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Which TV Tech Should You Choose?

Every year, it seems like there’s a new kind of television technology to learn about. Two of the newer types are OLED displays and LG’s NanoCell screens. These are two quite different kinds of TV that are often marketed around similar features.

So, what are NanoCell and OLED TVs? And how do they compare with each other?

We’ve done the research, so you don’t have to. In this head-to-head article, we’ll explain what NanoCell and OLED screens are, how they work, and cover the pros and cons of each, so you know exactly what you’re getting.

What Is NanoCell?

Friends show on TV

NanoCell is LG’s new display panel technology that’s featured in many of their newer TVs. So, what’s different about NanoCell?

LG NanoCell TVs are very similar to traditional light-emitting diode (LED) and liquid crystal display (LCD) TVs. Yes, they are still backlit and offer the same resolution as other 4K televisions.

The difference is that NanoCell utilizes an extra layer of nanoparticles which acts as a color filter and improves the vividness and accuracy of displayed colors. In this way, they’re actually more similar to QLED displays.

How does this work? Pixels in a TV display are red, green, and blue. Combinations of these colors can produce millions (or a billion in the case of NanoCell TVs) of possible colors.


However, incoming light can distort how the colors look on the TV screen. Pixels next to each other can also “bleed” their color to neighboring pixels and affect the color accuracy.

The color filter used in NanoCell TVs filters out “unwanted light wavelengths.” In other words, it filters out light that would result in the wrong color being displayed. This improves the red, blue, and green colors that are displayed on the NanoCell TV. It also improves the purity of whites and blacks that you see on the screen.

Some NanoCell TVs also offer something called full-array local dimming (FALD). This technology dims the backlight on the TV in dark areas, providing darker blacks and shadows and improving the dynamic range of the screen. This provides a similar effect to OLED TVs, but for a much lower price.

So, why would you choose a NanoCell TV over an OLED TV?

Pros of NanoCell TVs

Below are some of the main pros associated with buying a NanoCell TV.

  • NanoCell offers better image quality and dynamic range than other LED TVs with bright, vivid, accurate colors.
  • The accurate colors of a NanoCell TV result in a sharp, detailed image.
  • NanoCells have a mid-range price (about half the price of an OLED TV).
  • NanoCell TVs don’t fade like traditional LCD screens.
  • Wide-angle viewing: NanoCell TVs can be viewed from up to 178-degree angles.
  • NanoCell TVs don’t suffer from “burn-in” if left on a static image for too long.

Cons of NanoCell TVs

NanoCell TVs aren’t all sunshine and rainbows; you’ll need to keep the below drawbacks in mind when buying one.

  • NanoCell TVs are still LCDs with a backlight, meaning that color accuracy and image quality are not quite there with OLEDs.
  • The blacks are not as dark on NanoCell screens as on OLED TVs.
  • NanoCell TVs have a higher power consumption than OLEDs.

What Is OLED?

OLED stands for organic light-emitting diode. This is a newer digital display technology that can show an image without requiring a backlight. Instead, each pixel is individually lit.

One benefit of this is that it’s possible to achieve “true black” where parts of the TV can be completely dark. This is possible because when the TV area is black, the pixels are actually turned off. In addition, having each pixel individually lit means that OLED TVs have a very high dynamic range—much better than standard LEDs and NanoCell TVs.

OLED technology produces an incredibly detailed image. Because the colors are so vivid and there’s a higher dynamic range in the image, an OLED TV can produce an image much more detailed than its competitors.

OLED TVs are very highly rated by TV experts and photographers alike because of their contrast, deep blacks, and excellent dynamic range.

Pros of OLED TVs

Below are some of the main reasons to buy an OLED TV.

  • OLED TVs have very dark blacks and vivid colors, which produces much better image quality than NanoCell TVs.
  • Because OLED TVs don’t require a constantly running backlight, they’re generally more energy efficient.
  • OLED TVs can be thinner than other LEDs because they don’t require a backlight, meaning they can be used in curved screens (and other types, like rollable TVs).
  • Most OLED screens boast fast response times and low input lag. This is excellent for those looking for a TV to play games on.
  • OLED screens have a faster response time than older LED and LCD screens meaning that it’s excellent for fast motion video (such as sports or gaming). Check out our list of the best gaming TVs for PS5 and Xbox Series X/S for specific recommendations.
  • OLED TVs maintain their brightness and accuracy with very wide viewing angles.

Cons of OLED TVs

Despite the attention to detail that OLED TVs provide, you should also consider that these devices have a few cons.

  • OLED TVs are much more expensive than other LED TVs and up to twice the price of LG’s NanoCell TVs.
  • OLED TVs come with the risk of “burn-in,” which is when an image “burns” into the screen. That being said, burn-in typically takes thousands of hours to occur.

NanoCell vs. OLED: Which Is Better?

Smart TV apps on OLED TV

LG’s NanoCell TVs are in-plane switching (IPS) and LCD screens. These kinds of screens offer a very wide viewing angle. The NanoCell TVs have a second feature, a nanoparticle layer able to filter out incoming wavelengths of light that would negatively affect the color and brightness of the screen.

The filter primarily helps with the reds and greens, meaning that the color can’t “bleed” onto other parts of the screen. The result is that NanoCell TVs have very accurate colors compared to other LED screens. So, when it comes to NanoCell vs. LED, LG’s panel has the upper hand.

OLED TVs, on the other hand, are a completely different kind of screen. Organic light-emitting diodes are self-illuminating, meaning that it’s possible to have truly black parts of the screen and incredibly vivid colors. Because there’s no need for a backlight, OLED screens can be made very thin and can also be made in curved formats.

Because each pixel is lit independently, OLED screens have insane image quality, use less power, and have faster response times than the older LED and LCD competitors. If that’s exactly what you’re looking for, here is our list of the best OLED TVs on the market.

So, Which TV Panel Is Best for You?

In most cases, OLED outperforms LG’s NanoCell TVs. OLED offers better image quality, better gaming performance, lower power consumption, deeper blacks, brighter whites, and gorgeous color.

The NanoCell, however, is better for use in brighter rooms and doesn’t come with the risk of burn-in that OLED has. NanoCell TVs are also much cheaper than OLED TVs.

Keep in mind your budget and goals, and then choose a TV that suits your needs best.

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