Summary: Despite good sound quality and an improved menu system, the KDL-55W955 remains a letdown in the picture department compared to other high-end TVs, as its black levels and contrast performance just aren't anywhere near good enough to justify its substantial asking price.
Pros: The Sony KDL-55W955 has good picture processing, wide viewing angles and more potent sound than many of its rivals. Its colours are also warm and inviting, while its passive 3D performance is relatively good.
Cons: Lacking the contrast and black level performance to justify its high price tag, the W955 is also lacking in other areas. Its smart TV system could do with more apps, the design looks chunky and its trackpad remote isn’t as good as LG's motion zapper.
Sony Bravia KDL-50W829B review - now £739 with free soundbar
3 November 2014
Excerpt: The Sony W829 is one of the first 2014 TVs from Sony, reviewed here with a 50in screen size. It may not be the flagship model, but it has every feature we've come to expect from one, including a revised SEN smart TV interface and an incredibly minimal design that puts other TVs to shame. When we originally looked at it, the W829 cost £1,000, but because Sony was one of the first out the gate for 2014, you can now pick one up for significantly less.
Conclusion: Overall, the KDL-55W955 can be considered an accomplished AV performer, yet with a somewhat curmudgeonly personality. Hopefully Sony will address the unreliability of its media server software – it fails too frequently to be forgivable – but other aspects of its connectability can’t be changed.
Conclusion: The Sony W95 is a convincing advert for Sony's unconventional wedge design. The look is not only fresh but technically innovative, specifically when it comes to audio performance where the W95 forcefully out-shouts rival large screens. The W95 is also a fine picture performer, with excellent colour reproduction, zingy contrast and superior motion handling.
Pros: Sony’s innovative wedge design reaps big rewards when it comes to audio performance, motion handling and colour fidelity are top notch, a raft of Smart connectivity options ensure you’ll always have something to watch
Cons: Multimedia playback is disappointingly flaky (particularly via network NAS), Smart proposition lacks ITV Player and 4OD, Social View and Skype implementations not entirely convincing, images unable to deliver deepest black levels
Pros: The wedge design works, Good sound quality, Some good Smart features, Bright pictures look great, The wedge design works, despite its chunkiness – especially as it helps the 55W955 serve up an excellent audio performance by flat TV standards. Colours are superbly handled too, and pictures always look sharp and clean no matter what the source.
Cons: Black levels are average, Cheaper Sony TVs are better, Wedge design may divide, It's a big unit, The 55W955 is curiously underwhelming with its black level reproduction, which leads to dark scenes looking unnatural and patchy. Its screen is a little over-reflective too, and while the wedge design sits well on the provided legs, it looks a bit awkward hanging on a wall.
Summary: A 50in, edge-lit LED LCD TV with smart features aplenty for under a grand? Come on, Sony, you're pulling our leg. Only Sony's not doing anything of the sort, because the KDL-50W829B - catchy name, guys, we love it - is just that set. Given that it launches at £900 and will most likely see price drops over the next few months, we could soon be looking at a lot of TV for really not that much money. Well, not that much in the world of 50in TVs at any rate.
Pros: Superb picture, Well-stocked smart TV portal, Lovely looks
Cons: Whites could be punchier, Sound merely decent, No ITV Player or 4oD
Conclusion: It may have lost a star, but this 50in Sony is still worth an audition
Pros: Remarkably clear and detailed picture, Natural colour balance, Smooth motion, Deep black levels, Decent sound, Smart interface is slick and intuitive, Remote is responsive and easy to use, Sleek design, Good connectivity and features
Cons: Whites could be a touch brighter and punchier, Hint of 3D image instability, Reds could be more vivid, Rivals offer crisper detail