LG NANO81 TV Review

Tested using Methodology v1.6
Reviewed Jul 28, 2020 at 07:56 am
LG NANO81 Picture
6.9
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: Vizio V5 Series 2021
6.2
Movies
Value for price beaten by
: Vizio V5 Series 2021
7.8
TV Shows
Value for price beaten by
: none
7.5
Sports
Value for price beaten by
: none
6.8
Video Games
Value for price beaten by
: Vizio V5 Series 2021
5.9
HDR Movies
Value for price beaten by
: Vizio V5 Series 2021
6.9
HDR Gaming
Value for price beaten by
: Vizio V5 Series 2021
8.2
PC Monitor
Value for price beaten by
: none
Type LED
Sub-Type
IPS
Resolution 4k

The LG NANO81 is a decent overall TV with an IPS panel. It's a very simple TV that's limited on extra features as it doesn't support any variable refresh rate (VRR) technology or Dolby Vision. It has wide viewing angles, so it's a good choice for watching the big game with a lot of friends. Sadly, people who enjoy watching movies in the dark may be disappointed with its low contrast ratio, bad local dimming feature, and uniformity issues. It's a good choice for console gamers because the response time is decent and the input lag is incredibly low. Overall, it's a fairly well-built TV with an excellent design and a premium-looking center-mounted stand.

Our Verdict

6.9 Mixed Usage

The LG NANO81 is a decent TV for most uses. With its IPS panel, it's a good choice for watching sports with a group of friends or using it as a PC monitor. It has a low contrast ratio, poor black uniformity, and its local dimming feature is bad, so watching movies in the dark isn't a good choice. It doesn't have any VRR support and it has a 60Hz refresh rate, but casual gamers should appreciate the incredibly low input lag and decent response time.

Pros
  • Wide viewing angles.
  • Excellent reflection handling.
  • Incredibly low input lag.
Cons
  • Poor dark room performance.
  • Doesn't get very bright.
  • No VRR support.
6.2 Movies

The LG NANO81 is mediocre for watching movies. It has an IPS panel that has a low contrast ratio, and its local dimming feature is bad. It also has poor black uniformity, so dark scenes don't look good. Luckily, it upscales lower-resolution content well and removes judder from 24p sources like native apps.

Pros
  • Removes judder from native 24p sources.
Cons
  • Poor dark room performance.
7.8 TV Shows

Very good for TV shows. The LG NANO81 has excellent reflection handling, but it doesn't get very bright, so you should avoid placing it in really bright rooms. It has wide viewing angles and it upscales 720p content, like from cable boxes, without any issues. LG's WebOS platform also has a great selection of apps available to download.

Pros
  • Wide viewing angles.
  • Excellent reflection handling.
  • Upscales lower-resolution content well.
Cons
  • Doesn't get very bright.
  • Disappointing built-in speakers.
7.5 Sports

The LG NANO81 is good for sports. It has wide viewing angles if you watch games with a big group of friends. It has a decent response time, so fast-moving content doesn't have a lot of motion blur, and there's also almost no dirty screen effect. You should avoid watching sports in really bright rooms as it doesn't get very bright, but it has excellent reflection handling.

Pros
  • Wide viewing angles.
  • Excellent reflection handling.
  • Decent response time.
Cons
  • Doesn't get very bright.
  • Disappointing built-in speakers.
6.8 Video Games

The LG NANO81 is good for video games. It doesn't have any gaming features like VRR support and it's limited to a 60Hz refresh rate. Regardless, it has a decent response time and an incredibly low input lag. It also upscales 1080p content very well, so it's a good TV for console gaming.

Pros
  • Excellent reflection handling.
  • Incredibly low input lag.
  • Decent response time.
Cons
  • Poor dark room performance.
  • No VRR support.
5.9 HDR Movies

Disappointing for HDR movies. The LG NANO81 doesn't support Dolby Vision, its color gamut is only decent, and it doesn't get bright enough to make highlights pop in HDR, so it doesn't look different from SDR content. It also has a low contrast ratio, a bad local dimming feature, and poor black uniformity. On the upside, it removes judder from native 24p sources.

Pros
  • Removes judder from native 24p sources.
Cons
  • Poor dark room performance.
  • Doesn't get very bright.
  • Somewhat limited color gamut.
6.9 HDR Gaming

The LG NANO81 is okay for HDR gaming, mainly due to its good gaming performance. It has an incredibly low input lag and a decent response time, but HDR content doesn't look good. Its color gamut is a bit limited and it doesn't get bright enough to bring out highlights. Also, it's limited to a 60Hz refresh rate and it doesn't have VRR support.

Pros
  • Incredibly low input lag.
  • Decent response time.
Cons
  • Poor dark room performance.
  • Doesn't get very bright.
  • Somewhat limited color gamut.
8.2 PC Monitor

The LG NANO81 is a great choice to use as a PC monitor. It displays proper chroma 4:4:4, which is important for reading text. It has wide viewing angles, so it's a good choice to place in a meeting room. It's not the best TV to place in bright rooms, as even though it has excellent reflection handling, it doesn't get bright enough to combat glare.

Pros
  • Wide viewing angles.
  • Displays proper chroma 4:4:4.
  • Excellent reflection handling.
  • Incredibly low input lag.
Cons
  • Doesn't get very bright.
  • 6.9 Mixed Usage
  • 6.2 Movies
  • 7.8 TV Shows
  • 7.5 Sports
  • 6.8 Video Games
  • 5.9 HDR Movies
  • 6.9 HDR Gaming
  • 8.2 PC Monitor
  1. Updated Jul 28, 2021: Added the real content local dimming videos.
  2. Updated Mar 01, 2021: Converted to Test Bench 1.6.
  3. Updated Jul 28, 2020: Review published.
  4. Updated Jul 23, 2020: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Market Context
Market Context
Market Context

The LG NANO81 is an entry-level TV in LG's NanoCell series. It replaces 2019's LG SM8100 and sits below the LG NANO85. Its main competitors are the Samsung Q60T QLED, Sony X800H, and the Vizio V Series 2020.

Design
Design
Style
Curved No

The LG 65NANO81ANA has an excellent design and looks a lot like the LG NANO85 and the LG SM8600 in terms of its build and frame. It has the same center-mounted stand as the SM8600 that gives it a more premium look than the two-footed stand on the NANO85.

Design
Stand

The center-mounted moon-shaped stand is mainly plastic, except for the base underneath the stand, which is metal. The center part that connects to the TV is plastic and doesn't hold the TV very well as there's a lot of wobble. Note that there's a 75 inch model available with a stand similar to the LG NANO85.

Footprint of the 65" TV: 32.7" x 12.8".

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 300x300

The back is made out of a thin sheet of metal that almost feels plastic and it has a slightly-brushed textured finish to it. The back panel bends quite easily. Also, cable management is serviced through the stand, keeping your setup clean.

Design
Borders
Borders 0.43" (1.1 cm)

The borders are thin and aren't distracting.

Design
Thickness
Max Thickness 2.52" (6.4 cm)

With the stand, the LG 65NANO81ANA is fairly thick and you need a large table. If you wall-mount the TV, it won't stick out much.

7.0
Design
Build Quality

Decent build quality, very much like the LG SM8600. The stand wobbles a lot and the back panel has a lot of flex to it. Also, you can visibly see the screws and lines where the different parts of the TV are attached.

Picture Quality
6.5
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
1,313 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
1,355 : 1

The contrast ratio is okay; it's actually better than most IPS panels we've seen, but blacks appear closer to gray when viewed in the dark. There's a local dimming feature that only slightly improves the contrast ratio. If you want a TV with a better contrast ratio, check out the Samsung Q60/Q60A QLED.

5.9
Picture Quality
SDR Brightness
Real Scene Peak Brightness
239 cd/m²
Peak 2% Window
210 cd/m²
Peak 10% Window
272 cd/m²
Peak 25% Window
271 cd/m²
Peak 50% Window
270 cd/m²
Peak 100% Window
270 cd/m²
Sustained 2% Window
206 cd/m²
Sustained 10% Window
271 cd/m²
Sustained 25% Window
270 cd/m²
Sustained 50% Window
270 cd/m²
Sustained 100% Window
270 cd/m²
Automatic Brightness Limiting (ABL)
0.019

The LG 65NANO81ANA has a disappointing SDR peak brightness. This TV doesn't get very bright, not enough to combat glare in bright rooms. For the most part, its brightness remains consistent with varied content.

We measured the brightness after calibration in the 'Expert (Dark Mode)' Picture Mode, with Local Dimming on 'Medium', Backlight set to 'Max', and the Color Temperature set to 'Warm 2'.

If you don't care about image accuracy and want the brightest image possible, set the Picture Mode to 'Vivid' with the Local Dimming on 'High' and Backlight to 'Max'. We were able to get 504 nits on the 2% peak window test.

1.5
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
Yes
Backlight
Edge

Update 07/28/2021: Added the real content local dimming videos.

The LG 65NANO81ANA has a bad local dimming feature. It has six edge-lit dimming zones and bright objects light up entire zones, so you can see where each zone starts and ends, which is distracting even during real content. Due to this issue, there are noticeable blooming and uniformity issues around subtitles and bright objects. On the upside, it doesn't crush scenes and objects transition between zones well. We recommended setting Local Dimming to 'Medium' as it's less distracting than on 'High'.

1.5
Picture Quality
Local Dimming In Game Mode
Local Dimming
Yes
Backlight
Edge

Update 07/28/2021: Added the real content local dimming videos.

5.6
Picture Quality
HDR Brightness
Real Scene Highlight
297 cd/m²
Peak 2% Window
540 cd/m²
Peak 10% Window
539 cd/m²
Peak 25% Window
389 cd/m²
Peak 50% Window
361 cd/m²
Peak 100% Window
342 cd/m²
Sustained 2% Window
285 cd/m²
Sustained 10% Window
338 cd/m²
Sustained 25% Window
341 cd/m²
Sustained 50% Window
341 cd/m²
Sustained 100% Window
341 cd/m²
Automatic Brightness Limiting (ABL)
0.012

The LG NANO81 has disappointing brightness in HDR. It doesn't get bright enough to make highlights pop the way they're supposed to, so HDR content doesn't look all that much different from SDR.

We measured the brightness before calibration in the 'HDR Cinema' Picture Mode with Local Dimming on 'Medium', Backlight set to 'Max', and the Color Temperature set to 'Warm 2'. The brightest the TV got was with these settings, as seen in the 2% peak window test.

5.6
Picture Quality
HDR Brightness In Game Mode
Real Scene Highlight
298 cd/m²
Peak 2% Window
545 cd/m²
Peak 10% Window
543 cd/m²
Peak 25% Window
390 cd/m²
Peak 50% Window
362 cd/m²
Peak 100% Window
343 cd/m²
Sustained 2% Window
285 cd/m²
Sustained 10% Window
340 cd/m²
Sustained 25% Window
342 cd/m²
Sustained 50% Window
342 cd/m²
Sustained 100% Window
342 cd/m²
Automatic Brightness Limiting (ABL)
0.012
7.7
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
2.973%
50% DSE
0.159%
5% Std. Dev.
0.668%
5% DSE
0.121%

The LG 65NANO81ANA has good gray uniformity. The edges of the screen are slightly darker, more so near the corners. There's also very minimal dirty screen effect in the center, which is great for sports fans. The uniformity is much better in near-dark scenes, except there's visible backlight bleed in the bottom right corner.

4.4
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
2.515%
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
4.803%

Bad black uniformity for the LG 65NANO81ANA. Without local dimming, there's clouding and backlight bleed in the bottom right corner, and the screen appears more blue than black. With local dimming, the uniformity is even worse, as the center cross lights up the two dimming zones in the center, and the left and right dimming zones are the only zones truly turned off.

7.6
Picture Quality
Viewing Angle
Color Washout
32°
Color Shift
55°
Brightness Loss
34°
Black Level Raise
70°
Gamma Shift
46°

Good viewing angles, which is expected from an IPS panel TV. It's better than other TVs in LG's 2020 LED lineup like the LG NANO90. The image remains accurate when viewing from the side, ideal for a wide seating arrangement.

8.8
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Glossy
Total Reflections
2.4%
Indirect Reflections
0.2%
Calculated Direct Reflections
2.2%

The LG 65NANO81ANA has excellent reflection handling. Even with direct sunlight on the TV, the reflections don't get too distracting.

6.6
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
White Balance dE
3.96
Color dE
2.83
Gamma
2.35
Color Temperature
7,838 K
Picture Mode
Expert (Dark Room)
Color Temp Setting
Warm 2
Gamma Setting
2.2

The LG 65NANO81ANA has alright out-of-the-box color accuracy. The colors are fairly accurate but the color temperature is very cold, giving the image a blue-ish tint. The white balance is off and the gamma doesn't follow the curve well, as most scenes appear darker than they should. If you want a similar TV with much better accuracy out of the box, check out the Sony X80J.

9.1
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
White Balance dE
0.28
Color dE
1.11
Gamma
2.19
Color Temperature
7,182 K
White Balance Calibration
22 point
Color Calibration
Yes

The LG 65NANO81ANA has outstanding color accuracy after calibrating. Any remaining inaccuracies are difficult to spot without the aid of a colorimeter and the gamma follows the target almost perfectly. The color temperature is cold when displaying an image with 5% and 10% stimulus levels, which affects the scoring for the color temperature. The temperature is closer to the 6500K target with all the other stimulus levels we tested.

You can see our recommended settings here.

8.0
Picture Quality
480p Input

The LG 65NANO81ANA upscales 480p content, like from DVDs, without any problems.

8.0
Picture Quality
720p Input

720p content, such as from cable boxes, is upscaled without any noticeable artifacts.

9.0
Picture Quality
1080p Input

1080p content, like from Blu-ray players or native apps, looks almost as good as native 4k content.

10
Picture Quality
4k Input

The LG NANO81 displays native 4k content perfectly.

0
Picture Quality
8k Input

This is a 4k TV that doesn't support an 8k signal.

Picture Quality
Pixels

This TV uses a type of IPS panel similar to the panel on the LG NANO85.

7.4
Picture Quality
Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
Yes
DCI P3 xy
81.51%
DCI P3 uv
89.92%
Rec 2020 xy
59.20%
Rec 2020 uv
67.28%

Decent color gamut. It has impressive coverage of the DCI-P3 color space used in most HDR content, but it has limited coverage of the wider Rec. 2020 color space.

For the most part, the EOTF follows the curve fairly well until it rolls off, except most scenes are slightly too bright. In 'Game' mode, it performs exactly the same, as you can see in the here.

If you find HDR too dim, set Local Dimming to 'High', Dynamic Contrast to 'Medium' and enable the Dynamic Tone Mapping. The image is noticeably brighter as you can see the EOTF here.

6.2
Picture Quality
Color Volume
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage ITP
70.6%
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP
35.0%
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
53.6%
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
26.2%

Mediocre color volume. Due to its low contrast ratio and limited color gamut, the LG 65NANO81ANA doesn't display colors at different luminance levels well, and it can't display dark, saturated colors.

7.6
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
10 Bit
Red (Std. Dev.)
0.113
Green (Std. Dev.)
0.115
Blue (Std. Dev.)
0.095
Gray (Std. Dev.)
0.180

The LG 65NANO81ANA has good gradient handling. There's noticeable banding in all colors, especially with dark green and gray. In real content, enabling Smooth Gradiation helps smooth out gradients, and set it to 'Low' if you don't want to lose too much detail.

10
Picture Quality
Temporary Image Retention
IR after 0 min recovery
0.00%
IR after 2 min recovery
0.00%
IR after 4 min recovery
0.00%
IR after 6 min recovery
0.00%
IR after 8 min recovery
0.00%
IR after 10 min recovery
0.00%

There are no signs of temporary image retention, even immediately after displaying our high-contrast static test image for 10 minutes, which is great.

10
Picture Quality
Permanent Burn-In Risk
Permanent Burn-In Risk
No

Although some IPS panels can suffer from temporary image retention, this doesn't appear to be permanent as seen in our long-term test.

Motion
7.2
Motion
Response Time
80% Response Time
5.7 ms
100% Response Time
16.9 ms

The LG 65NANO81ANA has a decent response time, slightly worse than the LG NANO85, which has a 120Hz refresh rate. There's overshoot in darker transitions and some motion blur with fast-moving content. If you want something with a bit better response time, check out the LG NANO80.

6.0
Motion
Flicker-Free
Flicker-Free
No
PWM Dimming Frequency
240 Hz

This TV uses Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) to dim its backlight. It flickers at 240Hz in 'Filmmaker', 'Expert (Bright Room)', and 'Expert (Dark Room)' picture modes. In any other picture mode, including 'Game', it flickers at 120Hz.

5.4
Motion
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
Optional BFI
No
Min Flicker For 60 fps
120 Hz
60Hz For 60 fps
No
120Hz For 120 fps
N/A
Min Flicker for 60 fps in Game Mode
120 Hz

Unfortunately, this TV doesn't have a black frame insertion feature to improve the appearance of motion. The backlight flickers at 120Hz in most modes.

Motion
Motion Interpolation
Motion Interpolation (30 fps)
Yes
Motion Interpolation (60 fps)
No

The LG 65NANO81ANA interpolates motion up to 60fps, known as the 'Soap Opera Effect'. It looks decent overall and smooths everything out in slower scenes, but it doesn't stop interpolating in action-packed scenes, causing visible artifacts.

See our settings page for the motion interpolation settings.

8.0
Motion
Stutter
Frame Hold Time @ 24 fps
24.8 ms
Frame Hold Time @ 60 fps
0.0 ms

Due to the TV's slower response time, there's not much stutter on this TV when displaying lower frame rate content. This is similar to the Samsung TU8000.

7.8
Motion
24p Judder
Judder-Free 24p
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via 60p
No
Judder-Free 24p via 60i
No
Judder-Free 24p via Native Apps
Yes

The LG 65NANO81ANA can remove judder from native 24p content, such as from native apps, but like most 60Hz TVs, it can't remove 24p judder from 60p/i signals. To remove judder, enable Real Cinema.

0
Motion
Variable Refresh Rate
Native Refresh Rate
60 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate
No
HDMI Forum VRR
No
FreeSync
No
G-SYNC Compatible
No
4k VRR Maximum
N/A
4k VRR Minimum
No VRR support
1080p VRR Maximum
N/A
1080p VRR Minimum
No VRR support
1440p VRR Maximum
N/A
1440p VRR Minimum
No VRR support
VRR Supported Connectors
No VRR support

The LG 65NANO81ANA doesn't support any variable refresh rate technology.

Inputs
9.7
Inputs
Input Lag
1080p @ 60Hz
10.6 ms
1080p @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode
110.9 ms
1440p @ 60Hz
10.1 ms
4k @ 60Hz
10.1 ms
4k @ 60Hz + 10-Bit HDR
10.1 ms
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
10.2 ms
4k @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode
99.0 ms
4k @ 60Hz With Interpolation
99.0 ms
8k @ 60Hz
N/A
1080p @ 120Hz
N/A
1440p @ 120Hz
N/A
4k @ 120Hz
N/A
1080p with Variable Refresh Rate
N/A
1440p with VRR
N/A
4k with VRR
N/A
8k with VRR
N/A

The LG 65NANO81ANA has an incredibly low input lag, even lower than the LG NANO85 and LG NANO90. You need to be in 'Game' mode to achieve the lowest input lag possible, and the TV has an 'Auto Low Latency Mode' that automatically switches to 'Game' mode when a compatible device is connected. To enable it, turn on the Instant Game Response setting.

8.3
Inputs
Supported Resolutions
1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes
1080p @ 120Hz
No
1440p @ 60Hz
Yes (native support)
1440p @ 120Hz
No
4k @ 60Hz
Yes
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes
4k @ 120Hz
No
8k @ 30Hz or 24Hz
No
8k @ 60Hz
No

All common resolutions at 60Hz are supported on this TV. It displays proper chroma 4:4:4, which is important for reading text if you use this TV as a PC monitor. To do this, set the input icon to 'PC'. Also, enable HDMI Ultra HD Deep Color to achieve full bandwidth.

Note that we were able to input 1080p @ 120Hz and 1440p @ 120Hz signals, but at 1080p it skips frames, and at 1440p, it doesn't properly display an image, so it's not useable.

Inputs
Advanced Console Compatibility
Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM)
Yes
PS5, 4k @ 120Hz + HDR
No
PS5, 4k @ 120Hz
No
PS5, 4k @ 60Hz + HDR
Yes
PS5, 1440p @ 120Hz
No
PS5, 1080p @ 120Hz
No
PS5, Variable Refresh Rate
No
Xbox Series X, 4k @ 120Hz + HDR
No
Xbox Series X, 4k @ 120Hz
No
Xbox Series X, 4k @ 60Hz + HDR
Yes
Xbox Series X, 1440p @ 120Hz
No
Xbox Series X, 1080p @ 120Hz
No
Xbox Series X, Variable Refresh Rate
No
Inputs
Inputs Specifications
HDR10
Yes
HDR10+
No
Dolby Vision
No
HLG
Yes
HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth
Yes (HDMI 1,2,3,4)
HDMI 2.1 Class Bandwidth
No
CEC Yes
HDCP 2.2 Yes (HDMI 1,2,3,4)
USB 3.0
No
Variable Analog Audio Out No
Wi-Fi Support Yes (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz)

Unlike the LG NANO85, the LG 65NANO81ANA doesn't support Dolby Vision.

Inputs
Input Photos
Inputs
Total Inputs
HDMI 4
USB 2
Digital Optical Audio Out 1
Analog Audio Out 3.5mm 0
Analog Audio Out RCA 0
Component In 1 (shared)
Composite In 1 (shared)
Tuner (Cable/Ant) 1
Ethernet 1
DisplayPort 0
IR In 0
SD/SDHC 0
Inputs
Audio Passthrough
ARC
Yes (HDMI 2)
eARC support
No
Dolby Atmos via TrueHD via eARC
No
DTS:X via DTS-HD MA via eARC
No
5.1 Dolby Digital via ARC
Yes
5.1 DTS via ARC
No
5.1 Dolby Digital via Optical
Yes
5.1 DTS via Optical
No

LG dropped its DTS decoding from their TVs in 2020, so the LG 65NANO81ANA only supports Dolby Digital via ARC and optical. We experienced a bug with ARC during testing, as there was no sound coming out until we restarted the TV. We don't know if this was a one-time issue or not, so if you experience the same issue, let us know in the comments below.

Sound Quality
5.9
Sound Quality
Frequency Response
Low-Frequency Extension
113.14 Hz
Std. Dev. @ 70
2.02 dB
Std. Dev. @ 80
3.18 dB
Std. Dev. @ Max
6.36 dB
Max
84.8 dB SPL
Dynamic Range Compression
6.24 dB

Disappointing frequency response, similar to 2019's LG SM8600. It can't produce a deep bass and it doesn't get very loud either, so it's not ideal for noisy environments. There's a room correction feature through the 'AI Service' menu.

6.6
Sound Quality
Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80
0.239
Weighted THD @ Max
0.921
IMD @ 80
4.61%
IMD @ Max
8.55%

The LG 65NANO81ANA has decent distortion performance. There's minimal total harmonic distortion at moderate listening levels, but it gets more noticeable at its max volume.

Smart Features
8.5
Smart Features
Interface
Smart OS WebOS
Version 5.0
Ease of Use
Easy
Smoothness
Average
Time Taken to Select YouTube
2 s
Time Taken to Change Backlight
8 s
Advanced Options
Many

The LG 65NANO81ANA runs on WebOS, which is easy to use and fairly smooth to navigate. We did experience issues during testing, because as we were navigating the menus with the scroll wheel and the remote pointer direct to the TV, the menu would get stuck and we weren't able to select anything lower in the list than where we already were.

0
Smart Features
Ad-Free
Ads
Yes
Opt-out
No
Suggested Content in Home
Yes
Opt-out of Suggested Content
No

There are ads and suggested content on the home screen and within the app store. You can remove ads from the smart menu by disabling Home Promotion, but you'll still see ads elsewhere.

8.0
Smart Features
Apps and Features
App Selection
Great
App Smoothness
Average
Cast Capable
Yes
USB Drive Playback
Yes
USB Drive HDR Playback
Yes
HDR in Netflix
Yes
HDR in YouTube
Yes

The app store has a great selection of apps available and you can cast content from your device.

9.0
Smart Features
Remote
Size
Large
Voice Control
Many Features
CEC Menu Control
Yes
Other Smart Features
Yes
Remote App LG TV Plus

The LG 65NANO81ANA uses the same LG Magic Remote as other LG TVs. You can use it like a traditional remote or point and press. There are shortcut buttons to Netflix and Amazon Prime Video and it has built-in voice control. You can ask it to change inputs, open apps, search for content within specific apps, change brightness, and ask for the weather conditions. You can also use it as a universal remote with other devices, even if they don't support CEC.

Smart Features
TV Controls

There's a single button underneath the center of the TV that allows you to turn it on/off, change inputs, volume, and channels.

Smart Features
In The Box

  • Power cable
  • Remote
  • 2x AA batteries
  • Cable management strap
  • User manuals

Smart Features
Misc
Power Consumption 64 W
Power Consumption (Max) 142 W
Firmware 03.00.60

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

We tested the 65 inch LG NANO81 (65NANO81ANA) and we expect our results to be valid for the 55 inch (55NANO81ANA) and 75 inch (75NANO80UNA) models too. The 75 inch model in the U.S. and the Canadian models have a different stand, similar to the one on the LG NANO85.

Size US Canada EU
49" -  49NANO80UNA

49NANO816NA

55" 55NANO81ANA  55NANO80UNA

55NANO816NA

65"

65NANO81ANA  65NANO80UNA

65NANO816NA

75" 75NANO80UNA  75NANO80UNA  -

If someone comes across a different type of panel or if their NANO81 doesn't correspond to our review, let us know and we'll update the review. Note that some tests such as the gray uniformity may vary between individual units.

The unit we reviewed was manufactured in April 2020 and you can see the label here.

Compared To Other TVs

Comparison picture

Top left: Samsung Q60T QLED (QN55Q60TAFXZA). Bottom left: LG NANO85 (55NANO85UNA). Middle: LG NANO81 (65NANO81ANA). Top right: Sony X900F (XBR55X900F). Bottom right: Vizio P Series Quantum X 2019. (PX65-G1).

The LG NANO81 is a decent overall TV with an IPS panel, and if you tend to watch movies in the dark, there are better choices with a VA panel, like the Samsung TU8000. It performs worse than the LG NANO85 and the LG NANO90, but this is expected since it's lower in the LG lineup. Also see our recommendations for the best 4k TVs, the best TVs for PC monitors, and the best LG TVs

Samsung Q60/Q60T QLED
43" 50" 55" 58" 65" 75" 82" 85"

The Samsung Q60/Q60T QLED is a bit better overall than the LG NANO81, but they have different panels. The Samsung has a VA panel, displaying much deeper blacks, and it has much better black uniformity. It also has more accurate colors, it gets brighter, and it has a wider color gamut. However, the LG has an IPS panel with wider viewing angles, it handles reflections much better, and it has a quicker response time.

Samsung TU8000
43" 50" 55" 65" 75" 85"

The Samsung TU8000 and the LG NANO81 are two very similar-performing TVs with different panel types. The Samsung has a VA panel that displays deeper blacks and has much better black uniformity. The Samsung also supports HDR10+ and has better built-in speakers. On the other hand, the LG has wider viewing angles, handles reflections better, and because of its IPS panel, has wider viewing angles.

LG NANO85
49" 55" 65" 75"

The LG NANO85 is a bit better than the LG NANO81. The NANO85 has a 120Hz refresh rate and it currently supports HDMI Forum's VRR. It also has a quicker response time, a black frame insertion feature, better out-of-the-box color accuracy, and it gets brighter. However, the NANO81 has a lower input lag, better reflection handling, and it has a more premium-looking center-mounted stand.

LG NANO80 2020
49" 55" 65" 75"

The LG NANO81 is better than the LG NANO80 2020. The NANO81 gets brighter, has much better reflection handling, and it has a local dimming feature, but it doesn't perform well. However, the NANO80 has a quicker response time and much better out-of-the-box color accuracy, but this may vary between units.

LG CX OLED
48" 55" 65" 77"

The LG CX OLED is much better than the LG NANO81. The CX can individually turn off pixels, producing extremely deep blacks, and it has a perfect contrast ratio. This TV also gets brighter, has wider viewing angles, handles reflections better, and has a 120Hz refresh rate with VRR support. On the other side, the NANO81 has a lower input lag and doesn't have the risk of permanent burn-in.

Sony X800H
43" 49" 55" 65" 75" 85"

The Sony X800H is slightly better overall than the LG NANO81. The Sony gets much brighter, it has wider viewing angles, much better out-of-the-box color accuracy, and it has better built-in speakers. However, lower-frame rate content stutters less on the NANO81 and it removes judder from native 24p sources.

LG NANO90 2020
55" 65" 75" 86"

The LG NANO90 2020 is much better the LG NANO81. The NANO90 has a higher 120Hz refresh rate and has variable refresh rate support. It also supports Dolby Vision, has a wider color gamut, better built-in speakers, and it gets brighter. On the other hand, the NANO81 has a lower input lag, it handles reflections better, and it also wider viewing angles.

LG SM8600
49" 55" 65" 75"

The LG SM8600 and the LG NANO81 are similarly performing TVs and have a similar design with a center-mounted stand. The SM8600 has a 120Hz refresh rate, a much quicker response time, a BFI feature, and it removes judder from any source except 24p via 60i. However, the NANO81 has wider viewing angles, better reflection handling, and it has a lower input lag.

Samsung RU9000
65" 75" 82"

The Samsung RU9000 is better than the LG NANO81. The RU9000 has a VA panel with a much higher contrast ratio and significantly better black uniformity, making it more suitable for dark room viewing. The RU9000 has a 120Hz refresh rate, faster response time, and it has an optional black frame insertion feature. Furthermore, it has a wider color gamut and it supports VRR. However, the NANO81 has better viewing angles due to its IPS panel, it has better reflection handling, and lower input lag.

Samsung The Sero
43"

The Samsung The Sero and the LG NANO81 perform similarly for most uses. The Samsung can get a lot brighter, and it has better color accuracy and faster response time. On the other hand, the LG has better viewing angles and reflection handling.

+ Show more

Discussions