This UHD screen is quite the charmer. It’s well specified, with a strong connected proposition thanks to that integrated YouView roll-back EPG, and image quality is spectacular – in fact it performs better than the slimmer, more expensive X90C. All things considered, the Sony X85 is a bit of a 4K bargain.
Sony offers a veritable army of 4K TVs, from the curved S85C to the high-res audio enabled XD93. The 55-inch X8505C reviewed here is one of its most affordable models – and in some respects it actually betters some of its more expensive stablemates. Here’s our Sony KD-55X8505C review.
Sony KD-55X8505C review: Price
You can get a 4K TV for under £500 nowadays but the Sony, as you might expect, will set you back a fair amount more than those budget options. The KD-55X8505C is £1,249 and while this exact model is a little hard to find from retailers you can pick up the very similar KD-55X8509CBU for £1,079 from John Lewis and and £1,199 from Currys.
See also: Samsung UE48JU7000 review.
Sony KD-55X8505C review: Design and features
The screen is fashionable without being fancy, thanks to a thin bezel and understanded wire-frame pedestal. Speakers are hidden and down-firing. Connectivity incudes four HDMIs, all of which are HDCP 2.2 compliant. There are also three USBs, plus component AV, Scart, digital audio output and Ethernet. Integrated Wi-Fi is dual band. Twin DVB-S satellite tuners and two Freeview HD tuners support twin-screen viewing.
Two remote controls are supplied. A standard IR zapper, plus a Bluetooth touchpad. The set uses the Android TV Smart platform topped off with a YouView app. The Android implementation here is clunky and overly complex, but the YouView front end is slick and largely indistinguishable from a YouView set top box.
There’s a complete set of catch-up services from the four mainstream TV channels: BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, All4 and Demand5. Amazon Prime Instant Video, Netflix, YouTube and Dailymotion lead the Android OTT services, but there’s more in the Google Play TV apps include Plex, Musixmatch TV, Vevo, Mubi – a mix of pay and free – plus functional apps, such as Google Cast.
Sony KD-55X8505C review: Performance
Picture performance is outstanding. The screen is capable of extreme fine detail with 4K sources, and convincing black levels. At the heart of the set is the brand’s latest X1 picture processor – and it’s a hugely impressive piece of silicon. Be it HD or 4K, there’s depth and texture in the image, with excellent gradation. And while edge-lit, screen uniformity is pleasingly even. There’s no ugly light pooling in the corners.
This is one of Sony’s branded Triluminos Wide Colour Gamut panels – and it’s quite a dazzler. The Live Colour setting allows you to alter saturation. The Low setting is best for skin tones, while Medium adds a tad more saturation.
The X85C has an integrated HEVC decoder, meaning the Netflix client is 4K capable. The Amazon Prime service is 1080p only though. As we’ve come to expect from Sony, the quality of its HD upscaling is terrific. Blu-ray looks marvellous remapped to 2160p.
Motion handling, long a strength for Sony, making this a great set for sports. There’s a selection of modes, all quite effective. The set’s media player does a good job playing back multimedia files, be it from USB or a networked source. Our test collection MKV, MPEG, WMA, MP3 and WAV and FLAC files all played ball.
The set is Active Shutter 3D compatible, and it works well. There’ re two pairs of glasses supplied.
Given the lack space attributed to the set’s audio system, it actually sounds reasonable, if monophonic. You’ll want to add a soundbar, but later rather than sooner.
Sony KD-55X8505C: Specs
- 55inch LCD TV
- 3840 x 2160 pixels
- Android 5.0
- 2x Freeview HD tuner
- 2x Freesat tuner
- 2 x 10W audio system
- Inputs: 4 x HDMI 2.0 (HDCP 2.2), SCART/component (YPbPr), VGA, CI slot
- digital optical audio output, 3.5 mm headphone jack
- ethernet, Wi-Fi
- 3 x USB
- 1236 x 722 x 60 mm (whd, w/o stand)