Sony X900F vs X900E Review (XBR49X900F vs XBR49X900E, XBR55X900F vs XBR55X900E, XBR65X900F vs XBR65X900E, XBR75X900F vs XBR75X900E)
Sony X900F is the mid-end model of Sony’s 2018 4K HDR TV lineup and also the successor of Sony X900E, one of the best mid-end TV for 2017. In addition to like the predecessor where it comes with some screen sizes options including 49 inch (XBR49X900F vs XBR49X900E), 55 Inch (XBR55X900F vs XBR55X900E), 65 inch (XBR65X900F vs XBR65X900E), 75 inch (XBR75X900F vs XBR75X900E), X900F series also comes with 85 inch of screen size (XBR85X900F). When I was writing this comparison, with the same screen size, as a newer model, X900F is sold hundreds dollar more expensive than the predecessor X900E. This might be caused by the price of X900E has dropped and refer to when they were first released, X900F is also priced hundreds dollar more expensive than X900E. So, as a newer model, what additional technology and features offered by X900F and what are its advantages than the predecessor X900E?
Technology and Features of Sony X900F and X900E
On their panel, there are not many changes. Both of them equally uses VA panel with Direct LED backlight and Full Array Local Dimming. This certainly makes both of them can produce deep black level and excellent black uniformity, but on the other hand, the use of VA panel makes their viewing angle coverage is poor. A bit differences are actually happened on the technology that support them. On their picture engine, there is a bit improvement where Sony X900F comes with 4K HDR X1 Extreme engine while X900E uses 4K HDR X1 Engine. As we know, in last year, X1 Extreme engine is only used by the top model X930E or Sony OLED A1E series. The difference between these engines is about the technologies which embedded where there some additional technology embedded on X1 Extreme including Precision Color Mapping and Dual Data Base Processing, while 4K HDR X1 didn’t have these technologies. In term of brightness, there is also a bit improvement, where X900F comes with X-tended Dynamic Range Pro 6X while X900E comes with X-tended Dynamic Range Pro 5X. Meanwhile, for improving their rendition of color, like the predecessor Sony X900E, X900F still uses TriLuminos Display that improved by the number of Sony’s technology like Live Color technology, Super Bit Mapping 4K HDR, and other. Additionally, coming with HDR technology, there is also a bit improvement about the HDR formats which supported by them. As we know, X900E only support HDR 10 and HLG format. With a default firmware, Sony X900F might be also support HDR 10 and HLG only, but it can be updated to support Dolby Vision in future.
|Technology Embeded||4K HDR Processor X1 (New)||4K HDR Processor X1 Extreme|
|Dynamic Contrast Enhancer||Yes||Yes|
|Precision Color Mapping||No||Yes|
|Dual Data Base Processing||No||Yes|
|Super Bit Mapping 4K HDR||Yes||Yes|
|Object-based HDR Remaster technology||Yes||Yes|
A bit difference is also on their motion clarity technology. As a newer model, Sony X900F comes with a new feature named “X-Motion Clarity”, while X900E comes with Motion Flow XR960. Nevertheless, basically, both of the technology based on the same native refresh rate panel that is 120 Hz. Meanwhile, for connecting with other devices, both of them equally equipped with 4 HDMI ports and 3 USB ports as their major connectivity and also other inputs/outputs like Ethernet, RF In, Composite IN, and others. And as their smart TV platform, like the predecessor X900E, Sony X900F also comes with Google Android TVs, but that differentiates to the predecessor, it comes with version 7.0 while the predecessor comes with version 6.0. And as their sound equipment, both of them equally equipped with 2.0 channel speaker system with 20 watts of total sound output and “Bass Reflex” speaker type.
Sony X900E vs X900F Key Specification
|Specs and Features||X900E||X900F|
|Size Available||49” (XBR49X900E), 55” (XBR55X930E), 65” (XBR65X930E), 75” (XBR75X930E)||49” (XBR49X900F), 55” (XBR55X900F), 65” (XBR65X900F), 75”(XBR75X900F), 85” (XBR85X900F)|
|Panel Type||VA Panel||VA Panel|
|Resolution||4K (2160 x 3840)||4K (2160 x 3840)|
|LED Backlight||Full Array Direct LED||Full Array Direct LED|
|Local Dimming||Yes (Full Array Local Dimming)||Yes (Full Array Local Dimming)|
|Extended Dynamic Range Pro||Yes (5X)||Yes (6X)|
|HDR (High Dynamic Range)||Yes (HDR 10 and HLG)||Yes (HDR 10 and HLG), Dolby Vision with an upcoming software update|
|Image Processor||4K HDR Processor X1||4K HDR Processor X1 Extreme|
|Picture Engine||4K X Reality Pro||4K X Reality Pro|
|Motion Control||Motion Flow XR960 (native 120 Hz)||X-Motion Clarity|
|Smart TV Platform||Android TV Version 6.0||Android TV Version 7.0|
|Speaker Type||Bass Reflex Speaker||Bass Reflex Speaker|
|Audio Output||10 W + 10 Watt||10 W + 10 Watt|
|HDMI Ports||4 (3 Side, 1 Rear)||4 (1 side, 3 bottom)|
|USB Ports||3 (side)||2 (side), 1 (bottom)|
|Price||See the price on Amazon||See the price on Amazon|
Sony X900F vs X900E Performance
Coming with Full Array Local Dimming, both Sony X900F and X900E has excellent native contrast ratio. Although there was a slight decrease in the contrast ratio of X900F to X900E, but on the other hand, its full array local dimming works a bit better than the predecessor. But basically, their local dimming effectively works to boost the native contrast ratio. The result, both of them equally have quite strong native contrast ratio to produce deep black that certainly also makes darker colors looks more accurate. And combined to its good black uniformity, this certainly makes their performance in a dark room is excellent. If you often watch movies in a dark room, both of them might be a good choice for you. Not just that, both of them also can produce back level lower than 0.02 nits that means it is excellent for revealing details of images in dark scene when displaying HDR images. The result, shadow details of HDR images looks excellently like what intended. As we know, to show shadow details of HDR images like the intended, particularly HDR 10 images, a HDR TV must able to reach black level darker than 0.05 nits, while with lower than 0.02 nits, this certainly make them do a great job when showing shadow details of HDR images.
While there is a decrease on contrast ratio of Sony X900F to the predecessor, in term of peak luminance, there is a bit improvement over X900E. While peak brightness reached by Sony X900E is still lower than 900 nits, peak brightness reached by X900F is almost close 1000 nits. Nevertheless, basically, their peak brightness is quite bright to deals with the glare and combined to its great reflection handling, this makes both of them can also do a great job when set in a bright room. Additionally, when playing HDR, their local dimming is also very effective to brighten the small area of windows, makes highlight of HDR images can be shown brighter and looks excellent. But even so, since X900F has a bit brighter peak luminance than the predecessor, this certainly also makes it can show highlight of HDR images brighter than X900E. But unfortunately, since HDR images is usually mastered in 1000 – 4000 nits of brightness range and since their peak brightness is still lower than 1000 nits, this certainly also makes both of them are not able to show highlight of HDR images at a native brightness range where they are mastered. But once again, for mid-range TV, what offered by Sony X900E and X900F is still great.
Meanwhile, talking about color performance, their performance is similar. Although not as wide as some other TVs like Samsung Q7F or LG OLED B7A, but they still support wide color gamut. This means, almost all colors of HDR images displayed on their screen can be well represented, makes colors of HDR images looks accurate. But like most of other modern TVs which available in the market, both of them underperform when showing green. But overall, color of HDR images will look fairly accurate. On the other hand, both Sony X900F and X900E also have similar color gamut. Overall, their color volume is decent. They might not be able to show their wide color gamut at extremely bright colors and extremely dark colors as good as at moderate brightness, but the excepting of at extreme ends of their brightness range, both of them can show their wide color gamut fairly well. This means, the color will only look less accurate at extreme bright and dark colors, while except these conditions, colors of HDR images will look fairly accurate. Still about color performance, the use of X1 Extreme engine on X900F where there is Super Bit Mapping 4K HDR technology embedded makes it can produce better color gradient than the predecessor X900E. On the screen of X900E, the small imperfections is still visible on dark green and blue, while on the screen of X900F, these small imperfections can be reduced. Nevertheless, overall, their color gradient is excellent and still better than most other TVs.
Overall, there is not much improvement in picture quality offered by X900F as a newer model than the predecessor X900E, even there is a bit decrease in native contrast ratio. But even so, the local dimming of X900F works a bit better, makes its black uniformity is a bit better than X900E. Additionally, better local dimming performance also makes X900F has a bit brighter peak brightness than X900E. Other a bit improvement that offered is about their color gradient. All of these improvements certainly will make the picture displayed on the screen of Sony X900F will look a bit better than X900E, particularly when showing HDR images.
But unfortunately, since both Sony X900E and X900F uses VA panel, this makes they have poor side viewing angle coverage. This means the picture displayed on their screen will looks excellent only if viewed from the center and front. While when viewed from the side, even less than 20 degrees off center and front, black level and colors will be degraded. This certainly make the picture doesn’t look as good as when viewed from the front and center. And the wider of angle you view from, the picture will look worse. This means, if you often watch TV with a group of family or friend where they are watch TV from multiple viewing angles, these TVs might not be suitable for you.
Motion Handling and 24p Playback
In term of motion handling, Sony X900F also has a bit lower pixel response time than the predecessor X900E. But essentially, their pixel response time is excellent for handling motion blur. And maximized by X-Motion Clarity technology for X900F and Motion Flow XR960 for X900E, the result, there is almost no motion blur visible when they are playing fast paced contents like sports or fast movies. The result, there is almost no motion blur following fast moving object. What offered by them might not as excellent as OLED TV, but for LED TV, they are including the best. Meanwhile, since both of them use PWM to dim the backlight, this certainly makes their backlight equally does flicker, even at maximum backlight, the flicker of their backlight still present. But even so, since they use 720 Hz of flicker frequency that certainly is very fast, this makes the flickers is not visible for most people, so, this should not be a problem. Meanwhile, when used to play movies, no matter the frame rate of the source, both of them can do a great job. This means, whether the source is 24p videos like Blu-Ray or DVD movies, 24p via 60i signal like movies from satellite TV, 24p videos via 60p signal like movies from streaming device, or 24p videos via native apps like Netflix or others, all of them be shown clearly on their screen without judder. To remove the judder without adding “soap opera effect”, you just need to set “Motion Flow” to “Tru Cinema” and “CineMotion” to “High”. Additionally, since both of these Sony X900E and X900F have 120 Hz native refresh rate panel, this certainly makes them are able to interpolate both lower frame rate contents 30 fps and 60fps fairly well with strong “Soap Opera Effect”.
As their major connectivity, both Sony X900F and X900E equally equipped with 4 HDMI ports where all of the ports are already support HDCP 2.2. Meanwhile, their HDMI ports which support HDMI 2.0 Full bandwidth are HDMI 2 and 3 while that supports ARC (Audio Return Channel) is HDMI 3). A bit difference is about where their HDMI ports are located. On X900F, 1 port is located at the side and 3 ports are located at the bottom while on X900E, 3 ports are located at the side while 1 port is located at rear. Additionally, both Sony X900E and X900F are also equally equipped with 3 USB ports where 2 ports are USB2.0 and 1 port is USB3.0. All USB ports of X900E are located at the side while for X900F, 2 ports are located at the side while 1 port is located at the bottom. In addition to USB and HDMI ports, both of them also equally equipped with 1 RF In, 1 Ethernet In, 1 Digital Audio Out (optical), and 1 Analog Audio Out (mini jack).That differentiates between them is about Composite and Component in where X900E is equipped with 2 Composite In (AV In) and 1 Component In, while X900F is only equipped with 1 Composite In (AV In) and not equipped with Component In. Meanwhile, talking about their input lags in PC and Game mode, this is depending on the source. At 1080p inputs, Sony X900E has lower input lags than X900F and its input lags is fairly low to play any games. While for X900F, its input lags is only comfortable when used for playing casual games, while when used to play fast paced games, this might be a bit too high. Otherwise, at 4K inputs, Sony X900F has lower input lags that makes it is more comfortable when used to play 4K games than X900E, particularly for fast paced games. But even so, although they are not as low as X900F, the input lags of X900E are actually also quite low to play fast paced 4K games.
As their smart TV platform, both Sony X900F and X900E are equally featuring Google Android TV as their smart TV platform. That differentiates between them, X900E comes with Android TV version 6.0 while X900F comes with newer version that is version 7.0. As a newer version, Android 7.0 comes with some additional smart features and improvements. But even so, the user interface is still not as simple as other platform. This will make the navigation is a bit confusing, particularly for new users. To see everything on its “Home Screen”, you need a lot of scrolling. Additionally, their performance is also inconsistent. When you are opening the menus, sometime it opens quickly with smooth animation, but at other time, before opening, there is a lag for a few moments with choppy animation. Nevertheless, although the navigations is not as comfort as other smart TV platform, this platform has the strength on the “Google Play Store”. As we know, Google Play Store is powered by tons of developer that makes it also has tons of apps, contents, and games, a lot of more than what provided by apps store of other platform.
As their remote, both of them equally use “Sony Voice Remote”. Their remote is large and have a lot of buttons. In addition to standard button like “Number Buttons”, navigation buttons, and others, there are also two dedicated buttons for accessing Google Play Store and Netflix. Their remote is also equipped with built-in microphone and already supports “Google Assistant” that offer a lot of new features to their voice control, makes you more comfort when navigating with your voice. Meanwhile, works together with IR blaster, their remote also can be used to control some functions of other devices connected on your TV via HDMI port.
|Performance||Sony X900E||Sony X900F|
As a newer model, Sony X900F comes with some improvement in design and technology than the predecessor X900E. In term of design, the striking difference is on their stand where the stand of X900F is much wider than X900E. In term of technologies, the striking improvement is on their picture engine where X900F now is powered by 4K HDR X1 Extreme Engine while X900E is powered by X900E. Additionally, X900F now is powered by X-tended Dynamic Range Pro 6X while X900E X-tended Dynamic Range Pro 5X. The other improvement brought by X900F, now with an upcoming firmware update, it can be updated to support Dolby Vision. Meanwhile, in term of performance and picture quality, X900F may offer a bit brighter peak brightness and a bit better performance of other features, but the improvement is not too significant.
So, which is a better choice between them? Actually, X900E has been discontinued by the manufacturer, but some merchants still sold it, so you still can buy it and of course its price has dropped. On other hand, Sony X900F is recently launched that course make its price is still high, so it is not surprising if with the same screen, X900F is priced hundreds dollar more expensive than X900E. Now the decision comes back to you according to your preferences. If you don’t mind to spend hundreds more dollar of your money, X900F might be a better choice for you. In addition it is a newer model, it also offers a bit better picture quality and some additional features than X900E. But even so, if you want cheaper TV, Sony X900E also not a bad choice since its performance is not far behind X900F. Nevertheless, if you want a X900F with cheaper price, you can wait for the next few months so its price drop.