The LG NANO85 2021 is a mid-range TV in LG's 2021 NanoCell lineup. It replaces the LG NANO85 2020, and while it has many of the same features and performances as its predecessor, it improves in a few areas. Console gamers will be happy to know it has a 120Hz panel and HDMI 2.1 bandwidth on two ports, allowing you to play 4k @ 120Hz games without issue from the Xbox Series X and the PS5. It also has FreeSync variable refresh rate (VRR) support to reduce screen tearing in games. It has the same excellent webOS interface as other LG TVs, which is easy-to-use and comes with the user-friendly Magic Remote. Like other NanoCell TVs, it has an IPS-like panel with fairly wide viewing angles, so it's a good choice to use in a wide seating area. However, that means it has a low contrast ratio, and its edge-lit local dimming feature causes blooming around bright objects.
The LG NANO85 is decent overall. It performs best in moderately-lit rooms with wide seating areas, like when watching TV shows or sports, because it has decent reflection handling and wide viewing angles, but it doesn't get bright enough to fight a ton of glare. It's decent for gaming as it has HDMI 2.1 bandwidth, variable refresh rate (VRR) support, and a quick response time for a smooth gaming experience. Unfortunately, it's mediocre for watching content in dark rooms because blacks look gray, and the local dimming feature doesn't improve picture quality in dark scenes.
The LG NANO85 is mediocre for watching movies. It doesn't have issues upscaling 1080p content or displaying native 4k content, which is great for watching high-resolution movies. It also removes 24p judder from any source, including Blu-rays. Sadly, it doesn't perform well in dark rooms because it has a low contrast ratio that makes blacks look gray, and the local dimming feature is terrible.
The LG NANO85 is good for watching TV shows. It performs well in a room with a few lights around because it has okay peak brightness and decent reflection handling, but it's not good enough to place in a really bright room. It also has wide viewing angles, so it's good if you need to watch shows with the entire family. Lastly, it doesn't have issues upscaling lower-resolution content, and the webOS interface is user-friendly, making it easy to stream your favorite shows.
The LG NANO85 is good for watching sports. It's a good choice for watching the big game with a large group of people because it has wide viewing angles, so the image remains accurate when viewing from the side. Motion also looks smooth thanks to the quick response time, but you'll notice some motion blur behind fast-moving objects. Its reflection handling is decent if you want to use it in a room with a few lights around, but it doesn't get bright enough to fight a ton of glare.
The LG NANO85 is decent for playing video games. It has a few gaming-oriented features like HDMI 2.1 bandwidth for high-frame-rate gaming, and it has variable refresh rate support to reduce screen tearing. It also has low input and a quick response time for a responsive gaming experience. However, it's not a good choice for dark room gaming because it has a low contrast ratio that makes blacks look gray, and the local dimming feature is terrible as it causes blooming around bright objects.
The LG NANO85 is unremarkable for watching HDR movies. It doesn't deliver a true cinematic HDR experience because it has a low contrast ratio that makes blacks look gray, and the local dimming performs terribly. Also, while it displays a wide color gamut for a wide range of colors, it doesn't get bright enough to make those colors look vivid and for highlights to pop.
The LG NANO85 is decent for HDR gaming, mainly due to its decent gaming performance. It has HDMI 2.1 bandwidth with a 120Hz panel and variable refresh rate support, meaning you can play high-frame-rate games with reduced screen tearing. Motion looks smooth thanks to its quick response time, and it has low input lag for a responsive feel. Sadly, HDR content doesn't look good at all as blacks look gray, there's blooming around bright objects with the local dimming feature enabled, and highlights don't pop.
The LG NANO85 is impressive to use as a PC monitor. It has HDMI 2.1 bandwidth, meaning you can display high-frame-rate, high-resolution signals from your PC. It also displays proper chroma 4:4:4, which helps improve text clarity. It has low input lag that makes mouse movements feel responsive. It also has wide viewing angles, so the edges of the screen don't look washed out if you sit too close. The reflection handling is decent if your workspace has a few lights, but it doesn't get very bright, so it struggles in really bright rooms.
We tested the 65 inch LG NANO85, and the results are also valid for the 55 inch and 75 inch models. There's a 50 inch model available in Canada and Europe, but it has a VA panel with a higher contrast ratio and worse viewing angles. The 86 inch model is a bit different because it has full-array local dimming instead of being edge-lit, so the local dimming will perform better, and it also has different speakers. The Europe model is labeled the LG NANO86, and it has a center-mounted stand, and the results are also valid for it. The NANO85 only seems to be available at Costco in the US, but it's available at various retailers outside the US. You can see the differences between each model below.
|Size||US Model||Short Model Code||Panel Type||Backlight Type||Speaker Channels||Notes|
|50"||-||50NANO85||VA||Edge||2.0||Not available in US|
If someone comes across a different type of panel or if their LG NANO85 doesn't correspond to the review, let us know and we'll update the review. Some tests, like gray uniformity, may vary between units.
The unit was manufactured in March 2021; you can see the label here.
The LG NANO85 is a decent TV at best, and its IPS-like panel restricts it from having good picture quality in dark scenes. Also, the edge-lit local dimming feature is terrible, and you can easily find a cheaper TV with better local dimming. Unless you really need the wide viewing angles, you can get something like the Samsung Q70/Q70A QLED or the Sony X85J, which are both in the same price range. Even if you have a wide seating arrangement, the LG NANO90 2021 is a higher-end model that offers better picture quality as it uses full-array local dimming.
Also see our recommendations for the best TVs for bright rooms, the best 65 inch TVs, and the best 4k TVs.
Although the LG NANO85 2021 and the LG QNED80 are from different lineups, they're very similar TVs. The main difference is that the QNED80 displays slightly more colors thanks to its quantum dot technology, and it's a bit brighter too. They have many of the same features, but the NANO85 supports Dolby Atmos passthrough and supports Dolby Vision for HDR, both of which the QNED80 doesn't do.
The Samsung Q70/Q70A QLED is better than the LG NANO85 2021. The Samsung has a higher contrast ratio, resulting in deeper blacks in a dark room. Although they each have decent reflection handling, the Samsung is also much better for bright rooms because it gets brighter and can better overcome glare. Finally, the Samsung TV has a slightly quicker response time and lower input lag for a better gaming experience.
The Samsung AU8000 and the LG NANO85 2021 are decent TVs with a few differences. They have different panel types with strengths and weaknesses. The Samsung is better for dark room viewing because it has a higher contrast, and even in bright rooms, it has much better reflection handling. However, the LG has an IPS-type panel with wider viewing angles, so the image remains accurate from the side. Also, the LG has more gaming features than the Samsung, like HDMI 2.1 bandwidth and VRR support, both of which the Samsung doesn't have.
The LG NANO85 2021 is better overall than the LG NANO75 2021, mainly because it has more features. They each have the same panel type with low contrast and wide viewing angles, and even though the NANO85 has a local dimming feature, it performs terribly and is distracting with dark scenes. The NANO85 is a better choice for rooms with a few lights around because it gets brighter, but it's still not enough to fight a ton of glare. Lastly, the NANO85 has more gaming features like a 120Hz panel, HDMI 2.1 bandwidth, and VRR support to reduce screen tearing.
The LG NANO90 2021 is a higher-end model than the LG NANO85 2021, so it's better in a few aspects. The NANO90 delivers better picture quality because it gets brighter, has much better reflection handling, and its full-array backlighting is better, although it's still poor. They have the same gaming features, but the NANO90 has lower input lag with 120Hz signals. However, the NANO85 displays a wider color gamut, and it has much better out-of-the-box accuracy, so colors appear how they should.
The LG NANO85 2021 and the Sony X80J are both decent TVs. They each have IPS-type panels, so the picture quality is similar, but the main differences are with their features. The LG has more gaming features for console gamers like a 120Hz panel and HDMI 2.1 bandwidth. The LG removes 24p judder from any source, and it also has a local dimming feature, which the Sony TV doesn't have, but it performs terribly. However, the Sony has much better out-of-the-box accuracy, so colors look more accurate, and you won't need to calibrate it.
The Sony X90J is better overall than the LG NANO85 2021. The Sony delivers better picture quality because its VA panel has a better contrast ratio, and it has a better local dimming feature that results in less blooming around bright objects. The Sony also gets much brighter, so even though they both have decent reflection handling, it's a better choice for well-lit rooms. The main advantage the LG TV has is that its IPS-type panel has wider viewing angles.
The LG C1 OLED is a much better TV than the LG NANO85 2021. The C1 delivers significantly better picture quality as it delivers deeper blacks with perfect black uniformity, and it gets brighter in HDR for a better HDR viewing experience. The C1 also has much better reflection handling, meaning glare won't be an issue in most well-lit rooms. Even though they each have the same gaming features like HDMI 2.1 bandwidth and VRR support, the C1 is better for gaming due to the lower input lag and quicker response time.
The Sony X85J is better than the LG NANO85 2021, but they have different panels, each with strengths and weaknesses. The Sony delivers better picture quality because it has a higher contrast ratio, gets much brighter, and has significantly better black uniformity. However, the LG has wider viewing angles, so the image remains accurate from the sides.
The Samsung Q80/Q80A QLED is better overall than the LG NANO85 2021. They each have similar panel types, and the Samsung TV delivers better picture quality. It gets significantly brighter and has better reflection handling. Even though the dark room performance on either TV isn't good, the Samsung has a full-array local dimming feature, while the LG is edge-lit, so the local dimming is less distracting on the Samsung. They have the same gaming features, but the Samsung TV has lower input lag for a more responsive feel.
The Samsung Q60/Q60A QLED and the LG NANO85 2021 are both decent TVs with different features. They have different panel types; the Samsung is better for dark room viewing because its VA panel has better contrast, while the IPS-type panel on the LG has wider viewing angles. The Samsung also gets brighter, meaning it performs better in a well-lit room. However, the LG is better for gaming because it has a 120Hz panel with HDMI 2.1 bandwidth and VRR support, and it has better motion handling thanks to its quicker response time.
The LG NANO85 2021 is the newer version of the LG NANO85 2020, and they have many similarities. The newer TV has many of the same features, including HDMI 2.1 bandwidth, but it's more polished in a few areas. There aren't any issues with its VRR support like on the 2020 model, and it has a quicker response time and much better gradient handling. On the other hand, the 2020 version has much better reflection handling, so glare isn't as much of an issue in well-lit rooms.
The LG A1 OLED is vastly superior to the NANO85 2021. The A1 has a near-infinite contrast ratio and perfect black uniformity, resulting in much deeper blacks with no blooming around bright objects. The A1 also has better reflection handling and a wider viewing angle if you want to use it in a well-lit room with a wide seating area.
The LG NANO85 has a sleek and stylish design that looks like the LG NANO90 2021. It has metal feet that help give it a premium look, and the bezels are thin.
The metal stand supports the TV well, and there's minimal wobble. They also raise the screen high enough off the table that placing a soundbar in front won't block the screen as there's a gap of 3.35" between the table and the bottom of the screen. You can also use it in a narrow position for smaller tables.
Footprint of the 65 inch TV: 11.5" x 45.86" (wide position) or 16.61" (narrow position).
The back of the LG 65NANO85APA is made of brushed aluminum, and there are vents for airflow. Most of the inputs are side-facing, making them easy to access if you wall-mount the TV. There are detachable clips and grooves in the feet that you can use for cable management.
The LG NANO85 has good build quality. It feels well-put-together without any major issues. There's minimal wobble with the stand, and although the back panel has some flex, it's not too bad. Sadly, the bottom edge heats up more than the rest of the TV, and it's warm to touch, so make sure you have proper airflow beneath it if you wall-mount it.
The LG 65NANO85APA has okay SDR peak brightness, but it's not enough to fight a ton of glare. The brightness varies a bit between scenes, and it gets brightest with large areas of bright colors, which helps if you tend to watch sports or want to use it as a PC monitor, but the difference is minimal.
These measurements are from after calibration in the 'Expert (Dark space, night)' Picture Mode with the Panel Brightness at '100', LED Local Dimming on 'Medium', the Color Temperature set to 'Warm 50', and all other image processing disabled. If you want the brightest image possible and don't care about image accuracy, it reaches 416 cd/m² in the 25% window in the 'Vivid' Picture Mode with the Color Temperature on 'Cold 50'.
The HDR peak brightness is mediocre. Small highlights get a lot brighter than in SDR, but it's still not enough for a true cinematic HDR experience, and the TV can't maintain high levels of peak brightness the longer a bright object stays on the screen. The EOTF doesn't follow the target curve well either, as most scenes are too dark. It has a slow roll-off at its peak brightness, meaning you won't lose details in small, bright highlights.
These measurements are in the 'Cinema' HDR Picture Mode with Panel Brightness and Adjust Contrast both at '100', LED Local Dimming on 'Medium', and the Color Temperature set to 'Warm 50'.
If you find the image too dim, use the same settings as above, but with HDR Tone Mapping enabled and Auto Dynamic Contrast on 'High'. This results in a brighter image, as you can see in this EOTF, but it doesn't change the TV's peak luminosity.
The HDR brightness in the 'Game Optimizer' Picture Mode is the same as in the 'Cinema' Picture Mode. Any differences in measurements are down to margin of error.
The LG NANO85 2021 has excellent gradient handling, meaning you won't notice banding in scenes with shades of similar colors, like a sunset. There's a bit of banding in darker shades, but it's hard to notice. There's a Smooth Gradation setting that smooths out the gradients in real content but enabling it causes a loss in fine details in high-quality content.
Note: There's a vertical bright band towards the left side of the screen. It's unclear whether it's a problem with this unit alone or if it's normal, but the LG NANO90 2021 has the same thing.
The LG NANO85 has good gray uniformity. The edges are darker, which is noticeable while using it as a PC monitor with a full-screen web page or work document. There's also a bit of dirty screen effect in the center, but that's not as bad. Uniformity is improved in near-dark scenes.
The black uniformity is poor. With local dimming disabled, the entire screen is blue due to the low contrast, and there's some clouding throughout. It delivers deeper blacks with local dimming enabled, but as you can see, there's a ton of blooming as the center cross causes the large zones to turn on. It's distracting while watching movies with bright objects on a dark background.
The LG NANO85 has decent viewing angles, typical of IPS-like panels. Colors remain accurate at wide viewing angles, but you'll start to notice the screen looks darker at really wide angles. It's fine for watching content with a few friends, but it's not suggested for really wide seating arrangements. The 50 inch model available outside the United States has a VA panel with worse viewing angles.
The out-of-the-box accuracy is decent. Colors are accurate, but the white balance is off, which is more noticeable with shades that are closer to pure white. Also, the color temperature is cold, so the image has a blue tint, and gamma doesn't follow the 2.2 target well, so most scenes appear too bright, even if you're using it in a well-lit room.
The LG 65NANO85APA has excellent accuracy after calibration, although it's not as good as other TVs. Any remaining inaccuracies to the colors and white balance are nearly impossible to spot, and the gamma is much better, but it's not perfect. Sadly, though, the color temperature was hard to adjust without affecting the rest of the image, so the blue tint is still there.
You can see the recommended settings here.
The LG NANO85 2021 uses an Advanced Dimension Switching (ADS) panel, which is a type of IPS panel and performs like it. Many LG TVs like the LG NANO85 2020 use this panel. It also has an RGB subpixel layout, which helps with text clarity when using it as a PC monitor. However, the 50 inch model has a VA panel that likely uses a BGR subpixel layout, which negatively impacts the text clarity, and you can read more about it here.
The LG NANO85 displays a good, wide color gamut for HDR content. It has excellent coverage of the common DCI P3 color space, which is used in most HDR content. However, it has limited coverage of the wider Rec. 2020 color space, so it's not future-proof as more and more movies will come out with this color space, so it can't display the full range of colors needed for those movies.
The LG 65NANO85APA has a mediocre color volume. Despite displaying a wide color gamut, it struggles displaying really bright and dark colors due to its limited peak brightness and low contrast. This means that colors aren't vivid in HDR.
The LG NANO85 2021 uses pulse width modulation (PWM) to dim its backlight at all brightness levels. It flickers at 480Hz in the 'Filmmaker', 'Cinema', 'Expert (Dark space, night)', and 'Expert (Bright space, daytime)' SDR Picture Modes, which is high enough that most people won't notice it. However, it flickers at 120Hz in all other SDR Picture Modes and at all times in HDR, which creates distracting image duplication.
There's an optional backlight strobing feature, known as black frame insertion (BFI), to reduce persistence blur. The backlight can flicker at either 60 or 120Hz, depending on which settings and modes you're using. However, the crosstalk is off, resulting in image duplication. Keep in mind that the BFI score is based on the frequencies at which it can flicker, and not the actual performance.
The LG NANO85 has a motion interpolation feature, commonly known as the 'Soap Opera Effect'. It interpolates 30 and 60 fps content up to 120 fps. While it looks okay with slow-moving content, the test pattern looked like it was blurry, and the TV had trouble interpolating it. It struggles with fast-moving and busy scenes, as there are artifacts and motion issues.
Due to the relatively quick response time, low-frame-rate content appears to stutter. Enabling the motion interpolation feature can help reduce this issue.
The LG NANO85 removes 24p judder from any source, which is great for watching movies as it helps with the appearance of motion.
The LG NANO85 TV has a 120Hz panel with native FreeSync VRR support to reduce screen tearing. FreeSync works without issue across AMD graphics cards and the Xbox Series X. However, there's screen tearing in the pendulum test demo with the RTX 3060 graphics card, so it's not considered as G-SYNC compatible, but it's not advertised to support it anyways.
The LG NANO85 has low input lag for a responsive gaming experience, and you won't notice any delay. The 120Hz input lag is higher than other TVs, but it's still good enough for even competitive gamers. We couldn't get proper VRR input lag readings, which we experienced with a few TVs like the Hisense U800GR 8k. We're looking into this issue, and we'll update the review once we fix it.
The LG 65NANO85 supports most of the common resolutions under the HDMI 2.1 bandwidth, including 4k @ 120Hz. It displays proper chroma 4:4:4 with any of its supported signals, which helps produce clear text, but it doesn't display it properly with 1080p and 1440p signals at 120Hz. You can see in this 1080p @ 120Hz photo that text looks blurry. If you're using it as a PC monitor, you'll get the best results with a 4k resolution as text will look sharp.
Although other 2021 LG TVs support 40 Gbps bandwidth, HDMI ports 3 and 4 on this TV support the full 48 Gbps bandwidth of HDMI 2.1, as you can see here. This means that you can achieve high-frame-rate signals without issue, and there weren't any problems going up to 4k @ 120Hz with 12-bit color depth and chroma 4:4:4.
The LG 65NANO85 has eARC support on HDMI 3, which is one of the HDMI 2.1 ports, so you'll only have one more HDMI 2.1 slot if you connect a receiver. The eARC support allows you to pass Dolby Atmos signals to a compatible receiver, but it doesn't support DTS, which is disappointing because many Blu-rays use this format.
The frequency response is mediocre. It performs best at moderate listening levels because the frequency response is worse at its max volume, but it gets loud. It doesn't produce much bass, but with any TV, you'll need a dedicated subwoofer for the best surround sound experience possible. The 75 and 86 inch models have different 2.2 channel speakers as opposed to the 2.0 configuration on the 65 inch model, so they'll sound better.
The built-in LG webOS interface is easy-to-use and is user-friendly. There were only a couple of minor bugs during testing where it switched in and out of PC and Game mode, but this isn't a problem if you just need to watch your favorite shows.
The LG NANO85 comes with the redesigned Magic Remote, which retains the same great features as past models. You can use it as a point-and-press remote, like a Wii remote, and the built-in mic allows you to ask it for a variety of commands, from opening apps to changing settings like the brightness.