Sony X720E vs X800E Review (KD43X720E vs XBR43X800E, KD49X720E vs XBR49X800E, KD55X720E vs XBR55X800E)
Sony X720E and X800E are the entry level of Sony’s 2017 4K HDR TV lineup. Compared to the higher series like X850E or X900E series, they are not yet supported by Sony 4K HDR Processor X1 engine and performance that offered might be also not as great as the higher series, but both of them might be a good option for you who are searching cheap TV with affordable price. In the market, both of them equally come with 3 screen sizes options including 43 Inch (KD43X720E and XBR43X800E) 49 Inch (KD49X720E and XBR49X800E), and 55 Inch (KD55X720E and XBR55X800E). With the same screen sizes, as a higher series, X800E is sold about $100-$200 more expensive than X720E, depending on the screen size. But even so, their prices certainly are not fixed and could still change at any time. So, what are the differences and a better choice between them?
The Similarities and Difference between Sony X800E and X720E
As we have mentioned above, both of Sony X800E and X720E are not yet supported by X1 Engine, and as the instead, they are just supported by 4K X-Reality Pro Engine as their image processor. This reminds us to the old TV model before Sony introduced X1 Engine as the picture engine of most of their lineup. Nevertheless, although without X1 Engine, both of them can process HDR images fairly good for their class. But like most of other model of Sony TVs, both of them are also support HDR 10 format and HLG (Via upcoming software update) and don’t support Dolby Vision yet. Meanwhile, on their panel, both of Sony X720E and X800E equally uses IPS panel with Edge Lit LED backlight. As we know, the major advantage of IPA panel is about its wide side viewing angle coverage, make the picture looks more consistent than VA TV when viewed from side viewing angles. Nevertheless, they don’t have local dimming technology and just use frame dimming as their dimming technology. For improving the contrast and black level of the picture, both of them equally rely on a feature named “Dynamic Contrast Ratio”. And for delivering smooth and clear picture quality when used for watching fast moving images, they are equally powered by Motion Flow XR240 technology based on native 60 Hz refresh rate panel.
The major difference between Sony X720E and X800E is about TriLuminos Display where X800E comes with TriLuminos Display and Live Color Technology, while X720E is not equipped with this technology and only supported by Live Color Technology. Since TriLuminos display is designed for maximizing the color performance of Sony TV lineup, this makes X800E already support wide color gamut for HDR videos, while on the other hand, X720E doesn’t support wide color gamut yet. As the impact, X800E has better rendition of colors than X720E, particularly when displaying HDR images that require wide color gamut. Additionally, X800E also already support 10 bit depth of color that means it can deliver about 1.07 billion shades of color, while X720E only support 8 bit depth of colors that means it can deliver about 16 million shades of colors. As the result, color gradient of X800E is far smoother than X720E. The other major difference between them is about their smart TV platform where X800E comes with Android TV, while X720E comes with custom Sony Operating System based on Linux OS. The other difference is about the number of their HDMI Ports and Composite In (AV In) where X800E is equipped with 4 HDMI ports and 2 Composite In , while X720E is equipped with 3 HDMI ports and 1 Composite In.
Sony X720E vs X800E Key Specs
|Specs and Features||KD X720E||XBR X800E|
|Size Available||43 Inch (KD43X720E), 49 Inch (KD49X720E), 55 Inch (KD55X720E)||43 Inch (XBR43X800E), 49 Inch (XBR49X800E), 55 Inch (XBR55X800E)|
|Panel Type||IPS Panel||IPS Panel|
|Resolution||4K (2160 x 3840)||4K (2160 x 3840)|
|LED Backlight||Edge LED||Edge LED|
|Dimming Technology||Frame Dimming||Frame Dimming|
|Supports 10 bit color||No||Yes|
|Live Color Technology||Yes||Yes|
|HDR (High Dynamic Range)||HDR 10, HLG (Ready)||HDR 10, HLG (Ready)|
|Image Processor||4K X-Reality Pro Engine||4K X-Reality Pro Engine|
|Dynamic Contrast Enhancer||Yes||Yes|
|Motion Control||Motion Flow XR240 (native 60 Hz)||Motion Flow XR240 (native 60 Hz)|
|Smart TV Platform||Linux||Android TV|
|Speaker Type||Bass Reflex Speaker||Bass Reflex Speaker|
|Audio Output||10 W + 10 Watt||10 W + 10 Watt|
|Price||See the price on Amazon||See the price on Amazon|
Sony X720E vs X800E Performance
Both of Sony X800E and X720E are not a good TVs when used in a dark room. This is due their native contrast ratio is low that is less than 1000:1 where the deepest black level that can be reached is about 0.11 nits. With black level that reached by them, this course is not an ideal value to be used in a dark room. As we know, the effect of high contrast ratio is very sensitive in a dark room. The result, blacks of images will tend to look grey than black. On the other hand, since both of them cannot show absolute black, this also makes very dark colors will not be shown properly and of course also makes the picture displayed on their screen will look unnatural. Fortunately, once they are set in a bright room with ambient light where the effect of high native contrast ratio is not too noticeable, the picture displayed on their screen looks far better. On the other hand, with more than 300 nits of peak brightness, this is also bright enough to fight the glare so both of Sony X720E and X800E should have no problem with glare from a close lamp or a window. And combined to their good job when dealing the reflection, this makes the picture displayed on their screen looks fairly good when set in bright room. Compare between them, since Sony X800E has a bit brighter peak brightness, this certainly also makes the picture displayed on the screen of X800E looks brighter than Sony X720E.
Meanwhile, although Sony X720E doesn’t support wide color gamut, but colors delivered by X720E are good enough to properly show colors in Rec.709 color space of SDR images, makes the color of the SDR picture displayed on its screen looks fairly accurate. On the other hand, since it already support wide color gamut and can deliver wider color gamut than X720EE, in showing colors of SDR images, it will not encounter any significant obstacles and even the color of the picture displayed on its screen look better than X720E.
As we know, for showing shadow details of HDR images like what intended, an HDR TV must have 0.05 nits of black level or it must have at least 2000:1 of native contrast ratio. Meanwhile, with less than 1000:1 of native contrast ratio, of course black level reached by them is not quite dark to reveal detail images in dark scene like what intended. The result, although when set in a bright room dark scene of images looks good enough, both of them cannot still show shadow of details of HDR images like what intended. On the other hand, when displaying HDR images, peak brightness reached by X720E is relatively similar to when it is inputted by SDR signal, while peak brightness of X800E can get a bit brighter. For their class, peak brightness reached by them actually is bright enough to show HDR images looks fairly bright. But unfortunately, both of them don’t have local dimming, so the small highlight of HDR image cannot get brighter. Additionally, both of X800E and X720E also cannot show highlight of HDR images brighter than 1000 nits like what intended. As we know, for displaying HDR images fully like what intended, UHD alliance has set 1000 nits as the minimum recommendation.
Meanwhile, as we have mentioned above, Sony X720E doesn’t support wide color gamut, while X800E already support wide color gamut. This certainly has an effect on their rendition of colors, particularly when displaying HDR images. On the screen of X702E, the deeper colors cannot be shown as saturated as what intended due its limited wide color gamut and low native contrast ratio. Fortunately, although not as accurate as TV with wide color gamut, most of colors in HDR images can be shown reasonably accurate. Meanwhile, on the screen of X800E, since it already supports wide color gamut, the deeper colors in HDR images can be represented fairly well. But like most of modern TVs, it also struggles when showing deep greens and cannot also show blue as saturated as high end TVs. But overall, rendition of colors of Sony X800E when displaying HDR videos is fairly good and better than X720E. On other hand, color gradient of images displayed on the screen of X800E also looks smoother than Sony X720E. This is Sony X800E already support 10 bit depth of color, while X720E only support 8 bit depth of colors, whereas we are know, for displaying HDR videos fully, a TV must supports at least 10 bit depth of colors. The result, color gradient of HDR images displayed on the screen of X800E looks very smooth without any major color banding visible, while on the screen of X720E, some colors banding are still noticeable in the dark green and blur.
Both of Sony X800E and X720E are equally powered by great performance of UHD Up-scaling engine that embedded on its picture engine named “4K X-Reality Pro”. This allows you to enjoy lower resolution videos with the quality as close as 4K resolution. Low resolution videos like DVD movies with 480p resolution don’t even look too soft once it is up-converted to 4K. And of course, the higher resolution of the source like Movies from TV cable with 720p resolution or Blu Ray Movies with 1080p resolution, the final images in 4K resolution displayed will looks clearer and sharper with small details are preserved well. And considering most of the contents which available in the market still have lower resolution than 4K, this feature certainly is still important.
Side Viewing Angle
The use of IPS panel on both might make both of Sony X720E and X800E has low native contrast ratio that makes their picture quality doesn’t look fairly well when used in a dark room. But on the other hand, IPS panel makes both of Sony X800E and X720E have wide side viewing angle coverage. If on the screen of VA TVs, the picture will look degraded at 20 degrees off center and front, on their screen, the quality will looks more consistent. Even from wider side viewing angle, the quality of the picture still looks consistent. With their wide side viewing angle coverage, this certainly makes both of them are very suitable to be used in a wide room where the viewers watch TV from multiple viewing angles.
Motion Handling and 24p Movies Playback
Although both of them are equally powered by Motion Flow XR240 based on native 60 Hz refresh rate panel, but the pixel response time of Sony X800E is lower than X720E. This has an impact on their performance when playing fast moving images like sport program, fast movies, or fast games. On the screen of X800E, the picture looks smooth and clear with only a short trail following fast moving object. Meanwhile, although not as low as X800E, the pixel response time of Sony X720E is also quite low. The result, although not as smooth and clear as X800E, the picture displayed on the screen of X720E still looks smooth and clear. Even for most people with untrained eyes, their difference might be not too noticeable. On other hand, both of them also have similar performance when playing 24p movies. When playing 24p videos like Blu Ray Movies, both of them are able to remove the judder, makes the picture displayed looks very clear and smooth. However, when playing 24p videos via 60i signals like movies from satellite TV or via 60p signals like movies from streaming device, they cannot completely remove the judder. Fortunately, most of people don’t sensitive to judder, so this should not be a problem for them.
As we have mentioned above, Sony X800E has more number of HDMI ports and Composite In (AV In) than X720E. For this case, X800E has 4 HDMI ports and 2 Composite In (AV In), while Sony X720E is equipped with3 HDMI Ports and 1 Composite in (AV In). Meanwhile, about their other inputs/outputs, they are equipped with similar inputs/outputs. There are 3 USB Ports, 1 Component In, 1 RF IN,1 Ethernet, 1 Digital Audio Out (Optical), and 1 Analog Audio Out (Mini Jack). Discussing about their input lags, Sony X720E as a lower series is even has lower input lags than X800E. With less than 20 ms of input lags at any resolution under “Game Mode” and “PC Mode”, Sony X720E is very comfortable when used for playing any kind of games, even for fast paced games. Meanwhile, although not as low as X720E, the input lags of X800E are also quite low to play casual games. But unfortunately, when used for fast paced games which require fast reflexes, it might be a bit disappointing.
As their Smart TV platform, Sony X800E comes with Android TV 7.0 Nougat, while Sony X720E comes with custom Sony Operating System based on Linux OS. As we know, Google Android TV is one of most attractive smart TV platform. The appearance is very attractive while its performance is fast and responsive. Additionally, there are also a lot of preinstalled apps available including Netflix, Amazon Videos, YouTube, Web Browser, Live TV, and many more. One of the advantages of Google Android TV is about its apps store called “Google Play Store” where it provides tons of downloadable apps, games, and contents and supported by a lot of developers. The other interesting feature offered, it has a feature called “Picture in Picture” that displays videos from HDMI or the TV’s tuner in a hovering box at the top right corner of the screen, while you open apps or navigate the TV’s interface. But unfortunately, like the older version, its navigation is still a bit confusing and not as simple as the competitors like WebOS from LG or Tizen from Samsung. On the other hand, the interface of smart TV platform of Sony X720E is very simple. But even so, it still comes with most of popular apps like YouTube Netflix, Amazon Videos, and More. As its apps store, it comes with Opera TV apps store. Although not as many and complete as Google Play Store, the apps provided are also fairly a lot and diverse.
As the controller, Sony X720E comes with Sony Standard Remote while X800E comes with Sony Voice Remote. At a glance they are similar. A bit difference is about their quick access buttons where X800E’s remote has quick access button to Netflix and Google Play Store, while the remote of X720E has quick access buttons to YouTube and Netflix. The other difference, there is voice navigation button on the remote of X800E, allows you to navigate some functionalities with your voice command. Additionally, along with IR blaster, Sony X800E’s remote also can be used for controlling other devices connected on your TV via HDMI, while X700E’s remote doesn’t have this ability.
|Performance||Sony X720E||Sony X800E|
As we have discussion a lot above, in term picture quality, Sony X800E has better renditions of color and a bit brighter peak brightness that makes the picture displayed on its screen looks better than X720E, particularly when displaying HDR images. Additionally, X800E also does a bit better job when handling motion blur, makes the picture displayed looks a bit smoother when playing fast paced videos like sport program or fast movies. The other major advantage that offered by X800E as a higher series is about their smart TV platform where with Google Android TVs, it offers more attractive smart TV platform with many smart features than X720E. On the other hand, although it is as a lower series, X720E has lower input lags that makes it is more comfortable when used for playing games, particularly for fast paced games that require fast reflexes. Meanwhile, the advantage that offered by them, they equally have wide side viewing angle coverage that makes them are very suitable when used in a wider room with viewers watch TV from multiple viewing angles.
So, which is a better choice between them? As we have mentioned above, with the same screen, Sony X800E is sold about $100-$200 more expensive than X720E. Nevertheless, the excepting of its input lag, overall, its performance is better than X720E. On the other hand, considering the price that offered for X720E is very affordable, it might also be a good TV for you who are searching a cheap TV. Now, the decision comes back to you according to your preferences and budget.