The Sony X85K is a mid-range 4k LED TV. It sits between the Sony X80K and the Sony X90K in Sony's 2022 TV lineup. It's largely unchanged from its predecessor, the Sony X85J, as it uses the same 4k HDR Processor X1 and has many of the same features while improving on some of its gaming features, like the variable refresh rate (VRR) range. It uses the same Google TV interface as other Sony TVs, which has a ton of apps available to download and gives you access to Google Assistant. However, it doesn't have the same features the higher-end models have, like local dimming and the S-Center speaker input to enhance your sound setup. Luckily, it's available in a wide range of sizes, from 43 to 85 inches, meaning you can find the size for your needs.
The Sony X85K is good overall. It performs well for watching SDR or HDR movies in dark rooms as it displays deep blacks and has impressive black uniformity, but it doesn't have a local dimming feature to further improve the contrast. It also makes some highlights pop in HDR, but the tone mapping is off with brighter colors. It's great for watching TV shows and good for watching sports in bright rooms as it gets bright enough to fight glare from a few lights around and has good reflection handling, but it has a narrow viewing angle if you want to use it in a wide seating arrangement. Lastly, it's good for gaming as it has HDMI 2.1 bandwidth and variable refresh rate (VRR) support for console gamers, but it doesn't support FreeSync, which is disappointing for PC gamers.
The Sony X85K is great for watching movies in a dark room. It displays deep blacks in dark rooms thanks to its high native contrast ratio, and there isn't much blooming around bright objects. However, it lacks a local dimming feature to further improve the contrast and to make small highlights stand out against the rest of the image. Luckily, it removes 24p judder from any source, which helps with the appearance of motion in movies, and you can easily stream your favorite movies thanks to the Google TV interface.
The Sony X85K is great for watching TV shows in a bright room. You won't have many issues using it in rooms with a few lights around as it gets bright enough to fight glare and has good reflection handling, but it struggles opposite windows with direct sunlight. You can also easily stream your favorite content thanks to the Google TV platform and upscales lower-resolution content without issues. Sadly, it isn't ideal to use in a wide seating arrangement as it has a narrow viewing angle and the image looks washed out from the sides.
The Sony X85K is good for watching sports. Fast-moving players and balls look smooth thanks to the quick response time, and it has a flicker-free backlight, meaning there isn't any distracting image duplication. It's also a great choice for watching games in well-lit rooms as it has great peak brightness and good reflection handling, but it still isn't the best idea to put it opposite a sunny window. Unfortunately, it isn't ideal for watching the big game with a group of friends as it has a narrow viewing angle and the image looks washed out from the sides.
The Sony X85K is great for gaming. It has advanced gaming features like HDMI 2.1 bandwidth and VRR support that make it fully compatible with the Xbox Series X and PS5. It also has a quick response time and low input lag for a responsive gaming experience. It looks great while gaming in dark rooms as it has a high native contrast ratio with deep blacks and minimal blooming, but it doesn't have a local dimming feature to further improve the contrast.
The Sony X85K is good for watching HDR movies. It displays a wide range of colors and gets bright enough to make them look vivid, but some colors look inaccurate at brighter shades. It displays deep blacks in dark rooms and has impressive black uniformity without much blooming around bright objects, but it doesn't have a local dimming feature to further improve the contrast and make small highlights really pop.
The Sony X85K is good for HDR gaming. You can play high-frame-rate games in HDR thanks to the HDMI 2.1 bandwidth, but it's limited to a 60Hz refresh rate with Dolby Vision games. It has low input lag and a quick response time for a smooth gaming feel. HDR content looks good as it has a high native contrast ratio and displays a wide range of colors, but it lacks a local dimming feature, and the tone mapping is off, causing some brighter colors to appear inaccurate.
The Sony X85K is great to use as a PC monitor. It displays proper chroma 4:4:4, which helps result in clear text, and it has low input lag for a responsive desktop feel. It also gets bright enough to fight glare and has good reflection handling if you have a few lights around. Sadly, it has a narrow viewing angle, and the image looks washed out at the sides if you sit too close to the screen.
The Sony X85K has a simplistic design that's not very premium, but it doesn't look cheap either. The bezels have a textured plastic finish, while the back is matte plastic.
The wide-set plastic feet support the TV well, and there's minimal wobble for a 65-inch model. The feet raise the bottom of the screen about 3.3 inches off the table, so placing a soundbar in front likely won't block it unless you have a large soundbar.
Footprint of the 65-inch TV: 48.1" x 13.2".
The Sony X85K has a plastic back with a checkerboard pattern typical of Sony TVs. The inputs are side-facing and set into the TV, so they're difficult to reach with the TV wall-mounted. It has basic cable management with hooks on the feet to guide the cables to the inputs.
The bezels are slightly larger than on other mid-range and premium TVs, but they aren't distracting.
The Sony X85K has good build quality. It's well-put-together with stable feet and good-quality plastic. There's a bit of flex on the back panel, but it isn't something to be concerned about. However, there's one issue with our unit as there are a couple of spots near the center of the screen. We couldn't clean them off, and they seem to be dirt or smudges that are caught between the panel and some layers beneath it. It's more of a quality control issue, and we don't expect it to be a widespread problem, but let us know if you experience the same thing.
The Sony X85K has an amazing native contrast ratio. It displays deep blacks in a dark room. However, it doesn't have a local dimming feature to improve it.
The Sony X85K has great SDR peak brightness. It easily gets bright enough to fight glare, and luckily brightness remains consistent across different scenes.
The results are from after calibration in the 'Custom' Picture Mode with the Brightness at its max, the Contrast at its default of '90', and the Color Temperature set to 'Expert 1'.
If you don't care so much about image accuracy and want the brightness image possible, use the 'Vivid' Picture Mode with the Contrast and Gamma at their max, Color Temperature set to 'Expert 2', and Advanced Contrast Enhancer on 'High'. This results in a peak brightness of 588 cd/m² in the 10% window.
The Sony X85K doesn't have a local dimming feature. Thanks to its direct-lit LED backlighting and high contrast, the picture quality is still good in dark scenes, but small highlights don't stand out versus the rest of the screen due to the lack of local dimming. We still film these videos on the TV so you can see how the backlight performs and compare it with a TV that has local dimming.
The Sony X85K doesn't have a local dimming feature. We still film these videos on the TV so you can see how the backlight performs and compare it with a TV that has local dimming.
The Sony X85K has okay HDR brightness. It gets bright enough for a satisfying HDR experience, but without a local dimming feature, some small highlights don't pop against the rest of the screen. The EOTF follows the target PQ curve almost perfectly, meaning it displays scenes at their correct brightness until the sharp roll-off at the peak brightness, causing a loss of fine details in bright scenes.
These results are from the 'Custom' HDR Picture Mode with the Brightness at its max, Contrast at '90', and the Color Temperature set to 'Expert 2'. If you find the screen too dim, set the Contrast and Gamma to their max with the Advanced Contrast Enhancer on 'High'. This results in a brighter image, as you can see in this EOTF, but it doesn't change the peak brightness.
The HDR brightness in Game Mode is okay and looks nearly identical to outside of Game Mode. The results are with the same settings as outside of Game Mode but in the 'Game' HDR Picture Mode.
The Sony X85K has good gray uniformity. Besides the darker corners, the screen is uniform, and there aren't any distracting areas. However, there's an issue with our unit with dirty spots towards the center, which are likely smudges or dust caught in the panel. It's different from the dirty screen effect some TVs experience, which is due to the panel's performance and not quality control issues like this one.
The Sony X85K has impressive black uniformity. Blacks look deep, even without a local dimming feature, and there's minimal blooming around bright objects.
The Sony X85K has a disappointing viewing angle. The image looks washed out as you move off-center, so it isn't ideal for wide seating areas.
The Sony X85K has good reflection handling. Combined with its high peak brightness, it performs well in most well-lit rooms, but don't place it opposite a window with direct sunlight on it.
The out-of-the-box accuracy is fantastic in SDR. There are minimal inaccuracies to most colors and the white balance, and the color temperature is nearly spot-on with the 6500K target. Gamma follows the 2.2 target for moderately-lit rooms well, but some brighter scenes are slightly too dark.
The Sony X85K has incredible accuracy after calibration to the D65 white point. It's very easy to calibrate, and any remaining inaccuracies can't be spotted by the naked eye.
You can see the settings for our calibration here.
The Sony X85K displays 480p content from DVDs and SD cable channels without issues.
720p content, like from HD cable channels, doesn't have any upscaling artifacts.
The Sony X85K upscales 1080p content, like from Blu-rays, very well.
The Sony X85K displays native 4k content perfectly, and there aren't any issues.
The Sony X85K uses a BGR subpixel layout. It doesn't affect picture quality but can cause blurry text in some applications when using it as a PC monitor. You can read more about it here.
The Sony X85K has a great color gamut. It has fantastic coverage of the commonly-used DCI-P3 color space, but it's not future-proof because it has limited coverage of the wider Rec. 2020 color space, and more content will start to use that color space.
Sadly, its tone mapping is off, and colors appear inaccurate. These results are with a 75% stimulus, but the tone mapping is much better with a 50% stimulus, as you can see below. The coverage doesn't change much, but this means darker colors look more accurate than brighter ones.
The Sony X85K has decent color volume. It displays colors as bright as pure white. However, it struggles to display very dark colors, and it's limited by its incomplete color gamut.
Like most Sony TVs, the gradient handling is excellent. There's minimal banding with most colors, except it's a bit more noticeable with greens.
The Sony X85K doesn't show any signs of temporary image retention after displaying a high-contrast static image for 10 minutes.
We don't expect VA panels to experience permanent image retention, as the VA panel in our long-term test appears immune.
The Sony X85K has a great response time. Motion looks smooth in most scenes, but as it has overshoot with dark transitions, there's some inverse ghosting.
The Sony X85K has a flicker-free backlight with any picture mode and any brightness level, which helps reduce eye strain.
The Sony X85K has an optional backlight strobing feature, commonly known as black frame insertion. It only flickers at 120Hz, which creates duplication with 60 fps content. Keep in mind that the BFI scoring is based on the flicker frequency and not the actual performance.
The Sony X85K has a motion interpolation feature to bring lower-frame-rate content up to 120 fps. Like with most TVs, it works well with slower scenes, but it struggles to keep up in fast-paced content, causing artifacts.
Due to the quick response time, there's some stutter with lower-frame-rate content as each frame is held on longer. Enabling the motion interpolation feature can help reduce this.
The Sony X85K removes 24p judder from any source, which helps with the appearance of motion in movies.
The Sony X85K supports variable refresh rate technology to reduce screen tearing. It supports HDMI Forum VRR and G-SYNC but not FreeSync, which is disappointing if you have a PC with an older AMD graphics card. It also supports Low Framerate Compensation for the VRR to continue working even when the frame rate drops. We left the 1440p VRR range as Unknown because the TV upscales 1440p to 4k, so it isn't a real 1440p signal.
The Sony X85K has low input lag for a responsive gaming experience, as long as you're using the 'Game' Picture Mode.
The Sony X85K supports most resolutions up to 4k @ 120Hz, as long as you're using HDMI ports 3 and 4 because they support HDMI 2.1 bandwidth. It displays 1440p @ 60Hz signals with a custom resolution, but it doesn't support 1440p @ 120Hz at all. It also displays proper chroma 4:4:4 with 1080p and 4k signals, which is important when using the TV as a PC monitor for clear text.
The Sony X85K supports 4k gaming up to 120 fps on the Xbox Series X and PS5 with HDMI ports 3 and 4. Like with other Sony TVs, you can only play Dolby Vision games up to 60 fps on the Xbox Series X.
As HDMI ports 3 and 4 support full-bandwidth HDMI 2.1, you'll be limited to HDMI 2.0 bandwidth with HDMI ports 1 and 2. However, because one of the HDMI 2.1 ports also serves as an eARC port, you can't use HDMI 2.1 bandwidth on multiple devices if you have your receiver plugged into the eARC port. Also, the TV's tuner supports ATSC 3.0, allowing you to stream over-the-air 4k channels.
The Sony X85K doesn't have an Analog Audio Output, so you can't connect your headphones or basic speakers that use an analog connection. Unlike the Sony X90K, it doesn't have the S-Center speaker input.
The eARC support allows you to pass high-quality audio to a compatible receiver with a single HDMI cable, and it supports both common audio formats.
The Sony X85K has a decent frequency response. It has a very well-balanced sound profile at moderate listening levels, but there are more compression artifacts at the max volume. Like with most TVs, it doesn't produce much bass.
The Sony X85K's distortion handling is mediocre. Although it isn't too noticeable at moderate listening levels, it gets much worse at the max volume.
The Sony X85K comes with the same version of Google TV as the Sony X85J. It's user-friendly, and navigating through the menu feels smooth without any noticeable bugs.
Like with most modern TVs, there are ads and suggested content on the home screen and in the Google Play Store. You can opt-out of personalized ads, but that just means you'll get non-targeted ads instead.
The Google Play Store has tons of apps available to download. It has Google Chromecast built-in, meaning you can cast content from your phone. You can also connect the Bravia webcam for video calls.
The Sony X85K's remote is slightly different from past Sony remotes. It doesn't have a numpad, and instead has a '123' button that brings up a virtual numpad. The built-in mic gives you access to Google Assistant, and you can ask it to change inputs, search for content, and open apps. You need to make sure you have Bluetooth enabled on the TV for the voice assistant to work.
There's a single button underneath the center of the TV to turn it On/Off, change channels, adjust the volume, or switch inputs.
We tested the 65-inch Sony X85K, and the results are also valid for all the sizes listed below. The only differences are that the 43 and 50-inch models have a slightly different design compared to the larger sizes, with feet that are set closer to each other. The European X85K is equivalent to the North American version, and there's also an X89K model in Europe that performs the same but has a mic built into the TV. The 55-inch and larger European variants also have an alternate stand position where you can put the feet closer together for smaller tables.
If you come across a different type of panel or your Sony X85K doesn't correspond to our review, let us know, and we'll update the review. Some tests, like the gray uniformity, may vary between individual units.
Our unit of the Sony X85K was manufactured in April 2022; you can see the label here.
The Sony X85K is a good overall TV that offers advanced gaming features like HDMI 2.1 bandwidth and variable refresh rate support without a premium price tag. However, if you don't care about gaming, other TVs are cheaper and perform similarly. It's basically identical to the Sony X85J, so while you can still find the X85J for cheaper, it's better to go for that until the price of the X85K drops.
The Sony X85K is the newer version of the Sony X85J, and the differences between them are minor. Picture quality is nearly the same between each, and they use the same processor, so they have many of the same features. The X85K improves on some of its gaming features as it has a wider 1080p VRR range, but other than that, the differences between them are minor.
The Sony X90K is a higher-end TV than the Sony X85K and is better overall. The X90K has a local dimming feature, which the X85K doesn't have, resulting in better overall picture quality because it displays deeper blacks and gets brighter, so highlights pop more in HDR. The X90K also uses a different processor with a few more features, like the S-Center speaker input, so if you want the best features and performance, the X90K is the better choice.
The Sony X90J is a higher-end TV than the Sony X85K, so it performs better and has more features. The main difference is that the X90J has a local dimming feature, which the X85K doesn't have, so it can improve the picture quality in dark scenes while also making smaller highlights stand out. It helps the X90J have better overall picture quality. The X90J also has a different processor with a few more features, but other than that, the TVs are similar.
The Sony X85K is a higher-end TV than the Sony X80K, and it's better for most uses. If you're a gamer and tend to watch content in dark rooms, the X85K is the better choice as it has a higher native contrast ratio and more gaming features like HDMI 2.1 bandwidth. The X85K is also better for well-lit rooms as it gets brighter. However, the only advantage the X80K has is that it has a wider viewing angle, meaning the image remains consistent from the sides.
The Sony X85K is better than the Samsung Q60/Q60B QLED. If you're a gamer, you'll enjoy the Sony TV's features, like the HDMI 2.1 bandwidth and VRR support, which the Samsung TV doesn't have. The Sony is also a better choice if you want to use it in a well-lit room as it gets slightly brighter and has better reflection handling.
The Samsung Q70/Q70A QLED and the Sony X85K are both good TVs with similar features. There isn't much difference between them, so choosing one over the other comes down to personal preference. The Q70A gets a bit brighter and has better contrast, so the overall picture quality is slightly brighter, but it isn't a significant difference. If you watch content in Dolby Vision, the Sony TV supports it, which the Samsung model doesn't.
The Samsung Q80/Q80B QLED and the Sony X85K are both good TVs with different uses. The Sony is better in dark rooms as it has improved contrast and better black uniformity. Even if the Samsung TV has a local dimming feature that the Sony model doesn't have, the Sony still looks better in dark rooms. However, the Samsung is the better choice if you have a well-lit room as it gets brighter and has a wider viewing angle if you want to use it in a wide seating arrangement.
The Sony X85K is a higher-end TV than the Sony X80J, so it has better performance and features. They use different panel types, so the X85K has a much better contrast for better dark room performance, and it also has more gaming features like a 120Hz panel, HDMI 2.1 bandwidth, and VRR support. Overall, if you want better performance, the X85K is a big improvement over the X80J.
The Hisense U8G is better overall than the Sony X85K. The main difference is that the Hisense has a local dimming feature, which the Sony TV doesn't have, allowing it to deliver better picture quality in dark scenes. The Hisense also gets brighter for a better HDR experience and has much better reflection handling if you want to use it in a well-lit room.