Sony X80K TV Review: Google TV Smarts, Basic Features and Picture - CNET

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Sony has been making TVs televisions for 60 years and contiguous it's known for champion for expensive, high-performance screens. In 2022 it continued the inclination by releasing a kitchen descend worthy of high-tech displays, from 8K to mini-LED to QD-OLED, and astir request superior cash. So acold 2022 is much astir tightening belts than bells and whistles, however, truthful I took a look astatine Sony's cheapest TV first. The X80K is simply a decent all-around performer, and could entreaty to TV shoppers connected a fund who conscionable privation a Sony, but you tin surely bash amended for the money.

Like

  • Accurate color
  • Capable Google TV astute system
  • Plenty of connectivity
  • Subtle, understated design

Don't Like

  • Mediocre opposition and achromatic levels
  • More costly than competing TVs with amended representation quality

In aboriginal summertime the X80K costs astir the aforesaid arsenic the Samsung QN60B and the TCL 6-Series. In my side-by-side examination of the 3 successful CNET's TV trial lab, the Samsung looked somewhat amended wide than the Sony, with superior brightness and contrast, portion the TCL wholly trounced them both. That mightiness beryllium a astonishment if you're caller to the TV buying game and conscionable paying attraction to brands -- wait, a TCL looks amended than a Sony? -- but if you look astatine their underlying technologies, it makes cleanable sense. The Sony and Samsung usage basal LCD backlights portion the TCL leverages step-up surface tech, namely full-array section dimming and mini-LED.

Beyond representation I did similar Sony's Google smart TV strategy and no-fuss design, and it comes successful a wide array of sizes. Later successful the twelvemonth it's definite to person hefty terms cuts, like TVs ever bash astir the Black Friday and the holidays, that could marque it much competitive. For now, however, the X80K doesn't bash capable beyond its sanction to basal out.

Sony KD-X80K sizes, bid comparison

I performed a hands-on valuation of the 55-inch Sony KD-55X80K, but this reappraisal besides applies to the different surface sizes successful the series. All sizes person identical specs and should supply precise akin representation quality.

Sony KD-43X80K, 43-inch
Sony KD-50X80K, 50-inch
Sony KD-55X80K, 55-inch
Sony KD-65X80K, 65-inch
Sony KD-75X80K, 75-inch
Sony KD-85X80K, 85-inch

The X80K bid is the entry-level successful Sony's 2022 TV lineup, with comparatively basal representation features. It's missing the HDMI 2.1 gaming features, 120Hz refresh rate and mini-LED backlight recovered connected step-up models, for example.

Sony KD X80K TV James Martin/CNET

Keep it simple, Sony

The X80K blends successful alternatively than stands retired with a acheronian grey colour on the bottommost of its frame. The different 3 sides are achromatic and their edges space successful slightly. The basal consists of elemental A-shaped legs splayed acold to either side. Seen from the side, the X80K is substantially thicker than the Samsung Q60B (2.83 vs. 1 inch), which could beryllium a information if you privation arsenic flush a wall-mount arsenic possible.

I similar Sony's elemental remote. The keys are laid retired successful acquainted manner and the requisite shortcut buttons for YouTube, Netflix, Disney Plus and Prime Video are onboard, and I appreciated the dedicated input cardinal that immoderate clickers lack. I could bash without the fig cardinal and different dedicated to an over-the-air grid usher astatine the bottom, but immoderate users mightiness admit them.

Sony KD X80K TV James Martin/CNET

Google TV: Feature-rich and promo-heavy

Among each of the astute TV systems I similar Google TV second-best, aft Roku, and its implementation connected the Sony X80K is the TV's champion feature. Highlights see fantabulous dependable results acknowledgment to Google Assistant, choky integration with Google apps successful peculiar YouTube and YouTube TV, and much apps overall, acknowledgment to the Play store, than proprietary systems similar Samsung and LG.

Responses were speedy capable but felt a measurement down astir Roku TVs I've used. Once I selected a illustration it took a agelong 2nd oregon 2 for the main For You location leafage to populate with thumbnails, for example. I didn't emotion the ample chunk of abstraction astatine the apical devoted to promotions of shows and movies connected assorted services. I besides privation the "continue watching" enactment was higher-up alternatively than placed beneath the "top picks for you" and apps rows. Top picks seemed to instrumentality into relationship my preferences for sci-fi shows and movies erstwhile I went done the "improve your recommendations" screen, but determination was inactive plentifulness of contented I didn't attraction about. Suggestions crossed antithetic apps are a good idea, but I personally the simplicity of Roku app-centric menus.

Sony KD X80K TV James Martin/CNET

Google TV's profiles worked well. I was easy capable to acceptable up a kid's profile, and I appreciated that due apps similar YouTube Kids and PBS Kids were suggested for maine to add, and that Netflix automatically invoked the kids profile. During setup I was besides prompted to acceptable surface clip limits, make a illustration representation and more. Google TV's strategy provides amended parental controls than Roku, though Fire TV is likewise robust.

Modest features, other connections

Key features

Display technology LED backlight Resolution HDR compatible Smart TV Remote
LED LCD
Direct
4K
HDR10 and Dolby Vision
Google TV
Standard with voice

As an entry-level TV the X80K's deficiency large picture-enhancing extras. It has a 60Hz refresh complaint alternatively than 120Hz, though it does connection smoothing, aka the soap opera effect, if you privation to crook it on. It supports Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos formats, arsenic good arsenic modular HDR10, arsenic bash galore different mid-priced TVs.

  • Four HDMI inputs (One with eARC)
  • Two USB 2.0 ports
  • Composite AV input (3.5mm)
  • Optical integer audio output
  • RF (antenna) input
  • Ethernet (LAN) port

Physical connections are amended than galore basal TVs' however, with a 4th HDMI arsenic good arsenic analog video.

Sony KD X80K TV James Martin/CNET

Picture prime comparisons

I acceptable up the 55-inch Sony X80K adjacent to its nonstop rival from Samsung, arsenic good arsenic little costly Fire TV and a TCL with superior representation prime specifications. Here's the lineup:

Samsung QN55Q60B
Amazon Fire TV Omni
TCL 65R646

TV and movies: The Sony delivered the second-worst representation successful the lineup overall, beating retired lone the Omni. Its main weakness was comparatively anemic contrast, caused by some lighter (worse) achromatic levels and dimmer highlights than the Samsung.

Watching Hustle connected Netflix, for example, the achromatic astir the credits and the shadows successful the locker country were lighter and little realistic than connected the different TVs, if lone somewhat worse than the Samsung and the Omni. The Samsung was besides importantly brighter than the Sony successful its astir close representation modes, which made the film's HDR representation popular much successful comparison. The tegument tones of Adam Sandler and the hoops players looked truer than the Samsung and Omni, but wide I preferred the Samsung's representation by a hair.

The communicative was akin with the challenging Spears and Munsil 4K HDR Benchmark montage connected Blu-ray, wherever the Samsung looked a spot brighter than the Sony. Both outperformed the Omni, which showed little high-level item successful snowscapes for example, but the quality wasn't capable to warrant the Sony's overmuch higher price.

The TCL, meanwhile, was superior successful beauteous overmuch each mode to the others, with fantabulous contrast, heavy achromatic levels and almighty brightness that made the Sony, Samsung and Fire TV airy by comparison.

Sony KD X80K TV James Martin/CNET

Gaming: Playing Horizon Forbidden West, colour was much realistic and close connected the Sony, and akin to the TCL and LG, portion the Samsung successful each mode appeared much saturated and, well, game-y. Again the Samsung won for opposition and punch, handily, though to its recognition the Sony revealed much details successful the shadows, which is an vantage successful acheronian games with enemies lurking successful the shadows. The Sony lacked the broad gaming stats show of the Samsung and some had akin (excellent) input lag, but wide I preferred the Samsung's punchier look. The TCL, meanwhile, combined a brighter representation than either 1 with fantabulous shadiness item and, yes, colors arsenic close (and better-looking) than the Sony.

Bright lighting: The Sony measured comparatively dim, backing up my subjective impressions, and some it and the Samsung were less-bright than the TCL and a less-expensive Vizio, some equipped with section dimming. Below are my measurements successful nits for prime examination TVs successful their brightest and astir close representation modes, utilizing some modular dynamic scope (SDR) and precocious dynamic scope (HDR) trial patterns.

Light output successful nits

TV TCL 65R635 Vizio M65Q7-J01 Samsung QN55Q60B Sony KD-55X80K LG OLED65C2
Brightest mode (SDR) Accurate mode (SDR) Brightest mode (HDR) Accurate mode (HDR)
1,114 792 1,292 1,102
791 562 764 631
549 343 540 514
369 357 446 387
413 389 812 759

Despite its little airy output numbers the Sony is inactive agleam capable for each but the astir light-filled viewing environments. As with astir TVs, the brightest modes for HDR and SDR (Game and Vivid, respectively) are little accurate. For the close results listed supra I utilized Custom mode and I urge X80K owners bash the aforesaid to get bully colour successful agleam rooms. Note that with SDR, you'll request to disable the Auto Energy Saving mounting (Settings > Display & Sound > Picture > Light Sensor > Off) to get afloat brightness.

The Samsung's surface was amended than that of the Sony astatine dealing with agleam reflections successful the room. Sitting nether agleam lights, I saw my reflection successful the achromatic surface of the X80K much intelligibly (and it was much distracting) than successful immoderate of the different TV screens.

Uniformity and viewing angle: The surface of the X80K illustration I reviewed showed nary large issues with agleam spots oregon acheronian areas, and successful trial patterns appeared much azygous than the Omni and akin to the different displays. Watching hockey I saw precise small grounds of irregularities arsenic the camera panned crossed the ice. From off-angle the Samsung maintained superior achromatic level and opposition but Sony had amended color, overmuch similar the TVs' respective show from consecutive on.

Sony KD X80K TV James Martin/CNET

Picture settings notes

The astir close settings were Cinema and Custom mode for some HDR and SDR, and Custom measured somewhat much close truthful I went with that. Game is champion for gaming, acknowledgment to its debased input lag, and colour was akin to Custom and exceedingly accurate.

The X80K offers settings that prosecute smoothing, aka the soap opera effect, arsenic I similar to crook it disconnected for TV shows and movies. You tin experimentation with the settings (Settings > Display & Sound > Picture > Motion > Motionflow > Custom) and it's disconnected by default successful the Cinema and Custom modes.

Geek box

SDR Black luminance (0%) Peak achromatic luminance (SDR) Avg. gamma (10-100%) Avg. grayscale mistake (10-100%) Dark grey mistake (30%) Bright grey mistake (80%) Avg. colour checker error Avg. saturation sweeps error Avg. colour error Input lag (Game mode)
HDR10 Black luminance (0%) Peak achromatic luminance (10% win) Gamut % UHDA/P3 (CIE 1976) ColorMatch HDR error Avg. colour checker error Input lag (Game mode, 4K HDR)
Result Score
0.075 Poor
357 Average
2.46 Poor
2.27 Good
2.07 Good
3.04 Average
3.08 Average
2.52 Good
2.67 Good
11.93 Good




0.084 Poor
446 Poor
94.73 Average
8.08 Poor
1.54 Good
11.67 Good

See How We Test TVs for much details.

Portrait Displays Calman calibration bundle was utilized successful this review. 

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