What is Better Than NanoCell vs QLED

NanoCell vs QLED, which technology will have the best picture? Which technology to choose? Tough questions today. Let’s find out why.

If the answer is needed immediately and without any theory, LG Nanocell and Samsung QLED (Quantum Dot) TVs from the same price category have similar picture quality. To choose the right model you need to compare two televisions side by side, then you can see the difference in the screen.

Both technologies are used in LCD TV screens and use quantum dots. They are needed to improve picture quality.

Image problems on an LCD TV screen:

    color accuracy
    color saturation
    black level
    viewing angles
    brightness level
    color purity

    Why Quantum Dots in a TV

    The use of quantum dots in a display improves color reproduction, colors become richer and more saturated and the accuracy of each color is improved.

    Briefly about important things:

    • Nanocell and QLED are LCD TVs with nanoparticles for hue enhancement.
    • QLED is a special form of LED backlighting that is mostly (but not exclusively) used by Samsung.
    • Nanocell is LG’s patented color filter technology.
    • With both Nanocell and QLED TVs, you’ll find a big difference in picture quality depending on the model.

    In both cases, the goal is to achieve clearer hue and the highest possible HDR color space.

    Simple liquid crystal screens were first backlit with fluorescent tubes, but today they are backlit with white LEDs (LED backlight).

    Cells with liquid crystals regulate the amount of light for each subpixel, for blue, red, and green. And these three colors in the right proportion will form any existing hue.

    And you get a quality picture if the subpixels produce pure blue, red, and green. But color filters on phosphors in simple screens can not form these three tone pure.

    That’s what quantum dots are needed to filter the colors from the backlight to produce pure red, blue, and green. Then the other color shades become lush, accurate, and saturated when the primary RGB is mixed as well.

    Ideally, the backlight color spectrum should consist of three straight lines of the right amplitude and at the right frequency, which means three pure sine waves with the right wavelength. But the nature of light is such that there are always impurities and each segment on the spectrum expands to a certain value.

    NanoCell vs QLED — Signal spectrum of the LCD backlight

    In practice, this means the presence of colored impurities in the backlight, and they are undesirable. So the quantum dots filter out these unwanted impurities and the signal on the signal spectrum becomes much narrower.

    NanoCell LG

    NanoCell is LG’s proprietary technology. It uses nanoparticles as small as 1 nanometer. They are sprayed on top of the LCD screen and filter out dull tone yellow so that the color image becomes rich and with accurate color reproduction.

    These one-nanometer nanoparticles are not exactly the quantum dots that other manufacturers use in their TVs. Quantum dots that emit visible light come in sizes ranging from 2 to 7 nanometers.

    LG does not exactly disclose its NanoCell technology, so it is not possible to tell in detail what happens there in the layers of nanoparticles. For more information on the physical processes in Nano Cell screens, see this article on the website displaydaily.com.

    NanoCell backlight spectrum

    Marketers still talk about increasing the viewing angle due to nanoparticles, although it depends on the type of matrix — VA or IPS. More advertising claims of increased contrast, although it depends on the type of matrix and the type of backlighting. Maybe there is a slight improvement in viewing angle and contrast but these values are more dependent on other characteristics.

    When NanoCell TVs first came out, they were the top-of-the-line LCD TVs of 2017. The price of these TVs depended heavily on the type of screen backlighting.

    It could be a side backlight with LEDs on the sides of the display. It created large backlights on the screen, there was a big unevenness of color across the matrix area. The white objects, such as film titles, had very visible light ghosts on a dark background. All this worsened the picture quality badly, which is why the TV sets with such backlighting cost less.

    The full array of LEDs behind the matrix produced much better results and was called FALD (Full-array local dimming). Local dimming was easily realized when the LEDs of backlighting glowed depending on the brightness of the image in that area. Good contrast, very weak plumes of white and small halos. The price of such backlighting is highly dependent on the number of dimming zones.

    Much worse quality has illumination without a local dimming system, even if it is a full array of leds behind the matrix. The contrast is very low, the black level is insufficient, and black turns into gray.

    To improve the backlighting, mini LEDs were used. And the TV sets are now called QNED. The QNED miniLED televisions, which come with Nano Cell technology, really show high picture quality on the screen. LG claims that the two technologies NanoCell and Quantum dot are combined here.

    But be careful, not all QNED TVs come with a miniLED backlight. You need to study the specifications. And by definition QNED designation meant miniLED backlight. But something marketers have changed and now you have to be careful when choosing a TV.

    And LG NanoCell TVs are leaving the market. Already in the 2023 model lineup, LG has not introduced any new NanoCell models. Or rather, there are, but they are 2022 models carried over into the 2023 lineup. They have been replaced by QNED TVs, which show better quality.

    Advantages of Nanocell

    1. Very good color purity, large color space;
    2. Cheaper than OLED, no risk of burn-in;
    3. Wide viewing angle (with some exceptions).


    QLED technology is not the property of a single manufacturer, so TVs with this technology can be found in many companies. Here we will consider only TVs from Samsung.

    As we have considered above, the problem of color in LCD screens lies in the not a quite pure tone RGB (red, green, blue) in the backlight. This means an admixture of shades to the primary colors.

    QLED — TVs are somewhat related to Nanocell. They also improve color reproduction using nanoparticles — so-called quantum dots. The most important difference with Nanocell is this: while Nanocell, according to LG, is its color filter technology, QLED is a backlight technology.

    A layer of quantum dots is used to enhance these three backlight shades (RGB). Blue comes from the backlight, it already has a good signal spectrum. But red and green come from quantum dots that are excited by the blue part of the backlight.

    Since the emission of quantum dots exactly depends on the size of the dot itself, you get the exact colors red and green. Because it is easy to control the size of the quantum dot.

    QLED screen structure
    QLED screen structure

    In QLED, quantum dots are placed in the film between the LED backlight and the LCD panel. The LED backlight mainly emits blue light. The light must first pass through the quantum dots on its way to the viewer. The quantum dots themselves function as a sort of additional light source and emit a very pure red and green color. This creates a strong backlight with very clear RGB shades that illuminate the pixels from behind. By the way, the energy for the quantum dots to glow comes from the backlighting radiation. Thanks to QD technology, QLED TVs offer a very large HDR color space.

    Now we have pure RGB colors in the backlight and all the hues we get from them past the liquid crystal layer come out with accurate color reproduction and the right saturation.

    QLED TVs have the same backlighting issues as the NanoCell.

    There is Edge LED side illumination with a low price but big disadvantages for the image. With side illumination, the type of matrix, rather than local dimming, plays a much greater role in improving contrast.

    There is a full-screen backlight Direct LED, but without local dimming, there are fewer problems, but the disadvantages are still very noticeable. The disadvantages include white plumes and halos around objects on the screen.

    Well, the best backlighting of LCD screens is a full array of LEDs with local dimming FALD (Full-array local dimming).

    In recent years, miniLED backlit televisions have appeared, and the problems with the picture from the backlighting have all but disappeared. There are no plumes and halos, especially if the number of zones is more than a thousand, and a few hundred zones show good results. And contrast and black levels are much improved. Such TVs are called Neo QLED.

    QLED — What’s the Difference Between Nanocell?

    1. Quantum dots optimize backlighting;
    2. Very large HDR color space;
    3. The viewing angle depends on price range and model.

    NanoCell vs QLED: Conclusions

    LG and Samsung are fighting for customers and are constantly improving their TV models. Here we look at TVs with the marketing names “NanoCell” and “QLED”. But the QNED and Neo QLED models are the next level of TV quality and are not considered here.

    When comparing the two technologies NanoCell and QLED it is necessary to take into account that these are no longer advanced models for their companies. There are more advanced QNED and Neo QLED models, which get the latest technology. But Nano Cell and QLED is already low-end model of the middle class and to demand from them a quality image on the screen is not necessary, but the price is less than the top models.

    Both technologies NanoCell and QLED cope with their tasks to improve the color of the image. So it is impossible to single out one of them.

    NanoCell vs QLED: a miniLED screen construction

    Previously, in 2017, there was talk about different viewing angles for each technology. But it depended on whether the matrix was VA or IPS, and then LG used IPS matrices more, but Samsung used VA matrices. And it was said that NanoCell had better viewing angles because of the IPS matrix, and Samsung had better contrast because of VA. But today, both companies use these two matrices in their models and each company can find TVs with both better viewing angles and better contrast.

    So today when choosing a TV, you will be more guided by other characteristics, price, or design. But NanoCell and QLED give improvements equally, and these technologies are not the main thing now when choosing a TV.

    You won’t always get it, but the best thing to do when choosing in a store is to put two TV models side by side and compare the picture on the screen. Check the contrast, viewing angles, color accuracy, rich colors, and detail in the dark and light areas of the picture. But this is where the implementation of HDR technology contributes its share.


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