Sony X90K Review (XR55X90K / XR65X90K / XR75X90K / XR85X90K)

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7.8 Total Score
GOOD

The Sony X90K (XR65X90K) is nearly everything we’d want from a mid-range 4K LED TV. For the money, there are a few LED TVs that can match it in terms of picture quality and feature set, and it's one fantastic Perfect for PlayStation 5 TV available out there.

PROS
  • Excellent contrast ratio for deep blacks
  • Excellent SDR peak brightness
  • User-friendly Google TV smart platform
  • Colors look vivid and pop
CONS
  • Struggles opposite bright windows
  • Narrow viewing angle

The Sony X90K is nearly everything you’d want from a mid-range LED 4K TV. For the money, few TVs can match the X90K Series in terms of picture quality and feature set, making it among the best mid-range models around – and this is still the case even though it was released in 2022 amidst tight competition from the likes of LG and Samsung 4K TVs.

It’s no surprise the Sony X90K is such a solid mid-range. Released in 2022, it slots in between the high-end Sony X95K and more entry-level Sony X85K and Sony X80K series sets. The biggest difference between the X95K and X90K models is Sony’s use of a mini-LED backlight on the former, and the X90K instead uses a regular LED backlight with full array local dimming – an advanced feature not found on the X85K and X80K TVs.

Sony offers quite a lot with its latest LED TVs for the price. The X90K series, for instance, uses a Triluminous Pro panel for enhanced color reproduction along with its Cognitive Processor XR and XR 4K upscaling. Sony has always delivered excellent video processing, and that advantage manifests clearly on the X90K.

While the Sony X90K doesn’t support HDR10+, it compensates with Dolby Vision support onboard and there are IMAX Enhanced, Dolby Vision Day and Night, and Netflix Adaptive Calibrated picture modes. For smarts, there’s Google TV with Google Assistant, along with support for AirPlay 2.

Sony X90K Review front

About the Sony X90K

Gamers will be happy to know that the X90K Series is one of Sony’s Perfect for PlayStation 5 series, thanks to its HDMI 2.1 ports supporting 4K 120Hz video input and VRR and ALLM. TVs with the Perfect for PS5 designation also feature Sony’s Auto HDR Tone Mapping, which optimizes the HDR setting for the game console input upon initial setup.

Here are the full specs on the Sony X90K series TV

  • 55-, 65-, 75-, 85-inch screen sizes
  • Cognitive Processor XR
  • XR Triluminos Pro
  • XR 4K Upscaling
  • Dolby Vision, IMAX Enhanced, and Netflix Adaptive Calibrated picture modes
  • Google TV with Google Assistant
  • AirPlay 2
  • Perfect for PlayStation 5
  • Dual HDMI 2.1 inputs with 4K/120Hz, VRR, and ALLM
  • ATSC 3.0 tuner
  • Acoustic Center Sync to synchronize TV’s speakers with select Sony soundbars
  • Multi-position stand with low-profile setting and raised setting to accommodate a soundbar
  • Optional Bravia cam for video chats

Our review unit is the 65-inch Sony XR65X90K 4K TV, which is the best size for most gamers and entertainment fans, but apart from screen size, every feature is identical across all other screen sizes. As such, we are hopeful that our recommendations will apply across the range.  

Sony X90K Review remote

What we Like

Excellent brightness and contrast

The Sony X90K Series’ display boasts excellent brightness and decent light output: it averages 968 nits (on a 10% white windows) in standard HDR picture mode, and451 nits in cinema HDR. While that brightness level will be fine for most viewing environments and is at par with the best OLED TVs, some high-end LCD sets that use a mini-LED backlight like the Samsung QN95B can deliver more than double that amount. Even budget mini-LED-backlit models such as the Hisense U8H can push almost 1,800 nits in its Theater HDR mode.

Luckily, just like other LED-backlit LCD TVs that have full-array local dimming, the Sony X90K is capable of fully shutting off its backlight zones to deliver a full black, and thus, the “infinite contrast” aspect is achieved.

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Decent, wide color gamut

When measured on Calman color calibration software, the Sony X90K covers 95% of the  DCI-P3 color gamut, which is essential for mastering movies for digital cinema and 4K Blu-ray discs. While that’s quite recommendable, it’s still a bit less than the 97% we measured on the Hisense U8H mini-LED and the full coverage on Sony’s own A80K OLED TV.

Even so, this level of performance is common among LED-backlit models, and you can feel like the 4K/HDR images on the Sony XR65X90K are lacking when it comes to color richness.

Lots of gaming features on a TV

With its HDMI 2.1 features and Perfect for PlayStation 5 designation, the Sony XR65X90K has almost all the features you’d ever need for gaming, and the very good 13.8ms input lag we measured in Game Mode confirms it’s among the best TVs designed for gaming.

Other TVs like the LG C2 OLED TV have better input lag, but not by much. Otherwise, there are no game-specific picture settings beyond Sony’s preset and the Auto HDR tone mapping that kicks in when you connect a PS5.

Sony X90K Review ports

What we don’t like

Middling local dimming

The Sony X90K has a good local dimming feature, but unfortunately, its steps are below compared to the Sony x90J. As a result, the local dimming raises the black levels when there are black objects, meaning its blacks don’t look as deep as they should. In busy scenes with lots of bright objects, all the dimming zones light up, which isn’t too distracting but also defeats the purpose of having local dimming because none of the zones are turned off.

There isn’t too much blooming in most real content, but because the dimming zones are larger, there’s a lot of blooming around small objects on dark background because an entire zone lights up. However, larger objects don’t bloom much because more zones are on.

Should you buy the Sony X90K 4K TV?

Yes, the Sony X90K is a fantastic TV. We’d especially recommend it for gamers on a budget thanks to its HDMI 2.1 and Perfect for PlayStation 5 designation that make it well-equipped for console gaming. You’ll have to spend twice as much to step up to the Sony X95K model with a mini-LED backlight which will deliver even better brightness. However, if you’re on a tight budget, the Sony X90K is still a great TV, and surprisingly Sony seems to have duplicated most of the features of the X90K on the newer X95K.

If you’re looking for an exceptional 4K HDR TV with Dolby Vision, the Sony X90K 4K TV’s appeal is that it delivers everything you need for a phenomenal 4K HDR performance at a reasonable price.

Last update on 2022-12-06 at 12:31 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

OUR PICK

Sony 65 Inch 4K Ultra HD TV X90K Series: BRAVIA XR Full Array LED Smart Google TV with Dolby Vision HDR and Exclusive Features for The Playstation® 5 XR65X90K- 2022 Model

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as of December 6, 2022 12:35 pm
Sony X90K Review (XR55X90K / XR65X90K / XR75X90K / XR85X90K)
Sony X90K Review (XR55X90K / XR65X90K / XR75X90K / XR85X90K)
$998.00 $1,499.99
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