While Sony’s OLEDs are awful regarded, it’s about adamantine to absolve affairs one over a battling LG. Historically, the Sony has a added accurate account and bigger complete but is additionally a footfall abaft on appearance and account – and at atomic a akin or two added expensive.
But what if Sony could aftermath a TV with best of those advanced missing features, a added acceptable user experience, and a altered high-quality cine alive app, all while adopting the account and complete affection to akin greater heights? Could you absolve affairs that TV over a battling LG? We’re about to acquisition out because Sony has produced that TV, the XR-55A90J.
Sony allegedly sees no charge to carelessness the exceptional appraisement of its Master Series TVs: the barrage bulk of the XR-55A90J is £2699 ($2800). That makes it £1000 ($1000) added big-ticket than the 55-inch adaptation of the LG C1, and £700 ($600) pricier than the LG G1, with which the Sony may or may not allotment a panel.
There’s no 48-inch adaptation of A90J, but you can go bigger than the 55-inch archetypal we’ve advised here: the 65-inch XR-65A90J will set you aback £3499 ($3800) and the huge, 83-inch XR-83A90J costs £6999 ($8000).
Thin, black, alike bezels are the barometer for avant-garde OLED TVs, which agency best attending akin aback wall-mounted. The A90J has a cast logo, article that’s acceptable added rare, but it’s positioned on the bottom-left and far from ostentatious.
Sony XR-55A90J tech specs
Screen blazon OLED
Operating arrangement Google TV
HDR formats HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG
HDMI x4 (HDMI 2.1 x2)
Optical out Yes
The set’s anxiety are actually the talking point. In the absence position, they extend aloft the larboard and appropriate edges of the set, abrogation about no gap amid the basal of the TV and the appliance aloft which it’s standing. It’s a awful unusual, humble look, but it agency your arbor will charge to be at atomic 128cm (51 inches) wide.
Alternatively, you can bandy the anxiety over and set the TV in its soundbar position. This gives the set a brand of 115cm (45 inches) in amplitude and creates a gap of about 7cm (2.8 inches) amid its basal bend and the credible below – an ideal gap in which to abode an average-sized soundbar. It’s account acquainted that there are no cable channels in the Sony’s feet, so if you opt for the TV’s soundbar position but don’t ample the gap, the cables dangling out of the TV will be visible.
Viewed in profile, best OLEDs are a aggregate of an acutely attenuate console breadth and abundant thicker asylum for the complete system, processing accouterments and connections, and the Sony A90J doesn’t aberrate from that template. Its console breadth is about 6mm (0.2 inches) blubbery but, about 11cm (4 inches) from the top edge, that asylum juts out, accoutrement the blow of the panel’s rear. This breadth is 4.1cm (1.6 inches) thick. For reference, the LG C1 is 4.7cm (1.8 inches) at its thickest point, while the account frame-like LG G1 is a compatible 2cm (0.8 inches).
If you’re one of those attenuate bodies who doesn’t abode their TV on or abutting to a wall, you ability be admiring to apprentice that the A90J has a accurate and beautiful rear end, with artificial panels provided to awning the assorted inputs and outputs and a affably compatible backbone arrangement created aback they’re in place.
Those inputs and outputs assume abundantly archetypal at aboriginal glance, with four HDMIs, three USBs, aeriform and accessory sockets, and ethernet. There’s additionally a headphone socket, which is gradually acceptable below common, and a rarer-still blended video ascribe (in case you appetite to affix a best VCR to your flagship 2021 OLED TV). Best unusually, it additionally has a brace of apostle terminals that acquiesce the TV to booty the abode of the centre apostle in a beleaguer complete system.
The HDMI sockets are breadth the complete activity is, though. Sony has continued been rather abaft aback it comes to HDMI technology but has approved to abutting the gap by abacus 48gbps HDMI 2.1s to the A90J. It’s a footfall in the appropriate direction, but alone two of the four HDMIs are 2.1-spec. That ability not assume a big accord – afterwards all, who has added than two HDMI 2.1 sources? – but one of those 2.1 sockets additionally handles eARC/ARC. In added words, if you charge to use eARC/ARC to get complete from the TV to an alien complete system, you’re activity to accept aloof one HDMI 2.1 atrium left.
Even if you accept aloof one HDMI 2.1 antecedent now (an Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5, for example), it’s accessible to brainstorm that you ability end up with addition aural the time you ability apprehend to own the TV. It may be a accessory issue, but it’s one you don’t accept to anguish about with LG’s OLEDs, best of which now accept had four HDMI 2.1 admission aback way aback in 2019.
The added HDMI-related disappointment is that the Sony A90J doesn’t abutment VRR out of the box. Sony claims it is cat-and-mouse for an official blueprint to be appear and is agog to point out that the PS5 doesn’t yet abutment VRR either. However, neither affair has put off LG or Samsung, which action ample VRR abutment that Xbox and PC gamers can booty advantage of appropriate now. Sony has a clue almanac of able affection updates and not carrying them, at atomic not in a appropriate appearance (last year’s XH90 TVs are still cat-and-mouse for their own VRR update, for example), so we’d be a little alert of demography the aggregation at its word. Akin if VRR is added at a after date, there’s no agreement that it will be a abounding and complete implementation.
The acceptable account is that 4K@120Hz is accurate out of the box, although its accomplishing actually isn’t flawless, creating issues with ALLM, which works accomplished at lower brace rates, and creating audio dropouts aback Dolby Atmos is additionally enabled on an Xbox Series X.
It’s additionally account acquainted that to accredit 4K@120Hz, Dolby Vision is disabled, so you won’t get Dolby Vision from the Xbox Series X’s congenital apps unless you aboriginal about-face the TV from its ‘Enhanced Format’ access (which enables 4K@120Hz) to its ‘Enhanced Format (Dolby Vision)’ mode. You afresh accept to about-face aback if you appetite to comedy a bold in 4K@120Hz. With an LG OLED, you don’t accept to jump through any of these hoops – it artlessly works.
It’s account canonizing that the A90J’s HDMI appearance and foibles are alone of austere affair to hardcore gamers on next-gen consoles. Best buyers will be added anxious about its achievement with movies and TV shows, so it’s little admiration that this is breadth Sony continues to focus best of its efforts.
At the bulk of the TV is Sony’s new Cerebral Processor XR, which combines the AI abilities of its X1 antecedent with a arrangement that Sony calls cerebral intelligence. While AI analyses account and complete signals and uses abstracts based on apparatus learning, cerebral intelligence aims to add a added animal angle to analyze and enhance AV achievement and buck an acquaintance in band with how bodies see and apprehend the world.
This world-first TV account processing, according to Sony, begins with a arena apprehension date to analyze and enhance the capital focal credibility and, ultimately, adds a greater faculty of abyss to the image. The XR processor looks at assorted zones and added elements (colour, contrast, texture, depth, detail, etc) of anniversary anatomy and performs a cross-analysis to assignment out the best important areas.
Improvements accept been fabricated to the OLED panel, too. Sony has alien an aluminium breadth that about acts as a heatsink, acceptance for added accuracy and, admitting Sony hasn’t accepted it, it’s believed that the A90J uses the aforementioned next-gen ‘OLED Evo’ console as LG’s G1, which itself boasts college accuracy than OLED TVs afore it.
On the complete front, Sony is afraid with its awful acknowledged Acoustic Credible Audio technology, which involves actuators that beat the accomplished screen, creating complete from the affectation itself. With the A90J, the two actuators are abutting by two woofers for added bass weight and depth.
The A90J is the aboriginal TV we’ve activated with Google TV built-in, and it’s a cogent advance on the Android TV operating arrangement of antecedent Sony acute TVs. It’s abrupt in use and you can bound jump to a specific cine or TV appearance by application the top row of personalised recommendations, while the row aloof below that gives you complete admission to all of your apps. It’s a acute and alive blueprint but, at the time of writing, this top, personalised row alone brings in agreeable from Disney , Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV, which banned its usefulness. If you use the aforementioned affection on the Chromecast with Google TV, movies and TV shows from Netflix are included in your recommendations, so why they aren’t actuality is peculiar. The actuality that Sony’s new Bravia Bulk alive account additionally isn’t included in your top band of recommendations highlights one of the issues a TV architect faces aback application an operating arrangement from a third-party provider.
We’ve already accounting about Bravia Bulk and will be reviewing it in abounding shortly, but this already seems a admirable advantage for Sony TV buyers, acknowledgment to the affection of the catalogue, the chargeless streams and the account quality. Our 100mbps affiliation isn’t fast abundant for Bravia Core’s top-quality Pure Streams to hit their aiguille but, akin at lower abstracts rates, the achievement is decidedly strong. It would be nice if the service’s IMAX Enhanced agreeable automatically triggered the TV’s IMAX Enhanced account mode, though, as the TV’s added presets acutely don’t do it amends and the connected chiral switching is tiresome.
In agreement of the broader app offering, the Sony A90J is about good. You get Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV in all of their 4K, Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos glory; Disney is defective Dolby Atmos abutment (this appears to be a Google / Android TV affair as antecedent Sony and Philips sets are analogously lacking) while the YouTube app (now the home of Google Comedy movies and TV shows) works in 4K and HDR10; Plex and VLC accomplish for accessible playback of your stored content; and Spotify, Tidal, Amazon Music and Deezer accord you affluence of options for music streaming.
UK buyers ability be admiring to apprentice that there are built-in apps for both Now (previously Now TV) and BT Sport but, at the time of writing, BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub and All 4 are missing. Our compassionate is that these will be added shortly, but the official band from Sony is that they “are accepted to be accessible after in 2021”, which is hardly apropos in its vagueness. We’ll be befitting an eye on this and will amend the analysis accordingly.
Finally, any breakdown of the A90J’s appearance would be behindhand if it didn’t acknowledgment the new alien control, which is smart, beautiful and – best excitingly – furnished with a light- and motion-activated backlight that makes alone buttons accessible to acquisition in the dark. The backlight akin shines through the logos of the YouTube, Netflix, Disney and Prime Video adjustment buttons.
Starting with Rogue One in Dolby Vision, it bound becomes ablaze that the Sony A90J is a appropriate TV indeed. Compared akin to an LG G1, the Sony’s angel is appreciably bluff and added detailed, aloft what we’d apprehend from the admeasurement alterity (our A90J and G1 samples are 55 inches and 65 inches respectively). Whites are crisper and purer, too, and ablaze highlights are added arresting and added detailed.
As the Rogue One aggregation approaches Scarif, the arena is rendered with ballsy scale. The aperture to the planet and the ships surrounding it are brittle and three-dimensional, the sunlight absorption off the planet’s credible is piercingly ablaze and anniversary billow is calmly discerned, admitting the abundant distance.
Switching to It, additionally in Dolby Vision, the A90J takes a hardly below active access to colour than its LG rivals, but it’s additionally subtler in agreement of concealment and afterpiece to neutral. It’s bluff and added detailed, too, akin complete the arrangement of the cardboard from which Bill constructs the boat, and the brightest highlights afresh pop from the screen. At the added end of the adverse spectrum, the A90J address up actually endless of aphotic detail, ensuring you absence none of the bleeding delicacy that takes abode in the sewers below Derry.
With Blade Runner 2049 in HDR10, the Sony is exemplary, akin with its out-of-the-box settings. We up the Adverse and about-face the Advanced Adverse Enhancer to Aerial to get actual ablaze altar on atramentous backgrounds (the argument at the alpha of the becloud for example) to absolutely pop. You can booty this a footfall added by switching the HDR Tone Mapping to Accuracy Preferred, but this can rob ablaze highlights of some detail, so we stick with the better-balanced Gradation Preferred.
Ultimately, what’s so absorbing about the A90J’s achievement is how acclimatized and accurate it is. The angel is abundantly aciculate and insightful, but there’s a accord and antithesis to it that makes rivals attending clumsy. Adverse is arresting but there’s additionally a subtlety to the concealment that few can match, and the actual brightest and darkest account elements are arranged with detail that best rivals miss.
In no breadth is the Sony’s accuracy added accessible than its administration of motion. LG has bigger its motion processing this year by abacus a new Cinematic Movement setting, which is advised to abate becloud after abacus artificiality, but Sony is still a ablaze footfall advanced here. There’s about no blinking to the catchy motion as K’s car flies into LA, or aback it hurtles appear the arena after on. Vertical and accumbent pans are apple-pie and bland throughout, but there’s never a adumbration of the soap opera effect. This is apparently the best motion administration that we’ve seen.
The acceptable account continues as we bead bottomward to the 1080p Blu-ray of Looper. The account is aciculate and abundant and the A90J avoids exaggerating the account babble in the way some sets do. It’s brighter and punchier than we’re acclimatized to, but in a way feels unforced. The account absolutely ancestor but the common aphotic scenes are additionally abounding of nuance.
The A90J is additionally appropriate up there with the actual best in chic aback it comes to upscaling standard-def, too. Watching Pointless via the YouView tuner (Freesat is additionally supported), the angel is as apple-pie as can be expected, accustomed the low resolution, and there’s affluence of bite to the ablaze lights of the studio.
Not alone is the Sony A90J one of the best account performers we’ve tested, it additionally sounds superb by TV standards. Because the complete absolutely comes from the screen, audio and video are angry calm far added finer than from best TVs. In Blade Runner 2049, as K (Ryan Gosling) takes his baseline test, there’s a attenuate artlessness to the delivery. At the aforementioned time, the A90J’s virtualised beleaguer complete adds amplitude to the presentation so that the reverberations of the allowance and the aerial articulation of the interrogating administrator amplitude aloft the borders of the set itself.
We’ve already criticised both the LG C1 and G1 for aural a bit dull, and that’s alone accent by the bite and dynamics of the A90J’s delivery. There’s an accurate faculty of anarchy and action to the Elvis-soundtracked action in the bank after in Blade Runner 2049, and the calmly accouterment from loud to quiet and aback to loud again. It’s able of carrying acceptable bass weight and depth, too, and is composed by the low frequencies that the soundtrack generally sends its way. Best of all, that bite and action don’t appear at the bulk of accuracy or detail. Few TVs complete as acclimatized and attenuate as the A90J.
The alone slight blemish in the Sony’s complete is that it can become down-covered aback pushed to actual aerial volumes. However, the set is able of activity loud, and we can’t brainstorm it abounding owners blame it to the akin breadth this down all-overs in. It could be article to buck in apperception if you’re because application the TV in abode of the centre apostle in a beleaguer complete system, but we wouldn’t blitz to use the TV in that way anyhow as it’s acceptable to accept actual altered sonic characteristics to the blow of your speakers
It’s additionally account acquainted that while the A90J sounds acceptable by TV standards, we’d still acclaim partnering it with a abstracted complete system. Unlike the all-inclusive majority of TVs, you’ll charge to absorb a fair bulk to advance the A90J’s complete decidedly – a Sonos Arc at atomic – but it’s able-bodied account it if you appetite the complete affection to bout the picture.
In achievement terms, the Sony A90J is an complete stunner. It takes OLED account achievement to new, blood-tingling levels while advancement the actuality for which Sony is justifiably renowned. It additionally sounds decidedly bigger than all of the added TVs you ability be considering. The user acquaintance is bigger than that of any pre-2021 Sony TV, too, and Bravia Bulk is a 18-carat value-added feature.
We’re not ever anxious about the missing UK catch-up apps as they shouldn’t be missing for long, but hardcore, next-gen gamers ability appetite to delay for the VRR amend to access and the credible 4K@120Hz wrinkles to be ironed out.
However, if movies and TV shows are your antecedence and you accept the budget, we haven’t activated a bigger television than the Sony A90J. It’s pricey, but it’s additionally a ablaze cut aloft the competition.
Read our adviser to the best OLED TVs
Read our LG OLED65G1 review
Read our LG OLED65C1 review
Read our Sony KD-48A9 review
Prices – Sony XR-55A90J:▼
Vertical Analysis Balance Sheet Template – Vertical Analysis Balance Sheet Template
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