Sony XR-65X90J 4K LCD TV Review Page 2

What's more, the TV keeps holds of this sharpness fantastically well during camera pans and when objects pass across the screen, the new XR processor maintaining Sony's reputation for handling motion better than the vast majority of its rivals.

Of course, some of the incredible texture and detail these pristine IMAX/70mm sequences enjoy is a result of the Sony's beautiful colour and shadow rendering. The former finds the set knocking out an impressively wide colour range for its price, combined with remarkable tone rendering for a TV that only has a relatively small number of dimming zones to work with. The latter sees the screen conveying ultra-dark sequences (like my It 4K BD torture test of Georgie in the basement) appearing rich in detail in even the very darkest corners, creating a sense of depth and space as convincing as that associated with bright scenes. It's very impressive stuff, and better when it comes to shadow detail than the aforementioned Samsung 50QN90A Mini LED.

Max Impact
As usual with Sony's mid-range LCD models, this screen is enjoyably bright, measuring around 930 nits on a 10 per white HDR window in Standard mode, and 840 nits in Cinema mode. This is especially effective with HDR images that fill the screen with brightness, such as the daytime desert sequences in Mad Max: Fury Road (4K BD). There can be some clipping of detail in very intense bright areas, but this is seldom egregious enough to pull your attention away from the rest of the image.

Gaming on the 65X90J is mostly seriously fun. The 4K/120Hz playback runs beautifully smoothly, 4K HDR graphics look clean and punchy, and while a response time in Game mode of around 17ms is higher than some competitor models, it doesn't seem to significantly impact your gaming skills. Also, following a recent firmware update, the TV can both automatically optimise its settings for PlayStation 5 HDR, and automatically detect whether a PS5 is playing a video or game source and switch picture presets accordingly.


Sony curves the TV's back panel edge for a sleek feel

The 65X90J's blend of high brightness, wide colour volume but limited number of local dimming zones invariably creates a few backlight problems. The set can do unexpectedly deep, neutral black levels with very dark scenes, but where a shot contains a mixture of light and dark content, black reproduction suffers, and you can see faint but large areas of backlight blooming.

The issue is particularly noticeable if you're watching a wide aspect ratio film. The backlight 'blooming' spreads into the black bars above and below the picture, where it becomes much more distracting.

Other issues include limited viewing angles before colour and contrast drop off; no Dolby Vision Game preset, meaning you have to play with much higher input lag if using an Xbox Series X's Dolby Vision game mode (and you can also only use Dolby Vision if you reduce the Xbox's 4K frame rate to 60Hz); some noise with the Dolby Vision Bright and Vivid modes; and still no support for variable refresh rates (but this long-running limitation should be fixed soon).

Niggles over, because the 65X90J's Acoustic Multi Audio system is excellent. Volume levels are high by built-in TV sound standards, and provided you're not sat too close to the screen, sound effects, including voices, appear to be coming from pretty much exactly the right place. The mid-range is responsive, with the dynamic range to take on Tenet's massive audio moments rather than fading away. Bass is deep and well rounded too.

Sony's Sweet Treat
It will be interesting to see what Sony might do with Mini LED tech in the future. And I can't ignore the fact that fans of local contrast can get LG's 65B1 OLED for only £200 more than the price of the 65X90J. But this TV's sharpness, brightness and masterful motion handling still make it arguably the best sub-£1,500 65in model around.

HCC Verdict

Sony XR-65X90J

Price: £1,500

We say: Despite mild backlight limitations, the 65X90J's pictures are bright, colourful and sharp, its gaming support is good and getting better, and its sound quality is outstanding.

Overall: 4.5/5


4K: Yes. 3,840 x 2,160 HDR: Yes. HDR10; HLG; Dolby Vision TUNER: Yes. Freeview HD; Freesat HD CONNECTIONS: 4 x HDMI inputs (2 x v2.1, 1 x eARC); 2 x USB; optical digital audio output; headphone output; Ethernet; composite video SOUND (CLAIMED): 20W BRIGHTNESS (CLAIMED): N/A CONTRAST RATIO (CLAIMED): N/A 4K/120 PLAYBACK: Yes DIMENSIONS (OFF STAND): 1,452(w) x 834(h) x 72(d)mm WEIGHT (OFF STAND): 22.9kg

FEATURES: Built-in Wi-Fi; USB multimedia playback; Cognitive XR processing engine; Acoustic Multi-Audio sound; Triluminos colour; Dolby Atmos; multi-position feet; Android TV OS; Apple AirPlay 2; Bluetooth; full-array local dimming backlight