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Sony X950G TV Review

Tested using Methodology v1.4
Updated Mar 17, 2020 at 02:19 pm
Sony X950G Picture
Test Methodology v1.4
8.3
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: none
8.4
Movies
8.1
TV Shows
8.0
Sports
8.7
Video Games
8.3
HDR Movies
8.5
HDR Gaming
8.6
PC Monitor
Type LED
Sub-Type
VA
Resolution 4k

The Sony X950G is an impressive 4k TV with great picture quality. It can display deep blacks in a dark room thanks to the high native contrast ratio and full array local dimming support. It can get very bright and delivers great HDR performance full of bright, vivid highlights. It has excellent motion handling, due to a nearly-instantaneous response time that makes the image look crisp and leaves fast-moving objects with very little blur trail. The input lag is very low, which makes it an excellent choice for gamers that are looking for a very responsive TV. Unfortunately, just like most VA panels, it has narrow viewing angles and those seated on the side will not experience the same great picture quality.

We've tested the 55" model of the X950G, which doesn't incorporate the 'X-Wide Angle' technology; we expect the 75" and 85" to have better viewing angles at the expense of contrast ratio.

Our Verdict

8.3 Mixed Usage

The Sony X950G is a great TV for mixed usage. It's an all-around TV that delivers great performance with anything you throw at it. It has deep blacks that make movies look great, and fast response time so sports action looks crisp. You can enjoy it in any room regardless of brightness, as it can get very bright to fight glare, but it can also produce deep blacks in a dark room. Finally, it has a low input lag which makes it very responsive for gaming.

See our Mixed Usage recommendations
8.4 Movies

The Sony X950G is an impressive TV for watching movies. It can deliver deep blacks in a dark room thanks to the high native contrast ratio, great black uniformity, and local dimming support. Lower-resolution content is upscaled well with no visible artifacts, and the TV can remove judder from all 24p sources.

See our Movies recommendations
8.1 TV Shows

The Sony X950G is a great TV for watching TV shows. It can get very bright and can fight glare. At the same time, it has excellent reflection handling so you don't have to worry about the configuration of the lights in your room. The smart interface is great and will facilitate your navigation through the various TV options.

See our TV Shows recommendations
8.0 Sports

The Sony X950G is a very good TV for watching sports. Fast-moving scenes look great, with almost no blur trail, and there's very little dirty screen effect that can be distracting. However, it's not the best TV for watching a big game with a big group of people, as the viewing angles are rather poor, causing the image to look washed out. On the upside, this TV is well-suited for bright rooms due to its outstanding peak brightness and great reflection handling.

See our Sports recommendations
8.7 Video Games

The Sony X950G is an excellent TV for playing video games. It has an exceptionally low input lag that makes gaming feel very responsive, and its fast response time keeps the picture looking clear, with minimal motion blur. Sadly, there's no support for FreeSync variable refresh rate and it doesn't have an 'Auto Low Latency Mode' either.

See our Video Games recommendations
8.3 HDR Movies

The X950G is an impressive TV for watching HDR movies. It delivers images with deep uniform blacks and rich colors. It can get very bright and can produce highlights that pop offering you a very good HDR movie experience, although it might not always reach the brightness levels intended by the content creator.

See our HDR Movies recommendations
8.5 HDR Gaming

The X950G is an excellent TV for playing HDR games. Its high refresh rate, fast response time, and low input lag result in a smooth and responsive gaming experience, but there's no support for variable refresh rate technology. HDR games look amazing thanks to its wide color gamut and exceptional peak brightness, and the TV's high contrast ratio and impressive black uniformity make it a great TV for late-night gaming in the dark.

See our HDR Gaming recommendations
8.6 PC Monitor

The X950G is an excellent TV for use as a monitor. It can display chroma 4:4:4 properly, which is important for text clarity, and there's no risk of permanent burn-in with static user interfaces. Its low input lag makes the desktop experience feel responsive, but viewing angles may be an issue if you want to do some co-op gaming or if you tend to sit fairly close to the screen.

See our PC Monitor recommendations
  • 8.3 Mixed Usage
  • 8.4 Movies
  • 8.1 TV Shows
  • 8.0 Sports
  • 8.7 Video Games
  • 8.3 HDR Movies
  • 8.5 HDR Gaming
  • 8.6 PC Monitor
Pros
  • Outstanding peak brightness.
  • Amazing out-of-the-box color accuracy.
  • Great motion handling.
Cons
  • Poor viewing angles.
  1. Update 2/19/2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.4.
  2. Update 4/9/2019: An app update has added ads to the home screen. We have updated the ad-free box.

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55" XBR55X950G
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65" XBR65X950G
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75" XBR75X950G
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85" XBR85X950G
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Video

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Market Context
Market Context
Market Context

The Sony X950G is an upper mid-range TV, and a small upgrade to last year's very popular X900F. In Sony's lineup, it sits between the X900F and the high-end Sony Z9F and Sony A8G. The X950G's chief competitors are the Samsung Q70R, the LG SM9000, and the Vizio P Series Quantum 2019.

Design
8.5
Design
Style
Curved No

The Sony X950G has an excellent design. It has an understated aesthetic, with thin bezels and a plain-looking stand. The stand is fairly large and extends to the front of the TV, so you'll need a larger table if you also have a soundbar.

Design
Stand

Update 06/21/2019: A reader has informed us that the legs on the 85" model are reversible.

The stand is a mix of metal and plastic, and the backs of the legs are hollow, which serve as cable management. With the exception of the 85" model, the legs aren't reversible. The TV is well-supported and there's almost no wobble at all.

Footprint of the 55" TV stand: 40.0’’ x 10.6’’

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 300x300

The back of the TV is mainly plastic. There are downward-facing as well as side-facing ports. The downward-facing ports may be difficult to reach if you wall-mount the TV. There's cable management built into the back of the stand.

Design
Borders
Borders 0.37" (0.9 cm)

The X950G has very thin bezels. They're plain and don't stand out much.

Design
Thickness
Max Thickness 2.69" (6.8 cm)

The Sony XBR55X950G has an average uniform thickness. It won't protrude much if wall-mounted.

8.0
Design
Build Quality

The build quality is great. The TV is solid without any gaps or loose ends. It feels very robust and sturdy, and we don't expect any issues with it.

Picture Quality
8.6
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
4421 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
4833 : 1

The X950G has an excellent native contrast ratio and it's slightly better when local dimming is enabled. This is great for dark room viewing, as blacks appear deep and inky instead of looking like gray.

The 75’’ and 85’’ models have the new 'X-Wide Angle' technology that enhances viewing angles at the expense of contrast ratio, as we saw on the Z9F. We expect those models to have a lower native contrast ratio.

7.0
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
Yes
Backlight
Full-Array

The Sony X950G has a decent local dimming feature. When viewed in the dark, it's easy to discern each local dimming zone when a bright object crosses from one zone to the next. There's also some blooming around subtitles, if it bothers you, you can adjust the Local Dimming or disable it.

For our side-by-side comparison, Auto Local Dimming was set to 'High,' and X-tended Dynamic Range was set to 'High.'

8.9
Picture Quality
SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
701 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
1091 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
1184 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
836 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
680 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
730 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
1020 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
1164 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
830 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
676 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
728 cd/m²
SDR ABL
0.030

The Sony X950G has excellent SDR peak brightness, better than the X900F, but not as good as the Z9F. The brightness varies depending on the scene, and this might become bothersome for some people. Nonetheless, the fluctuation isn't as evident as it is on Vizio P Series Quantum, and it can be removed entirely by disabling X-tended Dynamic Range.

We performed our measurements after calibration with Picture mode set to ‘Custom,’ Local dimming set to ‘High,’ and X-tended Dynamic Range set to 'High.'

The menu option that controls the brightness is Brightness.

9.0
Picture Quality
HDR Peak Brightness
HDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
1133 cd/m²
HDR Peak 2% Window
1194 cd/m²
HDR Peak 10% Window
1232 cd/m²
HDR Peak 25% Window
878 cd/m²
HDR Peak 50% Window
762 cd/m²
HDR Peak 100% Window
767 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 2% Window
1141 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 10% Window
1207 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 25% Window
874 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 50% Window
758 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 100% Window
763 cd/m²
HDR ABL
0.029

Update 04/18/2019: There are some brightness issues playing Dolby Vision content from an external source on the X950G and X900F. Find out more here.

This TV has remarkable HDR peak brightness, very close to the Sony Z9F and the Vizio P Series Quantum, and slightly better than the Samsung Q9FN. Just as in the case of SDR, the HDR peak brightness varies significantly depending on the scene, and this could bother some people.

If you find HDR content too dim, you can raise the Contrast and Gamma to your liking. If it's still too dim, increase the Contrast Enhancer setting to your liking.

We performed our measurements without calibration with Picture mode set to ‘Custom,’ Color Temp set to ‘Expert 2,’ Local dimming set to ‘High,’ and X-tended Dynamic Range set to 'High.'

7.3
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
5.126 %
50% DSE
0.167 %
5% Std. Dev.
0.716 %
5% DSE
0.099 %

The Sony XBR55X950G has decent gray uniformity. There's vignetting at all corners of the screen, but the center is fairly uniform, with almost no dirty screen effect. In very dark scenes, the uniformity is significantly better.

5.3
Picture Quality
Viewing Angle
Color Washout
25 °
Color Shift
21 °
Brightness Loss
37 °
Black Level Raise
16 °
Gamma Shift
14 °

Viewing angles are sub-par, though this is expected of most VA panels. Black level rise and gamma shift happen fairly quickly when you move off-center.

In the larger 75’’ and 85’’ models Sony has added the 'X-Wide Angle' technology that we initially saw on the Z9F to help improve viewing angles. We expect these models to behave like the Z9F, where the viewing angles are better than most VA TVs, but not as good as most IPS TVs, at the expense of lower contrast ratio. This is explained here.

8.1
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
0.796 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
1.006 %

The X950G has very good black uniformity, slightly better than the X900F. With local dimming disabled, there's very little clouding across the screen. With local dimming enabled, there's slightly noticeable clouding around the test cross.

8.3
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Semi-gloss
Total Reflections
3.4 %
Indirect Reflections
0.4 %
Calculated Direct Reflections
3.1 %

This TV has excellent reflection handling, very similar to the X900F. You should have no issues using this TV in a very bright room.

On the 75’’ and 85’’ models, we expect reflections to be similar to the reflections seen here on the Z9F, due to the 'X-Wide Angle' technology.

9.1
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
White Balance dE
0.94
Color dE
1.58
Gamma
2.19
Color Temperature
6493 K
Picture Mode
Custom
Color Temp Setting
Expert 1
Gamma Setting
0

The X950G has remarkable out-of-the-box color accuracy. Most inaccuracies are difficult to spot without the aid of a colorimeter. The color temperature is almost spot on the 6500K target, and the gamma follows our curve very well, so most scenes are displayed at the correct brightness. The Picture Mode that gave us those great results is ‘Custom.’

9.6
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
White Balance dE
0.35
Color dE
0.87
Gamma
2.19
Color Temperature
6511 K
White Balance Calibration
10 point
Color Calibration
Yes
Auto-Calibration Function
Yes

After calibration, color accuracy is nearly perfect. There's still some inaccuracy with the color blue, but that's typical of LED TVs. Calibration was performed in the 'Custom' Picture Mode.

You can see our recommended settings here.

8.0
Picture Quality
480p Input

480p digital content looks good, with no obvious upscaling artifacts or oversharpening.

8.0
Picture Quality
720p Input

720p content looks good and is displayed without any issues.

9.0
Picture Quality
1080p Input

1080p content from Blu-rays or older game consoles looks great. Sony, just like most other brands, has abandoned the nearest neighbor upscaling on this TV.

10
Picture Quality
4k Input

Native 4k content is displayed perfectly.

0
Picture Quality
8k Input

This TV doesn't support an 8k signal.

Picture Quality
Pixels
7.8
Picture Quality
Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
Yes
DCI P3 xy
87.09 %
DCI P3 uv
93.19 %
Rec 2020 xy
63.28 %
Rec 2020 uv
69.38 %

The X950G has a very good, wide color gamut. The EOTF follows the input stimulus almost perfectly, but flattens abruptly at the TV's peak brightness. This might cause some clipping in very bright scenes. The Game EOTF also follows the curve perfectly, which is great.

If you find HDR content too dim, set the Contrast and Gamma to their maximum values. If this does not fix things, then you can try setting Contrast Enhancer to 'High' to boost the brightness across all scenes.

You can see our recommended settings for HDR here.

6.9
Picture Quality
Color Volume
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage ITP
77.3 %
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP
48.0 %
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
60.6 %
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
37.7 %

This TV has decent color volume. DCI P3 coverage is good, but unfortunately, it can't produce saturated colors well and can't fill out the entire gamut well. Coverage of the Rec 2020 color space is only mediocre.

9.0
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
10 Bit
Red (Std. Dev.)
0.071 dE
Green (Std. Dev.)
0.089 dE
Blue (Std. Dev.)
0.064 dE
Gray (Std. Dev.)
0.086 dE

The X950G has excellent gradient performance. There's a little bit of banding when displaying dark green and gray. If this bothers you, setting Smooth Gradation to ‘Low’ can help, but it can cause some loss of fine details in certain scenes.

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's no risk of temporary image retention on this TV.

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
9.3
Motion
Response Time
80% Response Time
4.3 ms
100% Response Time
9.7 ms

The Sony X950G has an exceptional response time, resulting in clear images with very little blur trail behind fast-moving objects. There's a bit of overshoot in the 0%-20% transition, which can cause some artifacts in very dark scenes.

9.5
Motion
Flicker-Free
Flicker-Free
No
PWM Dimming Frequency
720 Hz

The Sony X950G uses PWM to dim the backlight at a frequency of 720Hz, which isn’t noticeable to most people. This is similar to the Z9F and the X900F.

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

Just like the Sony Z9F and the X900F, the X950G can reduce the flicker frequency of the backlight to 120Hz, so as to reduce motion blur. To do this set Motionflow to 'custom,' and adjust the Clearness slider to your liking.

Sony's 'X-Motion Clarity ' feature is also implemented on this model. The feature aims at producing a clearer picture without significant loss in brightness. You can read about it here. Also, here you can see the effect of the various Clearness settings on the backlight.

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

The Sony X950G can interpolate lower fps content up to 120Hz. This will introduce some Soap Opera Effect, which might bother some people. At 120Hz, you might notice some artifacts, but in general, Sony has one of the best interpolation implementations. Also, if there's too much motion, the TV will stop interpolating, avoiding the creation of artifacts.

To enable interpolation, set Motionflow to 'Custom,' adjust Smoothness to your liking, and Clearness to 'Min' if you do not want BFI. Cinemotion had to be set to 'Auto' for 30p to interpolate.

6.7
Motion
Stutter
Frame Hold Time @ 24 fps
32.0 ms
Frame Hold Time @ 60 fps
7.0 ms

Just like most TVs with a fast response time, the X950G will have stutter. This will mostly be noticeable in slow panning shots in 24p movies and might bother some people. You can use motion interpolation to mitigate this.

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 X950G can remove judder from all 24p sources just like the Z9F or the X900F. The TV can remove judder from a 24p source, like a Blu-ray player, automatically and there's no need for any additional settings. To remove judder from sources like a cable box or native apps, you must set Motionflow to 'Custom,' Smoothness to 'Min,' and CineMotion 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
N/A
VRR Supported Connectors
No VRR support

The Sony X950G has an excellent 120Hz refresh rate but doesn't support any variable refresh rate technologies like FreeSync.

Inputs
9.2
Inputs
Input Lag
1080p @ 60 Hz
19.7 ms
1080p @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
102.9 ms
1440p @ 60 Hz
19.8 ms
4k @ 60 Hz
21.2 ms
4k @ 60 Hz + 10 bit HDR
21.4 ms
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
19.0 ms
4k @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
87.9 ms
4k @ 60 Hz With Interpolation
80.1 ms
8k @ 60 Hz
N/A
1080p @ 120 Hz
11.4 ms
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

The Sony X950G has an outstanding low input lag when in 'Game' mode, and it remains low across all supported resolutions. Both Game mode and Graphics mode have the same low input lag and both support proper chroma 4:4:4.

9.2
Inputs
Supported Resolutions
1080p @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes
1080p @ 120 Hz