Sony X90J TV Review

Tested using Methodology v1.6
Reviewed May 03, 2021 at 09:45 am
Sony X90J Picture
8.1
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: LG BX OLED
8.6
Movies
Value for price beaten by
: LG BX OLED
7.7
TV Shows
Value for price beaten by
: Sony X950H
7.5
Sports
Value for price beaten by
: LG BX OLED
8.4
Video Games
Value for price beaten by
: LG BX OLED
8.3
HDR Movies
Value for price beaten by
: Vizio OLED 2020
8.3
HDR Gaming
Value for price beaten by
: LG BX OLED
7.8
PC Monitor
Value for price beaten by
: Samsung Q80/Q80T QLED
Type LED
Sub-Type
VA
Resolution 4k

The Sony X90J is a great 4k TV. It replaces the Sony X900H from 2020 and has largely the same features as its predecessor. It uses a VA panel with an outstanding contrast ratio, and it has a full-array local dimming feature that further improves the black level. It has decent reflection handling and gets very bright to fight glare, but its viewing angles are quite narrow, so it's not the best for wide seating areas. It has a good response time, low input lag, and a 120Hz refresh rate, making it a great choice for gaming. However, its advertised variable refresh rate (VRR) support isn't available yet. Unfortunately, while it has a good color gamut, it isn't technically considered a wide gamut for HDR. That said, it still provides a very good HDR experience. Like other 2021 Sony TVs, it runs on Google TV, which is user-friendly and has tons of apps available.

Our Verdict

8.1 Mixed Usage

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, full-array local dimming, and high HDR brightness. It has low input lag, fast response times, and a 120Hz refresh rate, making it a great choice for gaming. However, you'll have to wait a bit for its advertised VRR support. 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.

Pros
  • Outstanding contrast.
  • Great response time.
  • User-friendly smart interface.
  • Gets very bright to combat glare.
  • Upscales lower resolution content well.
Cons
  • Poor viewing angles.
  • Struggles with direct reflections.
  • Doesn't support wide color gamut.
8.6 Movies

The Sony X90J is excellent for watching movies. It's well-suited for dark room viewing thanks to its high contrast ratio and full-array local dimming. It upscales lower resolution content well and can remove 24p judder from all sources. However, there's a bit of stuttering in movies.

Pros
  • Outstanding contrast.
  • Great full-array local dimming.
  • Removes judder from all sources.
  • Upscales lower resolution content well.
Cons
  • Stutters a bit in low frame rate content.
7.7 TV Shows

The Sony X90J is good for watching TV shows. While its reflection handling is only decent, it gets very bright, so visibility in well-lit settings shouldn't be an issue unless you place the TV opposite bright lights or open windows. 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 if you like walking around while watching.

Pros
  • User-friendly smart interface.
  • Gets very bright to combat glare.
  • Upscales lower resolution content well.
Cons
  • Poor viewing angles.
  • Struggles with direct reflections.
7.5 Sports

The Sony X90J is good for watching sports. It has a great response time to deliver clear images in fast-moving scenes and a Black Frame Insertion 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.

Pros
  • Great response time.
  • Gets very bright to combat glare.
  • Upscales lower resolution content well.
Cons
  • Poor viewing angles.
  • Struggles with direct reflections.
8.4 Video Games

The Sony X90J is great for gaming. It delivers an incredibly fluid and responsive gaming experience due to its low input lag, fast response times, and 120Hz refresh rate. It has an outstanding contrast ratio and a full-array local dimming feature, making it well-suited for gaming in the dark. Unfortunately, its advertised VRR isn't available yet, so you have to wait until Sony implements it through a firmware update.

Pros
  • Outstanding contrast.
  • Great full-array local dimming.
  • Low input lag and 120Hz refresh rate.
  • Great response time.
  • Gets very bright to combat glare.
Cons
  • VRR not available yet.
  • Struggles with direct reflections.
8.3 HDR Movies

The Sony X90J is great for watching movies in HDR. It has an outstanding contrast ratio that's further enhanced by a 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, bright enough to make highlights pop. Low frame rate content like movies stutters a bit due to its quick response times, but on the bright side, it can remove 24p judder from all sources.

Pros
  • Outstanding contrast.
  • Great full-array local dimming.
  • Removes judder from all sources.
  • Upscales lower resolution content well.
  • Good HDR brightness.
Cons
  • Stutters a bit in low frame rate content.
  • Doesn't support wide color gamut.
8.3 HDR Gaming

The Sony X90J is great for gaming in HDR. It has very low input lag, a 120Hz refresh rate, and quick response times, so gaming feels smooth and responsive. It displays deep blacks due to its outstanding contrast ratio and 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. Sadly, its advertised VRR support isn't available yet, and it can't display 4k @ 120Hz in Dolby Vision.

Pros
  • Outstanding contrast.
  • Great full-array local dimming.
  • Low input lag and 120Hz refresh rate.
  • Great response time.
  • Good HDR brightness.
Cons
  • VRR not available yet.
  • Doesn't support wide color gamut.
  • Can't display 4k @ 120Hz with Dolby Vision.
7.8 PC Monitor

The Sony X90J is good for use as a PC monitor. It has low input lag and quick response times, and it supports most common resolutions as well as chroma 4:4:4 for better text clarity. 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 might look inaccurate at the edges if you sit up close.

Pros
  • Low input lag and 120Hz refresh rate.
  • Great response time.
  • Supports most common resolutions and chroma 4:4:4.
  • Gets very bright to combat glare.
Cons
  • Poor viewing angles.
  • Struggles with direct reflections.
  • 8.1 Mixed Usage
  • 8.6 Movies
  • 7.7 TV Shows
  • 7.5 Sports
  • 8.4 Video Games
  • 8.3 HDR Movies
  • 8.3 HDR Gaming
  • 7.8 PC Monitor
  1. Updated Jul 09, 2021: Remeasured color gamut with 50% stimulus; checked for a bug.
  2. Updated Jun 04, 2021: Fixed a test result in the Post-Calibration box.
  3. Updated May 31, 2021: Confirmed the TV works with Android TV mobile app.
  4. Updated May 10, 2021: Fixed a mistake in the gradient box.
  5. Updated May 07, 2021: Fixed a mistake with the judder settings and confirmed proper 4:4:4 with 4k @ 120Hz.

Video

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Market Context
Market Context
Market Context

The Sony X90J is an upper mid-range TV from Sony's 2021 4k lineup, sitting between the lower-end Sony X85J and the flagship Sony X95J. It replaces 2020's Sony X900H. We expect it to compete with the Samsung Q80/Q80A QLED, the Hisense U8G, and the LG NANO90 2021.

Design
Design
Style
Curved No

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.

Design
Stand

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".

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 300x300

The back looks very different from the Sony X900H. It now has a grid-like pattern with a larger square in the middle containing 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.

Design
Borders
Borders 0.39" (1.0 cm)
Design
Thickness
Max Thickness 2.83" (7.2 cm)

The Sony X90J has the same thickness as its predecessor, the Sony X900H. It's a bit thicker than most mid-range or high-end TVs on the market, but it shouldn't stick out that much when wall-mounted.

7.5
Design
Build Quality

The Sony X90J'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.

Picture Quality
9.0
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
5,600 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
6,221 : 1

The Sony X90J has an outstanding 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.

8.4
Picture Quality
SDR Brightness
Real Scene Peak Brightness
519 cd/m²
Peak 2% Window
574 cd/m²
Peak 10% Window
757 cd/m²
Peak 25% Window
555 cd/m²
Peak 50% Window
505 cd/m²
Peak 100% Window
540 cd/m²
Sustained 2% Window
556 cd/m²
Sustained 10% Window
733 cd/m²
Sustained 25% Window
555 cd/m²
Sustained 50% Window
503 cd/m²
Sustained 100% Window
539 cd/m²
Automatic Brightness Limiting (ABL)
0.020

The Sony X90J has great SDR brightness. It's only slightly brighter than the Sony X900H in the real scenes, but not quite as bright as the Hisense U7G. Its Automatic Brightness Limiter (ABL) isn't as aggressive, but brightness still varies depending on the content. The most notable changes are in the 2% and 10% windows, peak and sustained, which are significantly brighter. Overall, it's more than enough to combat glare in well-lit rooms.

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.

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'.

We also tested the SDR brightness with Peak Luminance disabled. Turning it off makes the real scene brightness drop to 442 cd/m². It's 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.

8.0
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
Yes
Backlight
Full-Array

The Sony X90J has a great full-array local dimming feature, better than the Hisense U7G. 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 lighter areas 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'.

8.0
Picture Quality
Local Dimming In Game Mode
Local Dimming
Yes
Backlight
Full-Array

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.

7.9
Picture Quality
HDR Brightness
Real Scene Highlight
784 cd/m²
Peak 2% Window
546 cd/m²
Peak 10% Window
786 cd/m²
Peak 25% Window
656 cd/m²
Peak 50% Window
558 cd/m²
Peak 100% Window
562 cd/m²
Sustained 2% Window
531 cd/m²
Sustained 10% Window
765 cd/m²
Sustained 25% Window
653 cd/m²
Sustained 50% Window
555 cd/m²
Sustained 100% Window
560 cd/m²
Automatic Brightness Limiting (ABL)
0.021

Sony X90J has good HDR brightness, a significant improvement over the Sony X900H, but small highlights aren't as bright as the Hisense U8G. Just like in SDR, the ABL is less aggressive, and the most notable changes are also in the 2% and 10% windows, which are much brighter. It's not quite 1000 cd/m², but it's enough to deliver a great HDR experience. The EOTF follows the PQ curve perfectly, but the roll-off is quite sharp, which might cause the loss of some details in very bright areas of the screen.

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.

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'.

With Peak Luminance disabled, the brightness drops considerably, with real scene 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.

7.8
Picture Quality
HDR Brightness In Game Mode
Real Scene Highlight
775 cd/m²
Peak 2% Window
513 cd/m²
Peak 10% Window
778 cd/m²
Peak 25% Window
641 cd/m²
Peak 50% Window
557 cd/m²
Peak 100% Window
561 cd/m²
Sustained 2% Window
502 cd/m²
Sustained 10% Window
758 cd/m²
Sustained 25% Window
639 cd/m²
Sustained 50% Window
554 cd/m²
Sustained 100% Window
560 cd/m²
Automatic Brightness Limiting (ABL)
0.022

The Sony X90J'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 shouldn't be noticeable. Normally, the brightness varies a bit in 'Game' mode, and it also varies slightly between each run.

We measured the HDR brightness in 'Game; mode with the same settings as out of 'Game' mode.

7.2
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
4.527%
50% DSE
0.176%
5% Std. Dev.
1.225%
5% DSE
0.103%

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 lighter than the rest.

7.8
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
0.858%
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
1.366%

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.

5.3
Picture Quality
Viewing Angle
Color Washout
27°
Color Shift
25°
Brightness Loss
38°
Black Level Raise
14°
Gamma Shift
14°

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 isn't ideal for wide seating areas. If you prefer something with wider viewing angles, look into the LG NANO90 2021.

7.1
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Semi-gloss
Total Reflections
5.7%
Indirect Reflections
0.6%
Calculated Direct Reflections
5.1%

The Sony X90J 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.

9.0
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
White Balance dE
1.49
Color dE
1.21
Gamma
2.18
Color Temperature
6,745 K
Picture Mode
Custom
Color Temp Setting
Expert 1
Gamma Setting
0

The Sony X90J's accuracy is outstanding 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 6500K 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.

9.5
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
White Balance dE
0.35
Color dE
1.14
Gamma
2.20
Color Temperature
6,536 K
White Balance Calibration
10 point
Color Calibration
Yes

Update 06/04/2021: Fixed a mistake where we originally listed Color Calibration as 'No'. You can calibrate the colors on this TV.

Accuracy is exceptional after calibration. White balance has improved, but the color dE remains in the same ballpark because it was already outstanding out of the box. Color temperature is much closer to our 6500K target, and gamma is perfect.

You can see our recommended settings here.

8.0
Picture Quality
480p Input

There are no issues or visible artifacts with the upscaling of 480p content like DVDs.

8.0
Picture Quality
720p Input

The Sony X90J upscales 720p like cable TV well, without any artifacts.

9.0
Picture Quality
1080p Input

There are no issues with the upscaling of 1080p content like Blu-rays.

10
Picture Quality
4k Input

The Sony X90J displays native 4k content perfectly.

0
Picture Quality
8k Input

The Sony X90J can't display an 8k signal.

Picture Quality
Pixels

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.

7.7
Picture Quality
Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
No
DCI P3 xy
87.70%
DCI P3 uv
90.34%
Rec 2020 xy
63.47%
Rec 2020 uv
66.67%

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're able to achieve a wide color gamut like this, but we're leaving the results as-is to be consistent with other reviews. 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 shouldn't be noticeable to most people. 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. It's possible that we received a unit with an inferior panel, but we don't know for sure. On the bright side, its coverage of the more commonly-used DCI P3 color space is excellent.

7.3
Picture Quality
Color Volume
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage ITP
78.0%
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP
39.8%
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
68.0%
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
33.6%

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. 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.

9.1
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
10 Bit
Red (Std. Dev.)
0.070
Green (Std. Dev.)
0.087
Blue (Std. Dev.)
0.057
Gray (Std. Dev.)
0.084

Update 05/10/2021: We fixed a mistake where we listed the Color Depth as N/A. It's now listed as 10 Bit.

Outstanding gradient handling. There's only a little bit of banding in the dark grays, greens, and reds. Setting Smooth Gradation to 'High' smoothes out most of it, but it can cause the loss of fine details in some scenes.

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%

There's no image retention on the Sony X90J, but this may vary between individual units.

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
8.4
Motion
Response Time
80% Response Time
3.9 ms
100% Response Time
10.7 ms

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 might cause some inverse ghosting in dark scenes.

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

The Sony X90J uses Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) to dim the backlight. It flickers at 720Hz in all Picture Modes. This flicker frequency is high enough that it shouldn't be visible to most people. However, enabling its Black Frame Insertion feature seems to cause the backlight to perform both a 120Hz and 720Hz flicker simultaneously. We're not sure whether this is intentional or a bug that may be fixed in a firmware update.

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

The Sony X90J has a Black Frame Insertion to help improve motion clarity. It can only flicker at 120Hz, even in 60Hz content, which might cause some image duplication. Enabling it also causes a drop in screen brightness. As mentioned in the flicker-free section, we also detect a simultaneous 720Hz flicker. You can see this in the photo because it causes fine lines in the logo. Note that the BFI score is based on the frequency at which it operates, not the performance.

To use BFI, set Motionflow to 'Custom' and Clearness to max.

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

The Sony X90J can interpolate low frame rate content up to 120Hz to make motion appear more fluid. To use it, set Cinemotion to 'High', Motionflow to 'Custom', Smoothness to max, and leave Clearness at minimum. Motion looks good when there isn't much movement, but there are a lot of artifacts when the action gets intense, especially around heads and behind fast-moving objects.

6.9
Motion
Stutter
Frame Hold Time @ 24 fps
30.9 ms
Frame Hold Time @ 60 fps
5.9 ms

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.

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

Update 05/07/2021: We incorrectly stated the settings needed to remove 24p judder from 60p and 60i sources. The review has been updated.

The Sony X90J can remove judder from all sources. For 24p sources, you don't need to change any settings; it does it automatically. For 60p/60i sources and native apps, set Cinemotion to 'High' with Motionflow set to 'Custom', and Smoothness and Clearness at their 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

Sony advertises variable refresh rate support on the Sony X90J. However, it isn't available at the time of writing and will be implemented in a future firmware update. We'll retest it when it's available.

Inputs
9.1
Inputs
Input Lag
1080p @ 60Hz
18.7 ms
1080p @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode
161.7 ms
1440p @ 60Hz
18.1 ms
4k @ 60Hz
18.1 ms
4k @ 60Hz + 10-Bit HDR
18.0 ms
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
18.1 ms
4k @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode
144.9 ms
4k @ 60Hz With Interpolation
137.5 ms
8k @ 60Hz
N/A
1080p @ 120Hz
10.0 ms
1440p @ 120Hz
N/A
4k @ 120Hz
11.1 ms
1080p with Variable Refresh Rate
N/A
1440p with VRR
N/A
4k with VRR
N/A
8k with VRR
N/A

The Sony X90J has outstanding input lag in game mode, although it's slightly worse than the Sony X900H. That said, it's still very low and should result in a responsive gaming or desktop experience. To get the lowest latency, you only need to be in the 'Game' or 'Graphics' Picture Mode. You can use motion interpolation when gaming, but it increases input lag significantly and isn't recommended. We'll provide the input lag with VRR numbers when the feature is available.

9.2
Inputs
Supported Resolutions
1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes
1080p @ 120Hz
Yes (native support)
1440p @ 60Hz
Yes (forced resolution required)
1440p @ 120Hz
No
4k @ 60Hz
Yes
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes
4k @ 120Hz
Yes (native support)
8k @ 30Hz or 24Hz
No
8k @ 60Hz
No

Update 05/07/2021: We retested the X90J with a PC using a 4k @ 120Hz signal and chroma 4:4:4. We confirmed that text looks clear and there isn't any blurriness, which is an issue we experienced with the Sony X900H.

The Sony X90J supports most common resolutions, except 1440p. It can do 1440p @ 60Hz through a custom forced resolution, but not at 120Hz because the laptop that we used for testing keeps dropping the connection and causes the screen to turn off. It displays proper chroma 4:4:4 in all natively supported resolutions; you only need to be in the 'Game' or 'Graphics' Picture Mode. For signals that require full bandwidth, set HDMI Signal Format to 'Enhanced Format'.

Inputs
Advanced Console Compatibility
Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM)
No
PS5, 4k @ 120Hz + HDR
Yes
PS5, 4k @ 120Hz
Yes
PS5, 4k @ 60Hz + HDR
Yes
PS5, 1440p @ 120Hz
No
PS5, 1080p @ 120Hz
Yes
PS5, Variable Refresh Rate
No
Xbox Series X, 4k @ 120Hz + HDR
Yes
Xbox Series X, 4k @ 120Hz
Yes
Xbox Series X, 4k @ 60Hz + HDR
Yes
Xbox Series X, 1440p @ 120Hz
No
Xbox Series X, 1080p @ 120Hz
Yes
Xbox Series X, Variable Refresh Rate
No

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. Auto Low Latency Mode doesn't work, but if you enable Auto Picture Mode, it recognizes the PS5 and automatically changes the Picture Mode to 'Game'. It appears that this only works with compatible Sony devices.

Inputs
Inputs Specifications
HDR10
Yes
HDR10+
No
Dolby Vision
Yes
HLG
Yes
HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth
Yes (HDMI 1,2,3,4)
HDMI 2.1 Class Bandwidth
Yes (HDMI 3,4)
CEC Yes
HDCP 2.2 Yes (HDMI 1,2,3,4)
USB 3.0
Yes (1)
Variable Analog Audio Out Yes
Wi-Fi Support Yes (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz)

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. It's advertised to support HDCP 2.3; however, it isn't something that we test.

Inputs
Input Photos
Inputs
Total Inputs
HDMI 4
USB 2
Digital Optical Audio Out 1
Analog Audio Out 3.5mm 1
Analog Audio Out RCA 0
Component In 0
Composite In 1 (adapter required, not incl.)
Tuner (Cable/Ant) 1
Ethernet 1
DisplayPort 0
IR In 1
SD/SDHC 0
Inputs
Audio Passthrough
ARC
Yes (HDMI 3)
eARC support
Yes
Dolby Atmos via TrueHD via eARC
Yes
DTS:X via DTS-HD MA via eARC
Yes
5.1 Dolby Digital via ARC
Yes
5.1 DTS via ARC
Yes
5.1 Dolby Digital via Optical
Yes
5.1 DTS via Optical
Yes

The Sony X90J supports eARC on the HDMI 3 port. This means it can pass high-quality, uncompressed audio to an external soundbar or home theater system over an HDMI connection. To use it, go to Audio Output in the Display & Sound settings menu, then set eARC to 'Auto', Digital Audio Out to 'Auto 1', and Passthrough to 'Auto'.

Sound Quality
7.6
Sound Quality
Frequency Response
Low-Frequency Extension
89.80 Hz
Std. Dev. @ 70
2.43 dB
Std. Dev. @ 80
2.10 dB
Std. Dev. @ Max
3.13 dB
Max
90.9 dB SPL
Dynamic Range Compression
4.59 dB

The Sony X90J's built-in speakers sound good. They're fairly well-balanced, but like most TV speakers, there's a noticeable lack of bass extension, so 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.

6.1
Sound Quality
Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80
0.066
Weighted THD @ Max
5.547
IMD @ 80
1.91%
IMD @ Max
43.49%

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.

Smart Features
8.0
Smart Features
Interface
Smart OS Google TV
Version 10
Ease of Use
Average
Smoothness
Very Smooth
Time Taken to Select YouTube
2 s
Time Taken to Change Backlight
2 s
Advanced Options
Many

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 WiFi connection drops at times, but we didn't experience this issue while testing.

0
Smart Features
Ad-Free
Ads
Yes
Opt-out
No
Suggested Content in Home
Yes
Opt-out of Suggested Content
No

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.

9.0
Smart Features
Apps and Features
App Selection
Great
App Smoothness
Very Smooth
Cast Capable
Yes
USB Drive Playback
Yes
USB Drive HDR Playback
Yes
HDR in Netflix
Yes
HDR in YouTube
Yes

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.

8.5
Smart Features
Remote
Size
Large
Voice Control
Many Features
CEC Menu Control
Yes
Other Smart Features
No
Remote App Android TV

Update 05/31/2021: We confirmed the TV works with the Android TV mobile app. Initially it didn't work, but it's likely because we didn't update the app to the latest software.

The remote is very similar to the Sony X900H's. Quick access buttons for YouTube, Prime Video, and Disney+ have been added, but Google Play has been removed because Google shut down the app. Voice control is available, either through Google Assistant or Amazon's Alexa, but you need to link it to a smart speaker first, and the TV's Bluetooth has to be enabled to use the dedicated assistant button on the remote. You can change some of the TV's settings, launch apps, search for content, or ask for info like the weather and time.

Smart Features
TV Controls

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. Press to move or hold to choose the highlighted item.

Smart Features
In The Box

  • User guide
  • Remote control
  • 2x AAA batteries
  • Power cord
  • VESA mount adapters

Smart Features
Misc
Power Consumption 49 W
Power Consumption (Max) 148 W
Firmware PKG6.3629.0454NAA

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

We tested the 55 inch Sony X90J Bravia XR TV (XB55X90J), and it's also available in a 50 inch, 65 inch, 75 inch, and 100 inch size. We expect our results to be valid for the other sizes. The 100 inch XR100X92 (or X92J) has a different speaker configuration and likely sounds different. The model number is the same in North America and Europe, but it may have a dash in it (XR-55X90J). There's also an 85 inch model known as the Sony X91J (KD85X91J), but it may perform differently because it's advertised to have the 4k HDR Processor X1 while the X90J uses Cognitive Processor XR.

Size Model Number Processor
50" XR50X90J Cognitive Processor XR
55" XR55X90J Cognitive Processor XR
65" XR65X90J Cognitive Processor XR
75" XR75X90J Cognitive Processor XR
85" XD85X91J 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.

Compared To Other TVs

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.

For more options, check out our recommendations for the best TVs, the best 4k gaming TVs, and the best movie TVs.

Sony X950H
49" 55" 65" 75" 85"

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. It's also advertised to have VRR support, although that isn't available yet.

Sony X900H
55" 65" 75" 85"

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).

Sony X85J
43" 50" 55" 65" 75" 85"

The Sony X90J and the Sony X85J are very similar overall. The Sony 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 Sony 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.

Sony X80J
43" 50" 55" 65" 75"

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 is advertised to have VRR support, although it isn't available yet. If you often watch TV at an angle, the X80J might be a better choice because it has wider viewing angles.

Hisense U8G
55" 65"

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.

Samsung QN90A QLED
50" 55" 65" 75" 85"

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 VRR support to reduce screen tearing when gaming, and it supports 1440p @ 120Hz on the Xbox Series X, while the Sony can't.

LG CX OLED
48" 55" 65" 77"

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 its VRR support is already available, whereas the Sony's isn't.

Sony A80J OLED
55" 65" 77"

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.

LG C1 OLED
48" 55" 65" 77" 83"

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 VRR support. 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.

Samsung Q80/Q80A QLED
55" 65" 75" 85"

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 supports VRR, whereas the Sony's advertised VRR hasn't been implemented yet.

Samsung Q80/Q80T QLED
49" 50" 55" 65" 75" 85"

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 VRR to reduce screen tearing when gaming, whereas the Sony's VRR support isn't available yet.

Sony A8H OLED
55" 65"

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.

Sony A90J OLED
55" 65" 83"

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.

Samsung Q70/Q70A QLED
55" 65" 75" 85"

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 VRR, whereas the Sony's advertised VRR support isn't available yet. Also, the Sony can't display a 1440p @ 120Hz signal on the Xbox Series X or a 4k @ 120Hz signal in Dolby Vision.

Samsung QN85A QLED
55" 65" 75" 85"

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 VRR support. The Sony is advertised to have VRR support, but it hasn't been implemented yet.

LG NANO90 2021
55" 65" 75" 86"

The Sony X90J is better than the LG NANO90 2021, but they have different panel types. The Sony has a VA panel with a much better contrast ratio and superior local dimming, so it's a better choice for dark room gaming. Even for HDR content, the Sony gets much brighter, so it makes highlights pop. On the other hand, the LG has an IPS panel with wider viewing angles. It also has more gaming features out of the box like VRR support, but that should come in a future firmware update for the Sony.

Samsung Q90/Q90T QLED
55" 65" 75" 85"

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 VRR, whereas the Sony's advertised VRR isn't available yet. Also, it can display a 1440p @ 120Hz signal on the Xbox Series X, which the Sony can't.

Hisense U7G
55" 65" 75"

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.

Hisense H9G
55" 65"

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. It's advertised to have VRR support too, but it isn't available yet. 

LG GX OLED
55" 65" 77"

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. VRR support is already available on the LG, but not on the Sony.

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