Among all big-name TV brands, three manufacturers clearly rise up above everyone else: Sony, Samsung, and LG. Each of them claims to have something different to offer, but quite honestly whatever you get all boils down to personal taste. There’s one thing that’s hard to deny, though: Sony TVs, in particular, are incredibly well-rounded, with better than average build quality and picture quality that truly stuns. In fact, our top pick for the best TV of 2020 is the Sony A9G Master Series, although its $3,000 price tag might give you a heart attack. Want something a bit more affordable? Below are 55-inch models of the Sony X900F, X950G, and A8G, all available on Amazon at incredible discounted prices. Read on to find out which one suits you and your budget best.
– $898, was $1,100
For the most part of 2018, the Sony X900F reigned supreme as the best-looking LED screen out there. Almost nothing came close to its incredible picture quality. Then, along came the OLED A9G Master Series the following year and we thought it might overshadow the excellent X900F. It did, but then we saw its sticker price and our jaws collectively dropped. Not to worry. Although nearly a couple of years old, the Sony X900F is still an incredible, up-to-date TV worth having. Right now, it’s on sale on Amazon or $898, a huge $202 off its normal retail price of $1,100. What’s more, you can score an additional $50 off instantly upon approval for the Amazon Rewards Visa Card, bringing the price down even lower to $848.
This TV oozes high quality without having to call too much attention to itself. It is simple, sleek, and understated. The screen is surrounded by a thin aluminum frame, and its brush-metal feet offer the opportunity for cable management, although we noticed that there’s no real effort to keep wires in check, unlike other TVs. You’d have to get creative if you don’t want visible wires.
What’s responsible for the X900F’s glorious picture is underneath the hood: Sony’s X1 Extreme processor. From excellent color management to clean motion resolution for everything from games to 24-fps movies, the X1 Extreme runs things with panache. It’s best to put this TV in a dark room if you really want to be blown away, as its native contrast ratio, color, accuracy, and full-array local dimming support is unbelievable. Furthermore, it supports HDR10 and Dolby Vision HDR processing for the ultimate high-definition and virtually judder-free viewing experience.
Android TV is fine overall, but wenotice that it is relatively sluggish and less polished compared to other smart TV platforms. It’s our biggest gripe with any Sony TV, including the X950G and A9G below. We suggest that you get yourself a Roku or Fire TV stick. At least the built-in Chromecast is a nice little feature that allows you to control the X900F using your smartphone. Sound quality isn’t the best, though, which is really something you should anticipate with TVs this paper-thin. The solution? A soundbar.
The Sony X900F offers spectacular picture quality without having to shell out thousands of dollars more. Get a 55-inch unit for a huge $202 less on Amazon today.
– $998, was $1,199
The Sony X950G hits the sweet spot between affordability and picture quality. Being a part of Sony’s Bravia lineup, you can count on the X950G looking sleek and elegant. In fact, it adds extra panache to its looks by having thin metallic borders, giving it a nearly bezel-less appearance. It has two detachable stand feet (you can mount this TV on your wall if you want), with a dark brushed metallic finish matching the TV’s borders.
This TV is outfitted with a good number of ports, one set facing left and the other facing downward. It includes four HDMI ports, three USB ports, an RF connector for the antenna, and RCA inputs. The HDMI ports support HDMI-CEC which allows you to use just one remote to control all devices connected to the TV. It also has Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC) for the highest quality audio output from your soundbar.
This X950G’s 55-inch LCD panel delivers a strong picture performance. It can go really bright, images look stunning, colors are accurate, blacks are deep, and the frame rate is top-notch smooth. This is all thanks to Sony’s proprietary X1 processor. The technology analyzes and enhances the video input and displays a clearer, more realistic picture. Unfortunately, as is the case with most large LED TVs, the outer edges and corners tend to look darker than the center of the screen, especially with brightly lit scenes.
Browsing through this Android 8.0 TV interface is smooth and fast, although a lot of people can’t stand the platform’s row-centric design. Apps open quickly and movements and transitions appear fluid. It also has a built-in Chromecast so you can access video content from Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and more using your smartphone as a remote. Plus, this TV supports the new Imax Enhanced format, aside from HDR10 and Dolby Vision.
What nearly ruins this TV is its audio quality. The overall volume is a bit weak, and the bass lacks punch. For a $1,000 TV, we expected more. We recommend getting yourself a soundbar.
Still, the Sony X950G is overall a fantastic 4K TV that’s calibrated for optimum home cinematic entertainment. Right now, you can save a whopping $202 when you get a 55-inch unit of the Sony X950G on Amazon. Instead of $1,200, get it for $998. What’s more, if you apply for the Amazon Rewards Visa card and get approval, you can get an additional $50 off instantly, reducing the price to $948.
– $1,798, was $2,300
Sony’s A9G Master Series is the finest TV we’ve had the pleasure of reviewing so far this year, but we have to admit it’s not much different from the less expensive and (slightly) lower-end Sony A8G Bravia Series. If you don’t want to spend too much money on Sony’s flagship TV, the A8G is a wonderful alternative. They both flaunt the same Ultra HD OLED screen, and their ultimate difference is processing power: The A9G is equipped with Sony’s leading Sony X1 Ultimate picture processor, which results in better object-based processing and depth, while the A8G houses the Sony X1 Extreme. Other than that, they’re nearly identical and perform almost exactly the same.
This TV is thin. Like ridiculously thin. The panel itself is just a quarter of an inch deep, and it is strikingly flat, with barely visible black bezels surrounding it. Even the Sony logo on the lower-left corner is nearly unnoticeable. Behind it, you’ll find the ports, with the majority facing left. There are four HDMI ports, two USB 2.0 ports, one USB 3.0 port, 3.5mm ports for composite video input, audio output, an Ethernet port, an optical audio output, an antenna/cable connector, and a 3.5mm RS232-C port. Basically, you’ve got everything you need for a spectacular home theater setup.
Since the Sony A8G has an OLED screen, it’s unsurprising how visually explosive it is. It boasts remarkable color accuracy, terrific motion handling, superb black levels, and fantastic viewing angles. It’s packed with 3,840 x 2,160 pixels and supports High Dynamic Range (HDR10, HLG, and Dolby Vision). Our only problem with it is it doesn’t compare to the blinding brightness of its direct competitor, Samsung’s Quantum dot TVs. From a visual standpoint, that’s the only complaint we’ve got. We have to give a special shoutout to this TV’s viewing angles, which should not be taken for granted. It’s a wide-angle wonder, and chances are you won’t experience any picture deterioration no matter how many lateral steps away you take. And with a 120 Hz native refresh rate, it delivers blur-free motion across a range of content, whether you’re watching a high-octane sports match or playing a fast-paced game.
The problem that plagues the A8G is the interface. While the Android smart TV platform is zippy and flexible, it’s not as intuitive as we would have liked. Furthermore, Sony’s menu layout and overall design language leave a lot to be desired. Simple tasks like navigating the menu and changing the TV settings feel like they involve unnecessary steps. Hopefully, this will get fixed in the future.
Since this TV is incredibly thin, it came as no surprise that the audio was just — okay. Sure, it’s loud enough to fill a medium-sized room with sound and we didn’t notice any distortions, but with a TV this gorgeous, you simply must purchase a soundbar. Besides, its leg stands are height-adjustable so you can place the soundbar right underneath it.
For a mindblowing home theater experience that’s guaranteed to make you the envy of your neighbors, get the 55-inch unit of the Sony A8G Bravia Series for $1,798 instead of $2,300 – a whopping $502 off. And if you order via the Amazon Rewards Visa Card and get approval, enjoy an additional $50 off instantly, bringing the price down even further to $1,748.
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