Sony X800G vs LG SM8600 Review (XBR49X800G vs 49SM8600, XBR55X800G vs 55SM8600, XBR65X800G vs 65SM8600, XBR75X800G vs 65SM8670)
If you are searching mid-range TV with IPS panel, Sony X800G and LG SM8600 might be a good option for you. Sony X800G is the mid range TV of Sony’s 2019 TV lineup. In this lineup, it sits below the X850G series. On the other hand, the SM8600 is also the mid-range of LG’s 2019 4K HDR TV lineup and in this lineup, it sits below the SM9000 series. In the market, they both come in a lot of screen sizes option. For X800G, there is 43 Inches (XBR43X800G), 49 inches (XBR49X800G), 55 inches (XBR55X800G), 65 inches (XBR65X800G), and the biggest is 75 inches (XBR75X800G). Meanwhile, foe SM8600, there is 49 inches (49SM8600), 55 inches (55SM8600), 65 inches (65SM8600), and 75 inches (75SM8670). Special for the 75 inches model, the SM8600 has different market name. This is due to it has different sound system than the other screen sizes model.
In the market, with the same screen sizes, which one is cheaper is depending on the screen. For the 49 inches and 55 inches model (XBR49X800G vs 49SM8600, XBR55X800G vs 55SM8600), the SM8600 is priced tens dollar cheaper. On the other hand, for the 65 inches and 75 inches model (XBR65X800G vs 65SM8600, XBR75X800G vs 75SM8600), the X800G is priced hundreds dollar cheaper. But of course, their prices are not fixed and can still change with the passage of the time. So, what features are offered by each and which one is a better choice?
Sony X800G vs LG SM8600 Key Specs
|Specs and Features||Sony X800G||LG SM8600|
|Screen Sizes Available||43 inches (XBR43X800G), 49 inches (XBR49X800G), 55 inches (XBR55X800G), 65 inches (XBR65X800G), 75 inches (XBR75X800G)||49 inches (49SM86000, 55 inches (55SM8600), 65 Inches (65SM8000), 75 Inches (75SM8670)|
|Backlighting Technology||Direct LED (43 and 49 inches : Edge-Lit LED)||Edge Lit Backlight|
|Image Processor||N/a||Alpha 7 Gen 2|
|HDR Supports||HDR10, HLG||HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision|
|Contrast Enhancement||Dynamic Contrast Enhancer||Object Depth Enhancer, Ultra Luminance, 65 Inches: Ultra Luminance Pro|
|Color Enhancement||Live Color Technology, TriLuminos Display||Nano Color, Nano Accuracy, Advanced Color Enhancer|
|Clarity Enhancement||4K X-Reality Pro||Quad Step Noise Reduction, Frequency Based Sharpness Enhancer, Tru 4K Up-Scaler|
|Native Refresh Rate Panel||60 Hz||120 Hz|
|VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) Supports||No||No|
|Motion Enhancement||MotionFlow XR240||TruMotion 240|
|Smart TV Platform||Android TV 7.0 Nougat||WebOS 4.5 with LG Ai ThinQ|
|Audio Channel||2.0 Channel||2.0 Channel, 75 inches: 2.2|
|Total Sound Output||20 watts||20 watts, 75 Inches: 40 watts|
|Dolby Atmos Support||No||Yes|
|USB Ports||3 (USB 2,3 :USB2.0, USB 1: USB 3.0)||3 (USB 2.0)|
|Composite In (AV In)||No||1|
|Price||See the Price on Amazon||See the Price on Amazon|
Technologies and Features of Sony X800G and LG SM8600
Sony X800G and LG SM8600 both use IPS panel. As is characteristic of TV with IPS panel, it usually has good side viewing angle but on the other hand, the IPS TVs usually have poor native contrast ratio. Even though they both use IPS panel, but they have a difference in a backlight technology. All models of SM8600 use edge-lit backlight, while the backlight technology of X800G is depending on the screen size. For the 43 inches and 49 inches model, just like SM8600, it uses edge-lit backlight while for the bigger size model, it uses direct LED backlight. The other difference between them, the SM8600 has local dimming technology while the X800G doesn’t have. Meanwhile, for delivering good color gamut, the panel of X800G is powered by TriLuminos Display while the SM8600 is powered by Nano Color Technology.
Unlike the higher series X850G, X950G, or higher models, the Sony X800G lacks the 4K HDR Processor X1 Engine. On its official website, Sony doesn’t even mention the name of its processor. Nevertheless, for enhancing quality produced, it is still supported by the number of technologies like Dynamic Contrast Enhancer. Additionally, it is also powered by 4K X-Reality Pro as its 4k-Up-scaling engine. This allows you to enjoy non UHD content in 4K quality smoothly and clearly with a lot of fine details preserved.
On the other hand, as its image processor, the LG SM8600 is powered by Alpha Gen 7 Intelligent processor, the second generation of the Alpha 7 processor we first found in last year model like SK8000, SK9000 or even OLED B8. It may lack some feature in comparison to Alpha 9 Gen processor, but at least, most of its features has been generated by AI (Artificially Intelligence). This allows the SM8600 has some intelligent feature like AI Sound, AI brightness and others that will automatically adjust the parameters of the TVS based on your habit in watching TVs and the room condition where it is placed.
LG SM86000 supports more HDR format than Sony X800G. As we see on the comparison table above, the X800G only supports HDR10 and HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma). There is no dynamic HDR formats which supported by it. On the other hand, in addition to HDR10 and HLG, the SM8600 also already support Dolby Vision. As we know, Dolby Vision is a proprietary HDR format by Dolby Laboratories that use Dynamic Metadata. But even so, it doesn’t support other dynamic HDR that developed by Samsung and the alliance, which is HDR10+.
For maximizing their performance in handling motion, the Sony X800G is powered by MotionFlow XR240 technology while the LG SM8600 is powered by TruMotion 240Hz. Nevertheless, the SM8600 has higher native refresh rate panel. It has 120 Hz while the X800G has 60 Hz native refresh rate panel. This allows the SM8600 can interpolate lower frame rate content up to 120 Hz, while the X800G can interpolate up to 60 Hz only.
Meanwhile, to dim their backlight, the SM8600 use PWM dimming system with dimming frequency by 240 Hz. On the other hand, the X800G doesn’t use PWM. The result, the screen of X800G is almost flicker-free, that means it is great. But even so, lack of flicker will cause some persistence blur. On the other hand, although the screen of SM8600 is not flicker-free, but with 240 Hz dimming frequency, it is fairly high to make the flicker is almost invisible for most people.
The LG SM8600 and Sony X800G also both have an optional black frame insertion mode that will flicker their back light at certain frequency. This feature can help to reduce persistence blur, make motion looks crisper and clearer. But even so, the difference, the lowest possible frequency of BFI mode of the X800G is 120 Hz while the SM8600 is 60 Hz. This will have an impact when they are playing 60 fps content like sports or video games. With 60 Hz flickering pattern, motion looks crisper and smoother on the screen of SM8600. On the other hand, with 120 Hz of, this will cause some duplication in 60 fps content. But on the other hand, the lower flickering frequency will make the backlight flicker is more noticeable for some people.
As their major connectivity, LG SM8600 and Sony X800G are both equipped with 4 HDMI ports. But even so, since the SM8600 has higher native refresh rate panel, this makes its HDMI ports supports more type of sources than X800G. Since the X800G only has 60 Hz refresh rate panel, it only supports 60 fps content or lower. With 60 fps content, the resolution supported by X800G are 1080p, 1440p, and 4K. Meanwhile, with 120 Hz refresh rate panel, in addition to what supported by X800G, the SM8600 also supports 120 fps content. But even so, the resolution that supported by SM8600 in 120 fps content are only 1080p and 1440p, while for 4K resolution (HFR), it doesn’t yet support.
Additionally, the HDMI ports of Sony X800G and LG SM8600 also supports some features like HDMI 2.0 full bandwidth, HDCP 2.2, CEC, and ARC. Nevertheless, for X800G, not all of its HDMI ports support HDMI 2.0 where its HDMI ports which support HDMI 2.0 are only HDMI 2 and HDMI 3. They both don’t support HDMI 2.1.
In addition to HDMI ports, they also have the same number of USB ports, which are 3 ports. Nevertheless, their difference, all of USB ports of SM8600 are USB 2.0 and none of them is USB 3.0. On the other hand, X800G has 1 USB 3.0, which is on USB 1 while the rest are USB 2.0. Additionally, they also both have 1 Tuner In, 1 AV In, 1 Ethernet In, 1 Digital Audio Out (optical). Special for X800G, it also has Analog Audio Out (3.5 mm mini jack), 1 Component In, and IR In, while the SM8600 doesn’t have these inputs.
As their smart TV platform, the Sony X800G runs Android TV 7.0 Nougat. It actually is slightly stranger considering some premium models of Sony TVs like A9G, X950G and others already run the latest version of Android TV, which is 8.0 versions called Android Oreo, even some last year’s model also has been upgraded to the Oreo version. On the other hand, the LG SM8600 runs the latest version of WebOS, which is WebOS 4.5. WebOS and Android TV platform both have the interface that is well organized. But even so, in term of performance, the interface of WebOS is smoother and faster than the Android 7.0. Nevertheless, for X800G, there is an update to Android 8.0 that has smoother and faster interface.
In term of navigation and user interface, the WebOS might be superior due to its interface is smoother and easier to navigate. But in term of the selections of apps, the Android TV is superior. Both of them actually have the same great selection of built-in apps. There are a lot of built in apps provided. There are VoD Service like YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Videos, Hulu, and more, Web Browser, Live TVs, Games, and more. Additionally, they both also already support Google Home, Amazon Alexa, AirPlay 2, and others. But even so, the Android TVs has more excellent apps store than WebOS. With Google Play Store that supported by a lot of more developer, Google Play Store provides more complete and a lot of more apps, content, games, and others than LG’s apps store.
As their controller, the Sony X800G comes with Sony Voice Remote while the LG SM8600 comes with LG’s Magic Remote. Their remote is large and have a lot of buttons. Both of these remotes also have built-in microphone with many features of voice control. And for integrating with voice control features, they both use Bluetooth connectivity. Not only that, both of these remotes also have universal ability, allows them to control other devices which support HDMI CEC. Meanwhile, the advantage of LG’s Remote, it can also control other devices which don’t support HDMI CEC over IR. The other advantage, the remote also has “point and click” feature that allow it can act as mouse on the PC.
Sony X800G vs LG SM8600 Performance
Contrast and Black Level
As we know, since both of these TVs use IPS panel, this makes their native contrast ratio is poor. Their native contrast ratio is only about 1000:1. With the depth of black level produced is around 0.1 nits, this is not deep enough to make blacks looks really black in a dark room. Instead look really black, in a dark room, black produced by them even looks tend to grey. Indirectly, this certainly makes darker colors cannot be shown fairly accurate. Meanwhile, special for LG SM8600, even though it has local dimming, but its local dimming is not effective to boost its contrast ratio. Fortunately, in a bright room, it is not noticeable and blacks still looks black. This means, with low contrast ratio, both LG SM8600 and Sony X900G is not suitable when used in a dark room. If you search a TV in this class with a good dark room performance, you can consider Samsung RU8000 that has excellent native contrast ratio.
SDR Peak Brightness
With SDR content, the peak brightness of LG SM8600 and Sony X800G is equally decent. But even so, in comparison among them, X800G has a bit better peak brightness than SM8600. With real content, peak brightness reached by SM8600 is around 250 nits, while the X800G can hit around 40 nits brighter. Meanwhile, with window test, since the Sony X800G doesn’t have local dimming, the peak brightness is similar in almost all windows sizes, which is around 330 nits. On the other hand, with window test, the peak brightness of X800G varies depending on the white window size. The brightest peak brightness is reached by SM8600 when it showing 25% white window or larger (25 % of screen is white, while the rest is black) which is around 280 nits. But even so, when it shows small highlight its peak brightness precisely drop to around 180 nits on 10% window and 100 nits on 2% window. This actually is not usual considering most TVs with local dimming usually can show small window size brighter than large windows sizes. With peak brightness reached by them, their peak brightness actually is only bright enough for average-lit or dim room, but for very bright room with sunny window, their peak brightness is not bright enough to overcome the glare. And since the Sony X800G has brighter peak brightness, in brighter room, the picture displayed on its screen will look more consistent than SM8600.
Keep in mind, for the SM8600, this result is reached by setting “picture Mode” to “ISF Expert”, “Local Dimming” to “Medium”, “Backlight” to “100”, and “Color Temperature” to “Warm 2”. Meanwhile, for X800G, “Picture Mode” is set to “Custom” and “Color Temperature” is set to “Expert 1”. The different setting might result brighter peak brightness.
Winner: Sony X800G
HDR Peak Brightness
Meanwhile, with HDR content, they both can get brighter. But just like with SDR content, the Sony X800G also can get brighter than the LG SM8600. With real HDR content, SM8600 can hit around 300 nits, while the X800G can get around 40 nits brighter. Additionally, just like with SDR content, since the X800G doesn’t have local dimming, with window test, its peak brightness is almost similar on any window sizes, which is around 400 nits. On the other hand, its local dimming makes peak brightness of SM8600 varies depending on the window size. On 25% of window or larger, it can hit around 340 nits, while on 10% its peak brightness drop to around 270 nits and 240 nits on 2% window. With peak brightness reached by them, HDR images displayed on their screen can get decently bright. But even so, highlight or bright scene cannot be shown outstandingly the way they should in HDR and still far from the intended by the content creator. But even so, although their peak brightness is still far from 1000-4000 nits of brightness range intended by the content creator, but for their class, their peak brightness can still be said fairly well.
Winner: Sony X800G
LG SM8600 has a bit wider color gamut than Sony X800G. But even so, their difference doesn’t have a significant impact on the normal usage. However, in general, their color gamut is equally good. Their color gamut can cover around 91% of DCI P3uv color space and around 70% of Rec.2020 color space. This means, with their wide color gamut, most colors of HDR images can be shown fairly accurate, particularly for HDR10 content that mastered in DCI P3. Special for SM8600, since it also already supports Dolby Vision that mastered in Rec.2020, even though it cannot show some certain saturated colors, but in general, it still can show colorful Dolby Vision Image.
In addition to have a bit wider color gamut, LG SM8600 also have a bit better color volume. But even so, in general, since they both only have mediocre contrast ratio, they cannot produce dark colors fairly well. On the other hand, since their peak brightness is not also too bright, they cannot also produce very bright saturated colors, particularly very bright blues. Nevertheless, for normal content, colors of picture displayed on their screen looks fairly well.
Additionally, the LG SM8600 also has smoother color gradient than Sony X800G. On their screen, some imperfections might still be visible throughout most of the shades of colors, particularly in dark greens and grays, but on the screen of X800G, the bandings is more visible than on the screen of SM8600. Nevertheless, this should not be a problem in most real-life content and in general, their color gradient is excellent. Special for the LG SM8600, if you feel the banding is still bothersome, you can enable the “Smooth Gradation” o its picture setting. This feature will help to remove some imperfections, make gradient looks smoother. But on the other hand, this might cause some loss of fine detail. Meanwhile, the Sony X800G doesn’t has a feature that can reduce any imperfection.
Winner: LG SM8600
Side Viewing Angle
As we know, the use of IPS panel might make they have low native contrast ratio, but on the other hand, this makes them have good side viewing angle, better than TVs with VA panel or even with special optical layer like Sony TVs with “X Viewing Angle” or Samsung TV with “Ultra Viewing Angle”. But even so, its side viewing angle coverage is not still as good as OLED TV. The superiority of them in comparison with conventional VA TV, it can maintain black level up to extremely wide angle, while on the screen of VA TV, black level usually will rise started at around 15 degrees off center and front. Meanwhile, compare between them, the X800G have better viewing angle than SM8600. They both might be able to maintain their black level up to 70 degrees, but in maintaining brightness and color, the X800G is better. If on the screen of the SM8600, colors will start to shift at around 45 degrees, the X800G can maintain the color accuracy up to 55 degrees. Additionally, on the screen of X800G, the gamma will start to shift at around 30 degrees, while on the screen of X800G, the Gamma will start to shift at around 45 degrees. As well as about the brightness, if on the screen of SM8600, the brightness loss is started at around 30 degrees, on the screen of X800G, the brightness loss is started at around 37 degrees. But once again, even though viewing angle coverage of SM8600 is not as good as X800G, but it is still better than VA TVs.
LG SM8600 might have a bit lower pixel responsive time than the Sony X800G. But their difference is not too significant and in general, their pixel response time is equally great. The result, when they are playing fast moving images like fast sports or fast games, the picture displayed on their screen looks very smooth with almost no visible faint trail behind fast moving object. Meanwhile, in comparison, since the pixel response time of SM8600 is a bit faster, this makes the motion looks a bit smoother on its screen then on the screen of X8000G. On the contrary, the faster response time makes stutter is more noticeable on the screen of the SM8600 than X800g, particularly when they are playing low frame rate content like 24p movies.
Meanwhile, when playing 24p movies, the LG SM8600 can do a better job than the Sony X800G. When playing native 24p content like DVD or Blu-Ray movies, their performance might be equally great where they can show them with judder-free. On the contrary, when they are playing 24p movies via 60i signal like movies from satellite TV, they both are not also able to show this source with judder-free. But even so, when playing 24p content via 60p signal like movies from streaming devices (Fire TV, Apple TV, etc or a 60 Hz PC signal) or 24p content from streaming apps like Netflix, Amazon Videos, and others, the SM8600 is able to show these sources with judder-free while the X800G is not able.
Overall, LG SM8600 has lower input lags than the Sony X800G in PC mode. With 60 fps content, regardless the resolution, whether it is 1080p, 1440p, 4K, and 4K with HDR, the input lags of the SM8600 is around 14 ms while the input lags of the X800G is around 35 ms. This certainly makes the SM8600 is more responsive than X800G when used for playing 60 fps content. But even so, although not as low as the SM8600, the input lags of Sony X800G with 60 fps is still acceptable for any 60 fps games, even for fast paced games. Meanwhile, with 120 fps content, the input lags of SM8600 is even more excellent, which is around 7 ms on both 1080p and 1440p resolution. For this case, the SM8600 doesn’t support 4K @ 120 Hz. On the other hand, since the X800G only has native 60 Hz refresh rate panel, it doesn’t support 120 Fps content.
For Watching Movies
Both LG SM8600 and Sony X800G are not good TVs for watching movies in a dark room. This is due they both have poor native contrast ratio that makes them cannot produce deep black. Additionally, their black uniformity is not also so good. Not only that, the X800G doesn’t also have local dimming. On the other hand, even though the SM8600 has local dimming, but its local dimming performance is not also so good. All of these make their performance in a dark room is not so good. For you who search a TV for watching movies in a dark room, both of them might not be suitable for you. And consider a TV with strong native contrast ratio like the Samsung RU8000 might be better. But even so, compare between them, SM8600 is a bit better since it has better 24p handling and a bit better color reproduction.
Winner: LG SM8600
Both Sony X900G and LG SM8600 are good TV for watching sports. They both have good motion handling, makes fast sports look smoother on their screen. Additionally, they both also have good peak brightness and good reflection handling, makes the picture displayed on their screen looks fairly bright in average-lit or dim room. Not only that, they both also have good side viewing angle coverage, excellent for watching the big game with a group of friends. Special for SM8600, it also has 60 Hz BFI mode, makes sports looks crisper on its screen. Meanwhile, the X900G actually also has an option BFI mode, but the lowest possible of its flickering frequency is 120 Hz. So, if it is playing sports that usually have 60 fps frame rate, this actually is also able to make motion looks crisper, but not as crisp as a 60 Hz BFI and on the other hand, this precisely will make some duplications.
Winner: LG SM8600
Both of these TVs are also excellent mid-range TV for gaming. They both have very low pixel response time and low input lags, allow you to play a game responsively with crisp picture quality. Additionally, they both also have good side viewing angle, allow all of you to get the best viewing when playing games with a group of your family or friend. But a bit unfortunate, they both don’t support Variable Refresh Rate that will offer better gaming experience. Meanwhile, compare between them, the SM8600 is a bit better. In addition to it has a bit lower pixel response time, it also has much lower input lags, makes it is more responsive than the X800G. Additionally, the SM8600 also already supports ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode). By enabling this feature, the TV will switches automatically to a low input lag mode like “Game Mode” once the TV detect that you are playing a game. The Sony X800G doesn’t have this feature.
Winner: LG SM8600
If you expect both of them can deliver HDR experience like the intended, you might be disappointed. Black Level produced by tem is not deep enough to make shadow details looks excellent. On the other hand, their peak brightness is also not bright enough to make highlight of HDR images looks standout they way they should be. The only plus point offered by them is they both already support wide color gamut, makes most colors of HDR images can be shown fairly accurate. Nevertheless, even though they both cannot produce HDR images like the intended, for their price range, their HDR performance can be still said great.
Winner: LG SM8600
|Performance||Sony X800G||LG SM8600|
|Smart TV Experience|
So, which is a better choice between them? Considering all we have discussed a lot above, in my personal opinion, the LG SM8600 is a bit better than the Sony X800G. In addition to in some aspects of picture quality, it is superior, it also has some advanced features. But even so, the X800G is also not a bad choice considering its performance is not far behind SM8600. Even in certain aspect of picture quality and features like brightness and others, it is also superior. Now, the decision comes back to you according to your need and preferences.