Sony X900H TV Review

Tested using Methodology v1.5
Reviewed Jul 09, 2020 at 08:29 am
Sony X900H Picture
8.0
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: none
8.5
Movies
7.8
TV Shows
7.6
Sports
8.1
Video Games
8.1
HDR Movies
7.8
HDR Gaming
7.8
PC Monitor
Type LED
Sub-Type
VA
Resolution 4k

The Sony X900H is an overall great 4k TV for nearly any type of content. It sports a VA panel with an excellent contrast ratio and it has a full-array local dimming feature that makes blacks look even better in the dark. It's well-suited for bright rooms, as it gets bright enough to easily overcome glare. Fast-moving scenes look crisp thanks to its fast response time and optional black frame insertion feature, and it can interpolate lower frame content up to 120fps for fans of the soap opera effect. Gamers should be happy with its low input lag, which remains low even when playing in 4k with 10-bit HDR. Unfortunately, its viewing angles are quite narrow, as it lacks Sony's 'X-Wide Angle' layer, so images look washed out when viewed from the side. Like most Sony TVs, it runs on Android, which is a user-friendly platform that has an enormous selection of streaming services available.

Although this TV is advertised as having support for variable refresh rate, 'Auto Low Latency Mode', and other features that come with HDMI 2.1, these features aren't available yet and will only be activated in a future firmware update.

Our Verdict

8.0 Mixed Usage

The Sony X900H is a great TV for most uses. It delivers good picture quality thanks to its excellent contrast ratio, high peak brightness, and wide color gamut. It has a fast response time that results in very little motion blur, and its input lag is low enough to satisfy even serious gamers. HDR content is delivered with vibrant colors and highlights that pop. Unfortunately, it has narrow viewing angles, making it less ideal for large rooms or wide seating arrangements.

Pros
  • Excellent contrast ratio.
  • Low input lag.
  • Fast response time.
  • Great peak brightness.
Cons
  • Sub-par viewing angles.
8.5 Movies

The X900H is an excellent TV for watching movies. Its high native contrast ratio is enhanced by a full-array local dimming feature, and combined with its excellent black uniformity, blacks look inky when viewed in the dark. It upscales lower resolution movies well and it can remove judder from all sources. However, it stutters a bit in lower frame rate content due to its fast response time.

Pros
  • Excellent contrast ratio.
  • Good local dimming.
  • Excellent black uniformity.
Cons
  • Some stutter in lower frame rate content.
7.8 TV Shows

The X900H is a good TV for watching TV shows. You shouldn't have any issues using this TV in a bright environment, as it has an impressive peak brightness and decent reflection handling. Lower resolution content from cable TV is upscaled well, and there's no risk of permanent burn-in if you leave it on the news all day long. Its viewing angles are sub-par, though, which isn't ideal if you like to walk around while watching.

Pros
  • Great peak brightness.
  • Decent reflection handling.
Cons
  • Sub-par viewing angles.
7.6 Sports

The X900H is a good TV for watching sports. Its excellent motion handling makes fast-action sports look smooth and clear. Its peak brightness is more than enough to combat glare in bright environments and it handles reflections decently well. Unfortunately, its sub-par viewing angles cause the image to look washed out when viewed from the side.

Pros
  • Fast response time.
  • Great peak brightness.
  • Decent reflection handling.
Cons
  • Sub-par viewing angles.
8.1 Video Games

The X900H is a great TV for gaming. It has an incredibly low input lag, its fast response time makes fast-moving scenes look crisp, and its excellent contrast ratio makes it a good choice for dark room gaming. It's advertised to have VRR support to reduce screen tearing, but unfortunately, it'll only be enabled in a firmware update later on.

Pros
  • Excellent contrast ratio.
  • Low input lag.
  • Fast response time.
Cons
  • VRR support not yet active.
8.1 HDR Movies

The X900H is a great TV for watching movies in HDR. It has a high native contrast ratio that allows it to produce deep and inky blacks, and it has a good full-array local dimming feature to further improve black levels. It has a good HDR color gamut and it gets bright enough to bring out highlights.

Pros
  • Excellent contrast ratio.
  • Good local dimming.
  • Excellent black uniformity.
Cons
  • Some stutter in lower frame rate content.
7.8 HDR Gaming

The X900H is a good TV for gaming in HDR. Its input lag is extremely low and it remains low even when playing in 4k @ 60Hz with 10-bit HDR. It has a fast response time, a good HDR color gamut, and it gets bright enough to make highlights pop. Sadly, its advertised VRR support isn't active yet and will only be made available in a future firmware update.

Pros
  • Excellent contrast ratio.
  • Low input lag.
  • Fast response time.
  • Good local dimming.
Cons
  • VRR support not yet active.
7.8 PC Monitor

The X900H is a good TV for use as a PC monitor. It has a low input lag and fast response time, making the desktop experience feel very responsive. It can display proper chroma 4:4:4 for improved text clarity and its VA panel has no risk of permanent burn-in. Unfortunately, it has sub-par viewing angles, so the edges of the screen can appear washed out if you sit up close.

Pros
  • Low input lag.
  • Fast response time.
  • Decent reflection handling.
Cons
  • Sub-par viewing angles.
  • 8.0 Mixed Usage
  • 8.5 Movies
  • 7.8 TV Shows
  • 7.6 Sports
  • 8.1 Video Games
  • 8.1 HDR Movies
  • 7.8 HDR Gaming
  • 7.8 PC Monitor
  1. Update 7/15/2020: We've retested the TV's smart features and updated 'Time Taken' values.

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Video

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Market Context
Market Context
Market Context

The Sony X900H is a mid-range LED TV that replaces both the Sony X850G from 2019 and the Sony X900F from 2018, and it sits just right below the Sony X950H in the current lineup. It's expected to compete with the Samsung Q70T QLED and the LG NANO90.

Design
9.0
Design
Style
Curved No

The X900H has an outstanding design. It's very minimal, with thin bezels on all sides and a simple metal stand. It looks almost identical to the X950H, but there are some visible screws on the back of the TV, which weren't present on the X950H. Other than that, this TV looks just as good from the front.

Design
Stand

The stand consists of two metal feet that are inserted into the TV, no screws required. The feet are placed nearly as wide as the TV itself, so it requires a fairly large table. On the bright side, it provides enough room between the feet for a soundbar. The stand supports the TV well, but it does wobble a bit.

In Europe, there's a variant of this TV that has Sony's 2-way position stand, which allows for a narrower positioning of the feet to accommodate smaller tables.

Footprint of the 55" stand: 41.8" x 13.2"

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 300x300

The back of the TV is fairly plain and similar to the X950H. It has a brushed horizontal texture and the inputs are side-facing, making it easier to access when the TV is wall-mounted. There's not much in terms of cable management, except for two clips to attach the cables to the feet. The clips are included in the box.

Design
Borders
Borders 0.35" (0.9 cm)

The bezels are very thin and unobtrusive.

Design
Thickness
Max Thickness 2.80" (7.1 cm)

The X900H is of moderate thickness, but since all the inputs are side-facing, it shouldn't stick out much when wall-mounted.

8.0
Design
Build Quality

Build quality is great. There's very little wobble and the TV feels well-built overall, although there's a bit of flex in the back panel.

Picture Quality
8.5
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
4267 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
4786 : 1

The X900H has an excellent native contrast ratio. It's higher than that of the 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.

7.5
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
Yes
Backlight
Full-Array

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.

8.3
Picture Quality
SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
493 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
367 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
465 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
629 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
560 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
490 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
364 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
459 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
626 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
558 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
490 cd/m²
SDR ABL
0.029

Impressive 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. The TV dims the 2% and 10% windows, which is a bit unusual for Sony TVs, as the dimming wasn't present in previous models and other 2020 models such as the X950H.

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'.

7.0
Picture Quality
HDR Peak Brightness
HDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
556 cd/m²
HDR Peak 2% Window
307 cd/m²
HDR Peak 10% Window
449 cd/m²
HDR Peak 25% Window
739 cd/m²
HDR Peak 50% Window
683 cd/m²
HDR Peak 100% Window
552 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 2% Window
304 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 10% Window
445 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 25% Window
727 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 50% Window
680 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 100% Window
551 cd/m²
HDR ABL
0.050

Decent HDR peak brightness. There's a lot of variance in the brightness with different content. It gets bright enough to deliver a pretty good HDR experience, especially if you're in a dark to moderately-lit room; it just won't look as punchy in a bright room setting. Again, like the SDR peak brightness, the TV dims the 2% and 10% windows.

We measured the HDR peak brightness before calibration, using the 'Custom' Picture Mode, 'Expert 2' Color Temperature, and with Local Dimming and X-tended Dynamic Range set to 'High'.

8.1
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
2.447 %
50% DSE
0.155 %
5% Std. Dev.
0.356 %
5% DSE
0.086 %

Gray uniformity is great. 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.

5.5
Picture Quality
Viewing Angle
Color Washout
23 °
Color Shift
25 °
Brightness Loss
34 °
Black Level Raise
16 °
Gamma Shift
24 °

Like most VA panels, the X900H has sub-par viewing angles, and unfortunately, it doesn't have Sony's 'X-Wide Angle' layer to improve it. That said, the layer has the side effect of lowering the native contrast ratio, which is why the X950H has lower contrast. The image degrades fairly quickly when moving off-center, so it's not the best option for large rooms or wide seating arrangements.

8.7
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
0.558 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
1.390 %

Excellent black uniformity. 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.

7.3
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Semi-gloss
Total Reflections
5.4 %
Indirect Reflections
0.8 %
Calculated Direct Reflections
4.6 %

The X900H has decent reflection handling. It struggles mostly with direct reflections, so it's best to avoid placing the TV opposite a bright source of light.

8.7
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
White Balance dE
1.73
Color dE
1.89
Gamma
2.23
Color Temperature
6460 K
Picture Mode
Custom
Color Temp Setting
Expert 1
Gamma Setting
0

Before calibration, the color accuracy is excellent. There are minor inaccuracies with the colors blue and red, and white balance is only slightly off. The color temperature is very close to our 6500k target, just a tad on the warmer side. Gamma is close to the target, too: most scenes are too dark and bright scenes are over-brightened.

9.2
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
White Balance dE
0.54
Color dE
1.70
Gamma
2.20
Color Temperature
6509 K
White Balance Calibration
10 point
Color Calibration
No

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. Unfortunately, unlike the X950H, this TV doesn't have color calibration to fix these inaccuracies.

You can see our recommended settings here.

8.0
Picture Quality
480p Input

The X900H upscales 480p content such as DVDs well and there are no upscaling artifacts.

8.0
Picture Quality
720p Input

Upscaling of 720p content like cable TV is good.

9.0
Picture Quality
1080p Input

1080p content like Blu-rays looks great and there are no issues with the upscaling.

10
Picture Quality
4k Input

Native 4k content is displayed perfectly.

0
Picture Quality
8k Input

The X900H can't display an 8k signal.

Picture Quality
Pixels

The X900H has a BGR subpixel layout. This doesn't really affect picture quality, but it does affect text rendering when using the TV as a PC monitor, which you can read about here.

7.8
Picture Quality
Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
Yes
DCI P3 xy
85.71 %
DCI P3 uv
91.40 %
Rec 2020 xy
63.39 %
Rec 2020 uv
70.45 %

Good HDR color gamut. It has excellent coverage of the DCI P3 color gamut used in most HDR content, but coverage of the wider Rec 2020 is just okay. The EOTF follows the target almost perfectly until the roll-off, and the 'Game' mode EOTF is nearly identical, which you can see here. If you find HDR content still 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 will result in a much brighter image, as you can see in this EOTF.

7.1
Picture Quality
Color Volume
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage ITP
76.1 %
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP
31.0 %
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
66.6 %
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
26.5 %

Decent color volume. It displays dark colors well due to its high contrast ratio, but like most LED TVs, it has trouble displaying bright blues.

8.9
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
10 Bit
Red (Std. Dev.)
0.077 dE
Green (Std. Dev.)
0.095 dE
Blue (Std. Dev.)
0.071 dE
Gray (Std. Dev.)
0.084 dE

Outstanding gradient handling. There's only a little bit of banding in the darker shades of each color.

10
Picture Quality
Temporary Image Retention
IR after 0 min recovery
0.00 %
IR after 2 min recovery
0.00 %
IR after 4 min recovery
0.00 %
IR after 6 min recovery
0.00 %
IR after 8 min recovery
0.00 %
IR after 10 min recovery
0.00 %

The X900H doesn't exhibit any signs of temporary image retention.

10
Picture Quality
Permanent Burn-In Risk
Permanent Burn-In Risk
No

We don't expect VA panels to experience permanent image retention, as the VA panel in our long-term test appears immune.

Motion
8.3
Motion
Response Time
80% Response Time
4.0 ms
100% Response Time
11.2 ms

The X900H's response time is great, 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.

9.5
Motion
Flicker-Free
Flicker-Free
No
PWM Dimming Frequency
720 Hz

The X900H uses PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation) to dim the backlight, but because of its high flicker frequency, it's not really noticeable for most people.

6.0
Motion
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
Optional BFI
Yes
Min Flicker for 60 fps
120 Hz
60 Hz for 60 fps
No
120 Hz for 120 fps
Yes
Min Flicker for 60 fps in Game Mode
120 Hz

This TV has an optional black frame insertion (BFI) feature to help reduce motion blur. Unfortunately, the backlight's minimum flicker frequency is 120Hz even when playing 60Hz content, which results in some duplication of the image.

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'.

Motion
Motion Interpolation
Motion Interpolation (30 fps)
Yes
Motion Interpolation (60 fps)
Yes

The 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, Motionflow must be set to 'Custom', with the Smoothness slider set to'Max' and the Clearness slider set to 'Min'. For native 30fps content, Cinemotion must also be set to 'Auto'.

7.0
Motion
Stutter
Frame Hold Time @ 24 fps
30.5 ms
Frame Hold Time @ 60 fps
5.5 ms

Due to the TV's fast response time, there's a bit of stutter when watching lower frame rate content. It's not that bad with 60fps content, but it's more noticeable with 24fps content since each frame is held on for longer.

10
Motion
24p Judder
Judder-Free 24p
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via 60p
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via 60i
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via Native Apps
Yes

The X900H 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, Cinemotion must be set to 'Auto', Motionflow set to 'Custom', and the Smoothness and Clearness sliders set to minimum.

0
Motion
Variable Refresh Rate
Native Refresh Rate
120 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate
No
HDMI Forum VRR
No
FreeSync
No
G-SYNC Compatible
No
4k VRR Maximum
N/A
4k VRR Minimum
No VRR support
1080p VRR Maximum
N/A
1080p VRR Minimum
No VRR support
1440p VRR Maximum
N/A
1440p VRR Minimum
No VRR support
VRR Supported Connectors
No VRR support

The X900H is advertised to have support for variable refresh rate technology. However, it isn't available yet and will be implemented in a future firmware update. As for 4k @ 120Hz, it likely requires an HDMI 2.1 source, of which there are none at this time. Once it's available, we'll retest it and provide an update.

Inputs
8.7
Inputs
Input Lag
1080p @ 60 Hz
15.4 ms
1080p @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
91.1 ms
1440p @ 60 Hz
15.0 ms
4k @ 60 Hz
15.1 ms
4k @ 60 Hz + 10 bit HDR
15.2 ms
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
15.1 ms
4k @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
90.9 ms
4k @ 60 Hz With Interpolation
87.2 ms
8k @ 60 Hz
N/A
1080p @ 120 Hz
7.2 ms
1440p @ 120 Hz
N/A
4k @ 120 Hz
N/A
1080p with Variable Refresh Rate
N/A
1440p with VRR
N/A
4k with VRR
N/A
8k with VRR
N/A
Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM)
No

Excellent low input lag. It's low as long as you're in 'Game' mode. PC users can be in either 'Game' or 'Graphics' mode to get the lowest latency. Input lag remains low even when playing at 4k @ 60Hz + 10-bit HDR, but it increases significantly if motion interpolation is enabled, so it isn't recommended. Unfortunately, we'll have to wait until Sony releases the firmware update that enables VRR to test the input lag with VRR enabled, and the 'Auto Low Latency Mode' should also be enabled in the same update.

9.2
Inputs
Supported Resolutions
1080p @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes
1080p @ 120 Hz