The new interface is a big improvement on the one used on Sony's TVs last year, but it's still not as good as Samsung's and neither is the selection of available smart apps. Despite having apps for iPlayer, Demand 5 and Netflix, it lacks support for 4oD or ITV Player. It also sometimes feels a little bit sluggish, especially when it comes to populating content in the Discover bar and when it initially loads the main smart TV menus.
Despite being equipped with Sony's Bass Reflex speakers, the W605 certainly isn't a stand out performer in terms of audio. It can sound a tad brittle in the higher frequencies and its bass is boxy, just like the.
The good news is that its mid-range performance is reasonably strong, so dialogue sounds quite crisp and clean. Sony has also added a few sound processing options to the audio menu, which work well. The S-Force Surround does a good job of expanding the stereo image, while the voice zoom can help lift dialogue further out of the background soundtrack of a movie to make it that little bit more intelligible.
Apart from a misfire at the top of its Full HD range with the W955, the other TVs in Sony's line-up (W705 and W829) have been very impressive when it comes to picture performance. The good news is that the W605 follows this trend. For the money, this TV delivers really excellent pictures.
There are a couple of key reasons for this. Firstly, the set can conjure up very deep black levels, especially compared to many other TVs I've seen around this price. In fact it could give a lot of more expensive sets a run for their money on this front. What's even more impressive is that it does this without having any backlight local dimming system on-board.
My review sample also had very little backlight clouding. So even when watching the screen with the lights dimmed at night, it didn't have the blotchiness and grey patches that affect many LED TVs, especially those at this price.
The set's colour performance was also top drawer, with the Cinema 1 preset looking particular accurate. As a result it's excellent for watching movies on Blu-ray, as it delivers warm, natural colours and despite the fact that it's not the brightest screen around, its colours still have plenty of punch.
The X-Reality Pro engine does a good job of tarting up standard definition pictures without introducing lots of obvious sharpening on the edges of objects onscreen. Broadcast originally shot on video do show some jaggies due to de-interlacing errors if viewed up close, but they're much harder to spot from a normal viewing distance.
Like the W705, this model doesn't have frame interpolation motion processing, which inserts extra frames into the video to deliver less blur. Instead it uses Sony's LED Motion Mode, which strobes the backlight to reduce motion blur. With this turned off, motion resolution is around 300 lines, but with it enabled it jumps to a full 1,080 lines of motion. It's not very useable, however, as it dims the screen too much and adds a lot of flickering on brighter areas of the picture. Even with it off though, motion doesn't look too blurry on this TV. Still, if you want more advanced motion processing you'd be better off with Sony's pricier W829.
Sony's TVs haven't exactly been known for their wide viewing angles in the past, but the W605 is much improved in this regard. In fact, even at a pretty extreme angle, colours and contrast don't shift so much as to be a big problem.
The chassis isn't as slim or as neat as Sony's own W705 -- it's got a weird, external power supply and it lacks fancy extras such as 3D support and advanced motion processing. Nevertheless, the W605 really does deliver in terms of picture quality and that's what really counts. The fact it's keenly priced only adds to its charm. As a result this is a good buy for those after a great mid-range TV.