Sony X9300D and X8500D UHD 4K TV review
Are Sony's Android TVs worth buying? We compare against LG OLED.
- One of the best pictures
- Great upscaling
- Android TV
- Good black performance
- Modes need frequent adjustment for best quality
Both of these TVs are among the best on the market. But they look expensive in a competitive market and you can buy similar quality for much less.
Price$ 3,999.00 (AUD)
Sony’s new 4K TVs have launched and pose a threat to LG’s OLED technology with their High Dynamic Range (HDR) technology and relatively-low price.
LG’s OLED TVs have stunned everyone who’s seen them... when they’re operating at their best. But they’ve been expensive and hampered by only appearing (until recently) with curved screens which have put some people off. What’s more, the price of the top models hasn’t been plummeting as we’ve seen with other TV technologies (LG is in competition with itself in the OLED space) and the price of a top, 65-inch unit (65EF950T) is still $8,999 despite its predecessor being $9,999 two years ago.
Now here’s Sony with its new X9300D and X8500D range. Both offer HDR – which is basically better colour performance thanks to better light-sensor-capturing (in technical terms the colour gamut has moved from 8-bit to 10-bit). As Digital Trends puts it, “HDR allows a television to display a wider range of luminosity levels, including deeper blacks and brighter whites. The technology benefits colour as well by increasing the intensity with which colour is displayed.” The X9300D offers slightly-superior backlighting over the X8500D but that's the main difference. (Rumour has it that the X8500D is essentially the same TV as last year's flagship but Sony wouldn't confirm).
Backlighting technology is now fantastically complicated with most lighting coming from LEDs at the side of the screen (rather than behind it) which change dynamically thanks to hard-working filters. This means the display can be even slimmer and the back doesn't need as much cooling, and yet somehow blacks can be even blacker when watching content.
This week's new, all-encompassing Sony design ethos is called "Slice of Life." It makes the stand look kinda cool.
The technology differs from OLED (which in many ways is an evolution of plasma TV) which only lights up areas the of the screen which have images on them – blacks end up totally black because there is literally no light appearing on screen. This differs with the LCD technology used by Sony and other manufacturers where light shines through a colour-changing layer of Liquid Crystal to produce the image. But how Sony has managed to keep the screen black at the edges and light in the middle using light-sources that come from the edges seems to defy the laws of physics.
Ultimately, not much has changed with Sony’s new TVs in terms of video. The hardware is the same (theX1 processor). The main difference this year is the HDR. But that has also been made available to its high-end 2015 4K TVs (X940C, X930C, X850C, X900C and X910C) via a firmware update.
Despite the complexity of the lighting technology, the LCD technology is still mature enough to undercut the price of OLED – a lot. The 65-inch X9300D model costs ‘just’ $5,999. Three grand cheaper? That’s quite a disparity! But is this the TV to buy? Or should you hold back?
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 2 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 3 Parrot Mambo Drone review
- 4 Evapolar USB air conditioner review
- 5 Hisense Series 7 ULED 4K UHD TV review
Latest News Articles
- Say goodbye to Apple's third-generation Apple TV
- Japan gears up for 8K TV broadcasting
- NHK's latest 8K display is large, thin and beautiful
- Japan starts 8K TV broadcasts in time for Rio Olympics
- Android TV's universal search feature finally works with Netflix
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: The new best Android phone
- TV buying guide: What to look for when buying a TV in 2016
- Best iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus plans: Optus vs Telstra vs Vodafone vs Virgin
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSenior MS Dynamics CRM ConsultantSA
- CCADABAS Database Administrator - NV1 clearedACT
- CCFunctional Consultant - MS Dynamics AXQLD
- FTGateway ManagerACT
- FTBusiness Analyst - HKMAAsia
- FTSenior Analyst ProgrammerNSW
- CCContract IT Assistant (PC LAN Support) 161017/ITA/742Asia
- FTInformation Architect, DataNSW
- CCContract Systems Analyst (IT Security/Admin.) 161014/SA/253Asia
- CCDigital Producer - 3 Month Contract Immediate Start!NSW
- FTIntegration SpecialistSA
- CCFront End DeveloperNSW
- CCAutomation Test AnalystNSW
- CCBusiness Process Specialist/AnalystNSW
- FTProgram SchedulerNSW
- CCSenior Project ManagerACT
- FTSOE ArchitectNSW
- CCBusiness AnalystACT
- CCProject Manager - Payroll SystemsSA
- CCBusiness Intelligence - DeveloperACT
- CCSenior Systems Engineer - Canberra roleNSW
- CCL1 Desktop Support - 3 days a weekNSW
- FTLevel 2 Service Desk AnalystVIC
- CCCloud Security Services SpecialistVIC