LG NANO99 Review: Delivers the greatest possible color depth and contrast

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In the TV world, LG is undoubtedly best known for its OLED screens. The Korean manufacturer has spent billions developing and marketing OLED technology. But this does not mean that for this reason they “forgot” to develop their LCD screens! LG’s finest LCDs use so-called NanoCell technology to deliver the greatest possible color depth and contrast.

NANO99 2021 is the flagship model with 8K resolution. The TV has good overall performance, but is not much better than a 4K TV as limited 8K content is available so far. This is the most elite model in the LG NanoCell series. Like most 4K TVs in this lineup, it has an IPS panel. In the LG 86NANO996PB NanoCell 8K TV HDR review as a representative of the series, we will look at all the features of the model.

LG NANO99 review

Design

The design of the LG 86NANO996PB TV differs from last year’s 75-inch model LG 75NANO996NA mainly in that the new model rests on a moon-shaped stand. The exterior resembles a blend of LG NANO90 and LG G1 OLED . The thin bezels (1.1cm) are similar to other models in the NanoCell line, and the back is similar to the G1. The stand is generally good at keeping the TV from swaying.

The LG NANO99 is also compatible with the LG Gallery Flush wall mount, but not included. The back panel is made of thick plastic with a smooth surface, while the cable routing panels have a textured surface. The location of the HDMI and USB connectors has changed – now some of them are located on the bottom, some on the side. The LG NANO 99 TV boasts outstanding build quality.

Image quality

LG NANO99 uses an 8K IPS LCD panel, which traditionally has a wider viewing angle. But it has a slightly weaker contrast than VA matrices . To compensate for this, LG has equipped the screen with direct LED backlighting for individual lighting control (local dimming) in multiple zones.

LG 86NANO996PB - overview

Need to clarify: the NanoCell LCD screen, even of this flagship caliber, cannot fully match the black level achieved with an OLED screen. While LG’s OLED panels can turn every tiny pixel on and off, the LCD panel uses a translucent principle to form an image. Hence, a certain light leak is inevitable, which manifests itself in the form of irregularities (the so-called halo effects) in dark scenes.

However, the LG 86NANO99 is one of the best LCDs in terms of black levels and backlight control. It has an acceptable contrast ratio (about 900: 1 with local dimming) and enough brightness to enjoy viewing both day and evening. The peak brightness of real scenes in HDR mode reaches 600 nits.

The 86NANO99 NanoCell TV supports HDR, HDR10, HDR10 Pro, Dolby Vision IQ, and HLG. The only missing item here is HDR10 + content. But it is not as common as other options, so it never feels like you are missing out on so many important things.

The most impressive thing about any 8K TV is, of course, clarity. The LG screen draws a tightly packed and seamless image without a hint of “grid” or pixel art. It delivers quality images with a phenomenal sense of depth. The NANO99 also shows here that it has very good scaling: even rather cloudy HD recordings look really sharp and not noisy.

An 8K screen naturally performs best when serving real-world content. Here LG NANO99 series has the ability to output YouTube videos in proper 8K resolution. There are now many amateur and semi-pro videos available in 8K quality, but there are still only a few TV models that can show them.

LG 86NANO996PB - design

LG 86NANO996 has a good color gamut for HDR content. It has excellent coverage of the commonly used DCI P3 color space, but limited coverage of the wider Rec. 2020. Color volume and gradient transitions are also very good. It displays brighter colors well, but worse – dark, saturated colors due to the low contrast ratio.

Motion processing and game mode

LG NANO99 also works great as a gaming screen. It is easily controlled at variable frame rates up to 120fps while maintaining excellent motion sharpness. The TV has an excellent response time (100% transition on the order of 11ms). For the most part, the movement looks smooth and there are minimal traces of blur. However, with each transition, outliers are observed, which appear in the form of some artifacts.

The NanoCell LG NANO99 uses pulse width modulation (PWM) to control the backlight brightness. It flickers at 960 Hz at all brightness levels in all picture modes except Game mode, which flickers at 120 Hz. This is a very high frequency and most people shouldn’t notice it.

Smart TV

This TV runs on the same LG webOS platform as other high quality LG TVs. In 2021, webOS 6.0 is used . It’s easy to use and pretty smooth to navigate. The Magic Remote makes it easy to navigate the menus. The selection of applications is very good. In addition to Netflix, there is access to Amazon Prime, Apple TV, IVI and last but not least Disney +.

The 86NANO99 also supports AirPlay 2 and Homekit, so it can display content from Apple iOS devices and be part of a smart home. Additional streaming apps are available through the webOS App Store. According to LG, the fourth-generation Alpha 9 processor delivers 15% better CPU performance and 50% better GPU performance.

LG NANO99 2021 comes with an updated Magic Remote. You can use it like a traditional remote control with its navigation buttons, or use it like a computer mouse. The number of buttons for quick access to streaming services has increased. The appearance of the number buttons has been changed. The remote has a built-in voice control.

Sound quality

LG NANO 99 is equipped with 60W stereo speakers and 4.2 sound circuit. In the new model, the name of the voice processing technology has changed, now it is Clear Voice Pro. Dolby Atmos is supported. The built-in sound has good clarity of dialogue reproduction, good fullness of bass and sound effects.

LG 86NANO996PB - switching

However, there is no doubt that serious audio enthusiasts should spend their money on a soundbar or other audio system in the first place. The LG 99 supports HDMI eARC , so it’s easy to upgrade to an Atmos compatible soundbar like the LG SP11R.

Connections

The 86NANO99 boasts full HDMI 2.1 support. This means you can connect high quality video sources up to 8K / 60p or 4K / 120p. There are three USB connectors on the rear panel. There is a LAN port and a CI slot of the common interface. The number of antenna jacks varies by region. There is a headphone output. Wireless – Traditional Wi-Fi and Bluetooth v5.0.

Conclusion

LG’s LCD screens are likely overshadowed by the company’s excellent OLED models. However, the top model LG NANO99 is a bright spot in LG’s lineup. You get the same good image processing as OLED screens, combined with a large and crisp 8K image. The TV is a highly functional gaming screen with low output latency and support for 120 fps. There is no doubt that the NANO99 seems like a very good buy in the 8K class.