The 98-inch X90L, Sony’s first 4K 98-inch TV, has been released in the US, UK and other countries (via FlatpanelsHD) after Sony announced its 2023 TV lineup in June. Sony’s debut entry in the 4K super-sized screen stakes comes with a hefty price tag of $9,999 / £8,999 / AU$9,995, although the good news is that we’re already seeing those prices discounted at some retailers.
The X90L is one of Sony’s flagship mini-LED screens and comes in a variety of sizes, ranging from 55-inch all the way to 98-inch. The panel is an LED display with full-array backlighting. Some of its key features include 4K 120Hz support across two of the HDMI ports, Dolby Vision and IMAX Enhanced support and multi-audio technology with Dolby Atmos, a format often found in the best soundbars, which delivers a more cinematic experience.
In terms of competition within this 98-inch market, Samsung has the Q80C QLED model and TCL has several options with the flagship model being the QM8, which features a mini-LED panel. There’s also LG’s 97-inch G2 model, but with prices around $25,000 / £25,000 / AU$40,000, the G2 is definitely at the more premium end of the market.
However, with prices for the Samsung 98-inch Q80C model dropping – and TCL known for reducing the prices of its sets soon after their release – Sony is the more expensive option within the giant screen LED market. So it begs the question, are you getting more TV for your money?
Opinion: paying for the name
Although Sony is a name that regularly features in our rankings of best TVs, both Samsung, and in recent years TCL, have made great improvements across their ranges to compete with the critically lauded Sony. Both brands are increasingly offering features that were previously reserved for more premium models, including enhanced gaming capabilities, Dolby Atmos, and, in LG’s case, Dolby Vision (Samsung still refuses to put Dolby Vision on its TVs).
Sony has always been one of the top brands in terms of picture quality, with the A95K QD-OLED being one of our absolute favorite TVs, but when it comes to 98-inch screens and their much higher prices, value for money becomes a key consideration, and this is where brands like Samsung and TCL look to compete.
The Samsung Q80C, for example, offers 4K 120Hz support across all four of its HDMI ports, whereas the Sony X90L only offers it on two. Yes, the Sony has Dolby Vision which the Samsung lacks, but both TCL’s QM8 (which is currently only available in the US), and the much more budget friendly C735 offer Dolby Vision and these gaming features for cheaper. When customers are going to be spending potentially up to $10,000 on a TV, they’ll be looking at what gives them the most complete package for their money.
In terms of value for money, there really is no beating brands like TCL and Samsung if you’re looking for a mammoth screen. Sony fans might insist that the picture on Sony’s TVs is superior, but it’s hard to argue with the big savings you can make, especially when, on paper at least, the Sony X90L isn’t offering a great deal more than its competitors in terms of features.
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