The Sony X90J is an upper mid-range 4k LED TV. It's part of Sony's 2021 BRAVIA lineup, sitting below the Sony X95J, and it has many of the same features as the higher-end model but without as good performance. It's a future-proof TV as it comes with two HDMI 2.1 inputs that allow you to play 4k games up to 120 fps from gaming consoles or PCs, and it has variable refresh rate (VRR) support after a firmware update. It comes with Google TV as its smart interface, which has a ton of apps you can download through the Google Play Store and has a user-friendly interface. This TV comes with a VA panel that helps it perform well in dark rooms, and it even gets bright enough to fight glare in well-lit rooms, but it has narrow viewing angles, and it doesn't have Sony's 'X-Wide Angle' technology.
The Sony X90J is a great TV for most uses. It's best suited for watching movies and HDR content due to its high contrast ratio, great full-array local dimming, and high HDR brightness. It has low input lag, a fast response time, VRR support, and a 120Hz refresh rate, making it a great choice for gaming. It's good for watching TV shows or sports because it upscales lower resolution content well and gets very bright to combat glare, but its narrow viewing angles make it less ideal for watching with a big group of people.
The Sony X90J is excellent for watching movies in dark rooms. It's well-suited for dark room viewing thanks to its high contrast ratio and great full-array local dimming that help it display deep blacks. It upscales lower resolution content well like from DVDs and Blu-rays, and it can remove 24p judder from all sources. However, there's a bit of stuttering in movies due to the fast response time.
The Sony X90J is good for watching TV shows in bright rooms. While its reflection handling is only decent, it gets very bright, so visibility in well-lit rooms won't be an issue unless you place the TV opposite a bright window. Its Google TV interface is easy to use, and there are tons of apps available. Its viewing angles are quite narrow, making the image appear washed out when viewed from the side, so it's not the best choice for watching shows with the entire family.
The Sony X90J is good for watching sports. It has a great response time to deliver smooth motion with fast-moving objects and a backlight strobing feature that further improves motion clarity. Its reflection handling is only decent, but it gets very bright to combat glare. Like most VA panel TVs, the viewing angles are pretty narrow, so it's not the best option for watching with a big group of people.
The Sony X90J is excellent for gaming. It delivers an incredibly fluid and responsive gaming experience due to its low input lag, fast response time, and 120Hz refresh rate. It also has HDMI 2.1 inputs for console or high-frame-rate PC gaming. It has a fantastic contrast ratio and a great full-array local dimming feature, making it well-suited for gaming in the dark. It also has VRR support after a firmware update, but FreeSync doesn't work on it.
The Sony X90J is great for watching movies in HDR. It has a fantastic contrast ratio further enhanced by a great full-array local dimming feature, so it's ideal for dark rooms. It has a good color gamut even though it isn't technically a wide gamut, and it gets very bright in HDR, enough to make highlights pop. Low frame rate content like movies stutters a bit due to its quick response time, but on the bright side, it can remove 24p judder from all sources.
The Sony X90J is excellent for gaming in HDR. It has very low input lag, a 120Hz refresh rate, and a quick response time, so gaming feels smooth and responsive, and it also has VRR support. Sadly, it can't display 4k @ 120Hz in Dolby Vision. However, it displays deep blacks due to its fantastic contrast ratio and great full-array local dimming, making it well-suited for dark rooms. It has a good color gamut even though it isn't technically a wide gamut, and it gets very bright to make highlights pop.
The Sony X90J is good for use as a PC monitor. It has low input lag and a quick response time, and it supports most common resolutions as well as chroma 4:4:4 for better text clarity. There aren't any issues with 4k @ 120Hz signals with chroma 4:4:4 either. Its reflection handling is only decent, but it gets more than bright enough to combat glare. Unfortunately, it has pretty narrow viewing angles, so the image looks inaccurate at the edges if you sit up close.
We tested the 55 inch Sony X90J (XR55X90J), and it's also available in a 50 inch (XR50X90J), 65 inch (XR65X90J), and 75 inch (XR75X90J) sizes. For the most part, we expect our results to be valid for the other sizes. Costco sells the Sony X90CJ, which we expect to be the same TV.
The 100 inch XR100X92 (or X92J) uses the same processor but has a different speaker configuration and our results aren't valid for it. There's also an 85 inch model known as the Sony X91J, but it uses a different processor, and our results aren't valid for that model, but you can see the differences between them below. The model numbers are the same in North America and Europe, but it may have a dash in it.
|Size||Model Number||Costco Model||Processor|
|50"||XR50X90J||-||Cognitive Processor XR|
|55"||XR55X90J||XR55X90CJ||Cognitive Processor XR|
|65"||XR65X90J||XR65X90CJ||Cognitive Processor XR|
|75"||XR75X90J||XR75X90CJ||Cognitive Processor XR|
|85"||KD85X91J||-||4k HDR Processor X1|
|100"||XR100X92||-||Cognitive Processor XR|
If you come across a different type of panel or your Sony X90J doesn't correspond to our review, let us know, and we'll update the review. Note that some tests, like the gray uniformity, may vary between individual units.
Our unit was manufactured in March 2021; you can see the label here.
The Sony X90J is a great TV. Not much has changed from its predecessor, the Sony X900H, except that it has a higher contrast ratio, gets significantly brighter in HDR, and its local dimming feature performs a bit better. Its color gamut isn't as good, but the difference is pretty small. It's very similar to the cheaper Sony X85J but with a full array local dimming feature. After a firmware update, it also has VRR support, but it's not as versatile as other TVs because FreeSync doesn't work.
The Sony X90K is the successor to the Sony X90J, and it's not worth the upgrade if you already have the X90J or if you're deciding between the two TVs. The main difference is that the X90J has a better local dimming feature, resulting in less blooming around bright objects, meaning the overall picture quality is better on the X90J. However, if you're a gamer, the X90K is the better choice and has a wider 1080p VRR range.
The LG C2 OLED is much better than the Sony X90J. The C2 looks much better in a dark room thanks to its near-infinite contrast ratio, resulting in deep, inky blacks with perfect uniformity and no blooming around bright objects. The C2 also has better motion handling for gaming thanks to its nearly-instantaneous response time. Finally, the C2 supports a wider range of gaming features, including FreeSync variable refresh rate technology, so it's a more versatile TV for gaming.
The Sony X90J is a higher-end TV than the Sony X85K, so it performs better and has more features. The main difference is that the X90J has a local dimming feature, which the X85K doesn't have, so it can improve the picture quality in dark scenes while also making smaller highlights stand out. It helps the X90J have better overall picture quality. The X90J also has a different processor with a few more features, but other than that, the TVs are similar.
The Sony X95J is slightly better than the Sony X90J. The X95J has much better reflection handling, better viewing angles, and a better local dimming feature. The X95J is also much brighter, and small highlights stand out better in HDR. The X90J, on the other hand, has better native contrast and better black uniformity, with less cloudiness in dark scenes.
Overall, the Samsung QN90A QLED is better than the Sony X90J. The Samsung has a much wider color gamut, and it gets a lot brighter, more than enough to deliver a true cinematic HDR experience. It has better viewing angles because it has Samsung's 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer, but this layer also causes a drop in the contrast ratio. That said, the Samsung's local dimming is significantly more effective at improving the black level. The Samsung has better response times, and unlike the Sony, its Black Frame Insertion feature can flicker at 60Hz in 60 fps content. It has FreeSync VRR support to reduce screen tearing when gaming, and it supports 1440p @ 120Hz on the Xbox Series X, while the Sony can't.
The Sony X90J and the Sony X85J are very similar overall. The X90J has a full array local dimming feature that can improve contrast and reduce blooming in dark scenes, but the X85J has better native contrast and a flicker-free backlight. The X90J is brighter in HDR and HDR content displays at the correct brightness. If you care about calibrating your display for the most accurate image possible, one important difference here is that the X85J doesn't have a color management system.
The Sony X90J is better overall than the Samsung Q80/Q80B QLED mainly due to their panels' different strengths and weaknesses. The X90J is a better choice for dark rooms because it has a much higher contrast, the local dimming is better, and there's less blooming around bright objects. On the other hand, the Q80B is better for wide seating areas because it has a wider viewing angle. Although they have many of the same gaming features, like HDMI 2.1 bandwidth, the Q80B is still a better choice for gaming because it has FreeSync support and lower input lag.
The Sony A80J OLED is better overall than the Sony X90J, mostly because it uses an OLED panel and can produce perfect blacks with no visible blooming. It also has a faster response time and wider viewing angles, making it a better option for video games and sports. However, if you're worried about permanent burn-in, the X90J is a great all-around TV with a fantastic contrast ratio, and it gets significantly brighter.
The Hisense U8H is much better than the Sony X90J. The Hisense looks much better in a bright room, as it has much better reflection handling, and it gets significantly brighter so it can better overcome glare. The Hisense also delivers a more impactful HDR experience, as it gets significantly brighter in HDR and can display a wider color gamut.
The Sony X90J is better overall than the Sony X80K because it's a higher-end TV. The X90J has many more features like a local dimming feature that makes it a better choice to watch movies in dark rooms. It's also better for gaming as it has a 120Hz panel, HDMI 2.1 bandwidth, and VRR support, while the X80K is limited to a 60Hz panel without VRR support. The X90J also gets brighter, making it a better choice for well-lit rooms.
The Sony X90J is much better than the Sony X80J. The X90J uses a VA panel with a much better contrast ratio, and it has a full-array local dimming feature to improve black level, so it's better suited for watching movies or gaming in the dark than the X80J's IPS panel. The X90J also gets a lot brighter in both SDR and HDR. It has faster response times and a 120Hz refresh rate, and it has VRR support after a firmware update. If you often watch TV at an angle, the X80J might be a better choice because it has wider viewing angles.
The Samsung QN90B QLED is much better than the Sony X90J. The Samsung has much better reflection handling, and it's significantly brighter in SDR, meaning it can handle more glare in a brighter room. The Samsung also has better contrast with local dimming and much higher brightness in HDR, so bright highlights stand out better. Finally, the Samsung has a better viewing angle, so it's a better choice for a wide seating arrangement.
The Sony X95K is a higher-end and newer model than the Sony X90J, so it's a bit better overall, but it's not a significant improvement. If you care about peak brightness, the X95K is the better choice as it gets brighter and has much better reflection handling if you want to use it in a well-lit room. However, if you watch content in a dark room, the X90J has a better native contrast ratio, so it displays deeper blacks.
The Sony X90J is the Sony X900H's successor. They're very similar overall, but there are a few differences. Although both TVs use a VA panel, the X90J has a higher contrast ratio, which means it can display deeper blacks. Its color gamut isn't as good as the X900H's, but it gets significantly brighter in HDR to make highlights pop, and its brightness is more consistent due to a less aggressive Automatic Brightness Limiter (ABL).
The Sony X90J and the Samsung Q70/Q70A QLED are very similar. The main differences are that the Samsung doesn't have local dimming and doesn't get as bright in HDR. Its gradient handling isn't as good as the Sony's, which means you might see more banding in some content. However, if you plan on gaming, the Samsung is a better choice because it has lower input lag and supports FreeSync VRR. Also, the Sony can't display a 1440p @ 120Hz signal on the Xbox Series X or a 4k @ 120Hz signal in Dolby Vision.
The Sony X90J and the LG C1 OLED are very different TVs. The Sony is an LED TV with a VA panel, while the LG is an OLED. The LG has a near-infinite contrast ratio and can produce much deeper blacks than the Sony. It has a wider color gamut, much quicker response times, and unlike the Sony, FreeSync works on it. Since the LG doesn't have a backlight, it doesn't have any blooming around objects in dark scenes like the Sony. It handles reflections better than the Sony, but it doesn't get as bright, so if you tend to watch TV in a well-lit room, the Sony might be a better choice. The LG has a much lower input lag, and unlike the Sony, it supports HDMI 2.1 on all of its ports.
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 Sony X90J and the Samsung QN85A QLED are both great TVs, but they're also very different. The Sony uses a VA panel with a much higher contrast ratio, which means it can display deeper blacks for a better dark room viewing experience but has narrow viewing angles. On the other hand, the Samsung uses an IPS-like panel with wide viewing angles but has a low contrast ratio that makes blacks appear gray in the dark. If you plan on watching TV in a very well-lit room, the Samsung is a better choice because it has significantly better reflection handling and gets a lot brighter. Its high brightness also means that you get a better HDR experience. The Samsung has a lower input lag and FreeSync VRR support, which the Sony doesn't have.
The TCL 6 Series/R646 2021 QLED and the Sony X90J are both great TVs. They each have a VA panel with a high contrast, and even though the Mini LED local dimming feature on the TCL does a better job at improving the contrast on our checkerboard pattern, the local dimming on the Sony performs better overall. The TCL gets brighter and has much better reflection handling, making it a better choice in well-lit rooms. It also has more gaming features like FreeSync VRR support, but the Sony is G-SYNC compatible. The Sony has better color accuracy, and it does a much better job at upscaling 480p content, so it's better for watching DVDs.
The Sony X90J and the Sony A90J OLED are very different performance-wise because they don't use the same panel type, but they have similar features. The A90J is an OLED TV that delivers better picture quality because it has a near-infinite contrast ratio, and it can produce perfect blacks by turning the pixels off. It has wider viewing angles and better reflection handling, but it doesn't get as bright, so it might not overcome intense glare. The A90J has near-instantaneous response times, making it better for fast-moving content like sports or gaming, but it also causes low frame rate content like movies to stutter. Both TVs have a 120Hz refresh rate, HDMI 2.1 support, and run on Google TV. Lastly, the A90J is susceptible to permanent burn-in, whereas the X90J is immune.
The Sony X90J and the Sony X950H have a lot in common, but they're also different in a few aspects. While both TVs use a VA panel, the X90J has a better contrast ratio to display deeper blacks. This is because the X950H has the 'X-Wide Angle' layer to improve its viewing angles but at the cost of a lower contrast ratio. The X950H has a better color gamut and gets a lot brighter, bright enough to deliver a true cinematic HDR experience. For gaming, the X90J is a better choice because it has HDMI 2.1 support and can display a 4k @ 120Hz signal. The X90J also has VRR support after a firmware update.
The Sony X90J and the Samsung Q80/Q80A QLED are quite different because they don't use the same panel type. The Sony uses a VA panel with a much higher contrast ratio, making it better suited for dark rooms, and the Samsung uses an IPS-like panel with much wider viewing angles. They both have a full-array local dimming feature, but the Sony's performs better because it doesn't cause uniformity issues like the Samsung's. On the flip side, the Samsung has a wider color gamut and gets brighter overall. It also has lower input lag and it supports FreeSync, which the Sony doesn't.
The Hisense U8G is better than the Sony X90J. The Hisense has higher peak brightness, and small highlights in some scenes stand out more in HDR. The Hisense also has better black uniformity, much better reflection handling, and it can display a wider color gamut. On the other hand, the Sony has less banding in areas of similar color, and the motion interpolation feature is a bit more polished, with fewer artifacts in busy scenes.
For the most part, the Samsung Q90/Q90T QLED is better than the Sony X90J. The Samsung has a lower native contrast ratio due to its 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer, but its local dimming improves the contrast significantly. It also gets a lot brighter in both SDR and HDR, reaching well above 1000 cd/m² for a much better HDR experience. The Samsung has a wider color gamut, lower input lag, and supports FreeSync VRR. Also, it can display a 1440p @ 120Hz signal on the Xbox Series X, which the Sony can't.
The Sony X90J and the Sony X91J sit alongside each other in Sony's 2021 TV lineup, but they have a few different features. The X90J is available from 50 to 75 inches, and it uses the Cognitive Processor XR processor, while the X91J is meant to be a larger variant with a different processor, the 4k HDR Processor X1. Both TVs are fairly similar overall, but the newer processor on the X90J has some advantages. Local dimming is much better on the X90J with less blooming, and it gets brighter, especially in HDR. The X90J delivers a sharper image when upscaling, but that's also because the 85 inch X91J has a lower pixel density, resulting in a less sharp image. Overall, while they're similar overall, the X90J is slightly better due to its processor.
The Sony X90J and the Hisense U7G are very similar overall. but there are a few minor differences between them. The Sony has a better local dimming feature, and the unit we bought has much better accuracy out of the box. The Hisense is a bit brighter in SDR, but not quite as bright in HDR. For gamers, the Hisense supports FreeSync variable refresh rate technology, but this is also supposed to be added to the Sony in a future update.
The Sony X90J and the Sony A8H OLED are very different TVs. For the most part, the A8H is better because its OLED panel has a near-infinite contrast ratio and a much wider color gamut. It also has better viewing angles and reflection handling, but it doesn't get as bright in SDR and might struggle to overcome glare. The A8H has a near-instantaneous response time to deliver fast motion with better clarity, but it stutters more in low frame rate content like movies. While both TVs have a 120Hz refresh rate, only the X90J has HDMI 2.1 ports and can display a 4k @ 120Hz signal. The A8H is susceptible to permanent burn-in, while the X90J is immune.
The Sony X90J is slightly better than the Samsung QN85B QLED if you're in a dark room. If you're not, the Samsung TV is the better choice. The Sony has a much higher native contrast ratio, resulting in deeper blacks and less blooming around bright objects in dark scenes. On the other hand, the Samsung is a lot brighter, it has a wider viewing angle, and its gaming features are a bit better. The X90J only supports HDMI 2.1 bandwidth on two ports, whereas the QN85B supports HDMI 2.1 bandwidth on all four HDMI ports, so it's a bit more versatile, especially if you have multiple game consoles or a recent PC.
The Sony X90J and the Samsung Q80/Q80T QLED are similar. They both have a VA panel with a 120Hz refresh rate. The Sony has a better contrast ratio than the Samsung, although that's mainly because the Samsung has the 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer, which improves viewing angles at the cost of contrast. The Sony gets brighter in SDR and HDR, but it doesn't handle reflections as well as the Samsung. The Samsung has a wider color gamut, faster response times, and lower input lag. It supports FreeSync VRR to reduce screen tearing when gaming, whereas the Sony doesn't support FreeSync.
The Sony X90J is much better than the LG NANO90 2021 for most people. The Sony has much better contrast and a better local dimming feature, so it looks much better in a dark room, and dark scenes look better overall. The Sony is also significantly more accurate out of the box. On the other hand, the LG has better reflection handling and a wider viewing angle, so if you have a wide seating arrangement with a lot of windows, it's slightly better.
The Sony X90J and the LG CX OLED are very different TVs. The Sony uses a VA panel, while the LG uses OLED, so even though they're both well-suited for dark rooms, the LG can display deeper blacks because it can turn off individual pixels. If you tend to watch TV in a well-lit room, the Sony is a better choice because it gets a lot brighter to combat glare. That said, the LG has significantly better reflection handling. It also has wider viewing angles so that the image doesn't look washed out when viewed from the side. The LG has faster response times, but it also stutters more in low frame rate content like movies. It has more HDMI 2.1 ports, and it supports FreeSync VRR.
The Sony X90J and the Vizio P Series Quantum 2021 are both great 4k TVs. HDR content looks better on the Vizio because it displays a wider color gamut, gets brighter in HDR, and has better black uniformity. The local dimming performs better overall on the Sony than the Vizio, but the 65 inch Vizio still has a higher native contrast. The Vizio also has much better reflection handling if you want to use it in a well-lit room. The Sony doesn't have any issues with 4k content at 120fps like the way the Vizio does.
The Sony X90J is better overall than the LG NANO85 2021. The Sony delivers better picture quality because its VA panel has a better contrast ratio, and it has a better local dimming feature that results in less blooming around bright objects. The Sony also gets much brighter, so even though they both have decent reflection handling, it's a better choice for well-lit rooms. The main advantage the LG TV has is that its IPS-type panel has wider viewing angles.
The Hisense U9DG is better than the Sony X90J. The Hisense has better viewing angles, better reflection handling, and much better dark room performance, thanks to its higher contrast ratio and better local dimming feature. On the other hand, the Sony has a much faster response time, and it has better processing, with better upscaling and better motion interpolation.
The Sony X90J and the LG NANO99 8k 2021 are different types of LED TVs. The Sony is a 4k TV with a VA panel that produces deeper blacks and has better local dimming, while the LG has a higher 8k resolution and the IPS panel has wider viewing angles. The Sony is a better choice for well-lit rooms because it gets much brighter, and even though its reflection handling isn't as good, it's still decent. They each have HDMI 2.1 bandwidth support, but the Sony supports VRR, which the LG doesn't.
The Sony X90J and the Hisense H9G are both great VA panel TVs, so choosing between them depends on your usage. If you mainly plan on watching movies or HDR content, the Hisense is a better choice because it has a wider color gamut, a higher contrast ratio, and it gets brighter. However, if you want to game, the Sony is better because it has HDMI 2.1 support for newer consoles like the Xbox Series X and PS5, and it has VRR support.
The Sony X90J and the TCL R745 QLED are two great TVs with a few differences. The Sony is available in several sizes, from 50 to 75 inches, but the TCL is only available in an 85 inch size. They each have a local dimming feature, but the one on the Sony is more effective. The TCL gets brighter and displays a wider color gamut for HDR, but the Sony has better gradient handling. The TCL is limited to HDMI 2.0 bandwidth while the Sony has HDMI 2.1 inputs for high-frame-rate gaming.
The LG GX OLED and the Sony X900H are very different TVs. The LG is better overall because it's an OLED TV with a near-infinite contrast ratio. This means it can display perfect blacks, and unlike the Sony, it doesn't have blooming around objects in dark scenes because it doesn't have a backlight. The LG has wider viewing angles and better reflection handling. It also has a much better color gamut for HDR, but it doesn't get as bright. The LG's response time is significantly faster; however, it stutters more in low frame rate content like movies.
From the front, the Sony X90J looks almost identical to the Sony X900H from 2020. It's simple and minimalist, with thin borders on all sides. However, the glossy plastic bezels and feet look somewhat cheap.
The feet are set almost as wide as the TV, and there's no option to position them closer, so you need a fairly large surface to put the TV on. You don't need to screw them in; they just slide into the TV.
Footprint of the 55 inch TV: 41.92" x 13.35".
The back looks very different from the Sony X900H. It now has a grid-like pattern with a larger square in the middle with the Bravia branding. All inputs are facing sideways, which makes it easier to access when wall-mounted. For cable management, there are two clips included to hold the cables behind the feet.
The Sony X90CJ's build quality is good. It's entirely plastic, including the feet. While it feels sturdy overall, there's a lot of flex on the back panel. You can easily pull the borders from the screen, but this shouldn't be an issue for most people. The feet support the TV well, but it still wobbles a bit.
The Sony X90J has a fantastic contrast ratio, better than the Sony X900H, and it also has a full-array local dimming feature to improve the black level further. It displays deep blacks, which makes it well-suited for dark room viewing. Note that contrast can vary between units.
The Sony X90J has impressive SDR brightness. It's slightly brighter than the Sony X900H in the real scenes, and it's enough to combat glare in most well-lit rooms. Even though brightness varies a bit between content, it's not that distracting.
The most variation is with the 10% windows, which are significantly brighter than the rest. If that bothers you, you can disable the Peak Luminance setting. With it off, we measured the real scene brightness at 442 cd/m². Scenes are more consistent, with most windows measuring between 468 cd/m² and 479 cd/m², but there's some frame dimming in the 2% windows, with both peak and sustained at around 349 cd/m². We suggest leaving Peak Brightness on if you want the brightest screen possible with an accurate image.
We measured the SDR brightness after calibration in the 'Custom' Picture Mode, with Brightness at max, Contrast at '90', Color Tone set to 'Expert 1', Auto Local Dimming set to 'High', and Peak Luminance set to 'High'.
If you want a brighter image and don't mind losing image accuracy, set the Picture Mode to 'Vivid', Brightness and Contrast to max, Color Tone to 'Neutral', Auto Local Dimming to 'High', and Peak Luminance to 'High'. We reached 857 cd/m² in the 10% window with these settings.
The Sony X90J has a great full-array local dimming feature, but not quite as good as the Sony X95J. There are 24 local dimming zones, and the zones are pretty large. Zone transitions are very visible with our test pattern, but not as much in actual content. It seems to light up a zone a little too early in anticipation of the incoming object, and it's a bit slow to turn off when the object leaves the zone. There isn't much black crush, and small highlights still retain a good amount of details. Blooming is very noticeable with our test pattern but less so in real scenes. That said, there are some scenes where it's very obvious, as it causes a haloing effect around moving people and makes some scenes look foggy or hazy. These issues are much more visible when viewing at an angle. Blooming around the FBI text is quite bad, but subtitles aren't as distracting because the entire bottom row lights up, making the blooming around them less noticeable.
We performed this test with Auto Local Dimming and Peak Luminance set to 'High'.
The local dimming in Game Mode is about the same as out of Game Mode. It looks a bit brighter in some zones, which makes some of the blooming look worse, but it's almost not noticeable. Same as out of Game Mode, it looks much better when viewing from directly in front of the TV than from the side.
Sony X90J has good HDR brightness, which is a significant improvement over the Sony X900H, and is enough to make highlights stand out. The EOTF follows the PQ curve perfectly, but the roll-off is quite sharp, which causes the loss of some details in very bright scenes.
The Automatic Brightness Limiter (ABL) is less aggressive, and the most notable changes are in the 10% windows, which are much brighter. If that's distracting for you, we measured the brightness with the Peak Luminance setting disabled. The brightness drops considerably, with real scenes measuring at 498 cd/m². All windows are between 493 cd/m² and 565 cd/m², except the 2% peak and sustained windows, which are around 320 cd/m². While disabling Peak Luminance can help reduce the effect of the ABL, it doesn't deliver an impactful HDR experience.
We measured the HDR brightness in the 'Custom' Picture Mode with Brightness at max, Contrast at '90', Color Tone set to 'Expert 2', HDR Tone Mapping set to 'Gradation Preferred', and Auto Local Dimming and Peak Luminance set to 'High'.
If you want to make HDR content brighter and don't mind losing image accuracy, set Advanced Contrast Enhancer and Peak Luminance to 'High', Brightness and Contrast to max, and HDR Tome Mapping to 'Brightness Preferred'. These settings result in a much brighter image, as you can see in this EOTF plot.
The Sony X90CJ's HDR brightness in Game Mode is roughly the same as out of Game Mode. It's slightly dimmer, but the difference is tiny and not noticeable. We measured the HDR brightness in Game Mode with the same settings as out of Game Mode.
The Sony X90J has fantastic gradient handling. There's some banding in the dark colors, particularly in greens, but it's not that bad. There's a Smooth Gradation setting that helps improve the gradients when set to 'High', but that also causes a loss in fine details with high-quality content.
The Sony X90J has decent gray uniformity, although this varies between units. The corners are darker on ours, and there's a bit of dirty screen effect in the center. Uniformity is better in dark scenes, but the right edge of the screen looks brighter than the rest.
Black uniformity is good. Without local dimming, the screen is more dark blue than black, and there's a bit of clouding here and there. With local dimming enabled, most of the screen is black and more uniform, but there's noticeable blooming around the test cross. Note that black uniformity varies between individual units due to manufacturing tolerances.
As is expected of a VA panel, the Sony X90J has poor viewing angles. This means that the image looks inaccurate and washed out when viewed from the side, so it's not ideal for wide seating areas.
The Sony X90CJ has decent reflection handling. Like the Sony X900H, it struggles with direct reflections, but it's worse here because the direct reflections are even more prominent and distracting. It's best to avoid placing it opposite a window or bright lights.
The Sony X90J's accuracy is incredible out of the box. Most color and white balance inaccuracies are minor and hard to spot with the naked eye. The color temperature is just a bit colder than our 6500 K target, which results in a very slight blue tint. Gamma follows the 2.2 target relatively well, but very dark scenes are too dark, and some bright scenes appear brighter than they should. Note that accuracy varies between units, but it's rarely an issue with Sony TVs.
The Sony X90CJ has exceptional accuracy after calibration. The white balance has improved, but the color accuracy remains in the same ballpark because it was already outstanding out of the box. Color temperature is much closer to our 6500 K target, and gamma is perfect.
You can see our recommended settings here.
There are no issues or visible artifacts with the upscaling of 480p content like DVDs.
The Sony X90CJ upscales 720p like cable TV well, without any artifacts.
There are no issues with the upscaling of 1080p content like Blu-rays.
The Sony X90J uses a BGR subpixel layout. It doesn't affect picture quality, but it can cause blurry text in some applications when using it as a PC monitor. You can read more about it here.
Update 07/09/2021: We remeasured the color gamut using a 50% stimulus as opposed to the regular 75% stimulus we normally test with. We can achieve a wide color gamut like this, but we're leaving the results as-is to be consistent with other reviews because we normally measure at a 75% stimulus. You can see the results here:
The Sony X90J has a good color gamut, but it's just short of the required 67% Rec. 2020 coverage to be considered a wide color gamut. It's lower than the Sony X900H, although the difference is pretty small and isn't noticeable. It's very difficult to tell that it doesn't have a wide gamut just by looking at an image. We measured this multiple times with different settings and picture modes, and we also compared it side-by-side with the Sony X80J, with both TVs receiving the same 4k, 4:2:2, 10-bit signal through an HDMI splitter. We took the readings with a colorimeter and spectroradiometer set up three feet from the TV, and we also took a spectrum reading, which you can see here. The results were the same. We measured a wide color gamut by lowering the stimulus received, but HDR is meant to be watched with a bright image.
If you want something that displays a much wider color gamut for HDR, then look into the Vizio P Series Quantum 2021.
Update 07/09/2021: We remeasured the color gamut and color volume using a 50% stimulus as opposed to the regular 75% stimulus we normally test with. We're leaving the results as-is to be consistent with other reviews because we normally measure at a 75% stimulus. You can see the results for color volume here:
Despite having a worse color gamut than the Sony X900H, the Sony X90J has a better color volume, mainly due to its higher contrast ratio and peak brightness. It still has trouble with bright blues and greens, though.
There's no image retention on the Sony X90J, but this may vary between individual 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 X90J has a great response time. It's very similar to the Sony X900H, but the 0-20% transition is significantly better, resulting in less dark smearing behind fast-moving objects. It still has some overshoot in a couple of transitions that causes some inverse ghosting in dark scenes.
The Sony X90J uses pulse width modulation (PWM) to dim the backlight. It flickers at 720Hz in all Picture Modes and brightness levels. This flicker frequency is high enough that it shouldn't be visible to most people.
The Sony X90J has a backlight strobing feature to reduce persistence blur, commonly known as black frame insertion. It's meant to work like it's flickering at 120Hz, and we get a doubling effect with it on, but our readings also show that the backlight is still flickering at 720Hz, as you can see in the graph above, and with the fine lines in the motion photo. However, if we measure two high points in the flicker cycle to calculate the period for the cycle, we see that the BFI is working at 120Hz. It doesn't flicker at 60Hz at all.
The Sony X90J has a motion interpolation feature to interpolate 30 and 60 fps content up to 120 fps. It works well when there's not a lot of movement on the screen, like if people are walking or talking. There are more artifacts in fast-action scenes; objects don't seem to move properly, and it looks glitchy.
Low frame rate content like movies stutters a bit due to the TV's fast response times. If it bothers you, enabling motion interpolation helps. Some reviewers and users have reported constant stuttering in games, but it appears that Sony has already fixed the issue in the latest firmware update.
The Sony X90CJ removes 24p judder from any source, which helps with the appearance of motion in movies. It automatically removes it from native sources, but different settings are needed for native apps and 60p/i sources, which you can read about here.
Update 07/13/2022: Sony released an update to allow for VRR with local dimming enabled.
Update 03/04/2022: Sony released an update to include VRR support with firmware PKG6.5660.0668NAA.
The Sony X90J has VRR support after a firmware update. It works without any issue on the Xbox Series X and the PS5. It doesn't support FreeSync at all, as there's screen tearing with the AMD RX 580 and RX 6600 XT, and because the Xbox Series X supports both HDMI Forum VRR and FreeSync, it's confirmed that it supports HDMI Forum VRR natively.
It's also G-SYNC compatible, but there are some issues with that. It's tear-free with 4k @ 120Hz signals from the NVIDIA RTX 3060, but the backlight is flickering. It doesn't make the screen completely black, but there's a flicker. 1080p @ 120Hz on the pendulum test demo causes the screen to go black, but 1080p @ 60Hz works without issue. Lastly, 1440p @ 120Hz works without any problem, but the TV is upscaling 1440p to 4k. Overall, while there are a few issues depending on the signal, it reduces screen tearing when it works properly.
Update 03/04/2022: Sony released an update to include VRR support with firmware PKG6.5660.0668NAA. However, we couldn't get proper VRR input lag readings because the TV kept crashing. We experienced the same issue with other TVs like the LG NANO85 2021, and we're looking into it.
The Sony X90J has low input lag in Game Mode, although it's not as good as some other gaming TVs like the Samsung QN90A QLED. That said, it's still very low and should result in a responsive gaming or desktop experience. You can use motion interpolation when gaming, but it increases input lag significantly and isn't recommended.
The Sony X90J supports most common resolutions up to 4k @ 120Hz, but there are some issues with 1440p. It doesn't support 1440p @ 120Hz at all, and 1440p @ 60Hz has to be forced through a custom resolution, and chroma 4:4:4 doesn't work with it. It displays chroma 4:4:4 with all of its other supported resolutions, including 1080p and 4k @ 120Hz, and after a firmware update (PKG6.3629.045NAA), we confirmed there aren't any issues with color banding or blurred text with 4k @ 120Hz signals. This was a common issue on the Sony X900H, so let us know if you experience the same thing.
Update 03/04/2022: We checked to see if Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) works after Sony's firmware update to include VRR support. The TV switches into Game Mode when you play a game from the Xbox Series X, so ALLM works, and you don't need any additional settings for it.
The Sony X90J can display a 4K @ 120Hz from both the PS5 and Xbox Series X. However, it can't do it in Dolby Vision on the Xbox because when the HDMI Signal Format is set to 'Enhanced Format (Dolby Vision)' the Xbox indicates that the TV doesn't support 120Hz at 4k, which is the same behavior as the Sony X900H. This means you have to choose between 4K @ 120Hz or Dolby Vision at 60Hz.
The Sony X90J supports HDMI 2.1 on the HDMI 3 and 4 ports. Unfortunately, the eARC port is also HDMI 3, so unless your soundbar or home theater system supports 4K @ 120Hz passthrough, you can only plug in one HDMI 2.1 device.
The Sony X90J can pass high-quality, uncompressed audio to a compatible receiver through an HDMI cable, thanks to its eARC support. We received reports that it doesn't properly pass DTS signals via ARC, but we confirmed that it doesn't have issues with any audio format.
The Sony X90J's built-in speakers sound good. They're well-balanced, but like most TV speakers, there's a noticeable lack of bass extension, meaning they can't produce a deep, thumping sound. They get pretty loud, which is good for large or noisy environments, although there's some compression when playing at max volume. There's a digital room correction feature that tunes the frequency response to best suit your rooms' acoustics.
The Sony X90J's distortion performance is mediocre. The amount of total harmonic distortion is low at moderate volume levels but increases significantly near max volume. Note that the amount of distortion present varies depending on the content, and some people may not hear it.
Update 07/09/2021: We previously experienced a bug with the Cinemotion setting turning itself on at times in the 'Custom' Picture Mode. However, we noticed the bug doesn't happen anymore, and the setting works as intended.
Like other 2021 Sony TVs, the Sony X90J runs on Google TV, replacing Android TV. It's fairly easy to use and runs very smoothly. Some users have reported that the Wi-Fi connection drops at times, but we didn't experience this issue while testing.
There are ads and suggested content on the home screen and in the Google Play Store. You can opt-out of personalized ads, but you can't remove them completely.
The Google Play Store has tons of apps available, and they run very smoothly for the most part. Chromecast is built-in, which means you can cast content from a mobile device connected to the same network.
The Sony X90J comes with the same large remote as past Sony models. There are shortcut buttons to popular streaming services, and unlike remotes from other brands, you get a full numpad, too. You have to have Bluetooth enabled in the TV's settings for the voice control to work, and you can ask it to change inputs, search for content, open apps, and change settings like the brightness. During testing, it didn't initially work with the Android App, but we updated the firmware of the app, and it worked.
There's a single button below the Sony branding at the center of the bottom bezel. It lets you power the TV On/Off, restart the TV, change the input source, channel, or adjust the volume.