Sony X80J TV Review

Tested using Methodology v1.6
Reviewed Apr 21, 2021 at 09:47 am
Sony X80J Picture
6.9
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: Hisense H9G
5.9
Movies
Value for price beaten by
: Hisense H9G
7.9
TV Shows
Value for price beaten by
: Hisense H9G
7.6
Sports
Value for price beaten by
: Hisense H9G
6.8
Video Games
Value for price beaten by
: Hisense H9G
5.8
HDR Movies
Value for price beaten by
: Hisense H9G
6.9
HDR Gaming
Value for price beaten by
: Hisense H9G
8.3
PC Monitor
Value for price beaten by
: Sony X800H
Type LED
Sub-Type
IPS
Resolution 4k

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.

Our Verdict

6.9 Mixed Usage

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.

Pros
  • Wide viewing angles.
  • Bright enough to overcome moderate amounts of glare.
  • Great response time.
Cons
  • Not bright enough to make highlights in HDR pop.
  • Low contrast ratio.
  • No local dimming.
5.9 Movies

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.

Pros
  • Upscales lower resolution content well.
Cons
  • Low contrast ratio.
  • No local dimming.
7.9 TV Shows

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.

Pros
  • Wide viewing angles.
  • Bright enough to overcome moderate amounts of glare.
  • Upscales lower resolution content well.
Cons
  • Low contrast ratio.
  • May struggle with glare in very bright rooms.
7.6 Sports

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.

Pros
  • Wide viewing angles.
  • Bright enough to overcome moderate amounts of glare.
  • Great response time.
Cons
  • Low contrast ratio.
  • May struggle with glare in very bright rooms.
6.8 Video Games

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.

Pros
  • Low input lag.
  • Great response time.
Cons
  • No VRR support.
  • Low contrast ratio.
5.8 HDR Movies

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.

Pros
  • Wide color gamut.
  • Dolby Vision.
Cons
  • Not bright enough to make highlights in HDR pop.
  • Low contrast ratio.
  • No local dimming.
6.9 HDR Gaming

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.

Pros
  • Low input lag.
  • Great response time.
  • Wide color gamut.
Cons
  • No VRR support.
  • Not bright enough to make highlights in HDR pop.
  • Low contrast ratio.
  • No local dimming.
8.3 PC Monitor

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.

Pros
  • Wide viewing angles.
  • Displays proper chroma 4:4:4, for the most part.
  • Low input lag.
  • Great response time.
Cons
  • No VRR support.
  • Low contrast ratio.
  • 6.9 Mixed Usage
  • 5.9 Movies
  • 7.9 TV Shows
  • 7.6 Sports
  • 6.8 Video Games
  • 5.8 HDR Movies
  • 6.9 HDR Gaming
  • 8.3 PC Monitor

Video

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Market Context
Market Context
Market Context

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).

Design
Design
Style
Curved No

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.

Design
Stand

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"

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 300x300

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.

Design
Borders
Borders 0.59" (1.5 cm)
Design
Thickness
Max Thickness 2.88" (7.3 cm)
7.0
Design
Build Quality

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.

Picture Quality
6.2
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
1116 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
N/A

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.

7.2
Picture Quality
SDR Brightness
Real Scene Peak Brightness
335 cd/m²
Peak 2% Window
297 cd/m²
Peak 10% Window
367 cd/m²
Peak 25% Window
366 cd/m²
Peak 50% Window
366 cd/m²
Peak 100% Window
366 cd/m²
Sustained 2% Window
296 cd/m²
Sustained 10% Window
366 cd/m²
Sustained 25% Window
366 cd/m²
Sustained 50% Window
365 cd/m²
Sustained 100% Window
365 cd/m²
Automatic Brightness Limiting (ABL)
0.014

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.

0
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
No
Backlight
Direct

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.

0
Picture Quality
Local Dimming In Game Mode
Local Dimming
No
Backlight
Direct

The videos above are for reference only.

5.9
Picture Quality
HDR Brightness
Real Scene Highlight
366 cd/m²
Peak 2% Window
330 cd/m²
Peak 10% Window
404 cd/m²
Peak 25% Window
404 cd/m²
Peak 50% Window
404 cd/m²
Peak 100% Window
404 cd/m²
Sustained 2% Window
330 cd/m²
Sustained 10% Window
403 cd/m²
Sustained 25% Window
403 cd/m²
Sustained 50% Window
403 cd/m²
Sustained 100% Window
403 cd/m²
Automatic Brightness Limiting (ABL)
0.013

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.

5.9
Picture Quality
HDR Brightness In Game Mode
Real Scene Highlight
369 cd/m²
Peak 2% Window
328 cd/m²
Peak 10% Window
405 cd/m²
Peak 25% Window
406 cd/m²
Peak 50% Window
406 cd/m²
Peak 100% Window
406 cd/m²
Sustained 2% Window
328 cd/m²
Sustained 10% Window
405 cd/m²
Sustained 25% Window
405 cd/m²
Sustained 50% Window
405 cd/m²
Sustained 100% Window
405 cd/m²
Automatic Brightness Limiting (ABL)
0.014

In 'Game' mode, HDR brightness is nearly identical. There isn't a noticeable difference.

7.7
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
3.724 %
50% DSE
0.171 %
5% Std. Dev.
0.481 %
5% DSE
0.064 %

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.

5.9
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
2.034 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
N/A

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.

7.8
Picture Quality
Viewing Angle
Color Washout
38 °
Color Shift
54 °
Brightness Loss
39 °
Black Level Raise
70 °
Gamma Shift
48 °

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.

7.3
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Semi-gloss
Total Reflections
5.3 %
Indirect Reflections
0.2 %
Calculated Direct Reflections
5.1 %

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.

8.9
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
White Balance dE
1.44
Color dE
1.45
Gamma
2.29
Color Temperature
6337 K
Picture Mode
Custom
Color Temp Setting
Expert 1
Gamma Setting
0

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.

9.5
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
White Balance dE
0.27
Color dE
1.13
Gamma
2.19
Color Temperature
6503 K
White Balance Calibration
10 point
Color Calibration
No

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.

8.0
Picture Quality
480p Input

DVDs and other 480p content look good, with no obvious issues.

8.0
Picture Quality
720p Input

720p content, like cable TV, looks as it should.

9.0
Picture Quality
1080p Input

1080p content looks great, almost as good as 4k.

10
Picture Quality
4k Input

4k content is displayed perfectly, without issues.

0
Picture Quality
8k Input

This TV doesn't support an 8k signal.

Picture Quality
Pixels

This TV uses an ADS panel with an RGB sub-pixel layout. ADS panels are very similar to IPS panels.

7.8
Picture Quality
Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
Yes
DCI P3 xy
85.69 %
DCI P3 uv
92.39 %
Rec 2020 xy
62.45 %
Rec 2020 uv
69.71 %

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.

6.4
Picture Quality
Color Volume
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage ITP
68.1 %
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP
29.2 %
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
59.0 %
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
24.6 %

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.

8.6
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
10 Bit
Red (Std. Dev.)
0.087 dE
Green (Std. Dev.)
0.111 dE
Blue (Std. Dev.)
0.076 dE
Gray (Std. Dev.)
0.086 dE

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.

9.5
Picture Quality
Temporary Image Retention
IR after 0 min recovery
0.13 %
IR after 2 min recovery
0.08 %
IR after 4 min recovery
0.00 %
IR after 6 min recovery
0.04 %
IR after 8 min recovery
0.00 %
IR after 10 min recovery
0.00 %

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.

10
Picture Quality
Permanent Burn-In Risk
Permanent Burn-In Risk
No

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.

Motion
8.0
Motion
Response Time
80% Response Time
4.7 ms
100% Response Time
12.5 ms

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.

10
Motion
Flicker-Free
Flicker-Free
Yes
PWM Dimming Frequency
0 Hz

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.

5.4
Motion
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
Optional BFI
Yes
Min Flicker For 60 fps
120 Hz
60Hz For 60 fps
No
120Hz For 120 fps
N/A
Min Flicker for 60 fps in Game Mode
120 Hz

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.

Motion
Motion Interpolation
Motion Interpolation (30 fps)
Yes
Motion Interpolation (60 fps)
No

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.

7.2
Motion
Stutter
Frame Hold Time @ 24 fps
29.2 ms
Frame Hold Time @ 60 fps
4.2 ms

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.

5.6
Motion
24p Judder
Judder-Free 24p
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via 60p
No
Judder-Free 24p via 60i
No
Judder-Free 24p via Native Apps
No

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.

0
Motion
Variable Refresh Rate
Native Refresh Rate
60 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate
No
HDMI Forum VRR
No
FreeSync
No
G-SYNC Compatible