Sony X690E 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV 2020 Latest Updated Review
The Sony X690E is a good TV for a mixed usage. It has a better than average picture quality, very low input lag for gaming and great handling of motion.
Unfortunately, its simplistic smart features might not please all, and its narrow viewing angle means it’s only suitable for watching directly in front.
The 70-inch Sony looks very nice, with fairly slim, black bezels around the display and an understated design. The TV chassis has a glossy, black finish around the bezel, and a flat, black finish on the backside.
The whole thing is made of black plastic that’s serviceable but isn’t particularly premium.
At a full 70 inches , the X690E is the largest TV we’ve ever brought into our labs and offers even more viewable real estate than the 65-inch Vizio SmartCast M-Series M65-E0 and the 65-inch Samsung MU7000.
Ports and Connections
The TV’s connections can be found on two connector panels on the rear left-hand side of the set.
The more accessible of the two is set roughly 8 to 10 inches in from the edge of the display and includes two HDMI ports (one with ARC), an RF connector for an antenna and three USB ports.
Another rear-facing panel on the back has connections for a third HDMI port, composite video and Ethernet for network connectivity.
The set also has built-in 802.11ac Wi-Fi, which allows you to get your smart TV on your network without a wired connection.
The X690E’s good-enough picture quality doesn’t quite match the expectations you might have for the cinema-like display. Colors are clear and bright, but they’re also oversaturated and ever-so-slightly skewed. And the overall color reproduction isn’t quite as vibrant as it could be, due to a slightly lower color gamut.
When watching the trailer for Solo: A Star Wars Story
I was impressed with the flashes of color, whether from Lando Calrissian’s yellow shirt, a villain’s blood-red cape, or the red-and-blue glow of sci-fi jets.
More specific performance checks showed realistic skin tones in movies like Arrival, where much of the film centers on human faces. Whether it was Amy Adams or Forest Whitaker on-screen, the faces looked clear and lifelike.
The X690E’s audio quality was pretty good, thanks to a pair of 10-watt speakers. The overall volume was strong, easily filling our testing lab whether we were watching The Price Is Right or the trailer for Avengers: Infinity War.
Audio quality on the Sony X690E 4K Ultra was pretty good, thanks to a pair of 10- watt speakers.
In this range, the bass levels were about as good as you’ll get without a subwoofer, and the treble was crisp and clear, with Colleen D’Agostino’s vocals coming through with no distortion.
Anything over 70 percent started to sound distorted. Bass lost its bounce, vocals sounded tinny and distant and, when pushed up to 85 percent, the TV chassis started to reverberate, causing a slight buzz.
Smart TV Features
The X690E’s menus are fairly opaque, and while basic adjustments to the picture mode and brightness are easy to find, other settings are not.
We’ve already touched on the difficulty of finding the various picture modes, where some modes are available right in the display settings, and others — including Cinema
Game and Sports modes — require finding a separate settings menu, under the confusing name Scene Select.
But that’s far from the only point of confusion or irritation in these menus.
To turn HDR functionality on and off, for example, we first had to go into the settings for each HDMI port and then enable HDR input from an external device.
If you don’t enable this feature first, you will be able to get HDR content only from streaming sources, even if it’s your HDR-enabled
That’s an extraordinarily clunky way to handle one of the main selling points of the set.
While it may not have the Android TV interface we liked so much on the Sony XBR65X900E, the X690E does have the same remote control.
Unfortunately, Sony’s chunky remote design is our least favorite from any major manufacturer.
The rectangular shape isn’t particularly comfortable to hold, but the bigger sin is that the layout is confusing.
The remote has 49 buttons crammed onto its rectangular face, and while some of these are straightforward
Most frustrating is the directional pad, which is surrounded by six navigational buttons.
Here, the buttons are labeled Home, Options, Wide (for wide-screen aspect ratio), Display, Sleep and Return.
About this item
- Dimensions (W x H x D): TV without stand: 53.5″ x 31″ x 3.5″, TV with stand: 53.5″ x 32.9″ x 12.2″
- PairsSony X690E 4K Ultra HD picture clarity with the contrast, color, and detail of High Dynamic Range
- Direct LED produces great picture quality
- 60Hz native refresh rate plus Motionflow XR gives you great motion for all types of content
- Smart functionality gives you access to your favorite apps and content. With YouTube and Netflix buttons built into the remote, you are one click away from endless entertainment.
Uncover the Detail with 4K HDR
High Dynamic Range (HDR) will change the way you look at TV.
Combined with 4K Ultra HD resolution, HDR video content delivers exceptional detail, color and contrast, with a far wider range of brightness than other video formats.
The result is the most lifelike picture TVs have ever been able to create, with brilliant highlights and fine detail.
4K X-Reality PRO
Discover a thrilling world of extraordinary clarity. Every single pixel is enhanced beautifully by our most powerful 4K picture processing technology ever.
Individual parts of each scene are analyzed and matched with a special image database that independently addresses texture.
The difference is clear with supremely lifelike detail, whatever you’re watching.
Enjoy smooth and sharp details even in fast-moving sequences with Motionflow XR. This innovative technology creates and inserts extra frames between the original ones.
It compares key visual factors on successive frames, then calculates the split second of missing action in the sequences. Some models also include black-frame insertion for a blur-free and truly cinematic look.