What is the Sony A90J OLED? The A90J (or AJ90, as it's called outside of the US and UK) is Sony's flagship 4K OLED TV for 2021 – and there are plenty of reasons to pay attention to it if you're in the market for a new high-end set this year.
Sony has great form when it comes to OLED TVs. While it doesn't have quite the breadth of models found with LG, say, the two or three OLEDs it puts out each year are ostensibly quality pieces.
Last year's A8H OLED was one of our favorite OLED TVs, while the brilliant A9G has been given a new lease of life with a 48-inch A9S model – and it's clear that Sony does a lot to make sure its few OLEDs really pull their weight.
The A90J hopes to attract fans by upping the brightness over its predecessors – something also happening with the LG G1 Gallery OLED's 'OLED evo' technology – showing that the real competition in 2021 will be between who can make those pixels shine the brightest. The new Cognitive Processor, too, could help to elevate Sony's picture smarts to new heights, if it does everything it promises.
For a full run down of what to expect from the Sony A90J – which is now on sale – including the pricing and specifications, as well as HDMI 2.1 support, read on below.
Sony A90J OLED pricing and sizes
The Sony A90J OLED is now on sale and available in three sizes: 55-inch, 65-inch, and 83-inch.
The A90J's pricing starts at $2,999 / £2,699 for a 55-inch model, going up to $3,999/ £3,499 for a 65-inch model, and £6,999 for an 83-inch model (US pricing not yet confirmed, but likely just above $7,000).
The largest 83-inch OLED may raise some eyebrows, as it's a new OLED panel size for 2021, and also available on select 2021 LG TVs. There's no 48-inch size for the A90J – at least, not yet. Sony gave its 2019 A9G OLED a new lease of life with a 48-inch size last year, and we could see a similar strategy this time around.
Sony TVs tend to come to Australia a little later (the A90J isn't even listed on Sony's AU website yet) but it should happen eventually.
Sony A90J OLED specs and features
So, what's so exciting about the Sony A90J/AJ90? Well, This Master Series television should be one of the brightest OLED TVs ever made, thanks to Sony’s work on thermal dissipation and the new Cognitive XR Processor that can accurately balance the RGB and White subpixels simultaneously for extreme brightness.
You'll be getting 4K resolution, as well as 4K/120Hz video at 48Gbps through multiple (at least two) HDMI 2.1 ports, and both VRR (variable refresh rate) and ALLM (auto low latency mode). The A90J also supports Dolby Atmos passthrough, as well as HDR10 and Dolby Vision dynamic HDR.
The new Cognitive XR Processor should improve the picture over the X1 Ultimate chip used in last year's flagships, with Sony saying that it utilizes a “completely new processing method designed to replicate the ways humans see and hear”, detecting a so-called “focal point” in the TV’s picture to focus processing around the more important parts of the image.
“While conventional Artificial Intelligence (AI) can only detect and analyze picture elements like color, contrast and detail individually, the new processor can cross-analyze an array of elements at once, just as our brains do,” Sony says.
The A90J will also make use of a Google TV smart platform, rather than the Android TV software usually seen on high-end Sony TVs, with baked-in support for both Chromecast and Google Assistant.
Like this year's LG C1 OLED, the Sony A90J will be able to upmix two-channel audio to a 5.1.2 signal, for a kind of semi-Atmos sound system built into the TV itself – even if it won't quite the match a dedicated Atmos speaker or soundbar.
We'll also be seeing the return of Sony’s Acoustic Surface Audio+ technology, which uses motor-driven ‘actuators’ placed around the set’s casing to vibrate sound across the whole panel. It’s a neat concept in theory, though it can serve to muddy the audio somewhat as it spreads it around.
The much-marketed Netflix Calibrated Mode makes a return, too – even if we wouldn’t bother using it – but IMAX Enhanced is also supported for those with compatible content.
For those with narrow counters or media cabinets, too, the A90J comes with adjustable feet for customizable placement, including the option of a "hero position to eliminate distractions and a sound bar position to elevate the TV and integrate a soundbar system."
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