The Sony X800G is a decent 4k TV with an IPS panel, which delivers wide viewing angles and good peak brightness. It has very good motion handling, with an excellent response time, so fast-moving objects look great, with very little blur behind them. Unfortunately, like the majority of IPS TVs, this TV doesn't look as good in a dark room, as blacks look gray in a dark viewing environment. It also has higher than average input lag, which, while fine for casual gamers, may be disappointing for serious gamers or if you're planning on using it as a PC monitor.
The Sony X800G has a great design. It looks almost identical to last year's X750F, but with a matte black stand instead of a silver one. The stand supports the TV well, but does wobble a bit, and the legs are nearly the same width as the TV and can't be reversed. The back of the TV is plain, and there is only minimal cable management through the back of the feet. The TV has good build quality, and we didn't notice any issues or areas of concern with our unit.
The stand supports the TV well, but doesn't prevent it from wobbling. It's nearly the full width of the TV, so you'll need a wide table if you aren't planning on wall mounting it. The feet can't be reversed to save space.
Footprint of the 55" model: 39.0" x 13.2"
The Sony X800G has good build quality. The external panels are a mix of metal and plastic, and we didn't notice any issues or areas of concern. There is a slight backwards tilt on our unit; we don't know if this is a flaw with our unit, or intentional. Either way, it's very minor and not noticeable.
The Sony X800G delivers decent overall picture quality. Like most IPS TVs, it can't display deep blacks in a dark room, but has wide viewing angles, great for wide seating areas. It has good peak brightness for watching SDR content, and very good reflection handling, so it looks good in a bright room. With HDR content it can get decently bright, but bright highlights aren't very bright and don't stand out as much as they should. This TV can display a wide color gamut, though, which is great. The X800G has decent gray uniformity, and the center of the screen appears uniform, which is great for sports fans.
Update 07/11/2019: We have received information that the 75" model (XBR-75X800G) has a VA panel. It likely has much better contrast.
Like the majority of IPS TVs, the X800G has a mediocre contrast ratio. This isn't very noticeable in a bright room, but when watching in a dark room, blacks appear gray. Unfortunately, there is no local dimming feature to improve the contrast ratio.
The Sony XBR-55X800G does not have a local dimming feature. The above video is provided for reference only. According to Sony's website, the 43" and 49" models are edge lit.
The X800G has good peak brightness in SDR, and is brighter than the X750F, but not quite as bright as the X800E. This TV is bright enough for most rooms, but might not be bright enough to overcome direct glare from a nearby window. There is no variation in brightness with different content, which is great.
We measured the peak brightness after calibration, using the 'Custom' Picture Mode and the Color Temperature set to 'Expert 1'.
If accuracy isn't as important to you, with the 'Vivid' Picture Mode, the X800G is able to reach a peak brightness of 440 cd/m², as measured with the 100% window.
Decent HDR peak brightness, but bright highlights in some scenes don't stand out as much, as they aren't as bright as they should be. Like in SDR, the X800G is slightly brighter than the X750F, but not as bright as the X800E.
We measured the peak brightness before calibration, using the 'Cinema Pro' Picture Mode and the Color Temperature set to 'Expert 2'.
If accuracy isn't as important to you, with the 'Vivid' Picture Mode and Adv. Contrast Enhancer on 'High' , the X800G is able to reach a peak brightness of 470 cd/m², as measured with the 50% window.
Decent gray uniformity. There is noticeable vignetting, but the center of the screen has better uniformity. In near-dark scenes the uniformity is much better, and there are few noticeable issues.
Update 07/11/2019: We have received information that the 75" model (XBR-75X800G) has a VA panel. It likely has a worse viewing angle.
Like most IPS TVs, the X800G has very good viewing angles. At wide angles, the image loses brightness, and the image gradually looks more and more washed out. Colors gradually wash out, but remain accurate until a very wide angle.
Update 07/11/2019: We have received information that the 75" model (XBR-75X800G) has a VA panel. It likely has much better black uniformity.
The Sony X800G has disappointing black uniformity. There is noticeable clouding around our test cross, covering almost the entire screen. Unfortunately, there is no local dimming feature.
Very good reflection handling on the Sony XBR55X800G. Reflections are always noticeable, and are never fully diffused across the screen, but shouldn't cause too many issues.
With our pre-calibration settings, the X800G has decent accuracy. There are some noticeable errors in almost all colors, as well as brighter shades of gray. Gamma is very close to the target of 2.2, which is great.
After calibration, colors are more accurate, and the white balance is significantly improved. There are still a few inaccuracies that some people might notice, but overall accuracy is excellent. Gamma is almost perfect, and the color temperature is much closer to our target of 6500 K.
See our recommended settings here.
1080p content looks excellent, almost as good as native 4k content. Nearest-neighbor upscaling is available for 1080p content, by selecting the 'Graphics' Picture Mode
The Sony X800G has a good color gamut, and unlike the X750F, it can display a wide color gamut, which is great for HDR content.
Mediocre color volume. It can't display deep, saturated colors due to the low contrast ratio, and like most LED TVs, it can't produce very bright blues, although this shouldn't be very noticeable.
Great gradient performance, but there is noticeable banding in all colors, especially in greens and shades of gray. Unfortunately, there is no smooth gradation feature to remove any imperfections.
There are no signs of temporary image retention, even immediately after displaying our high-contrast static test image for 10 minutes, which is great.
We don't know why the image appears red. It isn't as red in real life, and we suspect that this is an issue with the color temperature changing at low brightness levels, which is exaggerated by our over-exposed image.
We did notice a persistent flicker after displaying content with a flicker in it. This is similar to what we saw on the LG 27UK650. Although not very noticeable with most content, it might be noticeable in some rare cases.
Although some IPS panels can suffer from temporary image retention, this doesn't appear to be permanent as seen in our long-term test.
The Sony X800G has good overall motion handling. It has a great response time, but there is noticeable overshoot in some scenes. The backlight doesn't use flicker to dim, which is great. This TV has an optional black frame insertion feature, but can only flicker at 120Hz, which causes noticeable duplications in 60Hz content.
The X800G has a great response time, but some transitions show some overshoot, which can cause inverse ghosting, which can be especially noticeable in dark scenes.
The Sony X800G has an optional black frame insertion feature that can help improve the appearance of motion, by reducing the amount of time each frame appears on screen. Like the X800E, it can only flicker at 120Hz, which causes duplications in 60Hz content, which might bother some people.
The X800G has a 60Hz panel, and can interpolate lower frame rate content up to 60Hz. Some artifacts are noticeable in intense scenes, but it looks smooth.
See here for the settings that control the X800G's motion interpolation feature.
Since this TV has a slightly slower response time, there is less noticeable stutter when watching 24p content, like movies.
The X800G can only remove judder from native 24p sources, and does not require any additional settings to do so. It can't remove judder from the native apps, or from 60p/i sources, like a cable box.
The Sony XBR-55X800G has a simple 60Hz refresh rate, and doesn't support any of the variable refresh rate technologies, like FreeSync or HDMI Forum VRR.
The Sony X800G supports most of the common input resolutions, and can display chroma 4:4:4 properly with any of the common formats. The input lag in Game mode is low enough for most casual gamers, but may disappoint more serious gamers, and is higher than most TVs currently on the market. This TV supports HDR10, but unlike higher-end Sony TVs, it does not support Dolby Vision and doesn't support eARC.
The Sony XBR55X800G has very good input lag in Game mode, good enough for slower-paced games, but it is higher than most similar TVs currently on the market, and it might disappoint more serious gamers.
The X800G supports many of the more common formats, but is limited to 60Hz. All supported resolutions display chroma 4:4:4 properly, but only on HDMI ports 2 & 3, and with the 'Game' or 'Graphics' Picture Mode. Like many other Sony TVs, these two ports are the only full bandwidth ports.
Like the X750F, when using the 'Graphics' Picture Mode the X800G uses nearest neighbor upscaling when sent a 1080p signal.
The analog audio out port can also be used as a subwoofer port.
Unlike more advanced Sony TVs, this TV does not support Dolby Vision HDR. Sony advertises this TV as HDCP 2.3 compliant, but we don't currently have a way to test for this.
Like the Sony A8G, this TV can play lossy Dolby Atmos as a Dolby Digital Plus signal from the native Apps, including Netflix.
This TV does not support eARC.
The Sony X800G delivers mediocre overall sound. It has a mediocre frequency response, with a bass that can't produce any thump or rumble, and has very little punch. Dialog is are clear and intelligible though, which is great. This TV can get quite loud, without producing much pumping, which is great, but the total harmonic distortion increases drastically at high volume. For a better sound, dedicated speakers or a soundbar is recommended (see our recommendations for the best soundbars).