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Sony Bravia X900H / X90H (65X9000H) Review
"A leader in gaming TVs"
Sony Bravia X900H / X90H (65X9000H) Review
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Back in October 2020 right before the Xbox Serie X and PS5 released I found myself in the market for a new TV. This TV would replace my Samsung QLED from 2017. Sony, at the time, believed that its X900H or X90H in certain parts of the world was the best companion for the upcoming PS5.

So I took the drive and invested in it. For the most part, the Sony Bravia X900H has been a great companion for not only the PS5 but the Xbox Series X/S. However, at the same time, the TV is still lacking quite a substantial update that enables VRR and ALLM. We also finally got the 4K 120Hz update in December it is not what the company promised. Even with its lack of after-sale support, there’s a lot to love about the TV.

Even though I have owned the TV since October, Sony sent me another one to review so I decided to finally put together a detailed review for the display. 

Sony Bravia X900H / X90H (65X9000H) Review

Sony Bravia X900H Tech Specs

  • Key Features
    • 4K UHD  (3840 x 2160) Full Array Backlit panel
    • X1 4K Processor
    • X-Motion Clarity
    • Dolby Atmos/Vision Support
    • AirPlay/Homekit
    • Android TV
    • 2 x HDMI 2.1 ports
  • Display
    • LCD
    • 3840 x 2160
    • Direct Full Array LED Lighting
    • HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision
  • Size and Dimensions
    • 23.2 Kgs
    • 1,674 x 1,034 x 410 mm With Stand
    • 1,674 x 961 x 71 mm Without Stand
  • Ports
    • 4 x HDMI (2 HDMI 2.1 / 2 HDMI 2.0)
    • Ethernet 1000 port
    • Composite Video
    • RS – 232C
    • Digital Optical Port
    • Headphone
    • 2 USB (1 USB 2.0 / 1 USB 3.0)
  • HDMI Signal Support
    • 4096 x 2160p (24, 60 Hz), 3840 x 2160p (24, 30, 60 Hz), 1080p (30, 60, 120 Hz), 1080/24p, 1080i (60 Hz), 720p (30, 60 Hz), 720/24p, 480p
  • USB File Support
    • MPEG1: MPEG1/MPEG2PS: MPEG2/MPEG2TS (HDV, AVCHD): MPEG2, AVC/MP4 (XAVC S): AVC, MPEG4, HEVC/AVI: Xvid, MotionJpeg/ASF (WMV): VC1/MOV: AVC, MPEG4, MotionJpeg/MKV: Xvid, AVC, MPEG4, VP8. HEVC/WEBM: VP8/3GPP: MPEG4, AVC/MP3/ASF (WMA)/LPCM/WAV/MP4AAC/FLAC/JPEG; WEBM: VP9/AC4/ogg/AAC/ARW (Screen nail only)
  • Speakers
    • Full Range (Bass Reflex) x 2, Tweeter x 2
    • Acoustic Multi-Audio; Sound Positioning Tweeter, X-Balanced Speaker
    • Dolby Atmos / Dolby Audio / DTS Digital
  • OS / Storage
    • Android TV
    • 16GB On-Board Storage
  • Materials
    • Aluminum Bezel
    • Black Plastic
    • Metal Band Stand

Sony Bravia X900H Design

No matter what size Sony Bravia X900H you pick up, it will have the same overall design as the rest. Of course, the display will simply be larger. The overall design of the Sony Bravia X900H is quite plain. The TV is black all around it except for the stand feet and a thin strip of aluminium that runs across the top, bottom and sides. It is also quite a thick display compared to other TVs on the market. The back juts out by 71mm which helps keep the TV cool thanks to the extra breathing room inside of it.

Sony Bravia X900H / X90H (65X9000H) Review

As for the added extras, the speaker system places underneath the display and there are some cool-looking vents on each side in shiny plastic. All the ports are found on the left-hand side of the display. Only the power cable is on the right of it. Sony also includes some nifty clips that clip onto the stand at the back which can hold your cables for some neater cable management.

The Sony Bravia X900H remote is a clunky one. It is this long strip of plastic with loads of buttons on it. For me, it was a massive change compared to the simple metal remote on my Samsung. I hardly use any of these buttons beside the power, home, volume and navigation keys.

Last but not least there’s a hidden button underneath the TV which can be used if you can’t find the remote or want to turn the TV off and on quickly. As for the display panel itself, it is quite reflective and can be an issue for someone in a bright room. However, the panel can get quite bright which eliminates that problem.

I want to say there’s something wow about the Sony Bravia X900H design but that is not the case. In fact, it is one of the simpler TVs on the market. Other than the aluminium strip around the front, there’s nothing that stands out here at all.

Sony Bravia X900H / X90H (65X9000H) Review

Sony Bravia X900H Display Performance

As the specs state, the Sony Bravia X900H comes with Android TV and it is what makes the TV a great purchase alone. Android TV is versatile and let’s user install Google apps, APKs and much more. I have owned an LG and Samsung which were both extremely limited when it came to apps due to their built-in OS. Both brand also limits their local app store offerings to a measly few apps. Anyone who wants anything else will have to pick up a media box of some sort.

It goes without saying that Android TV is great for all sorts of things. It comes with a Netflix Calibrated Mode which enhances movies and TV shows on the app and the overall ease of use of the OS makes it perfect for those who aren’t tech savvy. Navigating menus, changing settings and installing apps is super fast and easy. Really, there’s no competing here when it comes to the freedom this TV delivers.

Sony Bravia X900H / X90H (65X9000H) Review

The Sony Bravia X900H comes with loads of settings available to tweak and change depending on your preferences. There’s a Game Mode for a reduced-latency experience, Graphics for PCs, Movies, Standard and much more. Of course, anyone who values picture quality will dive right into these and tweak away.

I have previously listed my ideal settings for a range of content including games and movies. I turn the brightness and the backlight to the max, disable those terrible X-Motion settings and slightly tweak the colour accuracy. Again, TV settings are all up to personal preferences. The Sony Bravia X900H does have enough room for you to create your own.

Sony Bravia X900H / X90H (65X9000H) Review

Of course, the biggest setting is local dimming which helps create the “darker blacks” on the display. This is a result of algorithms adjusting the brightness of the LED while eliminating bloom. Local Dimming in combination with the Full-Array LED means that blacks are black and you don’t have any backlight unless there’s something on the display in that spot.

Local Dimming goes hand-in-hand with much of the TVs settings. It helps boost the contrast ratio to over 4700:1 and delivers deep blacks. Sure, in dark rooms you can spot some of the bloom around a single object on a black background due to the LED lights turning on and off. However, a decently lit room provides enough cover to completely eliminate this issue.

Sony Bravia X900H / X90H (65X9000H) Review

When it comes to brightness, the Sony Bravia X900H fairly well. It can range anywhere from 490 nits in non-HDR content to close to 800 in HDR. This is done with a few tweaks to the settings including tweaking the colour temperature, contrast and local dimming. In simpler terms, the Sony Bravia X900H has some decent brightness levels which will come in handy when gaming and watching TV. In dark rooms, the TV is extremely bright and in bright rooms, it provides a vivid and bright image.

When it comes to viewing angles, the Sony Bravia X900H does not hold up all that well. This TV is not for a room with wide seating areas. It is best placed directly in front of your couch and off to the sides slightly. Anywhere past the 45-degree mark and you will start to see a degrade in image quality and even the LED zones dimming glowing under the content.

Sony Bravia X900H / X90H (65X9000H) Review

Sony Bravia X900H For Gaming and Media

In terms of ports, the Sony Bravia X900H includes four HDMI ports. Two of these are HDMI 2.1 (port 3 and 4). However, port 3 is also used for eARC/ARC so if you are using a sound system or bar that needs eARC then it could be an issue. However, most TVs do this so there’s no real alternative here. I still believe TVs just don’t have enough HDMI ports these days.

For those who don’t know, HDMI 2.1 is important for gamers who want to play 4K 120Hz games by either using a PS5, Xbox Series X/S or 30-series RTX GPU.

As previously mentioned, I have been using the Sony Bravia X900H for gaming and media since early October. When I first picked it up, the display did not include its 4K 120Hz feature. Sony only updated the TV with this feature in the middle of October. At first, the update included a major issue with the enhancement in the form of a blurry resolution. Whatever I played on Xbox Series X, it lacked clarity. To the point where even text was smooth around the edges.

Sony Bravia X900H / X90H (65X9000H) Review

Sony has since issued two updates to the Sony Bravia X900H which has improved this issue. When I say “improved” I mean it. It is not perfect by a long shot. Visuals are still a bit blurry but the overall quality is a day and night difference compared to last year.

With that being said, I have little faith that Sony will get the 4K 120Hz feature right on the Sony Bravia X900H. Clearly, the TV is just not powerful enough to deliver a crisp resolution at that frame rate. It is a shame that consumers were sold a lie. Even VRR and ALLM, I don’t have much hope for the features either. If they arrive then cool but don’t bet on it.

So how does normal gaming perform? Well, it is pretty magnificent and an all-around dream to experience. The Sony Bravia X900H features some very low input lag across all of its video modes. In Game Mode, the input lag registered at its highest 15ms. That was slightly boosted to 15.3ms with HDR enabled in a game. At 4K 120Hz, this is more than halved with only 6.7ms of lag while making use of the mode. It is incredible. Of course, outside of gaming things are a bit higher with almost a 100ms reading but who cares about input lag when you’re not gaming?

Of course, users need to disable the various motion enhancements on the TV in order to achieve the best input lag during gaming. But even those features are not meant for gaming anyway.

The new gaming consoles perform the best on the Sony Bravia X900H. PS5’s UI always has HDR enabled and looks gorgeous no matter what you are doing. Jump into a game like Destiny 2 and the experience is fantastic. Colours pop, all the special effect particles glow across the display and the dark areas are really dark thanks to the local dimming.

Sony Bravia X900H / X90H (65X9000H) Review

Games like Gears 5 which probably has the best use of HDR in a video also glow when on the display. There’s just something magical about HDR and it has really changed gaming completely. You can take a dated game and add the feature and it still looks amazing. The Sony Bravia X900H makes it all look great.

It goes without saying that the best picture is achieved by tweaking the settings. Sure, there are “professional” ways to do so but after spending months with this TV, I believe that if it looks nice to you keep it that way. For example, I have tweaked a few settings in the recent weeks including changing Auto Local Dimming to medium and turning on Adv Contrast Enhancer. The reason is that Local Dimming on high seems to overexpose and clip light sources. Often crushing the light completely so it loses shape. The same for the blacks which often looked too dark. You can use these settings here if you want to fix the clipping, especially in games.

Sony Bravia X900H / X90H (65X9000H) Review

Hard to see on a photo but you can see here on the left – The light is clear and you can see the round source. On the right, it completely clips out the brightness. This happens for suns and other light sources in games/content

As for general content, the same goes here. Tweak what you want to get the best experience you find pretty. I prefer disabling all motion features that add any sort of motion interpolation. This means video and film content will play at the intended 24 (or 25) FPS. The Sony Bravia X900H does a great job removing judder from the content should you have any issues. This can be achieved by tweaking the Cinemotion to Auto.

The Sony Bravia X900H also includes its Dobly Vision modes that automatically enable when watching certain content. This makes a massive difference to the overall viewing experience and in general, look superb. Best of all, you don’t need to tweak anything. It does it all for you.

Sony Bravia X900H Comparison?

The Sony Bravia X900H does have some stiff competition when it comes to other displays on the market. Firstly, there’s the Samsung Q80T which packs everything the Sony has and includes VRR which it does not have… yet. However, comparing these models, Samsung is often R5k – R10k more expensive. The 65-inch will cost you R39,999 while the 65-inch Sony costs R29,999.

Then there’s the LG OLED which of course boasts the better panel. However, these displays are also quite pricey at R44,999 for the 65-inch CX.

For what the Sony Bravia X900H offers, it is quite a deal. Sure, the 4K 120Hz is slightly blurry and the VRR is not available yet but should Sony release these features then it is going to challenge the market quite aggressively. Of course, the Android TV aspect is also a great selling point here.

Sony Bravia X900H Review Verdict

It is a bit annoying that Sony has not yet addressed the 4K 120Hz facing users. In addition, the silence regarding the VRR and ALLM modes are concerning too. However, for that it does, the Sony Bravia X900H is great value for money. It has some incredible features including excellent contrast, some decent full-array dimming and the Android TV OS makes it a level above the rest.

This Sony Bravia X900H / X90H review was based on a device we purchased. However, Sony did drop off another unit we have been using for some test comparisons. The displays are available starting at R19,999


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