Sony Z9F vs Z9D Review (XBR65Z9F vs XBR65Z9D, XBR75Z9F vs XBR75Z9D)
Sony Z9D is the flagship of Sony’s 2016 4K HDR LED TV that has great performance particularly on its peak brightness. While in 2017, there was not the successor that released and the presence of Sony Z9F in this year ended a long waiting. Meanwhile, coming as the successor of Z9D, Z9F brings some improvements and new technologies that expected can makes its picture quality and performance is better than the predecessor. In the market, Sony Z9D comes in 3 screen sizes option including 65 Inch (XBR65Z9D), 75 Inch (XBR75Z9D), and 100 inch (XBR100Z9D), while Z9F lacks the biggest screen 100 inch and only comes 2 screen size including 65 Inch (XBR65X9F) and 75 Inch (XBR75Z9F). Sony Z9D actually has been discontinued by the manufacturer, but some merchants still sell them. Meanwhile, which one is cheaper between them is depending on their screen size. For their 65 Inch model (XBR65Z9F vs XBR65Z9D), Z9D is sold hundreds dollar cheaper while for their 75 inch model (XBR75Z9F vs XBR75Z9D), Z9D is sold more expensive. But of course, their prices certainly are not fixed and could still change at any time.
Sony Z9F vs Z9D Key Specs
|Specs and Features||Sony Z9D||Sony Z9F|
|Size Available||65 Inch (XBR65Z9D), 75 Inch (XBR75Z9D vs XBR75Z9F), 100 Inch (XBR100Z9D)||65 Inch (XBR65Z9F), 75 Inch (XBR75Z9F)|
|Panel Type||VA Panel||VA Panel with X- Wide Angle|
|Resolution||4K (2160 x 3840)||4K (2160 x 3840)|
|LED Backlight||Direct LED||LED Backlight|
|Local Dimming||Master Backlight Drive (Full Array Local Dimming with Discrete LED Control)||Full Array Local Dimming|
|Image Processor||4K HDR X1 Extreme||4K HDR X1 Ultimate|
|Clarity Enhancement||4K X Reality Pro, Dual Database Processing||4K X Reality Pro, Dual Database Processing, Object Based Super Resolution|
|Contrast Enhancement||Dynamic Contrast Enhancer, Object-based HDR Remaster, X-tended Dynamic Range Pro 16X||Dynamic Contrast Enhancer, Object-based HDR Remaster, X-tended Dynamic Range Pro 16X|
|Color Enhancement||Live Color Technology, Precision Color Mapping, Super Bit Mapping 4K HDR, TriLuminos Display||Live Color Technology, Precision Color Mapping, Super Bit Mapping 4K HDR, TriLuminos Display|
|Motion Control||Motion Flow XR1440 (native 120 Hz)||X-Motion Clarity|
|Native Refresh Rate Panel||120 Hz||120 Hz|
|3D Technology||Yes (active)||No|
|Smart TV Platform||Android TV 6.0 version||Android TV8.0 version|
|Audio Output||10 watts x 2||10 watts x 2|
|Speaker Type||Bass Reflex Speaker (XBR100Z9D : Long Duct Speaker)||Bass Reflex Speaker|
|HDMI Ports||4 (1 outside, 3 center)||4 (1 side/3 bottom)|
|USB Ports||3 (Side)||3 (2 side, 1 bottom)|
|Price||See the price on Amazon||See the price on Amazon|
Features and Technologies of Sony Z9D and Z9F
Adopting Z9D the predecessor, Sony Z9F also comes with VA panel with Direct LED backlight and excellent Full Array Local Dimming with hundreds dimming zones. But unfortunately, Sony doesn’t clearly reveal what the number of dimming zones of each. So, we don’t actually know, whether Sony Z9F have more dimming zones than Z9D, less dimming zones or similar. But for sure, Z9F is powered by a more powerful processor that drive its local dimming algorithm, makes its lighting control is better than Sony Z9D the predecessor. Meanwhile, although Z9F brings improvements in almost all aspect over Z9D, it lacks 3D technology. As we know, since 3D technology is not too popular, in last year, the number manufacturers have left 3D technology.
The difference between Sony Z9F and Z9D
One of major improvements brought by Sony Z9F over Z9D the predecessor is about their picture engine. As we see on comparison above, Sony Z9D is powered by 4K HDR X1 Extreme while Z9F is powered by 4K HDR X1 Ultimate. IN addition the number technologies that embedded in X1 Extreme like Dynamic Contrast Enhancer, Precision Color Mapping, Super Bit Mapping 4K HDR, Object-Based HDR Remaster, and Dual Database processor, there is also a new technology called Object Based Super Resolution that embedded in X1 Ultimate. Additionally, performance of the newer processor is claimed two times more powerful than the older, particularly in reducing color banding, controlling lighting, Up-scaling non 4K content to 4K resolution, converting non HDR to HDR contents, and others. Not just that, X1 Ultimate also makes its smart TV performance is also more responsive and faster.
One of the new technologies introduced for Z9F is X-Wide Angle technology. It is the technology that designed to improve its side viewing angle coverage. So, although both Sony Z9D and Z9F equally use VA Panel technology, with this technology behind it, Z9F have wider viewing angle than Z9D, but still worse than IPS panel. But on the other hand, this technology makes contrast ratio of Z9F is not as strong as other VA TVs.
The Level of X-Tended Dynamic Range Pro Technology
For improving the brightness level, both Sony Z9D and Z9F are equally powered by X-Tended Dynamic Range Pro technology. But for this case, their level is different where Z9D is powered by X-tended Dynamic Range Pro 16x while Z9F is powered by X-tended Dynamic Range Pro 16X. Although Sony Z9F is a newer model, but the level of this technology is even lower. This indicates that the dimming zones of Z9F are not more than Z9D, or even less. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean performance of Z9F in producing peak brightness is worse than Z9D. This due the performance of the processor that drives the dimming algorithm of Z9F is more powerful than Z9D.
Motion Clarity Technology
The other difference between them is about their motion clarity technology. We can see on the comparison above, Sony Z9D is powered by MotionFlow XR1440 while Z9F is powered by X-Motion Clarity. There is an improvement in algorithm that used by X-Motion Clarity over MotionFlow XR in inserting black frame. With X-Motion Clarity Technology, Sony Z9F should be able to produce smoother and clearer motion than Z9D.
Smart TV Platform
The other major difference between Sony Z9D and ZXF is about the version of their Smart TV platform. For this case, Sony Z9D is featuring Google Android TV version 6.0 or called Marshmallow, the 2016 version of Android TV. Meanwhile, Sony Z9F is featuring the newer version of Android TV that is version 8.0 or called Oreo. There are some improvements brought by the Oreo version over Marshmallow version, particularly on their User Interface, makes its navigation is easier than the older version. Additionally, smart TV performance of Z9F is also faster and more responsive than Z9D, but this is more caused by its faster chipset.
Sony Z9F vs Z9D Performance
Like most of TVs with VA panel, Sony Z9D has strong native contrast ratio, makes it can produce deep blacks. Let alone, its local dimming works excellently to boost the contrast, makes it is able to outperform most of VA TVs in producing black when its local dimming is activated. The result, its performance in a dark room is outstanding particularly in producing dark scene. With other words, dark scene displayed on its screen looks excellent with black look really black. Additionally, with HDR content, it is also able to show shadow details of HDR images excellently like the creator intended. Essentially, although not as great as OLED TV, Z9D is a great TV in producing dark scene and its performance in a dark room is better than most VA TVs with VA panel. On other hand, although Sony Z9F also comes with VA panel, but its native contrast ratio is too low for VA TVs. Nevertheless, it is still better than IPS TV. Fortunately, it has excellent local dimming that able to boost its contrast ratio up to twice, so with local dimming enable, its contrast ratio is still acceptable. Nevertheless, it is still lower than native contrast ratio of most VA TVs. The result, when set in a dark room, performance of Z9F is not as good as Z9D, even most TVs with VA panel, particularly in producing dark scenes. But even so, its performance is still better than IPS TV. With HDR contents, black level produced is still lower than 0.03 nits that means it is still able to show shadow details of HDR images like what recommended by UHD alliance. Overall performance of Z9F in a dark room or when producing dark scene is far below Z9D the predecessor or even not as good as most TVs with VA panel, but still acceptable for most people. The low native contrast ratio produced by Z9F may be due by X-Wide Angle Layer technology that embedded.
Meanwhile, in term of peak brightness produced by them, both Sony Z9D and Z9F have extraordinary peak brightness. With SDR contents, Sony Z9D can provide more than 700 nits that means all content can be shown very brightly on its screen, even when it is set in a dark room. Additionally, when showing small bright object in a dark background, its local dimming very effective to brighten the small bright windows brighter than 1500 nits, makes highlights looks excellently. What offered by Z9D in producing peak brightness is the best in its time. On the other hand, Sony Z9F can even do a better job. With real scene, peak brightness reached by Z9F is even two times of what reached by Z9D. Additionally, when showing highlights, Z9F also can show them a bit brighter than Z9D.
Meanwhile, with HDR contents, their peak brightness is even brighter than with SDR contents. With real scene, peak brightness reached by Z9D is close to 1400 nits, makes HDR images displayed on its screen looks very bright, even in a very bright room. On the other hand, peak brightness reached by Sony Z9F is even brighter than 1600 nits and for this time, there is no TV that can match its real scene brightness. Additionally, their local dimming is also very effective to brighten the small window size, makes small bright object can be shown than the rest and brighter than 1600 nits. The result, highlight of HDR images looks excellently on their screen like what movies creator’s intended. As we know, to show HDR images at the creator intended, a TV must be able to show them at 1000-4000 nits of brightness range. The other excellent performance offered by them, since they have hundreds dimming zones, when showing a small bright object in a dark room, blooming or unwanted adjacent light around the bright object can be well-minimized. Overall, although Z9F is better in producing peak brightness, but performance of Z9D is also already outstanding.
Both Sony Z9F and Z9D also equally have wide color gamut. But compare between them, Z9F can produce wider color gamut than Z9D the predecessor. The color coverage of Z9D in DCI P3 is more than 93% that means it is wide enough to show colors of HDR images that mastered in DCI P3 looks very accurate. There are only some certain colors like deep greens that can be shown as saturated as other colors. But overall, colors of HDR images can be shown fairly accurate. Additionally, its color coverage in Rec.2020 is also brighter than 70% that means it is still wide enough to show colors of HDR images that mastered in Rec.2020 fairly accurate. Meanwhile, since Sony Z9F can produce wider color gamut, this certainly makes some certain colors can be shown more accurate than Z9D. Additionally, Sony Z9F also has better color volume than Sony Z9D. But even so, this is more due to the color gamut of Z9F is wider than Z9D. Overall, they can show their wide color gamut at any level of their brightness range and combined to their wide color gamut, this certainly makes colors of HDR images can be shown fairly vivid and accurate. But even so, what offered by Sony Z9D and Z9F may be already excellent, but still worse than OLED TVs or Samsung QLED TV particularly Q7 Series and above. Meanwhile, in term of color gradient, Sony Z9F may have a bit smoother color gradient than Z9D. But even so, color gradient of Z9D is also already excellent. Their color gradient is even better than the competitors like Samsung Q9FN or OLED TVs. Overall, color gradient of images displayed on their screen looks very smooth with almost no color banding visible, particularly when showing HDR contents. Some little imperfections that may be visible should not be a problem.
Side Viewing Angle
The use of X-Wide Angle layer technology may make Sony Z9F cannot produce black as deep as Z9D, but on the other hand, this makes its side viewing angle coverage is better Z9D. On the screen of Z9D, color shift started at less than 20 degrees off center and front while on the screen of Z9F, color will start to shift at more than 25 degrees. Additionally, while Z9D can maintain its peak brightness at up to 40 degrees, Z9F can maintain its brightness at wider angle, more than 50 degrees. Meanwhile, their performance in maintain black level is almost similar where their black level will look degraded at more than 30 degrees. Although Z9F has better side viewing angle coverage than Z9D, but overall, their side viewing angle is better than most VA TVs, particularly in maintain black level. As we know, on the screen of most TVs with VA panel, black level usually start to be degraded at less than 15 degrees off center and front. Nevertheless, what offered by Sony Z9D and Z9F is still worse than IPS TVs or OLED TVs.
Motion Handling and 24p Playback
When playing fast moving images, Sony Z9F can do a better job than Z9D in handling motion trail. This is caused the pixel response time of Z9F is far lower than Z9D. The pixel response time of Z9F is excellent, even including the best for LED TV. The result, when they are playing fast moving images like sports or fast movies, the picture produced looks very clear and smooth with almost no blur visible. Following fast moving object, there is only a short faint trail where most people may not notice this much. On the other hand, the pixel response time of Z9D is worse than most TVs. The result, when playing fast paced contents, a faint trail following fast moving object looks longer than Z9F. But of course, blur is not just a trail that caused by pixel response time. There are also duplications caused by persistence that make blur, particularly when they are playing 60fps contents. So, blur that may visible on their screen, it is more caused by persistence, particularly for Z9F. Meanwhile, to dim their backlight, both of them use PWM dimming system with 720 HZ of dimming frequency. Since it use very high frequency, this makes backlight flicker is almost no visible on their screen. But even so, the less visible flicker will cause duplications is more visible. And for minimizing blur that caused by persistence, both of them equally have optional BFI (Black Frame Insertion) mode that will flicker the backlight at lower frequency. For Z9D, the lowest possible frequency is 60 HZ while for Z9F, the lowest possible frequency is 120 Hz. This feature is very helpful to clear-up motion, particularly when they are playing 60 fps content. But since Z9D can flicker their backlight at 60 Hz, motion will looks clearer on its screen than in the screen of Z9F that use 120 Hz of frequency. But on the other hand, the lower frequency of flicker makes backlight flicker is more noticeable.
Meanwhile, when playing 24p movies, Sony Z9F can do better a job than Z9D. For this case, Sony Z9D can show the movies with judder-free only if the source is native 24p videos like Blu-Ray or DVD movies and 24p videos from streaming apps like Netflix, YouTube, and others. While when the source is 24p movies via 60i signal like movies from satellite TV or via 60p signal like movies from streaming devices, it cannot remove the judder completely. On the other hand, performance of Z9F in playing 24p videos is great. This means no matter the frame rate of video source, all of them can be shown clearly and smoothly with judder-free.
As their major connectivity, both Sony Z9D and Z9F are equally equipped with 4 HDMI ports where all of them already support CEC and HDCP 2.2. Additionally, they also equally have 1 port that supports ARC (Audio Return Channel) that is on HDMI 3. Meanwhile, the advantages of Z9F, all of their HDMI ports also already support HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth while on Z9D, there are only 2 ports that support HDMI 2.0 (HDMI 2 and 3). Additionally, both of them also equally have 2 USB ports where 2 ports are USB 2.0 (USB 2 and 2) while 1 port is USB 3.0 (USB1). In addition to USB and HDMI ports, both of them also equally have 1 RF In, 1 Ethernet In, 1 Digital Audio Out (optical), 1 Analog Audio Out (Mini Jack), built-in Wi-Fi and also built –in Bluetooth. The difference between them is about their Composite in and Component in where Z9D have 2 Composite In (AV In) and 1 Component In while Z9F doesn’t have Component In and has only 1 Composite In.
Meanwhile, in term of input lag, Sony Z9F also has better input lags than Z9D in “PC” and “Game” mode. No matter the resolution of the source, the input lags of Z9F are about 21 ms. This is certainly low enough to play any games so feel responsively without laggy, even for fast paced contents. On the other hand, although not as low as Z9F, the input lags of Z9D in 4K resolution actually also fairly low to make playing game feels responsively, even for fast paced games. But in 1080p inputs, their input lags are too high and only comfortable for playing casual games. While for playing fast paced games, it may disappoint for most gamers.
As we have mentioned above, both Sony Z9D and Z9F have the same smart TV platforms that is Google Android TV. But the difference is about their version where Z9F comes with Android TV 8.0 Oreo while Z9D comes with Android 6.0 Marshmallow. On the newer version, there are some upgrades that makes its performance is faster and better than the previous version. Additionally, on the Oreo version, the main page has been adjusted. On Marshmallow version, the quick access buttons like inputs, settings are located at the bottom of the page, on Oreo version, they are moved at the top right of the page. Overall, the main page of Oreo version is better organized than Marshmallow version makes navigation and find something is easier. While the user interface of Oreo version has been upgraded over previous version, the setting’s menus are not many changed. Not just that, Smart TV performance of Z9F is faster and more responsive than Z9D. Nevertheless, this is more caused Z9F is powered by faster chipset than Z9F. Meanwhile, talking about apps provided, there are a lot of preinstalled apps like YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Videos, Web Browser, Games, Chrome Cast, Live TV, and many more. The excellence offered by them is about apps store called Google Android TV. As we know, it is powered by thousands of developers that certainly make the apps, games, and contents are also thousands. But even so, since their version is different, some apps may works on Z9D but don’t work on Z9F or otherwise. The other interesting that offered, now, they already support Google Home and Google Voice Assistant. Google Home allows you to monitor and control your compatible devices likes Refrigerator, Washing Machine, and Air Conditioner, and many more. Not just that, they also already supports Amazon Alexa. Meanwhile, Google Voice Assistant makes its voice navigation is far better.
As their controller both of them are equally equipped with Sony Voice Remote. Overall, their remote is similar. A bit difference is on the symbol of their voice navigation buttons. Their remote is rather large and have a lot of buttons. In addition to some basic buttons like “Number Buttons” Volume Buttons”, “Input Button”, and more, they also some quick access buttons for common setting and two dedicated buttons for Netflix and Play Store. On the top of the remote, there is also a direct access button to Google Voice Assistant. Meanwhile, as we have mentioned, since it supported Google Voice Assistant, their voice navigation is far better. In addition to it can control some basic functions like change channel, change inputs, and others, it also accepts some a bit complicated voice command. Additionally, their remote also supports CEC menu that means it can act as a universal remote, allow you to control some basic functions of other CEC compatible device connected on your Sony TV via HDMI ports.
|Performance||Sony Z9F||Sony Z9D|
As we have discussed a lot above, overall, Sony Z9F is better than Z9D. Its black level may be not as deep as Z9D that makes its performance is less superior to Z9D when used in a dark room, but its performance in a dark room is still acceptable. Meanwhile, except black level, Sony Z9F is superior on almost all aspects of picture quality. It has a bit brighter peak brightness in HDR, far brighter peak brightness in SDR, better color gamut, color volume, and color gradient. Except in a dark room, all of them make the picture quality and HDR performance of Z9F is better than Sony Z9D. Additionally, it also has wider viewing angle coverage than Z9D, makes the picture displayed looks more consistent when viewed from the side. Not just that, Sony Z9F also has significantly lower pixel response time that makes it can do job much better in handling motion blur. But even so, in minimizing blur that caused by persistence, particularly when playing 60 fps, performance of Z9F is not as good as Z9D due the lowest of its dimming frequency is 120 Hz while Z9D is able to flickers their backlight at 60 Hz. The other advantage offered by Z9F, it also has lower input lags that make it’s better for games. Additionally, it comes with newer version of Android TV where in the newer version, there are some upgrades and improvements that make its navigation is easier and its performance is faster. On the other hand, although not as good as the successor Z9F, performance and picture quality of Z9F is also already excellent. It even has better contrast ratio that makes it is better when used in a dark room. The other advantage of Z9D, it is able to flicker its backlight at 60 Hz. It is very useful to minimize blur that caused by persistence particularly when it is playing 60 fps content like sports or video games. But this is just optional because some people may feel more comfortable with flicker-free.
So, which is better choice between them? Considering picture quality and performance offered by them, as long as you don’t often watch TV in a dark room, Sony Z9F is a better choice. Let alone for their 75 inch model, Z9F is sold cheaper than Z9D. But even so, for their 65 inch model, it is sold hundreds dollar more expensive than Z9D. Although it is sold more expensive, what offered by Z9F is in accordance with the money you will spend. Now, the decision comes back to you. If you want to buy 75 inch model, Z9F is certainly a better choice. But if you want to buy 65 inch model, although Z9F is still better choice, but Z9D is also not a bad choice considering it also has excellent picture quality and HDR performance. And that is most important, you can save hundreds dollar of your money.