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

by on June 21, 2020
 
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LG NANO 85 vs SM8600 Review

LG Nano 85 is a part of the LG’s 2020 NanoCell lineup. Meanwhile the LG SM8600 is the predecessor, also part of the last year’s Nano Cell lineup. Just like most of LED TVs by LG, both of them come with IPS (In-Plane Switching) panel technology that offered wide side viewing angle coverage.  But on the other hand, a LED TV with IPS panel usually have low native contrast ratio, makes them are not suitable when used for watching movies in a dark room. But overall, as long as you don’t use them in a dark room, they both are good TVs for mixed usage.

In the market, they both are available in 3 screen sizes variant. From the smallest, there are 49 inches model (49SM8600PUA vs 49NANO85UNA), 55 inches model (55SM8600PUA vs 55NANO85UNA), and 65 inches model (65SM8600PUA vs 65NANO85UNA). The SM8600 actually also comes in 75 inches variant, but with a bit difference in serial number (75SM8600) and specs. Meanwhile, with the same screen size, the Nano 85 is sold more expensive than the SM8600. And of course it’s worth considering the Nano 85 is a newer model. So, what new features and improvement 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 the price on Amazon See the price on Amazon

Technologies and Features of the LG SM8600 and NANO 85

Panel Technology

LG NanoCell

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

Image Processor

As their image processor, the LG NANO 85 is powered by Alpha 7 Gen 3 processor or the third generation of Alpha 7 image processor while the SM8600 is powered by Alpha 7 Gen 2. There are some improvements in performance and clear-up any issues leftover from the second generation of Alpha 7 Gen 2. Expected, with Alpha 7 Gen 3 behind it, the NANO 85 has better performance in some features like AI- Algorithm, 4K Up-scaling engine, etc that certainly can deliver better picture quality than the predecessor.

HDR Support

Both of the LG NANO 85 and 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. But even so, both of them don’t support HDR10+, the other HDR format that has been also used dynamic metadata. Meanwhile, a bit improvement offered by Nano 85 over the SM8600 is Dolby Vision IQ. This is not actually new standard HDR format. This is a new feature that developed to adjust the Dolby Vision picture based on the ambient room light levels by utilizing ambient light sensor and dynamic metadata found on Dolby Vision Content. This means, the brightness level of Dolby Vision images will regularly change depend on the ambient light condition. Principally, this feature is similar to Adaptive Picture on Samsung TV.

Motion Technology

For maximizing their performance in handling motion, both of the LG SM8600 and NANO 85 are powered TruMotion 240. But basically, they both have native 120 Hz refresh rate panel. Since their native refresh rate panel is 120 Hz, this makes them already support any content with frame rate up to 120 HZ. Additionally, this allows them can interpolate low frame rate content up to 120 HZ. In addition native refresh rate panel, both of the LG NANO 85 also already supports VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) technology that compatible with HGiG, HDMI Forum, and FreeSync. But even so, special fro FreeSync, it require a future firmware update.  As we have known, VRR technology can help improve their gaming experience. Meanwhile, the LG SM8600 doesn’t support any VRR technology.

Meanwhile, to dim their backlight, they both use PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) system. But even so, they use different dimming frequency.  The highest dimming frequency of the SM8600 is 240 Hz where it is reached when the picture mode is set to movie mode like “ISF Expert”, “Cinema”, etc. When the TruMotion is enabled while the picture mode is still on movie mode, their dimming frequency will drop to 120 Hz. Additionally, set the picture mode to “Sports”, “Standard”, Games”, etc also makes its dimming frequency is always 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 PC and not on Game Mode. While when it is not connected to 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 their dimming frequency to 60 Hz. Enabling this mode can make motion clearer, particularly when they are playing 60 fps content like sports or games. To enable their BFI mode, you must set “TruMotion” to “User” and enable “Motion Pro”. Keep in mind, enabling their BFI mode may make motion clearer, but since their backlight flickers at lower frequency, this may cause their backlight’s flicker bothers some people, particularly for them who sensitive to flickers.

Connectivity

As their main connectivity, both of the LG NANO 85 and SM8600 have 4 HDMI ports. Their HDMI ports support most of HDMI format like HDCP 2.2, HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth, CEC, and ARC. Special for ARC, HDMI port of the SM8600 that support ARC is HDMI 2 while the NANO 85 is HDMI 3. Additionally, their HDMI ports also already supports most of resolutions like 1080p @ 60 Hz, 1440p @ 60 Hz, 4K @ 60 Hz, 1080p @ 120 Hz, 1440p @ 120 Hz, etc.  Meanwhile, the advantage of the LG NANO 85 is its HDMI ports also already support HDMI 2.1 and eARC (HDMI3) while the SM8600 doesn’t support. Additionally, the number of their USB ports is also same, which are 3 ports and none of them are USB 3.0.  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 on the internet or other devices wirelessly, they both have built-in WI-FI and Bluetooth.

Smart TV Platform

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

Remote

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

>> Please click here to check the latest price of the LG SM8600 on Amazon <<

>> Please click here to check the latest price of the LG NANO 85 on Amazon <<

LG NANO 85 vs SM8600 Performance

Contrast Ratio and Black Level

As we have discussed above, the use of IPS panel technology may make they both have good viewing angle coverage, but on the other hand, this causes they both have low native contrast ratio. Their native contrast is not high enough to produce deep black. So, in a dark room, black of images displayed on their screen tend to look grayer than really black. Meanwhile, their local dimming feature is not good enough to improve their contrast ratio. Additionally, their black uniformity is not also so good. All of these make their performance in a dark room is very disappointing. So, don’t ever expect that they both can show shadow details of HDR images excellently. Meanwhile, 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 SM8600.

Winner: Nano 85

Peak Brightness

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

When coming with HDR content, both of the LG SM9600 and 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 20%, 25%, 50%, and 100% window where it can hit around 360 nits. Meanwhile, on 2%, it may be able to get around 575 nits for a short, but after it is stabilized, its peak brightness quickly drop to around 220 nits. On the other hand, on 25%, 50%, and 100% windows, 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 2% and 10% window, but its peak brightness drop 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 show HDR images as bright they should by. And with low peak brightness in small window, their peak brightness is also not bright enough to bring out highlights in HDR.

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

Winner: NANO 85

Color Gamut and Color Volume

Both of the LG NANO 85 and SM8600 already support wide color gamut and their color gamut is almost similar. In DCI P3 uv color space, they both can cover around 91% and in DCI P3 xy color space, they both can cover around 85%. This means most of colors of HDR images that mastered in DCI P3 like HDR10 content can be shown fairly accurate on their screen. Additionally, their color gamut coverage in Rec.2020 is also 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 mediocre contrast ratio, they both cannot produce deep dark colors fairly well. Additionally, their limited peak brightness also makes them cannot produce very bright saturated colors fairly 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 LG SM8600, 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.  The both actually have a feature called “Smooth Gradation” that can help to remove banding. But on the other hand, enabling this feature can cause some loss of fine details in some scenes.

Winner: SM8600 has better color gradient

Side Viewing Angle

VA Panel vs IPS Panel

The image is on an illustration

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

Winner: Draw

Motion Handling

Both of the LG NANO 85 and SM8600 can do a great job when handling motion. This is due to they both have 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 object, there is only a short ghosting trail where this should be hard to notice by people with untrained eyes. Nevertheless, as we have mentioned above, since they both have 120 Hz of backlight flicker, this may cause some duplication in motion, particularly when they are playing 60 fps content like sports or video games. But just we have mentioned above, enabling their 60 Hz BFI mode can remove duplication in motion that certainly makes motion smoother. Meanwhile, compare between them, the SM8600 is a bit better since it has a bit lower pixel response time than NANO 85, which is around 12 ms for SM8600 and 15 ms for 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 cannot remove the judder. Meanwhile, except 24p movies via 60i signal, they both can do the same good job. This means, 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, etc, they both can show all of them with judder-free. And to remove the judder, you just need to enable “Real Cinema” on their “Picture Setting”.

Winner: NANO 85

Input Lags

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

Winner: Draw

>> Please click here to check the latest price of the LG SM8600 on Amazon <<

>> Please click here to check the latest price of the LG NANO 85 on Amazon <<

Conclusion

For Watching Movies

Both of the LG NANO 85 and SM8600 are not good TV for watching TV in a dark room. This is caused their contrast ratio is not too high that make them cannot produce deep black.  This will make blacks of images displayed on their screen look tend to gray than really black. Additionally, their black uniformity is also not so good. They both may have local dimming feature that should be able to improve their dark room performance. But unfortunately, their local dimming doesn’t work fairly well.  Meanwhile, compare between them, their performance in a dark room may be equally not so good, but the NANO 85 is a bit better than the predecessor SM8600. In addition it has a bit 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 a lot above, their low native contrast ratio may make their performance in a dark room is not so good. But once they are set in a bright room, the picture displayed on their screen look much better. This is due in a bright room, the impact of contrast ratio is not as sensitive as in a dark room. And since most people watch sports in a bright room, their performance is equally good. They both have good pixel response time that makes fast scene looks clearly and smoothly with almost no motion blur. Additionally, their BFI mode is also very effective to make motion smoother, particularly for 60 fps content like sports or video games. And lastly, their wide viewing angle coverage ensure all of you to get best viewing when you are watching a big game with a group your family and friend. But keep in mind, their limited SDR peak brightness makes them are only suitable to be used for watching sports in dim or moderately-lit room. Meanwhile, in a bright room, their SDR peak brightness is not bright enough to fight the glare. Meanwhile compare between them, SM8600 may have a bit lower pixel response time than the NANO 85. But this difference is not too significant. On the other hand, the NANO 85 is better due it has brighter SDR peak brightness.

Winner: NANO 85

Video Games

Both of the LG SM8600 and NANO 85 are good TVS for playing games. Their low input lags at both 60 Hz and 120 Hz ensure you to play any games responsively without laggy, even for fast games that require fast reflexes. Additionally, combination of their low pixel response time and BFI mode allows you to play fast games with smooth and clear picture quality. Additionally, their wide viewing angle also allows you to play multiplayer game with a group of your family or friend without losing picture quality. Meanwhile, the LG NANO 85 is a bit better due to it already supports VRR technology that compatible with HGiG and HDMI Forum. Even with a future software update, it also supports FreeSync.  As we have known, VRR technology can improve gaming experience of a TV, allow you to play a game with screen tearing-free.

Winner: NANO 85

HDR Experience

If you come to them for HDR experience, you might be disappointed. Both of them may have wide color gamut and smooth color gradient that allow 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 shadow of HDR images the way they should in HDR. With HDR images, they both may be able to show brighter images than with SDR images, but their HDR peak brightness is not still bright enough to show HDR images as bright they should be. Furthermore, due their peak brightness in small window precisely is lower than larger window, this makes them cannot bring out small highlight in HDR. And compare between them, the LG NANO 85 is a bit better than the SM8600 due to it has 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 a lot above, except in a dark room, both of the LG SM8600 and NANO 85 are good TVS for mixed usage. Meanwhile, as a newer model , the LG NANO 85 offers some improvements in some aspects like contrast ratio, Peak Brightness, gaming feature, and AI-related features that makes it is better than the predecessor. Nevertheless, their performance is not still good enough to present good HDR experience in your room. And one of their main advantages is their good side viewing angle, ensure all of you to get the best viewing when watching TVs shows or Sports with a group of your family who sit together in wide seating. So, which is a better choice between them? Considering features and picture quality that offered, the LG NANO 85 is a better choice than the SM8600. In addition to it is the newer model, it is also better in any usage and has some new features that will improve your watching TV experience. But even so, it may have more expensive price than last year’s LG SM8600.

>> Please click here to buy the LG SM8600 on Amazon <<

>> Please click here to buy the LG NANO 85 on Amazon <<

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