Samsung MU8000 and Sony X850E are mid- class of 4K HDR TVS that available in the market. In the market, MU8500 comes with five screen sizes options including 49 Inch (UN55MU8000), 55 Inch (UN55MU8000), 65 Inch (UN65MU8000), 75 Inch (UN75MU8000), and 82 Inch (UN82MU8000), while X850E comes with 2 screen sizes options including 65 Inch (XBR65X850E) and 75 Inch (XBR75X850E). Since the screen sizes which available on both are 65 inch and 75 inch only, this comparison certainly is also as true to for these sizes (XBR65X850E vs UN65MU8000 and XBR75X850E vs UN75MU8000). When I was this comparison, with the same screen sizes, Samsung MU8000 is sold about a hundred to hundreds dollar more expensive than X850E, though their prices certainly are not fixed and could still change at any time. So, what features that offered by them and which is a better choice between them?
Short Review of Sony X850E (XBR65X850E, XBR75X850)
Sony X850E is a mid-end of Sony’s 2017 4K HDR TV lineup and also the successor of X850D. Unlike the predecessor X850D where there are 4 screen sizes options available, X850E comes with 2 screen sizes options only (XBR65X850E and XBR75X850E). Unlike most of TV which available in the market where one TV model comes with same features and technology, each screen of X850E comes with different panel technology, XBR65X850E comes with VA panel and XBR75X850 comes with IPS panel. The effect that resulted certainly is on their native contrast ratio and side viewing angle coverage. XBR65X850E has strong native contrast ratio but its side viewing angle coverage is poor, but otherwise, XBR75X850E has wide side viewing angle coverage while its native contrast ratio is poor. The excepting of the type of panel, XBR65X850E and XBR75X850E are powered by the same technologies.
For processing images, Sony X850E is powered by new picture engine called 4K HDR Processor X1 Engine where there are some Sony’s advanced technologies embedded like Object-Based HDR Remaster Technology, Super Bit Mapping 4K HDR, and Advanced Contrast Enhancer. Additionally, it also comes with HDR technology. But unlike X930E series that already support Dolby Vision, X850E doesn’t yet support Dolby Vision and only supports HDR 10 and HLG (via upcoming software update). On its panel, though they come with different type of panel, but each of them come with the same backlight and dimming technology that is edge Lit LED with frame dimming and also Advanced Contrast Enhancer Technology for improving the contrast. Meanwhile, for maximizing their color reproduction so can deliver wide color gamut and good renditions of color, X850E comes with TriLuminos Display technology.
Sony X850E also offers great performance when used for watching fast moving images like sports program. Combination of Motion Flow XR960 based on native 120 Hz panel and its low pixel response time makes the picture displayed looks smoothly and clearly with virtually no motion blur. But unfortunately, when playing 24p movies, it is only able to deliver smooth and clear picture quality with judder-free when it is playing Blu Ray movies, while when playing 24p movies via 60p/60i signals, the judder cannot be removed completely. Additionally, for connecting to other devices, X850E is equipped with 4 HDMI and 3 USB ports as its major connectivity. Although not as low as the competitors, the input lag of X850E is also low, makes most of games can be played comfortably, particularly for casual games. And as its smart TV platform, it features Google Android Nougat where there are a lot of interesting and useful apps available.
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Short Review of Samsung MU8000 (UN49MU8000, UN55MU8000, UN65MU8000, UN75MU8000, UN82MU8000)
Samsung MU8000 is flat model of Samsung’s 2017 Model 4K HDR TV lineup series 8 and also the successor of KS8000 Series. But since Samsung has released QLED TV lineup in 2017, it lacks some important technology like quantum dot panel and other technologies that makes its performance is not as good as the predecessor KS8000, but is still better than KU7000 as the lower series of KS8000. Nevertheless, although performance that offered is not as good as the predecessor, refer to their price when they are first released, it is sold cheaper than KS8000.
Although it lacks quantum dot panel, but this doesn’t make its picture quality is far behind the predecessor KS8000. As the instead, it comes with 4K Color Drive Extreme technology that makes it still has good rendition of color and supports wide color gamut. On its panel, Samsung MU8000 also uses VA panel technology with Edge Lit backlight and local dimming technology called precision black. Additionally, for maximizing contrast and black level produced, there are also UHD Dimming and Triple Black Technology behind it. And for maximizing peak luminance and its performance in a bright room, it is powered by Peak Illuminator Pro and Ultra Clear Panel technology. Like X850E, Samsung MU8000 also supports HDR technology where it is powered by 4K HDR Extreme Engine and supports HDR 10 format and HLG (via upcoming software update). But since it use VA panel, this certainly makes its side viewing angle coverage is limited.
Samsung MU8000 is also a great TV when used for watching fast paced videos like sports program and fast movies. It also has low pixel response time and combine to Motion Rate 240 based on native 120Hz refresh rate panel, this makes the picture produced looks clearly and smoothly with almost no motion blur. The other great performance that offered by MU8000 is about its performance when used for playing 24p movies. No matter the source of the movies, Samsung MU8000 is able to show them clearly and smoothly with judder-free. For connecting with other devices, there are also 4 HDMI and 3 USB ports as their major connectivity. Additionally, although it is not the lowest, its input lags is low enough for plating any kind of game with any resolution, even for fast paced games. And as their smart TV platform, it features Tizen OS that offer simple, attractive, and responsive smart TV experience with a lot of apps available.
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Sony X850E vs Samsung MU8000 Key Specs
|Specs and Features||Sony X850E||Samsung MU8000|
|Size Available||65 Inch (XBR65X850E), 75 Inch (XBR75X850E)||49 Inch (UN49MU8000), 55 Inch (UN55MU8000), 65 Inch (UN65MU8000), 75 Inch (UN75MU8000)|
|Panel Type||VA Panel (XBR65X850E), IPS Panel (XBR75X850E)||VA Panel|
|Resolution||4K (2160 x 3840)||4K (2160 x 3840)|
|LED Backlight||Edge Lit LED||Edge Lit LED|
|Local Dimming||NO (Frame Dimming)||Yes|
|Color Enhancement||TriLuminos Display, Super Bit Mapping 4K HDR||4K Color Drive Extreme|
|Contrast Enhancement||Advanced Contrast Enhancer||UHD Dimming, Triple Black|
|Brightness Enhancement||N/a||Peak Illuminator Pro, Ultra Clear Panel|
|Clarity Enhancement||Object-based HDR Remaster technology, 4K X-Reality Pro||UHD Up-scaling Engine, UHD Remastering Engine|
|HDR (High Dynamic Range)||Yes (HDR 10, HLG)||Yes (HDR 10, HLG)|
|Image Processor||4K HDR Processor X1||4K HDR Extreme|
|Motion Control||Motion Flow XR960 (native 120 Hz refresh rate)||Motion Rate 240 (native 120 Hz refresh rate)|
|Smart TV Platform||Android TV||Tizen OS|
|Speaker Type||Bass Reflex Speaker||Down Firing + Front Firing|
|Audio Output||10 W + 10 Watt||40W (10W x 2, Woofer 10W x 2)|
|Price||See today’s price||See today’s price|
Sony X850E vs Samsung MU8000 Performance
Since each of the screen size of Sony X850E has difference in type of panel technology, this comparison refers to XBR65X850E that use VA panel technology. Meanwhile, performance of XBR75X850E is similar to the predecessor XBR75X850D where it has low native contrast ratio and poor black uniformity that makes its performance in a dark room is not so good. But the advantage, it offers wide viewing angle coverage that makes it is very suitable when used in a wide room with viewers come from multiple viewing angles.
Essentially, both of Samsung MU8000 and Sony X850E has a good contrast ratio. Although MU8000 actually has a bit stronger native contrast ratio than X850E, but their difference is not too significant, even when local dimming of MU8000 is enabled. This is due the local dimming of MU8000 works not as effective as Full Array Local Dimming when improving the contrast ratio. The result, whether local dimming of MU8000 is disabled or enabled, the contrast ratio of MU8000 tends to stagnant. But ignoring the poor performance of local dimming of MU8000, contrast ratio of Sony X850E and Samsung MU8000 is strong enough to make black level looks very deep, result in blacks of images looks absolutely black. This is very good in a dark room due the effect of high contrast ratio is very sensitive in a dark room. The result, dark scene displayed on their screen looks excellently, even when they are set in a dark room. Additionally, the native contrast ratio of MU8000 and X850 is also strong enough to show shadow details of HDR images fully like what intended. As we know, for displaying dark scene of HDR images like what intended, UHD Alliance as the developer of HDR 10 formats has set 0.05 nits as the minimum recommendation for displaying HDR images fully, while what reached by them is far lower than 0.05 nits, that means it is very good. But once again, the good dark room performance of X850E is only as true to XBR65X850E, while for XBR75X850E, since it has low native contrast ratio, its dark room performance is not so good. Additionally, XBR75X850E is not also able to show shadow details of HDR images like what intended.
On the other hand, Samsung MU8000 also has a bit brighter peak luminance than Sony X850E. But even so, their difference is also not too significant, even tend to be similar. Their peak brightness images is bright enough to make bright scene of SDR images looks excellent in a dark room or moderately lit room with natural ambient light. Additionally, paired to their good reflection handling, their peak brightness is also bright enough to fight the glare, makes the picture still looks fairly well when set in a bright room. Meanwhile, when inputted by HDR signal, both of Samsung MU8000 and Sony X850E also equally have decent peak brightness, makes highlights of HDR images looks fairly bright. A bit advantage of MU8000, its local dimming is able to show small highlights of HDR images can get brighter for a short time. Meanwhile, since Sony X850E doesn’t have local dimming technology, on all windows sizes, the brightness remains relatively constant. But unfortunately, peak brightness of MU8000 and X850Et is still not bright enough to show highlights of HDR images brighter than 1000 nits like what recommended by UHD alliance. As we know, to show HDR images fully like what intended, a HDR TV must be able to reach at least 1000 nits of peak brightness, while peak brightness reached by them is only about 400 nits, far lower than what required. Nevertheless, overall, their peak is bright enough to makes highlights of HDR images looks fairly well.
While about contrast and peak brightness, Samsung MU8000 is a bit superior, in term of color performance, Sony X850 is a bit superior. Nevertheless, although X850E has a bit wider color gamut than MU8000, but essentially, both of them are able to deliver wide color gamut. This means both of them can properly show most of colors in DCI P3 color space of HDR images, makes the color of HDR images displayed on their screen looks fairly well. But like most of other modern TVs, both of them also have the same issue when showing saturated green, though in this case, X850E can show a bit better saturated green than X850E due it has wider color gamut. This certainly also makes renditions of color of X850E is a bit better than MU8000. Meanwhile, when showing colors in Rec.709 of SDR images, both of them don’t encounter significant obstacles. Additionally, in term of color volume, Sony X850E also has better color volume than MU8000. The excepting of dark colors, X850E is able to shows its wide color gamut at a range of its brightness, while MU8000 can only show its wide color gamut at a range of moderate brightness level. At extremely bright or dark colors, the color gamut of MU8000 will narrow. Additionally, although both of them also equally already support 10 bit deep of color, but with Super bit Mapping 4K HDR behind it, Sony X850E also has better color gradient, makes color gradient of HDR images displayed looks smoother than MU8000. On the screen of MU8000, some little imperfections are still noticeable at darker colors and darker area of gray scale while on the screen of X850E, some little imperfection are only visible at darker colors. But even so, these should not be a problem for most of people and overall, their color gradient is fairly good.
For anticipating the many of low resolution videos which available in the market, both of Samsung MU8000 and Sony X850E are also equally equipped with great performance UHD Up-scaling Engine. No matter the resolution of videos source, even for low resolution videos like DVD movies with 480p resolution, the final image in 4K resolution produced is not too soft. And the higher resolution of the source like 720p videos or 1080p videos, the final images produced will looks sharper and clearly small details preserved better. Additionally, with Object-Based HDR Remaster Technology, X850 is not just able to up-convert lower resolution to 4K quality, but also able to improve the brightness and color range of each object of the images, so you can enjoy them with the quality as close as possible to 4K HDR quality.
Except for XBR75X850E that has wide viewing angle coverage due it uses IPS panel, both of Samsung MU8000 and Sony X850E has poor side viewing angle coverage. This is due they equally use VA panel and poor side viewing angle is a native characteristic of VA panel. Started at 20 degrees off center and front, color will shift and blacks will look tend to grey. This certainly makes the picture displayed doesn’t looks as good as when viewed from center and in front of the screen. But even so, as long as you don’t often watch TV from an angle, this should not be a problem for you.
Winner: MU8000 win at contrast and brightness, X850E win at color reproduction
Motion handling and 24p Movies Playback
For maximizing its performance when handling motion blur, Samsung MU8000 is powered by Motion Rate 240 technology while Sony X850E is powered by Motion Flow XR960 technology. Nevertheless, essentially, both of them equally have native 120 Hz refresh rate panel and similar low pixel response time. The result, when used for watching fast moving images like sports program or fast movies, the picture produce looks very smooth and clear with almost no motion blur visible. Following fast moving object, there is only a short trail where most people might not notice about that. While both of them offer similar performance when handling motion blur, MU8000 offer better performance when playing 24p movies. No matter the source, whether it is 24p movies like Blu Ray Movies, via 60i signals like movies from satellite TV or even 24p videos via 60p signals like movies from streaming device, all of them can be shown clearly and smoothly with judder-free on the screen of MU8000. Meanwhile, X850E only can show movies with judder-free only if when the source is Blu Ray movies. While when the source is 24p via 60i/60p signals, it cannot completely remove the judder. But fortunately, most of people don’t sensitive to judder, so this issue is only for the people who sensitive to judder.
Samsung One Connect Box
As their major connectivity, both of them are also equally equipped with 4 HDMI ports (HDCP 2.2) and 3 USB Ports. Additionally, they are also equally equipped with RF In, Ethernet In, and Digital Audio Out (Optical). The difference, Sony X850E is also equipped with 2 Composite In, 1 Component In, and Analog Digital Out (Mini Jack), while Samsung MU8000 is not equipped with these inputs/outputs. The other difference is about where these inputs/outputs are located. On X850E, all of these inputs/outputs are located on the side or rear panel, while on MU8000, most of these inputs/outputs are located on separated box called “One Connect Box Mini”. Meanwhile, discussing about their input lags, overall, Samsung MU8000 has lower input lags than X850E. With about 20-24 ms of inputs lags depending on the source, Samsung MU8000 is very comfortable when used for playing any kind of games, even for fast paced games that require fast response. While with about 30ms – 35 ms of input lags, X850E series might be still comfortable when used for playing fast paced games, but it is not as responsive as MU8000.
Smart TV Platform
Samsung MU8000 features Tizen OS 2017 that powered by a quad core processor as their smart TV platform, while Sony X850E features Google Android Nougat. Their user interface is equally designed attractively. Additionally, both of them are also supported by fast processor and decent memory, makes its performance is equally fast and responsive. One an app is launched, it will open quickly. Additionally, switching between opened apps also feels responsively on both OS. But talking about navigation, Tizen OS is very simple and easy to navigate while Android TV is a bit confusing, even for you who are familiar with Android OS on your android smart phone. On home screen of Tizen OS, there is a ribbon across the bottom of the screen contain a lot quick access to most popular apps, so this allows you to launch one of them without leaving the home screen. On the other hand, although navigate on Google Android TV is a bit confusing, fortunately, there is an Action Menu Button on the remote that is able to be used for showing a quick list of many common settings, so this can help to relieve the navigation issue on Google Android TV. Meanwhile, talking about apps provided, both of them are equally equipped with a lot of preinstalled apps like YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Videos, Cloud Games Service, Live TVs, Web browser, and many more. Both of them also equally have apps store where Google Android TV has Google Play Store while Tizen OS has Samsung Apps Store. Google play store provide more complete apps, games and contents because it is supported by tons of developers. On the other hand, although not as complete as Google Play Store, Samsung Apps Store also provides tons of apps and the apps provided are more focused on what people want.
As the controller, Samsung MU8000 comes with Samsung Smart Controller while Sony X850 comes with Sony Voice Remote. Both of them are equally equipped with built-in microphone for voice command and also equally can be functioned as a universal remote for controlling other devices connected on each of their TV via their HDMI ports. Nevertheless, Samsung Remote is far simpler and only has few buttons, it even lacks “number buttons” and some quick access buttons. Fortunately, it has excellent voice command, so the functions of the missing quick access buttons can be replaced by voice commands. Otherwise, Sony Remote is larger and has a lot of more buttons where most of the common buttons are located on the area within easy reach.
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|Performance||Sony X850E||Samsung MU8000|
Essentially, both of Samsung MU8000 and Sony X850E have fairly good picture quality and HDR performance for their class. MU8000 is better on contrast and brightness while X850E is better on color reproduction. Nevertheless, overall, their picture quality is tie, except XBR75X850E that use IPS panel and has low native contrast ratio. Additionally, when used for watching fast moving images like sports program or fast movies, both of them also offer similar performance. A bit advantage of MU8000 is when used for playing 24p movies, particularly for 24p movies via 60p and 60i signals. The other advantage of MU8000 is about its lower input lags that makes it is more comfortable than X850E when used for playing games, particularly for fast paced games. Meanwhile, although both of them equally feature responsive and smart TV platform, but Samsung MU8000 with Tizen OS is simpler to navigate than X850E with Google Android TV. Except XBR75X850E, both of them also equally have limited side viewing angle where it becomes the major drawback of them.
So, which is a better choice between them? For 65 Inch TV, if your main consideration in buying TV is just want to use it to watch TV shows, sports, or movies, Sony XBR65X850E might be a better choice. In addition to it is sold cheaper, its picture quality is not far behind MU8000, even it offers better color reproduction. Nevertheless, if you have other purposes like playing games, enjoy smart TV features, and others, UN65MU8000 might be a better choice for you. Meanwhile, for 75 inch, if you have a plan to use it in a wide room with viewers watch TV from multiple viewing angles and as long as you don’t often use it in a dark room, XBR75X850E might be a better choice for you. On other hand, if picture quality and some other features become your main consideration in buying TV and as long as you don’t have a plan to use it in a dark room, UN75MU8000 might be a better option for you. Now the decision comes back to you according to your needs and preferences.
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