Have you ever wondered why displays in modern age smartphones are more immersive than those on our current TVs? The easy answer is OLED. While OLEDs have become a common display technology for smartphones, it is still expensive to produce large OLEDs panels, resulting in OLED TVs being quite costly. (Sony A9G OLED Review हिंदी में पढ़िए).

Having said that, in recent times there has been a significant drop in OLED production cost. Back in 2013, Samsung launched a 55-inch OLED TV for around $10,000, while later that year LG launched its OLED TV – 55EA9800 in India for Rs. 9,99,900. Since then OLED TVs have become a lot more affordable and have become quite popular worldwide. In fact, OLED TVs are arguably considered the best TVs in the world. 

Sony is another conglomerate that has been upbeat about OLED TVs and it has been continuously launching its OLED TVs in India. A couple of months ago, the Japanese tech giant launched its 2019 OLED TV range in the country including the flagship Master Series A9G 4K HDR OLED TVs. Of these, the Sony A9G 55-inch variant, which is currently priced at Rs. 2,69,900, landed on our doorsteps. Does the new 4K HDR TV range from Sony’s Master Edition has enough promise to justify the cost? Let’s find out in our Sony A9G OLED TV review:

Sony A9G Specs

Model

Sony A9G OLED

Size tested

55-inch  (138.8 cm)

Design

Flat

Dimensions (HxWxD)

Approx. 1226x710x40(6.2) mm Without Stand

Approx. 1226x714x255 mm With Stand

Weight

18.7./22.3 kg (with/without stand)

Display Panel

OLED

Resolution 

4K (3840×2160p)

HDR formats supported

HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG

Video processor

Picture Processor X1 Ultimate

Picture modes

Vivid, Standard, Cinema, Game, Graphics, Photo, Custom, Dolby Vision Bright, Dolby Vision Dark, Netflix calibrated

Special features

Pixel Contrast Booster, Triluminos Display, Hands-free voice control

Audio

Audio Acoustic Surface Plus, Dolby Atmos, DTS:X

Software

Android TV 8.0

Connectivity

HDMI standard 2.0b; HDMI 4,  ARC / eARC /  FreeSync / VRR/ ALLM/ QMS/ HFR, 3x USB, 1x Ethernet, 1x CI+, 1x optical, 1x HDMI eARC

Video decoding

MPEG4, HEVC, VP9-2

Tuners

DVB-T2/S2/C, recorder, twin tuner, WiFi (ac) Bluetooth (4.2)

Power Requirements

Max 373W and 0.5W in standby

Sony A9G 55 Inch4K UHD Android TV Review: What’s in the box

  • TV
  • AC Power Cord
  • AAA Remote Batteries
  • Table Top Stand
  • Voice Remote Control
  • Back Covers
  • Operating Instructions
  • Quick Setup Guide

Sony A9G OLED TV Review: Design 

Be it the Bravia TVs with monolithic designs or this elegant Master Series TV, Sony has consistently done a remarkable job in designing its TVs. Being a flagship TV, the Sony A9G OLED follows a minimalistic approach and looks really classy. Even when the gorgeous display isn’t turned on, the sleek body unfailingly turned heads of visitors.

What makes the Sony A9G more appealing is its distraction-free fascia with just 0.31-inches of bezels on all edges – which surely is ultra-slim by all standards. So basically it’s all 4K OLED UHD display that can be wall-mounted or screwed on top of a flat stand that comes bundled with the TV. The said stand is confidence-inspiring and extremely stable, no worries. 

While the extreme bottom-left, you have Sony logo which you are likely to miss, at the center, there is an LED which glows white when TV is On and there is also a smaller orange one that lights up when you interact with Google Assistant. And yes, you can directly speak to the Google Assistant on TV instead of talking via your Remote. 

The glass panel itself is just 40mm thick and is held by a metal frame. The mainboard that also includes sub-woofer is attached to the rear panel which is covered by a plastic casing. Mainboard also includes all the ports and also has an effective cable management system in place which successfully hides all cable clutter. 

Overall, Sony once again managed to deliver a flagship-grade TV design with its Master series TV.

ALSO READ: ASUS ROG Strix Scar II GL504GV Review

Sony Master Series A9G OLED TV Review: Connectivity and Ports

The A9G being a flagship TV, is all decked up with a full suite of connectivity options.  It has a total of four 4K HDMI 2.0 inputs with CEC  support – one at the side and the other three facing downwards. All HDMI ports support 4K UHD up to 60Hz at 4:2:0, 10-bit 4:4:4 and 4:2:2, plus HDCP 2.3 (and yes, they matter). Sony isn’t adding HDMI 2.1 to its 4K TV range this year, but one HDMI port (3) supports eARC for lossless audio pass-through.

Other HDMI 2.1 features like Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), Quick Frame Transport(QFT), Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) and Quick Media Switching aren’t available, though. There are three USB ports as-well out of which two USB 2.0 ports are on the side and one USB 3.1 port is downward facing. 

Apart from these, the A9G connectivity options also include old school audio-video minijacks, headphone socket, optical digital audio output, Ethernet, dual-band Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.2. Also is there a traditional speaker connector at the side-top that could come handy if you have an additional center speaker lying around.

Connectivity-wise, the A9G is very well covered for general consumers as of today. So far we had no connectivity issues. It connects with our home Wi-Fi and peripherals quickly and seamlessly. Like most Sony Android TVs, it also has a built-in Chromecast and casting works absolutely fine.

Hardcore gamers might find the lack of HDMI 2.1 ports a disadvantage since most consumers hold on to their TVs for years and the upcoming X-Box and Playstation generations will leverage many of the HDMI 2.1 features to lower latency while gaming. 

ALSO READ:13-Inch HP Spectre x360 (2019) Review

Sony A9G OLED Review: Display, Picture Quality, and Performance

The screen on the Sony A9G is a beauty. It just scintillating. The OLED panel has a 4 sub-pixel array (RGBW) and delivers Ultra-HD resolution up to 3840×2160 pixels. The screen supports 60Hz while playing 4K media and up to 120Hz refresh rate while playing full-HD content. It is also certified for HDR10 Dolby Vision and HLG formats. 

Sony’s  Picture Processor X1 Ultimate is the hidden gem here. It is the brain behind all the image processing happening on the A9G. It detects the scene and applies its magic before it gets painted on the screen. Sony has one of the most effective upscaling technology that I have come across personally. It’s new algorithms like Pixel Contrast Booster really embellishes details in the image content. 

Although, the OLEDs are not really on top of the ladder when it comes to viewing angles but in A9G case, there isn’t much of a worry. The ambient sensor tweaks brightness to cut down reflection, and its assisted by a glossy on-screen filter that does a remarkable job. 

Being an OLED screen it doesn’t require local dimming to display blacks as it can turn off individual pixels. The blacks appear ravishing and are uniform without any hint of blooming. 

To test out its 4K HDR performance, we logged in the pre-installed Netflix app to watch Ozark Season 2 and Stranger Things Season 3. The experience tuned out really captivating and I ended up binge-watching for hours. The picture looks really immersive with excellent details and a great dynamic range. Even in the default basic settings, the Panel is well calibrated and looks very pleasing. Of course, we tested other presets of which the Standard mode appeared the most natural, Vivid mode just boosted colors up.  

There’s also a Netflix Calibrated Mode on the TV which is supposed to automatically tweak images in such manners to give you an experience close to Netflix creator intent. During this review, we also checked out this Netflix calibrated setting which is only visible while watching HDR content on the official app. DolbyVision content (like Ozark) had good blend of blacks and whites. The difference is noticeable but we prefer to tweak things around as per our personal satisfaction. Overall, the TV supports wide color gamut and has impressive 10-bit Color depth. 

Another positive that’s worth mentioning is Sony’s Motion Clarity feature. Although there is no variable refresh rate option, we haven’t really noticed any ghosting effect or motion interpolation effect.

We also played games on the A9G by connecting it with Asus ROG Strix G 531GT. In gaming mode, input lag was less than 30ms which is usually considered excellent. 

What really tops everything here is the upscaling capabilities of this Sony OLED TV. The full-HD content looked really crisp and more often than not, it was easy to pass off FHD content as 4K. The upscaling also works reasonably well on 720p content.

ALSO READ: Vivo Nex 3 Review

Sony A9G OLED Review: Software and User Interface

Sony continues to rely on Android TV OS for is Smart TVs and the same remains the case with the A9G OLED. It ships with Android TV 8. It is worth mentioning that since the day we welcomed Sony A9G at our place, it has already received an OTA update.

Sony has kept things very close to the original Android interface. The UI is fast and smooth and the software comes preloaded with Google Play store for TVs and some other useful apps. With Google Assistant onboard, we were able to use voice commands to turn the TV on and off from Standby – which is really convenient. 

As stated above, casting works seamlessly across all Android apps. Sony will also add AirPlay 2 support later with an OTA update. 

Sony A9G OLED Review: Audio

Looking at the Sony A9G OLED TV you must be wondering where the speakers are? Well, you won’t be able to spot them. Sony employs Acoustic Surface Audio+ technology in this flagship-grade TV. It features four speakers out of which two blasts 20W each while the other two pumps out 10W sound. Sony has two actuators on the panel to vibrate the display in order to output immersive sound that’s directly pointed towards users.

The A9G managed to produce sounds that are good enough for most situations.  It is clear, loud, and could easily fill a fairly big living room. The quality of sound is also impressive with good sound staging. You get crisp vocals and a good amount of bass which makes music is enjoyable. Don’t expect the thump of a dedicated soundbar, but as far as native TV audio goes, you are getting a really good deal.

Sony A9G OLED Review: Remote Control 

Sony has also made some tweaks in remote with A9G as well. Amidst all sorts of smart and fancy magic remotes we see these days, the A9G remote looks and works exactly like a regular remote – which is great. This is not a Bluetooth remote and you will have to point it directly towards the TV before it works. It has a metallic finish and textured back and Sony has ensured that it is easy to hold.

It is full keys remote which good key travel and functionality. The remote also has dedicated buttons for Netflix and Google Play Movies. 

Sony A9G OLED Review Verdict

Sony once again has an excellent OLED champion for premium buyers. There’s hardly anything that we can criticize here. The Sony A9G looks great, has the latest specs and features, and delivers a fabulous experience befitting its high-end price.

It is still a tad more expensive than LG C9 OLED models that are the only other OLED options in the same price bracket (in India). With great audio, amazing picture quality, and all connectivity options relevant to common consumers, Sony A9G is one of the best TVs available in the Indian market today, one that we can recommend to anyone looking for an uncompromised experience.

Pros

  • Appealing design
  • Excellent blacks & contrast
  • Accurate colours
  • Crisp images with great motion handling
  • Upscaling works
  • Good connectivity and features
  • Good software
  • Supports Google Assistant and Alexa

Cons

  • Still no Airplay

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