Review: Sony Bravia X90H has an incredible display and goes great with the PS5, but less so with the Xbox Series X

  • 16/12/2020
A Sony Bravia X90H displaying the PlayStation 5 start screen.
The Sony Bravia X90H. Photo credit: Newshub.

This year, buying a TV got a lot more complicated thanks to awesome new technology in the latest Xbox and PlayStation consoles.

Sony is one of the manufacturers making televisions that aim to provide all the features a modern gamer could want.

But does the Sony Bravia X90H achieve that goal and how good a TV is it in general? 

I've been using one for the past few weeks and here are my thoughts. 

The good

Generally the most important thing about a television is its screen quality and the X90H delivers in spades.

Its images are crisp with extremely fine details, but - unless you mess with the settings - none of that fake vividness or overly grainy look that other TVs show when displaying so much information.

When you're looking at TVs that are this high quality, personal preference will come into it. To some eyes, the HDR10+ offered by Samsung is prettier than the Dolby Vision of Sony, LG and Panasonic.

For me, the X90H looks incredible, whether I'm watching a film, TV show, animation or playing games. 

It's also very, very good in terms of functionality. It's easy to install Netflix, Neon, Disney Plus, Apple TV, Spark Sport, Sky Sport and so on, but also the lesser used ones like Shudder, Docplay, Animelab and even the weird ones like Tubi.

Casting from Samsung and iPhone mobile devices is also super easy and great. There's also a microphone button on the remote to instantly access voice assistance, which is really handy.

But what about gaming?

When Sony announced this TV earlier in the year, it was part of a 'Ready for PlayStation 5' range by the company.

I can confirm that playing the PS5 on it is absolutely amazing.

I'll have some negative things to say about this below - but playing PS5 on the X90H today sure is brilliant. It has a nice, low input lag and offers up to a blistering 120 frames per second (fps) while playing in 4K, with games that support it.

Playing games at 4K and 120 frames per second on the PlayStation 5 on a Sony Bravia X90H TV.
Those numbers for resolution are extremely exciting for some of us. Photo credit: Newshub.

That's a truly next-generation gaming experience enabled through HDMI 2.1 - an enormous jump up from anything console gaming we've had before.

A little feature that I find cool every time I use it is when you turn on either the Xbox Series X or PS5, it automatically turns the TV on and changes it to the appropriate input.

The X90H is far better for next-generation gaming than most other TVs on the market right now - but it's still not perfect.

The bad

For a TV that was marketed as being 'Ready for PlayStation 5', the X90H kind of wasn't.

The firmware update that upgraded its HDMI to 2.1 only came out in New Zealand in early December, nearly a month after the PS5 and Xbox Series X were released.

Now that it's out, it's still not quite perfect.

There's a bit of manual setting selection one has to do to get it all cranking, which could easily be more intuitive. One day, hopefully it'll all just be automatic.

On the Series X, I can configure the TV to either enhanced HDMI or Dolby Vision - so that's either native 4K at 120fps, or Dolby Vision. Not both at the same time.

Output information from the Xbox Series X to a Sony Bravia X90H television.
Those numbers are also very exciting - but that anti sign down the bottom is disappointing. Photo credit: Newshub.

Neither option allows the VRR and ALLM options to be turned on, both exciting next-generation technologies the X90H doesn't support yet.

Granted, this tech is so new that it's a work in progress for many companies, not just Sony. The PS5 will only be adding VRR after a future update and it's unclear if the console will introduce ALLM at all.

One would hope that by the time the PS5 does add VRR, the X90H will also offer it.

It's great that our TVs can get firmware updates for stuff like this - but it's been a shaky start to next-generation life for the X90H and I'd understand if someone wanted to wait until next year's models come out before they upgrade their TV.

The verdict

Sony's latest Bravia line of TVs have an incredible display that make them fun and exciting to watch stuff on, especially 4K content.

Whatever you want to stream to this thing from whatever sort of device - it's all very easy to set up and do.

After the updates, playing PlayStation 5 on the X90H is better than - or at least as good as - playing it on any other TV available right now. 

It could well be the ultimate TV to play your PS5 on.

However, people with the Xbox Series X or wanting a TV to play high-end PC games on might want to look at competitor products.

 

Newshub was supplied a Sony Bravia X90H for this review.