Hi, I’m Daniel from Rtings.com. Today we’re testing the Sony X900F. It is a great TV, with good picture quality from directly in front but the colors degrade at an angle. It is a slight improvement over the X900E, but not by much.
We bought the fifty-five-inch model, but it is also available in sizes from forty nine to eighty five inches. We expect these sizes to have similar picture quality, but bigger TVs usually have more uniformity issues.
We’ll start by looking at the design of the TV, and then go into the picture quality and features. We will compare the X900F to other TVs on the market at the moment, but note that this is one of the first TVs released this year so the competition will change as more models are released.
The design of the X900F is great. The most noticeable difference from 2017 Sony’s is the wide-set stand which will make it difficult to fit on some tables but does provide stable support. It is possible to swap the left and right legs for a smaller footprint, but it is still wide compared to last year’s model.
Each leg of the stand contains a clip for cable management, which is a nice touch but not as nice as the routing through the back panel available on the X930E. Compared to the X900E and X930E the TV is a bit thicker, so does stick out slightly if wall-mounted.
The build quality is good, and although the TV is mostly plastic it feels well-constructed. The inputs are located on the rear of the TV, with three HDMI inputs directed down the back and one more out the side, which are easier to access.
Only two of the HDMI inputs support full HDMI 2.0 bandwidth. We can see that the thermal image is relatively uniform, this is because the LEDs which consume the most power are distributed uniformly over the screen.
This is in contrast to edge-lit TVs which are much hotter around the sides. Now we’ll move on to the picture quality. We will be comparing the performance directly with 2017 models, as this is the first release of this year.
If you want to see how it compares to other TVs released throughout the year then subscribe to our channel or follow the review page on our website below for up to date comparisons. The high native contrast ratio is in the same ballpark as other TVs with VA panels, which is good and provides deep blacks in a dark room.
It’s not as good as the perfect blacks of OLEDs but provides better dark scene performance than IPS TVs such as the LG SJ9500. The X900F has a full-array backlight which works well to provide deep blacks and limit blooming but can be a bit too aggressive, dimming small highlights considerably.
The resulting performance is a bit better than last year’s X900E and is more similar to the X930E. It is much more effective than edge-lit Samsung and LG TVs such as the SJ9500 which produce significant vertical blooming.
The uniformity of the screen is good, and dirty screen effect shouldn’t be an issue for sports. The edges of the screen are a bit darker though. Like most LED TVs, the image loses accuracy when viewed at an angle.
OLED TVs like the LG B7 and IPS TVs like the SJ9500 can maintain much better colors from the side, so may be a better pick for a wide living room. The reflection handling is great and should be fine for most rooms but isn’t as good as the glossy finishes found on the LG B7 and Samsung QLEDs.
For a very bright room with lots of direct light this may be distracting. When watching HDR content the TV has great brightness, with almost 900 nits in our real scene. This is between the X900E and X930E, and quite a lot brighter than most TVs.
The X900F also supports a wide color gamut for HDR. It offers the same performance as the X900E, which is great but can’t produce as saturated colors as OLED and QLED TVs. The X900F currently supports HDR10 and is expected to be updated with Dolby Vision HDR support in the future, similar to what happened with the X930E.
While it is better to support both technologies, this isn’t a big difference. Dolby vision is technically superior, but HDR10 already exceeds the capabilities of current TVs and is much more widely available.
If you’re interested, you can read more about this in the description below. The response time is excellent, so only a short trail can be seen when watching sports or playing fast-paced games. The backlight flickers, but at a high frequency of seven-hundred and twenty hertz so the image appears smooth, without the duplications visible on the LG SJ9500.
The TV also has options to adjust the flickering behavior, which works well to adjust the motion as you prefer. Compared to last year’s X900E and X930E there is a new behavior which is marketed as ‘X Motion Clarity’.
This causes different zones of the TV to adjust the pattern of flicker, producing different motion. For example, this is a single photo taken of the screen using a moving camera tracking two identical moving objects.
The blur is different due to the different flickering of each zone. Overall this is a similar behaviour to TVs which have local dimming and use PWM to dim zones, just with a fancier flickering pattern.
The minimum backlight flicker frequency possible on the TV is 120Hz, so most content which is 60Hz appears duplicated and isn’t as clear as some other TVs. The input lag is highly dependent on the input signal.
Similar to the X930E which uses the same X1 Extreme processor, the input lag is low at 4k for example when gaming with the Xbox One X or Ps4 Pro. The lag is still good but a bit higher than the competition with a 1080p signal, for example when gaming on a Nintendo Switch.
Now for the smart features. As with most Sony’s the X900f uses Android TV. It is a very open platform with the widest availability of apps, but it also feels quite slow and unintuitive to use. The remote includes a button for Google Assistant, which allows for a variety of commands such as asking about the weather or playing content on Netflix.
So overall, the X900F is a great TV but improvements are marginal over last year’s X900E. Between these two TVs, people should just go with whichever is cheaper. LG OLED TVs such as the B7 have better picture quality, especially when viewed in a dark room.
They also remain accurate at an angle, which is good for those with wide seating. Depending on your use, there may be a possibility of burn-in though so if this is a concern you should go with an LCD TV.
2017 Samsung QLEDs such as the Q8C can produce very colorful images and do have better reflection handling in a bright room, but have worse dark scene performance and can’t produce bright HDR highlights in real scenes.
Between a 2017 QLED and the X900F, the Sony is a better choice. We haven’t reviewed a 2018 QLED yet so we don’t know how these newer models will compare. We plan to review the Q9FN in the coming weeks.
LG LCD TVs such as the SJ9500 remain accurate when viewed at an angle so are a good pick for those who have wide seating, but offer poor dark scene performance with blacks that appear gray. For a bright room with wide seating it may be a good choice, but if you watch from in-front or the room sometimes gets dark then the X900F is a better choice.
So that’s it! You can check out all of the measurements on our website. If you like this video, subscribe to our channel, or become a contributor. Also, we are currently hiring in our offices in Montreal for various positions.
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