Sony X90J vs Samsung Q80A – VA vs IPS panel technology

Buying a new TV can be a difficult task. But as long as you keep yourself well-informed, you will find a model that suits your needs. In this article, we compare Sony X90J vs Samsung Q80A, two 4K models from different manufacturers. 

Sony X90J vs Samsung Q80A – Overview

Being the top world manufacturers, both Sony and Samsung offer a wide range of TVs. While Samsung manufactures all, from budget to premium models, Sony is limited to mid-range and premium models

While they both support 4K resolution and 120 Hz refresh rate, the Sony X90J and Samsung Q80A differ in many aspects. They have different panels, contrast ratios, and operating systems. Let’s dive deeper into this comparison.

FeaturesSony X90JSamsung Q80A
Screen Sizes (inches)50, 55, 65, and 75 inches55, 65, 75, and 85 inches
Screen PanelVAIPS
ProcessorCognitive Processor XRQuantum Processor 4K
Operating SystemGoogle TV 10Tizen 2021
Refresh Rate120 Hz120 Hz
Variable Refresh RateYesYes
Contrast Ratio5,600: 11,449: 1
HDMI Ports44
USB Ports22
Wi-Fi and BluetoothYesYes
Speakers20 Watts
(2.0 Channels)
60 Watts
(2.2.2 Channels)
PriceCheck Price on Amazon Check Price on Amazon

Sony X90J

Sony X90J
Sony X90J


  • Great native contrast ratio
  • Fantastic pre-calibration accuracy
  • Plenty of ports
  • Vibrant colors


  • Poor viewing angles
  • Weak bass

Samsung Q80A

Samsung Q80A QLED TV
Samsung Q80A


  • Good sound quality
  • HDR brightness
  • Viewing angles
  • Great reflection handling


  • Only one HDMI 2.1 port
  • Low native contrast ratio

Features Face to Face

Panel Technology

One of the most important aspects of a TV is its panel. It has a significant impact on contrast, colors, and sharpness. Each TV panel has pros and cons. In our Sony X90J vs Samsung Q80A comparison, the Sony model has a VA panel, whereas the Samsung model comes with an IPS panel. Let’s see how these two panels compare. 

Color accuracy and wide color gamuts are great on the IPS panels. However, they struggle to provide true dark colors. VA panels usually have a great contrast ratio, so they don’t have trouble with the darkest blacks. 

In general, IPS panels excel in the refresh rates segment. They are capable of reaching 500 Hz, whereas the VA panels can reach a maximum of 240 Hz. Also, IPS panels are better than VA panels when it comes to viewing angles

Winner: Draw

Image Processor

The Sony X90J comes with the Cognitive Processor XR. This image processor does a great job of improving the contrast ratio and displaying vibrant colors. The upscaling feature improves the resolution making it near-4K. 

Sony Cognitive Processor XR
Sony Cognitive Processor XR

The Samsung Q80A also has a great image processor. The Quantum Processor 4K excels at enhancing image quality. It achieves better quality by using the algorithms to upscale the image of lower quality up to 4K quality. 

Samsung Quantum 4K processor
Samsung Quantum 4K Processor

Since both of these image processors do a great job, it is a tie in this segment. 

Winner: Draw

Motion Technology

Motion handling is crucial if you plan to watch fast-moving scenes and sports or if you want to play video games. There are several factors that determine the motion handling capabilities. The main one is the refresh rate. Different screens come with different refresh rates, such as 60 Hz, 75 Hz, 144 Hz, and 240 Hz.

Sony XR Motion Clarity
Sony XR Motion Clarity

In general, more is better when it comes to refresh rates. But most TVs on the market are either 60 Hz or 120 Hz. The Sony X90J and Samsung Q80A have 120Hz refresh rates, and both support variable refresh rates

Performance FeaturesSony X90JSamsung Q80A
Refresh rate120 Hz120 Hz
Variable refresh rate YesYes
Response time10.7 ms11.3 ms
Input lag 1080p at 120 Hz10.0 ms5.1 ms
Input lag 4K at 120 Hz11.1 ms5.3 ms
Input lag 1440p at 60 Hz18.1 ms9.0 ms

Response time is relevant when it comes to gaming. There is a lot of impact on the gaming experience when you have a 1 ms or 4 ms, or 5 ms response time. The Sony model is slightly better since it has a 10.7 ms response time

Even though the Sony model has a low input lag, the Samsung model excels in this segment. It has very low input lag, which stays that way regardless of refresh rate and resolution. 

Winner: Draw

Picture Quality

The picture quality depends on the resolution, as well. Even though they don’t support 8K, both TVs in our comparison support 4K resolution at 120 Hz

ResolutionSony X90JSamsung Q80A
1440p/144Hz NoNo
1440p/120Hz NoNo
1440p/60Hz Yes (forced resolution required)Yes 
1080p/144Hz NoNo
1080p/120Hz YesYes
1080p/60Hz/4:4:4 YesYes

Contrast Ratio / Black Level

In general, VA panels provide a good contrast ratio. Unlike VA panels, IPS panels are not exactly known for their contrast ratio. So, IPS panels struggle to display the black color. Even the premium models with IPS panels will more likely show dark gray instead of black color. 

Sony XR Contrast Booster 5
Sony XR Contrast Booster 5

The Samsung model in our comparison has a native contrast ratio of 1,449:1. It is not that bad, but it is not that good either. The Sony X90J has a far better native contrast ratio which is  5,600:1

If you like to watch dark scenes in dark rooms, the Sony X90J is a better choice since it can display deep blacks

Winner: Sony X90J 

Local Dimming

The local dimming feature improves the native contrast ratio. This feature comes on TV models that have backlighting. The feature adapts the lights behind the LCD layer to the picture that is displayed on the screen. 

Improving the contrast ratio improves the experience of watching dark scenes in dark rooms. Both TVs in our comparison have backlighting and come with the local dimming feature. However, the results of using this feature are not the same. 

The Sony X90J has 24 large dimming zones, and they improve the native contrast ratio to 6,221:1. The Samsung Q80A has more dimming zones, but they are smaller than the ones on the Sony Model. It has 50 medium dimming zones that improve the native contrast ratio to 1,560:1.

Winner: Sony X90J

Peak Brightness

The Sony X90J has a maximum brightness of 840 Nits. The Samsung model has a slightly better max brightness of 960 Nits. Let’s see how these models compare when it comes to SDR and HDR brightness. 

SDR brightness is fantastic on both of these models, and they can fight the glare in most rooms. The Sony X90J has good HDR brightness, and highlights stand out well. But Samsung does a far better job in this segment. 

Winner: Samsung Q80A 


The Sony X90J has outstanding pre-calibration accuracy, which we, unfortunately, can’t say for the Samsung model. Most colors on this model are off, and the colors are colder, which can cause a blue tint. The good news is that accuracy changes after calibration. Actually, both models provide fantastic accuracy after calibration

Neither model excels when it comes to color volume, but the Sony model does a better job due to the good contrast ratio. As expected, the Samsung model struggles with dark colors. But it is slightly better when it comes to a wide color gamut. 

The Sony X90J is better when it comes to gradients. It has some banding in green colors, but it is hardly noticeable. Samsung does a good job, too, even though it has banding in dark green and gray colors. 

Winner: Sony X90J

Viewing Angle

Viewing angles are the old weakness of the VA panels. On this particular Sony model, you can expect color washout and color shift at only 25 degrees

Samsung Viewing Angles
Samsung Viewing Angles

Since it comes with an IPS panel, the Samsung model does a far better job. Although don’t expect it to be as good as on the OLED panels. You can expect the color shift at 60 and color washout at 38 degrees

Winner: Samsung Q80A

Reflections / Anti-Glare

With a semi-gloss finish, both of these models have decent reflection handling. But the Sony X90J has a few more reflections, generally speaking. Neither of them should be placed opposite direct light sources, such as a window. 

Winner: Samsung Q80A

Sound Quality

The Sony X90J comes with 20 Watts speakers on 2.0 channels. You can expect clear dialog, but it has weak bass. 

The Samsung Q80A provides far better sound quality. It has 60 Watts speakers with 2.2.2 channels. Even though the bass is not perfect, it is very good for this price range. It also comes with Samsung’s Object Tracking Sound feature. 

Samsung Object Tracking Sound
Samsung Object Tracking Sound

Remember that you can always achieve a cinematic sound experience if you install a good soundbar and subwoofers. 

Winner: Samsung Q80A

Smart TV Platform (Operating System)

The Sony X90J runs on Google TV 10, which is easy to use and very smooth. Expectedly, the Samsung Q80A runs on Tizen 2021. It is also a very smooth platform and is easy to use. Both come with a great app selection. Unfortunately, they both have ads. 

Winner: Draw



Even though they both have four HDMI ports in total, not all of them support HDMI 2.1. The Sony X90J has two HDMI 2.1 ports, while the Samsung Q80A has only one HDMI 2.1 port. For today’s standard, this is pretty low. 

InputsSony X90JSamsung Q80A
HDMI ports 
USB ports
Ethernet Yes Yes
Digital audio output YesYes
3.5 mm jack YesNo

The Samsung model supports only USB 2.0, whereas the Sony model comes with one port that supports USB 3.0. They both have a digital audio output and an ethernet port. But only the Sony X90J comes with a 3.5 mm jack

Winner: Sony X90J

Voice Assistants

The Sony X90J comes with integrated Google Assistant, but it is Amazon Alexa-compatible. The Samsung Q80A has integrated Amazon Alexa and is compatible with Google Assistant. Additionally, it comes with a Bixby voice assistant. 

Winner: Samsung Q80A

Wireless technologies

Today, we can’t even imagine having a smart TV without the internet. So, having integrated Wi-Fi is a must. Luckily, both TVs in our comparison support Wi-Fi connectivity. If you want to connect external devices, you can do it via Bluetooth connectivity. They both support Bluetooth 4.2.

Winner: Draw


Which TV in our Sony X90J vs Samsung Q80A comparison has better features?

The Sony X90J has a fantastic contrast ratio, making it perfect for watching dark scenes in dark rooms. It also provides vibrant colors and great picture quality thanks to its image processor. 

With plenty of ports and Bluetooth support, you can connect any device you want. 

The Samsung Q80A has good viewing angles and great reflection handling. With a 120 Hz refresh rate, variable refresh rate support, and low input lag, it is a good choice for gaming. You can also count on good sound quality if you opt for this TV model. 

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Hey, I'm Jon. I'm an engineer by trade, so it makes sense that I'm obsessed with anything technology related! On the weekends, you can find me playing around with my computers or fixing something around the house. Feel free to leave a comment if you want to get in touch.

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