Sony X850G 4K HDR TV Review
XBR85X850G Ultra HD 120Hz Android Smart LED/LCD TV
Product Name: XBR850G
Product Description: 4K HDR | Direct-lit backlighting w/ frame dimming | Andriod smart TV w/ Chromecast built-in
See full review below
Model year: 2019
Screen size reviewed: 85”
- With stand: (W x H x D) 75 ¼” x 46 3/8” x 17 1/8”
- Without stand: (W x H x D) 75 ¼” x 43 ¼” x 3 ¼”
- With stand: 108 lbs.
- Without stand: 102.5 lbs.
Warranty: One year parts and labor
- Very good overall picture quality w/ high-def content
- Solid HDR performance
- Good contrast and black levels
- Sharp and detailed picture images
- Good color reproduction
- Android Smart TV – fast menu operation, easy to use
- Great motion handling during sporting events and other fast-action content
- Very low input lag, great for video gaming – 1080p signal @ 60 Hz approx. 14.7 ms, 4K signal @ 60 Hz approx. 14.0 ms
- Contrast and color saturation loss when viewing the TV at wide angles
- Very heavy
In recent years, many TV manufacturers have been going really big with screen sizes on many of the TVs across their model lineups. And Sony is no exception and continues this trend with this year’s X850 series. In this review, I will have a look at Sony’s “super-sized” 85” XBR850G.
But, if the 85” model is a bit on the large size for your liking and viewing area, then Sony has you covered with smaller size options which include 75”, 65” and 55” screen sizes. However, at this time the 85” model is the only size available. I tend to wonder if this was a planned marketing strategy by Sony to help push sales of this 85” ultra-large display.
Update Note: the 55″, 65″ and 75″ models are now available at select retailers (Best Buy, Costco, Nebraska Furniture Mart) as the XBR850G/C. They can also be purchased from Amazon.com.
Standing in front of this TV will leave you saying wow! Simply because of its sheer size, and it certainly had this effect on me.
The X850 is primarily constructed of plastic including its front bezel and rear panel. The bezel on the 850G is not of the “ultra-thin” design and measures approximately 5/8” in width. Overall the TV appears to be well made; however, the rear panel’s plastic cover seems a bit thin design-wise and had a hollow sound as I tapped on it with my hand. That being said, I’m reluctant to say it felt cheaply made.
The huge TV screen is coated with a semi-gloss finish and is illuminated with direct-lit LEDs with frame dimming. Not to be confused with full-array direct-lit LEDs with local dimming. Local dimming allows for localized dimming of the LED zones on any given area of the TV’s screen, whereas frame dimming does not have this capability.
Note: The direct-lit LED backlight technology used in this TV helps provide better contrast and black levels, which should result in better overall picture quality when compared to the other screen sizes (models) in the 850G series which use edge-lit LED backlighting.
The 85″ model reviewed here uses a VA panel. The 55″, 65″ and 75″ models use IPS panels. This means the 85″ panel will have much better contrast and black levels.
The feet are well designed and are made of metal on the front side and plastic on the rear side. The stand gives the TV very good support, especially for a TV of this size, and had minimal wobble as I gently rocked the TV panel back-and-forth. The rear part of the TV’s feet has pop-open covers that allow for cable management to help conceal cabling connected to the TV.
Remote Control – The remote has been updated from last year’s model and offers a sleek and slender design with an intuitive and user-friendly button layout. In actual use, the remote fits comfortably in my hand and functioned as expected which allowed me to operate the TV with ease. This remote also has a voice command feature that allows for control of select TV functions through the built-in Google Assistant and optional Amazon Alexa enabled devices via a wireless network connection.
- High Dynamic Range formats: Dolby Vision, HDR10 and HLG – High Dynamic Range (HDR) enhances the dynamic range of a picture, increasing the contrast between the brightest whites and darkest blacks. It also enhances color reproduction.
- 4K HDR Processor X1: The 4K HDR Processor X1 with Object-based HDR remaster and Super Bit Mapping 4K HDR technology gives pure colors at higher brightness levels for truly natural pictures. Everything you watch will have greater depth, detail, and texture.
- 4K X-Reality Pro Upscaler w/ Dual Database Processing: Sony’s 4K X-Reality Pro Upscaler w/ Dual Database Processing enhances Ultra-HD, HD, and SD images by analyzing and refining images with beautifully natural detail and clarity. With 4K X-Reality PRO and Dual Database Processing, every image is upscaled closer to true 4K quality for great clarity. This 4K television upscales your favorite TV shows, DVD and Blu-ray movies, even video-on-demand content, and smartphone videos to Ultra HD quality.
- TRILUMINOS display technology for a wider color range
- Motionflow XR 960 for motion smoothness – 120Hz native refresh rate
- Android TV with Chromecast Built-in lets you cast your favorite entertainment apps and video content from your Android or iOS device, or laptop
- Supports voice control of compatible apps: Built-in Google Assistant controls basic TV functions and works with Google Home-compatible voice control assistants. The TV also works with Amazon Alexa-compatible voice control assistants
- Netflix Recommended TV – This certification makes it easier for consumers to know which manufacturers HDTV’s work best with its streaming video service.
- Acoustic Multi-Audio speaker system with sound positioning tweeters (10 watts x 2)
- The TV can be set up to output sound from Bluetooth, the built-in speakers and the headphone output at the same time
- eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel) This feature allows audio to be sent from the television to your AV receiver through the same HDMI cable already being used to send audio/video to the television.
- 4 HDMI 2.0b inputs (HDCP 2.3 compliant)
- 1 Component/composite shared video input
- 3 USB inputs – one is USB 3.0
- 1 Ethernet input
- 1 RF input for antenna/cable/satellite
- 1 Digital optical audio output
- 1 Analog audio output 3.5 mm
- Dual-band Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) provides fast, reliable wireless streaming
- Bluetooth wireless audio streaming to a compatible speaker or set of headphones
Reviewing a TV of this size certainly adds to the overall viewing experience; it provides an immersive picture image that draws you into the on-screen action simply due to its massive size, and I truly enjoyed the time I spent watching this TV, which by the way delivered very good picture quality.
And speaking of good picture quality, the most important aspect needed to achieve this is a good contrast ratio. In basic terms, the contrast ratio is the difference between the brightest image a TV can create and the darkest.
The 85” 850G provided very good contrast which was evident in the content I viewed. Black levels were deep and well saturated due to the TV’s contrast abilities. This is a very important factor when watching dark movie scenes in a very dark room; in these conditions, black levels will appear as they should which would be a solid deep black, minus any grayish shading.
Black screen uniformity was good on this display and appeared dark and evenly shaded across the entire screen. Furthermore, when viewing a black screen, I didn’t see any light bleed or clouding on the TV I used for this review. Also, I didn’t see any blooming while viewing white text against a black background.
While on the topic of screen uniformity, I’d like to mention that I did see some very slight shading in all four corners of the screen, but I could only detect this shading when there was bright white content on the screen. Nonetheless, I had to intentionally look for this issue; otherwise, it would have gone mostly unnoticed.
Depending on the content, I was very impressed with how well the X850G rendered colors. The TV’s wide color gamut presented a bright, rich and very vivid color palette. Colors also appeared very natural and well balanced with no particular color appearing over or undersaturated.
Detail and clarity were very good on the X850G. On close up shots, whether it be an individual’s face or objects in any given scene, the detail and clarity revealed by this TV in brightly lit scenes left nothing to be desired. In darker scenes, detail and clarity were also good, just not as revealing.
HDR content provided the best image quality from the X850G. Images were visually brilliant, delivering good peak highlights with plenty of detail and clarity. Colors were very vivid containing a solid and natural richness that was not present in these levels with non-HDR content.
Motion handling was very good on the X850G, delivering smooth and fluid motion with the fast action content I viewed. Furthermore, panning shots, which can sometimes be difficult to render without motion judder, were displayed without any issues on this TV.
Side angle viewing on the X850G revealed color saturation and contrast loss when viewed at wide angles, which is what I usually experience when watching a TV with a VA panel.
Sound quality from the TV’s speakers was what I commonly hear from a flat panel design. The sound output was thin and lean in quality with very little bass impact. But on a positive note, the sound was clean and clear allowing dialogue to be very discernible. It also had very good imaging and stereo separation. This TV was also capable of producing loud sound output.
I really enjoyed watching the XBR85X850G. It was a very capable performer, producing from good to excellent picture quality depending on the content being viewed, and as expected, HDR content provided the best images as noted above.
The Android-based smart TV platform with Google Assistant built-in and Amazon Alexa using Alexa enabled devices will serve up a well rounded and complete entertainment and smart home integration package.
And last but not least, the ultra-large 85” screen delivers a very immersive viewing experience that puts you close to what can be had with a dedicated home theater projection system with a 100″ screen, all at a reasonable price for such a large flat-screen TV.
HDTVs and More recommended.
You may also like this review of Sony’s XBR65X950G 4K HDR TV.