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Lg Nano 85 Review 85x85 1

LG Nano 85 vs LG SM8600 Review (49NANO85UNA vs 49SM8600PUA, 55NANO85UNA vs 55SM8600PUA, 65NANO85UNA vs 65SM8600PUA)

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LG Nano 85 is a part of LG’s NanoCell lineup. The LG SM8600 is its predecessor, and is also part of the Nano Cell lineup. Just like most of the LED TVs by LG, these come with an IPS (In-Plane Switching) panel technology that offers wide side viewing angle coverage.  An LED TV with an IPS panel usually has  low native contrast ratio, making them not very suitable for watching movies in a dark room. Overall as long as you don’t use them in a dark room they both are good TVs for other uses.

Both are available in 3 screen size variations. From the smallest, there’s a 49 inch model (49SM8600PUA vs 49NANO85UNA), 55 inch model (55SM8600PUA vs 55NANO85UNA), and 65 inch model (65SM8600PUA vs 65NANO85UNA). The SM8600 actually also comes in a 75 inch version, but with a difference in serial number (75SM8600) and specs. With the same screen sizes, the Nano 85 is usually more expensive than the SM8600. Of course it’s worth considering the Nano 85 since it is a newer model. So what new features and improvements are offered by the Nano 85 as a newer model over the predecessor SM8600?

LG Nano 85 vs SM8600 Key Specs

Technologies and Features LG Nano 85 LG SM8600
Screen Sizes Available 49 inches (49NANO85UNA), 55 inches (55NANO85UNA), 65 inches (65NANO85UNA) 49 inches (49SM8600PUA) 55 inches (55SM8600PUA), 65 inches (65SM8600PUA)
Screen Resolution 4K (3840 x 2160) 4K (3840 x 2160)
Panel Technology IPS with NanoCell Display IPS with NanoCell Display
Backlight Technology Edge Edge
Local Dimming Yes Yes
Image Processor Alpha 7 Gen 3 Alpha 7 Gen 2
HDR (high Dynamic Range 4K Cinema HDR (Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLG), HDR Dynamic Tone Mapping Pro, Dolby Vision IQ 4K Cinema HDR (Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLG), HDR Dynamic Tone Mapping Pro
Contrast Enhancement Object Depth Enhancer, Ultra Luminance Object Depth Enhancer, Ultra Luminance
Color Enhancement Nano Color, Nano Accuracy, Billion Rich Colors, Advanced Color Enhancer Nano Color, Nano Accuracy, Billion Rich Colors, Advanced Color Enhancer
Clarity Enhancement Double Step Noise Reduction, Sharpness Enhancer Quad Step Noise Reduction, Frequency Based Sharpness Enhancer
Up-Scaler Technology 4K Up-Scaler 4K Up-Scaler
Motion Enhancement TruMotion 240 TruMotion 240
Native Refresh Rate 120 Hz 120 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate Support Yes (HDMI Forum VRR, FreeSync, HGiG) No
Smart TV Platform WebOS 5.0 with LG ThinQ AI WebOS 4.5 with LG ThinQ AI
Google Home Compatible Yes (Google Home device sold separately) Yes (Built-In)
Amazon Alexa Compatible Yes Yes (Built-In)
Alexa Built-In Yes Yes
Remote LG Magic Remote LG Magic Remote
Speaker Channel 2.0 Channel 2.0 Channel
Sound Output 20 watts 20 watts
Dolby Atmos Support Yes Yes
HDMI Ports 4 4
HDMI Supports HDCP 2.2, HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth, HDMI 2.1 Full Bandwidth, CEC, ALLM HDCP 2.2, HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth, CEC
ARC Yes (HDMI 3) Yes (HDMI 2)
eARC Support Yes No
USB Ports 3 (USB 2.0) 3 (USB 2.0)
Composite Input 1 1
Component Input No No
RF Input 1 1
Digital Audio Out (optical) 1 1
Price See today’s price See today’s price

Technologies and Features of the LG SM8600 and NANO 85

Panel Technology

As mentioned above, the LG NANO 85 and the SM8600 use the same panel technology, which is an IPS panel supported by NanoCell Display technology. Nano Cell technology is actually based on Quantum Dot panel technology developed to deliver a wider color gamut than a conventional IPS panel. A TV which uses an IPS panel usually has good side viewing angle coverage but on the other hand, they usually have a low native contrast ratio. They both use the same backlight technology, which is Edge-Lit Led backlight with local dimming technology. A TV with edge-lit backlight usually has a thinner design than a TV with a direct LED backlight.

Image Processor

For the image processor, the LG NANO 85 is powered by an Alpha 7 Gen 3 processor or third generation of the Alpha 7 image processor while the SM8600 is powered by the Alpha 7 Gen 2. There are some improvements in performance. With Alpha 7 Gen 3 to run it, the NANO 85 has better performance on some features like AI-Algorithm, 4K Up-scaling engine, etc and these deliver better picture quality than the predecessor.

HDR Support

Both the LG NANO 85 and the SM8600 support the same HDTR format. In addition to HDR10 format by UHD Alliance and HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma) by NHK and BBC, they both also support Dolby Vision, a proprietary HDR format by Dolby Laboratories that uses dynamic metadata. Both of them don’t support HDR10+, which is the other HDR format used for dynamic metadata. An improvement offered by Nano 85 over the SM8600 is Dolby Vision IQ. This is not actually a new standard HDR format. This is a new feature developed to adjust the Dolby Vision picture based on ambient room light levels by utilizing an ambient light sensor and the dynamic metadata found on Dolby Vision Content. This means that the brightness level of Dolby Vision images will regularly change depending on ambient light conditions. This feature is similar to the Adaptive Picture technology on the Samsung TV.

Motion Technology

For maximizing their performance in handling motion, both the LG SM8600 and the NANO 85 are powered by TruMotion 240. Basically both have a native 120 Hz refresh rate panel. Since their native refresh rate panel is 120 Hz, they cn support any content with a frame rate up to 120 HZ. Additionally this allows them to interpolate low frame rate content up to 120 HZ. In addition to the native refresh rate panel, the NANO 85 supports VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) technology that is compatible with HGiG, HDMI Forum, and FreeSync. But even with this, for the FreeSync it requires a future firmware update. VRR technology can help improve the gaming experience. The LG SM8600 doesn’t support any VRR technology.

To dim their backlight both use a PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) system. Although each uses a different dimming frequency.  The highest dimming frequency of the SM8600 is 240 Hz reached when the picture mode is set to a movie mode like “ISF Expert”, and “Cinema”. When the TruMotion is enabled with the picture mode movie mode, the dimming frequency will drop to 120 Hz. Additionally setting the picture mode to “Sports”, “Standard”, Games”, makes its dimming frequency to always be 120 Hz. On the other hand the highest dimming frequency of the LG NANO 85 is also 240 Hz. But this condition is achieved when it is connected to a PC and not on the Game Mode. When it is not connected to a PC, its dimming frequency is 120 Hz on every picture mode.

Both of them also have an optional 60 Hz BFI (Black Frame Insertion) mode that will change the dimming frequency to 60 Hz. Enabling this mode can make motion clearer, particularly when playing 60 fps content like sports and games. To enable BFI mode, you must set “TruMotion” to “User” and enable “Motion Pro”. Keep in mind that enabling the BFI mode may make motion clearer, but since the backlight flickers at a lower frequency, this may cause the backlight’s flicker to bother some people, particularly for those sensitive to flicker.

Connectivity

For the main connectivity, both the LG NANO 85 and the SM8600 have 4 HDMI ports. Their HDMI ports support most HDMI formats like HDCP 2.2, HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth, CEC, and ARC. Special for ARC, the HDMI port of the SM8600 that support ARC is HDMI 2 while the NANO 85 it is HDMI 3. Additionally their HDMI ports also support most resolutions like 1080p @ 60 Hz, 1440p @ 60 Hz, 4K @ 60 Hz, 1080p @ 120 Hz, 1440p @ 120 Hz, etc.  The advantage of the LG NANO 85 is its HDMI ports also support HDMI 2.1 and eARC (HDMI3) while the SM8600 doesn’t. The number of their USB ports is also the same, which are 3 ports and none of them are USB 3.0 compatible.  This means all of their USB ports are USB 2.0. In addition to HDMI and USB ports, they both also have 1 Composite In (Included Adapter), 1 RF In (Tuner in), Digital Audio Out (optical), and 1 Ethernet Port.  And to connect to the internet or other devices wirelessly, they both have built-in WI-FI and Bluetooth.

Smart TV Platform

The LG NANO 85 and the SM8600 run the smart TV platform WebOS. But they come with different versions where the LG SM8600 comes with version 4.5 ande NANO 85 comes with version 5.0.  There are not many changes offered by the 5.0 version over the 4.5 version. Layout is equally simple and easy to use without any serious bugs. Additionally they botha have a good selection of pre-installed apps such as Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Videos, Games, Live TVs, Cast Apps, and more. They both also have an apps store called LG’s apps store. Although not as complete as apps stores from other platforms like the  Samsung Apps Store on Tizen, or the Google Play Store on Android TV, it still has a good selection of apps. In addition to its own AI-based feature called LG ThinQ AI and Home Dashboard, they both also support some AI-Based Home apps like Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Apple Home Kit, and Apple AirPlay 2. The difference between them is about Google Home and Amazon Alexa. On the NANO 85, these apps have been built in so that means you don’t need buy “listening devices” separately, while on the SM8600 these are not built-in. Which means to use these apps, you must buy compatible “Listening Devices” separately.

Remote

For their main controller, both the LG SM8600 and the NANO 85 are equipped with the same smart remote called LG’s Magic Remote. You can use it like a traditional remote or you can point and press. It has dedicated buttons for Amazon Prime Video and Netflix. Just like other smart remotes, it also has a built-in microphone for voice command. It works with LG’s own ThinQ AI, which makes its voice navigation have many features and works excellently. On the center of the remote, it has a clickable scroll button that allows you to use it like a mouse on a Notebook. This remote can act as a universal remote that can be used to control other devices. And not only other devices that support HDMI CEC that can be controlled by this remote, but also other devices which don’t support HDMI CEC.

>> Please click here to see today’s price for the LG SM8600 <<

>> Please click here to see today’s price for the LG NANO 85 <<

LG NANO 85 vs SM8600 Performance

Contrast Ratio and Black Level

The use of the IPS panel technology means they both have good viewing angle coverage, but this causes both to have a low native contrast ratio. Their native contrast is not high enough to produce a deep black. So in a dark room, the black of images displayed on their screen tends to look gray than really black. The local dimming feature is not good enough to improve contrast ratio. Additionally their black uniformity is not very good. This makes their performance in a dark room very disappointing. So don’t ever expect that they can show shadow details of HDR images excellently. Even though the contrast ratio of the LG Nano 85 is not high enough to produce deep dark, but it is better than most IPS TV including the SM8600.

Winner: Nano 85

Peak Brightness

While their contrast ratio is not so strong, the SDR peak brightness is also not very good, particularly for the LG SM8600. With real content, the NANO 85 hits around 280 nits while the SM8600 hits around 250 nits. They reach their highest and lowest peak brightness in different conditions. The LG NANO 85 hits its highest peak brightness on a 2% window (2% of screen is bright while the rest is black), which is around 375 nits, while on a 10%, 25%, 50%, and 100% window, its peak brightness is almost the same, which is a bit brighter than 300 nits. On the other hand, the SM8600 hits the highest peak brightness on a 25%, 50%, 100% window where it hits around 280 nits. It hits its lowest peak brightness on a 2% window, which is only around 100 nits. With peak brightness reached in some conditions, it can be ascertained that the SM8600 is only suitable when used in a dim or moderately-lit room, while when used in a bright room its peak brightness is not bright enough to combat the glare. On the other hand, the peak brightness of the LG NANO 85 is actually bright enough to fight glare in most bright rooms but not for an extremely bright room.

When displaying HDR content, both the LG SM9600 and the NANO 85 can hit brighter peak brightness than with SDR content. Just like with SDR content, peak brightness of the NANO 85 is relatively consistent on a 20%, 25%, 50%, and 100% window where it can hit around 360 nits. Meanwhile on a 2%, it may be able to get around 575 nits for a short, but after it is stabilized, its peak brightness quickly drops to around 220 nits. On the other hand, on a 25%, 50%, and 100% window, the SM8600 hits its highest peak brightness, which is around 330 nits. For a short time, it may be able to hit brighter than 400 nits on a 2% and 10% window, but its peak brightness drops quickly to around 250 nits once it is stabilized. With this characteristic, the LG NANO 85 may be able to show brighter HDR images than the SM8600. But in general, their peak brightness is not bright enough to show HDR images as bright they should be. And with low peak brightness in small windows, their peak brightness is also not bright enough to bring out highlights in HDR.

Keep in mind, with other certain picture settings, both the LG SM8600 and the NANO 85 may be able to get brighter peak brightness on both SDR and HDR content, but this will cause images to lose their accuracy.

Winner: NANO 85

Color Gamut and Color Volume

Both the LG NANO 85 and the SM8600 support wide color gamut and their color gamut is very similar. In DCI P3 uv color space, they both cover around 91% and in DCI P3 xy color space, they both cover around 85%. This means most colors of HDR images mastered in DCI P3 like HDR10 content can be shown fairly accurate on the screen. Additionally the color gamut coverage in Rec.2020 is not too disappointing.  In Rec.2020 xy color space, their color gamut coverage is around 64% while in Rex.2020 uv, their color gamut coverage is around 70%. This means, although not all, but most colors of HDR images mastered in Rec.2020 like Dolby Vision content can still be shown fairly accurate. But unfortunately, since they both have a mediocre contrast ratio, they both can not produce deep dark colors fairly well. Additionally their limited peak brightness makes them not produce very bright saturated colors well. But even so, in general their color gamut is wide enough to show HDR images colorfully.

While their color gamut and color volume is almost similar, the color gradient of the LG NANO 85 is not as smooth as the SM8600. On the screen of the LG SM8600, the color gradient of HDR images can be shown smoothly. In certain colors there may be still little banding, but this should not be noticeable in normal content. On the other hand, banding is also visible in some certain colors, particularly in dark shades, even in normal content, banding is also still noticeable.  Both series actually have a feature called “Smooth Gradation” that can help to remove the banding. Although enabling this feature can cause some loss of fine details in some scenes.

Winner: SM8600 has better color gradient

Side Viewing Angle

The use of an IPS panel may make for a low native contrast ratio, but this allows them to have a good side viewing angle, and its much better than a VA panel even when it has anti glare optical layer like X-Wide Angle on premium Sony TVs or Ultra Viewing Angle on Premium Samsung TVs. On a conventional VA panel, the black level usually rises starting at around 15 degrees. On the IPS screen, black level can be maintained up to around 70 degrees. Additionally, color accuracy can be maintained up to around 50 degrees. Unfortunately unlike on the VA panel, the brightness level of images will also start to drop at around 30 degrees off center and front. With this characteristic, it can be ascertained when viewed from the side, except from an extremely wide angle, the picture displayed on their screen will still look fairly well, as good as when viewed from the center and front.

Winner: Draw

Motion Handling

Both the LG NANO 85 and the SM8600 can do a great job when handling motion. This is due to both having good pixel response time.  The result when they are playing fast moving images like fast sports or fast games, the picture looks very smooth with almost no visible blur. Following fast moving objects, there is only a short ghosting trail where this should be hard to notice by people with untrained eyes. Nevertheless as mentioned above, since they both have 120 Hz of backlight flicker, this may cause some duplication in motion, particularly when playing 60 fps content like sports or video games. Just as mentioned above, enabling the 60 Hz BFI mode can remove duplication in motion that makes motion smoother. Compared between them, the SM8600 is a bit better since it has a lower pixel response time than the NANO 85, which is around 12 ms for the SM8600 and 15 ms for the NANO 85.

When playing 24p movies, the LG NANO 85 can do a better job than the SM8600, particularly when the source is 24p signal via 60i signal like movies from satellite TV. With this source the NANO 85 can show 24p movies with judder free while the SM8600 can not remove the judder. Except for 24p movies via 60i signal, both can do the same good job. This means that when the source is native 24p movies like DVD or Blur Ray movies, 24p movies via 60p signal like movies from streaming devices, 24p movies from native apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, they both can show all with judder-free. And to remove the judder, you just need to enable “Real Cinema” on the “Picture Setting”.

Winner: NANO 85

Input Lag

Both the LG SM8600 and the NANO 85 have excellent input lag in Game Mode and their input lag i almost similar. With 60 fps content, except 4K @ 4:4:4, the input lag of the SM8600 is around 14 ms. Meanwhile on 4K @ 4:4:4, input lag is a bit higher, which is around 30 ms. On the other hand, regardless of the resolution, with 60 fps content, the input lag of the LG NANO 85 is around 16 ms. While with 60 fps content, the input lag of the SM8600 is a bit lower, with 120 fps content, the input lag of the NANO 85 is a bit lower. The input lag of the SM8600 is around 7 ms on both 1080p and 1440p resolution while the NANO 85 is around 6 ms on both 1080p and 1440p resolution. They both don’t support 4K @ 120 Hz. Regardless of their differences, their input lag is low enough to make them very responsive for any game, even for fast paced games which require quick reflexes.  The advantage of the NANO 85 since it already supports VRR technology, is it allows you to play games with screen tearing free.

Winner: Draw

>> Please click here to see today’s price for the LG SM8600 <<

>> Please click here to see today’s price for the LG NANO 85 <<

Conclusion

For Watching Movies

Both the LG NANO 85 and the SM8600 are not good TVs for watching in a dark room. This is because their contrast ratio is not very high and that makes it so they can not produce a deep black.  This will make blacks of images displayed on their screen look gray instead of really black. Additionally their black uniformity is also not good. They both have a local dimming feature that should be able to improve dark room performance. Unfortunately, their local dimming doesn’t work very well.  Compared between them, their performance in a dark room may be equally not good, but the NANO 85 is a bit better than the predecessor SM8600. In addition to a higher native contrast ratio, it also has better performance in handling 24p judder, particularly when playing 24p movies via 60i signal like movies from satellite TV.

Winner: NANO 85

For Watching Sports

As we have discussed above, the low native contrast ratio may make performance in a dark room not very good. Once they are set in a bright room, the picture displayed on screen looks much better. This is due to the fact that in a bright room, the impact of the contrast ratio is not as sensitive as in a dark room. And since most people watch sports in a bright room, the performance is equally good. They both have a good pixel response time that makes fast scenes look clear and smooth with almost no motion blur. Additionally the BFI mode is very effective to make motion smoother, particularly for 60 fps content like sports and video games. Lastly their wide viewing angle coverage ensures all of you to get the best viewing when you are watching a big game with your family and friends. Keep in mind, their limited SDR peak brightness makes them suitable for watching sports in a dim or moderately-lit room. In a bright room, their SDR peak brightness is not bright enough to fight the glare. Compared between them, the SM8600 may have a lower pixel response time than the NANO 85. This difference is not very significant. On the other hand, the NANO 85 is better due to its brighter SDR peak brightness.

Winner: NANO 85

Video Games

Both the LG SM8600 and the NANO 85 are good TVs for playing games. Their low input lag at both 60 Hz and 120 Hz ensure you can play games responsively without lag, even for fast games that require quick reflexes. The combination of their low pixel response time and BFI mode allows you to play fast games with smooth clear picture quality. Their wide viewing angle allows you to play multiplayer games with a group of friends and family without losing picture quality. The LG NANO 85 is a bit better due to it supporting VRR technology compatible with HGiG and HDMI Forum. And with a future software update, it can also support FreeSync.  As mentioned, VRR technology can improve the gaming experience of a TV, allowing you to play a game with screen tearing-free.

Winner: NANO 85

HDR Experience

If you want one of these series for the HDR experience, you might be disappointed. Both have a wide color gamut and smooth color gradient that allows them to show HDR images with full vibrant color and smooth color gradient. However their black level is not deep enough to reveal details in shadows of HDR images the way they should be in HDR. With HDR images, they both are able to show brighter images better than with SDR images, but their HDR peak brightness is still not bright enough to show HDR images as bright they should be. Their peak brightness in a small window is lower than a larger window, which means they can not bring out small highlights in HDR. Compared between them, the LG NANO 85 is a bit better than the SM8600 due to a bit higher contrast ratio and a bit brighter HDR peak brightness. Additionally the NANO 85 also has a new feature called Dolby Vision IQ that will maximize its Dolby Vision experience in a room with any light condition.

Winner: NANO 85

Summary

Performance LG NANO 85 LG SM8600
Movies (3.2/5) (3.1/5)
TV Shows (4/5) (3.8/5)
Sports (3.9/5) (3.8/5)
Video Games (4/5) (3.9/5)
HDR Performance (4.1/5) (4.2/5)
Smart TV (3.2/5) (3/5)

As we have discussed above, except in a dark room, both the LG SM8600 and the NANO 85 are good TVs for mixed usage. As a newer model, the LG NANO 85 offers some improvements in some aspects such as contrast ratio, Peak Brightness, gaming features, and AI-related features that make it better than the predecessor. Nevertheless their performance is still not good enough to present a good HDR experience in your room. One of their main advantages is the good side viewing angle, ensuring that everyone gets the best viewing when watching TV shows or Sports with a group (such as your family) who sit together in wide seating. So which is a better choice for you? Considering features and picture quality offered, the LG NANO 85 is a better choice overall than the SM8600. In addition to it being the newer model, it is also better in any use and has some new features that will improve your viewing  experience. Even so it may be more expensive than the LG SM8600.

>> Please click here to see today’s price for the LG SM8600 <<

>> Please click here to see today’s price for the LG NANO 85 <<

LG Nano 85 vs LG SM8600 Review (49NANO85UNA vs 49SM8600PUA, 55NANO85UNA vs 55SM8600PUA, 65NANO85UNA vs 65SM8600PUA)

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