Is the Sony Bravia Xr x90l right For You?

Set to be one of the most popular options in Sony’s 2023 TV Lineup, the Sony Bravia XR X90L is a no-brainer if you’re looking for a versatile and premium performing TV. This Sony X90L review intends on stripping back the technical jargon to help you decide whether this really is the TV that's right for your space.

In such a competitive market with manufacturers battling it out to create better, brighter, and more impressive models with technology like OLED, QD OLED, and Mini LED, to name a few, we want to know if the Sony X90L is still holding its own.

Last year's X90K was hugely popular, and this upgrade follows suit and promises a suite of enhancements to make it an even more attractive offer.

We’ve also put it head-to-head with a range of other Sony TVs like the A80L, X95L, and X85L throughout this review to really see where you’d be getting the most for your money. 

Sony Bravia XR X90L 
Available Sizes: 55” 65” 75” 85” 98”  
Price: £1,599 - £8,999
(See Latest Pricing)
Impressively bright, dynamic picture
Lifelike and true colour representation
Brilliant range of available sizes
Generally good backlight control
Good but not the best viewing angles
Susceptible to reflections in dark scenes
Less effective blooming suppression than other models

Why not watch our full Sony Bravia XR X90L Review over on our YouTube channel?

Sony’s Full-Array LED Options

The Sony X90L is the brand's premium Full Array LED model, and sits above the entry-level Full Array model, the Sony X85L, and below the Sony X95L MiniLED TV.

Offering a versatile Full Array LED performance at a more affordable price point and a wide range of sizes from 55 to 98 inches, this Sony TV model has asserted itself as the smart choice within the 2023 range. 

💡SHS Top Tip💡There is also a 50 inch version available for those looking for a smaller Full Array TV, called the Sony X90S. However, this TV continues on from 2022 and won’t have some of the upgrades this year's model features.

Full Array LED VS OLED

The X90L boasts a VA panel with direct backlighting and local dimming. To put that into non-TV jargon, this TV has LEDs across the whole screen, and the power and intensity of those LEDs can be adjusted where needed. This is called local dimming, and enables the TV to get light where it’s needed and dark where it's needed too.

Typically, Full Array LED TV’s are a more affordable technology type than something like OLED, which produces bright images that are recommended for well-lit spaces or day-time viewing.

If you’d like a complete breakdown of these two technology types, read our Full-Array LED vs. OLED: The Differences That Actually Matter blog.

Key Tech Highlights

Cognitive Processor XR

Sony TVs are renowned for their processing, and the Cognitive Processor XR has been designed to push the levels of realism you can achieve from your TV. 

This year we see the introduction of XR Clear Image, which improves noise reduction and the clarity of motion by reducing blur. Therefore, things like text should be clearer with less blooming, and the action that you see on screen should be much smoother too.

There’s also the addition of the XR Contrast Booster, which helps to balance light across the screen and adjust brightness levels for a more accurate picture. 

XR 4K upscaling helps to upscale content more effectively, and XR Triluminos Pro also focuses on the colours and produces more natural and vivid visuals.  

Eco DashboardGame MenuGoogle TV & Bravia Core
Introduced to all Sony TVs this year. The Eco Dashboard makes it easy to stay on top of how much energy you’re using and reduce it accordingly. 

Small changes like changing the idle power will save you energy and money, so it's definitely worth playing around with it during setup.

Newly developed for 2023, Sony’s game menu has been implemented to catch up with the likes of LG and Samsung.

By simply plugging in your console, you will gain access to a variety of important game settings like a VRR toggle, motion blur reduction, black equaliser, crosshair functionality, and screen size customisation.

All Sony Bravia TVs use Google TV as their OS, which we regard as our favourite operating system that we’ve tested.

The X90L also features Bravia Core which is Sony’s own streaming platform where you can stream Sony content for free in up to 80mbps (depending on your internet connection), so higher quality than the likes of Netflix and Disney+ (15mbps + 25 mbps).



Design-wise, the X90L has undergone a long-awaited refresh and now looks considerably more premium than last year’s X90K. 

This TV now sports a sleek, slim aluminium one slate design with next to no bezel. The stand has also been upgraded to a slim, multi-position aluminium wedge design, which makes this TV perfect for seamless home integration. 

Overall, it’s slimmer and slightly lighter than the X90K, and it feels like a much more premium and sturdier model that would look great in a variety of different spaces. 

Unfortunately, you don’t get Sony’s more premium brushed aluminium or backlight design remotes with this model. Instead, you get the simple remote and the standard numbered remote in the box too, if you prefer a more traditional viewing experience. 


In terms of connections, we’ve got four HDMI ports. But only two of these support HDMI 2.1 inputs with 48 gbps and full 2.1 bandwidth. Other than that, you’ve got two USB ports, optical, Ethernet, satellite, subwoofer, and coaxial inputs too.

Picture Quality


Having undergone a significant upgrade compared to some of the other TVs in the lineup, the Sony X90L is supposedly capable of an increased 30% peak brightness over last year’s X90K model. 

The X90L also features a newly designed local dimming structure, with up to 60% more local dimming zones (depending on the size of the model). This helps improve overall brightness and should reduce haloing and blooming.  

We’ve put the X90L head-to-head with its predecessor and some other key Sony models, including this year’s A80L OLED, the X95L Mini LED, and the entry-level Full Array model, the X85L, to really understand if this option is right for you. 

Sony X90L vs Sony X90K


From our testing, we’ve highlighted 5 things this TV does really well when it comes to picture quality in comparison to its predecessor:

✔️ Considerably brighter than the X90K 

✔️ More lifelike and truer reflection of colour 

✔️ Darker and more detailed representation of blacks throughout

✔️ Retained contrast and saturation slightly better when viewed off-angle 

✔️ Impressive motion processing making it a great performer for sports, gaming and high-octane action scenes.

Despite the positives, of course, there are a few drawbacks that you’ll find with this model that are worth bearing in mind: 

Slight sense Sony have preferred Image accuracy over blooming suppression

Less noticeable step up in brightness when watching in a bright space 

Semi-gloss screen means there are some noticeable reflections in dark scenes

We’ve been really impressed by the brightness levels, the details, and the depth of both the colours and the blacks, and we see the X90L being a dark horse this year, especially if you’re not set on OLED just yet. 

If you have a lot of off-axis seating angles or are concerned about blooming, then this might not be the one for you. However, if you’re after accurate images and true to life colours, as well as great detail levels and brightness, then this could be a brilliant choice for you.

Sony X90l vs Sony A80L (OlED)


Generally, as an OLED, the Sony A80L is a better choice for dark-room cinematic viewing experiences, as it offers deeper blacks and performs better if you’re looking at it off-angle with its wider viewing angles. Read our full Sony A80L Review for more information.

By contrast, the X90L will deliver an overall brighter picture, making it ideal for well-lit and bright spaces. The X90L also comes in considerably cheaper, so that’s something else to factor in too.

If you're tempted by this sort of OLED technology, watch our Sony A80L: The Ultimate All-Rounder OLED review over on YouTube.

Sony X90L Vs Sony X95L (Mini LED)


MiniLED TVs work relatively similarly to a Full Array LED TV, but the main difference between these two models is the number of LED’s that make up the backlight. 

MiniLED TVs feature far more “mini” LEDs, meaning you can get even more precise control over local dimming, which will make a notable improvement in contrast and HDR performance. 

The X95L also offers wider viewing angles and handles reflections better with its X-Anti Reflection and X-Wide Angle screen technologies. 

Unfortunately, we’re yet to go fully in depth with this TV, but our initial experiences have been positive and have definitely point towards this being one to watch this year.

Sony X90L Vs Sony X85L (Full Array LED)

Sitting below the X90L, the Sony Bravia X85L is Sony’s entry-level Full Array LED model. Due to its more affordable price, there is a natural step down in specifications.

The X85L steps down to the standard 4K HDR Processor rather than the acclaimed Cognitive Processor XR. It also drops down in terms of visual enhancements, featuring 4K X-Reality Pro instead of the impressive XR 4K Upscaling. 

Motion is dealt with a little less effectively on the X85L as it uses X-Motion Clarity instead of the XR version, and you’ll also get a slightly narrower colour palette with the standard Triluminos Pro colour enhancement rather than the XR equivalent of the X90L.

However, you will step up to a 30W max audio output rather than the 20W of the X90L, but you will lose out on acoustic multi-audio and acoustic centre sync instead. 

The X85L is definitely an improvement over conventional LED TVs, but in a head-to-head comparison, it doesn’t really come close to the X90L. So, If you can make the step up, we would recommend doing so (budget permitting, of course).

Sound Performance

In terms of audio specifications, there hasn’t been a great deal of change between this model and its predecessor, the X90K. 

The X90L has two 10W full-range bass reflex speakers and two tweeters located around the bezel to help deliver Sony’s Acoustic Multi-Audio. This essentially helps match up the audio with the visual cues on screen more accurately and positions the audio more precisely too. 

There’s also support for Dolby Atmos, DTS Digital Surround Sound, and we also get the addition of Sony’s Acoustic Center Sync. This means that this TV is designed to work in tandem with a compatible Sony soundbar for enhanced performance. 

From our testing, the sound does feel as if it’s coming from the right areas and matches the visuals accurately. The dialogue is clear too, and the soundstage was adequate, but we did find this one lacking a little when it came to depth and details.

It felt as if the bass was lacking slightly too, as it was missing a bit of impact from the sound effects in films in particular. A lot of this comes down to the absence of a built-in subwoofer, so you might want to find a solution that suits you, like a soundbar if you’re keen on this model and big bass is what you’re after.



When it comes to gaming features, this model has two HDMI 2.1 ports with 4K/120Hz, VRR, and ALLM support. Just like the rest of the Sony TV lineup, the Sony X90L has also been labelled “Perfect For Playstation''.

This functionality enables benefits when you connect it up to a PS5, like auto calibrating HDR tone-mapping for games and auto genre picture mode, which will optimise your picture mode depending on the genre of game you’re playing.

As previously mentioned, Sony’s new game menu has improved the overall gaming experience. If you’d like to find out more about them, check out the gaming section of our Sony Bravia XR X90L review over on YouTube

When it came to our first-hand experiences with this TV, we were pretty impressed overall. There were no issues with frame rate; the motion was good, and visually, the games looked great too. 

In terms of input lag, when we tested it out with 4K at 120 FPS, we found that the X90L gave us an input lag of slightly under 10 ms, and this nearly doubled to just under 20 ms at 60 FPS.

Now, this is slightly slower than some of the other TVs we’ve reviewed recently, but it's about what we’d expect from a TV like the X90L.  

There was plenty of choice to fine-tune the gaming experience to our personal tastes though, so I don’t think you can really complain on this front. As expected, it’s not a groundbreaking gaming experience, but it's definitely better than most of the mid-range 4K LED TV’s on the market right now, so it's worth considering if you’re a casual gamer.  

IS The Sony X90L Worth It?


The Sony X90 range has been one of our favourites year after year. Offering impressive performance and sitting in the middle of the lineup, you can expect a TV that’s great value for money and perfect for a huge variety of spaces. 

If versatility is what you’re after, the Sony X90L offers it in abundance. Sony TV’s are notoriously pricey, but the X90L is a surefire way of accessing premium performance with an increased screen size at a much more affordable price point. 

Admittedly, it doesn't have the cinematic performance of OLED or the brightness of MiniLED, but the X90L stands up to those premium models and justifies that you don't necessarily need all of that. 

This TV is living proof that sometimes value for money and solid performance are just as difficult to beat. So, for those looking for a bright TV that’s versatile for movies, TV, and gaming, this is a solid option to have on your shortlist, and you’ll struggle to find much better out there. 

Other uSeful Content

Video: Sony TV 2023 Buying Guide

Blog: Full-Array LED vs OLED: The Differences that Actually Matter

Blog: LED vs OLED vs QLED - What do they mean and which is right for me?

Blog: Can I Play my TV Audio through my Sonos System?

Blog: Best TV Surround Sound Setups for Every Budget

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