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This LG QNED85 review gives insights into a product line that looks to compete with QLED displays. QNED televisions combine quantum dot crystals and LG’s proprietary NanoCell technology. The idea is to create a color gamut that covers almost 100 percent of most color spaces, across different standards.
Before getting into the performance of the LG QNED85, let’s find out what happens when NanoCell and quantum dot technologies combine.
LG QNED85 review: How QNED works
Your typical LCD/LED television has several layers that guide light from the ‘back’ of the panel and toward the screen. The bottom of the stack includes a backlight that illuminates the TV, and it takes the form of edge or direct-array lighting. After the light source come the following layers:
- A horizontal filter that blocks vertical light while allowing horizontal light to pass through
- Liquid crystal layer with particles that change their orientation depending on whether or not current runs through them
- A vertical filter that blocks horizontal light while allowing light with vertical polarity to pass through
- An RGB filter that adds color to light rays that make it past the second filter
Running current through a liquid crystal causes its lattice to form a straight, horizontal pattern that allows horizontal light to pass through. Leaving the liquid crystal without current allows it to keep its default, twisted lattice. The lattice flips the polarity of horizontal light into vertical light that can pass through the second (vertical) filter.
This stack pretty much describes the journey of a thin ray of light that lights up a single pixel on your screen. Millions more pixels display light in the same way, and the result is the image you see on your screen at any given moment. Here’s where the quantum dot and NanoCell layers come in:
Adding a Quantum dot layer to the stack
Quantum dot crystals are semiconductor nanoparticles that act like tiny color generators. This means that the quantum dot layer plays the same role as the RGB filter from the previous section. The only difference is that the layer is much more precise than a regular color filter.
As an example, a quantum crystal delivers pure red by filtering stray light waves that are red-adjacent. It will render blue and green hues using the same precision process to filter unwanted light wavelengths.
Adding a NanoCell layer to the stack
The NanoCell layer plays a similar role as the color filter and the quantum dot layer. LG says that the layer absorbs stray light wavelengths to deliver pure RGB colors. We’re guessing that the NanoCell layer has some sort of dye coating to absorb these unwanted wavelengths.
Putting all of it together
LG combines the quantum dot and NanoCell layers to expand the color gamut of their panels. The sections that follow let us know if the addition allows QNED panels to outperform regular QLED displays. We start by looking at the build and design of the LG QNED85.
LG QNED85 review: Design and build
A paper-thin side profile is one of the first things you notice about the QNED85. At only 1.8 inches deep, the panel will hug your wall to create a neat wall-mount installation. It helps that all the ports on this TV face outward, allowing for easy access if you mount the TV.
You’ll need furniture that’s as long as the TV if you want to put the panel on an entertainment stand. The furniture should also have a depth of 12 or 13 inches to accommodate the footprint of the TV feet.
Inputs and connectivity
Four HDMI ports provide a versatile connection option that works with all kinds of external devices. Two of these HDMI ports support 4K/120 content, and one of them has eARC capability. The ARC port supports audio passthrough for Dolby Atmos and Dolby Digital formats. Along with the HDMI ports, the LG QNED85 comes with:
- A digital optical output
- Three USB ports
- An Ethernet jack
- RF connector for antenna and cable
A wireless adaptor provides dual-band WiFi to connect to your home network and Bluetooth for your devices.
LG QNED85 review: Smart TV interface
The WebOS platform has a responsive interface with plenty of apps for your viewing pleasure. Low input lag allows for smooth graphics transitions as you scroll through icons and menu items.
The only downside with today’s smart interfaces is intrusive ads that take up precious real estate. In the case of WebOS, ads and recommended content dominate the WebOS home screen. This pushes the apps that you like to the bottom of the home page.
LG QNED85 review: Hardware and performance
The QNED85 is a 120Hz IPS panel with quantum dot and NanoCell layers that enhance color accuracy. A full-array, mini LED backlight delivers hundreds of local dimming zones and impressive peak brightness levels. The result is a 4K display with one of the largest color volumes you’ll find on a non-OLED TV.
Low input lag and low response times deliver smooth, responsive motion with minimal blurring. Games, sports, action movies, and other types of high frame-rate content render beautifully.
What does all the impressive hardware mean from a viewer’s point of view?
Full coverage of the DCI P3 color space means that the QNED85 reproduces the exact, real-life colors that the camera captured. The TV also does a great job of displaying the effect of light on surfaces of different colors, textures, and sheens. While the colors are a little on the cool side, the resultant blue tint is barely noticeable.
Brightness, contrast, and HDR content
For an IPS panel, the LG QNED85 is surprisingly bright. In fact, the panel is bright enough to deliver vivid, high-quality HDR content. A sustained peak brightness level of 600 nits allows the QNED85 to execute HDR highlights like reflections and blinding explosions.
The black levels of this IPS panel are less impressive, and dark hues may look gray, especially in dim lighting. This drawback has a knock-on effect of limiting the native contrast of LG QNED panels.
Texture and fine detail lose some definition in the darker regions of an image. However, hundreds of small local dimming zones mitigate this shortcoming. The result is an execution of detail, depth, and texture that looks better than what you’d get with a regular IPS panel.
IPS panels have wide viewing angles that allow for wide seating arrangements for large audiences. Colors remain accurate at wide angles, but you will notice a loss of brightness at angles greater than 70 degrees.
Blooming and light bleedthrough are common drawbacks of IPS panels with mini-LED backlights. For the QNED85, this translates to a cloudy black screen with noticeable bleedthrough along the edges. Disabling local dimming improves screen uniformity, but only a little.
A response time of 13.8 milliseconds is very fast, especially for an IPS panel. It bears mentioning that pixels that transition from bright hues to darker colors change even faster. The happy result is minimal motion blur, even with high frame rate and fast-action content.
Low input lag allows the LG QNED85 to compete with high-performance gaming monitors. The panel can achieve top speeds of 6ms for 4K/120 content; a number that borders on mind-blowing. For content with lower frame rates, the QNED 85 delivers average speeds of 13 milliseconds. For end users, these numbers mean smooth, responsive gameplay that gives you a competitive edge over your opponents.
The LG QNED85 works seamlessly with the PS5, the Xbox Series X, as well as earlier versions of your favorite gaming console. For starters, VRR support adjusts the panel’s refresh rate to match the frame rate of your game titles. This feature all but eliminates the likelihood of screen tearing.
Auto low-latency mode (ALLM) decreases input lag to deliver a responsive gaming experience. Low lag lets you see your opponent’s moves in real-time, which gives you space to react with speed.
- The LG QNED85 TV is bright, which is impressive for an IPS panel
- Good reflection handling
- Accurate color reproduction
- Wide viewing angles
- Low input lag and fast response times
- Native support for the latest gaming consoles, with features like VRR and ALLM
- Noticeable light blooming
- Poor screen uniformity
- Intrusive ads from the WebOS interface
LG QNED85 review verdict: A high-performance TV that checks all the boxes
This LG QNED85 review finds a TV that could compete with QLED panels. QNED product lines from LG offer wider viewing angles and more affordable TVs than comparable QLED brands.
However, QLED TVs remain brighter, with better contrast and better screen uniformity than QNED panels. Click here to learn more about this television.