Good panel performance, but is it worth asking the price?

March 31, 2022 0 Comments

Sony’s 2020 flagship TV may be powered by HDMI 2.1 and more bells and whistles with the XR processor. But there are other options for you to consider in the brand’s 2021 lineup. From the 43-inch to the 75-inch we have the Sony X80J. It comes with Sony’s 4K HDR X1 Picture Processor (not the X1 Extreme Powering 2020 flagship), Sony’s Triluminos Pro display and also rock the brand new Google TV UI. Is it a worthy consideration for the asking price?

Sony X80J Glasses at a glance

Panel size: 65-inch (also available in 43, 50, 55 and 75-inch)
Panel type: IPS LED
Panel resolution: 3840 x 2160 – 4K
Panel refresh rate: 60Hz
HDR 10 support: Yes
Dolby Vision Support: Yes
Weight (including stand): Approx. 21.6 kg
HDMI port: 4
USB port: 2
Bluetooth: Yes
Wi-Fi: Yes
Ethernet: Yes
Speakers: 20W (Base Reflex Speaker, X-Balanced Speaker)
Built-in storage: 16GB
Price: MRP: 1,79,990. Best Price: Rs. 1,34,990

Sony X80J Display and image quality

Let’s close things down with the TV panel performance. It has an IPS panel which means you will get wide viewing angles at the price of deep black (more on that later). Viewing angles are good if you don’t go to extremes. The TV can hit a brightness of a little over 400 nits but it revolves around the 350 nits mark for sustainable use. It has a 4K resolution with HDR 10 and Dolby Vision support. The panel for the Triluminos Pro display can make some really good colors, but unlike the XR processor Sony X90J (review) we’ve reviewed before and more importantly, the Mi QLED TV 75 (review), which for the same price, gives you QLED with local dimming. Gives the size of a large screen with backlighting?

Sony X80J peak brightness vs. window

Sony X80J 4K and HDR performance

By firing our Calaman we can see that without calibration, the TV’s average delta error is 6.4 which is less than what we have seen on some other TVs but more than what we have seen on Sony X90J. Even with the 2-point grayscale, the error was out of the box. However, color analysis shows an average delta error of 1.8 which is good. So, although the performance may not be as good as the X90J’s outer box for color accuracy, the panel’s performance is quite good for everyday material use.

Sony X80J Grayscale performance

Sony X80J Colorchecker HDR

When we play some of our standard HDR content on this TV, it pops up. On our Planet on Netflix, you can see the stars quite clearly in the night sky and there were no dull or dark moments for HDR content. Even a movie like Ready Player One had a visual treat with its bright highlights racing at the 11 minute mark.

Even in the opening episode of the Grand Tour several cars in the desert look rich without the green color problem which we have mentioned on many more TVs.

Sony X80J supports Dolby Vision and Dolby Atoms

While the HDR effect isn’t as pronounced as what we’ve seen on the X90J, it’s much better if it doesn’t match some of the TVs we’ve tested. We’d love to have a Mi QLED TV next to it, but alas, it’s no longer in our lab. Overall, the TV’s HDR output is good, which gives you a immersive experience. For HDR 10 content, you have a set of image presets like SDR, Vivid, Standard, Cinema and many more. To get the best experience we recommend movie presets but you can also switch to standard. For Dolby Vision content you have Dolby Vision Bright and Dolby Vision Dark and we recommend keeping it bright if you use materials in a room with some biased lighting.

Speaking of biased lighting, yes, since the TV does not have a dimming zone, you will get a slight gray effect in the dark sequence and this can be quite pronounced in a pitch-dark room. However, even slightly biased lighting in the room can help eliminate this.

Sony X80J FHD performance

The SDR performance of this TV is very good. We’ve seen some of our standard content from Spider-Man: Homecoming to Young Sheldon and even Mission: Impossible and it’s a fun experience. Here, I would say that there is an edge over standard preset movies for content like TV shows. In Young Sheldon, while the movie preset gave a more accurate color, the standard preset had more visual punches for this type of content. For movies, however, movie presets have worked well. Although we usually tend to stay away from vivid presets, on this TV, vivid presets have the ability to pop color without people seeming to have jaundice and that’s great. For those of you who like Vivid’s sting, this TV might be for you.

Sony X80J SDR settings.

Even in Spider-Man Homecoming, we found Spidey’s suit to look like the right shade of blue and red in both standard and movie presets, and the skin tones look right. The preset changes color to warm up the color in the movie and makes the colors feel more natural.

Sony X80J Gaming performance

We’ve played some of our standard games on this TV, including God of War, Spider-Man Miles Morales (Review), Dart 5 (Review) and some Last of Us Part 2 (Review). The TV has an HDMI 2.0 port with YUV422 support for HDR content only and has a refresh rate similar to the 60Hz Mi QLED TV 75 that we reviewed earlier. All the games we played on this TV looked really good. From the soft snow of the city of Spider-Man where HDR pops up while you are rocking the sun or even running on the track in Dart 5 and the blind sun is coming towards you. Even in the God of War, the colors really pop on this TV. It was a fun gaming experience.

The Sony X80J YUV422 can play games in HDR at 60Hz at 4K.

Again, it was in a completely dark room that the “gray” among the blacks was visible because there was no blur, but adding a bit of biased light to the room was a quick solution to this. Needless to say, for RGB HDR you need to upgrade from Gaming to X90J for HDMI 2.1. But those who want a bigger size for the price will be happy with the performance of this TV.

Sony X80J Audio performance

X80J can get quite loud to offer room filling sound. Even at 40-45%, the audio was loud and clear in a large living room. Although there is a lack of space in the speakers and some background score misses punch in the movies, the overall sound quality is good. The dialogues during the movie are clear, and the mixed audio so that there are conversations, explosions in the background and a background score can be distinguished. Even in the game Bang and Thaddeus hit the right note. Although a soundbar will definitely enhance the experience, you can enjoy the audio output from this TV for daily TV watching, some movies and gaming.

Sony X80J has 20W sound output.

Sony X80J UI

In the absence of a far-field mic, the UI is similar to what we saw in the X90J. You have the same Google TV UI with the same fluidity and the same settings when changing image presets while using content. The “for you” section that we saw online in Google TV videos and photos is not here The Apps tab has no place to quickly see if you need an app update to search for apps when replacing the Play Store. Like the X90J, on the X80J I had to use Google Assistant to navigate to the section where I could check for app updates.

Sony X80J runs on Google TV UI.

Again HDMI ports 3 and 4 support advanced formats to enable 4K HDR gaming and I suggest you turn this on as soon as you set up this TV. You can do this by going to Settings – Channel and Input – External Input – HDMI signal format. Select the advanced format for HDMI input here.

Supports Sony X80J eARC.

Sony X80J Remote control

The remote control is similar to what we found in the X90J’s slim candy bar form factor and texture back. You have OTT hotkeys for Netflix, Prime Video and YouTube with playback controls. Overall, the remote is well built, functional and works well.

Sony X80J remote control.

Sony X80J Construction and design

The build of the X80J is very similar to what we saw in the X90J. It has 2 tabletop feet that slot in place and the legs are very thin. The 65-inch TV fits on my table where most other 65-inch TVs don’t, so this is a very good thing. The TV shakes a bit while probing, but then again, once set up, how often do you tap on the TV? The foot comes with external clips that you can only use for handling. The back has a simple design.

The Sony X80J has 2 thin feet.

Port placement is quite standard. They are all facing out to the right of the TV. We have two USB ports, optical audio out, headphone port, AV port, four HDMI ports, Ethernet port and a good old antenna.

Sony X80J has 4 HDMI ports and 2 USB ports.

Sony X80J The last row

Should You Buy Sony X80J? Well, it all depends on what you are looking for. The panel has very good performance for using content in movies and TV shows like HDR and SDR and it is also good for gaming. Using real work, the TV performs very well, providing good color reproduction and an immersive experience. It does not have the local dullness that affects its effectiveness in a dark room, but a little biased lighting helps. Audio output is also good. When we test the 65-inch variant of this TV, be aware that it is available in screen sizes ranging from 43-inch to 75-inch. At the time of writing this review, the 65-inch variant is priced at Rs 1,34,990. This is similar to the price of the Sony 55-inch X90J which has better image performance, local dimming and Sony’s new XR processor. So, with X90J you get new technology and better performance at the cost of screen size. At the other end of the spectrum, we have the Mi QLED TV 75 which gives you local dimming with QLED backlighting and a larger screen size at the same price as the 65X80J. Although the X80J has better colors than the Mi QLED TV, the Mi TV has the power to use local dimming darkroom content.

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