Sony 65X9300E Review – SONY’S NEW IMAGE PROCESSOR DELIVERS EXTREME RESULTS.
A LOT OF talk has surrounded the release of Sony’s A1 OLED television (a set that’s out in the UK and US, but still awaiting release in Australia), but if you don’t care enough about self-lighting pixels to wait, its new X9300E 4K HDR TV is as good as it gets when it comes to LCD/LED display technology.
A next-gen processor is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the X9300E’s improvements over last year’s X9300D model, with areas such as backlighting, picture quality, design, compatibility, upscaling and user interactivity getting significant updates.
With a brilliant design that aims for minimalistic elegance, the X9300E is engineered to compliment your living room, rather than detract from it. Its bezels are black and only a few millimetres wide, making them look almost non-existent when watching dark content, even from a moderate distance.
Its slim 39mm profile makes the X9300E ideal for mounting, which is extremely easy to do thanks to the equally-slim adjustable mounting bracket that’s included in the box.
The X9300E uses Android TV as its OS, which some people find a little clunky and even sluggish. This hasn’t really been the case in this writer’s experience, though, with the user interface feeling like second nature thanks to the general familiarity of the Android platform.
At present, all of the major Australian streaming and catch-up services are available from the Android TV home menu. If 4K content is what you’re after, YouTube, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video offer growing libraries of 4K high-dynamic-range (HDR) movies and TV shows.
We know that 4K/HDR prowess is the primary focus of the X9300E, but we’d also describe it as one of the best TVs on the market when it comes to upscaling HD and standard- dynamic-range (SDR) content. This is due in large part to Sony’s X-Reality Pro HD-to-4K upscaling system, as well as the 4K HDR Processor X1 Extreme’s object-based HDR remaster functionality, which has the ability to upscale any content to near HDR quality by introducing a wider colour palette to SDR video, smartly applying more colour definition and vibrance to any non-native HDR content.
When it comes to 4K HDR video, the X9300E is capable of producing some utterly incredible images with commendable, if not class-leading, black levels. Of course, an LED panel is always going to play second fiddle to a proper OLED display, but the new Slim Backlight Drive+ comes pretty darn close thanks to the inclusion of local dimming technology. On top of its HDR10 capabilities, the X9300E also boasts full Dolby Vision support, which, until now, was only offered on selected LG 4K TVs.
You wouldn’t know it to look at it, but the X9300E also has a set of front-facing three-way speakers that are terrifically hidden at the bottom of the set. If those aren’t powerful enough for you, the X9300E also offers the ability to wirelessly pair a set of Bluetooth headphones to the set for a personal listening experience. This is an all-round excellent television.
[ STEPHEN LAMBRECHTS ]
Sony 65X9300E Review: CRITICAL SPECS
Android TV; available in 55- and 65-inch; 4K; HDR (HDR10, Dolby Vision); Edge LED (Slim Backlight Drive+ with local dimming); 4 x HDMI (HDCP 2.2), 3 x USB; RF input; optical digital audio output; integrated Wi-Fi; Freeview HD; 145.1 x 83.8 x 3.9cm; 38.2 kg