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Sony 2023 TV lineup: All the OLED, Mini LED and Bravia models coming soon. Sony Bravia Smart TV

Sony X80K TV Review: Google TV Smarts, Basic Features and Picture

Sony’s entry-level 2022 TV has solid streaming but competitors serve up better images for the price.

sony, 2023, lineup, oled

David reviews TVs and leads the Personal Tech team at CNET, covering mobile, software, computing, streaming and home entertainment. We provide helpful, expert reviews, advice and videos on what gadget or service to buy and how to get the most out of it.

Expertise A 20-year CNET veteran, David has been reviewing TVs since the days of CRT, rear-projection and plasma. Prior to CNET he worked at Sound Vision magazine and eTown.com. He is known to two people on as the Cormac McCarthy of consumer electronics. Credentials Although still awaiting his Oscar for Best Picture Reviewer, David does hold certifications from the Imaging Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Standards and Technology on display calibration and evaluation.

Sony has been making TVs for 60 years and today it’s known for best for expensive, high-performance screens. In 2022 it continued the trend by releasing a kitchen sink worth of high-tech displays. from 8K to mini-LED to QD-OLED. and most demand serious cash. So far 2022 is more about tightening belts than bells and whistles, however, so I took a look at Sony’s cheapest TV first. The X80K is a decent all-around performer, and could appeal to TV shoppers on a budget who just want a Sony, but you can certainly do better for the money.

Sony X80K series (2022)

Like

  • Accurate color
  • Capable Google TV Smart system
  • Plenty of connectivity
  • Subtle, understated design

Don’t Like

  • Mediocre contrast and black levels
  • expensive than competing TVs with better picture quality

In early summer the X80K costs about the same as the Samsung QN60B and the TCL 6-Series. In my side-by-side comparison of the three in CNET’s TV test lab. the Samsung looked slightly better overall than the Sony, with superior brightness and contrast, while the TCL totally trounced them both. That might be a surprise if you’re new to the TV buying game and just paying attention to brands.- wait, a TCL looks better than a Sony?- but if you look at their underlying technologies, it makes perfect sense. The Sony and Samsung use basic LCD backlights while the TCL leverages step-up screen tech, namely full-array local dimming and mini-LED.

Beyond picture I did like Sony’s Google Smart TV system and no-fuss design, and it comes in a wide array of sizes. Later in the year it’s sure to receive hefty price cuts, like TVs always do around the Black Friday and the holidays. that could make it more competitive. For now, however, the X80K doesn’t do enough beyond its name to stand out.

Sony KD-X80K sizes, series comparison

I performed a hands-on evaluation of the 55-inch Sony KD-55X80K, but this review also applies to the other screen sizes in the series. All sizes have identical specs and should provide very similar picture quality.

The X80K series is the entry-level in Sony’s 2022 TV lineup, with relatively basic picture features. It’s missing the HDMI 2.1 gaming features. 120Hz refresh rate and mini-LED backlight found on step-up models, for example.

Keep it simple, Sony

The X80K blends in rather than stands out with a dark gray color along the bottom of its frame. The other three sides are black and their edges angle in slightly. The stand consists of simple A-shaped legs splayed far to either side. Seen from the side, the X80K is substantially thicker than the Samsung Q60B (2.83 vs. 1 inch), which could be a consideration if you want as flush a wall-mount as possible.

I like Sony’s simple remote. The keys are laid out in familiar fashion and the requisite shortcut buttons for YouTube, Netflix, Disney Plus and Prime Video are onboard, and I appreciated the dedicated input key that some clickers lack. I could do without the number key and another dedicated to an over-the-air grid guide at the bottom, but some users might appreciate them.

Google TV: Feature-rich and promo-heavy

Among all of the Smart TV systems I like Google TV second-best, after Roku, and its implementation on the Sony X80K is the TV’s best feature. Highlights include excellent voice results thanks to Google Assistant, tight integration with Google apps in particular YouTube and YouTube TV, and more apps overall, thanks to the Play store, than proprietary systems like Samsung and LG.

Responses were quick enough but felt a step behind most Roku TVs I’ve used. Once I selected a profile it took a long second or two for the main For You home page to populate with thumbnails, for example. I didn’t love the large chunk of space at the top devoted to promotions of shows and movies on various services. I also wish the “continue watching” row was higher-up rather than placed below the “top picks for you” and apps rows. Top picks seemed to take into account my preferences for sci-fi shows and movies once I went through the “improve your recommendations” screen, but there was still plenty of content I didn’t care about. Suggestions across different apps are a fine idea, but I personally the simplicity of Roku app-centric menus.

Google TV’s profiles worked well. I was easily able to set up a kid’s profile, and I appreciated that appropriate apps like YouTube Kids and PBS Kids were suggested for me to add, and that Netflix automatically invoked the kids profile. During setup I was also prompted to set screen time limits, create a profile picture and more. Google TV’s system provides better parental controls than Roku, although Fire TV is similarly robust.

Picture quality comparisons

I set up the 55-inch Sony X80K next to its direct competitor from Samsung, as well as less expensive Fire TV and a TCL with superior picture quality specifications. Here’s the lineup:

TV and movies: The Sony delivered the second-worst picture in the lineup overall, beating out only the Omni. Its main weakness was relatively weak contrast, caused by both lighter (worse) black levels and dimmer highlights than the Samsung.

Watching Hustle on Netflix. for example, the black around the credits and the shadows in the locker room were lighter and less realistic than on the other TVs, if only slightly worse than the Samsung and the Omni. The Samsung was also significantly brighter than the Sony in its most accurate picture modes, which made the film’s HDR image pop more in comparison. The skin tones of Adam Sandler and the basketball players looked truer than the Samsung and Omni, but overall I preferred the Samsung’s picture by a hair.

The story was similar with the challenging Spears and Munsil 4K HDR Benchmark montage on Blu-ray, where the Samsung looked a bit brighter than the Sony. Both outperformed the Omni, which showed less high-level detail in snowscapes for example, but the difference wasn’t enough to justify the Sony’s much higher price.

The TCL, meanwhile, was superior in pretty much every way to the others, with excellent contrast, deep black levels and powerful brightness that made the Sony, Samsung and Fire TV pale by comparison.

Gaming: Playing Horizon Forbidden West, color was more realistic and accurate on the Sony, and similar to the TCL and LG, while the Samsung in every mode appeared more saturated and, well, game-y. Again the Samsung won for contrast and punch, handily, although to its credit the Sony revealed more details in the shadows, which is an advantage in dark games with enemies lurking in the shadows. The Sony lacked the comprehensive gaming stats display of the Samsung and both had similar (excellent) input lag, but overall I preferred the Samsung’s punchier look. The TCL, meanwhile, combined a brighter image than either one with excellent shadow detail and, yes, colors as accurate (and better-looking) than the Sony.

SONY’S FIRST TV OF 2023!! THE X93L

Bright lighting: The Sony measured relatively dim, backing up my subjective impressions, and both it and the Samsung were less-bright than the TCL and a less-expensive Vizio, both equipped with local dimming. Below are my measurements in nits for select comparison TVs in their brightest and most accurate picture modes, using both standard dynamic range (SDR) and high dynamic range (HDR) test patterns.

Picture settings notes

The most accurate settings were Cinema and Custom mode for both HDR and SDR, and Custom measured slightly more accurate so I went with that. Game is best for gaming, thanks to its low input lag, and color was similar to Custom and exceedingly accurate.

The X80K offers settings that engage smoothing, aka the soap opera effect, as I prefer to turn it off for TV shows and movies. You can experiment with the settings (Settings Display Sound Picture Motion Motionflow Custom) and it’s off by default in the Cinema and Custom modes.

Geek box

Result0.0753572.462.272.073.043.082.522.6711.930.08444694.738.081.5411.67
Score
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Good
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Portrait Displays Calman calibration software was used in this review.

Sony 2023 TV lineup: All the OLED, Mini LED and Bravia models coming soon

Sony recently took the wraps off its 2023 TV lineup at a private event in New York, and we were there to take it all in and go hands on.

Included in this year’s lineup are a new Sony A95L QD-OLED, a new regular OLED (the Sony A80L) and several new LED-LCD models including the Mini-LED equipped Sony X95L and standard LED-LCD Sony X90L Smart TVs.

It isn’t a terribly long list, admittedly, but instead Sony is opting for quality over quantity. Having seen them for ourselves, we can safely say that it’s a strategy that’s paying off.

Can’t tell the difference between a Sony X80L and an A80L? You’ve come to the right place. Here’s everything you need to know about Sony’s 2023 TV lineup.

Sony A95L OLED — Sony’s new top QD-OLED

The most exciting TV in Sony’s lineup is its new QD-OLED. Last year’s Sony Bravia XR A95K OLED TV proved practically perfect, but the 2023 A95L model introduces some upgrades in an effort to challenge Samsung and LG’s OLED TV offerings.

According to information provided to Tom’s Guide, it promises better brightness, a larger 77-inch configuration and the long-awaited adoption of a dedicated gaming menu. The A95K also comes with the Bravia Cam, the mountable webcam that can make automatic adjustments to picture and sound based on the watcher positions, among other handy features.

The only bad news? Price is still TBD and, in terms of port options, Sony is sticking with only 2 HDMI 2.1 ports for another year while high-end competitors offer the full 4-port array.

Check out our Sony A95L OLED TV hands-on impressions.

Sony A90K OLED — the tiny OLED from 2022 lives on

Underneath the A95L QD-OLED is the Sony A90K OLED that made its debut in 2022. It’s limited in size to just a 42-inch and 48-inch model, but it’s undeniably gorgeous. Here’s what we said in our review:

“The Sony Bravia XR A90K, only available in either a 42-inch or 48-inch screen size, is a little TV that thinks big. You can’t get it in enormous sizes, but you don’t have to — it’s equipped with an OLED screen and incorporates all of Sony’s industry-leading picture technologies to result in a set that does just as well in technical benchmark tests as it does in everyday movie and television viewing.

Whatever your needs may be, the A90K will (literally and figuratively) brighten up any room, and is a major offering that should not be dismissed merely because of its minor size.”

Sony A80L OLED — a new LG C3 OLED competitor

Sony’s A80 OLED range has always been a great foil to LG’s C-Series. Sony’s mid-range OLED tends to be a bit higher priced than LG’s — likely due to the fact that it has to pay more for its LG Display panels than LG Electronics does — but that doesn’t stop it from bringing down the house. The LG C3 OLED better watch out.

Don’t expect more than a marginal gain in brightness here, but do expect to see it in a larger 83-inch screen size that we’ve yet to see from the A80 Series.

Sony X95L and X93L Mini LED — a bump up in brightness and control zones

Stepping up from the excellent Sony Bravia X95K Mini LED TV, the X95L has 20% more local dimming zones, a noise-reduction feature and new internal sound abilities. It gets a long-awaited dedicated game menu, too. That said, the X95L only comes in an 85-inch configuration.

For smaller sizes, you’ll need to shop the X93L Mini LED, which is less of an improvement from last year’s X95K compared to the X95L. Still, if you want a Mini LED TV with Sony branding, you’ll be looking at one of these two models.

Check out our Sony X95L Mini LED hands-on review to see our impressions.

Sony X90L Full Array LED-LCD TV — the swiss army knife

There will almost certainly be entry-level TVs underneath it, but for now the bottom of the totem pole is the Sony X90L Full Array LED-LCD TV. It comes in five different screen sizes ranging from 55 inches all the way up to a massive 98-inch model and will be the most affordable in terms of price (though none of the TVs have pricing info yet).

There’s nothing special about this model in particular but it has all the key components from the upper-tier models including the Cognitive Processor XR, HDMI 2.1 for 4K/120, VRR, and ALLM plus Acoustic Multi-Audio and Dolby Atmos support.

We called its predecessor, the Sony Bravia XR X90K, “a jack of all trades” and the X90L looks to continue that trend.

An entry-level TV that delivers surprisingly good performance

Tom’s Guide Verdict

The Sony Bravia X80K is an inexpensive LCD TV that turns out pleasing visuals and is armed with a number of other desirable features (its sound not among them).

Pros

  • Generally good picture quality
  • Excellent value
  • Well-designed remote
  • Uses powerful Google TV Smart interface
  • Low input lag for a Sony TV

Cons

  • – Occasional loss of fine detail
  • – Disappointing sound
  • – No HDMI 2.1 ports on most models

Why you can trust Tom’s Guide?

Our writers and editors spend hours analyzing and reviewing products, services, and apps to help find what’s best for you. Find out more about how we test, analyze, and rate.

Price: 449.99 Screen size: 43-inch Model: KD-43X80K Resolution: 3,840×2,160 HDR: HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG Refresh Rate: 60Hz Ports: 4 HDMI 2.0, 2 USB Audio: 20W Smart TV Software: Google TV Size (without stand): 37.95×22.17×2.72 inches Weight (without stand): 22.3 lbs.

Sony’s entry-level line of TVs might not seem to offer a lot to the discriminating shopper, but the Sony Bravia X80K (449 as tested) punches above its price. With fine picture quality and backed by Sony’s cagey technological innovations and sharply honed attention to fit and finish, the X80K is, in most ways, better than you might expect.

That’s not to say it’s ideal for everyone. It wouldn’t be the best set to use as the centerpiece of an entertainment center in a larger-than-average living room, for example. But if you want something that’s highly affordable and looks as though it’s in a loftier price tier, the X80K is one Smart TV that’s a Smart way to go.

Sony Bravia X80K TV review: Pricing and availability

The 43-inch Bravia KD-43X80K is the smallest and least expensive model in Sony’s entry-level X80K family of TVs. There are six altogether, ranging in price up to 1,499.99:

  • Sony Bravia KD-43X80K (43-inch): 449.99
  • Sony Bravia KD-50X80K (50-inch): 529.99
  • Sony Bravia KD-55X80K (55-inch): 579.99
  • Sony Bravia KD-65X80K (65-inch): 699.99
  • Sony Bravia KD-75X80K (75-inch): 999.99
  • Sony Bravia KD-85X80K (85-inch): 1,499.99

All the sets in the X80K line share the same basic technologies, internal hardware, and Sony enhancements, so it’s likely that the larger sets will behave similarly to the 43-inch model we evaluated. But it’s worth remembering that there are frequently performance differences between sets in the same family at the lower and upper end of the pricing scale, so what you observe may not be identical to what we did.

Sony Bravia X80K TV review: Design

The 43-inch X80K is small by current TV standards, but it is far from as svelte as many sets you’ll find on the market. It measures 37.95 x 22.17 inches (HxW), and is 2.72 inches thick, giving it the faintest chunky feel. Everything is black and smooth on the front, but the set’s rear combines a series of fins at the top with a nice-looking but sedate square panel taking up most of the space.

Though the screen’s bezels are thin (about one-sixteenth inch), the beveled top, left, and right edges make the display as a whole look slightly larger than it is. A flat, wide bottom bezel (just shy of 0.75 inch) further contributes to the effect, and hides a Power button just under the center front. The stand is even more minimalist: two foot-style pieces that raise the TV about 2.75 inches off the table. If you’d prefer to mount the TV on the wall, the 200x200mm VESA mounting holes on the back make that possible.

The power cable connects to the right side of the TV. The ports are on the opposite side, in a single vertical line, all facing out toward the left: two USB ports (one with a power maximum of 500mA, the other with 900mA), S/PDIF digital audio auto, a yellow RCA video-in jack, an Ethernet port, two remote inputs (RS-232C and IR input), a coaxial cable connector, and four HDMI ports.

Of the last, one is equipped with ARC and eARC, and all four adhere to the 60Hz HDMI 2.0 specification instead of newer HDMI 2.1 with support for 4K at 120Hz. (In the X80K line, only the 85-inch model has HDMI 2.1 ports.)

Sony Bravia X80K TV review: Test results and performance

The X80K is a traditional LCD set with direct LED backlighting, as opposed to the edge-lit TVs you will often find in the budget range. This, paired with Sony’s robust internal processing, results in generally better picture quality than you’ll usually get for this price. It doesn’t, however, quite compare with what you’ll see on more advanced (and thus more expensive) sets from Sony and other manufacturers.

This was borne out by our lab testing with an X-Rite i1 Pro spectrophotometer, a SpectraCal VideoForge Pro pattern generator, and Portrait Displays’ Calman calibration software. The TV’s maximum SDR brightness was on the lower end of the spectrum of TVs we’ve tested: 272 nits in Standard mode and 248 nits in Custom mode (the closest to an out-of-the-box calibrated picture), whereas the 43-inch Samsung Q60B QLED TV managed 378 and 313 nits in its comparable modes, respectively and the 50-inch Vizio M-Series Quantum smoked both in Standard (with 499 nits) but came in third in its “best” mode (with 121 nits). The Sony’s color was likewise good, with Custom mode’s Delta-E (the difference between the color at the video source and as displayed on the screen, with lower numbers being better) the lowest of the three sets at 1.6907 (versus 1.7727 for the Samsung and 1.85 for the Vizio) and its coverage of the Rec. 709 color gamut the highest (99.6177%, compared with 98.8096% for the Samsung and 98.4549% for the Vizio).

HDR brightness for the X80K approached the Samsung’s on occasion, though the latter TV’s was always between 450 and 500 nits, which the Sony only approached at window sizes of 50% or more in Standard mode. The Vizio sometimes got brighter than the Sony, but only occasionally, and only up to 25%. But the Vizio was the HDR color king, with its 96.17% coverage of the UHDA-P3 color gamut (close to DCI-P3) better than the Sony’s 93.46% or the Samsung’s 90.57%. Whatever you’re watching, the Sony’s picture will get you much — but not all — of the way there, but as priced below both the Samsung and the Vizio, it’s hardly shabby.

In practice, the X80K is satisfying to watch. You’re not going to get as sumptuous a picture as you may with other TVs from Sony or other companies, but we didn’t encounter anything that looked bad on it. You don’t get the full sparkling sense of magic from Spider-Man: No Way Home, due to the somewhat diminished brightness. The dusty foreboding of Denis Villeneuve’s Dune and goosebump-inducing aerial action of Top Gun: Maverick are a bit muted because of the backlighting.

The Batman showed this even more dramatically, as contrast is key; because the screen never gets completely dark (a tiny bit of blooming is visible in many full-black-screen applications), and the brights are never thoroughly dazzling, its scenes lack some of their natural excitement. But given the price of this TV, that seems a forgivable payoff.

Just know that, depending on your viewing distance, you may not get the full benefit of the TV’s 4K resolution. The pixels are just too small to create a crisp, information-packaged picture from very far away. A 1-pixel chess arrangement in our 4K test pattern looked absolutely disastrous, more like static from an old broadcast TV than anything from the current year. But don’t worry: Most anything else will look better, especially if you stick relatively close to the screen. And you and your family and friends don’t even need to stay clustered too close to the center, as the TV retains an impressive amount of its picture quality even when viewed from extreme angles; colors wash out only a little, but everything remains comfortably watchable.

Sony Bravia X80K TV review: Audio

Like most TVs, the X80K has passable—but hardly excellent—sound capabilities. The good news is that the set easily gets room-fillingly loud. The bad news is that you should do everything you can to avoid taking advantage of that capability.

Just about everything sounds okay at lower volumes, but around the 50% mark, distortion begins creeping in. This was evident even in quiet moments, such as the post-funeral scene in Top Gun: Maverick, where it sounded like a white noise machine was hiding in the room with Maverick and Cyclone. In a soprano vocal track I use to listen for treble clipping, some deeply unpleasant shrill overtones crept into the climactic B-flat when the volume was cranked all the way up. The Knife’s “Silent Shout,” meanwhile, had a different issue: It was reasonably clear throughout, but it lacked even a modest thump in its supposed-to-be-pounding bass line.

There’s only so much that’s reasonable from a TV at this price, so none of this was beyond the realm of tolerance. It’s worth mentioning that the 43-inch Samsung Q60B, which costs only 100 more, had markedly better sound (and, it must be said, an inferior picture). Don’t buy or skip the X80K on account of its sound, but if you have real concerns, consider one of Tom’s Guide’s best soundbars. (And we strongly advise not maxing out the set’s volume without one.)

Sony Bravia X80K TV review: Gaming

Not all Sony TVs are terrific for gaming; two otherwise solid sets we’ve seen from the company, the X95K and the A95K, have come up a bit short in that department. The X80K surpasses both, with an input lag time of 11.1ms as measured with a Leo Bodnar lag tester, compared with the X95K’s 18.3ms and the A95K’s 16.1ms. All are below our 20ms threshold for acceptable gaming, but this one comes a lot closer to the 10ms barrier we look at for ultrasmooth results.

You’ll want all the help you can get, as the absence of HDMI 2.1 means the TV doesn’t have its 120Hz refresh rate or Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) functionality. Those do add some juice to gaming, though we didn’t find either strictly necessary when playing Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. The action was suitably silky as protagonist Eivor stalked through the coolly lush environs of Norway and Anglo-Saxon England, even if the lack of piercing HDR highlights prevented it from looking as arresting as it can, particularly when the sun bore its full weight down on the landscape.

Sony Bravia X80K TV review: Smart TV interface

Sony’s Smart TV interface of choice remains the exceptionally powerful and user-friendly Google TV. In addition to being connected to plenty of other services you’re likely already using anyway, it’s easy and intuitive to navigate in its own right. Major movies and shows surface near the top of the display, with the app bar below that and the “Continue watching” section under it.

The navigation menu is clean and efficient, and never in the way, providing the full range of Google’s immense capabilities through the Search option, along with “For you” (the home screen), “Live” TV, Movies, Shows, Apps, your personal library, and a full collection of Sony’s advertising and marketing videos.

The X80K does support Sony’s Bravia Cam, which lets you use the TV for video chatting. But unlike with higher-end models (such as the A95K), there is currently no support for other Bravia Cam features such as gestures or Ambient Optimization Pro, which tweaks the picture and sound depending on how many people are in the room and where they’re located. Sony promises the camera may add other features in the future by way of firmware updates; maybe that will change our mind, but right now the Bravia Cam is probably not worth its 199.99 cost for use with the X80K.

Sony Bravia X80K TV review: Remote

Like Sony’s other current-generation TVs, the X80K comes with a new remote that looks like a slimmed-down version of the previous generation’s. It’s shorter, it has far fewer buttons (no number pad, for one thing), and it sports a simplified layout that puts the most essential controls exactly where you’re most likely to need them.

From top to bottom, the button collection comprises: Power, TV, Settings, Inputs, Numbers, a five-way directional pad, Back, Home, Google Assistant, volume and channel controls, Mute, Play, Pause, and Guide. Below that are four dedicated shortcut buttons for YouTube, Netflix, Disney, and Amazon Prime Video.

This remote design remains my favorite among the offerings from all TV manufacturers: no fuss, no nonsense, and no problem.

Sony Bravia X80K TV review: Verdict

Fancy, pricy TVs do have a habit of knocking you over with their picture quality; we love the flagship models from LG, Samsung, and, yes, Sony, but one of those will easily set you back as much as 3,000 (and it’s possible to shell out still more).

If you don’t need that or want that, you don’t have to pay for it — and you can still get a respectable TV. You get a lot for your 449.99 with the Sony Bravia X80K, as far as the picture, input lag, and the quality of Google TV and the remote. Comparably sized models of the Samsung Q60B and the Vizio M-Series Quantum better the Sony in some ways, but cost more.

For a simple TV at an affordable price, the Sony X80K is an attractive and effective compromise candidate. Just keep the volume down.

Matthew Murray is the head of testing for Future, coordinating and conducting product testing at Tom’s Guide and other Future publications. He has previously covered technology and performance arts for multiple publications, edited numerous books, and worked as a theatre critic for more than 16 years.

Sony TV 2023: All the 8K, 4K, OLED and Bravia XR TVs explained

The 2021 Sony TV line-up is one of the biggest upgrades we’ve seen from the Japanese manufacturer, with a new smarter processor, upgraded UI and better gaming compatibility across the range.

We’ll be updating this list throughout the year as more information around release dates and comes to light.

New Sony TVs for 2021

The headline feature is that Sony’s 2021 TV range are the world’s first cognitive intelligence televisions on the market. You can read the section below to understand exactly what that means.

For this year, Sony has adopted the J naming designation for its TVs. That means that if the model number ends in J, it’s a new 2021 TV. We should also note that for the 2020 TVs that have carried over or are still available, they’ve been re-named from KD to KE. So, for instance, if you see the KE-48A9 OLED, that’s the same TV as the KD-48A9 but has been re-named in light of new European power regulations.

New 8K TVs, new OLEDs, new 4K Full Array LED models have launched under the Bravia XR umbrella, while beneath that are more affordable 4K LED TVs and a new 32-inch HD model.

Smart features and HDMI 2.1 compatibility are consistent across the range, while Sony’s Ambient Optimisation feature, which assesses the area around the TV and adapts the picture and sound to suit the environment, is available on nearly all the announced models (save for the HD TV).

A new brain in the Cognitive Processor XR

The brain behind Sony’s premium sets has gotten smarter. All the new Bravia XR televisions, a list that includes the MASTER Series Z9J 8K LED, MASTER Series A90J/A80J OLED, and X95J/X90J 4K LED), are powered by the Cognitive Processor XR.

sony, 2023, lineup, oled

It uses a new processing method that Sony says goes beyond conventional Artificial Intelligence, working in a similar manner as our brain does. It replicates the ways humans see and hear, dividing the screen into zones to detect where the focal point of the picture is.

According to Sony, while conventional AI detects and analyses picture elements such as colour, contrast and detail individually; the new processor cross-analyses all these elements at once. By performing these tasks simultaneously (much like our brains), these elements are adjusted in conjunction with each other and that should make for an image that’s more synchronised and lifelike.

For audio, the Cognitive Processor XR analyses the sound’s position in the signal so it matches precisely with what’s on screen. Sony also claims it can also upconvert any sound to 3D surround sound for a more immersive performance.

Bravia CORE and new Google TV UI

After using Android TV in its previous models, Sony has sashayed over to the Google TV UI. This UI offers a greater FOCUS on content curation and discovery; bringing movies, TV shows, live TV, apps and subscriptions to one place. It also offers personalised recommendations, as well as the ability to keep track of content you want to see via the Watchlist.

Sony’s TVs continue to support the Netflix Calibrated Mode that serves up the Netflix library in a dedicated ‘studio quality’ picture mode. This is along with IMAX Enhanced content, so the TV can play remastered picture and sound through its IMAX Enhanced Mode.

HDMI 2.1 for gaming

In 2020 Sony was neither here nor there with its support for the HDMI 2.1 format. For 2021 stated that it’s much more committed to the format with HDMI 2.1 compatibility present on all Bravia XR TVs.

That support brings 4K/120fps, Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) for a faster and better gaming experience, as well as eARC for the passing higher quality sound through the TV to a soundbar, for example. However, VRR support is still lacking, with Sony saying they’re waiting for the official specification to be released. When exactly they’ll fully jump onboard is not quite clear.

Hands-Free control

Hands-free voice control is built into Sony’s Google compatible TVs, so you don’t have to use the remote to search or to control the TV and Smart devices around the home. Simply say ‘Hey Google’ followed by a command and you’re off.

There’s also compatibility with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa devices for casting videos from YouTube to Google Nest speakers, or changing the channel and volume levels.

Sony TV 2021

Z9J Series

The Z9J is Sony’s top of the range 8K LED TV. For the money – and it’s a considerable amount – it has the Cognitive Processor XR that powers the Full Array LED panel to produce deeper black levels and brighter colours.

Sony | BRAVIA XR X95L Mini-LED 4K Google TV – Product Overview

With upscaling necessary given the lack of native 8K content, the TV upgrades 2K and 4K signals thanks to its XR 8K Upscaling feature.

The X-Wide Angle technology aims to keep colours strong at wider viewing angles. The TV comes with Sony’s Acoustic Multi-Audio technology that uses frame tweeters to ensure high frequency sounds are placed exactly where they should be, while the front facing subwoofers produce “powerful bass”. If it’s anything like the system in the ZH8 TV, it could negate the need for a soundbar.

  • Cognitive Processor XR
  • Full Array LED
  • X-Wide Angle technology
  • Acoustic Multi-Audio
  • Dolby Vision HDR, HDR10, HLG
  • Dolby Atmos
  • 4K/120fps, ALLM, VRR, eARC
  • YouView inc. UK catch-up apps

A90J Series

The A90J is Sony’s top OLED. OLED’s rich contrast performance is aided and abetted by the set’s XR OLED Contrast Pro, further adjusting brightness for higher peak performance and better black levels so details aren’t shrouded by darkness or lost in the brighter parts of an image.

Smart features are available in Google TV, AirPlay 2 and HomeKit, as well as Google Assistant and Chromecast.

The A90J is Calman Ready, offering calibrators the opportunity the fine-tune and adjust the image. Interestingly, the A90J features an RGB light sensor that adapts the image to compensate not only for changes in a room’s light levels, but changes in the hue of the light (cool to warm etc), which Sony says can adversely affect the image.

Sony says its Acoustic Surface Audio technology has also been improved to deliver a more accurate sound. With its Seamless Edge design, the A90J’s frameless look reduces distractions so the FOCUS is on the screen. Around the back is a cable clutter feature to keep the back area tidy. There are also multiple configurations for set up, which include standing it on its feet or elevating the TV to place a soundbar beneath.

  • Cognitive Processor XR
  • XR OLED Contrast Pro
  • Acoustic Surface Audio
  • Dolby Vision HDR, HDR10, HLG
  • Dolby Atmos
  • 4K/120fps, ALLM, VRR, eARC
  • YouView inc. UK catch-up apps

X85J

  • KD-85X85J
  • KD-75X85J
  • KD-65X85J
  • KD-55X85J
  • KD-50X85J
  • KD-43X85J

We’re getting deep into Sony’s TV line-up with the first non-Bravia XR TV. The X85J swaps out the Cognitive XR Processor for the 4K HDR Processor X1, but still aims to offer better depth, textures and more natural colours with its images. The 4K X-Reality Pro picture processor helps to upscale sub-2K content to near 4K quality, with advanced noise reduction techniques aiming to produce a cleaner-looking image.

The panel is a native 100Hz effort, and that should result in smoother motion. HDMI 2.1 functionality is available on this model with 4K/120fps, VRR, ALLM and eARC included (two of the four HDMI inputs support the 2.1 format). The design is described as minimalist, with the ‘flush surface’ concentrating eyes on the screen.

Smart features are provided in Google TV, AirPlay 2/HomeKit, Chromecast and “works with” Alexa and Google Assistant speakers. It’s the first TV in the line-up that lacks support for the Bravia CORE streaming service, though.

  • 4K HDR Processor X1
  • Edge-lit LED
  • X-Balanced Speaker
  • Dolby Vision HDR, HDR10, HLG
  • Dolby Atmos
  • 4K/120fps, ALLM, VRR, eARC

X80J

The features for the X81J/X80J are reduced further from the X85J. You still get the 4K HDR Processor X1, 4K X-Reality PRO picture processing and advanced noise reduction techniques, as well as the X-Balanced speakers for a more immersive audio performance.

HDMI 2.1 support spans to just eARC, so this isn’t ideal for the PS5 or Xbox Series X. The panel drops down to a native 50Hz effort, so smoother motion is not on the table either.

Smart features are consistent with the rest of the range in Google TV, AirPlay and HomeKit support, as well as compatibility with Alexa and Google Assistant speakers.

  • 4K HDR Processor X1
  • Edge-lit LED
  • X-Balanced Speaker
  • Dolby Vision HDR, HDR10, HLG
  • Dolby Atmos
  • eARC

W800

Sony continues to pump out HD sets for those who just need a small TV. There’s no mention of whether it supports HDR like previous HD sets did (which likely indicates it doesn’t). The picture processor is the Bravia Engine, and Android TV offers access to apps such as Netflix, Prime Video, YouTube and Google Play Movies TV.

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