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The 4 Best Sony TVs of 2023 Reviews and Smart Features

Updated
Best Sony TVs

We've bought and tested more than 60 Sony TVs. The best Sony TVs are generally a pretty safe bet when looking for the best TV for your needs. They tend to have great picture quality, a few extra features, and good color accuracy. Their high-end and mid-range models compete well with other brands, although at a price premium, but sadly, they don't offer many budget-friendly options.

Updates

Best Sony Smart TVs


  1. Best Sony TV

    The best Sony TV we've tested is the Sony A95K OLED. This impressive OLED delivers unrivaled picture quality with deep inky blacks and bright, vibrant colors. Dark scenes look incredible, with no distracting blooming around bright highlights in dark scenes, and those highlights stand out incredibly well. Thanks to Sony's excellent processing capabilities, it delivers an image that closely matches the content creator's intent, with nearly perfect PQ-EOTF tracking and fantastic gradient processing, making this a fantastic choice for cinephiles who care about image fidelity.

    It also has an impressive array of gaming features, including HDMI 2.1 bandwidth for 4k @ 120Hz gaming. It's part of Sony's 'Perfect for PS5' lineup, which offers a few unique features that help ensure you get the best experience possible when gaming on PS5. It supports a wide range of formats, including Dolby Vision and eARC, and it supports audio passthrough with all common audio formats, so you can enjoy the content you're watching without worrying about format support and compatibility issues.

    See our review

  2. Best Upper Mid-Range Sony TV

    The best upper mid-range Sony TV we've tested is the Sony X95K. Unlike the Sony A95K OLED, which uses an OLED panel to deliver deep blacks, the X95K uses a Mini LED and local dimming to reduce the backlight intensity on a zone-by-zone basis. It results in much brighter highlights than the A95K, but there's also more blooming around bright objects; the A95K is still the better choice for a dark room. Other than that, the X95K and the A95K offer similar features that are sure to please anyone.

    Like all Sony TVs, the X95K runs the Google TV smart interface, which is fast and easy to use. It has a great selection of streaming apps, and the built-in Google Play Store makes it easy to find others. It also has a few great gaming features, similar to the Sony A95K OLED, and it's also part of Sony's 'Perfect for PS5' lineup, with support for 4k @ 120Hz gaming and advanced features like Auto HDR Tone Mapping.

    See our review

  3. Best Mid-Range Sony TV

    If you want something a bit cheaper than the Sony X95K but don't want to sacrifice picture quality too much, the best mid-range Sony TV we've tested is the Sony X90K. It's a great TV overall with great picture quality. It has an excellent contrast ratio and decent black uniformity, but unlike the X95K, it doesn't have a Mini LED backlight, so there's a bit more blooming around bright objects with local dimming.

    It has worse reflection handling and a narrower viewing angle than the Sony X95K, so it's not as well-suited for a wide seating arrangement. It has excellent peak brightness, though, despite the worse reflection handling, it's still a great choice for a bright living room. It has the same great gaming features as the more expensive Sony TVs, and it runs the same great Google TV interface with a great selection of streaming apps.

    See our review

  4. Best Budget Sony TV

    While Sony doesn't offer truly budget TVs like other brands, and you can find some cheaper TVs elsewhere, they do have a few models that are cheaper than the rest, like the Sony X80K. It's the entry-level TV in their 2022 lineup, so you can save a bit of money if you want to give up all the gaming and other higher-end features like local dimming. However, its picture quality isn't nearly as good as the Sony X90K, especially in dark rooms, because it has a different panel type with a low native contrast ratio that results in blacks that look gray. Instead, it has a wide viewing angle that makes the image remain accurate when viewed from the sides, which is ideal for wide seating arrangements.

    Since this TV doesn't look good in dark rooms, it's best to use it in a well-lit environment because it has decent peak brightness and decent reflection handling, so it performs well with a few lights around. Like most Sony displays, the out-of-the-box accuracy is excellent, and it comes with the same great Google TV interface, making it easy to stream your favorite content, and you won't have to use an external streaming device.

    See our review

Compared to other brands


  • Versatile lineup. Sony is one of a few companies that make both OLED and LED options. It means that you have the option to choose either panel if you want to buy a Sony TV, and both their OLEDs and LED TVs provide good picture quality.
  • Great upscaling and motion handling. Sony TVs, even the cheaper models, do better than the competition at upscaling lower-resolution content, and they offer great motion handling.
  • Great color accuracy. Sony TVs are known for their excellent out-of-the-box accuracy, especially the high-end models. You likely won't need to calibrate your Sony TV to enjoy the best viewing experience.
  • Not advanced in terms of gaming performance. While high-end Sony TVs finally have VRR support after a firmware update and have HDMI 2.1 bandwidth, they aren't as good for gaming as other brands. They have high input lag and lack FreeSync VRR support.
  • High price. Sony TVs are most often priced above the competition in their category, meaning you can find better value elsewhere.

Sony vs Samsung

Samsung TVs have a picture quality comparable to Sony TVs, and in general, they're pretty competitive with each other. A big difference is that Samsung has better gaming performance, but if you don't need that, either brand is a good choice.

Sony vs LG

Sony and LG each make OLED and LED TVs. LG is the dominant OLED brand for OLEDs because they have better gaming performance and generally cost less. However, Sony's LED models are far better than LG's because they get brighter, have better uniformity, and usually have better contrast.

As a rule of thumb, it's pretty hard to go wrong when buying a Sony TV, especially if you don't need it for competitive gaming. Their more entry-level offerings aren't great, but any of the high-end LED and OLED models are a safe bet. Their Google TV smart platform offers tons of apps to download with an easy-to-use interface. You might pay a slight premium over competing models, but you'll usually end up with a good TV.

Lineup

2022 Models

Sony doesn't release as many TVs as most of their competition, and some flagship models tend to stay on the market for longer. They mainly focus on mid-range to high-end TVs, with very few budget models. Their 2022 lineup is an impressive one, with multiple high-end models that take advantage of the latest technology, including their first QD-OLED TV, the Sony A95K, and their first two Mini LED TVs: the 8k Sony Z9K and the 4k Sony X95K. All their mid to high-end models use the same processor, the new Cognitive Processor XR, but the entry-level Sony X80K uses the older X1 Processor and is limited to a 60Hz refresh rate and HDMI 2.0 bandwidth. Sony has also refreshed the remote on their high-end models, including a "Find Remote" feature that works through the TV's built-in voice assistant.

Model names

Their product naming is easy to understand, and the 2022 lineup follows the same naming convention as in past years. If the model starts with A, it's an OLED; if it's X, it's an LED, and their Z Series is 8k. Next comes the model number, and the higher the number, the better. Lastly, the suffix letter indicates the year. So, for example, the Sony X800H is an entry-level LED model from 2020, while the A90J is a high-end OLED model from 2021.

  • *K = 2022
  • *J = 2021
  • *H = 2020

Since 2021, all their TVs share the same model number worldwide, making it easy to identify models if you're shopping from a different region. That's not to say they're completely identical, though, as there are some slight regional differences, and not all models are available worldwide.

Sony Smart Features

Sony has traditionally used Android TV as its smart operating system, and as of 2021, they've started to use Google TV instead. It's pretty much the same as Android, with a redesigned look and a few extra features. Those who already have Google or Android-based devices will already know how to navigate the interface, while there might be a small learning curve for others. The great thing about Sony TVs is that they have Google Chromecast built-in, so you don't have to buy an external device to cast compatible content from your phone or tablet. If you already have other Google devices, like Google Nest speakers, they'll easily connect with the TV, and you can ask your speaker to play content directly on the TV.

Interface

Sony Smart Interface

The interface is clean and pretty simple to navigate. It's divided into multiple rows, and each row presents content from different apps. These rows can be customized to your liking or even disabled completely. The interface isn't very fancy, which makes it much easier to navigate.

Ad-free

Sony Ads

While Android TV occasionally didn't have any ads and there was a way to disable them, Google TV pushes ads, and there's no way to disable them. You'll see suggested content directly on the home page, and often it'll be the first thing you'll see with a large banner in front. You can opt out of suggested content, but that just means you'll see untargeted ads instead.

Apps & Features

As expected, Google TV offers access to the Google Play Store, which has a massive selection of apps to download, even more so than competing brands. You won't have any issues finding your favorite streaming apps.

Voice Controls

One area where Google TV excels is voice search, which gives you access to Google Assistant. Press the Google Assistant button on the remote and say what you’re looking for, and Google TV will deliver suggestions from the Play Store, YouTube, and relevant results from downloaded apps. It’s a convenient way to navigate content quickly and is often much faster than using the remote. You can also use it to change certain settings, like asking it to switch inputs or increase the brightness.

Remote

Sony Smart TV Remote

Sony released a redesigned remote in 2022. Unlike their past models, it doesn't have a Numpad and instead has a '123' button that brings up a virtual Numpad on the screen. However, it still has the same quick-access buttons to popular streaming services and has a button to quickly bring up Google Assistant. While most models ship with this remote, there are some models available from some retailers with a higher-end version with backlighting.

Recent Updates

  1. Jan 06, 2023: Verified our picks for accuracy and refreshed the text.

  2. Oct 20, 2022: Updated our picks to the 2022 models, adding the Sony A95K OLED, the Sony X95K, and the Sony X90K.

  3. Aug 16, 2022: Renamed category names to reflect how users are looking for Sony TVs; renamed the A90J to 'Best Sony TV' and the X95J to 'Best Upper Mid-Range TV'. Replaced the Sony X90J with the Sony X85J and renamed to 'Best Mid-Range TV'; replaced the Sony X80J with the X85K because it's cheaper and easier to find; updated the Lineup and Smart Features sections.

  4. Apr 11, 2022: Verified picks for availability and updated text for clarity.

  5. Feb 10, 2022: Added the 2022 lineup information and refreshed the text throughout.

Conclusion

While they tend not to be the cheapest, Sony produces great TVs. They'll generally be quite versatile, which helps to make them suitable for most people. The smart features can take a bit of time to learn for some people, but the overall package offered by their TVs is still better than average. At this point, it's fairly safe to say that their overall reputation holds, and rare are the people that will find themselves disappointed by purchasing one of their TVs.

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