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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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".
The borders of the A8G are extremely thin, and not at all distracting.
Like all OLEDs, this TV is extremely thin, so extreme care should be taken when moving it.
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.
The A8G is an OLED TV, and as such can turn off individual pixels, so it essentially has an infinite contrast ratio.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The A8G, like all OLED TVs, has perfect black uniformity. The measured deviation in uniformity is due to the camera.
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.
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.
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.
480p content, like DVDs, is displayed well, with no noticeable issues.
720p content, like from a cable box, looks great, with no noticeable issues.
1080p content, like Blu-ray movies or older game consoles, looks almost as good as native 4k content.
Most 4k content looks great, but there are some noticeable issues when using the A8G as a PC monitor. Find out more here.
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: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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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'.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.