NanoCell and QLED are two technologies that promise to improve the picture quality of a smart TV. NanoCell is only present in LG TVs, while QLED was invented by Sony, but was commercially adopted by Samsung, which also manufactures such panels for other brands. In general, both technologies are technically very similar, making the choice between them quite meticulous. Both, however, are cheaper alternatives to OLED TVs, a more modern type of television that can reproduce even more faithful colors by using a composition of emitter diodes instead of backlighting.
See below the differences and similarities between NanoCell and QLED technologies. Also, see how they can improve the picture on a 4K TV.
1. What is the difference between NanoCell and QLED?
As mentioned before, LG’s NanoCell and Samsung’s QLED have many things in common: both use traditional LCD panels with LED backlighting, and their main purpose is to display more realistic colors. What differentiates the two types of TVs is the technology involved in each one.
Before explaining, it is necessary to go back over some concepts about how televisions work. On ordinary LCD screens, images are formed when light from the backlight passes through the color filter of the liquid crystal display. In this filter are the primary colors: blue, red, and green. Together they form the color images that we see on TV. However, the light can create various distortions in the panel colors, making them more opaque and lifeless.
In the case of NanoCell displays, the panels have an extra layer of 1 nanometer (0.000001 mm) nanoparticles that filter out colors with incorrect wavelengths, letting through only purer colors. The result is more faithful images with fewer blurs.
QLED technology, on the other hand, uses a quantum dot filter with more than 1 million nanocrystals. The nanocrystals vary in size and each one reproduces a different color. For example, 1 nm emits the color blue, while 3 nm emits the color red. As light passes through the nanocrystals, they regulate the color that appears on the LCD panel, forming an image with a minimum of distortion.
2. Advantages and disadvantages of NanoCell and QLED
Both NanoCell and QLED can reproduce more faithful colors – and do so very well. The advantages and disadvantages are down to other factors, such as the type of panel used by each company.
LG, for example, uses IPS panels, which have better response time and a much wider viewing angle. However, this also means lower contrast and grayish-black tones, even with the NanoCell technology present. This can be circumvented with Full Array Dimming technology (which illuminates specific zones of the display), but it is present in only a few models.
Samsung on the other hand uses VA panels with QLED, which has a wider contrast and can display dark tones with more definition, but with a narrower viewing angle.
So the choice between one technology and another must also take these and other factors into account. If it is a brighter environment or if it is used for gaming, NanoCell comes out ahead. If it is a darker environment, the advantage of QLED is more noticeable.
Unlike OLED, which allows for thinner TVs, NanoCell and QLED TVs maintain the standard look of most flat panel displays. That doesn’t mean that manufacturers don’t like to innovate. For example, Samsung’s 4K smart TV called The Frame uses QLED technology and has emerged as one of the most lauded on the market. This model comes with a detachable frame that can be changed like a painting.
LG’s Nano TVs stand out for their very thin metal finish edges and the option of an easel-style stand. In addition, the LCD screen has the advantage that it can be manufactured in very large sizes without costing a fortune, as is the case with OLED screens.
4. Power consumption
Since both uses LED backlighting, the power consumption is similar. The 55-inch LG NanoCell85 for example has an average power consumption of 165 W per hour. The Samsung QLED Q60B of the same size has an average consumption of 150 W per hour.
They are quite economical compared to OLED. The 55-inch LG OLED A1, for example, consumes an average of 347 Watts per hour, almost twice as much as versions with an LED backlight.
The big advantage of NanoCell and QLED is that they significantly improve the picture quality of the LCD TV while costing much less than an OLED TV. In addition, they are less susceptible to problems such as burn-in and use less power than OLED technology.
Among the models with NanoCell, one of the best cost benefits is the 50-inch LG NANO75 smart TV, which can be found for $409 on Amazon. Among the models with QLED, there is the TCL C715 55-inch.