The KDL-50W805B has a thin and stylish appearance. The frame around the image panel is just a few millimeters, with curved edges of black anodized, brushed aluminum, which together with the chrome base gives the TV a rather exclusive and lavish appearance. This model doesn´t feel overly plastic.
The TV is relatively slim even on the back, but at the bottom, where the electronics and cooling is placed, it protrudes noticeably. That is a bit strange as the Sony screen has a separate power supply, and moreover, we think that the inputs could have been more conveniently placed. If you want to hang the TV on the wall it sticks out about 5 inches from the wall. It includes "spacers" which allows one to use the table stand for wall mounting. The stand is however small and neat and allows the TV to stand close to the wall without getting in the way.
Usage And Features
Sony's standard monolithic remote control may seem a bit traditional in terms of button layout and appearance. On the other hand the menus react instantly to commands, which helps to provide a more comfortable user experience. On the smart side, the Sony TV is equipped with a range of apps like Netflix and YouTube. Other commercially interesting apps are absent, but it is expected that they will be updated over the summer.
KDL-50W805B is equipped with Sony's X-Reality Pro image processing, which continuously monitors and optimizes the image. Contrast, sharpness and color reproduction adapts to the material in an intelligent way. And even if this is something that every manufacturer boast about I have been impressed with Sony's image processing in recent years.
The new 50W805B is a good example of this. It succeeds in a masterful way to display colors with good saturation, without the colors getting too much for its own good. The colors are reproduced in smooth, seamless transitions without ugly shades - or "color banding" as it is known technically. The result is a natural and vivid picture that gives fabulous experiences with all types of images.
The delicate colors had been for nothing if the blacks and contrast were lifeless. But oh no, the Sony screen is impressive here as well, the screen is really black as night when the picture demands it! Perhaps not quite in plasma or OLED class, but still pitch black considering it´s a LCD. Best of all is that 50W805B in contrast to many other LED-based LCDs have a very even light distribution across the screen, in fact the best I can remind myselves seeing in a while. Overall it's not bad for a TV in the sub $2000 category!
The image may be gorgeous, but the same can not be said about the sound. Without generously dimensioned speakers the Sony screen sounds thin, without much bass and no mid-range power to produce voices properly. The audio experience is so tame that we encourage everyone to add a separate audio system in the budget when purchasing a KDL-W805B.
The Sony Bravia KDL-50W805B is a slim and discreet TV with plenty of fine qualities. The remote control and management may indeed seem a bit old-fashioned in an era when competitors have touch-screens. The internal speakers are also of the simpler kind, without much power in the sound. Sony impresses, however, where it counts the most: Here you´ll get a TV with sparkling contrast and colors, and impressive black levels and brightness control. One of our clear-cut favorites in this price range!