The Sony X900F and X930E differ mainly in their backlight structure, dynamic range, motion technology, sound, design, and smart TV system version.
1. Different backlight structure (Full-array backlight vs Slim Backlight Drive+)
The X900F uses a full-array backlight whereas the X930E has a Slim Backlight Drive+. The difference is that the LEDs are spaced evenly across the back of the X900F’s panel whereas the X930E has a quad LED structure which consists of two LED rows at the top, and two at the bottom side of the panel. Additionally, the X930E has two layers of light guide plates in order to be able to optimally utilize the quad LED structure for the purpose of achieving even brightness across the screen, and more importantly: to have more control over light distribution in different areas. Therefore, despite the different backlight structure, both the X900F and X930E are able to perform local dimming and boosting.
2. Difference in the X-tended Dynamic Range PRO (6x vs 10x)
The X900F and X930E differ significantly in their dynamic range which is mostly noticeable with High Dynamic Range (HDR) content. For example, the X900F and X930E have a contrast range that is up to six and ten times, respectively, that of a conventional edge-lit TV without local dimming. In other words, the X930E’s dynamic range is notably broader than that of a X900F. The difference between the X900F and X930E is mostly attributed to the higher peak brightness on the X930E, which is something the specular highlights in HDR content benefit most from.
3. Different Motion technology (X-Motion Clarity vs Motionflow XR)
The X900F’s X-Motion Clarity technology utilizes the local dimming backlight in order to refine the backlight scanning/blinking that can be found on the X930E. Specifically, the blinking is limited to the areas where motion occurs rather than scanning the entire backlight. The X900F is thus able to improve the motion clarity without exhibiting any significant luminance drop. It also needs to be said that the X930E, despite lacking the X-Motion Clarity technology, is still able to avoid getting overly dark in case backlight scanning is used due to its higher luminance output. Both the X900F and X930E are able to enhance the smoothness of motion by the means of creating additional frames thanks to the motion estimation motion compensation technology. Furthermore, the native refresh rate of the X900F and X930E’s panels is 120Hz.
4. Sound (full-range driver vs 3 way speakers)
The X900F has a 2 channel sound system. The speakers are of the Bass-reflex variety and are down-firing. Each of the two speakers has a single full-range driver. There is no sub woofer on the X900F. The total audio power output is 20 Watts, or 10 Watts per channel. The X930E also has a two channel sound system but with three way speakers meaning there is a Tweeter, a Mid Range, and a Woofer instead of a singe full-range driver. Having a dedicated driver for the low frequency range, for example, results in the X930E being able to deliver deeper bass than the X900F. Furthermore, the X930E has a significantly higher audio power output of a total of 60 Watts on the 65-inch class XBR65X930E, and 50 Watts on the 55-inch class XBR55X930E. Owing to its front-facing speakers, the X930E projects dialogues and voices more clearly in comparison to the X900F.
There is a difference in the back panel of the X900F and X930E which is black on the former and neutrally colored on the latter. Furthermore, the X930E features a geometric pattern on its entire back panel except for the central rear cover which has a leather-like texture. This cover is used for concealing cables for a clean rear look. Furthermore, the X930E allows cables to be routed through the legs at either side of the centrally mounted dark silver stand so that they won’t be visible from the front when the TV is mounted on a table top surface. Although the X900F also allows cables to be channeled through the two L-shaped feet that comprise its stand, there is no panel cover for the cables at the back so the X900F doesn’t have the same clean rear look as the X930E. Another difference is that the X930E’s panel has a two slate structure. This is mostly noticeable at the bottom where the two slates are staggered vertically for the purpose of providing space for the front-facing speakers. The X900F omits the two slate structure because its speakers are down-firing.
6. Smart TV System (Android 7.0 vs 6.0); Firmware
The X900F and X930E have the same amount of on board storage (i.e. 16Gb – but not all is user accessible). However, the X900F has a newer version of Android 7.0 Nougat while the X930E comes with Android 6.0 Marshmallow. While the X900F supports A2DP Bluetooth profile and Hybrid Log-Gamma HDR format out of the box, in addition to being compatible with Amazon Alexa devices (sold separately), the X930E requires a firmware update for the aforementioned features. In terms of support for Dolby Vision content from streaming services (via the TV’s apps), the firmware update has already been released for X930E. In order to be able to watch Dolby vision content from devices connected via HDMI to the X930E, however, these devices (e.g. Ultra HD Blu-ray discs players) have to be updated as well so that they are specifically compatible with the Sony’s implementation of Dolby Vision. The X900F is expected to receive the firmware update for Dolby Vision by summer 2018 (according to Sony).