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This Sony X90CK review looks at a mid-range TV that advertises top-tier image quality. The X90K aims to be an all-around TV that works great for movies, TV shows, sports, and gaming.
Let’s jump right into our Sony X90CK review to test the manufacturer’s claims by reviewing the hardware, smart features, and picture quality of the 55-inch Sony X90CK.
Sony X90CK review: First looks
The plastic cabinet of the Sony X90K is a mix of matte, textured, and glossy elements. Gray TV feet are the only touch of color on an otherwise black exterior. The TV legs have a depth of 13.2 inches, and you’ll need an entertainment stand that can accommodate a large (40.5”x13.2”) footprint. It’s worth mentioning that you can adjust the height of the TV legs to make room for a soundbar.
At three inches deep, the X90CK is thick by today’s standards. Yet the panel is slim enough to sit flush against your wall if you choose to mount it. You’d need a mounting bracket that matches the 300×300 VESA pattern on the back panel.
There’s a column of outward-facing ports on the right side of the back panel. These inputs are accessible from the side, even in a wall-mount setup.
Ports and wireless connectivity
Two USB ports are the topmost inputs on a long column of ports. A digital optical output sits directly below the pair of USB ports. The rest of the ports are as follows:
- A composite AV port that also serves as an S-center speaker input
- A total of four HDMI ports, where the third and fourth ports have HDMI 2.1 capability
- An Ethernet port
- RS232 port
- IR receiver
- Coax connector for cable and antenna
A wireless adapter covers WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity to link the TV to your home network and compatible devices.
Google TV: Content and features
Google TV is a large, feature-rich platform with a smooth user interface. The platform has endless streaming apps and plenty of useful tools that make life easier. Here are a few highlights of this Android-based system:
- Screen sharing with Chromecast
- Google Assistant, with additional support for Alexa
- Support and management of smart home devices with the Google Home platform
You can use the Sony X90CK as a hub that controls and interfaces compatible smart home devices. The only drawback is that the TV lacks split-screen or picture-in-picture features. Either feature would be helpful when you need to keep an eye on your security feed as you watch TV.
Sony X90CK review: Remote
The Sony X90CK has a premium remote with a backlight and a ‘find-my-remote’ feature. Buying the regular Sony X90K gets you a regular remote without a backlight and tracking features. The difference in remotes is the only reason the Sony X90K gets an extra C in its name.
Both remotes have the same layout, with shortcut keys for popular streaming apps and a microphone button that allows you to talk to the Google Voice Assistant.
Sony X90CK review: Hardware and performance
The X90CK is a 120Hz VA panel with 4K resolution and direct array backlighting. This panel has a wide color gamut and an XR processor that seeks to use the TV’s native color space fully.
Compared to competing brands in their price point, the X90CK sits on the dimmer side of the spectrum. The panel has a peak brightness level of 510cd/m2 in HDR and 500cd/m2 in SDR. This minor limitation does not take away from the panel’s ability to deliver texture, depth, and fine detail.
Lastly, we look at the response time and input lag of the X90K. It takes less than 12ms for a pixel to change colors, which is excellent from a viewing and gaming perspective. An input lag of 10ms at 120fps allows for smooth motion and a screen that reflects user input in a split second. Here’s how the hardware holds up from a user’s point of view.
The X90CK boasts good color accuracy right out of the box. Some units may have a slight tinge of blue, especially in images with paler, less saturated colors. Still, this is a minor fault you can clear up with a few adjustments. Making a few tweaks in the picture settings will remove the blue tint and deliver perfect color reproduction. This means that the colors you see on the screen will be a near-perfect match to the source signal from your content.
The result is good color saturation and vivid colors that match the look of real-life images in natural lighting.
Brightness, contrast, and HDR content
A TV needs to be bright enough to remain watchable in a room with plenty of ambient light. On this count, the Sony X90CK is a mixed bag. The TV does a decent job of handling glare and reflections, but this is not a display that should be anywhere near a bright light source.
SDR content looks excellent on the Sony X90K because 500cd/m2 is bright enough to deliver vivid color and outstanding detail. HDR content is equally impressive, with fine detail that could almost jump off the screen. Dashes of sunlight bounce off individual strands of wet fur as a bear shakes itself after a swim. In this scenario, the Sony X90K does an excellent job of mimicking the movement of natural light on wet fur.
HDR movies and video games look just as good, thanks to the contrast between brilliant colors and deep blacks. The only drawback you may see is light blooming around bright sections surrounded by darker regions.
Like most VA panels, the X90K has narrow viewing angles. The screen dims at an angle of 35 degrees, and colors shift at 40 degrees from the center. This means that you should create sitting arrangements that put some distance between an audience and the TV.
Displaying a screen full of gray reveals an even distribution of color and light. However, you may notice a touch of black at the tips of one or more corners. The gray uniformity of the Sony X90CK translates to a minimal dirty screen effect as you watch sports that involve vast expanses of green.
Black uniformity is decent, except for light blooms around bright sections of an image.
Motion handling, gaming, and fast-action content
The Sony X90 is a good fit for console gaming, thanks to a quick response time and low input lag. You get to enjoy 4K/120 game titles with a 10.1-millisecond input lag. This means that the responsive screen lets you lock and strike a fast-moving target before the target strikes you.
Sony also includes exclusive support for the PS5 console, along with useful features like:
- Variable refresh rate (VRR) that adjusts the screen to match the frame rate of different game titles
- ALLM reduces input lag to make for a more responsive screen during gameplay
- HDMI 2.1 ports support high-resolution, high-frame-rate content
The Sony X90CK will switch on automatically when it detects a PS5 console. It will then activate game mode to minimize response time and input lag. This also works with your average Xbox console but to a lesser degree. PC gaming is equally enjoyable, but the absence of FreeSync capability means that screen tearing is a possibility.
A quick response time delivers near-zero motion blur and smooth movement, even with 120fps fast-action content. You might even find that the response time of the X90K is too fast. Sometimes you will see the shadow of a dark, fast-moving race car before the car reaches a particular point on the racetrack.
- You can adjust the height and spacing of the TV legs
- Side-facing ports that are accessible when you mount the TV
- Cable clips and grooves that help with cable management
- Good black levels
- Native support for PlayStation 5
- Two HDMI 2.1 ports with bandwidth for 4K/120 content
- Crisp picture in HDR, SDR, and up-scaled video
- Accurate color reproduction and vivid HDR content
- Excellent motion handling
- Noticeable light bleedthrough from bright regions to darker areas
- Reflection handling could be better
- You may need to do a software update to smooth out any glitches in Google TV
- The X90CK lacks picture-in-picture capability
Sony X90CK review verdict: Excellent picture quality in every way
This Sony X90CK review finds a TV that boasts solid performance in terms of picture quality and overall user experience. This means that the X90K can keep up with stiff competition from similar TV brands in its price range. Click here to learn more about this TV.