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  1. Table of Contents
  2. Intro
  3. Design
    1. Stand
    2. Back
    3. Borders
    4. Thickness
    5. Temperature
    6. Build Quality
  4. Picture Quality
    1. Contrast
    2. Local Dimming
    3. SDR Peak Brightness
    4. HDR Peak Brightness
    5. Gray Uniformity
    6. Viewing Angle
    7. Black Uniformity
    8. Gradient
    9. Pre Calibration
    10. Post Calibration
    11. 480p Input
    12. 720p Input
    13. 1080p Input
    14. 4k Input
    15. Color Gamut
    16. Color Volume
    17. Image Retention
    18. Reflections
    19. 3D
    20. Pixels
  5. Motion
    1. Motion Blur
    2. Image Flicker
    3. 24p Playback
    4. Motion Interpolation
  6. Inputs
    1. Input Lag
    2. Supported Resolutions
    3. Side Inputs
    4. Rear Inputs
    5. Total Inputs
    6. Inputs Specifications
  7. Sound Quality
    1. Frequency Response
    2. Distortion
  8. Smart Features
    1. Interface
    2. Ads
    3. Apps and Features
    4. Remote
    5. Remote App
    6. TV Controls
    7. In The Box
    8. Misc
  9. Sizes and Variants
  10. Compared
  11. Conclusion
  12. Q&A
Reviewed on Sep 25, 2017 , Ian Cumming, Martin Leduc, Mehdi Azzabi, Eric Bousquet

Sony X690E
TV REVIEW

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
7.5 Mixed Usage
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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:
Recommended if under (USD)
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What it is: Maximum price to be a better value than its competitors.
How to use it: This product is the best choice in its range if you can find it below this price.
Automatically calculated every hour based on the scores and prices of all other products we've tested.
: best
Value for price beaten by
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What it is: Product with the best value in this price range
Other best choice in a cheaper price range
Other best choice in a pricier price range
Automatically updated every hour based on the scores and prices of all other products we've tested.
: none
7.2 Movies
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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:
7.2 TV Shows
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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:
7.3 Sports
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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:
8.4 Video 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.
6.9 HDR 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.
7.7 HDR 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.
7.7 PC 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.
Type : LED
Resolution : 4k
Refresh Rate : 60 Hz

The Sony X690E is a good 4k LED TV with decent picture quality, low input lag and good handling of motion. It's only found in larger sizes, but it's a versatile entry-level TV. Unfortunately, its picture quality deteriorates at an angle, and its limited HDR capabilities stop the feature from having much of an effect on picture quality.

This TV is currently our best 60 inch TV .
Test Results
Design 8.0
Picture Quality 7.1
Motion 8.3
Inputs 9.0
Sound Quality 6.4
Smart Features 6.2
Pros
  • High contrast ratio gives deep and uniform blacks
  • Very low input lag for gaming
Cons
  • Picture quality deteriorates at an angle
  • Very limited HDR capabilities
  • Basic smart features

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8.0

Design

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Score components: Subjectively assigned
Sony X690E Design Picture
Curved : No

The design of the X690E is quite basic but works well. It is similar to most other Sony TVs but feels a bit cheaper as the parts are all made of plastic and the body is relatively thick. The central stand supports the TV well and many of the inputs are easy to access even if the TV is wall mounted.

Stand
Sony X690E Stand Picture

The central stand is similar to most other Sony TVs. It supports the TV well and feels quite stable.

Footprint of the 60" TV stand: 12.0" x 24.9"

Back
Sony X690E Back Picture
Wall Mount : Vesa 400x400

The rear of the TV is entirely plastic and is quite basic. Unlike the X720E, there is no channel down the rear of the stand for cable management.

Borders
Sony X690E Borders Picture
Borders : 0.55" (1.4 cm)

The borders of the X690E have an average thickness. This is the same thickness as the X720E we reviewed.

Thickness
Sony X690E Thickness Picture
Max Thickness : 3.39" (8.6 cm)

The TV is quite thick when viewed from an angle, so it may stick out from a wall a bit if mounted.

Temperature
Sony X690E Temperature picture
Maximum Temperature
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What it is: The peak temperature found on the TV.
When it matters: If the TV is placed in an enclosed space.
Good value: <35°C
Noticeable difference: 5°C
:
37 °C
Average Temperature
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What it is: The average temperature measured on the TV.
When it matters: If the TV is placed in an enclosed space.
Good value: <35°C
Noticeable difference: 5°C
:
35 °C

The TV runs fairly cool, partly due to its low brightness. The bottom is lined with vents, and there is a vent midway up the back of the TV to help with cooling.

6.5 Build Quality
Sony X690E Build quality picture

The build quality of the X690E is fine, but all of the plastic parts do feel quite cheap compared to other Sony TVs. It isn't an issue for normal use but does lack a premium feel.

7.1

Picture Quality

The Sony X690E LED TV has a better than average picture quality. The excellent contrast ratio and black uniformity make for a good dark room performance. Blacks are deep and dark scene reproduction is great, which again is perfect for a dark home theater room. When the TV is set in a very bright living room, the average way it can deal with reflections and okay SDR peak brightness won't be enough to deal with the glare of bright sunny windows but should be enough for a normal living room with moderate lighting. The decent gray uniformity of the X690E is good news for sports fans, as dirty screen effect is not problematic here, but the narrow viewing angle means it won't be the best TV to watch the big game with all your friends, since the best picture quality is reserved mostly for those sitting right in front of the TV. When it comes to HDR, the X690e performance could be better, as the lack of local dimming and disappointing HDR peak brightness won't make highlights pop much more than what you would see on a normal  SDR TV. When you add the lack of a wide color gamut and bit depth, it just confirms that this  TV won't be the best option to be amazed by HDR content.

8.4 Contrast
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What it is: Brightness difference between white and black. This is the main component of picture quality.
When it matters: Always, but especially when watching dark scenes.
Score components:
Sony X690E Checkerboard Picture
Native Contrast
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What it is: Ratio of the white brightness divided by the blacks measured on our checkerboard test pattern with a white target of 100 cd/m².
When it matters: Dark scenes in a dark room.
Good value: > 3,000
Noticeable difference: 500
:
3950 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
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What it is: Ratio of the white brightness divided by the blacks measured on our checkerboard test pattern with local dimming turned on (maximum) with a white target of 100 cd/m².
When it matters: Dark scenes in a dark room.
Good value: > 3,000
Noticeable difference: 500
:
N/A

The Sony X690E has a great native contrast ratio just shy of 4000:1. This contrast ratio means that the X690E will be a good option for people with a dark home theater room since blacks look deep and not grayish like on some IPS TVs, and also because it can reproduce dark scenes fairly well without them looking washed out.

0 Local Dimming
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What it is: The lights behind the LCD layer adapt to the picture displayed, improving the contrast ratio.
When it matters: Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Local Dimming
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What it is: Whether it has a feature that controls the LEDs behind the LCD layer, to match the picture and darkens the dark portion of it.
When it matters: On LED TVs only. Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
:
No
Backlight
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What it is: Configuration of the lights of the backlight.
When it matters: Effectiveness of the local dimming.
Good value: Full-array/direct lighting is better for local dimming. As for the uniformity of the screen, it depends on the implementation. Some edge-lit TVs have more uniform blacks than some full-array TVs.
:
Direct

The Sony X690E does not have a local dimming feature.

6.6 SDR Peak Brightness
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What it is: How bright the screen can get. Measured with local dimming and with SDR content.
When it matters: Bright living rooms; bright objects; SDR content.
SDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
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What it is: The maximum luminosity the TV can obtain while playing a movie or while watching a TV show. Our Real Scene was selected to represent a more regular movie condition. All measurements are made with the TV set to be as bright as possible, but with a 6500k white. Measured with local dimming on, max backlight and with an SDR signal. Scene: here.
When it matters: When watching movies and TV shows in SDR.
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
225 cd/m2
SDR Peak 2% Window
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What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 2% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright highlights, present on screen for a short time
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
241 cd/m2
SDR Peak 10% Window
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What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 10% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright objects, present on screen for a short time
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
241 cd/m2
SDR Peak 25% Window
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What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 25% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
240 cd/m2
SDR Peak 50% Window
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What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 50% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
240 cd/m2
SDR Peak 100% Window
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What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 100% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
240 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 2% Window
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What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 2% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright highlights, persistent during a scene.
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
240 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 10% Window
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What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 10% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright objects, persistent during a scene.
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
240 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 25% Window
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What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 25% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
240 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 50% Window
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What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 50% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
240 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 100% Window
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What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 100% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
240 cd/m2
SDR ABL
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What it is: The standard deviation of the SDR sustained brightness, after linearizing for noticeable differences in luminosity
When it matters: Content with large bright areas, such as for PC or video game use, and sports such as hockey
Good value: <0.07
Noticeable difference: 0.01
:
0.0

Plot over time

Decent SDR peak brightness. The brightness remains very consistent no matter the scene shown, which is great, but the TV isn't bright enough for a very bright room.

The brightness is better than the TCL S405 and Vizio E Series 2017, but not as good as the Sony X720E and Vizio M Series 2017.

5.5 HDR Peak Brightness
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What it is: How bright the screen can get. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright living rooms; bright objects; HDR content.
HDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
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What it is: The maximum luminosity the TV can obtain while playing a movie or while watching a TV show. This scene was selected to represent a more realistic movie condition. All measurement are made with the TV set to be as bright as possible, but with a 6500k white. Measured with local dimming, max backlight and over HDR signal. Scene: here.
When it matters: When watching movies or watching TV show in HDR.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
234 cd/m2
HDR Peak 2% Window
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What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 2% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright highlights, present on screen for a short time; especially for HDR content.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
246 cd/m2
HDR Peak 10% Window
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What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 10% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright objects, present on screen for a short time; especially for HDR content.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
246 cd/m2
HDR Peak 25% Window
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What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 25% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright rooms; bright objects in HDR video.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
247 cd/m2
HDR Peak 50% Window
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What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 50% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright rooms.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
247 cd/m2
HDR Peak 100% Window
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What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 100% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright rooms.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
247 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 2% Window
Show Help
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 2% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright highlights, persistent throughout a scene; especially for HDR content.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
245 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 10% Window
Show Help
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 10% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright objects, persistent throughout a scene; especially for HDR content.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
245 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 25% Window
Show Help
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 25% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright rooms; bright objects in HDR video.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
245 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 50% Window
Show Help
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 50% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright rooms.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
245 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 100% Window
Show Help
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 100% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright rooms.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
245 cd/m2
HDR ABL
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What it is: The standard deviation of the HDR sustained brightness, after linearizing for noticeable differences in luminosity
When it matters: HDR content with large bright areas, such as HDR gaming
Good value: <0.07
Noticeable difference: 0.01
:
0.0

Plot over time

Disappointing HDR peak brightness. Even though the HDR brightness is essentially the same as in SDR, HDR demands much higher brightness because highlights are mastered at 1000 or 4000 cd/m², much higher than the TV can produce. However, the average brightness of HDR scenes is usually 100 cd/m², so most of the scene will be shown accurately.

This brightness is better than the rival TCL S405 and Vizio E Series 2017, but not as good as the Sony X720E and much less than the pricier Vizio M Series 2017.

7.3 Gray Uniformity
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What it is: Evenness of colors onscreen (not just gray).
When it matters: Solid colors. Sports, panning shots.
Score components:
Sony X690E 50% Uniformity Picture
50% Std. Dev.
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What it is: Average squared difference of pixels when displaying a mid 50% gray.
When it matters: Solid colors. Sports, panning shots.
Good value: < 2.5%
Noticeable difference: 1%
:
3.504 %
50% DSE
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What it is: High-frequency variance of uniformity. Dark spots on the screen.
When it matters: Solid colors. Sports, panning shots.
Good value: < 0.165%
Noticeable difference: 0.025%
:
0.174 %
Sony X690E 5% Uniformity Picture
5% Std. Dev.
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What it is: Average squared difference of pixels when displaying a mid 5% gray.
When it matters: Dark scenes.
Good value: < 1.15%
Noticeable difference: 1%
:
1.234 %
5% DSE
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What it is: High-frequency variance of uniformity. Dark spots on the screen.
When it matters: Dark scenes.
Good value: < 0.116%
:
0.133 %

The X690E has a decent overall gray uniformity. Looking at the 50% gray uniformity test picture, we can see that the 4 corners and sides look a bit darker than the center of the screen, and we can also notice a warmer patch in the lower left corner of the screen. Besides those 2 issues, the rest of the screen is fairly even and dirty screen effect was not problematic at all when watching our sports clip, on which we can clearly spot DSE when it is present.

On our 5% gray test picture, we can see some darker vertical bands, but those were very hard to notice while watching some normal content since it is very rare that you will have a scene in a movie with a dark uniform background. On the test image, we can also notice that both sides are a bit brighter, but this is mostly due to the viewing angle being very narrow and reducing the visible black level.

4.2 Viewing Angle
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What it is: Color accuracy when viewed from the side.
When it matters: Large living rooms with multiple viewing positions.
Score components:
LCD Type
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What it is: Type of LCD technology used by the TV.
When it matters: Different technologies have different viewing angle properties.
Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle.
:
VA
Sony X690E Color Shift Picture
Color Shift
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What it is: Angle where the colors noticeable shift compared to when viewed from directly in front of the TV. 0 ° means directly facing the TV. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: Large living rooms with multiple viewing positions.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
16 °
Sony X690E Brightness Picture
Brightness
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What it is: Angle where the brightness drops to 50% of the brightness directly in front of the TV. 0 ° means directly facing the TV. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: Large living rooms with multiple viewing positions.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
28 °
Sony X690E Black Level Picture
Black Level
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What it is: Angle where the black level drops to 50% of the black level directly in front of the TV. 0 ° means directly facing the TV. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: Large living rooms with multiple viewing positions.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
19 °

Poor viewing angle, but fairly typical for a TV with a VA panel. Blacks turn gray and colors shift when the TV is viewed from even a small angle, while brightness decreases not long after. This TV is not well suited for a room where people often sit to the side of the TV and view it at an angle.

9.0 Black Uniformity
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What it is: Evenness of blacks.
When it matters: Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
Score components:
Sony X690E Native Black Uniformity Picture
Native Std. Dev.
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What it is: Average of the squared difference of the blacks.
When it matters: Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
Good value: < 1%
Noticeable difference: 1%, but keep in mind that it varies a lot by unit, even of the same model; yours likely will not end up exactly like ours.
:
0.635 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
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What it is: Average of the squared difference of the blacks with Local Dimming enabled
When it matters: Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
Good value: < 1%
Noticeable difference: 1%, but keep in mind that it varies a lot by unit, even of the same model; yours likely will not end up exactly like ours.
:
N/A

The Sony X690E has an excellent black uniformity. While displaying our test image, the screen is very even and no major clouding or flashlighting can be noticed. This is a great result and this will help greatly the X690E to display dark scenes in movies. Note that while looking at this picture, the black level is not taken into account, but the whole evenness of the screen.

7.7 Gradient
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What it is: How finely levels of color can be displayed.
When it matters: Details in shadows, sky and skin tones. Matters more for HDR content.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Sony X690E Gradient Picture
Color Depth
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What it is: Number of bits per pixel to represent a specific color. Note: we consider 8-bit with dithering to be equivalent to 10-bit, as long as the 10-bit gradient looks smooth.
When it matters: HDR content like UHD Blu-ray players. Won't matter for cable TV, regular Blu-ray movies, video game consoles or content displayed from a Windows PC. Those are limited to 8-bit color.
Good value: 10-bit.
Noticeable difference: 1 bit.
:
8 Bit

The Sony X690E is good at displaying our gradient test image. While analyzing our test picture taken of the gradient image, we could notice the regular banding normally seen on 8-bit TVs, but this is not a problem for TV shows, sports or standard SDR movies as all those are 8-bit content. Besides the 8-bit banding, some little shade inaccuracies can be noticed in the dark end of color, but this is not bad at all when compared to other TVs.

We did watch some HDR movies on the X690E and were really surprised how well it could display HDR movies, even though we can see 8-bit banding in our gradient test. As you can see here, banding is visible, but we have seen 10-bit TVs with more banding than on the X690E. In the end, unless you are a professional looking for a TV to display some 10-bit extensive graphics with a computer, the Sony X690E should do a good job, in your home setup, with your SDR and HDR movies collection.

7.4 Pre Calibration
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What it is: TV's color accuracy before a full calibration. Only the picture mode, color temperature, and backlight level were changed.
When it matters: All video on an uncalibrated TV. This represents most people's use cases.
Score components:
Sony X690E Pre Calibration Picture Sony X690E Pre Gamma Curve Picture Sony X690E Pre Color Picture
White Balance dE
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What it is: Average inaccuracy of shades of gray.
When it matters: Overall color temperature of all video.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
2.99
Color dE
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What it is: Average inaccuracy of colors.
When it matters: All colors.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
3.26
Gamma
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What it is: Brightness of shades of gray.
When it matters: Shadows.
Good value: Between 2.1 and 2.3 (our target is 2.2)
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
2.2

Out of the box, when set on the 'General' scene select and on the 'Custom' picture mode, the Sony X690E has a better than average accuracy. The white balance is a bit on the warm side and the white balance dE is on the limit where it begins to be noticeable by enthusiasts. The color accuracy is also not bad, as the dE is also just hovering over the limit where it begins to be noticeable to enthusiasts.

The gamma is right on our target of 2.2, with only a small dip in the lighter shade, but this is really not a problem. For most people, the Sony X690E could be used without calibration, as with most Sony TVs in general, which tend to be very accurate.

9.0 Post Calibration
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What it is: TV's color accuracy after a full calibration with a spectrophotometer.
When it matters: All video on a TV that has been professionally calibrated. This isn't that useful, because most TVs can achieve a pretty good calibration if you spend enough time on them.
Score components:
Sony X690E Post Calibration Picture Sony X690E Post Gamma Curve Picture Sony X690E Post Color Picture
White Balance dE
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What it is: Average inaccuracy of shades of gray.
When it matters: Overall color temperature of all videos.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
0.38
Color dE
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What it is: Average inaccuracy of colors.
When it matters: All colors.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
2.31
Gamma
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What it is: Brightness of shades of gray.
When it matters: Shadows.
Good value: Between 2.1 and 2.3 (our target is 2.2)
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
2.2

After calibration, the X690E accuracy is excellent. The white balance dE was brought down to a negligible 0.38, and the little dip in the gamma was flattened and all this due to the 10 point white balance calibration provided by Sony. Note that the 10 points calibration was a bit harder than on other TVs though, as each IRE point was not well defined, as they would affect sometimes up to 2 adjacent IRE points, making the whole procedure long and tedious.

As with most Sony TVs, the X690E did not provide a color management system, and the only possible correction to the color accuracy was done via the correction applied to the white balance. The correction of the white point did help to fix some of the inaccuracy, as the color dE did shrink a bit, but some color, like the blue, did retain a high level of inaccuracy. In the end, this is still a very good result.

You can see our recommended calibration settings here

8.0 480p Input
Show Help
What it is: Quality of a 480p input.
When it matters: Standard definition TV, DVDs.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Sony X690E 480p Picture

Upscaling of low-quality content is good. The image isn't too soft and details are preserved.

8.0 720p Input
Show Help
What it is: Quality of a 720p input.
When it matters: HD channels, some streaming videos.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Sony X690E 720p Picture

With a 720p input such as cable the upscaling is good, and jagged edges are smoothed well without much detail loss.

9.0 1080p Input
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What it is: Quality of a 1080p input.
When it matters: Blu-rays, streaming video, video files, video games.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Sony X690E 1080p Picture

Full-HD content such as Blu-rays are upscaled well. The image is sharp and detailed.

10 4k Input
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What it is: Quality of a 4k UHD input.
When it matters: Streaming video, UHD Blu-rays, some PCs.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Sony X690E 4k Picture

No issues can be seen with native 4k content such as UHD Blu-rays.

6.6 Color Gamut
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What it is: How many colors the TV can display.
When it matters: HDR content. Includes some streaming videos and UHD Blu-rays.
Score components:
Wide Color Gamut
Show Help
What it is: Whether the TV has an option to enable wide color gamuts.
When it matters: HDR content. Includes some streaming videos and UHD Blu-rays.
:
No
Sony X690E Color Gamut DCI-P3 Picture
DCI P3 xy
Show Help
What it is: Coverage of the DCI P3 colorspace on CIE 1931 xy.
When it matters: DCI P3 content. Includes HDR, UHD Blu-rays.
Good value: > 90%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
73.46 %
DCI P3 uv
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What it is: Coverage of the DCI P3 colorspace on CIE 1976 u' v'.
When it matters: DCI P3 content. Includes HDR, UHD Blu-rays.
Good value: > 90%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
81.41 %
Sony X690E Color Gamut Rec.2020 Picture
Rec 2020 xy
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What it is: Coverage of the Rec.2020 colorspace on CIE 1931 xy.
When it matters: Rec.2020 content. Includes HDR, UHD Blu-rays.
Good value: > 90%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
52.73 %
Rec 2020 uv
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What it is: Coverage of the Rec.2020 colorspace on CIE 1976 u' v'.
When it matters: Rec.2020 content. Includes HDR, UHD Blu-rays.
Good value: > 90%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
54.91 %
Sony X690E EOTF

Standard color gamut. Only good enough for SDR content using the Rec 709 color space. Deep colors in HDR content will be shown less saturated than intended, but most colors in a scene will be shown fairly well. The TV's color accuracy struggles when showing very bright DCI P3 colors; the same test done at a lower brightness (50% stimulus as opposed to 75%) shows far better color accuracy, because the TV can more easily reach this brightness.

HDR content is only shown properly in the HDR 'Scene Select' (or 'Auto'); it is the only mode that uses the HDR PQ curve instead of the SDR gamma curve. In this mode the TV's EOTF follows the PQ curve fairly well, though the slope of the line undershoots a bit. Adjusting the 'Gamma' setting to '+2' makes the EOTF follow the PQ curve more closely, as shown here. Even higher gamma would be better in bright rooms.

5.5 Color Volume
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What it is: How many colors a TV can display at different luminosity levels.
When it matters: HDR content. Includes some streaming videos, UHD Blu-rays and HDR games.
Sony X690E P3 Color Volume ITP Picture
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage ITP
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What it is: How much of the DCI-P3 colorspace a TV can display at different luminosity levels
When it matters: HDR content. Includes some streaming videos, UHD Blu-rays and HDR games.
Good value: 80%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
60.5 %
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP
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What it is: How much of the DCI-P3 colorspace a TV can display at different luminosity levels when compared to an ideal 10,000 nit TV
When it matters: HDR content. Includes some streaming videos, UHD Blu-rays and HDR games.
:
22.6 %
Sony X690E 2020 Color Volume ITP Picture
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
Show Help
What it is: How much of the Rec. 2020 colorspace a TV can display at different luminosity levels
When it matters: HDR content. Includes some streaming videos, UHD Blu-rays and HDR games.
Good value: 80 %
Noticeable difference: 5 %
:
49.4 %
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
Show Help
What it is: How much of the Rec 2020 colorspace a TV can display at different luminosity levels when compared to an ideal 10,000 nit TV
When it matters: HDR content. Includes some streaming videos, UHD Blu-rays and HDR games.
:
18.5 %

Disappointing color volume, mostly limited by the TV's standard color gamut. The TV's black point is decent which helps at the bottom of the volume, but at the top, some saturated colors are not as bright as they should be.

10 Image Retention
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What it is: How much a static image is retained on a TV screen after a certain amount of time.
When it matters: When watching TV show, playing video games or when using your TV as a PC monitor.
Sony X690E Image Retention Picture
IR after 0 min recovery
Show Help
What it is: Image retention measured right after the static image exposure, without recovery time.
When it matters: When changing channels while watching TV, right after changing the type of content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie) or changing input.
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0 %
IR after 2 min recovery
Show Help
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 2 minutes.
When it matters: When changing channels while watching TV, right after changing the type of content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie) or changing input.
Good value: 0 is perfect
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0 %
IR after 4 min recovery
Show Help
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 4 minutes.
When it matters: When changing channels while watching TV, right after changing the type of content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie) or changing input.
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0 %
IR after 6 min recovery
Show Help
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 6 minutes.
When it matters: When changing channels while watching TV, right after changing the type of content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie) or changing input.
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0 %
IR after 8 min recovery
Show Help
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 8 minutes.
When it matters: When changing channels while watching TV, right after changing the type of content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie) or changing input.
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0 %
IR after 10 min recovery
Show Help
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 10 minutes.
When it matters: When changing channels while watching TV, right after changing the type of content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie) or changing input.
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0 %

The Sony X690E VA TV does not present image retention at all, even right after the 10 minutes burn-in scene. This is in line with most VA TV tested before and should please those gamer out there who worry about image retention harming their TV.

7.0 Reflections
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What it is: How much light is reflected by the TV.
When it matters: Bright rooms.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Sony X690E Reflections Picture Sony X690E Bright Room Picture
Reflection
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What it is: Ratio of ambient light reflected by the TV.
When it matters: Ambient light in the room.
Good value: < 1%
Noticeable difference: 0.5%
:
2.4 %
Screen Finish
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What it is: Type of coating on the screen.
When it matters: Bright objects in the direct reflection path (for example, opposite the TV).
Good value: Glossy is good for ambient light, but not for direct reflections.
:
Semi-gloss

The reflection handling of the X690E is fine. It has a semi-gloss finish which diffuses reflections across the screen, reducing their intensity. It is fine for most rooms, but in a bright room, the high reflection value is an issue.

0 3D
Show Help
What it is: Optional 3D video capability on TV.
When it matters: 3D movies and videos.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
3D
Show Help
What it is: If it can display a picture in 3D.
When it matters: 3D movies & videos.
:
No
3D Type
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What it is: The 3D technology used by the TV.
When it matters: 3D movies & videos.
Good value: Active have better resolution, but flickers. Passive is more comfortable, but loses half the vertical resolution.
:
No
2D to 3D
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What it is: Feature that converts 2D content to 3D.
When it matters: If you want to watch 2D content in 3D. Note that the quality is not as good as that of native 3D.
:
No

The Sony X690E does not support 3D.

Pixels
8.3

Motion

Motion looks great on the X690E. The panel has a fast pixel response time and no flicker by default but can add 60 Hz flicker to greatly reduce persistence blur for those who don't mind flicker. Unfortunately, the TV's motion interpolation (soap opera effect) has a lot of artifacts and is best left off unless you really like the effect. The TV doesn't have 24p judder when watching movies from 24 Hz sources which is good, but can't remove judder from 60p or 60i sources.

8.7 Motion Blur
Show Help
What it is: Amount of blur on fast movement.
When it matters: Sports, video games.
Score components:
Sony X690E Motion Blur Picture Sony X690E Response Time Chart
80% Response Time
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What it is: How quickly pixels can reach 80% of a full transition from one color to another.
When it matters: Fast movement.
Good value: < 8 ms
Noticeable difference: 4 ms
:
4.4 ms
100% Response Time
Show Help
What it is: How quickly pixels can fully transition from one color to another.
When it matters: Fast movement.
Good value: < 20 ms
Noticeable difference: 10 ms
:
14.6 ms

Great response time, leading to only a very short trail following moving objects. This is great when watching fast-paced content. Most of the blur in the picture is due to image persistence. Many of the TV's transitions have overshoot, suggesting that the TV is using overdrive to improve response time.

8.0 Image Flicker
Show Help
What it is: Luminosity pattern when displaying images
When it matters: Sports, video games, when TV is used as a PC monitor
Score components:
Sony X690E Backlight Picture
PWM Dimming Frequency
Show Help
What it is: Flickering pattern at different luminosities.
When it matters: For people sensitive to flickering.
Good value: N/A or high frequencies (> 300 Hz). Frequencies that are multiples of 60Hz are better.
:
0 Hz
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
Show Help
What it is: Option to turn screen black between frames
When it matters: Reduces eye tracking blur in sports or video games
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
Sony X690E BFI Picture Sony X690E BFI Frequency Picture
BFI Frequency
Show Help
What it is: Lowest possible frequency of flickering pattern
When it matters: Reduces eye tracking blur in sports or video games
Good value: 60 Hz
:
60 Hz
BFI In Game Mode
Show Help
What it is: Option to insert black frames when in the best settings for gaming
When it matters: Reducing eye tracking blur for video games
Good value: Yes
:
No

Like most Sony TVs, the X690E's backlight doesn't flicker at all by default which is great. This completely eliminates the double image artifacts seen on TVs with PWM flicker dimming, but it does lead to persistence based motion blur because images are shown for a full frame.

Turning on Black Frame Insertion (BFI) greatly reduces this persistence blur by showing images for only a short time, at the cost of adding 60 Hz flicker which is annoying for some and greatly decreases the brightness. BFI is activated by increasing the 'Clearness' slider to max in the TV's 'Motionflow' settings, which are unfortunately unavailable in game mode.

7.1 24p Playback
Show Help
What it is: Whether 24p content can play without any judder.
When it matters: Only 24p content (mostly just movies).
Judder-free 24p
Show Help
What it is: Judder-free movies over 24p signal.
When it matters: Blu-ray and DVD movies; 24 hz PC signal.
:
Yes
Judder-free 24p via 60p
Show Help
What it is: Judder-free movies over 60p signal.
When it matters: Movies from streaming devices (Apple TV, Fire TV, etc.); 60 hz PC signal.
:
No
Judder-free 24p via 60i
Show Help
What it is: Judder-free movies over 60i signal.
When it matters: Movies from cable/satellite boxes.
:
No

The Sony X690E can display 24p movies without judder playing from 24p sources like DVD and Blu-rays players and this without the need to turn on any special feature at all. 24p movies playing from 60p and 60i sources do present judder and the X690E could not remove it, no matter what we tried. This is a similar result as the Sony X720E.

7.0 Motion Interpolation
Show Help
What it is: Also known as 'Soap Opera Effect'. It is an optional feature that increases the frame rate of the video, smoothing movement.
When it matters: If you like the look of smoothed video. Not everyone does.
Motion Interpolation (30 fps)
Show Help
What it is: Whether the TV can take a 30 fps input and heighten the frame rate to at least 60 fps.
When it matters: 30 fps or lower videos. Includes movies, TV shows, some video games.
:
Yes
Sony X690E Motion Interpolation (30 fps) Picture
Motion Interpolation (60 fps)
Show Help
What it is: Whether the TV can take a 60 fps input and heighten the frame rate to at least 100 fps.
When it matters: 60 fps videos. Includes some video games, some sports channels.
:
No

The TV only has a 60 Hz panel, so its motion interpolation function (soap opera effect) can only interpolate content up to 60 fps. Motion interpolation on this TV doesn't work very well as it adds a lot of artifacts, even on a simple translation pattern like our test pattern. This appears to be a bug, but it may not be fixable by firmware. Motion interpolation is added by increasing the 'Smoothness' slider in the TV's 'Motionflow' settings. We recommend leaving it off because of its artifacts, or using low values of 'Smoothness'.

9.0

Inputs

Show Help
Score components:

The X690E can properly display almost any content, including HDR. It has excellent low input lag, which should please all but the most competitive gamers. However, it has a bug where low input lag is not preserved when the TV is turned off and back on, the user must switch out and back into game mode to get low input lag.

9.2 Input Lag
Show Help
What it is: Delay between input and onscreen reaction.
When it matters: Video games; when TV is used as PC monitor.
4k @ 60Hz
Show Help
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on TV when displaying 4k @ 60Hz.
When it matters: Video games and also when TV is used as PC monitor.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
20.3 ms
1080p @ 60Hz
Show Help
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on TV with a 1080p @ 60Hz input.
When it matters: Video games and also when TV is used as PC monitor.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
20.2 ms
4k @ 60Hz + HDR
Show Help
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on TV when displaying 4k @ 60Hz with HDR.
When it matters: HDR Video games.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
20.3 ms
1080p @ 60Hz + HDR
Show Help
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on the TV when displaying 1080p @ 60Hz with HDR.
When it matters: HDR video games from a console outputting a 1080p signal.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
20.2 ms
4k @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode
Show Help
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on the TV when displaying 4k @ 60Hz in a fully featured picture mode.
When it matters: For playing video games while retaining access to all features of the TV.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
119.9 ms
1080p @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode
Show Help
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on the TV when displaying 1080p @ 60Hz in a fully featured picture mode.
When it matters: For playing video games while retaining access to all features of the TV.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
119.9 ms
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
Show Help
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on TV when displaying 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4.
When it matters: PC Monitor
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
20.2 ms
1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
Show Help
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on TV when displaying 1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
When it matters: PC monitor.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
20.2 ms
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4 + 8 bit HDR
Show Help
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on TV when displaying 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4 with HDR enabled at 8 bit
When it matters: PC Monitor with an HDR capable graphic card
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
N/A
1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4 + HDR
Show Help
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on TV when displaying 1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4 with HDR
When it matters: PC monitor with an HDR capable graphics card
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
N/A
4k With Interpolation
Show Help
What it is: Lowest input lag for 4k content when the motion interpolation feature is turned on.
When it matters: When you want to play video games with the Soap Opera Effect enabled.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
119.9 ms
1080p With Interpolation
Show Help
What it is: Lowest input lag for 1080p content when the motion interpolation feature is turned on.
When it matters: When you want to play video games with the Soap Opera Effect enabled.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
119.9 ms
1080p @ 120 Hz
Show Help
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on TV with a 1080p @ 120Hz input.
When it matters: When the TV is used as PC monitor.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
N/A

Excellent input lag, which should please all but the most competitive gamers. Both game and graphics modes have the same input lag and show 4:4:4 color properly, but neither shows HDR content properly. The HDR 'Scene Select' is the only one that shows HDR properly, and it has low input lag as long as 'Motionflow' is turned off, but it does not show 4:4:4 color properly. Overall, the input lag is similar to the Sony X720E and most Samsung TVs, far better than most other Sony TVs, but not as good as many LG and TCL TVs like the S405.

The TV, unfortunately, has a major bug: when in a low input lag 'Scene Select' (Game, Graphics, HDR), low input lag and 4:4:4 support are not preserved when the TV is turned off and back on. The only way to get it back is to switch to a different 'Scene Select' and then back to the low input lag one. It is unknown if a future firmware update will fix this issue.

8.0 Supported Resolutions
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What it is: Different resolutions supported by TV.
When it matters: PC monitor usage.
Score components:
  • 20% 1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
  • 20% 1080p @ 120Hz
  • 20% 4k @ 30Hz @ 4:4:4
  • 20% 4k @ 60Hz
  • 20% 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
Show Help
What it is: Crisp text on 1060p @ 60 hz signal.
When it matters: PC productivity and 60 fps gaming.
:
Yes
1080p @ 120Hz
Show Help
What it is: 120 fps 1080p signal supported.
When it matters: PC gaming.
:
No
4k @ 30Hz @ 4:4:4
Show Help
What it is: Crisp text on 4k @ 30 hz signal.
When it matters: PC productivity and gaming.
:
Yes
4k @ 60Hz
Show Help
What it is: 60 fps 4k signal supported.
When it matters: PC productivity and gaming.
:
Yes
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
Show Help
What it is: Crisp text on 4k @ 60 hz signal.
When it matters: Productivity and 60 fps gaming in 4k.
:
Yes

Most common resolutions are supported. 4:4:4 color is only shown properly in the Game and Graphics 'Scene Select' modes, and HDR content is only shown properly in the HDR mode (but not proper 4:4:4). The Auto 'Scene Select' should switch to HDR when it detects HDR metadata. 4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4 or 4:2:2 color is only supported on HDMI inputs 2 and 3, and only when 'HDMI Signal Format' is set to 'Enhanced' for the port in use.

Also, in Graphics mode the 1080p upscaling is very crude, merely mapping one 1080p pixel to four 4k pixels. This makes the image sharper but also more jagged. This behavior is the same as on the Sony X900E, shown here. Graphics mode also completely disables the TV's CE dimming when very dark content is shown on screen.

The TV, unfortunately, has a major bug: when in a low input lag 'Scene Select' (Game, Graphics, HDR), low input lag and proper 4:4:4 support are not preserved when the TV is turned off and back on. The only way to get them back is to switch to a different 'Scene Select' and then back to the low input lag one. It is unknown if a future firmware update will fix this issue.

Side Inputs
Rear Inputs
Total Inputs
HDMI : 3
USB : 3
Digital Optical Audio Out : 1
Analog Audio Out 3.5mm : 1
Analog Audio Out RCA : 0
Component In : 1 (shared)
Composite In : 1 (shared)
Tuner (Cable/Ant) : 1
Ethernet : 1
DisplayPort : 0
IR In : 0
SD/SDHC : 0

Inputs Specifications
HDR10
Show Help
What it is: Standard HDR format.
When it matters: Most common format. All UHD Blu-ray discs are required to have it.
:
Yes
Dolby Vision
Show Help
What it is: Better format, due to its dynamic nature.
When it matters: Dolby Vision mastered content. Current available from streaming services (Netflix, Amazon Video), some Blu-Ray players, the Apple TV 4k and ChromeCast Ultra.
:
No
5.1 Passthrough ARC Dolby Digital
Show Help
What it is: TV can receive and pass Dolby Digital 5.1 signal to receiver via HDMI ARC.
When it matters: 5.1 audio on DVDs and Blu-rays.
:
Yes
5.1 Passthrough ARC DTS
Show Help
What it is: TV can receive and pass DTS 5.1 signal to receiver via HDMI ARC.
When it matters: 5.1 audio on DVDs and Blu-rays.
:
Yes
5.1 Passthrough Optical Dolby Digital
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What it is: TV can receive and pass Dolby Digital signal to receiver via digital optical.
When it matters: 5.1 audio on DVDs and Blu-rays.
:
Yes
5.1 Passthrough Optical DTS
Show Help
What it is: TV can receive and pass DTS signal to receiver via digital optical.
When it matters: 5.1 audio on DVDs and Blu-rays.
:
Yes
HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwith : Yes (HDMI 2,3)
ARC : Yes (HDMI 3)
USB 3 : No
HDCP 2.2 : Yes (HDMI 1,2,3,4)
CEC : Yes
MHL : No
Variable Analog Audio Out : Yes

HDR content is only displayed properly in the HDR 'Scene Select'; in any other mode the TV uses the SDR gamma curve rather than the HDR PQ curve. The Auto 'Scene Select' should switch to HDR when it detects HDR metadata.

6.4

Sound Quality

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What it is: How well and accurately the audio is reproduced.
When it matters: When a good and accurate sound reproduction is needed.
Score components:

The Sony X690E sound capabilities are average. The TV doesn't provide a particularly good sound, but it also doesn't have a very big downside that renders it less usable. Nevertheless, a dedicated soundbar will offer a significant upgrade in sound quality.

6.4 Frequency Response
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What it is: How accurately the sound level of each frequency is being produced.
When it matters: For a balanced and neutral sound.
Sony X690E Frequency Response
Low-Frequency Extension
Show Help
What it is: The lowest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response.
When it matters: Movies, Gaming. Shows how extended the bass is.
Good value: < 60Hz
Noticeable difference: 10Hz
:
151.02 Hz
Std. Dev. @ 70
Show Help
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard deviation) in frequency response measured at 70dB SPL, as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: Shows the TV's frequency response at quiet listening levels
Good value: < 4 dB
Noticeable difference: 0.5 dB
:
4.94 dB
Std. Dev. @ 80
Show Help
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard deviation) in frequency response measured at 80dB SPL, as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: Shows the TV's frequency response at moderate listening levels
Good value: < 4 dB
Noticeable difference: 0.5 dB
:
4.86 dB
Std. Dev. @ Max
Show Help
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard deviation) in frequency response measured with the TV at maximum volume, as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: Shows the TV's frequency response at under maximum load
Good value: < 4 dB
Noticeable difference: 2 dB
:
3.36 dB
Max
Show Help
What it is: Maximum volume reached by the TV at their optimum viewing distance (size dependent)
When it matters: For listening to loud audio.
Good value: > 88 dB
Noticeable difference: 2 dB
:
92.5 dB SPL
Dynamic Range Compression
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What it is: The amount of difference between the TVs frequency response performance at 70dB SPL and Max dB SPL. Too much compression will result in pumping in the sound.
When it matters: When an accurate and free-of-pumping performance is required at higher volumes
Good value: < 3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
2.28 dB

Passable frequency response. Unlike most TVs we've tested, the X690E doesn't have a significant overemphasis on lower frequencies, but it still features a downwards tilt that causes the treble response to be a bit under-represented. Its low-frequency extension is quite poor, making it sound a bit thin.

6.4 Distortion
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What it is: Deformation of an output signal compared to its input, usually clipping, harmonic distortion, or inter-modulation distortion caused by non-linear behavior of the sound system.
When it matters: When a clean, pure and transparent reproduction is desired.
Score components:
Sony X690E Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80
Show Help
What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 80dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at moderate listening levels.
Good value: < 0.100
Noticeable difference: 0.100
:
0.041
Weighted THD @ Max
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What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at the TV's maximum SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at moderate listening levels.
Good value: < 0.100
Noticeable difference: 0.100
:
18.293
IMD @ 80
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What it is: The average amount of inter-modulation distortion produced by the TV under maximum load. The percentage shown here is the average result of 3 separate test signals/standards: SMPTE, DIN, & CCIF
When it matters: When a clean and free of aliasing reproduction is desired
Good value: < 5%
Noticeable difference: 2
:
1.39 %
IMD @ Max
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What it is: The average amount of inter-modulation distortion produced by the TV under maximum load. The percentage shown here is the average result of 3 separate test signals/standards: SMPTE, DIN, & CCIF
When it matters: When a clean and free of aliasing reproduction is desired
Good value: < 5%
Noticeable difference: 2
:
20.33 %

Passable distortion performance. THD and IMD levels are relatively low at lower volumes but skyrocket when the TV's speakers are pushed to their maximum. While rattling and overall distortion is noticeable at peak output, it shouldn't be an issue at more common levels.

6.2

Smart Features

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Score components:
  • 42% Interface
  • 2% Ads
  • 37% Apps and Features
  • 16% Remote
  • 3% Remote App
Sony X690E Smart TV Picture
Smart OS : Custom Sony

The X690E runs a custom Sony operating system like the X720E but unlike most other Sony TVs, which use Android TV. This custom OS isn't very good as it has a somewhat confusing interface and an app store with poor selection, though it does come with Netflix, YouTube and Amazon Video out of the box. The TV's remote is very large and has lots of buttons like most other Sony remotes, but lacks the voice search of Sony's higher end models.

6.0 Interface
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What it is: The usability, features and performance of the main interface of the TV, not including the interfaces of the apps themselves.
When it matters: Anytime when using the TV, but especially when changing settings and using apps.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Ease of Use
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What it is: How easy the interface is to navigate, affected by the organization of its layout, placing frequently accessed elements in areas that are faster to access, etc.
When it matters: When using the smart features.
:
Not Easy
Smoothness
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What it is: How smooth the interface is to navigate, affected by lag and frame drops.
When it matters: When using the smart features.
:
Very Smooth
Time Taken to Select YouTube
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What it is: How long it takes to select YouTube for launch, starting from HDMI 1 input, when YouTube is placed first on the list of apps or added as a shortcut. This does not include app launch time, and does not use a fixed YouTube button on a remote. This serves as an indication of the time needed to select any app.
When it matters: When launching any app.
:
4 s
Time Taken to Change Backlight
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What it is: The time it takes to navigate to the 'Backlight' setting ('Brightness' on Sony TVs). This serves as an indication of how long it takes to navigate to basic TV settings.
When it matters: When changing TV settings.
:
5 s
Advanced Options
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What it is: Whether advanced options and settings are available, such as color calibration.
When it matters: When customizing the TV and using the smart features.
:
Many

The TV's interface is far more basic than most other smart platforms. It has no animations but is very fast when navigating menus, which is great. However, the interface isn't very well laid out, making navigation confusing sometimes. This is especially true for the picture settings menus: there is a 'Picture Options' setting listed high on the Options menu and a 'Scene Select' setting listed low on the menu, yet 'Scene Select' completely changes the options in 'Picture Options'. HDR content is only shown properly in the HDR 'Scene Select', so if a user activates another 'Scene Select' (besides Auto) for SDR then decides to play HDR content, HDR won't be shown properly and the user won't be warned that this is the case. All this can lead to a very confusing experience for users who aren't familiar with this interface.

10 Ads
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What it is: Whether or not ads can be found on the TV's smart platform.
When it matters: When using the smart features.
Score components:
Ads
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What it is: Whether the TV's main interface has ads. This does take into account ads in third-party apps.
When it matters: When using the smart features.
:
No
Opt-out
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What it is: Whether you can opt out of the ad services or not. A TV only passes this test if it allows you to remove them completely, not only disable the personalized advertising.
When it matters: When using the smart features.
:
N/A
Suggested Content in Home
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What it is: Whether suggested content appears in the TV's home menu or main menu. Suggested content can include recommended movies, TV shows, YouTube videos etc.
:
No
Opt-out of Suggested Content
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What it is: Whether the suggested content feed in the home menu can be removed or hidden
:
N/A

The TV has no ads in its main interface and does not show suggested content in its home menu, which is great.

6.5 Apps and Features
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What it is: The usability, features and performance of apps and other smart features.
When it matters: Only when using smart features such as apps, casting and USB playback.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Sony X690E Apps Picture
App Selection
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What it is: The number and variety of apps available to download for the smart platform.
When it matters: When downloading new apps.
:
Not Many
App Smoothness
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What it is: How smooth it feels to navigate the interfaces of apps, affected by lag and frame drops.
When it matters: When using apps.
:
Average
Cast Capable
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What it is: Whether apps on a phone or tablet can cast content to the TV.
:
Yes
USB Drive Playback
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What it is: Whether the TV can play content from a drive connected to one of the TV's USB ports.
:
Yes
USB Drive HDR Playback
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What it is: Whether HDR files played from a USB drive can be displayed properly.
:
Yes
HDR in Netflix
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What it is: Whether HDR content on Netflix can be played back in HDR using the native Netflix app.
:
Yes
HDR in Amazon Video
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What it is: Whether HDR content on Amazon Video can be played in HDR using the native Amazon Video app.
:
Yes
HDR in YouTube
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What it is: Whether HDR content on YouTube can be played in HDR using the native YouTube app.
:
Yes

The TV comes with a few popular apps preinstalled, such as Netflix, YouTube and Amazon Video. More apps can be downloaded from the Opera TV app store, which unfortunately doesn't have a great selection of apps.

6.5 Remote
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What it is: The usability and features of the TV's physical remote.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Sony X690E Remote Picture
Size
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What it is: How big the remote is
:
Large
Voice Control
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What it is: The capabilities of the TV's voice control feature
:
No
CEC Menu Control
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What it is: Whether the remote can act as a universal remote for HDMI CEC enabled devices. This was tested on our Samsung UBD-K8500 4K Blu-ray player, and may not be valid for other CEC devices as implementations vary by manufacturer.
:
Yes
Other Smart Features
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What it is: Whether the remote has any other smart features, such as a pointer, universal remote support for non HDMI CEC devices, etc.
:
No

The X690E's remote is very large and has a lot of buttons, but is relatively light for its size which is good. It is very similar to the remotes of the X720E and X800E, but not as good as the remotes of higher-end Sony TVs like the X900E: its buttons are individual rubber chunks rather than one continuous surface, and it lacks a microphone for voice search.

1.0 Remote App
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What it is: The features of the official phone and tablet app for the TV.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Acts as the Remote
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What it is: Whether the remote app can emulate all the buttons of the physical remote.
:
No
Launches Apps and Inputs
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What it is: Whether the remote app can launch the TV's apps and change between its inputs.
:
No
Inputs Text in YouTube
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What it is: Whether the remote app can enter text for YouTube searches.
:
No
Inputs Text in Netflix
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What it is: Whether the remote app can enter text for Netflix searches.
:
No
Streams Device Files
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What it is: Whether the remote app can stream files from the phone or tablet to the TV, files such as pictures, music and video.
:
Limited Support
Controls TV Settings
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What it is: Whether the app can change all or some of the settings on the TV, such as the backlight.
:
No
Voice Control
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What it is: Whether the remote can send voice commands to the TV.
:
No

The TV does not have a companion app (the Sony app doesn't work with it). It does have a 'Photo Sharing Plus' feature but it's fairly limited and not easy to use. The TV creates a Wifi direct network that a device can connect to, then lists an address with a web app the linked device can access with a web browser. Photos and music uploaded to the web app can be played on the TV. One inconvenience of this system is that the device used must disconnect from other Wifi networks to connect to the TV's direct network, which is annoying.

TV Controls
Sony X690E Controls Picture

The TV has three physical buttons. They bring up a menu when pressed. The center button cycles between functions (input, volume) while the up and down buttons increment the function. The TV powers on when the center button is pressed, and powers off when the center button is held for five seconds.

In The Box
Sony X690E In The Box Picture

  • Manual
  • Batteries
  • Remote

Misc
Power Consumption : 63 W
Power Consumption (Max) : 132 W
Firmware : 4.002.000-5

Differences between Sizes and Variants

We tested the 60" (KD60X690E). For the most part, we expect our review to be valid for the 70" (KD70X690E) as well.

If someone comes across a different type of panel or if their Sony X690E doesn't correspond to our review, let us know and we will update the review. 

Size Model
60" KD60X690E
70" KD70X690E

Compared to other TVs

Sony X690E Group Shot Picture
Top left: Samsung MU6300 (UN55MU6300). Bottom left: Sony X720E (KD43X720E). Middle: Sony X690E (KD60X690E). Top right: Vizio E Series 2017 (E65-E1). Bottom right: TCL S405 (43S405).  Unlike our other photographs, this picture wasn't taken under a controlled environment, so do not draw conclusions from it.

The Sony X690E is a good entry-level 4K LED TV that offers better than average picture quality for its price. It doesn't have very good smart features but its a competitively priced TV, especially for the larger sizes it is available at.

Samsung MU6300
40" 43" 50" 55" 65" 75"

Samsung's MU6300 is one of their entry-level 4k LED TVs for 2017. It's a decent, versatile TV with fine picture quality, but in comparable sizes, it offers less for the money than the Sony X690E. Unless you absolutely need the more advanced smart features found on the Samsung, the Sony's better overall performance make it a better choice than the MU6300 for most people.

Sony X720E
43" 49" 55"

The X720E is a slightly higher-end model in Sony's line of 4K LED TVs. It features a wide viewing angle and similar low input lag and motion blur to what is found on the X690E. When comparing the two, they are both good TVs, but they tend to perform well in different areas. The X720E does better with TV shows, sports, and as a PC monitor, while the X690E does better with movies and video games. They are both good picks depending on your needs.

Vizio E Series 2017
50" 55" 60" 65" 70" 75" 80"

The Vizio E Series 2017 is their entry-level SmartCast enabled LED TV. It offers better than average picture quality for the money and is overall very similar to the Sony X690E in performance. Some user might prefer its Chromecast-centric smart feature, but either TV is a good buy. Pick whichever is cheaper.

TCL S405
43" 49" 55" 65"

TCL's S405 is their budget 4k LED offering for 2017. It offers a decent picture quality and excellent smart features for the money. It doesn't have quite as good a picture quality as the Sony X690E, but its Roku smart platform is sufficient to make it a standalone device for most people. If you're looking for smaller sizes than the Sony offers, or if you'd like a larger TV for your money, the S405 is a good choice over the X690E.

Conclusion
SEE PRICE
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7.5Mixed Usage
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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:
The Sony X690E is a good TV for a mixed usage. It has a better than average picture quality, very low input lag for gaming and great handling of motion. Unfortunately, its simplistic smart features might not please all, and its narrow viewing angle means it's only suitable for watching directly in front.
7.2Movies
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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:
Decent TV for movies in a dark room. The Sony X690E produces uniform blacks thanks to its great contrast ratio, which helps keep letterboxes clean and free of blooming. Unfortunately, it lacks a local dimming feature to further enhance the depth of the picture.
7.2TV Shows
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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:
Decent TV shows performance. The TV's decent picture quality and brightness make it a better than average choice for watching broadcast or online content. It's not the best at handling reflections though and its elementary smart features might be a little limiting for some.
7.3Sports
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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:
The Sony X690E does better than average for watching sports. It has a good screen uniformity, which helps keep fields and ice rinks looking clean. Unfortunately, it's not great when viewed from an angle, making it less useful for wider living rooms.
8.4Video 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.
Great TV for playing video games. The Sony X690E's very low input lag and low motion blur make it a great choice for gaming. Games feel responsive and look very fluid and clear. Unfortunately, its backlight flicker function cannot be enabled in game mode.
6.9HDR 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.
Mediocre HDR performance. While the Sony X690E does have some basic HDR support, its capabilities stop it from offering any picture quality enhancement with HDR content.
7.7HDR 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.
While its HDR capabilities are limited, the X690E's input lag and overall gaming experience does not deteriorate with an HDR input.
7.7PC 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.
Good TV for a PC monitor. It supports the most important resolutions, and its low input lag and motion blur keep it responsive and enjoyable to use with a mouse. Unfortunately, its narrow viewing angle means that sitting too close to it will often cause darkening and other deterioration on the edges of the screen.

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Questions & Answers

3 ANSWERED QUESTIONS
12
The Sony X690E 70" and Sony X850E 65" are both $1500+tax at the moment. Seating is about 10ft from the television and we have the typical seating arrangement of a 3 person sofa in front of the tv with a 2 person sofa perpendicular to it on one side and a chair on the other. Mostly watch movies, sports, and some tv shows. Don't care about smart features or gaming performance. Based on the various tools on your (great) site, I've narrowed it down to the two sets above. Finally, my question: Is the slightly better picture quality of the X850E worth sacrificing the extra 5" of the X690E? Or, given the constraints above, should I be looking at a completely different set? Thank you very much for your help, and again, awesome site.
The X850E is indeed better, but mostly only for HDR (wider color gamut and brighter screen). For normal SDR content, the difference isn't big besides the brightness. Therefore, if you have a bright room or plan on watching HDR more in the future, get the 65" X850E. If not, get the bigger X690E.
7
Does the 60" KD60X690E have a TV tuner built-in? I have been looking at this TV at my local Best Buy and am also looking to cut the cord on my cable subscription and looking at some HDTV outdoor OTA antennas to get nearby HD channels. I appreciate your help. Thanks!
The X690E does feature a TV tuner which will make cutting the cord a bit easier.
5
I currently have a VIZIO M70-C3. I have been happy with it, but it lacks HDR. Most of the content I'm currently watching has limited HDR (cable TV, streaming, Blu-ray) but I do have a UHD Blu-ray player. I am restricted in my size, and can't have anything bigger than 70". Since this Sony TV is available in 70", do you think it's really worth upgrading from my current VIZIO M70-C3? Thanks.
The Sony X690E isn't much better than the Vizio M70-C3, besides the HDR support. And even though the X690E supports HDR, it isn't bright enough nor does it have a wide enough color gamut to take advantage of HDR's bright highlights and saturated colors. We strongly recommend saving your money for a mid range TV next year, something like the Vizio M Series 2017.
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