Sony A90J OLED TV Review

Tested using Methodology v1.6
Reviewed Apr 06, 2021 at 09:43 am
Sony A90J OLED Picture
8.8
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: LG BX OLED
9.4
Movies
Value for price beaten by
: LG BX OLED
8.2
TV Shows
Value for price beaten by
: Samsung QN85A QLED
8.6
Sports
Value for price beaten by
: LG C1 OLED
9.1
Video Games
Value for price beaten by
: LG BX OLED
8.9
HDR Movies
Value for price beaten by
: Sony A8H OLED
8.9
HDR Gaming
Value for price beaten by
: LG G1 OLED
8.5
PC Monitor
Value for price beaten by
: Samsung QN85A QLED
Type OLED
Sub-Type
WRGB
Resolution 4k

The Sony A90J OLED is an amazing 4k TV from Sony's Master Series. Like other OLEDs, it delivers unparalleled picture quality thanks to its self-emitting pixels, which produce perfect blacks and a near-infinite contrast ratio. While its HDR brightness is only decent relative to LED TVs, it still delivers a great HDR experience thanks to its wide color gamut and high contrast ratio. It also has a near-instantaneous response time for clear motion, but some gamers may be disappointed by the lack of variable refresh rate (VRR) support, even though it’s set to arrive with a future firmware update. On the upside, it has two HDMI 2.1 ports, eARC, and Dolby Vision support. It also has wide viewing angles and superb reflection handling. As with all OLEDs, there’s some risk of permanent burn-in, but we don’t expect it to be an issue if you watch varied content.

Our Verdict

8.8 Mixed Usage

The Sony A90J is an amazing TV for mixed usage. It delivers exceptional picture quality for movies and TV shows, and its near-instantaneous response time results in smooth motion for sports and video games. While it doesn't get as bright as an LED TV, it's bright enough to bring out most highlights in HDR, aided by its near-infinite contrast ratio. Unfortunately, there's a risk for permanent burn-in, though it shouldn't be an issue if you watch varied content.

Pros
  • Near-perfect black levels.
  • Image stays accurate at most viewing angles.
  • Motion looks exceptionally smooth.
Cons
  • Risk of permanent burn-in.
  • May not be bright enough for some.
9.4 Movies

The Sony A90J is a fantastic choice for watching movies. With its near-infinite contrast ratio, it can produce deep, inky blacks with perfect uniformity. It has no issues upscaling lower resolution content, like DVDs or Blu-rays, and it removes 24p judder from any source. Unfortunately, the extremely quick response time can cause stuttering in lower frame rate content like movies.

Pros
  • Near-perfect black levels.
  • Removes 24p judder.
  • Upscales low resolution content without issue.
Cons
  • Risk of permanent burn-in.
  • Low frame rate content may stutter.
8.2 TV Shows

The Sony A90J is great for watching TV shows. It has fantastic reflection handling, so glare shouldn't be an issue, despite its lower brightness. The Google TV platform is also smooth and lets you access all your apps and shows from one smart hub. It has wide viewing angles, which is great if you watch TV at an angle. Unfortunately, it may be susceptible to permanent burn-in with static elements like a news banner or logo.

Pros
  • Fantastic reflection handling.
  • Image stays accurate at most viewing angles.
  • Google TV platform is smooth and easy to use.
Cons
  • Risk of permanent burn-in.
  • May not be bright enough for some.
8.6 Sports

The Sony A90J is excellent for watching sports. Its near-instant response time results in smooth motion, and it has a Black Frame Insertion feature to further reduce blur. It also has wide viewing angles, which is great for watching the game with friends. While it isn't the brightest TV, it has fantastic reflection handling, so glare shouldn’t be an issue. That said, there's a risk of permanent burn-in, especially with static elements like a score box or channel logo.

Pros
  • Fantastic reflection handling.
  • Image stays accurate at most viewing angles.
  • Motion looks exceptionally smooth.
Cons
  • Risk of permanent burn-in.
  • May not be bright enough for some.
9.1 Video Games

The Sony A90J is fantastic for playing video games. It has a near-instantaneous response time that results in exceptionally clear motion, and its exceptionally high contrast ratio is great for gaming in the dark. Unfortunately, it lacks VRR and ALLM support, though it's meant to receive it in a future firmware update.

Pros
  • Near-perfect black levels.
  • Motion looks exceptionally smooth.
  • Low input lag.
Cons
  • Risk of permanent burn-in.
  • No VRR support currently.
8.9 HDR Movies

The Sony A90J is excellent for watching movies in HDR. It has a wide color gamut, and its perfect black levels create a near-infinite contrast ratio, which helps make highlights pop, despite the lower brightness that's typical of OLEDs. That said, the ceiling in brightness means that the very brightest details may be lost.

Pros
  • Near-perfect black levels.
  • Removes 24p judder.
  • Upscales low resolution content without issue.
  • Wide HDR color gamut.
Cons
  • Risk of permanent burn-in.
  • Low frame rate content may stutter.
  • May not be bright enough for some.
8.9 HDR Gaming

The Sony A90J is excellent for HDR gaming thanks to its extremely fast response time and perfect black levels. While it doesn't get as bright in HDR as most LED TVs, it's among the brightest OLEDs we've tested. It also has a wide color gamut. However, some gamers may be disappointed by its lack of VRR and ALLM support, although it's meant to be added in a future update.

Pros
  • Near-perfect black levels.
  • Motion looks exceptionally smooth.
  • Low input lag.
  • Wide HDR color gamut.
Cons
  • Risk of permanent burn-in.
  • No VRR support currently.
  • May not be bright enough for some.
8.5 PC Monitor

The Sony A90J is an excellent TV to use as a PC monitor. It has a low input lag and exceptional response time. It can also display proper chroma 4:4:4 at most resolutions, and its wide viewing angles ensure the image stays accurate at the edges when sitting up close. Unfortunately, it doesn't support 1440p @ 120Hz and currently lacks VRR support. There may also be more risk for burn-in with static elements like a desktop user interface.

Pros
  • Image stays accurate at most viewing angles.
  • Low input lag.
  • Displays proper chroma 4:4:4.
  • Near-instantaneous response time.
Cons
  • Risk of permanent burn-in.
  • No VRR support currently.
  • Doesn't support 1440p @ 120Hz.
  • 8.8 Mixed Usage
  • 9.4 Movies
  • 8.2 TV Shows
  • 8.6 Sports
  • 9.1 Video Games
  • 8.9 HDR Movies
  • 8.9 HDR Gaming
  • 8.5 PC Monitor
  1. Updated Jul 20, 2021: We retested the frequency response and distortion with the feet in the lowered position.
  2. Updated Jul 07, 2021: We retested the input lag and the frequency response with the latest firmware.
  3. Updated May 28, 2021: Listened to the speakers to confirm testing results.
  4. Updated May 19, 2021: Downloaded the Calman for Bravia app to see how it works.
  5. Updated May 14, 2021: Retested judder removal with BFI; tested to see if it works with Android TV app.
  6. Updated Apr 23, 2021: Retested the brightness after warming up the TV for over 100 hours.
  7. Updated Apr 08, 2021: Retested TV with video games in 4k at 120Hz to check for differences in banding between SDR and HDR.
  8. Updated Apr 06, 2021: Review published.
  9. Updated Apr 01, 2021: Early access published.

Video

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Market Context
Market Context
Market Context

The Sony A90J is part of Sony’s high-end Master Series, taking the place of 2020's Sony A9S OLED but available in larger sizes. It’s Sony’s flagship 4k OLED in 2021 and sits directly above the Sony A80J OLED. It competes with other high-end OLEDs like the LG G1 OLED and premium LED TVs like the Samsung QN90A QLED.

Design
Design
Style
Curved No

The Sony A90J looks similar to other high-end Sony OLEDs but with a newly designed stand that offers more adjustability. With its thin bezels and metal accents, it looks sleek and premium and is sure to make an impression in any living room.

Design
Stand

The stand can be set up in one of two ways, either with the feet flat, bringing the TV flush against the table, or raised up to give you space for a soundbar. There's also a third configuration where the feet face inward to make a smaller footprint, but it's only available on the 83 inch variant.

Footprint of the stand: 51.1"x12.5" (standard position) or 45.3"x12.5" (soundbar position)

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 300x300

The Sony A90J doesn't have much in the way of cable management except for some paneling that covers a portion of the cables and an included cable tie, but overall it looks fairly clean. The back of the panel itself is metal while the rest is plastic with vertical ridges.

Design
Borders
Borders 0.35" (0.9 cm)
Design
Thickness
Max Thickness 1.61" (4.1 cm)

The Sony A90J is quite thin overall and should look great when wall-mounted, although not all of the inputs are side-facing and may be hard to reach.

9.5
Design
Build Quality

The build quality of the A90J is superb. It feels incredibly sturdy in either of the stand positions, with no wobble or flex. All in all, it's a very solid-feeling TV, as expected from a high-end model like this.

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

The Sony A90J has a near-infinite contrast ratio thanks to its OLED panel, which can produce perfect blacks. They look deep and inky, especially in a dark room, ideal for movies.

6.7
Picture Quality
SDR Brightness
Real Scene Peak Brightness
277 cd/m²
Peak 2% Window
464 cd/m²
Peak 10% Window
481 cd/m²
Peak 25% Window
481 cd/m²
Peak 50% Window
311 cd/m²
Peak 100% Window
187 cd/m²
Sustained 2% Window
451 cd/m²
Sustained 10% Window
460 cd/m²
Sustained 25% Window
464 cd/m²
Sustained 50% Window
309 cd/m²
Sustained 100% Window
185 cd/m²
Automatic Brightness Limiting (ABL)
0.059

Update 04/23/2021: We retested the brightness after warming up the TV for 100 hours; it was at 193 hours of uptime when we retested it. We also checked the brightness with other Picture Modes. 'Cinema' isn't as bright as 'Custom' because it has a Real Scene Peak Brightness of 248 nits. 'Vivid' is also still brighter as we measured a peak of 780 nits in the 10% window. Overall, it doesn't seem that warming up the A90J has a significant impact on the brightness. These are our results, using the same settings as originally tested in the 'Custom' Picture Mode:

  • Real Scene Brightness: 271cd/m²
  • Peak 2% Window: 450 cd/m²
  • Peak 10% Window: 468 cd/m²
  • Peak 25% Window: 466 cd/m²
  • Peak 50% Window: 304 cd/m²
  • Peak 100% Window: 181 cd/m²
  • Sustained 2% Window: 435 cd/m²
  • Sustained 10% Window: 448 cd/m²
  • Sustained 25% Window: 451 cd/m²
  • Sustained 50% Window: 302 cd/m²
  • Sustained 100% Window: 179 cd/m²

The Sony A90J has okay SDR brightness. It’s a bit dim in real scenes compared to an LED TV, for instance, and the Automatic Brightness Limiter (ABL) causes scenes with large areas of brightness to dim overall, so the brightness isn’t the most consistent across different scenes.

We measured SDR brightness after calibration, using the ‘Custom’ Picture Mode, the ‘Expert 1’ Color Temperature, Peak Luminance set to ‘High’, and Brightness at max.

To get the brightest possible image, you can set the Picture Mode to ‘Vivid’ and keep all of the default settings. We were able to measure 680 nits in the 2% window using these settings, but we don’t recommend it because it may negatively affect picture quality. If you want a high-end TV that gets much brighter, check out the Samsung QN900A 8k QLED.

10
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
No
Backlight
No Backlight

Like all OLEDs, the Sony A90J can turn pixels on and off individually and doesn't require a backlight. This means there's no local dimming feature, but it can produce perfect blacks without any blooming around bright objects. The videos above are provided for reference only, so you can see how blacks look with bright objects using our test pattern and in real content, both head-on and off-angle.

10
Picture Quality
Local Dimming In Game Mode
Local Dimming
No
Backlight
No Backlight

In 'Game' mode, the same is true as outside of 'Game' mode, so blacks look perfect. The videos are provided for reference only since the A90J doesn't require a local dimming feature.

7.3
Picture Quality
HDR Brightness
Real Scene Highlight
712 cd/m²
Peak 2% Window
801 cd/m²
Peak 10% Window
842 cd/m²
Peak 25% Window
617 cd/m²
Peak 50% Window
324 cd/m²
Peak 100% Window
177 cd/m²
Sustained 2% Window
752 cd/m²
Sustained 10% Window
780 cd/m²
Sustained 25% Window
597 cd/m²
Sustained 50% Window
322 cd/m²
Sustained 100% Window
175 cd/m²
Automatic Brightness Limiting (ABL)
0.092

Update 04/23/2021: We retested the brightness after warming up the TV for 100 hours; it was at 193 hours of uptime when we retested it. Once again, warming up our unit of the A90J doesn't significantly impact the HDR brightness. We also measured the brightness in the 'Vivid' Picture Mode. It reached 777 nits in the Real Scene Highlight and 976 nits in the 10% window. These are our results, using the same settings as originally tested in the 'Custom' Picture Mode:

  • Real Scene Highlight: 710 cd/m²
  • Peak 2% Window: 804 cd/m²
  • Peak 10% Window: 833 cd/m²
  • Peak 25% Window: 615 cd/m²
  • Peak 50% Window: 326 cd/m²
  • Peak 100% Window: 178 cd/m²
  • Sustained 2% Window: 771 cd/m²
  • Sustained 10% Window: 776 cd/m²
  • Sustained 25% Window: 595 cd/m²
  • Sustained 50% Window: 324 cd/m²
  • Sustained 100% Window: 175 cd/m²

The Sony A90J has decent HDR brightness. It’s better than most OLEDs we’ve tested thus far, although it doesn't come close to the brightest LED TVs like the Samsung QN90A QLED. Still, the overall brightness of scenes is on-target and can bring out most highlights. As with SDR, however, there isn’t much consistency across scenes with different luminance levels. Very large areas of brightness are dimmer. It performs similarly to the LG G1 OLED, which has the new evo panel.

We measured HDR brightness before calibration, using the 'Custom' Picture Mode, with Brightness set to max, Contrast at '90' (by default), Color Temperature set to 'Expert 1', and using the 'Gradation Preferred' setting in the HDR Tone Mapping menu.

In 2021, there’s a new settings menu called HDR Tone Mapping. Our measurements use the 'Gradation Preferred' setting, but it may be helpful to note that while the 'Gradation Preferred' setting results in a more accurate EOTF, the 'Brightness Preferred' setting lets you get a brighter image without having to make too many other adjustments. If you want to see the difference these settings make, you can see the 'Brightness Preferred' EOTF here and the EOTF with HDR Tone Mapping disabled here.

To make HDR brighter, set Advanced Contrast Enhancer to 'High', Peak Brightness to 'High', set Brightness, Contrast, and Gamma to max, and 'Brightness Preferred' in the HDR Tone Mapping menu. These settings result in this EOTF. We should also note that we were able to adjust the settings to achieve a peak HDR brightness measurement of 1291 nits in the 2% window, which is close to the 1300 nits that early reviews claimed. However, the screen got very hot and quickly dropped back down to a lower luminance level, so while the TV is technically capable of hitting an exceptionally high peak brightness for an OLED, realistically speaking, you won’t get that kind of brightness with real content using ideal settings.

7.0
Picture Quality
HDR Brightness In Game Mode
Real Scene Highlight
609 cd/m²
Peak 2% Window
803 cd/m²
Peak 10% Window
770 cd/m²
Peak 25% Window
512 cd/m²
Peak 50% Window
294 cd/m²
Peak 100% Window
194 cd/m²
Sustained 2% Window
763 cd/m²
Sustained 10% Window
723 cd/m²
Sustained 25% Window
499 cd/m²
Sustained 50% Window
293 cd/m²
Sustained 100% Window
192 cd/m²
Automatic Brightness Limiting (ABL)
0.086

Update 04/23/2021: We retested the brightness after warming up the TV for 100 hours; it was at 193 hours of uptime when we retested it. Warming up the TV made the Real Scene Highlight brighter, but it didn't impact the test windows by much. These are our results in the 'Game' Picture Mode with the Brightness Preferred setting enabled:

  • Real Scene Highlight: 667 cd/m²
  • Peak 2% Window: 804 cd/m²
  • Peak 10% Window: 769 cd/m²
  • Peak 25% Window: 511 cd/m²
  • Peak 50% Window: 293 cd/m²
  • Peak 100% Window: 193 cd/m²
  • Sustained 2% Window: 763 cd/m²
  • Sustained 10% Window: 723 cd/m²
  • Sustained 25% Window: 499 cd/m²
  • Sustained 50% Window: 293 cd/m²
  • Sustained 100% Window: 192 cd/m²

The HDR brightness in 'Game' mode is very similar to the HDR brightness outside of ‘Game’ mode. It’s hard to even tell the difference when switching between the two. That said, the brightness measured slightly less bright than outside of 'Game' mode, especially the real scene brightness. As with SDR, you can set HDR Tone Mapping to 'Brightness Preferred' to get a slightly brighter image, though we expect that this will depend highly on the content.

We took these measurements using the same settings as our regular HDR brightness test, except in the ‘Game’ Picture Mode.

8.6
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
1.377%
50% DSE
0.137%
5% Std. Dev.
0.333%
5% DSE
0.063%

The Sony A90J has excellent gray uniformity, but this may vary between units. The screen looks very uniform overall with almost no dirty screen effect, and we didn’t notice any banding or issues in near-dark scenes, although this can occur with more extensive use.

10
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
0.297%
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
N/A

Like all OLEDs, the Sony A90J can completely turn off individual pixels to achieve perfect black uniformity.

8.6
Picture Quality
Viewing Angle
Color Washout
51°
Color Shift
27°
Brightness Loss
64°
Black Level Raise
70°
Gamma Shift
61°

The Sony A90J has excellent viewing angles, but they're not quite as good as the LG A1. They're wide enough that the image won't look washed out or inaccurate if you watch at an angle.

9.3
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Glossy
Total Reflections
1.4%
Indirect Reflections
0.1%
Calculated Direct Reflections
1.3%

The Sony A90J has fantastic reflection handling. It diffuses both direct and indirect reflections very well, so glare shouldn’t be an issue, especially in more moderate lighting conditions.

8.5
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
White Balance dE
1.93
Color dE
1.99
Gamma
2.18
Color Temperature
6,700 K
Picture Mode
Custom
Color Temp Setting
Expert 1
Gamma Setting
0

The Sony A90J has amazing out-of-the-box color accuracy, though this can vary between units. Colors and white balance are both excellent with few inaccuracies. The color temperature is quite close to our 6500K target, but it’s on the cooler side. Lastly, gamma follows the target very well, with only the brightest scenes appearing a bit brighter than they should.

9.7
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
White Balance dE
0.13
Color dE
0.72
Gamma
2.20
Color Temperature
6,511 K
White Balance Calibration
10 point
Color Calibration
Yes

Update 05/19/2021: We downloaded the Calman for Bravia app to see if it works for calibration. Having the app on the TV itself doesn't do anything and you need Calman downloaded on a PC. Also, only the 2018 version of Calman and newer works. With it, you can access a 20-point calibration and Custom Pro Picture Modes.

After calibration, the Sony A90J has exceptional color accuracy. Any remaining inaccuracies shouldn’t be noticeable to the naked eye, and the color temperature is very close to the target. Gamma is practically perfect. The TV was also very easy to calibrate. You can see our recommended settings here.

8.0
Picture Quality
480p Input

No issues upscaling 480p content like DVDs.

8.0
Picture Quality
720p Input

The Sony A90J upscales 720p content like cable TV well.

9.0
Picture Quality
1080p Input

1080p content, like Blu-Ray, looks good, with no upscaling issues.

10
Picture Quality
4k Input

4k content is displayed perfectly with no issues.

0
Picture Quality
8k Input

The Sony A90J doesn't support an 8k signal.

Picture Quality
Pixels

Like all OLEDs, the Sony A90J uses a WRGB sub-pixel layout, where the pixels are never all on at the same time. While this TV is said to be able to brighten all four pixels at once to achieve a higher peak brightness, we never saw all four sub-pixels lit at the same time, even when we recorded 1291 nits. You can see some of the blue sub-pixels lit up in this photo.

8.5
Picture Quality
Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
Yes
DCI P3 xy
98.16%
DCI P3 uv
97.91%
Rec 2020 xy
70.95%
Rec 2020 uv
72.12%

The Sony A90J has an excellent color gamut. It's wide enough for HDR content and has near-perfect coverage of the commonly used DCI P3 color space. Its coverage of the wider Rec. 2020 is only decent, though.

7.3
Picture Quality
Color Volume
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage ITP
78.5%
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP
42.8%
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
67.3%
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
32.1%

The color volume is decent. It only really struggles a bit with very bright colors.

9.3
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
10 Bit
Red (Std. Dev.)
0.063
Green (Std. Dev.)
0.077
Blue (Std. Dev.)
0.065
Gray (Std. Dev.)
0.070

The Sony A90J has superb gradient handling. It looks really good, despite some minor banding in the grays and greens. If you notice banding and it bothers you, you can enable Smooth Gradation to help smooth out gradients, although it may produce artifacts.

9.2
Picture Quality
Temporary Image Retention
IR after 0 min recovery
0.27%
IR after 2 min recovery
0.06%
IR after 4 min recovery
0.03%
IR after 6 min recovery
0.00%
IR after 8 min recovery
0.00%
IR after 10 min recovery
0.01%

There’s a bit of temporary image retention immediately after playing a high-contrast video for 10 minutes, but it disappears quickly. Keep in mind that image retention can vary between units.

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

Like all OLEDs, the Sony A90J is susceptible to permanent burn-in, which can happen when static elements like a channel logo or desktop interface stay on the screen for an extended period. However, we don't expect it to be an issue for most people who watch varied content, and there are also built-in features to minimize the risks, including Pixel Shift and Panel Refresh. You can read more about those here.

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

The Sony A90J has a near-instantaneous response time, like all OLEDs. For the most part, motion looks smooth with very few artifacts. Nevertheless, you may still notice persistence blur caused by the way our eyes track movement. This is also why our photo is blurry despite the fast response time.

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

Because it's an OLED, the Sony A90J doesn't have a backlight, but it can still emulate the Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) of LED TVs by turning its pixels on and off. For that reason it isn't flicker-free; the slight dip in brightness that you can see in the chart every 8 ms is due to the TV's 120Hz refresh rate.

10
Motion
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
Optional BFI
Yes
Min Flicker For 60 fps
60 Hz
60Hz For 60 fps
Yes
120Hz For 120 fps
Yes
Min Flicker for 60 fps in Game Mode
60 Hz

The Sony A90J has an optional Black Frame Insertion (BFI) feature, which can help reduce motion blur by inserting black frames into content at regular intervals, typically matched with the frame rate of the content. For a BFI frequency of 120Hz, you should set Motionflow to 'Custom' and set Clearness to '1' or '2'. For 60Hz, set Clearness to '3' (max).

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

The Sony A90J can interpolate lower frame rate content up to 120fps to make motion look smoother, which is also known as the 'Soap Opera Effect'. It performs fine during slower scenes, but there's a fair number of artifacts in busier scenes or panning shots. To use it, set Cinemotion to 'High' and Smoothness to max.

5.2
Motion
Stutter
Frame Hold Time @ 24 fps
38.6 ms
Frame Hold Time @ 60 fps
13.6 ms

Due to the TV's fast response time, low frame rate content can appear to stutter since each frame is held on longer. Motion interpolation can help if stutter bothers you.

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

Update 05/14/2021: We retested the TV to see if there's judder with BFI enabled via a 60p source. With the Clearness setting at 'Max' the BFI flickers at 60Hz and there's judder; setting it to '2' makes the BFI work at 120Hz and reduces the judder, and '1' removes it completely.

Unlike the LG A1 OLED, the Sony A90J can remove judder from all sources. You don't need to enable any additional settings for native 24p content. For 24p content via 60p/i or via native apps, set Cinemotion to 'High' and Motionflow to 'Custom' but leave the sliders at 0.

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

The Sony A90J doesn't currently support VRR. However, it's supposed to receive VRR and ALLM support via a future firmware update. If you want an OLED with VRR support, check out the LG C1 OLED.

Inputs
9.2
Inputs
Input Lag
1080p @ 60Hz
17.5 ms
1080p @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode
168.6 ms
1440p @ 60Hz
16.6 ms
4k @ 60Hz
16.6 ms
4k @ 60Hz + 10-Bit HDR
16.6 ms
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
16.7 ms
4k @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode
151.9 ms
4k @ 60Hz With Interpolation
143.7 ms
8k @ 60Hz
N/A
1080p @ 120Hz
12.1 ms
1440p @ 120Hz
N/A
4k @ 120Hz
14.7 ms
1080p with Variable Refresh Rate
N/A
1440p with VRR
N/A
4k with VRR
N/A
8k with VRR
N/A

Update 07/08/2021: We retested the input lag with the latest firmware, PKG6.3770.0471NAA. The 4k @ 120Hz input lag has increased by about 3ms.

The Sony A90J has a low input lag, although it's slightly higher than competing high-end models and rises significantly outside of 'Game' mode. To get low latency, you can use either the 'Game' or 'Graphics' Picture Mode, though we recommend 'Game' mode to get the lowest latency for gaming.

9.2
Inputs
Supported Resolutions
1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes
1080p @ 120Hz
Yes (native support)
1440p @ 60Hz
Yes (forced resolution required)
1440p @ 120Hz
No
4k @ 60Hz
Yes
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes
4k @ 120Hz
Yes (native support)
8k @ 30Hz or 24Hz
No
8k @ 60Hz
No

The Sony A90J supports most common resolutions, including proper 4k @ 120Hz. However, it can't do 1440p @ 120Hz. We also had trouble displaying proper chroma 4:4:4 in 1440p on our test laptop, as text looked blurrier than it should have, but this only occurred on the laptop and not other PCs. Our screen also blacked out when trying to display 4:4:4 at 1440p @ 120Hz on the laptop, so we couldn't confirm if it skips frames or not. For chroma 4:4:4 to work properly, 'Enhanced Format' must be enabled in the HDMI Signal Format menu and Picture Mode set to 'Game' or 'Graphics'. 'Enhanced Format' is also required to achieve full bandwidth signals.

Inputs
Advanced Console Compatibility
Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM)
No
PS5, 4k @ 120Hz + HDR
Yes
PS5, 4k @ 120Hz
Yes
PS5, 4k @ 60Hz + HDR
Yes
PS5, 1440p @ 120Hz
No
PS5, 1080p @ 120Hz
Yes
PS5, Variable Refresh Rate
No
Xbox Series X, 4k @ 120Hz + HDR
Yes
Xbox Series X, 4k @ 120Hz
Yes
Xbox Series X, 4k @ 60Hz + HDR
Yes
Xbox Series X, 1440p @ 120Hz
No
Xbox Series X, 1080p @ 120Hz
Yes
Xbox Series X, Variable Refresh Rate
No

Update 04/08/2021: We received comments suggesting that the A90J has more banding issues in HDR at 4k @ 120Hz than in SDR. We retested the TV to check for this. With Destiny 2 on the Xbox Series X, there was a bit more banding in HDR in parts of the sky or the main menu, but you'd have to be looking for it to notice. On the PS5, we tested with Call of Duty: Cold War, and the visibility of banding depended highly on the map. With some maps, there was noticeable banding in both SDR and HDR, although it was worse in HDR. In others, the banding was more minimal and only noticeable in clouds, for instance, in HDR. With Destiny 2 on the RTX 3070, however, we didn't notice an appreciable difference between SDR and HDR when it comes to banding. This leads us to believe that while there is more banding in HDR than in SDR at 4k @ 120Hz, it's highly dependent on the content.

The Sony A90J supports most but not all resolutions for the latest gaming consoles since it doesn't support 1440p @ 120Hz and doesn't yet support VRR. It doesn't have ALLM yet, but it does have an Auto Picture Mode function that automatically switches to 'Game' mode with compatible Sony devices like the PS5. This feature doesn't work with the Xbox, though.

Inputs
Inputs Specifications
HDR10
Yes
HDR10+
No
Dolby Vision
Yes
HLG
Yes
HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth
Yes (HDMI 1,2,3,4)
HDMI 2.1 Class Bandwidth
Yes (HDMI 3,4)
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)
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
Audio Passthrough
ARC
Yes (HDMI 3)
eARC support
Yes
Dolby Atmos via TrueHD via eARC
Yes
DTS:X via DTS-HD MA via eARC
Yes
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
Yes

The Sony A90J supports eARC, which allows the TV to pass high-quality audio formats to an external receiver over HDMI. To use it, enable 'eARC Mode', then set Digital Audio Out to 'Auto 1' and Passthrough to 'Auto'.

Sound Quality
7.3
Sound Quality
Frequency Response
Low-Frequency Extension
75.51 Hz
Std. Dev. @ 70
4.02 dB
Std. Dev. @ 80
3.92 dB
Std. Dev. @ Max
6.18 dB
Max
96.6 dB SPL
Dynamic Range Compression
4.37 dB

Update 07/20/2021: We retested the frequency response and distortion with the feet in the lowered position. The frequency response improved slightly, and there's a lot less distortion.

Update 07/08/2021: We retested the frequency response with the latest firmware, PKG6.3770.0471NAA. The low-frequency extension is a bit lower, resulting in a slightly better overall frequency response, but there's a bit more compression.

Update 05/28/2021: We listened to the speakers again to make sure our testing is correct. With Acoustic Auto Calibration enabled, we listened to a variety of content, including music and movies like Captain America: Civil War and Space Jam. It's nowhere near as good as a dedicated soundbar and there's nothing special about the speakers. If we were to subjectively assign a score, it would be in line with the testing results.

The Sony A90J has a decent frequency response. This is mostly due to its lack of bass. While dialogue should sound okay and the TV gets very loud, there's also a lot of compression at higher volumes, resulting in pumping.

7.6
Sound Quality
Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80
0.042
Weighted THD @ Max
1.106
IMD @ 80
0.37%
IMD @ Max
3.80%

Update 07/20/2021: We retested the frequency response and distortion with the feet in the lowered position. The frequency response improved slightly, and there's a lot less distortion.

Update 07/08/2021: We retested the distortion with the latest firmware, PKG6.3770.0471NAA. The distortion performance is slightly better.

Distortion performance is decent. There isn't much distortion at most volume levels, but it gets quite distorted at max volume.

Smart Features
8.0
Smart Features
Interface
Smart OS Google TV
Version 10
Ease of Use
Average
Smoothness
Very Smooth
Time Taken to Select YouTube
2 s
Time Taken to Change Backlight
2 s
Advanced Options
Many

The Sony A90J runs on Google TV, which replaces Android TV. It's very similar to Android but improves upon it in a couple of ways. For one thing, it's very smooth and fairly easy to navigate, with no bugs or issues. It also streamlines everything by letting you log in to all of your most-used apps from the smart hub, where it then organizes all your content.

0
Smart Features
Ad-Free
Ads
Yes
Opt-out
No
Suggested Content in Home
Yes
Opt-out of Suggested Content
No

Unfortunately, there are ads in the app store and on the home page, which you can't disable. You can opt-out of some suggested content, but you can't get rid of suggested content completely.

9.0
Smart Features
Apps and Features
App Selection
Great
App Smoothness
Very Smooth
Cast Capable
Yes
USB Drive Playback
Yes
USB Drive HDR Playback
Yes
HDR in Netflix
Yes
HDR in YouTube
Yes

The app store has a wide range of apps available to download, and they run smoothly.

8.5
Smart Features
Remote
Size
Large
Voice Control
Many Features
CEC Menu Control
Yes
Other Smart Features
No
Remote App Android TV

Update 05/14/2021: We retested the TV to check if it still works with the Android TV app, even though it now has Google TV. It works perfectly and you get the same features as you did with Android TV, like voice control.

The Sony A90J has a similar remote to other Sony OLEDs like the Sony A9S OLED. It has shortcut buttons to the top streaming apps and YouTube, as well as a dedicated Google Assistant button that activates its voice command feature. You can use voice commands to change inputs, adjust certain settings, search within apps, and more. It can also be used as a universal remote, although it may depend on your country and particular device. The remote also has new, motion-activated backlighting, so you can see the buttons in the dark.

Smart Features
TV Controls

There's a single button on the back of the left side. Press it to move through options and hold it to select.

Smart Features
In The Box

  • Documentation
  • Remote control
  • 2x AAA batteries
  • Cable tie

Smart Features
Misc
Power Consumption 96 W
Power Consumption (Max) 176 W
Firmware PKG6.3628.0454NAA

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

We tested the 55 inch Sony A90J OLED (XR-55A90J), which is also available in a 65 inch size (XR-65A90J). We expect our results to be valid for that model as well. The model codes are the same in Europe and the UK. There’s also an 83 inch version of the A90J that’s set to launch later in 2021, and while it will likely perform similarly, we don’t know for sure.

If you come across a different type of panel or your Sony A90J doesn't correspond to our review, let us know, and we’ll update it. Note that some tests, like gray uniformity, may vary between individual units.

Our unit was manufactured in February 2021, and you can see the label here.

Compared To Other TVs

The Sony A90J OLED is an amazing overall TV. It’s Sony’s brightest OLED yet, especially when it comes to HDR, and it’s a very well-built TV. That said, it also comes with a very premium price tag, and it currently lacks support for features like VRR that even TVs from previous years like the LG CX OLED have out-of-the-box. For more options, see our recommendations for the best OLED TVs, the best 55 inch TVs, and the best TVs on the market.

Sony A80J OLED
55" 65" 77"

The Sony A80J OLED and the Sony A90J OLED are very similar TVs overall, and both offer stunning picture quality in a premium, well-built package. That said, the A90J uses Sony's new heatsink technology, which allows it to get brighter in HDR, although the difference is relatively small. The A90J also has a better remote with motion-activated backlighting. The other big difference is that the A90J is available in 55, 65, and 83 inch sizes, while the A80J is available in 55, 65, and 77 inch sizes. If none of these are dealbreakers, the A80J is still an excellent choice that performs about the same as its more expensive sibling.

LG C1 OLED
48" 55" 65" 77" 83"

The LG C1 OLED and the Sony A90J OLED are both amazing TVs. They each have OLED panels with near-infinite contrast ratios and perfect black levels. That said, the Sony can reach higher peaks of brightness in both SDR and HDR. The LG, however, may be the better option for gaming since it has FreeSync, G-SYNC, and HDMI Forum VRR support and lower input lag, while the Sony doesn't yet support VRR although it's meant to receive it in a future update. 

Sony A9G OLED
55" 65" 77"

The Sony A90J OLED and the Sony A9G OLED are both excellent OLED TVs. They can both turn off pixels individually to produce an infinite contrast ratio and perfect black levels, which is great for watching movies and other content. If you're a gamer, though, the A90J has a bit of an edge because it supports HDMI 2.1 and has a bit less input lag. It also gets a bit brighter in HDR if you watch a lot of HDR content.

Sony X90J
50" 55" 65" 75"

The Sony X90J and the Sony A90J OLED are very different performance-wise because they don't use the same panel type, but they have similar features. The A90J is an OLED TV that delivers better picture quality because it has a near-infinite contrast ratio, and it can produce perfect blacks by turning the pixels off. It has wider viewing angles and better reflection handling, but it doesn't get as bright, so it might not overcome intense glare. The A90J has near-instantaneous response times, making it better for fast-moving content like sports or gaming, but it also causes low frame rate content like movies to stutter. Both TVs have a 120Hz refresh rate, HDMI 2.1 support, and run on Google TV. Lastly, the A90J is susceptible to permanent burn-in, whereas the X90J is immune.

Samsung QN90A QLED
43" 50" 55" 65" 75" 85"

The Sony A90J OLED and the Samsung QN90A QLED are both excellent all-around TVs, but they use different panel types. The Sony is an OLED, so it has perfect blacks and an infinite contrast ratio. The Samsung, on the other hand, is an LED TV, and its use of Mini LED backlighting allows it to get exceptionally bright. The Sony may be a better option if you prioritize movies and picture quality, but the Samsung may be a better option for gaming since it has VRR and ALLM support and a lower input lag.

LG CX OLED
48" 55" 65" 77"

The Sony A90J OLED and the LG CX OLED perform very similarly overall. Like all OLEDs, the perfect blacks and near-instantaneous response times on both deliver exceptional picture quality and performance. The biggest differences are in design and features. The Sony feels a little bit more premium overall, but the LG comes with VRR support and four HDMI 2.1 ports, as opposed to the two on the Sony. All in all, they're both amazing TVs.

Sony X95J
65" 75" 85"

The Sony A90J OLED and the Sony X95J use different panel types, each with strengths and weaknesses. The A90J uses an OLED panel, which delivers true inky blacks with perfect black uniformity, whereas the X95J uses an LED backlight. The X95J is a lot brighter, but the A90J has better dark room performance, better uniformity, and better viewing angles. The A90J also has a nearly instantaneous response time, so it's a better choice for gamers.

Sony A8H OLED
55" 65"

The Sony A90J OLED and the Sony A8H OLED are very similar TVs overall. The biggest difference is that the A90J has two HDMI 2.1 ports, which is great if you plan on using it for the latest gaming consoles, while the A8H doesn't have any. Otherwise, they both deliver the same exceptional picture quality and performance that most OLEDs do, thanks to their ability to turn off individual pixels and their near-instantaneous response times.

LG G1 OLED
55" 65" 77"

The LG G1 OLED and the Sony A90J OLED are similar and fantastic TVs. They each deliver a near-infinite contrast ratio for deep blacks. The LG has the new evo OLED panel, allowing it to get brighter than other OLEDs, and while the Sony isn't advertised to have the evo panel, it has about the same brightness as the LG. The main difference is that the LG has gaming features like VRR support, but that could come in a firmware update with the Sony. The LG is designed to sit flush against a wall and doesn't come with a dedicated stand like the Sony.

Samsung QN900A 8k QLED
65" 75" 85"

The Sony A90J OLED is better overall than the Samsung QN900A 8k QLED. While it can't display an 8k signal like the Samsung, there isn't much 8k content yet. Plus, the Sony is an OLED, so it has a near-infinite contrast ratio that can display perfect blacks with no blooming. The Samsung, on the other hand, uses a VA panel but has low native contrast. While it's improved heavily by local dimming, the local dimming feature is mediocre and produces a lot of noticeable blooming. The biggest advantage of the Samsung is that it gets significantly brighter, so it's a little better suited to very bright rooms.

LG GX OLED
55" 65" 77"

The LG GX OLED and the Sony A90J OLED are both high-end, well-designed OLED TVs. If you want something that looks sleek and will sit absolutely flush against the wall, the LG is one of the thinnest TVs we've tested, designed to look like a piece of art on your wall. Otherwise, the two perform very similarly, delivering the same perfect black levels that all OLEDs do, but the Sony currently lacks VRR support. That said, the Sony also gets a bit brighter in HDR and is technically capable of hitting an exceptionally high peak brightness in 'Vivid' mode, but not for sustained periods of time.

Hisense U8G
55" 65"

The Sony A90J OLED and the Hisense U8G use different display panels, each with strengths and weaknesses. The Sony looks best in a dark room, as the OLED panel displays perfect blacks, with no blooming or uniformity issues. The Sony also has much better viewing angles, making it a better choice for a wide seating arrangement. Unfortunately, OLED technology comes with some inherent risks, including the possibility of permanent burn-in. The Hisense, on the other hand, is much brighter, and it supports some of the latest gaming features, including support for a variable refresh rate.

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