Review Price £239.99
Sony KDL-22EX320 - Picture Quality
First and foremost, considering the 22EX320 uses edge LED lighting (the reason it’s so gorgeously slim) its pictures really aren’t very bright. With any picture preset bar the Vivid one pictures look surprisingly muted, even when watching in a more or less dark room. And even with the Vivid setting engaged pictures hardly explode off the screen at you as we might have expected/hoped.
The other issue is some rather average motion handling, as moving objects very obviously lose resolution. This doesn't routinely stop HD pictures from looking sharp, though. We could certainly see the difference between standard and HD images on the 1,366x768 (as opposed to full HD) screen, despite the set's standard definition playback being unusually crisp thanks to the X-Reality engine.
This is just the start of quite a bit of good news, too. For a start, despite the slight lack of brightness, colours look unusually natural and subtly blended for such a small and affordable TV. Certainly there’s no trace of the PC-favouring colour temperatures often seen with small screens.
The 22EX320 also outguns the vast majority of its small-screen peers with its contrast performance, as the screen manages to produce some credible, engaging black levels that don’t have you squinting through grey ‘mist’ nearly as much as is common on small-screen TVs.
It’s also a relief to note during dark scenes that the 22EX320’s edge LED engine suffers with no severe backlight consistency issues, even at the screen’s corners. The 22EX320 surprisingly manages to retain a likable amount of shadow detail during dark scenes too, which is a real rarity where small flat TVs are concerned.
A final strength of the 22EX320 is its respectably low amount of image lag. We measure a touch under 40ms for the screen, which shouldn’t be enough to damage anyone’s gaming experience if they’re thinking of hooking up a console to it.
What these strengths add up to is a picture that’s actually very good by small-screen standards - but only if you watch it in the right circumstances. As in, an environment that’s not especially bright.
The 22EX320’s audio lacks bass and so is prone to sounding a touch harsh. There’s also a tendency for voices to ‘buzz’ if you push the volume level at all high. But such issues are par for the course where small flat TVs are concerned, and the 22EX320 certainly isn’t any worse than most. Indeed, it may be a touch better overall - at least while watching normal TV as opposed to action films.
Although the 22EX320‘s lack of brightness counts against it as a particularly great option for a bright space like a conservatory or kitchen, its subtle strengths mean we could certainly imagine it becoming a quality second-room TV in a bedroom or study.
Scores In Detail
- Image Quality
- Sound Quality