Sony A8H OLED

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The OLED model with the sharpest and clearest image?

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Our conclusion

The A8H is the second strongest model in Sony’s 2020 lineup, just after the A9H. The 4K OLED TV impresses with good picture quality and excellent motion handling and is available in two sizes, 55 and 65 inches. But is it also worth its high price?

Sony A8H's attractive design

The Sony A8H OLED impresses with a rather minimalist design, which is expressed by its narrow metal frame and slim metal feet. Because the frame is hardly noticeable, an immersive picture experience is created. The feet are height-adjustable, creating space for an additional soundbar. Nevertheless, they are stable enough and ensure that the TV hardly wobbles at all. The A8H also looks good on the wall, as it is extremely flat.

The cable management is fine, but nothing new. The cables are fed through the feet to sort them.

 

verarbeitung Sony A8H OLED
Design
  • Minimalist design
  • Narrow metal frame
  • Height adjustable feet
  • Very flat
  • Cable management

Good OLED image quality

The 10-bit OLED panel of the Sony A8H provides the classic characteristics of an OLED, such as infinite contrast and excellent black. This is to be further enhanced by Sony’s “Pixel Contrast Booster” technology. Since OLED technology does not require any backlighting, the TV does not have a local dimming feature. The peak brightness of 780 nits is very good for an OLED model, but doesn’t come close to the values of Samsung’s somewhat higher priced QLEDs, for example. This can be explained by the Automatic Brightness Limiter (ABL), which dims the picture in large bright scenes to prevent damage to the panel. This makes it ideal for dark rooms. Because it doesn’t have any problems at an oblique viewing angle or with reflections, it still delivers a fairly good picture even in bright room environments. Brightness and colors can be individually calibrated with a variety of settings and customizable picture modes. The Sony A8H doesn’t support HDR 10+, but offers Dolby Vision instead. Upscaling also works very well.

 

bildqualitaet Sony A8H OLED
Picture Quality
  • Contrast: ∞:1
  • Deep black
  • Brightness: ~780 Nits
  • Automatic Brightness Limiter
  • Reflection handling
  • No HDR 10+
  • Dolby Vision

Excellent motion handling of the Sony A8H

Even if Sony doesn’t count it among the “Master Class”, the A8H’s motion handling couldn’t be better. With a refresh rate of 120 Hz and a minimum response time of less than a millisecond, there is practically no motion blur. The built-in X1 Ultimate image processor also ensures this. The optional Black Frame Insertion (BFI) feature, which Sony calls “X-Motion Clarity”, works just as well as motion interpolation. These ensure sharp and clear movements and hardly any artifacts. This makes the TV particularly suitable for sports programs that can also be watched in the afternoon or in a group. The X-Motion Clarity development represents the biggest difference to its predecessor. Although the A8H is completely free of judder, stutter is possible for content with a lower frequency. To avoid this, it is recommended to deactivate the motion interpolation.

motionhandling Sony A8H OLED
Motion Handling
  • Very short response time: <1ms
  • Black Frame Insertion
  • Motion Interpolation
  • No Judder
  • Possible stutter
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Gaming rather with old consoles

Unfortunately, the Sony A8H isn’t as future-oriented in the gaming sector as in other categories and therefore isn’t necessarily aimed at gamers who want to gamble with the upcoming consoles. As there is no HDMI 2.1 connection, a variable refresh rate and the Auto Low Latency Mode are also unfortunately missing. Instead, an analog input is available, which makes it possible to have game fun with older consoles. This is also supported by the low input lag of under 19 ms.

gaming Sony A8H OLED
Gaming

Upgradeable sound

As with most comparable devices, the A8H’s 2.2 channel 30W speakers can get loud enough, but the bass could be even more balanced. It’s nice that the TV also provides space for a matching soundbar, which can compensate for this deficit. Dolby Atmos is supported by the HDMI eARC connection. But DTS is also available, which distinguishes Sony from Samsung, which will completely do without this sound format in 2020.
The TV supports Sony’s Acoustic Surface Audio feature, which is designed to locate the sound in the picture and play it back via vibration at the appropriate place on the screen, instead of just through the speakers in the classic way.

sound Sony A8H OLED
Sound
  • 2.2 channels with 30W
  • Gets loud enough
  • Bass
  • HDMI eARC
  • DTS
  • Dolby Atmos

Smart Features of the Sony A8H

Smart TV applications on the A8H work very quickly and smoothly. The Android 9.0 Pie software works a lot better than the previous versions, but the interface is unfortunately not completely free of ads. Thanks to the Play Store there should be almost no apps missing and therefore all classic streaming providers are available. Just like the XH95 below it in the lineup, the A8H has the smart remote control with voice control and the additional Netflix Calibrated Mode, which is supposed to reproduce the original studio quality of Netflix Originals. Furthermore, Google Assistant is supported. Amazon Echo for Alexa and Google Home can also be connected.

smarttv Sony A8H OLED
Smart TV
  • Android 9.0 Pie
  • Large selection of apps
  • Smart remote control with voice control

Balanced OLED model with a clear image

The Sony A8H OLED, the second most powerful model from 2020, may not represent the manufacturer’s so-called “master class”, but its minimalist and elegant design combined with the picture quality is convincing. It offers an immersive picture experience where it’s almost a shame that the model is only available in two sizes. Sports and movie fans will get their money’s worth with the A8H, as it’s perfect in the dark, but can also deliver a pretty good picture in the afternoon without being disturbed by reflections. If you’re looking for a better picture quality for bright rooms, you should consider a QLED model. Only gamers will be rather disappointed with regard to the upcoming consoles due to the equipment lacking for this. When it comes to motion handling, the possible stutter is the only small flaw. Otherwise the A8H displays movements very sharp and clear.

For an immersive movie experience
PROS
  • Design
  • Image quality
  • Reflection handling
  • Motion Handling
CONS
  • Image quality in bright rooms
  • Gaming features
Info
  • Only two sizes

Sony A8H OLED Prices

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Alternatives to the Sony A8H OLED

Samsung QLED Q90T
QLED for bright rooms

Those who prefer to watch sports or movies in a bright room in the afternoon should consider buying a higher priced QLED from Samsung. The 90T is the strongest model from the 2020 lineup and doesn’t need an automatic brightness limiter due to the LCD panel with integrated Quantum Dots layer. With an outstanding maximum brightness of 1150 nits it is therefore superior to the A8H OLED. Thanks to good full array local dimming, the black level and contrast are also almost as good as in an OLED model. Moreover, with an HDMI 2.1 connection, it is even better suited for gaming with new consoles than the A8.

Samsung 55Q90T

LG CX OLED
Comparable OLED

Similar to the Sony A8H performs the CX OLED by its competitor LG. However, it is available in a choice of 4 sizes, i.e. slightly smaller and larger than the A8H. In a bright room environment, it can still deliver a slightly better picture than the Sony model due to its slightly higher brightness. The CX is particularly interesting for gamers, as it has an HDMI 2.1 port and therefore offers Auto Low Latency Mode and VRR. If you want to get the right TV set for your new console, you’d better go for the CX.

LG OLED55CX9LA

Sony A9G OLED
Home theater alternative

The Sony A8H appears as a new edition of Sony’s Master Class model or flagship model from last year – the A9G. The two models hardly differ in their technical equipment. However, Sony is pursuing two different intentions here: While the A8H is designed with its height adjustable feet so that a soundbar can be added and also has a better operating system with Android 9.0 Pie, the A9G can be seen a bit more as a complete package for home cinema. Here, a soundbar can only be added if the TV is mounted on the wall, otherwise it would cover the lower part of the picture. Instead, the available terminals allow you to add an AV receiver and satellite speakers on both sides to create the setup of a hi-fi system with integrated 4K OLED TV. For this purpose Sony has developed the Acoustic Audio Surface feature, which is also available on the A8H.

Sony 55AG9

Data sheets Sony A8H OLED

Frequently asked questions about Sony A8H OLED

The Sony XBR-55A8H has 4 HDMI 2.0 inputs but no HDMI 2.1 input, an HDMI eARC, one USB 3.0 port, 2 USB 2.0 ports, a 3.5mm headphone jack, a digital optical TOSLINK output, an analogue video input e.g. for older gaming consoles
The Sony A8H OLED is dimensioned without stand as follows (WxHxD):
    The Sony A8H OLED is compatible with the following wall mounts:
      The Sony A8H OLED costs as follows:
        * All prices are in USD incl. VAT, if necessary plus shipping. Interim changes of prices, ranking, delivery time and costs are possible. Last update 2020-08-14 18:36:55