Sony 55-inch X-series Bravia 4K

Sony's lounge room-friendly 55-inch 4K TV is now in stores, offering a more affordable Ultra HD experience for the home.

Nic Healey Senior Editor / Australia
Nic Healey is a Senior Editor with CNET, based in the Australia office. His passions include bourbon, video games and boring strangers with photos of his cat.
Nic Healey
3 min read

While many manufacturers have been threatening to launch smaller-sized Ultra HD TVs, Sony is the first in Australia to bite the bullet, with the 55-inch and 65-inch Bravia 4K TVs on sale now.

We got one of the 55-inch versions in yesterday, so while we've not had time for a full review test, these are some early first impressions.

First and foremost, this TV is the widest and heaviest we've encountered for the 55-inch screen size. The width comes from the forward-facing side speakers — 2.2 channels of sound, complete with 70mm subwoofers. The weight is an impressive 33.1kg without the stand, and the width is just under 1.5m.

This reviewer has made it a point of meaningless machismo pride to have never required help on getting TV review units out of their boxes and set up. The 55-inch Bravia almost defeated us. Almost. (We can't image getting attempting the 65-inch model — at 45kg — on our own without causing some potential internal injuries.)

Actually, the surprisingly slimline circular stand adds just 1.4kg. It attached with just four screws, and almost feels like it shouldn't be able to handle the weight of the TV. It does, of course — easily — and the small footprint is most welcome.

The automatic set-up was the usual step-by-step arrangement — all very easily done with one small issue: the width of the TV and placement of the aerial jack meant our short TV antenna cable couldn't actually reach, so we couldn't tune in any of the free-to-air channels. We'll be getting a longer one today.

The interface seems broadly similar to many other Sony products and we'd hazard that even a PS3 owner wouldn't find it too unfamiliar. Navigating feels a little sluggish, but nothing intolerable — we may just need a little more time with the UI.

The rear of the TV has the usual array of ports, with the four HDMI ports clearly marked for ARC, MHL, etc, and actually spread around the TV rather than grouped together. The same goes with USB, and we appreciated that the HDD USB port is easily accessible from the side.

In what seems to be a growing trend, Sony included two remotes with the Bravia: a more traditional-looking model and a slim-line, smart-style one. While we like the form factor of the slim remote, it's not as immediately intuitive as the LG or Samsung ones.

But what about the picture? Well, we quickly tested one of the eight "mastered in 4K" Blu-rays that shipped with the TV. While the selection isn't quite to our tastes, we decided that Battle: Los Angeles might be a good test.

The film might have disappointed as an artistic effort and cultural phenomenon, but the images on the 4K Bravia certainly didn't. It's a remarkable feat of upscaling, with the action smooth and clear, and the picture generally looking incredible.

The sound didn't disappoint, either; there's good depth even at high volumes, and a killer bass.

We'll be putting the Bravia through more extensive testing in the coming days and have a full review soon.