In this article, we have Sony’s smallest OLED TV, the 42-inch Sony A90K. It’s a 4K screen with VRR, 120hz, and Dolby Vision support. it’s Packing some great features for both movies and gaming. Today, I’ll be unboxing, setting up, and using it on my gaming setup. I’ll go over the specs of features and my first impressions and how it performs on the PlayStation 5. Over the next couple of weeks, I will be using this exclusively on my setup so I can follow it up with a full review. I might even compare this to the LG C2, the 42 inch version, as this is the most likely competitor at this size. Now, this Sony a90k is a 2022 model, but with the current discounts available, this is still a great buy.
Sony 48 Inch 4K Ultra HD TV A90K Series
BRAVIA XR OLED Smart Google TV Dolby Vision HDR, Exclusive Features for PS 5 XR48A90K- 2022 Model w/HT-G700: 3.1CH Dolby Atmos/:X Soundbar
Unboxing the A90K
Inside side the box, We have a pack of manuals and safety information, two brackets that connect to the TV stand, two spacers which can be used to heighten the TV, two packets of screws, two remote controls, a couple of plastic covers, some batteries for the remote controls, and the stand itself, which is made from metal, so it’s pretty heavy.
Installing the stand
When it comes to setting this up, it’s really easy as it’s the 42-inch version. You could do this on your own as it’s light enough and small enough, but it’s definitely easier to have someone else help you out. Now, there are two ways you can install the stand – either flush to your desk with almost no clearance at all or heightened by a few inches using the spacers. This comes down to personal preference as the footprint of the stand is exactly the same. I quite like the lowered look as it means you cannot see the cables behind your TV, but it does give you less room for placing items in front or underneath it, like a soundbar. Whereas this is how it looks with these spacers fitted, so as you can see, it heightens the stand by a couple of inches. Either way, attach the bracket or the spacers to the stand first using the provided screws, and then you slide the TV on top which will hold it in place. Then, simply fit the remaining screws, and we’re good to go.
Rear and Ports
Let’s take a closer look at the rear of the Sony A90K TV. The design is identical to the A95K model reviewed last year. The plastic honeycomb pattern covers almost the entire panel, making it quite chunky. However, this is where all the internal components are housed.
The frame itself is thin and made from metal, with VESA holes in the middle measuring 200 by 200, allowing for wall mounting or attachment to an arm with screws. Here are the dimensions of the TV, which may help you decide if it will fit in your setup.
On the left side, there is a power cable, which is fitted and not removable. On the right side, there are available ports, including four HDMI ports – two HDMI 2.0 and two HDMI 2.1 – all used for e-ARCs. If you have a soundbar or an AVR, it takes up one of the two 4K 120Hz ports. There is also a LAN port, optical out, aerial port, and a USB port. Additionally, there’s another USB port on the side, a center channel speaker port that allows you to use your TV as the center channel in your setup.
The plastic covers mentioned earlier can be fitted to hide all of your cables, keeping the rear looking tidier.
Setting it up
Let’s get this flipped around and power it on. Running through the on-screen prompts and messages only takes you a few minutes. As this uses the Google TV operating system, you can just log straight in using a QR code if you already have a Google account.
The first thing I would recommend doing is checking for any available updates just to make sure you’re on the latest version.
The 42 inch Sony A90K TV. On first impressions, this looks nice. The screen is clear and vibrant, which isn’t a surprise with it being an OLED. It also has ultra-thin bezels around the screen, which immediately gives it that premium look.
Although the back of the TV is plastic, the thin frame and the stand are actually metal, which feels and looks a lot nicer than if they were plastic. As mentioned, you can have the stand either high or low, and I think the low looks so much nicer overall. I know it means it’s going to eat into your space on your desk, but realistically, I don’t think you’re going to fit much under here anyway.
From a design point of view, this looks nice, and it’s awesome that it sits almost completely straight unlike the A95K, which leans back quite a lot.
For picture quality, the A90K has a 4K OLED screen that provides clear and vibrant images, with near-perfect black levels and contrast. The screen is glossy, which enhances contrast and clarity, but it also increases the risk of reflections, especially in dark areas. The Sony A90K uses an OLED panel instead of the newer QD OLED, so it won’t get quite as bright, but it’s bright enough for most rooms. The cognitive processor XR technology used by Sony enables the TV to reproduce real-world colors, resulting in incredible and accurate colors across movies and gaming. Sony A90K supports 4K upscaling, super resolution, Dolby Atmos, and the big one – Dolby Vision. This means that any HDR content offering Dolby Vision will look amazing.
Then there’s the gaming features which is what’s really impressed me already. It supports 4K and 120hz, which means if you’re using the PS5 or the Xbox series X like I do, this TV is perfect for those. This includes the 4K 120 allm or the auto low latency mode vrr which is variable refresh rate and the big one Auto HDR tone mapping. This is a feature that not many TV supports but it’s perfect for the PS5. Sony reports this has an input lag of just 8.5 milliseconds when using the dedicated gaming mode, which is rapid. Pair that with the vrr Alm and the auto HDR tone mapping, this is looking like a great TV or monitor for gaming. There are really only two features that this TV is actually lacking, one of those is 1440p and the other one is a dedicated gaming hub, something that we’ve often seen across the LG as well as the Samsung TVs.
Taking a quick look at the UI, it uses the Google TV operating system which has a nice tile format layout where all of the apps and trending shows are displayed. You’ll either love or hate it, but I think it’s much nicer than some of the other TVs out there. If I could actually side load Google TV onto my LG TVs, I definitely would. It’s super clean, easy to use, and fast. Navigating around the menus and dash is rapid and it has never lagged out on me. But if you’re using a fire stick, an Apple TV, or even your games console to watch TV and various apps, the UI on the TV may make no difference to you at all.
Remote and Speakers
Depending on where you’re based, you might get one or two remote controls. The first one is what I would call a traditional TV remote, with every button you could possibly need, but it’s not the nicest looking thing and certainly won’t win any prizes for best design. Then there’s the second remote control, which is a nice, slim, small metal remote with only a handful of buttons, but these are the buttons you’ll most likely need and use on a day-to-day basis. Here in the UK, we get both remote controls, but I believe some countries only get the slim remote instead. Although I’ll likely be using my headset while gaming, it’s still great to have use of the internal speakers. These include two speakers and one subwoofer, which are positioned behind the screen. Sony has called this Acoustic Surface Audio Plus, where the sound vibrates through the screen itself, giving a far more immersive experience. And don’t forget, there’s also a center channel port on the back, so if you wanted to, you could use this TV with a 5.1 surround sound system and use the TV as the center channel.
Final Thought on Sony A90K TV
So oven next couple of week, I will be using this TV as my gaming setup monitor, so anything I play will be done on here. This should give me enough time to really test it out and compare it to the 27-inch LG OLED that I’ve been using for the last four months and the 42-inch LG C2. There are some pros and cons to them all, but I will cover that in my full review. Overall though, this is looking like a great TV or monitor for my setup. If you have any questions about it, please drop them below and I will try to answer them. Drop a Sony OLED in the comments, and I’ll give you a thumbs up for staying right to the end. If you enjoyed read our Sony a95k review article next, as it covers one of the best but most expensive TVs I’ve ever reviewed.