Even in 2021, Sony‘s lineup is not the biggest, but it ranges from mid-range 4K UHD LED TVs to high-end OLEDs. For its OLEDs, it uses the technology developed by LG. The Japanese consumer electronics manufacturer wants to score points on the TV market primarily with its so-called “Master Series”, which is supposed to revolutionize home entertainment and is primarily designed for the home theater experience.
However, it is noticeable that Sony does not specialize in gaming TVs, even though the Japanese company has dominated the console market alongside Microsoft for years and only launched the PlayStation 5 in 2020.
The X80J is a Bravia TV for the small budget. Unfortunately, you notice that in some missing features, but the Sony TV can still convince in some points. Due to the wide viewing angle, the TV is well suited for watching sports with several people without having to compromise on picture quality. However, due to the contrast of only 1120:1, the TV is not recommended for dark environments.
While the motion handling is okay, the X80J unfortunately lacks any gaming features to fully exploit the new consoles. Thus, the inexpensive Bravia has to do without HDMI 2.1, Variable Refresh Rate – synchronizes the display’s refresh rate with the output refresh rate of the graphics card and Auto Low Latency Mode – Automatically detects connected consoles and keeps input lag as low as possible.. Thus, you have to limit yourself to the older consoles if you want to play extensively.
The X85J is already considered a mid-range TV in this year’s Bravia UHD lineup and can already convince with a few improved features compared to the X80J. The picture quality is already significantly better due to the contrast of 6300:1, and the X85J also produces an equally deep black despite the lack of a local dimming function. One drawback here is the narrow viewing angle due to the Vertical Alignment, type of LCD Panel panel.
When it comes to gaming, you will notice a clear difference to the X80J, because the big brother has two HDMI 2.1 ports and an Auto Low Latency Mode. Thus, gaming in [email protected] is possible with a constantly low input lag. Unfortunately, a Variable Refresh Rate – synchronizes the display’s refresh rate with the output refresh rate of the graphics card function is still missing which could be added in a future firmware update.
The first model in the high-end Bravia XR range is the X90J, which already has the new XR processor installed. This upgrades the picture and sound quality with cognitive intelligence, which should result in an even better experience. Together with Dynamic HDR-format with a color depth of up to 12 Bits and Mastering of up to 10,000 Nits and Triluminos Pro technology, movies and series can be watched the way the creators intended.
At first glance, the X90J also appears to be an excellent gaming TV, and it does feature a 120Hz panel, two HDMI 2.1 ports, and good response time and low input lag. However, a Variable Refresh Rate – synchronizes the display’s refresh rate with the output refresh rate of the graphics card and a true Auto Low Latency Mode – Automatically detects connected consoles and keeps input lag as low as possible. are not present.
Compared to the X85J, the X90J can score especially in High Dynamic Range – image/video with more dynamic range (contrast range), which is due to the significantly better processor. Therefore, movie and series fans should go for the X90J.
The A80J is the cheaper OLED of this year’s lineup and fits wonderfully into your own home theater. The OLED panel provides theoretically infinite contrast and deep blacks, which has a very positive effect on the picture quality in combination with the XR processor.
An impressive picture always excites gamers, too, and the A80J offers all the features you need for the new consoles. However, a Variable Refresh Rate – synchronizes the display’s refresh rate with the output refresh rate of the graphics card and also an Auto Low Latency Mode – Automatically detects connected consoles and keeps input lag as low as possible. are unfortunately completely missing. However, that could still change with a future update.
The sound is often a shortcoming of flat TVs and yet the Sony device can shine here. Because the screen acts as a speaker and can imitate a 3D sound.
The OLED panel makes the difference compared to the X90J, especially with the viewing angle, which is now much wider, and in motion handling.
The flagship of this year’s lineup is without a doubt the A90J, which only a few TVs can hold a candle to in terms of picture quality. Besides the advantages of the OLED panel in terms of contrast and black value, the A90J can also get brighter and reaches a maximum value of 850 SI unit of luminance: 1 nit = 1 cd/m2 – The best way of measuring and comparing a TVs brightness . It cannot compete with Samsung’s QLEDs though, but High Dynamic Range – image/video with more dynamic range (contrast range) content looks fantastic in combination with Dynamic HDR-format with a color depth of up to 12 Bits and Mastering of up to 10,000 Nits. In addition, the new XR processor further optimizes the picture quality.
Like its little brother, the A80J, the A90J’s sound comes directly from the screen, which puts you right in the middle of the action. The Acoustic Auto Calibration additionally adjusts the sound to the room and the viewer, allowing you to create an enveloping cinema atmosphere.
The only drawback of the A90J is the lack of Variable Refresh Rate – synchronizes the display’s refresh rate with the output refresh rate of the graphics card, which would complete the whole gaming package.
The X750H is the most affordable TV in Sony’s 2020 lineup and has not been equipped with too many features. The Vertical Alignment, type of LCD Panel panel gives it a high contrast ratio of 5700:1 and deep blacks, which results in a good picture quality in dark surroundings. On the other hand, the picture is not quite as impressive in bright surroundings, which is due to the average reflection handling and the low brightness. The motion handling of the 60Hz panel is pretty decent with a response time of about 4ms, so there is only little motion blur.
If you are looking for a cheap gaming TV and don’t want to push next gen gaming to its limits, you’ll be very satisfied with the input lag of about 11ms, because the TV feels very responsive while gaming. Additional features like Auto Low Latency Mode – Automatically detects connected consoles and keeps input lag as low as possible., Variable Refresh Rate – synchronizes the display’s refresh rate with the output refresh rate of the graphics card and HDMI 2.1 are not available – which is quite common in this price segment.
The X800H Bravia has completely different characteristics than the cheaper X750H due to the built-in In-Plane Switching, type of LCD Panel panel. It has a wide viewing angle and can be used particularly in bright environments. However, the picture quality is not as good in dark surroundings, which is due to the poor contrast ratio and the mediocre blacks – black looks more like gray in dark rooms. Furthermore, with about 530 Nits, it becomes brighter than the X750H and has a wide color gamut. However, this is not enough to display High Dynamic Range – image/video with more dynamic range (contrast range) content well.
Sony also saves most of the additional features of the X800H, but has a lot more than the X750H. However, it has been equipped with an Auto Low Latency Mode, which automatically keeps the input lag as low as possible during gaming. It also has Dynamic HDR-format with a color depth of up to 12 Bits and Mastering of up to 10,000 Nits implemented for dynamic optimization of HDR content and an HDMI eARC which supports Object-based surround sound format with 3D-Sound from any direction via Dolby True HD.
The X90H is the entry-level model in the Full Array LED series and is therefore equipped with considerably more features. The image quality of the Vertical Alignment, type of LCD Panel panel is very different from the In-Plane Switching, type of LCD Panel panel of the X800H and is superior in almost all ambient conditions. In bright rooms, the picture quality is better due to the higher peak brightness, and in dark rooms, the higher contrast ratio and deep black produce a beautiful picture, which is further enhanced by Full Array Local Dimming. However, this can lead to unsightly errors like blooming. The IPS panel also gives the X800H a much wider viewing angle than the one of the more expensive X900H.
In addition to the better picture quality, the equipment is much more sophisticated. It has an HDMI eARC and a 120Hz The panel is the actual screen of a television. There is different types of panels like OLED, LCD or Micro LED and different sub-types of LCD like VA or IPS.. The X900H is equipped with an HDMI 2.1 interface, which supports both Variable Refresh Rate – synchronizes the display’s refresh rate with the output refresh rate of the graphics card and Auto Low Latency Mode. With these extras, the X900H is perfectly suited for gaming and can take full advantage of the next-gen consoles with [email protected] that will be released in 2020. There is also a twin tuner, which enables the USB recording function – even when watching another program.
In most categories, the X950H is superior to the X900H. Like the less expensive model, it uses a Vertical Alignment, type of LCD Panel panel, but the viewing angle has been greatly extended by an additional display layer. In addition, this layer also has a positive effect on the reflection handling, which in combination with the higher peak brightness makes the TV much better suited for the use in bright rooms than the X900H. In dark surroundings, its picture quality is quite similar, because the additional layer reduces the contrast ratio. With the higher peak brightness of 1180 Nits, High Dynamic Range – image/video with more dynamic range (contrast range) content can be displayed brilliantly and the image processing of the X1 Ultimate image processor ensures an extremely natural image.
However, the more expensive X950H does not perform quite as well in the gaming category. It lacks almost all the features to ensure a good gaming experience. It has no HDMI 2.1, no Variable Refresh Rate – synchronizes the display’s refresh rate with the output refresh rate of the graphics card, no Auto Low Latency Mode – Automatically detects connected consoles and keeps input lag as low as possible. and a not very good input delay. In short, the X950H was not designed for gaming, unlike the XH90.
The high-end OLED A8 immediately stands out as a TV designed for the best possible home cinema atmosphere. Due to the OLED construction, it has a breathtaking picture quality in dark surroundings that is unmatched by other technologies. The motion handling is also excellent due to the almost instantaneous response time – so even fast movements cause almost no motion blur. Eventual motion blur can be further minimized by the X-Motion-Clarity feature, which is also possible at a frame rate of 120Hz. In addition, the sound system of the A8 has the innovative Acoustic Surface Audio function, which makes the sound seem to come directly from the center of the picture, creating an immersive cinema experience.
In bright surroundings, however, the OLED performs, as expected, worse than the X950H. The peak brightness is simply not high enough, because otherwise the organic LEDs would suffer from the higher thermal output. As a protection mechanism against overheating, the Automatic Brightness Limiter is used to dim the brightness in large bright scenes to prevent burn-in.
Like the XH95, the A8 is not really suitable for gambling. It also lacks the HDMI 2.1 interface and the associated advantages.
The Sony Z8H is a premium TV with a 120Hz Vertical Alignment, type of LCD Panel panel, which offers 8k resolution. It has a deep and even black and has been equipped with an excellent full array local dimming feature with 320 zones, which really benefits the contrast ratio. The contrast ratio of 4000:1 is comparatively low, which is due to the X-Wide Viewing Angle layer. In return, however, the X-Wide Viewing Angle layer extends the viewing angle, which would be quite narrow without this layer on VA panels. In dark environments it cannot quite keep up with OLED technology, but it shines in brighter environments. The high peak brightness of 2100 Nits makes it bright enough to produce an excellent image quality even in bright conditions.
Exactly like the OLED A8, the Z8H also has the Acoustic Surface Audio feature, which turns the TV itself into the center speaker of a sound system and creates the sound directly in the center of the picture. The ZH8 also has an HDMI 2.1 interface, which is otherwise only available on the XH90 in the Sony lineup. This enables [email protected] and also a Variable Refresh Rate – synchronizes the display’s refresh rate with the output refresh rate of the graphics card is available.
Sony is relying on a Black Frame Insertion feature called “X-Motion Clarity“, which is also available on the new OLEDs this year. With the “X-Wide Angle” layer, the manufacturer is addressing the common problem of VA panels and, similar to its competitors, is trying to improve the image from an oblique viewing angle. Further features are the “Pixel Contrast Booster” for OLEDs, which is intended to enhance color and contrast ratio, and in the area of sound, “Acoustic Surface Audio+“, where the sound is to come directly from the center of the TV set by means of forward facing speakers.
For orientation: Sony model names have a letter at the end of the model name that indicates the year of publication and ranges from E = 2017 to H = 2020. The number before it stands for the value within the group. The higher the number, the more expensive the television.