The Sony a95k flagship OLED TV is also one of this year’s most popular TVs, and that’s because it’s a QD OLED screen with increased brightness and impressive colors, plus the usual 4K 120 hertz VR and Dolby Vision support.
I believe that for the majority of us, this TV will check every box in terms of movies, gaming, and overall design. But is it perfect? Well, there are a few areas that could impact your final decision on whether it’s worth buying, which of course I will cover in this article.
So firstly, this TV looks absolutely incredible from a picture quality point of view. It is without question the best OLED panel that I’ve ever used; it is bright, colorful, sharp, and pretty well balanced in almost every way. I can say that for anyone who wants the best-looking TV. The image really is stunning, and that’s helped by the fact that it’s not only a 4K OLED screen, it’s a QD OLED screen, which combines the benefits of an OLED, including those inky blacks and unbeatable contrast, with the benefits of quantum dots.
So a brighter display and more vivid colours are kind of the perfect blend of the two, and when you factor in some of Sony’s processor technologies, such as the cognitive processor XR and XR trilumus Max, we’ve got an OLED TV that produces some of the best natural colours on a screen. Pair that with the BT 2020 colour space, and it is stunning. No matter what you throw at it, you will be impressed with how good it looks.
Brightness and Contrast
Now that I’m a big fan of OlED TVs, the black levels contrasting Clarity are hard to beat, but we all know there are a couple of drawbacks, namely the risk of burning and the brightness levels, and it’s pretty obvious.This isn’t just a normal OLED; it is noticeably brighter than what I’ve seen before, but it’s not just the highlights or the white areas of the screen that appear brighter; it’s the entire screen.
And this is due to the fact that QDO-LED uses blue rather than white light, which in turn gives us a brighter image. It also massively helps with preventing the colours from looking washed out, and this applies to both movies and games.
As for the black levels, these are perfect, but it is worth mentioning that if you keep the ambient sensor on, which I turned off immediately, it might make the black levels look a little grey instead of jet black. So if you do experience this on your TV, check the settings and switch off the ambient mode.
Sony A95K Movies and 4k
To really test this out, it seemed only fair to watch about five different movies over the last week, both during the day and at night, to see how capable this TV is. and I’ve not had a bad experience at all.
This has included animated movies, where you really notice the colours popping; everything looks vibrant and colourful without looking oversaturated. And this is during the day with loads of natural light in the room, yet the image on the screen still looks incredible. Of course, showing you an animated movie is an easy win; they will always look great, but it’s the normal movies that support HDR or Dolby Vision that blow me away, and that’s where I had to re-watch Top Gun on this TV.
As you can imagine, I was not disappointed. The skin tones, contrast, and overall picture brightness look incredibly well balanced, and at no point did I feel the picture was lacking anything at all, which is definitely a feeling that I have had with some other TVs.
Now individually each feature is impressive so the brightness the colours and the contrast, but it’s when you combine all of them together you get this incredible picture and although the a95k is a 4K screen. Sony has what’s called an XR 4K upscaler, which takes any non-4K content and upscales it to nearly 4K quality. This means watching those old Netflix shows or even live TV will look a little bit better than before.
I did slightly tweak the settings on this TV, but I’m talking about reducing the colour a couple of points and, of course, turning off the ambient mode; aside from that, this TV looks great out of the box and for me.This is a huge selling point for any TV. To be honest, most of us just want to unbox it, turn it on, and start using it, rather than spending hours reading and tweaking the settings for each input.
Sony A95k OLED TV Motion
Now, by default, motion is switched on, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a TV handle motion perfectly out of the box, because it usually needs either reducing or turning off completely. I have found that turning the motion settings down feels like the right balance, but of course I know this is subjective.
So what works for me could be too smooth or not smooth enough for you, but as far as motion handling goes, this is very impressive. I’ve also not noticed any banding, which is something that can occur on TVs, but this is down to Sony’s XR smoothing to help with the image tones and shades. So it gives us a really nice and clean picture.
Gaming on A95K
There are gaming features, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll want to plug in a games console or even a PC. It’s packed with almost all of the features that you could possibly need from a TV for gaming. First, we have HDMI 2.1 ports, which give us 4K and 120 Hz support. Unfortunately, we only get two of these ports, as the other two offer HDMI 2.0, and one of these ports is reserved for E-ARC, so once you’ve plugged in your AVR or Soundbar, you really only have one usable HDMI 2.1 port.
For most, that won’t be an issue, but when there are other TVs that have four usable ports, it might come as a surprise. But from a gaming spec point of view, we’ve got VRR, or variable refresh rate, and this gives us support on the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox, so games will naturally look and play a lot smoother.
Then we have a LL mode or the auto low latency mode, but playing games at 4K or 120 hertz looks absolutely incredible on this TV. When you factor in the brighter screen and the VR and HDR support, it is stunning with any game that I’ve tried. Also, as the A95k supports something called “Auto HDR tone mapping,” the HDR settings are instantly optimised when you turn on your PS5, so no more messing around with the brightness settings as the TV and the PS5 will select the best HDR settings for you.
Although, it should be noted that this is not the case for every TV show.This does support every gaming feature that you could need. It doesn’t have a dedicated gaming hub or menu like we’ve seen on LG and Samsung TVs, but this of course won’t take anything away from its capabilities. but it would have been nice to have seen an overlay where I could quickly change some settings or view the FPS counter or whether VR was enabled.
We know the picture looks great for gaming, but what about motion? Well, I’ve tested a few different games out over the last week, including Spider-Man, God of War, and Gran Turismo, and from the hours of gaming that I’ve put into this TV, I can safely say the motion is perfect, and any games that support VR work really well. It also has a very low input, like just under 10 milliseconds, so overall it’s a really good all-around TV.
Now we know it obviously supports 4K as well as 1080p, but unfortunately it does not support 1440p out of the box. If you use a PC, you can still force the resolution through at 1440p, but if you plug in a PlayStation 5 and try to select 1440p in the options, you’ll get an error message saying the TV does not support this format.
Viewing Angles and Reflections
You won’t be surprised, but the view and angles on this TV are awesome, and I’ve said this before, but if you have seating off centre like I do, it is always an advantage to have an OLED as the viewing angles are always great. This means that the image on the screen doesn’t lose any clarity or contrast as you move around your room.
And that goes hand in hand with the reflections, so I’ve got Windows either side of the TV, so watching it straight on will never be a problem, but if you do have Windows opposite, you’re going to struggle to see what’s on the screen due to the reflections.
Well, this QD OLED has one of the best anti-glare or anti-reflective coatings I’ve ever seen, so it’s still got a very glossy appearance, and you’re still going to get that awesome contrast and clarity from an OLED. but as it has a very dark tint, it reduces the reflections in your room.
Sony A95K TV Burn-in
As with any OLED TV, there is always the risk of burning if an image is left on the screen for an extended period of time, such as heads-up displays or taskbars, which may cause a problem with long-term use.but saying that all new OLED and kudiolets have burn-in prevention software built in, the chances of you actually experiencing it are very low and not something with which I would ever be concerned.
Now the speakers on the A95k are actually decent for a TV. It’s packed with two speakers and two subwoofers, which gives us a nice, balanced sound. They support Dolby audio and Dolby Atmos, as well as DTS surround, and you can change the audio settings, including standard cinema, Sport, and Dolby audio, in the settings.
Also, if you are using an AVR with a surround sound kit where you can set the TV’s internal speakers to act as the speakers on the TV, all you need to do is wire your AVR’s speaker output straight to the TV. This means you don’t need to worry about putting a speaker right in front of the TV stand.
Sony A95K Design
Instead of the typical stand where the TV is lifted about two or three inches above your unit, the A95K is completely unique among manufacturers.It sits flush to your unit with no lift at all, and the stand can then be placed in front of or behind the TV, depending on your preference.
I think from a design point of view, this looks great; it’s minimal without any bulky stand underneath. But there are two downsides to this layout. One is that it leans back quite a lot if you put the stand behind it.
And secondly, because it is so close to your unit, there is no way that you could place a soundbar or a speaker right in front of the screen. Of course, you could instal the stand in front of the TV, which would eliminate the leaning issue, but you still wouldn’t be able to put a sound bar in front of it.
It’s also worth mentioning that once you remove the plastic film and the bottom piece has a piano finish rather than a matte finish, it’s not a huge issue. But it’s actually more reflective on the screen itself when you’re watching it, so depending on the lighting or the windows in your room, There is a possibility you might see reflections.
UI and Remote
When it comes to the operating system, the A95k runs Google TV, so if you’ve used any TV support in this before, it’ll feel familiar.The home screen has a large tile design with all the apps that you have installed as well as your most recently watched movies and TV shows. For me, this is one of the nicest UIs and home screens that we’ve seen in 2022.
It’s also snappy and easy to use, which might sound like an obvious comment to make, but having a TV with a slow UI can completely ruin your whole experience while using it, so it’s worth mentioning. There is a camera bundled with the TV that can be plugged into the port at the top, but it’s not something that I will ever use. but it is supposed to optimise the picture and sound depending on where in the room you’re sitting.
It also supports gesture controls for video chat and some other features as well. And then we’ve got the remote control, which is a nice upgrade to what we’ve seen before; it’s got a metal case. now and minimal buttons, plus it feels a lot more premium than the usual plastic. Mine actually came with two remote controls. I’ve got the original one as well as the new metal one, but I’m not sure if this is worldwide or just a European or UK thing.
Issue and Improvement
Now, as for any issues or improvements with the Sony A95K TV, Well, it’s a relatively short list, but of course these could impact any buyer’s decision to actually commit. Well, the first one is the fact that we only get two HDMI 2.1 ports, which is enough for most people, but once you’ve plugged in your sound bar or your AVR into the e-arc port, you’ve now only got one port left. So if you are using an Xbox and a PlayStation 5 at the same time, you’ll need to keep that in mind.
The stand looks great to me, but if you are using a sound bar or you want to play something in front of the screen, the stand could be a little bit too low for a lot of users, and the fact that this TV is currently only available in a 55- or 65-inch version could be an immediate turnoff. We’ve already seen loads of larger OLEDs in the last couple of years, including the 70-inch and 80-inch ranges. So if you’re looking for a 77-inch OLED like we’ve seen before, you might want to wait until next year to see if we see larger “cute” OLEDs.
The Sony A95K is worth Buying?
The A95K is not cheap, and it’s always difficult to talk about the prices of these TVs as they’re constantly changing and obviously different in every country. But here are the launch prices and the current sale prices for the 55- and 65-inch models. and this is a lot of money, although you are essentially getting the best-looking TV in 2022, so whether you can justify this cost comes down to If you see value in the QD OLED over a normal OLED TV for the same price as these, you could pick up a larger OLED TV instead.
For me, the A95K really is the best-looking TV this year, and it is nearly perfect if the minor improvements or issues I’ve listed are of no concern to you. This is the TV to buy, and you will be blown away by how good it looks for both movies and gaming.