Sony X850G TV Review

Tested using Methodology v1.5
Updated Feb 28, 2020 at 09:20 am
Sony X850G Picture
7.1
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: Vizio M Series Quantum 2019
5.8
Movies
8.2
TV Shows
8.0
Sports
7.6
Video Games
5.9
HDR Movies
7.0
HDR Gaming
8.0
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. Unfortunately, it also doesn't have a local dimming feature to help with black levels. On the bright side, this TV has great peak brightness and excellent reflection handling, so it should have 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 though we haven't tested it, we'd expect it to look much better in a dark room, but have worse viewing angles.

Our Verdict

7.1 Mixed Usage

The Sony X850G is a good TV for mixed usage. It's a great choice for sports, TV shows, or video games thanks to its fairly wide viewing angles and fast response time. Unfortunately, due to its IPS panel, its contrast and black uniformity are poor, so it may not be the best for watching movies in dark rooms, as blacks will appear gray and cloudy. On the bright side, it can get decently bright for HDR content, and it has a fairly wide color gamut, so HDR content should look good, though it may not pop quite as much as the creator intended.

Pros
  • Excellent low input lag.
  • Image remains accurate at an angle.
Cons
  • Disappointing contrast ratio.
  • Bad black uniformity.
5.8 Movies

The Sony X850G is a mediocre TV for watching movies. Due to its IPS panel, it has a disappointing contrast ratio, and in dark rooms blacks will appear gray and cloudy. It's worth noting that the 85" model of this TV uses a VA panel, so we'd expect it to perform better in this regard. It also doesn't have a local dimming feature to help with its black levels.

8.2 TV Shows

The Sony X850G is a great TV for watching TV shows. It has excellent reflection handling so even in bright rooms, glare shouldn't be too much of an issue. The viewing angles are also quite decent, so you should still get a fairly accurate image if you watch TV from the side, or while walking around.

8.0 Sports

The Sony X850G is a great TV for watching sports. Thanks to its IPS panel, it has decently wide viewing angles, so a large group of friends can all watch the game at the same time and still get the same accurate image. It also has an excellent fast response time, so fast-moving objects should look clear and have very little blur.

7.6 Video Games

The Sony X850G is an impressive TV for playing video games. It has a very fast response time, so motion should look clear with very little blur, and its superbly low input lag means that you shouldn't notice any delay. Unfortunately, while this TV has a 120Hz panel, it doesn't accept a 120Hz input over HDMI, and it doesn't support any variable refresh rate technologies, like FreeSync.

5.9 HDR Movies

The Sony X850G is mediocre for watching HDR movies. Its poor contrast and black uniformity means that while watching movies in a dark room, blacks will appear gray and cloudy. It also can't get quite bright enough for HDR content to really pop. On the bright side, this TV has a fairly wide color gamut, which will help HDR content look closer to the way the creator intended.

7.0 HDR Gaming

The Sony X850G is a good TV for HDR gaming thanks to its great gaming performance. Unfortunately, its HDR performance is only acceptable, partly due to the fact that the screen can't get quite bright enough for HDR to really shine. On the bright side, its fairly wide color gamut will help HDR content look closer to the way the creator intended.

8.0 PC Monitor

The Sony X850G is an excellent TV to use as a PC monitor. It can properly display chroma 4:4:4 when in 'Game' or 'Graphics' mode, which is important for text to appear clear when using a TV as a monitor. It has extremely low input lag and fast response time, which is great if you game from your PC, and when in 'Graphics' mode, the TV switches to nearest-neighbor upscaling, which prevents upscaled content from looking too soft.

  • 7.1 Mixed Usage
  • 5.8 Movies
  • 8.2 TV Shows
  • 8.0 Sports
  • 7.6 Video Games
  • 5.9 HDR Movies
  • 7.0 HDR Gaming
  • 8.0 PC Monitor
  1. Update 7/7/2020: The operating system has been updated to Android 9.0.
  2. Update 5/21/2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.5.
  3. Update 2/21/2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.4.

Check Price

55" XBR-55X850G
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com
65" XBR-65X850G
SEE PRICE
BestBuy.com
75" XBR-75X850G
SEE PRICE
BestBuy.com
85" XBR-85X850G
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Market Context
Market Context
Market Context

The Sony X850G is the direct replacement of the 2018 Sony X850F. It sits between the Sony X800G and the Sony 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
8.5
Design
Style
Curved No

This TV has a very basic design, and it looks very similar to the X850F. The body is very thin, but is almost entirely made of plastic and feels a bit cheap in some places. The TV uses two feet instead of a center stand, so you may need a slightly larger table, depending on the size of your TV.

Design
Stand

The stand supports the TV well, and there's 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 Sony X800G, and it looks great wall-mounted.

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

This TV has a disappointing contrast ratio, worse than any recent TV, including the Sony X800G. Blacks look gray, especially when watching TV in a dark room. If you're looking for a Sony TV with an IPS panel but improved contrast ratio, then check out the Sony X800H.

Note: The 85" model (XBR-85X850G) has a VA panel, and though we haven't tested it, we'd expect its contrast to be much better.

0
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
No
Backlight
Edge

This TV doesn't have a local dimming feature. The above video is for reference only. If you want local dimming, then check out the Sony X900H.

8.1
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.

6.9
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's 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, so while we haven't tested it, we'd expected it to have worse viewing angles.

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

This TV 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: Though we haven't tested it, the 85" model (XBR-85X850G) has a VA panel, and we'd expect its black uniformity to be significantly better.

8.7
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Semi-gloss
Total Reflections
2.6 %
Indirect Reflections
0.6 %
Calculated Direct Reflections
2.0 %

Excellent reflection handling. There's 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.

9.1
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, this TV has excellent accuracy, but it's still 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.

0
Picture Quality
8k Input

This is a 4k TV that doesn't support an 8k signal.

Picture Quality
Pixels

Like the Sony X850F, this TV uses an IPS panel.

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 Sony 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 %

The color volume of this TV is mediocre, as it's limited by its low contrast ratio, and is slightly restricted by its color gamut.

Note: Though we haven't tested it, the 85" model (XBR-85X850G) has a VA panel, so we'd expect it to have 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's some slight banding in all shades, but this shouldn't be 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's 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.

Motion
8.0
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's 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.

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
HDMI Forum VRR
No
FreeSync
No
G-SYNC Compatible
No
4k VRR Maximum
N/A
4k VRR Minimum
No VRR support
1080p VRR Maximum
N/A
1080p VRR Minimum
No VRR support
1440p VRR Maximum
N/A
1440p VRR Minimum
No VRR support
VRR Supported Connectors
No VRR support

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

Inputs
8.7
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 higher-end Sony 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 Sony 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