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2020 NANO90 vs. 2021 NANO90: Which is the Better Gaming TV?

In 2021, LG released a new version of the NANO90. So, how does the updated model compare to older 2020 version when it comes to playing videogames on PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series S, Xbox Series X as well as other systems?

You can find out in this comparison.

Quick Summary

When compared to the 2020 version, the 2021 NANO90 has a slightly higher native contrast ratio in addition to brighter HDR levels and lower input lag.

On the other hand, the 2020 NANO90 has a better contrast ratio when local dimming is used as well as utilizing a wide color gamut. Furthermore, it is the only one of these two products to come with support for composite input.

Both of these television sets support Dolby Vision, HDR10, FreeSync, GSYNC, Variable Refresh Rate and 120 frames per second.

Overall, we give a slight edge to the 2021 version of the NANO90 due to having better HDR brightness levels and lower input lag.

If you are interested, you can purchase either of the aforementioned televisions on Amazon with the following links:

If you want to mount the 2021 NANO90 on a wall, then you can check out this buyer’s guide.

2020 NANO90 vs. 2021 NANO90 Comparison Chart

You can take a look at Seeking Tech’s comparison table for the 2020 and 2021 versions of the NANO90 below.

 LG NanoCell 90 Series 4K Smart UHD TV (2020)LG NanoCell 90 Series 4K Smart UHD TV (2021)
Screen Sizes55" 55NANO90UNA

65" 65NANO90UNA

75" 75NANO90UNA

86" 86NANO90UNA
55": 55NANO90UPA

65": 65NANO90UPA

75": 75NANO90UPA

86": 86NANO90UPA
HDMI PortsHDMI Port #1: HDMI 2.0

HDMI Port #2: HDMI 2.0

HDMI Port #3: HDMI 2.1

HDMI Port #4: HDMI 2.1
HDMI Port #1: HDMI 2.0

HDMI Port #2: HDMI 2.0

HDMI Port #3: HDMI 2.1

HDMI Port #4: HDMI 2.1
Legacy Console InputsCable/Antenna Input

Composite Input
Cable/Antenna Input
Native Contrast Ratio1,068 to 11,144 to 1
Local Dimming Contrast Ratio1,676 to 11,200 to 1
HDR FeaturesDolby Vision

HDR10

HLG

Wide Color Gamut
Dolby Vision

HDR10

HLG
HDR Real Scene Highlight378 nits545 nits
HDR Peak 2% Window517 nits570 nits
HDR Peak 10% Window627 nits1,151 nits
HDR Peak 25% Window500 nits915 nits
HDR Peak 50% Window421 nits558 nits
HDR Peak 100% Window389 nits504 nits
HDR Sustained 2% Window250 nits309 nits
HDR Sustained 10% Window326 nits443 nits
HDR Sustained 25% Window365 nits478 nits
HDR Sustained 50% Window381 nits497 nits
HDR Sustained 100% Window387 nits504 nits
HDR ABL0.0270.029
Adaptive Sync SupportFreeSync

GSYNC

Variable Refresh Rate
FreeSync

GSYNC

Variable Refresh Rate
1080p resolution and 60 Hz refresh rate (Game Mode Enabled)14.7 ms11.6 ms
1080p resolution and 120 Hz refresh rate (Game Mode Enabled)5.5 ms5.1 ms
1440p resolution and 60 Hz refresh rate (Game Mode Enabled)5.4 ms5.4 ms
1440p resolution and 120 Hz refresh rate (Game Mode Enabled)14.8 ms11.6 ms
4K resolution and 60 Hz refresh rate (Game Mode Enabled)14.7 ms11.5 ms
4K resolution and 60 Hz refresh rate + 10-bit HDR (Game Mode Enabled)14.7 ms11.4 ms
4K resolution and 60 Hz at 4:4:414.7 ms11.5 ms
4K resolution and 120 Hz refresh rate (Game Mode Enabled)12.5 ms5.2 ms
4K resolution and Variable Refresh Rate13.9 ms5.8 ms
1080p resolution and 60 Hz refresh rate (Game Mode Disabled)97.8 ms129.9 ms
4K resolution and 60 Hz refresh rate (Game Mode Disabled)85.9 ms109.1 ms
4K resolution and 60 Hz refresh rate With Interpolation78.0 ms103.8 ms
PricingCheck price on Amazon.Check price on Amazon.

Screen Sizes

Both the 2020 and 2021 versions of the LG NanoCell 90 are available in screen sizes of 55 inches, 65 inches, 75 inches and 86 inches.

You can find the model number of each size for both products below:

  • 55″ 55NANO90UNA
  • 65″ 65NANO90UNA
  • 75″ 75NANO90UNA
  • 86″ 86NANO90UNA
  • 55″: 55NANO90UPA
  • 65″: 65NANO90UPA
  • 75″: 75NANO90UPA
  • 86″: 86NANO90UPA

HDMI Ports

The old and new versions of the NANO90 each comes with two HDMI 2.0 ports as well as two HDMI 2.1 ports.

You can find the HDMI setup for the two TVs below:

  • HDMI Port #1: HDMI 2.0
  • HDMI Port #2: HDMI 2.0
  • HDMI Port #3: HDMI 2.1
  • HDMI Port #4: HDMI 2.1

Legacy Console Inputs

When it comes to older consoles, both of these television sets come equipped with a cable/antenna input. The 2020 version is the only one to include a composite input with an included adapter, however.

Contrast Ratios

When it comes to contrast, the 2021 version has a slightly better native contrast than the 2020 version.

When local dimming is used, however, the contrast ratio of the 2020 version ends up being quite a bit better than the 2021 version.

With that said, the contrasts for both are considered to be mediocre.

You can find the ratios, which were measured by RTINGS, for the 2020 NANO90 and 2021 NANO90 below:

Native Contrast

  • 2020 NANO90: 1,068 to 1
  • 2021 NANO90: 1,144 to 1

Local Dimming Contrast

  • 2020 NANO90: 1,676 to 1
  • 2021 NANO90: 1,200 to 1

HDR Features

When it comes to HDR features, the 2020 version of the NanoCell 90 is the only one of the two to feature a wide color gamut.

Both of these sets support the Dolby Vision and HDR10 formats.

You can find the list of supported HDR features below:

2020 NANO90:

  • Dolby Vision
  • HDR10
  • HLG
  • Wide Color Gamut

2021 NANO90:

  • Dolby Vision
  • HDR10
  • HLG

HDR10 is the common format used by the PS4, PS4 Pro, PS5, Xbox One S, Xbox One X, Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X. The Xbox Series S and X also use Dolby Vision.

Game Mode HDR Brightness Levels

The 2021 NANO90 can output higher levels of HDR brightness when compared to the 2020 NANO.

To get a passable HDR gaming experience, we recommend getting a television set that can produce at least 500 nits.

According to testing done by RTINGS, the 2021 NANO90 managed to pass that minimum threshold when displaying a videogame. However, it struggles to sustain its brightness levels.

The 2020 NANO90 struggles to be a passable HDR television as it can only maintain 378 nits when playing a game.

You can find the brightness levels, based on the tests done by RTINGS, for the 2020 NANO90 and 2021 NANO90 below:

Real Scene Highlight

  • 2020 NANO90: 378 nits
  • 2021 NANO90: 545 nits

HDR Peak 2% Window

  • 2020 NANO90: 517 nits
  • 2021 NANO90: 570 nits

HDR Peak 10% Window

  • 2020 NANO90: 627 nits
  • 2021 NANO90: 1,151 nits

HDR Peak 25% Window

  • 2020 NANO90: 500 nits
  • 2021 NANO90: 915 nits

HDR Peak 50% Window

  • 2020 NANO90: 421 nits
  • 2021 NANO90: 558 nits

HDR Peak 100% Window

  • 2020 NANO90: 389 nits
  • 2021 NANO90: 504 nits

HDR Sustained 2% Window

  • 2020 NANO90: 250 nits
  • 2021 NANO90: 309 nits

HDR Sustained 10% Window

  • 2020 NANO90: 326 nits
  • 2021 NANO90: 443 nits

HDR Sustained 25% Window

  • 2020 NANO90: 365 nits
  • 2021 NANO90: 478 nits

HDR Sustained 50% Window

  • 2020 NANO90: 381 nits
  • 2021 NANO90: 497 nits

HDR Sustained 100% Window

  • 2020 NANO90: 387 nits
  • 2021 NANO90: 504 nits

HDR ABL

  • 2020 NANO90: 0.027
  • 2021 NANO90: 0.029

Adaptive Sync Support

When it comes to adaptive syn features, both the old and new versions of the LG NanoCell 90 Series support FreeSync, GSYNC and Variable Refresh Rate.

VRR is currently used by Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X. The same feature, which will make the game run smoother and get rid of screen tearing, is also expected to be added to the PlayStation 5.

Input Lag

The two television sets in this comparison have great input lag reduction when you use the game mode settings.

However, the 2021 NANO90 comes out ahead by having lower latency in a vast majority of cases. The only exceptions are when you use variable refresh rate at 1080 and 1440p since both TVs have the same input delays with VRR in those resolutions.

You can check out the input lag test results from RTINGS for the 2020 NANO90 and 2021 NANO90 below:

1080p resolution and 60 Hz refresh rate (Game Mode Enabled)

  • 2020 NANO90: 14.7 ms
  • 2021 NANO90: 11.6 ms

1080p resolution and 120 Hz refresh rate (Game Mode Enabled)

  • 2020 NANO90: 5.5 ms
  • 2021 NANO90: 5.1 ms

1080p resolution and Variable Refresh Rate

  • 2020 NANO90: 5.4 ms
  • 2021 NANO90: 5.4 ms

1440p resolution and 60 Hz refresh rate (Game Mode Enabled)

  • 2020 NANO90: 14.8 ms
  • 2021 NANO90: 11.6 ms

1440p resolution and 120 Hz refresh rate (Game Mode Enabled)

  • 2020 NANO90: 5.4 ms
  • 2021 NANO90: 5.0 ms

1440p resolution and Variable Refresh Rate

  • 2020 NANO90: 5.6 ms
  • 2021 NANO90: 5.6 ms

4K resolution and 60 Hz refresh rate (Game Mode Enabled)

  • 2020 NANO90: 14.7 ms
  • 2021 NANO90: 11.5 ms

4K resolution and 60 Hz refresh rate + 10-bit HDR (Game Mode Enabled)

  • 2020 NANO90: 14.7 ms
  • 2021 NANO90: 11.4 ms

4K resolution and 60 Hz at 4:4:4

  • 2020 NANO90: 14.7 ms
  • 2021 NANO90: 11.5 ms

4K resolution and 120 Hz refresh rate (Game Mode Enabled)

  • 2020 NANO90: 12.5 ms
  • 2021 NANO90: 5.2 ms

4K resolution and Variable Refresh Rate

  • 2020 NANO90: 13.9 ms
  • 2021 NANO90: 5.8 ms

1080p resolution and 60 Hz refresh rate (Game Mode Disabled)

  • 2020 NANO90: 97.8 ms
  • 2021 NANO90: 129.9 ms

4K resolution and 60 Hz refresh rate (Game Mode Disabled)

  • 2020 NANO90: 85.9 ms
  • 2021 NANO90: 109.1 ms

4K resolution and 60 Hz refresh rate with Interpolation

  • 2020 NANO90: 78.0 ms
  • 2021 NANO90: 103.8 ms