Sony X850F vs X850E Review (XBR65X850F vs XBR65X850E, XBR75X850F vs XBR75X850E)
Sony X850F is a mid-range model of Sony’s 2018 4K HDR LED TV lineup, while Sony X850E is the predecessor, a mid range model of Sony’s 2017 4K HDR LED TV lineup. Not just like the predecessor X850E where there are only two screen size options, in addition to 65 Inch (XBR65X850F vs XBR65X850) and 75 Inch (XBR75X850F vs XBR75X850E), now X850F also comes with super big screen 85 Inch. When was writing this comparison, with the same screen size, X850F is priced hundreds dollar more expensive than the predecessor X850A. This is more caused X850F is a just launched that certainly its price is still high, while with the presence of X850F as a newer model, the price of X850E has been dropped a lot. So, what new features and how the performance offered by X850F than the predecessor X850E?
Features and Technologies of Sony X850F and X850E
Sony X850E and X850F use different panel technologies for each of their screen size. For X850E, it uses VA panel for 65 inch (XBR65X850E) and IPS panel for 75 Inch (XBR75X850E), while for X850F, it uses IPS panel for 65 inch (XBR65X850F) and 75 Inch (XBR75X850F) and VA Panel for 85 inch (XBR85X850F). The excepting of XBR85X850F that use direct led backlight, all of them use edge-lit LED as their backlight technology. All of them don’t have local dimming and only use Frame Dimming to dim the backlight. In addition their panel technology, there are almost no difference in technology between X850F and X850E.
As their picture engine, both Sony X850F and 850E are equally powered by new 4K HDR Processor X1. As we know , there are some Sony’s advanced technologies embedded in X1 Engine including Super Bit Mapping 4K HDR, Object-Based 4K HDR Remaster, and Dynamic Contrast Enhancer. Compared to X1 Extreme as the picture engine of X900F or X930E, this standard X1 Engine lacks Dual Data Base processing and Precision Color mapping. But with this standard X1 Engine, this allows both of them already can well-process HDR signal. But unlike the above series that uses X1 Extreme where they also support Dolby Vision, both Sony X850F and X850E only support HDR 10 and HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma). Meanwhile, for producing wide color gamut and excellent colors rendition, both of them equally use TriLuminos Display technology and supported by Live Color Technology. Additionally, compared to the above series, they lack X-tended Dynamic Range Pro as the brightness enhancement technology.
Meanwhile, for maximizing their motion clarity, both of them are also equally powered by Motion Flow XR960 based on native 120 Hz refresh rate panel. Combined to their excellent pixel response time, this makes them can deliver smooth picture quality when playing fast moving images. For connecting with other device, both X850E and X850F also equally equipped with 4 HDMI ports, 3 USB ports, and also other inputs/outputs like RF In, AV In, Component In, and others. Coming with smart TV, they are also equally featuring Google Android TV as their platform. The difference, X850E comes with version 6.0 while X850F comes with version 7.0. And as the their sound equipment, both Sony X850E and X850F equally equipped with standard 2.0 channel speaker system with 20 watts of total sound output.
Sony X850F vs X850E Key Specs
|Specs and Features||Sony X850E||Sony X850F|
|Size Available||65 Inch (XBR65X850E, 75 Inch (XBR75X850E)||65 Inch (XBR65X850F), 75 Inch (XBR75X850F)|
|Panel Type||VA Panel (XBR65X850E), IPS Panel (XBR75X850E)||IPS Panel (XBR65X850F, XBR75X850F), VA Panel (XBR85X850F)|
|Resolution||4K (2160 x 3840)||4K (2160 x 3840)|
|LED Backlight||Edge LED||Edge LED (XBR65X850F, XBR75X850F), Direct LED (XBR85X850F)|
|Dimming Technology||Frame Dimming||Frame Dimming|
|Contrast Enhancement||Dynamic Contrast Enhancer||Dynamic Contrast Enhancer|
|Color Technology||TriLuminos Display||TriLuminos Display|
|Color Enhancement||Super Bit Mapping 4K HDR, Live Color Technology||Super Bit Mapping 4K HDR, Live Color Technology|
|10 Bit Panel||Yes||Yes|
|HDR Format||HDR 10 and HLG||HDR 10 and HLG|
|Picture Engine||4K HDR Processor X1||K HDR Processor X1|
|Clarity Enhancement||4K X Reality Pro, Object-Based HDR Remaster||4K X Reality Pro, Object-Based HDR Remaster|
|Motion Control||Motion Flow XR960 (native 120 Hz)||Motion Flow XR960 (native 120 Hz)|
|Smart TV Platform||Android TV||Android TV|
|Speaker Type||Bass Reflex Speaker||Bass Reflex Speaker|
|Audio Output||10 watts x 2||10 watts x 2|
|HDMI Ports||4 (3 side, 1 rear)||4 (3 side, 1 rear)|
|USB Ports||3 (Side)||3 (side)|
|Price||See the price on Amazon||See the price on Amazon|
Sony X850F vs X850E Performance
Since both Sony X850F and X850E use different panel technology for each of their screen, this comparison refers to their 65 inch (XBR65X850F vs XBR65X850E) where for this case X850F VA panel while X850E uses VA panel. But even so, since the technologies which support them are almost the same, for other screen size, their contrast ratio, black level, and side viewing angle refer the type of panel that used.
The use of different panel type makes them have a significant difference in native contrast ratio produced. Since Sony X850E uses VA panel, this makes it has strong native contrast ratio that is more than 4000:1. On the other hand the use of IPS panel makes the native contrast ratio of X850F is poor, even less than 1000:1.Their difference will be more noticeable when they are used in a dark room where the impact of the difference in native contrast ratio is sensitive. Although not as stronger as the competitor like Samsung MU8000, with more than 4000:1 of native contrast ratio, X850E can deliver deep black level, makes dark scene looks excellent. On the other hand, with less than 1000:1 of native contrast ratio, when set in a dark room, blacks of image displayed on the screen of X850F will tend to look grey, makes dark scene looks unnatural. If you often watch TV in a dark room, Sony X850F might not a good TV for you.
Once it is set in bright room where the impact of high native contrast ratio is not as sensitive as in a dark room, picture displayed on the screen of Sony X850F will look far better. Its peak brightness is also quite bright to fight the glare and paired to its good reflection handling, makes picture displayed on its screen looks fairly good. On the other hand, although not as bright as X850F, peak brightness of Sony X850E combined to its good reflections handling also makes the picture displayed on its screen looks remain good. But even so, since X850F has a bit brighter peak brightness than X850E, in a brighter room, X850F can do a bit better job than X850E in maintain its picture quality.
Meanwhile, since both of them already support wide color gamut, of course they don’t run into many obstacles in showing colors of SDR images which usually mastered in Rec.709 color space. This certainly makes colors of SDR images can be shown fairly accurate, result in natural and excellent picture quality on their screen.
As we know, one of the main purposes of HDR technology to reveal more information of dark scene, so dark scene will looks more details. So, to show dark scene like the intended, a HDR TV must have deep black level. And for that, UHD alliance have recommend 0.05 nits or darker as that should be reached by a HDR TV to show shadow details of HDR images like the intended. For this case, with more than 4000:1 of contrast ratio, Sony X850E can reach lower than 0.05 nits of black level that means it is great for revealing details of image in dark scene. On the other hand, with less than 1000:1 of native contrast ratio, black level reached by Sony X850E is more than 0.1 nits that means it is still far from what recommended. In fact, X850E can show shadow details of HDR images like the intended, while X850F is not able to. And the result, X850E can show far better shadows details of HDR images than X850F. On the other hand, since X850F don’t have deep black level, this also makes darker color cannot show accurately, so dark scene cannot be shown as excellently as X850E.
On the other hand, to reveal details of images in bright scene, this also requires high peak brightness. With a bit more than 400 nits for X850E and a bit more than 500 nits for X850F, their peak brightness is actually enough to show highlights HDR Images fairly bright. Nevertheless, since which required to show highlights of HDR images like the intended is at least 1000 nits, their peak brightness are certainly still far from that required. Meanwhile, since both of them don’t have local dimming technology, their peak brightness at any windows sizes are almost similar. This means, no matter they are displaying a bright small object or a scene with almost all object are bright, they will be shown with almost the same peak brightness. Additionally, without local dimming technology also makes blooming in a dark background around a bright small object will much more noticeable. This means, when showing a dramatic highlight of HDR image in dark background, around the highlight is still “polluted” by adjacent bright area.
Although both of them are equally powered by the similar technologies like TriLuminos Display, Live Color Technology and others, but Sony X850F as the successor of X850E don’t have color gamut as wide as the predecessor. Overall, saturated colors in DCI P3 can be well-shown by X850E, but like most of modern TVs, it also struggles to show saturated greens. But overall, X850E can show colors of HDR images in DCI P3 fairly accurate. On the other hand, although saturated colors also can be well-shown by X850F, but it is not as well as X850E, particularly when showing deep greens. The result, Sony X850F might be still able to show colors of most scenes of HDR images fairly accurately, but when showing a colorful scene like an ocean scene, it cannot do a job as good as X850E. Additionally, color volume of X850F is also not as good as the predecessor X850F. This is more due to black level and color gamut of X850F is not as deep and wide as X850E. At bright and mid brightness levels, both of them equally can well-show their color gamut, but since they don’t have local dimming, they are not able to show their color gamut at darker or deep colors fairly well. Nevertheless, since X850E has far deeper black level than X850F, this certainly also make it can show darker colors far better than X850F. While color gamut of X850F is not as wide as the predecessor, its color gradient is also still a bit worse than X850E. Nevertheless, essentially, both of them can show color gradient of HDR images excellently with almost no color banding. Some little imperfections might still be visible at darker shades of colors, but this should not be a problem for a regular content and not enough to make picture quality is degraded.
Side Viewing Angle
As we have mentioned above, in addition to have a big impact on native contrast ratio, the use of different panel type also has a big impact on their side viewing angle coverage. For this case, Sony X850E comes with VA panel has poor side viewing angle. Color and black level will start to degrade at around 20 degrees off the center and front and at wider angle, they will degrade significantly. On other hand, with IPS panel, X850F can maintain the depth of its black level at extremely wide angle. Additionally, although colors and also will slightly ship at less than 30 degrees off the center and front, but at the wider angle, the degradations is not as significant as on X850E. This means, when viewed from the side, Sony X850F can maintain its picture quality far better than X850E, makes it is a better option for you who often watch TV with a group of your family where they watch TV from multiple angles.
Motion Handling and 24p Playback
As we know, one of the major factors that have a big impact on the performance of a TV in handling motion blur is their pixel response time. The lower pixel response time of a TV, the less motion blur will be noticeable. For this case, although Sony X850F has a bit lower pixel response time than X850E, but essentially, both of them have extremely low pixel response time. Their pixel response time might not as low as OLED TV, but for LED TV, they are including the best. Additionally, both of them also equally have flicker free that means they are able to dim their backlight without flicker. Combined their great pixel response time, great flicker handling, and maximized by Motion Flow XR960, this makes both X850F and X850E can do a great job when handling motion blur. The result, when playing fast moving contents like sports or fast movies, the picture displayed on their screen looks very smooth and clear with almost no motion blur noticeable. Following fast moving object, there is only a very short ghosting trail where most people might not notice about that.
Meanwhile, when playing 24p movies, for this case, Sony X850E offers a bit better performance than its successor X850F, particularly when playing 24p movies via 60i and 60p signals. When playing 24p contents like Blu Ray Movies or DVD movies, both of them might be equally able to do a great job by showing them with judder-free. But when playing 24p movies via both 60i and 60p signals like movies from satellite TV and Streaming Device, X850E can show them with judder-free while X850F cannot remove the judder completely. But if you are including most people who don’t sensitive to judder, you can ignore this issue for X850F.
As their major connectivity, both of them equally equipped with 4 HDMI ports where all of their HDMI ports already support HDCP 2.2 and CEC. Meanwhile, 2 ports already support HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth (HDMI 2 and 3), while 1 port already support ARC (HDMI 3). Additionally, the excepting of the number of Composite IN (AV IN), their other inputs/outputs are the same. Both X850F and X850E are also equally equipped with 3 USB ports where 2 ports are USB 2.0 (USB 2 and 3) while 1 port is USB 3.0 (USB 1). Additionally, they also equally have 1 Component In, 1 RF In, 1 Digital Audio Out (Optical), Analog Audio Out (Mini jack), 1 Ethernet port, and IR In. Meanwhile, about their Composite In (AV In), X850E has 2 ports while X850F only has 1 port.
Meanwhile, discussing about their input lags in “PC Mode” and “PC Mode”, Sony X850F has a bit lower input lags than X850E. Nevertheless, their difference is not significant and essentially, no matter at 4K or 1080p inputs, their inputs lags are good. Their input lags might not as low as the competitors like Samsung MU8000 or LG SJ8500, but they are quite low to play any games responsively, not just casual games but also fast paced games which require fast reflexes.
Both Sony X850F and X850E are equally featuring Google Android TVs as their platform, for this case, Sony X850E comes with version 6.0 while X850F comes with version 7.0. There are not many improvements on its user interface and performance offered the newer version than the older version where navigation is still an issue of both of these versions. Their interface might be designed quite well and intuitive, but built-in features and apps are too crowded. This is not included when you download an app from Google Play Store that course will make a new shortcut on their interface. So many built-in apps and features installed, to see everything, you must scroll a lot to the side, make you slightly hard to find something specific. Fortunately, this platform already supports Google’s Voice Assistant that helps you to find something specific easier. Meanwhile, the excellence of Google Android TV is about their apps and features provided. In addition to there are a lot of pre-installed apps like YouTube, Amazon Videos, Netflix, Live TV, Games, and many more, you can also download tons of apps, information, games, contents and others form Google Play Store as its apps store. As we know, Google Play Store is supported by tons of developer that certainly will provide tons of apps, far many more than other app store from other platform.
As their controller, their remote is also almost the same. Their remote is larger and has a lot of buttons. In addition to standard buttons like “Number Buttons”, Power Buttons” Direction Buttons” “Common Use Buttons” and more, this remote is also equipped with two dedicated buttons for Netflix and Google Play Store, allow you to launch them without entering the home menu. Since Google’s Voice Assistant is added on Android TVs, its voice command also can do many more. And work along with IR Blaster, this remote also can act as a universal remote, allow you to control some other devices support CEC connected on these TVs via HDMI ports.
|Performance||Sony X850F||Sony X850E|
We need to emphasize again, since each Sony X850E and X850F uses different panel technology for each of their screen, this comparison refers to their 65 inch model. For this case, XBR65X850F use VA panel while XBR65X850E use VA Panel. The use different technology on their panel of course makes them also have different performance in some aspects, particularly on their side viewing angles and native contrast ratio. X850E with VA panel has strong native contrast ratio but its side viewing angle is poor. Otherwise, X850F with IPS panel has good side viewing angle coverage but its native contrast ratio. Meanwhile, the excepting of on their color reproduction where X850E can deliver wider color gamut than X850F, their performance in some features are almost similar.
So, which is a better choice between them? Overall, Sony X850E has the excellence on native contrast ratio and color reproduction, while X850F has excellence on side viewing angle and peak brightness. Now the decision comes back to you. If you often watch movies in a dark room, X850E is a better choice for you, while if you often watch TV with a group of your family where usually they watch TV from multiples angle, X850F certainly is a better choice for you. Special for 75 inch (XBR75X850F and XBR75X850E), since both of them use IPS panel, this certainly also makes their performance is almost similar and the cheaper between them certainly is a better choice.