Sony XBR65X850F Front

When it comes to the best mid-range screens in the market, the Sony XBR65X850F 65-Inch Smart LED TV definitely leads the pack.

It is a revamp of the Samsung X850 series, and it includes the options of 65 inches, 75 inch and 85 inches iteration.

In recent years after facing stiff competition from Korean and Chinese TV manufacturers, Sony has positioned itself as a more premium TV brand. The target market for this TV is quite simple: it is for those users who are loyal to the classic Sony quality and its excellent LCD picture, and yet cannot afford to buy the more expensive models like A1E OLED or X900F and other high-end A8F OLED models. It is also aimed at consumers who like easy integration with Google’s Android operating system, or are in the market for a premium brand which comes with over 100 years of trust and quality behind it.

Although this TV is able to deliver a high-resolution picture quality, thanks to its brilliant X1 video processor, does this TV have what it takes to be good enough for the average gamer?


Image Quality

Edge-lit LED backlit LCD’s do not give the best picture technology, even if it is in 4K resolution. While the Sony XBR65X850F may have a great operating system and great design, the image quality on this particular model leaves room for improvement.

The HDR playback of the Sony XBR65X850F 65-Inch Smart LED TV is a bit flawed. The problem is that the LCD panel – which is an IPS panel – is not able to deliver the impressive black levels or the right contrast.

The way the IPS panels work in this TV is that the dark scenes look a bit grey and almost washed out. This happens when the IPS panels are not lit from behind but from the edges and what makes it worse is that there is no local dimming option either.

The local dimming option could have helped to focus the light where it was needed in a picture, but local dimming is not available on edge-lit LCD models. Even though the standard content (non HDR) requires much less brightness, dark scenes even on a Blu-ray gives a dull and flat picture.

The only good thing is that there is a wider viewing angle, which is at least 10-15 degrees wider than an average VA panel in other TVs. The HD pictures are however nicely upscaled to the 4K screen resolution thanks to the X1 processor, in fact with similarly priced TV’s, the image is more crisp and clean. The X1 processor also manages to deliver natural motion reproduction effectively.

Smart TV / Design

There are some impressive Smart TV features in the Sony XBR65X850F 65-Inch Smart LED TV since it has Google’s Android TV platform.

The Android TV, however, puts quite a strain on its processing power – and sometimes makes it very slow. It is also not very easy to customize the home screen effectively as it is possible in many other Smart TV interfaces.

The software updates can also be a hassle since they are quite frequent and very large. The good part, however, is that it does support a lot of different apps, direct Chromecasting as well as Alexa, the voice recognition functionality provided by Amazon as well as Google Assistant.

When you are putting up the TV together for the first time, either putting it on its silver feet or hanging it on the wall, you cannot help but notice that it has quite a ‘plastic’ feel to it.

This is different from the regular and more expensive Sony models. Thankfully, this is not evident from the viewing distance. In fact, the narrow black screen bezel and having no visible cable around it gives the TV quite an elegant look.

The silver feet of the TV are however placed quite wide, which means you would need an equally wide piece of furniture to set this TV on. 

Gaming Performance

For most people, buying a TV for gaming means they plan on using for a lot of non-gaming usage as well. While gaming on a monitor can provide the fastest and most lag-free gaming experience, TV gaming is better for multiplayer games, and when wanting to just sit back on the couch and casually game.

Another noted feature of TV gaming is upscaling. When it comes to upscaling, you get what you pay for. The more expensive the TV is, generally the better will be the scalers – because they have faster more expensive scaler chips. The XBR65X850F comes with an overpowered chip, the X1, which effortlessly can upscale content to 4K for Sony.

As far as gaming performance is concerned on the XBR65X850F, it would make an excellent choice – but with one big exception. As noted in the Input Lag table from earlier, there is a glaring difference between the 60Hz and 120Hz refresh rates. While most pro gamers and PC gamers would prefer to game in 120Hz anyways, most consoles (with the exception of the Xbox One S and One X) do not support 120 frames per second.

This is unfortunate since many console gamers cannot get the lag-free gaming experience they could get with a monitor. While 30ms Input Lag is not really that bad for 60Hz (its only 1-2 frame lag per second, out of 60 total), there are other TV offerings which are twice as fast at 60Hz. The downside to opting for one of these TV’s is they do not support 120 FPS, like this Sony XBR65X850F does. So it is a tradeoff worth thinking about.

The Sony XBR65X850F is definitely more future proof since consoles appear to be moving to 120 FPS.

Do not forget to turn on game mode however, since gaming without the “game mode” setting on turns on many additional image processes, and the lag time goes up to somewhere in the 100ms range.

View / Ports

Sony XBR65X850F Rear

Ports on the Samsung XBR65X850F include: 4 HDMI Inputs (all of them 2.0a and HDCP 2.2), 3 USB ports, 1 Ethernet port, and 1 Digital Audio Out.

Conclusion

The Sony XBR65X850F 65-Inch Smart LED TV has a great design and is quite affordable for an HDR capable 4K TV.

Unfortunately, the screen quality is sub-par when compared with some of Sony’s other offerings. It is clear they aimed this TV at a more entry-level crowd looking for Sony reliability and a thin design.

This TV is not able to deliver vivid HDR content with its low contrast, most likely due to the set’s use of the edge-lit LED backlight.

It is, however, a nice cable free designs and has solid sound quality along with decent picture processing. For those looking for a 120Hz Gaming TV, this one has low input lag times as well, but lacks when throttling down to 60Hz.

We would recommend this TV for anyone looking for a thin TV to mount on the wall. It’s performance in well-lit rooms is also recommended due to its high brightness. Aside from those two bright spots, there are better TV’s to be had for the money. But if you are in the market for something that performs great at 120Hz (this is one of our fastest TV’s at that refresh rate), then this would be a good choice.

Specifications (Overview)

Panel Type, Refresh RateIPS TRILUMINOS Display , 120Hz (Native)
BacklightEdge Lit LED
Aspect Ratio16:9
Color Depth (Number of Colors)1.07B
HDR SupportYes, HDR 10, Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG)
Resolution
4K (3,840 x 2,160)
Adaptive Sync
Contrast Ratio< 1000:1
Display Surface Treatment Anti-glare
Brightness
> 500 nits (Peak Brightness)
Viewing Angle
Excellent
Speaker
Two-channel (Dual 10W) full-range audio.
Product Dimensions (HxWxD) 57 1/8 x 33 x 2 1/8 inch (1450 x 836 x 52 mm)
Product Dimensions w/ Stand (HxWxD) 57 1/8 x 35 1/2 x 12 1/2 inch (1450 x 900 x 315 mm)
Limited Warranty
Manufacturer’s Warranty – Parts: 1 year
Manufacturer’s Warranty – Labor: 1 year

Pros 👍 

  • Goof price for Sony TV.
  • Love the flexible Android TV OS.
  • Excellent low Input Lag @ 120Hz.

Cons 👎

  • Speakers could be better.
  • Higher Input Lag @ 60Hz.
  • Poor Contrast / Backlight Uniformity

Sony XBR65X850F – Final Ranking

Display Quality
Build Quality
Input Lag
Smart TV Quality
Overall Value

Summary

Sony is known for making products that last, however in this case they skimped on picture quality to compete at a lower price point. While this TV features an attractive design and great Android TV OS, it lacks in dark room performance, weak speakers, and 60Hz Input lag which make it a tough sell.

3.9