It is possible to buy a good 55 inch 4K LED TV like Mi TV 4X 55 for less than Rs. 40,000 now, so the idea of a television with similar specs and features costing Rs. 1,29,900 might be a bit too much for many. You can even get decent QLED televisions from brands like OnePlus and TCL for half as much, so what exactly is it about the Sony 55X9000H that justifies its rather high price?
There’s obviously more to the Sony 55X9000H than its branding. Key features include full-matrix local dimming, support for HDR up to Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos format, to name a few. Does it all add up to make the Sony 55X9000H a worthy buy for anyone looking for a new premium TV? Find out in our review.
Sony 55X9000H 4K HDR LED Android TV Design and Specifications
While it can be nice that big-screen, budget-friendly 4K LED TVs look simple and straightforward, more is expected from a premium model like the Sony 55X9000H. Indeed, this television delivers. It looks and feels particularly good compared to most 55-inch 4K TVs, thanks to a slim aluminum frame and an overall thickness that doesn’t cause the television to extend too far from the wall. The silver edges look good without being distracting, making this perhaps the most high-end looking 55-inch television I’ve used in a while.
The Sony 55X9000H has the two standard lower-firing full-range speakers with a total output of 20W. Dolby Audio, Dolby Atmos and DTS Digital Surround formats are supported by the TV speaker system. The 55-inch Ultra-HD LED display (3840 x 2160 pixels) features full-matrix local dimming, with support for HDR up to Dolby Vision format. The maximum refresh rate is 120Hz in full-HD resolution and 60Hz in Ultra-HD. This is all driven by Sony’s X1 4K HDR picture processor, which, while not quite as capable as the X1 Ultimate in the Sony A9G OLED TV, is adequate for the LED display in the Sony X9000H.
The TV comes with tabletop stands included in the box, which are as well designed and constructed as the TV itself. However, unlike many high-end Sony TVs, these brackets attach close to the corners and are also wide; therefore, you will need a large table to place the Sony 55X9000H on.
You can opt for wall mounting at the time of installation free of charge, with the technician providing the correct wall mounting hardware. This TV uses standard VESA hole pitch measurements, so you will be able to use any compatible wall mount kit. Even when mounted on the wall, the ports on the left of the display are easy to access.
There are four HDMI ports, two USB ports, an Ethernet port, a composite video input socket, a headphone output socket, and a TOSLINK digital audio output port. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are present, of course, with HDMI ARC and CEC also supported.
Sony 55X9000H 4K HDR LED Android TV Remote Control & Features
While many brands are opting for more adventurous, minimalist remotes, Sony is sticking firmly to a more traditional-looking, button-heavy remote. The Sony 55X9000H’s remote looks good and feels good, with lots of buttons, including a numeric keypad, which is admittedly quite rare these days. There are dedicated controls for Android TV playback and navigation, as well as a microphone and button for Google Assistant, proper volume and mute keys, and hotkeys for Netflix and Google Play, among others.
The remote has IR and Bluetooth and runs on two AAA batteries included in the sales package. All buttons are well laid out and easy to distinguish, making it very easy to use this remote even in the dark. The Google Assistant functionality came in handy as I was also able to control other connected appliances and gadgets like smart lights and cleaning robots. The standard Google Assistant features, including searching for content and answering queries, also work well.
The Sony 55X9000H has built-in Chromecast Ultra functionality for streaming in Ultra-HD resolution and also works with Apple AirPlay and HomeKit. There’s also support for Netflix Calibrated Mode, which automatically adjusts your TV’s picture settings to recommended levels when watching certain titles on Netflix, based on input from the content creator.
Sony 55X9000H 4K HDR LED Android TV Software and Interface
Sony was one of the early proponents of the Android TV operating system, offering the full experience without limitations right from the start. The company has also worked on standards certifications and proper integrations with streaming services like Netflix. As a result, the Android TV experience on the Sony 55X9000H is the best it’s ever been.
This television runs on Android TV 9 Pie, with top apps like Netflix and YouTube pre-installed. There is the Google Play Store to download other apps and games. All apps support up to each service’s maximum resolution (assuming you’re on the right plans), along with Ultra-HD, Dolby Vision, HDR10, Dolby Audio, and Dolby Atmos where available.
Android TV is among the best smart TV platforms available today, and Sony’s specific modifications and styles add value to the overall experience. You can access most picture and sound settings from anywhere in the interface, including while watching content. You can change modes quickly and also adjust detailed settings. The television also wakes up quickly when turned on from standby, and it worked fine without any lag or software issues during my time with it.
Sony 55X9000H 4K HDR LED Android TV Performance
LED backlighting in televisions is now generally considered a budget option, and more affordable big-screen 4K TVs come with this type of display. Buyers with higher budgets might be more inclined to opt for QLED or OLED TVs, so the Sony 55X9000H is already at a disadvantage thanks to its Rs. 1,29,900 price tag. That said, LED TVs do have some advantages over other screen types, and the 55X9000H makes good use of those factors, making it one of the best LED TVs you can buy today.
The television features a VA panel and high peak brightness with both SDR and HDR content, along with full-array microdimming. These factors work well together to deliver performance that’s largely on par with what a good QLED television like the OnePlus TV Q1 Pro or the TCL 55C715 can deliver. As we’ve already seen with premium Sony TVs, the 55X9000H also offers a largely uniform viewing experience across all resolutions, thanks to good upscaling and picture tuning.
Dolby Vision and HDR10 content is expected to bring out the best in the Sony 55X9000H, with a good mix of brightness, colors and black levels. Local dimming makes a big difference in producing good black levels, and in that regard, the Sony 55X9000H’s performance is among the best I’ve seen in an LED TV. Watching Our Planet and Chef’s Table: BBQ on Netflix with Dolby Vision, this TV produced a vibrant, detailed, and enjoyable picture that was noticeably and considerably better than what I’ve seen on most other LED TVs. The images of the food on the grill on the Chef’s Table looked beautiful and realistic, with the TV doing a fantastic job of making the colors realistic and vibrant without looking too harsh.
Combined with the capabilities of Dolby Vision, the local dimming on the television produced deep blacks almost OLED-like, and the high contrast ratio also helped to achieve full-range color. While Dolby Vision is noticeably better than HDR10, the Sony 55X9000H did an admirable job playing HDR10 content at nearly the same level as good Dolby Vision content.
All of this came in particularly handy when watching The Boys Season 2, with the Sony 55X9000H nailing the dark scenes almost every time. The image was crisp, giving an impressive glimpse of Karl Urban’s devious expressions as the anti-hero Billy Butcher.
Where the Sony 55X9000H fell a little short in resolutions was in its ability to handle motion. Disabling all motion enhancement features resulted in a choppy viewing experience, but keeping things smooth only to a small extent. As was visible in many action scenes in The Boys, as well as the climactic battle scenes in Jojo Rabbit on Disney+ Hotstar, artifacts were often visible in scenes with fast motion, and this was quite distracting. This happened at resolutions, but was particularly noticeable with 4K content with the sharp image.
More affordable 4K TVs tend to falter a bit when it comes to boosting lower resolution content, especially 720p and standard definition video. This is where the Sony 55X9000H proves its worth, performing well at all resolutions. While there is obviously a bit of data and definition lost in the upscaling process, Sony does a good job of minimizing this and making all lower resolution content look as good as possible, even considering the large screen.
Jojo Rabbit on Disney+ Hotstar was bright, crisp, and enjoyable to watch, with only the aforementioned motion issues to complain about. Lower resolution content, including kids videos on YouTube and Netflix, looked decent too, with the Sony 55X9000H getting colors, textures and brightness correct in most cases.
The Sony 55X9000H has a good screen, but it doesn’t compare to other premium TVs when it comes to sound. With two single 10W full-range speakers firing below the screen, the sound is almost adequate at high volumes. Tuning is decent and volume levels remain even, but the lack of power makes the sound less than exceptional. It’s fine for basic viewing like news or sitcoms, but fast, loud, punchy scenes sounded a little flat on the TV’s speakers.
After spending a lot of time with the Sony 55X9000H 4K LED TV, I’m not entirely convinced there’s enough on offer to justify the price. Sure, this is easily the best LED TV I’ve ever used, but does that justify paying a higher price than a good 55-inch QLED TV? Spending a little more might also push you into OLED territory, so the Rs. The Sony 55X9000H’s price of 1,29,900 is a big drawback. That said, I have seen this TV sell for around Rs. 1,10,000 discounted, which might sweeten the deal a bit for shoppers who might be dubious about the price.
However, Sony’s brand value and the fact that it is an exceptionally good television, regardless of the type of screen in use, still makes this a good enough buy. While there are some issues with motion and the sound quality is average at best, the Sony 55X9000H more than makes up for its shortcomings with good picture quality, features, software and ease of use. It’s expensive and you might want to consider a good QLED TV, but if you go for the 55X9000H, you won’t regret it.
Mi TV Stick vs Fire TV Stick Lite vs Mi Box 4K vs Fire TV Stick 4K: Which is the best budget streaming device for TVs in India? We discuss this on Orbital, our weekly tech podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or simply hit the play button below.