Sony Bravia X95K mini-LED TV review: Bright and deep

Sony Bravia X95K mini-LED TV review: Bright and deep

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A woven mat and ingredients shown connected  the Sony X95K's display.

Sony Bravia X95K mini-LED TV

“Remarkably vivid, elaborate representation quality”

Pros

  • Rich, vibrant color
  • Vivid HDR highlights
  • Superior item and shadiness detail
  • Excellent Sound

Cons

  • Some flimsy blooming/halo
  • VRR disables section dimming

With each the buzz astir the Sony A95K — the archetypal TV to usage QD-OLED show tech — it mightiness beryllium casual to place the information that Sony besides is bringing its archetypal mini-LED backlit TVs to marketplace successful 2022. Exactly erstwhile and for however much, we don’t cognize yet but we volition update this reappraisal arsenic soon arsenic Sony publishes that information.

The Sony X95K TV reviewed present is the company’s champion 4K mini-LED backlit TV, and expectations are high. Will it present OLED-like achromatic levels alongside potent HDR punch, paired with Sony’s legendary colour accuracy? Let’s find out.

Sony Bravia X95K mini-LED TV video review

Out of the box

Close up   connected  the Sony X95K's stand.Dan Baker/Digital Trends

The feet included with the X95K are a slimmed-down mentation of what we’ve seen successful years past, taking connected a much svelte aesthetic. They tin beryllium positioned toward the acold ends of the TV for a wider stance, oregon successful a brace of receptacles toward the halfway to acceptable connected a narrower media stand.

Plastic panels connected the backmost of the TV are provided for concealing the TV’s transportation bay and to assistance with cablegram management. Like the A95K, the X95K comes with Sony’s caller Bravia Cam, and it’s got a transportation larboard for a nonstop transportation (no USB cablegram indispensable arsenic with the add-on mentation of the Bravia Cam). The Bravia Cam was not acceptable for maine to trial astatine the clip of evaluation, truthful I’ll marque that a absorption erstwhile the X95K arrives connected my trial seat for a 2nd assessment.

Sony Bravia X95K tv   remote.Dan Baker/Digital Trends

The X95K gets an updated remote, scaled-down successful size and with less buttons, and helpfully backlit. The caller distant features a achromatic brushed metallic look and a grippy integrative backing. It besides has a small talker connected the backmost for Sony’s caller Remote Finder Function, which emits a beeping dependable erstwhile you inquire Google Assistant to find your remote. Owners tin besides usage the powerfulness fastener connected the backmost of the TV to activate this feature.

Notable features

Sony Bravia X95K hdmi ports.Dan Baker/Digital Trends

The X95K  offers 4 HDMI inputs, 2 of which enactment 4K 120Hz and Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) — 1 of the 2 besides supports eARC.

As is the lawsuit with each Bravia TVs, the X95K has an ATSC 3.0 tuner built-in for entree to what is being referred to publically arsenic “NextGen TV.”

The X95K runs the Google TV astute TV level and runs it precise well. The idiosyncratic menus are casual to entree and navigate, and different regular usage of the TV feels large due to the fact that the TV is responsive to distant clicks and speedy to load up apps. Since it is simply a Google TV, Chromecast is people built-in, but the X95K besides supports AirPlay 2 and HomeKit.

Sony X95K moving  the Google TV astute  TV platform.Dan Baker/Digital Trends

Sony’s anti-glare strategy was predictably effectual during the clip I utilized it. I didn’t tally it done immoderate accent tests – for instance, I did not radiance a agleam lightbulb straight down my caput to spot however annoying the reflection was — but the TV handled the airy beaming successful done the windows astatine our downtown San Diego trial determination beauteous well. I ne'er recovered myself frustrated by glare.

Test results

Caleb Denison moving  a colour  trial  connected  the Sony X95K.Dan Baker/Digital Trends

After a mill reset and confirmation that the firmware update was astir the aforesaid arsenic what the TVs volition update to erstwhile buyers acceptable them up astatine home, I ran tests utilizing Calman Ultimate bundle and a SpectraCal C6 metre profiled to an Xrite i1 Pro. I’ll get into the measurement results and show successful a moment.

Just arsenic I volition with each Sony TVs this year, I enactment the TV into its customized representation preset mode and portion I did rhythm the highest brightness mounting done each its disposable options — Off, Low, Medium, and High — I took the results from the Medium mounting arsenic a baseline for the TVs performance.

The adjacent 2 sections excavation reasonably heavy into trial results and method plan principles. If that gets your centrifugal running, support reading, but if you truly conscionable privation to cognize what I thought of the X95K’s representation quality, consciousness escaped to skip ahead.

After immoderate beauteous airy adjustments to the two-point achromatic balance, here’s what I got: The highest brightness successful HDR hovered conscionable nether the 1,500-nit mark. And similar astir TVs, the brightness roseate arsenic it moved from a tiny 2% model up to a 10% model size, past started getting dimmer arsenic the achromatic model got larger.

The mean representation level connected the X95K is excellent.

When I ran the highest luminance stableness test, it hung retired close astatine 1,400 nits for astir 30 seconds coagulated without importantly dimming astatine which constituent I moved on. Without immoderate accommodation to the achromatic balance, the greyscale errors were already ridiculously debased and they dropped to beneath perceivable mistake with lone insignificant tweaks to the bluish and reddish channels.

When I checked color, I saw akin accuracy, with HDR colors besides peaking astatine astir 1,400 nits, which is impressive. DCI-P3 colour gamut sum was astatine astir 95%. The TV’s BT.2020 sum was beauteous bully astatine 72% coverage, but to beryllium honest, I was expecting a tiny spot better. I’ll beryllium investigating this again aboriginal this year, and I’m looking guardant to seeing however Samsung’s Neo QLED, LG’s QNED, and TCL’s ain mini-LED QLED, and Vizio’s sets fertile successful comparison.

A pasta shells, grains, and beans shown connected  the Sony X95K's display.Dan Baker/Digital Trends

Peak specular highlights connected this TV were fan-freaking-tactic. Outside of the trial patterns, I deliberation the TV was exceeding 1,500 nits beauteous handily. That’s Sony’s processing coming into play. In my experience, Sony’s spot doesn’t crippled highest brightness readings erstwhile it recognizes a trial signifier the mode immoderate different TVs do. So erstwhile it came clip to simply ticker TV, I was precise dazzled by HDR highlights.

The mean representation level connected the X95K is excellent. It has a precise precocious brightness representation that, frankly, I deliberation punches good supra astir of the different LCD TVs I’ve tested, prevention immoderate of Hisense’s conscionable straight-up retina-searing options similar the U8G from 2021.

Picking Nits … and dimming zones

Splashing bluish  solid  of h2o  shown connected  the Sony X95K's display.Dan Baker/Digital Trends

Generally speaking, I’ve recovered that Sony TVs thin to execute awesome show by utilizing less backlight dimming zones than immoderate different TV brands that usage arsenic galore section dimming zones arsenic they perchance can. I’ve recovered that determination is immoderate credence to Sony’s stance that it isn’t however galore zones you use, it’s however you usage them. However, I person seen immoderate cases wherever a precocious density of dimming zones has resulted successful precise awesome achromatic levels, precise well-mitigated halos (light surrounding agleam objects connected acheronian backgrounds), and a minimum of backlight blooming. This had maine wondering if possibly Sony should effort doing the same.

Sometimes Sony’s attack has played to my idiosyncratic preferences — spot the Sony Z9J review — and sometimes it hasn’t — spot the Sony X90J review. With the former, I was flabbergasted that the Z9J performed arsenic good arsenic it did with arsenic fewer dimming zones arsenic it seemingly had. With the latter, I felt similar much dimming zones mightiness person yielded amended show for the X90J. Perhaps, I thought, the “Goldilocks” presumption would beryllium determination successful the middle.

Fast guardant to 2022, successful which mini-LED backlighting comes with galore much backlights for Sony to control, the stakes look adjacent higher. Well, here’s my takeaway: While I inactive don’t recognize however Sony does it from a method standpoint, I bash deliberation made the close tradeoffs, resulting successful a Goldilocks mini-LED backlit TV.

The blooming connected the X95K TV is minimal. I stress-tested the X95K with agleam achromatic captions down successful the achromatic letterbox barroom country — a trial which immoderate mightiness see a small unfair, but I can’t beryllium the lone 1 who watches astatine nighttime with captions on, right? I recovered the X95K did grounds immoderate blooming, but it was minimal, and I wasn’t bothered by it.

To beryllium clear, the blooming was much important than what would beryllium seen on, say, a Samsung QN90A. On the different hand, though, the X95K’s mean representation level and highest HDR highlights were some brighter than a Samsung QN90A.

A cityscape shown connected  the Sony X95K's display.Dan Baker/Digital Trends

Could the X95K person amended wide show with much dimming zones? It’s possible, but I uncertainty it. At immoderate point, you tally into the instrumentality of diminishing returns. Adding zones whitethorn adhd much precise backlight control, but nary magnitude of backlight power tin close the information that determination volition ever beryllium immoderate level of blooming connected an LCD-based TV. In the end, I deliberation which is “better” — a TV with a brighter mean representation level and HDR highlights vs. a TV with astir nary blooming but somewhat dimmer representation —  volition travel down to idiosyncratic preference.

Personally, I find myself tending to similar the brighter enactment with conscionable somewhat much blooming. However, I admit that what immoderate folks privation is an LCD TV that gets arsenic adjacent to OLED show arsenic imaginable successful the blacks, portion being notably brighter than an OLED. I mean, let’s beryllium honest, that benignant of TV is what Samsung has been chasing for the past fewer years, and it is due to the fact that we asked for it.

At immoderate rate, nary substance your preferences, I deliberation if you basal backmost and halt virtually picking astatine nits, there’s nary denying that the X95K is an highly awesome TV.

Picture Quality

Alpacas successful  a tract  shown connected  the Sony X95K's display.Dan Baker/Digital Trends

Since I had the uncommon pleasance to person the X95K sitting successful adjacent proximity to the Sony A95K QD-OLED, I couldn’t assistance comparing them successful existent clip — wholly unfair, but unavoidable each the same. Despite the usage of 2 wholly antithetic technologies, successful which the QD-OLED has chiseled advantages, I inactive recovered myself incredibly impressed with the X95K.

Overall, I deliberation the X95K offers fantastic representation quality.

Somehow, the X95K had akin colour saturation and akin colour accuracy, precise awesome achromatic levels and shadiness detail, large depth, and exceptionally dazzling HDR highlights. In galore ways I expected the QD-OLED TV to trounce the X95K, but it didn’t. The X95K offered tremendous depth, and the realism of the images came disconnected arsenic superior to what I’ve seen connected astir of the mini-LED backlit TVs I reviewed past year.

An orangey-yellow syrup shown connected  the Sony X95K's display.Dan Baker/Digital Trends

Despite what could beryllium considered arsenic a alternatively humble highest brightness measurement by today’s standards, wherever immoderate TVs are shooting for 2,500 nits and beyond, I ne'er felt similar the X95K delivered thing different than a wholly satisfying representation with tons of HDR punch. Also, the details successful the agleam highlights and shadiness areas were truthful well-executed, I felt similar I could spot much of what was captured by the content’s creators. Often, it seems dazzling and elaborate don’t co-exist successful a TV, but I recovered that the X95K is capable to propulsion disconnected some attributes simultaneously, and rather well.

Overall, I deliberation the X95K offers fantastic representation quality. The contention for the champion mini-LED backlit TV is decidedly on, and it is going to beryllium a ace choky 1 this year. Toss successful models from Samsung, Sony, LG, TCL, and Vizio, and customers volition person a plethora of options to take from, but I person nary uncertainty the X95K volition extremity up connected astir shortlists.

The drawbacks

Kaleidoscope representation  of citrus fruits shown connected  the Sony X95K's display.Dan Baker/Digital Trends

So, what’s the atrocious stuff? Well, the X95K is an LCD TV, and arsenic specified the off-angle viewing acquisition takes a spot of a hit, adjacent with Sony’s X-Wide Angle exertion successful play. When you beryllium dormant on, the color, contrast, and saturation are excellent, and past the further you question disconnected to the side, the much those factors thin to driblet off.

Also, the X95K offers conscionable 2 inputs with 4K 120 and VRR capability, 1 of which is the eARC port, which whitethorn beryllium a limiting origin for some.

Finally, it appears that the engaging VRR connected the X95K (and apt different LCD TV models) does so mean that the TV’s section backlight dimming gets turned off. While I’ve been capable to corroborate this with Sony, and person learned the determination to bash so, according to Sony, was based connected delivering the champion acquisition for users, I person not yet been capable to corroborate why, connected a method level, this was necessary. I volition update this conception accordingly if/when I bash person an explanation.

Other than those 3 drawbacks, I wasn’t capable to unearth overmuch other successful the clip I had with the X95K. Motion looked ace creaseless — particularly cinematic contented — with astir nary perceivable judder. And if you privation artificial question smoothing, I deliberation Sony is giving users the champion level of adaptable power to get a creaseless moving representation without sapping the representation of its realism.

Frankly, I deliberation this is simply a TV that is going to request to beryllium connected my trial seat for a afloat period truthful I tin comparison it to different TVs earlier I’ve got overmuch changeable astatine exposing what fewer limitations it whitethorn have.

Sound quality

When it comes to dependable quality, I person a feeling that Sony is going to permission astir of the contention successful the dust. The X95K sounds beauteous incredible. The fidelity has been improved beauteous dramatically implicit past year’s X95J – the X95K sounds much unfastened and little boxed successful and has adjacent much bass enactment than before. Sure, it volition marque a large halfway transmission if that’s the occupation you springiness it, but it stands up truly good each connected its own, with large dependable positioning astir the screen, and bully virtual situation dependable effects.

Gaming

Spider-Man Playstation crippled  being played connected  the Sony X95K TV.Dan Baker/Digital Trends

Once again, arsenic I suggested with the A95K QD-OLED, I deliberation the X95K volition beryllium fantabulous for playing video games. The summation of adaptable refresh complaint is simply a bully add, and erstwhile I get a accidental to trial input lag I deliberation we’ll find it to beryllium competitory if coming up abbreviated of the implicit lowest you tin get. Will it beryllium the astir precocious gaming TV enactment connected the market? No, perfectly not. But for the immense bulk of folks playing games connected consoles, it’s going to connection an awesome experience, acknowledgment to its fantabulous representation and dependable quality.

Our take

The Sony X95K is easy successful contention for 1 of the champion 4K LCD-based TVs you tin bargain this year. That contention volition beryllium precise choky this year, but acknowledgment to Sony’s stellar processing and engineering, the X95K is simply a bright, shining illustration of what today’s modern LCD TV is susceptible of delivering.

Is determination a amended alternative?

For amended achromatic levels and contrast, an OLED oregon QD-OLED TV would beryllium necessary, making the LG C2, Sony A80K, oregon Sony A95K coagulated alternatives. For a brighter TV, Samsung’s Q90B holds a batch of promise. Otherwise, the Sony X95K presently stands arsenic 1 of the champion 4K LCD-based TVs you tin buy. We’ll update this conception arsenic our 2022 TV investigating progresses.

How agelong volition it last?

Given its precocious mini-LED backlight system, almighty processing, and coagulated Google TV OS, the X95K should past good into the future.

Warranty

Sony offers a one-year parts and labour warranty connected the X95K erstwhile purchased from an authorized retailer.

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