Sony Bravia 55-Inch HDR 4K Smart TV Review

Sony Bravia 55-Inch HDR 4K Smart TV Review

Our Sony Bravia 55-Inch HDR 4K Smart TV review showed us this television is a much more affordable alternative to OLED Smart TVs. Truth be told, the picture quality of the Sony BR55X900 is comparable to the OLED models that Sony produces. The TV renders excellent picture quality and good smart TV experience. Let us get into the specifics:

Sony Bravia 55-Inch HDR 4K Smart TV review part 1: Unboxing

The Sony BR55X900 comes with a remote, its batteries, a power cord, and an IR blaster. It also comes with a pair of L-shaped TV stands, an installation guide, and a user manual.

Design

The 55-Inch Sony Bravia has a chassis made of high quality, metallic-black plastic. It measures 49 by 29 inches. At a depth of nearly 3 inches, the TV is thicker than many 55-Inch TV sets. Why this is can only be explained by Sony.

The front view of the Sony BR55X900 is appealing. The display is framed by textured, metallic-black bezels that are less than a centimeter wide. This frees up the rest of the array of video and other content.

For that extra splash of color, the bottom bezel has a silver accent that runs along its bottom edge.

Sony ships the TV with metal-grey TV stands that sit wide apart so that a soundbar can rest between them. They also have allowances for holding cables from the input ports.

Speaking of inputs, you will find two sets of ports on the right side of the TV. One set faces outwards. The other faces downwards and is very hard to reach when the TV is mounted on the wall with a 300x300mm wall mount gear. This Sony Bravia 55-Inch HDR 4K Smart TV review is just getting started.

Inputs and connectivity

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The outward-facing input panel has ports that are arranged from top to bottom. They are An IR port for the remote, a set of AV component ports, a jack for the IR blaster, two USB ports and an HDMI port.

The downward facing input panel has a coaxial connector, a LAN port, an optical audio output port, an RS232C port, three HDMI ports, and a USB port.

The TV also has wireless adapters for Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. They help you to stream content and connect the TV to other devices with wireless capability.

Android TV: Main interface and performance

The Sony X55X900 runs on Android TV, a moody but feature-rich operating system. The main screen goes on and on, thanks to a large number of pre-installed apps. It is also cluttered, again because of the large number of apps on the screen.

Another downside of Android TV operating system is the user experience. For starters, you may notice some input lag as you select an app or menu item. Also, you may notice that the animation becomes choppy from time to time.

The interface may also decide to go all out and freeze for a while. Sometimes, you will have to restart the TV in and startle the interface into action. That said, Android TV has lots of useful features.

[Read what others are saying about this TV]

Android TV: Features

The version of Android TV in the BR55X900 ships with Google Assistant and Chromecast. Google Assistant lets you do voice searches on YouTube and ton he interface itself. The smart assistant also enables you to use the TV to access control of other smart devices in the home network.

Chromecast allows you to cast content from your Android or iOS devices onto the TV. To top it off, the Sony X55X900 is also compatible with Alexa. This lets the TV connect with Alexa-compatible devices in the network.

You cannot talk about Android TV without discussing content. Thanks to the vast selection in the Google Play Store, you can install any streaming app you want. As viewing content goes, you will find whatever you need on Android TV. You will also find other useful apps and features in the Play Store. We’ll look at more picture features in the next section of our Sony Bravia 55-Inch HDR 4K Smart TV review.

Color

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The Sony BR55X900 is an LED-backlit TV that comes with 4K resolution and local dimming. Each pixel in each square inch of the TV can take advantage of the wide color gamut of the display.

Local dimming allows the X55X900 to display colors at different levels of brightness. Which expands the range of color that the TV can display. The result is a large volume of colors that form a broad palette.

This rich selection of color allows the chipset of the Sony BR55X900 to achieve fantastic color accuracy. Put together, these amazing qualities produce vibrant, lifelike, accurate colors. The TV also supports HDR (High Dynamic Range), which works with local dimming to improve the already excellent picture quality. Enjoying this Sony Bravia 55-Inch HDR 4K Smart TV review? Let us know in the comment section.

HDR and its effect on contrast

HDR is a standard that allows a pixel to display a particular color at different levels of brightness. Televisions that support HDR are able to display many subtle shades of a dark color. In contrast, an SDR TV will display a dark color at the same brightness level, past a certain threshold.

The difference between Standard Dynamic Range and HDR is this. HDR televisions can display many shades of a dark color. Even when it falls below a certain level of brightness, say 5 nits. An HDR TV should be able to display said color at 4 nits, and at three nits, and so on.

But a TV that does not support HDR will display the color at 5 nits only. So even if the source content calls for a specific color to be presented at 3 nits, the SDR TV will only display it at 5 nits.

The HDR capabilities of the Sony BR55X900 improve the contrast and brightness of the display.

Brightness and contrast

The Sony BR55X900 has an effective peak brightness of 638 cd/m2 in SDR mode and 651 cd/m2 in HDR. It has impressive black levels of 0.023 cd/m2. The difference between peak brightness and black levels makes for a contrast ratio of 5725:1 with local dimming.

The stark difference between bright and darker colors makes for arresting images.

The excellent contrast ratio is made even better by HDR support and local dimming. They allow the display to render images that show detail in dark parts of an image. If you are a gamer, you will love the next few sections of our Sony Bravia 55-Inch HDR 4K Smart TV review.

Input lag

HDR support and local dimming. They allow the display to render images that show detail in dark parts of an image.

Input lag

The BR55X900 has a low input response time of 24 ms for 4K input (which only renders at 60 frames per second). This impressive response time happens in gaming mode.

In standard mode, the input lag jumps to around 80 ms. 1080p and 1440p resolution can be displayed at a refresh rate of 120Hz. In game mode, this content has an input lag of 13 ms, a gamer’s dream.

Given that the gamer’s benchmark is 20ms, these response times are good enough for competitive gameplay. That said, 1080p content with a 60 Hz refresh rate has a massive input lag that can reach 103 ms.

As for the input lag of Android TV, it can be super-fast when the interface is happy. Just to be safe, you should use voice commands whenever you can. This way, the response time of the interface will be more consistent.

Motion handling

HDR support and local dimming. They allow the display to render images that show detail in dark parts of an image.

Input lag

The BR55X900 has a low input response time of 24 ms for 4K input (which only renders at 60 frames per second). This impressive response time happens in gaming mode.

In standard mode, the input lag jumps to around 80 ms. 1080p and 1440p resolution can be displayed at a refresh rate of 120Hz. In game mode, this content has an input lag of 13 ms, a gamer’s dream.

Given that the gamer’s benchmark is 20ms, these response times are good enough for competitive gameplay. That said, 1080p content with a 60 Hz refresh rate has a considerable input lag that can reach 103 ms.

As for the input lag of Android TV, it can be super fast when the interface is happy. Just to be safe, you should use voice commands whenever you can. This way, the response time of the interface will be more consistent.

[Related: Sony 48W650D 48 Inch 1080p Smart TV Review]

Motion handling

The low input lag of the Sony BR55X900 allows it to render fast-action video and games flawlessly. The fast response time goes all the way down to the pixel level, but this can become a problem. The fast pixel response time can cause a stutter in low-frame content. Other than that, the low response time of the TV allows you to enjoy zero blurring and ghosting.

The BR55X900 displays 24p content from cable or over-the-air channels without any judder. It also does frame interpolation to upscale 60 Hz video to 120 Hz. The result is a smoother video with the soap opera effect, which Tom Cruise hates. We’ll wrap up this Sony Bravia 55-Inch HDR 4K Smart TV review by going over the remote and sound quality.

Sound

There BR55X900 has many exceptional qualities, but great sound is not one of them. This 55-Inch 4K Smart TV has sound that is loud and balanced. But the speakers are light on the base, which puts a damper on that colossal explosion in your favorite action flick. It is a good idea to connect some external sound to this TV.

Remote

The remote is simple, with hotkeys for your favorite streaming apps. It also has a microphone for voice search functionality. You should choose voice commands over clicking on menu items. You will find that Android TV responds faster.

Pros

  • Android TV comes with Google Assistant, Chromecast, and Alexa compatibility
  • The interface has a wide variety of content from the Google Play Store
  • Excellent color reproduction thanks to a wide color gamut and HDR support
  • Local dimming
  • A bright TV with high contrast and anti-glare finish on the screen
  • Low input lag

Cons

  • You cannot opt out of the ads that come with Android TV
  • The Android TV interface can be slow and/or unresponsive
  • Underwhelming sound

Sony Bravia 55-Inch HDR 4K Smart TV review verdict: This TV is worth a second look

You could do worse than the Sony BR55X900 HDR 4K Smart TV. This TV uses all the attributes of its display to render a vivid, detailed, lifelike picture that stays true to the input source.

As a smart TV, the BR55X900 has all the content and functions that you could ever need. You should consider getting one. Click here to purchase one today.

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