Sony A80J OLED TV assessment: You possibly can cease wanting now

MSRP $2,300.00

“The Sony A80J is an impeccable TV. Probably the greatest ever made.”

Professionals

Impeccable image high quality

Glorious sound high quality

Google TV platform

Glorious out-of-box settings

Versatile stand choices

Cons

Lacks sure gaming options

I take into consideration OLED TVs on a regular basis; and never simply because I’m a TV reviewer by commerce and have a tendency to spend an excessive amount of off-time fascinated with my job. Frankly, it’s as a result of, identical to you, I watch a good quantity of TV at residence and, as a result of I don’t but personal an OLED TV myself (a dialogue for an additional time), I spend a variety of that TV-watching time wishing I did personal an OLED TV.

Sure, I’m an unabashed fan of OLED TVs, and I make zero apologies for that. It’s OLED’s good black ranges and, extra to the purpose, its superior distinction that catches most people’ eyes, however what actually seals the deal for me is the TV tech’s absence of LED backlights — backlights which, in a darkish room, make themselves recognized on a regular basis because of very annoying results plaguing LCD TVs known as “blooming” and “halo.”

With Sony, LG, and Vizio all making OLED TVs now, there’s a hearty buffet of choices to select from, but when I have been shopping for an OLED TV this yr, the Sony A80J reviewed right here could be certainly one of solely two I’d think about.

Which is the opposite? I’ll get to that. Let me begin by explaining why I feel the Sony A80J OLED is likely one of the greatest TVs you should purchase this yr. 

Out of the field

Riley Younger/Digital Traits

Riley Younger/Digital Traits

Riley Younger/Digital Traits

OLED TV panels are so skinny and placing five-year-old child might body one in PlayDough and it will nonetheless appear like a murals. Happily, Sony’s strategy to OLED TV design is decidedly a lot higher-class. 

With razor-thin metallic black bezels and durable steel ft, the A80J OLED TV exudes a business-class aesthetic — neither overly flashy nor in the least drab or uninteresting. The distant included with the TV is customary Sony fare — no backlight, sorry — however it will get the job achieved. 

There are two positions by which the steel ft will be oriented. One place slings the TV low towards its supporting media stand or credenza, the opposite raises the decrease border of the TV up a bit to accommodate a soundbar with out the display screen getting blocked. It’s a wise look, however have in mind the ft do prolong towards the sting of the TV in both configuration, making for a large stance that requires an equally large media stand.

Setup

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One of the vital exceptional issues in regards to the Sony A80J is its out-of-box image accuracy. Select the Cinema or Customized preset image settings choices and viewers have to do little else to make sure they’re getting one of the best image high quality attainable.

In fact, accuracy isn’t essentially what everyone seems to be on the lookout for. Whereas accuracy stipulates a TV should have a comparatively heat colour temperature to greatest characterize creator intent, many viewers are typically a fan of a cooler colour temperature setting. For that motive, many will discover the TV’s barely brighter and extra vibrant Normal image mode to be preferable.

In the case of image processing, Sony’s has traditionally been one of the best.

For TV fanatics, nonetheless, it must be famous that the out-of-box white level and colour measurements that I received by utilizing a SpectraCal C6 colorimeter (profiled to an x-rite i1display Professional) together with Calman software program have been among the many most correct I’ve seen coming from a TV manufacturing unit. In reality, many different TVs battle to realize the identical ultra-low error numbers after knowledgeable calibration that the A80J manages to ace out of the field, no changes wanted.

Riley Younger/Digital Traits

Options

What makes a Sony OLED TV appear like a Sony OLED TV isn’t its OLED panel — that’s really made by LG Show — it’s the TV’s processor. And with regards to image processing, Sony’s has traditionally been one of the best.

The A80J carries on that legacy. Although there’s no scarcity of the Sony advertising division’s affect concerned, the so-called Bravia XR Cognitive Intelligence Processor driving the A80J’s image powerfully delivers photos optimized to look their greatest with out ever perceivably dropping the ball. That’s to say: If Sony’s latest, strongest processor makes any compromises because it performs its magic, you’ll by no means catch it.

Other than class-leading processing, the A80J is a really succesful good TV, working the most recent model of Android TV, now known as Google TV. As good TV interfaces go, it has shortly turn into certainly one of my favorites. Not solely is the Google Assistant seamlessly built-in into the TV for good residence gadget management, however the TV itself will be managed by different good residence units, together with the Google House app on a cell gadget.

Riley Younger/Digital Traits

Maybe one of the best a part of the Google TV platform is that when it has been arrange on one gadget, it carries all the most important settings over to different units working the platform. For instance: Since I’d arrange a Chromecast with Google TV at residence, once I logged into my Google account on the A80J, I discovered that was already logged into all of my favourite streaming apps. I didn’t must plug in usernames or keep in mind sophisticated passwords. All I wanted to get streaming was a fast authentication with my cellphone, and I used to be watching my favorites in seconds.

If the A80J falls brief wherever when it comes to options, it must be its lack of full assist for sure gaming options generally related to the most recent HDMI 2.1 spec. Whereas the A80J does sport two HDMI 2.1 ports and might assist as much as 4K decision at 120Hz with HDR, each variable refresh fee (VRR) and auto low latency mode (ALLM) will not be but supported. Whereas future assist for these options might come through replace sometime down the highway, historic delays have me skeptical they’ll come anytime quickly, if in any respect. I talk about the affect this shortfall has on gaming a little bit additional beneath.

Sound high quality

Riley Younger/Digital Traits

The times of my poking enjoyable at TVs for sounding atrocious are removed from over — most of the TVs I check ought to promote with a warning label begging patrons to select up a soundbar earlier than they take a look at. However sure Sony TV fashions — and particularly Sony OLED TVs — are setting a brand new bar for simply how good a TV can sound, even when they’re thinner than an iPhone.

I feel most people will likely be astonished by how good this TV sounds.

To make sound, the Sony A80J has two transducers caught to the again of its OLED display screen. This fashion, the display screen itself makes a lot of the sound you hear. Aided by a small “subwoofer” tucked into the again of the TV, the built-in screen-speaker system produces a remarkably full, dynamic, and vividly stereophonic sound signature. Whereas I used to be capable of pressure the A80J’s sound system to distort at increased volumes, I feel most people will likely be astonished by how good this TV sounds. With an emphasis on dialog readability, and voices seemingly coming from the spot on-screen at which actors’ mouths are positioned, not solely will viewers take pleasure in understanding what’s being mentioned, however they’ll be entertained by the way in which it appears as if the voice is coming from the actor’s location on-screen as effectively.

Image High quality

Riley Younger/Digital Traits

Having gushed over OLED TV image high quality for nearly seven years now, I typically discover it more and more troublesome to say one thing contemporary or distinctive in regards to the newest fashions. Enhancements to OLED image high quality have been incremental over the previous few years — and that’s true of this yr as effectively — however the incremental adjustments introduced by the A80J OLED, whereas a matter of finesse, are very welcome all the identical.

The A80J simply appears to take every thing to the subsequent stage.

With a Sony OLED, you begin with a basis of good blacks, paint in vivid but tightly correct colour, then gild the lily with glowing HDR highlights and exacting advantageous element. I must also level out that the A80J’s dealing with of movement — be that the cadence of a 24 fps film, or the fast-panned motion of a sports activities broadcast — is among the many greatest I’ve ever seen, and that features Sony TVs from the previous. The A80J simply appears to take every thing to the subsequent stage.

And but, it isn’t Sony’s greatest OLED TV. What might be higher?

Not the brightest TV on the ground

Sony’s A90J OLED TV has earned itself many a headline this yr for being one of many brightest OLED TVs you should purchase. LG additionally has a brighter OLED mannequin, the Gallery Sequence G1, which makes comparable brightness claims.

A part of the rationale brighter OLED TVs are large information is that one of many few complaints that may be made about OLED TVs is that they will’t get almost as vivid as LED and even newer mini-LED backlit LCD TVs. For many who watch TV through the day with loads of daylight pouring in (or loads of vivid lighting fixtures ablaze), an OLED TV received’t have the pop or distinction an LED backlight TV can have. Brighter OLEDs are supposed to problem this notion.

Whether or not they accomplish that efficiently is a debate for an additional article. My level is that the A90J is a brighter OLED TV and subsequently might be thought of marginally higher. However as I mentioned earlier than, if I have been shopping for an OLED TV proper now, it will be the Sony A80J or, maybe, the LG C1 OLED. Neither of those are the brighter, higher OLEDs, however they are going to make most people (myself included) fairly comfortable.

Not the best possible for gaming

Riley Younger/Digital Traits

The one and solely motive I would buy an LG C1 OLED TV over a Sony A80J OLED TV is for next-gen gaming functions. The LG C1 OLED provides 4 full-fledged HDMI 2.1 ports that may assist each next-gen gaming function obtainable, all on the identical time, and all addressable via a enjoyable and considerably helpful gaming dashboard.

The Sony A80J OLED merely doesn’t go arduous for gaming, which can appear odd since Sony makes the brand new PlayStation 5 console. However what most people don’t understand is that the A80J continues to be a wonderful TV for enjoying video games. Positive, it could not provide variable refresh fee (VRR) and some different options that some competing TVs do, however it’s nonetheless going to be loads proficient for many informal avid gamers. Solely essentially the most hardcore avid gamers want to think about wanting elsewhere. In different phrases, except you recognize precisely what HDMI 2.1 brings to gaming with out having to look it up, then you possibly can rely on the A80J to supply a wonderful gaming expertise with low enter lag, attractive graphics, and clean movement.

My take

Sony’s A80J provides a few of the greatest image high quality you’ll discover in a TV and is bested solely by TVs that price many instances as a lot. It’s additionally some of the user-friendly TVs you should purchase because of its Google TV platform and its impeccable out-of-box image preset choices. It additionally occurs to sound glorious, too. All advised, the A80J is an excellent package deal, and I extremely suggest it.

Is there a greater different?

The Sony A90J and LG G1 OLED TVs are a bit brighter, however whether or not they quantity to being higher TVs actually will depend on the viewing setting. Most people will discover the A80J to be sufficiently vivid, with glorious distinction and glowing HDR highlights. The LG C1 is likely to be a greater different for many who search the most recent gaming options.

How lengthy will it final?

As with all OLED TVs, there’s the slight risk of burn-in, which will be attributable to displaying the identical picture for prolonged durations of time, day after day, month after month. Those that watch the identical information channel many hours per day shouldn’t purchase an OLED TV. For most conventional viewing, nonetheless, burn-in is not going to be a problem. Outdoors of that consideration, the Sony A80J ought to final effectively into the long run, even with out full HDMI 2.1 assist on board.

Guarantee

Sony provides a one-year restricted guarantee on the A80J OLED TV. Additional particulars will be discovered right here.

Do you have to purchase it?

Sure. The Sony A80J is an excellent TV and a very good alternative for many patrons on the lookout for very good image high quality and sound.

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