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 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.
This TV doesn't have VRR support.
The TV has a remarkably low input lag, as long as it's in 'Game' mode or 'Graphics' mode for chroma 4:4:4 to work properly.
It supports most common resolutions at 60Hz, except chroma 4:4:4 doesn't work properly in 1440p @ 60Hz. It can display proper chroma 4:4:4 in other resolutions, though, which is important for text clarity. To do so, the TV must be in either 'Game' or 'Graphics' Picture Mode, with 'Enhanced Format' enabled for the HDMI input you're using. 'Enhanced Format' also needs to be enabled for full HDMI bandwidth signals.
The Sony X80J has a max refresh rate of 60Hz and lacks HDMI 2.1, so the highest advanced console resolution it supports is 4k @ 60Hz with HDR.
For eARC, set eARC Mode to 'Auto', Digital Audio Out to 'Auto 1', and Passthrough to 'Auto'.
Decent frequency response. The bass is disappointing, but overall it has a balanced sound profile, so dialogue should sound clear. The TV gets quite loud, but there's quite a bit of compression at higher volumes.
Distortion performance is not bad. It's only really noticeable near max volume.
In 2021, Android TV has largely been replaced with Google TV, which has a redesigned interface and lets you access all your content through a single hub of recommended content by logging in to your Google account. Like other Sony TVs with Google TV, the interface is smooth and fairly easy to use, and we didn't experience any bugs.
While you can opt-out of ad personalization to reduce targeted ads, you can't disable ads entirely. They show up on the home page and in the app store.
Google TV gives you access to lots of apps through the Google Play store, and they work great.
Update 06/01/2021: We confirmed the TV works with the Android TV mobile app.
The remote has a similar design to previous Sony remotes. For full functionality, it needs to be connected to the TV via Bluetooth. There's a dedicated Google Assistant button, and you can change inputs, open apps, complete searches, and adjust certain settings through voice command.
There's a single control button under the Sony logo on the bottom bezel. It can power the TV on/off, change channels, inputs, and volume, or restart the TV.
We tested the 55 inch Sony X80J (KD-55X80J), which is also available in 43, 50, 65, and 75 inch sizes. For the most part, we expect our results to be valid for those sizes, except for the 50 inch, which uses a different panel. There are also variants of the 55, 65, and 75 inch models with the model code X80CJ. That version appears to be the Costco and Sam's Club model, which should perform the same, except it comes with Sony's new Bravia CORE streaming service, which can stream movies at up to 80 Mbps, according to Sony. In Europe, the X80J is sold alongside the X81J, but as far as we know the two have the same specs. In Italy, it's called the X80JP.
|Size||Panel||US Model||EU Model||Italy Model||'Club' Model|
If you come across a Sony X80J with a different panel type or that doesn't correspond to our review, let us know in the discussions and we'll update the review. Note that some tests, like gray uniformity, can vary between individual units.
Our unit was manufactured in February 2021. You can see the label here.
The Sony X80J is an okay entry-level TV, but it's a step down from 2020's Sony X800H. While it delivers fair picture quality and performance, it's on the pricier side, and there are better options out there for cheaper. Unlike some low-end TVs, it comes equipped with eARC and Dolby Vision support, although it can't take full advantage of its HDR capability due to its limited brightness.
The Sony X80J replaces the 2020 Sony X800H. Both use IPS panels with wide viewing angles and low contrast ratios. They perform similarly overall, although the X800H has a bit more to recommend it. It gets brighter in both SDR and HDR, and its viewing angles, which are the main benefit of IPS panels, are even wider than the X80J's.
The Sony X90J is much better than the Sony X80J. The X90J uses a VA panel with a much better contrast ratio, and it has a full-array local dimming feature to improve black level, so it's better suited for watching movies or gaming in the dark than the X80J's IPS panel. The X90J also gets a lot brighter in both SDR and HDR. It has faster response times and a 120Hz refresh rate and is advertised to have VRR support, although it isn't available yet. If you often watch TV at an angle, the X80J might be a better choice because it has wider viewing angles.
The Sony X80J and the Sony X85J use different panel technologies, each with strengths and weaknesses. The X85J is better for a dark room, as it has much better contrast and better black uniformity. The X80J is better for a wide seating area, as it has better viewing angles.
The Sony X80J and the Sony X900H use different panels, each with its advantages and disadvantages. Overall, though, the X900H is a step up from the X80J. The X900H uses a VA panel with a high contrast ratio and full-array local dimming, gets brighter and has more features, and has a slightly faster response time. It also has two HDMI 2.1 ports and should receive VRR and ALLM support in a future update.
The Samsung Q60/Q60A QLED and the Sony X80J are both basic entry-level models, but they use different panel types with different advantages and disadvantages. The Samsung is a VA panel, so it has a high contrast ratio that can deliver deep blacks, making it well-suited to watching movies or dark room gaming. The Sony uses an IPS panel with low contrast and wide viewing angles. It can't produce deep blacks like the Samsung, but it has a faster response time, so it may be a good budget option to use as a PC monitor.
The Sony X80J and the Samsung AU8000 are both okay TVs, but they have different panel types. The Samsung has a VA-type panel with higher contrast, while the Sony has an IPS-like panel with wider viewing angles. The Sony gets a bit brighter and displays a much wider color gamut, but it still delivers a worse HDR experience because of the lower contrast. Motion looks smoother on the Sony because it has a quicker response time, and it's a better choice for PC use because it can display 1440p.
The Sony X950H is better than the Sony X80J for most uses, although they have different panel types and are at opposite ends of Sony's TV lineup. The X950H is a flagship model from 2020 that uses a VA panel with a great contrast ratio. The X80J, meanwhile, is an entry-level 2021 model that uses an IPS panel, meaning its contrast is mediocre, but it has wide viewing angles. The X80J also lacks certain features, like local dimming, that the X950H has.
The LG UP8000 and the Sony X80J are very similar IPS TVs. The only notable differences between them are that the X80J can display a wide color gamut for HDR, gets a bit brighter, and has better response times. It also has a flicker-free backlight, making it a good choice for people sensitive to backlight flicker.
The LG NANO85 and the Sony X80J are entry-level TVs that use IPS panels, although the Sony has slightly wider viewing angles. While the LG has a local dimming feature, it's edge-lit and doesn't perform very well. The Sony, meanwhile, can get a bit brighter, has a slightly faster response time, and has better accuracy out of the box, although that can vary between units. The LG does have better reflection handling and can remove judder from any source. It also has a 120Hz panel and supports VRR; however, the VRR doesn't work properly. In the bigger picture, the two TVs perform similarly.
The Sony X80J is better than the Hisense U6G. The A6G uses different panel types with different sizes, so the exact performance difference may vary. The Sony is a lot brighter, has better gray uniformity, and a faster response time. The Sony also has much better accuracy out of the box, but this can vary between units. On the other hand, the Hisense can remove judder from native apps, but the Sony can only remove judder from external 24p sources.
The LG GX OLED is better than the Sony X80J, but they're also very different TVs. The LG is a high-end OLED that can produce perfect blacks and with a near-instantaneous response time. The Sony, on the other hand, is an entry-level IPS TV, so it has a low contrast ratio and lacks a lot of the features that the LG has. While it has good viewing angles, they're not as wide as the LG's viewing angles. The LG outperforms the Sony in almost every way.