Cheapest Places to Buy :
Sony is a manufacturer that knows how to make good TV sets both in design as well as in specifications that offer top image and audio quality. Continuing this trend for the year 2018 Sony presented their top offering the X900F, or as it is called in Europe the XF90, the successor of 2017’s very successful X900E.
What we get this year is an LCD TV equipped with a Direct LED panel with Local Dimming as well as the company’s most powerful video processing engine until now, the X1 Extreme processor. This combination gives us amazing results with spectacular image quality and HDR that is a clear improvement over last year’s models. So without any further delay let’s see how this model fairs in our Sony X900F review.
The model in this review is the 65″ variant of the Sony X900F 4K UHD LCD TV. The frame around the TV may not be the most thin there is but in general is fairly thin for today’s standards and sports a brushed metal finish giving it a bit of style. The TV has average thickness making it easy to hang on the wall without making it look bad but we have seen a few thinner models that look better. The back of the TV is pretty basic and is all covered by a black plastic and is compatible with 300mm X 300mm VESA mounts for wall hanging.
The connection ports are separated in two groups, one on the right side as we look the TV from the back with the ports looking sideways and a second group in the lower right corner with the ports looking downwards. As with most TV sets that follow the same design for the connections, the ones looking downwards will be very hard to use in case you want to wall mount the TV and you will have to rely mostly on the ports looking sideways severely limited the connection options you have. For everyone else that prefer to place it on some furniture will have no such problem.
One thing that looks a bit odd in my opinion is the stand design that Sony chose for this year. The TV uses two L-shaped legs attached to each side while both of them look at an angle. Using angled stand means that the furniture you will have to place it on should be fairly large compared to other TV sets that can make do with smaller areas due to better and smaller stand designs.
The legs of the X900F although offer good stability to the large TV they don’t look so good as the rest of the set with their oversized, goofy look. Sony offers some short of cable management on the stand with a plastic cover that can hold all cables grouped together hidden behind the stand.
The most important part of a TV is it’s image quality and here Sony has shown how good they are in creating a TV that delivers superb image quality. Sony X900F packs some high end technologies that when combined give us this amazing result. For 2018 Sony decided to use the X1 Extreme processor that is about 40% more powerful than last years X900E X1 processor.
As a result all SD and HD material upscaled to 4K resolution look better than ever with more detail and clarity without introducing excessive noise. Another feature that greatly benefits from the updated processor is the SDR to HDR conversion and although this is something other manufacturers also offer Sony’s variant of the system seems to produce more rich and consistent colors that are pleasing to the eye.
Another impressive feature is the brightness that this model can produce. In our tests the HDR brightness over a 10% white window was measured close to 1200 nits, a number impressive by itself giving us a clear idea of how bright the X900F can go and a clear improvement over last year’s X900E. Big part in these results has to do with the X900F having a Direct LED panel with local dimmable zones. Going with direct-lit instead of edge-lit lighting helps in minimizing any unwanted back-light inconsistencies improving the end result dramatically.
But with so much brightness there is bound to be some back-light clouding especially in scenes where there are intense highlights against a completely dark scene. Around the highlights you can see light halos that although not very obvious in most scenes it can be a little frustrating in some cases. Also as with all LCD screens viewing angles are not very good with anything more than 25 degrees from the center will decrease image quality and color reproduction dramatically.
The X900F supports all known HDR protocols with HDR10 and HLG right out of the box and from June of 2018 support for Dolby Vision through a firmware update bringing this model up to date with other TV models in the same category.
Also very good in this TV is it’s excellent color reproduction with the X900F having Wide Color Gamut covering more than 90% of the DCI-P3 color space creating more vivid and accurate colors that pop out of the screen and bring this model on the same level as other top performing TVs like the Samsung Q7F or the LG C7.
Another part that Sony excels the last few years with their TV sets is motion performance and it could not be any different this year. Using Sony’s MotionFlow processing and a 120Hz panel the TV achieves reduced judder and blur during playback. A known technique to achieve natural motion reproduction is by inserting black frames between individual image frames during playback and while this technique improves motion performance and quality it has the side-effect of dramatically lowering the perceived brightness of the display.
Sony took this one step further with their X-Motion Clarity processing and instead of inserting a black frames between images it darkens the back-light and by tracking the bright parts of the image it keeps them at a sustained back-light level making the screen noticeably brighter. This way Sony achieves to have excellent motion performance without the loss of brightness.
The X900F is also ideal for gaming with a very low input lag measured at around 24ms. It may not be the lowest input lag we have seen but it is very good and is enough to provide you with pleasant gaming sessions
As mentioned above in our review the Sony X900F has two groups of connections. One group is looking towards the side of the TV and will be the main ports you will be using if you prefer to wall mount it. In this group we get one HDMI port, two USB 2.0 ports for connecting external storage, an IR blaster port, an analogue audio out port, a composite video in port and a remote IR in port.
The second group of ports is located below the other group in the lower right corner as we look the back of the TV. Here we have a Cable/Antenna port, an Ethernet port if you prefer a wired connection to the internet, an optical digital audio out port, an RS-232C port as well as three additional HDMI ports with one of them supporting ARC and another USB port with this one being version 3.0.
In general we get enough ports for a TV in this price range although Sony’s decision to make one of the group’s ports look downwards can make these ports a bit difficult to use. I assume Sony did this because if they were facing outwards then these would become completely useless in case you wall mount the TV and by doing this you will still be able to use them even if it will be hard to frequently use some ports like the USB. It’s a give and take situation either way so it came down to what they thought would be more practical.
OS, Apps and Features
For one more year Sony has decided to use the Android OS for their TV sets. From past experience this can be both good and bad. One of Android’s biggest advantages is the huge amount of apps and services it supports through the Google Play store something competing platforms find hard to match. There is also built-in Chromecast functionality giving you the ability to run Chromecast-enabled apps on the TV as well as support for Google Assistance which helps you find content and information with voice commands. Being compatible with Google Home and Amazon Alexa makes it easy to use and control all connected devices you may have.
On the other hand Android is still a clunky and frustrating platform to use, using rows of apps and services that look cluttered and spread out with rows after rows of content leaving the user in frustration looking for a specific app and with little ability to customize them. Also a lot of times Android gives you false recommendations of personalized content that make no sense.
The menu navigation is also rather sluggish and some times there is a delay between pressing a button on the remote and the TV executing the command. Some times the home page would take forever until fully loaded which is very frustrating to see in a TV in 2018. Sony should definitely focus more on making the OS of their TVs better. If they want to stick with Android at least they should try to allocate more processing power in order to create a more smooth experience and menu navigation.
Sluggish navigation may be frustrating but it is still tolerable and what saves it is the huge list of services on offer like Netflix, Vudu, Sony Ultra App that is exclusive to Sony TVs, Google Play Movies and TV, Youtube TV, Hulu, Playstation Vue, DirecTV Now, Facebook video, MLB AtBat, PlutoTV, Twich and Sling TV among many others.
The remote Sony offers with this model is nothing to brag about and is definitely a step behind what Samsung and LG are offering with their TV models the last few years. It’s very interesting to see the different way of thinking between Samsung that prefers to manufacture remotes with as few buttons as possible and prefer to use the user interface and menu screen for navigation and Sony that prefers to offer a rectangular shaped remote with as many buttons as possible, almost 50 buttons in total, that definitely looks cluttered and frustrating to handle.
New for this year is the button on the top of the remote with the Google Assistant icon that lets you control the TV using voice commands. The end result is a mixed bag as with most voice command systems and I don’t blame Sony’s specific offering as in general whenever I used the same system from all manufacturers it would give me mixed results. For simple commands it seems to work well but a lot of times it mixes what you want to tell it giving you wrong results. It is a nice gimmick and until manufacturers improve it to the point that can execute more complex commands it will stay that way.
Last but not least we check the sound of the X900F and as you would expect the end result is average at best and this is normal as with most flat panel TVs. Equipped with a pair of 10 watt speakers you can go pretty loud with this set without any audible distortion but what is immediately obvious is that it is missing any kind of subwoofer making bass take a hit and sound far less dynamic than it really is. Sony is offering some sound technologies like bass reflex and S-Force Front Surround but these can do little to improve the overall result. Having a dedicated sound system would be the best way to go or if that is not possible then at least a sound bar can improve the sound quality dramatically.
The Sony X900F is a nicely made mid priced TV. Sony took everything that was good from last year’s X900E and improved upon them with more brightness, more local dimming zones and better display performance resulting in delivering amazing image quality.
But as with any device it does come with a few drawbacks most notably being the Android OS that once again cannot reach the top quality of Samsung’s Tizen or LG’s WebOS systems. Also a few questionable decisions by Sony like the uncomfortable ports placement, the funny and awkward looking stand as well as the remote control keeps the X900F from scoring top marks.
But even with these flaws The Sony XBR-65X900F is a great 4K TV with enough features to ensure it will be future proof and image quality that will make most people more than happy. The price is good, so are the specs. And this is a combination you cannot go wrong with.
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Cheapest Places to Buy :
- Screen sizes: 49″ XBR-49X900F, 55″ XBR-55X900F, 65″ XBR-65X900F, 75″ XBR-75X900F, 85″ XBR-85X900F (USA)
- Screen sizes: 49″ KD-49XF9005, 55″ KD-55XF9005, 65″ KD-65XF9005, 75″ KD-75XF9005 (Europe)
- Panel : 65″ LCD Direct LED panel with Local Dimming
- Resolution : 3840 x 2160
- HDR supported : HDR10, HLG
- Video : 4K HDR Processor X1™ Extreme, 4K X-Reality™ PRO Dual database processing, Live Color™ Technology, Precision Color Mapping, Super bit mapping™ 4K HDR, TRILUMINOS™ Display, Dynamic Contrast Enhancer, Object-based HDR remaster, X-tended Dynamic Range™ PRO, X-Motion Clarity
- Audio : 10 W+10 W Bass Reflex Speaker
- Video Codecs support : MPEG1 : MPEG1 / MPEG2PS : MPEG2 / MPEG2TS (HDV, AVCHD) : MPEG2, AVC /MP4 (XAVC S) : AVC, MPEG4, HEVC / AVI : Xvid, MotionJpeg / ASF (WMV) : VC1 / MOV : AVC, MPEG4, MotionJpeg / MKV : Xvid, AVC, MPEG4, VP8.HEVC / WEBM : VP8 / 3GPP : MPEG4, AVC / MP3 /ASF (WMA) / WAV / MP4AAC / FLAC / JPEG
- USB drive format support : FAT16/FAT32/exFAT/NTFS
- Audio Codecs support : Dolby™ Digital, Dolby™ Digital Plus, Dolby™ Pulse, DTS Digital Surround
- Ports : HDMI (HDCP 2.2) X 4, USB X 3, Ethernet X 1, Composite Video In X 1, RS-232C X 1, Digital Audio output X 1, Headphone X 1, RF In
- Network : Wi-Fi Certified 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth version 4.1; HID (mouse/keyboard connectivity)/HOGP (low-energy device connectivity)/SPP(Serial Port Profile)/A2DP (stereo audio)/AVRCP (AV remote control)
- Smartphone connectivity : Chromecast built-in, Screen mirroring(Miracast™), Video & TV SideView (iOS/Android)
- Operating system : Android
- On-board storage : 16GB
- Tuner : Digital TV Reception (Terrestrial,Cable)
- Dimensions of TV (W x H x D) : 57 x 32 3/4 x 2 3/4 in (1447 x 829 x 69 mm) w/o stand, 57 x 35 3/8 x 11 3/4 in (1447 x 898 x 297 mm) with stand (65″ Reviewed)
- Weight of TV : 54 lb (24.5 kg) w/o stand, 56.2 lb (25.5 kg) with stand (65″ Reviewed)
30 thoughts on “Sony X900F Review (XBR65X900F – 2018 4K UHD LCD TV)”
Now that is a beautiful TV!! You have pretty much answered all of my queries surround the Sony X900 television and now I can chew over a bit more on buying it or not. My only concern is they look a bit wobbly. If the table they were standing on gets a shove I can see it falling over big time! Is there a way to stabilize to prevent this from happening.
In my home town, a man bought something similar for 5K. Minutes after turning it on, the toddle threw the remote THROUGH the New TV Screen! LOL!! He had to go out and buy another – and THAT is another reason that I am a little hesitant on these TV’s – they tend to break very easy.
But, bit of commonsense should keep maintained and there is no beating the quality either. Real cinema experience viewing these Sony TV’s and the Sound is out of this world.
Thank you very much Stratos for all the information here and now I will ponder on it – probably see you soon.
No matter what TV you choose when you have small children in the house you have to be extra careful as all of them are sensitive equipment with no exceptions! The X900F is really an amazing TV and if you decide to buy it, rest assured that it will service you for many years to come. The stand may look a bit goofy but it is stable enough, as most of these stands are, to hold such a large TV in it’s place.
If you ever need any help don’t hesitate to send me an email or write in the comments here.
I am a lover of technology and when I see something so beautiful I am truly blown away! Sony is a quality company and one that I would trust.
It’s a great review and it’s helped me with my search.
I’m glad that my review helped you Derek. Check back soon for more reviews!!!
Lovely looking TV, apart from, as you mention the stand, urrgh. And that remote, I have 2 Sony TV’s at home and their remotes are not up to much, although having Sony TV’s for many years, I’m very comfortable with them nowadays, but they could be so much more and again as you say, not so cluttered. Best thing about the Sony TV’s though, you know you get a decent picture.
What you just said. The X900F may have it’s flaws but at the end of the day you buy such a TV for it’s image quality mostly and in this regard this specific models excels.
This Sony model and the Samsung q70r seem to be about equal in terms of them both being the cheapest FALD tvs in the manufactures range…
How do they compare with each other ? In the UK the 65 inch q70r is about £100 pounds more than the Sony at the moment with the offers ,
Which would you choose and why ?
Ok let’s compare the two so you can have a better idea of the strengths each one has.
When it comes to colors both of them are almost similar. In brightness the X900F is much better and this is one area that the X900F has a clear advantage. Comparing HDR the X900F supports Dolby Vision while the Q70R as with all Samsung TVs is not and goes for HDR10+ instead. Input Lag is better in the Q70R as we had measured 15.7ms while the X900F hovers around the 24ms which we still consider exceptionally good. Lastly the Q70R uses the latest Tizen smart TV platform while the X900F uses an older version of Android. We consider the Q70R better in this regard.
Closing comparing the two we would say that for image quality the X900F is better while for it’s smart TV functionality the Q70R has the edge. For gaming both of them are extremely good even if the Q70R has a slight edge.
Take your pick Kenneth. I hope my comparison was clear enough.
Thank you for the reply , yes your time in explaining was clear enough and very much appreciated …
I guess image quality has to be top of the list , there are ways to work around
poor smart features with all the streaming sticks available today , and 24ms in gaming is very good anyway…also as you said , brightness and hdr with dolby vision are all winners..
The Q70 is basically a better smart system and lower gaming lag .. so looks like I can go for the Sony after many hours of reading and comparing…
Also I’d like to say that this site is probably the best one I have found , the reviews are excellent and you take the time to answer people’s question and offer them advice when needed….buying a TV should not be so confusing but with all the different models out there it does become a bit of an headache and it’s great to have some help….have a great day..
I am glad I was able to help you make up your mind Kenneth and thank you for your kind words. Our number one goal as a review website is to help people decide what is best for them by providing detailed but at the same time easy to read and understand articles. And of course we don’t want to be a website that is disconnected from it’s readers so we will always answer to all your questions and troubles and try to help to the best of our ability. There is nothing more rewarding than to see a reader of ours be happy with the help we were able to offer. If you need any further assistance don’t hesitate to write us in the comments again. Wish you all the best…
Sorry to trouble you again for more info , I was sold on the x900f , but I have deals local to me where I can now get the LG b9 oled in 65 inches where it works out about £50 pounds more than the Sony , viewing habits are movies in a darkish room and general TV use , I game sometimes but not that much…is it worth me considering the b9 ? Thanks again
There is no problem Kenneth. I understand that when you are looking into buying a new TV you want to get the best deal possible.
Now as for the LG B9, if you can find it for only 50 pounds more then go for it, no questions asked. Basically the only part that the X900F is better is the brightness but since the B9 is an OLED there is not such excessive need for brightness and the fact that you will mostly watch in low light it makes things even better. In all other aspects the LG B9 is better than the X900F. It has far better color coverage, better light control and deep blacks, better viewing angles, lower input lag and the 2019 webOS is much better than the Android version in the X900F. Yes you will have to handle the B9 with a bit more care to avoid any possibility of burn-in but the B9 is a definitely superior model to the X900F.
I hope I helped!
Yes at such a small price difference the b9 does seem the way to go , one more thing if I may ,
The burn in problem , I know that nearly every channel has a their logo or name on it now , so is it a problem if I was to be watching the same channel for say 4 hours a night ? I don’t mean the same channel every night but I have maybe 3 or 4 favourite channels I watch and the TV can be on one of those channels for a few hours at a time , is this a problem for burn in ?
Thanks have a great day
Logically it shouldn’t be. The B9 has a feature called Pixel Refresher that runs automatically when off everytime a TV works for more than 4 hours. Also there are a couple of other features that you can enable to help minimize the risk. But in general if are planning to watch for long hours make sure to take a few breaks every few hours.
These are general rules and noone can guarantee that you will or you will not have a burn-in. You may watch for hours upon hours and never experience any permament burn-in while I have also seen cases where people take really good care of their OLEDs and still experience burn-in. As I see it it’s the OLED technology that is a bit more sensitive to this whole burn-in problem but if you take these necessary steps you definitely minimize the chance to experience any.
Very Nice article,
I need to buy a new t.v and I mark 2 models:
The Sony kd-65xf9005 vs the LG Sm9000.
I can’t really diced between the two.
The price level is eqviell.
The viewing angle is side (I can slightly fix this with giving an angle to the t.v it self).
the t.v probably sit on her stend because the last one crash from the wall – the device was the kind you can adjust angle, so we play wite him a lot what cussed 2 screws to sit on air and the all t.v sit on only 2 screws that remains until evnchly thay broken. This is why Im afraid to use the wall device again.
Please help me to choose between the two!!
Sony – better picture quality vs LG wide angle view (and more like: sound, smarter outputs…).
Hey David. The X900F has more backlight zones (60 vs 48 of the LG), far better contrast, better SDR brightness and better motion performance while the SM9000 has better viewing angles, lower input lag and HDMI 2.1 support.
Both have similar HDR brightness and color coverage while for their smart functionality it depends what you prefer the most but we consider webOS and Android TV 8 almost equals.
If you would ask me personally I would go for the Sony X900F as image quality is the most important factor in my opinion and what I would look at first.
I hoped I helped you a bit.
I love your reviews because, for me, you present a good balance of techno talk with language that nearly everyone can understand. This is a great gift as some review websites present so many graphs and test results that it is easy to get confused. Tests are important but so is the subjective experience of people. You blend both perspectives together and are not shy to give your opinion. Please keep doing what you do so well.
It is interesting how some review websites appear, whether intentionally or unintentionally, to favour a particular manufacturer. For example Which appear to prefer LG over Sony – I have just looked at 4K 55″ models and all the “Best Buys” are LG. Having read your reviews of the Sony KD-55XF9005 (a 2018 model) and the LG SM558600PLA (2029 model) there is no doubt that the Sony is the better option; particulary when it comes to picture quality.
I am hoovering between buying either of these as my budget will not stretch to an OLED. I equate my dilemma to recruiting a new person at work. So often it comes down to choosing between two people and I have often said “If only I could have all of that person’s skills and experience with the other person’s attitude, personality and motivation.” There is never a perfect choice in life! So I would love the stand, smart OS and remote of the LG with the superior picture quality of Sony but that isn’t going to happen. In the end I look at the TV, not the remote and Android 8 is an improvement.
Enough to say I’ll always come to your reviews first when considering a purchase as they most definitely scratch where I itch!
All the best to you are yours.
Hey John. If you are thinking between the SM8600 and the X900F then I can assure you that the Sony is far better when it comes to it’s image quality.
As for the rest that you wrote, what can I say. I am pleased that our readers enjoy our articles. When we began Home Media Entertainment we had two goals. First of all not to show any brand favoritism whatsoever and be completely honest with our views. And secondly to strike the perfect balance between simple writing and technical terms so our reviews can be easy to read by both casual readers but also more hardcore home theater fans. From your writing it seems that we managed to achieve that and helps us keep pushing forward now and in the future.
Have a nice day!
We are getting near to deciding on the TV. We have a Humax FOXSAT-HDR that has 2 satelitte inputs. Am I correct to assume that this will work with the X900F?
This is currently connected to a Sony Bravia KDL-40EX43B (with a Bluray player that packed up a while ago) via HDMI and works fine.
If the Foxsat has a HDMI output there is no reason for it not to work with the X900F John.
We took the plunge and bought a Sony 55XG9505! The store reduced the resolution feed so we could compare picture quality on the XG9505 with the LGB9 and the 55XF9005. Yes, we paid more for, basically, the “Ultimete” processor and a MUCH better remote. The picture quality was significantly better on the XG9505 and different resolutions which swung it for us. THANK YOU for ALL your advice. We are VERY pleased with our purchase!!
The sales person in the store was impressed by the amount of research I had done and he had to be right on the ball to answer my questions that I could easily frame based on your advice.
I have taken delivery today of the Panasonic 820 4K DVD player and the Wharfdale Vista 200S arrives tomorrow. Lots of places were out of stock of these two items so I was pleased to eventually find two suppliers who had them.
There is a tiny niggle with the our Sony TV and Freesat. The YouView system at install demands a digital ariel and as we use a satellite dish and a Humax box we can’t get YouView. This is not the end of the world – the Humax box works just fine but with the array of apps in Android 8 (blistering fast) it would have been nice to have had the facility to access ITV hub (only available via Freeview). It seems Sony and Freeview could not agree terms about this going by the chatter on forums!
You maybe aware of the announcement made by Freesat in September 2018 about the partnership between Freesat and ARRIS to produce a “G3” set top box. This has STILL not appeared – the latest Humax boxes (receivers and recorders) were produced a few years ago but are still available to purchase. Have you or anyone else heard anything on the grapevine about the new ARRIS box? These may have increased functionality – who knows?
Hope you enjoy whatever you are doing over the next two weeks and all the best to you for the excellent service you provide to us.
I’ll let you know how the Wharfdale sounds with the Panasonic 820 on our XG9505!
I am always happy when I hear our reader enjoy their purchases and that we could actually help you with your buys. I trully wish you to enjoy all your new equipment. You got some nice pieces there. As for the ARRIS box, no unfortunately I haven’t heard anything about it to be honest. Let me know how it goes when the rest of the equipment arrives and if you had any problems connecting them.
Apologies, I meant Stratos, of course!
No worries John! Mistypings happen all the time!
Here are some links about the Freesat/Arris/Dotscreen development:
There has been much discussion that Freesat is “dying” but more than two million people use it so “rumours of its demise maybe greatly exagerrated!”
For sure any owner of a smart TV who has an ariel and/or a satellite now has many choices about how they watch TV. Streamed TV is, of course, dependent on a good broadband connection – something that can be rather patchy in the UK.
It will be interesting to see what Freesat/Arris/Dotscreen collaboration comes up with.
Thanks for the links John. It sure will be interesting to see how all this develops.
A PS to the Freesat discussion –
EmsPops Posts: 3,631
12/08/19 – 14:05 #56
Night Watchman wrote: »
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Well just last week Commscope sacked Arris’s COO Bruce McClelland after CommScope had posted a Q2 12% decline in like-for-like net sales. partly blamed on a shift of production out of China to avoid Donald Trump’s trade tariffs. Arris has already moved the production of some products to the Philippines, Vietnam and Indonesia. Commscope aquired Arris in November 2018 just 2 months after Arris and Freesat announced their joint venture for a G3 box at IBC in Amsterdam. Both Freesat and Arris were exhibitors there. This year neither company is listed amoungst the exhibitors at IBC 2019 although Commscope is. So as to the progress of the new G3 box (or whether the agreement even still stands) it is anyone’s guess.
Well, it’s usual to take a considerable amount of time to come out anything out of these acquisitions. Until everything is set in stone and things get rolling it can takes months and months especially of some product or service is not in its finals stages before release. So I guess it’s a wait and see situation for all of us.
Hi stratos. Great review. I was wondering which picture settings are best for this tv. Thanks
Hey Dave. It’s been a while since we had looked into this model so I will redirect you to rtings.com that have a very thorough settings guide for this TV. The settings they suggest are pretty spot on so you should be ok with most of them. Keep in mind that not all panels are the same so the end result may not be the same also but you should at least get a very close to what they got result. You can find their settings HERE.