Sony KD-55XD9305 4K HDR TV review

4K UHD streaming backed by Sony's X1 processor

Sony KD-55XD9305
Sony KD-55XD9305

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The XD93 is a striking high-end Ultra HD telly. The design is minimalist but beautiful, and the implementation of Sony's Slim Backlight Drive proves an ingenious solution to the difficult problem of delivering high-contrast HDR without the aid of a full array backlight.

The set manages to be contrasty, offering a real HDR viewing experience, and image quality is fittingly impressive.

There are caveats, though.

The Android smart platform remains difficult to love, and Sony's new-style remote control errs on the wrong side of ghastly. But with 4K HDR Netflix onboard, top motion handling and some excellent connectivity, you may well opt to take the rough with the smooth.

We liked

The Sony KD-55XD9305 is a gorgeous-looking 4K screen, with advanced functionality and high level of picture performance. It does a great job of upscaling HD content, and offers a largely spectacular UHD picture performance.

With a quartet of HDCP 2.2-enabled HDMIs you'll also be able to accommodate all the 4K sources you want, and of course Netflix and Amazon 4K are on board.

We disliked

Sony's Slim Backlight Drive can leave blacks looking milky, and the set doesn't match the visual pop of full-array backlit rivals. The set's audio performance is also somewhat 'meh', and the new-style remote control is a duffer.

Final verdict

Sony has taken a bit of a gamble with the XD93, opting for an ultra-thin design that doesn't really lend itself to real HDR dynamics. But thanks to some ingenious engineering, it pretty much pulls it off.

There are caveats, but images (both HD and 4K) are nuanced and colour-rich, with poppy dynamics (keep the light sensor on to minimize grain). Excellent connectivity and integrated YouView add to the fun. Factor in a competitive price, and this set is well worth auditioning for the star role in your home entertainment centre.

Steve May
Home entertainment AV specialist

Steve has been writing about AV and home cinema since the dawn of time, or more accurately, since the glory days of VHS and Betamax. He has strong opinions on the latest TV technology, Hi-Fi and Blu-ray/media players, and likes nothing better than to crank up his ludicrously powerful home theatre system to binge-watch TV shows.