The Sony Bravia X80L is a new series that, due to its relatively low price, may seem under-advanced to the critical buyer. But it definitely goes beyond its price niche in the entry-level TV segment. On the screen you will see a natural image in terms of color, and the company’s reverent attitude to design will make the TV a worthy element of the interior.
Of course, this does not mean that buying this model is the ideal solution to all the problems of creating an entertainment center. For example, gamers will clearly not appreciate the lack of support for modern game console features, and viewing the X80L in a brightly lit room will immediately reveal the lack of brightness of its panel. And yet in the Sony Bravia KD-55X80L 4K HDR review, we will see that at this price point it is a reasonable choice.
Sony X80L review
The 55-inch Sony KD-55X80L TV has a modern standard flat design. But it is not at all as thin as many LCD TVs on the TV market. The thickness of just over 7 cm gives it a noticeably massive appearance. From the side of the panel, everything is black and slick, and the back of the case combines a ventilation grill at the top with a traditional panel, mostly broken into checkerboard-like squares.
The bezels around the screen are very thin. We can say that the LCD panel is in an aluminum frame, and only one lower frame is physically present. It is approximately 2cm high and further enhances the effect of the overall frameless design. The image itself shows the dark technological boundaries of the TV matrix itself (about 1.5 cm each). But it cannot be said that they are very distracting while watching.
The legs of the redesigned compared to the Sony X80K have two installation options in width. In the standard position, the distance between them is 107 cm, and in the narrow position – 47 cm. Thus, the problem with TV furniture can also be solved, although in the narrow position the case sways more with physical contact. Note that the 43-inch and 50-inch X80L models only have a wide arrangement.
All ports of the KD-55X80L TV are directed to the side, and this is the best option when wall mounting the TV. But if you want to fix the case as close to the wall as possible, it will be difficult to get to the ports. Build quality is good as usual. The legs have clips for attaching cables. The only caveat is that the back panel flexes in the center, just something to keep in mind.
On the updated remote, which looks not much different from the 2022 version, there is no on-screen keyboard call button. Instead, it is now a menu button. It must be noted that the options for the appearance of the remote control, the presence and purpose of the buttons may vary from region to region. Some implementations add another row of buttons for video services at the bottom, including Bravia Core.
The Sony 55X80L TV is a conventional LCD TV with direct LED backlighting (this is mainly what determines its noticeable thickness). Although it lacks many of Sony’s advanced imaging solutions, out of the box we have a perfectly acceptable picture. The “set it and forget it” principle is about the X80L. Although the model has built-in additional calibration capabilities.
The Sony X80L series is based on ADS matrices , a type of IPS matrices with similar parameters. Only the 50″ model uses a VA panel . Actually, this has a predetermining effect on image quality. Let’s start with the main indicators – contrast and brightness. Due to the use of an IPS-type matrix, the image contrast is low, on the order of 1200:1.
As a result of this, we see insufficiently deep black color, casting gray in the dark. A simple conclusion follows from this – the Sony X80L TV is not quite suitable for watching movies. That is, in a home theater system, its presence is difficult to justify. What’s more, it doesn’t have a local dimming option like its older brethren, such as the Sony X85L . And it could increase the initial contrast of the matrix.
As for the brightness, here the X80L is in full compliance with the price category. The peak brightness in HDR mode does not exceed 400 nits, and this is in game mode. In Cinema mode, 10 percent lower. In other words, you will not see high-quality display of HDR content, as on more expensive models. But nothing bad can be said about the picture. Everything looks very nice. For normal content, the brightness is enough. Just don’t place the TV in front of a window.
With the color scheme, too, everything is in order. The DCI-P3 color space has 92 percent coverage. The situation is a little worse with the Rec space. 2020 (and in the future, in theory, most content will correspond to it) – here the coverage does not exceed 70%. And even then some colors do not look quite accurate due to the lack of tone mapping.
As usual for IPS matrices, the uniformity of filling the screen with gray color is good. Only in the center can the effect of a dirty screen be noticeable. But on a black background, light spots are noticeable and the screen gives off blue due to the low contrast. So if these things are important to you, better pay attention to Samsung Q60C . But it won’t have as good viewing angles as Sony’s X80L TV.
Motion and Game Processing
Moving objects on the TV screen have a slight trail, and in dark scenes a reverse halo is noticeable. Black frames at 120 Hz are added to the image to improve clarity, so video at 60 frames per second may appear double. We also note that there is an option for motion interpolation up to 60 fps for content with a lower frame rate.
As for games, despite the complete lack of support for modern technologies associated with variable refresh rates, the Sony KD-55X80L TV can fit as a gaming monitor due to the low image output lag. Input lag does not exceed 12 ms. A significant limitation here is the refresh rate of the panel, which is 60 Hz.
Game mode is enabled automatically thanks to ALLM. A new feature on Sony 2023 TVs is the Game Menu. In it, you can turn on the sight (crosshair) in the center of the screen to make it easier to aim. You can change the size of the screen area used for the game. Sony takes care in this way of the players sitting close to the TV.
The smart functions of the Sony X80 L TV are implemented by the Android TV operating system with the Google TV shell. Hardware support is provided by a MediaTek MT5895 quad-core chip with a frequency of 1.8 GHz. RAM on board 4 GB, built-in memory for applications and media files – 32 GB. The home screen displays feeds for individual recommendations and your apps.
You can communicate with Google TV by voice. In addition to controlling the TV, you can control any device included in the smart home system. To get started, you just need to say: “Ok Google.” And this can be done without a remote control, for this the TV has its own switchable microphone.
By the way, the Sony X80L is compatible with Alexa, and supports Apple’s AirPlay. Chromecast player connects your TV screen and the screen of your smartphone or tablet. You can connect a Bravia Cam to your TV (sold separately). Gesture control is not supported in this model, but video chat can be organized easily.
The audio system of the Sony X80L model has modest sound capabilities. Although the manufacturer claims that two speakers of the X-Balanced type (rectangular speaker with rounded edges) with a total power of 20 watts provide rich bass. Well, one likes watermelon, another likes cartilage. However, Sony makes a fair amount of soundbars that have real bass and can really increase engagement. The TV supports Dolby Atmos and DTS Digital Surround.
In the port list of X80L, there are 4 HDMI ports (one of them with eARC ) without support for HDMI 2.1 functions and 2 USB ports – one of them is version 3.0. There is a digital optical audio output and an analog composite video input (via an adapter). Finally, there is a LAN port for the Internet and antenna sockets (the number depends on the region). There is dual-band WiFi and Bluetooth version 4.2.
If you can do without flagship technology but still want a respectable TV, the Sony X80L is for you. It’s a decent all-around TV and might appeal to budget shoppers who just want a Sony.