Sony X950G vs Z9F Review (XBR65X950G vs XBR65Z9F, XBR75X950G vs XBR75Z9F)
Sony X950G is the mid-range model of Sony’s 2019 4K HDR TV lineup while Sony Z9F is the top model of Sony’s 2018 4K HDR LED TV Lineup. Although they come to the different class but the technology and features of X950G adopted a lot from the technology of Z9F like its picture engine 4K HDR X1 Ultimate, X-Wide Angle, and others. In the market, X950G comes in some screen sizes options including 55 inch (XBR55X950G), 65 inch (XBR65X950G), 75 inch (XBR75X950G) and 85 inch (XBR85X950G) while Z9F comes in 2 screen sizes only including 65 inch (XBR65Z9F) and 65 inch (XBR75Z9F). In the market, with the same screen (XBR65X950G vs XBR65Z9F, XBR75X950G vs XBR75Z9F), X950G is sold much better than Z9F.
Although Sony X950G already has X-Wide Angle, this actually is just for the 75 inch and 85 inch model, while the 55 inch and 65 inch doesn’t have X-Wide Angle. This technology has an impact on the contrast and viewing angle produced. This means, a TV with X Wide Angle will have better side viewing angle coverage but its contrast ratio is a bit reduced. And this comparison refers to 65 inch model where X950G doesn’t has X-wide Angle while Z9F has this technology. And for the 75 inch, the comparison may have different result particularly in contrast ratio and viewing angle coverage.
Sony X950G vs Z9F Key Specification
|Specs and Features||Sony X950G||Sony Z9F|
|Screen sizes available||55 Inch (XBR55X950G), 65 inch (XBR65X950G), 75 inch (XBR75X950G), 85 inch (XBR85X950G)||65 Inch (XBR65Z9F), 75 Inch (XBR75Z9F)|
|Panel Technology||VA Panel||VA panel|
|Resolution||4K (2160 x 3840)||4K (2160 x 3840)|
|Backlight Technology||Direct LED||Direct LED|
|Local Dimming||Full Array Local Dimming||Full Array Local Dimming|
|X Wide Angle||Yes (75 Inch and 85 Inch), No (55 Inch and 65 Inch)||Yes|
|Picture Processor||X1 Ultimate||X1 Extreme|
|HDR Support||Dolby Vision, HLG, HDR10||Dolby Vision, HLG, HDR10|
|Clarity Enhancement||4K X Reality Pro, Dual Database Processing, Object Based Super Resolution||4K X Reality Pro, Dual Database Processing|
|Contrast Enhancement||Dynamic Contrast Enhancer, Object Based HDR Remaster, X-tended Dynamic Range Pro 6X||Dynamic Contrast Enhancer, Object Based HDR Remaster, X-tended Dynamic Range Pro 12X|
|Color Enhancement||Live Color Technology, Precision Color Mapping, Super Bit Mapping HDR, TriLuminos Display||Live Color Technology, Precision Color Mapping, Super Bit Mapping HDR, TriLuminos Display|
|Native Refresh Rate||120 Hz||120 Hz|
|Motion Enhancement||X Motion Clarity, Auto Mode||X Motion Clarity|
|Smart TV Platform||Android TV 8.0 Oreo||Android TV 8.0 Oreo|
|Remote||Sony’s Voice Remote Control 2019||Sony’s Voice Remote Control 2018|
|Audio Channel||2 Ch||2 Ch|
|Audio Power Output||10 watt + 10 watt||10 watt + 10 watt|
|Speaker Type||Acoustic Multi Audio||Bass Reflex|
|Price||See the price on Amazon||See the price on Amazon|
Features and Technology of Sony Z9F and X950G
As we see at comparison table above, at a glance, there is almost no difference in technologies and features between Sony X950G and Z9F. They both are equally powered by the new 4K HDR processor X1 Ultimate. According to Sony’s claim, the X1 Ultimate can deliver more fine details picture than the X1 Extreme or standard X1 engine. Compared to X1 Extreme, there is an additional brought by X1 Ultimate that is Object Based Super Resolution technology. This might be a differentiator between X1 Ultimate and X1 Extreme.
On their panel, Sony Z9F and Z950G both use VA panel with direct LED backlight and Full Array Local Dimming. Additionally, both of them also bring the new technology called “X-Wide Angle” that designed for delivering wider viewing angle coverage than conventional VA panel. But as we have mentioned above, special for “X-Wide Angle” technology, this is just as true to the 75 inch and 85 inch models of X950G while its smaller screen models don’t have this technology. Still about picture technology, they both are also powered the same technologies like TriLuminos Display, 4X-X Reality Pro Engine, Dual Database processing, Super Bit Mapping 4K HDR, Object Based HDR Remaster, X-tended Dynamic Range Pro, and others. Meanwhile, coming with HDR technology, they both also support the same HDR format including HDR10, HLG, and Dolby Vision. This shows that the difference in technologies and features offered by X950G and Z9F is almost the same.
For handling motion blur when they are playing fast moving images like sports of fast movies, they both are also powered by X-Motion Clarity that based on native 120 Hz refresh rate panel. For connecting with other devices, Sony X950G and X900F also provide 4 HDMI ports and 3 USB ports. Additionally, for offering attractive smart TV experience, they both are also featuring the same smart TV platform that is Android TV 8.0 Oreo. And for delivering sound, X900F and X950G both are also equipped with 2.0 Ch speaker systems.
The Difference between Sony X950G and X900F
The Level of X-Tended Dynamic Range Pro
Although Sony X900F and X950G both have a technology called X-Tended Dynamic Range Pro but their level is different. X-tended Dynamic Range Pro of X950G is 6X while Z9F is 12X. This has to do with the number dimming zones of their Full Array Local Dimming. Although they both already have full array local dimming technology, can be ascertained, the number of dimming zones of the local dimming is different. And certainly, Z9F has a lot of more dimming zones than X950G. This certainly makes the local dimming of Z9F can perform much better than X950G. Not just in improving brightness level, but also in reducing blooming and making the color more vibrant. In this is one of the major factors why Sony Z9F is priced much more expensive than X950G.
The other major difference between Sony X950G and Z9F is X-Wide Angle. But keep in mind, this is just for their 65 inch model while for 75 inch model, they both already have X-Wide angle. For this case, X950G (XBR65X950G) is not equipped with X-Wide Angle technology while Z9F (XBR65Z9F) already has this technology. The impact, Z9F has better side viewing angle coverage than X950G. But on the other hand, X-wide angle makes black level produced by Z9F is not as deep as X950G.But even so, black level produced by Z9F is still better than a TV with IPS panel.
Sony X950G comes with 2019 model of Sony Voice Remote while Sony Z9F comes with 2018 model of Sony Voice Remote. Functionally, they are almost similar. But even so, they have a difference in a design. Like we found on other 2018 model of Sony TV, the remote of Z9F is large and has black tint. Meanwhile, the remote of X950G comes with new design. It is still large but thinner than the remote of Z9F. Additionally, it is also made from plastic and has metallic tint.
As we see on comparison table above, Sony Z9F is equipped with 2 Ch speaker system with bass reflex speaker type. Meanwhile, Sony X850G comes also comes with 2 Ch speaker system, but with Acoustic Multi Audio speaker type. Basically, X950G also use bass reflex speaker type but there is two additional sound-positioning tweeters in the rear of the TV that expected can deliver clearer sound quality particularly in high frequency.
Sony X950G vs Z9F Performance
Contrast and Black Level
The native contrast ratio of Sony X950G may be not as strong as X900F, but its native contrast ratio is still fairly good that make it can produce deep black. This certainly also makes its performance in a dark room is also excellent. With around 0.022 nits of black level that can be reached, this certainly makes black of images displayed on its screen looks really black. With HDR images, its black level is also quite dark to reveal details images in a dark scene, makes dark scene of HRD images looks excellent like the intended. But a bit unfortunate, although it already comes with Full Array Local Dimming, its local dimming cannot improve its contrast significantly. This means, with local dimming enabled, its contrast only improves slightly. But even so, in a general, performance of X950G especially XBR65X950G in producing black can be said excellent.
On the other hand, although Sony Z9F also uses VA panel but its native contrast ratio is far from expectation. With local dimming disable, its native contrast ratio is less than 2000:1 that certainly it is too low for VA TVs. The low native contrast ratio produced by Z9F is more caused by X-Wide Viewing Angle optical panel. Fortunately, it combination of its excellent local dimming and X-tended Dynamic Range Pro behind it is very effective to boost its contrast ratio. Although with local dimming technology enabled, its contrast ratio still under performs, but its performance in a dark room is still acceptable. In general, its performance in producing black is still better than IPS TV but worse than any other VA TV.
Meanwhile, although black produced by Z9F is not as deep as X950G, but its local dimming can perform better. This will be noticeable when they are showing small highlights in dark scene. The result, unwanted adjacent light around bright scene or called “blooming” will be reduced better on the screen of Z9F than X950G.
Winner: Sony X950G
Sony Z9F and X950G both have excellent peak brightness. With SDR content, Sony X950G can reach more than 700 nits of peak brightness. It can even show highlights in dark screen brighter than 1000 nits. On the other hand, performance of Sony Z9F is even better. With SDR content, it can reach more than 800 nits of peak brightness. When showing highlights in a dark scene, it can even show them at around 1500 nits. With brightness level produced by them, this certainly makes their performance in a bright room is really excellent. And combined to their good reflection handling, they both don’t have any problem in overcoming the glare when used in bright room. This means, when used in a bright room, their picture will look remain good without bothered by the glare.
Meanwhile, with HDR content, they both can even show brighter peak brightness. Sony X950G can reach about 1100 nits while peak brightness of Sony Z9F is even exceptional, that is around 1600 nits. Additionally, they both can also show highlights of HDR content brighter than 1000 nits. This certainly makes them able to show highlights of HDR images at 1000-4000 of brightness range nits like the movies creator’s intended. As we have known, to show HDR images excellently like the intended, particularly bright scene or highlights, a HDR TV must have at least 1000 nits of peak brightness. But just like other TVs with local dimming, their peak brightness varies depending on the scene. With other words, their peak brightness depending on the how large the bright parts of the scene. The larger bright parts, its peak brightness is dimmer. This means, when they are showing a scene with larger bright parts, their peak brightness will drop. Even when they show the whole window is bright, their peak brightness drop to around 700 nits. But even so, what reached by them is excellent and there are no many TV that can beat them in brightness level particularly for Sony Z9F. And in general, Sony Z9F is superior to X950G in peak brightness.
Winner: Sony Z9F
Although both of them are powered by the same technologies like TriLuminos Display, Live Color Technology, Precision Color Mapping and others, but in producing color, Sony Z9F can perform better than X950G. In DCI P3 color space, Sony Z9F can cover around 95 % while Sony X950G is able to cover around 93%.This means, Sony Z9F can show some certain color more saturated than X950G that certainly makes some certain colors of HDR images looks more accurate on the screen of Z9F than X950G. Nevertheless, although not as wide as Z9F, color gamut of X950G still meets the minimum recommendation to show HDR images fully like the intended. In the rec.2020 as the color coverage of Dolby Vision, Sony Z9F also can cover wider color coverage than X950G. Z9F can cover more than 73% while X950G is a bit less than 70%. Like in DCI P3, although not as wide as Z9F, color gamut of X950G is still acceptable for Dolby Vision Content.
Additionally, in addition wide color gamut, Sony Z9F also has better color volume than X950G. The superiority of Z9F in color volume is more caused by its superiority in producing color gamut and its better performance in producing saturated color. Nevertheless, in general, they both can produce dark colors as good as bright colors. But even so, since they cannot cover 100% of DCI P3, this makes them cannot fill out the entire gamut well. Overall, their color gamut and color volume may be not as good as Samsung Q9FN or Q7FM, but at least, their color gamut is wide enough to show HDR images colorful.
Additionally, Sony Z9F also can produce a bit smoother color gradient than Sony X950G. Nevertheless, although it is not as good asZ9F, color gradient of X950G is also among the best ever. Although there may be still some little imperfection visible in some certain colors like dark green or others, but it can be corrected by setting low or off the “Smooth Gradation” on the “Clarity”, even though this will makes the picture lose some fine details.
Winner: Sony Z9F
Side Viewing Angle
Sony X950G and Z9F both may use VA Panel, but Z9F has better side viewing angle coverage than X950G, particularly for their 65 inch model. This is caused Z9F has equipped with “X-Wide Viewing Angle” optical panel while X950G is not. But keep mind, this only applies to 65 inch model and not for 75 inch due their 75 inch models both have X-Wide Viewing Angle. Although not as good as IPS TVs, but at least, the picture displayed on the screen of Z9F looks more consistent than on the screen of X950G. If on the screen of X950G, color start to be washed out at around 25 degrees off center and front, on the screen of Z9F, the color will start to be washed out at more than 35 degrees. As well as their black level, if on the screen of X950G, black level will be degraded started at around 15 degrees off center and front, Z9F can maintain black level produced at up to around 35 degrees off center and front.
Winner: Sony Z9F
Sony Z9F and X950G both have excellent pixel response time and their pixel response time is almost similar. Their pixel response time may be not as good as OLED TVs, but between LED TVs, they are among the best. The result, when they are showing a content with a lot of fast moving scene like sports, fast games or fast movies, the picture produced looks smooth and clear with virtually no motion blur visible. Following fast moving objects, there may be still small blur trail, but most people may be not notice this much. Meanwhile, the blur that may be visible on their screen is more caused by persistence than pixel response time. But even so, for reducing blur that caused by persistence, particularly when they are playing 60 fps content like video games or games, they both have an optional black frame insertion mode that will flicker their screen at 120 Hz instead 720 Hz as their default dimming frequency. By enabling this mode, this will reduce persistence blur but on the other hand, this will make backlight flicker is more noticeable. But evens so, since the lowest possible frequency of their flickering pattern is 120 Hz, its performance in reducing persistence blur that caused by 60 fps content is not as good as a TV that has 60 Hz of lowest possible frequency.
You need to know, by default, to dim their backlight, X950G and Z9F both use PWM system with 720 Hz of dimming frequency. Since its dimming frequency is very high, when you disable their BFI mode, this will make backlight flicker is almost invisible.
Meanwhile, their performance in playing 24p movies is just as good. No matter the frame rate of the content, whether it is native 24p videos like Blu-Ray or DVD’s movies, 24p movies from native streaming apps like Netflix, Amazon Videos, and others, 24p videos via 60i signal like movies from satellite box, or even via 60p signal like movies from streaming devices, they both can show them smoothly and clearly with judder-free. Nevertheless, to eliminate the judder, you should set “Motion Flow” to “Custom”, “CineMotion” to “Auto” and “Smoothness” to “Min”.
Sony X950G and Z9F are equipped with 4 HDMI ports as their major connectivity. All of their HDMI ports already support HDCP 2.3, HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth, and CEC. Additionally, one of their ports also already supports Audio Return Channel. But even so, there is none of them that already support HDMI 2.1 full bandwidth for HFR. Additionally, they both are also equipped with 3 USB ports where two of them are USB 2.0 and 1 port is USB 3.0. IN addition to HDMI and USB, they both are equipped with 1 RF In (Antenna In), 1 Composite In (AV in via RCA), 1 Digital Audio Out (optical), 1 Analog Audio Out (Mini jack 3.5mm) and IR In for their IR blaster. As their wireless connectivity, X950G and Z9F both are equipped with built-in Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac.
In addition to be equipped with the same inputs/outputs, Sony X950G and Z9F both have excellent input lags in game and PC mode and their input lags are also almost similar. In both 4K and 1080p resolution, their input lags are about 20 ms that means it is very good for any games. This means, no matter you are playing 1080p or 4K games, fast paced or casual games, you will play them responsively without laggy. Combined to their good picture quality and excellent motion handling, this certainly makes them as the good TV for playing games.
Smart TV Platform
Although Sony Z9F is a 2018 model but it is already featuring Android 8.0 as its smart TV platform. This means, Sony X950G and Z9F are featuring the same smart TV platform that is Android 8.0 Oreo. The user interface of Android 8.0 has been updated from Android 7.0 so it is more user friendly, allow you to find content faster and easier. If on Android 7.0, many of the options that used are placed at the bottom of the page, in Android 8.0, they are moved at the top of the page. That’s interesting, there is new customizable quick menu that allows you to well organize menus according to your own preference. Nevertheless, although its interface has been updated so faster and easier than the previous version, but its interface is still not as easy as the interface of Tizen OS by Samsung or WebOS by LG. Meanwhile, Android 8.0 still comes with a lot of attractive and complete apps as its preinstalled apps. There are VoD Service like YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Videos, and others, web Browser, Games, and many more. The most attractive is its apps store called Google Play Store. As we know, Google Play Store is supported by tons of developers that makes it provides tons of apps, content, games, and others. And we have known, what provided by Google Play Store is the more complete than apps from other manufacturers like LG apps store or Samsung Apps Store. Not only that, Android 8.0 also already supports Google Voice Assistant and some smart home assistant like Google Home or Amazon Alexa.
As we have mentioned above, although the remote of Sony X950G and Z9F has difference in design, but functionally, they are almost similar. They both have a lot of buttons. In addition standard buttons like “number buttons”, Power On buttons” “Direction buttons”, “Volume buttons”, “Some Common buttons, and others, they both also have two dedicated buttons for Netflix and Google Play Store. Additionally, they also have direct access buttons for Google Voice Assistant. Since Android TV has been integrated with Google Voice Assistant, the voice navigation of Sony TVs including X950G and Z9F is excellent. And to supports its voice navigation, both of these remote is equipped with built-in microphone and Bluetooth for connecting with the TV.
|Performance||Sony X950G||Sony Z9F|
As we have discussed a lot above, Sony X950G particularly XBR65X950G offers better contrast ratio that makes it can produce deeper black level than Z9F. But even so, although X950G has better contrast ratio, but its local dimming performance is not as good as Z9F. This will be noticeable when showing highlight in dark scene where blooming will be more noticeable on the screen of X950G than Z9F. On the other hand, Sony Z9F is superior in brightness level and color reproduction. This certainly makes Z9F can provide better HDR experience than X950G. Overall, picture quality produced by Z9F is still better than X950G, particularly when showing HDR images. But even so, this doesn’t mean performance of X950G is weak. All aspects of picture quality produced by X950G still meet the minimum recommendation to show HDR images fully like the intended, whether it is native contrast ratio, color reproduction, or brightness level. Meanwhile, in term of motion handling, input lags, and other features, their performance is as just good. Although Z9F is better than X950G, but in general, they both are good TVs for mixed usage, whether for watching movies, sports, TV shows, HDR contents, or playing games.
So, which is better choice between them? If performance and picture quality becomes your main consideration, of course, Sony Z9F is better than X950G. But keep in mind, Z9F is priced much more expensive than X950G, even nearly doubled. Now, the decision comes back to you according to your need and budget. If you have an extra budget, Z9F certainly is a better choice. But even so, if you feel Z9F is too expensive for you, Sony X950G is also a good choice for you. Although its picture quality is not as good as Z9F, but it has much cheaper price and its performance and picture quality also can be said excellent, even for HDR experience.