Sony KD-49X8307C

Android TV isn't quite there yet

Sony KD-49X8307C

Images produced by the Sony panel and its impressive 4K X-Reality Pro processing are excellent. Obviously it's not quite up there with the high-price-tag likes of Sony's 75- inch marvel or Samsung's SUHD range, but in the sub-£1,000 market it will be tough to beat.

When displaying native 4K content the screen really comes alive. With our 4K demo discs, run from the USB connection, the video is beautifully sharp and detailed. Forget the fact that this reasonably-priced Sony has chosen to completely omit any 3D tech from its hardware; with a quality Ultra HD source the image clarity lends the picture incredible depth.

The Sony processing also produces a lovely, smooth video experience. The sweeping vistas of Ultra HD Netflix's Marco Polo are transfixing, and the bleached streets of Narcos' Bogota become a canvas painted in blood.

Well, when Android TV plays ball anyway...

Sony KD-49X8307C review

Almost of greater import, in these times still lacking a huge amount of 4K UHD content, is the X83C's upscaling chops – and here again the Sony processing really impresses.

Standard HD content still looks great on this panel, even blown up to four times its original resolution. There is a little noise introduced to the flesh tones in close-up, but otherwise the detail is excellent – the Sony was even able to keep my Virgin TiVo box's HD playback sharp and vivid.

My only real issue with the screen itself is that it tends to be a little too dark; with its lower levels of brightness l found it losing a small amount of detail in the darkest scenes of House of Cards or Daredevil.

Sony KD-49X8307C review

Boosting the TV's brightness settings, however, introduces visible bleed from the edge-lit LED backlight, which is barely noticeable when using the X83C's standard picture modes.

Overall, though, the Sony IPS screen performs really well. Despite the relatively low brightness the contrast levels are pretty impressive for such a well-priced TV, and even though it's using lPS panel tech the black levels are decent too.

Because of that IPS screen it does have very good white saturation distinction, and typically excellent viewing angles too.