Sony Bravia KD-65X80K 4K TV 2022 review
The Sony X80K is the entry-level TV in Sony’s 2022 lineup. It replaces the Sony X80J and sits below the Sony X85K. Compared to higher-end models, it is rather limited functionally. It lacks variable refresh rate (VRR) support and HDMI 2.1 ports, and the panel updates no more than 60 times per second.
It works with the Google TV interface, which has plenty of apps. The Sony X80K is Bravia Cam compatible and can be used for video calling or gesture control. Sony’s redesigned remote has a built-in microphone for voice control. In our review of the Sony KD-65X80K 4K HDR TV, we take a closer look at the functionality of the new item.
The Sony KD-65X80K TV is a bit of a redesign compared to the Sony X80J and looks closer to the Sony X85J. Although it is a basic design, overall it looks nice. The stand is typical Sony, with wide-spaced metal legs that can be moved closer together if you have smaller TV furniture.
It supports the TV well and raises the screen 8 cm above the table, which means most sound panels won’t block it. The back panel is textured with a square grid to add character to the TV. The inputs are on the side, but are not easily accessed if the TV is mounted on the wall on a fixed bracket. There are cable management clips on the back of each leg.
The frame of the Sony 65X80K screen isn’t exactly thin – about 1.5 cm. And the maximum thickness (in the area of the electronics unit) does not exceed 7 cm. Sony X80K has a decent build quality, which you would expect from an entry level TV. It is stable on the stand and does not wobble thanks to the solid metal legs. And the plastic of the body is not very strong. The rear panel sags easily, especially toward the center.
The Sony X80K TV has a low native contrast ratio (850 : 1), so black looks gray in the dark. In other words, this model is not the best choice for watching movies. And there is no local dimming function of the direct LED backlight used to improve contrast.
The X80K has an ADS panel, which is similar to an IPS panel and has the same features. It has a sub-pixel RGB structure, so the text appears better than the BGR sub-pixel panel. And this has a positive effect on the clarity of text when using the TV as a PC monitor.
Brightness in normal mode has a decent value of about 350 nits. So the X80K is suitable for viewing in a bright room. Just don’t place it by the window. The brightness of the semi-glossy screen is not enough to overcome the light reflections. HDR’s peak brightness, on the other hand, is below par, it does not exceed 390 nits. While this is slightly brighter than SDR, it’s not enough to accentuate the bright spots in a scene and provide satisfactory HDR quality.
The Sony X80K has very good gray uniformity. For the most part, the screen is evenly lit, which is good for watching sports or using the TV as a PC monitor. However, there is some vignetting in the corners and a slight dirty screen effect in the center, which can be noticed in hockey, for example. Black uniformity is low.
The viewing angles of the Sony X80K are good. The image remains accurate when viewed off-center. The screen looks darker at very wide angles, brightness loss is up to 40% and black level increases by 70%. But the picture quality is still enough to watch the TV when seated wide for several viewers.
Sony X80K – design
The X80K series has excellent color accuracy. There are only minor inaccuracies in color and white balance, and the gamut is almost perfectly on target 2.2, but some scenes are too dark. The color temperature is on the warm side, which gives the image a slightly reddish hue, but it’s not that noticeable.
There are no problems scaling 480p content, such as from DVDs and SD cable channels. 720p content looks great, which is not unimportant if you’re watching HD cable channels. The Sony X80 series has a good color gamut for HDR content. The matrix displays a wide range of colors in the common DCI-P3 color space. True, tonal compression is disabled, so some colors look inaccurate in Rec. 2020.
The Bravia X80K TV’s response time is decent. There’s a bit of a blurry trail behind fast-moving objects, and because there’s over-regulation in dark transitions, there’s an inverse halo in dark scenes. One hundred percent transition time is on the order of 15 ms. There is only a small trace behind fast-moving objects, because there is a reverse contrast enhancement due to overshoot in dark scenes.
The backlight has no flicker at all at all brightness levels, which helps reduce eye strain. And plus it doesn’t cause duplicate images. There is an optional backlight strobing feature, commonly known as black frame insertion (BFI), to reduce permanent blur. The insertion occurs at 120 Hz, resulting in a duplicate image in content at 60 frames per second.
The X80K motion interpolation feature brings lower frame rate content to 60 fps. It works well in scenes with slow motion, but poorly when there is a lot of motion. In this case, unlike other TVs, interpolation actually doesn’t stop, so a lot of artifacts occur.
As we mentioned, there is no VRR support. Image output latency is low, for 1080p it is about 12 ms. This is quite enough for responsive gameplay in game mode, automatically enabled thanks to ALLM. You can also enable motion interpolation, but it negatively affects the intu-lag and is not recommended for gaming.
The XR-65X80K runs on the Google TV version 10 platform. The interface is basically clear enough, transitions between menus are smooth. There is a significant amount of advertising, from which it is impossible to refuse. To put it another way, you can opt out of personalized ads, but then you will receive non-targeted ads.
The Google Play store, as always, has plenty of apps ready to download. You’re sure to find your favorite streaming service. The Sony X80K is compatible with the BRAVIA CAM, which is sold separately. You can use it to make video calls or control your TV with gestures.
The remote control for Sony 2022 TVs has been updated. It’s smaller, looks sleeker than the old ones, and it doesn’t have a numeric keypad. Instead, you have to press the “123” button for a virtual numeric keypad to appear on the screen. There is a built-in microphone for voice control.
Sony X80K – Switching
The Sony TV can also be controlled without a remote control. All you need is any Google Assistant-enabled device. You say “OK Google” and the smart TV begins to perceive further speech as commands. There is a built-in Chromecast to share media between your gadgets and your TV, as well as Apple AirPlay.
The X80K uses a standard 2.0-channel audio system with a total output of 20 watts. To improve the overall output, Sony uses an X-balanced speaker, a specially shaped driver that provides the best sound result for a slim TV. Overall, for everyday use, the sound is quite bearable.
Yes, it can’t provide much immersion in the movie and won’t plunge you right into the action. But you won’t hear any sound problems either. Clear dialogues with normal distortion throughout the entire frequency range. To be honest, it’s a little surprising to find Dolby Atmos support along with Dolby Audio and DTS, since the TV doesn’t really have what it takes to accurately reproduce Dolby Atmos.
All the action is firmly in the front, there’s not much overhead activity, and the surround sound effects are completely absent. But with the eARC port on, you can send the signal to an external audio device that can play Dolby Atmos and DTS: X for real.
The X80K’s connection ports are grouped in a special insert on the right side of the rear panel. There are two USB ports for connecting external storage or powering various devices, a digital optical audio output for connecting older equipment that doesn’t support HDMI connections, an analog stereo audio output for headphones, and a composite video input.
Then there are four HDMI 2.0 ports, an Ethernet port for a wired network connection, an IR input, and the usual antenna/cable connector. The X80J used to have a USB 3.0 port, and Sony decided to keep that in the X80K as well. Wireless connectivity is WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac as well as Bluetooth version 4.2. Only the 2.4 GHz band is used for Wi-Fi Direct.
As of now (May 2022), Sony X80K Series TVs are available for purchase at overseas online stores. The Sony KD-65X80K is priced at $900. There are other diagonals in the series as well.
The Sony KD-43X80K is $600, the Sony KD-50X80K is $700, the Sony KD-55X80K is $750 and the Sony KD-75X80K is $1,300.
X80K review results
To wrap up the Sony X80K review, here’s a brief summary. The Sony X80K isn’t bad overall. It’s a good family TV for watching sports or TV shows because it has a wide viewing angle and the picture looks the same from all sides. It handles reflections and is suitable for rooms with few light sources.
However, it is not suitable for watching movies or playing games in dark rooms because it has low contrast and no local dimming feature. HDR performance is also below par due to the low peak brightness of HDR. If you’re looking for an inexpensive 4K TV for everyday use, the X80K will certainly do for you if you don’t expect a breakthrough in terms of picture quality and HDR performance.