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Sony recently announced its new 4K HDR television range in the Indian market. The X9000F series, which starts at a price-point of Rs. 2,39,900, comprises of three different screen variants and promise to deliver outstanding clarity, contrast, and colour while streaming 4K HDR content. The new X9000F TV series by Sony is backed by X1 Extreme processor and run on the Android TV version 7.0.
There are basically Android TVs with Sony's exclusive user interface that gets a variety of display technologies to enhance your living room TV viewing experience. You also get built-in Chromecast, Dolby Vision, and a suite of connectivity options for comfortable TV viewing experience. Sony shared the 55-inches variant with us to test out its overall performance. We used it for over a time period of two weeks and here's what we have to say about the X9000F 4k HDR Android TV by Sony.
Specifications and Features
Sony X9000F 55-inches variant flaunts a 55-inch LCD panel with 4K HDR resolution. The 55-inch screen offers a resolution of 3840x2160 pixels and uses Direct LED backlighting. The TV is equipped with a variety of display technologies to deliver on 4K HDR content playback. These include- 4K X-Reality PRO and X-Motion Clarity, Dual-database processing, Super Bit Mapping 4K HDR(Colour enhancement), Object-based HDR remaster (Contrast Enhancement), Dynamic Contrast Enhancer (Contrast Enhancement), and HDR (High Dynamic Range) compatibility for crisp 4K video output.
4K HDR Processor- X1 Extreme
The smart TV is powered by 4K HDR Processor- X1 Extreme and runs on Android 7.0 Nougat. There's built-in Google Play store and 16GB on-board storage. The TV has a power consumption of 224 W and comes equipped with 10W+10W bass reflex speakers with sound processing support of Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby Pulse. The X9000F also gets DTS Digital Surround audio format support, and ClearAudio+ sound processing profiles. Other important features include Voice search, On/Off timer, and sleep timer support.
Design: Premium outlook and robust build
The 55-inch X9000F has dimensions of Approx. 1228 x 706 x 69 mm (without stand) and weighs approx 18.2 kg (without stand). The TV has a robust built quality and feels extremely premium. The TV's borders come in the brushed metal finish and are made of high-quality material. The X9000F has a very minimalistic feel that effortlessly blends with the surroundings.
Besides, not much has changed in the overall look and feel of the TV panel when you compare the new X9000F to the previous generation Sony TVs, expect the table mount stand. The new stand is instantly noticeable and feels oversized. You would require a large table if you don't plan to mount this TV on a wall. The table stand's legs have a larger footprint and can easily accommodate a soundbar in the center. The rear panel of the TV houses the inputs for connectivity divided into two sections. The first set of inputs- facing downwards can be difficult to access if the TV is mounted on wall. The second set is directed towards the left side and is fairly easy to reach.
Overall, Sony's new 4K HDR TV is a well constructed large panel for your living room. It doesn't shout for attention but instantly turns the heads once you start playing the content. This brings us to the picture quality so let's talk about it.
Picture Quality: Excellent contrast and deeper blacks
The picture quality on the Sony X9000F is brilliant. Honestly, it can spoil you for the rest of your life and you won't settle down for anything less than 4K and HDR. The TV is powered by 4K HDR Processor X1 Extreme that ensures powerful image processing in real time for ultra-detailed picture quality. The CPU does an interesting job here. It upscales the content, HD, Full HD, HD Blu-rays, DVD, etc. to near 4K HDR quality. The 1080P of the latest Avengers Infinity War played like a near 4K print. The noise levels are very well controlled and you will experience deeper blacks and excellent contrast levels, thanks to local-dimming technology that makes X9000F a great panel to watch movies and series during the night. The technology also ensures saturated darker colors for better overall image output in challenging light conditions. As per Sony, the X9000F maintains up to six times the contrast of conventional LED TVs.
Enhanced Colors and Contrast levels
The TV has ‘X-tended Dynamic Range PRO' that ensures dark scenes are darker and bright scenes brighter. What this means is that you can play the content in a darker or in a well-lit surrounding without compromising on picture quality. I placed the TV in an 11x17 feet room (wall-mounted) at a spot where the panel had to withstand both natural and unnatural light. The viewing angles are slightly narrower due to the type of LCD Sony has used, however, the output is not affected much and the panel efficiently handles reflections and glare. The SDR peak brightness comes handy in such situations.
During my review duration, I consumed an array of content on this TV and it was a delightful experience, especially while watching animated and MCU flicks. Sony's TRILUMINOS display technology and X-Motion clarity ensures vivid real-world colours and smooth action-packed scenes. The TV also slows you to do a lot of tweaking with picture output. Let's talk about it in the below section.
Myriad of Picture settings
Sony X9000F allows you to modify the image output on the panel with the help of built-in settings. Just press the Action Menu and select Picture. You will find Picture Mode wherein you choose between Vivid, Standard, Custom, Animation, Sports, etc. for the type of content you are streaming. The menu also allows you to teak basic panel settings like Brigthness levels and Color. Select the Advanced settings to further customize the panel's output. Here you will find a range of options to create a colour profile of your choice. The HDR mode can be enabled within Video options. Turn it on while playing games on a console.
4K HDR for Netflix/Amazon and console gaming
4K HDR experience on this TV is a next level thing, once again thanks to the underlying local-dimming technology making Sony X9000F a great buy TV for avid gamers. If you have the latest console from Microsoft- the Xbox One X and Sony PlayStation 4 Pro, we recommend you to stream the 4K HDR ready games like the Forza Motorsport 7 and other HDR ready titles. The gameplay will leave you spellbound. The detailing in HDR creates a surreal experience. Moreover, the HDR content playback on this TV is outstanding. If you have signed up for Amazon Prime and Netflix, this TV will not let you leave the room. Both the apps support high dynamic range and 4K streams wherein Sony X9000F truly excels. The TV also supports Dolby Vision for a truly cinematic experience.
User Interface: Android UI with Google Play support
Despite the fact that the TV does not come with Air mouse support, I did not face any difficulty in everyday use. The X9000F runs on Android 7.0 Nougat and is touted as Android TV. The UI is easy-to-use and feels responsive for most of the part. There's a slight lag or you can say the delay in opening up the home menu and getting back into an app but it is avoidable. At least, the UI on X9000F is not like the half-baked user interfaces that make affordable smart TVs a real pain to use.
As the TV runs on the familiar Android, you can access Google Play apps, read news, stream music and watch movies directly from Google Play. But I would not recommend that when you have the option to stream content from media apps like Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hotstar, etc. The UI is pretty easy to use. You will find apps and important features listed as cards on the LCD panel. Some users might feel that the list of icons is stretched and requires a lot of scrolling; however, I felt quite comfortable as it's always better to have a variety of content on a big TV screen for the unrestricted viewing experience.
The TV also has a built-in chromecast to make content streaming easy from smart devices. The TV can also recommend the personalized content, but the approach is not very smart. I believe the Android TV ecosystem is capable, probably the best out there as most of us are familiar with Android as underlying software on our smart devices; however, it still has a long way to go on big-screens.
Audio Performance: Clear vocals but bass is a pretty average
The audio performance on Sony X9000F is good but not outstanding, even though the TV is equipped with 10W+10W bass reflex speakers with sound processing support of Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital, Plus and Dolby Pulse. It filled the room and delivered clear output; however, I still felt the need to attach a soundbar while watching movies and some series. The action flicks and tracks that required the right amount of bass felt average. The TV handles vocals very well but the limited supply of bass can be a bit of an issue for true audiophiles.
Sony hasn't compromised on the connectivity front. The X9000F Smart TV range comes with Wi-Fi direct, supports Miracast for screen mirroring and also has a built-in Chromecast. There are 4 HDMI inputs, 1x RF input, 1x composite video input, 1x analog audio input, 1x digital audio output, 1x headphone output, 1x Ethernet input, 3x USB ports, and 1x subwoofer output. The screen mirroring worked without any issues and the smart TV also seamlessly connect with other smart devices.
Sony X9000F delivers a stunning picture quality, both in dark and well-lit surroundings making it a great TV for movie streaming in night and daytime. The 4K HDR content playback looks immersive and is full of detail, thanks to the high contrast ratio and local dimming technology. Gamers out there, this is the TV you should have in your living room if you plan to play best-in-class games in 4K HDR. The audio is well-balanced for vocals and series watching but feels light on bass at certain parts. The Android TV's UI is pretty feature-rich and offers a variety of content to stream on the big screen. Overall, the hefty price you would pay for the TV is a quality investment for best-in-class TV viewing experience in your living room.