Sony X850G TV Review

Updated Aug 02, 2019 at 08:15 am
Sony X850G Picture
Usage Ratings - Version 1.3
7.8
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: Vizio P Series Quantum 2019
6.3
Movies
8.4
TV Shows
8.3
Sports
8.4
Video Games
6.3
HDR Movies
7.8
HDR Gaming
8.5
PC Monitor
Type LED
Sub-Type
IPS (except 85")
Resolution 4k

The Sony X850G is a good 4k TV with an IPS panel. It delivers decent overall picture quality, but has a very low contrast ratio and bad black uniformity, so it isn't a great choice for a dark room. This TV has great peak brightness and excellent reflection handling, so it has no trouble overcoming glare in a bright room, and the image remains accurate when viewed at an angle. It's a great TV for gaming, as it has outstanding low input lag, the lowest of any recent Sony TV, and an excellent response time.

Note: The 85" model has a VA panel, and likely looks much better in a dark room, but has worse viewing angles.

Our Verdict

7.8 Mixed Usage

Overall, the X850G is a good TV for most uses. It's best suited for a bright room, a wide seating area, or for watching sports or TV shows with a group of friends. It has great gaming performance, with low input lag and a fast response time. Unfortunately, it isn't great for watching movies or HDR content in a dark room.

See our Mixed Usage recommendations
6.3 Movies

This is a mediocre TV for watching movies in a dark room. It has disappointing contrast and bad black uniformity, so blacks are gray and cloudy, and there is no local dimming feature. 1080p content, like Blu-rays, is upscaled well, and looks almost as good as native 4k.

See our Movies recommendations
8.4 TV Shows

The X850G is a great TV for watching TV shows in a bright room. It has great peak brightness and excellent reflection handling, so glare shouldn't be an issue in most rooms. The image remains accurate when viewed at an angle, so it's great if you like to walk around with the TV on. There is a huge selection of apps available, covering the vast majority of the most popular streaming services.

See our TV Shows recommendations
8.3 Sports

This is a great TV for watching sports in a bright room with a group of friends. It has wide viewing angles, great peak brightness, and excellent reflection handling. It has an excellent response time, so fast-moving objects look clear, with very little blur.

See our Sports recommendations
8.4 Video Games

Overall, the X850G is a great TV for playing video games. It has excellent low input lag for a responsive gaming experience, and it has an excellent response time, so there is very little blur behind fast-moving objects. 1080p games are upscaled well, and look almost as good as native 4k content. Unfortunately, although this TV has a 120Hz panel, it doesn't accept 120Hz input, like 1080p @ 120Hz.

See our Video Games recommendations
6.3 HDR Movies

The X850G is a mediocre TV for watching the latest HDR movies. It has a disappointing contrast ratio, no local dimming feature, and bad black uniformity. HDR peak brightness is decent, so small bright objects stand out in HDR, but they aren't as bright as they should be.

See our HDR Movies recommendations
7.8 HDR Gaming

This is a good TV for HDR gaming, but mainly due to the great gaming performance, as HDR doesn't look great in a dark room. It has outstanding low input lag and a fast response time, but disappointing contrast, no local dimming, and bad black uniformity.

See our HDR Gaming recommendations
8.5 PC Monitor

The Sony X850G is an excellent TV for use as a PC monitor. It has excellent low input lag, an extremely fast response time, and decent viewing angles. It can display chroma 4:4:4 properly, and in 'Graphics' mode it supports nearest neighbor upscaling, which some people prefer.

See our PC Monitor recommendations
  • 7.8 Mixed Usage
  • 6.3 Movies
  • 8.4 TV Shows
  • 8.3 Sports
  • 8.4 Video Games
  • 6.3 HDR Movies
  • 7.8 HDR Gaming
  • 8.5 PC Monitor
Pros
  • Excellent low input lag.
  • Image remains accurate at an angle.
Cons
  • Disappointing contrast ratio.
  • Bad black uniformity.

Check Price

55" XBR-55X850G
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Amazon.com
65" XBR-65X850G
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75" XBR-75X850G
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85" XBR-85X850G
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Test Results

Market Context
Market Context

The Sony X850G is the direct replacement for the 2018 Sony X850F. It sits between the X800G and the X900F in the 2019 lineup, and is more of a budget model for Sony. Its main competitors are IPS TVs like the Sony X800G, the LG UM7300, and VA TVs, like the Samsung RU8000, TCL 6 Series/R617, and the Hisense H8F.

Design
Design
Stand

The stand supports the TV well, and there is very little wobble. The feet themselves are quite small, but they require a fairly large table, as they are near the ends of the TV.

Footprint of the 65" stand: 41.2" x 12.5".

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 300x300

The back of the TV is very basic, and is made of plastic. The panels have some flex to them, but we don't expect this to cause any issues. The back of the feet can be used for very basic cable management.

Design
Borders
Borders 0.55" (1.4 cm)

The borders are of average thickness and don't stand out much.

Design
Thickness
Max Thickness 1.89" (4.8 cm)

This TV is very thin, much thinner than the X800G, and it looks great wall-mounted.

Design
Temperature
Maximum Temperature
116 °F (46 °C)
Average Temperature
97 °F (36 °C)
7.5
Design
Build Quality

Overall, the X850G has decent build quality. The body of the TV is almost entirely made of plastic, and there's some flex to the back panel, but there are no obvious issues or areas of concern.

Picture Quality
5.6
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
799 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
N/A

The Sony X850G has a disappointing contrast ratio, worse than any recent TV, including the X800G. Blacks look gray, especially when watching TV in a dark room.

Note: The 85" model (XBR-85X850G) has a VA panel, and likely has much better contrast.

0
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
No
Backlight
Edge

This TV does not have a local dimming feature. The above video is for reference only.

8.3
Picture Quality
SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
431 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
446 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
446 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
446 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
446 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
446 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
445 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
446 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
446 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
446 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
446 cd/m²
SDR ABL
0.000

Great peak brightness in SDR, with no variation in brightness with different content, which is great. We measured the peak brightness after calibration, with the 'Custom' Picture Mode and the 'Expert 1' Color temperature.

Unfortunately, there are no brighter picture modes. Enabling Adv. contrast enhancer increases the peak brightness a tiny bit, but not enough to make a noticeable difference.

7.4
Picture Quality
HDR Peak Brightness
HDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
497 cd/m²
HDR Peak 2% Window
584 cd/m²
HDR Peak 10% Window
584 cd/m²
HDR Peak 25% Window
584 cd/m²
HDR Peak 50% Window
585 cd/m²
HDR Peak 100% Window
584 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 2% Window
583 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 10% Window
583 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 25% Window
583 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 50% Window
584 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 100% Window
583 cd/m²
HDR ABL
0.000

Decent peak brightness in HDR. Small bright highlights in some scenes stand out, but not enough to show off the content creator's intent.

We measured the peak brightness with no calibration settings, with the 'Cinema' Picture Mode and the Color temperature set to 'Expert 2'.

Unlike most TVs, these settings are the most accurate and the brightest. The 'Vivid' picture mode has a lower peak brightness.

7.9
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
3.430 %
50% DSE
0.145 %
5% Std. Dev.
0.567 %
5% DSE
0.107 %

Very good gray uniformity. There isn't much variation in the center of the screen, but there is noticeable vignetting, and the sides of the screen are a bit darker. In near-dark scenes, the uniformity is significantly better.

7.4
Picture Quality
Viewing Angle
Color Washout
29 °
Color Shift
65 °
Brightness Loss
35 °
Black Level Raise
70 °
Gamma Shift
33 °

Decent viewing angles. At very wide angles the image starts to appear washed out, but colors only shift at extremely wide angles. Colors appear washed out at moderate angles, but this shouldn't be an issue for most people.

Note: The 85" model (XBR-85X850G) has a VA panel, and likely has a worse viewing angle.

4.9
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
2.718 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
N/A

The Sony X850G has bad black uniformity, worse than the X800G. There is significant clouding throughout the entire screen, and the LEDs can be seen bleeding through the bottom edge.

Note: The 85" model (XBR-85X850G) has a VA panel, and likely has much better black uniformity.

8.8
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Semi-gloss
Total Reflections
2.6 %
Indirect Reflections
0.6 %

Excellent reflection handling. There is still some noticeable glare, as the screen finish isn't able to completely diffuse bright lights, but in most rooms there shouldn't be any issues.

6.4
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
White Balance dE
4.34
Color dE
3.60
Gamma
2.06
Color Temperature
5988 K
Picture Mode
Custom
Color Temp Setting
Expert 1
Gamma Setting
0

With our pre-calibration settings, this TV has mediocre accuracy. There are noticeable errors in many colors, as well as brighter shades of gray. Gamma is too low, tracking closer to 2.0, so most scenes are too bright, and the color temperature is a bit too warm.

9.2
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
White Balance dE
0.20
Color dE
2.18
Gamma
2.18
Color Temperature
6527 K
White Balance Calibration
10 point
Color Calibration
Yes
Auto-Calibration Function
No

After calibration, the X850G has excellent accuracy, but it's a bit worse than most TVs. There are still inaccuracies in some colors, especially reds, that some people might notice. Gamma follows much closer to 2.2, and the white balance is nearly perfect.

You can see our recommended settings here.

8.0
Picture Quality
480p Input

480p content, like DVD movies, looks great, with no obvious upscaling artifacts.

8.0
Picture Quality
720p Input

720p content, including cable TV stations, looks great, with no significant issues.

9.0
Picture Quality
1080p Input

1080p content, including Blu-rays, looks almost as good as native 4k content. When the 'Graphics' Picture Mode is used with 1080p content, the TV switches to nearest-neighbor upscaling, which some people prefer for computer use.

10
Picture Quality
4k Input

4k content is displayed perfectly, with no dithering or sub-pixel artifacts.

7.6
Picture Quality
Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
Yes
DCI P3 xy
83.59 %
DCI P3 uv
90.72 %
Rec 2020 xy
61.13 %
Rec 2020 uv
68.05 %

The X850G can display a wide color gamut, and has great coverage of the DCI-P3 color gamut used by most 4k UHD Blu-rays. The EOTF follows the PQ Curve closely for the most part, but dark scenes are over-brightened. The TV starts tone mapping near its peak brightness, but unfortunately, whites mastered above about 1500 cd/m² are clipped, causing a loss of some bright details.

The PC Mode EOTF is nearly identical, but some scenes are over-brightened.

If you find HDR content too dark, setting the Color Temp to 'Expert 2', Contrast to 'Max', Gamma to 'Max', and Adv. contrast enhancer to 'High' results in a noticeably brighter image, as shown in this EOTF. Unfortunately, the peak brightness remains unchanged, and whites are clipped above about 400 cd/m².

5.9
Picture Quality
Color Volume
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage ITP
64.0 %
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP
32.5 %
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
53.9 %
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
27.4 %

Mediocre color volume. It's limited by the low contrast ratio, and the limits of the color gamut it can display.

Note: The 85" model (XBR-85X850G) has a VA panel, and likely has slightly better color volume.

8.7
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
10 Bit
Red (Std. Dev.)
0.101 dE
Green (Std. Dev.)
0.101 dE
Blue (Std. Dev.)
0.079 dE
Gray (Std. Dev.)
0.072 dE

The Sony X850G has excellent gradient handling. There is some slight banding in all shades, but this isn't really noticeable with most content.

9.9
Picture Quality
Temporary Image Retention
IR after 0 min recovery
0.05 %
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 %

There is only minor temporary image retention immediately after displaying our high-contrast static test image for 10 minutes, and it disappears almost immediately.

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

Although some IPS panels can suffer from temporary image retention, this doesn't appear to be permanent, as seen in our long-term test.

Picture Quality
Pixels

Like the X850F, this TV uses an IPS panel.

Motion
8.9
Motion
Response Time
80% Response Time
4.3 ms
100% Response Time
13.3 ms

This TV has an excellent response time, but unfortunately, there is noticeable overshoot in most transitions.

10
Motion
Flicker-Free
Flicker-Free
Yes
PWM Dimming Frequency
0 Hz

The backlight is completely flicker-free, which is great. There is some noise at low backlight levels, but this isn't noticeable, and the backlight never turns completely off.

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

This TV has an optional black frame insertion feature that improves the appearance of motion, but it can only flicker at 120Hz, which isn't ideal as it causes noticeable duplications with 60Hz content.

To enable this feature on the X850G, set Motionflow to 'Custom', and adjust the Clearness setting to your liking.

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

Even though this TV only accepts 60Hz signals, it can interpolate lower frame rate content to increase the frame rate as high as 120Hz. Like most TVs, there are some artifacts with higher settings, and this introduces an effect known as the Soap Opera Effect, which may bother some people.

See our recommended settings here.

7.4
Motion
Stutter
Frame Hold Time @ 24 fps
28.4 ms
Frame Hold Time @ 60 fps
3.4 ms

The relatively fast response time of this TV results in some noticeable stutter when watching 24p movies. This is especially noticeable with slow, panning shots.

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

This TV can remove judder from all sources, which is great. Movies played from 24p sources, like a Blu-ray player, are always judder-free. When watching movies played from a 60p/i source, like a cable box, Motionflow has to be set to 'Custom', with both sliders set to 'Min' and CineMotion set to 'Auto'.

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 X850G has a native 120Hz panel, but doesn't support any advanced variable refresh rate technologies, like FreeSync.

Inputs
9.6
Inputs
Input Lag
1080p @ 60 Hz
14.7 ms
1080p @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
91.1 ms
1440p @ 60 Hz
N/A
4k @ 60 Hz
14.6 ms
4k @ 60 Hz + 10 bit HDR
14.6 ms
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
14.6 ms
4k @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
91.3 ms
4k @ 60 Hz With Interpolation
87.2 ms
8k @ 60 Hz
N/A
1080p @ 120 Hz
N/A
1440p @ 120 Hz
N/A
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

This TV has outstanding low input lag, better than any recent Sony TV we've tested, including the X950G.

7.5
Inputs
Supported Resolutions
1080p @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes
1080p @ 120 Hz
No
1440p @ 60 Hz
No
1440p @ 120 Hz
No
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 X850G has a native 120Hz panel, but it can't display a 120Hz signal from 1080p or 1440p sources. It can display chroma 4:4:4 properly, which is important for clear text when connected to a PC, but only in the 'Game' or 'Graphics' picture mode. Like many other Sony TVs, when in the 'Graphics' mode, the TV switches to nearest-neighbor upscaling when sent a 1080p signal.

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
Inputs
Inputs Specifications
HDR10
Yes
HDR10+
No
Dolby Vision
Yes
HLG
Yes
3D
No
HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth
Yes (HDMI 1,2,3,4)
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)

The X850G supports HDR10 and Dolby Vision but doesn't support HDR10+.

Inputs
Audio Passthrough