Sony has revealed the worldwide pricing of its X90J 4K TV, which is the mid-range wonder from its range, balancing flagship features with a reasonable price – it's probably the Sony TV of 2021 you're most likely to tempted to actually buy, especially if its new OLED TVs are out of your budget.
The range starts notably cheaper than the model it replaces – last year's Sony XH90/X900H – was at launch, which is partly thanks to the fact that there's a 50-inch model this time, which was sorely lacking from the 2020 line-up. You're looking at £1149/$1299/€1349 (approx AU$1,700) for the 50-inch X90J, £1249/$1499/€1499 (approx AU$2,000) for the 55-inch, £1499/$1799/€1749 (approx AU$2,400) for the 65-inch, and £2299/$TBC/€2699 (approx AU$3,800) for the 75-inch. It's due for release in April, except for the 75-inch version, which will follow "later".
When it comes to equivalent sizes, you're looking at things being marginally cheaper in the new models, which is good news – though the XH90/X900H has had some big price cuts, so the old model is much cheaper than the model that's replacing it, as tends to be the way with TVs. You can see the current lowest prices for the 2020 model at the bottom.
The Sony X90J gives you a full-array LED backlight and Sony's brand-new "cognitive intelligence" image processing, along with HDMI 2.1 and support for Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos. It should be one of the best-equipped in its price range when you add all of this up – though with LG lowering the cost of its OLED TVs to only a little more than this, there's definitely going to be some tough decisions around.
As with the previous model, Sony is promising support for the 4K 120Hz, Variable Refresh Rate and ALLM gaming features, which made the older model one of the best gaming TVs. However, just like the older model, VRR is expecting to only arrive after an update (presumably around the same time that the PS5 is updated to support it).
Sony's new Cognitive Processor XR is the real wild-card here. Sony says that its new processor "understands how humans see and hear", and will actually look for where the focal point in any given image is, and tweaks its processing based on that. It also promises to make more holistic adjustments to picture, because it can "can cross-analyse an array of elements at once, just as our brains do."
Whether this translates into something more than marketing speak, we'll find out soon – if this really is effective, then combined with promised improvements to upscaling and motion handling, this set might cement Sony's place as the master of the mid-range marvel in our guide to the best TVs.