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LG NANO85 TV Review

Tested using Methodology v1.5
Reviewed May 26, 2020 at 08:24 am
LG NANO85 Picture
7.2
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: Hisense H9G
6.4
Movies
Value for price beaten by
: Hisense H9G
7.8
TV Shows
Value for price beaten by
: Hisense H9G
7.7
Sports
Value for price beaten by
: Hisense H9G
7.7
Video Games
Value for price beaten by
: Vizio M7 Series Quantum 2020
6.3
HDR Movies
Value for price beaten by
: Hisense H9G
7.1
HDR Gaming
Value for price beaten by
: Vizio M7 Series Quantum 2020
8.1
PC Monitor
Value for price beaten by
: LG NANO81
Type LED
Sub-Type
IPS
Resolution 4k

The LG NANO85 is a 4k LED TV in LG's NanoCell lineup. It has decent overall performance with very good out-of-the-box color accuracy, but it doesn't perform well in dark rooms. It has a low contrast ratio, poor black uniformity, and its bad local dimming feature could be very distracting at times. However, with an IPS panel, it has wide viewing angles, and it has impressive reflection handling if you want to place it in a bright room. It has a quick response time, but there's duplication in motion, which could be distracting. Luckily, it has a low input lag, responding to your actions quickly.

Our Verdict

7.2 Mixed Usage

The LG NANO85 is a decent TV for mixed usage. It performs best as a gaming TV or as a PC monitor thanks to its low input lag and good response time. It's not the best choice for watching movies in a dark room since it has a low contrast ratio, poor black uniformity, and a bad local dimming feature. Luckily with its IPS panel, it has wide viewing angles if you want to watch a show or the big game with a big group of people.

Pros
  • Very good out-of-the-box color accuracy.
  • Impressive reflection handling.
Cons
  • Poor black uniformity and bad local dimming feature.
  • Doesn't get bright enough in HDR to bring out highlights.
6.4 Movies

The LG NANO85 is mediocre for watching movies. It has a low contrast ratio due to its IPS panel and the local dimming feature makes dark scenes look worse by lighting up zones around bright objects. It also has poor black uniformity, but it upscales 1080p content, such as from Blu-ray players, almost as good as native 4k content.

7.8 TV Shows

Very good for TV shows. The LG NANO85 has impressive reflection handling and it has decent viewing angles. Unfortunately, it has some uniformity issues as the edges of the screen are darker, but it upscales lower resolution content, such as from cable boxes, properly without any issues.

7.7 Sports

Good for sports. The LG NANO85 has a good response time, but there's some duplication in fast-moving content. It has impressive reflection handling and the viewing angles are wide enough to watch the game with a group of friends. Unfortunately, there's some dirty screen effect visible in the center, which could be distracting during sports.

7.7 Video Games

The LG NANO85 is a great choice for video games. The input lag is very low, it has a good response time, and there's a black frame insertion feature to help reduce motion blur. However, it's not a great choice for dark room gaming due to its low contrast ratio and poor black uniformity.

6.3 HDR Movies

Mediocre for HDR movies. Even though the LG NANO85 displays a wide color gamut, it doesn't get bright enough to bring out highlights in HDR. It has poor black uniformity and a bad local dimming feature, so it's lacking in dark room performance. It supports both HDR10 and Dolby Vision.

7.1 HDR Gaming

The LG NANO85 is good for HDR gaming, mainly due to its great gaming performance. It has a low input lag and quick response time, but HDR content doesn't look good on it. It doesn't get bright enough to bring out highlights and it doesn't have good dark room performance.

8.1 PC Monitor

The NANO85 is great to use as a PC monitor. It has a low input lag, resulting in a responsive desktop experience. The viewing angles are wide enough if you want to put it in a meeting room and it displays proper chroma 4:4:4, which is important for reading text. It also doesn't have the risk of permanent burn-in, so you don't have to worry about the static displays.

  • 7.2 Mixed Usage
  • 6.4 Movies
  • 7.8 TV Shows
  • 7.7 Sports
  • 7.7 Video Games
  • 6.3 HDR Movies
  • 7.1 HDR Gaming
  • 8.1 PC Monitor
  1. Update 11/9/2020: Retested the TV with an HDMI 2.1 source.
  2. Update 8/17/2020: Fixed an error about materials used.
  3. Update 7/27/2020: Retested the VRR range.
  4. Update 7/27/2020: Retook motion blur photo and remeasured the brightness.
  5. Update 7/16/2020: Fixed a mistake with the flicker frequency.
  6. Update 7/7/2020: Fixed an internal issue that didn't display the HDMI 2.1 inputs.
  7. Update 6/30/2020: CalMAN has confirmed that the LG NANO85 now supports auto-calibration.
  8. Update 6/17/2020: We incorrectly stated that this TV uses a PLS panel. It's actually an ADS panel, which is extremely similar.
  9. Update 5/26/2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.5.

Video

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Market Context
Market Context
Market Context

The LG NANO85 is a low-end TV in LG's NanoCell series. It sits between the LG NANO81 and LG NANO90 and it's a replacement to the LG SM8600. Its main competitors are the Samsung Q60T QLED, Sony X800H, and the Vizio M7 Series Quantum 2020.

Design
8.5
Design
Style
Curved No

The NANO85 has a sleek and modern design, but there's nothing special about it that makes the TV stand out. The stand is two separate feet and it doesn't look as elegant as the stand on the LG SM8600. That said, if you choose to wall-mount the TV, it sits flat and looks nice.

Design
Stand

The stand consists of two feet and the left leg (if you're looking at the TV) isn't straight like the right leg. This could be a problem with our unit, so let us know in the discussions if you have the same issue. Overall, the stand supports the TV well but there's still wobble. If you prefer a TV with LG's center-mounted stand, check out the LG NANO81.

Footprint of the 55" TV: 41.5" x 9.1".

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 300x300

Update 08/17/2020: We confirmed the back panel is made out of metal, and not plastic, as we previously stated. The review has been updated.

The back panel is made out of a smooth metal. The inputs are housed on the back and there's no cable management.

Design
Borders
Borders 0.35" (0.9 cm)

The borders are thin and aren't distracting.

Design
Thickness
Max Thickness 2.17" (5.5 cm)

The NANO85 is thinner than the LG SM8600 and won't stick out if wall-mounted.

7.0
Design
Build Quality

Update 08/17/2020: We confirmed the back panel is made out of metal, and not plastic, as we previously stated. The review has been updated.

Overall, the NANO85 has an okay build quality. It's made out of both metal and plastic that feels a bit cheap, but it still feels like it won't break and it holds the TV together well. The left leg on the stand isn't straight like the right leg, but we don't know if it was damaged in transit or if it wasn't built properly.

Picture Quality
6.8
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
1558 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
1697 : 1

Decent contrast ratio. IPS panels like the one on this TV aren't known to have good native contrast, but this is better than most IPS TVs, and it's similar to the higher-end LG SM9500. Still, blacks appear closer to gray when viewed in the dark, and the local dimming feature only slightly darkens blacks.

If you want a TV with a higher contrast ratio, check out the Samsung RU9000.

1.5
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
Yes
Backlight
Edge

Bad local dimming. It isn't very effective and makes dark scenes look worse. When there's a bright object that moves across the screen, the dimming zones around the object light up and it's noticeable even during real scenes. Setting the local dimming to 'Medium' helps with this issue, but overall, it gets very distracting. If you want a similar TV with a full-array local dimming feature, check out the LG NANO90.

6.3
Picture Quality
SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
267 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
214 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
305 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
306 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
306 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
306 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
211 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
305 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
306 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
306 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
305 cd/m²
SDR ABL
0.013

Update 07/27/2020: We remeasured the brightness with Local Dimming on 'Medium' instead of 'High'.

Mediocre peak brightness in SDR. It doesn't get bright enough to combat glare and it's not very consistent with small, bright objects.

We measured the brightness after calibration on the 'Expert (Dark Mode)' Picture Mode with Local Dimming on 'Medium', Brightness set to 'Max', and Contrast to 'Max'.

If you don't care about image accuracy and want to get the brightest image possible, set the Picture Mode to 'Vivid' with Brightness set to 'Max' and Contrast to 'Max'. We were able to get 496 nits on the 10% peak window.

5.9
Picture Quality
HDR Peak Brightness
HDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
375 cd/m²
HDR Peak 2% Window
540 cd/m²
HDR Peak 10% Window
485 cd/m²
HDR Peak 25% Window
382 cd/m²
HDR Peak 50% Window
352 cd/m²
HDR Peak 100% Window
348 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 2% Window
263 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 10% Window
346 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 25% Window
348 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 50% Window
348 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 100% Window
348 cd/m²
HDR ABL
0.034

Update 07/27/2020: We remeasured the brightness with Local Dimming on 'Medium' instead of 'High'.

Disappointing HDR peak brightness as it can't bring out highlights in HDR. It gets brightest when small objects flash across the screen, but doesn't remain consistent with different content.

We measured the brightness before calibration on the 'Cinema' Picture Mode with Local Dimming on 'Medium', Brightness set to 'Max' and Contrast to 'Max'.

If you don't care about image accuracy and want to get the brightest image possible, set the Picture Mode to 'Cinema' with Brightness set to 'Max', Contrast to 'Max', and Dynamic Contrast to 'Medium'. We were able to get 540 nits on the 10% peak window.

7.3
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
5.182 %
50% DSE
0.166 %
5% Std. Dev.
0.534 %
5% DSE
0.106 %

Okay gray uniformity. The edges of the screen are noticeably darker and there's some dirty screen effect visible in the center, which could be distracting while watching sports.

7.4
Picture Quality
Viewing Angle
Color Washout
30 °
Color Shift
48 °
Brightness Loss
33 °
Black Level Raise
70 °
Gamma Shift
47 °

Decent viewing angle, which is expected from an IPS panel. It's not as good as other IPS panels we've seen so far, but it's better than most LG TVs, including the LG SM8600. The image remains accurate when viewed from the side, ideal for a wide seating arrangement.

5.1
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
2.212 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
3.879 %

Poor black uniformity. There's visible clouding throughout with backlight bleed in the corners. The local dimming feature only makes it look worse as the entire screen is less uniform as there's clouding at the center where the cross is.

8.4
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Semi-gloss
Total Reflections
3.3 %
Indirect Reflections
0.7 %
Calculated Direct Reflections
2.5 %

The NANO85 has impressive reflection handling. It handles a moderate amount of light really well but the reflections in a really bright room may be too distracting for some.

7.8
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
White Balance dE
3.29
Color dE
1.83
Gamma
2.19
Color Temperature
7049 K
Picture Mode
Expert (Dark Room)
Color Temp Setting
Warm 2
Gamma Setting
2.2

Very good out-of-the-box color accuracy. The colors are fairly accurate but the cold color temperature gives colors a blueish tint. The gamma follows the curve well overall, but dark scenes are brighter than they should be.

9.5
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
White Balance dE
0.30
Color dE
1.10
Gamma
2.20
Color Temperature
6592 K
White Balance Calibration
22 point
Color Calibration
Yes
Auto-Calibration Function
Yes

Update 06/30/2020: We have confirmation from CalMAN that the NANO85 now supports auto-calibration.

After calibration, the color accuracy is nearly perfect. There are almost no inaccuracies with most colors or shades of gray, and the color temperature is extremely close to the 6500K target. The gamma follows the curve well, but some dark scenes are still a bit too bright.

Unlike the LG SM8600, the NANO85 doesn't have an auto-calibration feature.

You can see our recommended settings here.

8.0
Picture Quality
480p Input

The NANO85 upscales 480p content, like DVDs, well without any obvious upscaling artifacts.

8.0
Picture Quality
720p Input

Like the LG SM8600, the NANO85 upscales 720p content, like from cable boxes, well with no visible artifacts.

9.0
Picture Quality
1080p Input

Blu-rays and 1080p content look almost as good as native 4k content.

10
Picture Quality
4k Input

This TV 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

Update 06/17/2020: We incorrectly stated that this TV uses a PLS panel; it's actually ADS, which is technically different from PLS but visually similar.

The NANO85 uses an ADS (Advanced Dimension Switching) panel. ADS and PLS panels perform nearly identically to IPS panels.

7.7
Picture Quality
Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
Yes
DCI P3 xy
84.67 %
DCI P3 uv
90.77 %
Rec 2020 xy
62.56 %
Rec 2020 uv
70.90 %

Good color gamut. It has impressive coverage of the DCI P3 color space used in most HDR content, but has mediocre coverage of the wider Rec. 2020 color space.

The EOTF curve doesn't follow the curve very well and most scenes are brighter than they should be. In 'Game' mode, it performs very similarly, as you can see here.

If you find HDR too dim, set Dynamic Contrast to 'High' and both Brightness and Contrast to 'Max'. The image is noticeably brighter as you can see the EOTF here.

6.8
Picture Quality
Color Volume
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage ITP
77.9 %
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP
39.3 %
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
58.9 %
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
29.5 %

Decent color volume. Due to its low contrast ratio, it can't produce dark, saturated colors well. This is very similar to the LG SM8600.

7.2
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
10 Bit
Red (Std. Dev.)
0.125 dE
Green (Std. Dev.)
0.122 dE
Blue (Std. Dev.)
0.111 dE
Gray (Std. Dev.)
0.181 dE

Okay gradient handling. There's noticeable banding in the darker shades, and it's noticeable in real content too. Enabling Smooth Gradation improves banding in real content, but doesn't affect the test pattern.

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
7.7
Motion
Response Time
80% Response Time
4.5 ms
100% Response Time
15.6 ms

Update 07/27/2020: We retook the motion blur picture with the 240Hz flicker. This shows more duplication in motion.

The NANO85 has a good response time. There's minimal blur trail but there's still some overshoot in the 0-80% and 20-80% transitions. Also, there's duplication in motion due to the high flicker frequency, which may be distracting to some people.

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

Update 07/16/2020: We incorrectly stated it flickers at 120Hz in every mode except 'Game' mode, but it actually flickers at 240Hz.

This TV uses Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) to dim its backlight at every backlight setting. It pulses at 240Hz on every picture mode, but if a PC is connected and it's not in 'Game' mode, it flickers at 120Hz.

10
Motion
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
Optional BFI
Yes
Min Flicker for 60 fps
60 Hz
60 Hz for 60 fps
Yes
120 Hz for 120 fps
Yes
Min Flicker for 60 fps in Game Mode
60 Hz

There's a black frame insertion (BFI) to help reduce motion blur. For it to flicker at 60Hz, TruMotion must be set to 'User' with Motion Pro enabled.

Motion
Motion Interpolation
Motion Interpolation (30 fps)
Yes
Motion Interpolation (60 fps)
Yes

The NANO85 can interpolate lower frame rate content up to 60fps, which is known as the 'Soap Opera Effect' and it helps improve motion. In real content, it looks good, except there's some visible artifacting during busy scenes.

To enable motion interpolation, set TruMotion to 'User' and set both De-Judder and De-Blur to their max settings.

7.8
Motion
Stutter
Frame Hold Time @ 24 fps
26.0 ms
Frame Hold Time @ 60 fps
1.0 ms

Even though the response time is quick, there's not a lot of visible stutter, especially with 60fps content.

10
Motion
24p Judder
Judder-Free 24p
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via 60p
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via 60i
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via Native Apps
Yes

The TV can remove judder form any source, such as native apps. This is an improvement over the LG SM8600, which isn't able to remove judder from 24p sources via 60i.

To remove judder, Real Cinema must be turned on from the Picture Options page in the settings menu.

0
Motion
Variable Refresh Rate
Native Refresh Rate
120 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate
Yes
HDMI Forum VRR
Yes
FreeSync
Yes
G-SYNC Compatible
Yes
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
HDMI

Update 11/09/2020: We updated the TV to firmware '3.11.20' and retested its VRR support.

Update 07/27/2020: We retested the VRR support and its range.

This TV supports variable refresh rate technology. However, it doesn't properly work and there's visible screen tearing. It showed up as FreeSync compatible on our Radeon PC and G-SYNC compatible with our NVIDIA RTX 3080 but didn't properly work. We'll retest it if a future firmware update becomes available.

Inputs
8.6
Inputs
Input Lag
1080p @ 60 Hz
15.8 ms
1080p @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
79.5 ms
1440p @ 60 Hz
15.8 ms
4k @ 60 Hz
15.0 ms
4k @ 60 Hz + 10 bit HDR
16.9 ms
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
15.0 ms
4k @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
78.4 ms
4k @ 60 Hz With Interpolation
86.2 ms
8k @ 60 Hz
N/A
1080p @ 120 Hz
5.8 ms
1440p @ 120 Hz
5.7 ms
4k @ 120 Hz
5.2 ms
1080p with Variable Refresh Rate
N/A
1440p with VRR
N/A
4k with VRR
N/A
8k with VRR
N/A
Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM)
Yes

Update 11/09/2020: We updated the TV to firmware '3.11.20' and retested its input.

Really low input lag. It's extremely low at its native 120Hz refresh rate, and it's fairly low at 60Hz, but it might be too high for more serious gamers. Since its VRR support doesn't properly work, we couldn't measure its VRR input lag.

This TV has an Auto Low Latency mode that automatically switches to 'Game' mode when an Xbox is connected, saving you the hassle of switching picture modes. For this to work, Instant Game Response must be enabled.

9.6
Inputs
Supported Resolutions
1080p @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes
1080p @ 120 Hz
Yes (native support)
1440p @ 60 Hz
Yes (forced resolution required)
1440p @ 120 Hz
Yes (native support)
4k @ 60 Hz
Yes
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4