Sony - Sony KD-85ZG9


Sony KD-85ZG9: the very large 8K TV from Sony

Aprox. 14449€

See specifications

The Sony Bravia KD-85ZG9 is THE Japanese manufacturer's 8K TV. Only available in 85 and 98 inch versions, this model brings together all the best in terms of image at Sony.

Positive points

Simply impressive brightness peak.

Image quality in SDR and HDR.

Image fidelity.

Motion compensation motor.

Powerful 8K scaling.

Well calibrated game mode.

Microphone built into the TV for voice control.

Possibilities offered by Android TV.

Bad points

Massive and heavy.

Disappointing audio part compared to the size.

Native contrast.

Blooming visible.

No native 8K content to date.

Our review


The Sony ZG9 8K TV has an 85 inch diagonal (approx. 216 cm) VA VA panel with an 8K Ultra resolution of 7,680 x 4,320 px. The Sony X1 Ultimate processor already at work on the Sony Oled AF9 and AG9 is still present while the Acoustic Multi-Audio audio system is quite substantial. The latter is composed of four tweeters placed at the four corners of the television, seconded by four woofers and 8 subwoofers. As with the AF9 and AG9, it is possible to use the TV as a center speaker. System side, it embeds the latest version of Android TV 8.0 (Oreo) with its batch of applications (Netflix 4K, YouTube, VLC, etc.), Google Cast functionality and Google Voice Assistant.

The Sony Bravia KD-85AG9 retails for around € 17,000. It is also available in a 98 inch version (KD-98ZG9) for the modest sum of € 80,000. Sony is thus competing with Samsung's 8K models, the Qled QE82Q950R and QE98Q950R, sold for € 10,000 and € 70,000 respectively, as well as the LG 88Z9 - the only 8K Oled TV on the market - announced at € 30,000.

Image quality

The Sony 85ZG9 uses a VA type LCD panel (Vertical Alignment). The structure of the sub-pixels is quite difficult to observe because of the optical filter which improves the viewing angles at the expense of the native contrast, which is decreasing. Indeed, we measured an average loss of brightness of only 45% on the sides at 45 ° while it reaches for example 70% on the Samsung Qled 65Q9F 2018 or 61% for the Sony 65XF9005 which - unlike the XG9505 - n not yet using the new optical filter. Its most direct competitor - the Samsung QE75Q950R - posted a loss of 40% at 45 °. Oled televisions always dominate on this point since the loss of brightness is around 25% at 45 °. The most annoying is the blooming (a luminous halo that appears around luminous objects on a dark background) which is very visible at 45 ° while it is almost invisible from the front. The large size of the screen is also a handicap since the blooming is visible in the corners. It is therefore necessary to stand at least 3 meters from the television to avoid this phenomenon.

It is not here the Cinema mode which delivers the best image, but the Expert mode. We measured an average Delta E of only 1.7 and, above all, no value exceeds a Delta E of 3. The colors can therefore be considered as perfectly faithful to those sent by the source.

The Sony 85ZG9 follows the BT.1886 gamma curve perfectly, even with the use of the dynamic backlight system ("auto dimming" to "high"). We measured an average of 2.1 with the gamma manually set to -2. The default gamma was a little too much above the reference value, we prefer this one in SDR.

As often, Sony televisions display a temperature closer to 7000 K than the reference 6500 K in video. The Sony 85ZG9 is no exception to the rule since the average temperature is measured at 6,970 K, but it is perfectly stable across the spectrum.

The Full Led backlight system works very well and achieves a contrast of 4,810: 1. This value is obtained with a white at 146 cd / m² on the target at 35% and at 115 cd / m² on the target at 1% white, which results in an average of 131 cd / m² on the white and 0, 03 cd / m² on black. On the 35% target, the contrast is 5,310: 1. In practice, the contrast is very good, even if it does not reach that offered by an Oled model and it is especially the blooming which is annoying.

When the native backlight is disabled ("Local dimming" to "No"), the contrast drops to only 1490: 1, a fairly low value. Fortunately, the dynamic backlight system works very well and there is no reason to deactivate it except for special purposes (PC monitor, etc.).

Sony's X-Reality Pro scaling engine works wonderfully with Ultra HD content. The latter have enough detail to allow gaining precision. The Ultra HD image is thus more detailed than the native version, because the engine tries to increase the sharpness and the micro-contrast. Scaling is performed in Standard image mode since in Expert mode, the X-Reality engine is disabled.

With Full HD content, you start to feel a blurry effect on the images. The overall rendering is still quite good, but it is clearly advised to supply an 8K TV with Ultra HD content to make the most of this abundance of pixels.

The Sony 85ZG9 embeds the Sony X1 Ultimate processor already at work on the Sony Oled AF9 television and on its cousin LCD ZF9. This processor perfectly manages the scaling of SD, HD, Full HD and Ultra HD content on the 8K panel as well as all the motion compensation part. As on the previous models, the scaling in cinema mode is very soft, with a smoothing effect on the solid areas, but it does not distort the original source. The Intense mode, meanwhile, is much more aggressive in the processing of sources and we prefer the Standard mode which improves micro-contrasts and improves textures while avoiding artifacts as much as possible. In some cases, the scaled version will display more details than the native version. The motion compensation engine is excellent. The X-Motion Clarity technology is activated using the MotionFlow with the Brightness setting of 1. Thus, we benefit from a sweeping of the backlighting by zone which has little impact on the overall brightness of the screen. With Clarity 2 and 3, scanning takes place over the entire screen and the drop in brightness is too visible, in addition to causing the image to flicker. It should be noted that the Sony compensation engine is much more efficient on the contract LCD televisions than on Oled models which then exhibit a delay time.


Like other high-end TVs from Sony, this Bravia 85ZG9 is compatible with HDR10, HLG, and Dolby Vision. However, it does not support the HDR10 + promoted by Samsung and Panasonic. Small size precision, the HDMI ports of televisions are configured by default in 8 bits. To unlock them, go to Settings> TV viewing> External inputs> HDMI signal format> Improved format.

With a maximum HDR signal of 10,000 cd / m², the Display Tone Mapping used by Sony perfectly follows the reference EOTF curve up to a little more than 85% of luminance then it is slightly smoothed up to 95% of luminance. The peak in brightness measured at 3,780 cd / m² is simply the most important measured in the lab, far ahead of that of the Sony 65ZF9 (1,940 cd / m²), Samsung 65Q9F (1,600 cd / m²) and Samsung 75Q900R (2,280 cd / m²). This is obviously higher than the peak of the Oled models which is around 750 cd / m² (except for the Philips 55OLED803 flashed at 859 cd / m² and the Panasonic GZ2000 with its Oled Pro panel which rises to 952 cd / m²). The Sony 85ZG9 is equipped with a Full Led backlighting system composed of 720 zones (36 x 20), which is much more than the 100 zones of the ZF9 in its 65 inch version and the 60 zones of the 75XG9505 and its 75 inch panel. Despite this very large number of areas, the blooming remains clearly visible.

This very high luminosity peak makes it possible to produce very impressive light effects, in particular at the level of the speculars (reflections), but the lack of native contrast does not allow to go down sufficiently in the blacks. Finally, be careful all the same in HDR consumption, since at most, this TV can consume up to 740 W.

As in SDR, the colors in HDR are perfect and only one shade exceeds a Delta E of 4. The average Delta E in Expert HDR mode does not exceed 1.9. The colors in HDR mode can therefore be considered as perfectly faithful to the source.

Compared to the Oled models, the coverage of the Rec.2020 and DCI-P3 color spaces is lower and comparable to that which was measured on the Sony ZF9 and XG9505. Indeed, the Sony 85ZG9 is content with 66% coverage of Rec.2020 when an Oled TV reaches 70% and even 71% for the Panasonic GZ2000, for example.

Fortunately, the Sony ZG9 still manages to display 90% of the colors of the DCI-P3 space which is used by the cinema. We should be able to find most of the colors in the films, even if the Oleds do better on this point, with at least 95% of the space for all Oled TVs on the market.

Video games

The Sony ZG9 TV is one of the very good LCD TVs to play thanks to a remanence time of only 10 ms - the best measured on an LCD TV - and a delay in display limited to 29.4 ms, less than two delay images from the source . However, this model remains far from what the Oleds offer, which have an afterglow time of less than 1 ms and whose display delay approaches 20 ms (LG is the new record holder with an input lag of only 13 ms).

The 85ZG9 simply does a flawless by offering faithful colors, whose average Delta E is equal to 2. The temperature is also in the nails, just like the gamma. In fact, the game mode - at Sony - does not distort the original image too much and just deactivates the various image processing to improve responsiveness.


The use of a Full Led backlight system limits the risks of clouding, but this defect can still occur if the light distribution filter is damaged during transport. On our test model, we did not find any particular problem. The homogeneity of the brightness on the screen is good and the average difference is measured at only 10% on this 85 inch screen. This result is good, especially for a model of this diagonal. Still, this TV heats up a lot and you can feel a real radiant heat when you are less than 30 cm from the screen. This is probably the price to pay for obtaining such a high brightness.


One thing is certain, the design of the Sony 85ZG9 is impressive. This TV is massive and clearly does not appeal to everyone. The industrial side is reinforced by the imposing aluminum feet necessary to ensure the stability of the imposing 85-inch slab.

The Full Led backlighting system composed of 720 zones is very bulky and the TV itself displays a thickness of 12 cm. We therefore advise against wall hanging, especially since it weighs almost 72 kg. The size on the TV stand is for its part always linked to that of the legs, the depth of which is 43.2 cm here. This model can just land on our benchmark TV stand, which nevertheless measures 160 x 40 cm (the feet slightly protrude in front and behind).

The edges of the screen are doubled to integrate part of the audio system, but especially to dissipate the heat of the backlight from above. On the sides, the edges are more conventional.

If the anti-glare filter can not fight with that used by Samsung on its 8K models, it still dilutes a good part of the reflections and approaches that found on Oled TVs.

The back of the TV is fully shrouded to hide the connections. The cables run through the feet. It's pretty basic, but effective.

The connection consists of three HDMI 2.0b inputs, an HDMI 2.1 input HDCP 2.3 compatible and with 8K streams at 60 Hz, three USB ports including two on the side, an Ethernet port, an optical digital audio output, an output headphones, a composite input (in yellow), a PCMCIA port (CI + common interface), a rake antenna connector and a satellite connector. It has a dual DVB-T / T2 (TNT), DVB-S / S2 (satellite) and DVB-C (cable) tuner. It also has 802.11a / b / g / n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 for connection with a wireless audio device (headphones or speaker).

This television embeds Android TV 8.0 with a completely revised interface compared to version 7. Applications launch quickly and remain in memory for rapid recovery. This interface is a little less intuitive at first, but more effective later. The second line now groups the selection. There are mostly programs currently playing, but you can also add content to see later from the home page. The following lines directly display the content of the most used applications (Netflix, YouTube, MolotovTV, myCanal, SFR Sport, etc.). The Android TV system is one of the most complete on the market and especially the one with the most applications, but not all of them are optimized for use on a television. In addition, the integrated Chromecast allows you to receive and display a video stream sent from a smartphone, tablet or computer. The manufacturer also has added a quick access bar to the settings which avoids going through the Android settings.

Like the AF9, the ZF9 and 75XG9505, the Bravia 85ZG9 incorporates two microphones at the base of the TV, located on each side of the white LED. They allow you to use the Google Assistant without a remote control. Just say "OK Google" to wake up the assistant and ask him questions like "What are the weather forecasts?", "Play video on YouTube", etc. With the arrival of Android 8.0, the "Ok Google" function can be used even when the TV is off and it is therefore possible to turn it on without hands, simply by saying the phrase "Ok Google, turn on the TV". You can also ask the Google Assistant questions without turning on the screen and use the turned off TV as a smart speaker. This function still has an impact on standby consumption, which stagnates at 28 W as long as the TV is tuned in.

As with all Android TVs, the first boot takes longer. It takes about 43 seconds here. This start-up begins when connected to the mains without any information being displayed on the screen for 20 to 25 s. A way for Sony to hide the start of initialization. The Android logo then appears and the TV is operational. In any case, it is much longer than Tizen systems from Samsung or WebOS from LG, which start up in less than 5 seconds. Fortunately, the television comes out of standby in less than 5 seconds, while consuming less than one watt in standby (if the hands-free function is deactivated). As often, the standby is instantaneous.

The Sony 85ZG9 uses the new infrared and Bluetooth remote control equipped with a built-in microphone. This microphone complements or replaces those that are built into the TV. The novelty is the brushed aluminum finish which gives it a premium side. Sony also has slightly changed the button feel and layout. In general, this remote control is more pleasant to use than the previous one. The buttons do not make any noise and the most used fall naturally under the thumb. As usual, Sony ignores the backlighting of the keys.


This television operates an audio system called Acoustic Multi-Audio which consists of 4 tweeters, 4 woofers and 8 "subwoofers". The rendering is ultimately quite disappointing in terms of the size of the TV and the space available to place speakers of larger diameter. In fact, we observed a peak around 400 Hz which is clearly audible and which results in a box effect, while the excessive distortion in the treble is troublesome. In short, this television is far from replacing a sound bar and even a simple pair of quality PC speakers; a roof for a television sold at this price.


With a white calibrated at 150 cd / m², the Sony 85ZG9 consumes 235 W, or a relative consumption of 118 W / m²; a value above the average of the televisions tested, which is around 100 W / m². This television consumes much more than the Edge Led LCD models - the Sony KD-65XE8505, record holder in the category, consumes only 56 W / m². The Sony 85ZG9 therefore consumes almost as much as its nearest competitor, the Samsung QE75Q950R (120 W / m²). In standby, consumption is always less than 1 W.


The Sony KD-85ZG9 is an excellent 8K TV and this image definition seems to us - despite the absence of native content - for once justified on such a diagonal. If it suffers from the defects inherent in LCD Full Led technology (such as reduced viewing angles and visible blooming), this model is perfectly calibrated and benefits from a peak in brightness never seen. This very high brightness makes it possible to sublimate HDR content, even in broad daylight. It is certainly a major competitor for the Samsung QE75Q950R, but at € 17,000, it is more of a technological demonstration of Sony than a real consumer product.