Sony A8G OLED TV Review

Tested using Methodology v1.5
Updated Jun 21, 2019 at 09:07 am
Sony A8G OLED Picture
8.5
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: LG C9 OLED
9.4
Movies
8.1
TV Shows
8.5
Sports
7.8
Video Games
8.7
HDR Movies
7.8
HDR Gaming
8.0
PC Monitor
This TV was replaced by the Sony A8H
Type OLED
Sub-Type
WRGB
Resolution 4k

The Sony A8G OLED is an excellent 4k TV. Like all OLED TVs, it delivers outstanding dark room performance, thanks its ability to produce perfect blacks and perfect black uniformity. It also has a nearly-instantaneous response time, delivering crystal-clear motion with almost no noticeable blur behind fast-moving objects. This lack of blur can bother some people, though, as it results in stutter when watching movies or other low frame rate content. Unfortunately, like all OLEDs, there is a possibility of burn-in with static content, and the brightness of the screen changes depending on the content, also known as ABL, which may bother some people.

Our Verdict

8.5 Mixed Usage

The A8G is an excellent TV for almost any usage. It has great viewing angles and outstanding reflection handling, so it looks great in almost any room. Like all OLEDs, though, it truly shines in a dark room, thanks to perfect, uniform blacks. Fast-moving objects in games and movies look great, due to the nearly-instantaneous response time, but this results in more stutter, which is especially noticeable when watching movies.

Pros
  • Excellent dark room performance.
  • Outstanding low motion blur.
  • Image remains accurate when viewed at an angle.
Cons
  • Brightness varies with different content, due to the Automatic Brightness Limiter (ABL).
  • Possibility of permanent burn-in with static content (see here).
9.4 Movies

The Sony A8G OLED is an outstanding TV for watching movies in a dark room. It looks great in a dark room, thanks to the nearly infinite contrast ratio and outstanding black uniformity. Fast-moving action movies look great, thanks to the nearly-instantaneous response time, which results in very little blur, but this lack of blur may bother some people when watching movies.

8.1 TV Shows

This is an excellent TV for watching TV shows during the day. It has outstanding reflection handling and wide viewing angles, great if you like to leave the TV on while you move about, but it might not be bright enough if you have a lot of windows. Cable content looks great thanks to the TV's great upscaling performance, and it has a huge selection of streaming apps, great for cord-cutters.

8.5 Sports

The TV is an excellent TV for watching sports. It has excellent motion handling, thanks to the nearly-instantaneous response time, so fast-moving objects (or players) look great, with almost no blur behind them. When watching the big game with a group of friends, everyone can enjoy the game thanks to the TV's wide viewing angles. There also shouldn't be any issues in a bright room, due to the excellent reflection handling, but it might not be bright enough to overcome glare in a really bright room.

7.8 Video Games

This is an excellent TV for video games, mainly due to the outstanding picture quality. Games look great thanks to the deep, uniform blacks and nearly-instantaneous response time, so there is no blur behind fast-moving objects. Unfortunately, the A8G has higher-than-average input lag, and isn't ideal for competitive gaming.

8.7 HDR Movies

The TV is an outstanding TV for watching HDR movies in a dark room. The OLED panel delivers deep, inky blacks, with perfect uniformity. Subtitled movies look great, with no blooming around subtitles. The TV has a nearly-instantaneous response time, so there is very little blur behind fast-moving objects, but this lack of blur may bother some people, especially when watching movies. Finally, it can display an excellent wide color gamut, but can't get bright enough in HDR for some content.

7.8 HDR Gaming

This is an excellent TV for gaming in HDR for most people. It has a nearly-instantaneous response time, so fast-moving objects in your favorite games look extremely clear, with no blur. It also looks amazing gaming in a dark room, thanks to the perfect blacks, and perfect black uniformity. Unfortunately, it has higher-than-average input lag, which isn't ideal for competitive gaming, and it doesn't support any of the variable refresh rate technologies, like FreeSync.

8.0 PC Monitor

The TV looks great as a PC monitor, but it should be used with care, as long-term exposure to static elements (such as the taskbar or desktop icons) can cause permanent burn-in. It has wide viewing angles and a nearly-instantaneous response time, but unfortunately, it has higher-than-average input lag, which may bother some people. We also encountered an issue when the TV is sent a 4k signal, with chroma 4:4:4 or RGB, which isn't ideal for desktop use.

  • 8.5 Mixed Usage
  • 9.4 Movies
  • 8.1 TV Shows
  • 8.5 Sports
  • 7.8 Video Games
  • 8.7 HDR Movies
  • 7.8 HDR Gaming
  • 8.0 PC Monitor
  1. Update 5/21/2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.5.
  2. Update 2/21/2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.4.
  3. Update 7/19/2019: The A8G has been updated to Android 8.0. We have retested the smart features and updated the scores and text.

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Video

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Market Context
Market Context
Market Context

The Sony A8G is a 2019 model OLED TV, and is the direct replacement of last year's A8F. The A8G is Sony's cheapest OLED TV, and is a little bit less feature-packed than the more expensive A9G. The main competitors to the A8G are the LG B9, LG C9, and LG E9. The main LED competitors to the A8G are the Sony Z9F, the Samsung Q90R, and the Samsung Q80R; although all of these are much brighter, they don't perform as well in dark rooms.

Design
9.5
Design
Style
Curved No

The A8G has an excellent design. The overall design language is very simple and minimalist, and is very similar to the A9G and A8F. The stand is simple, but it can be set to two different height positions, depending on the orientation of the stand, which is great if you want to place a small soundbar in front. The stand supports the TV extremely well, but it does wobble a bit when nudged. The TV appears to be extremely well-built, and there shouldn't be any issues with it.

Design
Stand

Update 07/18/2019: We modified the text below to include a picture of the alternate stand position.

Update 06/21/2019: We have clarified our text below regarding the stand position.

The stand is very simple, but supports the TV extremely well. Unique to the A8G, the stand can be reversed, as shown above, which leaves a gap of about 2.4" below the TV. With the stand reversed, with the 'U' shape in front, there is no gap between the TV and the stand.

Footprint of the 55" stand: 25.8" x 11.5".

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 300x300

The back of the TV is plain, using the same design language as the A9G, but with a simpler pattern. The back of the feet are hollow, and can be used for simple, but effective, cable management. Unlike the A8F, the entire back of the TV is black.

Design
Borders
Borders 0.39" (1.0 cm)

The borders of the A8G are extremely thin, and not at all distracting.

Design
Thickness
Max Thickness 2.09" (5.3 cm)

Like all OLEDs, this TV is extremely thin, so extreme care should be taken when moving it.

9.5
Design
Build Quality

The A8G has outstanding build quality. The stand supports the TV well, and only wobbles a bit. The design is very similar to the A9G, but a little less polished.

Picture Quality
10
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
Inf : 1
Contrast with local dimming
N/A

The A8G is an OLED TV, and as such can turn off individual pixels, so it essentially has an infinite contrast ratio.

10
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
No
Backlight
No Backlight

The TV does not have a local dimming feature, as there is no backlight. As an OLED TV, it can turn off, or dim, individual pixels. This is great for dark room viewing, as it results in no noticeable blooming around bright objects in dark scenes. This is also great if you watch content with subtitles, as they are displayed perfectly, with no blooming around them.

6.4
Picture Quality
SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
278 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
352 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
350 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
352 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
265 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
155 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
302 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
285 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
302 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
251 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
154 cd/m²
SDR ABL
0.044

The TV has decent SDR peak brightness, very similar to the A9G and A8F. It's bright enough for most rooms, but in very bright rooms it might not be bright enough, in which case LED TVs like the Samsung Q80R might be a better choice, as they are much brighter.

Unfortunately, like all OLED TVs, the brightness can vary with different content, which may be distracting.

We measured the peak brightness after calibration, using the 'Custom' Picture Mode, with Peak Luminance set to 'High', and Color Temperature set to 'Expert 1'.

If accuracy isn't as important to you, the A8G is able to reach a peak brightness of 700 cd/m² with the 'Vivid' Picture Mode, as measured with the 2% window.

6.8
Picture Quality
HDR Peak Brightness
HDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
616 cd/m²
HDR Peak 2% Window
768 cd/m²
HDR Peak 10% Window
633 cd/m²
HDR Peak 25% Window
452 cd/m²
HDR Peak 50% Window
269 cd/m²
HDR Peak 100% Window
138 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 2% Window
473 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 10% Window
393 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 25% Window
390 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 50% Window
267 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 100% Window
137 cd/m²
HDR ABL
0.075

Decent HDR peak brightness. Small highlights can get bright enough to really stick out, which is great, but the TV dims considerably when displaying large bright areas. This change in brightness, also known as ABL, may be distracting with some content.

We measured the peak brightness before calibration, using the 'Cinema' Picture Mode, with Peak Luminance set to 'High', and Color Temperature set to 'Expert 2'.

If accuracy isn't as important to you, the A8G is able to reach a peak brightness of 840 cd/m² with the 'Vivid' Picture Mode, as measured with the 2% window.

8.9
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
0.774 %
50% DSE
0.114 %
5% Std. Dev.
0.630 %
5% DSE
0.103 %

The A8G OLED has excellent gray uniformity. There is almost no noticeable dirty screen effect, great for sports fans. In near-black scenes, the uniformity is slightly better, but like all OLED TVs we've tested, there are some very faint horizontal and vertical lines. These can only be seen when displayed near-black scenes in a pitch-black room.

8.7
Picture Quality
Viewing Angle
Color Washout
47 °
Color Shift
32 °
Brightness Loss
66 °
Black Level Raise
70 °
Gamma Shift
66 °

The TV has excellent wide viewing angles. Unlike VA and IPS TVs, there is very little fluctuation in black levels or brightness at wide angles. It isn't perfect, though, as colors gradually lose accuracy, and at wide angles they appear washed out.

10
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
0.240 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
N/A

The A8G, like all OLED TVs, has perfect black uniformity. The measured deviation in uniformity is due to the camera.

9.3
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Glossy
Total Reflections
1.4 %
Indirect Reflections
0.2 %
Calculated Direct Reflections
1.3 %

This TV has excellent reflection handling, very similar to other top-end Sony TVs. Like many high-end TVs, the anti-reflective coating is very good at diffusing reflections across the screen, but this does add a slight purple tint to the screen.

7.4
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
White Balance dE
4.07
Color dE
1.96
Gamma
2.13
Color Temperature
6082 K
Picture Mode
Custom
Color Temp Setting
Expert 1
Gamma Setting
0

With our pre-calibration settings, the A8G has decent accuracy. Colors have great accuracy, but there are some inaccuracies that might be noticeable. The white balance is inaccurate, though, and almost all shades of gray have noticeable inaccuracies. Gamma is a bit too low, resulting in most scenes appearing brighter than they should.

9.3
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
White Balance dE
0.44
Color dE
1.44
Gamma
2.18
Color Temperature
6487 K
White Balance Calibration
10 point
Color Calibration
No
Auto-Calibration Function
Yes

Update 09/16/2019: With Android 8.0 it is now possible to download the CalMAN for Bravia app from the app store for Auto-Calibration.

After calibration, the TV has excellent accuracy. Color accuracy improved a bit, and white balance errors were almost completely corrected. Gamma is much closer to the 2.2 reference target.

You can see our recommended settings here.

8.0
Picture Quality
480p Input

480p content, like DVDs, is displayed well, with no noticeable issues.

8.0
Picture Quality
720p Input

720p content, like from a cable box, looks great, with no noticeable issues.

9.0
Picture Quality
1080p Input

1080p content, like Blu-ray movies or older game consoles, looks almost as good as native 4k content.

10
Picture Quality
4k Input

Most 4k content looks great, but there are some noticeable issues when using the A8G as a PC monitor. Find out more here.

0
Picture Quality
8k Input
Picture Quality
Pixels

Like all OLED TVs, the A8G uses a 4 sub-pixel structure, but all 4 are never used at the same time on one pixel. This image shows the red, green, and white sub-pixels. You can see the blue sub-pixel in our alternative pixel photo.

We encountered an issue when using the A8G connected to a PC. When sending full 4:4:4 chroma or RGB, there appears to be a processing issue affecting the white sub-pixel, which results in non-uniform text. The affected pixels also appeared to move around as we moved our test image around the screen. We took a few photos of the issue to show how it changes over time:

We also posted a video of the effect to YouTube. On our unit, setting the Contrast to '89' instead of '90' corrected most of the issue, but we don't know if this is specific to our unit or not.

8.6
Picture Quality
Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
Yes
DCI P3 xy
96.95 %
DCI P3 uv
98.32 %
Rec 2020 xy
71.46 %
Rec 2020 uv
75.30 %

The Sony A8G, like all OLEDs, can display an impressive wide color gamut. It measures slightly better than the A9G, but this is likely due to panel variance, and is not necessarily indicative of a real difference. The EOTF follows the PQ curve almost perfectly, but some dark scenes are slightly over-brightened. In Game mode, the EOTF is identical (Shown here).

If you find HDR too dim, check out our recommended settings here. With these settings, HDR content appears much brighter on the A8G, as shown here.

6.3
Picture Quality
Color Volume
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage ITP
69.4 %
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP
37.8 %
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
57.2 %
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
30.9 %

Unfortunately, the Sony A8G has mediocre color volume. Like the A9G, the A8G can't display very bright saturated colors, as the white sub-pixel desaturates pure colors at high brightness levels.

8.8
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
10 Bit
Red (Std. Dev.)
0.092 dE
Green (Std. Dev.)
0.093 dE
Blue (Std. Dev.)
0.081 dE
Gray (Std. Dev.)
0.075 dE

This TV does an excellent job displaying gradients. There is some banding in all colors, but it shouldn't be very noticeable with most content. The Smooth Gradation feature can remove almost all remaining banding, but can cause a loss of some fine details.

10
Picture Quality
Temporary Image Retention
IR after 0 min recovery
0.00 %
IR after 2 min recovery
0.00 %
IR after 4 min recovery
0.00 %
IR after 6 min recovery
0.00 %
IR after 8 min recovery
0.00 %
IR after 10 min recovery
0.00 %

The TV shows no signs of temporary image retention, but this can vary a bit between units.

This test is only indicative of short term image retention, and not the permanent burn-in that may occur with longer exposure to static images. We are currently running a long-term test to help us better understand permanent burn-in. You can see our results and read more about our investigation here.

2.0
Picture Quality
Permanent Burn-In Risk
Permanent Burn-In Risk
Yes

Update 11/01/2019: Updated text to include our stance on burn-in.

Although we don't expect most people who watch varied content to have any issues, OLED TVs, such as the Sony A8G do have the possibility of experiencing burn in. The Sony A8G has two features to help mitigate burn-in. Find out more about these options here.

You can read about our investigation into this here.

Motion
9.8
Motion
Response Time
80% Response Time
0.2 ms
100% Response Time
2.4 ms

Like all OLED TVs, the Sony A8G has a nearly-instantaneous response time. This results in extremely clear motion, but the lack of blur may bother some people, as there can be noticeable stutter when watching low frame rate content, like movies.

10
Motion
Flicker-Free
Flicker-Free
No
PWM Dimming Frequency
0 Hz

The TV does not use PWM, so there is no noticeable flicker, but it is not flicker-free, as there a slight decrease in brightness every ~8ms, due to the TV's refresh cycle. This should not be noticeable.

8.7
Motion
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
Optional BFI
Yes
Min Flicker for 60 fps
60 Hz
60 Hz for 60 fps
Yes
120 Hz for 120 fps
No
Min Flicker for 60 fps in Game Mode
60 Hz

The A8G has an optional Black Frame Insertion feature that can help improve the clarity of motion, by reducing the amount of time the image is held static on screen. The A8G can only do this by introducing a 60Hz flicker, which may bother some people.

This feature can be enabled on the A8G by setting Motionflow to 'Custom', and setting Clearness to 'High'.

Motion
Motion Interpolation
Motion Interpolation (30 fps)
Yes
Motion Interpolation (60 fps)
Yes

The Sony A8G can interpolate lower frame rate content to increase the frame rate as high as 120 fps. In very busy scenes, the TV will sometimes stop interpolating, which can cause the image to appear to jerk, due to the sudden change in frame rate.

See here for the settings that control the A8G's motion interpolation feature.

5.0
Motion
Stutter
Frame Hold Time @ 24 fps
39.3 ms
Frame Hold Time @ 60 fps
14.3 ms

Like all OLED TVs, 24p content can appear to stutter, due to the nearly instantaneous response time. This is especially noticeable with slow-panning shots. If this bothers you, enabling motion interpolation or the Black Frame Insertion feature can help.

10
Motion
24p Judder
Judder-Free 24p
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via 60p
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via 60i
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via Native Apps
Yes

This TV can remove judder from all sources. If the Black Frame Insertion(BFI) feature is enabled, the A8G is unable to remove judder from 24p content played back from a 60p/i source, like a cable box.

See our recommended settings to remove judder here.

0
Motion
Variable Refresh Rate
Native Refresh Rate
120 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate
No
HDMI Forum VRR
No
FreeSync
No
G-SYNC Compatible
No
4k VRR Maximum
N/A
4k VRR Minimum
No VRR support
1080p VRR Maximum
N/A
1080p VRR Minimum
No VRR support
1440p VRR Maximum
N/A
1440p VRR Minimum
No VRR support
VRR Supported Connectors
No VRR support

Unlike the LG C9, the Sony A8G does not support any of the variable refresh rate technologies, like HDMI Forum's VRR. It does have a native 120Hz panel, which is great for gaming.

Inputs
6.2
Inputs
Input Lag
1080p @ 60 Hz
48.1 ms
1080p @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
110.8 ms
1440p @ 60 Hz
31.3 ms
4k @ 60 Hz
31.4 ms
4k @ 60 Hz + 10 bit HDR
31.4 ms
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
31.4 ms
4k @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
94.1 ms
4k @ 60 Hz With Interpolation
85.9 ms
8k @ 60 Hz
N/A
1080p @ 120 Hz
21.2 ms
1440p @ 120 Hz
21.2 ms
4k @ 120 Hz
N/A
1080p with Variable Refresh Rate
N/A
1440p with VRR
N/A
4k with VRR
N/A
8k with VRR
N/A
Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM)
No

The TV has good low input lag, but it is slightly worse than the A8F, and significantly worse than other high-end TVs, including the LG C9. To get the lowest input lag, simply switch to either the 'Game' or 'Graphics' Picture Mode.

9.6
Inputs
Supported Resolutions
1080p @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes
1080p @ 120 Hz
Yes (forced resolution required)
1440p @ 60 Hz
Yes (forced resolution required)
1440p @ 120 Hz
Yes (forced resolution required)
4k @ 60 Hz
Yes
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes
4k @ 120 Hz
No
8k @ 30 Hz or 24 Hz
No
8k @ 60 Hz
No

The A8G supports most of the common formats. Chroma 4:4:4 is displayed properly in most formats, except when sending 1440p @ 120Hz, as long as the Picture Mode is set to 'Game' or 'Graphics'. Even though chroma 4:4:4 is displayed properly, there is a processing issue on the A8G that causes a rendering issue when sending a 4k 4:4:4/RGB signal, as described here.

Unlike the X950G and A9G, only HDMI ports 2 & 3 support the full bandwidth of HDMI 2.0.

Inputs
Input Photos
Inputs
Total Inputs
HDMI 4
USB 3
Digital Optical Audio Out 1
Analog Audio Out 3.5mm 1
Analog Audio Out RCA 0
Component In 0
Composite In 1 (adapter required, not incl.)
Tuner (Cable/Ant) 1
Ethernet 1
DisplayPort 0
IR In 1
SD/SDHC 0
Inputs
Inputs Specifications
HDR10
Yes
HDR10+
No
Dolby Vision
Yes
HLG
Yes
3D
No
HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth
Yes (HDMI 2, 3)
HDMI 2.1
No
CEC Yes
HDCP 2.2 Yes (HDMI 1,2,3,4)
USB 3.0
Yes (1)
Variable Analog Audio Out Yes
Wi-Fi Support Yes (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz)

The A8G supports HDR10 and Dolby Vision, but does not support the competing HDR10+ format. Like the A9G, the headphone jack can also be used to connect to a subwoofer, but unlike the A9G, the TV cannot be used as a center speaker.

If you want an OLED TV with HDMI 2.1 inputs, check out the LG CX OLED.

Inputs
Audio Passthrough
ARC
Yes (HDMI 3)
eARC support
No
Dolby Atmos via TrueHD via eARC
No
DTS:X via DTS-HD MA via eARC
No
5.1 Dolby Digital via ARC
Yes
5.1 DTS via ARC
Yes
5.1 Dolby Digital via Optical
Yes
5.1 DTS via Optical