Sony Bravia X80K 65 Review: Impresses with its picture quality

    The Sony Bravia X80K 65 is a decent recommendation for someone willing to invest in a premium smart TV but should you choose it over QLED TVs? Find out in our full review.
    By AMRITANSHU MUKHERJEE
    | Updated on Jun 21 2022, 07:51 PM IST
    Sony Bravia X80K 65 uses a LED backlit display and offers Google TV interface.
    Sony Bravia X80K 65 uses a LED backlit display and offers Google TV interface. (Amritanshu / HT Tech)
    Sony Bravia X80K 65 uses a LED backlit display and offers Google TV interface.
    Sony Bravia X80K 65 uses a LED backlit display and offers Google TV interface. (Amritanshu / HT Tech)

    When it comes to a premium smart TV, it is Sony that takes over the mind with its luxurious lineup of Bravia TVs. Be it the regular LED TVs, or the oh-so-desirable OLED TVs, you are guaranteed a visual treat every time you switch on your TV. In the premium space, the competition has heated up lately and several brands are opting for advanced panel technologies like QLED and even OLED. In fact, for just over Rs. 1 lakh, you can pamper yourself with a 55-inch OLED TV from Xiaomi or LG, or settle for the QLED TVs from Samsung, Xiaomi and TCL.

    Sony, in comparison, has to rely on its LED panels for this segment, considering its OLED models are way more expensive. Hence, we have the Bravia X80K 65 – a massive 65-inch smart TV with all of Sony’s bells and whistles to lure customers. Now unlike the Xiaomi and Samsung TVs at this price, Sony is sticking to its LED panel for this one. Given the premium you have to pay for this 65-inch model – Rs. 124990; the expectations are higher than ever, especially considering this is a Sony TV. Is it any good?

    Sony Bravia X80K 65 Design

    The higher-end Bravia TVs have always looked sleek and modern – something out of sci-fi movies with their sharp edges and all-black frames. On the Bravia X80K 65, you are greeted with a frame-less design that is more popularised these days by rival brands. The bezels are fairly slim too for a LED TV and the bottom chin has the traditional Sony lightbar status light. The rear has a solid construction too, with easy access to the I/O ports even on the wall mount.

    Sony Bravia X80K 65
    Sony Bravia X80K 65 (Amritanshu / HT Tech)
    Sony Bravia X80K 65
    Sony Bravia X80K 65 (Amritanshu / HT Tech)

    The collection of ports includes three HDMI ports (one with eARC, two with ALLM), an Ethernet port, a digital audio output, a couple of USB-C ports, and some more. You also get a modern remote controller with all the absolutely necessary buttons required to run a smart TV but misses out on channel keys and other buttons we have seen on older TV remotes. Sadly, this is an IR remote, which means you have to point it at the TV every time you want to change something.

    Sony Bravia X80K 65 Viewing experience

    This is where the Bravia X80K 65 rules for a LET backlit TV. I had my reservations with a pricey LED TV with regards to the viewing experience, especially since the Xiaomi OLED Vision TV sits in the other room, and I had just come from a TCL QLED TV. However, a couple of minutes with the TV and I was impressed. This is a 4K 60Hz panel with support for Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HLG formats. Being a 65-inch panel, I was surprised to see the impressive upscaling quality as well as all the colour management and processing.

    That is largely due to the X1 processor that Sony uses in the Bravia X80K 65. Paired with the 4K X-Reality Pro and Triluminous Pro, the TV is able to come close and even match at times the contrast and punchiness of the QLED TVs at times. In Standard Definition content, the upscale performance is great and the TV maintains great colour vibrancy. The DirectLED backlighting keeps light bleed under control but the local dimming performance could have been better – the light halo effect is visible in darker regions. And since there is an LCD panel behind, blacks mostly appear grey. The overall picture quality is good in the Standard mode and you can enhance it further with the various Picture modes.

    Sony Bravia X80K 65
    Sony Bravia X80K 65 (Amritanshu / HT Tech)
    Sony Bravia X80K 65
    Sony Bravia X80K 65 (Amritanshu / HT Tech)

    While watching HDR10 and Dolby Vision content, the panel performed as per expectations. For example, in Marvel's Loki on Disney+ Hotstar, the picture mode defaults to Dolby Vision Bright and you can choose the slightly dimmer “Dolby Vision Dark” mode. Whichever mode you pick, the picture quality and colour reproduction is top notch – no complaints here. The same was the case with HDR10 content on Amazon Prime, which has looked as good as expected.

    While the panel defaults to a refresh rate of 60Hz, there’s Motion Smoothening (MEMC) that makes the content look smoother. In fact, I left the motion smoothening on and watching F1 races or cricket matches was a delight. Due to the absence of a Sony PS5 or any other gaming console, I could not test the gaming performance of this TV. The presence of an auto brightness sensor helps keep it comfortable for the eyes.

    In short, this may be an LED TV but the picture processing and upscaling can makes up mostly for drawbacks of the LED panel. Yes, in dark scenes, the blacks are not true blacks and the contrast performance is inferior to the OLED TVs. You can witness the irregular black uniformity and greys – this is where the QLED and OLED TVs gain a big advantage.

    Sony Bravia X80K 65 Audio Performance

    Sony Bravia X80K 65
    Sony Bravia X80K 65 (Amritanshu / HT Tech)
    Sony Bravia X80K 65
    Sony Bravia X80K 65 (Amritanshu / HT Tech)

    While the viewing experience has been great, the same cannot be said for the sound. For such a large TV, I was disappointed to see two 10W speakers tasked with the sound requirements. The speakers are assisted by bass reflectors, which promise some low-end grunt. In reality, the audio performance of the Bravia X80K 65 is decent by all means. The soundstage is narrow but there’s some emphasis on the low end. Due to the lack of a subwoofer, you miss out on the rich low-end. For regular TV watching and web shows binging, the speaker system will do just fine. However, you will need a dedicated sound bar system for the movies.

    Sony equips the Bravia X80K 65 with a far-field mics that make possible a hands-free Google Assistant. The mics work well in a small bedroom and can pick up the wake commands even with some chattering guests. For those concerned with privacy, you use the slider keys to disable the mics when not required. The TV also features an acoustic auto calibration that can tune the audio output based on the room’s layout.

    Sony Bravia X80K 65 Software

    Sony is possibly the only brand in the India TV market to use the Google TV interface. Launched not long ago, the Google TV interface is a modern skin sitting on top of Android TV, focusing more on the content with a tasteful UI design and easier navigation. Compared to the basic Android TV interfaces you see on a Xiaomi TV or a TCL TV, it looks fancy. Sadly, this one is based on the older Android TV 10 OS, which means Sony has to update it to the newer Android TV 11 OS, which is already present on TVs from rival brands at this price.

    Sony Bravia X80K 65
    Sony Bravia X80K 65 (Amritanshu / HT Tech)
    Sony Bravia X80K 65
    Sony Bravia X80K 65 (Amritanshu / HT Tech)

    The interface runs smooth, which is due to the extra RAM and the powerful Sony processor. Hence, the TV always kept its cool and was smooth throughout my usage. The Google TV interface offers content suggestions from various installed OTT apps, and the suggestions keep changing every few days. Unlike the Xiaomi TVs, you can change Picture and Sound settings while the content is being played in the background.

    Verdict

    Sony Bravia X80K 65
    Sony Bravia X80K 65 (Amritanshu / HT Tech)
    Sony Bravia X80K 65
    Sony Bravia X80K 65 (Amritanshu / HT Tech)

    With QLED and OLED TVs gracing the Rs. 1 lakh segment these days, justifying the Sony Bravia X80K 65 becomes a bit tough. For a 65-inch LED TV, the panel performance is excellent and Dolby Vision content is a breeze to watch on this TV. The presence of a pretty and fast Google TV interface impresses on the smartness front, while the minimalist Sony design certainly helps add to the room décor. But this is where the Bravia X80K 65 runs out of the good things.

    The audio performance on the Bravia X80K 65 is strictly average, and you will need a soundbar system to make the audio output better. The TV runs on the old Android TV 10 OS, which is unjust for a premium TV of this kind. The controller is IR only, which adds to the inconvenience. Lastly, a price tag of 1.25 lakhs will get you a 55-inch OLED TV or an equally big QLED TV from Xiaomi, Samsung and TCL – all of which have better picture performance to offer, and even better audio performance too.

    Hence, the Sony Bravia X80K 65 at Rs. 1.25 lakhs is a good buy only if you are a Sony loyalist, prefer the brand’s picture tuning, and looking for a 65-inch TV as well as seek the Google TV experience.

    Rating
    3.5 out of 5
    Price
    INR 124,990/-
    Product Name
    Sony Bravia X80K 65
    Brand Name
    Sony
    Pros
    • Good viewing experience
    • Fast Google TV interface
    • Easy to use remote
    Cons
    • Sub-par audio output
    • Pricey
    • OLED TVs for same price
    Specifications
    • Display
      65-inch 4K LED 60Hz
    • OS
      Google TV on Android 10
    • Audio
      20W stereo speaker setup
    • App Store support
      Google Play

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    First Published Date: 21 Jun, 07:51 PM IST
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