Sony X900E Review (XBR49X900E, XBR55X900E, XBR65X900E, XBR75X900E)
Sony X900E series the second top model of Sony’s 2017 4K HDR LED TV X-Series below X930E/X940E series. In the market, it is available on several screen sizes included 49 Inch (XBR49X900E, 55 Inch (XBR55X900E), 65 inch (XBR65X900E), and 75 Inch (XBR75X900E). Overall, it offers good performance for mixed usage, whether it use used for watching TV Shows, Movies, Sports, or playing games. Additionally, because its black level is deep and contrast is strong also peak brightness is very bright, overall, its picture quality is also good when used in a room with any light condition. Behind it, there are the number Sony’s advanced technologies that make its performance is great for its class such as Full Array Local Dimming, X-tended Dynamic Range Pro 5X, Motion Flow XR960, and many more. The other advantage, it come with new imaged processor called 4K HDR Processor X1 where there are also the number technologies embedded inside like Dynamic Contrast Enhancer, Super Bit Mapping 4K HDR, and Object Based HDR Remaster technology. All of them make the performance that offered by Sony X930E Series is really good for its class.
Still focus on HDR, Sony X900E supports HDR 10 only. It is different to higher series X930E series that also already support Dolby Vision. Actually, it is also designed for supporting HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma). But because the standardization of HLG is not yet confirmed, a software update will be provided once HLD standardization is confirmed. Smart TV becomes an interesting point that offered by X900E series. But unfortunately, there is no 3D technology behind it that of course will be disappointing you who are enthusiast with 3D movies. The other major downside is bout poor viewing angle, where when you watch TV from side viewing angle, contrast and color will look degraded.
Sony X900E Key Specification
|Resolution||4K (2160 x 3840)|
|Size Available||49 Inch (XBR49X900E), 55 Inch (XBR55X900E), 65 Inch (XBR65X900E), 75 Inch (XBR75X900E)|
|Dimming||Local Dimming (Full Array Local Dimming|
|X-Tended Dynamic Range Pro||Yes (5X)|
|Support HDR||HDR 10, HLG needs a software update|
|Picture Engine||4K HDR Processor X1|
|4K-X reality Pro||Yes|
|Color Technology||TriLuminos Display|
|Advanced Contrast Enhancer||Yes|
|Motion Control||MotionFlow XR960 (native 120 Hz)|
|Key Apps||Opera Browser, Google Cast, PlayStation Now, and more|
|Remote||Voice Remote Control|
|RF (Terrestrial Cable)||1|
|Composite In (AV)||2|
|Speaker Type||Bass Reflex Speaker|
|Total Audio Output||10 W + 10 Watt|
|Price||See the price on Amazon|
Performance of Sony X900E
Despite not as good as what offered by higher series X930E series, overall, quality of the picture produced Sony X900E is good. No matter the light condition of the room, quality of the picture that displayed on its screen consistently looks amazing. In a dark room, detail images in shadow or dark scenes looks clearly due its deep black level and strong contrast. Additionally, in a bright room, the glare can be drowned out by its peak brightness so makes the color looks consistently accurate. Even in a very bright room where there is a lot of sunlight coming on through the window, despite its peak brightness is not as bright as what reached by X930E series, it is still quite enough to fight the glare.
Additionally, deep black level and strong contrast produced by Sony X900E is also quite enough for displaying HDR 10 contents fully. As we know, HDR 10 needs at least 0.05 nits of black level while it can reach far lower. That is good especially when used for revealing details of HDR images in a dark scene. In other hand, the minimum recommendation for displaying HDR 10 contents fully is around 1000 nits. For this case, peak brightness of X900E is a bit lower than 1000 nits that means for revealing details images in sun highlighted effects, this actually is still not quite bright. Nevertheless, it is still above what reached by OLED TV. And as long as you don’t use it in a very bright room where sunlight coming through the windows, this should not be a problem.
Moving on color performance, Sony X900E also can deliver wide color gamut. This cannot be separated from great performance of TriLuminos Display technology behind it. Color of the picture that displayed on its screen looks very accurate. Moreover when displaying HDR content where it is mastered with wider color gamut, this will look richer and more vibrant. You need to know, Sony X900E can cover more than 90% of DCI P3 color space as the minimum recommendations of HDR 10. Still about color performance, with Super Bit Mapping 4K HDR inside the X1 engine, X900E can process 8 bit or 10 bit color deep in 14 bit processing. This makes color gradient of the picture that produced looks very smooth without any color banding.
From all great display specs that offered, picture quality of Sony X900E is including one of the best in class. No matter it is displaying SDR or HDR contents, the picture that displayed looks stunningly for its class. Moreover it is also powered by Object Based HDR Remaster Technology where it is designed to improve the dynamic range of SDR contents as maximum as possible, this allows you to enjoy SDR contents with the quality close to HDR.
Still about picture quality, the other string point that offered by Sony X900E is about great performance of its UHD Up-scaling engine. This cannot be separated from great performance of the combination of 4K X-Reality Pro and X1 engine. No matter the resolution of your video sources, you can enjoy them sharply and clearly in near 4K quality, even for low resolution contents like DVDs movies.
But as mentioned, the major downside of Sony X900E is about poor side viewing angle. Started at 20 degrees off center and front, the quality of the picture will start to deteriorate. Contrast is degraded while color is faded. And the wider side viewing angle you are watching TV, the picture will looks worse. But even so, as long as you watch TV from center and front, this should be not a problem. So, you should avoid watch TV from side viewing angle if you don’t want to lose picture quality.
Motion Handling and 24p Playback
As we have mentioned, Sony X900E is a good TV when used for watching sports or movies. For handling motion blur and 24p movies, it is powered by MotionFlow XR960 based on native 120 Hz refresh rate panel. Its pixel response time is very and this is good. When displaying fast moving images like fast moving images, there is only a short trail following the fast moving objects and this should not be a problem for most people. Meanwhile, when displaying 24p movies, it does a great job by producing smooth picture quality with judder-free. No matter the source is 24p like Blur Ray, 24p via 60i signals like Movies form Satellite TV, or 24p via 60p signals like movies from streaming media, all of them displayed with judder-free. Nevertheless, for removing judder without adding ‘soap opera effect’ you must set ‘MotionFlow’ to ‘True Cinema’ and ‘CineMotion’ to ‘High”.
Like most of middle to upper class 4K HDR TV that available in the market, Sony X900E is equipped with 4 HDMI Ports and 3 USB ports as their major inputs/outputs. Additionally, there are also 2 AV In (Composite In), 1 Component In, 1 RF IN, 1 Ethernet, and 1 Digital Audio Out (optical). I think all of the inputs that provided by X900E series is quite enough to cover a lot of your electronic devices. In addition to the complete inputs/outputs ports, their HDMI ports are already support what required for HDMI connections for this time like HDCP 2.2, Audi Return Channel, CEC, and more. Additionally, the excepting in interpolation mode, input lags of Sony X900E is very low once game mode is activated at any source, even at 4K with HDR. Combine to its fast pixel response time, this allows you to play any kind of games responsively with smooth picture quality and almost no motion blur.
Like other models of Sony’s 2017 4K HDR LED TV lineup, Sony X900E also features Google Android TV 6.0 version as its smart TV platform. Compared to last year version, there are some updates and upgrades that make its performance better and more attractive. One of the advantages of Google Android TV is about apps which are available where with Google Play Store, you can easily download tons of interesting and useful apps, contents, and games. Additionally, most popular apps like Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Videos, and more are also available. There are also Opera Web Browser, Chrome Cast, PlayStation Now, Google Voice Search, and many more. Not only that, user interface is also designed very attractive. Nevertheless, navigating between different menus feels a bit more confusing than other competitors like WebOS by LG or Tizen OS by Samsung. Fortunately, there is ‘Action Menu’ button that allow you to pop up a shortlist of popular apps without having to navigate the main setting menu, so it is a bit overcoming this issue.
And also like most of 2017 model or last year model, Sony X900E comes with a basic remote as its main controller. Unlike Samsung remote with minimalist buttons, it has array of a lot of buttons. This remote is also equipped with built in microphone for voice navigation or voice search functionality.
As a mid-class 4K HDR TV with affordable price, what offered by Sony X900E is great. It offers great performance on almost of features that offered. Picture quality is very good with strong contrast and saturated color, no matter it is used on a dark room or bright room, displaying SDR or HDR contents. Even with new technology called Object Based HDR Remaster Technology, it allows you to enjoy SDR contents with as close as possible to HDR quality. Peak brightness might not as bright as than what reached by higher series X930E series or still lower than 1000 nits as the minimum recommendation of HDR 10, but as long as you don’t use it a very bright room, HDR picture that displayed on its screen still looks amazing. Additionally, with good motion handling, good 24p playback and low input lags, Sony X900E is also a good TV when used for watching TV shows, movies, sports or even for playing fast paced games. Additionally, Google Android TV is also another interesting thing that offered by X900E. Despite navigation is still a bit confusing, overall, Google Android TV is really attractive and responsive. Meanwhile, the only major downside of X900E is only about its poor side viewing angle.
Should I buy this TV? As long as you don’t have plan use it in a wide room with viewers watch from multiple viewing angle, Sony X900E series might a good options for you. Overall picture quality and performance that offered is great for its class. Additionally, it is also a good solution for you who care about picture quality but only have limited budgets.
- Support Wide Color Gamut
- Black Level is deep and Contrast is Strong
- Low Input Lag
- Good 4K Up-scaling Engine Performance
- Good motion Handling
- Attractive Android Google TV
- Poor Side Viewing Angle
- No 3D Technology