• The KDL-55HX850 should offer better black-level performance than we observed in the KDL-55HX750, thanks to its true local dimming.
• The HX750 offered good light output, good detail, great color accuracy, and better-than-average screen uniformity; we expect similar performance from the HX850.
• The TV has built-in WiFi for network connectivity, as well as WiFi Direct for a direct connection with mobile devices.
• The Sony Entertainment Network includes many big-ticket apps, like Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, Pandora, Skype, and Sony's own Video and Music Unlimited services. DLNA media streaming is also supported.
• The KDL-55HX850 has a beautiful single-pane design and a slimmer depth than the HX750.
• An iOS/Android control app is available.
• As an LCD TV, the KDL-55HX850's viewing angle will not be as wide as that of a plasma TV.
• Sony does not include any pairs of active 3D glasses in the package. The company's least expensive glasses (TDGBR250/B) are currently sold for about $50 apiece.
Competition and Comparison
Compare the Sony KDL-55HX850 to its competition by reading our reviews of the Sony KDL-55HX750, Samsung UN55ES8000, and Panasonic TC-L47DT5. You can get more information about all of the flat-panel HDTVs we've reviewed here.
The KDL-55HX850 incorporates many things we liked about the KDL-55HX750, and the addition of local dimming should improve upon the main thing we didn't: its black level. This TV also has a more stylish design and a slightly thinner form. Do these features merit a $400 price increase over the KDL-55HX750? It depends on how you plan to use the TV. If you primarily watch TV during the day or in a fairly well-lit room, then the HX850's improved black level might not matter as much. However, if movie night is a regular occurrence and you prefer to watch movies with the lights out, then the HX850's step up in performance may justify the step up in price.
• Read more Flat HDTV reviews from HomeTheaterReview.com.
• Explore Blu-ray players to get the most out of the 55HX850.
• See pairing options in our Soundbar Review section.