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Sony Bravia KD-43X75K review: a solid smart TV

I used Sony’s Bravia KD-43X75K. Of course I did. That’s why this review exists. But, the purpose of this ad is to draw your attention to the fact that I used a 43 inch smart TV. It wasn’t an easy decision coming from a 75-inch smart TV that was huge. Large screen televisions provide an exceptional viewing experience. there is no doubt. They also have a lot of disadvantages. They’re massive, require you to sit at a distance, and can get extremely shiny. They are still very expensive too. These are some of the reasons why 43-55 inch screens are most in demand in India.

These are also the sizes in which Sony offers its latest X75K range. In fact, it goes up to 65 inches, which is quite tall as well. The 43-inch Ultra HD-LED variant I have is priced at Rs 53,190 (talk about goofy pricing). It’s expensive. Especially when looking at the competition. A TV with similar specifications from Xiaomi usually costs around Rs 30,000. But Sony TVs have always been more expensive than the competition. There are also enough reasons for this. Still, the X75K series is the company’s most affordable line of Ultra-HD TVs. Is it worth buying? Let’s look.

Sony Bravia KD-43X75K review: Design

It was so refreshing to upgrade to a 43-inch TV, simply because it fits and blends in anywhere in the house. It’s not too heavy either. I was able to configure the whole thing by myself, without any help. I picked it up and moved from table to table with ease. The TV also looks better than most 43-inch smart TVs. It has very narrow bezels around the screen, the finish is nice and keeps things simple. There’s a Sony logo on the bottom which can be easily missed. A few LED flashers sit just below and appear every time you turn on the TV.

It can be fixed using a table stand and a wall mount, just like any other smart TV. You will need to pay separately for the wall mount. The table top is part of the retail package. I use the X75K on a table stand.

Some ports are on the back while others are more easily accessible in the left corner. The rear features an HDMI input port (with ARC), video input jacks, Ethernet port, digital audio output port and power jack. These can be difficult to access if the TV is wall mounted. The left side houses two HDMI ports, two USB Type-A ports, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and an antenna jack. Since my device was always placed on a table, these ports were easy to access. Other connectivity options include Google Chromecast built-in, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa support, AirPlay 2, and HDMI CEC that let you control all connected devices from the same remote.

Sony’s remote may be polarizing. While I know a lot of people who appreciate a full-featured TV remote, there are plenty who prefer the more minimalist Xiaomi or OnePlus remotes. The X75K remote control comes with many buttons. It has a number pad, directional pad, home button, and hotkeys for Netflix, YouTube, Prime Video, and YouTube Music. There are dedicated buttons for summoning Google Assistant and selecting the input source.

It works effectively for anyone who is familiar with modern technologies and ready to make the most of it. For others, especially the elderly, the remote control can be confusing.

Sony Bravia KD-43X75K review: Software

Sony says most of its TVs will now use Google TV instead of the Android TV interface. It’s a welcome move, given Google TV’s clean interface and more promising updates. The X75K runs the Google TV UI on Android TV 11. It’s pretty easy to use even if you’re coming from the Android TV UI. The overall operations remain the same, just that the Google TV UI is cleaner and more pleasing to the eye.

It has a mobile-like control center with plenty of options to customize and personalize the TV experience. Google Play Movies is integrated into the user interface and is missing as a separate app. It lets you search for movies and TV shows right from the user interface. All the apps are well optimized for the operating system and I didn’t encounter any software issues during my time with the TV.

Sony Bravia KD-43X75K review: Display and performance

Design and software are two things that most viewers are willing to compromise on as long as they can save money. This is why Sony had to justify the high price of Rs 53,190. On paper, no. The TV only supports HLG and HDR10+ formats, lacks a high refresh rate and only comes with 20W speakers. There are plenty of options on the market from Xiaomi, Hisense, Realme and others that provide Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos support for less.

It’s the experience that makes all the difference here. Sony’s picture tuning ensures that you don’t regret spending those extra thousands. Picture quality seems much better than most smart TVs of the same size and with better technology. The HDR content of this panel is gorgeous with rich colors, deep contrast and realistic skin tones. I have to admit, the visuals don’t get too bright on the screen. In fact, the brightness changes very subtly when playing HDR 10 content. But that works in the Bravia X75K’s favor.

I rewatched “The Last Dance” and the picture quality improved. The fast sequences flowed seamlessly. Even Stranger Things, with all its retro vibe, looked nice on that 43-inch screen. Colors were popping in a dimly lit room. Brighter surroundings don’t make much of a difference to image quality.

Games like Fifa 22 and NBA 2K21 also performed well on TV. It has a native 50Hz refresh rate, Sony’s Motionflow XR 200 interpolation algorithm, and 16GB of onboard storage.

My only complaint is that the screen is slightly reflective, which can make viewing a bit difficult at certain angles and at different times of the day.

The other issue could be the sound quality. While the 20W speakers are sufficient for some types of content, they lack punch or clarity for an immersive experience. Dialogues can get lost in the noise of a fan or air conditioning. Either way, I prefer a soundbar or Bluetooth speakers for watching movies, but otherwise the built-in speakers will serve you well in the bedroom.

The dual-band connectivity worked well for me, but the connection was probably more stable on the 2.4Ghz frequency.

Sony Bravia KD-43X75K Review: Final Verdict

The Sony Bravia KD-43X75K is one of the best 43-inch smart TVs I’ve used and reviewed in the past 18 months or so. It’s also the most expensive 43-inch TV I’ve tried in the same period. This is the one and only reason that makes it hard to recommend this otherwise fantastic TV. I think anyone who can spend more than Rs 50,000 would most likely want to invest in a bigger TV to meet the growing needs of home entertainment and more demanding content formats.

Those who want a 43-inch smart TV have some great options that cost a lot less. They will always be inclined to save money. I’ve always thought of Bravia TVs as the iPhones of the TV world. They are preferred by those who love attention to detail. This is also the audience for the X75K, ensuring that one gets a fine and uncompromising viewing experience.

Sony Bravia KD-43X75K Review 7.5/10

Advantages

  • Own software
  • Good image quality
  • Smooth performance

The inconvenients

  • Average speakers
  • Expensive
  • Lacks Dolby Vision