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A Review of the Sony X800G 4K HDR Wide View Angle IPS TV (XBR43X800G, XBR49X800G, XBR55X800G, XBR65X800G, XBR75X800G)

by on December 25, 2019
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Connectivity
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Stephan Jukic – December 25, 2019

Overview

Every year, Sony puts out at least a couple of 4K UHD HDR TVs with IPS display technology, and the Sony X800G is one of the brand’s 2019/early 2020 IPS editions. What does IPS mean? Well, simply put, it means wide viewing angles without paying the price of a much more expensive OLED television, but the tradeoff is an inability to create deep, rich black levels. This basically sums up the X800G, which is a good, solid performer in many ways that count for some users, but with contrast and black level performance that’s mediocre at best. That said, there’s plenty working in the X800G’s favor and this includes its fairly lean price.

Positives

• Superb viewing angles
• Great physical design for a budget 4K TV
• Wonderful color performance
• Good performance in brightly lit rooms
• Excellent content upscaling for all video sources
• Strong color performance

Negatives

• No local dimming
• Weak HDR brightness
• Fairly weak contrast ratio and black levels (for dark, shadowy scenes)
• Native Audio is poor
• Motion handling problems

Bottom Line

If you want a fairly cheap name-brand 4K HDR TV with excellent viewing angles and generally good display performance, the X800G is a very good choice. This applies especially if the wide viewing angles are something you really need but don’t want to spend a lot of money. Otherwise, we’d definitely recommend certain other 4K TVs over this model in terms of both performance and price range.

A Review of the Sony X800G 4K HDR Wide View Angle IPS TV (XBR43X800G, XBR49X800G, XBR55X800G, XBR65X800G, XBR75X800G)

Check out Sony’s 4K HDR X800G 2019 4K HDR LCD TV with IPS Wide Viewing Angles on sale at Amazon

4.7 – 4 Reviews

 

Also Read:
Our Comprehensive review of Samsung’s most affordable 2019 QLED TV, the Q60R
Our detailed hands-on review of Samsung’s incredible new 8K HDR TV, the Q900
Our comprehensive review of Samsung’s excellent premium Q80R QLED 4K HDR TV
Also Read:
Our In-depth review of Samsung’s ultra-bright flagship 2018 Q8FN 4K HDR TV

What We Liked about the X800G

Despite a number of notable weaknesses at its current price, the Sony X800G has plenty going for it too. Most of its key display performance metrics are either decent, good or in a couple cases actually great and because of the IPS display with its onscreen pixel layout, the X800G is a particularly good budget UHD HDR TV choice for people who want a TV that can deliver high picture quality even from way off center. The X800G also has decent gaming chops and very good color performance. Now let’s get down to some concrete details.

Superb viewing angles

The really big selling point of 4K HDR TVs with IPS display is that they deliver superbly good viewing angles. Most LCD TVs on today’s market come with VA display panels and basically this means that their pixels are aligned in a way which creates excellent black levels and contrast but very weak picture quality if these TVs aren’t viewed from close to the in front of the screen. IPS display on the other hand spreads its pixels in such a way that the screen renders an excellent picture even when viewed way off to either side but at the cost of strong contrast and black levels. It’s a major tradeoff between one and the other but if you need a 4K HDR TV that can let you enjoy whatever you’re watching even if you’re sitting way off to the left or right of it, the X800G is a good, fairly affordable choice.

A Review of the Sony X800G 4K HDR Wide View Angle IPS TV (XBR43X800G, XBR49X800G, XBR55X800G, XBR65X800G, XBR75X800G)

Great color delivery in HDR and SDR

Another very strong feature of the Sony X800G is its overall color delivery. This 4K TV comes with full HDR color specs, which include both 10-bit color and WCG wide color gamut parameters. This of course means that weak contrast/black levels or not, the X800G can really deliver the vibrancy of any HDR content you throw at it just as its creators intended. Furthermore, the X800G’s color accuracy is very good, not right out of the box, but after a bit of light calibrating in the picture menu settings, this particular television delivers impressive performance for its price.

A Review of the Sony X800G 4K HDR Wide View Angle IPS TV (XBR43X800G, XBR49X800G, XBR55X800G, XBR65X800G, XBR75X800G)

Very decent motion handling

Where the X800G also happens to be a strong performer is on motion handling. It’s good overall and the pixel response time on the screen for color changes as content shifts is downright excellent by LCD TV standards. There’s also no backlight flicker as content dims and motion interpolation in the X800G is nothing to sneeze at either, which means that it can nicely, and smoothly, handle motion from content sources that run at slower frame rates than those of the X800G’s native 60Hz display. The bad side here of course is that the X800G doesn’t deliver frame rates above 60FPS.

Overall HDR delivery

So long as you accept the inherent contrast weakness of IPS TV display, the HDR delivery of the Sony X800G isn’t bad at all overall. Considering this 4K UHD TV’s price and the presence of the IPS display, colors look vibrant and in brightly lit rooms, even the weak black levels and contrast aren’t too noticeable, making high dynamic range content look pretty rich. In darkened rooms, the X800G starts to reveal its weak contrast and black levels quite a bit but even then, rich color performance and decent overall picture brightness compensate a fair bit for the X800G’s low black levels and contrast.

A Review of the Sony X800G 4K HDR Wide View Angle IPS TV (XBR43X800G, XBR49X800G, XBR55X800G, XBR65X800G, XBR75X800G)

Strong physical build

It’s also worth noting that, budget 4K TV or not, the Sony X800G has a very decent, robust built. It’s sturdy, simple but also just far enough away from looking clunky to be somewhat elegant and at home in any home theater setting. Connectivity ports are easily accessible and the X800G can be mounted to walls with its VESA mounts.

A Review of the Sony X800G 4K HDR Wide View Angle IPS TV (XBR43X800G, XBR49X800G, XBR55X800G, XBR65X800G, XBR75X800G)

Check out Sony’s 4K HDR X800G 2019 4K HDR LCD TV with IPS Wide Viewing Angles on sale at Amazon

4.7 – 4 Reviews
Also Read:
Our comprehensive review of the best IPS TV we’ve ever reviewed, LG’s powerful new SM9000 4K HDR edition
Our In-depth review of TCL’s new 6-Series 4K HDR TV, The Most Affordable Aaesome Premium TV of 2019

 What We Didn’t Like

The negative aspects of the Sony X800G are unfortunately plentiful, but a major caveat has to be noted here too: This is an IPS TV and for some users that’s exactly why they’d want the X800G even with the inherent black level weaknesses that IPS means, so this particular flaw is only a flaw if wide viewing angles aren’t important for you.

HDR Brightness and lack of local dimming

The most major defect combo of the X800G is its lack of local dimming coupled with the TVs weak display brightness when set to HDR content mode. An IPS 4K TV isn’t going to deliver the same strong contrast as your typical VA panel edition, that’s fine, but local dimming technology, which selectively shuts off LED backlights for deeper blacks, goes a long way to mitigating IPS light bleed. The X800G lacks this and that’s a major disappointment. Budget 4K TVs CAN have high quality local dimming; TCL and Vizio have both proven this with their 4K HDR TV editions during the last few years, so we’re not sure why Sony didn’t include it. To make the issue worse, the X800G also outputs notably low brightness when set to view HDR content. Coupled with its low black levels, this TV’s level of HDR luminosity makes contrast look even weaker.

A Review of the Sony X800G 4K HDR Wide View Angle IPS TV (XBR43X800G, XBR49X800G, XBR55X800G, XBR65X800G, XBR75X800G)

Gaming input issues

Sony’s 2019 4K HDR TVs generally deliver excellent input connectivity for gaming via consoles or PCs, and the X800G doesn’t do a bad job of supporting multiple HDR, color, resolution and frame rate settings when hooked up via HDMI to your favorite console. However, what we did notice about this TV is that its input lag could definitely be better across the board, especially for serious, response-conscious gamers. Many very affordable 4K HDR TVs from Samsung, Vizio, TCL and even LG offer gaming responsiveness that’s far better than the X800G. If you’re a casual gamer, this TV’s average response time of 30+ milliseconds will be fine, but if you want the best possible smoothness, affordably priced alternatives exist.

Weak Audio

Most 4K TVs come with what we’d at best call decent native audio performance, so we didn’t expect much from the X800G either. That said, this TV’s native sound system is pretty crappy. It’s fine for casually watching the news or whatnot but if you want robust sound for your movies and games, you’ll definitely need to hook up an external sound system of your own.

Also Read:
Our in-depth review of Sony’s X950G 4K UHD HDR LCD TV
Our in-depth review of Samsung’s Q7F QLED 4K HDR TV

Value for Price & Bottom Line

The Sony X800G TV isn’t the best or even the cheapest IPS 4K UHD TV on the market for 2019 edition TVs. However it is reasonably priced and performs better than some IPS TVs we’ve reviewed. Overall,, we recommend LG’s SM8600 or SM9000 editions on quality but if you’re a Sony fan, then this is a good economical Sony option.

A Review of the Sony X800G 4K HDR Wide View Angle IPS TV (XBR43X800G, XBR49X800G, XBR55X800G, XBR65X800G, XBR75X800G)

Check out Sony’s 4K HDR X800G 2019 4K HDR LCD TV with IPS Wide Viewing Angles on sale at Amazon

4.7 – 4 Reviews
ALSO READ:
Sony’s Stunningly good but reasonably priced A8G OLED 4K HDR TV
Our in-depth review of LG’s C9 4K UHD HDR OLED TV
Our in-depth review of LG’s stunningly good & surprisingly affordable B9 4K OLED HDR TV
Our in-depth review of LG’s Fantastic premium E9 OLED 4K HDR TV

Key Sony X800G Specs

• Screen sizes: 43 inch XBR43X800G, 49 inch XBR49X800G, 55 inch XBR55X800G, 65 inch XBR65X800G, 75 inch XBR75X800G (TV being reviewed is 55 inches)
• Smart TV: Android TV 2019 Edition
• HEVC (H.265) Included: Yes
• VP9 Included. Yes
• HD to UHD to 4K upscaling: Yes
• HDCP 2.2 Compliance: Yes
• HDR Support: Yes, HDR10, Hybrid Log Gamma
• Refresh Rate: 60Hz native refresh rate
• Screen Lighting: LCD Display with edge-lit backlighting, no local dimming
• Resolution: 3840 × 2160 pixels 4K UHD
• Wireless Connectivity: Yes, includes both built-in WiFi and Ethernet port
• Remotes: Sony smart Remote with voice control
• Connectivity: 4 HDMI ports (all of them 2.0a and with HDCP 2.2, 3 USB ports, 1 Ethernet port, 1 Digital Audio Out
• Contrast Ratio: 990:1 (native, real maximum contrast)
• Absolute Maximum Peak Brightness: 397 nits (cd/m2)
• 3D Technology: N/A

Display Performance Metrics

The following sections and subsections go into the detailed performance measurements for the most important specs and features that make the X800G 4K HDR TV from Sony really perform (or not). They are the specs that matter, the ones that actually count for how high the quality of your viewing, using and gaming experience will be on this 4K UHD TV under most conditions. Here we take aside all the fluff, marketing jargon and anything that doesn’t really matter to explain how well this TV delivers on the good things.

The following are based on metrics from one or two reviewed units but their accuracy is exact enough to reflect what they should be like for any normally functioning editions of the Sony X800G. Slight variations for some of the specs in the sections below might be the case with editions of different sizes.

A Review of the Sony X800G 4K HDR Wide View Angle IPS TV (XBR43X800G, XBR49X800G, XBR55X800G, XBR65X800G, XBR75X800G)

Black Level, uniformity, Local Dimming and Contrast:

As we have repeatedly mentioned above, the Sony X800G is an IPS 4K HDR TV. By virtue of their inherent design, in which pixels have much greater horizontal width, IPS (In-plane Switching) TVs bleed a lot of light through their darkened pixels. This of course means really weak contrast and crappy black levels that both become especially noticeable in a dark room. The benefit of IPS is that it also happens to let a TV offer very wide viewing angles, but only some users will care about this more than they do about their 4K TV having great contrast deep black tone capability

A Review of the Sony X800G 4K HDR Wide View Angle IPS TV (XBR43X800G, XBR49X800G, XBR55X800G, XBR65X800G, XBR75X800G)

Because of its IPS display panel, the X800G thus only manages a very modest maximum contrast ratio of 990:1 and its overall black uniformity and black level are both extremely weak. Both of these are unfortunate effects of this TVs IPS screen because both contrast and black level are crucial aspects of good HDR video. But if you want wide viewing angles on a budget, IPS is the way to go. What really does annoy us in all of this however is that the X800G also lacks local dimming. This technology -which selectively dims LEDs behind the screen for better dark levels- would have gone a long way towards making an IPS TV like the X800G deliver much better picture performance. TCL and Vizio have made local dimming a standard feature of their very affordable 4K HDR TVs, Sony apparently won’t for some reason.

A Review of the Sony X800G 4K HDR Wide View Angle IPS TV (XBR43X800G, XBR49X800G, XBR55X800G, XBR65X800G, XBR75X800G)

Also Read:
Our In-depth guide to todays absolute best streaming media devices and platforms
Our In-depth review of Samsung’s ultra-bright flagship 2019 Q90R 4K HDR TV
Also Read:
Our Comprehensive review of Samsung’s most affordable 2019 QLED TV, the Q60R

Brightness:

The brightness specs of the Sony X800G are decent enough and especially so when the TV is being used to view non-HDR content. The X800G does get brighter still on average when set to HDR video sources but the increase in brightness is small and thus we consider it’s high dynamic range luminosity to be pretty weak. This isn’t an IPS issue either; other IPS TVs on the market, such as some of LG’s LCD editions can indeed get exceptionally bright.

A Review of the Sony X800G 4K HDR Wide View Angle IPS TV (XBR43X800G, XBR49X800G, XBR55X800G, XBR65X800G, XBR75X800G)

Also Read: Our review of LG’s wonderfully affordable SM8600 IPS 4K UHD HDR TV

That said, for the vast majority of content, the X800G is a perfectly decent performer by budget UHD TV standards. Most users using it to casually watch their favorite movies or TV shows will be reasonably happy with this TV’s brightness. What does however make brightness look weaker than it is, especially in a dark room, is the X800G’s weak contrast ratio due to its IPS pixel layout. Much better peak brightness specs are available from similarly priced TCL 4K LCD TVs like the 2019 6-Series.

The measurements below bear out exactly what we mean about both HDR and SDR brightness in the Sony X800G.

Sony X800G SDR Brightness

  • Overall SDR peak brightness for normal content: 301 nits
  • Peak 2% display area display SDR brightness: 334 nits
  • Peak 10% display area SDR brightness: 333 nits
  • Peak 100% display area SDR brightness: 334 nits
  • Sustained 10% SDR brightness: 332 nits
  • Sustained 100% SDR brightness: 331 nits

A Review of the Sony X800G 4K HDR Wide View Angle IPS TV (XBR43X800G, XBR49X800G, XBR55X800G, XBR65X800G, XBR75X800G)

Sony X800G TV HDR Brightness

  • Overall HDR peak brightness for normal content: 342 nits
  • Peak 2% display area display HDR brightness: 392 nits
  • Peak 10% display area HDR brightness: 393 nits
  • Peak 100% display area HDR brightness: 393 nits
  • Sustained 10% HDR brightness: 391 nits
  • Sustained 100% HDR brightness: 391 nits

Color Delivery:

The Sony X800G delivers some of its strongest performance metrics when it comes to color quality. This is something we’ve come to expect from Sony’s 4K UHD TVs of all types and price ranges so it wasn’t a surprise even in this otherwise moderately good television.

For starters, this UHD TV supports full HDR color delivery specs in terms of both wide color gamut and 10-bit color. It also offers excellent color accuracy after a bit of calibration even though its out-of-the-box color metrics aren’t very good and definitely need to be tinkered with for optimal performance.

A Review of the Sony X800G 4K HDR Wide View Angle IPS TV (XBR43X800G, XBR49X800G, XBR55X800G, XBR65X800G, XBR75X800G)

 

One a final note, the X800G is bright enough for its color saturation to be quite vibrant and though it delivers less than stellar color accuracy during extremely bright content playback, it usually doesn’t even get bright enough for this to be a problem.

Below are its color accuracy and WCG settings:

A Review of the Sony X800G 4K HDR Wide View Angle IPS TV (XBR43X800G, XBR49X800G, XBR55X800G, XBR65X800G, XBR75X800G)

  • Pre-calibration White Balance delta-E: 3.41
  • Pre-calibration Color delta-E: 3.38
  • Pre-calibration Gamma: 2.22
  • Post-calibration White Balance delta-E: 0.71
  • Post-calibration Color delta-E: 1.4
  • Post-calibration Gamma: 2.12
  • Wide Color Gamut: 92.8%

Motion Handling & Upscaling:

The motion handling in the X800G TV is good but not exceptionally so. This 4K UHD TV delivers excellent motion blur control due to its very sharp pixel response time of 4.3 milliseconds but when it comes to motion interpolation of content with varying frame rates and motion handling for fast-paced gaming, the X800G falls flat. For one thing, this Sony model only delivers a native refresh rate of 60Hz, so gaming or content playback at 61+fps frame rates is out the window. Secondly, for playback of 24p movie and TV content, the X800G can only handle it judder-free from a limited range of sources. Content from apps, cable boxes or broadcast TV isn’t included among these.

A Review of the Sony X800G 4K HDR Wide View Angle IPS TV (XBR43X800G, XBR49X800G, XBR55X800G, XBR65X800G, XBR75X800G)

Input Performance for Gaming and PC:

The Sony X800G offers decent but not outstanding input performance for console or PC gaming. It supports multiple resolution, color format and frame rate settings at very good speeds but if you want ultra-fast gaming with really low input lag, the rival models of LG, Samsung, Vizio and especially TCL completely outshine what the X800G can handle.

A Review of the Sony X800G 4K HDR Wide View Angle IPS TV (XBR43X800G, XBR49X800G, XBR55X800G, XBR65X800G, XBR75X800G)

  • 4k @ 60Hz: 32.9 ms
  • 1080p @ 60Hz: 33 ms
  • 1080p @ 120Hz: N/A
  • 1080p @ 60Hz outside Game Mode: 58 ms
  • 4k @ 60Hz + HDR: 34.5 ms
  • 1440p @ 60Hz: 35.4 ms
  • 4k @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode : 67.2 ms
  • 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4: 13.5 ms
  • 4K @ 120Hz: N/A
  • 1440p @ 120Hz: N/A
  • 1080p with FreeSync: N/A
  • 4K with interpolation activated: 68.7 ms

PC Gaming Input Support

  • 1080p @ 120Hz: No
  • 1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4: Yes
  • 4k @ 60Hz + 4:4:4: Yes
  • 1440p @ 60Hz: Yes
  • 4k @ 120Hz : No
  • 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4: Yes
  • 1440p @ 120Hz: No

Connectivity

The Sony X800G 4K HDR IPS TV comes with all the essential connectivity ports you’d find in most of today’s 4K UHD TVs. These include 4 HDMI ports, 3 USB ports and connectivity for internet via WiFi or Ethernet. One negative aspects of its connectivity specs is that this TV doesn’t come with HDMI 2.1 (unlike some of Sony’s more advanced 4K TVs) but to balance things out a bit, the X800G does include one USB 3.0 fast charging port, which is something that most 4K UHD TVs lack.

A Review of the Sony X800G 4K HDR Wide View Angle IPS TV (XBR43X800G, XBR49X800G, XBR55X800G, XBR65X800G, XBR75X800G)

Also Read:
Our In-depth review of TCL’s new 6-Series 4K HDR TV, The Most Affordable Aaesome Premium TV of 2019
Our deep review of TCL’s insanely affordable 2019 4-Series 4K HDR TVs
Our comprehensive review of the stunningly good but affordable Vizio 2019 P-Series Quantum 4K HDR TV

 

The following are the Sony X800G’s ports and their specifications:

  • HDMI : 4 (HDCP 2.2 & full HDMI 2.0a capacity)
  • HDMI 2.1 : N/A
  • USB : 3 (USB 2.0 x 2, USB 3.0 X 1)
  • Digital Optical Audio Out : 1
  • Analog Audio Out 3.5 mm : 1
  • Tuner (Cable/Ant) : 1
  • Ethernet : 1
  • HDR10 support: Yes
  • HDR10+ support: No
  • Dolby Vision HDR support: No
  • Hybrid Log Gamma HDR support: Yes
  • Dolby Vision HDR: No

The Sony X800G TV models also offer audio connectivity in the following types.

  • 1 Passthrough ARC Dolby Digital
  • 1 Passthrough Optical Dolby Digital
  • 1 Passthrough ARC
  • 1 Passthrough DTS Via Optical

Pricing

Sony is selling the X800G 4K ultra HD HDR LCD Smart TV models in five different sizes. Thus, you have the choice of a really economical 43 inch edition without a couple features, a 49 inch version, a good-sized 55 or 65 inch model and a giant 75 inch version that would be especially ideal for home theater fans who want a deeply immersive experience and exceptionally wide viewing space.

These editions all sell for the following prices, found in the link below at the time of this writing. Bear in mind that these are subject to sometimes frequent downward change and it’s a good idea to click the following Amazon links for real-time pricing and all available discounts on this model.

A Review of the Sony X800G 4K HDR Wide View Angle IPS TV (XBR43X800G, XBR49X800G, XBR55X800G, XBR65X800G, XBR75X800G)

Check out Sony’s 4K HDR X800G 2019 4K HDR LCD TV with IPS Wide Viewing Angles on sale at Amazon

4.7 – 4 Reviews
Story by 4k.com
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