Sony KDL-55W805C review

Is a premium HD TV still worth buying?

Sony KDL-55W805C
Is a premium HD TV still worth buying?

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

Unfortunately the 55W805C's usability takes a hit from Sony's decision to adopt the Android TV platform. This platform is cumbersome and dictatorial in its presentation, making finding your favourite content often feel like a chore.

The good news is that you can just about manage to avoid Android TV, sticking instead with Sony's own, much slicker, more flexible and more friendly Discover system, which lets you access content via a series of tidy, scroll-through horizontal shelves at the bottom of the screen.

Later in the year the set will also receive an update giving you YouView support, providing easy, EPG-based access to the UK's main terrestrial catch-up TV services.

It's still a pity, though, that making the 55W805C easy to use essentially means dodging a feature - Android TV - that I'd once hoped might prove to be one of the TV's biggest selling points.


With Sony's X8405C TV setting new, high resolution-friendly audio standards this year, the rather thin, underpowered sound produced by the 55W805C comes as something of a shock. Action scenes tend to sound thin and unconvincing, bass is in extremely short supply, and voices can sound a bit shrill and mechanical.

The sound also seems to be struggling to project itself clear of the TV's bodywork - a fairly typical issue with TVs that use down-firing speakers.

The best that can be said of the 55W805C's sound is that it doesn't often succumb to obvious distortions. But overall I guess you'll just have to chalk the 55W805C's uninspiring sound down to a side effect of buying such an exceptionally thin TV and start planning for some kind of external audio solution if you can.

Sony KDL-55W805C


The 55W805C is to some degree a hard sell.

After all, there are now a number of 4K TVs out there that cost (in some cases, substantially) less than this HD model, and it's looking increasingly inevitable that 4K will eventually become a dominant AV force.

For now, though, there's no denying that 4K content is still struggling to get off the ground.

Also, most of those cheaper 4K TVs carry screen sizes considerably smaller than the 55-inch one on the 55W805C. So I think there will be plenty of people who could still be interested in a big-screen HD TV that's as capable of delivering a truly cinematic level of picture performance as this Sony.

John Archer
AV Technology Contributor

John has been writing about home entertainment technology for more than two decades - an especially impressive feat considering he still claims to only be 35 years old (yeah, right). In that time he’s reviewed hundreds if not thousands of TVs, projectors and speakers, and spent frankly far too long sitting by himself in a dark room.