The LG QNED90 is a very good 4k TV with an IPS panel and a Mini LED full-array backlight. It's LG's first 4k Mini LED TV on the market, and the new backlight technology delivers fantastic contrast with local dimming enabled. It's one of the best contrast we've seen on an IPS panel. It's not perfect, though, as the local dimming feature itself is just decent, and there's noticeable blooming in dark scenes. It has wide viewing angles, decent reflection handling, and amazing peak brightness in SDR, so it's a good choice for a bright room. It runs the same WebOS platform found on other LG TVs this year, and it comes with the improved remote found on many of LGs other 2021 models.
The LG QNED90 is a very good TV overall. With wide viewing angles, high peak brightness, and decent reflection handling, it's a great choice for watching TV shows and a good TV for watching sports. It's great for gaming, with low input lag and a fast response time. It has high contrast with local dimming, but there's some blooming in dark scenes, and it has sub-par black uniformity, but it's still good for watching movies in a dark room. Finally, it's an excellent TV for use as a PC monitor, but some uniformity issues might be distracting.
The LG QNED90 is a good TV for watching movies in a dark room. It has fantastic contrast with local dimming and a decent local dimming feature overall. It upscales lower resolution content well, and it has a huge selection of streaming apps if you prefer to stream the latest movies. Unfortunately, it has sub-par black uniformity, and despite the local dimming feature, there's noticeable blooming in some scenes, which can be distracting if you watch movies with subtitles.
The LG QNED90 is a great TV for watching shows during the day. It has decent reflection handling and amazing peak brightness in SDR, so glare shouldn't be an issue. It also has impressive viewing angles, so the image doesn't degrade if you have a wide seating area. Finally, the built-in WebOS smart interface has a huge selection of apps, so you're sure to find something to watch.
The LG QNED90 is a good TV for watching sports. It has decent reflection handling and high peak brightness, so glare shouldn't be an issue. The image remains accurate at an angle, great if you like to watch the game with a large group of friends. It also has a fast response time, and it upscales lower resolution content well, including sports channels from a cable box. Unfortunately, some noticeable uniformity issues might be distracting, but this varies between units.
The LG QNED90 is a great TV for playing video games. It has a few great gaming features, including support for variable refresh rates. It's fully compatible with the latest consoles, and it has low input lag for a responsive gaming experience. It also has a very good response time, with little blur behind fast-moving objects. Unfortunately, although it has a high contrast ratio with local dimming, there's noticeable blooming in dark scenes, and our unit has some uniformity issues that can be distracting while gaming.
The LG QNED90 is a good TV for watching movies in HDR in a dark room. It has fantastic contrast with local dimming, and the local dimming feature itself is decent overall. It has impressive peak brightness in HDR, so small highlights in some scenes stand out, and it can display a wide color gamut. Unfortunately, there are some uniformity issues, and there's noticeable blooming in dark scenes, which may be distracting.
The LG QNED90 is a very good TV for playing video games in HDR. It has fantastic low input lag when gaming, even in HDR, and a very good response time, so there's little blur behind fast-moving objects. It has impressive peak brightness in HDR, and the contrast with local dimming is fantastic. It also has a decent local dimming feature, but there's still some blooming in dark scenes, which may be distracting. Finally, it has a good selection of extra gaming features, including support for variable refresh rates.
The LG QNED90 is an excellent TV for use as a PC monitor, with a few limitations. It has wide viewing angles, so you can sit fairly close without the sides of the screen degrading. It has low input lag and a fast response time, with very little blur behind fast-moving objects. It can display chroma 4:4:4 properly, which is important for clear text, but only from a 4k source. It has decent reflection handling, so glare shouldn't be an issue for most people.
The LG QNED90 is part of LG's QNED series of TVs. The QNED90 is the highest 4k model, sitting above the entry-level QNED85 and below the 8k QNED95 and QNED99. New for 2021, all four of these TVs feature Mini LED backlights, allowing for far finer control of the LEDs used to illuminate the panel. There aren't many direct competitors yet, but we expect the main competitors to be the Samsung QN90A QLED and the new Mini LED TVs from TCL, which haven't released yet.
The LG QNED90 has a similar design to the LG G1 OLED, with thin bezels that are hardly noticeable, a smooth back designed to sit almost flush with the wall, and a nice metal finish. The stand is pretty basic, but it supports the TV well.
The stand is nearly as wide as the TV, so you'll need a pretty big table for the larger sizes if you're not planning on wall mounting it. Although the feet are pretty basic, they support the TV well. There's about 2.5" of clearance between the table and the bottom of the TV, so most soundbars should fit in front without blocking the display.
Footprint of the 65" stand: 47.8" x 11.7".
The back of the TV is very plain. The inputs are side-facing on the left of the TV, and they're easy to access if the TV is wall-mounted. You can route cables through two clips on the back of the TV that lead to tracks in the stands for cable management.
The cable clips on the back of the TV don't seem to be removable, and they stick out about 0.4", so the TV can't quite be mounted flush to the wall.
The LG QNED90 has superb build quality. It feels pretty sturdy and is mostly metal. The stand is pretty basic, though, and doesn't entirely prevent the TV from wobbling. There's also a bit of flex on the back of the TV near the VESA mount and near the inputs.
The LG QNED90 has surprisingly okay contrast for an IPS panel. Native contrast is mediocre, which is expected from an IPS, so blacks look gray in a dark room. With local dimming on 'High' though, the new Mini LED backlight really shows its strength, as contrast is fantastic, rivaling many TVs with VA panels.
The contrast with local dimming is one of the best we've ever seen on an IPS panel, including the Samsung QN85A, which uses a similar panel and similar backlight. It's not as good as the Samsung QN90A QLED with local dimming, though, as that model combines a VA panel with the Mini LED backlight, so the native contrast is much higher. Note that contrast can vary between individual units.
The LG QNED90 has amazing peak brightness in SDR. It's bright enough to easily overcome glare in a bright room. Brightness varies quite a bit with different test windows, but this shouldn't be too noticeable with real content.
We tested SDR brightness after calibration in the 'Expert (Dark space, night)' Picture Mode with Color Temperature set to 'Warm 50', LED Local Dimming to 'High', and Panel Brightness set to '100'.
If you want the brightest image possible and don't care about image accuracy, we reached a peak of 958 cd/m² in the 25% window in the 'Vivid' Picture Mode with the Color Temperature set to 'Cold 50'.
The LG QNED90 has a decent local dimming feature, powered by a new Mini LED backlight with about 1000 dimming zones. The most noticeable issue with this TV is the slow dimming zone transitions, creating a long bright trail behind fast-moving objects in dark scenes. As bright objects move from one zone to the next, the transition is noticeable in our test video, but not with real content.
Despite the relatively small size of each dimming zone, there's still some blooming. It's especially noticeable around small, bright objects in dark scenes, but there's also some blooming around subtitles. Unfortunately, the local dimming algorithm also crushes blacks quite a bit, so very small dim objects in dark scenes are often invisible, like in a starfield.
We tested the local dimming feature with the LED Local Dimming set to 'High', as it delivers the best overall experience.
The local dimming performs the same in the 'Game Optimizer' Picture Mode as outside of it.
The LG QNED90 has impressive peak brightness in HDR. It's bright enough that small highlights in most content really stand out. Unlike the LG NANO90 2021, the brightness doesn't decrease over time, which is great. It follows the EOTF well, ensuring most content displays at the brightness the content creator intended. As it approaches the TV's peak brightness, it gradually rolls off, so there's no loss of fine details in bright scenes.
We tested it in the 'Cinema' HDR Picture Mode with Panel Brightness and Contrast at their max, LED Local Dimming set to 'High', and Color Temperature on 'Warm 50' with all other image processing disabled.
Those settings are also the brightest overall, but if you find HDR a bit too dark, setting Auto Dynamic Contrast to 'High' and HDR Tone Mapping to 'On' results in a slightly brighter picture in bright scenes, as shown in this EOTF. The overall peak brightness of the display remains the same, but bright scenes are over-brightened a bit. Note that this results in a sharper roll-off near the TV's peak brightness, so there might be some loss of fine details in bright scenes.
The HDR brightness in the 'Game Optimizer' mode is the same as outside of it. There are minor differences in each result, but this is just due to the margin of error of our tests, it's not at all noticeable.
Unfortunately, the LG QNED90 has just alright gray uniformity. The sides of the screen are a bit darker than the center, and there's quite a bit of dirty screen effect in the center, which can be distracting when watching sports or if you're using the TV as a PC monitor. Near-black scenes are much better, but there's still quite a bit of dirty screen effect. Note that gray uniformity can vary between units due to manufacturing tolerances.
Unfortunately, the LG QNED90 has sub-par black uniformity. With local dimming disabled, the screen is very cloudy, and there are signs of backlight bleed along each edge. Black uniformity is much better with local dimming disabled, but there's still quite a bit of blooming around the test cross, despite the Mini LED backlight. Black uniformity can vary between individual units.
As expected for an IPS TV, the LG QNED90 has impressive viewing angles, much better than the LG NANO90 2021. It's great if you have a wide seating arrangement. Colors barely shift, even at a wide angle, but at a moderate angle, the brightness decreases and gamma shifts, causing the image to appear washed out.
The LG QNED90 has decent reflection handling. The semi-gloss finish doesn't diffuse direct reflections, so they can still be distracting if you have many bright lights or windows. Thankfully, the TV is plenty bright enough to overcome most glare.
Out of the box, the LG QNED90 we bought has very good accuracy, but this can vary between units. Gamma is close to our target of 2.2, but dark scenes are over-brightened a bit, and some bright scenes are a bit too dark. The white balance is good overall, but there are some minor issues in bright scenes. Colors are excellent, with no noticeable issues. Unfortunately, the color temperature is very cool, giving everything a bluish tint.
After calibration, the LG QNED90 has outstanding accuracy. Any remaining issues with the white balance or colors aren't noticeable without a colorimeter, and gamma is almost perfect. The color temperature is much better, but still a bit cool.
See our recommended settings here.
The LG QNED90 upscales 480p content, like DVDs, with no noticeable issues.
The LG QNED90 displays 1080p content well, and it looks almost as good as native 4k content.
This is a 4k TV, and it doesn't accept an 8k signal. If you prefer, there's an 8k model in the QNED lineup, the LG QNED99 8k.
The LG QNED90 uses an ADS-type panel, which is similar to an IPS. The panel structure looks very similar to the one used in the Samsung QN85A QLED.
The LG QNED90 has an excellent color gamut, and it can display a wide color gamut, which is great for HDR content. It can display most of the commonly-used DCI P3 color space but falls a bit short on all colors. Coverage of the wider Rec. 2020 color space is decent, but there's not much content that uses it at the moment.
The LG QNED90 has decent color volume. It's mainly limited by the incomplete color gamut, but like most LCDs, pure blues aren't as bright as other colors.
The LG QNED90 has amazing gradient handling. There's some banding in darker shades, especially in greens, reds, and gray, but it's not very noticeable. If banding bothers you, setting Smooth Gradation to 'Medium' or 'High' reduces it in most content. We don't recommend leaving this enabled, though, as it causes a loss of fine details.
There are no signs of temporary image retention on our LG QNED90, but this can vary between units.
While some IPS panels like this have some temporary image retention, this doesn't seem to be permanent as the IPS panel in our long-term test appears to be immune.
The LG QNED90 has a very good response time. Transitions from a dark color to a bright one are slow, with significant overshoot in some transitions. Transitions from bright to dark are a bit faster, and except for one, there's no noticeable undershoot, which is great.
Surprisingly, the LG QNED90 is completely flicker-free. It's the first LG TV we've tested, excluding OLEDs, that's completely flicker-free. This is great, as it can help reduce eye strain.
The LG QNED90 has an optional backlight strobing feature, commonly called black frame insertion. It can only flicker at 60Hz, which is a bit disappointing. Unfortunately, some image duplication is noticeable due to poor strobe timings, as there's some crosstalk where the backlight flickers while the TV is refreshing the image. Note that our score here is based only on the refresh rates supported, not how well it works.
There's an optional motion interpolation feature, which can improve the appearance of motion in low frame rate content. It seems to work well with some content; we didn't notice any haloing or artifacts when watching Our Planet on Netflix. It doesn't perform as well in busier scenes, though, and we noticed many issues with The Witcher.
Despite the fast response time, there's some noticeable stutter in some content. It's mainly noticeable in slow panning shots.
The LG QNED90 can remove judder from any source, including embedded sources like a cable box. Surprisingly, no extra settings were needed.
The LG QNED90 supports multiple variable refresh rate formats, so you're sure to get a nearly tear-free gaming experience from almost any source.
You might need to adjust the AMD FreeSync Premium setting depending on your source's supported refresh rate. If you're gaming at 60Hz, FreeSync only works with the setting set to 'Wide'. At 120Hz, both 'Wide' and 'High' work, but the supported refresh rate range varies depending on the setting. With it set to 'High', it only removes tearing between 95 and 120 fps. You have to set it to 'Wide' for the full refresh rate range. The behavior is the same from both an HDMI 2.0 and an HDMI 2.1 source.
The LG QNED90 displays any common signal up to 4k @ 120Hz, but 1440p @ 60Hz requires a custom (forced) resolution. Unfortunately, it can't display proper chroma 4:4:4 with a 1080p or 1440p signal, which is disappointing, as this is important for reading fine text when using it as a PC monitor. It can display chroma 4:4:4 properly when sending a 4k signal, though, so this isn't a big deal.
The LG QNED90 doesn't have any issues displaying content from either the PS5 or Xbox Series X. It supports HDR10 and Dolby Vision from an Xbox Series X, but the image of the supported formats cuts off. You can see the rest of the Xbox menu here.
Like most TVs currently available, this TV doesn't support 4k @ 120Hz Dolby Vision gaming from the Xbox Series X at the moment. This is a new feature that manufacturers are still rolling out. LG has announced that they're working on it for their 2020 and 2021 models, but they haven't confirmed anything for this specific model.
HDMI 3 is also the eARC port, leaving just one HDMI 2.1 input (HDMI 4) for HDMI 2.1 consoles.
All of the main inputs are side-facing, so they're easier to access if you wall-mount the TV. Some inputs face down, but they're mainly ports that aren't typically changed once the TV is set up.
The LG QNED90 supports eARC, allowing you to pass high-quality, uncompressed audio to a compatible receiver over an HDMI connection. Like all LG TVs we've tested in the last few years, this TV doesn't support DTS.
The LG QNED90 has a decent frequency response. Like most TVs, the low-frequency extension is high, so there's almost no bass response and no thump or rumble. Above the LFE, the sound profile is fairly balanced in the mid-range but drops off in the treble range, especially at max volume, meaning that some dialogue might sound muted. It gets pretty loud, but there's some compression at max volume.
The distortion performance is alright. There's a decent amount of distortion at moderate listening levels. Like most TVs, though, it gets worse at max volume. This varies between content, though, and not everyone is sensitive to it, so you might not even hear it.
LG redesigned the WebOS smart platform in 2021, and you get a full home page with all your apps instead of the banner that was at the bottom on previous versions. It's easy-to-use, and the menu navigation feels fairly smooth.
We didn't experience many bugs or issues with the TV, but when Disabling Game Optimizer Mode and going back into a non-game picture mode, the Clarity settings are grayed out. We suspect this is a bug with the current firmware. To fix the issue, we had disable VRR and AMD FreeSync Premium before disabling Game Optimizer Mode. As long as we disabled those settings first, the Clarity tab wasn't grayed out.
Unfortunately, like most TVs on the market, there are ads throughout the interface. We noticed them on the home page, app store, and in the Shop Time store.
LG TVs use a custom LG web store built-in to WebOS, but it has a huge selection of apps, so you're sure to find the app for your favorite streaming service.
LG's popular Magic Remote has been redesigned in 2021. Instead of the curved shape we've become used to in the past years, it's now flat with more quick-access buttons to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and the app store. You can still use it as a virtual pointer, making it very easy to navigate the menus. Through the built-in microphone, you can access both Google Assistant and Alexa. Through the voice commands you can search for content or ask questions, and you can even change inputs or change basic picture settings.
The power button is along the bottom bezel. You can also use it to change inputs, channels, or volume through a series of long or short presses. There are also two mics located on either side of the power button that allow for hands-free voice control. Unlike the Hisense U8G, there's no physical switch to disable the mics.
We tested the 65 inch LG QNED90 (65QNED90), and for the most part, we expect our results to be valid for the 75 inch (75QNED90) and 86 inch (86QNED90) variants as well. In Europe, the equivalent model appears to be the LG QNED91. The overall specs appear to be the same as the model we've tested, but it's not available in an 86 inch size and it has a different, center-mounted stand.
If someone comes across a different type of panel or if their LG QNED90 doesn't correspond to our review, let us know and we'll update the review. Note that some tests, like gray uniformity, may vary between individual units.
The unit we tested was manufactured in June 2021 and you can see the label here.
The LG QNED90 is a very good overall 4k TV. The Mini LED backlight performs well, delivering the best contrast we've seen on an IPS TV. Unfortunately, there are still some issues with blooming, so a TV with a VA panel is still the way to go if you like to watch movies in a dark room.
Although they use different panel technologies, each with strengths and weaknesses, the Samsung QN90A QLED is much better than the LG QNED90. The Samsung has much higher contrast, significantly better black uniformity, and a better local dimming feature, meaning that it looks better in a dark room. The Samsung also has higher peak brightness and much better reflection handling, so it's better in a bright room, too.
The LG C1 OLED and the LG QNED90 use different panel technologies, each with strengths and weaknesses. The C1 uses an OLED panel, and as such, has a nearly infinite contrast ratio and no blooming in dark scenes, without the need for a local dimming feature. The QNED90, on the other hand, uses an LED backlight, so it doesn't look as good in the dark, but it's much brighter, so it might be a better choice for a bright room.
The Samsung QN85A QLED is a bit better than the LG QNED90 for most uses. The Samsung has much better reflection handling and higher peak brightness, so it's better for a bright room with lots of natural light. On the other hand, the LG has much better contrast with local dimming, so it's a better choice for dark rooms.
The Sony X90J and the LG QNED90 use different panel technologies, each with strengths and weaknesses. The LG uses an IPS panel, so it has much better viewing angles, great if you have a wide seating area. The Sony has much better contrast and better black uniformity, so it's a better choice for a dark room.
The LG QNED90 and the Sony X95J use different panel technologies, each with strengths and weaknesses. The LG uses an IPS panel and is better suited for a bright room with a wide seating area. The Sony's VA panel is better for a dark room, as it has much better contrast, better black uniformity, and a much better local dimming feature.
The LG CX OLED and the LG QNED90 use different panel technologies, each with strengths and weaknesses. The CX's OLED panel has a nearly infinite contrast ratio and no blooming in dark scenes, without the need for a local dimming feature, so it's a much better choice if you're in a completely dark room. The QNED90, on the other hand, uses an LED backlight, and it's much brighter, so it might be a better choice for a bright room.
The LG QNED90 and the LG QNED99 8k are both very good TVs. The QNED99 is an 8k TV and the QNED90 is 4k, but they perform fairly similarly overall. The QNED99 has better black uniformity because there's less blooming around bright objects, but the QNED90 gets brighter. The QNED90 has VRR support for gamers, which the QNED99 doesn't have. They each have IPS-like panels, but the QNED90 has wider viewing angles, so it's a better choice for wide seating areas.
The LG QNED90 is much better than the LG NANO90 2021. The QNED90 has a better local dimming feature thanks to the Mini LED backlight, and it has much better contrast with local dimming. The QNED90 is also brighter, but the NANO90 2021 has better reflection handling. Finally, the QNED90 we bought has much better accuracy out of the box, but this can vary between units.
The TCL R745 QLED and the LG QNED90 use different panel technologies, each with strengths and weaknesses. The TCL uses a VA panel, and it has much better native contrast and better black uniformity. The LG uses an IPS panel, and it has much better viewing angles and better local dimming. Overall, the TCL is better for watching movies in a dark room, but the LG is better for TV shows or sports in a bright room or if you have a wide seating area.