Sony’s A9G OLED HDTV: Can It Top the Best from Samsung and LG?

Sony’s A9G OLED HDTV: Can It Top the Best from Samsung and LG?

Can they pull it off?

In many respects, Sony’s OLED HDTVs often play the role of a second fiddle to their LG’s counterparts.

Perhaps the blame could be placed on ad campaigns or the fact that OLED panels are manufactured by the Korean tech giant. But if you’re currently in the market for an outstanding OLED HDTV, make sure to take a long hard look at Sony’s A9G.

Like all other OLED panels, Sony’s offering does not come cheap—$2,300 for the 55-inch model and a grand more for the 65-incher. Despite the high price points, you can rest easy knowing that you will receive all the goodness that OLED TVs can offer.

That includes unrivaled picture quality, perfect deep black levels, precise colors, wide-viewing angles and outstanding uniformity. And does Sony match up well with LG’s much-vaunted panels? It is a resounding yes.

Tapping into the ultra-powerful X1 Ultimate processor, this set brings to the table an array of next-gen features, such as 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 TVs to automatically adjust the picture quality. This will in theory cut down on any glare and bring 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 is surprisingly clear and balanced and boasts a strong sense of directionality—making voices and sound effects seem to come from their screen’s respective locations.

Sony’s A9G makes use of Android TV, a robust platform in terms of apps and content for sure, but does lack the aesthetics and user-friendliness of Roku. The TV’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 and speakers to the set, 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, an RF connector for an antenna and an Ethernet port. For wireless connectivity, it is equipped with 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2.

As already mentioned, the picture quality is top-notch, but if you’re an avid gamer, perhaps LG’s OLED HDTVs could be a better fit, as it flaunts full-spec HDMI 2.1 ports, variable refresh rate and extremely low input lag. But if you’re eyeing the A9G for basic TV-watching and movie nights, there’s a good chance that it’ll exceed all of your high expectations.

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.

Image: Reuters