Sony X850F TV Review

Updated Apr 06, 2018 at 05:03 pm
Sony X850F Picture
Usage Ratings - Version 1.3
7.7
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: Vizio P Series Quantum 2019
6.4
Movies
8.3
TV Shows
8.2
Sports
8.0
Video Games
6.4
HDR Movies
7.5
HDR Gaming
8.4
PC Monitor
This TV was replaced by the Sony X850G
Type LED
Sub-Type
IPS (except 85")
Resolution 4k

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.

Our Verdict

7.7 Mixed Usage

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.

See our Mixed Usage recommendations
6.4 Movies

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.

See our Movies recommendations
8.3 TV Shows

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.

See our TV Shows recommendations
8.2 Sports

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.

See our Sports recommendations
8.0 Video Games

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.

See our Video Games recommendations
6.4 HDR Movies

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.

See our HDR Movies recommendations
7.5 HDR Gaming

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.

See our HDR Gaming recommendations
8.4 PC Monitor

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.

See our PC Monitor recommendations
  • 7.7 Mixed Usage
  • 6.4 Movies
  • 8.3 TV Shows
  • 8.2 Sports
  • 8.0 Video Games
  • 6.4 HDR Movies
  • 7.5 HDR Gaming
  • 8.4 PC Monitor
Pros
  • Feels responsive with low input lag
  • Great motion handling
  • Image remains accurate at an angle
Cons
  • Blacks appear gray and blotchy in a dark room
  1. Update 2/28/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3. Learn more about our versioned test bench system here.
  2. Update 6/12/2018: 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, but unfortunately in this mode 4k and HDR aren't supported.
  3. Update 6/8/2018: The X850F has been retested, and can play 24p movies from all sources at the correct cadence.
  4. Update 5/2/2018: 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.

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Video

Test Results

Design
Design
Stand

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"

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 300x300

Similar to the X850E, the back of the TV is quite basic. Similar to the X900F there is only very basic cable management through the legs of the TV. The back is almost identical to the X900F.

Design
Borders
Borders 0.39" (1.0 cm)

The borders of the TV look good. While slightly thicker than the 55" X900F they are still quite thin.

Design
Thickness
Max Thickness 2.13" (5.4 cm)

The Sony XBR65X850F has more of a uniform thickness than the X900F. It won't stick out from the wall much when mounted.

Design
Temperature
Maximum Temperature
109 °F (43 °C)
Average Temperature
93 °F (34 °C)

The bottom edge of the TV gets warm to the touch due to the edge light LEDs. There are also a few places along the back that get warm to the touch, but this should't be an issue.

7.5
Design
Build Quality

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.

Picture Quality
5.8
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
894 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
N/A

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.

0
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
No
Backlight
Edge

There is no local dimming feature on the X850F. The video is for reference only.

8.1
Picture Quality
SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
371 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
397 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
396 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
396 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
396 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
396 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
396 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
396 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
395 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
395 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
396 cd/m²
SDR ABL
0.000

Very good peak brightness in SDR. There is almost no difference in brightness across the windows sizes, which is good. The TV is bright enough for most rooms. It is brighter than last year's X850E and LG's SJ8500, but dimmer than this year's X900F.

7.2
Picture Quality
HDR Peak Brightness
HDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
457 cd/m²
HDR Peak 2% Window
521 cd/m²
HDR Peak 10% Window
521 cd/m²
HDR Peak 25% Window
521 cd/m²
HDR Peak 50% Window
521 cd/m²
HDR Peak 100% Window
521 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 2% Window
520 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 10% Window
521 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 25% Window
521 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 50% Window
521 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 100% Window
520 cd/m²
HDR ABL
0.000

Decent HDR brightness. It is brighter than the X850E. Most people will find the highlights bright enough when watching movies in HDR, but HDR content will look best on a brighter screen like the X900F.

7.4
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
3.555 %
50% DSE
0.190 %
5% Std. Dev.
0.566 %
5% DSE
0.084 %

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.

7.7
Picture Quality
Viewing Angle
Color Washout
29 °
Color Shift
64 °
Brightness Loss
38 °
Black Level Raise
70 °
Gamma Shift
44 °

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.

5.8
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
2.113 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
N/A

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.

8.6
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Semi-gloss
Total Reflections
3.5 %
Indirect Reflections
0.6 %

The X850F has a very similar to finish to the X900F. It does not diffuse reflections as much as some other TVs.

6.7
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
White Balance dE
4.42
Color dE
3.10
Gamma
2.15
Color Temperature
6114 K
Picture Mode
Custom
Color Temp Setting
Expert 1
Gamma Setting
0

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.

9.2
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
White Balance dE
0.26
Color dE
2.17
Gamma
2.19
Color Temperature
6488 K
White Balance Calibration
10 point
Color Calibration
No
Auto-Calibration Function
No

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.

8.0
Picture Quality
480p Input

Older 480p content is upscaled well. There are some minor artifacts but the TV handles it well.

8.0
Picture Quality
720p Input

Upscaling of 720p is handled well. There is some softness but the image is clear.

9.0
Picture Quality
1080p Input

1080p content from a Blu-ray or game console is upscaled well.

10
Picture Quality
4k Input

There are no issues with native 4k content.

7.7
Picture Quality
Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
Yes
DCI P3 xy
84.41 %
DCI P3 uv
92.10 %
Rec 2020 xy
61.99 %
Rec 2020 uv
70.12 %

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.

6.3
Picture Quality
Color Volume
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage ITP
71.5 %
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP
34.8 %
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
54.8 %
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
26.6 %

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.

8.3
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
10 Bit
Red (Std. Dev.)
0.123 dE
Green (Std. Dev.)
0.116 dE
Blue (Std. Dev.)
0.101 dE
Gray (Std. Dev.)
0.057 dE

The X850F displays gradients well. There is some banding especially in the dark colors, but not enough to bother most people.

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

Like most IPS and VA panels, there is no sign of temporary image retention on the X850F.

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

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.

Picture Quality
Pixels
Motion
8.9
Motion
Response Time
80% Response Time
3.8 ms
100% Response Time
14.9 ms

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.

10
Motion
Flicker-Free
Flicker-Free
No
PWM Dimming Frequency
0 Hz

The X850F has no visible flicker in its backlight, which makes motion appear smooth. This is, unfortunately, a rare thing in TVs; many TVs have 120 Hz PWM flicker, like the LG SJ9500 and Samsung MU8000, which causes duplications during motion (as seen in this MU8000 photo).

6.0
Motion
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
Optional BFI
Yes
Min Flicker for 60 fps
120 Hz
60 Hz for 60 fps
No
120 Hz for 120 fps
Yes
Min Flicker for 60 fps in Game Mode
120 Hz

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.

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

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'.

7.7
Motion
Stutter
Frame Hold Time @ 24 fps
26.8 ms
Frame Hold Time @ 60 fps
1.8 ms

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.

10
Motion
24p Judder
Judder-Free 24p
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via 60p
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via 60i
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via Native Apps
Yes

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.

0
Motion
Variable Refresh Rate
Native Refresh Rate
120 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate
No
G-SYNC Compatible
No
4k VRR Maximum
N/A
4k VRR Minimum
N/A
1080p VRR Maximum
N/A
1080p VRR Minimum
N/A
1440p VRR Maximum
N/A
1440p VRR Minimum
N/A
VRR Supported Connectors
N/A

The TV does not support variable refresh rate features like FreeSync.

Inputs
8.5
Inputs
Input Lag
1080p @ 60 Hz
27.9 ms
1080p @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
90.1 ms
1440p @ 60 Hz
28.9 ms
4k @ 60 Hz
30.0 ms
4k @ 60 Hz + 10 bit HDR
30.1 ms
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
30.0 ms
4k @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
92.3 ms
4k @ 60 Hz With Interpolation
92.3 ms
8k @ 60 Hz
N/A
1080p @ 120 Hz
13.1 ms
1440p @ 120 Hz
13.2 ms
4k @ 120 Hz
N/A
1080p with Variable Refresh Rate
N/A
1440p with VRR
N/A
4k with VRR
N/A
8k with VRR
N/A
Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM)
No

Low input lag at both 4k and 1080p, a slight improvement over the X850E, though not as good as LG's SJ8500. When in 'Game' or 'Graphics' mode the TV has good low input lag. Input lag is the same even on the low bandwidth HDMI ports 1 & 4.

9.6
Inputs
Supported Resolutions
1080p @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes
1080p @ 120 Hz
Yes (forced resolution required)
1440p @ 60 Hz
Yes (forced resolution required)
1440p @ 120 Hz
Yes (forced resolution required)
4k @ 60 Hz
Yes
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes
4k @ 120 Hz
No
8k @ 30 Hz or 24 Hz
No
8k @ 60 Hz
No

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.

Inputs
Input Photos
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 1 (shared)
Tuner (Cable/Ant) 1
Ethernet 1
DisplayPort 0
IR In 1
SD/SDHC 0

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.

Inputs
Inputs Specifications
HDR10
Yes
HDR10+
No
Dolby Vision
No
HLG
Yes
3D
No
HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth
Yes (HDMI 2,3)
HDMI 2.1
No
CEC Yes
HDCP 2.2 Yes (HDMI 1,2,3,4)
USB 3.0
Yes (1)
Variable Analog Audio Out Yes
Wi-Fi Support Yes (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz)
Inputs
Audio Passthrough
ARC
Yes (HDMI 3)
eARC support
No
Dolby Atmos via TrueHD via eARC
No
DTS:X via DTS-HD MA via eARC
No
5.1 Dolby Digital via ARC
Yes
5.1 DTS via ARC
Yes
5.1 Dolby Digital via Optical
Yes
5.1 DTS via Optical
Yes
Sound Quality
6.2
Sound Quality
Frequency Response