Sony X850F vs Samsung NU8000 Review (XBR65X850F vs UN65NU8000, XBR75X850F vs UN75NU8000)
Samsung NU8000 and Sony X850F are the mid-range model of 4K HDR TV lineup which released in 2018. In the market, NU8000 comes with 5 screen sizes options including 49 Inch (UN49NU8000), 55 Inch (UN55NU8000), 65 Inch (UN65NU8000), 75 Inch (UN75NU8000), and 82 Inch (XBR82X850F), while for X850F series, it comes with only 3 screen sizes option including 65 Inch (XBR65X850F), 75 Inch (XBR75X850F), and 85 (XBR85X840F. Since the screen sizes which available on both are only 65 inch and 75 inch, this comparison certainly is also as true to these sizes (UN65NU8000 vs XBR65X850F and UN75MU8000 vs XBR75X850F). When I was write this comparison, with the same screen size, they are sold with the price that is almost similar. But of course, since both of them recently released, of course their prices are not fixed and could still change at any time. So, which one is better choice between them?
Short Review of Samsung NU8000
Samsung NU8000 is the flat model of Samsung 2018 4K HDR TV Series 8 and also the successor of MU8000, one of the best-selling mid-range TV in 2017. Like the predecessor, NU8000 also uses VA panel with Edge-lit backlight and local dimming called “Ultra Slim Array”. As we know, the use of VA panel of course will make NU8000 has excellent native contrast ratio, but on the other hand, it will makes its side viewing angle coverage is poor. Meanwhile, for improving contrast and black level produced, it is powered by the number technologies like Contrast, Supreme UHD Dimming and others. Otherwise, for improving the brightness, there is Peak Illuminator Pro behind it. Additionally, for improving its colors rendition, NU8000 is powered by Dynamic Crystal Color as in lieu of 4K Color Drive Extreme in last year. And for processing images so it is able to deliver smooth and clear picture quality, NU8000 is powered by “UHD Engine” as its predecessor. Meanwhile, if in last year, MU8000 featuring 4K HDR Extreme for processing HDR signal, in this year, NU8000 is powered by HDR plus feature that already supports HDR 10 format and HLG. Powered by all of these technologies makes it has excellent picture quality and good HDR performance for it class.
Like the predecessor MU8000, for maximizing its performance when playing fast paced images or movies, Samsung NU8000 is also powered by Motion Rate 240 Hz based on native 120 Hz refresh rate panel. Combined to its low pixel response time, this makes NU8000 is able to deliver smooth and clear picture quality when playing fast moving images. Meanwhile, for connecting with other devices, it is equipped with 4 HDMI ports with excellent low input lags in “Games Mode” and “PC Mode”, 2 USB ports, and other inputs/outputs. And as its smart TV platform, Samsung NU8000 featuring Tizen 2018 or also called “Smart Hub”. One of new features that introduced is about Samsung’s Bixby Voice Assistant that can perform a lot of TV functions with your voice command.
Short Review of Sony X850F
Like Samsung NU8000, Sony X850F is also a mid-range model of Sony’s 2018 4K HDR TV lineup and also the successor of X850E. Like the predecessor X850E, Sony also uses different panel technology for each of its screen size where for 65 inch (XBR65X850F) and 75 Inch (XBR75X850F), they uses IPS panel while for 85 inch (XBR85X850F), it likely uses VA panel. Meanwhile, for their backlight, Sony also uses different backlight technology for them where XBR65X850F and XBR75X850F use Edge Lit while XBR85X850F uses Direct LED. Nevertheless, all of them don’t have local dimming technology and only use frame dimming. For this case, this comparison refers to 65 Inch and 75 inch which use IPS Panel.
As its images processor, like the predecessor, X850F is also powered by 4K HDR processor X1 and 4K X-Reality Pro. There are some Sony’s proprietary technologies embedded on its X1 engine like Super Bit Mapping 4K HDR, Super Bit Mapping 4K HDR, and Object-Based HDR Remaster. Combination of these processor makes it can deliver smooth and clear picture quality. But unlike the higher series like 900F or X930F which already support Dolby Vision, it doesn’t support Dolby Vision. For maximizing its native contrast ratio and deep black level, X850F is powered by Dynamic Contrast enhancer. Additionally, for maximizing its colors reproduction, like most other models of Sony TV, it is also supported by TriLuminos Display technology and other technologies like Live Color Technology, Super bit Mapping 4K HDR, and others. And for up-scaling non 4K contents to 4K resolution or improving the clarity of the images, there combination of 4K X-Reality Pro and Object Based HDR premaster, allow you to enjoy any video contents with the quality as close as possible to 4K HDR.
As the technology that maximized its motion handling, Sony X850F is powered by Motion Flow XR940 based on native 120 Hz refresh rate panel. This allows X850F can deliver smooth and clear picture quality with virtually no motion blur. Additionally, for connecting to other devices, it is equipped with 4 HDMI ports, 3 USB ports, and other inputs/outputs like AV In, Antenna In, Ethernet and more. And for allowing you to enjoy smart entertainment un your home, it is featuring Google Android TV version 7.0 as its Smart TV platform where we know, one of the excellence that offered is about the many apps which provided.
Sony X850F vs Samsung NU8000 Key Specs
|Specs and Features||Sony X850F||Samsung NU8000|
|Size Available||65 Inch (XBR65X850F), 75 Inch (XBR75X850F), 85 Inch (XBR85X850F)||49 Inch (UN49NU8000), 55 Inch (UN55NU8000), 65 Inch (UN65NU8000), 75 Inch (UN75NU8000), 82 Inch (UN82NU8000)|
|Panel Type||IPS Panel (XBR65X850F and XBR75X850F), VA Panel (XBR85X850F)||VA Panel|
|Resolution||4K (2160 x 3840)||4K (2160 x 3840)|
|LED Backlight||Edge Lit LED (XBR65X850F, XBR75X850F), Direct LED (XBR85X850F)||Edge Lit LED|
|Dimming Technology||Frame Dimming||Local Dimming (Ultra Slim Array)|
|Color Enhancement||TriLuminos Display, Super Bit Mapping 4K HDR, Live Color Technology||Dynamic Crystal Color|
|Contrast Enhancement||Dynamic Contrast Enhancer||Contrast Enhancer, Supreme UHD Dimming|
|Clarity Enhancement||Object-based HDR Remaster technology, 4K X-Reality Pro||UHD Up-scaling Engine, UHD Remastering Engine|
|HDR (High Dynamic Range)||Yes (HDR 10, HLG)||Yes (HDR 10, HLG)|
|Image Processor||4K HDR Processor X1||UHD Engine, HDR Plus|
|Motion Control||Motion Flow XR960 (native 120 Hz refresh rate)||Motion Rate 240 (native 120 Hz refresh rate)|
|Smart TV Platform||Android TV Version 7.0||Tizen OS 2018|
|Speaker Type||Bass Reflex Speaker||Down Firing + Front Firing|
|Audio Output||10 W + 10 Watt||40W (10W x 2, Woofer 10W x 2)|
|Price||See the price on Amazon||See the price on Amazon|
Sony X850F vs Samsung NU8000 Performance
Native Contrast Ratio and Black Level
As we have mentioned above, Samsung NU8000 and Sony X850F uses different of panel type where NU8000 uses VA panel, while X850F uses IPS panel. This certainly makes NU8000 has far stronger native contrast ratio than X850F. Powered by the number Samsung’s contrast enhancement like Contrast Enhancer, Supreme UHD Dimming, this makes NU8000 has more than 5000:1 of native contrast ratio. The result, it can deliver very deep black level, deeper than 0.02 nits that mean it is great to show dark scene of both SDR and HDR image. And combined to its excellent black uniformity, this makes blacks of images looks really black on its screen, even when it is set in a dark environment where the impact of high native contrast ratio is very sensitive. Additionally, the depth of black level reached by NU8000 is also quite deep to reveal details of images in dark scene of HDR images like the intended, makes shadow details of HDR images looks excellently. As we know, for showing shadow details of HDR image like the intended, a HDR TV must have at least 0.05 nits of black level or darker. Essentially, NU8000 doesn’t have any problem when showing dark scene of both SDR and HDR images, even when set in a dark room.
Otherwise, the use of IPS panel makes the native contrast ratio of Sony X850F is poor and its black uniformity is also disappointing. Its native contrast ratio even is still less than 1000:1, that means it is not good when use in a dark room. The result, when set in a dark room, black of image will tend to looks grey than really black, make the picture look unnatural, especially for dark scene. Additionally, black level reached by X850F is also not quite dark to show shadow details of HDR image like the intended. This means, if you come for HDR performance, particularly if you often watch movies in a dark environment, you should forget this TV. Nevertheless, the story will be different if it is used in a room with a light where the impact of high native contrast ratio is not too sensitive where the picture displayed on the screen of X850F will look far better, even can be said excellent for its class. But even so, when set in bright room, although the impact of high native contrast ratio is not too sensitive, with higher native contrast ratio, Samsung NU8000 still can deliver better dark scene than Sony X850F.
In term of peak luminance, Samsung NU8000 is also superior to Sony X850F. The peak brightness of NU8000 is fairly bright, quite bright to dampen the glare of ambient light when it is used in a bright room. Combined to its good reflection handling, this makes the picture displayed on the screen of NU8000 will look remain well, even when set in a very bright room. Additionally, its local dimming also effectively works to boost its peak brightness in small area of window up to 800 nits. The result, a highlight of HDR image in a black background will looks excellent. Additionally, when it must show a scene with almost all objects are bright, its peak brightness also doesn’t dim significantly and still brighter than 500 nits, makes bright scene of HDR images also can be shown fairly bright. However, since its peak brightness is still less than 1000 nits, this certainly makes Samsung NU8000 is not able to show highlight of HDR images like the intended. Additionally, although its local dimming can help reduce blooming, blooming is still visible around a bright small object.
On the other hand, overall, peak brightness of Sony X850F is also fairly bright, brighter than 500 nits. It is quite bright to fight the glare, makes the picture displayed on its screen looks fairly good when it is set in a bright room. Performance of X850F in maintaining its good picture quality in a bright room even is similar to NU8000. However, since it doesn’t have local dimming technology, its peak brightness in any % windows tends to similar. This means, no matter it is showing bright small object or bright large object, their peak luminance is similar. The result, it cannot show a dramatic of highlight of HDR image brighter like what performed by NU8000. Additionally, without local dimming, this also makes blooming is more visible on the screen X850F than NU8000 when they are showing a bright small object. Like NU8000, Sony X850F also cannot show highlight of HDR images brighter than 1000 nits like the intended.
In term of color reproduction, Samsung NU8000 also offers better performance than Sony X850F. Both of them might already support wide color gamut, but for this case, NU8000 can deliver wider color gamut than X850F. In showing saturated colors, NU8000 can perform better than X850F. Additionally, although they also equally have difficulty in showing deep greens, but for this case, NU8000 also can do better than X850F. The result, when displaying HDR images that require DCI P3 color space, color of the picture displayed on the screen of NU8000 also looks more accurate than X850F. The excellence of NU8000 than X850F will be more visible when they are showing colorful scenes like an ocean or sunset scene where in this case, NU8000 can show more colorfully while the limited color gamut of X850F will be more visible. Nevertheless, in showing a normal scene of HDR image, color performance of X850F is fairly good. Meanwhile, since the X850F doesn’t have local dimming and its native contrast ratio is poor, this also makes its color volume significantly narrows in darker colors. This means, when displaying dark scenes, the color is far from accurate. On the other hand, although NU8000 also cannot show its wide color gamut in darker deep colors as good as brighter colors, but its color volume in darker colors is still far better than X850F. When showing dark scenes, the color still looks accurate. Additionally, at entire brightness range, NU8000 also can show its color gamut better than X850F.
Meanwhile, discussing about their color gradient, overall, their performance is similar. Both of them already support 10 bit depth of colors that means they can deliver more than 1 billion shades of colors. The result, when showing HDR images with 10 bit colors, color gradients of picture displayed on their scenes looks very smooth. Actually, both of them equally still have some a bit color imperfections in darker shades of color, but for most people, this should not be a serious problem that must be considered.
Side Viewing Angle
While when viewed from the front and center, overall, picture displayed on the screen of Samsung NU8000 looks better than Sony X850F, but when viewed from the side, the result is different. As we know, the use of VA panel might make NU8000 has strong native contrast ratio, but on the other hand, this makes it side viewing angle coverage is poor, let alone it used direct lit backlight, makes its side viewing angle coverage is worse. The result, the contrast and color will quickly degrade at less than 20 degrees off center and front, while brightness also drops at about 30 degrees. This certainly makes the picture displayed doesn’t look as good as when viewed from the front and center. On the other hand, the use of IPS panel might make the native contrast ratio of Sony X850F is weak, but on the hand, this makes it makes good side viewing angle coverage. When viewed from the side, black level looks consistently at any angles, even from extremely side angle. On the other hand, although color also still shift at less than 30 degrees off center, but the color shift is not as bad as that happens on the screen of NU8000, particularly at wider angles. Additionally, brightness also drops at a bit wider angle than NU8000, but the brightness reduction of X850F is not as bad as on the screen NU8000. This means, X850F can do far better job in maintaining its good picture quality from the side.
Both Sony X850F and Samsung NU8000 equally equipped with great performance of UHD Up-scaling engine. The result, no matter the resolution of the video source, the final image in 4K quality produced by them looks very sharp and clear. Even when the source is 480p contents like DVD movies, although some minor artifacts are still visible, but overall, the final image in 4K quality displayed on their screen still looks sharp and clear with small details are still preserved well. Meanwhile, the higher resolution of the source like 720p or 1080p videos, the final images in 4K produced will looks clearer and sharper with small details are preserved better and minor artifacts reduced. In addition to scale-up lower non 4K contents to nearly 4K quality, both of them also has ability to improve the brightness and color range of the picture, allows you to enjoy any contents with the quality as close as possible to 4K HDR.
Motion Handling and 24p Playback
Sony X850F might have a bit pixel response time than Samsung NU8000 but overall, their pixel response time is equally excellent. Powered by Motion Flow XR960 for X850F and Motion Rate 240 for NU8000, both of them are equally able to do a great job when handling motion blur. Following fast moving object, there is only a very short ghosting trail that should not be too noticeable. Nevertheless, for this case, Sony X850F offer a bit clearer and smoother picture quality because of blur on NU8000 is more caused by its backlight flicker. You need to know, since NU8000 use PWM frequency at 240 Hz to dim the backlight, this makes backlight of NU8000 is not free from flicker. Flicker is a bit present at its entire brightness range but because it uses high frequency, the flicker is not too visible particularly at higher brightness. But on the other hand, it produces unwanted blur. Meanwhile, since Sony X850F doesn’t have local dimming, it can dim the backlight with flicker-free. Nevertheless, although X850F offer a bit better performance when playing fast moving videos like sports or fast movies, but the excellence of X850F to NU8000 is not too striking and overall, picture displayed on their screen equally looks smooth and clear with almost no motion blur visible.
Apart of when playing 24p videos via 60p signals, both Samsung NU8000 and Sony X850F equally do a great job. With make a certain setting on their picture setting, they equally can remove the judder when playing 24p contents like Blu-Ray or DVD movies and also 24p movies via native apps like videos from Netflix. Otherwise, both of them also equally cannot remove the judder when the source is 24p video like movies from satellite TV. The different performance is shown by them when they are playing 24p via 60p signal like movies from streaming device. For this case, NU8000 can show them with flicker-free while X850F is not able. But even so, since most of people don’t sensitive to judder, this is not an issue that should be considered seriously.
Samsung NU8000 is equipped with 4 HDMI ports as its major connectivity. All of its HDMI ports already support HDCP 2.2 and HDMI 2.0 Full bandwidth, while that support ARC (Audio Return Channel) is HDMI 4. IN addition to HDMI ports, it is also equipped with 2 USB ports. All of them are USB 2.0 and not yet support USB 3.0. Additionally, there are also 1 RF In, 1 Ethernet In, and 1 Digital Audio Out (optical). There are no Composite In (AV In) and Component In behind it. On the other hand, Sony X850F is also equipped with 4 HDMI ports as its major connectivity where all of them already support HDCP 2.2. But unlike NU8000, which support HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth are only HDMI 2 and 3 while that support ARC is HDMI 3. Additionally, there are also 3 USB ports, 2 ports of USB 2.0 (USB 2 and 3) and 1 port of USB 3.0 (USB 1). In addition to HDMI and USB ports, X850F is equipped more complete inputs/outputs. There are 1 Composite In (AV In), 1 Component In, 1 RF In, 1 Ethernet In, 1 Digital Audio Out (optical), 1 Analog Audio Out (Mini Jack), and IR In for IR Blaster.
Meanwhile, discussing about their input lags, Samsung NU8000 has excellent input lags in “PC Mode” and “Game Mode”. With lower than 20 ms of input lags at 1080p or 4K source, this certainly makes it is very comfortable when used to play any games, even for fast games which required fast reflexes. Additionally, Samsung NU8000 also has a new feature named “Game Motion Plus” that add soap opera effect without adding too much input lags. This feature is very useful when you play a game with old console where its output is only 30 fps. On the other hand, although not as low as NU8000, the input lags of Sony X850F are also fairly good. With lower than 30 ms at 1080p inputs or about 30 ms at 4K inputs, this is low enough to play any games so feels responsively.
As their smart TV platform, both of them are equally featuring attractive smart TV platform. For this case, NU8000 comes with Tizen OS 2018 while Sony X850F comes with Google Android TV version 7. The excellence of Tizen OS, apps and features are well-organized, makes the navigation is easy. On the home screen of Android TV, it is too crowded with a lot of built-in apps, make navigate is a bit confusing. Additionally, with a lot of apps that makes its home screen is too crowded, this also makes you hard to find something specific. Meanwhile, talking about their performance, they are also equally not too consistent. Sometime, when you launch an app, it will open quickly with smooth animation, but on the other time, there will lag about one or two second before app open and animation will choppy. On the other hand, the excellence of Android TV is on Google Play Store where it powered by tons of developer and provides tons of apps, games, information, and others. Tizen OS also has an app store named “Samsung Apps Store” and also provides tons of apps, games, features and others, but they are not as many and complete as what provided by Google Play Store. As their built-in apps, both of them equally equipped with a lot of most popular apps and useful features like Netflix, Amazon Videos, YouTube, Live TV, Cloud Games, Web Browser, and many more. Additionally, each of them also equally has Voice Assistant Feature for voice navigation where Tizen OS comes with Samsung’s Bixby Voice Assistant while Google Android TV comes with Google’s voice assistant.
As their controller, Samsung NU8000 comes with Samsung Smart Controller while Sony X850F comes with Sony Voice Remote. The Sony Remote is large and has a lot of buttons, while the Samsung Remote is small and only has few buttons. Support Google’s Voice Assistant for Sony Remote and Samsung’s Bixby Voice Assistant for Samsung Remote, both of them equally have a lot many features of voice control. Additionally, both of these remotes also can act as a universal remote, makes each is able to control some functions of other devices supports HDMI CEC. For this case, Samsung remote works alone while Sony Remote works along with Sony’s IR blaster included in its buying package.
|Performance||Sony X850F||Samsung NU8000|
As we have discussed a lot above, overall Samsung NU8000 has better picture quality than Sony X850F. Its native contrast ratio is far stronger, as well as its color gamut also wider than X850F. The excellence of NU8000 in contrast ratio will be more noticeable when they are showing dark scenes, particularly when set in a dark room, while in color gamut, it will be more noticeable when they are showing colorful scene. Additionally, although it has similar peak brightness when showing a scene with almost all objects are bright, but with a local dimming technology behind it, NU8000 can show a highlight of HDR images brighter. Additionally, the local dimming on NU8000 also effectively to minimize blooming around a bright small object, its blooming is not as large as on the screen of X850F.The other excellence that offered by NU8000 is about its ability in playing 24p videos via 60p signal and also its input lags, but it is not too striking. Otherwise, the major excellence of Sony X850F is on its side viewing angle coverage. This makes its picture quality looks more consistent when viewed from the side. Meanwhile, the excellence of X850F in handling motion blur and smart features like we have discussed above are also not too striking.
So, which is a better choice between them? Of course, the decision comes back to you depending on your preferences and need. If as long as you don’t often watch TV from the side or you often watch movies in a dark room, Samsung NU8000 certainly is better choice for you. Otherwise, if you often watch TV with a group of your family where they watch TV from multiple angles, of course Sony X850F is a better choice for you. But keep in mind, for 85 inch, it is highly likely X850F uses VA panel. As the impact, it has strong native contrast ratio but its side viewing angle is poor.