Sony X85J – VA panel and HDMI 2.1. A perfect midrange TV?
The Sony X85J is a 2021 mid-range UHD Google TV. It is the next most expensive model to Sony’s X80J and accordingly the cheaper equivalent to Sony’s X90J. It wants to convince with its gaming features like the available HDMI 2.1 interfaces and its great picture quality. Thus, it wants to establish itself as an all-rounder and offer something for everyone, but how does it perform in other categories and is the price justified?
The simple design of the X85J suits it really well and it looks very modern. The feet have a familiar look and they look very similar to other Sony TVs. They are located far to the outside and thus take up quite a lot of space, which means that the TV’s storage area has to be correspondingly large. The stands also offer the possibility of guiding cables along them with the help of cable holders.
All cable ports are on the left side of the TV and these also point to the side. This makes the Sony X85J ideal for wall mounting, as all cable inputs are still easy to reach. This also addresses the problem of needing a large storage area if you decide against wall mounting.
Suitable for wall mounting
All cable entrances point to the side
Requires a large storage space
Pivot and tilt wall mount:
TV wall mount
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Good picture quality, but limited viewing angle
Sony TVs are known for their color accuracy and the Sony X85J is no exception. The color accuracy is very good, which makes the picture look like the creator intended. And the high contrast of the built-in VAVertical Alignment, type of LCD Panel panel also ensures that deep blacks can be displayed despite the lack of local dimming. However, this is also where the weakness of the Sony X85J becomes visible, because VA panels tend to have very limited viewing angles, where the picture does not lose quality. This is also the case with the X85J, and thus watching with several people or a wide seating area is not recommended.
In order for HDRHigh Dynamic Range – image/video with more dynamic range (contrast range) content to be displayed impressively, a wide color gamut is required and the Sony X85J does not disappoint here, as it can display colors vibrantly and saturated — even better than the X90J.
In bright rooms, a TV has to stand up to the present lighting conditions, and the X85J can do just that. It gets bright enough to withstand reflections and that again makes for a more impressive HDR experience.
The Sony X85J supports the Dolby VisionDynamic HDR-format with a color depth of up to 12 Bits and Mastering of up to 10,000 Nits dynamic HDR format, but not HDR10+License-free, dynamic HDR-format in competition with Dolby Vision.
10 bit (8+2) VA panel
Contrast 6300: 1
Deep, even black
No local dimming
Limited viewing angle
Wide color gamut
Maximum brightness 570 nits
Smooth motion handling - whether sports or gaming!
The response time should be important for all sports fans or gamers. It tells how long it takes for a pixel to change from one color to another. This plays a big role for the display of movements, thus for motion handling.
The Sony X85J has a good response time, so it always displays movements smoothly, but this fast pixel change can also lead to slight motion blur.
The 120Hz panel with its flicker-free backlight can remove judder from all sources and the motion handling should not provide any room for criticism.
In content with a low frame rate, for example, slow camera pans can cause judder in the picture. The X85J does not have any problems here, as it automatically removes judder from 24fps content, which means that movies are always smooth, since they are usually filmed in 24fps.
Response Time 4ms
Judder is automatically fixed
Equipped with HDMI 2.1 and more in the future
Input lag is crucial for a responsive gaming experience. If it is too long, then there is a clear delay between the input on the controller and the respective action in the game. Here, there should be no problems with the X85J, as it has an outstandingly low input lag.
The TV has two HDMI 2.1 interfaces, making gaming in 4K@120Hz possible. This feature is fantastic if you plan to connect the TV to new gaming consoles.
Furthermore, the TV has an Auto Picture Mode, which is the equivalent of Auto Low Latency Mode, but this is only available for the Playstation 5, which should annoy all Xbox Series X owners.
The Variable Refresh Rate is now available on the Sony TV through a firmware update. This guarantees a gaming experience without screen tearing on the Xbox Series X thanks to HDMI Forum VRR! Unfortunately, the Playstation 5 does not yet support VRR.
Input lag ~ 6ms
4k @ 120Hz
Auto Picture Mode
With this, you can start right away!:
PlayStation 5 Console
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Average sound - but it can be optimized
Anyone familiar with TVs will notice over time that the native sound of most speakers is far from outstanding and usually lacks bass. The Sony X85J is no exception. It does have really useful gimmicks like Acoustic Auto Calibration, which detects where the viewer is sitting and then adjusts the sound accordingly, but the built-in speakers don’t provide an outstanding sound experience.
However, if you want the best sound experience, there’s no way around a soundbar or a complete Hifi system. This can also be easily connected via the available eARC interface, which allows uncompressed audio to be forwarded to a compatible receiver. It should be noted that the eARC interface is also the HDMI 2.1 interface, which leaves only one HDMI 2.1 port free.
Furthermore, the Sony X85J supports Dolby DigitalMulti-channel-sound-system for up to 5.1 channel Surround Sound, DTSMulti-channel-sound-system (Surround Sound) competing with Dolby Digital and Dolby AtmosObject-based surround sound format with 3D-Sound from any direction, which has to be emphasized here, since it is very rare and neither Sony nor LG have it.
2.0 channels with 20W
Average sound and lack of bass
Acoustic Auto Calibration
Dolby Digital and Atmos
For the necessary bass:
Bose TV Speaker
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Google TV - With many smart features
2021 Sony TVs use the new Google TV, which is an improvement over Android TV. Navigation is simple and smooth. The remote control is the same as on most 2021 Sony TVs. It is large and it has quick launch buttons for the most popular streaming services, namely YouTube, Netflix, Disney+ and Prime Video.
Furthermore, there is also a button to use the integrated microphone, which makes it easy to control the TV that way. The voice assistants Google Assistant and Alexa, as well as Apple Airplay and Apple Homekit are also available, so there is nothing to complain about when it comes to smart features.
The Sony X85J is a solid TV that can display deep blacks thanks to its good contrast, which is especially impressive in a dark environment. However, the brightness is also good enough not to suffer any loss of picture quality in bright rooms. The X85J also doesn’t do badly with HDR content thanks to its wide color gamut, which also clearly differentiates it from SDR content.
The gaming faction should also be satisfied, as the TV has a low response time, two HDMI 2.1 ports, and minimal input lag. The biggest drawback of the Sony X85J is its poor viewing angle, which makes it unsuitable for wide seating areas or for multiple people.