Sony’s XBR850 series is a popular model among consumers since its introduction in 2013 with the XBR850A. I started reviewing this series with the XBR850B, and every model since that time, which brings me to Sony’s latest release in this series – the 850E.
In this review, I’ll take a glance and the 850E and highlight its features and performance.
XBR850E Side View
Much like most Sony XBR models, the 850E comes with an attractive and eye appealing design. The bezel and trim are really thin, giving the illusion that the screen does not have any borders for a standard very aesthetically pleasing appearance, and presents on-screen images that may actually float in mid-air.
The XBR850E includes a pedestal stand that’s nicely designed and embodies a tiny footprint which will permit the TV to take a seat on top of a cabinet that doesn’t have a sizable amount of width. The stand also offers a cable management system which allows cables to be neatly routed and out-of-sight through the legs of the stand.
The construction of the 850E is good… the frame is strong and solidly constructed.
The 850E uses edge-lit LED backlighting to illuminate the TV’s semi-matte screen.
Key performance top features of the 850E include:
Sony’s new X1 4K HDR Processor with Object-based HDR remaster (analyzes images in each scene and corrects the colour and contrast of every object individually, making colors and contrast appear more realistic) and Super Bit Mapping 4K HDR technology (with 14-bit signal processing – creates a smooth natural picture without image banding). The 4K HDR Processor X1 reproduces more depth, textures, and natural colors than its predecessor, the 4K Processor X1.
4K X-Reality Pro Upscaler enhances the clarity of most image sources and offers refined picture quality with an increase of perceived detail. Also, all non-4K sources are upscaled to near 4K quality. Furthermore, noise reduction techniques found in this processor enable clearer, smoother and more natural images.
TRILUMINOS Display technology creates incredibly true, natural shades of colors that are rich and vibrant and brings you closer than ever before to real-world colors.
Additional features include:
Basic remote control includes a built-in mic for voice recognition and permits voice control of certain Android TV functions. The remote isn’t backlit
ANDROID OS smart TV platform with Google Play – The XBR850E uses Android’s Marshmallow (6.0.1) operating-system and incorporates Android TV with usage of a variety of software designed for download from the Google Play store Android TV offers you usage of movie, music, sports, and other entertainment apps
HDR or High Dynamic Range provides increased contrast with a larger selection of peak brightness (highlights) and black levels, furthermore to raised picture detail and more vibrant colors
HDR Remaster boosts color and contrast for SDR (Standard Dynamic Range) content
10-bit panel displays more colors with finer steps of gradation for greater color reproduction with HDR sources
HEVC/VP9 decoding for watching streamed 4K video sources like Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, and YouTube
DIRECTV 4K Ready – DIRECTV subscribers with the Genie Whole-Home HD DVR can enjoy 4K service and full DVR features lacking any additional receiver
Motionflow XR 960 for blur reduction
Netflix Recommended TV – This recognition helps it be easier for consumers to learn which manufacturers HDTV’s work best using its streaming video service
Chromecast built-in allows content to be cast from a smartphone or tablet right to the TV
802.11ac dual-band Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Direct capability
Opera Web Browser
Bluetooth Audio Streaming (with a firmware update summer 2017) permits it to wirelessly transmit its music over a Bluetooth link with a couple of Bluetooth headphones, an individual Bluetooth speaker, or an individual couple of Bluetooth speakers
The XBR850E comes in 65” and 75” screen sizes.
4 HDMI 2.0a inputs (HDCP 2.2 compliant)
1 Component video input (shared)
2 Composite video input (shared)
3 USB inputs
1 Ethernet input
1 RF input for antenna/cable/satellite
1 Digital optical music output
1 Analog audio tracks output 3.5 mm
XBR850E Rear Panel
I’m pleased to report that Sony has truly gone back to by using a VA panel on the 65” XBR850E rather than an IPS that was used on the prior XBR850D. As much of you know, IPS panels restrict contrast range which greatly influences deep black level reproduction.
Note: The 75” XBR850E uses an IPS panel.
With that said, for me, and experience, the XBR65X850E has better overall display quality than last year’s 850D. Contrast ratio is an integral performance factor for making good display quality, and the 850E’s contrast ratio is great that was readily apparent when viewing dark content in movies. Blacks were very deep and well saturated, making this TV an outstanding choice for watching movies in a dark viewing environment.
Since we’re on this issue of the 850E’s black level capability, I’ll go on and speak about the TVs black screen uniformity, that was very good. When viewing a totally black screen I did so not see any light bleed from the edges of the screen.
Furthermore, while viewing a black screen overlaid with white text, blooming was nearly nonexistent.
In most cases, I enjoyed the entire display quality of the XBR850E, the picture image was bright and dynamic, displaying vibrant and colorfully bold images that appeared very accurate. Flesh tones were also very good, delivering natural well-balanced color tones.
Image detail and clarity on the 850E were first-rate, rendering crisp, sharp and well-refined picture images, that was, of course, perhaps most obviously on high-def content.
HDR performance on the XBR850E was good but fell somewhat short in efficiency due to its insufficient the bigger HDR peak brightness levels had a need to produce an optimal HDR image. Sony’s XBR900E has better HDR performance because of its higher peak brightness output.
Motion handling was very good on the 850E while viewing my test footage of a basketball game shot in 4K. I was impressed with how smooth the action flowed on the court. These results were achieved with all motion control options set to off.
Side angle viewing produced the normal results I normally see and usually expect from LED TVs. IT suffered from contrast loss that may supply the picture a gray and beaten up appearance. In addition, it lost color saturation making colors appear dull and less vibrant.