Review : Sony KD-65XG8096

A well-equipped LCD TV at a reasonable price

The Sony XG8096 is a good all-round TV with a range of key features such as Android and HDR video at a reasonable price.

Sony KD-65XG8096

Our verdict

The Sony screen offers smooth motion and great colour reproduction from every angle.
The contrast lacks a little punch and the remote control feels outdated.
  • Size/type: 65” 4K LED LCD
  • Resolution: 3840 x 2160 (4K Ultra HD)
  • Operating system: Android 8.0 Oreo
  • Inputs: 4 HDMI, 3 USB
  • Outputs: Optical Digital Audio output
  • HDR: HDR10
  • Other:
  • Web: sony.no
Show more
Show less

Price: £ 12990

Sony has a long tradition of delivering good LCD TVs at a reasonable price. The Japanese manufacturer offers many different model series, of which our selected test subject, the XG8096, probably represents the best compromise between price and performance. It also comes in a range of sizes, from 43” and all the way up to 75”!

Design-wise, Sony XG8096 is a tight and straight-lined affair. The feet are plastic and pushed into place without screws. This causes the screen to have a slightly recumbent position and may almost seem a little unsteady. The cabinet itself seems a bit flimsy and cheap. This is no disaster but it is something we associate with even cheaper budget screens. Cables can be concealed by leading them down through the foot.

User-friendliness and features

Sony XG8096 is a fully-fledged Android Smart TV with all that this entails in regard to apps and smart services, including Google Assistant voice control. That alone is a good argument for choosing this model rather than its smaller sibling, the XG75, which uses a far simpler Linux-based operating system. And the Google Play Store has a wide variety of apps and streaming services to choose from. In addition, you can stream content directly from your phone via built-in Chromecast.

The XG8096 has to make do with Sony’s mainstream remote, which is IRRITATINGLY directional. While Samsung and LG’s Bluetooth remote controls can be randomly waved around the room, you almost need to be a highly trained marksman to make the Sony screen react to commands.

The Sony screen supports regular HDR video but it doesn’t support dynamic HDR formats like Dolby Vision or HDR10 +.

Image Quality

Fortunately, Sony manages to raise the overall impression with its image quality. As with the LG 65UM7510, Sony’s 65-inch comes with an IPS LCD image panel. But the typical shortcomings are not as prominent here as they are in LG’s case: XG8096 has vastly improved brightness and actually renders quite decent contrast even in challenging dark movie scenes. When Eleven finds herself in pitch-dark thought patterns in “Stranger Things” Season 3, it is genuinely black and not just semi-grey as with LG. There is also significantly more punch and intensity here in the colour nuances. All of this contributes to a more engaging image experience.

The Sony screen comes with the company’s X-Reality Pro video chip, and this finds expression in very good image processing. The picture appears significantly sharper than a number of its competitors and movements are smoother and more seamless. All in all, one of the better TVs in the test purely on the basis of image quality.

Sound quality

However, audio is not one of the highlights of the Sony XG8096. Sound reproduction seems thin, flimsy and sounds quite strained even at low volume. Voices are fairly clear and distinct, but as soon as you introduce music or sound effects, it begins to sound sharp. There’s a real need for a soundbar, almost irrespective of the viewing content.

Conclusion

KD-65XG8096 is Sony’s version of a well-equipped LCD TV at a reasonable price. Here you get 4K resolution, support for HDR and powerful Android smart features in one neat package. The IPS-based LCD panel delivers surprisingly good picture quality.

Alternatives to Sony KD-65XG8096

QLED vs OLED

LG OLED meets Samsung QLED in a TV Showdown

Samsung and LG's new heavyweight models both promise beautiful and hard-hitting image quality. But which of these QLED and OLED screens is the very best? The stage is set for a lasting TV-FIGHT!

Samsung Q800T (QE75Q800T)

Samsung's 8K TV is extremely good!

With its superb sharpness, the Samsung Q800T gives a strong taste of the TV technology of the future.

LG OLED77C9

Only the best is good enough

LG C9 (OLED77C9) is the TV screen for you who want a cinema feeling in the living room, and with the best picture possible to find at this price.

Samsung Q70R (QE82Q70R)

Cinema feel with real QLED contrast

With the Samsung Q70R, Samsung has trimmed away unnecessary luxury in order to offer direct LED taillights at a favorable price. And with the 82-inch, it becomes a real cinema experience!

Samsung Q80T

Full of fun at half the price

Samsung's new QLED TV Samsung Q80T offers lots of equipment and superb picture quality at a reasonable price. Could this be the best TV purchase from Samsung this year?

Samsung The Sero

Samsung flips the TV upside down

A motorized TV screen that can be turned upside down with the push of a button! Is The Sero simply one of the most awesome TVs this year?