Table of Contents_
If you are searching for the best 4K TV, this one looks like a winner.
When considering purchasing a television, the $1,000 price point is a highly desirable one, as consumers appreciate finding a model with a three-figure price versus spending in the four-figure range. Although a large number of HD resolution TVs have been below the $1,000 price point for several years now, many 4K resolution models are still striving to reach it. As this Sony 55X810C 4K TV review shows, Sony has created a 4K TV with baseline features, which allows it to reach a sub-$1,000 price tag while maintaining well above average screen quality. Also, make sure to check our best 65-inch TV list for some sets that are a bit bigger. Or, check out our best TV list for more high-quality options.
If you can live without features such as a 3D display, full HDR compatibility, and local dimming, the Sony 55X810C offers great images with minimal motion blur at a key price point, which qualifies this Sony model as one of the best 55-inch 4K TVs. However, if you want to enjoy HDR content, you can read our Sony X900H 55 Inch TV: 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV review to see if it fits your needs. Compare this model with the slightly more expensive LG 65EF9500 TV review too.
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: Terrific price point for a 4K TV with strong display quality.
Summary: Sony doesn’t offer an advanced set of features with its 55X810C 4K TV, but the manufacturer does provide great images at a sub-$1,000 price point.
Price: $998 (55-inch screen)
Available: October 2015
Other Screen Sizes Offered: 65-inch for $1,498
What We Liked
What We Didn’t
The Sony 55X810C doesn’t have the sleekest design, as its maximum thickness measurement is about 3 inches. It also has a thicker border than a few other 4K (Ultra HD) TVs in the 55-inch category, measuring around 5/8ths of an inch. All of these measurements give the 55X810C a bit of a bulky or boxy look.
The same design features also apply to a Sony 65-inch 4K TV review, as the X810C is available in both 55 and 65-inch versions. If you’re seeking a Sony 70-inch 4K TV review, though, you’ll have to consider a different model, such as the Sony W850B. Or, if you are fine with a high-quality 65-inch model, check out our Sony A8G review.
The stand included with the X810C is a single black bar on either side of the unit. Although it may look a little underwhelming, it is able to hold the unit without a wobble.
Sony is able to maintain the price of the 55X810C in the sub-$1,000 area by keeping the feature list basic. You won’t find 3D technology or local dimming with this model. (Local dimming is a technology for LED-backlit televisions that dim the backlight in specific areas of the screen where the scene is displaying black, allowing for the appearance of deeper blacks.)
Sony hasn’t given the X810C 4K TV HDR compatibility. (HDR is an updated video standard that yields more colorful images.) Although Sony has announced that it plans to add HDR compatibility for some of its TVs in the future through firmware upgrades, the manufacturer has not yet announced whether it will provide an HDR upgrade for the X810C family.
See also: Our Skyworth E20300 review.
Even though the 55X810C doesn’t have a lot of high-end features, it still easily ranks well on our best TV for gaming list. It has very little motion blur, which is great for sports programming or fast-moving action movies. And its input lag ranks between about 35 and 40 milliseconds, which is a well above average performance level for similarly priced 55-inch TVs. Those seeking to play high-end, multi-player games may notice the slight input lag, but you won’t have problems with input lag with most games with this Sony model. Those playing games requiring extremely quick response times, such as FPS games, may notice some lag.
Sony gave the X810C Android TV as its Smart TV interface. And while iPhone/iPad fans may have little desire to work with the Android system, they should give it a chance. It’s easy to use and well organized, featuring the ability to navigate the Smart TV interface through the remote control or through voice commands. And it has a large collection of available apps, including offerings from Netflix, YouTube, and Crackle.
Finally, the 55X810C has plenty of input ports, including four HDMI and three USB ports.
I appreciated the display quality of the 55X810C, especially considering its price point. With both models in the X810C family of TVs, Sony has done an excellent job of providing a good value without sacrificing the quality of the screen.
Another key component of the 55X810C — and all 4K TVs for that matter — is its ability to successfully upscale HD programming to fill the 4K resolution of the display screen. After all, very little native 4K programming currently exists. A good upscaling engine in a 4K model is able to make the HD resolution programming look better, and Sony succeeded here.
It compares favorably to other LED-LCD 4K televisions in terms of the accuracy of its colors, even against some 55-inch TVs that have a higher price point. The X810C has good contrast and deep blacks, which is a bit of a surprise because Sony didn’t include local dimming technology with this family of televisions.
Either way, the deep blacks, and accurate colors make it a good TV for displaying movies. And with its 120Hz refresh rate, the X810C is able to display 24 frames per second video without any judder, another good quality when viewing movies.
If there’s any aspect of the X810C’s display quality that’s a bit below average, it’s that you may occasionally notice some problems with the quality of the display away from the middle of the screen. For example, in some scenes, you may see some darkness in the corners of the screen. And if you’re sitting at a sharp angle to the screen, you will notice some loss of color accuracy and viewing quality.
Still, despite these slight image issues shown in this Sony 4K TV review, 2015 was a good model year for the manufacturer, especially in terms of the overall image quality of the budget-priced 55X810C.
The 55X900C from Sony is the next step up in Sony televisions from the 55X810C. The X900C is a thinner model, offers a thinner border, and includes passive 3D technology along with HDR compatibility. However, the image quality of the two families of televisions is almost identical, as are the input lag measurements. Both units also feature the Android OS as a Smart TV interface.
The 55X900C ($1,198 on Amazon) does have a price that’s about $200 more than the 55X810C, so you’ll end up paying for its improved feature set. Budget shoppers will be pleased with the X810C, while those who need a few more features will want to give strong consideration to the X900C.
If you’re reading through this Sony 4K TV review, 55 inch X810C model looking for the latest features in a large screen, this television isn’t exactly going to have all the answers. Beyond the 4K resolution, the 55X810C doesn’t have 3D display technology, full HDR compatibility, or local dimming. But the one area Sony chose to emphasize — overall display quality — is the most important factor. This model has deep blacks, accurate color representation, and very good motion and gaming performance. Then there’s the extremely desirable price tag for a 55-inch Ultra HD model at less than $1,000. As long as you can live without the HDR compatibility, the Sony 55X810C and its 4K resolution will be a strong choice for those needing a lower price point.