CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

TVs

Sony's X930E range are the smartest TVs in town

While the new, brighter panels look good, it's the smart features that get Sony's new TVs over the line.

Sony's 2017 LED LCD range looks great, but it isn't the picture quality that'll sell you on it (even though it still looks pretty great). It's the smart TV experience, better realised here than in pretty much any other TV I've tested.

Luke Lancaster/CNET

Sony's 4K LED LCD panels are a marked upgrade over last year's already impressive displays. While Sony doesn't release specifics on nits or backlighting, the broad strokes have it as brighter with more local dimming for higher contrast. Software-side HDR processors and upscaling leave even basic HD content looking crisp, and the colour and detail upscaling from 4K to HDR was breathtaking on the demo reel.

Now for the big question. The question that always get asked of a new TV. How does it stack up against OLED? Without a side-by-side comparison, it's hard to make a definitive call, but OLED's true blacks and rich colours still feel like the watermark. That's not to say Sony's new HDR offering looks washed out or lacking in contrast. If anything, it's a testament to just how revolutionary OLED is.

LG's OLED panels remain the ones to beat, but Sony's new Bravia range won't disappoint in terms of picture quality. It's also stepping up with design to rival LG's and a host of smart features that will hopefully win over new buyers.

The new stand includes a way to hide the cables that plug into the back of your TV.

Luke Lancaster/CNET

While most TV manufacturers are going with paired soundbars, Sony's sound solution had them looking within. Three-speaker arrays offer subs, mids and high range built in, flowing through hidden sound channels that leave you with remarkable sound from a single TV.

Hiding those inner workings seems to be the name of the game, as the included low-profile podium mount has hollow frames for all your rear cables, so you won't catch sight of them trailing down behind your screen. If wall mounting is your thing, a double wishbone mount can sit flush with the wall at about an inch thick, or offer a huge range of motion to point your wall-mounted TV in a different direction.

The remote comes with a built-in mic. TV on!

Luke Lancaster/CNET

Where the new Sony range really shines is in the software. A conscious effort to play up the "smart" half of smart TV has paid off, with voice-controlled Google Assistant and contextual searching, screen mirroring, the Android ecosystem and butter-smooth switching between apps.

Hold down the home button on your remote to open the app drawer, and switch to whatever you want to watch. Jumping between Netflix, YouTube, PlayStation and Blu-ray seamlessly felt great, but it was nothing compared to the voice control through Google Assistant. Anyone with the latest Apple TV will know how invaluable Siri is with the microphone-equipped remote, and here it is baked right into your TV.

The idea of channel hopping between apps on a smart TV has been a point of pride among the top TV manufacturers, but Sony's new interface is the smoothest experience I've had with it to date.

Range pricing and availability looks like this:

Series

Model

Size (inches)

Price

X9400E

KD75X9400E

75

AU$8,999  

X9300E

KD65X9300E

65

AU$5,299  

KD655X9300E

55

AU$3,999  

X9000E

KD75X9000E  

75

AU$7,999  

KD65X9000E  

65

AU$4,499  

KD75X9000E  

55

AU$2,999  

KD75X9000E  

49

AU$2,499  

Release has it a little above current OLED pricing, but LG's range has been on the market for a couple of months now. The Sony range will soon be competing on price, and those smart features will make a strong argument, even if they aren't as showy as OLED. 

  • LG OLEDB6P series

    Although it's now been replaced by the 2017 versions, LG's 2016 B6 OLED TV remains a superb...

  • Samsung Q9 series

    Is Samsung's 2017 QLED range the answer to OLED?

  • Sony XBRZ9D series

    Starting at $7K for the 65-inch size and going up to an undisclosed sum for 100 inches,...

  • LG 55EG910T

    The cheapest OLED TV is no bargain, but at less than $2,000 it's actually affordable for...

  • Samsung UNJU7100 series

    Samsung's massive lineup of 2015 4K TVs is crowded with overpriced sets sprouting weird...

Share your voice