Sony XBR65X900F 65" 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV
Mention the name Sony to anyone considering a new TV, and it'll conjure up mental images of unmatched performance, classy design, and superb build quality. This reputation was first cemented in the early days of mass-market CRT TVs, where the company's Trinitron TVs stood head and shoulders above the competition. Though competition in today's HDTV market is much more intense, Sony has successfully maintained these traits in its latest Bravia-branded LED LCD TVs. The XBR-X900F is Sony's top non-Master Series offering, and promises flagship-level performance at much more affordable pricing.
The X900F is instantly recognizable as a Sony TV, with its signature slim bezel and premium all-business look. The most radical departure is the loss of the center-mount stand - the X900F now comes with wide-set legs, though they sit closer to the center of the TV than just about all other rival models. This is particularly important if your TV stand is narrower than the TV; those of you interested in wall-mounting the set will be happy to know that the X900F comes with standard VESA mounts and consistent cabinet thickness. The 4 HDMI ports are split between the side-facing and bottom-facing ports (HDMI 1 faces outside, HDMI 2, 3, and 4 face the bottom with 3 as the designated ARC port), as are the 3 USB ports (1 and 2 on the side, 3 facing down). Analog video connectivity requires a 3.5mm adapter, and supports composite video only. Rounding out the connectors are the requisite TOSLINK digital audio output and 3.5mm audio jack for external audio devices not going through HDMI, as well as an Ethernet port if you prefer to hard-wire your TV to your network as opposed to using Wi-Fi. Though the X900F is equipped with an internal tuner, you'll probably want to utilize the cable/antenna input to connect it to an external antenna or cable feed. As with just about any Sony TV from the past few decades, the X900F is solidly built and offers no outward quality compromises.
One of the biggest draws of choosing a Sony TV over any of its rivals is superior picture quality; the X900F takes things a step further. Black levels are outstanding - easily one of the best performers among its LCD peers. The X900F boasts accurate colors as well, which shows the benefits of Sony's extensive involvement in studio and film technology. As always, a professional calibration will get the most out of any TV, but the X900F is so accurate out of the box that only the most dedicated professionals or cinema enthusiasts will consider any improvement it brings money well spent. One area where Sony demonstrates a clear lead over its rivals is in image processing, both with native 4K content as well as upscaling 1080p material and even 720p and 480p. Motion handling is among the best of any non-OLED or (dearly departed) plasma display, and Sony provides extensive options for judder-free 24p content - even through sources such as native 60p or 60i.
The X900F is an Android TV, which carries all of its benefits as well as drawbacks. Flexibility is excellent due to unhindered access to the Google Play store, though all of the available apps are TV-centric and may not replicate what you see on a phone or tablet. Athough some users report sluggishness in the interface, we found no general consensus when it comes to this aspect. Menus are laid out logically and intuitively, and the remote supports voice control through Google Assistant. The remote also features prominent buttons to lauch Google Play and Netflix; beyond that, the smart TV suite features Amazon Video, Hulu, Vudu, and YouTube, to name a few.
The X900F was released in 2018 and has remained on sale for a while, with online and in-store prices dropping sharply as a result. The 65-inch version can be found well under $2,000 at the time of writing - outstanding value, but there are some competitors that offer similar picture quality for hundreds of dollars less. Sony's TVs typically command a price premium due to their unique combination of design, unrivalled image processing, and cohesive all-around packaging. If these perks check the right boxes for you, the X900F makes an excellent addition to your home theater setup.