Reviewed on May 15, 2015

Sony X850C TV REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.0
7.8
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
7.7
Movies
7.5
TV Shows
7.5
Sports
8.5
Video Games
7.8
HDR Movies
8.1
HDR Gaming
7.8
PC Monitor
This TV was replaced by the Sony X850D

Type : LED
Resolution : 4k
Refresh Rate : 120 Hz

The Sony X850C 4k TV has good overall picture quality, except when viewed at an angle - the colors lose saturation. The blacks are great and it doesn't have much motion blur.

Test Results
Design 8.5
Picture Quality 7.6
Motion 8.6
Inputs 8.2
Sound Quality 5.9
Smart Features 8.0
Pros
  • Good motion handling, with full control over the backlight flickering.
  • Great picture quality in both a dark room and a bright room.
Cons
  • Limited viewing angle.
  • Poor gray uniformity.

Check Price

8.5

Design

Curved : No

The Sony X850C is a nice looking TV. The bezel is thin, although the pixels on the top edge don't start right where the bezel ends.

The stand is simple. The TV wobbles a little bit when you push it.

Stand

Dimensions of 55" TV stand: 25" by 9".

Borders
Borders : 0.51" (1.3 cm)

Thickness
Max Thickness : 2.00" (5.1 cm)

7.6

Picture Quality

This is a really good TV for watching movies. The blacks are deep, and very uniform, and there are no judder issues when this TV plays 24 fps movies.

If all you want to do is watch movies and regular TV shows in a dark room, this is the best TV available in this price category.

8.3 Contrast
Native Contrast
:
3877 : 1

This TV's contrast is very good, so the blacks are deep.

0 Local Dimming
Local Dimming
:
No
Backlight
:
Edge (only 55")

6.8 HDR Peak Brightness
HDR Peak 2% Window
:
418 cd/m2
HDR Peak 10% Window
:
418 cd/m2
HDR Peak 25% Window
:
418 cd/m2
HDR Peak 50% Window
:
418 cd/m2
HDR Peak 100% Window
:
418 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 2% Window
:
418 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 10% Window
:
418 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 25% Window
:
418 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 50% Window
:
418 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 100% Window
:
418 cd/m2

Update 11/14/2016: We retested the peak brightness with HDR. In HDR the peak brightness is about 100cd/m² more than what you get in SDR.

6.7 Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
:
4.930 %
50% DSE
:
0.190 %

Our unit has very little dirty screen effect. However, the top part of the screen is significantly darker, as are the edges and corners.

4.2 Viewing Angle
LCD Type
:
VA
Color Shift
:
20 °
Brightness
:
30 °
Black Level
:
20 °

The colors shift as soon as you are a little bit to the side of the TV.

Update 01/06/2017: We have changed the methodology of testing. Since this is an old TV which we don't have anymore, we extrapolated the results from 2016 TVs.

9.4 Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
:
0.745 %

The black uniformity is really great. No noticeable clouding.

10 Gradient
Color Depth
:
10 Bit

9.3 Pre Calibration
White Balance dE
:
1.50
Color dE
:
1.1424
Gamma
:
2.24

9.7 Post Calibration
White Balance dE
:
0.36
Color dE
:
0.5487
Gamma
:
2.2

8.0 480p Input

480p content like DVDs look good without being over-sharpened. Be sure to have the latest firmware update installed, since when first tested, the upscaling was sub-par, but was fix with a firmware update.

8.0 720p Input

720p content also looks good once upscaled with the latest firmware installed.

9.0 1080p Input

1080p upscaling is great. In some cases, it's better than Samsung's UHD TVs, although not in every scene.

10 4k Input

4k movie looks good and very sharp.

8.1 Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
:
Yes
DCI P3 xy
:
89.35 %
DCI P3 uv
:
95.83 %
Rec 2020 xy
:
65.39 %
Rec 2020 uv
:
72.15 %

8.0 Reflections
Reflection
:
1.8 %
Screen Finish
:
Semi-gloss

Its semi-gloss finish doesn't reflect a lot of light.
The Sony X850C has average maximum luminosity, and can get bright enough for a room with a few windows.

8.5 3D
3D
:
Yes
3D Type
:
Active

There are no 3D glasses included with the TV. 3D is good, but there is a very slight amount of crosstalk.

Pixels
8.6

Motion

This is a so-so TV for watching sports. There's not too much blur, but there are some pretty dark patches on the screen, which can ruin the look of fields, rinks, and courts.

Note that this patchiness varies by individual TV. Some TVs will be better than ours, and others will be worse. Overall, we expect most TVs to be within the same range as the unit we tested.

8.1 Motion Blur
Response Time
:
16.5 ms
Overshoot
:
0 ms

The motion blur is good. Also, you can control exactly how you want to set the backlight for motion purposes, without the soap opera effect. See Q&A section for more details.

10 Image Flicker
PWM Dimming Frequency
:
0 Hz
BFI
:
Yes
BFI Frequency
:
60 Hz
BFI In Game Mode
:
Yes
10 24p Playback
Judder-free 24p
:
Yes
Judder-free 24p via 60p
:
Yes
Judder-free 24p via 60i
:
Yes

For the reverse 3:2 pulldown, set Motionflow to TrueCinema. It won't add the soap opera effect.

10 Motion Interpolation
Motion Interpolation (30 fps)
:
Yes
Motion Interpolation (60 fps)
:
Yes

8.2

Inputs

This TV is good for gaming. The low amount of blur means fast movement will look good, and there's not too much delay to be noticed between entering a command in a game and seeing the reaction onscreen.

This TV is also able to accept and display a 120 hz input, which not too many TVs can do. There are TVs with less blur and lower input lag, but PC gamers in particular should consider the X850C.

7.9 Input Lag
1080p @ 60Hz
:
35.3 ms
1080p With Interpolation
:
65.0 ms
1080p @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode
:
71.3 ms
1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
:
35.3 ms
4k @ 60Hz
:
31.7 ms
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
:
31.7 ms
4k @ 60Hz + HDR
:
31.6 ms
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4 + 8 bit HDR
:
N/A

The 1080p input lag of the Sony X850C in game mode is good, but nothing exceptional. Outside of game mode, the input lag is surprisingly low - even when turning on the soap opera effect.

Update 10/26/2016: After the Latest firmware update (PKG3.531.0108NAB), the HDR input lag has gone down from 94ms to around 58ms, which is a good improvement and should be good enough for casual 4k HDR gaming.

Update 12/16/2016: A new firmware update has been released to upgrade the TV to Android Marshmallow. This has reduced the 4k input lag (including HDR). When in HDR mode, the TV can't display chroma 4:4:4 accurately as it is forced into the 'HDR Video' picture mode.

10 Supported Resolutions
1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
:
Yes
1080p @ 120Hz
:
Yes
4k @ 30Hz @ 4:4:4
:
Yes
4k @ 60Hz
:
Yes
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
:
Yes

To enable chroma 4:4:4, set the mode to either Game or Graphics.
Just like with last year's Sony TVs, 1080p @ 120Hz produces little artifacts (lines), but this shouldn't be too bothersome while gaming.
Update: With the new firmware update PKG2.463.0010NAB, This TV now supports 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4. To enable this, go to Home button - Settings - External Inputs - HDMI Signal Format - Enhanced (new).

Side Inputs
Rear Inputs
Total Inputs
HDMI : 4
USB : 3
Digital Optical Audio Out : 1
Analog Audio Out 3.5mm : 1
Analog Audio Out RCA : 0
Component In : 1 (shared)
Composite In : 2 (shared)
Tuner (Cable/Ant) : 1
Ethernet : 1
DisplayPort : 0
IR In : 1
SD/SDHC : 0

Inputs Specifications
HDR10
:
Yes
Dolby Vision
:
No
5.1 Passthrough ARC Dolby Digital
:
Yes
5.1 Passthrough ARC DTS
:
Yes
5.1 Passthrough Optical Dolby Digital
:
Yes
5.1 Passthrough Optical DTS
:
Yes
HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth : Yes
ARC : Yes (HDMI 4)
USB 3 : Yes (1)
HDCP 2.2 : Yes
CEC : Yes
MHL : Yes (HDMI 2)
Variable Analog Audio Out : Yes

5.9

Sound Quality

It can get loud, but the X850C doesn't have good bass or accurate sound.

There's not too much distortion at regular volumes, but you'll want to use a separate speaker system if you like cranking up the audio while you watch TV.

Note: Sound Quality test for TVs reviewed before 2017 was performed at 75dB, 85dB, and Max SPL. Starting 2017, the target SPL levels have been changed to 70dB, 80dB, and Max dB SPL.

6.8 Frequency Response
Std. Dev. @ 70
:
4.31 dB SPL
Std. Dev. @ 80
:
4.51 dB SPL
Std. Dev. @ Max
:
6.54 dB SPL
Max
:
94.3 dB SPL
Low-end Cutoff
:
113 Hz

This TV does get loud but the bass extension and the frequency response, especially under heavy load, is not good. Pumping may be present too.

4.2 Total Harmonic Distortion
Distortion @ 70
:
0.026
Distortion @ 80
:
0.060
Distortion @ Max
:
4.163

Acceptable distortion under comfortable listening levels, however under louder volumes the distortion jumps to unacceptable levels.

8.0

Smart Features

Smart OS : Android

The smart OS is Android. The app selection isn't the biggest, but most main apps are covered, and there are plenty more on the way.

Two remotes are included: a basic one and a touch one. The touch one isn't very useful, because you cannot control a mouse pointer with it by pointing at the TV.

10 Ads
Ad-free
:
Yes
Opt-out
:
N/A

Remote
Remote : Smart

Misc
Power Consumption : 72 W
Power Consumption (Max) : 162 W
Firmware : PKG2.173.0010NAB - Android 5.0.2

Differences between Sizes and Variants

7.8 Mixed Usage

The Sony X850C is a great 4k TV. It has deep and uniform blacks, little motion blur, and great 1080p upscaling. The input lag could have been better for gaming though, but because of its good backlight control, it is still a great gaming TV.

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