Like LG’s recently released 48-inch CX Series, this particular model takes aim at consumers who desire more modest-size panels but don’t want to miss out on all of the picture goodness that OLEDs can provide.
Currently only available in the European market for about $1,800, there is a real possibility that this 48-inch OLED stud will cross the Atlantic at some point later this year or early 2021.
Like the highly regarded CX, the A9 taps into its self-emissive-pixel technology to produce unrivaled picture quality, perfect deep black levels, precise colors, wide-viewing angles and outstanding uniformity.
Powered by a X1 Ultimate processor, this set brings to the table an array of next-generation features, such as Pixel Contrast Booster, X-Motion Clarity and Ambient Optimization, which Sony defines as “a new technology that optimizes picture and sound quality in any customer environment.”
Depending on the amount of ambient light in your room, this tech will enable the TV to automatically adjust the picture quality—cutting down on any glare or reflection and bringing more life to dim images.
One of the coolest features that’s available on any TV today is Sony’s Acoustic Surface technology, which utilizes vibrating actuators to transform the entire panel into a giant speaker. The sound, fully compatible with the much-coveted Dolby Atmos, is surprisingly clear and balanced and boasts a strong sense of directionality—making voices and sound effects seem to come from the screen’s respective locations.
The A9 makes use of Android TV, a robust platform in terms of apps and content for sure, but it does lack the overall aesthetics and user-friendliness of Roku. On the other hand, the set’s dedicated processor does smooth out all potential hiccups and it also comes with Google Assistant and Chromecast capability.
If you’re in a hurry to hook up gaming consoles—perhaps the upcoming PlayStation 5—and speakers to the A9, there are plenty of options to choose from. It comes with the usual HDMI and USB ports, a 3.5mm jack for headphones, an optical digital-audio connection and an Ethernet port.
The A9’s picture quality is indeed top-notch, but if you’re an avid gamer, perhaps the CX would be a better fit because it flaunts full-spec HDMI 2.1 ports, variable refresh rate and extremely low input lag—minimizing any potential screen tearing and stuttering. The result is that the CX features noticeably smoother gameplay, no matter how graphics-intensive the games are.
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Minneapolis-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.