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Sony X90L/X90CL TV Review

Tested using Methodology v1.11
Reviewed Aug 11, 2023 at 11:31 am
Latest change: Writing modified Apr 03, 2024 at 05:07 pm
Sony X90L/X90CL Picture
8.1
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: LG C3 OLED
7.7
TV Shows
Value for price beaten by
: LG C3 OLED
7.7
Sports
Value for price beaten by
: LG C3 OLED
8.4
Video Games
Value for price beaten by
: LG C3 OLED
8.4
HDR Movies
Value for price beaten by
: LG C3 OLED
8.4
HDR Gaming
Value for price beaten by
: Samsung S90C OLED
8.4
PC Monitor
Value for price beaten by
: LG C3 OLED

The Sony X90L is a mid-range 4k TV released in 2023. It replaces the Sony X90K/X90CK and sits above the entry-level Sony X85L and budget models like the Sony X77L/X77CL. Unlike the higher-end Sony X93L, it doesn't feature a Mini LED backlight but instead has a full array local dimming backlight. It offers a great selection of features typically found on higher-end Sony TVs, including hands-free voice control, the S-Center speaker input, and an ATSC 3.0 tuner for up to 4k broadcast support. It's powered by Sony's Cognitive Processor XR, designed to improve overall image processing and upscaling. It has HDMI 2.1 bandwidth and variable refresh rate (VRR) support for gamers, so you can take full advantage of the latest consoles. It's available in a wide range of sizes, from 55-inch to a massive 98-inch model, so there's something for everyone.

Our Verdict

8.1 Mixed Usage

The Sony X90L is a great TV overall. Thanks to its high peak brightness, it's great for watching shows or sports in a bright room. It looks fantastic in a dark room for gaming or watching movies in HDR thanks to its high contrast ratio and full array local dimming feature, and it gets bright enough to bring out bright specular highlights in HDR. Thanks to its low input lag and quick response time, it's great for gaming, and it supports advanced gaming features like VRR. It has a narrow viewing angle, so it's not a good choice for a wide seating arrangement.

Pros
  • High contrast ratio results in deep blacks.
  • Bright enough to fight glare.
Cons
  • Sub-par off-angle viewing experience.
7.7 TV Shows

The Sony Bravia X90L is a very good TV for watching shows in a bright room. It's bright enough to easily overcome glare, so even though it has just decent reflection handling, it's bright enough that you won't struggle to see it in a bright room. The built-in Google TV smart interface has a huge selection of streaming apps, so you can easily find your favorite shows. The only significant downside to this TV for watching shows is its viewing angle. The image degrades rapidly when viewed off-center, so it's not a good choice for a wide seating arrangement.

Pros
  • Upscales lower-resolution content well.
  • Bright enough to fight glare.
Cons
  • Sub-par off-angle viewing experience.
7.7 Sports

The Sony X90L is a good TV for watching sports. It gets very bright, so glare isn't an issue in a bright room despite its just decent reflection handling. Overall, it has excellent motion handling, with a quick response time that ensures you can make out the action. Lower-resolution content is upscaled well, which is great for watching cable sports channels. The only significant downside to this TV for watching sports is its narrow viewing angle. It's not well-suited for a wide seating area, as the image degrades rapidly as you move off-center.

Pros
  • Upscales lower-resolution content well.
  • Bright enough to fight glare.
  • Great motion handling.
Cons
  • Sub-par off-angle viewing experience.
  • A few uniformity issues and dirty screen effect.
8.4 Video Games

The Sony X90L is a great TV for playing games. It has low input lag, ensuring a responsive gaming experience, and thanks to its quick response time, motion looks smooth. It supports advanced gaming features like 4k @ 120Hz gaming, and it supports VRR to reduce screen tearing. It's especially good for PS5 gamers thanks to a few extra Sony features, including Auto HDR Tone Mapping and Auto Genre Picture Mode.

Pros
  • Great motion handling.
  • HDMI 2.1 bandwidth and VRR support.
  • Low input lag for a responsive gaming experience.
Cons
  • Noticeable black smear in shadow details.
8.4 HDR Movies

The Sony X90L is an impressive TV for watching movies in a dark room. It has a very high native contrast ratio, ensuring blacks are deep and uniform in dark scenes. Its full array local dimming feature helps deliver bright highlights even next to dark areas of the screen, but there's some distracting blooming around bright highlights. It supports Dolby Vision HDR and has superb PQ EOTF tracking, so you'll enjoy the best HDR experience knowing that it respects the content creator's intent.

Pros
  • High contrast ratio results in deep blacks.
  • Removes 24p judder.
  • Displays a wide range of colors.
  • High peak brightness.
Cons
  • Some blooming around bright highlights in dark scenes.
8.4 HDR Gaming

The Sony X90L delivers an impressive HDR gaming experience. Overall, it delivers a great gaming experience with low input lag and a quick response time to reduce motion blur. HDR looks incredible thanks to its high contrast ratio, high peak brightness, and wide color gamut. Bright highlights in games stand out well, and there's no noticeable impact on picture quality from switching to the 'Game' Picture Mode.

Pros
  • High contrast ratio results in deep blacks.
  • Great motion handling.
  • HDMI 2.1 bandwidth and VRR support.
  • Low input lag for a responsive gaming experience.
Cons
  • Noticeable black smear in shadow details.
  • Some blooming around bright highlights in dark scenes.
8.4 PC Monitor

The Sony X90L is a very good TV overall for use as a PC monitor. It has a quick response time and low input lag, resulting in smooth motion with little blur and a responsive gaming experience. It also supports some advanced gaming features for PC gaming, including 4k @ 120Hz support and VRR support to reduce tearing. Unfortunately, there are some distracting uniformity issues, so it's not ideal for desktop use or for browsing the web, and it has a narrow viewing angle, so the sides of the screen fade and look inaccurate compared to the center, especially if you're sitting very close to the screen.

Pros
  • Great motion handling.
  • HDMI 2.1 bandwidth and VRR support.
  • Low input lag for a responsive gaming experience.
Cons
  • Sub-par off-angle viewing experience.
  • Noticeable black smear in shadow details.
  • A few uniformity issues and dirty screen effect.
  • 8.1 Mixed Usage
  • 7.7 TV Shows
  • 7.7 Sports
  • 8.4 Video Games
  • 8.4 HDR Movies
  • 8.4 HDR Gaming
  • 8.4 PC Monitor
  1. Updated Apr 03, 2024: Added a link to our Best Soundbars recommendation article in the Compared To Other TVs section of this review.
  2. Updated Aug 28, 2023: We bought and tested the Sony X77L/X77CL and added a few relevant comparisons below.
  3. Updated Aug 11, 2023: Review published.
  4. Updated Aug 08, 2023: Early access published.
  5. Updated Jul 31, 2023: Our testers have started testing this product.
  6. Updated Jul 27, 2023: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  7. Updated Jun 28, 2023: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

We bought and tested the 65-inch Sony X90L, and these results are also valid for the 55-inch, 75-inch, 85-inch, and 98-inch models. The larger sizes are expected to have more dimming zones and slightly better local dimming, but unfortunately, no information is currently available on the number of zones on the larger sizes.

There's also a warehouse variant of this TV, the Sony X90CL, available in 55-, 65- and 75-inch sizes. It performs the same but has a backlit remote and a longer warranty. The European versions of this TV perform the same, but you can also place the stand in a narrow position, which isn't available on the U.S. model.

Size Model Number Costco Model
55" XR-55X90L XR-55X90CL
65" XR-65X90L XR-65X90CL
75" XR-75X90L XR-75X90CL
85" XR-85X90L XR-85X90CL
98" XR-98X90L -

Our unit was manufactured in July 2023; you can see the label here.

Compared To Other TVs

The Sony X90L delivers outstanding picture quality and the same great picture and motion processing that Sony TVs are known for. There are mid-range models from cheaper brands like the Hisense U8/U8H and the TCL QM8/QM850G QLED that deliver more nits and less blooming for a similar price point, but the overall experience with those models isn't as solid and well-rounded. If you want a great TV that performs well in almost all ways, Sony TVs are usually a safe bet, and the X90L is a solid addition to Sony's lineup and a great upgrade for any living room.

See our recommendations for the best TVs for watching movies, the best smart TVs, and the best 65-inch TVs. If you'd like a new soundbar to go with a new TV, check out our picks for the best soundbars.

Samsung Q80C [Q80, Q80CD] QLED
50" 55" 65" 75" 85" 98"

In most ways, the Sony X90L/X90CL is better than the Samsung Q80C QLED. The Sony has much better contrast and black uniformity, so blacks are deeper when viewed in a dark room, with less blooming around bright objects. HDR content is more impactful on the Sony TV due to its better HDR brightness, wider color gamut, and better color volume. However, the Samsung has a wider viewing angle, making it the better option for watching TV with friends, and its lower input lag provides a slightly more responsive gaming experience.

Sony X93L/X93CL
65" 75" 85"

The Sony X93L/X93CL is much better than the Sony X90L/X90CL. The X93L has much better reflection handling, so it's a better choice for a bright living room. The biggest difference is the X93L's Mini LED backlight, which delivers much deeper blacks, significantly less blooming around bright objects, and significantly improved zone transitions with no flicker as bright objects move across the screen.

Hisense U8/U8K
55" 65" 75" 85" 100"

The Hisense U8/U8K is better than the Sony X90L/X90CL. The Hisense is brighter than the Sony with much better reflection handling, so it looks better in a bright room. It also has better contrast, black uniformity, and local dimming feature, so the Hisense looks better in a dark room. The Sony has the edge in response time, upscaling, and HDR gradient handling, although the Hisense also has good image processing. However, the Sony is the more stable TV overall, as the Hisense is a bit buggy.

LG C3 OLED
42" 48" 55" 65" 77" 83"

The LG C3 OLED is better than the Sony X90L/X90CL. The LG has inky blacks thanks to its nearly infinite contrast ratio and perfect black uniformity, and it has more lifelike colors thanks to its wider color gamut. The image on the LG barely degrades from the sides due to its wider viewing angle, so it's the better option for watching TV with friends. When it comes to gaming, the LG is also better due to its faster response time, lower input lag, and HDMI 2.1 bandwidth on all four ports.

Samsung QN90C/QN90CD QLED
43" 50" 55" 65" 75" 85"

In most ways, the Samsung QN90C/QN90CD QLED is better than the Sony X90L/X90CL. The Samsung has better reflection handling and SDR brightness, so it's better suited for a bright room. It gets brighter in HDR, so highlights pop more in HDR content. The Samsung TV also has lower input lag, so it's the better option for gamers looking for the most responsive gaming experience. However, the Sony model has the edge in image processing, so low-quality and low-resolution content looks better on it.

TCL QM8/QM850G QLED
65" 75" 85" 98"

In some ways, the TCL QM8/QM850G QLED is better than the Sony X90L/X90CL, but the Sony delivers a better experience overall. The TCL gets much brighter in both SDR and HDR and has better reflection handling. The TCL has a Mini LED backlight with a far greater number of dimming zones, resulting in less blooming around bright objects. On the other hand, the Sony delivers a more polished experience overall, with a more accurate picture that better respects the content creator's intent, and better motion and picture processing, especially when dealing with low-resolution content.

LG B3 OLED
55" 65" 77"

The LG B3 OLED and the Sony X90L/X90CL are better than each other in different ways. If you typically watch content in a dark room and want inky blacks, the LG is better due to its nearly infinite contrast ratio and perfect black uniformity. The LG is also the better option for watching TV as a group due to its much wider viewing angle, and its faster response time means there is less blur behind quick motion. However, the Sony is much brighter, so it's better suited for a bright room.

Samsung QN85C/QN85CD QLED
55" 65" 75" 85"

The Samsung QN85C/QN85CD QLED and the Sony X90L/X90CL are similar TVs, each with strengths. The Samsung has a wider viewing angle, so it's better suited for watching TV with friends. The Samsung is also slightly better for gamers due to its lower input lag and HDMI 2.1 bandwidth on all four ports. On the other hand, the Sony has a faster response time, so there is less blur behind quick motion. The Sony also has better processing, so low-resolution and low-quality content looks better.

Sony X90K/X90CK
55" 65" 75" 85"

The Sony X90L/X90CL is a noticeable improvement over its predecessor, the Sony X90K/X90CK. The X90L gets a lot brighter, especially in HDR, so bright specular highlights stand out better. The X90L also has a much better local dimming feature, resulting in significantly less blooming around bright areas of the screen, deeper blacks, and smoother (but still not great) zone transitions.

Sony X80K/X80CK
43" 50" 55" 65" 75" 85"

The Sony X90L/X90CL is better than the Sony X80K/X80CK. The X90L has a wider color gamut and better color volume that delivers more vibrant and lifelike colors, and it's a much brighter TV, so highlights stand out more in HDR content, and it can handle a lot more glare in a bright room while watching SDR content. Blacks are significantly deeper on the X90L due to its much higher contrast ratio and local dimming feature, and its faster response time means there is less blur behind quick motion. Finally, the X90L is better for gamers due to its HDMI 2.1 bandwidth for up to 4k @ 120Hz and VRR support.

Sony X85K
43" 50" 55" 65" 75" 85"

The Sony X90L/X90CL is better than the Sony X85K. The X90L has much better contrast due to its local dimming feature, so blacks are deeper when viewed in a dark room. The X90L is also brighter, so highlights pop more in HDR, and this TV overcomes more glare in a bright room when watching SDR content. Low-resolution and low-quality content look better on the X90L due to its better processing, and its wider color gamut and better color volume deliver more vibrant and lifelike colors.

Sony A80L/A80CL OLED
55" 65" 77" 83"

The Sony X90L/X90CL and the Sony A80L/A80CL OLED are good for different uses. The Sony A80L has better contrast and perfect black uniformity, delivering inky blacks when viewed in a dark room. The A80L also has a faster response time for less blur behind quick motion, and its wider viewing angle makes it the better choice for watching TV with friends. However, the X90L is the brighter TV that overcomes more glare, so it's better if you regularly watch TV in a bright room.

LG QNED85
55" 65" 75" 86"

The Sony X90L/X90CL is a bit better than the LG QNED85. The Sony is the brightest of the two TVs, so it pops more when watched in bright rooms. It also has much better image processing than the LG, so if you watch low-bitrate content or low-resolution content from DVDs, the Sony TV has you covered. The LG does have a vastly wider viewing angle, so it's the better model for large viewing parties.

Samsung S90C OLED
55" 65" 77" 83"

The Samsung S90C OLED is better than the Sony X90L/X90CL. The Samsung has a nearly infinite contrast ratio, so it displays deep and inky blacks with no blooming. HDR content has more impactful highlights and more vibrant and lifelike colors on the Samsung due to its better HDR brightness, wider color gamut, and better color volume. The Samsung also has a much wider viewing angle, so it’s better suited for watching TV with friends, and its nearly instantaneous response time delivers fast motion with no noticeable blur. Both TVs have modern gaming features, but the Samsung supports up to 4k @ 144Hz (versus 4k @ 120Hz on the Sony), has lower input lag, and it has HDMI 2.1 bandwidth on all four ports.

Sony X95L
65" 75" 85"

The Sony X95L is better than the Sony X90L/X90CL. Outside of its slightly more accurate SDR and HDR image and better HDR native gradient handling, the X90L gets outpaced in every facet: the X95L is brighter with much better reflection handling, has a wider viewing angle, superior gray and black uniformity, and has the better contrast ratio. Otherwise, they have the same feature set.

Sony X90J
50" 55" 65" 75"

The Sony X90L/X90CL is an incremental upgrade over the Sony X90J. The X90L has a better local dimming solution, giving it better contrast with local dimming enabled. It's also noticeably brighter in HDR and SDR than the older X90J and has a much wider color gamut. The X90J has slightly better image accuracy, but that's likely due to panel variance.

Hisense U7K [U7, U75K]
55" 65" 75" 85"

The Sony X90L/X90CL and Hisense U7K are similar TVs, with the Hisense having a slight edge overall. The Sony is the slightly brighter TV in HDR and is noticeably brighter in SDR. However, the Hisense compensates for it by having superior reflection handling, making it a bit better for bright room viewing. The Hisense also looks better in dark rooms due to its slightly better contrast and vastly superior black uniformity. Unfortunately, the Sony TV is less interesting for gamers due to its higher input lag, and two HDMI 2.1 ports are capped at 4k @ 120Hz. The Hisense also has only two HDMI 2.1 ports, but they're both capable of 4k @ 144Hz. Plus, the Sony's eARC port is one of its HDMI 2.1 ports, so you lose one of them when a soundbar is connected, while the Hisense's eARC port is one of its HDMI 2.0 ports.

Sony X95K
65" 75" 85"

The Sony X95K is better than the Sony X90L/X90CL. The X95K has significantly better reflection handling, so it's a better choice for a bright living room as there's less glare from bright lights or windows. The biggest difference is the X95K's Mini LED backlight, which delivers much deeper blacks, significantly less blooming around bright objects, and significantly improved zone transitions with no flickering as bright objects move across the screen.

Sony A80J OLED
55" 65" 77"

The Sony A80J OLED and the Sony X90L/X90CL are different types of TVs due to their different panel types. If you often watch content in a dark room, the A80J is the better choice as its OLED panel delivers deeper blacks. However, if you want to use it in a well-lit room, the LED panel of the X90K gets much brighter in both SDR and HDR, so it fights off glare better.

Sony BRAVIA 7 QLED
55" 65" 75" 85"

The Sony BRAVIA 7 QLED is better than the Sony X90L/X90CL. The BRAVIA 7 has better contrast with an improved local dimming solution. The BRAVIA 7 is also noticeably brighter than the X90L, especially in HDR, providing more impactful highlights overall. The X90L does have a wider viewing angle, although both TVs are disappointing in that department. Finally, the X90L does have a small edge in response time, perhaps making it the better option for competitive gamers looking for responsiveness first and foremost. Still, overall, the BRAVIA 7 is the better product in almost every category.

LG C4 OLED
42" 48" 55" 65" 77" 83"

The LG C4 OLED is much better than the Sony X90L/X90CL, making the LG the better choice for almost anyone. The Sony does have the edge in a few ways; it's brighter than the LG in SDR, and while both TVs perform similarly in HDR when watching actual content, the Sony maintains its HDR brightness in Game Mode, while the LG is noticeably dimmer. Still, the LG has vastly better contrast, leading to a much more impact viewing experience in dark rooms. Plus, its far superior reflection handling means it compensates for its lower brightness numbers in Game Mode and SDR content by handling reflections better than Sony. Finally, the LG has a better viewing angle, making it better for hosting large viewing parties.

Samsung QN85D/QN85DD QLED
55" 65" 75" 85"

The Sony X90L/X90CL and Samsung QN85D/QN85DD QLED are equally as good, with a few differences between them. The Samsung has the better contrast of the two, with far better black uniformity, so it's the clear winner for dark room content. Alternatively, the Sony has far superior image processing, so it's better than the Samsung when watching low-resolution or low-bitrate content.

Sharp AQUOS XLED FV1
65" 75"

The Sharp AQUOS XLED FV1 and the Sony X90L/X90CL are similar TVs, each with their own strengths. The Sharp has better contrast and black uniformity, so it looks better in a dark room, and highlights in HDR content stand out a bit more on it due to its better HDR peak brightness. However, the Sony TV has better processing, so it upscales low-resolution content much better, has less banding in HDR content, and has lower input lag. The Sony also has much better pre-calibration accuracy, so you don't have to get it calibrated if you care about color accuracy.

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Video

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
Curved No

The Sony X90L has a premium design that looks great in any room. The bezels are thin and aren't distracting at all, and the minimalist design of the feet looks great and doesn't take up much space.

Design
Accelerated Longevity Test
Uniformity Pictures N/A
Design
Stand

The Sony X90L has diamond-shaped metal feet that hold the TV very well. The feet can be mounted either in the normal position shown here or in a raised position (as shown here) to leave room for a soundbar. In Europe, there's a third option to mount the feet in a narrow position, but the U.S. models don't have this option. It's confusing, as the back of the TV still shows the arrows for the narrow position, but the bottom of the TV lacks the necessary mounting points.

Footprint of the 65-inch model: 47.2" x 13.6"

With the feet mounted in the normal position, there's about 1.8" between the table and the first row of pixels. Mounting it in the raised position increases this to about 3.3", so most soundbars fit without blocking any portion of the screen.

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 300x300

The back of the TV is entirely plastic and has a similar checkerboard pattern to other recent Sony TVs, like the Sony X93L. One difference between the Sony X90L and higher-end models is that this model doesn't include covers to hide the inputs, and there's nothing for cable management.

Design
Borders
Borders 0.30" (0.8 cm)
Design
Thickness
Max Thickness 2.24" (5.7 cm)
8.5
Design
Build Quality

Sony TVs are usually well-built, and the Sony Bravia XR X90L is no exception. There's some flex on the back panel, but this is pretty common and doesn't cause any issues. It's a well-built TV made of premium materials.

Picture Quality
8.6
Picture Quality
Contrast
Contrast
42,222 : 1
Native Contrast
4,751 : 1

The Sony X90L has excellent contrast, resulting in deep blacks even when bright highlights are close-by. Unlike the Sony X93L, this model doesn't have a wide-angle filter, so the native contrast is much higher. The full array local dimming feature is extremely effective at boosting contrast, but it's not as good as the Mini LED backlight on the X93L.

7.5
Picture Quality
Blooming

The blooming performance of this TV is good overall. There's some noticeable blooming around subtitles and bright lights in otherwise dark scenes, but it's surprisingly good considering the relatively large size of each dimming zone. Sony's algorithms do a good job averaging bright highlights across multiple zones, so the blooming isn't as harsh, without too much bleeding into dark areas.

6.0
Picture Quality
Lighting Zone Transitions
Local Dimming
Yes
Backlight
Full-Array
Dimming Zones Count Of Tested TV
88

Although the algorithms do a good job averaging out bright highlights to reduce blooming, they're not very fast and struggle to keep up with fast-moving objects. It causes the leading edge to appear dark, as the lighting zones aren't turning on quickly enough, and a longer bloom trail behind them. With slower highlights, there's noticeable flicker as they move across the screen.

8.0
Picture Quality
Contrast And Dark Details In Game Mode

There's no difference in dark scene performance in the 'Game' Picture Mode.

8.4
Picture Quality
HDR Brightness
Hallway Lights (~1950 cd/m²)
581 cd/m²
Yellow Skyscraper (~700 cd/m²)
474 cd/m²
Landscape Pool (~300 cd/m²)
216 cd/m²
Peak 2% Window
1,141 cd/m²
Peak 10% Window
1,254 cd/m²
Peak 25% Window
952 cd/m²
Peak 50% Window
765 cd/m²
Peak 100% Window
715 cd/m²
Sustained 2% Window
1,106 cd/m²
Sustained 10% Window
1,212 cd/m²
Sustained 25% Window
948 cd/m²
Sustained 50% Window
763 cd/m²
Sustained 100% Window
714 cd/m²
Automatic Brightness Limiting (ABL)
0.030

The Sony X90L gets impressively bright in HDR, a significant improvement over the Sony X90K/X90CK. Bright highlights stand out well, and real scenes are bright and vivid. Small highlights are almost as bright as the higher-end Sony X93L, but with most real content, the X93L is brighter.

These measurements are after calibrating the HDR white point with the following settings:

  • HDR Picture Mode: Custom
  • Brightness: Max
  • Contrast: 90
  • Color Temperature: Expert 2
  • HDR Tone Mapping: Gradation Preferred
  • Peak Luminance: High
  • Auto Local Dimming: High

8.4
Picture Quality
HDR Brightness In Game Mode
Hallway Lights (~1950 cd/m²)
564 cd/m²
Yellow Skyscraper (~700 cd/m²)
504 cd/m²
Landscape Pool (~300 cd/m²)
212 cd/m²
Peak 2% Window
1,123 cd/m²
Peak 10% Window
1,262 cd/m²
Peak 25% Window
944 cd/m²
Peak 50% Window
757 cd/m²
Peak 100% Window
712 cd/m²
Sustained 2% Window
1,091 cd/m²
Sustained 10% Window
1,220 cd/m²
Sustained 25% Window
941 cd/m²
Sustained 50% Window
756 cd/m²
Sustained 100% Window
711 cd/m²
Automatic Brightness Limiting (ABL)
0.030

Switching to the 'Game' HDR Picture Mode results in roughly the same peak brightness in HDR.

These measurements are after calibrating the HDR white point with the following settings:

  • HDR Picture Mode: Game
  • Brightness: Max
  • Contrast: 90
  • Color Temperature: Expert 2
  • HDR Tone Mapping: Gradation Preferred
  • Peak Luminance: High
  • Auto Local Dimming: High

9.3
Picture Quality
PQ EOTF Tracking
600 Nit Tracking Delta
0.0043
1000 Nit Tracking Delta
0.0043
4000 Nit Tracking Delta
0.0043

This TV has fantastic PQ EOTF tracking, ensuring that most HDR content is displayed at or close to the brightness level intended by the content creator. Near-black scenes are slightly raised, so some shadow details look a bit washed out.

9.0
Picture Quality
SDR Brightness
Real Scene Peak Brightness
775 cd/m²
Peak 2% Window
1,129 cd/m²
Peak 10% Window
1,261 cd/m²
Peak 25% Window
905 cd/m²
Peak 50% Window
728 cd/m²
Peak 100% Window
720 cd/m²
Sustained 2% Window
1,111 cd/m²
Sustained 10% Window
1,219 cd/m²
Sustained 25% Window
901 cd/m²
Sustained 50% Window
726 cd/m²
Sustained 100% Window
718 cd/m²
Automatic Brightness Limiting (ABL)
0.032

The Sony X90L has superb peak brightness in SDR. It's bright enough to easily overcome glare even in a very bright room.

These measurements are after calibration, with the following settings:

  • Picture Mode: Custom
  • Brightness: Max
  • Contrast: 90
  • Color Temperature: Expert 1
  • Peak Luminance: High
  • Auto Local Dimming: High

8.4
Picture Quality
Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
Yes
DCI P3 xy
91.89%
DCI P3 uv
96.63%
Rec 2020 xy
70.65%
Rec 2020 uv
75.43%

The Sony X90L has an impressive color gamut in HDR, so HDR content looks vivid and life-like. It has fantastic coverage of the commonly-used DCI-P3 color space, as well as decent coverage of the Rec. 2020 color space. Tone mapping is good in both color spaces, but saturated greens, blues, and reds are slightly off in the Rec. 2020 color space.

8.6
Picture Quality
Color Volume
1,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP
86.2%
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
42.8%
White Luminance
1,154 cd/m²
Red Luminance
272 cd/m²
Green Luminance
778 cd/m²
Blue Luminance
91 cd/m²
Cyan Luminance
869 cd/m²
Magenta Luminance
364 cd/m²
Yellow Luminance
1,046 cd/m²

The color volume is excellent. Dark, saturated colors look great thanks to the high contrast ratio, and bright colors are vibrant and stand out well.

8.3
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
White Balance dE
3.14
Color dE
1.52
Gamma
2.60
Color Temperature
6,506 K
Picture Mode
Custom
Color Temp Setting
Expert 1
Gamma Setting
0

With just a few settings changes out of the box, the Sony X90L has impressive SDR accuracy. There are a few slight issues with the white balance, but it's decent overall, and the colors are excellent, with no noticeable issues. The color temperature is nearly perfect, and gamma is very close to the 2.2 target used for a moderately-lit room.

9.6
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
White Balance dE
0.17
Color dE
0.98
Gamma
2.20
Color Temperature
6,503 K
White Balance Calibration
10 point
Color Calibration
Yes

The Sony X90L is very easy to calibrate, and the results after calibrating it to a D65 white point are fantastic.

You can see the full settings used for our calibration here.

7.2
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
2.991%
50% DSE
0.196%
5% Std. Dev.
1.090%
5% DSE
0.108%

Unfortunately, the gray uniformity is just decent on this TV. The corners are slightly darker than the center, but this isn't noticeable with most real content. The bigger issue is the noticeable dirty screen effect in the center, and there are dark vertical columns across the entire screen. The uniformity in near-dark scenes is much better and looks good overall.

7.1
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Std. Dev.
1.391%
Native Std. Dev.
0.946%

The black uniformity of this TV is just decent. With local dimming disabled, the entire screen is bluish, but there are no noticeable hot spots or backlight bleed. With local dimming enabled, black areas of the screen are much deeper, but due to the relatively large size of the dimming zones and the way the algorithms spread highlights out, there's some noticeable blooming.

5.9
Picture Quality
Viewing Angle
Color Washout
24°
Color Shift
70°
Brightness Loss
33°
Black Level Raise
14°
Gamma Shift
14°

Unfortunately, the viewing angle of this TV is sub-par. It's not well-suited for a wide seating arrangement, as anyone not sitting directly in front of the TV will see a faded image with colors washed out.

7.2
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Semi-gloss
Total Reflections
5.7%
Indirect Reflections
0.6%
Calculated Direct Reflections
5.1%

The Sony X90L has just decent reflection handling. Unlike the Sony X93L, there's no rainbow effect across the screen, but bright highlights are more diffused, which can make them more distracting.

8.0
Picture Quality
HDR Native Gradient
100% Black to 50% Gray
8.0
50% Gray to 100% White
8.0
100% Black to 50% Red
8.0
50% Red to 100% Red
10
100% Black to 50% Green
8.0
50% Green to 100% Green
6.0
100% Black to 50% Blue
10
50% Blue to 100% Blue
6.0

This TV has great gradient handling in HDR. There's some light banding in bright shades of blue and green, but everything else looks excellent.

8.0
Picture Quality
Low-Quality Content Smoothing
Smoothing
8.0
Detail Preservation
8.0

The Sony X90L does a great job smoothing out low-quality content, but it's slightly worse than most comparable Sony TVs like the Sony X93L. Still, macro-blocking and pixelization issues are smoothed out well, and there's very little loss of fine details.

9.0
Picture Quality
Upscaling: Sharpness Processing

The Sony X90L has superb sharpness processing capabilities. Low-resolution content is upscaled well, and lines are sharp with very little over-sharpening. Fine details in busy scenes are easy to make out, and hardcoded text looks great.

These results are with the following processing settings:

  • Sharpness: 60
  • Reality Creation: Auto

Picture Quality
Pixels
Subpixel Layout
BGR
Type LED
Sub-Type
VA

This TV uses a BGR subpixel layout. It doesn't affect picture quality but can cause blurry text in some applications when using it as a PC monitor. You can read more about it here.

Motion
8.4
Motion
Response Time
80% Response Time
3.7 ms
100% Response Time
11.0 ms

The Sony X90L has a great response time. Video games and sports look great, with minimal motion blur behind fast-moving objects. There's more noticeable black smear behind dark objects and in shadow details due to the TV's slow 0-20% response time.

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

This TV uses pulse width modulation (PWM) at all backlight levels. It always flickers at 720Hz, which is high enough that it'll only bother you if you're extremely sensitive to flicker.

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

There's an optional backlight strobing feature, commonly known as black frame insertion, which you can enable to improve the appearance of motion. This TV can only flicker at 120Hz, which causes image duplication with 60 fps content. The backlight flicker pattern is very unusual, flickering at both 120Hz and an underlying 720Hz pattern similar to the Sony X90K/X90CK.

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

This TV can interpolate lower-frame-rate content up to 120 fps. Sony's motion processing is generally pretty good, but like most TVs with motion interpolation at max, there are noticeable halos and artifacts around fast-moving objects.

7.0
Motion
Stutter
Frame Hold Time @ 24 fps
30.7 ms
Frame Hold Time @ 60 fps
5.7 ms

This TV's response time is slow enough that there's just a bit of stutter. It's still noticeable when watching slow panning shots, but it's decent overall.

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

This TV removes judder automatically from 24p sources, like a Blu-ray player or an external streaming device with a 'Match Frame Rate' feature. For 60Hz sources, like a cable box or the TV's built-in apps, Motionflow has to be enabled, with CineMotion set to 'High' and both sliders at 'Min' for judder-free playback. This combination of settings removes judder without adding any soap opera effect.

9.4
Motion
Variable Refresh Rate
Native Refresh Rate
120 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate
Yes
HDMI Forum VRR
Yes
FreeSync
No
G-SYNC Compatible
Yes
4k VRR Maximum
120 Hz
4k VRR Minimum
< 20 Hz
1080p VRR Maximum
120 Hz
1080p VRR Minimum
< 20 Hz
1440p VRR Maximum
N/A
1440p VRR Minimum
Unknown
VRR + Local Dimming Yes

The Sony X90L supports variable refresh rate technology to reduce screen tearing in games.

Inputs
9.2
Inputs
Input Lag
1080p @ 60Hz
18.0 ms
1080p @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode
161.3 ms
1080p @ 120Hz
9.4 ms
1080p @ 144Hz
N/A
1440p @ 60Hz
N/A
1440p @ 120Hz
N/A
1440p @ 144Hz
N/A
4k @ 60Hz
17.8 ms
4k @ 60Hz + 10-Bit HDR
17.8 ms
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
17.8 ms
4k @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode
144.5 ms
4k @ 60Hz With Interpolation
137.2 ms
4k @ 120Hz
9.5 ms
4k @ 144Hz
N/A
8k @ 60Hz
N/A

This TV has superb low input lag in the 'Game' Picture Mode, ensuring a smooth and responsive gaming experience.

8.6
Inputs
Supported Resolutions
Resolution 4k
480p @ 59.94Hz (Widescreen)
Yes
720p @ 59.94Hz
Yes
1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes
1080p @ 120Hz
Yes
1080p @ 144Hz
No
1440p @ 60Hz
No
1440p @ 120Hz
No
1440p @ 144Hz
No
4k @ 60Hz
Yes
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes
4k @ 120Hz
Yes
4k @ 120Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes
4k @ 144Hz
No
8k @ 30Hz or 24Hz
No
8k @ 60Hz
No

Like the Sony X93L, this TV supports most common formats except for 1440p. All supported formats also display chroma 4:4:4 or RGB signals properly, ensuring text is clear and easy to read when using it as a PC monitor. HDMI ports 1 and 2 are limited to HDMI 2.0 bandwidth, so they don't support 4k @ 120Hz.

Inputs
PS5 Compatibility
Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM)
Yes
4k @ 120Hz
Yes
1440p @ 120Hz
No
1080p @ 120Hz
Yes
HDR
Yes
VRR
Yes

This TV can support almost everything the PS5 has to offer. Since this TV doesn't support 1440p @ 120Hz signals, it doesn't work with that format from the PS5. Like almost all mid and high-end Sony TVs, it also offers a few Sony-exclusive features for the PS5, including Auto Genre Picture Mode and Auto HDR Tone Mapping.

Inputs
Xbox Series X|S Compatibility
Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM)
Yes
4k @ 120Hz
Yes
1440p @ 120Hz
No
1080p @ 120Hz
Yes
HDR
Yes
VRR
Yes

The Sony X90L can nearly take full advantage of the Xbox Series S|X consoles. Like most TVs, it only supports Dolby Vision gaming at 60Hz, not at 120Hz, though.

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)
ATSC Tuner
3.0 (NEXTGEN TV)
USB 3.0
Yes (1)
Variable Analog Audio Out No
Wi-Fi Support Yes (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz)

HDMI ports 3 and 4 support the full 48 Gbps bandwidth of HDMI 2.1, while HDMI 1 and 2 are limited to HDMI 2.0 bandwidth. However, because HDMI 3 is an HDMI 2.1 and eARC port, you lose an HDMI 2.1 slot if you connect a receiver, so you can only use HDMI 2.1 bandwidth on multiple devices simultaneously if the receiver also supports it. Also, the tuner supports ATSC 3.0, allowing you to stream over-the-air channels at up to a 4k resolution.

Inputs
Input Photos
Inputs
Total Inputs
HDMI 4
USB 2
Digital Optical Audio Out 1
Analog Audio Out 3.5mm 0
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
Inputs
Audio Passthrough
ARC/eARC Port
eARC
eARC: Dolby Atmos Over Dolby Digital Plus
Yes
eARC: Dolby Digital Plus 7.1
Yes
eARC: LPCM 7.1 Over Dolby MAT
Yes
eARC: Dolby TrueHD 7.1
Yes
eARC: DTS:X Over DTS-HD MA
Yes
eARC: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1
Yes
eARC: LPCM Channels (Bitstream)
7.1
ARC: Dolby Digital 5.1
Yes
ARC: DTS 5.1
Yes
Optical: Dolby Digital 5.1
Yes
Optical: DTS 5.1
Yes

The Sony X90L supports eARC, which lets you pass high-quality, uncompressed audio to a compatible receiver through an HDMI cable. It supports all major audio formats, so you don't have to worry about compatibility with external sources.

Sound Quality
7.1
Sound Quality
Frequency Response
Low-Frequency Extension
95.14 Hz
Std. Dev. @ 70
2.66 dB
Std. Dev. @ 80
2.96 dB
Std. Dev. @ Max
4.81 dB
Max
90.6 dB SPL
Dynamic Range Compression
4.64 dB

The Sony X90L's frequency response is decent. Like most TVs, it lacks deep bass or rumble, but the sound profile is well-balanced at moderate listening levels, and dialogue sounds good. It also gets loud enough even for a moderately-noisy environment.

The stand position impacts the overall sound profile, and lifting the TV to the raised position reduces the bass response of the TV. The low-frequency extension (LFE) in the raised position is at 119.87Hz.

7.5
Sound Quality
Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80
0.080
Weighted THD @ Max
0.216
IMD @ 80
3.99%
IMD @ Max
3.31%

The Sony X90L has good distortion handling. There's very little noticeable distortion at moderate listening levels, and it's decent even at max volume.

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

The Sony X90L has the same Google TV smart platform as past Sony models like the Sony X95K. Oddly, it runs the older Google TV 10 version instead of the newer version 11 release already included on some older Sony models like the Sony X85K. The differences between versions 10 and 11 are minor, though.

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

Unfortunately, like most TVs on the market, there are ads throughout the entire Google TV interface. You can opt out of personalized ads, but this doesn't change the number of ads you'll see; they just won't be personalized to match your search and viewing history.

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 to download, and they run very smoothly. It has Google Chromecast built-in, meaning you can cast content from your phone. You can also connect the Bravia webcam for video calls.

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

The included remote is small, as it doesn't have a numpad. There are mics in the remote and built into the TV, and they let you ask it to search for content, change settings, and open apps. The remote included with the Sony X90L isn't backlit, but the Costco variant Sony X90CL is.

Smart Features
TV Controls

There's a single button on the bottom of the TV near the center and a switch to enable or disable the mic. With the main button, you can power the TV on or off, change channels, adjust the volume, or switch inputs.

Smart Features
In The Box

  • Remote
  • 2x AAA Batteries
  • VESA adapters/screws
  • Manuals and user guides

Smart Features
Misc
Power Consumption 69 W
Power Consumption (Max) 206 W
Firmware PKG6.7240.0826NAA