Sony X830F Review (XBR60X830F, XBR70X830F)
Sony X830F is the mid-level model of Sony’s 2018 4K HDR LED TV lineup under X850F Series. But unlike X850F series that comes with IPS panel, X830F comes with VA (Vertical Alignment) panel. Nevertheless, the excepting of their panel technology and screen sizes, what offered by X850F and X830F is actually the same. They equally lack local dimming technology, 4K HDR Processor X1 Extreme, Dolby Vision Support, and others. Meanwhile, on the other hand, they are equally powered by TriLuminos Display, 4K HDR Processor X1, Motion Flow XR960, and others. But of course, since they use different panel technology, picture quality produced by X850F and X830F has its own characteristic. X850f with VA panel has poor contrast ratio but good in side viewing angle coverage, otherwise, X830F with VA panel has good contrast ratio but poor in side viewing angle coverage. In the market, it is sold at a price range of $1000 – $2000, depending on the screen. But of course, their prices are not fixed and still could changes at any times. So, what features offered by Sony X830F and how is its performance and picture quality?
Sony X830F Key Specs
|Resolution||4K (2160 x 3840)|
|Size Available||60 Inch (XBR60X830F), 70 Inch (XBR70X830F)|
|Panel Technology||VA Panel (Vertical Alignment)|
|Dimming Technology||Frame Dimming|
|Picture Engine||4K HDR Processor X1|
|Support HDR||HDR 10 and HLG|
|Clarity Enhancement||4K X-Reality Pro, Object Based HDR Remaster|
|Color Enhancement||TriLuminos Display, Live Color Technology, Super Bit Mapping 4K HDR.|
|Contrast Enhancement||Dynamic Contrast Enhancer|
|Motion Clarity Technology||MotionFlow XR960|
|Native Refresh Rate Panel||120 Hz|
|Platform||Google Android TV version 7.0|
|Key Apps||Google Voice Assistant, Web Browser, Google Cast, PlayStation Now, and more|
|Remote||Voice Remote Control Support Google’s Voice Assistant|
|RF (Terrestrial Cable)||1|
|Composite In (AV)||1|
|Speaker Type||Bass Reflex Speaker|
|Total Audio Output||10 W + 10 Watt|
|Price||See the price on Amazon
Sony X830F Performance
Although not as strong as other VA TVs, but native contrast ratio of Sony X830F is still very good and strong enough to produce deep black. As we know, deep black level is required to show black so looks really black, particularly when set in a dark room environment where the impact of high native contrast ratio is very sensitive. The result, dark scene of images can be shown excellent on its screen, even if it is set in a dark room. Additionally, black level produced by X900f is also dark enough to reveal details in dark scene of HDR images like the intended, makes it is able to show shadow details of HDR images excellently like what content creator intended. You will not get what offered by X830F in producing black on its brother X850F. So, for you who often watch TV in dark room or watch movies with a lot of darks scene like thriller or horror, it becomes better choice for you than its brother X850F.
On the other hand, Samsung Q8F also has good peak brightness. With SDR content, it can produce peak brightness brighter than 350 nits that means it is great. Its peak brightness is bright enough to overcome the glare, makes the picture displayed on their screen looks consistent in most room. Additionally, since it lacks local dimming technology, its peak brightness stays constant at any window size. This means, no matter it is displaying bright scene of dark scene, the brightness area at any place can be shown with the same brightness level. Meanwhile, with HDR content, it can even produce a bit brighter peak brightness that is a bit more than 400 nits. It is similar to what produced by its brother X850F but still far from the peak brightness of the top model X900F. Its peak brightness is actually bright enough to show HDR images look fairly bright in most room, particularly in a room with normal light. But it is still far from 1000 nits the target to show HDR images like the intended. Just like with SDR content, since it lacks local dimming, its peak brightness is relatively the same at any window size. This is actually pretty good. But on the other hand, when showing a dark scene with small bright scene like small highlight of HDR images, there are some unwanted adjacent lights around small bright object. Overall, among TVs without local dimming, its peak brightness is good, but still far from what offered by the top model X900F. But of course, this is not fair if we compare its performance to the TV that sold hundreds dollar more expensive like X900F.
Powered by TriLuminos Display technology and the number of Sony’s most advanced technologies like Live Color Technology, Super Bit Mapping 4K HDR, makes Sony X830F can produce excellent color reproduction. Sony X830F can provide wide color gamut, a bit better than its brother X850F or even similar to the top models X900F. Its color gamut can cover more than 93% of DCI P3 color space that means it is great for HDR content which mastered in DCI P3 like HDR10 content. Additionally, for its price level, Sony X830F also has good color volume. Its color volume may be not as good as X900F, but still better than X850F. The result, although it cannot s colors as good as X900F due it lacks local dimming, but overall, except very dark colors, it is able to show its wide color gamut at its entire brightness range. This TV is even can show its wide color gamut at nearly its peak brightness fairly well, result in vivid bright colors. Still about color performance, Sony X830F also already supports 10 bit depth of colors that means it can produce more than 1 billion shades of color. The result, it can show color gradient of 10 bit content fairly smooth. Some little imperfections may be still visible in certain colors, particularly in darker colors, but overall, color gradient of HDR images displayed on its screen looks fairly well. By combing wide color gamut, decent color volume, and smooth color gradient, for its price level, its color reproduction is excellent, better than its brother X850F and not far behind the top model X900F.
Side Viewing Angle
As typical of a TV with VA (Vertical Alignment) panel, Sony X830F also has poor side viewing angle coverage. This becomes its major shortcoming than its brother X850F. But even so, its side viewing angle coverage is better than most VA TVs. When viewed from the side, started at around 20 degrees off center and front, blacks will wash out and tend to look grey while color also will fade. This certainly makes quality of the picture displayed on its screen will not look as good as when viewed from the center and the front. And at the wider angle you watch TV, the picture displayed on is screen will look worse. For you who don’t often watch TV from the side, this should not be a problem for you, but otherwise, a TV with IPS panel like its brother X850F is a better choice for you.
Motion Handling and 24p Playback
In addition to it has good picture quality for its price level, Sony X830F also has excellent motion handling. Its pixel response time is outstanding and we all know, the pixel response time is one of major aspects that have a big impact on the performance of a TV in handling motion blur. The result, when it is playing fast pacing content like sports or fast movies, the picture displayed looks very smooth with almost no motion blur visible. Following fast moving object, there is only a very short ghosting trail that should not be noticed by most people. Nevertheless, motion blur is not only affected by pixel response time, but also persistence that caused by backlight flicker, particularly when it is playing 60 fps content like sports or video games. And blur that may be visible when it is playing fast moving images is more caused by persistence than pixel response time. Let alone, to dim its backlight, as default, Sony X830F doesn’t use PWM Dimming system, makes it has flicker-free. However, this will cause some persistence blur. For you who don’t feel comfortable with blur, Sony X830F has an option BFI (Black Frame Insertion Mode) that will flicker the backlight. To enable this feature, you can increase “Clearness” slider on Motion Flow Setting. But unlike most TV where the lowest possible frequency provided is 60 Hz, the lowest possible frequency pattern provided by X830F is 120 Hz. By enable this feature, this can help to clear-up motion that caused by 60 fps persistence, but of course, this is not as well as the 60 Hz flicker. On the other hand, by enabling this feature certainly makes backlight flicker is visible. But of course, this is just optional mode, so you can enable or disable this mode according to your sense, more comfort with flicker or blur.
Meanwhile, when playing 24p movies, performance of Sony X830F is also excellent. No matter the frame rate of the movies, whether it is native 24p videos like DVD or Blu Ray Movies, 24p videos from streaming apps like YouTube, Amazon Videos, or Netflix, 24p videos via 60 signal like movies from satellite TV, or even via 60p signal like movies from streaming devices like Apple TV, Fire TV, or others, all of them can be shown fairly smooth and clear on its screen with judder-free. Combined to its good picture quality and motion handling, this make X830F is a good TV for watching movies.
Like middle to upper model of HDR TVs which available in the market, Sony X830F is also equipped with 4 HDMI ports where all of their ports already support CEC menu and HDCP 2.2. It also has 1 port that supports ARC (Audi Return Channel) that is on HDMI 3. But even so, like most other TVS where all of their ports usually also supports HDMI 2.0 Full bandwidth, on X830F, there are only 2 ports which support HDMI 2.0 those are HDMI 2 and 3. Additionally, it also has 3 USB ports where 2 ports are USB 2.0 (USB 2 and 3) while 1 port is HDMI 3.0 (USB 1). In addition to USB and HDMI ports, it is also equipped with 2 Composite IN (Shared), 1 Component In (Shared), 1 RF In (Terrestrial), 1 Digital Audio Out (Optical), 1 Analog Audio Out (Mini Jack), 1 Ethernet, and 1 IR IN for its IR blaster. While for wireless connectivity, it is equipped with built-in Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth for voice navigation.
Meanwhile, although not as low as the competitors like Samsung NU8000 or LG SK8000, essentially, Sony X830F also gas low input lags in “PC” and “Game” mode. No matter with 1080p or 4K resolution, its input lags are around 30 ms that means they are still fairly low for any games. This certainly makes it is very responsive and comfortable when used for playing any games even for fast paced games that require fast reflexes. The low input lags in PC mode also makes it is a good choice for you who want to use it as a PC Monitor.
Like other model of Sony’s 2018 TV lineup, as its smart TV platform, Sony X830F is also featuring Google Android TV 7.0. One of the main advantages offered, it provides thousands of a lot of preinstalled apps like YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Videos, Web Browser, Social Media, Live TVs, Games, and many more. Additionally, there are also thousands of downloadable apps, contents, games where you can download them from its apps store called “Google Play Store”. But even so, the many apps provided precisely makes it doesn’t focus on what people want. Additionally, it actually has intuitive user interface with a lot of attractive animations, but the many apps provided makes its home screen is very long. To find your desired menu, sometimes you need to make a lot of scroll. The many apps provide also makes its performance is inconsistent. The menu sometimes is fast and animation is smooth, but on other times, when launch an app or menu, it requires one two seconds before it opens with choppy animation. Meanwhile, the interesting point that is offered, it has been now integrated with Google Home and Google Voice Assistant and also Amazon Alexa, allow you to monitor and control your Amazon Alexa compatible devices via your TV. Additionally, Google Voice Assistant also makes its voice navigation can performs far better.
As the controller, Sony X850F uses the Sony’s Voice Remote that also found on X850F or X900F. Its remote is fairly large and has a lot of buttons. There are some quick access buttons for some common menus setting and also two dedicated buttons for Google Play and Amazon. This remote also has built-in microphone for voice navigation. And like we have mentioned above, since its smart TV platforms has been integrated with Google Voice Assistant, its voice navigation can performs better, allow you to do many more things with your voice command. Additionally, this remote also supports CEC menu that means it can act as a universal remote, allow you to control some functions of other CEC compatible device connected on your Sony TV via HDMI ports with a single Sony remote.
Overall, Sony X830F is a mid level TV for mixed usage. For its price level, its picture quality is excellent. It has deep black level and good black uniformity, allow it can perform fairly well in a dark room. Its peak brightness that is not too dim also makes the picture displayed on its screen looks fairly bright when in a bright room with normal light. Additionally, X830F also has good color reproduction, make color of HDR images can be shown fairly accurate. Although its HDR performance is not as great as the series above it like X900F and also cannot show HDR images at 1000 nits like the intended, its HDR performance is also not too disappointed. On the other hand, X830F also has excellent motion handling and low input lags. That is not less interesting offered by it is its smart TV platform where with Google Android TV, it offers smart TV experience with thousands of useful and attractive apps provided. The only major shortcoming is about its poor side viewing angle where it is as a typical of VA panel. Overall, no matter it is used for watching movies, TV shows, sports, or playing games, its performance is fairly good for its price level.
Should I buy this TV? As we have mentioned, as long as you don’t often watch TV from the side, overall, Sony X830F is a good TV for mixed usage. So, if you are searching a good mid-level TV, it can be a good choice for you. But even so, if you often watch TV at an angle or will use it in a wide room with viewers watch from multiple angles, there is its brother X850F that comes with IPS panel and has similar performance to X830F. But even so, on the other hand, it has low native contrast ratio that makes its performance in a dark room is not so good. Now, the decision comes back to you according to your need and preferences.
Compared to the competitor
Sony X830F vs X850F
The excepting of their panel technology, where Sony X850F comes with IPS panel while X830F comes with VA panel, both of them have similar technologies and features. The advantages of X850F, good side viewing angle coverage, make the picture displayed on its screen looks more consistent than x830F. But it has low contrast ratio that makes its performance in a dark room is not as good as X830F. It becomes the good alternative for you who often watch TV at an angle. Meanwhile, technically, both of them also have some advantages and disadvantages to each others, what impacted by their difference is not too significant.
Sony X830F vs X900F
Sony X900F is the top model of Sony’s 2018 4K HDR TV lineup. The major advantages offered, it has local dimming technology, is already powered by X1 Extreme, and also already supports Dolby Vision. Overall, Sony X900F is better than X830F. It has deeper black level and brighter peak brightness due its local dimming performs well, makes HDR images displayed on its screen looks far better than X830F. Meanwhile, the excepting of black level and peak brightness that has impact on their picture quality and HDR performance, what offered by X900F is not far different to X830F, whether it is about their motion handling performance, 24p playback, input lags, or smart TV. And since it also uses VA panel, like Sony X830F, the side viewing angle coverage of X900F is also bad. To read complete review of Sony X900F, please click here.
- Can produce deep black
- Excellent Motion Handling
- Wide Color Gamut
- Side Viewing Angle Coverage is Limited
- Limited Peak Brightness for HDR