LG NANO90 – NANO90: The king of LG's 4K NanoCell Series?
The Premium LCD series of the Korean manufacturer LG will be continued in 2020. This time with the new name NanoCell. That sounds more interesting on the one hand and on the other hand puts more focus on the used NanoCell display technology. The NANO90 is the most expensive 4K TV of this series. The NANO97 and NANO99 are the 8K models of the NanoCell series. But does the series, apart from the sleeker name, have more to offer compared to the SM series from 2019, or is that all? Find out for yourself with the following article!
LG NANO90 buy cheap
The NANO90 has a well done but average design. The entire TV is made of plastic, which unfortunately does not look very high quality. On the whole, the design is rather inconspicuous, so that the cheap plastic does not catch the eye as quickly.
The narrow frame underlines this simple design and hardly distracts from the picture content. The TV is very well supported by the widely spaced feet, so that it has a firm stand and hardly wobbles at all. However, a large table is required to set it up, because of the stand. Between the feet there is enough space for a soundbar, which could upgrade the setup.
The interfaces facing the right edge of the screen and downwards are always within easy reach – even if the TV is wall mounted. Here, it cuts a fine figure due to its shallow depth and narrow frame.
For an almost clean cable management, LG at least provides clips to guide the cables along the stand. If the TV is mounted to the wall, you’ll have to be creative to get the mess under control – there are no cut-outs for cable management or anything similar.
- Simple design
- Entirely made of plastic
- Narrow frame
- Stable stand
- Cable Management
Good picture quality, unfortunately a bit too dark...
The 10 bit In-Plane Switching, type of LCD Panel panel is rather something for bright rooms. Because of the not very deep black and the low contrast ratio of 1680:1, the picture quality in dark rooms is not quite as convincing – in fact, the black is simply not deep enough for this, so that it looks rather grey. To improve the contrast ratio, the NANO90 has the Full Array Local Dimming feature. However, it only has 32 dimming zones, which can lead to blooming in dark scenes with bright areas. This is particularly common with subtitles, which can be really annoying.
Due to the IPS panel, the TV has a wide viewing angle with excellent reflection handling, making it ideal for use in bright environments. The peak brightness of ~640 Nits is quite sufficient for this. Unfortunately, the peak brightness is a bit too low for displaying bright High Dynamic Range – image/video with more dynamic range (contrast range) highlights. Despite the wide color gamut, HDR content is not displayed as convincingly overall, which is rarely the case in this price category.
Unfortunately, the NANO90’s black is not quite uniform, which makes the screen look dirty in scenes with large areas of the same color. This dirty screen effect is particularly noticeable during sports broadcasts, which means that the TV can only be used for this purpose to a limited extent. The corners also appear somewhat darker than the rest of the picture.
Dynamic HDR-format with a color depth of up to 12 Bits and Mastering of up to 10,000 Nits, which can adapt to the ambient brightness is supported as dynamic HDR format – License-free, dynamic HDR-format in competition with Dolby Vision is not available.
- 10 Bit IPS panel
- Black level
- Contrast ratio 1680:1
- Full Array Local Dimming
- 32 dimming zones
- Viewing angle
- Reflection handling
- Peak brightness ~640 Nits
- Dirty Screen Effect
- Dolby Vision IQ
Great motion handling
The NANO90 display has a native Hertz is the derived SI-unit of frequency with 1Hz=1/s – When talking about TVs this means how many different pictures a TV can display in one second. of 120 Hertz is the derived SI-unit of frequency with 1Hz=1/s – When talking about TVs this means how many different pictures a TV can display in one second. and an excellent response time of ~4 ms. As a result, there is only a small amount of motion blur even with fast movements. Only OLEDs like the CX can do better here due to their design – but these are usually more expensive than the NANO90. However, the NanoCell’s motion blur can further be minimized by the perfectly implemented Process that inserts black “blank images” as intermediate images. This makes movements appear finer and clearer. feature, which is particularly beneficial for gamers. Due to the incredibly low response time, stuttering can occur in content with a low frame rate. But this disadvantage does not weigh that much though, as stutter can be corrected by the motion Artificial calculation of more frames than the source material has to offer. The NANO90 has absolutely no problem with judder; it can remove it from any source.
The backlight is not free of flicker, but it does flicker at a Hertz is the derived SI-unit of frequency with 1Hz=1/s – When talking about TVs this means how many different pictures a TV can display in one second. of 960 Hz, which is perceived by the human eye as continuous illumination and should therefore not disturb.
- 120 Hz
- Response Time ~4 ms
- Reduction of motion blur
- Free from Judder
- Reduction of Stutter
- 960 Hz Background lighting
Alles für Spaß beim Gaming
The NANO90 has actually all the features you need for gaming. The input lag is good with <15 ms and makes the TV feel responsive when you press a button on your gamepad. To keep the input lag as low as possible, it has an Auto Low Latency Mode. When this feature is activated the TV recognizes a running console and switches to the game mode automatically. The wide viewing angle is also advantageous for gaming with several people – sports games like FIFA or local COOP games like Borderlands 3 are thereby super playable in bright surroundings.
Screen tearing can be prevented by a variable Hertz is the derived SI-unit of frequency with 1Hz=1/s – When talking about TVs this means how many different pictures a TV can display in one second. using HDMI Forum Variable Refresh Rate – synchronizes the display’s refresh rate with the output refresh rate of the graphics card. There are also two HDMI 2.1 interfaces, so the NANO90 is well prepared for Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X.
- Input Lag <15 ms
- Auto Low Latency Mode
- HDMI Forum's VRR
- HDMI 2.1
- Viewing angle
Surprisingly good sound
The 2.0 channel 20 W speakers deliver a surprisingly good sound with a nice sound profile. Therefore, dialogues are reproduced understandably and a quite impressive atmosphere is created for a TV in this price range. The basses are ok, but not really something for enthusiasts. If you want to have the best possible sound you should invest in a soundbar, which also has a separate subwoofer to get really powerful basses. When buying a soundbar you should keep in mind that the NANO90 does not support Multi-channel-sound-system (Surround Sound) competing with Dolby Digital. But Dolby formats are supported. Multi-channel-sound-system for up to 5.1 channel Surround Sound Plus is available and the HDMI eARC supports Dolby Atmos via TrueHD, which can provide a great sound backdrop from all directions.
- 2.0 channel with 20W (RMS)
- Sound profile
- Dolby Atmos via TrueHD
As smart as the OLED series
Like all other 2020 TVs from LG, the NANO90 is based on the smart operating system WebOS 5.0, which is intuitive to use and can be controlled with LG’s Magic Remote. The remote has a motion sensor, which allows the cursor to be controlled by hand movements. Classic navigation using arrow keys on the remote control is also possible and can be selected according to the user’s preference. Those who find the remote control too complicated can also use the voice assistants. LG supports Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant. In addition, Airplay 2 is available to simplify data exchange with Apple devices in order to stream photos, videos and music onto the TV. All major streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ are also already installed – so the streaming marathon can start immediately.
Moreover, the NANO90 is compatible with Google Home and Amazon Echo, making it ideal for a smart home. By using LG ThinQ AI, the NANO becomes the control center of other existing smart applications that can be conveniently controlled from the dashboard.
There is no twin tuner on the NANO90, but functions like time shift and USB recording are still available.
- Intuitive WebOS 5.0
- Good remote control
- Smooth navigation
- Amazon Alexa
- Google Assistant
- Apple Airplay 2
- Great range of apps
- LG ThinQ
- Twin tuner
- PVR & Time Shift
Good overall performance - at least in bright rooms
The NANO90 is a good choice for bright environments thanks to its IPS panel with wide viewing angles and excellent reflection handling. However, it is not suitable for dark environments due to the low contrast ratio, uneven black and the dirty screen effect. If you want to watch a lot of sports, a TV with a more uniform color, such as the Q70T, would also be a better choice. However, LG’s NanoCell TV scores outstandingly well in the gaming category. Aside from a low input lag, it has all the features you need and an HDMI 2.1 interface is also available. Unfortunately, its HDR performance is not quite as convincing due to the low brightness.
- Picture quality in bright rooms
- Viewing angle
- Gaming Performance
- HDMI 2.1
- Picture quality in dark rooms
- Dirty Screen Effect
- HDR performance
LG NANO90 in comparison
Alternatives to the LG NANO90
The QLED Q80T from the Korean manufacturer Samsung clearly performs better in a direct comparison. Thanks to the Vertical Alignment, type of LCD Panel panel, it has a much better contrast ratio of 4300:1 with a deeper, more even black and therefore has clearly superior picture quality in dark rooms – although both have full array local dimming. The NANO90 can certainly keep up in bright rooms, but doesn’t quite reach the Q80T’s results due to the lower peak brightness. The higher peak brightness of ~820 Nits makes High Dynamic Range – image/video with more dynamic range (contrast range) highlights stand out better and the wider color gamut produces a more impressive display of HDR content. Although the viewing angle of the NANO90 is quite impressive, the one of the Q80T is even better. It uses Samsung’s ultra viewing angle layer to overcome the disadvantage of the VA panel.
If you want to buy a TV for sports you should consider the Q80T because of the NANO’s dirty screen effect. The picture simply looks cleaner and it is more fun to watch the teams rushing over the grass or ice. In gaming, both devices perform equally well, but the HDR performance of the Q80T is way better. As a consequence HDR games are way better displayed.
At first glance, LG’s NANO90 can easily keep up with the XH90. But there are some factors that are not quite taken into account by our comparison chart. The NANO90’s blacks are not really uniform. Its corners are darker and the dirty screen effect is clearly visible in the centre of the screen. This is particularly annoying when watching sports, as large areas that should actually have the same colour can look non-uniform and dirty.
Because the NANO90 uses an In-Plane Switching, type of LCD Panel panel, its viewing angle is considerably larger than that of its Japanese competitor. This makes it much more flexible to use – even if several people want to look at the TV, or if the couch is at an angle to the TV. Although the viewing angle is smaller than other TVs with IPS panel, it is far superior to the XH90. However, this panel has the disadvantage of having a much lower contrast ratio and a lower peak brightness. As a result, the XH90’s picture quality is better in dark rooms and High Dynamic Range – image/video with more dynamic range (contrast range) content is definitely displayed more beautifully.
In the gaming category, both TVs show a similarly good performance – due to an equal input lag, HDMI 2.1 and a similar response time. However, the NANO90’s IPS panel allows several people to play together at the same time. A Fifa tournament is therefore more likely to take place on the NANO90. However, the XH90 has the better overall performance, especially in terms of HDR performance and picture quality.
Compared to its little brother, the NANO90 is clearly the better TV. Instead of the Edge-Lit LED backlight of the NANO85, it has Full Array Local Dimming, which improves its picture quality considerably. The little brother’s peak brightness is very low with ~350 Nits. This means that the display of High Dynamic Range – image/video with more dynamic range (contrast range) content is not as good as with the NANO90 – even if it does not perform as well in this respect. But not in every case the NANO90 is superior. When it comes to gaming, the NANO85 is just as good, although the input lag of the NANO90 is slightly better. The Dirty Screen effect, which is present on both devices, is not as noticeable on the NANO85. This way sports is displayed better and it is therefore more fun to watch on the NANO85.