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LG 8K vs. LG OLED: Which One Wins?

Hi there! You‘re probably trying to decide between LG‘s latest 8K TVs – the NanoCell and the OLED. I‘ve done a deep dive into the differences between these two models to help you pick the right one. Let‘s compare them across various factors like display quality, performance, features and price so you can determine the clear winner for your needs.

Upfront, if budget is no concern, the LG 8K OLED TV is the winner for its unrivaled picture quality and future-proof display technology. However, the LG 8K NanoCell TV comes extremely close in most areas while costing significantly less, making it the more practical choice for most buyers.

Display Technology – OLED Still Reigns Supreme

The core difference lies in the display technology. LG‘s OLED TVs use self-lit pixels that can turn on and off individually. This gives them infinite contrast ratios and true blacks since pixels can be completely off. OLED panels also boast wider viewing angles up to 80 degrees thanks to per-pixel lighting.

In comparison, NanoCell TVs utilize LCD panels with full array local dimming (FALD) for the backlight. This allows for up to 2,500 local dimming zones on the high-end 8K models, giving strong contrast control. But LCD pixels themselves cannot turn off fully, so blacks appear more like gray. Viewing angles are also limited to around 60 degrees on the NanoCell TVs.

While LCD technology has improved tremendously with quantum dots, local dimming and nanoparticles, OLED still reigns supreme in display quality.

OLED Display Advantages:

  • Infinite contrast ratio
  • True black levels
  • Per-pixel illumination
  • Wider viewing angles
  • Faster response times

Picture Quality – OLED is Unbeatable but NanoCell Comes Close

Thanks to per-pixel lighting, OLED TVs can achieve perfect black levels with no light bleed or halo effects. This gives an exceptional contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1 compared to around 5,000:1 on even the best LCDs. The difference is clearly visible – OLEDs deliver much deeper blacks and inkier shadows.

OLEDs also have a faster response time of just 0.1 ms resulting in zero motion blur. LG‘s NanoCell manages an impressive 5 ms response time with 120Hz BFI, but fast moving scenes show a bit more blurring.

Upscaling lower resolution content to 8K is handled brilliantly by the α9 Gen 5 AI Processor on the OLED TVs. The α9 Gen 4 Processor powering the 8K NanoCell is no slouch either, but the OLED‘s upscaling appears a bit cleaner with better edge processing.

Both TVs support HDR10, HLG and Dolby Vision, but OLED‘s per-pixel control and wide color gamut brings HDR content to life more vividly. Overall picture quality is simply better on the OLED TVs with superior contrast, perfect blacks and motion handling. But the NanoCell comes surprisingly close with its FALD backlight and quantum dot film.

Picture Quality Advantages:


  • Perfect black levels and infinite contrast
  • No light bleed or blooming
  • Faster response time and no motion blur
  • Superior upscaling and edge processing
  • More impactful HDR with wider gamut

NanoCell TV:

  • Full array local dimming provides strong contrast
  • Quantum dot film enables vivid, accurate colors
  • Impressive 4K upscaling thanks to AI processing
  • High peak brightness around 700 nits for great HDR

Viewing Experience – Immersive on Both

The OLED TVs deliver a noticeably better picture, but the actual viewing experience is highly immersive on both models. They use the same α9 Gen 4 or Gen 5 processors with LG‘s ThinkQ AI to analyze content and optimize picture and sound automatically.

For movies, Filmmaker Mode disables motion smoothing and presents the cinematic experience as intended. Sports modes ramp up motion handling while gaming modes reduce input lag to under 15ms and enable VRR, ALLM, etc.

OLED‘s per-pixel dimming can produce a bit more pop and realism. But the full array local dimming on the NanoCell also does an excellent job enhancing contrast across scenes. Most viewers will be extremely pleased with the experience either way.

Immersive Viewing Features:

  • Self-optimizing α9 Gen4/5 AI Processors
  • Filmmaker, Sports and Gaming modes
  • Dolby Vision IQ adjusts HDR intelligently
  • Under 15ms input lag with VRR/ALLM support
  • Excellent upscaling and motion handling

Design – Slim and Sleek

Both TVs sport slim bezels with the display panel being the center of attention. The NanoCell 8K TVs are a bit chunkier at their thickest point of 2.24", whereas the OLEDs slim down to 0.8" since no backlighting is required. Table-top stands shipped with the TVs are wide and sturdy with a curved metal design.

Wall mounting is possible on both models, although you need to be careful with placement for the OLEDs to allow room for the Dolby Atmos speakers built into the panel. The NanoCell sets have downward firing speakers.

If going for aesthetics, the LG OLED TVs win out with their stunningly slim form. But both deliver premium style suited to modern living rooms.

Design Highlights:

  • Slim bezels around the display
  • Metal stands with curved shape
  • Wall mountable with care on OLEDs
  • Rear ports recessed for clean looks
  • Modern, minimalist style

Gaming Performance – Next-Gen Ready

Gaming has become a major focus on premium TVs. Both the LG 8K OLED and NanoCell TVs deliver an amazing gaming experience with 4K 120fps and VRR support. Input lag is incredibly low at less than 10ms for both models, giving smooth, responsive control.

They also support the latest HDMI 2.1 features including ALLM, VRR and eARC. Special gaming modes further enhance picture quality by optimizing HDR tone mapping and reducing input lag. AMD FreeSync Premium Pro and Nvidia G-SYNC compatibility ensure tear-free visuals.

With their high refresh rates, low lag and HDMI 2.1 support, these 8K TVs are ready for the latest generation consoles and PC gaming. Performance is excellent on both, so it really comes down to the OLED‘s superior contrast. But casual gamers will enjoy either model.

Gaming Features:

  • Native 4K 120Hz refresh rate
  • VRR, ALLM, eARC HDMI 2.1 support
  • Under 10ms input lag
  • AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync compatible
  • HGiG mode for accurate HDR tone mapping

Smart TV Experience – WebOS Delivers

LG‘s intuitive WebOS platform powers the smart experience on both 8K TV lines. The home screen provides quick access to installed apps like Netflix, YouTube, Prime Video, Disney+ and LG channels.

WebOS makes navigating between apps and inputs smooth. Voice controls via Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa integration adds hands-free convenience. Both models also work with Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit.

LG‘s 2023 updates include NextPick recommendations. This uses AI to suggest content from across apps based on your viewing history and subscribed services. NextPick should make discovering new movies and shows even easier.

The smart platform is robust on both OLED and NanoCell TVs. The newer α9 Gen 5 processor on the OLED makes the interface a bit snappier. But WebOS offers a great smart TV experience on both.

Smart Features:

  • Intuitive WebOS platform
  • Built-in Google Assistant and Alexa
  • NextPick personalized recommendations
  • Works with Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit
  • Supports most major streaming apps
  • Quick access menu and input switching

Audio Performance – Big Sound

Given their ultra thin panels, neither TV has big built-in speakers. But they compensate by supporting Dolby Atmos with virtual surround sound. This creates an immersive audio experience beyond the TV‘s physical speaker system.

The OLED TVs have a 60W 4.2 channel setup with two front-firing drivers and two downward-firing speakers. This produces solid audio quality with good bass impact and clear dialogue.peak brightness around 700 nits for great HDR

The NanoCell also provides a 60W audio system but with two speakers facing downwards. Sound projection is decent aided by the Dolby Atmos processing. But the OLED‘s front-firing drivers give it more direct sound. For best audio, adding a soundbar is recommended.

Audio Features:

  • 60W speaker system
  • Dolby Atmos 3D surround sound
  • AI Sound Pro audio tuning
  • Clear dialogue and solid bass
  • Good audio projection but soundbar recommended

Price – Major Difference Between Models

Pricing is where we see a massive gulf between LG‘s 8K TVs. Their OLED TVs with the superior display technology command premium pricing starting at $19,999 for the 77" model. The extra large 88" comes in at a budget busting $34,999.

In comparison, their 8K NanoCell TVs are priced very competitively starting at just $2,499 for the 65" size. The sweet spot 75" model costs $3,499 while the extra large 85" comes in at $4,999. That‘s just a sixth of the OLED‘s cost!

Clearly, buying the LG 8K OLED TV requires an uncompromising budget. But the impressively performing NanoCell provides 8K resolution and a gorgeous QLED display at relatively affordable pricing.



  • 77" model – $19,999
  • 88" model – $34,999

LG 8K NanoCell TV:

  • 65" model – $2,499
  • 75" model – $3,499
  • 85" model – $4,999

The Verdict – NanoCell is the Practical Choice

To conclude, while LG‘s 8K OLED TV delivers the pinnacle of display technology for the ultimate cinematic experience, its astronomical pricing puts it out of reach for most buyers.

The LG 8K NanoCell TV comes remarkably close in performance, delivering fabulous 8K pictures, intense colors, smooth motion and top-notch features at reasonable prices. For an incredibly immersive 8K viewing experience without breaking the bank, the NanoCell is the obvious choice for most people.

That said, premium home theater aficionados who can afford the higher prices will appreciate the OLED‘s per-pixel perfection. But for everyday viewers, the NanoCell provides everything needed for 8K thrill without the steep cost. So if you‘ve been undecided between these stellar 8K TVs from LG, the more practical NanoCell model gets my hearty recommendation!

I hope this detailed comparison has helped provide all the information you need to choose the right LG 8K TV for your needs and budget. Let me know if you need any other help deciding or have additional questions!