Sony X90J TV Review

Appearance

In terms of the diversity of forms, televisions are now about on a par with smartphones. The market has had time to see a lot of things, and today we have a similar standardized appearance in most models: many, many screens and very few frames around them. From the back they are not so similar to each other, but who will consider them from such an angle in the realities of not the largest living space? Few people, but in the case of the hero of the review there is definitely something to look at. Straight lines, symmetry and nice texture, occupying 70-80 percent of the area.

Separately pleased “invisible” ports and connectors, skillfully hidden in the cutout on the back panel. They are not visible even from the side, only if you look at the back.

The same situation is with the controls (more precisely with one power button and a switch) – it is hard to guess where they are. With the possibility to control the TV with a remote control and a smartphone, I would not be surprised if in a couple of years the physical buttons in TVs will simply disappear.

The feet also look simple, without any fancy shapes. They are attached to the TV in two positions, leaving about ten centimeters between the body and the surface on which the TV set will stand. If you make them wider, there is enough space to put a medium sized soundbar under the TV.

Remote control

The complete remote control is traditional in its shape: just the good old buttons and a microphone hole. The metal texture of the front surface noticeably stands out from the overall design of the TV, but it looks distinctive. At least it looks better in real life than in the advertising renders.

Screen

Brightness is one of the most important characteristics of the TV. Because of its lack, many inexpensive devices have problems with the work of the same extended dynamic range (HDR), which is highly dependent on the peak brightness level of the matrix. This mode can work normally only at 700-1000 cd/m2. Legitimate question: is the brightness of BRAVIA XR 55X90J all right? Spoiler alert: more than okay.

In the “bright” SDR-mode with the sliders of brightness and contrast turned to maximum, “neutral” color tone profile activated, you can get about 850 cd/m2. This is a very decent result, typical of OLED TVs from the higher class. And in fact, the Sony BRAVIA XR 55X90J does not use an OLED matrix, but simply a good LCD display with backlighting.

Like OLED-friends, the screen of the hero of the review also knows how to black, but the cherished depth here is achieved by reducing the brightness in some areas, but not by switching off individual pixels. Black really looks black, the contrast value of 5600:1 (6700:1 with the local dimming function enabled) shows it. Without prior preparation it will be hard to tell the difference between local LED and OLED.

Obtained by us using the X-Rite i1 Display Pro colorimeter in HCFR Colorimeter software

Ready for next-gen consoles

If your constant interactions with your TV don’t go beyond using streaming services, you’re unlikely to have encountered any noticeable lag when inputting an image. However, if you have a set-top box at home or are just planning to connect your PC to a big screen, you should not forget about the response time.

What exactly is this lag? Input lag is the difference in time between the signal received by the device and the time it appeared in front of you in the form of the finished image. Obviously, the lower the response time, the more enjoyable the process is.

 

Sony BRAVIA XR 55X90J specefications

Display Full Array LED with local dimming, 55″, 3840 x 2160 p, full direct backlighting (“carpet”)
Extended dynamic range HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision
Processor Cognitive Processor XRтм
Video support Сигнал HDMI: 4096 x 2160p (24, 50, 60 Гц), 3840 x 2160p (24, 25, 30, 50, 60, 100, 120 Гц), 1080p (30, 50, 60, 100, 120 Гц), 1080/24p, 1080i (50, 60 Гц), 720p (30, 50, 60 Гц), 720/24p, 576p, 480p
Audio power 10W + 10W (2 full-range systems with bass inverters + 2 tweeters)
Picture processing Improved clarity: Dual database processing, XR 4K Upscaling, XR Super Resolution
Color Enhancement: XR Smoothing, XR Triluminos Proтм, Технология Live Colourтм
Improved transmission of dynamic images: XR Motion Clarity, automatic mode
Contrast enhancement: XR Contrast Booster, XR HDR Remaster, Dynamic Illumination System algorithm
Sound processing Dolby Audio, Dolby Atmos, DTS, Room and User Position Compensation, Voice Zoom 2
Wireless interfaces Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4,2
Inputs РЧ-вход, ИК-вход (2 шт.), композитный видеовход (1 шт.), HDMI (4 шт.), цифровой аудиовход, USB (2 шт.)
Operating system Google TV
Dimensions without stand 123,3 x 71,1 x 7,2 см
Dimensions with stand 123,3 x 78,4 x 33,8 см
Weight 17,4 кг

For gamers

For a comfortable game, unpretentious majority will suffice the response time in the region of 20-40 milliseconds. Options with values from 50 ms and above are not even worth considering – this is the upper allowable limit, which many players can easily feel.

In the case of the hero of the review, response time is normal in all display modes, you can expect 8.5 ms, which should be enough even for testosterone shooters like Doom, where your reaction speed is very important.

By the way, HDMI version 2.1, necessary for the new generation consoles, is also present here, supported by two ports out of four. Along with the high bandwidth of 40 Gbit/s (24 Gbit/s with two-line DSC compression), the new standard also carries support for VRR function. The latter function allows the TV to change the refresh rate in real time according to the output frame rate of the game console or computer (VRR itself will be available after the next software update).

That is, if a conditional movie is played with a constant frame rate, then it is a bit more complicated with games. If you turn on the frame counter, you will immediately notice that here this value is dynamic and depends directly on how much graphics are rendered at the moment. A screen with a fixed refresh rate in this case will “tear” the image, and to you it will look like a typical “hang” due to insufficient performance or bad optimization of the game. This is not the case here, the animations look much smoother.

Improved processing algorithms. Not just images

Few people can be surprised by a powerful chip in 2021. But what if you combine the processor power with algorithms, which from now on operate in a “human” likeness? In fact, this is what Sony has done. Now the TV software recognizes and processes the image before you see it directly on the screen.

 

Knowing the rules by which our attention works while watching content, algorithms can select focus points similar to our vision or area for processing. The automation will “tighten” the sharpness, correct the tones, add depth to the image, all without delay. “The backlighting is smart here, too. The TV understands by itself in which part of the frame you need to decrease the brightness to get a more contrast picture. Not OLED, but very close.

They also managed to work with the sound, adding tons of features that will help you enjoy watching. Even in spite of the decent sound quality, the quality itself is not the most important parameter. Much more interesting is how the TV works with this sound.

High-frequency tweeters.

As in the soundbars from Sony, the BRAVIA XR 55X90J has support for surround sound, which covers not only the horizontal plane, but also the vertical – as a result, the user gets surround sound. With 3D Surround Upscaling, the TV can playback in volume not only specially prepared format Dolby Atmos, but even an ordinary audio track. That is, running on the TV Spotify will also sound in surround sound.

Speakers with a reflex port

What does it feel like? The volume is enough for a medium-sized room, you can safely use it to listen to music. The sound is clear and the bass is there too. Well, if you do not want to scare the neighbors with loud sounds during the game, the same sound can be transferred to the wireless headphones with A2DP. In addition, the engineers provided even a mini-jack for wired headphones. Though you will be able to connect any other sound equipment via this input.

Bottom line

In general, the hero of the review is an ideological continuation of last year’s Sony BRAVIA XH90, with a system of reproduced content brought to the absolute – for this thanks to the new chip Cognitive Processor XR and a variety of smart algorithms that improve both sound and picture, while taking into account the work of our senses.

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