20% more local dimming zones
Adaptive noise reduction
Built-in frame tweeters improve vocals
New Game Menu
Only 2 HDMI 2.1 ports
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The Sony Bravia X95L Mini LED TV is the more premium of the two Sony TVs powered by Mini LED backlighting in 2023. It packs upgrades that elevate it from how Sony's non-OLED lineup previously stood.
While Sony is very much still in the OLED/QD-OLED market with sets like the Sony A95L OLED TV, the company's efforts in Mini LED look to rival Samsung's Neo QLED technology. Stepping up from the excellent Sony Bravia X95K Mini LED TV I reviewed in 2023, the X95L has 20% more local dimming zones, a noise-reduction feature and new internal sound abilities. It gets a long-awaited dedicated game menu, too.
Is this enough to be scored one of the best TVs of the year? Here's how the Sony Bravia X95L Mini LED TV stacks up based on my hands-on impressions of the set's design, performance, added features and more.
Sony Bravia X95L Mini LED TV possible price and availability
Upon revealing its 2023 TV lineup, Sony hasn't announced the official price or availability of the Sony Bravia X95L Mini LED TV. We're likely to learn this information in late spring.
The X95L only comes in an 85-inch configuration. For smaller sizes, you'll need to shop the X93L Mini LED, which is less of an improvement from last year's X95K compared to the X95L. That said, the X95L will probably be more expensive than the 85-inch X95K, which cost $5,499 before TV deals.
Sony Bravia X95L Mini LED TV design
The Sony Bravia X95L Mini LED TV has plenty of finesse. I appreciate the titanium silver bezel, which wraps the sides of the screen but doesn’t create a lip on the panel, providing a bezel-less look. Meanwhile, a three-way stand offers versatile setup options based on what best suits your space.
Like the X95K, the X95L features a checkerboard pattern on the back and a port array that can be concealed by a detachable panel. Speaking of the port array, only two of the X95L's HDMI ports are HDMI 2.1. A full array of 2.1 ports is a standard for other premium OLED TVs and QLED TVs, for comparison.
Sony Bravia X95L Mini LED TV performance
In some ways, Sony's first-gen Mini LED left me wanting, so hopefully the X95L's performance upgrades deliver true improvements. The X95L has 20% more local dimming zones, as well as Sony’s XR Clear Image feature that purportedly helps with upscaling. Together, this should result in less blooming and more definition. I definitely saw less blooming on the X95L next to the X93L, at least.
The TV’s ambient sensing will also cause tone mapping and brightness to adjust based on the current lightning conditions in the room. Sony demoed how this helps a TV better preserve the filmmaker's intention as ambient light changes.
I also experienced a demo of the sound performance paired with Sony's new S2000 soundbar. The X95L features frame tweeters that, when leveraged with acoustic center sync, lifts vocals to a more realistic height for listening. Based on what I heard, the X95L built-in audio abilities can hold their own.
Sony Bravia X95L Mini LED TV features
The Bravia XR X95L Mini LED TV has two exciting software upgrades. Sony is sticking with the Google TV platform, but the interface has two new menus: the Eco Dashboard and Game Menu. The Eco Dashboard combines all energy-saving settings conveniently in one dashboard while the Game Menu borrows features from Sony’s InZone gaming monitors to bring a dedicated gaming settings interface to Sony Bravia TVs.
The TV’s remote is familiar, but now there’s a dedicated launcher for CrunchyRoll, which Sony owns. Sadly, this TV does not get a backlit remote — that’s reserved for the A95L QD-OLED TV.
Sony Bravia X95L Mini LED TV outlook
The Sony Bravia X95L Mini LED TV's biggest competition is the Samsung QN95C Neo QLED TV. Both Mini LED TVs introduced improvements that should make some of the best QLED TVs even better. But before making any recommendations, we'll need to run all our benchmarks on the Sony Bravia X95L. Be sure to stay tuned.
Kate Kozuch is the managing editor of social and video at Tom’s Guide. She covers smartwatches, TVs and audio devices, too. Kate appears on Fox News to talk tech trends and runs the Tom's Guide TikTok account, which you should be following. When she’s not filming tech videos, you can find her taking up a new sport, mastering the NYT Crossword or channeling her inner celebrity chef.