The main Sony X900F vs X900E differences can be found in the X900F and X900E’s dynamic range (which affects HDR picture quality), motion technology (determines how backlight blinking is performed and whether the light output is reduced or not), picture processor (has an effect on the quality of upscaled content in addition to being a crucial factor for Dolby Vision compatibility or lack thereof), design (the table top stand in particular), power supply (affects the TV’s weight depending on whether it’s built-in or an external power adaptor is used) and smart TV system version.
1. Different 4K HDR Picture Processor (X1 Extreme vs X1)
Despite both the X900F and X900E being equipped with the 4K X-Reality PRO technology for performing a signal analysis and comparison against an upscaling database, only the X900F’s X1 Extreme chipset supports dual database processing whereas the X900E’s X1 processor does not – instead, only a single upscaling database is utilized by the X900E. The difference between the X900F and X900E is that the X900F utilizes a second database for noise reduction. The “before and after” references found in the noise reduction database are used by the X900F in order to identify and remove compressed image noise. The X900E lacks this ability due to the omission of the noise reduction database. Nevertheless, both the X900F and X900E are able to enhance the clarity of upscaled content thanks to the data references in the upscaling database. Furthermore, it should be said that the impact of the dual database processing is limited mostly to low resolution and poorly compressed content, meaning that there is less of a difference between the X900F and X900E when watching Full HD or Ultra HD content, especially when you consider that the X1 Extreme and X1 processors have a number of features in common, such as: Super Bit Mapping, Dynamic Contrast Enhancer, and Object-based HDR remaster. A more meaningful difference between the X900F and X900E owing to their processing capabilities arguably is the Dolby Vision support (after a future firmware update) in the X900F and lack thereof in the X900E. Precision color mapping is also used for distinguishing between the the X900F and X900E since only the X1 Extreme processor in the X900F is able to perform it.
2. Difference in the X-tended Dynamic Range PRO (6x vs 5x)
While both the X900F and X900E employ full array local dimming backlight, the X900F has up to six times the contrast range of a conventional edge-lit TV without local dimming whereas the X900E is rated at up to five times the contrast range of such conventional edge-lit TV. The difference in the dynamic range between the X900F and X900E is mostly due to small specular highlights in HDR content being rendered slightly brighter on the X900F, which leads to an improvement in the HDR picture quality. The power consumption, however, is also higher on the X900F vs X900E.
3. Different Motion technology (X-Motion Clarity vs Motionflow XR)
Although the X900F and X900E’s native refresh rate is 120Hz, and they both use motion compensation technology in order to increase the smoothness of motion (by generating extra frames), they differ in how they optimize the clarity of motion. The X900E uses a traditional backlight scanning/black frame insertion technique which leads to a reduction in the luminance. Additionally, it’s possible for visible flickering to be observed (depending on how susceptible to noticing you are). In order to address this issues, the X-Motion Clarity technology on the X900F only turns off and on the local dimming zone(s) corresponding to the moving object location on the screen (instead of the entire backlight) in order to produce clear motion without any significant loss in brightness.
4. Design (Stand: Dark Silver L-Shape vs Dark Silver Slate)
In terms of design aesthetics, the most visible change between the X900F and X900E is arguably the stand because other characteristics, such as the narrow frame around the display and the aluminum finish, are used in both TVs. The X900F has a table top stand that consists of two separate L-shaped feet whereas the X900E utilizes a centrally-mounted table top stand. That being said, both the X900F and X900E allow to have a cable-free front since cables can be routed through either the two separate feet in case of the X900F’s stand, or the two support columns in the X900E’s stand.
5. Power Supply (Integrated vs External AC Power Adaptor)
The X900F has a built-in power supply whereas with the X900E you’ll have to use the supplied AC power adaptor. As a result, the X900F weights more than the X900E. For example, the 65-inch X900F is approximately 5.5 lb heavier (without the stand) than the 65-inch X900E model. It needs to be said, though, that there are also other factors that may contribute to the weight differences such as the number of LEDs in the backlight, for example.
6. Smart TV System (Android 7.0 vs 6.0); Firmware
The smart TV system on the X900F is Android 7.0 Nougat while the X900E comes with Android 6.0 Marshmallow. There is no difference in the on-board storage that the X900F and X900E have which is 16Gb (not all is user available). Some of the features that the X900F comes equipped with out of the box such as support for A2DP Bluetooth profile and Hybrid Log-Gamma HDR format, as well as compatibility with Amazon Alexa devices (sold separately) are available to the X900E via a firmware update. When it comes to Dolby Vision support, the firmware update for the X900F is expected to be released by summer 2018 (according to Sony). The X900E cannot be updated to support Dolby Vision due to the fact that it doesn’t have the X1 Extreme processor.
Some of the features that the X900F and X900E have in common are the Triluminos display (for enabling wide color gamut support on the X900F and X900E by optimizing the spectrum of the backlight so that the primary colors are spectrally pure), Object-based HDR remaster (which is applied across most SDR picture modes for the purpose of enhancing the contrast and color of individual objects in SDR content so that it appears more like HDR), Super Bit Mapping (8-bit or 10-bit sources are processed with 14-bit precision in order to be avoided color banding that quantization errors may cause).