Sony 55-inch X90J (XR-65X90J) review


The Sony Bravia X90J claims to be smarter than any other 4K LED TV on the market, but that’s no indication of its smart TV platform. Its new Cognitive Processor XR processor appears to be using novel AI techniques to replicate the way we all see and hear. This is also one of the TVs Sony calls “perfect for PlayStation”.

What does all this mean for you, dear reader? Let’s investigate.

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Sony 55-inch X90J (XR-65X90J) review: summary

We’re sold on the X90J. It’s one of the most impressive new LED TVs from Sony we’ve seen in a while, with stunning 4K picture quality, great sound, and welcome support for next-generation game consoles.

Overall, we rate it as a good buy as there isn’t a lot that isn’t good – movies, games, and sports. It won’t break the bank either.

Price: The TV normally costs £ 1199, but you can currently buy the 55-inch Sony Bravia X90J for £ 899 from Currys.

Main features:

  • Cognitive Processor XR processor
  • HDMI v2.1 connectivity
  • Google TV
  • Works with Alexa and Google Assistant

Benefits:

  • Excellent image performance
  • Dolby Vision HDR
  • Dolby Atmos sound

Disadvantage:

  • Bad catch-up TV support
  • No HDR10 +
  • Not all HDMI inputs can handle 4K gaming at 120 frames per second

What does the Sony X90J do?

  • The Sony X90J is a 4K LED HDR TV
  • It uses the Google TV smart platform
  • In addition to regular HDR10 and HLG, it supports Dolby Vision HDR
  • It features auto HDR tone mapping from PlayStation game consoles
  • Two of the four HDMI inputs can display high frame rate games at 4K 120fps from a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X console
  • It works with Amazon Alexa and Google Smart Assistants
  • A light sensor for environmental optimization automatically adjusts the image and sound to the existing light in the room
  • It lacks Freeview Play and does not offer catch-up services for BBC iPlayer or ITV Hub

What is the price of the 55-inch Sony X90J (XR-65X90J)?

The 55-inch Sony 55-inch X90J is priced at £ 1,199 / $ 1,199. It is also available in 50, 65 and 75 inch screen sizes (XR-50X90J, XR-65X90J and XR-75X90J) and costs £ 1099 / $ 1099, £ 1599 / $ 1499 and £ 2299 / $ 2099, respectively. The 55-inch model is the sweet spot in terms of screen size and price.

The X90J is the cheaper stable companion of the Sony X95J. The two models share the same functionality and connectivity, although the more expensive X95J comes with additional cosmetic trimmings, improved image contrast, and a slightly more powerful audio system.

You can buy the XR-50X90J from Currys for £ 879.

You can buy the XR-55X90J from Currys for £ 899.

You can buy the XR-65X90J from Currys for £ 1399.

You can buy the XR-75X90J from Currys for £ 1699.

Is the Sony 55-inch X90J (XR-65X90J) TV good value for money?

We rate the X90J as a high quality TV option from Sony. There are caveats, including HDMI connectivity for gamers and the lack of Freeview Play, but they aren’t deal-breakers. In terms of image performance, this is a premium display at a mid-range price.

Features of the Sony X90J (XR-65X90J)

The X90J is one of the first screens we designed around the Google TV smart platform. As a variation on the more widely used Android platform, it puts an emphasis on curating content and recommendations. The user interface is easy to use and includes Android niceties like Chromecast and Google Assistant support, as well as a decent selection of streaming services (Netflix, Apple TV +, Disney +, Prime Video, etc.).

Unfortunately, Freeview Play is lacking and there are limited catch-up TV services (All4 only at the time of writing). You will definitely want to use the set with a set-top box or streaming media stick, such as a Fire TV player or Roku streamer.

Sony 55-inch X90J (XR-65X90J) design and furnishings

The screen looks neat, with a very thin bezel. It uses a full array backlight which helps image quality, but that means it’s a little deeper (70mm) than edge-lit competitors.

The model has adjustable feet that can be placed either towards the edge of the set or towards the middle – Sony calls this a 2-way slim blade stand. The good thing about it is that it gives you some freedom when it comes to choosing AV furniture and it can also help make room for a soundbar. It’s worth noting that the adjustable feet are not available on the 50-inch model.

Sony X90J back of the TV

Connectivity includes four HDMI inputs. Only two HDMIs are 4K 120fps ready for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, and one of them is also used as an eARC connection to a soundbar. There is support promised or variable refresh rate (we are waiting for a firmware update, which is due before the end of the year).

Additional connections include two USBs, a digital optical output, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and Ethernet for wired networks.

The screen is relatively easy to set up, although you’ll need to sign in with your Google account to do so.

Sony X90J (XR-65X90J) picture quality

Sony X90J TV in the test

Artificial intelligence is increasingly being used to improve the picture quality of television images, but here Sony has taken a slightly different approach than its competitors and developed a brand new Cognitive Processor XR processor that can process image information in such a way that it mimics the human eye.

When we look at objects, we focus on a specific point rather than the entire scene. Cognitive Processor XR tries to do the same, focusing its computing power where it is most beneficial. The system effectively zones the screen to reveal the “focus” of the image (while normal AI recognizes certain picture elements).

The set has a full array backlight that combines good overall image brightness with more control over peak HDR highlights. Also in the game are the XR Contrast Booster technology and the XR HDR Remaster technology to give regular HD TV programs an HDR look.

However, you should be careful where you position the screen as it tends to lose contrast and color intensity when viewed off-axis.

The set turns out to be a great HDR performer; we noticed bright highlights and a strong contrast range. It comes with Dolby Vision support, in addition to HLG and HDR10. However, the TV does not recognize HDR10 + dynamic metadata, as is preferred by Prime Video.

Sony Google TV X90J

As you would expect from a TV that is described as “perfect for PlayStation”, the input lag is low. We measured a latency of 17.2 ms (1080/60) in game mode.

What is unique is that the set also offers two special modes for use with a PlayStation 5, namely Auto HDR Tone Mapping and Auto Genre Picture Mode. With the former there will be a handshake with the PS5 and then optimize yourself for the best possible image so that you can see fine details and rich colors even in high-contrast scenes.

With the auto genre picture mode, the device automatically switches to game mode when playing games, minimizes the input delay or to standard mode when watching movies from a streaming service or an Ultra HD Blu-ray.

The set also has the technology to optimize the environment; A sensor monitors the ambient light in your viewing room and automatically adjusts the image.

Sony X90J (XR-65X90J) sound quality

The X90J uses a simplified version of Sony’s Acoustic Multi Audio System. Two downward facing speakers are supported by two tweeters for sound positioning on the back of the set.

This makes it possible to present a soundstage that is more spacious – wider – than with smaller models. It doesn’t have a deep bass capability, but with 2x10W on tap, it gets reasonably loud.

Our conclusion: should you buy the Sony X90J (XR-65X90J)?

In our opinion, the X90J sets a high standard for a mid-range 55-inch UHD LED TV. Its image quality, enhanced by cognitive intelligence, is first class, with excellent details and color depth. It’s also very high-contrast and does a great job with HDR movies and TV shows. It would have been nice to have a few more full-fledged HDMI inputs, and the lack of catch-up TV support is annoying, but the motion handling (always a strength of Sony) is excellent.

Overall, a good 4K TV and a must have for PlayStation gamers.

Our rating:

  • Draft: 4/5
  • Picture quality: 4.5 / 5
  • Sound quality: 4/5
  • Price-performance ratio: 5/5
  • Total: 5/5

Where can I buy the Sony X90J (XR-65X90J)?

You can buy the 55-inch Sony X90J from Currys for £ 899.

See the Technology section for more product guides and reviews. Need More Advice Before Buying a TV? Take a look at our guide on which TV to buy.


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