Sony XF90 / X900F Preview: An early contender for the 12 months's greatest worth 4K TV? Review

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What is the Sony XF90/X900F?

At first look, Sony’s CES 2018 providing appeared a bit of tame. Aside from its conceptual 10,000-nit 8K TV, its major sights had been an outdated OLED with a distinct design, and a single new mid-range collection of LCD TV – the XF90 (or X900F within the US).

My preliminary assumption that this new Sony XF90 vary wasn’t significantly thrilling proved unfair. Deeper investigation reveals that it’s a considerable improve on the earlier XE90 series. According to Sony, the XF90s are going to be taking up not simply from the XE90s for 2018 – but in addition the model’s high-end XE93 and XE94 ranges. No stress.

Here are my preliminary impressions – the TVs will likely be on sale within the spring and a evaluation will come nearer the time.

Related: Best 4K TV

Here’s an image of an 85-inch XF90 on the CES – although the most important display screen us Brits are getting is 75 inches.

Sony XF90 / X900F – Design

The most immediately noticeable change of the Sony XF90 versus the XE90 is its ‘Soft Minimalism’ design. The display screen body stays a slim affair, obtainable in black or silver. But now the body is produced from aluminium and the Sony emblem is squeezed into the body fairly than hanging off the underside edge.

More strikingly, the centrally mounted silver ‘plate’ desktop mount of the XE90 is changed  by two lengthy, boldly angled metallic ft. Personally, I discover these ft a bit of comical. Plus the best way they’re positioned raises the potential of the TV not with the ability to sit on a slim piece of furnishings.

There is technique to Sony’s insanity, although. Namely that angling the 2 ft out a lot supplies area between them so that you can slide one among Sony’s trim new soundbars. Soundbars which have additionally been styled with a view to becoming in with the XF90’s appears to be like. How considerate!

For what it’s price, the XF90’s rear appears to be like a lot cleaner and smoother than that of its predecessor. Sony has built-in the ability board contained in the chassis, fairly than utilizing an exterior energy transformer, and the XF90 additionally advantages from Sony’s worthy obsession with cable administration.

Sony XF90 / X900F – Features

The Sony XF90’s most vital modifications are all discovered inside its trim kind. Kicking off with the truth that it strikes from the XE90’s normal X1 chipset to the extra highly effective X1 Extreme present in Sony’s high-end XE93, XE94, A1 and ZD9 TVs.

The Extreme chipset introduces Sony’s revolutionary twin database system for enhanced 4K upscaling of sub-4K sources, and the superb Super Bit Mapping processing for smoothing out the color striping that may have an effect on HDR playback.

Also key to the Extreme chipset is its glorious HDR upscaling processing, which does a extra convincing job of changing SDR sources to HDR than some other system I’ve seen to date.

The Sony XF90 carries a direct LED lighting system, in the best way of the XE90. However, it ups its recreation from its predecessor by implementing a markedly extra refined native dimming engine.

Sony refuses to debate what number of dimming zones its TVs have – regardless of seemingly being aggravated about TV reviewers routinely arising with a smaller quantity than we should always after we depend them for ourselves. However, the corporate did verify that the XF90 boasts an enhanced model of its X-Tended Dynamic Range system – Sony’s proprietary system for shifting the vitality not wanted for darkish image areas to vibrant areas, to offer them extra punch.

This is meant to ship a six-fold distinction enhance versus common full array playback, in contrast with a five-fold enhance on the XE90.

 


Sony additionally doesn’t like to speak about brightness specs for its TVs, however from the specs and demonstrations I used to be proven, I’m assured that the XF90 will ship markedly extra dynamism and peak brightness than the XE90.

Sony was fairly ready to point out footage combining vibrant lights towards a darkish backdrop on the XF90, and even at midnight room used for the demos, I used to be impressed to see virtually no signal of the distracting backlight ‘blooming’ usually seen on Full Array with Local Dimming (FALD) TVs.

If this mix of elevated brightness and enhanced localised backlight management holds good after we get a Sony XF90 into our personal check rooms, we’ll be very joyful certainly.

Perhaps the one most sudden function of the XF90 is its introduction of a brand-new movement dealing with system. X-Motion Clarity guarantees to mix Sony’s backlight blinking know-how with its X-Tended Dynamic Range native dimming know-how to ship extra natural-looking movement, with out the lack of brightness often related to backlight blinking.
For instance, if there’s a vibrant automotive driving throughout the display screen, the FALD X-Tended Dynamic Range know-how can be utilized to spice up the brightness of the part of the picture containing the automotive, in order that it might probably cross the display screen with out struggling judder or blur on account of backlight blinking.

In motion, the function seemed spectacular. Detail ranges in a panning shot throughout tiled rooftops remained exceptionally clear. Also, as promised, the picture didn’t endure with both the flickering or dullness earlier related to Sony’s backlight blinking movement choice.

Given that Sony was displaying off a prototype of a brand new X1 Ultimate processing chip at CES, it’s tempting to think about that the model could launch some new high-end fashions a lot later within the 12 months.

For the forseeable future, although, the XF90 collection (set to be obtainable in 49, 55, 65 and 75-inch fashions) goes to be carrying the premium Sony LCD flag just about single-handedly.

First impressions

From what I’ve seen to date, the Sony XF90 / X900F appears to be like set to ship a severely massive step up on the efficiency of final 12 months’s XE90 mannequin whereas, apparently, solely costing kind of the identical. We’ll be doing a full evaluation, after all, as quickly as we are able to get our fingers on a completed set.

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