The Sony X850F is a good 4k TV with an IPS panel. It can get bright to overcome glare and handles reflection well in a bright room but it has a very low contrast ratio so blacks appear gray when viewed in a dark room. The picture quality is decent but remains accurate when viewed at an angle which is good for those with wide seating. It also has a fast response time, which is great for watching fast-paced content. Unfortunately, Android TV isn't as streamlined or intuitive as other platforms.
Good TV for a range of usages. Blacks appear gray and blotchy when viewed in a dark room such as watching movies at night, but in a bright room, the reflection handling is good and the TV can get bright to overcome glare. Image also remains accurate when viewed at an angle, which is good. Input lag is low and motion handling is great, which is great for PC use or gaming. The TV supports HDR, but it can't produce very vivid colors or bright highlights to take advantage of it.
Mediocre pick for watching movies in a dark room. Native contrast is low and the TV doesn't support local dimming so blacks appear gray and blotchy when viewed in a dark room. Movies are smooth when played from a Blu-ray player or native apps, but some small stutter may be noticeable when watching movies over cable.
Great choice for watching TV in a bright room. Image remains accurate when viewed at an angle, which is good for those with wide seating. The Sony X850F can get bright to overcome ambient glare which is great, and anti-reflective coating works well to reduce distracting reflections. Unfortunately, although the Android TV smart platform is very versatile, it is less intuitive and slower than other platforms for casual watching.
Great TV for watching sports in a bright room. Motion handling is great, thanks to the fast response time so only a short trail is seen behind a fast moving puck or football. Picture quality is only decent, but the image remains accurate when viewed at an angle which is good. The screen can get bright to overcome glare, and TV is great at handling reflections so it is a great fit for a bright room.
Great TV for gamers. Input lag is low, so the TV feels responsive, which is great. Motion handling is also great, and only a short trail can be seen behind fast-moving objects. Picture quality is only decent though, and blacks appear gray and blotchy in a dark room.
Mediocre TV for watching HDR movies. Picture quality is only mediocre, as blacks appear gray and blotchy in a dark room. Movies from a Blu-ray player or Netflix are smooth, but the X850F doesn't have a very wide color gamut and can't produce bright highlights.
Better than average for HDR gaming. The TV feels responsive due to low input lag and great motion handling. Unfortunately, blacks appear gray in a dark room, and the TV can't produce a very wide color gamut or bright highlights for HDR. Also, it doesn't support local dimming to improve the dark scene performance.
Great option for a monitor. Image remains accurate when viewed at an angle, which is great when viewing the edge of the screen from close up for PC use. The TV supports chroma 4:4:4 for clear text on all backgrounds, and it feels responsive due to low input lag and great motion handling.
The design of the Sony 2018 X850F is great. The legs, while similar to the X900F are unlike any Sony we have reviewed recently. They are wide-set and require a larger table, but there should be no issues placing a soundbar between them. There is only basic cable management at the back, similar to the X900F, but not as good as the X930E which includes routing through the back panel. The bottom edge of the TV gets a little warm to the touch. Despite being almost entirely made of plastic, the TV feels well constructed.
The stand on the X850F is unlike any other Sony TV we have reviewed. It is similar to the stand on the Samsung MU6100. It is made entirely of plastic with an aluminum finish. On our 65" model, we found them to cause the TV to wobble if it is knocked.
The footprint of the 65" TV stand: 12.0" x 43.4"
The borders of the TV look good. While slightly thicker than the 55" X900F they are still quite thin.
The Sony XBR65X850F has more of a uniform thickness than the X900F. It won't stick out from the wall much when mounted.
The X850F feels well constructed, despite being made almost entirely of plastic. There are no obvious gaps or issues. The tabs along the back of the legs for cable management are just bent plastic. While it hasn't caused any issues for us, this could break with repeated flexing.
Disappointing contrast ratio on the X850F. It has an IPS type panel similar to the X850D. Dark scenes will not look their best especially when playing in a dark room.
We tested the 65" model, but it is highly likely that the 85" will have a VA type panel, which we would expect to have at least a 3000:1 contrast ratio.
There is no local dimming feature on the X850F. The video is for reference only.
Better than average screen uniformity. No serious issues with dirty screen effect, which is good for watching sports or other content with large areas of uniform colors. This TV is brightest in the center and the corners are dark, which is common for TVs and isn't as distracting as uniformity issues near the center or brighter edges.
Good viewing angle. Color saturation and black levels remain good even if sitting on a wide couch or with side seating, but brightness drops sharply if sitting to the side.
We tested the 65" model which uses an IPS panel. It is highly likely that the 85" model uses a VA type panel which would have worse viewing angles.
Disappointing black uniformity. There is some obvious clouding especially around the edges. The X850F does not handle dark scenes well and would not be recommended for a dark room.
Clouding is more visible when displaying bright objects in dark scenes, since this TV does not have a local dimming feature.
The X850F has a very similar to finish to the X900F. It does not diffuse reflections as much as some other TVs.
Average color accuracy out of the box with 'Custom', 'Game', or 'Graphics' mode. Color temperature is far from our target of 6500K, so most colors have more of a yellow tint. Gamma is very close to our target of 2.2.
White balance is near perfect post calibration and color is good. Color temperature is very close to our target as is gamma. 'Custom' picture mode provided the best results.
You can see our recommended settings here.
Older 480p content is upscaled well. There are some minor artifacts but the TV handles it well.
Upscaling of 720p is handled well. There is some softness but the image is clear.
The HDR color gamut of the X850F is good, although Rec 2020 coverage is limited. The TV has difficulty producing deeply saturated greens especially. Most scenes won't have overly saturated colors, but in very colorful scenes such as a sunset or an ocean scene the TV's limited color gamut will be noticeable.
The HDR EOTF in the 'Cinema Pro' picture mode follows the target PQ curve fairly well until it rolls off at the TV's peak brightness. The EOTFs in 'Game' and 'PC' mode are very similar to that of 'Cinema Pro', which is good.
Update 05/02/2018: The color gamut was erroneously measured at a 50% stimulus. It has been remeasured at 75% stimulus to be in line with our other TVs. It now measures slightly higher, and meets our threshold for a wide color gamut TV.
Below average color volume. The TV has difficulty displaying deep, dark colors due to the lack of local dimming and low native contrast ratio. It does not cover either color space very well.
The X850F displays gradients well. There is some banding especially in the dark colors, but not enough to bother most people.
Like most IPS and VA panels, there is no sign of temporary image retention on the X850F.
We don't expect IPS panels to have any permanent image retention. The IPS panel in our long term test has not shown any permanent burn-in.
Great fast response time, good enough for even fast-moving content like sports. Most of the blur in the photo is due to 60 fps persistence; the ghosting trail following the logo is very short, which is excellent. This response time is very similar to the rival Samsung NU8000, but not quite as fast as the higher end Sony X900F.
The X850F has an optional BFI mode that adds flicker to make motion look more clear. Unfortunately, this flicker is limited to 120 Hz, which causes duplications in 60 fps motion, as seen in the photo; 60 Hz flicker like that of the Samsung NU8000 would be better. The X850F's flicker is activated by setting 'Motionflow' to 'Custom' and increasing the 'Clearness' slider. The X850F does not have the new 'X-Motion Clarity' feature of the X900F, so adding flicker will decrease the TV's brightness.
The X850F has a 120 Hz panel and can interpolate lower frame rate content up to 120 fps. This high frame rate greatly improves motion but can appear strange to some (the 'soap opera effect'), and sometimes adds unwanted artifacts during fast motion. Interpolation is activated by setting 'Motionflow' to 'Custom', increasing the 'Smoothness' slider, and setting 'Cinemotion' to 'High'.
The TV can show low framerate content smoothly, which is good when watching TV shows and movies. The TV's response time is long enough that completely transitioned frames aren't held on screen for a long time, which reduces the appearance of stutter.
The TV can consistently remove judder from all 24p content such as native apps, Blu-ray players, or movies from a cable box which is excellent. The TV removes judder from 24p HDMI sources automatically, but for 60p, 60i and native app sources 'Motionflow' must be set to 'True Cinema' and 'Cinemotion' to 'High' to remove judder.
Update 06/08/2018: The X850F has been retested, and can play movies from 60p or 60i sources at the correct cadence. The text above has been adjusted.
The TV does not support variable refresh rate features like FreeSync.
The X850F supports all common input signals. Chroma 4:4:4 is supported in 'Game' or 'Graphics' mode. Only HDMI inputs 2 or 3 support 4k @ 60Hz @ chroma 4:4:4 or 4:2:2, and only when 'HDMI Enhanced Format' is enabled.
When in 'Graphics' mode upscaling is done by nearest neighbour when in 1080p @ 60 Hz. When sending a 120 Hz signal there is no nearest neighbour upscaling.
Update 06/12/2018: A note for Xbox One X and Xbox One S owners: 1080p @ 120 Hz from the Xbox is only supported on this TV when the Xbox's connection type is changed from Auto-detect (Recommended) to HDMI: (Xbox > Settings > Display & sound > Video fidelity & overscan > Display > Connection > HDMI). Unfortunately in this mode 4k, HDR, 50 Hz and 24 Hz aren't possible, so this mode is only recommended when the higher refresh rate of 120 Hz is more important to you than these other features.
Update 06/18/2018: Correction, 24 Hz and 50 Hz are in fact possible with the Xbox's connection type set to HDMI.
The only combined composite/component input is located on the rear of the TV. The second composite input that was found on the side of the X850E has been removed.
The X850F has a mediocre frequency response. The LFE (low-frequency extension) of 120Hz is inadequate for creating the punch and rumble common to bass-heavy music and movie sound effects. The frequency response above the TV's LFE is quite well-balanced, but since it doesn't have a self-calibrating system, it wasn't able to remove our lab's room modes. This shows as a build-up of energy in the high-bass/low-mid region. On the upside, the TV does get loud enough for most use cases, and doesn't produce too much pumping and compression artifacts under heavy loads.
The harmonic distortion performance of the X850F is sub-par. At low and moderate volumes the X850F has a good THD performance. However, like most other Sony TVs we have measured, their THD jumps to very high levels under maximum load. But this will be rarely audible since most users won't need to set their TVs volume to max, and harmonic distortion is not as audible with real-life content (as opposed to with a test signal).
The interface works well and is intuitive, but purists will find it too crowded. Since there are a lot of built-in functions and apps it can be hard to find something specific, although the Google Assistant can help with this. For general usage, the interface is quite fluid, but when casting it becomes very slow.
While technically there are no ads in Sony's Android TV, there is a row of suggested content, although this can be disabled through the settings menu.
The included apps work well for accessing most video and music services. The strength of Android TV is definitely the Google Play Store, with thousands of apps available including many found on Android tablets or cell phones. Only a subset of compatible apps are available, and surprisingly some popular apps such as Chrome and Firefox are not available. There is no built-in web browser, Sony recommends the Vewd browser.
The X850F includes the same remote as the X850E. It has more buttons than most remotes and is quite large, but with good usability. Buttons are easy to find and it doesn't take long to access most basic functions of the TV.
The included voice button works well to access Google Assistant, but the remote must be connected to the TV via Bluetooth for this to work. Google Assistant can perform most basic actions on the TV, such as changing inputs or opening certain apps. More advanced functions such as changing picture settings do not work.
Like most Sony TVs there are only three small buttons on the back edge. These buttons provide basic access to turn the TV on and off or to change channels, inputs, and volume.
We tested the 65" (XBR65X850F). For the most part, we expect our review to be valid for the 75" (XBR75X850F).
We haven't tested the 85" (XBR85X850F), but it likely uses a VA panel (similar to the 85" X850D) with a high native contrast ratio producing deeper blacks, but the image degrades when viewed at an angle.
The European variant of the TV is also known as the XF85 or XF87 and comes in a different range of sizes as shown below. We have received reports that the 49" variant of the X850F available in Europe has a VA panel, as shown in this photo of the pixels. This size likely has better dark room performance but a narrow viewing angle.
Update 02/20/2019: We have also received reports of a 55" XF85 with a VA panel.
If someone comes across a different type of panel or if their Sony X850F doesn't correspond to our review, let us know and we will update the review. Note that some tests such as the gray uniformity may vary between individual units.
|Size||US Model||Alternative Name||UK Model||VESA Mount Size|
The Sony X850F is a good pick for a bright room with wide seating as the low native contrast ratio makes blacks appear gray in a dark room, but the image remains accurate when viewed at an angle. See our picks below for how it compares to the competition. See our recommendations for the best smart TVs and the best flatscreen TVs.
The Sony X850F is more suitable for a large room with wide seating arrangement as it has better viewing angles. If you will be sitting right in front of the TV, then the Sony X900F is a much better choice. The X900F has higher native contrast ratio, and better local dimming and black uniformity that produce deep blacks in a dark room. Also, the X900F has better HDR peak brightness that allows it to display a rich and vivid HDR content much better than the X850F. Finally, the X900F has a faster response time which is great for fast action.
The Sony X850F is better than the X800G, but the differences might not matter as much for everyone. The X850F has better reflection handling, great for bright rooms, and it can remove judder from all sources, whereas the X800G can only remove judder from true 24p sources.
If you enjoy watching movies or playing games in a dark room with seating right in front, then the Samsung NU8000 is a better choice; however, if you have a large bright room with wide seating, then the Sony X850F is a better choice due to the better viewing angles and better reflection handling. The Samsung NU8000, on the other hand, is much better for watching movies as it has better blacks in a dark room. It's also much better for gaming due to lower input lag, faster response time, and FreeSync variable refresh rate technology.
The Sony X850F is a better choice for a room with wide seating due to its better viewing angles. The Sony X900E, on the other hand, is a better choice if you have a darker room with direct in-front seating. The Sony X900E can display better blacks due to higher native contrast ratio and better local dimming. Also, if you want a brighter TV to enjoy TV shows, then the Sony X900E is a better choice as it has better SDR peak brightness.
If you've got a bright room with wide seating, then the Sony X850F is a better choice due to its better viewing angles and better reflection handling. But for a dark room with seating directly in-front, the Sony X850E is better. The Sony X850F has marginally better input lag for video games and HDR gaming and is slightly better as a PC monitor. On the other hand, the Sony X850E has a much better contrast ratio and better black uniformity that make it a better choice for movies in a dark room.
The Sony X950G and the Sony X850F use different panel types, each with strengths and weaknesses. Overall, the X950G is much better than the X850F. The X950G has a much better dark room performance, but the image degrades when viewed from the side. The X850F maintains a more accurate image when viewed from the side, at the expense of worse dark room performance.
The Sony X850F is better than the Sony X750F. The Sony X850F can get brighter and has better reflection handling, so you can place it in a brighter room without issues. The Sony X850F also has a faster response time, can remove 24p judder, and has a motion interpolation feature. Finally, the X850F has a lower input lag, which is great for video games. The Sony X750F, on the other hand, has better color accuracy out of the box.
The Sony X850F and the LG SM8600 both have very similar performance. The Sony is more suitable for a brighter room as it can get brighter in SDR and can also display HDR content with bright highlights. The LG has a slightly better dark room performance with a higher contrast ratio and a local dimming feature. The SM8600 also has lower input lag, which is great for gamers, and a better black frame insertion implementation that can make the motion crisper.
If you've got a bright room with wide seating, then the Sony X850F is a better choice due to the IPS panel and the good viewing angles. But for a dark room with seating directly in front, the Sony X830F is better because of the higher native contrast ratio the VA panel has. The Sony X850F also has a lower input lag for those who play video games and somewhat better reflection handling if you place it in a room with many lights. The Sony X830F, on the other hand, has a slightly faster response time, and thus displays less blur on fast-moving content like sports.
The Sony X850F and the Samsung Q60/Q60R QLED are similar but use different panel types, so they each have their own advantages and disadvantages. The Sony X850F uses an IPS panel, and has much better viewing angles, but worse dark room performance. The Samsung Q60R has a much better native contrast ratio, lower input lag, and a more versatile black frame insertion feature. The Q60R also supports FreeSync variable refresh rate.
These two TVs have different panels, each with its advantages and disadvantages. The Sony X850F has an IPS panel and is more suitable if you have a room with a wide seating arrangement. The Sony X850F can also handle reflections better if your room has many light sources, and is flicker-free for those who are sensitive to flicker. Finally, it has a wider color gamut and better color volume for HDR enthusiasts. The Samsung NU7100 is more suitable for a dark room thanks to its VA panel and higher contrast ratio. Also, the Samsung NU7100 has marginally lower input lag, which is great for casual gaming.
The LG SK8000 and the Sony X850F both have very similar performance. The Sony X850F can get brighter in SDR and is more suitable for a brighter room, whereas the SK8000 has local dimming support to enhance dark room performance. The LG is also more responsive, due to the lower input lag.
Although these are two different types of TVs, most people will agree that the Samsung Q6FN is better than the Sony X850F overall. The Samsung Q6FN has a VA panel and can offer a much better dark room performance if you're seated straight in front, while the X850F has wider viewing angles due to its IPS panel. The Sony X850F can handle reflections a little better and has no visible flicker, whereas the Q6FN supports FreeSync and has a lower input lag.
The Sony X850F and the LG UK6570 are very similar overall. The X850F is brighter in SDR and HDR and has a wide color gamut. The X850F has better overall motion handling, with slightly faster response time, nearly flicker-free backlight, and better motion interpolation thanks to the 120 Hz panel. The LG UK6570 has much lower input lag, great for gaming or use as a PC monitor. The 85" X850F uses a VA panel, compared to the 86" UK6570 that has an IPS panel, so the XBR85X850F likely will perform better in a dark room.
The Sony X850F and LG B8 use different panel technologies, each with their advantages and disadvantages. The X850F has an IPS panel and can get brighter than the B8, whereas the B8 has much better in a dark room performance, as the OLED panel delivers perfect blacks. The B8 has a faster response time that delivers motion with less blur trail but with more stutter. The B8 has the risk of burn-in when exposed to static content, whereas the X850F is immune to it.
The Sony X850F is marginally better than the LG SM9500. The Sony has better gray uniformity, which is great if you're a sports fan. The X850F is also flicker-free, which is important for those that are bothered by flicker. The SM9500, on the other hand, can get brighter and is suitable for a very bright room. The LG has a local dimming feature that can provide some improvement with the appearance of blacks in a dark room. The LG also has a lower input lag, which is good news to gamers, but also shows some signs of temporary image retention.