Sony unveils its first Android TV TVs, including a promising X90C

Like Philips, Sony has decided to install a large part of its range of TVs with Android TV. The Japanese manufacturer has long presented his main top model, the X90C, and how it has integrated Android TV. Here’s what to retain.

Android TV for medium TVs and high-end

At CES 2015 Sony unveiled a new range of television, one of the main innovations was to run on Android TV. Sony has decided to abandon Opera to jump into the arms of Google. In fact, all the televisions of the Japanese manufacturer are not or will not be installed on Android TV. The Google OS will be reserved for the middle of models and high-end, about two-thirds of its new range of screens. The remaining third is respect of the non connected TV, or even connected televisions but turning on Opera. To get hold of a TV with Android TV, it will cost a little over 800 euros.

Specifically, Sony will divide its range of televisions Android TV into two categories. The first contains three frames ranging from 43 to 65 inches (model W75, W80 and W85) with prices ranging from 800 to 2000 euros. The second includes 4K TVs divided into six frames (one curved screen), and Sony has broadly separated into three ranges: midrange (X8305 models X8505), upscale X90C and high-end (X93 and X94 ). It is precisely the X90C model we introduced Sony this morning.

The fineness of the X90C (4.9 mm) is truly impressive.

The X90C, television flagship Sony

There is therefore a high-end TV available in 55 or 65 inches and whose most striking feature is undoubtedly its great finesse. Screen borders do indeed only 4.9 mm thick, which is less than a smartphone. In fact, the bottom of the device is somewhat more portly since all the electronics of the apparatus is comprised in a housing of a centimeter thick. Sony, however, ensures that television can easily be wall mounted via a system of wall mounts included in the box. A fixing system that allows to hang the TV to less than 4 centimeters from the wall.

The Sony LCD X90C features a 4K (3840 x 2160) Edge LED type incorporating Quantum Dots Technology (Sony designates by the name Triluminos). A screen that displays so beautiful colors but the contrast is down compared to the OLED displays of competition, as can be seen for example at LG. The X90C features the mysterious 4K processor X1 which little is known (ARM architecture? Number of heart?). Sony ensures that this processor manages admirably for upscaling Full HD definitions and corrects the low-quality video display to display the best resolution. Is. The rest of this data sheet is also pretty standard with an internal storage space of 16 GB, Chromecast integration and a complete connectors (3 USB ports, four HDMI ports, an Ethernet port, etc.).

Unchanged interface but complemented by Sony

Obviously, the thing that Sony was most proud of during this presentation, it was the inclusion of Android TV. It is almost the interface present since it is the same on all Android devices TV, Google has forbidden anyone to include any overlay to its OS to TVs. We thus find a separate interface in six bands in which one can navigate horizontally. The first banner displays the video content that the user can see in the applications installed on television, while the second panel, the one that manufacturers can customize, displays applications recommended by Sony. The brand has also assured us that his TV Android TV are systematically delivered with minimal installed applications. Unlike Philips televisions, as I had seen it a few weeks ago, the interface was very fast and very fluid. However, it should be noted that the price range is not at all the same.

If Google officially banned manufacturers to integrate any software overlay to Android TV, that did not stop Sony to add some extra options over the Google OS. It may seem strange, but Sony officially speak of “a second integrated OS Android directly to TV.” Specifically, nothing changes in the interface of Android TV, but Sony has added options, quick adjustments and additional shortcuts for the user to easily switch from one application to another or to monitors other television when watching a video (typically, viewed Thalassa pending advertising halftime ends (do not deny it, we all did)). This same “second OS” also change the sound or visual mode, change the brightness on the fly or to launch a frequently used application without returning to the main menu of Android TV. In fact Sony has just completed the Google interface, which does not have the same experience that Sony on user needs.

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Test Player of the Nexus and Android TV

The voice recognition in the heart of navigation

Unlike Phillips, who had not hesitated to incorporate a keyboard on the back of some of his remotes, Sony has opted for a “remote touch” to navigate the menus of Android TV. This is a small remote control virtually devoid of any button (actually visible only possible to change channels and change the volume of sound) and includes a touchpad and microphone. Sony counts on integrated voice recognition Android TV to purely and simply replace a keyboard. And demonstration in support, has shown that speech recognition allowed to do any kind of research, whether in video content or the application store. For refractory, a virtual keyboard is integrated with Android TV. We must then go from letter to letter and confirm them one by one to search. Suffice to say that everything is done to encourage the user to use this microphone.

The basic remote control, sold with all Sony TVs …

… And the touch remote control, sold only with the middle of TVs and upscale.

If this touch remote control is integrated with the X90C, however it will not be sold with all Sony TVs. The representatives of the brand and assured us that she will be present with televisions sold more than 1200 euros. For other TVs, it will settle for an “old” remote without microphone and do his research with the arrow keys, or through a mobile app (Android TV app or application of Sony TV Slide Show) , connect a Bluetooth keyboard touchpad … or buy said touch remote 70 euros. The price to have a complete connected TV.

The X90C, also known by the nicknames of KD-55X9005C or KD-65X9005C, is available now for two weeks in the major French stores. It is currently sold at 3,500 euros in 55-inch and 4,300 euros version 65 inches. On the occasion of its launch Sony also offers reimbursement rates between 200 and 300 euros until 30 August.