Sony has a unique place in the television segment and a legacy which very few companies can match now. Even as new companies come into the segment and make top-end features affordable to a larger set of users, Sony is playing the premium card by offering features and experience that differentiates its TVs from the rest of the crowd.
The Bravia X9000H is Sony’s latest 4K range, available in 55 and 65-inch sizes. Though large, the TV has a thin chassis and even thinner bezels. However, this is not a flat design like some of the newer models we have seen, but then it is not often that you look behind a TV to see how thin it is.
So Sony has put most of its efforts to the display, where it uses a full-array LED panel, which means the colours are the same across and there are no spots where you see bright patches. The X-tended dynamic range technology makes the screen brighter and deeper as the need arises.
It is when you watch a show like Netflix’s Night on Earth that you realise what a deeper black really means. This is the kind of frame where you have different shades of black and on the Bravia X9000H you can actually see all of these, clearly separated from the other. This is also where you see how Dolby Vision gives the kind of contrast that makes these images were different from a regular display.
Also, the colours are very Sony-like, something I have experienced from the days of Trinitron. It is not the eye-popping saturation that you see in some of the TVs these days, but a more natural subtle kind of colour profile. Sony uses its X1 4K HDR processor with Dolby Vision and X-Motion Clarity to offer what I think is one of the best, most balanced and natural, pictures I have seen in a while. In fact, even while watching YouTube clips or streaming shows on Netflix, you do realise that is a much clearer picture where you can see the subtle changes in colour in the frame.
With the Play Station 5 expected to launch soon, Sony is also pushing the Bravia X9000H as the television of choice for gamers. And it will be the only TV to offer 4K at 120fps, promising that the maximum lag for exceeding 7.2ms because of the X Motion Clarity tech it has added in the Bravia X9000H. This will become a USP as the new gaming console becomes available and even for existing PS users.
The TV comes with X Balanced Speaker technology which is a mix of round and oval speakers that bring in the ability to zoom voice and put the Dolby Atmos technology at play. I loved listening to my daily dose of YouTube playlists as I work in the morning and felt there was no need for a soundbar at all. However, depending on what and where you are playing it from you will need to play around with the volume.
For me, the Bravia X9000H also stands out for ease of use. While the remote is more old world and not one of those fancy, minimalist, ones we see these days, it is also one you can use with your eyes closed with dedicated buttons for Google Play and Netflix. Being an Android TV, the Google Play button is important for this lets you add any app you want on this television, keeping in mind you don’t exceed the storage space inbuilt. Also, the Google Play app here takes you to a curated list full of apps for smart TV. There is another button that pops up all the apps that are in the TV. All very practical.
Now, the level of customisations the Bravia X9000H offers is also interesting. The entire menubar can be changed to exactly what you want to show so that you don’t have to swipe through stuff you don’t care about. If you are the sort still watching live TV — don’t worry, I’m not judging you — there are options to pause and play and view content lists where possible.
The Home buttons take you to the home screen which is powered by Android and showcases content from the apps you have downloaded. This page is also customisable. It helps, that Sony has not tried to add its own home screen to confuse users more.
Overall, the Sony Bravia 55X9000H is a perfect TV that offers the best technologies available at the moment, has stunning picture quality and audio while pushing ease of use by putting the user in control. It also shows how there is more value in thinking of the overall experience over the long term than just pushing gimmicks that you will grow tired of soon. The Sony Bravia X9000H is one of the best 4K TVs you can buy at the moment, but this assurance of quality comes at a premium price point when everyone is pushing budget televisions. However, it is worth the premium you pay.
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