Mini LED and added a micro layer to improve light diffusion.
As a result, the difference in brightness contrast and viewing angle is very noticeable when compared to QLED models with Edge LED backlighting. In addition, the premium QN95C and 8K series are equipped with an anti-glare filter that reduces discomfort caused by reflections from windows or lamps. The QN90C series also comes with this filter, but only in the 55-inch and larger versions.
Which Samsung models are QLED?
Here’s a list of current Samsung models that use QLED technology.
Recommended Samsung QLED TV’s
Dual LED, Object Tracking Sound Lite
Final opinion NanoCell vs QLED Which one is the winner?
If you opt for an LG NanoCell TV, you’ll enjoy pure colors and a wide range of viewing angles. So your position doesn’t matter while watching your favorite show or movie. The wide viewing angle ensures the best picture quality and clarity when viewed from the side. NanoCell technology outperforms QLED technology in this aspect, as it maintains color from wider angles.
Samsung’s QLED technology, on the other hand, is going to achieve higher contrast with better blacks and in some models also higher brightness. It is better technology than NanoCell, to enjoy in dark rooms and to watch movies and series to obtain a purer black. At the same time, it tends to offer better uniformity and better detail in the shadows, better maintaining the information in the dark parts.
With Quantum Dot technology, the color palette and color volume in the highlights is expanded, making it possible for color saturation to be better maintained and colors to not turn whitish.
This said, as we have been discussing in the article, you must also take into account the backlighting system, since there are Edge LED, Full Array and Mini LED models, which will have a great impact on the final image.
Frequently asked questions – NanoCell vs QLED
LG’s NanoCell technology adds nanoparticles of the same size, specifically 1 nanometer, to the panel to filter out incorrect color waves for purer color and reduce impurities.
Samsung’s QLED technology adds a sheet on which millions of Quantum Dots nanoparticles of different sizes are sprayed to create a wider color palette. Depending on the size of each particle, when they receive the light emitted by the LEDs, which in this case is blue, they reproduce a particular color.
Thus, a wider variety of colors and a greater volume of color is achieved, which maintains the color at all brightness levels.
Each technology offers its advantages and disadvantages, they are two systems that in different ways, seek a common goal, which is a more faithful color reproduction to achieve more realistic colors.
But where you are going to be able to notice more difference between Samsung QLED and LG NanoCell TVs, is by the type of panel and backlight used. LG usually uses IPS panels that give better viewing angles but worse contrast and Samsung for its part usually uses VA panels, which give a purer black and better detail in shadows, but with a narrower viewing angle (except in the Neo QLED ranges that give a very wide viewing angle).
Another difference is the type of backlighting, as you are going to be able to find Edge LED TVs that only have LEDs at the bottom, Full Array with Local Dimming, where the LEDs are at the back and you can control the light by zones and Mini LED, where the LED bulbs are much smaller and the light control is much more precise, achieving brighter and purer blacks.
LG also markets OLED TVs, which unlike NanoCell TVs, no longer use LED backlighting, but each pixel can be switched on and off independently.
The advantage of this, is that 100% pure black can be achieved as no light will escape and each pixel can be turned off completely. It also provides other advantages such as the elimination of blooming or halo effect, a better response time that reduces blur on fast movements and a much better viewing angle.
Samsung has also recently introduced models with QD OLED technology, which combines an OLED panel with the Quantum Dots system. The difference is that the quantum dots are printed on the subpixels instead of being added to the panel.
QD OLED TVs seem to us to be superior to the Neo QLED models as they combine high brightness, color, perfect viewing angles and an even better anti-glare filter.
However, it all depends on your use case, as you may want to opt for a Neo QLED model if you plan to use it as a PC monitor or in extremely bright rooms. Neo QLED also has models in 8K resolution with panels that offer a black very similar to OLED, but with a brightness of over 2000 nits, if you prefer to make the leap to 8K.