Sony S25: Really good and sharp display for live sports and HDR movies

Sony recently launched its Bravia 2 series of LED Google TVs in India that are supposed to provide great 4k videos along with HDR without going beyond the one lakh mark for the 65-inch model. Priced at Rs. 95,990 (available for Rs. 85,990), let’s see what the S25 is all about.

The TV has a familiar look and feel to Sony’s previous Bravia lineup. There’s no table top bundled in the box as before, though, and you would have to inform the company’s visiting installation guys what you would need between table top and wall mount. The S25 has narrow bezels around the display but nothing we haven’t seen before. The casing here is metal, including on the back, but the middle structure behind is all plastic. The left side on the textured back has most of your ports, including 3 HDMI 2.1 (one with eARC support), two USB type A ports, antenna alongside rear-facing optical in and LAN port (no 3.5mm audio jack). The other side carries the power input.

Coming to the display, the TV has a 64.5-inch LED IPS 4k (3840×2160) panel with support for up to 60Hz refresh rates. The picture quality here is really top both for the price tag. You get really punchy colours in the default standard mode, though I preferred the movie mode or slightly customised settings for watching sports, too, and found that the display didn’t sacrifice in details and contrast in pretty much all types of content. There’s Motionflow in place, but I preferred to have it turned off, especially while watching movies and TV shows, though some might like to have it turned on for watching live sports. Coming to HDR, the screen is sufficiently bright to handle HDR10 content, giving decent highlights and contrast and not getting bogged down by shadow-y scenes in movies, too.

Running on Android based Google TV, the TV is powered by Sony’s X1 processor, and I found it to be generally responsive and smooth in operating – whether switching between one OTT app to another or for going back and forth between YouTube videos, or for accessing videos from an external hard disk. The S25 also has good multimedia codec supports with pretty much all video and audio codecs that you would need for your personal files or streaming online. The TV also automatically recognises when you connect a PlayStation5 to it and adopts gaming mode for picture and sound profiles, but of course you can also change it to your liking.

Though there is auto low latency mode and variable refresh rate, for playing games, there is no Dolby Vision for this two-star BEE rated TV and the display doesn’t go beyond 60Hz refresh rates. Coming to the sound quality, the TV sports two 10watts each open baffle speakers with support for Dolby Atmos. The speakers, compared to the TV’s size, are just about decent in general. They can get quite loud for a 12×12 room and deliver decent oomph for watching YouTube videos. For your entertainment needs in the long run, it’s still suggested to get a decent audio system hooked on to it. I tried the GOVO GoSurround 975 soundbar with it and using it over HDMI eARC was smooth and hassle-free, including for Dolby Atmos output in movies.

The TV supports Chromecast of course as well as Apple AirPlay 2 with Apple Home support so you can control TV with Siri from your iPhone, too. With Sony Pictures Core (previously named Bravia Core), you get free 10 titles to stream in the app. The app has close to 80mpbs of bitrates with Dolby Atmos and IMAX content for some titles.

All in all, the new Bravia 2 series is a really nice and smooth functioning TV. It has a bright and sharp 4K display that does justice to HDR content, too, without blowing out colours or contrast. While its sound is decent at best, you do get a nice and familiar Sony design for your home.