Sony’s Bravia XR Grasp Sequence A90J 4K UHD OLED TV is higher crust all the best way. The image is lush after which some, the audio is as about nearly as good because it will get in TVs, and it seems to be completely improbable even when not displaying a picture. Perfection? Not fairly. But it surely is likely one of the prime two or three 4K UHD TVs in the marketplace, and in my e book it’s probably the most engaging of all of them.
It’s priced accordingly, after all; the 55-inch mannequin XR-55A90J reviewed goes for a cool $3,000.
Out of field expertise, design, and specs
It’s not usually that I’m impressed with packaging, however even that side of Sony’s A90J sequence is prime tier. Then once more, this TV wants all that additional padding and safety. The show face is glass, not the extra typical plastic, and the bezel surrounding it’s so slim, banging it in opposition to a tough floor might spell catastrophe. However as glass can also be stiff and protecting of the OLED panel behind it, it’s really a lot simpler to deal with than most TVs, the place any undue strain on the show floor might damage it.
I additionally fairly favored the TV’s setup routine. It really makes an effort to confirm that you’ve got your gadgets plugged into the precise HDMI ports, and it makes use of a mic on the distant to calibrate the audio to your room surroundings. Cool.
This assessment is a part of TechHive’s protection of, the place you’ll discover critiques of the competitors’s choices, plus a purchaser’s information to the options it’s best to think about when purchasing for this sort of product.
The bodily design of the A90J is engaging and versatile. The OLED-behind-glass design not solely makes for a wealthy image, however an virtually mirror-like detrimental area when the TV is turned off. The bezel, as I discussed, is so slim it virtually disappears. The impact when wall-mounted utilizing the 300mm x 300mm VESA level is straightforward however elegant.
The A90J continues to be engaging—although not fairly as minimalist—when it’s sitting on one thing; particularly when the legs are oriented outwards from the sides, as you may within the picture under. This leaves the underside fringe of the TV flush with the supporting floor, which is a glance I get pleasure from as a result of you may disguise issues behind it. You can even reorient them to offer clearance, in addition to use as secondary mount factors towards the center to relaxation it on a smaller desk or stand.
Be aware that within the picture under, half of the uppermost TV is cropped from the highest—there isn’t a ultra-wide mannequin A90J!
The A90J is a 3840 x 2160 (4K UHD) OLED TV. I examined the 55-inch class mannequin (54.6 inches measured diagonally), however it is going to even be out there in 65- and 83-inch kind elements. Alas, pricing for the 2 bigger fashions wasn’t out there on the time of this writing. The panel is 10-bit RGBW (purple, inexperienced, and blue sub-pixels, with a fourth white sub-pixel so as to add brightness when obligatory) with a 120Hz refresh charge. It doesn’t get higher than that. The working system is the newest model of Google TV (née Android TV).
The port array on the A90J is a bit uncommon in that it supplies precise clip connectors for naked wires to drive a middle speaker (see above). Past that, it’s customary fare: 4 HDMI ports, certainly one of which helps ARC; one other that helps a 120Hz refresh charge; and two extra of the extra typical 60Hz sort.
There’s coax for a TV antenna or cable/satellite tv for pc feed; optical S/PDIF out; headphone/auxiliary audio out; a 3.5mm composite video enter; 3.5mm RS-232C for system integration; and three USB ports. Community connectivity is dealt with by 10/100 ethernet and 802.11ac Wi-Fi. There’s additionally Bluetooth 4.2 on board. I used to be anticipating Bluetooth 5.0, however Sony’s implementation helps low-latency connections, so watching TV whereas carrying Bluetooth headphones is an effective expertise.
Sony, like different distributors, throws a whole lot of advertising pucky at you. On this case, the phrases are XR this, XR that, and so forth. I don’t indulge, however the A90J is the corporate’s top-of-the-line Grasp Sequence, in order that they’re doing all the pieces the perfect they understand how, and that’s usually nearly as good as any firm on the planet. In different phrases, Sony’s popularity is just not with out substance.
A few of the extra notable options that aren’t labeled XR are: assist for HDR10, HLG, and Dolby Imaginative and prescient HDR; Dolby Atmos and DTS Digital Encompass assist; automated low latency and variable refresh charge assist on HDMI inputs 3 and 4 for gaming; Apple AirPlay 2 compatibility; and assist for each Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice assistants.
Distant and interface
Sony’s newest RMF-T621U distant is lengthy, skinny, and sports activities a usually clever structure. I did discover that the again cowl tends to pop off while you drop it. Easy answer: don’t drop it. Past succumbing to my clumsiness, the distant can also be backlit (with an ambient gentle sensor) and common, which means it will possibly management different gadgets. It’s additionally Infrared, although, so you could go away the receptor on the backside center of the TV unblocked to make use of it.
As I’ve already talked about, Google TV is onboard, with giant rows of app icons and purposeful icons on the prime. My solely criticism is that till you sign up to Google, the decrease half of the display screen is given over to a reminder to do exactly that, slightly than displaying the lists of content material for the put in apps. It’s much less busy, but in addition much less helpful.
Truthfully, I’d desire that this area was merely clean. I additionally want that to make use of a TV successfully, I didn’t must sign up with an organization whose privateness coverage is that you’ve got none. However hey, that’s simply my opinion.
Getting again to the assessment, the A90J’s total interface is superb. It’s not fairly Roku environment friendly, nevertheless it’s shut. Standalone sections for all sorts of settings are two clicks away, and there’s an ace TV channel information.
Image and sound
The A90J’s picture is completely glorious with the overwhelming majority of fabric. Sony has upped the usable brightness for its newest OLEDs, and HDR seems to be improbable. Display screen conformity is nigh on excellent, as you’d additionally count on from the expertise.
Distinction is great, and colour is saturated and really correct, though it seems Sony has tuned it a bit in direction of their style. And, after all, the pure blacks of OLED rule the roost. Maybe Samsung’s upcoming Micro-LED will change that—we’ll see.
Because the OLED pixels are behind glass, you get the identical impact you get from Apple computer systems and shows: Lush, wealthy, luxurious, and no matter different gushing adjectives you may consider. In case you’re into animated motion pictures, sci-fi, artwork movies, and the like, there’s merely nothing that may contact it.
Processing, together with upscaling, is improved from the final technology; certainly, it’s glorious, if not excellent. There have been some minor glitches within the Spears & Munsil exams within the movement exams and among the off-kilter fine-line exams. LG’s OLEDs are barely higher at these, however Sony simply matches its rival with real-world materials. And there’s not one of the rubbish scattered all concerning the display screen within the line exams, as you’ll see with some lower-priced LCD TVs.
The most important processing uptick in my e book is the A90J’s dealing with of pans when numerous positive element is concerned. I noticed virtually no moiré or shimmer. In reality, I’ve solely seen much less in 8K items. A little bit of a warning right here: The A90J is able to quite a bit of brightness for an OLED. Crank it up and you may induce artifacts. Don’t try this.
I do want movement dealing with was only a hair smoother, as there was an occasional slight judder with troublesome materials, akin to an elevated practice rounding a nook at slower speeds.
With regards to audio, Sony performs second fiddle to nobody. The corporate pioneered utilizing the floor of an OLED panel as a planar driver, and that expertise is current on this mannequin in an up to date and improved method: Audio occasions match the motion on the display screen thanks to 2 full-range and two subwoofer actuators; plus, there’s simulated encompass sound.
I used to be a bit unhappy to find, nevertheless, that there aren’t any consumer EQ controls, solely pre-defined settings. I stored desirous to crank the bass up a bit. However at the least there is bass; that frequency is a non-entity on the overwhelming majority of recent TVs. That stated, the A90J is kind of possible the best-sounding TV I’ve ever heard.
Alas, I did encounter one blast from the previous that I didn’t count on—or need: Sony’s Media Participant app, for enjoying video information from USB and community storage (the latter through DLNA), crashed each time I opened the folder on a 64GB USB stick the place my take a look at movies are saved.
Reformatting the thumb drive didn’t resolve the problem, and I used to be nonetheless working with Sony to trace down the issue on the time of this writing. Fortuitously, this isn’t a difficulty most mainstream shoppers will encounter and even care about. In case you do, simply obtain VLC from the app retailer.
I want to remind everybody that we put these TVs by the processing wringer. A few of our exams create eventualities that by no means happen in real-life materials. And no TV but—together with the super-pricey 8K UHD fashions—has aced all of them.
The Sony Bravia XR Grasp Sequence A90J is a nice TV, and its look when it’s wall-mounted, or flush-mounted on a floor, is completely improbable in my e book. It’s my all-time favourite. That stated, you pay slightly closely for that final 10 % of high quality. If cash isn’t a barrier for you, go for it. You’ll like it, too.