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    Table of Contents
  1. Top
  2. Comparison
  3. Best TVs
  4. Smart Features
  5. Conclusion
  6. Q&A
Updated

Sony 2017 TVs
Reviews and Smart Features

We've reviewed 30 TVs from Sony. Sony TVs are generally a pretty safe bet. They tend to have great picture quality and a good amount of polish. Their build quality also tends to be better than average. Their budget models are not the most competitive TVs, but their high-end and especially their mid-range TVs are amongst the best, albeit usually at a price premium.

Compared to other brands

  • Good Handling of Motion. Sony, as a TV company, is a pioneer of motion features, and it shows. They usually have the best interpolation and most of their TVs have an image flicker feature to enhance motion clarity.
  • Great Upscaling. Sony TVs, even the cheaper models, do better than average when it comes to upscaling lower resolution content.
  • Sluggish Smart Features. While Android TV itself isn't bad, and sluggishness is common with other brands, Sony TVs are prone to having common slowdowns while using their features.
  • High Price. Sony TVs will most often be priced above their competition in their category.

Sony vs Samsung

Samsung TVs have a picture quality comparable to Sony TVs, and in general, they are pretty competitive with each other. A big difference between the two is the physical build quality, especially with higher-end models.

Sony vs LG

Sony TVs will generally have better picture quality than LG TVs. Even their IPS models, which use the same panels as LG, will tend to have better uniformity and get brighter. They both offer OLED models now, and LG offers the cheapest one, which is a plus.

As a rule of thumb, it's pretty hard to be wrong when buying a Sony TV. Their more entry-level offerings aren't great, but any of the "Bravia" branded models (XBR model name) is a pretty safe bet. Their Android TV smart platform isn't the best, but it isn't bad either. You might end up paying a slight premium over competing models, but you'll usually end up with a good TV.

Best Sony Smart TVs

Sony's lineup of TVs isn't the widest. Their focus is mainly on mid-range and high-end models. They do offer some budget TVs, but they haven't shown to be very good,

  • *E = 2017

  • *D = 2016

  • *C = 2015

  • *B = 2014

Budget models will start with "KDL". The rest of the Sony range will start with "XBR". The first digits in the code are the size, the last 3 are the model. The higher the model number, the more expensive it will be. For example, XBR55X900E is a high-end 2017 55 inch model, while the KDL32W600D is a budget 2016 32 inch model.

Best Sony 4k TV

Usage Ratings - Version 1.1
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Test Benches:

  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2015
  • 0.9: Winter 2014
  • 0.8: Winter 2013
8.7Mixed Usage
Show Help
What it is General purpose. The TV will be used for a variety of content and usages. Movies at night, TV shows during the day, video games from time to time, etc.
Score components:
9.4Movies
Show Help
What it is Movies in the dark. The TV will be used for watching movies in a controlled environment, directly in front, in a home theater way. Mostly only high quality content, like Blu-rays, UHD Blu-rays, streaming and a little bit of HDR.
Score components:
8.3TV Shows
Show Help
What it is TV Shows in a bright living room. The TV will be used in to watch TV shows, in a bright room during the day, from multiple viewing positions at different angles. The content watched has an average quality: cable, streaming, SD channels, etc.
Score components:
8.8Sports
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What it is Sports in a living room. The TV will be used to watch sports during the day, like football or hockey. Usually watched with a group, so from multiple viewing position.
Score components:
8.6Video Games
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What it is Video games. The TV will be used to play video games, directly in front, in a controlled light environment. Usually fast games, like online FPS, where motion blur and input lag is important.
8.9HDR Movies
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What it is HDR Movies and TV shows. The TV will be used to watch 4k UHD HDR content, with a wide color gamut and a high peak brightness. Either via UHD Blu-rays or HDR streaming.
8.5HDR Gaming
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What it is HDR Gaming. The TV will be used to play HDR video games using consoles that support it or on current generation gaming PCs. Xbox One S, PS4 Pro, GTX 10 series and AMD RX series graphics cards.
8.1PC Monitor
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What it is PC Monitor. The TV will be used as a PC monitor, from 2-3 feet away, either for productivity purposes or gaming. Sharp text is important, as well as a high resolution.
55" 65" 77"

The best Sony TV we've reviewed is the A1E 4k OLED TV. It has the best picture quality we've ever reviewed, mostly thanks to its use of OLED technology. This allows the TV to reproduce perfectly deep and uniform blacks, giving it an infinite contrast ratio.

In addition to its striking design and great picture quality, the A1E is a very versatile TV overall. It will do well with just about every usage, thanks to its great handling of motion, great viewing angles and great handling of reflections. Its ability to reproduce a wide gamut of colors also makes it a top performer for HDR, which is a more important feature nowadays. It's no slouch for gaming either; while its input lag isn't quite the best we've seen with a 1080p source, 4k consoles like the PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X will be well fitting with the TV's low 30 ms of latency. 

Overall, it's difficult to find a better TV today. While it does come at a premium, the Sony A1E is an excellent 4k HDR TV and the best Sony TV currently available.

See our review

Best mid-range Sony 4k TV

Usage Ratings - Version 1.1
Show Help

Test Benches:

  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2015
  • 0.9: Winter 2014
  • 0.8: Winter 2013
8.1Mixed Usage
Show Help
What it is General purpose. The TV will be used for a variety of content and usages. Movies at night, TV shows during the day, video games from time to time, etc.
Score components:
8.5Movies
Show Help
What it is Movies in the dark. The TV will be used for watching movies in a controlled environment, directly in front, in a home theater way. Mostly only high quality content, like Blu-rays, UHD Blu-rays, streaming and a little bit of HDR.
Score components:
7.8TV Shows
Show Help
What it is TV Shows in a bright living room. The TV will be used in to watch TV shows, in a bright room during the day, from multiple viewing positions at different angles. The content watched has an average quality: cable, streaming, SD channels, etc.
Score components:
7.9Sports
Show Help
What it is Sports in a living room. The TV will be used to watch sports during the day, like football or hockey. Usually watched with a group, so from multiple viewing position.
Score components:
8.2Video Games
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What it is Video games. The TV will be used to play video games, directly in front, in a controlled light environment. Usually fast games, like online FPS, where motion blur and input lag is important.
8.4HDR Movies
Show Help
What it is HDR Movies and TV shows. The TV will be used to watch 4k UHD HDR content, with a wide color gamut and a high peak brightness. Either via UHD Blu-rays or HDR streaming.
8.0HDR Gaming
Show Help
What it is HDR Gaming. The TV will be used to play HDR video games using consoles that support it or on current generation gaming PCs. Xbox One S, PS4 Pro, GTX 10 series and AMD RX series graphics cards.
7.6PC Monitor
Show Help
What it is PC Monitor. The TV will be used as a PC monitor, from 2-3 feet away, either for productivity purposes or gaming. Sharp text is important, as well as a high resolution.
49" 55" 65" 75"

The Sony X900E packs a punch and makes a great mid-range recommendation. In its price range, it's very difficult to beat. This Sony LED TV offers most of the performance of the more expensive X930E, but for about 60% less money.

It's overall a very similar TV. Contrast is about the same, and both feature a nice local dimming feature that enhances it even more. The X930E edges it on that aspect a little bit and gets significantly brighter, but that still makes for a fairly small difference. The Sony X900E will please most buyers minus the pickier enthusiasts that really want the best of the best when it comes to HDR.

See our review

Best budget Sony 4k TV

Usage Ratings - Version 1.1
Show Help

Test Benches:

  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2015
  • 0.9: Winter 2014
  • 0.8: Winter 2013
7.2Mixed Usage
Show Help
What it is General purpose. The TV will be used for a variety of content and usages. Movies at night, TV shows during the day, video games from time to time, etc.
Score components:
6.1Movies
Show Help
What it is Movies in the dark. The TV will be used for watching movies in a controlled environment, directly in front, in a home theater way. Mostly only high quality content, like Blu-rays, UHD Blu-rays, streaming and a little bit of HDR.
Score components:
7.7TV Shows
Show Help
What it is TV Shows in a bright living room. The TV will be used in to watch TV shows, in a bright room during the day, from multiple viewing positions at different angles. The content watched has an average quality: cable, streaming, SD channels, etc.
Score components:
7.5Sports
Show Help
What it is Sports in a living room. The TV will be used to watch sports during the day, like football or hockey. Usually watched with a group, so from multiple viewing position.
Score components:
7.6Video Games
Show Help
What it is Video games. The TV will be used to play video games, directly in front, in a controlled light environment. Usually fast games, like online FPS, where motion blur and input lag is important.
6.4HDR Movies
Show Help
What it is HDR Movies and TV shows. The TV will be used to watch 4k UHD HDR content, with a wide color gamut and a high peak brightness. Either via UHD Blu-rays or HDR streaming.
7.3HDR Gaming
Show Help
What it is HDR Gaming. The TV will be used to play HDR video games using consoles that support it or on current generation gaming PCs. Xbox One S, PS4 Pro, GTX 10 series and AMD RX series graphics cards.
7.5PC Monitor
Show Help
What it is PC Monitor. The TV will be used as a PC monitor, from 2-3 feet away, either for productivity purposes or gaming. Sharp text is important, as well as a high resolution.
43" 49" 55"

If you're looking to get an entry-level Sony 4k HDR TV, the Sony X800E is the best one we've reviewed this year. It has a wider than average viewing angle, so it's well suited for a living room where you'll often be watching it from the side.

It doesn't have as good a picture quality as the pricier TVs above, but it will still provide a good experience, especially if you don't plan on watching your TV in a dark room all the time. It's especially good for watching sports and playing video games thanks to its low input lag and low motion blur. Games feel snappy and fast moving element aren't blurry or followed by long and distracting trails. It has some HDR capabilities too, thanks to its wide color gamut and 10-bit color support.

See our review

Sony's Smart Features

8.0Remote
8.0Design
7.0Usability
8.0Web Browser
8.5Extra Features

If you've ever used an Android phone or tablet, you'll find yourself to be surprisingly familiar with Sony's Android TV platform. It isn't the slickest available nor the fastest, but it is feature-packed and provides great interaction with mobile devices, making accessing content that much faster. While the interface itself hasn't changed much, the performance gradually improved over the year to a point where it's a bit less of an issue than it used to be.

Remote Controls

Sony Smart TV Remote

The remote included with Sony Android TV is very reminiscent of what used to be found with non-smart TVs. It features a full number pad, as well as a directional pad and player controls. A lot of remotes nowadays omit number pad and even the player controls entirely and instead using on-screen controls and very simple remotes.

It has quick access to both Netflix and Google Play Movies, and it features a microphone which lets you use the excellent Google voice search. It doesn't go as deep with the features as What Samsung does, but it is unmatched for recognition and is more akin to what you would find on an Android phone or through Google home. It can help you find content easily, or just get answers about general information like news or weather quickly.

The higher-end models such as X900E feature a rubberized coating to protect from spills and crumbs, while the cheaper variants have a fully plastic layout with traditional rubber buttons. Flagship models such as the A1E and Z9D feature the rubber finish, but they also have a brushed metal back that give the remote a nice premium feel in the hand.

Main Interface

Sony Smart TV 2

The interface is clean, and pretty simple to navigate. The top row is video and game content from YouTube, Crackle, and the Play Store.

Sony Smart TV 3

Below that is a row of ‘Featured’ apps. ‘Sony Select’ is a collection of apps and games Sony suggests downloading. It’s mostly basic stuff.

Sony Smart TV 3

‘Input’ is just the selection of whatever devices you have connected to your TV.

Sony Apps

‘Apps’ lists everything you have downloaded to your TV, as well as the Play Store.

The Play Store selection is quite large. Because of the immense Android ecosystem, most popular apps are available, even some you wouldn't think of using on a TV.

Sony Gameloft

There is a 'Games' Row, too. It used to be separate to the play store, but it now just houses the installed apps that are tagged as games in the play store.

Voice Search

Sony voice search

One area where the Android TV excels is with voice search. Press the voice search button on the remote and say what you’re looking for, and Android TV will deliver suggestions from the Play Store, Google Play Movies & TV, and YouTube, as well as relevant results from downloaded apps. It’s a convenient way to navigate to content quickly, and it's often much faster than using the remote. It's also constantly being updated. In Android 7.0, it integrates with Google home and the Google assistant if you are logged in, which means stuff like news and weather is a few seconds away.

It isn't quite as good for internal features as the Samsung voice search, which can execute commands such as "brightness" and "contrast" to adjust individual settings though, but the search is still what you'd expect of a Google service.

USB Playback

Sony Smart TV 8

USB playback is interesting on Android TV. The video player is decent, and was able to play our video files just fine. The TV couldn't see any of our image files though (.jpg and .png), which wasn't great.

VLC

Sony Smart TV 8

It's also possible to download VLC. The first time we tried out VLC, it worked better than the stock video player. Recently, though, we've noticed some frame skipping with more demanding files.

Web Browser

Sony Browser

Android TV doesn't have a lot of choices when it comes to web browsers nowadays. Opera TV is the only one left on the Google play store, and it's not very good.

It scored a pitiful 496 on the Peacekeeper test (compared to over 1400 on current Samsung TVs), which is quite representative of the experience it delivers. The controls aren't very good, since it relies on the remote's directional pad for moving the cursor, and it is exceptionally slow.

Overall, while it is possible to use, it isn't worth the time and the experience is quite disappointing.

   

Google Cast

Sony Smart TV 8

Thankfully, even if the browser on the TV itself isn't any good, Android has a casting feature that allows you to mirror the screen of another device.

You still need to scroll and move about using your computer or phone, which can be inconvenient, but it is still quite a bit faster and intuitive than using the included browser.

Casting works even better for “Google Cast Ready” websites like YouTube, Netflix, HBO Go, and Plex as well as similar application on your mobile device.

Codec Support

H.264 (AVI, MP4, MKV) Yes
H.265 (AVI, MP4, MKV) Yes
VP9 (WebM) Yes
 

Conclusion

While they tend not to be the cheapest available, Sony produces great TVs. They'll generally be quite versatile, which helps with making them suitable for most people. The smart features aren't the most intuitive, but the overall package offered by their TVs is still better than average. At this point in time, it's fairly safe to say that their overall reputation holds true, and rare are the people that will find themselves disappointed by purchasing one of their TVs.

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Questions & Answers

27 ANSWERED QUESTIONS
93
How do I find out which panel (i.e. VA or IPS) my potential TV has?
Manufacturers don't list it, but you can check out the pictures that we took of the pixels in our reviews. If it is shaped like >>>>, it is IPS.
91
When will you review the new Sony Z9 TV?
We don't have plans to review the Sony Z9 at the moment, unless there is sufficient interest.
63
Do you know what the input lag is for the W600b?
We should review it this week or early next week. Stay tuned.
Update: The review is up now.
30
Your site has the best UI and UX of any review site I've ever used. Super clean, simple, and intuitive. On top of that, your reviews are highly detailed and trustworthy as well! I am wondering if you can provide any impressions on the XBR-xx800B? I understand you're not going to review any more 2014 models, but the X800B was released in 2015 (even though it's technically a 2014 model) and will likely be a huge seller for Sony given the future-proof features (HDMI 2.0, 4k @60p *albeit with 8 bit color depth*, HDCP 2.2) and the price point. Would love to see your expertise applied to this model. Thanks!
If it is still in production at the beginning of summer then yes, we will review it.
21
Can you please also review the W700b? That one seems to be even more of a gamer TV than the W800b, because of its supposedly even lower input lag.
Unfortunately, the W700B is not available in the US.
Update: The W700B is now available in some stores in the US, in the 50" and 55" size. While we haven't tested it yet, we expect it to have the same picture quality as the W800B, minus 3D.
20
Will you be reviewing the Sony KDL48W650D series televisions in the near future?
We still have a couple TVs to review before but we will get to the Sony w650d in a few weeks. We will review the 40". The review should apply to the 48" unless it uses a different kind of panel.
18
I noticed Sony has released another budget line for 2016, the KDL40R350D. Will you be reviewing this one as well? Thank you.
We bought the KDL40R350D already and will review it in a few weeks.
Update 12/05/2016: Unfortunately the R350D has been pushed down our priority list due to other, more popular models. We are still planning to review it, but not for a few months.
17
X850b does not have local dimming or the Gorilla Glass screen that the x900b does. The x850b is rated Motionflow XR 240 versus the x900b at 960. Also, the w950b sports the Triluminos display and local dimming that the lower models do not. I don't have a question. I'm just pointing out some differences that are not on this page.
Thanks, the table has been updated.
17
Are you guys going to review the new Sony TVs. The X800D, X700D and the X750.
We do have plans to review all 3 of them in August.
15
Are you familiar with the Sony model XBR65X800B? Why is it not even listed as one of Sony's models on your list, past or present? It's on sale for 51% off for $1,000.
Sony 65" Class 4K ULTRA HD LED TV
MODEL: XBR65X800BMPN: XBR-65X800B
Unfortunately, we didn't review that model last year, and we're now only reviewing the 2015 lineup this year. That's why it doesn't appear anywhere on the site.
12
Review the good TVs, and stop reviewing shitty TVs like the HU8550. It is not the best picture quality TV. Test the Sony X-series, not the W. That crap is all 1080p, and the Xs are all 4k. Don't lie to the public.
We've expanded a bit this year, so we will be able to review more TVs than used to be possible. We will be reviewing the 2015 X-series after it is released.
We also really like the Sony W-series. They're very good 1080p TVs, and especially good for gamers.
9
You have listed the w950b as full-array. It's edge-lit, unfortunately.
Thanks for pointing this error. It has been updated.
9
There's a new Sony 55x810c coming out 10/10/15. Will you be doing a review of it?
We have placed an order for the X810C, but we haven't decided how soon we'll be reviewing it.
Update: The review is up.
8
Will there be a review on the Sony X940C? Would love to see it stacked up against the JS9500.
Unfortunately, probably no. It is out of our budget, given that we buy all TVs that we review ourselves.
7
Any buying tips on the Sony 55X810C? Would love your review of this model.
We'll be reviewing that TV sometime in the next couple of weeks.
Update: The review is up.
7
Hey I'm not ready to buy a 4k TV yet and there's not many 1080p TVs being released this year. I was wondering if you could review the Sony KDL-60W630B/2. Much appreciated if you could review this TV.
We will be reviewing the KDL60W630B/2 in the coming weeks.
7
I know the X800D TV's are very new but any idea when there might be some info on this model.
We have seen it in store already and we will review that particular model in a few weeks. We don't know much about their performances yet.
6
It appears that the 50" and 55" versions of the KDL-W700B are now being sold in the US, at least at Best Buy for now. Would you be able to review this US variant of the W700b to understand how it might measure up to the W800b? I understand the international version was basically just a W800b without 3D and less motion options. If that's the case for the US, that'd be awesome. But with no real information available yet for the set, I am hesitant to pull the trigger. Great site with amazing info BTW!
We don't plan to review it yet, because it indeed looks like it has the same picture quality as the W800B, and we have other brands that we want to give a little bit more coverage first (like Vizio and Sharp). After that, maybe if it becomes popular enough.
6
Any information about Dolby Vision 4k TVs hitting the market in near future? I hear new 4k Blu-ray players will have this new standard next year with expanded color and high dynamic range (HDR). Is it worth waiting?
Dolby Vision has three main components: a full array local dimming backlight, a larger color gamut (REC.2020) and 10 bit colors. The term Dolby Vision is mostly just marketing. A TV can include these three things without calling itself Dolby Vision. The extended color gamut and 10 bit color standards will probably come next year. The problem, though, is the content will be almost non-existent (even rarer than current 4k content). Is it worth waiting? Not really. It is still too far away and early adopters of this kind of new standard often ends up getting screwed. Is it the future? Yes, but keep in mind that there will always be some new and better thing on the horizon.
4
Moving into a new house, and I'm looking for a 50-55", a 60-65" and a 70-80 ", based on room sizes. Feeling overwhelmed by the variety, the salesman in a effort to simplify suggested the 55, 65 and 75" Samsung H7150. Your informative site seems to confirm his suggestion. Would I be correct? Also, he pointed out that all three sizes come in 4K at considerably higher prices. Thoughts?
Yes, the Samsung H7150 is indeed a very good choice. The upgrade to 4k, though, isn't worth it. Stick to the cheaper H7150. It is a great TV.
3
Hello, I just bought the W700b from Best Buy. I am enjoying it so far, but still playing around with the settings. I am a novice, really, when it comes to settings. I was wondering if you could do a review of it so I could try your settings out. I really love your work here. You guys do an absolutely terrific job. Keep it up.
I doubt we will have time to test it this year. There are a lot more models that we want to test before that one. That said, try our settings for the W800B. Most of it should be the same (except for the grayscale calibration).
3
It appears that the x810C does not have the Triluminous display, but the x850C does. Is that correct?
Yes this is correct. This is the 'Wide Color Gamut' test in our reviews.
2
Have you reviewed any of the new Hisense TVs? I was told these were made by Sony.
We will be reviewing Hisense in a couple of months. Hisense is its own brand, and its TVs are not made by Sony.
1
I am torn between the Sony W850c and W800c. Smart features are not important, because I have Apple TV and an Amazon Fire stick. 4k is not important to me as the 1080p picture. Which would give me a better picture, uniformity, motion blur for only TV, movies, and sports?
They're very nearly the same in terms of contrast, black uniformity, and gray uniformity, but the W800C scored better in our motion blur test. You should go for the W800C.
1
I am being offered a replacement TV for my 65" Samsung H6350 (panel issues) and am torn between the Sony W850C and the Samsung J6300. Do you have any recommendation regarding panel quality / life expectancy? Thanks!
The J6300 has better picture overall (particularly in terms of blur), so we recommend taking that. For life expectancy, we can't really tell because they were only released a few months ago.
0
Considering purchasing a Sony X810C (for TV/Netflix; no sports), but I'm confused by Android information. If possible, please clarify the following.
(1) Is the Opera browser pre-installed?
(2) Can a wireless keyboard be used to access web sites?
(3) If not (2), then how easy is it to access websites using the mirror function with an iPad? My wife likes to stream European and Metropolitan opera, which we can do easily with our (old) Samsung.
Opera was not pre-installed on our TV, but it's a quick process to download it from the Google Play Store on the TV.
In answer to your other questions, yes, a keyboard can be connected to the TV. You can also connect a mouse, if you like.
0
This is kind of an off question, but do you know if Sony TVs upsample the audio put into them? For instance, I have a HTPC that runs HDMI out to my TV, which then passes audio via optical to a set of Samsung speakers. What I am wondering is even if the audio is output at 44.1Khz (for music, 48Khz for movies) via WASAPI to avoid upsampling errors, does the TV ruin this when it internally processes and passes the audio to the optical port? Or does it simply reroute the PCM data as is to the optical port?
We don't really have a way to tell what processes the TV does internally. But we have heard aliasing artifacts in our tests using the TV speakers that doesn't seem to be present over the Optical Out of the TV. So most likely the path of the Internal Speakers and Optical Out diverge at some point, but we don't know exactly at what stage.
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