LG SJ8500 vs Sony X850E Review (65SJ8500 vs XBR65X850E) – Which is a better choice?
Both of LG SJ8500 and Sony X850E are equally mid-range TVs. In the market, there are only two options of screen sizes for X850E, 65 inch (XBR65X850E) and 75 inch XBR75X850E). While for SJ8500, there are also two options of screen size, those are 55 inch (55SJ8500) and 65 Inch (65SJ8500). Since the screen size that available on both is only 65 inch, this comparison certainly is as true to this size (65SJ8500 vs XBR65X850E). Meanwhile, in the market, when I was writing this comparison, 65SJ8500 is sold about a hundreds dollar more expensive than 65X850E. But of course, these prices are not fixed and could still change at any time. So, what features offered by each and which one is a better choice between them?
Short Review of LG SJ8500 (55SJ8500, 65SJ8500)
LG SJ8500 is part of LG’s 2017 Super UHD TV lineup and also a successor of UH8500 series. Like the predecessor, it still comes with IPS panel that offers wide viewing angle coverage but on the other hand, its native contrast ratio and black uniformity is not as good as other TVs which use VA panel. Additionally, still focus on HDR technology, it is powered by Active HDR engine that already support most of HDR formats like HDR 10 by UHD Alliance, HLG BY NHK and BBC, Dolby Vision by Dolby Laboratories, and Advanced HDR by Technicolor. It even doesn’t just support HDR only, with a feature named “HDR Effect”, it also has an ability to improve the color and brightness range of SDR images as possible as close to HDR quality.
For delivering wide color gamut, LG SJ8500 is powered by “Nano Cell Display” technology. Basically, it has similar concept to quantum dot panel, but it has smaller particles. This makes most of color in DCI P3 color space of HDR images can be shown saturated, so the picture displayed looks natural. On its panel, it uses edge-lit backlight with local dimming for improving black level and contrast. Additionally, there is also Ultra Luminance technology for improving the peak brightness reached, makes the bright scenes of picture displayed looks excellently. Meanwhile, for delivering smooth picture quality when used for watching fast paced contents, LG SJ8500 is powered by Tru Motion 240 as its motion interpolation technology which based on native 120 Hz refresh rate panel. The other advantage that offered, its input lag is very low at any resolution, makes it is very comfortable when used for playing any kind of games. And for offering simple, responsive and attractive smart TV experience, SJ8500 features WebOS 3.5 as its smart TV platform, the one of the best smart TV platform in 2017.
Short Review of Sony X850E (XBR65X850E, XBR75X850E)
Like SJ8500, Sony X850E is also a mid-end of Sony’s 2017 4K HDR TV lineup. But unlike the predecessor X850D where all screen sizes come with IPS panel, each of screen sizes of X850E comes with different type of panel. For this case, XBR65X850E comes with VA panel, while XBR75X850E comes with IPS panel. But since we will discuss about the comparison of XBR65X850E and SJ8500, we will refer to XBR65X850E that use VA panel. If with IPS panel, SJ8500 offers wide viewing angle coverage but on the other hand, its contrast ratio and black uniformity is not so good, otherwise, Sony X850E with VA panel offer high native contrast ratio and good black uniformity but on the other hand, its side viewing angle coverage is poor. And powered by the number of Sony’s technology like Dynamic Contrast Enhancer, this certainly makes it is able to shows dark scene excellently, even when set in a dark room.
Like most of 4K TVs released in 2017, Sony X850E is also compatible with HDR. But unlike SJ8500 which already support most of HDR formats, X850E only supports HDR 10 and HLG. Meanwhile, for processing HDR images, X850E is powered by new image processor called 4K HDR Processor X1 where there are the number technologies embedded like Dynamic Contrast Enhancer for improving the contrast, Super Bit Mapping 4K HDR for delivering smooth color gradient, and Object-Based HDR Remaster technology for improving the brightness range of SDR contents so close to HDR quality. Additionally, for delivering wide color gamut so produce life-like picture with accurate color, it is powered by TriLuminos Display technology. It is not only able to show colors in Rec.709 of SDR images accurately, but also most of colors in DCI P3 of HDR images. Additionally, for delivering smooth and clear picture quality when used for watching sport program or other fast paced videos, Sony X850E is powered by MotionFlow XR960 and also based on native 120 Hz refresh rate panel. And like other models of Sony’s 2017 4K TV lineup, it features “Google Android TV” as its platform where we know, it is smart TV platform with most complete apps.
LG SJ8500 vs Sony X850E Key Specs
|Specs and Features||Sony X850E||LG SJ8500|
|Resolution||4K (2160x3840)||4K (2160x3840)|
|Sizes Available||65 Inch (XBR65X850E), 75 Inch (XBR75X850E)||55 Inch (55SJ8500), 65 Inch (65SJ8500)|
|Panel Technology||65 Inch = VA Panel, 75 Inch = IPS Panel||IPS Panel|
|Backlighting Technology||Edge Lit LED||Edge Lit LED|
|Dimming Technology||Frame Dimming||Local Dimming|
|HDR Engine||4K HDR Processor||Active HDR with Dolby Vision|
|HDR Format||HDR 10, HLG||HDR 10, HLG, Dolby Vision, Advanced HDR|
|Color Technology||TriLuminos Display||Nano Cell Display (Quantum Dot)|
|Support 10 Bit||Yes||Yes|
|Brightness Enhancement||-||Ultra Luminance|
|UHD Up-scaling Engine||4K X-Reality Pro||Yes (4K Up-Scaler)|
|Other Features||Dynamic Contrast Enhancer, Super Bit Mapping 4K HDR, Object-Based HDR Remaster Technology||HDR Effect, True Color Accuracy|
|Motion Technology||Motion Rate 120||TruMotion 240|
|Native Refresh Rate`||120 Hz||120 Hz|
|Smart TV||Google Android Nougat||WebOS 3.5|
|Remote||Sony Voice Remote||LG Magic Remote|
|RF In (Terrestrial)||1||1|
|Sound Output||20 watts||40 watts|
|Price||See the Price on Amazon||See the Price on Amazon|
Sony X850E vs LG SJ8500 Performance
Since each of Sony X850E and LG SJ8500 has different panel technology, this certainly makes each of them also has different characteristic of picture quality. Sony X850E with VA panel has high native contrast ratio and good black uniformity. With about 4500:1 of native contrast ratio, it might not be the best in class, however, it is still able to produce deep black level that makes dark scenes of images looks excellently, even when used in a dark room. Additionally, it is also quite dark to reveal details of images in shadow so makes the shadow details looks clearly. On the other hand, with only about 1400:1 of native contrast ratio and black uniformity that is not so good, dark room performance of LG SJ8500 is poor. When set in a dark environment, blacks even look tend to grey. This also has an impact on the accuracy of color, particularly on darker colors. The result, dark scenes displayed on the screen of X850E looks less natural. Additionally, native contrast ratio of X850E is also not strong enough to produce black level darker than 0.05 nits as the recommendation set by UHD Alliance for displaying HDR 10 videos fully. Nevertheless, once it is set in a room with ambient light where the impact of high native contrast ratio is not too sensitive, the picture displayed on the screen of SJ8500 looks far better, particularly the dark scene.
Peak brightness reached by both of LG SJ8500 and Sony X850E is decent. This means, when inputted by SDR signal, it is quite bright to makes bright scenes looks fairly well in dark or moderately lit room, but not quite bright to fight the glare when set in an extremely bright room. Additionally, although the highlight of HDR image looks fairly well in dark scenes or moderately lit room, but their peak brightness is not also quite bright to show highlights of HDR images brighter at the range between 1000 – 4000 nits like what intended. As we know, for displaying HDR 10 videos fully like what intended, a HDR TV should be able to show the highlight brighter than 1000 nits. Meanwhile compare between them, in smaller windows, peak brightness of SJ8500 might be brighter than X850E, but when displaying the real scene, Sony X850E can show brighter bright scenes than SJ8500. This certainly also makes the HDR performance of X850E is a bit better than SJ8500.
Meanwhile, talking about their color reproduction, Sony X850E with TriLuminos Display offers a bit wider color gamut than LG SJ8500 with Nano Cell Display. But essentially, both of them already support wide color gamut and can cover more than 90% of DCI P3 color space like what required for displaying HDR 10 videos fully. This means, most of color in DCI P3 of HDR images can be shown fairly saturated. Only on dark colors that cannot be shown fully saturated, particularly on the screen of SJ8500 due it only has low native contrast ratio. Meanwhile, for X850E, color gamut at dark colors also can be shown as good as at high or mid brightness levels due it doesn’t have local dimming. But essentially, color of picture displayed on each of their screen looks very accurate. On the other hand, both of LG SJ8500 and Sony X850E also already support 10 bit depth of color required for displaying HDR images. This means both of them can deliver more than 1.07 billion shades of color. The result, color gradient of the picture displayed on their screen looks equally smooth and clear. Some little imperfections might still be shown at darker shades of color, but overall, the result is good, even e bit better than Samsung TV.
For allowing you to enjoy lower resolution with the quality close to 4K quality, both of them equipped with great performance UHD Up-scaling engine. Sony X850E comes with 4K X-Reality Pro Engine while LG SJ8500 comes with Tru 4K Scaler. Both of these engines can up-scale the lower resolution content to 4K resolution fairly well. No matter the resolution of the source, you will enjoy them in 4K quality sharply and clearly. Even for 480p contents like DVDs movies, the final image in 4K that resulted is not too soft. And the higher resolution like movies from TV cable with 720p resolution or Blu Ray movies with 1080p resolution, the final image in 4K that resulted is sharper and clearer with small details preserved fairly well. Even not just can up-scale lower resolution to 4K, Sony X850E with Object-Based HDR premaster Technology and LG SJ8500 with “HDR Effect” feature also have an ability to improve the brightness and color range of SDR images to nearly HDR quality.
While about contrast ratio, Sony X850E with VA panel offers far better than LG SJ8500 with IPS panel, in term of side viewing angle coverage, SJ8500 offers far wider side viewing angle than X850E. Started at 20 degrees off center and front, the picture displayed on the screen of X850E will look degraded. Black will look tend to grey while color will shift. Meanwhile, despite not as good as OLED TV, picture displayed on the screen of SJ8500 will look more consistent, even when you are watching TV from wider viewing angle.
Since most of people watch TV from center and in front of the screen and in a room with ambient light, the drawback of X850E from side viewing angle and the drawback of SJ8500 in a dark room should not be a major problem for them. So, for its class, their picture quality still can be said great. Nevertheless, since X850E has higher contrast ratio, a bit wider color gamut, and a bit brighter peak brightness, overall, its picture quality and HDR performance are also a bit better than SJ8500.
Winner: Sony X850E
Motion Handling and 24p Playback
Essentially, both of LG SJ8500 and Sony X850E do a great job when handling motion blur. When used for watching fast paced content like sport program or fast movies, the picture displayed look very smooth and clear with almost no motion blur noticeable. Their pixel response time is equally low, results in only a short trail following fast moving object. Compare between them, the pixel response time of X850E is a bit lower than SJ8500 that makes a trail following fast moving object displayed on its screen looks shorter than SJ8500. Nevertheless, since most of people with untrained eyes might not notice about that, their difference might not also be too noticeable. Meanwhile, when playing 24p contents, LG SJ8500 offers better performance than Sony X850E. When displaying 24p movies like Blu Ray Movies, both of them might equally offer smooth and clear picture quality with judder-free, but when displaying 24p videos via 60p signals like movies from streaming devices or via 60i signals like movies from satellite TV, SJ8500 offer better performance. On the screen of SJ8500, judder can be removed completely, while on the screen of X850, the judder cannot be removed completely. For people who sensitive to judder, they might notice about that, but for most of people who don’t sensitive to judder, their difference performance might not be noticeable.
Winner: X850E is better in motion handling, SJ8500 is better in 24p playback
Both of LG SJ8500 and Sony X850E are equally equipped with 4 HDMI Ports and 3 USB port as their major connectivity. Additionally, all of their HDMI ports also already support most of HDMI formats which required for this now like HDCP 2.2, CEC, Audio Return channel, and others. In addition to HDMI and USB, both of them are also equally equipped with 1 RF In (Antenna In), 1 Ethernet, and 1 Digital Audio Out (Optical).The differences between them is about the number of its Composite In (AV In) where X850E is equipped with 2 inputs while SJ8500 is only equipped with 1 inputs. The other difference is about component and Analog Audio Out (mini Jack), where X850E is equipped with this input and output while SJ8500 is not equipped with these input/output. Talking about their input lag, LG SJ8500 has far lower than X850E. With about 15 ms of input lag at any resolution, this certainly makes SJ8500 is very comfortable when used for playing any kind of games, even for fast paced games that require fast reflexes. Meanwhile, with about 30-35 ms of input lags, X850E might be only comfortable when used for playing casual games, while for playing fast paced games, it is not as comfortable as SJ8500.
Winner: LG SJ8500
Smart TV platform
As their smart TV platform, LG SJ8500 features WebOS3.5 while Sony X850E features Google Android TV Nougat version. In term of appearance, their layout is equally designed attractively. Additionally, both of these Smart TV platforms are also equally responsive and fast. Nevertheless, in term of navigation, WebOS is far simple than Google Android TV. On the home screen of WebOS, there is strip bar across the bottom of the screen contains quick access to popular apps, allow you to launch an app without leaving home screen. Talking about apps, both of them provide tons of interesting and useful apps. There are VoD apps like YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Videos, and more, Web Browser, Screen Mirroring, and many more. Additionally, you can also download tons of apps provided on each of their apps store. X850E comes with Google Play Store while SJ8500 comes with LG Apps Store. Google play store might provide more complete apps than LG apps store due it is supported by tons of developer. But this precisely makes it is less focused on apps which people want. Meanwhile, despite most of people might be already familiar with Android OS on their android Smartphone, but navigating on Google Android TV is still a bit confusing, particularly for a newbie.
As the controller, LG SJ8500 is equipped with “LG Magic Remote” while Sony X850E is equipped with Sony Voice Remote. Both of them are equally equipped with built-in microphone for voice commands and also can be functioned as a universal remote. One of the advantages of LG remote is about its “Point and Click” functionality where it has functionality like a mouse on PC. This certainly makes navigating feel easier and more comfort, particularly when used for inputting the text or surfing on the internet.
Winner: LG SJ8500
|Performance||Sony XBR65X850E||LG S65SJ8500|
As we have discussed a lot above, with far higher contrast ratio, a bit wider color gamut, and a bit brighter peak luminance, overall, Sony X850E offers a bit better picture quality and HDR performance than LG SJ8500. Nevertheless, as long as you don’t use it in a dark room, picture quality of SJ8500 also can be said fairly well for its class. Additionally, X850E also offers better performance when handling motion blur although SJ8500 itself also has good motion handling. But otherwise, when playing 24p movies, particularly 24p movies via 60p/60i signals, SJ8500 offers better performance. Nevertheless, because most of people might not sensitive to judder or a faint motion blur, this certainly don’t have a major impact on their convenience when enjoying fast paced contents or 24p movies. Meanwhile, with far lower input lag, LG SJ8500 is also more comfortable than Sony X850E when used for playing games, particularly for fast paced games. Talking about Smart TV, both of them might equally feature attractive and responsive smart TV, but SJ8500 with WebOS 3.5 offers simpler and easier navigating than X850E with Google Android TV.
So, which is a better choice between them? As we have mentioned, although their price could still change at any time, when I was writing this comparison, LG 65SJ8500 is sold about a hundred dollar more expensive than Sony X850E. With all performance that offered by each, the decision certainly comes back to your own preferences. If you don’t often watch TV from side viewing angle and don’t specialize it for playing games, Sony X850E might a better choice for you. In addition to it has better a bit better picture quality, it also sold cheaper than SJ8500. Nevertheless, if you have a plan to use it in a wide room with many viewers watch from multiple viewing angles or you are a gamer who requires a TV with extremely fast input lag, SJ8500 might be a better choice for you. But of course, you must spend about a hundred dollar more of your money.