Data sheet Design Image quality Gaming Audio Interface Consumption Price and release date ConclusionCommentsView product sheetAvailable at €1190
Sony's X90J range carries the heavy mission of democratizing the Japanese manufacturer's flagship technologies, while offering more affordable prices. Its main strength lies in the fact that these models embed the latest cognitive intelligence processor, promising ultra-realistic image processing. Is that enough to make this 65-inch model a bestseller? That's what we're going to see.
The Sony XR-65X90J // Source: Sony
If the A90J that we tested a few weeks ago (read our test of the Sony XR-65A90J) represents the spearhead of the OLED range at Sony, the X90J is, conversely, a more "accessible" model for the general public, followers of the brand and nevertheless sensitive to beautiful images. Do not see it as a family of products at a discount – we are still at Sony – since all benefit from the few strong characteristics which constitute the evolutions of the 2021 models.
Starting with the Sony Cognitive Processor XR, using cognitive intelligence to process video sources. This chip promises to deliver an image of the most realistic for the eye, in particular by exploiting the range of in-house technologies: the X-Motion Clarity (for the fluidity of the image), the XR Triluminos Pro or the XR Contrast Booster. The latter is intended to manage the Full LED backlighting of this LCD panel as finely as possible. This is a real challenge, since it has quite simply become the sinews of war!
The panel, precisely, stamped 10-bit 100 Hz and the connectors partly composed of HDMI 2.1 sockets should give access to 4K at 120 Hz… except that there is a but. And a big one, maybe not for a very long time, as we will see!
Other technologies are added to the audio part to improve the user experience including – and this is becoming rare enough to point out – compatibility with DTS, in particular operated in the IMAX Enhanced format, also available on this range. Let's see if this X90J has what it takes in the chassis to seduce us.
The tests were carried out on a model made available by Sony. The measurements were performed using an X-Rite i1 Display Pro Plus probe and Portrait Display's Calman for Business software.
No need to test a multitude of televisions to know that it is not always easy to innovate in terms of television. Especially when your name is Sony and the brand's historical DNA tends to be rather conservative. To name a few, a Samsung makes the difference with its remote OneConnect box and, on some models, edges of unprecedented finesse. Philips offers a pivoting stand or the legendary Ambilight lighting system. At Sony, you have to appreciate sobriety.
Thus, if the X90J is no exception to this rule, this model which represents the entry-level “XR” nevertheless offers some subtleties which distinguish it from all comers. Starting with a point that is important to note: the feet are adjustable, not in height, but in width.
These come in a shape close to that of a boomerang and their finesse turns out to be a naturally favorable point once they are in place. Moreover, their installation requires no screws: we appreciate. Sony has adopted a clip mechanism that is as clever as it is practical.
They can be positioned at two spacings, namely 48 cm and 120 cm, at least on our 65-inch version. Very good news for those who like large televisions, but who don't have the desire or the space (or the budget?) to use a large piece of furniture. Some might have preferred a pivoting center stand, but that's still not on Sony's agenda – and it's a good thing they're adjustable.
The Japanese manufacturer brings a small aesthetic touch to the back of the television which is not to displease us. A grid covers most of the housing with, in the center, another pattern highlighting the Bravia logo. This X90J can of course hang on the wall, in this case via a VESA 300 x 300 mm support.
Source: D. Nogueira for Frandroid
It should not be neglected, because it still weighs about 18 kg, without its feet. Moreover, if the idea of hanging it on the wall via an articulated arm tempts you, the patterns on the back of the television are elegant enough not to be subjected to harsh criticism by sensitive aesthetes in the home.
Source: D. Nogueira for Frandroid
Note that Sony delivers spacers to add to the back of the TV if you want to adopt a wall mount. It will therefore be necessary to take care to put this aside if the operation is not done at first. We will come back to the audio quality of the television, but on the design side, note that the distance between the feet and their height make it possible to accommodate a sound bar without obstructing the image. The bottom of the chassis is 7 cm high once the TV is placed on a piece of furniture.
Source: D. Nogueira for Frandroid
However, we must point out that the X90Js take advantage of the Acoustic Multi Audio technology, which translates here into the addition of two additional speakers on the sides. These are supposed to provide a more enveloping sound for viewers.Source: D. Nogueira Source: D. Nogueira
And speaking of immersion, the Japanese manufacturer has done what is necessary to offer thin edges. The slab is flush with the frame on the sides and the upper part. Only the lower part reveals a black bar. The whole is very elegant, but now classic, just like the choice of materials oriented around… plastic.
Sony has chosen to have all the connections on one side of the television. The space seems sufficient to connect all of your video cables, TNT or even Ethernet, but creating a clean cable management could not be very easy.Sony delivers two clips with its television – Source: D. Nogueira These attach to the ends of the feet – Source: D. Nogueira The cable routing is imperfect – Source: D. Nogueira
Indeed, the back of the TV has no cable pass. They are replaced by small plastic hooks. These clip onto the feet and thus accommodate a few cables. It's better than nothing, isn't it? Except there's a catch. These accessories come off very easily and, above all, do not allow the cables to be pinched and thus stretched so that they are the least floating and therefore the least visible once the television is on its furniture. Too bad the result is not perfect, as can be seen with the power cord. Moreover, the interior space of these fasteners will not accommodate many HDMI cables, especially if you add the antenna cable for DTT and the Ethernet cable for the network.
Connectivity is gathered in one place – Source: D. Nogueira for Frandroid
To come back more specifically to the connection, there are four HDMI connectors… and this is where it could get stuck depending on your uses. At least for now. And yes, Sony has still not deployed its firmware that will allow you to enjoy 4K at 120 Hz with VRR support, but obviously, it won't be long.
In this 65-inch version, the X90J incorporates a 10-bit 100 Hz VA (Vertical Alignment) type panel, the main characteristic of which is to improve contrast ratios, to the detriment of viewing angles, however. On paper, it's all the more unfortunate that this X90J does not include X-Wide Angle technology, which is none other than the filter aimed at improving viewing angles. This is only available on the X95J, a higher-end LCD model.
Below is a photo of the VA LCD panel structure of the XJ90A. We can notice the composition of the sub-pixels typical of a panel of this kind.
Source: D. Nogueira for Frandroid
Anyway, not having a probe suitable for measuring viewing angles, we have to rely on our tester impressions. And it is clear that the result is suitable, in most situations. But the anti-reflective treatment (semi-matte) is certainly not the best available to Sony and parasitic reflections can always disturb the show when playing content that is a little dark. This was sometimes our case in our very bright living room, even if the inconvenience was much less significant than with an OLED panel.D. Nogueira D. Nogueira D. Nogueira Source: D. Nogueira
What can prove to be the most problematic regarding viewing angles is still and always on the side of light leaks. With only 32 backlight zones, you shouldn't expect this Full LED TV to be as precise in managing its brightness as a higher-end model. The images above speak for themselves: whether in the display of subtitles or under our “Meridian” benchmark available on Netflix, the management of screen zoning can be improved.
Source: D. Nogueira for Frandroid
Remember all the same that the sequences of Meridian are a torture for the LCD panels, just like the subtitles in the scenes of a film or a series. Failing to have enough LEDs and thin enough areas to drive the backlight, light leaks at the location of the subtitles are easily visible. This is what you should expect in the worst situations which should not however represent the main part of your uses.Source: D. Nogueira Source: D. Nogueira Source: D. Nogueira Source: D. Nogueira Source: D. Nogueira Source: D. Nogueira Source: D. Nogueira
In addition to these difficult scenes, we must recognize that this television has real advantages. And the performance of the Bravia XR processor is part of it, even if here it is a little less impressive on this LCD than on the high-end A90J OLED. However, when the reflections are excluded, the image is beautiful and there are no problems in the processing. Even with lower definition sources, upscaling improves the rendering with a treatment that is gentle enough to limit artefacts without making the image too smooth. A happy medium that we know at Sony, with this cinematographic rendering that we still love so much.
Remember that the manufacturer refuses to offer a FilmMaker mode in its televisions, but the default configuration of the cinema mode is enough to produce a fair image, free of defects and which does not force any excessive processing. Whether with films or series, the fluidity of the image is good without the motion compensation engine being too present.
By default, it is not set to the minimum, but just increased to 1, like clarity by the way. And this is quite sufficient for most of the content viewed. You might want to increase it for sports matches or a motorcycle or F1 grand prix, but otherwise it shouldn't be necessary.
Sharpening, digital noise reduction or gradient enhancement treatments are also well mastered. All this saves us from suffering from too artificial rendering here again, even if it means accepting some blurring in rapid lateral movements. Once again, we salute the quality of the upscaling, which does not overdo it and manages to deliver a clean result, including old content on this 65-inch panel. We enjoyed watching “old films”, such as Code Mercury, by Harold Becker (1998), whose Full HD definition at less than 7 Mb/s on Netflix did the trick.
Let's not forget that Sony also offers a “Netflix” mode which blocks any possibility of intervening on these same settings. In this mode, the image processing seemed to us quite close to the rendering offered by the cinema mode on the content we watched, with less brightness, however. Finally, to put an end to format support, remember that the X90J is HDR10, HLG and Dolby Vision compatible. Forget HDR10+ and its Adaptive version or even Dolby Vision IQ.
Cinema mode measurements
This does not prevent this 65-inch television from managing HDR content well with a quite decent light output since it is around 580 nits. In the screenshots above, we can see how well the luminance and EOTF measurements follow the reference curves very well.
@RetroUpgrade might get that one day maybe— Charlie Thu Jan 21 02:58:51 +0000 2021
The average gamma measured at 2.4 is also modeled on the reference value, despite a temperature that is far too cold. It is raised here on average to 7210 K, against a desired reference value of 6500 K. On the other hand, the color fidelity in HDR Cinema mode really does not call for any criticism: it's perfect! The average Delta E 2000 measurement obtained is 2.11, well below 3, indicating perfect colorimetry.
Cinema mode measurements continued
And if the HDR cinema mode is very well calibrated, the measurements above reflect some technical limits. The brightness that we have already discussed is raised to 582 cd / m² when the pattern occupies 100% of the surface of the slab. A correct value, nothing more. The peak at 828 cd / m² is measured on a surface of 10%, which is still better than almost all OLED panels, but which is not the record for an LCD television.
Small disappointment also on the side of the measurement of the coverage rate of the DCI-P3 colorimetric space which is less than 90%. The coverage of the REC.709 remains perfect with 99.5%, but, in fact, for the BT.2020 it will be necessary to limit itself to approximately 65%. Remember that this is a result out of the box and that some customers of this model could consider that the savings made on the purchase of the television (versus a more upscale product) can be transformed into a investment in the calibration of the slab. In particular, this will restore the temperature which is a little too cold and benefit from a better gray scale.
Expert mode measurements
We could almost say it's strange, but the measurement results in expert mode are almost the same as in cinema mode. Historically, the expert mode is THE configuration to choose to obtain a perfectly calibrated image – the colorimetry of the cinema mode being a little less perfect. On the XR-65X90J this is no longer really the case and the results are perfect in both situations, except for this color temperature which is still a little too cold and prevents this 65 inch from doing a flawless job.
The brightness measured in expert mode is also very close with a peak of 840 nits at 10% and 603 nits at 100%. It's better and it comforts us in the idea that the expert mode remains the one to be preferred for watching films and series. It is undoubtedly also the one that will make sure to keep the best reproduction of the image by limiting digital processing, even if, as we said above, the Bravia XR Cognitive Processor has shown itself to be quite talented in managing these tasks.Cinema Mode Uniformity Expert Mode Uniformity
In fact, other measurements are almost identical in the Cinema and Expert modes, such as the uniformity measurement of the panel which we have evaluated here out of 30 points to stick as well as possible with the 32 backlight zones present here. However, it is not guaranteed that the rectangles present on the screen correspond to the backlighting.
There, you will have to be patient and only the most daring will take to analyzing the images above. What must be remembered is essentially that the uniformity of the slab deteriorates mainly on the top and bottom edges. Nothing catastrophic, because the Delta E values do not burst the ceiling, but these drifts, we managed to observe them with the naked eye on plain color backgrounds during the measurements.Cinema mode contrast ratio Expert mode contrast ratio
Drifts that are therefore found on the contrast ratio measurements, very close again between the Cinema mode and the Expert mode. Note that the benefits of the VA panel are evident here with good contrast ratios that we noted at 3927:1 in cinema mode and 4058:1 in expert mode.
These measurements carried out on checkerboard patterns give us other results on average brightnesses measured respectively at 408.4 and 445.3 cd/m². Again, only the most curious will take the time to dissect the measurements and find again that, despite Full LED backlighting, control is less good at the edges. It's actually quite strange. Had it been left and right, we might have assumed Sony was trying to lighten the edges a bit more to give the impression of good horizontal viewing angles.
Despite the two HDMI 2.1 sockets integrated into the television, the Variable Refresh Rate technology which limits the risk of image tearing by adjusting the refresh rate in real time is absent subscribers. Until now, Sony has always promised that this update will arrive, when the PlayStation 5 itself is compatible with this VRR format. A firm-footed position that deprives Xbox Series X players and PC players of a fine-grained gaming experience.
Questioned more recently on the subject, Sony replies that the update is still promised by the Japanese engineers. Comments that we have already heard since last year with the arrival of the XH90 (read our test of the Sony KD-75XH90). However, the case seems to be progressing since the Chinese page of the Sony site mentioned at the end of September the deployment of an update for the XH90 which would allow the television to switch to Android 10 (among other things), but also to provide support for the VRR. Nothing is specified however on the deployment in Europe, neither for the XH90 and even less for the X90J series.
Note however that on the two HDMI 2.1 sockets, 4K at 120 Hz (as well as e-ARC for socket 3) as well as Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) are already well supported .
However, a clarification is necessary: as we mentioned in the test of the A90J, to achieve a display at 120 Hz, a specific setting must be applied to the HDMI socket concerned. In this case, sockets 3 and 4 can claim such a refresh rate, but you have to limit yourself to the mode called “enhanced format”. As soon as you activate the "Dolby Vision", it becomes impossible to play at 120 Hz. Nice, isn't it? It is unknown if this will be fixed in a future update.
It is therefore under this configuration that we were able to measure a display delay of 17.1 ms which, as you can imagine, is not a record, but which will not cause any lag between actions. on the joystick (or keyboard/mouse) and the image on the screen. Phew!Watchdogs: Legion Watchdogs: Legion Dirt 5 Watchdogs: Legion Watchdogs: Legion
On the LCD panel of this TV which is intended to be a little more affordable, it is obvious that the images we have in front of our eyes are less flattering than those delivered by the OLED screens tested in recent months or even that of the Samsung QE-65QN95A which remains a reference on the LCD in terms of gaming.
As for the fluidity of the image, there's no denying it, we don't find it perfect. Are we simply influenced by the fact that we know that the VRR is absent? Despite the many adjustments applied to the image to try to reduce the thing, we always note mini-jumps in the image. It is also not useful to make rapid movements to note tearing. Sometimes, a simple panning movement of the camera around our character makes it possible to note tearing. A flaw in the game itself? We come to doubt everything. The ghosting effect is very contained, but we bet it will be further improved with the upcoming update. It remains to be seen when.
Game Mode Metrics
Anyway, let's also salute the performance on the color fidelity side for Game mode, including in HDR, as evidenced by the results of the measurements above. The average Delta E 2000 is measured at 2.16 which is just perfect. Again, the color temperature remains too cold, but the management of the rise in power on the Luminance side remains impressive for such a mode.
Brightness measurements in game mode
The X90J family benefits from the Accoustic Multi Audio technology whose speakers in the low position are supplemented by two tweeters in the high position, supposed to improve the rendering of voices and the immersion of the spectators. The manufacturer does not communicate any audio power, but we can assure you that this 65 inch does not lack it.
HP integrated under the slab – Source: D. Nogueira for Frandroid
During our tests, it was rarely necessary for us to push beyond 15% to enjoy our daily programs in a rather quiet environment. At 20%, the special effects of the films gain in magnitude, but the bass remains still modest. Between 25 and 30% we say that this television has resources, but the experience will be better with a home cinema kit. Note also that this model does not have here the necessary to transform the speakers of the television into a central channel in the case of integration with a multi-channel Hi-Fi system.
Going back to basic playback, you should not rely on the different audio modes (standard, dialogue, cinema, music, sport and Dolby Audio) to correct the problem. Our preference goes to the Dolby Audio mode which seemed to us to offer the best compromise between the voices and the rest of the soundtrack of your programs.
The cinema mode brings out the voices by boosting the dedicated frequencies a little, but the rendering becomes a little clearer, less warm. Dolby Audio offers a slightly warmer rendering, which perhaps crushes some details a little, but which is more pleasant to listen to for hours.
Like other models using Acoustic Multi Audio technology (or Acoustic Surface on OLED TVs), there's an audio calibration feature in the menus, which uses the remote's mic to adjust settings to match your room's acoustics. .
Finally, as we saw in the connection section, the X90J has a headphone socket, but you cannot mix listening to headphones and speakers. The same is true with a Bluetooth headset, which is, in both cases, really unfortunate. Samsung and LG offer this type of functionality. Version 6 of webOS even offers the possibility of connecting WISA speakers to give even more breadth to the sound.
This is not new, we are rather fans of the Google TV interface reworked by Sony. First, because it is intelligently supplemented with menus allowing you to adjust the television, but also because it remains fluid at all times… at least on the rather high-end models that we have tested so far.
Source: D. Nogueira for Frandroid
And besides, Sony came within two fingers of the red card on this subject. Google TV's home page load time was unbearably slow. Fortunately, an update was available to fix the problem. So think about it if you ever fall for this model.
Google TV ensures a very easy configuration – Source: D. Nogueira for Frandroid
On the other hand, it is impossible to blame anything for the first configuration of Google TV. The operation was already simple under Android TV, but it is even more so here, at least for the Android smartphone user that we are. Also thanks to the Google Home application, a simple scan of the QR code that appears on the screen is enough to configure the television.You can even use the fingerprint reader – Source: D. Nogueira Source: D. Nogueira
It took us less than 15 minutes to get the thing up and running. Nothing to marvel at, TizenOS at Samsung does just as well, or even a little better: it even takes care of scanning DTT channels in the background during the configuration procedure. On the other hand, on the WebOS side, you still have to enter your identifiers in the apps and the same on Panasonic's My Home Screen.
We are still a fan of Sony's interface, which not only puts a lot of settings within reach of a few clicks, but which, in addition, when you go to the advanced menus, offers particularly well illustrated explanations to understand the impact on the image or the sound.
For the rest, we quickly find our brands on this Google TV interface which refocuses the user experience around its personalized content.
To finish with the software features, know that the X90J is compatible with the Bravia Core service. We invite you to read our test article on this very high speed streaming service which allows Blu-ray quality to be achieved… not without some conditions. Anyway, the XR-55X90J includes unlimited subscription and five credits to acquire some paid content from Sony Pictures Entertainment studios.
Sony has our preference for the software interface and this is also the case for the remote control part. The one delivered here is not at the level of the backlit zappette that accompanies the high-end OLED, the A90J, but it seduces us with its efficiency and design.
Source: D. Nogueira for Frandroid
No doubt we are a little old fashioned, but we remain sensitive to remote controls that are not too small, integrating all the quick access buttons to the various commands and services. Admittedly, this remote control is quite large since it is 23 cm high ( 4.5 cm wide and 1.5 cm thick), but this is to better offer you the leisure of comfortably gripping it by its lower part without fear of pressing a key by mistake.
The layout of each of the keys, precisely, is intuitive – at least for us – and the fact that the remote control is both Bluetooth and infrared makes it possible to control the television without even having to specifically point the panel. And yes… some brands are still there.
Source: D. Nogueira for Frandroid
Its brushed aluminum-style black plastic design has a small effect. We also note on the upper part the presence of the now traditional microphone allowing you to control the Google assistant, or Alexa depending on the choice you have made.
In the same way that the X Wide Angle filter is reserved for the X95J, it is from this same model that Sony integrates the microphone directly into the television to launch your requests at any time… including when the television is off.
The consumption measurement of this television is based on the same protocol as for the other televisions. The editorial team has chosen to raise an average value, over 4 hours and always viewing the same content. In this case, the series “The 100” on Netflix under the “cinema” image mode. Note that the ambient light sensor is disabled, which means that consumption can still drop. The average consumption is therefore 52 Wh, which is a contained consumption.
The Sony X90J family consists of four models namely 50, 55, 65 and 75 inches. They are all already available at the prices below:Where to buy theSony XR-65X90Jat the best price?Where to buy theSony XR-55X90Jat the best price?See more offersWhere to buy theSony XR-75X90Jat the best price?See more offers