Samsung KU7000 vs Sony X850D (UN55KU7000 vs XBR55X850D, UN65KU7000 vs XBR65X850D)
Samsung KU7000 and Sony X850D are the mid-class of 4K HDR LED TV in 2016. In the market, they are available on some screen sizes, KU7000 is available on 40 inch (UN40KU7000), 43 Inch (UN43KU7000), 49 Inch (UN49KU7000), 55 Inch (UN55KU7000), and 65 Inch (UN65KU7000), while X930D is available on 55 Inch (XBR55X850D), 65 Inch (XBR55X850D), 75 Inch (XBR75X850D), and 85 Inch (XBR85X850D). Because that available on both are 55 inch and 65 inch, this comparison certainly is only for these sizes (UN55KU7000 vs XBR55X850D, UN65KU7000 vs XBR65X850D). Overall, X850D is sold a bit more expensive than KU7000. The highlights, both of them equally offer stunning picture quality for their class and attractive smart TV. Additionally, both of them also equally already support HDR, but in like Vizio or LG HDR TV which support both HDR 10 and Dolby Vision, both of them support HDR 10 only. In addition picture quality, both of them also offer strong performance in some features. To know in details, how the performance of each, previously, we have written a review about them in here for Samsung KU7000 and in here for Sony X850D.
Samsung KU7000 vs Sony X850D Key Specs
|Specs and Features||Samsung KU7000||Sony XBR-X850D|
|Size||40 Inch (UN40KU7000), 43 Inch (UN43KU7000), 49 Inch (UN49KU7000), 55 Inch (UN55KU7000), 65 Inch (UN65KU7000)||55 Inch (XBR55X850D), 65 Inch (XBR65X850D), 75 Inch (XBR75X850D), 85 Inch (XBR85X850D)|
|Resolution||4K (2160 x 3840)||4K (2160 x 3840)|
|Panel Type||VA Panel||IPS Panel|
|Backlighting||Edge Lit||Edge Lit|
|Dimming Technology||UHD Dimming||Frame Dimming|
|Picture Engine||HDR Premium||X1 4K Processor|
|HDR Support||HDR 10||HDR 10|
|Certified by Ultra HD Premium||No||No|
|Color Technology||Active Crystal Color||TriLuminos Display|
|Support 10 Bit||Yes||Yes|
|Other advanced technology||Ultra Clear Panel, Peak Illuminator Pro, Contrast Enhancer, etc||Dynamic Contrast Enhancer, Precision Color Mapping, etc|
|UHD Up-scaling||Yes||Yes (4K X-Reality Pro)|
|Motion Handling||Motion Rate 120||Motion Flow XR960|
|Refresh rate||Native 60 Hz||Native 120 Hz|
|Smart TV||Tizen||Android TV|
|Sound Output||10 watts x 2||10 watts x 2|
Samsung KU7000 vs Sony X850D Performance
As we see on comparison table above, both of Samsung KU7000 series and Sony X850D series already support HDR especially HDR 10, but none of them that compliant with Ultra HD Premium Certification. This means both of them cannot display HDR 10 fully like what intended by HDR technology itself. Nevertheless, HDR performance offered by them is not too bad. Meanwhile, due they use different panel technology where KU7000 uses VA panel while X850D uses IPS panel, the picture produced by each of them has its own characteristic, advantages and disadvantages than the other.
Let’s start from black level and contrast delivered by each. For this case, Samsung KU7000 offer deeper black level and stronger contrast than Sony X850D. As the note, KU7000 reach about 0.022 nits of black level with contrast ratio about 4500:1 while X850D reach about 0.084 nits of black level with about 1250:1 of contrast ratio. This makes KU7000 series is offer far better picture quality when used in a dark room while for X850D, dark scenes will look tend to grey in a dark room. But once the room has some lights, the picture displayed on the screen of X850D looks sharp with very decent color and not much different to what produced by KU7000. Meanwhile, when displaying HDR contents that requires 0.05 nits of black level, there is no black level and contrast issue on Samsung KU7000 while for Sony X850D, its black level and contrast is not quite strong.
Meanwhile, in term of peak brightness, what reached by Sony X850D is slight better than Samsung KU7000. Peak brightness reached by X850D looks very consistent at all % windows that is about 425 nits, while Samsung KU7000 reach peak brightness at 400 nits on 100% window and dim on smaller % window even in 2 % window, its peak brightness dims to 135 nits. This means overall, Picture displayed on the screen of X850D is brighter than KU7000. Nevertheless, what reached by KU7000 is still bright enough for displaying normal or SDR contents. But the problem, HDR 10 need at least 1000 nits of peak brightness for revealing detail of images in sun highlighted effects fully, so what reached by Sony X850D or Samsung KU7000 certainly is not quite bright.
Moving on color performance, with active crystal color behind it, Samsung KU7000 can deliver about 94% of DCI P3 color space while Sony X850D with TriLuminos Display also can cover about 94% of DCI P3 color space. This means both of them already support color gamut and can cover more than what required by HDR 10 that is about 90% of DCI P3 color space. Let alone for displaying SDR contents that only require Rec.709 color space, of course what delivered by them is more than enough. Of course, this make the color of the picture that displayed on each of their screen looks very accurate even for hard-to-reproduce color. In other hand, both of them also already support 10 bit panel where HDR also require at least 10 bit depth of color for delivering smooth color gradient. As the comparison, TV with 8 bit panel deliver about 16 millions shades of color while with 10 bit panel, it can deliver about 1.07 billion shades of color. This means, color gradient of the picture produced by them looks very smooth. Compare between them, Sony X850D offers better color gradient where there is no any obvious color banding while KU7000 still has a bit problem in the darker green. But even so, when displaying SDR or normal content, this should not be a problem.
Overall, Samsung KU7000 offers better picture quality when used in a dark room due its deeper black level and stronger contrast, but when they are used in a room with some lights, their performance is relatively similar. Likewise if they are inputted by HDR signals, each of them is superior on some aspect but inferior on other aspects. X850D is superior on peak brightness and color gradient while KU7000 is superior on black level and contrast. Meanwhile, for displaying HDR 10 contents fully, KU7000 is plagued on peak brightness while X850D is plagued on peak brightness and black level.
Winner: Samsung KU7000
From all we have discussed a lot about their picture quality, we assume we are watching TV from center and in front of the screen. But when the viewers watch from side viewing angle, the result certainly is different. You need to know, the use of IPS panel behind Sony X850D might make its black level and contrast is not as deep and strong as what reached by Samsung KU7000 with VA Panel, but in other hand, it offers far wider viewing angle. On the screen of KU7000, the quality of the picture will start to deteriorate at 20 degrees off center and front and the wider angle you watch from, the quality of the picture will worse. But although not as perfect as what offered by OLED TV, with IPS panel behind it, the quality of the picture will looks more consistent on far wider viewing angle than what offered by KU7000. Of course this gives a benefit when it is used in a wide room where there are a lot of viewers who watch TV from multiple viewing angles.
Winner: Sony X850D
Both of Samsung KU7000 and Sony X850D are equally equipped with great performance UHD-Up-scaling engine. It is very useful when you are playing videos contents with lower resolution than 4K and want enjoy them in 4K quality. The low resolution contents like DVDs or SD TVs with 480p resolution looks sharply and well on their screen without being too soft. Let alone for the contents with higher resolution like HD TV with 720p, the final image produced certainly looks sharper with details are preserved more once they are up-scaled. And of course, when they are inputted by 1080p contents like Blu-ray movies, the final images in 4K produced certainly looks very sharp and clearly without any lost of small details. With great performance in UHD UP-scaling engine, the issue about the scarcity 4K contents that available in the market certainly is not a problem for them.
Motion Blur and 24p Playback
In this case, Sony X850D comes with higher level technology than Samsung KU7000 where X850D comes with Motion Flow XR960 with native 120 Hz refresh rate panel while KU7000 comes with Motion Rate 120 technology based on native 60 Hz refresh rate panel. The result, X850D offers better performance when playing 24p movies at any sources. By setting “Motion Flow” to “True Cinema” and “CineMotion” to High on picture setting of X850D, the judder cannot be removed, no matter the source is 24p movies from Blu-ray, 24p via 60i signals like movies from satellite TV, or 24p via 60p signal like movies from streaming media. In other side, on the screen of Samsung KU7000, judder cannot be removed completely. In addition to deliver better performance when playing 24p movies, Sony X850D also offers better performance when minimizing motion blur. The pixel response time of X850D is lower, even almost a half than pixel response time of KU7000. The result when they are displaying fast motion images like sports, fast movies, or others, X850D offers smoother picture than KU7000. On the screen of X850D, motion images might be still appears a bit blurry, but it is far better than what produced by KU7000 where there is faint trail following the fast motion objects.
Winner: Sony X850D
As their major connectivity, Samsung KU7000 is equipped with 3 HDMI Ports and 2 USB Ports while Sony X850D is equipped with a bit more, those are 4 HDMI ports and 3 USB Ports. There are also general inputs outputs behind them like Composite In (AV In), Component IN (RGB, RF In (Antenna In), Ethernet, Digital Audio Out (Optical), and more. Additionally, their HDMI ports also ready support what required for HDMI connection like ARC (Audi Return Channel), HDCP 2.2, CEC, and others. In term of the number of HDMI ports and USB Ports, X850D might be superior, but in term of input lag, KU7000 is winner. It is very useful when the source need low and responsive input lag like games with fast reflexes. The input lag of KU7000 is quite low for any kind of games, even for HDR games or fast games that requires fast reflexes. Meanwhile, input lag of X850D is still a bit high, even for casual 1080p games. But this doesn’t mean KU7000 is far better for games because there are also some aspects that have impact on their performance when playing games like motion blur and other.
Winner: Samsung KU7000
Both of them are equally equipped with attractive Smart, KU7000 comes with Tizen OS while X850D comes with Google Android TV. Both of these smart TV platforms are very responsive and attractive with a lot of apps provided. Once an app is launched, the loading in time is very fast. Additionally, selecting between apps is also equally felt responsively and quickly. Additionally, there are most useful and popular apps provided like YouTube, Netflix, HuluPLus, Amazon Videos, and many more. IN addition to provided complete VoD Service, there are also Web Browser, Screen Mirroring, Cloud Games Services, Apps and Contents Store, and many more. In term of apps provided, both of them equally provide complete and varied apps. But in term of user interface and navigating, Tizen OS is more comfortable to navigate. Navigating between different menus is easy and straightforward on Tizen OS, while on Android TV, this is a bit confusing.
As the controller, Samsung KU7000 is equipped with “Samsung Smart Controller” in the box while Sony X850D is equipped with Voice Remote. Both of these controllers are equipped with built-in microphone for voice command functionality. But in term of buttons, Samsung Remote comes with less buttons than Sony Remote, even there are no “number” buttons. Samsung Remote also can serve as universal remote without the need for other equipment while Sony remote need IR blaster for controlling other devices connected on the TV.
Winner: Samsung KU7000
|Performance||Samsung KU7000||Sony X850D|
|Side Viewing Angle|
Which is a better choice between them? With all display specs that offered by each like we have discussed a lot above, no one of them is dominant to the others. With deeper black level and contrast, Samsung KU8000 is better when used in a dark room. Additionally, it also has lower input lag that makes it better when used for games that require fast reflexes. Meanwhile, SonyX850D with IPS panel is better when used in a wide room with some lights where the viewers watch TV from multiple viewing angles. Additionally, it also has lower response time that makes it better for watching fast moving images like sports. Its ability to remove judder also makes it better when used for watching 24p movies at any sources. In other hand, although both of them already support HDR 10 format, but they cannot display HDR 10 contents fully due their certain display spec doesn’t meet the minimum standardization of HDR 10 set by UHD Alliance. But you should remember, Sony X850D is sold about $100 more expensive than Samsung KU7000, whether it is for 55 Inch and 65 Inch. Now the decision comes back to you according to your need and preferences.