Sony X900E vs Samsung MU9000 Review (XBR55X900E vs UN55MU9000, XBR65X900E vs UN65MU9000, XBR75X900E vs UN75MU9000)
Samsung MU9000 is the flat model of Samsung’s 2017 4K HDR LED TV lineup Series 9. You need to know, since Samsung has released QLED TV Series, Samsung Series 9 is no longer as the flagship of Samsungs’ TV lineup. Meanwhile, Sony X900E is the second top model of Sony’s 2017 XBR X-Series under X930E/X940E series. In the market, MU9000 is available with 3 screen size option including 55 Inch (UN55MU9000), 65 Inch (UN65MU9000), and 75 Inch (UN75MU9000) while for X900E, there are 4 screen sizes options including 49 Inch (XBR59X900E), 55 Inch (XBR55X900E), 65 Inch (XBR65X900E), and 75 Inch (XBR75X900E). Since the screen sizes available on both are 55 inch, 65 inch, and 75 Inch, this comparison certainly is also as true to these sizes (XBR55X900E vs UN55MU9000, XBR65X900E vs UN65MU9000, and XBR75X900E vs UN75MU9000). The excepting of 55 Inch where UN55MU9000 is sold about $200 more expensive than XBR55X900E, when I was writing this comparison, Samsung MU9000 and Sony X900E are sold with almost the same price. Nevertheless, their price certainly is not fixed and could still change at any time. So, what features offered by each and which is a better between them?
Short Review of Samsung MU9000
Samsung MU9000 is a successor of KS9000 Series in 2016. But unlike KS9000 as one of the flagship of Samsung’s 2016 4K TV, MU9000 series is only a mid class TV due Samsung has released QLED TV lineup as the flagship. Compared to the predecessor, it lacks quantum dot panel technology that makes its rendition of colors is not as good as KS9000. Nevertheless, with 4K Color Drive Extreme technology behind it, its rendition of color is still fairly good and not far behind KS9000. Referring to their price when they are first released, MU9000 is sold hundreds dollar cheaper than KS9000.
Like the predecessor KS9000 series, Samsung MU9000 also still focused on HDR. For processing HDR signals, it is powered by 4K HDR Extreme Engine. But even so, like the predecessor, it doesn’t yet support Dolby Vision and only supports HDR 10 format and might be also HLG with an upcoming software update. On its panel, MU9000 uses VA panel technology and Edge-Lit Led backlight with local dimming technology called precision black. For optimizing contrast ratio, black level, and peak luminance produced, there are also the number of Samsung’s advanced technologies behind it like UHD Dimming, Triple Black Extreme, Peak Illuminator Pro, and others. Combination of these technologies behind it, make the picture displayed on the screen of MU9000 looks fairly good with excellent dark scenes and bright scene and also good rendition of colors.
In addition to the good picture quality, Samsung MU9000 is also a great TV when used for watching fast paced contents or 24p movies. With Motion Rate 240 technology based on native 120 Hz refresh rate panel behind it, the picture resulted is very smooth and clear. Additionally, although not the best in class, the input lag of MU9000 is also low enough for playing fast paced games. And for offering responsive and attractive smart TV experience, MU9000 features Tizen OS as its smart TV platform.
But even so, like other TVs which use VA panel, the side viewing angle coverage of Samsung MU9000 is also limited. The picture will be degraded is viewed from side viewing angle. This means, this TV is not suitable when used in a wide room where the viewers watch TV from multiple viewing angles. Nevertheless, as long as you don’t often watch TV from an angle, this should not be a problem for you.
Short Review of Sony X900E
As we have mentioned, Sony X900E is the second top model of Sony’s 2017 4K HDR LED TV lineup XBR X Series. Also come with HDR technology, it also support HDR 10 format and HLG via upcoming software update. Meanwhile, for processing HDR signal, X900E is powered by new processor called 4K HDR Processor X1 where there are the number of Sony’s advanced technologies like Super Bit Mapping 4K HDR, Advanced Contrast Enhancer, and Object Based HDR Remaster technology embedded for optimizing its HDR Performance.
Like MU9000 series, Sony X900E also uses VA panel technology. However, if MU9000 uses edge Lit backlight, X900E has direct led backlight with Full Array Local Dimming Technology. Meanwhile, for optimizing contrast ratio, black level, and peak luminance produced, there are some technologies behind it like Advanced Contrast Enhancer and X-Tended Dynamic Range Pro 5X. On other hand, to deliver wide color gamut so it has good rendition of colors when displaying HDR images, it is powered by TriLuminos Display technology. Additionally, there is also Super Bit Mapping 4K HDR technology for optimizing color gradient of the picture produced. Combination of these technologies makes the picture displayed on the screen of X900E looks absolutely amazing for its class, no matter it is displaying SDR or HDR contents.
The other strong point that offered by Sony X900E is about its ability when up-convert lower resolution contents to near 4K quality. Combination of X-Reality pro Engine and Object Based HDR Remaster technology doesn’t just up-convert lower resolution to near 4K quality sharply and clearly, but also improves the brightness and color range of the images, allows you to enjoy them with the quality close to 4K HDR. Additionally, Sony X900E is also a great TV when used for watching sport program. Powered by Motion Flow XR960 based on native 120 Hz refresh rate panel and combine to its outstanding pixel response time, this make the picture displayed looks smoothly and clearly with almost no motion blur. Not only that, it is also a great TV when used for watching 24p movies due its ability to remove judder when playing 24p movies at any sources. And as its smart TV platform, it features Google Android TVs where it comes with most complete apps store. Additionally, the input lag of X900E is also low and should be low enough for any casual games. But unfortunately, for fast paced games, it might not low enough, so for gamers, this TV might not be a good option. And like MU9000, limited side viewing angle coverage is the major drawback of X900E that means when viewed from an angle, the picture displayed doesn’t look as good as when viewed from center and front.
Samsung M9000 vs Sony X900E Key Specification
|Specs and Features||Sony X900E||Samsung MU9000|
|Size Available||49 Inch (XBR49X900E), 55 Inch (XBR55X930E), 65 Inch (XBR65X930E), 75 Inch (XBR75X930E)||55 Inch (UN55MU9000), 65 Inch (UN65MU9000), 75 Inch (UN75MU9000)|
|Panel Type||VA Panel||VA Panel|
|Resolution||4K (2160 x 3840)||4K (2160 x 3840)|
|LED Backlight||Full Array LED||Edge LED|
|Color Technology||TriLuminos Display||4K Color Drive Extreme|
|Picture Engine||4K HDR Processor X1 with 4K X-Reality Pro||4K HDR Extreme with UHD Remastering engine|
|Contrast Enhancement||Advanced Contrast Enhancer||UHD Dimming, Triple Black Extreme|
|Peak Luminance Enhancement||X-Tended Dynamic Range Pro (5X)||Peak Illuminator Pro|
|Color Enhancement||TriLuminos Display, Super Bit Mapping 4K HDR||4K Color Drive Extreme|
|Clarity Enhancement||Object-based HDR Remaster technology||UHD Up-scaling Engine|
|HDR (High Dynamic Range)||Yes (HDR 10, HLG)||Yes (HDR 10, HLG)|
|Motion Control||Motion Flow XR960 (native 120 Hz refresh rate)||Motion Rate 240 (native 120 Hz refresh rate)|
|Smart TV Platform||Android TV||Tizen OS|
|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
Samsung MU9000 vs Sony X900E Performance
Essentially, both of Samsung MU9000 and Sony X900E have good picture quality. Both of them equally have strong native contrast ratio and good black uniformity, result in excellent dark scenes on each of their screen, particularly when set in a dark room. Additionally, their native contrast ratio is also equally strong enough to reveal details of HDR images so makes shadow details of HDR images looks excellently like what intended. As we know, for displaying dark scene of HDR images like what intended, a HDR TV must have 0.05 nits of black level or darker, while black level achieved by them is far darker than this standardization. Meanwhile, compare between them, MU9000 has a bit stronger native contrast ratio that makes it can reach a bit deeper black level than X900E. But when their local dimming is enabled, the contrast ratio of X900E is a bit stronger than MU9000. This is due the local dimming technology of X900E works more effectively to boost the contrast than MU9000. As we know, to boost the contrast ratio, Full Array Local Dimming works better than Local Dimming on Edge Lit Backlight. Nevertheless, since their difference in contrast ratio is not too significant whether their local dimming is disabled or enabled, this certainly makes the effect that caused on their picture quality is also not too significant.
On the other hand, peak brightness reached by Sony X900E is also equally quite bright to makes bright scenes looks excellently. With more than 400 nits when inputted by SDR signal, it is bright enough to show bright scene looks bright. Additionally, paired to their good reflection handling, their peak brightness can easily overtake the glare, so makes the picture looks consistently amazing when set in bright room with a lot of ambient light. Meanwhile, when inputted by HDR signals, Sony X900E can reach far brighter peak brightness than MU9000, makes HDR images displayed on the screen of X900E looks brighter than MU9000. Additionally, combination of X-tended Dynamic Range and FALD technology behind X900E also works more effectively to boost the peak brightness on small areas, makes highlight in dark scene looks brighter than MU9000. Additionally, it also makes highlight of HDR images displayed on the screen of X900E looks brighter than X900E. But this doesn’t mean what offered by MU9000 is not so good. Although not as bright as X900E, highlight of HDR images displayed on the screen of MU9000 is still brighter than most of TVs which available in the market. Nevertheless, although peak brightness reached by them is great and brighter than average, but it is not still bright enough to show highlight of HDR images brighter than 1000 nits like what set recommended by UHD Alliance.
Discussing about their color gamut, although Sony have a bit wider color gamut than MU9000, but essentially, both of them have wide color gamut that means this is good for displaying HDR contents. As we know, for displaying HDR videos fully like what intended, a HDR TV should be able to cover more than 90% of DCI P3 color space, while what delivered by them is wider than this minimum recommendation. The result, most of color in DCI P3 color space of HDR videos can be shown properly, make the color of the picture displayed on each of their screen looks very accurate. Both of them may equally have a bit issue when show saturated green, but overall, color of the picture displayed on their screen looks fairly good. Meanwhile, talking about their color volume, overall, both of Sony X900E and Samsung MU9000 have decent color volume. The excepting of dark colors and extremely bright colors where their color gamut is narrower, they are able to properly show their wide color gamut throughout their entire brightness range. But since the local dimming of X900E works better than MU9000, when showing extremely bright colors and dark color, X900E offer a bit better color volume than MU9000. Still about color performance, both of them might already support 10 bit depth of colors, but with Super Bit Mapping 4K HDR technology, Sony X900E also offers a bit better color gradient than MU9000. They may equally have some imperfection in dark greens, but on the screen of MU9000, the imperfection is a bit more noticeable than X900E. Nevertheless, overall, their color gradient is great. And fortunately, most people might not notice their imperfection in dark greens, so for them, this should not be a problem.
Meanwhile, for anticipating the many lower resolution videos which available in the market, both of them are equally equipped with great performance UHD Up-scaling engine, Sony X900E come with the combination of 4K HDR Processor X1 Extreme and 4K X-Reality Pro engine while Samsung MU9000 comes with the combination of Samsung UHD Up-scaling engine and UHD Remastering engine. The result, no matter the resolution of the video sources, they allow you to enjoy them in 4K quality sharply and clearly. Low resolution videos like DVDs movies with 480p resolution even still can be shown not too soft one each of their screen. And the higher resolution of the video source like 720p movies or 1080p movies, the final images in 4K resolution displayed looks clearer and sharper with a lot of details are preserved well. Additionally, with Object-Based HDR Remaster technology behind it, Sony X900E doesn’t only have ability to up-convert low resolution videos close to 4K resolution, but also has an ability to improve the brightness and color range of each object in images, so you can enjoy them with the quality as close as possible to 4K HDR quality.
But unfortunately, since both of them use VA panel technology, this certainly makes their side viewing angle coverage is limited. As we know, poor side viewing angle is a native characteristic of VA panel. This certainly makes the quality of the picture will look degraded if viewed from an angle. With other words, when you watch TV from a side viewing angle, the picture doesn’t look as good as when viewed from center and front. Nevertheless, as long as you don’t often watch TV from an angle, this should not be a problem for you.
Motion Handling and 24p Playback
For maximizing the picture produced when they are displaying fast moving images, Sony X900E is powered by Motion Flow XR960 while Samsung MU9000 is powered by Motion Rate 240. Both of them equally have native 120 Hz refresh rate panel. Nevertheless, although both of them equally have native 120 Hz refresh rate panel, but since pixel response time of X900E is a bit lower than MU9000, this certainly makes the picture displayed on the screen of X900E looks a bit clearer and smoother than MU9000. But even so, since their difference is not too significant, the effect on the picture produced might be also not too noticeable. Essentially, when used for watching fast paced videos like sports or fast movies, the picture displayed looks clearly and smoothly with almost no motion blur. Following fast moving object, there is only a short trail that should not too noticeable for most of people. Meanwhile, when playing 24p movies, both of them equally offer great performance. No matter the source, whether it is 24p videos like Blu Ray Movies, 24p videos via 60i signals like movies from satellite TV or even 24p videos via 60p signal like movies from streaming device, all of them can be shown clearly and smoothly with judder-free. But even so, for removing the judder, you must make a certain setting for each of TV.
Both of Samsung MU9000 and Sony X900E are equally equipped with 4 HDMI Ports (HDCP 2.2) and 3 USB Ports as their major connectivity. They are also equally equipped with 1 RF In, 1 Ethernet, 1 Digital Audio Out (Optical). The difference between them, Sony X900E is equipped with 2 Composite In (AV In), 1 Component In, and 1 Analog Audio Out (Mini Jack) while Samsung MU9000 is not equipped with these inputs/outputs. The other differences between them, all of inputs/outputs of X900E are located on the side and rear panel while for MU9000, most of their inputs/outputs are located on separated box called “One Connect Box Mini”. The advantage, if there is a software update for these inputs/outputs in future, you just need replace this box without change the TV at the whole. Meanwhile, discussing about their input lags under “Game Mode” and PC Mode”, Samsung MU9000 have lower input lags than Sony X900E. With about 20 ms and– 25 ms of inputs lags, this certainly make Samsung MU9000 is very comfortable when used for playing any kind of games, even for fast paced games. Meanwhile, with about 30 at 1080p source and 35 ms at 4K source, Sony X900E is only comfortable when used for playing causal games, no matter 4K games or 1080p games. While for playing fast paced games, X900E might be a bit disappointed and not as responsive as MU9000.
As their smart TV platform, Samsung MU9000 features Tizen OS 2017 while Sony X900E features Google Android Nougat. Both of them have attractive design and user layout. Additionally, both of them also equally offer fast and responsive performance. The loading in time of app on each of these smart TV platforms is equally fast. Additionally, when selecting between opened apps, they are also equally very responsive. Nevertheless, in term of navigation, Tizen OS is very simple and easy, while navigating on Google Android TV might tend to be more difficult. On the home screen of Tizen OS, there is a ribbon across the bottom of the screen contains quick access to many most popular apps. This allows you to launch an app without leaving the home screen. While Google android TV doesn’t have this feature. Meanwhile, talking about apps provided, both of them are equally equipped with a lot of attractive and useful preinstalled apps. There are VoD Service like YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Videos, and more, Live TV, Cloud Games like PlayStation Now or others, Web Browser, and many more. Additionally, both of them are also equally equipped with Apps Store where Tizen OS comes with Samsung Apps Store while Google Android TV comes with Google Play Store. There are a lot of downloadable apps, games, and contents where you can directly download from your TV. Talking about apps available, Google Play Store might provides more complete apps because it is supported by a lot of developer, but Samsung Apps Store is more focused on what people want.
As the controller, Samsung MU9000 is equipped with Samsung Smart Controller while Sony X900E is equipped with Sony Voice Remote. Both of them are equally equipped with built in-remote for voice command or voice search. Additionally both of them also equally can be functioned as universal remote that allows you to control some functions of other devices with a single remote. Nevertheless, for this functionality, Sony X900E need IR blaster and luckily, this devices is already included on its buying package. Samsung Remote is simple and only has a few buttons. It lacks the “number buttons” and some quick access buttons, but some functionalities can be replaced by voice command. Otherwise, Sony Remote is bigger and has a lot of more buttons.
|Performance||Samsung MU9000||Sony X900E|
As we have discussion a lot above, essentially, both of Samsung MU9000 and Sony X900E have fairly good picture quality. Although X900E has a bit better picture quality and HDR performance than MU9000, but the superiority is not far beyond MU9000. Both of them equally have strong native contrast ratio, bright peak brightness, and good renditions of colors, makes the picture displayed on their screen looks amazing for their class. Additionally, although X900E offer a bit better motion handling, but its superiority is also not far beyond MU9000. While when playing 24p movies, both of them equally offer great performance. Their drawback is also the same where both of them equally have limited side viewing angle coverage.
While about picture quality and motion handling, Sony X900E is a bit better than MU9000, in term of input lag, Samsung MU9000 has a bit lower than Sony X900E. The result, MU9000 is a bit more comfortable when used for playing games, particularly for fast paced games. Additionally, about smart TV platform, both of them might equally offer similar attractive and responsive smart TV platform with a lot of apps available, but in term of navigation, Samsung MU9000 is easier to navigate than Google Android TV.
So, which is a better choice between them? As we have mentioned above, when I was writing this comparison, the excepting of 55 Inch where UN55MU9000 is sold about hundreds dollar more expensive than XBR55X900E, Samsung MU9000 and Sony X900E have similar price. With the performance offered by them, the decision certainly comes back to you. If picture quality is the main consideration without consider other parameter, Sony X900E might be a better option for you. But if you are searching a TV for games, Samsung MU9000 might be a better choice for you.