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Sony X90K vs X90J Review (XR55X90K vs XR55X90J, XR65X90K vs XR65X90J, XR75X90K vs XR75X90J, XR85X90K vs XR85X91J)

by on June 25, 2022
 



Sony X90K vs X90J Review

Sony X9pK is the upper-middle end of the Sony’s 2022 4K LED TV lineup, as well as the successor of the Sony X90J. In this lineup, it sits between the X95K and X80K. Nevertheless, unlike its step-up model the X95K that already uses mini-LED backlight, the Sony X90K doesn’t yet use mini-LED backlight. Although the X90K is the successor of the X90J, but as its image processor, it still relies on an image processor called “Cognitive Processor XR, the same image processor found on the Sony X90J predecessor. Additionally, like the predecessor, the Sony X90K also still uses VA panel that usually has excellent contrast ratio but has poor side viewing angle coverage. It also has Full Array Local dimming features that can help to further improve its performance in a dark room.

Both are also available on the same screen sizes options, which are 55 Inches (XR55X90J vs XR55X90K), 65 Inches (XR65X90J vs XR65X90K), 75 Inches (XR75X90J vs XR75X90K), and 85 Inches (XR85X91J vs XR85X90K). However, special for the X90J, it is also available on 50 inches variant (XR50X90J) Meanwhile, in the market, the Sony X90K is sold more expensive than the X90J. But this is more due to that the price of the Sony X90J has dropped a lot. And overall, this seems that the Sony X90K has many of the same specs as the X90J predecessor. And of course, we expect that the X90K as a newer model brings some improvements to the issues found on the predecessor. In here, we will discuss whether there is an improvement in performance and picture offered by the X90K over the X90J predecessor.

Check the Latest Price
Sony X90K Sony X90J
50 Inches XR50X90J on Amazon
55 inches XR55X90K on Amazon XR55X90J on Amazon
65 inches XR65X90K on Amazon XR65X90J on Amazon
75 inches XR75X90K on Amazon XR75X90J on Amazon
85 inches XR85X90K on Amazon XR85X91J on Amazon

Sony X90K vs X90J Side by Side Comparison

Sony X90K vs X90J Specs

Specs and Features Sony X90K Sony X90J
Resolution 4K (2160 x 3840) 4K (2160 x 3840)
Screen Size Available 55 inches (XR55X90K), 65 inches (XR65X90K), 75 inches (XR75X90K), 85 inches (XR85X90K), 50 inches (XR50X90J), 55 inches (XR55X90J), 65 inches (XR65X90J), 75 inches (XR75X90J), 85 inches (XR85X91J)
Panel Type VA Panel VA Panel
Dimming Technology Full Array Local Dimming Full Array Local Dimming
Backlight Direct LED Direct LED
Picture Engine Cognitive Processor XR Cognitive Processor XR
Contrast Enhancement XR Contrast Booster, XR HDR Remaster, Dynamic Contrast Enhancer XR Contrast Booster, XR HDR Remaster, Dynamic Contrast Enhancer
HDR Format Supports HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision
Color Technology XR TriLuminos Pro XR TriLuminos Pro
Clarity Enhancement XR $K Upscaling, XR Super Resolution, Dual Database Processing XR $K Upscaling, XR Super Resolution, Dual Database Processing
Native Refresh rate Panel 120 Hz 120 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate Yes (HDMI Forum VRR, GSync) Yes (HDMI Forum VRR, GSync)
Smart TV Platform Google TV 10 Google TV 10
Remote Sony Voice Remote 2022 Sony Voice Remote 2021
HDMI 4 4
HDMI Supports HDMI 2.0, HDCP 2.2, CEC, ALLM, HDMI 2.1 HDMI 2.0, HDCP 2.2, CEC, ALLM, HDMI 2.1
USB 2 2
RF (Terrestrial Cable) 1 1
Digital Audio Out (Optical) 1 1
Wi-Fi Built In Yes Yes
Audio Setup 2.2 2.0
Total Audio Output 30 watts 20 watts

Dark Scene Performance

Performance of the Sony X90K is even slightly worse than the S90J, but we guess that it is more caused by panel variance

Native contrast ratio of the Sony X90K is slightly lower than the predecessor, which is around 4800:1 while the X90J has native contrast ratio of around 5600:1. However, with local dimming enables, the X90K precisely has a bit higher contrast ratio, which is around 6400:1 compared to the X90J that has contrast ratio around 6200:1. However, ignoring their difference, their contrast ratio is equally great overall, making them can produce deep black, deep enough to make black remain looks really black in a dark room.

Additionally, they both also have local dimming feature that can do a good job of handling blooming. In real content, there is not too much blooming around small bright object on dark background, which is good. Large bright object doesn’t even have much blooming. Additionally, their local dimming can also do a good job of improving their black uniformity. When showing a white crossline with dark background window test, without local dimming, their screen looks more dark blue than really black. But with local dimming enabled, black background looks deeper.

Overall, dark room performance of the Sony X90K and X90J is really good. Dark scene remain looks accurate in a dark room thanks to its good contrast ratio and local dimming features. Additionally, there is not also much black crush and small highlights still retain a good amount of details. However, compare between them, the X90J is a bit better than its successor thanks to its better black uniformity and a bit better performance of its local dimming feature.

Winner: Sony X90J

Bright Scene Performance

In a bright room, performance of the Sony X90K is a bit better than the X90J predecessor. it can get brighter peak brightness in both SDR and HDR. With real SDR content, the brightest peak brightness reached by the X90K is around 900 nits while the X90J is around 725 nits. Meanwhile in HDR, the brightest peak brightness reached by the X90K isa round 950 nits while the X90J is around 750 nits. And all of these are reached when they are showing small highlight in a dark scene or around 10 % white window. Sadly, the larger bright area, its peak brightness is dropped significantly by their ABL. However, at the possible lowest level, the X90K can still hits around 580 nits in SDR and around 610 nits in HDR while the X90J hits around 500 nits in SDR and around 560 nits in HDR. This means, as long as you don’t put them in a very bright room, you will not get an issue with the glare.

Unfortunately, their reflection handling is only decent. Both struggle with direct reflection, so you should avoid placing them opposite a window or bright lights. Meanwhile, works with HDR content, their HDR peak brightness is actually bright enough to make small highlight pop the way they should in HDR. But as we have mentioned above, the large bright area, their peak brightness drops due to their ABL, so large bright area of HDR images looks dimmer than highlights.

Winner: Sony X90K

Picture Quality

The Sony X90K and S90J are powered by the same image processor called “Cognitive Processor XR”. This image processor can perform a great job of up-scaling lower resolution content to 4K. No matter the resolution of the source, it is able to up-scale to 4K with almost no visible artifact from the process. And of course, the higher resolution of the source, the better the final outcome. 1080p content like Blur Ray movies can even be up-scaled to 4K nearly close to native 4K source. Meanwhile, when they are playing native 4K source, there is no issue with the final outcome is nearly perfect.

Sadly, their gray uniformity is not so good, especially for the X90K. As a newer model, gray uniformity of the X90K is precisely worse than the X90J predecessor. When showing a test window with the entire screen is gray, there is dirty screen effect at the center of both. But on the screen of the X90J, dirty screen effect is less than on the screen of X90K. However, the darker screen the better uniformity, which is good. Ignoring their difference, this indicates that this will be visible in certain contents that has large area of uniform color like hockey or baseball. Fortunately, it is not visible in most real content.

Sadly, when viewed from the side, the picture displayed on their screen will look not as accurate as when viewed from the center and front. Black level rises significantly started at around 15 degrees off center and front. Additionally, started at around 35 degrees off center, the images displayed on their screen will also looks dimmer. Color of images is also washed-out started at around 30 degrees off center. However, it actually is typical of LED TV with VA panel, so they are not alone.

Overall, as long as you don’t watch from the side, both of them have good picture quality thanks to their image processor called “Cognitive Processor XR”. However, compare among them, the X90J is a bit better than the X90K thanks to its better gray uniformity. This will be seen especially when they are showing large surface of uniform color.

Winner: Draw 

Color Reproduction

Sony X90K offers a bit improvement in color coverage but its color gradient is not as good as the X90J

Basically, the Sony X90K and X90J are powered by the same tech for their color reproduction including XR TriLuminos Pro display, XR Color technology that is included in their XR Picture processor, etc. Nevertheless, in reality, the X90K can produce a bit wider color coverage than the X90J in both DCI P3 and Rec.2020 color space. In DCI P3 color space, the X90J covers around 91% while the X90K covers around 96% while in Rec.2020, the X90J covers around 67% and the X90K covers around 77%. This is great for most current HDR content that usually mastered in DCI P3 like HDR 10 content. However, for future-proof HDR content where they are started to be released a lot, their color coverage may be not very great.

Additionally, both also have good color space. This seems that their color space is more influenced by their wide color gamut. Overall, they can produce their color gamut at their entire brightness range fairly well. They can produce deep dark shades of colors fairly well as well as bright saturated colors as bright pure white.

However, before calibration, the out-of-the-box color accuracy of the Sony X90K is not as good as its predecessor. Its color temperature is colder than the X90J, making image more blue tint than the X90J that actually also has slight blue tint image. Additionally, dark colors also appear too dark while bright colors are brighter than they should. However, after calibrated, all of these issues can be corrected and makes their color

While the X90K brings a bit improvement in color coverage, its color gradient is not as good as the predecessor. On the screen of the X90J, color gradient of images looks very smooth. There is only a minor banding in dark greens and grays, but this should not be noticeable. Meanwhile, on the screen of the X90K, there is banding in all darker colors. Fortunately, this is not noticeable in real content.  They actually have a feature called “Smooth Gradation” that can help to reduce banding. But unfortunately, this feature only works well with low quality content, while with high quality content, this precisely causes some loss of fine details.

Winner: X90K is winner in color gamut, the X90J is better in color gradient

Motion Handling

Both of the them have excellent pixel response time where response time of the Sony X90K is about 11 ms while the X90J is about 12 ms. Although the X90J may have a bit lower response time than the X90K, but it seems that it is caused by panel variance. Ignoring their difference, their pixel response time is low enough to make fast motion images looks very smooth and clear. There may be still short faint trail following fast moving object. But most people may not notice that.

Like other LED TV with Full Array Local Dimming, the Sony X90J and X90K also uses PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) system for dimming their backlight. And their dimming frequency is very high, which is 720 Hz. This is high enough to make screen flickering is hard to notice, which is great. However, screen flickering that match with frame rate of content is required to improve their motion appearance. And for this case, both of the Sony X90K and X90J have an optional BFI mode called XR Motion Clarity. A bit unfortunately, they can flicker at 120 Hz only, even when they are playing 60 fps content. For 120 fps content, this is good, but for 60 fps content, this can cause images duplications.

Both of the Sony X90K and X90J has native 120 Hz refresh rate panel, so they can work well with 120 fps content. Additionally, they also support VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) panel where it can range between 20 Hz to 120 Hz. Their VRR is also compatible with GSync and HDMI Forum. Sadly, it is not compatible with FreeSync, so they cannot work with a device that uses AMD graphic card. As we have known, VRR technology helps improve their gamming experience by reducing screen tearing. And keep in mind, VRR supports and BFI features cannot work at the same time.

Winner: Draw

Inputs

As their main connectivity, both of the Sony X90J and X90K are equipped with 4 HDMI ports. All of their HDMI ports supports HDMI 2.0 Full bandwidth, CEC, ALLM, and HDCP 2.2. They also one ARC ports (HDMI 3) that also supports eARC, allowing them can pass high-quality audio formats. They also have HDMI 2.1 (HDMI 3 and 4). A bit improvement offered by the X90K is about bandwidth of their HDMI 2.1. If the X90J has bandwidth of 40 Gbps, the X90K has full bandwidth or 48 Gbps. Ignoring their difference, their bandwidth actually is wide enough to cover high quality content like 4K @ 120 Hz with HDR. Sadly, in addition to be used for HDMI 2.1, their HDMI 3 is also used for HDMI eARC.  So practically, if you use this port for ARC connection, there is only one HDMI 2.1 left.

Regardless the resolution of games, with 60 fps content, their input lag is around 18 ms while with 120 fps content, their input lag is about 10 ms. This may be not as low as the competitors like Samsung QN85A or LG NANO90, but their input lags is still low enough to play games responsively, even with 60 fps content. Their HDMI ports also supports most resolution. Thanks to their HDMI 2.1 and 120 Hz refresh rate panel, they can play any HFR content properly.

Winner: Draw

Check the Latest Price
Sony X90K Sony X90J
50 Inches XR50X90J on Amazon
55 inches XR55X90K on Amazon XR55X90J on Amazon
65 inches XR65X90K on Amazon XR65X90J on Amazon
75 inches XR75X90K on Amazon XR75X90J on Amazon
85 inches XR85X90K on Amazon XR85X91J on Amazon

Sony X90K vs X90J Performance

HDR performance

The Sony X90J and X90K supports some HDR formats including HDR10, HLG, and Dolby Vision. This gives you watching HDR content in some options. Nevertheless, they don’t support HDR10+, the other dynamic HDR formats besides Dolby Vision.

Overall, their HDR performance is also fairly good. Both have excellent contrast ratio and local dimming features. Sadly, their black uniformity is not very good. So, although not great, but they are still able to produce good shadow details. There is not much crushing black and small highlight still retain good amount of details, which is good.  Its local dimming may be not able to remove blooming completely, but it still can reduce a lot.

In reproducing color, both of them can also do a good job. They have great color coverage in DCI P3 color space, makes most current HDR looks colorful and life-like on their screen. Both also can show their color gamut at their entire brightness range, so whether they are showing bright or dark scene, color of images looks very accurate. Both also have excellent gradient handling, allowing you to watch HDR content without noticeable banding. Meanwhile, compare among them, the X90K may bring an improvement in color gamut but its color gradient is precisely worse. But it is still good overall.

Both are not as bight as the X95K or Samsung QN90B that already use mini-LED backlight.  But their HDR peak brightness is still bright enough to make highlight of HDR images pop, which is great. A bit unfortunately, large bright area is dimmer than small highlight because it is dimmed by their ABL. But it is still fair and not as aggressive as OLED TV. And since the X90K has brighter HDR peak brightness, it of course can show small highlights brighter than the X90J.

Winner: Sony X90K

Movies

The Sony X90J and X90K are great TVs for movies. They have good performance in a dark room, allowing you to watch movies like in the cinema. Additionally, their excellent 4K up-scaling engine also allows you to watch your old movies collection like DVD movies in nearly 4K quality with small details are still preserved well. And of course, the higher resolution of the source, the final outcome is better and has much more details. That is not only that, both can also perform a great job of handling judder. So, no matter the source of the movies, both can show them with judder-free. They also have excellent motion handling, allowing you to watch fast action movies smoothly with almost no noticeable blur.

A bit unfortunately, there is still some blooming around small bright object, so you will notice blooming around subtitle in movies. Nevertheless, it is not distracting and the subtitle can still be read clearly. Compare among them, performance of the X90K is precisely is a bit worse the X90J predecessor. This is caused its black uniformity and local dimming performance is not as good as its predecessor. However, their difference is not very significant and overall, performance of the Sony X90K for movies is also great.

Winner: Sony X90J

Sports

For watching sports in most bright rooms, the Sony X90K is a bit better than the X90J. Nevertheless, the superiority of the X90K is more influenced by its better performance in a bright room. Both may have decent reflection handling, but the X90K has brighter SDR peak brightness than the X90J. This makes it can combat the glare better than the X90J, especially in brighter room.

Meanwhile, in term of picture quality, their performance is not much different. They have good response time, so you can enjoy fast sports likes motor racing smoothly without noticeable blur.  Additionally, they also have BFI mode called XR Motion Clarity that help to improve fast sports appearance.  Unfortunately, as typical of LED TVs with VA panel, they don’t have wide viewing angle. Sony actually has developed an anti-glare optical layer technology called X-Viewing Angle that can improve viewing angle coverage of Sony’s VA TVs. Sadly, none of them that has this technology. So, the images displayed on their screen will retain looks accurate if viewed from the center to around 30 degrees off center. Above it, the images start to degrade a lot. And the wider you watch TV from, the images will look more inaccurate. So, if you watch a big game with a group of your family or friend, who sits on the side will see less accurate images.

Winner: Sony X90K

Video Games

Not only for movies and sports, both can also perform a good job when used for playing games. In addition to have good picture quality and great motion handling, both of them also have excellent input lags in Game Mode. As we have discussed above, their input lag may be not as low as the competitors, but it is still low enough to play any games responsively. So, even when if you play fast paced games that requires fast reflex, their input lags is still low enough to make your act is in-sync with what you see on their screen.

Additionally, the Sony X90K and X90J also comes with some advanced features that can improve your experience of playing a game. Thanks to the support of ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode), both can switch to game mode automatically once you connect a game console to them. Additionally, the combination of their native 120 Hz refresh rate panel and HDMI 2.1 supports also allows you to play high quality games supported by a modern console like PS5 or Xbox X Series. Meanwhile, tanks to the support of VRR technology, you can play a game with screen tearing-free, especially with a compatible device. A bitt unfortunate, their VRR only support GSync and HDMI Forum VRR only and doesn’t support FreeSync. So, if you have a device with AMD graphic cards, you will not get the benefit of the VRR.

Winner: Draw

Conclusion

As we have discussed a lot above, there are not a huge change offered by the Sony X90K over the X90J. It seems that they are supported by similar tech and features. In fact, there is a bit improvement offered by the X90K in some aspects, though, its performance is precisely worse in some other aspects. The main improvement offered by the X90K is on peak brightness and color gamut. As we have discussed above, the X90K can get brighter in both SDR and HDR. Additionally, it also has wider color coverage, especially in Rec.2020 that used by dynamic HDR format. And since more content that mastered in REC.2020 start to release, this certainly makes the X90K is more future-proof than the X90J.

On the other hand, in other aspects like black uniformity and local dimming features, performance of the Sony X90K is precisely a bit worse than the X90J, making its performance of displaying dark scene is not as good as the predecessor. Additionally, its gradient handling is also a bit worse, though, it is still great overall. And except them, their performance seems similar and if there is difference, this doesn’t have a significant impact on their performance and picture quality.

So, which is a better choice among them? As a newer model, the X90K is a better than the X90J. In some aspects, its performance may be nota as good as the predecessor, but it is better overall. Additionally, the X90K is also more friendly with next gen HDR format thanks to their much wider color coverage in Rec.2020. However, its price certainly is more expensive than the price of the X90J because the price of the Sony X90J has dropped a lot. On the other hand, the Sony X90J is also not a bad choice since its performance for any usage is also very good overall. The decision now comes back to you according to your preferences.

Check the Latest Price
Sony X90K Sony X90J
50 Inches XR50X90J on Amazon
55 inches XR55X90K on Amazon XR55X90J on Amazon
65 inches XR65X90K on Amazon XR65X90J on Amazon
75 inches XR75X90K on Amazon XR75X90J on Amazon
85 inches XR85X90K on Amazon XR85X91J on Amazon

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