The Sony X900H, also sold as the X90CH at Costco, is a great 4k TV for nearly any type of content. It has a VA panel with an excellent contrast ratio and a full-array local dimming feature that makes blacks look even better in the dark. It's well-suited for bright rooms, as it has decent reflection handling and gets bright enough to easily overcome glare. It displays fast-moving scenes with minimal blur thanks to its quick response time and optional Black Frame Insertion feature. Gamers should be happy with its low input lag, which remains low even when playing in 4k with 10-bit HDR. Unfortunately, the advertised variable refresh rate (VRR) support is not yet functional. Also, its viewing angles are quite narrow, so images look washed out when viewed from the side.
The Sony X900H is a great TV for mixed usage. Its picture quality is great thanks to its excellent contrast ratio, high peak brightness, and wide color gamut. HDR content also looks good, with rich colors and highlights that pop for the most part. Gamers should appreciate its fast response time and low input lag, although VRR support is currently missing. Unfortunately, it's less suited to watching with larger groups because it has narrow viewing angles that make the image look washed out from the side.
The Sony X900H is excellent for watching movies. It has a high native contrast ratio, combined with a full-array local dimming feature, that produces deep, uniform blacks. It can also upscale low-resolution movies without issue, and it removes judder from any source. That said, there's some stuttering in low frame rate content because of its fast response time.
The Sony X900H is good for watching TV shows. It has decent reflection handling, and it gets bright enough to overcome glare, so it's well-suited to watching TV in the daytime. It can also upscale lower-resolution content from cable boxes without issue. On the other hand, it's not recommended for wide seating arrangements because its narrow viewing angles make the image look washed out from the side.
The Sony X900H is good for watching sports. It has an impressive response time, making motion look clear in fast-moving content. It also has decent reflection handling and is bright enough to fight glare in well-lit rooms. It's not ideal if you like watching the game with a large group, though, since the image quickly loses accuracy when viewed from the side.
The Sony X900H is an impressive TV for gaming. Motion looks clear thanks to the fast response time, and it has a remarkably low input lag. If you prefer gaming in the dark, its high contrast ratio and good local dimming produce deep blacks. It also has two HDMI 2.1 ports for advanced consoles, but it doesn't have VRR support or Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) as of yet.
The Sony X900H is great for watching HDR movies. It has a wide color gamut for HDR and gets reasonably bright, although HDR content looks best in dark to moderately lit rooms. Its high contrast ratio produces deep inky blacks, and it has full-array local dimming to further improve black levels. Unfortunately, low frame rate content stutters a bit due to the TV's fast response time.
The Sony X900H is great for HDR gaming. Its gaming performance is impressive thanks to its fast response time and low input lag, which stays low even in HDR. It has a wide color gamut and gets bright enough to bring out some highlights. HDR content looks especially good in the dark because of its high contrast ratio. Unfortunately, it can't support a 4k @ 120Hz signal and Dolby Vision at the same time, although 4k @ 120Hz still works with HDR10. It also lacks VRR support at this time.
The Sony X900H is very good for use as a PC monitor. It can display proper chroma 4:4:4, which is important for text clarity, and it has a remarkably low input lag, making for a responsive desktop experience. It also has a fast response time so there's minimal blur behind fast-moving objects like a mouse cursor. Unfortunately, though, it has narrow viewing angles, so the image looks washed out at the edges of the screen if you sit up close.
The Sony X900H has a sleek design, very similar to the Sony X950H. The metal feet are simple and hold the TV well, although you can't adjust their position to suit smaller tables. The back has some visible screws in the corners, but overall the TV looks nice and should look good in any living room.
The metal feet slide into the TV itself instead of being screwed on, making setup easier. It has a wide footprint, but there's plenty of space in front for a soundbar without obstructing the screen.
Footprint of the 55 inch TV: 41.8" x 13.2"
The Sony X900H is a bit thicker than most premium TVs we've tested in 2020, but it shouldn't stick out when wall-mounted. The inputs are side-facing, making them easier to access when wall-mounted compared to the Sony X900F.
This TV has great build quality. It feels well-built and doesn't wobble much, as the metal stand supports the TV well. However, the plastic near the inputs flexes a bit. There are some visible screws where the back panel attaches to the borders, and there's a bit more give in this area, but it isn't very noticeable and shouldn't be an issue for most people.
The Sony X900H has an excellent native contrast ratio, although contrast may vary between units. It's higher than that of the Sony X950H, as it doesn't have Sony's 'X-Wide Angle' layer, which has the side effect of lowering the contrast ratio. The local dimming improves the contrast a bit, but not by much. That said, blacks still look deep, making it a great choice for dark room viewing. If you want a TV with an even better contrast ratio, check out the Hisense H9G.
This TV has great SDR peak brightness. It's more than enough to fight glare, so you shouldn't have any issues using the TV in a well-lit room. However, the brightness varies a lot depending on the content and small areas are more dim, as seen in the 2% and 10% windows.
We measured the SDR peak brightness after calibration, using the 'Custom' Picture Mode. Local Dimming and X-tended Dynamic Range were both set to 'High'.
If you want an even brighter image and don't mind losing accuracy, we reached 638 cd/m² in the 25% window using the 'Vivid' Picture Mode, with Local Dimming and X-tended Dynamic Range on 'High', and Contrast at max.
The full-array local dimming is good. It looks very similar to the Sony X950H, but with less blooming. There's a bit of dimming, though, and some small details are crushed in darker areas. It's good at making highlights in the background pop without being overly distracting; however, it doesn't handle highlights in the foreground as well as the X950H.
Local dimming in 'Game' mode looks and functions the same as it does outside of 'Game' mode.
Update 03/12/2021: We've retested the HDR peak brightness with the latest firmware (version PKG6.0414.0055NAA). There's a slight drop in the real scene brightness, from 556 cd/m² to 526 cd/m². Overall, the 2% windows are a bit dimmer, while all the other windows are slightly brighter. The ABL result increased from 0.050 to 0.053. The score has been adjusted accordingly.
The HDR brightness is adequate. It gets bright enough to deliver a fairly good HDR experience, especially if you're watching in a dark to moderately lit room, but it doesn't look as punchy in a bright room setting. The overall brightness of scenes is good, as the EOTF follows the target almost perfectly but rolls off toward the TV's peak brightness, meaning that highlights can't appear quite as bright as intended. The brightness also varies a lot depending on the content. If you want a TV with exceptionally high brightness in HDR, check out the Samsung QN85A QLED.
We measured the HDR brightness before calibration, using the 'Custom' Picture Mode, 'Expert 2' Color Temperature, and with Local Dimming and X-tended Dynamic Range set to 'High'.
If you find HDR content too dim, you can make it brighter by using the 'Vivid' Picture Mode, with Local Dimming, X-tended Dynamic Range, and Advanced Contrast Enhancer all set to 'High'. These settings result in a much brighter image, as you can see in this EOTF.
Update 03/12/2021: We've retested the HDR brightness in Game Mode with the latest firmware (version PKG6.0414.0055NAA). The real scene brightness dropped from 688 cd/m² to 669 cd/m². All windows are slightly dimmer but shouldn't be noticeable. The most notable changes are in the 2% peak and sustained windows, both losing roughly 50 cd/m². The ABL result increased from 0.030 to 0.035. The score has been adjusted accordingly.
In 'Game' mode, HDR is somewhat brighter. This is especially noticeable in real scenes. As with 'Game' mode turned off, the brightness varies quite a bit depending on the content.
We measured 'Game' mode HDR brightness after calibration, using the 'Game' Picture Mode with Local Dimming and X-tended Dynamic Range set to 'High' and the Color Temperature set to 'Expert 1'. All extra settings were turned off.
Gray uniformity is great, but this may vary between units. The corners are slightly darker but shouldn't be distracting in normal content. There's almost no dirty screen effect at all, and uniformity is excellent in dark scenes.
The Sony X900H has excellent black uniformity, but this may vary between units. Without local dimming, the entire screen looks a bit grayish, and there's only some faint clouding around the top and bottom edges of the screen. With local dimming enabled, uniformity is much better throughout the screen, and surprisingly, there's very little blooming around the test cross.
Like most VA panels, this TV has narrow viewing angles, and unfortunately, it doesn't have Sony's 'X-Wide Angle' layer to improve it. The image loses accuracy fairly quickly when moving off-center, so it's not the best option for large rooms or wide seating arrangements.
This TV has decent reflection handling. It struggles mostly with direct reflections, so it's best to avoid placing the TV opposite bright lights.
The color accuracy is excellent out-of-the-box, but this may vary between units. There are minor inaccuracies with blue and red, and the white balance is only slightly off. The color temperature is very close to our 6500K target. Gamma is also close to the 2.2 target, but most scenes are too dark and bright scenes are over-brightened.
After calibration, color accuracy is outstanding. White balance, gamma, and color temperature are nearly perfect. However, there are still some inaccuracies with reds and blues, but it shouldn't be noticeable in most content.
You can see our recommended settings here.
The Sony X900H upscales 480p content such as DVDs well and there are no visible artifacts.
1080p content like Blu-rays looks incredible and there are no issues with the upscaling.
The Sony X900H has a BGR subpixel layout. It doesn't affect picture quality, but it can affect text clarity when using the TV as a PC monitor. You can read more about it here.
This TV has a good color gamut, wide enough for HDR content. It has excellent coverage of the DCI P3 color space used in most HDR content, but coverage of the wider Rec.2020 is just okay. If you want a similar TV with a better color gamut, check out the Vizio P Series Quantum 2020.
The color volume is decent. It displays dark colors well due to its high contrast ratio, but like most LED TVs, it has trouble displaying bright blues.
This TV has amazing gradient handling. There's only a little bit of banding in the darker shades of each color, and shouldn't be very noticeable with most content.
The Sony X900H doesn't exhibit any signs of temporary image retention, but this may vary between units.
We don't expect VA panels to experience permanent image retention, as the VA panel in our long-term test appears immune.
The Sony X900H has an impressive response time, resulting in very little motion blur in fast-moving scenes. There's a lot of overshoot in the 0-20% transition, though, causing some motion artifacts in dark scenes.
The Sony X900H uses Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) to dim its backlight, but because of its high flicker frequency, it shouldn't really be noticeable for most people.
This TV has an optional Black Frame Insertion feature to help reduce motion blur. Unfortunately, the backlight's minimum flicker frequency is 120Hz even when playing 60Hz content, which results in some image duplication.
To enable BFI, set Motionflow to 'Custom' and adjust the Clearness slider to your preference.
To activate Sony's X-Motion Clarity Plus feature, which helps to make the image look clearer and brighter in fast-moving scenes, set Motionflow to 'Custom' and adjust the Clearness slider to '1', and the Smoothness slider to '2'.
The Sony X900H can interpolate lower frame rate content up to 120fps to make motion look smoother, also known as the 'Soap Opera Effect'. Motion looks good when enabled and we didn't notice any issues.
If you want to use motion interpolation on native 60fps content, set Motionflow to 'Custom', with the Smoothness slider set to 'Max' and the Clearness slider set to 'Min'. For native 30fps content, set Cinemotion to 'Auto'.
Due to the TV's fast response time, there's a bit of stutter when watching lower frame rate content. It's more noticeable with 24fps content since each frame is held on for longer.
This TV can remove judder from all sources. For 24p content, it does so automatically, so there's no need to change any settings. To remove judder from 60p, 60i, and content from native apps, set Cinemotion to 'Auto', Motionflow to 'Custom', and the Smoothness and Clearness sliders to their minimum.