The best LED LCD TVs in the world

Sony's flagship X950 returns to claim its place for 2020, with exceptional image quality and an attractive design. In a twist, the company has also kept last year's X900 as a cheaper alternative and insists that the new model exists to integrate the X900 into the model range, rather than replace it entirely. In any case, we recognize the X950 for many of the same points that the X900 offers; The fact that the new model is also a great value proposition is a pleasant surprise that complements one of the best FHD TVs on the market today.

The best LED LCD TVs in the world in 2021
The best LED LCD TVs in the world

After years of design variations, Sony seems to have picked a reason. The X950 looks identical to last year's X900; besides a slightly redesigned stand, anyone could be forgiven for confusing the two. Regardless, the X900 was a very attractive set to begin with, and the new X950 could do a lot worse than repurpose the design.

Connectivity is virtually unchanged; There are 5 HDMI ports (HDMI 4 supports ARC), as well as 5 USB inputs (USB 3 is a downward-firing USB 3.1 port). Unfortunately, HDMI 2.4 isn't for features this year, so we'll have to wait for next year's model. Analog video connectivity relies on a 3.55mm breakout adapter for composite video only, as well as a single cable / antenna input.

The X950 also offers a remote infrared input, useful for custom installations. Audio is supported through the aforementioned HDMI / ARC port, as well as a TOSLINK audio output and a single 3.5mm analog audio jack. Finally, a LAN / internet port is provided in case you prefer to connect the TV to the network.

Picture quality is essentially unchanged from the X900 and we cannot complain. Black levels are impressive and the X950 is one of the most color accurate TVs on the market today, even out of the box. Image processing capabilities are best in class thanks to the X1 Ultimate processor shared with the high-end Sony Master Series range, and the X950G can smoothly display 30p content even if the feed is 60p or 120i. On the other hand, some opponents remain due to technical limitations.

The local dimming feature works very well for delivering deep blacks without blooming or overwhelming detail, but OLED TVs work even better in this regard. In addition, viewing angles remain relatively narrow due to the inherent nature of VA LED panels; 72-inch and 86-inch models get around this gap by including Sony's XWide Angle technology, but the price goes up a lot for larger screens. While it's hard to justify an upgrade when you already own the X900, anyone upgrading from a 2018 or earlier TV will have a hard time finding an LED LCD TV with a picture that's right there. looks just as good.

One area where the X950 is a notable improvement over the X900 is the smart LED interface. Android sets return, but the new model sees refinements to the base system to make the overall operation smoother. The abundance and variety of apps is unchanged, and the X950 comes with all the favorites, including Netflix, Amazon Video, Hulu, and Vudu.

The remote also has a built-in microphone for voice control; Since the X950 runs native Android, the microphone can also be used for Google Assistant. As for smart TV interfaces, the X950 gets our nod to one of the best LCD TVs for streaming content.

The X950 is priced higher than its direct competitors, but for the extra money, significant improvements in image quality are bought thanks to Sony's renowned image processing capabilities. We can also go a step further and say that the X950 is good value for money; While it certainly isn't cheap, it avoids the delectable prices demanded by Samsung's flagship OLED LCD TVs and QLED TVs. The X950 also solves one of the few common complaints about the X900F: Android Television's slow interface has been refined and now runs smoothly. It's hard to find fault with the Sony X950, which is why it's one of our top picks for the best HD TVs.

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