Sony’s new X800H is a significant enchancment over final 12 months’s G mannequin, with interface tweaks and extra highly effective processing. Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos have been added to the combination, together with a redesigned distant management that lastly seems to be like one thing that belongs with a Sony TV.
Design and options
With social distancing measures in place, my testing has been relocated from the TechHive lab to my dwelling workplace, the place the 65-inch X800H ($1,000) that Sony despatched me for analysis made for a good squeeze. I’m guessing Sony despatched this dimension as a result of the 55-inch and smaller fashions don’t have the flowery almond-shaped X-speakers that enhance audio high quality. I didn’t hear the have-nots, so I can’t touch upon the distinction, however the 65X800H’s audio is unquestionably a step above the norm on this value vary.
The look of the 800 sequence is merely common, with a plain body and v-shaped legs. It’s sturdily constructed general, although there’s fairly a little bit of flex within the bezel. The 65-inch mannequin I reviewed weighs nearly 50 kilos with the legs, and measures a hair lower than 3-inches thick. All fashions function a VESA mount level.
This assessment is a part of TechHive’s protection of the best smart TVs, the place you’ll discover evaluations of competing merchandise, plus a purchaser’s information to the options it’s best to take into account when procuring.
The 43-inch, 49-inch, 55-inch, and 75-inch X800H fashions go for $600, $650, $800, and $1,300, respectively. There’s additionally a $2,300/85-inch taste. Yes, you pay quite a bit for these final 10 inches. Also, these are all “class” sizes—the precise diagonal display screen sizes are 0.4- to 0.5-inch smaller than their class.
All sizes function a 60Hz, 3840×2160 (4K UHD) panel. The 55-inch and bigger sizes function direct LED backlight (with no native dimming), whereas the 2 smallest sizes are edge lit. The coloration know-how is Sony’s commonplace Triluminos, and the X800H helps HDR10 and HLG excessive dynamic vary content material along with the aforementioned Dolby Vision.
The port choice features a coax antenna/cable jack, 4 HDMI 2.x ports, a 3.5mm composite/part/audio enter, optical SP/DIF digital audio output, 3.5mm headphone output, two USB ports, RS-232C and IR jacks, in addition to 10/100 ethernet. There’s additionally 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.2, although the latter appears to assist solely enter units.
New to the 800 sequence this 12 months are Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos encompass. Other supported providers embrace Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, plus Apple’s AirPlay 2 and HomeKit. Being Android-based, you can too mirror your cellphone to the TV.
Remote and interface
This 12 months’s X800H iteration now has the full-on Android TV interface slightly than a light-weight model. It’s additionally now embedded within the processor for extra agile efficiency. However, it’s nonetheless Android TV, which whereas engaging and simple to make use of, typically requires fairly a little bit of navigating concerning the homepage.
Sony, bless its coronary heart, had a small stroke of genius and determined to allow you to add apps to the enter checklist. You may additionally take away unused objects or inputs. One press of the enter button and your favourite stuff, and solely your favourite stuff is true there. If you solely do one or two issues along with your TV as I do, you’ll find it irresistible.
Of course, once you do really feel like snooping concerning the homepage, you may’t beat Android TV for the sheer variety of apps it provides. It is in any case, the identical Android (largely) that’s in your cellphone.
Sony has additionally executed some work on the settings menu, with inline assist explaining the settings, together with some explanatory photos. Now if it will simply separate “Display & Sound” and transfer them up one stage, I’d be an actual glad camper.
The lengthy overdue distant management redesign reveals a few of the identical directness because the consumer enter assignments. Physically, it’s far thinner and slimmer, although at 9-inches, it’s nonetheless a bit on the lengthy facet. Of course, that makes it tougher to lose monitor of.
Along with a brand new svelte form, the distant makes use of easy four-way cursor ring, changing the earlier mannequin’s overwrought ring of six barely associated capabilities. The new face-plate is classier trying and the buttons are raised properly above the floor, making it a breeze to navigate by contact. If contact gained’t do it, there’s additionally voice management. All in all, a lot easier and simpler to make use of.
I don’t know what has modified at Sony, nevertheless it’s had a really constructive impact on the consumer interface.
Image and sound
The 65-inch X800H’s general picture with most materials is in most methods inside hailing distance of a few of Sony’s costlier TVs. Whatever the corporate did with the movement compensation, kudos. If I didn’t know in any other case, I’d’ve mistaken this for a 120Hz set, regardless of the low value (for Sony). It’s hands-down the smoothest picture I’ve ever seen from a 60hz set when the settings are tweaked.
There was additionally a decrease incidence of moire and shimmer than with many of the competitors. The lack of zone dimming within the array back-lighting helps with that. However, greater than a bit of credit score for each the movement high quality and lack of sample defects ought to go to this 12 months’s upgraded processor and database of picture enhancements.
Color accuracy and saturation are fairly good, if not fairly as correct as with quantum dot units. But anybody who swears by the Sony coloration profile, and there are numerous, might be happy.
The X800H’s weak spot—one which it shares with all LCD TVs that lack native dimming (which adjustments the depth of backlight behind darker picture areas)—is that it doesn’t do black very properly. Instead you get darkish grey, and it’s not all the time that darkish. This additionally impacts distinction. In on a regular basis viewing, this solely noticeable in a really small share of fabric, nevertheless it’s fairly noticeable once you view an evening sky or starfield.
HDR is rendered to first rate impact given the distinction difficulty. You can positively see extra pop in laser results, and so forth. However, it’s not practically as vibrant as you’ll see with TVs with native dimming. Or OLED after all.
Sony’s HDR remastering is a real-time course of that seeks to endow HDR10 rendering with the advantages of dynamic metadata, i.e., frame-by-frame or scene-by-scene adjustment of coloration distinction. Dynamic metadata is a component and parcel of Dolby Vision and HDR10+. It did seem to make a slight distinction in general dynamic vary, although to a really slight diploma as a result of X800H’s distinction limitations.
Sound, as I discussed up high, is definitely higher than what you’ll hear from nearly all of $1,000 65-inch TVs. You gained’t instantly really feel the necessity for exterior audio gear, although that need would possibly creep up on you. Sadly, as a result of the Bluetooth implementation doesn’t seem to assist output (I attempted linking a number of BT audio units), you may’t use headphones with out an exterior Bluetooth transmitter operating off the headphone output.
There’s no 65-inch TV at this value level that I do know of with higher options than the X800H, Bluetooth excepted. However, it’s additionally the primary 2020 TV I’ve examined and the competitors beneath $1,000 is extraordinarily fierce. That stated, the X800H ought to maintain its personal: the app/enter project tweak is gold, and general picture and expertise will certainly please these looking for that sure one thing Sony TVs ship.