Sony’s A80L could not warrant prime billing in Sony’s show firmament, however this HDR star shines brightly.
Given simply how good it appears, it’s outstanding that the Sony A80L now not represents the reducing fringe of OLED shows.
There are a number of (admittedly dearer) screens with extra superior panel designs, sporting totally different pixel constructions and warmth sinks (Sony itself is backing QD-OLED), and way more elaborate sound techniques, but the A80L, constructed round a vanilla-flavoured panel, is as satisfying a house theatre watch as any of its rivals.
A lot of this may be attributed to Sony’s wonderful XR processor able to intelligent cognitive pixel juggling. There’s additionally superior sound, because of its Acoustic Floor Audio system, and a powerful sensible TV proposition in Google TV.
Time to take a better look.
Design & Options
One Slate design
Google TV sensible platform
120Hz Excessive Body Fee assist
The A80L is undoubtedly trendy. Sony calls this a ‘One Slate’ design and also you’ll see it on most of its posher units. Undeniably cool, however be ready to purchase a really extensive AV bench to assist it, until after all, you propose to wall mount.
The panel sits on two skinny ft, positioned on the fringe of the display screen. These ‘blade’ boots enable the display screen to go just about flush with a bench, or be raised as much as make manner for a soundbar. The metallic gray color scheme appears premium.
Steve Might / Foundry
The rear panel presents 4 HDMI ports, of which two are 4K 120Hz appropriate. Certainly one of these can be the eARC channel, so there will not be loads of choices in the case of system enlargement.
There’s a centre speaker minijack enter in addition to a digital optical audio output, two USB ports and Ethernet to assist Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wi-fi connectivity.
The A80L has a terrestrial (YouView within the UK) tuner, and two satellite tv for pc options. It’s additionally appropriate with Apple AirPlay and HomeKit.
The set comes with two distant controls, one a typical zapper, the opposite a slimmer Bluetooth wand with devoted buttons for Bravia Core, Netflix, Disney Plus, Prime Video, YouTube and Crunchyroll.
Steve Might / Foundry
The sensible TV platform of selection is Google TV, the content material focussed sibling of Android, and it presents streaming service selection. Navigation is easy. There are curated rails for ‘In case you like…’,’Common film’, ‘proceed watching’ and the like.
You additionally get ten credit to spend on Sony’s personal Bravia Core film streaming service, which boasts greater bitrates than rival companies, in addition to the most important library of IMAX Enhanced films.
The set additionally options Sony’s new gaming interface, which teams related data in a single place, like Movement Blur Discount, VRR and Black equaliser. The TV routinely recognises Auto HDR Tone mapping from a linked PS5, which is good.
Image High quality
Cognitive Processor XR
Dolby Imaginative and prescient
The A80L is a refined image performer with a Quantum Dot OLED panel. In case you’re in search of Mini LED then it’s best to think about the Samsung QN85C or Sony’s A95K from final yr.
HDR brightness was measured at 900 nits utilizing a ten% window in Vivid mode, which is spectacular sufficient. In case you decide to observe utilizing the much less aggressive Commonplace picture preset, peak HDR luminance drops to a smidge over 800 nits.
HDR assist covers Dolby Imaginative and prescient, however not Dolby Imaginative and prescient IQ. There’s additionally HLG and common HDR10, however not HDR10+ Adaptive.
Steve Might / Foundry
One purpose why the A80L’s HDR supply is so exact and naturalistic is a novel warmth mapping expertise that intelligently manages energy and luminance collectively. Additionally taking some credit score is Sony XR Distinction Professional and XR Triluminos Professional processing, which increase distinction and color depth respectively.
As you’d anticipate, deep blacks are dealt with with authority, whereas shadow element is given the area it wants. The set is especially good at tonal gradations and delicate color nuance. Pores and skin Tones are detailed and plausible.
Curiously, Sony offers Filmmaker mode a swerve in the case of picture presets. What we do get are Commonplace, Cinema, Recreation, Vivid and Customized. The latter isn’t an invite to tweak the image, relatively it’s the identify for the display screen’s Professional mode. Commonplace and Customized are our advisable settings.
While you play Dolby Imaginative and prescient content material, from Disney+ say, image modes are usurped by Dolby Imaginative and prescient Shiny, Dolby Imaginative and prescient Darkish and Vivid.
When Obi-Wan (Obi-Wan Kenobi, Disney+) tracks Leia’s kidnappers to the planet Daiyu in episode 2, he stalks the neon-lit metropolis at night time, giving the panel loads of alternative to point out off its close to shadow element prowess and HDR highlights.
Of the assorted modes, I discovered Dolby Imaginative and prescient Shiny the higher viewing possibility, even in a completely darkish room.
Steve Might / Foundry
Texture element is superb. No present has fairly so many darkish, shadowed robes as Obi-Wan Kenobi (Disney+). Ewan McGregor has loads of competitors for least stylishly dressed Jedi. Helpfully, the A80L can separate the darkish hued lots, and retain some sense of depth and element.
Movement Move movement dealing with is mostly efficient, smoothing digicam motion and combatting judder, with solely minor artefacts often obvious. For dwell sports activities it really works properly. That mentioned, I famous a pronounced flicker when the display screen was in its Customized setting, with Clearness set to excessive.
Be sure to hold Clearness on Low or Off to keep away from the flickering impact.
Latency was measured at 17ms (1080p/60fps) in Recreation mode, which is comparatively excessive in the case of 60Hz enter lag. This interprets into some relatively sluggish FPS gameplay. Issues enhance markedly once you play in 4K 120Hz mode, which provides buttery clean movement.
Sound High quality
Acoustic Floor Audio system
Relating to dialogue readability, this large OLED is definitely price shouting about. The three vibrating transducers mounted to the rear of the OLED panel create an efficient direct listening expertise, with sounds locked to on display screen visuals.
Two extra conventional woofers are used to flesh out the mid-range and decrease bass. The set doesn’t drop notably low although. I might have carried out with a contact extra weight there.
That mentioned, this 5x10W system is extra rewarding than TVs with downward, or rear-firing, speaker arrays.
Audio modes comprise Commonplace, Dialogue, Cinema, Music, Sports activities and a separate Dolby audio mode with Dolby Audio post-processing (which works nice with video games). There’s additionally variable sound customisation with adjustable encompass sound results, equaliser and voice zoom.
Value & Availability
The Sony A80L is offered in 55-, 65- and 77in screens sizes (XR-55A80L, XR-65A80L and XR-77A80L). These are priced at £1,899, £2499 and £3,999 respectively).
We’re testing the 65in A80L right here and you should purchase it from the next retailers:
The A80L additionally moonlights because the A83L and A84L. These are retail variations of the identical display screen, but additionally embody an 83in mannequin priced at £5,499.
Within the US, the A80L is offered in 4 sizes: 55in., 65in. 77in and 83in (XR-55A80L, XR-65A80L, XR-77A80L, and XR-83A80L), priced at US$1,699, US$2,299, US$3,299 and US$5,299).
You should purchase it within the US from Sony, Amazon and BestBuy.
At this worth, the A80L should compete with the LG B3 OLED and you may try loads of nice options in our greatest TV chart.
The A80L is a refined 4k OLED able to very good element (each native UHD and upscaled), sturdy dynamics and a good HDR efficiency. It falls quick in a few areas – excessive pace HDMI provision is meagre, 60HZ enter lag is common and it disappointingly lacks Dolby Imaginative and prescient IQ and HDR10+ Adaptive assist – nevertheless it’s larger than the sum of these lacking elements.
Sony’s superior image processing does a terrific job with all varieties of content material. Its imagery is nuanced and persistently cinematic, making the A80L a powerful suggestion for house cinema followers.
Sizes: 55, 65, 77in
Mannequin examined: 65in
OLED 4k show expertise
Decision: 3840 x 2160
HDR assist: HDR10, HLG, Dolby Imaginative and prescient