LG's new NanoCell TVs only cost $599, but there's a catch

LG NanoCell TV
(Image credit: LG)

LG has just announced the pricing details around its 2020 lineup of premium NanoCell LCD TVs and, surprisingly, they’re super affordable this year. 

According to the specs sent to TechRadar, the entry-level model - the 55-inch NANO81 - will cost just $599 when it goes on sale in May. That’s $50 cheaper than the current entry-level SM8100, and it could drop even more when we get to the big sales holidays like Cyber Monday and Black Friday.

So what’s the catch?

The catch is that, like last year, the new low-end NANO81 won’t have the high-end Alpha a9 III or even the basic Alpha a7 III picture processor in them and will instead have a generic quad-core processor. That’s not the end of the world, obviously, but if you’re looking for the clearest upscaling, you’re going to want a chip specifically designed to expedite the upscaling process.

The upside is that, even if you throw down for the cheapest version NanoCell TV, you’re still getting the quantum dot-like screen technology that offers enhanced colors and contrast with wider viewing angles than rival LED-LCD TVs - so it's not like you're getting an absolutely awful TV.

Should you pay more for a TV processor? 

Should you decide that you want something a bit more powerful under the hood of your NanoCell TV, LG has you covered - it announced 10 other models today that fit the bill. There’s the NANO85 and NANO90 Series that use the Alpha a7 Gen 3 and have a 4K resolution, or you can step all the way up to the LG NANO99 8K TV that comes with the even better Alpha a9 Gen 3 processor.

In terms of pricing, the NANO85 isn’t much more expensive than the NANO81 we mentioned earlier, coming in at $649 for the 49-inch model - making it just $50 more than the NANO81. Here's the complete lineup:

(Image credit: LG)

Things get a bit pricey when you step up to the NANO90 that comes in at $1,049 for a 55-inch screen, and leaps to $3,499 if you want to hop on the 8K bandwagon with the 65-inch NANO99. Here's the 8K NanoCell lineup:

(Image credit: LG)

So which of these should you buy? Well, we’ll have to see them for ourselves before we can say anything for certain - but unless you have a critical eye, you might not be missing much by using a quad-core processor over the Alpha series of chips. The latter have multi-step upscaling techniques that reduce grain and increase sharpness - which is great if you plan on plugging in, say, a DVD player - but most HD video should look fine on the NANO81.

In terms of availability, LG is shipping the 49-inch NANO85 and 86-inch NANO90 starting today, and those will be joined by the 65-inch NANO81, 55-inch NANO90 and 65-inch NANO85 later this month. The rest of the lineup - including the 75-inch NANO99 8K - will arrive in May with the last model, the 75-inch NANO85, arriving sometime in September.

  • Want to see everything in LG's stable? Here's every LG 2020 TV
Nick Pino

Nick Pino is Managing Editor, TV and AV for TechRadar's sister site, Tom's Guide. Previously, he was the Senior Editor of Home Entertainment at TechRadar, covering TVs, headphones, speakers, video games, VR and streaming devices. He's also written for GamesRadar+, Official Xbox Magazine, PC Gamer and other outlets over the last decade, and he has a degree in computer science he's not using if anyone wants it.