Sony X900F vs Sony X930E Review (XBR55X900F vs XBR55X930E, XBR65X900F vs XBR65X930E)
Sony X900F is mid-range model of Sony’s 2018 4K HDR LED TV lineup while along with X940E, Sony X930E is the top model of Sony’s 2017 4K HDR LED TV lineup. In the market, X900F comes with 5 screen sizes options including 49 inch (XBR49X900F), 55 Inch (XBR55X900F), 65 Inch (XBR65X900F), 75 Inch (XBR75X900F) and the biggest is 85 inch (XBR85X900F). Meanwhile, for X930E, there are only two screen size options available including 55 inch (XBR55X930E) and 65 Inch (XBR65X930E). Compare between them, this certainly on the sizes which available on both those are 55 inch (XBR55X900F vs XBR55X930E) and 65 Inch (XBR65X900F vs XBR65X900E). Although X930E is the top model and X900F is a mid-range model, but when I was writing this comparison, for 55 inch, the price of XBR55X900E and XBR55X930E is almost the same while for 65 inch, XBR65X930E is even sold cheaper than XBR65X900F. But considering X930E is the last year model that certainly its price has dropped while X900F is recently launched that certainly its price is still high, it is understandable. But of course, their prices are not fixed and their price can change at any time. So, which is a better choice between them?
Features and Technology of Sony X900F and X930E
On their panel, both Sony X930E and X900F equally use VA panel technology, but that differentiates is about their backlight technology. X930E uses Edge-lit backlight with local dimming technology names “Slim Backlight Drive+”, while X900F uses the technology likes the predecessor X900E that is direct led with Full Array Local Dimming. Since both of them use VA Panel, native contrast ratio and black level become one of their strength, but at the other hand, they have poor side viewing angle coverage. As the picture engine, they use the same image processor that is 4K HDR Processor X1 Extreme where there the number of Sony’s advanced technologies embedded like Precision Color Mapping, Dynamic Contrast Enhancer, Super Bit Mapping 4K HDR, Object-based HDR Remaster Technology, and Dual Data Base processing. For X900F, it is an enhancement over the predecessor considering X900E as its predecessor is powered by 4K HDR X1 engine. Additionally, coming with highest level of Sony’s picture engine, both Sony X930E and X900F equally support most of HDR formats including HDR 10, HLG, and Dolby Vision. Special for Sony X900F, with its default software, it doesn’t yet support Dolby Vision and need an update firmware that will be released in future. Meanwhile, for maximizing its peak luminance so producing great HDR performance, Sony X900F is powered by X-tended Dynamic Range 6X while X930E is powered by X-tended Dynamic Range 10X. The difference in the level of this technology has an impact on the peak luminance produced by them. And for producing excellent colors rendition, both of them are equally powered by TriLuminos Display that maximized by the number of Sony’s technologies like Live Color Technology, Precision Color Mapping, and more.
For maximizing their performance when handling motion blur or 24p movies, Sony X900F is powered by X-Motion Clarity technology while Sony X930E is powered by Motion Flow XR960. But basically, both of these technologies based on the native 120 Hz refresh rate panel. Powered by these technologies makes both X900F and X940E can do a great job when handling motion blur of fast paced contents or judder of movies. On the other hand, for connecting with other device, both Sony X930E and X900F are equally equipped with 4 HDMI ports and 3 USB ports as their major connectivity and also other inputs/outputs like Composite IN, Ethernet, Built-In WI-Fi, and more. As their smart TV platform, both Sony X900F and X980E are also featuring the same OS that is Android TV powered by Google. That differentiates between then is about the version where X900F comes with Android TV version 7.0 while X930E comes with Android TV version 7.0. And as their audio equipment, X900F is equipped with 2.0 channel speaker system with 20 watts of total sound output and Bass Reflexes Speaker Type, while X930E is equipped with 4.2 channel speaker system with Front-face 3-way speaker type. While about the power of sound output, this depending on its screen size like we see on comparison table below.
Sony X900F vs X930E Key Specs
|Specs and Features||X930E||X900F|
|Size Available||55” (XBR55X930E), 65” (XBR65X930E)||49” (XBR49X900F), 55” (XBR55X900F), 65” (XBR65X900F), 75”(XBR75X900F), 85” (XBR85X900F)|
|Panel Type||VA Panel||VA Panel|
|Resolution||4K (2160 x 3840)||4K (2160 x 3840)|
|LED Backlight||Edge Light||Full Array Direct LED|
|Local Dimming||Yes (Slim Backlight Drive+)||Yes (Full Array Local Dimming)|
|Extended Dynamic Range Pro||Yes (10X)||Yes (6X)|
|HDR (High Dynamic Range)||Yes (HDR 10, HLG, Dolby Vision)||Yes (HDR 10 and HLG), Dolby Vision with an upcoming software update|
|Image Processor||4K HDR Processor X1 Extreme||4K HDR Processor X1 Extreme|
|UHD Up-scaling engine||4K X Reality Pro||4K X Reality Pro|
|Motion Control||Motion Flow XR960 (native 120 Hz)||X-Motion Clarity|
|Smart TV Platform||Android TV Version 6.0||Android TV Version 7.0|
|Speaker Type||Front-face 3-way speaker||Bass Reflex Speaker|
|Audio Output||5 W + 5 W + 10 W + 10 W + 10 W + 10 W (55 inch), 10 W + 10W + 10 W + 10 W + 10 W + 10 W (65 inch)||10 W + 10 W|
|HDMI Ports||4 (1 side, 3 bottom)||4 (1 side, 3 bottom)|
|USB Ports||2 (side), 1 (bottom)||2 (side), 1 (bottom)|
|Price||See the price on Amazon||See the price on Amazon|
Sony X900F vs X930E Performance
Although Sony X930E has a bit stronger native contrast ratio than X900F, but essentially, they equally have excellent native contrast ratio. Additionally, their local dimming technology also equally well work to improve the contrast. This makes both of them can produce black level darker than 0.02 nits that means it is great for dark environment. The result, their performance in a dark room is really great. Black looks really black and indirectly, this also makes dark color looks accurate. The result, dark scene of image can be shown excellently, even when they are set in pitch dark environment. On the other hand, when they are used in bright room, although X930E also has far brighter peak luminance than X900F, but essentially, their peak brightness is also equally quite to dampen the glare and they are equally do a good job to deal with the reflection. This certainly makes the picture displayed on their screen looks remains good, no matter the light condition of a room where they are used. Nevertheless, since X930E has far brighter peak brightness than X900F, this make X930E can do better job when maintain their picture quality in bright room, particularly in a room with a very bright light or sunlight through the windows. Meanwhile, in term of color reproduction, since both Sony X930E and X900F already support wide color gamut, they will not have a problem when showing colors of SDR images that only need Rec.709 color coverage. The result, color of the SDR image displayed on their screen looks fairly accurate. Overall, the quality of the picture displayed on their screen is excellent and their difference when displaying SDR images is not too significant since each of aspect of picture produced by them are more than enough to meet what required to show SDR image excellently.
Since both Sony X930E and X900F have black level lower than 0.02 nits, this means it is quite dark for revealing details of images in shadow or dark scene like the intended. As we know, one of the main purposes of HDR technology is for making clearer the details of image in shadow or dark scene. With black level produced by them while that recommended by UHD Alliance is 0.05 nits, good black uniformity, and decent local dimming performance, this certainly makes shadow details of HDR images, especially HDR 10 images look excellently on their screen. A bit stronger native contrast ratio and deeper black level produced by X930E over X900F doesn’t have a significant impact on dark scene produced by them. Meanwhile, the major advantage of Sony X930 to X900F is about their ability when showing highlight of HDR images and bright scene. X930E is not just able to show the most dramatic highlight of HDR images brighter than 1000 nits, but it is also able to show the brightness across the whole image at high level. This is the one of the excellence of X930E over the competitors like Samsung QLED TV where their peak brightness usually will dim when required to show a whole screen full of level brightness. On other hand, although it also can show highlight of HDR images fairly bright, but its peak brightness is still lower than 1000 nits that means it cannot show highlight of HDR images as bright as the native brightness where it is mastered. As we know, HDR contents are usually mastered with 1000 – 4000 nits of brightness range. Additionally, although not as bright as X930E, when required to show a whole screen full of level brightness, peak brightness of Sony X900F doesn’t also dim significantly. This also becomes the excellence of X900F over the competitor in its class.
Meanwhile, in term of color reproduction, their performance is also almost similar. Although their color gamut is not as wide as LG OLED TV or Samsung QLED TV, but their color gamut still can be said great. Both of them already support wide color gamut that means they can cover more than 90% of colors in DCI P3 color space. The result, almost all colors of HDR images in DCI P3 can be reproduced fairly well, makes the color of HDR image looks accurate. Both like most other TVs, Sony X900F and X930E might have a bit problem when showing saturated green and cyan in Rec.2020, but these less saturated colors still can be shown fairly well. On the other hand, the color volume of both is also equally fairly well. Although extremely dark colors cannot be represented as well as colors in moderate brightness, but they still can be shown fairly well. Meanwhile, since the peak brightness of X930E is brighter than X900F, this also makes X930E can show its wide color gamut at extremely brighter colors better than X900F, Nevertheless, overall, both of them can show their wide color gamut at their entire brightness range fairly well. Additionally, powered by Super Bit Mapping 4K HDR technology makes them excellent color gradient, even their color gradient is including the best. Some little imperfections might still be visible at darker shades of colors but overall, color gradient of HDR images displayed on their screen is close to perfect and better than most of their competitors.
Side Viewing Angle
Since both Sony X900F and X930E uses VA panel, poor side viewing angle coverage becomes their main drawback. Blacks will tend to looks grey and colors will fade quickly at less than 20 degrees off center and front. This means when you watch TV from an angle, the picture will not look as good as when viewed from the front and center. And the wider angle you are watching from, the picture will look more degraded. Nevertheless, since all TVs with VA panel typically also have the same problem on poor viewing angle, of course it is not their own problem. And as long as you don’t often watch TV from an angle, you can ignore this problem.
Motion Handling and 24p Playback
Sony X900F might have a bit lower pixel response time than X930E but overall, their pixel response time is equal very low. This allows both of them can do a great job when handling motion blur. And powered by Sony’s motion clarity technology, for this case X930E is powered by Motion Flow XR960 and X900F is powered by X-Motion Clarity, the picture displayed on their screen looks very smooth and clear with almost no motion blur when they are showing fast paced contents. Following fast moving object, there is only a faint and very short trail where most people might not notice that. Not just that, their backlight also equally has almost flicker-free, make you more comfort when enjoying fast moving contents like sports or fast movies. Additionally, both Sony X930E and X900F also equally have a great ability in handling 24p videos. No matter the frame rate of the movies, whether it is 24p videos like Blu Ray or DVD movies, 24p via 60i signal like movies from satellite TV, 24p videos via 60p signal like movies from streaming device, or 24p movies via native apps like Netflix or YouTube, all of them will be displayed clear with judder-free on their screen. And since both of them equally have native 120 Hz refresh rate panel, this course makes them are able to interpolate both lower frame rate contents 30 fps and 60 fps fairly well.
As their major connectivity, both Sony X900F and X930E equally equipped with 4 HDMI ports. All of their HDMI ports already support HDCP 2.2. Nevertheless, which support HDMI 2.0 full Bandwidth are only HDMI 2 and HDMI 3, and support ARC (Audio Return Channel( is HDMI3), while they don’t support HDMI 2.1 Full Bandwidth yet. Additionally, they are also equally equipped with 3 USB ports, 1 port of USB 3.0 at USB 1 and 2 ports of USB 2.0 at USB 2 and 3. Both of them are also equally equipped with 1 RF IN (Antenna In), 1 Ethernet, 1 Digital Audio out (Optical), 1 Analog Audio out (Mini Jack) and IR In. That is different is about Composite IN (AV) IN and Component In where Sony X930E is equipped with 2 AV IN and 1 Component in while X900F is equipped with 1 AV IN only and doesn’t have Component In. Meanwhile discussing about their input lags in PC Mode and Game Mode, overall, their input lags are similar, low at 4K source but a bit too high at 1080p source. Although not as low as the competitor, with about 25 ms of input lags at 4K source, this certainly makes them are very comfortable when used for playing any 4K games, even for fast paced games. Meanwhile, at 1080p source, their input lags is a bit higher than 40 ms that means this is only low enough to be used for playing casual games while when used for playing fast paced games, they may be a bit disappointing.
As their smart TY platform, both Sony X900F and X930E are equally featuring Google Android TV. That differentiates is about their version where X900F come with Google Android TVs version 7.0 while X930E comes with Google Android TV version 7.0. In term of user interface, there are not many improvements on the newer version where they are a bit confusing for navigating, especially for new users. Coming with an animation that makes its appearance is more attractive, but on the other hand, their performance is a bit inconsistent. At some moments, app is opened fastly with smooth animation, but at other some moments, this will feel laggy with choppy animation. Nevertheless, on the other hand, Android TV offers the excellence on apps provided. With Google Play Store as its apps store that powered by tons of developer, it provides tons of apps, contents, and games, far more than what provided by the competitor like Samsung Apps Store or LG Apps Store. Additionally, as their preinstalled apps, they are also equipped with a lot of useful and most popular apps like Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Videos, Web browser, Live TV, Games, and a lot of more.
As their controller, both Sony X930E and X900F are equally equipped with Sony Voice Remote. Their remote is a bit large with a lot of buttons. In addition to standard buttons like “Number Buttons”, “Navigation Buttons”, “Power Button”, “Volume Buttons”, “Channel Buttons”, and more, they are also equipped with two dedicated buttons of Google Play and Netflix, allow you to launch them without entering the home menu. Additionally, they are also equipped with built-in microphone for voice command, allow you to search, text entry, and control some other functions and features with your voice. Additionally, working together with IR Blaster included in its buying package, this remote also can be functioned to control some basic functions of other device connected on these Sony TVs via HDMI ports.
|Performance||Sony X900F||Sony X930E|
In term of picture quality, the excepting of their peak brightness, both Sony X900F and X930 have similar performance where almost all aspects of the picture quality produced by them are fairly strong. This makes the picture displayed on their screen looks really excellent, no matter the light condition of a room where they are used. Combined to excellent their images retention, good motion handling, 24p playback, low input lags, this makes both of them have excellent performance for any usage, whether they are used for playing games, watch TV Show, movies, sports, and others. Additionally, coming with HDR technology, they equally support most of HDR formats like HDR 10, HLG, and Dolby Vision and equally have great HDR performance for each of its class. Meanwhile, the excellence of X930E on their peak luminance makes it can show far brighter highlight of HDR images than X900F and can show highlight of HDR image brighter than 1000 nits like the intended. On the other hand, although peak brightness of X900F can be said very bright but it is still below 1000 nits.
So, which is a better choice between them? Considering their price and performance offered by them particularly about their HDR performance, Sony X930E might be a better choice than X900F. In addition to their difference in price is not too far, performance offered by X930E particularly on their peak brightness is better than X900F. But because X930E has been discontinued by the manufacturer, if you want it, you should buy it immediately. On the other hand, if you want a newer model that certainly comes with some additional features, X900F is also not a bad choice. As the alternative, there is X930F that has similar peak brightness than X930E, but of course it is sold far more expensive. Now, the decision comes back to you according to your need and preference.