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Sony X85J TV Review

Tested using Methodology v1.6
Updated Nov 30, 2021 at 12:04 pm
Sony X85J Picture
7.5
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: Hisense H9G
7.2
Movies
Value for price beaten by
: Hisense H9G
7.8
TV Shows
Value for price beaten by
: Hisense H9G
7.6
Sports
Value for price beaten by
: Hisense H9G
7.7
Video Games
Value for price beaten by
: Hisense U8G
7.2
HDR Movies
Value for price beaten by
: Hisense H9G
7.7
HDR Gaming
Value for price beaten by
: Hisense U8G
7.8
PC Monitor
Value for price beaten by
: Sony X800H
Current deal: The Sony X85J has dropped in price on amazon.com. See all TVs deals
Type LED
Sub-Type
VA
Resolution 4k

The Sony X85J is a mid-range 4k TV in Sony's 2021 lineup. It's a replacement for the Sony X85H that was never released in North America; the closest model we've tested was the Sony X850G. It's a good TV, with excellent dark room performance thanks to its fantastic contrast ratio and excellent black uniformity. It's well-suited for bright rooms as it has great peak brightness and decent reflection handling, so glare isn't much of an issue unless you have a lot of natural light. It runs the updated Google TV interface, similar to the Android TV interface found on previous Sony TVs, but it's a bit more intuitive to use. It has the same great selection of streaming apps, so you're sure to find your favorite streaming service. Gamers will appreciate the low input lag, and a firmware update for variable refresh rate support has started rolling out. Sadly, although it supports HDMI 2.1, 4k @ 120Hz signals aren't displayed properly, and it doesn't have a local dimming feature.

Our Verdict

7.5 Mixed Usage

The Sony X85J is a good TV for most uses. The outstanding contrast and excellent black uniformity are great for watching movies in the dark, but it lacks a local dimming feature, which is a bit disappointing. It's a good TV for watching sports or TV shows during the day, and its low input lag and fast response time make it a good choice for playing games.

Pros
  • Outstanding contrast.
  • Great response time.
  • Huge selection of smart apps.
  • Upscales low resolution content well.
Cons
  • Image degrades at an angle.
  • Direct reflections can be distracting.
7.2 Movies

The Sony X85J is a great TV for watching movies in a completely dark room, but it lacks a local dimming feature. It has outstanding contrast and excellent black uniformity, so dark scenes look great in a dark room, but, unfortunately, there's no local dimming feature. Older, low-resolution movies upscale well, and this TV can remove judder from any source. Unfortunately, there is some stutter when watching movies, especially in slow, panning shots.

Pros
  • Outstanding contrast.
  • Can remove 24p judder from any source.
  • Upscales low resolution content well.
  • Excellent black uniformity.
Cons
  • Stutters in panning shots.
  • No local dimming.
7.8 TV Shows

The Sony X85J is a very good TV for watching TV shows. There's a large selection of apps, so you don't have to worry about an external box for your streaming service of choice, and it upscales older content well, with no noticeable issues. It has great peak brightness, but direct reflections can still be distracting in a bright room. Unfortunately, the image degrades when viewed at an angle, so it's not a great choice if you like to move around.

Pros
  • Huge selection of smart apps.
  • Upscales low resolution content well.
  • Great SDR peak brightness.
Cons
  • Image degrades at an angle.
  • Direct reflections can be distracting.
7.6 Sports

The Sony X85J is a good TV for watching sports. It has a great response time, resulting in little blur behind fast-moving objects. It also has a large selection of apps, including many sports streaming apps, and if you're watching on cable, it upscales lower resolution content well. This TV has great peak brightness, but direct reflections can still be distracting. Unfortunately, the image degrades when viewed at an angle, which isn't ideal for watching the big game with lots of friends.

Pros
  • Great response time.
  • Huge selection of smart apps.
  • Upscales low resolution content well.
  • Great SDR peak brightness.
Cons
  • Image degrades at an angle.
  • Direct reflections can be distracting.
7.7 Video Games

The Sony X85J is a good TV for playing video games, and it's expected to get even better with a future update. It has low input lag, a great response time, and great peak brightness in SDR, and it's future-proof, with two HDMI 2.1 ports, although it can't display 4k @ 120Hz signals properly. Sony has released an update for this TV that adds new gaming features, including variable refresh rate support, but we haven't tested it yet.

Pros
  • Outstanding contrast.
  • Low input lag.
  • Great response time.
  • Great SDR peak brightness.
Cons
  • No local dimming.
  • Direct reflections can be distracting.
  • 4k @ 120Hz isn't displayed properly.
7.2 HDR Movies

Although it lacks a local dimming feature, the Sony X85J is great for watching movies in HDR. It has fantastic contrast and excellent black uniformity, resulting in deep, uniform blacks in a dark room. It also has decent peak brightness in HDR, so small highlights stand out a bit, but they're not as bright as the director intended. Finally, it has a great HDR color gamut, meaning it can display a wide range of colors with the latest HDR content.

Pros
  • Outstanding contrast.
  • Can remove 24p judder from any source.
  • Excellent black uniformity.
Cons
  • Stutters in panning shots.
  • No local dimming.
  • Some scenes are overbrightened.
7.7 HDR Gaming

The Sony X85J is good for gaming in HDR. It has outstanding contrast and excellent black uniformity, so blacks look black in a dark room. It delivers a great gaming experience, with low input lag and a great response time, for a responsive gaming experience with little blur. Unfortunately, although it has two HDMI 2.1 ports for gaming on the new consoles or a recent PC graphics card, it can't display 4k @ 120Hz signals properly.

Pros
  • Outstanding contrast.
  • Low input lag.
  • Great response time.
Cons
  • No local dimming.
  • Some scenes are overbrightened.
  • 4k @ 120Hz isn't displayed properly.
7.8 PC Monitor

The Sony X85J is a good TV for use as a PC monitor. It has low input lag, so the cursor feels responsive and lag-free, and the fast response time results in relatively clear motion. It has great peak brightness in SDR, so glare isn't an issue in most rooms. It can display chroma 4:4:4 properly, which is important for clear text, but the BGR subpixel layout can still cause some text clarity issues in certain apps. Unfortunately, the image degrades at an angle, which can be an issue if you're too close.

Pros
  • Low input lag.
  • Great response time.
  • Great SDR peak brightness.
Cons
  • Image degrades at an angle.
  • Direct reflections can be distracting.
  • BGR subpixel layout can cause issues with text.
  • 4k @ 120Hz isn't displayed properly.
  • 7.5 Mixed Usage
  • 7.2 Movies
  • 7.8 TV Shows
  • 7.6 Sports
  • 7.7 Video Games
  • 7.2 HDR Movies
  • 7.7 HDR Gaming
  • 7.8 PC Monitor
  1. Updated Nov 24, 2021: We rechecked 4k @ 120Hz support.
  2. Updated Aug 16, 2021: We rechecked for blur when displaying a 4k @ 120Hz signal from a PC and recent consoles.
  3. Updated Jun 15, 2021: We incorrectly stated that this TV has a Smooth Gradation feature; it doesn't.
  4. Updated Jun 09, 2021: Review published.
  5. Updated Jun 04, 2021: Early access published.

Video

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Market Context
Market Context
Market Context

The Sony X85J is a mid-range 4k from Sony's 2021 4k lineup, sitting above the Sony X80J and below the Sony X90J. Its direct predecessor, the Sony X85H, was never released in North America, so the closest model we've tested is the 2019 Sony X850G. The 2021 model mainly competes with the Hisense U6G and the Samsung Q60/Q60A QLED or Samsung Q70/Q70A QLED.

Design
Design
Style
Curved No

The Sony X85J has a nice but simple design. It doesn't look as premium as the Sony X90J, and it's mainly plastic, but it looks nice in most decors. The inputs face to the side, which is nice, especially if you wall-mount it.

Design
Stand

The stand is nearly identical to the one on the Sony X90J, and it supports the TV well, but there's a bit of wobble. Unfortunately, like the X90J, the feet aren't adjustable, but there's an alternate model known as the X89J that has two stand positions. The 43 inch and 50 inch models appear to have a different stand design, and the feet are closer to the center of the screen.

Footprint of the 55 inch stand: 41.9" x 13.3".

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 300x300

The back of the TV is nearly identical to the Sony X90J. It has a grid-like pattern across most of the back panel, but unlike the X90J, there's no brushed aluminum square in the middle. There's a clip on each leg for cable management. Although pretty basic, it can help to keep the back of your TV neat.

Design
Borders
Borders 0.39" (1.0 cm)
Design
Thickness
Max Thickness 2.87" (7.3 cm)

Due to the direct-lit backlight, this TV is a bit thicker than edge-lit TVs, like the Samsung Q60/Q60A QLED.

7.5
Design
Build Quality

The Sony X85J has good build quality. It's entirely plastic, and there's some noticeable flex on the back panel, especially near the VESA mount and around the bottom edge. There's also a bit of concerning pull around the border. The TV leans a bit, but this isn't noticeable from the front at all. The stand supports the TV well overall, but there's a bit of wobble.

Picture Quality
9.2
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
6,308 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
N/A

The Sony X85J has fantastic contrast, so blacks look black in a dark room. The native contrast of this TV without local dimming is similar to the Sony X90J's contrast with local dimming, but this varies between units.

Note: We've seen some reports that the 43 inch model has an IPS panel in some regions. If this is the case, we expect it to have much lower contrast but better viewing angles.

8.4
Picture Quality
SDR Brightness
Real Scene Peak Brightness
506 cd/m²
Peak 2% Window
518 cd/m²
Peak 10% Window
528 cd/m²
Peak 25% Window
527 cd/m²
Peak 50% Window
526 cd/m²
Peak 100% Window
526 cd/m²
Sustained 2% Window
518 cd/m²
Sustained 10% Window
528 cd/m²
Sustained 25% Window
527 cd/m²
Sustained 50% Window
526 cd/m²
Sustained 100% Window
526 cd/m²
Automatic Brightness Limiting (ABL)
0.001

This TV has great peak brightness in SDR. It's about as bright as the Sony X90J, but not as bright as the Hisense U8G. There's no noticeable variation in peak brightness with different content, which is great.

We measured the SDR brightness after calibration in the 'Custom' Picture Mode, with Brightness at max, Contrast at '90', and Color Tone set to 'Expert 1'.

If you want a slightly brighter image, the 'Vivid' Picture Mode with Contrast at 'Max' results in a slightly brighter image, but this mode is less accurate.

0
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
No
Backlight
Direct

Although the Sony X85J uses a direct-lit backlight similar to the Sony X90J, there's no local dimming feature. The video is for reference only, so you can see how the local dimming feature on other displays compares to one without local dimming. If you prefer something with local dimming, then look into the TCL 5 Series/S546 2021 QLED.

0
Picture Quality
Local Dimming In Game Mode
Local Dimming
No
Backlight
Direct

Unlike the Sony X90J, this TV doesn't have a local dimming feature. The video is for reference only, so you can see how the local dimming feature on other displays compares to one without local dimming.

7.0
Picture Quality
HDR Brightness
Real Scene Highlight
547 cd/m²
Peak 2% Window
561 cd/m²
Peak 10% Window
568 cd/m²
Peak 25% Window
568 cd/m²
Peak 50% Window
567 cd/m²
Peak 100% Window
567 cd/m²
Sustained 2% Window
561 cd/m²
Sustained 10% Window
568 cd/m²
Sustained 25% Window
568 cd/m²
Sustained 50% Window
567 cd/m²
Sustained 100% Window
567 cd/m²
Automatic Brightness Limiting (ABL)
0.001

The Sony X85J has decent peak brightness in HDR. It's bright enough to deliver an impact HDR experience with most content, but small highlights aren't bright enough to stand out the way the director intended.

Unfortunately, the TV doesn't follow the EOTF curve properly, as most scenes are brighter than they're supposed to be. It's not as bad as the Hisense U8G, but it's not ideal if you care about an accurate image. It also cuts off sharply at the TV's peak brightness, resulting in a loss of fine details in bright scenes.

If you want to make HDR content brighter and don't mind losing image accuracy, change to the 'Vivid' Picture Mode, and set Contrast to 'Max'. These settings result in a much brighter image, as you can see in this EOTF plot.

We measured the HDR brightness in the 'Custom' Picture Mode, before calibrating the TV, with Brightness at max, Contrast at '90', and Color Tone set to 'Expert 2'.

7.0
Picture Quality
HDR Brightness In Game Mode
Real Scene Highlight
547 cd/m²
Peak 2% Window
563 cd/m²
Peak 10% Window
570 cd/m²
Peak 25% Window
570 cd/m²
Peak 50% Window
570 cd/m²
Peak 100% Window
569 cd/m²
Sustained 2% Window
563 cd/m²
Sustained 10% Window
570 cd/m²
Sustained 25% Window
570 cd/m²
Sustained 50% Window
569 cd/m²
Sustained 100% Window
569 cd/m²
Automatic Brightness Limiting (ABL)
0.001

The brightness in 'Game Mode' is identical to the 'Custom' Picture Mode. The TV still doesn't follow the EOTF properly, but this isn't as much of an issue, as most games have an option to adjust the HDR brightness.

7.9
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
3.165%
50% DSE
0.151%
5% Std. Dev.
0.856%
5% DSE
0.106%

The Sony X85J has very good gray uniformity, but this can vary between individual units. The sides of the screen are a bit darker than the center, but there's very little dirty screen effect, great for sports fans. Near-dark scenes look even better, with no noticeable issues at all.

8.6
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
0.742%
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
N/A

The unit we tested has excellent black uniformity, but this can vary between units. There's a bit of cloudiness in the screen, which you can't reduce as there's no local dimming, but this isn't very noticeable in most content.

5.5
Picture Quality
Viewing Angle
Color Washout
29°
Color Shift
36°
Brightness Loss
37°
Black Level Raise
10°
Gamma Shift
16°

Unfortunately, as expected of a VA-type panel, the Sony X85J's viewing angles are disappointing. Colors stay accurate to a wider angle than the Hisense U8G, but dark shades look washed out at a narrow angle. A TV with an IPS-type panel, like the LG NANO90 2021, is a better choice for a wide seating arrangement.

Note: We've seen some reports that the 43 inch model has an IPS panel in some regions. If this is the case, we expect it to have much better viewing angles but worse contrast.

7.1
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Semi-gloss
Total Reflections
5.7%
Indirect Reflections
0.7%
Calculated Direct Reflections
5.1%

The Sony X85J has decent reflection handling. The semi-gloss finish reduces the intensity of direct reflections a bit without smearing them across the screen. Bright lights can still be distracting, but overall we don't expect visibility to be an issue in most environments.

9.0
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
White Balance dE
1.06
Color dE
1.72
Gamma
2.21
Color Temperature
6,614 K
Picture Mode
Custom
Color Temp Setting
Expert 1
Gamma Setting
0

Out of the box, the Sony X85J is remarkably accurate. Gamma is very close to our target of 2.2, and the white balance is nearly perfect. There are some inaccurate colors, especially highly saturated blues, but they're close enough to the targets that we don't expect most people to notice them. Note that the exact accuracy out of the box can vary between units.

9.4
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
White Balance dE
0.31
Color dE
1.45
Gamma
2.20
Color Temperature
6,512 K
White Balance Calibration
10 point
Color Calibration
No

Calibration improved the white balance and gamma to near perfection, but as there's no color calibration on this TV, we weren't able to correct any of the color issues.

You can see our recommended settings here.

8.0
Picture Quality
480p Input

We didn't notice any issues upscaling 480p content like DVDs.

8.0
Picture Quality
720p Input

720p content, including most cable TV stations, is upscaled well by the Sony X85J, with no noticeable issues.

9.0
Picture Quality
1080p Input

Like most TVs we've tested, 1080p content looks almost as good as native 4k content.

10
Picture Quality
4k Input

4k content is displayed perfectly, with no noticeable issues.

0
Picture Quality
8k Input

This is a 4k TV that won't accept an 8k signal.

Picture Quality
Pixels

Like most TVs on the market, the Sony X85J uses a BGR (Blue-Green-Red) subpixel layout instead of the traditional Red-Green-Blue layout. For video content, this doesn't cause any issues, but it causes text clarity issues with some programs when used as a PC monitor. You can read more about this here.

8.0
Picture Quality
Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
Yes
DCI P3 xy
89.89%
DCI P3 uv
95.40%
Rec 2020 xy
65.42%
Rec 2020 uv
71.16%

The Sony X85J has a great color gamut. It can display nearly the entire DCI P3 color space used by most current HDR content, but it falls short on highly saturated greens, although this won't be very noticeable with most content. It also has okay coverage of the wider Rec. 2020 color space, but it's not as good as the Hisense U8G.

The X85J we tested displays a wider color gamut than the Sony X90J, which is unexpected. This can vary between units, though, and the difference isn't very noticeable. We found that the X90J has better tone mapping, and in person, with real content, the X90J looks better.

7.2
Picture Quality
Color Volume
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage ITP
81.5%
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP
40.4%
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
61.7%
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
30.6%

The Sony X85J has decent color volume. It's limited by the incomplete color gamut and, like most LCDs on the market, blues aren't as bright as other colors. Thanks to the high contrast ratio, this TV can display dark, saturated colors well, but not as well as the Hisense U8G.

8.7
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
10 Bit
Red (Std. Dev.)
0.082
Green (Std. Dev.)
0.109
Blue (Std. Dev.)
0.077
Gray (Std. Dev.)
0.089

The Sony X85J has excellent gradient handling. There's some banding in darker shades, especially greens, but it's not very noticeable with most content. It has a less powerful image processor than the Sony X90J, and it doesn't have a smooth gradation feature or other options to remove banding.

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%

There are no signs of temporary image retention on our unit, but this can vary.

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

We don't expect VA panels to experience permanent image retention, as the VA panel in our long-term test appears immune.

Motion
8.2
Motion
Response Time
80% Response Time
4.0 ms
100% Response Time
11.7 ms

The Sony X85J has a great response time, resulting in very clear motion, with negligible blur behind fast-moving objects. Transitions in dark scenes look better than most VA panels, but there's still some black smearing behind dark objects. There's very little overshoot in any transition.

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

The Sony X85J uses direct (DC) dimming to dim the backlight. Like the Sony X850G, there's some noise at very low backlight levels, but this isn't noticeable at all, and the backlight never turns completely off. It's different from the Sony X90J, which uses Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) to dim the backlight. PWM can bother some people, as it can cause eye fatigue or headaches.

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

This TV has an optional backlight strobing feature, commonly known as black frame insertion (BFI), that can reduce the amount of persistence blur. Like the Sony X90J, it can only flicker at 120Hz, which can cause duplications when watching 60Hz content. Note that our scoring is based only on the refresh rates that support BFI and don't reflect how effective it is.

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

The Sony X85J has an optional motion interpolation feature that can improve the appearance of lower frame-rate content. Subjectively, it seems to perform well, but we did notice some artifacts in busier scenes.

7.1
Motion
Stutter
Frame Hold Time @ 24 fps
30.0 ms
Frame Hold Time @ 60 fps
5.0 ms

Due to the fast response time of this TV, there is some noticeable stutter when watching movies. It's mainly noticeable in slow panning shots. If stutter bothers you, enabling motion interpolation can help to reduce it, but this can introduce the soap opera effect, which some people don't like.

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 Sony X85J can remove judder from all sources.

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 X85J has received a firmware update that adds variable refresh rate support (VRR), but we haven't retested it yet. We expect it to perform similarly to the Sony X900H, which we have retested.

Inputs
9.4
Inputs
Input Lag
1080p @ 60Hz
15.6 ms
1080p @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode
91.0 ms
1440p @ 60Hz
15.1 ms
4k @ 60Hz
15.2 ms
4k @ 60Hz + 10-Bit HDR
15.5 ms
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
15.2 ms
4k @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode
91.1 ms
4k @ 60Hz With Interpolation
87.5 ms
8k @ 60Hz
N/A
1080p @ 120Hz
6.3 ms
1440p @ 120Hz
N/A
4k @ 120Hz
6.3 ms
1080p with Variable Refresh Rate
N/A
1440p with VRR
N/A
4k with VRR
N/A
8k with VRR
N/A

The Sony X85J has outstanding low input lag, which is especially important when gaming or for use as a PC monitor. It's a tiny bit slower than the Hisense U8G but a bit faster than the Sony X90J. The input lag outside of 'Game Mode' or with motion interpolation is significantly lower than the Sony X90J, though we're not sure why. The update for variable refresh rate support has started rolling out, but we haven't retested it yet, so we don't know how well it performs. We expect it to be similar to the Sony X900H, which shows slightly increased input lag with VRR active.

9.2
Inputs
Supported Resolutions
1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes
1080p @ 120Hz
Yes (native support)
1440p @ 60Hz
Yes (forced resolution required)
1440p @ 120Hz
No
4k @ 60Hz
Yes
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes
4k @ 120Hz
Yes (native support)
8k @ 30Hz or 24Hz
No
8k @ 60Hz
No

Update 11/24/2021: We rechecked 4k @ 120Hz support on this TV. Unfortunately, like most other TVs we've tested in 2021, it can't display 4k @ 120Hz signals properly. The vertical resolution is cut in half, resulting in a 3840 x 1080 interlaced signal, so text isn't displayed properly. We tested this previously, and it was working intermittently, but now it's consistently not working.

The Sony X85J supports most common resolutions, except 1440p, which requires a forced resolution. Chroma 4:4:4 signals are displayed properly in most supported resolutions, which is important for clear text from a PC. 4k @ 120Hz signals aren't displayed properly, though, and text isn't clear.

Inputs
Advanced Console Compatibility
Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM)
No
PS5, 4k @ 120Hz + HDR
Yes
PS5, 4k @ 120Hz
Yes
PS5, 4k @ 60Hz + HDR
Yes
PS5, 1440p @ 120Hz
No
PS5, 1080p @ 120Hz
Yes
PS5, Variable Refresh Rate
No
Xbox Series X, 4k @ 120Hz + HDR
Yes
Xbox Series X, 4k @ 120Hz
Yes
Xbox Series X, 4k @ 60Hz + HDR
Yes
Xbox Series X, 1440p @ 120Hz
No
Xbox Series X, 1080p @ 120Hz
Yes
Xbox Series X, Variable Refresh Rate
No

The Sony X85J doesn't support 4k @ 120Hz and Dolby Vision at once, so you have to choose between them by changing the HDMI Signal Format setting. This TV doesn't support Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM), but it recognizes when it's connected to a Sony PlayStation 5 and automatically enters 'Game Mode'. The variable refresh rate feature wasn't available when we tested this TV, but it has since received an update that adds it. We expect it to perform similarly to the Sony X900H.

Inputs
Inputs Specifications
HDR10
Yes
HDR10+
No
Dolby Vision
Yes
HLG
Yes
HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth
Yes (HDMI 1,2,3,4)
HDMI 2.1 Class Bandwidth
Yes (HDMI 3,4)
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 Sony X85J has two HDMI 2.1 ports. Unfortunately, one of these is also the eARC port, so if you're planning to connect a home theater system, you'll only be able to take full advantage of one HDMI 2.1 source.

Inputs
Input Photos
Inputs
Total Inputs
HDMI 4
USB 2
Digital Optical Audio Out 1
Analog Audio Out 3.5mm 1
Analog Audio Out RCA 0
Component In 0
Composite In 1 (adapter required, not incl.)
Tuner (Cable/Ant) 1
Ethernet 1
DisplayPort 0
IR In 1
SD/SDHC 0

Unlike the Sony X850G, there's no dedicated component or composite input. Instead, there's a single composite in port, which requires a breakout adapter that's sold separately. It has a built-in tuner, which has received an update for NextGen TV ATSC 3.0, allowing it to receive over-the-air 4k broadcasts in supported regions.

Inputs
Audio Passthrough
ARC
Yes (HDMI 3)
eARC support
Yes
Dolby Atmos via TrueHD via eARC
Yes
DTS:X via DTS-HD MA via eARC
Yes
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

The Sony X85J supports eARC on HDMI port 3. This allows the TV to pass high-quality, uncompressed audio to an external home theater system or soundbar.

Sound Quality
7.2
Sound Quality
Frequency Response
Low-Frequency Extension
100.79 Hz
Std. Dev. @ 70
1.78 dB
Std. Dev. @ 80
1.99 dB
Std. Dev. @ Max
4.92 dB
Max
93.1 dB SPL
Dynamic Range Compression
5.21 dB

The Sony X85J has a decent frequency response. Like most TVs, the low-frequency extension (LFE) is high, as it can't produce any deep thump or rumble. Above the LFE, the frequency response is very balanced, resulting in clear dialogue. It can get very loud, but there's a bit of pumping at max volume.

6.6
Sound Quality
Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80
0.035
Weighted THD @ Max
13.223
IMD @ 80
1.99%
IMD @ Max
20.51%

This TV has decent distortion performance. At lower volumes, there's very little total distortion, but it increases drastically at max volume. This varies between content, though, and not everyone will even notice it.

Smart Features
8.0
Smart Features
Interface
Smart OS Google TV
Version 10
Ease of Use
Average
Smoothness
Very Smooth
Time Taken to Select YouTube
2 s
Time Taken to Change Backlight
2 s
Advanced Options
Many

The Sony X85J runs on Google TV instead of the Android TV interface used in previous years. The core of the smart interface is the same, but the overall layout and some functionality have changed. It's easy to use, and the built-in content store has a huge selection of additional content.

0
Smart Features
Ad-Free
Ads
Yes
Opt-out
No
Suggested Content in Home
Yes
Opt-out of Suggested Content
No

Unfortunately, like almost all TVs on the market now, there are ads throughout the interface. We noticed them in the app store and on the main page, but the exact location varies.

9.0
Smart Features
Apps and Features
App Selection
Great
App Smoothness
Very Smooth
Cast Capable
Yes
USB Drive Playback
Yes
USB Drive HDR Playback
Yes
HDR in Netflix
Yes
HDR in YouTube
Yes

Through the built-in Google Play Store, this TV has a massive selection of apps.

8.5
Smart Features
Remote
Size
Large
Voice Control
Many Features
CEC Menu Control
Yes
Other Smart Features
No
Remote App Android TV

The remote is identical to the one included with the Sony X90J. It's a bit larger than most remotes currently on the market, as Sony is one of the last brands to include a full numpad and full controls on the remote. The remote has a built-in mic for voice control, but it must be paired over Bluetooth with the TV for this feature to work. The voice commands work well, allowing you to change inputs, search for content, or even adjust some settings.

Smart Features
TV Controls
Smart Features
In The Box

  • Power cord
  • Remote control
  • Batteries
  • VESA mount adapters
  • Cable clips
  • User manual

Smart Features
Misc
Power Consumption 52 W
Power Consumption (Max) 153 W
Firmware PKG6.3628.0454NAA

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

We tested the 55 inch Sony X85J TV (XB55X85J), and it's also available in a 43 inch, 50 inch, 65 inch, 75 inch, and 85 inch size. We expect our results to be valid for the other sizes as well, but we've seen some reports that the 43 inch model has an IPS-type panel in some regions, so we expect those variants to have worse contrast but better viewing angles. As Sony doesn't provide any panel information, if you have any information on the panel types for the other sizes, let us know in the discussions below.

The Sony X85J is also available as the X89J in some regions. We expect our results to be valid for it as well; the only difference is that the X89J has an adjustable stand.

Size Model Number Alternate Model
43" KD-43X85J KD-43X89J
50" KD-50X85J  KD-50X89J
55" KD-55X85J  KD-55X89J
65" KD-65X85J  KD-65X89J
75" KD-75X85J  KD-75X89J
85" KD-85X85J  KD-85X89J

If you come across a different type of panel or your Sony X85J doesn't correspond to our review, let us know, and we'll update the review. Note that some tests, like the gray uniformity, may vary between individual units.

Our unit was manufactured in April 2021; you can see the label here.

Compared To Other TVs

The Sony X85 is a good mid-range 4k TV and Sony's cheapest TV with HDMI 2.1. There are better options available from other brands at a lower price point, though, so this isn't the best choice for everyone.

For more options, check out our recommendations for the best TVs, the best 4k gaming TVs, and the best movie TVs.

Sony X90J
50" 55" 65" 75"

The Sony X90J and the Sony X85J are very similar overall. The X90J has a full array local dimming feature that can improve contrast and reduce blooming in dark scenes, but the X85J has better native contrast and a flicker-free backlight. The X90J is brighter in HDR and HDR content displays at the correct brightness. If you care about calibrating your display for the most accurate image possible, one important difference here is that the X85J doesn't have a color management system.

Sony X80J
43" 50" 55" 65" 75"

The Sony X80J and the Sony X85J use different panel technologies, each with strengths and weaknesses. The X85J is better for a dark room, as it has much better contrast and better black uniformity. The X80J is better for a wide seating area, as it has better viewing angles.

Sony X91J
85"

The Sony X91J is better overall than the Sony X85J because it's a higher-end model. While we tested the 55 inch model of the X85J, it's also available in an 85 inch model like the X91J. The X91J has a few extra features that make it better overall, like a local dimming feature. Motion also looks smoother on the X91J due to its quicker response time. On the other hand, the X85J has a higher native contrast ratio, but this may also vary between units.

Samsung Q70/Q70A QLED
55" 65" 75" 85"

The Samsung Q70/Q70A QLED and the Sony X85J are nearly identical. The Sony that we tested has better gray uniformity, but this can vary between units. The Samsung is a bit better for gaming, as it supports the latest gaming features, including variable refresh rate technology (VRR). Those features are advertised for the Sony as well, but they're not yet available and will be added in an upcoming firmware update.

Samsung Q60/Q60A QLED
32" 43" 50" 55" 60" 65" 70" 75" 85"

The Sony X85J is better than the Samsung Q60/Q60A QLED. The Sony has slightly better contrast, a much faster response time, and can remove judder from any source. The Sony is also better for gaming and more future-proof, as it has two HDMI 2.1 ports, a 120Hz refresh rate, and it's supposed to receive support for variable refresh rate technology (VRR) with a future firmware update.

Hisense U8G
55" 65"

The Hisense U8G is much better than the Sony X85J. The Hisense has a full array local dimming feature to improve contrast and reduce blooming in dark scenes. The Hisense also has much better reflection handling and can overcome glare in most rooms. The Hisense is also much brighter, and small highlights in some HDR content stand out much better.

Sony X95J
65" 75" 85"

The Sony X95J is much better than the Sony X85J. The X95J has an excellent full array local dimming feature, whereas the X85J has no local dimming. The X95J also has much better reflection handling, wider viewing angles, and much higher peak brightness. Finally, the X95J is better for gaming, as it supports HDMI 2.1 and is supposed to receive an update for variable refresh rate support.

Samsung AU8000
43" 50" 55" 60" 65" 70" 75" 85"

The Sony X85J is better overall than the Samsung AU8000. The Sony gets brighter, has a higher contrast, and displays a wide color gamut, delivering a better HDR experience. The Sony also has a 120Hz panel compared to 60Hz on the Samsung, so motion handling is better, and it has HDMI 2.1 inputs, while the Samsung is limited to HDMI 2.0. Despite the Sony's better gaming features, the Samsung still has lower input lag for a more responsive gaming experience.

Sony X900H
55" 65" 75" 85"

The Sony X900H and the Sony X85J are very similar overall. The X85J has a higher native contrast ratio, but the X900H has a full array local dimming feature that can reduce blooming in dark scenes and improve contrast. On the other hand, the X85J has a flicker-free backlight, and the more recent Google TV interface is a bit faster than the older Android TV 9.0 interface on the X900H.

LG C1 OLED
48" 55" 65" 77" 83"

Although the LG C1 OLED and the Sony X85J use very different panel technologies, the LG is much better for most people. The LG delivers a perfect dark-room experience, with true inky blacks and perfect uniformity. The LG also has much better viewing angles and better reflection handling. On the other hand, the Sony is brighter, and unlike the LG, there's no risk of permanent burn-in with static content.

Sony X950H
49" 55" 65" 75" 85"

The Sony X950H is much better than the Sony X85J. The X950H has a good full-array local dimming feature, and it's much brighter than the X85J. The X950H also has much better reflection handling and slightly better viewing angles. On the other hand, although the X85J lacks a local dimming feature, it has better contrast. The X85J is also a bit more future-proof, as it has two HDMI 2.1 ports.

LG NANO75 2021
43" 50" 55" 65" 70" 75" 86"

The Sony X85J is significantly better than the LG NANO75 2021, but they use different panel types, so some people might still prefer the LG. The Sony has much better contrast and better black uniformity, and it's significantly brighter and has a faster response time. The LG has better viewing angles, meaning that it might be a better choice for a wide seating arrangement.

TCL 6 Series/R646 2021 QLED
55" 65" 75"

The TCL 6 Series/R646 2021 QLED is better overall than the Sony X85J. The TCL has more features like Mini LED backlighting to make it brighter and a full-array local dimming feature, which the Sony doesn't have. The TCL also has better reflection handling, so it's a better choice for well-lit environments. They each have HDMI 2.1 inputs, but the TCL has VRR support, which the Sony doesn't have, but it may come in a future firmware update.

Amazon Fire TV 4-Series
43" 50" 55"

The Sony X85J is significantly better than the Amazon Fire TV 4-Series in every way. The Sony has much better accuracy, it's significantly brighter, and it has better black uniformity. The Sony also has better contrast, a much faster response time, and better uniformity.

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