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 newsletter!
Bang and Olufsen Beoplay A9 Speaker
Ballistix Tactical Tracer RGB 3000
Apple iMac Pro
Samsung QLED 8K TV
Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver Watch
Toys for Boys
ESET Internet Security
ESET Smart Security Premium
Osmo Coding Awbie Game
Tivoli PAL BT
Little Bits DROID Inventor Kit
Nix Pro Colour Sensor
Oregon Pro WMR500 Weather Station
ESET Cyber Security Pro for Mac
TimeFlip Magnet Simple Time Tracking Device
SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3
Naztech Xtra Drive Mini + 256GB microSD Card
Ikea RIGGAD work lamp with wireless charging
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom Bluetooth Speaker
Technology is revolutionising the way we do things and that includes in the kitchen where a wealth of must-have gadgets and appliances are the making life easier for home cooks.
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy Watch review: Brilliant but not quite a breakthrough
- 2 HP Omen 15 (2018): Full, in-depth review
- 3 HP Envy x360 13 (Ryzen): Full, in-depth review
- 4 Dell G5 review: Easy to live with
- 5 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
Latest News Articles
- CES 2019: Hisense showcase 8K and a MicroLED showpiece of their own
- CES 2019: Samsung's new TVs will play nice with Amazon and Google Assistant
- CES 2019: TCL will bring their 8K Mini LED TV to Australia in 2019
- CES 2019: Hisense headline Australian range with revamped Series 9
- CES 2019: Hisense debut the ULED XD TV
PCW Evaluation Team
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
- CES 2019 Round-Up:
- Razer Phone 2 review: One for the fans
- Samsung’s Galaxy S10 will launch on Feb 20
- 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