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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The TV 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.
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)
There isn’t 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.
It’s 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.
The build quality 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Brightness in HDR is decent. 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.
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.
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.
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.
Like all OLEDs, the Sony A90J can completely turn off individual pixels to achieve perfect black uniformity.
The Sony A90J has excellent viewing angles. They're wide enough that the image won't look washed out or inaccurate if you watch at an angle.
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.
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.
After calibration, the accuracy is exceptional. 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.
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.
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.
The color volume is decent. It only really struggles a bit with very bright colors.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.