The Sony X80J is an adequate entry-level TV. It lacks many features you'd find on higher-end TVs but performs as expected for a lower-tier IPS-type model. With a low contrast ratio, its ADS panel can't really produce deep inky blacks, and it doesn't have a local dimming feature to improve black levels. That said, it has good wide viewing angles, and it gets decently bright, so glare shouldn't be an issue in rooms with moderate amounts of light. While it has a wide color gamut for HDR content, it simply doesn't get bright enough to bring out highlights in HDR. It's fairly basic when it comes to gaming features, without variable refresh rate (VRR) or Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM), and no HDMI 2.1 ports, but casual gamers should be pleased with its quick response time and low input lag. Like other 2021 Sony TVs, it comes with Google TV, which replaces Android TV.
The Sony X80J is okay for mixed usage. It performs decently in bright rooms, and its wide viewing angles are great for wider seating arrangements. However, its low contrast ratio makes it less suited to watching movies or gaming in the dark. Gamers may be disappointed by its lack of advanced gaming features, but its low input lag and fast response time should be fine for casual gaming. Unfortunately, it can't get bright enough to deliver a satisfying HDR experience.
The Sony X80J is inadequate for watching movies. It has a mediocre contrast ratio, so blacks look more like gray in the dark. Unfortunately, it lacks local dimming, and it can only remove judder from 24Hz sources but not other sources. On the upside, it has no issues upscaling lower resolution content.
The Sony X80J is good for watching TV shows. It gets decently bright, enough to overcome glare in darker and moderately-lit rooms. It also has wide viewing angles, so the image stays accurate from the side. The Google TV interface runs smoothly, with many apps available to download through the Google Play store.
The Sony X80J is a good TV for sports. It has wide viewing angles, which is great for watching the game with a group of friends. It also has a great response time, so motion looks clear, and it includes an optional Black Frame Insertion feature to reduce blur further. While it's fairly bright, it may struggle with glare in very well-lit rooms since its reflection handling is only decent.
The Sony X80J is okay for playing video games. It has a low input lag and a great response time that results in smooth motion. That said, its low contrast ratio can't produce deep blacks, so it's not ideal for dark room gaming. It also lacks VRR technology to reduce screen tearing and is limited to a 60Hz refresh rate.
The Sony X80J is inadequate for watching movies in HDR. While it supports Dolby Vision and has a wide color gamut for HDR content, it simply doesn't get bright enough to really bring out HDR highlights. It also struggles to produce deep blacks due to its low contrast ratio and lack of local dimming.
The Sony X80J is alright for HDR gaming. Its low input lag and quick response time make gaming feel smooth and responsive, but it doesn't get bright enough to make highlights pop, and it has a low contrast ratio. It also lacks local dimming and VRR support.
The Sony X80J is great for use as a PC monitor. Its wide viewing angles ensure the image doesn't look too washed out at the edges when sitting up close. It also has a low input lag for a responsive desktop experience and displays proper chroma 4:4:4, except in 1440p @ 60Hz. Unfortunately, it doesn't support VRR.
The Sony X80J replaces the Sony X800H from 2020. It's an entry-level model in Sony's 2021 lineup, and its main competitors are the Samsung AU8000, the LG UP80, and the Vizio M-Series Quantum (MQ7).
The Sony X80J has a similar design to the 2020 Sony X800H. With thick bezels, it's not as sleek-looking as higher-end models, but it's a simple, no-nonsense design that you'd expect from an entry-level model.
The stand supports the TV okay, although there's still a bit of wobble. The cheaper materials stand out in the connection between the stand and the base of the TV.
Footprint of the stand: 38.74" x 13.34"
The back is simple, made of textured plastic. Cable management consists of cable clips that attach to the feet. The 43 and 50 inch versions have a different back with a grid design, but we don't expect it to change anything.
It feels decently built. The TV is made entirely of plastic and is relatively lightweight but doesn't feel as sturdy as TVs with more premium materials. There's quite a bit of flex all around the backside as well as around the borders. Our unit appears to have a defect on the bottom left side of the screen; you can see two small white squares where the panel meets the border. However, we expect this is an issue with our unit only and doesn't affect scoring.
The contrast ratio is mediocre, which is expected from an IPS-like panel. Blacks appear more like grays in the dark, and unfortunately, there's no local dimming to improve black levels. Keep in mind, however, that contrast can vary a bit between units. Note also that we expect the 50 inch to have a VA panel, so it should perform differently.
Decent SDR brightness. It's not as bright as the Sony X800H, but it should be okay for moderate lighting conditions. It might struggle to overcome glare in very bright rooms, though. Brightness is fairly consistent across different scenes, but it gets a bit dimmer in the 2% window because of the TV's frame dimming.
We measured the SDR brightness after calibration, using the 'Custom' Picture Mode and the 'Expert 1' Color Temperature, with Brightness set to max.
If you want the brightest possible image without regard for picture quality, set the Picture Mode to 'Vivid', turn Contrast Enhancer off, and set Color Temperature to 'Neutral', with Brightness and Contrast set to max. We hit 397 nits in the 10% window using these settings.
This TV uses direct LED backlighting as opposed to edge-lit, but unfortunately, it doesn't have a local dimming feature. The videos above are for reference only.
The videos above are for reference only.
HDR brightness is sub-par. It's slightly brighter than in SDR but not bright enough to make highlights pop in HDR. The EOTF follows the target fairly well, though, which means that the overall brightness of scenes is pretty accurate, except really dark or really bright scenes. As with SDR, the frame dimming causes darker scenes with small highlights to be more dim overall.
We measured HDR brightness using the 'Cinema' Picture Mode with Brightness set to max and Color Temperature set to 'Expert 2'.
If you find HDR too dim, you can get a brighter image by setting the Brightness and Contrast to max, disabling Adv. Contrast Enhancer, setting Black Level to 'High', Gamma to max, and Color Temperature to 'Neutral'. These settings result in this EOTF.
In 'Game' mode, HDR brightness is nearly identical. There isn't a noticeable difference.
The Sony X80J has good gray uniformity, although this can vary between units. The corners of the screen are noticeably darker, but there isn't too much dirty screen effect throughout the center. In near-dark scenes, the uniformity is even better.
Black uniformity is disappointing, although this may vary between units. The entire screen looks blue, and there's visible clouding and backlight bleed, as well as some blooming around bright objects.
Good viewing angles. For the most part, the image stays accurate as you move off-center, making it a good choice for wider seating arrangements. Note that the 50 inch uses a VA panel, so we expect it to perform differently.
Decent reflection handling. It does a great job of diffusing ambient light, but we don't recommend placing it opposite a window or bright lamp since it struggles with direct light.
The Sony X80J has amazing out-of-the-box color accuracy, though this may vary between units. There are very few noticeable inaccuracies with colors and white balance, and while gamma is a bit off-target, making scenes appear darker than they should, it's not very far off. The color temperature is quite close to the 6,500K target, but it's a touch on the warmer side.
After calibration, accuracy is fantastic. Any remaining inaccuracies shouldn't be noticeable to the naked eye. Gamma and color temperature are nearly perfect.
See our recommended settings here.
This TV uses an ADS panel with an RGB sub-pixel layout. ADS panels are very similar to IPS panels.
The Sony X80J has a wide color gamut, with excellent coverage of the DCI P3 color space used in most HDR content and decent coverage of the wider Rec. 2020.
Color volume is unremarkable. Like most LED TVs, it has trouble with bright blues, and its low contrast ratio makes it difficult to display dark, saturated colors.
Gradients look amazing. There's some banding in the darker grays, greens, and reds, but overall it's not too noticeable and should be even less so in real content.
There are almost no signs of temporary image retention, except immediately after displaying a high-contrast static image for 10 minutes. Even so, it disappears quickly, and it's important to note that temporary image retention can vary between units.
Although some IPS and similar panels can suffer from temporary image retention, this doesn't appear to be permanent as seen in our long-term test.
Great response time. It's slightly improved over the Sony X800H, although like that TV, there's a bit of overshoot in the 0-20% transition, which can show up as smearing in darker scenes.
Unlike many TVs, the Sony X80J has a flicker-free backlight, which is great if you're sensitive to flicker. It does flicker at a very high frequency with the backlight set to '0', but it shouldn't be noticeable.
The Sony X80J has an optional Black Frame Insertion (BFI) feature, otherwise known as backlight strobing. However, the minimum frequency at which it can strobe or flicker its backlight is 120Hz, causing some duplication since the TV has a 60Hz refresh rate. To enable BFI, set Motionflow to 'Custom' and adjust the Clearness slider to max. Note that our BFI score only takes into account which frequencies the TV can flicker at, not how well the BFI performs.
The TV can interpolate lower frame rate content up to 30fps. It works fine for the most part but introduces motion artifacts in busier scenes. To enable motion interpolation, set Cinemotion to 'High' and Motionflow to 'Custom', with the Smoothness slider to max.
Because of the TV's fast response time, there may be some stutter when watching low frame rate content since each frame is held on longer. Motion interpolation can help reduce stutter if it bothers you.
This TV removes 24p judder automatically from 24Hz sources. Unfortunately, it can't remove judder completely from 60p/60i sources or native apps, although setting Cinemotion to 'High' and Smoothness to max in the Motionflow menu can make judder less apparent.