Sony X90K 4K HDR TV Review

Sony X90K

XR65X90K 120Hz Google TV Smart LED TV

Review Summary
Sony X90K 4K LED TV

Product Name: XBR90K

Product Description: Cognitive Processor XR | Full-array LED backlighting w/ local dimming | XR TRILUMINOS Pro display | XR Motion Clarity | • IMAX Enhanced certification | HDMI 2.1 | ATSC 3.0 Tuner | Google TV | Acoustic Multi-Audio system | Chromecast built-in | Voice remote with a built-in microphone | Game Mode offers support for 4K@120Hz, ALLM and VRR

Brand: Sony

  • Sony X90K
4

See full review below

Model year: 2022

Screen size reviewed: 65”

Bottom Line: The X90K is a good 4K HDR TV that offers commendable performance and great features that include Google TV. It’s a great choice for watching movies in a dark room. And if you’re into sports it’s great motion-handling capabilities will provide smooth and blur-free action.

It’s also a great TV for gaming and offers advanced features such as 4K/120Hz, ALLM and VRR as well as low input lag.

It does, however, have some issues with blooming which aren’t too distracting and it could do a better job of reflecting room lighting away from the screen.

The X90K certainly brings a lot to the table in terms of performance and features and gets a solid recommendation from HDTVs and More

Dimensions:

With stand: (W x H x D) 57.25” x 34” x 13.13″
Without stand: (W x H x D) 57.17” x 32.83” x 2.84”

Weight:

With stand: 52.9 lbs.
Without stand: 50.7 lbs.

Warranty: One year parts and labor

Pros

  • Superior video processing
  • Excellent 4K upscaling
  • Outstanding contrast and black-level performance
  • Excellent SDR peak brightness
  • Good HDR peak brightness
  • Vivid and dynamic color reproduction
  • Good motion handling performance
  • Great gaming TV
  • Low input lag – approx. 17.0 ms with 1080p @ 60Hz and 4K @ 60Hz signals | 9.3 ms with 1080p @ 120Hz and 10.1 ms 4K @ 120Hz signals

Cons

  • Blooming around bright objects against a black background
  • Contrast and color saturation loss at wide viewing angles
  • Screen room light reflection could be better

Intro

The X90K is part of Sony’s XR Bravia class of LED TVs. It resides just below the Flagship X95K 4K LED TV. The X90K is available in 55” ($899.99), 65” ($999.99), 75” ($1,499.99) and 85” ($1,999.99) screen sizes.

Design & Features

The X90K has a modern-day design typical of most flat-panel TVs and features slim borders (bezel) surrounding its semi-gloss screen. The back panel is made of plastic and contains two side-firing tweeters (speakers) on either side of the top portion of the rear panel. The panel depth is a bit thick and measures approximately 2-3/4” deep.

The metal TV stand (feet) has two mounting positions – a “standard” (lower) or “soundbar” (raised). The feet provide very good support for the 65” panel with minimal wobble.

Overall the X90K has a solid build quality and doesn’t appear cheaply made.

The screen is illuminated with full-array LED backlighting with local dimming. The 65” model contains 60 dimming zones.

Sony X90K Side View

Side View

Feature highlights

  • Full-array LED backlight with local dimming
  • XR Motion Clarity blur reduction
  • High Dynamic Range (HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG) extends picture contrast and brightness when viewing HDR content
  • XR TRILUMINOS Pro display technology for a wider, more natural color palette
  • Cognitive Processor XR uses powerful real-time processing based on a human perspective for a true-to-life picture
    • XR Contrast Booster 10 balances light output across the screen for improved contrast
    • XR 4K Upscaling intelligently re-creates lost textures and detail in lower-res content
  • IMAX Enhanced certification for improved performance with IMAX Enhanced 4K/HDR content
  • Netflix Adaptive Calibrated Mode mimics the settings on Netflix’s mastering monitors to ensure an accurate picture
  • Acoustic Multi-Audio system uses sound-positioning tweeters at the back of the TV so the sound follows the action
  • Acoustic Center Sync synchronizes TV speakers with compatible Sony sound bars for fuller, more immersive sound
  • 3D Surround Upscaling uses XR signal processing to upscale even two-channel sources to simulated surround sound
  • Multi-position stand has standard and sound bar positions
  • Voice remote with a built-in microphone

Note: The Costco model of this TV, the X90CK has a backlit remoteSony XR95K Remote

Smart TV features:

  • Google TV interface lets you browse live TV, movies, and TV shows from across many streaming services all in one place
  • The remote has built-in Google Assistant — control basic TV functions and compatible smart home gear, search TV’s streaming services, set timers, and more | use wake word to access Google Assistant hands-free
  • Compatible with Apple AirPlay 2 for wireless streaming from your Apple device
  • Works with Amazon Alexa devices

The Google TV interface is user-friendly and easy to navigate. It provides fast and smooth functionality.

Sony X90K

Google TV

Connectivity:

  • 4 HDMI inputs (two 2.0b, two 2.1) – all inputs are HDCP 2.3 compatible | HDMI 3 and HDMI 4 inputs support 4K/120Hz full 48 Gbps bandwidth and Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) and support for Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) | HDMI 3 input supports enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC)
  • 1 Composite video input (3.5mm A/V minijack – adapter required)
  • 1 RF input for antenna, cable, satellite
  • 1 Digital optical audio output
  • 1 Ethernet input
  • ATSC 3.0 tuner for over-the-air 4K broadcast
  • 2 USB inputs
  • S-Center Speaker In
  • Dual-band Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac)
  • Bluetooth wireless audio streaming to a compatible speaker or set of headphones
Sony X90K rear port connection

Rear Inputs

Sony X90K rear panel

Rear Panel

Performance

Note: For a more accurate picture quality I used the “Custom” picture mode and the “Warm” or “Expert 1” color temperature settings.

Overall, the X90K provided very good picture quality. Detail and clarity were crystal clear with commendable transparency and image depth when viewing high-quality 4K HDR sources. High-quality 1080p sources also looked very good on this TV and revealed 4K quality thanks to Sony’s excellent XR 4K upscaling.

Sony TVs have always been well-known and commended for their excellent color accuracy, and the X90K was no exception. I was impressed with how natural and realistic the colors appeared on this display. And with the display’s wide color gamut capabilities, colors with HDR content were rich and vibrant without appearing over-saturated.

Contrast and black levels were very strong picture quality attributes for the X90K. The contrast range was visually excellent on this TV and allowed images to be rendered with substantial dynamic pop. Black levels were impressively deep for an LED TV and make this TV a great choice for viewing movies in a dark room.

Additionally, black levels didn’t appear crushed on the X90K allowing for very good shadow detail which was very apparent while viewing dark movie scenes with low levels of ambient lighting.

As mentioned earlier, the X90K has great black levels, but those black levels can be obstructed by blooming which can sometimes be seen when white objects or subtitles are set against a black background. This blooming can also filter into the letterbox black bars if a bright object is near the letterbox bars. Nevertheless, this light blooming isn’t very distracting with most content.

The X90K also has good peak brightness output. This allowed for small highlights in HDR content to stand out for a more satisfying HDR experience. Additionally, the X90K is good for watching TV shows in a bright room due to its impressive peak brightness, which means it gets bright enough to resist indirect glare. However, its reflection handling is somewhat mediocre, so it’s best to avoid placing this TV in rooms with lots of overly bright natural room lighting that cannot be controlled.

*SDR peak brightness: 10% window 929 nits

*HDR peak brightness: 10% window 754 nits

With local dimming engaged, black screen uniformity was consistent across the entire screen. However, with local dimming turned off the screen emitted a fair amount of clouding.

Gray screen uniformity was decent on the unit I tested. There was some slight dirty screen effect (DSE) on certain areas of the screen and some minor vignetting in the corners of the screen. Gray screen uniformity can vary from unit to unit.

Wide-angle viewing was degraded on this TV which is typical for TVs with VA panels that don’t apply any technology that enhances wide viewing angle performance such as Sony’s X95K. That said, this TV is not ideal for seating arrangements placed at wide off-axis angles from the screen.

Motion handling – The X90K did a good job preventing motion blur and judder with the sources I used for motion handling. Sporting events were produced without any motion artifacts.

The X90K’s sound quality was decent thanks partly to Sony’s Acoustic Multi-Audio technology. The audio output was spacious with decent imaging and stereo separation. The sound was more enveloping and is optimized to the location of the images on screen thanks to the additional speakers located on the top backside corners of the panel.

The TV’s frequency response had respectable high and midrange sound output but was lacking in bass extension which comes as no surprise since this is a flat panel design. Dialogue was clear and discernible, so you won’t have trouble hearing and understanding spoken words in the content you are watching.

X90K vs. X95K

Although I wasn’t able to do a direct comparison between the X90K and X95K; however, referring to my notes and going off of memory, in my opinion, the X95K does have better overall picture quality. Image quality on the X95K had more dynamic punch and image smoothness for a more refined picture image. Additionally, the X95K had more clarity, detail, and image transparency. All of the aforementioned attributes of the X95K allowed for more realistic picture quality. By comparison, the X90K image quality can appear slightly flat since it doesn’t produce the picture attributes at the same level as the X95K.

Although technically the X90K has a better contrast ratio than the X95K, the X95K did a much better job with black levels with real content in dark scenes. This was due to the use of the mini LED used in the X95K and a better local dimming feature that includes more dimming zones.

The X95K also has much better peak brightness when compared to the X90K which allows for a better HDR experience.

Conclusion

Sony’s X90K offers commendable performance when watching movies, TV shows and sporting events. Its excellent contrast and black levels make watching movies in a dark room a very satisfying experience. Its great motion handling provides very smooth and artifact-free images while watching fast-paced sporting events.

Although the X90K picture brightness offers good viewing performance in a brightly lit room, it does, however, suffer from obvious screen reflections so it’s best to avoid placing this TV opposite a bright window because the reflections can be distracting.

The X90K also has blooming issues with subtitles and bright objects set against a black background. That being said, when viewing most content the blooming isn’t too distracting. And to be fair, even LED TVs with the best backlighting control still have blooming issues no matter how slight they may be.

Even with its shortcomings, Sony’s XR65X90K brings more than enough performance attributes to the table to give it a solid recommendation.

Sony X90K LED TV

You may also like this of the Sony X95K

All image credit Sony

*Source: Rtings.com

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