The Sony A90K OLED is a mid-range OLED TV in Sony's 2022 lineup. It sits above the Sony A80K/A80CK OLED and below the QD-OLED Sony A95K OLED. It's a bit of an oddity in Sony's lineup, as it's only available in a 42" and 48" size, and it offers very similar specifications and performance to the lower-end A80K. It mainly targets PC and console gamers, and it's part of Sony's "Perfect for PS5" lineup, which offers a few unique features that are exclusive to the PS5, including Auto Genre Picture Mode and Auto HDR Tone Mapping.
Note: We also tested the Sony 42 A90K OLED as a PC monitor. Due to differences in the way TVs and monitors are used, the two sizes were tested with different settings and different test methodology, so the scores and conclusions drawn in the reviews aren't comparable.
The Sony A90K is an excellent TV for mixed usage. It looks best in a dark room, thanks to its near-infinite contrast ratio and perfect black uniformity, with no blooming around bright objects. It makes it a superb choice for watching movies or gaming in the dark. It's also great for watching shows or sports in a bright room, as it has superb reflection handling and passable peak brightness. It has a wide viewing angle, which is great if you have a wide seating arrangement and want to watch sports with a group of friends, as the image remains consistent when viewed from the side. Finally, it's a very good choice for use as a PC monitor, but there are some text clarity issues due to its WRBG subpixel layout.
The Sony A90K is a great TV for watching shows during the day. It has superb reflection handling and passable peak brightness, meaning it can handle a moderate amount of light during the day. It has an amazing viewing angle, which is great if you have a wide seating area, as the image remains consistent when viewed from the sides. The built-in Google TV smart interface has a great selection of streaming apps, so you can quickly find your favorite content. The TV also supports hands-free voice control, so you can search for content or even control other smart devices around the house without having to search for the remote.
The Sony A90K is an impressive choice for watching sports. It has an amazing viewing angle, which is great for watching sports with a large group of friends, as the image remains accurate when viewed from the side. It also has an incredibly quick response time, so fast action is clear, with no distracting blur around the players. It has superb reflection handling and passable peak brightness, meaning it can handle a moderate amount of glare in a bright room. Finally, it upscales 720p content well, which is great if you're watching sports on cable TV.
The Sony A90K delivers a fantastic gaming experience. Thanks to its nearly-instantaneous response time, motion is incredibly clear and smooth, and it has low input lag for a responsive gaming experience. It also has a great selection of gaming features, including variable refresh rate support and HDMI 2.1 bandwidth on two HDMI ports, allowing 4k @ 120Hz gaming with the PS5 or Xbox Series S|X. It's fantastic for gaming in the dark thanks to its near-infinite contrast ratio, delivering deep inky blacks with no blooming or haloing around bright objects.
The Sony A90K is an amazing TV for watching movies in HDR in a dark room. It has relatively low peak brightness in HDR, but this doesn't matter as much with an OLED display like this one, as its near-infinite contrast ratio allows it to display an incredibly impactful HDR experience. It has an excellent color gamut, with nearly full coverage of the DCI-P3 color space used for most HDR content, and it has superb gradient handling, with next to no banding in areas of similar colors.
The Sony A90K is an amazing choice for gaming in HDR. It delivers a fantastic gaming experience, with low input lag and a nearly-instantaneous response time, so motion is smooth and clear. It also has some great gaming features, including HDMI Forum VRR support and HDMI 2.1 bandwidth for 4k @ 120Hz gaming. It can't get very bright in HDR, but HDR content still looks impressive as the near-infinite contrast ratio delivers bright highlights right next to deep blacks, with no blooming around bright objects.
The Sony A90K is a very good TV for use as a PC monitor. It has low input lag and a nearly instantaneous response time, so your actions on-screen are fluid and responsive. It also has a wide viewing angle, ensuring the sides of the screen remain consistent, but there's some color shifting at the edges. It has good visibility in a moderately lit room, with superb reflection handling but just passable peak brightness, so glare is still distracting in a room with lots of light. Unfortunately, its WRBG subpixel layout delivers just decent text clarity, and there's some color fringing.
We tested the 48-inch Sony A90K (XR48A90K), and the results are also valid for the 42-inch model. We also tested the 42-inch Sony 42 A90K OLED (XR42A90K) as a monitor, but note that the scores, test results, and text are all relative to the monitor market, so they're not directly comparable to the results posted in this review.
Our unit was manufactured in June 2022, and you can see the label here.
The Sony A90K is an excellent OLED monitor that's only available in smaller 42" and 48" sizes. It performs about the same as the other 48" OLEDs on the market, including the LG 48 C1 OLED, but it comes with a slightly more versatile stand. Unfortunately, it has worse gaming features and higher input lag than the competition, so if you care more about gaming, the LG models are a better choice.
The LG C2 OLED is a bit better than the Sony A90K OLED. The LG is significantly brighter in both SDR and HDR, so it can better overcome glare, and bright highlights stand out better in HDR. The LG also has better gaming features, including support for 1440p @ 120Hz gaming, FreeSync variable refresh rate support, and HDMI 2.1 bandwidth on all four ports compared to just two ports on the Sony.
Although the Sony A90K OLED is positioned as a higher-end model than the Sony A80K/A80CK OLED, they offer nearly identical performance, but they're available in different sizes. The A80K is available in a 55", 65", and 77" size, while the A90K is only available in 42" and 48" sizes.
The Sony A90J OLED is a bit better than the Sony A90K OLED, but the differences are very minor. The A90J is a bit brighter than the new model, meaning it can handle a bit more glare, and bright highlights in HDR stand out a bit more. Although sharing a similar model name, the A90K isn't a direct replacement for the A90J, as they're available in different sizes. The A90J is available in a 55", 65", and 83" size, while the A90K is only available in 42" and 48" sizes.
The Sony A95K OLED is much better than the Sony A90K. The A95K delivers a much more impactful HDR experience thanks to its wider color gamut and significantly better color volume, so bright colors are more vibrant and realistic. There's also less banding in gradients, and it gets significantly brighter, so bright highlights stand out much better.
The Sony A90K OLED is the replacement for the Sony A9S OLED. The A9S is a bit brighter, so it can handle more glare overall, but the A90K has better gaming features. The A90K supports variable refresh rate technology and supports HDMI 2.1 bandwidth over two of its HDMI ports, allowing for 4k @ 120Hz gaming from the Xbox Series S|X or the PS5.
The Sony A90K has a premium design that looks great in any room. It has very thin bezels on three sides that help it blend into your environment.
Update 08/09/2023: The brightness of the TV has increased considerably in the 8-month measurements. This TV doesn't seem to have received any firmware updates that would explain this difference, and the settings used are the same as the previous measurements, so we're not sure why it's increased.
The stand is slim and not very intrusive. It supports the TV well while not taking up much space on your table.
Footprint of the 48" stand: 19" x 8.8". The position, as shown, barely lifts the bottom of the display off your table, so if you place anything in front of it, it'll block the screen. There are extensions included in the box that lift the TV off the stand (as shown here), giving you 3.2" between the table and the bottom of the screen, so most soundbars will fit without blocking the screen.
The back of the TV has a checkerboard pattern similar to other 2022 Sony TVs. There are included covers to hide the downfacing inputs, but nothing to block the inputs on the side. Sadly, there's nothing for cable management.
The Sony A90K OLED has fantastic build quality. It feels solid and well-built. There's very little flex to any of the panels, and the metal feet support the TV on the stand really well.
The Sony A90K has a near-infinite contrast ratio with perfect black levels in dark rooms. It means it's a fantastic choice for watching content in dark environments.
The Sony A90K has unremarkable HDR peak brightness. Although bright highlights aren't as bright as most LED displays, like the Samsung QN90B QLED, it still delivers an impactful HDR experience thanks to its near-infinite contrast ratio. Sadly, like with HDR content, there's a noticeable variation in peak brightness with different scenes, as large bright scenes are considerably dimmer than the brightest highlights in dim scenes.
These results are from the 'Custom' HDR Picture Mode with the Brightness at its max, Color Temperature on 'Expert 2', and the HDR Tone Mapping set to 'Gradation Preferred'.
If you prefer a bright image over an accurate one, set the HDR Picture Mode to 'Vivid', Contrast to its max, Color Temperature on 'Cool', and Peak Luminance to 'High'. It results in a noticeably brighter image, reaching a peak of 788 cd/m² with a 2% window, but the picture isn't as accurate.
The HDR brightness in Game Mode is nearly the same as outside of Game Mode, and there isn't a noticeable difference. These results are with the same settings as outside of Game Mode, but with the Picture Mode set to 'Game'.
The Sony A90K tracks the HDR PQ EOTF almost perfectly, which means that most scenes are displayed very close to what the content creator intended. There's a smooth rolloff near the TV's peak brightness, ensuring fine details in bright scenes are preserved.
If you prefer a bright image over an accurate one, set the Contrast to its max, Advanced Contrast Enhancer and Peak Luminance to 'High', and HDR Tone Mapping to 'Brightness Preferred'. This results in a brighter image, but it doesn't change the peak luminance.
The Sony A90K's SDR peak brightness is just passable. Like all OLED TVs, it has an aggressive Automatic Brightness limiter that makes large bright scenes dimmer, which isn't ideal if you use it as a PC monitor or watch sports like hockey. It also automatically dims static content, like the HUD in some games, as a burn-in prevention method. This 48" model is slightly brighter than the Sony 42 A90K OLED, but the difference isn't noticeable with real content.
These results are from after calibration with the 'Custom' Picture Mode, Brightness at its max, Contrast at '90', Color Temperature on 'Expert 1', and Peak Luminance on 'High'.
If you want the brightest image possible and you don't care about accuracy, then use the 'Vivid' Picture Mode with the Brightness and Contrast at their max, Live Color, Advanced Contrast Enhancer, and Peak Luminance on 'High', and the Color Temperature on 'Cool'. It results in a peak brightness of 766 cd/m² in the 2% window.
The Sony A90K has an excellent HDR color gamut. It has perfect coverage of the most commonly-used DCI-P3 color space, and it has decent Rec. 2020 coverage. The tone mapping with bright scenes is good overall, but saturated colors are a bit off, causing a loss of fine details in certain scenes. These results are nearly identical to the Sony 42 A90K OLED.
The Sony A90K has good color volume. It displays dark colors well because of its near-infinite contrast ratio. Because of its W-OLED panel and white subpixel, pure whites are much brighter than colors, and it doesn't look as vibrant as the Sony A95K OLED.
The Sony A90K has good accuracy before calibration. Except for cyan, most colors are displayed accurately. The color temperature is very slightly on the cold side, but again, it's not noticeable. The biggest issues are with gamma and the white balance. Gamma is slightly darker than our 2.2 target in dark scenes, and bright shades of gray are a bit off. Note that monitors and TVs use different calibration targets, so these results aren't comparable to the Sony 42 A90K OLED.
The Sony A90K is easy to calibrate, and the overall image accuracy is fantastic after calibration to the D65 white point.
You can see the full settings for our calibration here.
The Sony A90K has excellent gray uniformity. The screen is uniform throughout, with very little dirty screen effect in the center that could be distracting while watching sports. Like any OLED, there are thin vertical lines in near-black scenes, but they're hard to spot unless you sit close. There's much less vignetting on the 48" model than there is on the Sony 42 A90K OLED.
Like any OLED TV, the Sony A90K has perfect black uniformity, as any pixel that's displaying black is turned off. It results in a perfectly uniform image with no blooming around bright highlights.
The Sony A90K has an amazing viewing angle. The image remains consistent when viewed from the sides, which is great if you have a wide seating arrangement or like to move around with the TV on. Colors shift a bit at a moderate angle, especially greens, which is a bit noticeable at the sides of the screen if you're using it as a PC monitor and like to sit close to the screen, but it's not a significant issue.
The Sony A90K has superb reflection handling. Reflections from bright light sources aren't very noticeable, but the anti-reflective coating gives everything a bit of a purple tint.
The Sony A90K has superb gradient handling. There's a bit of banding in dark shades of gray and green, but even that is hard to notice. You won't see much banding with regular content. There's a Smooth Gradation feature to further improve gradient handling, and it works well with real content.
The Sony A90K has a near-instantaneous response time that results in no noticeable motion blur behind fast-moving objects. However, due to the sample-and-hold nature of all OLED panels, there's still persistence blur, especially with low frame rate content.
The Sony A90K isn't technically flicker-free, but it doesn't use pulse-width modulation (PWM) to adjust the brightness of the display. There's a small dip in brightness that corresponds to the display's refresh rate; however, it isn't noticeable.
The Sony A90K has an optional black frame insertion feature to reduce persistence blur. Like all 2022 OLED TVs, it only works with 60 fps content, which is disappointing. The BFI score is based on the flicker frequencies at which it works and not the actual performance.
The Sony A90K has a motion interpolation feature to bring 30 and 60 fps content up to 120 fps. It works well with lower settings in most content, but like all TVs, there are some artifacts with fast-moving content.
Due to the Sony A90K's near-instantaneous response time, there's significant stutter with lower-frame-rate content as each frame is held on longer.
The Sony A90K removes 24p judder from any source, including 60p/i sources that don't have a Match Frame Rate feature, which helps with the appearance of motion in movies. However, if you enable the BFI feature, it can't remove judder from 60p/i sources.
The Sony A90K supports HDMI Forum VRR to reduce screen tearing, but like all Sony TVs, it doesn't support FreeSync. It supports Low Framerate Compensation to continue working with low frame rates. Sadly, the lack of FreeSync support is disappointing if you have a PC with an older AMD graphics card, as only the latest AMD GPUs support HDMI Forum VRR.
The Sony A90K has low input lag in Game Mode. It's a bit higher than most similar TVs, like the LG C2 OLED, but it's still good enough for a responsive gaming experience.
The Sony A90K supports most common signals under the HDMI 2.1 bandwidth up to 4k @ 120Hz with HDMI ports 3 and 4. 4k @ 120Hz signals are displayed properly on those two ports, including proper 4:4:4 or RGB for clear text, with no resolution-halving issues.
The Sony A90K works well with the PS5, but you have to use HDMI ports 3 or 4 to get the most out of your PS5. It's part of Sony's "Perfect for PS5" program, and it has a few PS5-specific features like the Auto HDR Tone Mapping and Auto Genre Picture Mode.
The Sony A90K also works well with the Xbox Series X, but again, you have to use HDMI ports 3 or 4 to get the most out of it. It supports Dolby Vision gaming, but only with a fixed 60Hz refresh rate, as you have to choose between VRR support and Dolby Vision support.
The Sony A90K supports the maximum HDMI 2.1 bandwidth of 48Gbps, but only on HDMI ports 3 and 4. HDMI ports 1 and 2 are limited to HDMI 2.0 bandwidth. Unfortunately, HDMI port 3 is also the eARC port, so if you want to use a receiver with eARC, you can only connect one high bandwidth source, like a console, at a time.
The Sony A90K supports eARC, allowing you to pass high-quality, uncompressed audio to a compatible receiver through an HDMI cable. You can also connect a compatible Sony soundbar to the S-Center speaker input and use the TV's speakers as a center channel.
The Sony A90K has a mediocre frequency response. Like most TVs, there's very little bass response, so action scenes have very little thump or rump. Above the low-frequency extension (LFE), the frequency response is smooth in the mid and low treble range, so most dialogue is crisp and easy to understand. There's a bit of a drop-off in the mid to high treble range, but it's not noticeable. It gets very loud, but the drop-off in treble is even worse at high volume levels, and there's some compression.
The Sony A90K has good distortion performance. There's a bit of audible harmonic distortion, and it's a bit worse at high volume levels.
The Sony A90K comes with the same Google TV smart platform as other 2022 Sony TVs. It's easy to use and fast.
Unfortunately, like most TVs, there are ads throughout the interface. You can opt-out of personalized ads; however, this doesn't change how many ads you'll see; rather, it just limits how personalized they are.
The built-in Google Play Store has a great selection of additional apps, so you're sure to find your favorite content.
The included remote is compact but well-built and has a great selection of features. The buttons are backlit, and there's an ambient light sensor on the remote that automatically activates the backlight when needed. There's a mic on the remote, and the TV also has a built-in mic that allows for hands-free voice control. With simple voice commands, you can change inputs, launch apps, or search for content.
There's a single button behind the TV to turn it On/Off, change channels, adjust the volume, or switch inputs. It also has a switch to turn the built-in mic on or off if you're concerned about privacy.