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Reviewed on Mar 18, 2016

Sony X850D
TV REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.0

Test Benches:

  • 1.2: Winter 2018
  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2015
  • 0.9: Winter 2014
  • 0.8: Winter 2013
7.6
Mixed Usage
What it is: General purpose. The TV will be used for a variety of content and usages. Movies at night, TV shows during the day, video games from time to time, etc.
Score components:
Value for price beaten by
What it is: Product with the best value in this price range
Other best choice in a cheaper price range
Other best choice in a pricier price range
Automatically updated every hour based on the scores and prices of all other products we've tested.
: Not at the latest test bench
6.8
Movies
What it is: Movies in the dark. The TV will be used for watching movies in a controlled environment, directly in front, in a home theater way. Mostly only high quality content, like Blu-rays, UHD Blu-rays, streaming and a little bit of HDR.
Score components:
7.7
TV Shows
What it is: TV Shows in a bright living room. The TV will be used in to watch TV shows, in a bright room during the day, from multiple viewing positions at different angles. The content watched has an average quality: cable, streaming, SD channels, etc.
Score components:
7.9
Sports
What it is: Sports in a living room. The TV will be used to watch sports during the day, like football or hockey. Usually watched with a group, so from multiple viewing position.
Score components:
8.1
Video Games
What it is: Video games. The TV will be used to play video games, directly in front, in a controlled light environment. Usually fast games, like online FPS, where motion blur and input lag is important.
Score components:
7.8
HDR Movies
What it is: HDR Movies and TV shows. The TV will be used to watch 4k UHD HDR content, with a wide color gamut and a high peak brightness. Either via UHD Blu-rays or HDR streaming.
Score components:
7.5
HDR Gaming
What it is: HDR Gaming. The TV will be used to play HDR video games using consoles that support it or on current generation gaming PCs. Xbox One S, PS4 Pro, GTX 10 series and AMD RX series graphics cards.
8.1
PC Monitor
What it is: PC Monitor. The TV will be used as a PC monitor, from 2-3 feet away, either for productivity purposes or gaming. Sharp text is important, as well as a high resolution.
Score components:
This tv was replaced by the Sony X850E

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

The Sony X850D is a good 4k LED TV for a living room. Its picture quality in a darker room isn't as good as last year's model, the X850C, but it boasts a better viewing angle and somewhat improved HDR capability. Because it doesn't have much blur, sports and video game fans will enjoy the Sony X850D.

Test Results
Design 8.5
Picture Quality 7.3
Motion 9.2
Inputs 7.6
Sound Quality 5.0
Smart Features 7.5
Pros
  • Great for fast motion content like sports and video games
  • Wide viewing angle
Cons
  • Blacks appear a little gray in the dark
  • Average HDR performance

Check Price

8.5

Design

Score components: Subjectively assigned
Sony X850D Design Picture
Curved : No

The designers behind the Sony 4k UHD X850D LED TV have done a decent job of making the TV look good, but it looks cheaper than last year's X850C. It still feels sturdy, but most of the metal finish is gone; its frame and stand are now entirely made of plastic. The new stand feels more solid, though. The X850D is relatively thin, but those looking to mount it flush on a wall will block some of its back connections.

Stand
Sony X850D Stand Picture

The plastic stand is very sturdy and the TV feels safe on it, although it can still wobble a bit if you push against it. Footprint of the 55" TV stand: 10.2" x 18.1"

Back
Sony X850D Back Picture
Wall Mount : VESA 200x200

The back of the TV looks a little blocky. Some connections on the back might be inaccessible in a setup where the TV is mounted flush on a wall. Note that the 65" has VESA 300x300, and the 75" and 85" have a VESA 400x300 mount.

Borders
Sony X850D Borders Picture
Borders : 0.39" (1.3 cm)

The X850D has traded a metal finish for plastic.

Thickness
Sony X850D Thickness Picture
Max Thickness : 1.18" (3.8 cm)

The top part and edges are thinner and the guts of the TV are behind the thick middle part.

7.3

Picture Quality

Score components:

Because of its low contrast, the Sony X850D won't look its best when playing dark scenes in a dark room. As soon as you have some lights on, though, the X850D looks sharp, with decent color. It will play movies smoothly, without judder, from any source. HDR has seen a small improvement over last year, but without a local dimming feature, the X850D still won't be the best option for HDR.

6.4 Contrast
What it is: Brightness difference between white and black. This is the main component of picture quality.
When it matters: Always, but especially when watching dark scenes.
Score components:
Sony X850D Checkerboard Picture
Native Contrast
What it is: Ratio of the white brightness divided by the blacks measured on our checkerboard test pattern with a white target of 100 cd/m².
When it matters: Dark scenes in a dark room.
Good value: > 3,000
Noticeable difference: 500
:
1248 : 1

Blacks aren't very deep and might appear a little gray in a dark environment. This won't be much of an issue in a room with a few lights on.

0 Local Dimming
What it is: The lights behind the LCD layer adapt to the picture displayed, improving the contrast ratio.
When it matters: Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Local Dimming
What it is: Whether it has a feature that controls the LEDs behind the LCD layer, to match the picture and darkens the dark portion of it.
When it matters: On LED TVs only. Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
:
No
Backlight
What it is: Configuration of the lights of the backlight.
When it matters: Effectiveness of the local dimming.
Good value: Full-array/direct lighting is better for local dimming. As for the uniformity of the screen, it depends on the implementation. Some edge-lit TVs have more uniform blacks than some full-array TVs.
:
Edge

There is no local dimming feature on this TV. If you want that feature, you should go with the pricier X930D instead.

7.4 SDR Peak Brightness
What it is: How bright the screen can get. Measured with local dimming and with SDR content.
When it matters: Bright living rooms; bright objects; SDR content.
SDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
What it is: The maximum luminosity the TV can obtain while playing a movie or while watching a TV show. This scene was selected to represent a more regular movie condition. All measurement are made with the TV set to be as bright as possible, but with a 6500k white. Measured with local dimming, max backlight and over SDR signal. Scene: here.
When it matters: When watching movies or watching TV show in SDR.
:
362 cd/m2
SDR Peak 2% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 2% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright highlights, present on screen for a short time; especially for SDR content.
Good value: > 400 cd/m2
Noticeable difference: 100 cd/m2
:
349 cd/m2
SDR Peak 10% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 10% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright objects, present on screen for a short time; especially for SDR content.
Good value: > 400 cd/m2
Noticeable difference: 100 cd/m2
:
310 cd/m2
SDR Peak 25% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 25% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright rooms; bright objects in SDR video.
Good value: > 400 cd/m2
Noticeable difference: 100 cd/m2
:
308 cd/m2
SDR Peak 50% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 50% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright rooms.
Good value: > 400 cd/m2
Noticeable difference: 100 cd/m2
:
313 cd/m2
SDR Peak 100% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 100% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright rooms
Good value: > 400 cd/m2
Noticeable difference: 100 cd/m2
:
327 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 2% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 2% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright highlights, persistent throughout a scene; especially for SDR content.
Good value: > 400 cd/m2
Noticeable difference: 100 cd/m2
:
349 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 10% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 10% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright objects, persistent throughout a scene; especially for HDR content.
Good value: > 400 cd/m2
Noticeable difference: 100 cd/m2
:
310 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 25% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 25% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright rooms; bright objects in SDR video.
Good value: > 400 cd/m2
Noticeable difference: 100 cd/m2
:
308 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 50% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 50% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright rooms.
Good value: > 400 cd/m2
Noticeable difference: 100 cd/m2
:
313 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 100% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 100% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright rooms.
Good value: > 400 cd/m2
Noticeable difference: 100 cd/m2
:
328 cd/m2

The SDR peak brightness is average for the Sony X850D. This TV does not have a local dimming feature, and thus the overall average is about 320cd/m², which is 100 less than what it can reach when in HDR mode. This is good for a dark room, fall a bit short for a very bright room.

7.7 HDR Peak Brightness
What it is: How bright the screen can get. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright living rooms; bright objects; HDR content.
HDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
What it is: The maximum luminosity the TV can obtain while playing a movie or while watching a TV show. This scene was selected to represent a more realistic movie condition. All measurement are made with the TV set to be as bright as possible, but with a 6500k white. Measured with local dimming, max backlight and over HDR signal. Scene: here.
When it matters: When watching movies or watching TV show in HDR.
:
403 cd/m2
HDR Peak 2% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 2% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright highlights, present on screen for a short time; especially for HDR content.
Good value: > 1000 cd/m2
Noticeable difference: 100 cd/m2
:
422 cd/m2
HDR Peak 10% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 10% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright objects, present on screen for a short time; especially for HDR content.
Good value: > 1000 cd/m2
Noticeable difference: 100 cd/m2
:
422 cd/m2
HDR Peak 25% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 25% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright rooms; bright objects in HDR video.
Good value: > 1000 cd/m2
Noticeable difference: 100 cd/m2
:
421 cd/m2
HDR Peak 50% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 50% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright rooms.
Good value: > 1000 cd/m2
Noticeable difference: 100 cd/m2
:
420 cd/m2
HDR Peak 100% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 100% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright rooms.
Good value: > 1000 cd/m2
Noticeable difference: 100 cd/m2
:
420 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 2% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 2% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright highlights, persistent throughout a scene; especially for HDR content.
Good value: > 1000 cd/m2
Noticeable difference: 100 cd/m2
:
422 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 10% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 10% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright objects, persistent throughout a scene; especially for HDR content.
Good value: > 1000 cd/m2
Noticeable difference: 100 cd/m2
:
422 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 25% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 25% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright rooms; bright objects in HDR video.
Good value: > 1000 cd/m2
Noticeable difference: 100 cd/m2
:
421 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 50% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 50% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright rooms.
Good value: > 1000 cd/m2
Noticeable difference: 100 cd/m2
:
420 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 100% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 100% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright rooms.
Good value: > 1000 cd/m2
Noticeable difference: 100 cd/m2
:
420 cd/m2

Since the X850D doesn't support local dimming, all % values are near the same. The maximum brightness is not enough to enjoy HDR fully.

7.4 Gray Uniformity
What it is: Evenness of colors onscreen (not just gray).
When it matters: Solid colors. Sports, panning shots.
Score components:
Sony X850D 50% Uniformity Picture
50% Std. Dev.
What it is: Average squared difference of pixels when displaying a mid 50% gray.
When it matters: Solid colors. Sports, panning shots.
Good value: < 2.5%
Noticeable difference: 1%
:
3.981 %
50% DSE
What it is: High-frequency variance of uniformity. Dark spots on the screen.
When it matters: Solid colors. Sports, panning shots.
Good value: < 0.165%
Noticeable difference: 0.025%
:
0.180 %
Sony X850D 5% Uniformity Picture
5% Std. Dev.
What it is: Average squared difference of pixels when displaying a mid 5% gray.
When it matters: Dark scenes.
Good value: < 1.15%
Noticeable difference: 1%
:
0.641 %
5% DSE
What it is: High-frequency variance of uniformity. Dark spots on the screen.
When it matters: Dark scenes.
Good value: < 0.116%
:
0.097 %

The screen uniformity, as with most other LED TVs, isn't great, but at least it is free from obvious problems like banding. The corners appear a lot darker.

6.7 Viewing Angle
What it is: Color accuracy when viewed from the side.
When it matters: Large living rooms with multiple viewing positions.
Score components:
LCD Type
What it is: Type of LCD technology used by the TV.
When it matters: Different technologies have different viewing angle properties.
Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle.
:
IPS (except 85")
Sony X850D Color Shift Picture
Color Shift
What it is: Angle where the colors noticeable shift compared to when viewed from directly in front of the TV. 0 ° means directly facing the TV. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: Large living rooms with multiple viewing positions.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
26 °
Sony X850D Brightness Picture
Brightness
What it is: Angle where the brightness drops to 50% of the brightness directly in front of the TV. 0 ° means directly facing the TV. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: Large living rooms with multiple viewing positions.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
39 °
Sony X850D Black Level Picture
Black Level
What it is: Angle where the black level drops to 50% of the black level directly in front of the TV. 0 ° means directly facing the TV. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: Large living rooms with multiple viewing positions.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
75 °

This is an IPS TV (except the 85"). Therefore, it has a wide viewing angle that is good for seating on the sides of the TV. Color saturation and contrast will stay good unless the TV is being viewed from wide angles.

7.5 Black Uniformity
What it is: Evenness of blacks.
When it matters: Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
Score components:
Sony X850D Native Black Uniformity Picture
Native Std. Dev.
What it is: Average of the squared difference of the blacks.
When it matters: Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
Good value: < 2%
Noticeable difference: 1%, but keep in mind that it varies a lot by unit, even of the same model; yours likely will not end up exactly like ours.
:
1.792 %

There are no obvious clouding or flashlighting issues, although with a fully black screen, the lighter blacks are more apparent.

10 Gradient
What it is: How finely levels of color can be displayed.
When it matters: Details in shadows, sky and skin tones. Matters more for HDR content.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Sony X850D Gradient Picture
Color Depth
What it is: Number of bits per pixel to represent a specific color. Note: we consider 8-bit with dithering to be equivalent to 10-bit, as long as the 10-bit gradient looks smooth.
When it matters: HDR content like UHD Blu-ray players. Won't matter for cable TV, regular Blu-ray movies, video game consoles or content displayed from a Windows PC. Those are limited to 8-bit color.
Good value: 10-bit.
Noticeable difference: 1 bit.
:
10 Bit

Our 10 Bit gradient pattern looks very good, without any of the 8 Bit gradations. This mean that HDR content should be free of any obvious color banding.

7.7 Pre Calibration
What it is: TV's color accuracy before a full calibration. Only the picture mode and backlight level were changed.
When it matters: All video on an uncalibrated TV. This represents most people's use cases.
Score components:
Sony X850D Pre Calibration Picture Sony X850D Pre Gamma Curve Picture Sony X850D Pre Color Picture
White Balance dE
What it is: Average inaccuracy of shades of gray.
When it matters: Overall color temperature of all video.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
4.97
Color dE
What it is: Average inaccuracy of colors.
When it matters: All colors.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
3.4729
Gamma
What it is: Brightness of shades of gray.
When it matters: Shadows.
Good value: Between 2.1 and 2.3 (our target is 2.2)
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
2.11

The white balance was off to begin with and color was at an acceptable level. Gamma was just a little low.

9.5 Post Calibration
What it is: TV's color accuracy after a full calibration with a spectrophotometer.
When it matters: All video on a TV that has been professionally calibrated. This isn't that useful, because most TVs can achieve a pretty good calibration if you spend enough time on them.
Score components:
Sony X850D Post Calibration Picture Sony X850D Post Gamma Curve Picture Sony X850D Post Color Picture
White Balance dE
What it is: Average inaccuracy of shades of gray.
When it matters: Overall color temperature of all videos.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
0.31
Color dE
What it is: Average inaccuracy of colors.
When it matters: All colors.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
1.3355
Gamma
What it is: Brightness of shades of gray.
When it matters: Shadows.
Good value: Between 2.1 and 2.3 (our target is 2.2)
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
2.21

Any white balance issues could be fixed, although the X850D doesn't have separate color adjustments. The color still got better after the white balance calibration.

8.0 480p Input
What it is: Quality of a 480p input.
When it matters: Standard definition TV, DVDs.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Sony X850D 480p Picture

On the Sony X850D, details are nicely preserved, even at lower resolutions like 480p.

8.0 720p Input
What it is: Quality of a 720p input.
When it matters: HD channels, some streaming videos.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Sony X850D 720p Picture

Cable TV looks good and sharp when upscaled, like the majority of Sony TVs.

9.0 1080p Input
What it is: Quality of a 1080p input.
When it matters: Blu-rays, streaming video, video files, video games.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Sony X850D 1080p Picture

Blu-rays looks sharp and crisp once upscaled.

10 4k Input
What it is: Quality of a 4k UHD input.
When it matters: Streaming video, UHD Blu-rays, some PCs.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Sony X850D 4k Picture

The Sony X850D UHD LED TV have no problem with the native 4k resolutions. Content looks very nice and sharp, even when sitting very close to the TV.

7.9 Color Gamut
What it is: How many colors the TV can display.
When it matters: HDR content. Includes some streaming videos and UHD Blu-rays.
Score components:
Wide Color Gamut
What it is: Whether the TV has an option to enable wide color gamuts.
When it matters: HDR content. Includes some streaming videos and UHD Blu-rays.
:
Yes
Sony X850D Color Gamut DCI-P3 Picture
DCI P3 xy
What it is: Coverage of the DCI P3 colorspace on CIE 1931 xy.
When it matters: DCI P3 content. Includes HDR, UHD Blu-rays.
Good value: > 90%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
85.94 %
DCI P3 uv
What it is: Coverage of the DCI P3 colorspace on CIE 1976 u' v'.
When it matters: DCI P3 content. Includes HDR, UHD Blu-rays.
Good value: > 90%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
93.56 %
Rec 2020 xy
What it is: Coverage of the Rec.2020 colorspace on CIE 1931 xy.
When it matters: Rec.2020 content. Includes HDR, UHD Blu-rays.
Good value: > 90%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
63.75 %
Rec 2020 uv
What it is: Coverage of the Rec.2020 colorspace on CIE 1976 u' v'.
When it matters: Rec.2020 content. Includes HDR, UHD Blu-rays.
Good value: > 90%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
72.60 %

To enable the wide color gamut option, change 'Color space' from the 'Advanced settings' picture menu to 'DCI' or 'BT.2020'. For most content, leave it set to 'sRGB/BT.709'.

6.1 Color Volume
What it is: How many colors a TV can display at different luminosity levels.
When it matters: HDR content. Includes some streaming videos, UHD Blu-rays and HDR games.
Sony X850D P3 Color Volume Picture
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage
What it is: How much of the DCI-P3 colorspace a TV can display at different luminosity levels
When it matters: HDR content. Includes some streaming videos, UHD Blu-rays and HDR games.
Good value: 80 %
Noticeable difference: 5 %
:
68.447 %
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage
What it is: How much of the DCI-P3 colorspace a TV can display at different luminosity levels when compared to an ideal 10,000 nit TV
When it matters: HDR content. Includes some streaming videos, UHD Blu-rays and HDR games.
:
43.278 %
Sony X850D 2020 Color Volume Picture
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage
What it is: How much of the Rec. 2020 colorspace a TV can display at different luminosity levels
When it matters: HDR content. Includes some streaming videos, UHD Blu-rays and HDR games.
Good value: 80 %
Noticeable difference: 5 %
:
52.763 %
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage
What it is: How much of the DCI-P3 colorspace a TV can display at different luminosity levels when compared to an ideal 10,000 nit TV
When it matters: HDR content. Includes some streaming videos, UHD Blu-rays and HDR games.
:
33.447 %

7.2 Image Retention
What it is: How much a static image is retained on a TV screen after a certain amount of time.
When it matters: When watching TV show, playing video games or when using your TV as a PC monitor.
Sony X850D Image Retention Picture
IR after 0 min recovery
What it is: Image retention measured right after the static image exposure, without recovery time.
When it matters: When changing channels while watching TV, right after changing the type of content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie) or changing input.
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0.936 %
IR after 2 min recovery
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 2 minutes.
When it matters: When changing channels while watching TV, right after changing the type of content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie) or changing input.
Good value: 0 is perfect
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0.000 %
IR after 4 min recovery
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 4 minutes.
When it matters: When changing channels while watching TV, right after changing the type of content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie) or changing input.
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0.000 %
IR after 6 min recovery
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 6 minutes.
When it matters: When changing channels while watching TV, right after changing the type of content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie) or changing input.
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0.000 %
IR after 8 min recovery
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 8 minutes.
When it matters: When changing channels while watching TV, right after changing the type of content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie) or changing input.
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0.000 %
IR after 10 min recovery
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 10 minutes.
When it matters: When changing channels while watching TV, right after changing the type of content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie) or changing input.
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0.000 %

The Sony X850D does present some image retention, but unlike the X700D, the retention is present only right after the static scene of the test video. After 2 minutes, visually and from our computer analysis, we could not make out any image retention at all, which is pretty good for an IPS TV. This is particularly good for PC and video games enthusiasts.

7.5 Reflections
What it is: How much light is reflected by the TV.
When it matters: Bright rooms.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Sony X850D Reflections Picture Sony X850D Bright Room Picture
Reflection
What it is: Ratio of ambient light reflected by the TV.
When it matters: Ambient light in the room.
Good value: < 1%
Noticeable difference: 0.5%
:
1.8 %
Screen Finish
What it is: Type of coating on the screen.
When it matters: Bright objects in the direct reflection path (for example, opposite the TV).
Good value: Glossy is good for ambient light, but not for direct reflections.
:
Semi-gloss

Bright objects reflected on the screen have rainbows around them. Reflections aren't going to be a big problem as long as there aren't too many lights in the room.

0 3D
What it is: Optional 3D video capability on TV.
When it matters: 3D movies and videos.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
3D
What it is: If it can display a picture in 3D.
When it matters: 3D movies & videos.
:
No
3D Type
What it is: The 3D technology used by the TV.
When it matters: 3D movies & videos.
Good value: Active have better resolution, but flickers. Passive is more comfortable, but loses half the vertical resolution.
:
No
2D to 3D
What it is: Feature that converts 2D content to 3D.
When it matters: If you want to watch 2D content in 3D. Note that the quality is not as good as that of native 3D.
:
No

Pixels
9.2

Motion

Sports fans are going to be pleased with the Sony X850D. It has very little blur, so players running at full speed, or cars quickly passing by, will remain well defined. Camera panning shots over playing fields won't reveal any obvious screen problems, either.

9.1 Motion Blur
What it is: Amount of blur on fast movement.
When it matters: Sports, video games.
Score components:
Sony X850D Motion Blur Picture Sony X850D Response Time Chart
Response Time
What it is: How quickly pixels can change color.
When it matters: Fast movement.
Good value: < 20ms
Noticeable difference: 10ms
:
10.3 ms
Overshoot
What it is: When TV’s pixels adjust too far; how quickly they come back.
When it matters: Fast movement.
Good value: < 10ms
Noticeable difference: 10ms
:
1.2 ms

Pixel response time is quick as a whole, but transitions to darker colors are slower. The backlight is flicker-free, so although motion appears a little blurry, it doesn't create a double effect like you see on most Samsung TVs.

8.0 Image Flicker
What it is: Luminosity pattern when displaying images
When it matters: Sports, video games, when TV is used as a PC monitor
Score components:
Sony X850D Backlight Picture
PWM Dimming Frequency
What it is: Flickering pattern at different luminosities.
When it matters: For people sensitive to flickering.
Good value: N/A or high frequencies (> 300 Hz)
:
0 Hz
BFI
What it is: Option to turn screen black between frames
When it matters: Reduces eye tracking blur in sports or video games
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
Sony X850D BFI Picture Sony X850D BFI Frequency Picture
BFI Frequency
What it is: Lowest possible frequency of flickering pattern
When it matters: Reduces eye tracking blur in sports or video games
Good value: 60 Hz
:
120 Hz
BFI In Game Mode
What it is: Option to insert black frames when in the best settings for gaming
When it matters: Reducing eye tracking blur for video games
Good value: Yes
:
Yes

10 24p Playback
What it is: Whether 24p content can play without any judder.
When it matters: Only 24p content (mostly just movies).
Judder-free 24p
What it is: Judder-free movies over 24p signal.
When it matters: Blu-ray and DVD movies; 24 hz PC signal.
:
Yes
Judder-free 24p via 60p
What it is: Judder-free movies over 60p signal.
When it matters: Movies from streaming devices (Apple TV, Fire TV, etc.); 60 hz PC signal.
:
Yes
Judder-free 24p via 60i
What it is: Judder-free movies over 60i signal.
When it matters: Movies from cable/satellite boxes.
:
Yes

With 24p content like Blu-ray, 'Motionflow' has to be set to 'True Cinema' to remove judder. For 60Hz signals like cable and streaming, you also need to set 'CineMotion' to 'High'.

10 Motion Interpolation
What it is: Also known as 'Soap Opera Effect'. It is an optional feature that increases the frame rate of the video, smoothing movement.
When it matters: If you like the look of smoothed video. Not everyone does.
Motion Interpolation (30 fps)
What it is: Whether the TV can take a 30 fps input and heighten the frame rate to at least 60 fps.
When it matters: 30 fps or lower videos. Includes movies, TV shows, some video games.
:
Yes
Sony X850D Motion Interpolation (30 fps) Picture
Motion Interpolation (60 fps)
What it is: Whether the TV can take a 60 fps input and heighten the frame rate to at least 100 fps.
When it matters: 60 fps videos. Includes some video games, some sports channels.
:
Yes
Sony X850D Motion Interpolation (60 fps) Picture

Since the X850D is a 120Hz TV, it is able to interpolate both 30Hz and 60Hz content.

7.6

Inputs

Score components:

The Sony X850D will please gamers with its good input lag and excellent motion. Everyone except the most demanding players will enjoy the responsiveness of the X850D, even for first person shooters and fighting games. PC gamers, or the ones that would like to use the TV as a PC monitor, will also enjoy the multiple input resolutions the X850D supports.

7.2 Input Lag
What it is: Delay between input and onscreen reaction.
When it matters: Video games; when TV is used as PC monitor.
1080p @ 60Hz
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on TV with a 1080p @ 60Hz input.
When it matters: Video games and also when TV is used as PC monitor.
Good value: < 40ms
Noticeable difference: 15ms
:
34.6 ms
1080p With Interpolation
What it is: Lowest input lag when the motion interpolation feature is turned on.
When it matters: When you want to play video games with the Soap Opera Effect enabled.
Good value: < 40ms
Noticeable difference: 15ms
:
68.7 ms
1080p @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode
What it is: Input lag in picture modes other than the specific game mode.
When it matters: For playing video games while retaining access to all features of the TV.
Good value: < 40ms
Noticeable difference: 15ms
:
71.2 ms
1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on TV when displaying 1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
When it matters: PC monitor.
Good value: < 40ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
34.6 ms
4k @ 60Hz
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on TV when displaying 4k @ 60Hz.
When it matters: Video games and also when TV is used as PC monitor.
Good value: < 40ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
57.4 ms
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on TV when displaying 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4.
When it matters: PC Monitor
Good value: < 40ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
57.4 ms
4k @ 60Hz + HDR
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on TV when displaying 4k @ 60Hz with HDR.
When it matters: HDR Video games.
Good value: < 40ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
57.4 ms
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4 + 8 bit HDR
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on TV when displaying 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4 with HDR enabled at 8 bit
When it matters: PC Monitor with an HDR capable graphic card
Good value: < 40ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
57.4 ms

Lowest 1080p input lag is achieved under 'Game' picture mode. The 'Clearness' setting under 'Motionflow' can be used to clarify action some more and won't increase the input lag (although it does darken the screen). 1080p input lag also stays low enough for some slower games when image interpolation is turned on, which is something that can't be said for most TVs.

Update 11/02/2016: With the latest firmware update (PKG3.531.0108NAB), the overall 1080p and 4k SDR remain the same, but the 4k HDR input lag is now almost half than was with was before and is now the same as 4k SDR. It is still a bit high even for casual gaming, but it is definitely an upgrade over the 93ms that it was before.

10 Supported Resolutions
What it is: Different resolutions supported by TV.
When it matters: PC monitor usage.
Score components:
  • 20% 1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
  • 20% 1080p @ 120Hz
  • 20% 4k @ 30Hz @ 4:4:4
  • 20% 4k @ 60Hz
  • 20% 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
What it is: Crisp text on 1060p @ 60 hz signal.
When it matters: PC productivity and 60 fps gaming.
:
Yes
1080p @ 120Hz
What it is: 120 fps 1080p signal supported.
When it matters: PC gaming.
:
Yes
4k @ 30Hz @ 4:4:4
What it is: Crisp text on 4k @ 30 hz signal.
When it matters: PC productivity and gaming.
:
Yes
4k @ 60Hz
What it is: 60 fps 4k signal supported.
When it matters: PC productivity and gaming.
:
Yes
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
What it is: Crisp text on 4k @ 60 hz signal.
When it matters: Productivity and 60 fps gaming in 4k.
:
Yes

Most resolutions are accepted. To get chroma 4:4:4, select 'Game' or 'Graphics' picture mode. For 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4, you also need to set the HDMI input to 'Enhanced format' (under 'External inputs' menu). Just like with last year's Sony TVs, 1080p @ 120Hz produces little artifacts (lines), but this shouldn't be too bothersome while gaming. The 'Graphics' picture mode has fewer of these little artifacts.

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
Composite In : 1
Tuner (Cable/Ant) : 1
Ethernet : 1
DisplayPort : 0
IR In : 1
SD/SDHC : 0

Inputs Specifications
HDR10
What it is: Standard HDR format.
When it matters: Most common format. All UHD Blu-ray discs are required to have it.
:
Yes
Dolby Vision
What it is: Better format, due to its dynamic nature.
When it matters: Currently, only available via streaming.
:
No
5.1 Passthrough ARC Dolby Digital
What it is: TV can receive and pass Dolby Digital 5.1 signal to receiver via HDMI ARC.
When it matters: 5.1 audio on DVDs and Blu-rays.
:
Yes
5.1 Passthrough ARC DTS
What it is: TV can receive and pass DTS 5.1 signal to receiver via HDMI ARC.
When it matters: 5.1 audio on DVDs and Blu-rays.
:
Yes
5.1 Passthrough Optical Dolby Digital
What it is: TV can receive and pass Dolby Digital signal to receiver via digital optical.
When it matters: 5.1 audio on DVDs and Blu-rays.
:
Yes
5.1 Passthrough Optical DTS
What it is: TV can receive and pass DTS signal to receiver via digital optical.
When it matters: 5.1 audio on DVDs and Blu-rays.
:
Yes
HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwith : Yes
ARC : Yes (HDMI 4)
USB 3 : Yes (1)
HDCP 2.2 : Yes
CEC : Yes
MHL : No
Variable Analog Audio Out : Yes

5.0

Sound Quality

Score components:

The sound of the X850D, like that of most other TVs, is bad. It doesn't have a lot of bass and is distorted at high volumes. An external sound system like a sound bar would be a good investment to complement the X850D.

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.

6.1 Frequency Response
What it is: Sound level at different frequencies.
When it matters: For balanced sound.
Score components:
Sony X850D Frequency Response Picture
Std. Dev. @ 70
What it is: Variance of the sound level at different frequencies.
When it matters: 70 dB.
Good value: < 4 dB
Noticeable difference: 2 dB
:
4.01 dB SPL
Std. Dev. @ 80
What it is: Variance of the sound level at different frequencies.
When it matters: 80 dB.
Good value: < 4 dB
Noticeable difference: 2 dB
:
5.09 dB SPL
Std. Dev. @ Max
What it is: Variance of the sound level at different frequencies.
When it matters: Max volume.
Good value: < 4 dB
Noticeable difference: 2 dB
:
6.25 dB SPL
Max
What it is: Max volume on the TV at a distance of 1 meter.
When it matters: For listening to loud audio.
Good value: > 90 dB
Noticeable difference: 2 dB
:
88.1 dB SPL
Low-end Cutoff
What it is: How low of a frequency at which the bass starts.
When it matters: Movies; gaming.
Good value: < 50Hz
Noticeable difference: 10Hz
:
143 Hz

Decent frequency response. However, the low-end cutoff of 143Hz is rather high, even for a TV; this TV doesn't produce a lot of bass. It doesn't get very loud either, and pumping may be present at higher volumes.

2.8 Total Harmonic Distortion
What it is: Pureness of a single frequency.
Score components:
Sony X850D Total Harmonic Distortion Picture
Distortion @ 70
What it is: Amount of distortion.
When it matters: 70 dB.
Good value: < 0.100
Noticeable difference: 0.100
:
0.041
Distortion @ 80
What it is: Amount of distortion.
When it matters: 80 dB.
Good value: < 0.100
Noticeable difference: 0.100
:
1.083
Distortion @ Max
What it is: Amount of distortion.
When it matters: 85 dB.
Good value: < 0.100
Noticeable difference: 0.100
:
4.780

This distortion pattern seems to be typical of Sony TVs: Good results at lower volumes, and then a big jump in harmonic distortion near the maximum loudness limit of the TV.

7.5

Smart Features

Score components: Subjectively assigned
Sony X850D Smart TV Picture
Smart OS : Android

Not much has changed from Sony's Android TV smart platform from last year, which isn't such a bad thing, though some improvements would have been nice. It still feels like Sony uses a bunch of different interfaces thrown together into one. The content and apps are there, though, and that is what really matters. The interface is faster, too. As for the TV's inputs, you probably won't need more. Just make sure you have enough space in your setup to hide the huge power brick.

Apps
Sony X850D Apps Picture

All the major apps are available, including a web browser, YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Video, HBO Go and more.

10 Ads
What it is: Whether or not ads can be found on the TV's smart platform.
When it matters: When using the smart features.
Score components:
Ad-free
What it is: The TV's ability to provide an ad-free experience.
When it matters: When using the smart features.
:
Yes
Opt-out
What it is: Whether you can opt out of the ad services or not. A TV only passes this test if it allows you to remove them completely, not only disable the personalized advertising.
When it matters: When using the smart features.
:
N/A

Sony Android TVs don't have ads. They do however have a slew of app recommendations on their home screen, which some might not like.

TV Controls
Sony X850D Controls Picture

Basic TV controls are located on the back-right side of the TV. They might not be accessible if the TV is mounted flush on a wall.

Remote
Sony X850D Remote Picture
Remote : Basic

The remote has the same familiar layout as last year's, but now has a soft finish.

In The Box
Sony X850D In The Box Picture

- Remote
- Batteries
- 2 cable ties
- Power brick with cable
- IR blaster
- Manuals

Misc
Power Consumption : 53 W
Power Consumption (Max) : 118 W
Firmware : PKG3.163.0100NAB

Differences between Sizes and Variants

We reviewed the 55" (Sony XBR-55X850D). It has an IPS panel.

Update: The 65" and 75" are also IPS, so our review is also valid for that one. But the 85" has a VA panel, so it will produce better blacks directly in front, but worse color accuracy at an angle.

As an interesting note, the 55" shares a panel very similar to the 2016 LG 55UH8500 that we reviewed a few weeks ago. The response time measurements are almost the same, as well as the contrast ratio (around 1200:1, which is very good for an IPS).

Size Model UK Panel
55" XBR-55X850D KD-55XD8505 IPS
65" XBR-65X850D KD-65XD8505 IPS
75" XBR-75X850D KD-75XD8505 IPS
85" XBR-85X850D KD-85XD8505 VA

Compared to other TVs

Sony X850D Group Shot Picture
Top row, from left: Sony X850C (XBR55X850C), Sony X850D (XBR55X850D), Vizio P Series 2016 (P65-C1). Bottom: Sony X930D (XBR55X930D), Samsung KS8000 (UN55KS8000). Unlike our other photographs, this picture wasn't taken under a controlled environment, so do not draw conclusions from it.

Compared to other TVs, the Sony X850D is a good choice for wide living rooms with seating on the side of the TV. If the main viewing position is directly in front of the TV, there are better alternatives.

Sony X930D
55" 65"

The Sony X930D is better for watching movies in the dark, has the edge for HDR and offers 3D. It also is better in a living room because it has less reflections and can get brighter. The X850D is better for video games and maintains a better picture when viewed from the side which is good for a wide room.

Samsung KS8000
49" 55" 60" 65"

For most people, the Samsung KS8000 is a better choice. It is superior for watching movies in the dark as well as with HDR content. It also performs well in most living room since it can get bright enough to counter most of the screen reflections. The X850D maintains a better picture quality when viewed from the side and is slightly better for sports.

Vizio P Series 2016
50" 55" 65" 75"

From directly in front, the Vizio P has a better picture quality as long as the content being watched is of good quality. It is even truer if the TV is being watched in the dark. HDR is also superior on the Vizio P. Pick the X850D only if what you watch a lot of low quality content such as cable TV, DVDs and streaming and that you insist to keep a reasonable picture quality when viewing the TV from the side. For most though, the Vizio P is a better choice.

Sony X850C
55" 65" 75"

The previous year iteration, Sony X850C, is still better for watching the TV in the dark but doesn’t offer as good quality for sports, HDR and video games. Get the X850C only if you watch regular movies the most and don’t care about the picture quality when viewed from the side of the TV.

Conclusion
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

7.6Mixed Usage
What it is: General purpose. The TV will be used for a variety of content and usages. Movies at night, TV shows during the day, video games from time to time, etc.
Score components:
Good TV for a range of usages. Low native contrast ratio so blacks appear gray in a dark room, but image remains accurate when viewed at an angle. Motion handling is great which is good for sports or gaming but unfortunately the input lag is fairly high.
6.8Movies
What it is: Movies in the dark. The TV will be used for watching movies in a controlled environment, directly in front, in a home theater way. Mostly only high quality content, like Blu-rays, UHD Blu-rays, streaming and a little bit of HDR.
Score components:
Below average for watching movies in a dark room. Low native contrast ratio so blacks appear gray, but uniformity is quite good.
7.7TV Shows
What it is: TV Shows in a bright living room. The TV will be used in to watch TV shows, in a bright room during the day, from multiple viewing positions at different angles. The content watched has an average quality: cable, streaming, SD channels, etc.
Score components:
Good for watching TV in a bright room. Image remains accurate when viewed at an angle which is good for wide living rooms. Can get fairly bright to combat glare and reflection handling is decent.
7.9Sports
What it is: Sports in a living room. The TV will be used to watch sports during the day, like football or hockey. Usually watched with a group, so from multiple viewing position.
Score components:
Good choice for watching sports. Image remains accurate when viewed at an angle so everyone gets a good view. Motion handling is great so only a short trail can be seen following fast moving objects.
8.1Video Games
What it is: Video games. The TV will be used to play video games, directly in front, in a controlled light environment. Usually fast games, like online FPS, where motion blur and input lag is important.
Score components:
Capable gaming TV for 1080p sources but input lag is a bit high for 4k sources, even for casual gamers. Motion handling is great but there is some temporary image retention.
7.8HDR Movies
What it is: HDR Movies and TV shows. The TV will be used to watch 4k UHD HDR content, with a wide color gamut and a high peak brightness. Either via UHD Blu-rays or HDR streaming.
Score components:
Supports HDR10. Can produce a wide color gamut and gets quite bright to display HDR content which is good. Unfortunately picture quality is below average due to low native contrast ratio.
7.5HDR Gaming
What it is: HDR Gaming. The TV will be used to play HDR video games using consoles that support it or on current generation gaming PCs. Xbox One S, PS4 Pro, GTX 10 series and AMD RX series graphics cards.
Supports HDR gaming. Picture quality is below average due to low native contrast ratio, and 4k input lag is a bit high. Motion handling is great and can produce bright vivid highlights with HDR.
8.1PC Monitor
What it is: PC Monitor. The TV will be used as a PC monitor, from 2-3 feet away, either for productivity purposes or gaming. Sharp text is important, as well as a high resolution.
Score components:
Great PC monitor. Image remains accurate even when the sides are viewed from up close. Supports 4:4:4 for clear text across all backgrounds. Unfortunately the input lag at 4k is quite high, but motion handling is great.

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