--[ Design & connectivity ]--
This is without doubt one of the most stylish looking TV's I've ever owned. It's thinness and slim brushed steel bezel makes it look extremely sleek and classy. There's also a nice metal stand which can function both as a table stand and as a wall mount, which is cool.
This TV has excellent connectivity and is equipped with 4 x HDMI, 2 x USB, Ethernet, component, composite, Scart, RF in, Analog audio input, Optical digital output, Audio output and Headphone output. There's also built in Wifi, which works fine.
--[ Picture Quality ]--
HD Picture quality is truly stunning - Colours are vibrant and accurate, with the best black levels I've seen on an LED television. SD upscaled quality is also good and there's a variety of picture options for fine tuning picture quality. Backlight uniformity is very good with no noticeable light bleeding or clouding. There is some slight DSE (Dirty Screen Effect) noticeable when watching football, which all LED TV's suffer from, but It's not overly problematic on this set and generally doesn't spoil viewing experience. Viewing angles are average and don't seem quite as good as my LG 42LN575V Smart TV, with contrast and colour suffering at 45 degrees and beyond. A slight blue hue is also noticeable which is somewhat annoying. Response time is good, keeping motion blur to a minimum and easily good enough to watch fast paced sports and performs fine for the footy. Sony included "LED Motion Mode", which is available in the settings, but you lose so much brightness it's essentially pointless unless you're viewing in a totally darkened room.
Gamers should be impressed with the TV's impressive low input lag (14ms) and additional game modes that offer a more accurate colour palette. PS4 games look incredible.
Sound quality is average, but generally it's no different to most other slim TV's. I find it adequate and slightly better than the LG.
--[ Smart TV Features ]--
This is the second smart TV I own, with LG 42LN575V being my first Smart TV experience, which I was impressed with.
Here, you are greeted with an interestingly simple UI flavor, offering a stylish yet clean interface. Navigation is generally straightforward using the supplied standard remote. Sony also includes the One Touch Pad Smart Remote, which is OK, but unlike the LG smart remote, there's no cursor navigation, so you have to scroll through the menus using the touchpad, which can sometimes be slow and frustrating. LG smart TV's offer cursor navigation when using the LG smart remote or smartphone apps, allowing for much quicker, accurate and easier navigation between menus. I also prefer the actual interface of the LG, although Samsung offers the best designed interface overall.
Sony have a fully loaded and very nicely designed smartphone app called TV SideView available on Android (which I'm using) & iPhone, where you can browse TV (TV guide), Recordings, Home Network Content, Social News feeds and use it as a remote to control the TV. The remote control is designed well, offering a standard remote layout, scroll touchpad, cursor touchpad, app list and web URL address bar. The cursor touchpad is used within the browser, but it would be great if sony could expand this function to control all of the TV's menus. Based on UI design, Sony's app trounces LG's much less refined offering, but because LG uses a cursor touchpad for menu navigation, it's more of a pleasure to use.
A few mainstream catch up services are available, Like iPlayer and 5OD, but you won't yet find 4OD or ITV player here, as those are exclusive to Samsung TV's. The usual video-on-demand apps are available, like lovefilm and Netflix. Amazon instant video is there, but not yet working (as of may 2014). Other popular media and social apps are available, like youtube, facebook and twitter etc. There's also a decent selection of other apps which can be downloaded from the Sony app store.
The web browser (which took me a while to find in the app list) is based on Opera, but it is very basic and limited. The current version does not include any flash lite plugins or HTML5, so don't expect to do much here. Both LG and Samsung include browsers based on Chrome that offer flash lite and HTML5 support. It seems the browser here was not important to Sony, which is disappointing.
Home Network DLNA media streaming is OK, but not great. All of my NAS shares (via Twonkymedia) are detected and all of my MKV movies are nicely listed in a thumbnail viewer on the TV, which looks great, but it seems to be a lottery whether one will work. Even with those that play fine, there's an unsupported content message constantly displayed at the bottom. I think this TV can't cope with higher bitrate 1080p MKV's, which is frustrating, considering the same movies play fine on my LG.
Overall, It's a stylish TV with fantastic picture quality and great for gaming. If Sony work to improve it's Smart TV functionality, media compatibility, and overall usability, we'll have the ultimate TV. At the moment though, I'd recommend this for those looking for the best picture quality and gaming TV, but the LG for those requiring better DLNA media compatibility, web browser implementation and viewing angles. I have yet to fully test Samsung's Smart TV features, but reviews are very favourable and so they're probably worth checking out.