X90l
X90l

Sony X90L Review: A must buy TV in 2023

The 2023 Sony Bravia X90L 4K Google TV is a good affordable option for those looking for a TV with superior Sony video processing, as well as smart streaming and recommendations from Google TV. Unlike some of the advanced series of Mini LED LCD TVs , the Bravia X90L series features full-array local dimming backlighting.

However, Sony’s Cognitive Processor XR and Triluminos Pro color system are very good. If the X90L TV series isn’t the best in Sony’s 2023 lineup , is the 65X90L worth buying? Does the price match the quality? In the Sony Bravia XR-65X90L 4K HDR review, we will try to answer these and other questions.

Sony X90L Preview

Design

The Sony Bravia XR65X90L screen is framed around the entire perimeter with a black narrow frame. The included stand consists of a pair of metal legs that can be attached to two different sides of the bottom of the screen. The legs can be adjusted to fit countertops or cabinets of various widths.

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The legs are almost snug against the screen, but this distance can be increased so that the soundbar does not block any part of the screen. The legs are very easy to attach to the screen and provide a stable footing without much screen wobble. With the stand at its lowest position, the gap between the mounting surface and the bottom of the screen is less than 4 cm.

The maximum raised position provides an 8.5 cm gap, which allows you to easily place many soundbar models under the screen. The back side of the panel is made of black textured plastic with a rounded slope upwards. The case design provides a flat surface for wall mounting with little clearance.

The rear panel has standard holes for a 300 x 300 mm VESA bracket (for 65 inches). The TV is equipped with a compact remote that fits comfortably in your hand and offers a minimal button layout for controlling the Google TV operating system.

YouTube, Netflix, Disney+ and Prime Video have shortcut buttons. The buttons are not backlit, but most of the corresponding controls are easy to find by touch in the dark. The microphone input for the Google Assistant voice control is located on the top of the remote.

 

The centrally located microphone button is clearly labeled and easily accessible. Unfortunately, the remote does not have the ability to recharge the internal battery, which is now available in some competitor remotes.

Sony Bravia XR-65X90L design

Google TV

Sony TVs are equipped with the Google TV user interface. The latest version brings a wide range of popular apps and related programs to the thumbnail selection ribbons on the home screen to quickly jump to the corresponding movie or TV show.

The built-in Google Assistant voice control feature is responsive and efficient when searching for content. AI voice control can be activated using the microphone button switch on the remote control or, depending on the user’s preference, via hands-free voice commands.

Program selection is relatively fast. In general, the Google TV interface can be considered very useful, intuitive and satisfactory, both when manually searching using the remote control, and when giving voice commands.

Sound quality

As with any modern television, to get the most immersive movie sound possible, it is recommended that you purchase a soundbar or home theater surround sound system. The rest may well be satisfied with the TV sound system, whose built-in speakers are also quite good.

The internal speaker system delivers very clear dialogue, but movie sound effects and music volume peaks are sometimes cut off. These limitations are due to the use of tiny speakers inside the TV’s thin-panel plastic housing.

Sony calls its sound system Acoustic Multi-Audio with an XR Sound option to convert stereo signals into virtual surround sound that doesn’t have the great depth or bass punch of an external subwoofer. However, the system copes well with the expansion of the sound stage.

An S-Center Speaker connection is also provided to use the TV speakers as the center channel in an external surround sound system. The sound settings on the Sony XR-65X90L TV offer six presets: Standard, Dialogue, Cinema, Music, Sports and Dolby Audio.

The mode names accurately describe the effects delivered, while Dolby Audio provides a wider virtual surround sound experience. As mentioned, in all modes, the built-in bass tones are a little weak, and the overall sound of the system isn’t exactly perfect. The built-in system provides an acceptable sound level for most viewers.

Image quality

The Sony 65X90L TV is equipped with a VA panel with direct backlighting and full matrix dimming ( FALD ). Like most LCD TVs with this backlight, the XR65X90L Google TV suffers somewhat when viewed at an angle, both vertically and horizontally. Although horizontal viewing angles retain contrast and color detail better than most TVs in this price segment.

Reflections on the screen are visible and can sometimes be distracting when viewing dark scenes when lights are on in the viewing room. In Vivid picture mode, with advanced contrast enhancement and auto local dimming, HDR peak brightness slightly exceeds 1000 nits, which is a very good result.

 

In HDR10 mode, after calibration, using a 10% white window, the maximum brightness level is 915 nits. In the 100 percent window, this drops to 620 nits. The large size of the TV’s local dimming zones reduces its ability to control pure black reproduction in some dark scenes.

On the other hand, the TV’s LED dimming feature allows you to measure “zero nits” in black test patterns when viewed in a dark room. This is assuming that the Ultra HD Alliance’s Premium 4K LED LCD black threshold standards are considered excellent at 0.05 nits or lower.

The Sony X90L TV does much better picture processing than you would expect from a mid-range TV. Motion smoothing and judder can be reduced using the Motionflow and CineMotion processing functions, respectively. Scaling content from DVD format works pretty well.

Game Mode

In game mode when using game consoles, the performance of the 2023 XR-65X90L Google TV is not the best. However, they are better than most mid-range 4K LED TVs. In Game picture mode, input lag via HDMI 2.1 (port 3) is 22.6ms when a 1080/60p signal is input.

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This is slower than some of the more expensive models. When connected to a new generation game console or PC graphics card, the TV will automatically enter the game mode with low latency. In addition, the 65X90L TV also supports Variable Refresh Rate (VRR).

Sony Bravia XR-65X90L interfaces

Connections

The patch panel of the X90L TV is located on the rear panel in a cut-out niche. This design provides a small clearance for wall mounting. The set offers two HDMI 2.0 ports and two 4K HDMI 2.1 ports, which are numbered 3 and 4. HDMI 3 input adds eARC audio pass-through support .

Ports 3 and 4 support frame rates up to 4K/120fps, Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM), and Variable Refresh Rate (VRR). All four inputs are HDCP 2.3 compliant to play the latest copy-protected 4K video content.

Also on board are two USB 2.0 ports, a set of composite video inputs (via a 3.5 mm mini-jack cable), RF inputs for connecting antennas, an optical digital audio output, an Ethernet port, and a CI + slot for pay TV channels. Wireless connections include dual-band Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac), Bluetooth 4.2, and Apple AirPlay 2 for wireless streaming from Apple devices.

X90L price 
X90L sales start date in Europe is scheduled for the end of the second quarter of 2023. The series consists of five models with diagonals from 55 to 98 inches. At the time point: the beginning of June 2023, the prices on foreign official websites are as follows. The Sony XR-55X90L TV is priced at $1,200.

The Sony XR-65X90L TV can be bought for $1,500. The Sony XR-75X90L model sells for $2,000. The Sony XR-85X90L TV costs $3,000. The Sony XR-98X90L TV starts at $10,000.

Conclusion

It remains to add that the Sony X90L offers very good picture quality in both HDR and SDR modes for mid-range 4K QLED TVs. Picture brightness isn’t as bright as mini LED LCD TVs, which usually offer a lot more for LED backlighting and zones.

However, brightness and contrast are very good for a TV at this price point. The colors also provide P3 color gamut coverage equivalent to or better than a good quantum dot TV. Overall, the Sony XR-65X90L TV delivers premium performance and a very good value for money.

Sony X90L specifications:

Brand Sony
Series X90L
Line / variants XR-55X90L, XR-65X90L, XR-75X90L, XR-85X90L…
Image
Standard Ultra HD (UHD) / 4K
Matrix type VA*
Aspect Ratio 16:9
Permission 3840 x 2160
Matrix bit depth 10 bit
Backlight Direct LED (FALD)
Brightness 700 (over 1000 nits max)
Contrast 4000 : 1
Update frequency 40 ..120 Hz
Input lag 10ms (22ms input lag)
HDR standards HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG, IMAX Enhanced
3D / Up-Scaling No Yes
Video
Standard TV tuner (analog) NTSC, PAL, SECAM
Standard TV tuner (digital) DVB-T/T2, C, S/S2
Video codecs AVI, DivX, H.263, H.264, H.265, MKV, QuickTime, M2TS, MP4, WebM, WMV, Xvid
Connections
HDMI 2 x HDMI 2.0 (ARC; CEC) + 2 x HDMI 2.1 (ALLM, VRR)
USB 2 x USB 2.0
Reception of TV signals 1 x RF (air/satellite antenna)
WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Audio output Optical (audio)
Internet Ethernet RJ-45 / LAN
Additionally WiFi Direct, Bluetooth 4.2
Sound
Power 2 x 10W + 2 x 5W
2 x 10W + 2 x 10W + 1 x 10W subwoofer
Support Acoustic Multi-Audio, Bass refex speaker, Clear Phase, X-Balanced speaker, DTS Digital Surround, Dolby Atmos, Dolby Audio, Room & User Position Compensation, S-Force Front Surround, S-Master Digital Amplifer, Vertical Surround Engine, Voice Zoom 2, XR Sound Position
Smart TV
OS Google TV
CPU Cognitive Processor XR
SoC NA
Voice assistant Google Assistant Alexa
Memory 4 / 32 GB
Remote controller Voice remote control
Other
VESA 300 x 300 mm (65″)
*some parameters may require clarification