Sony A9G OLED TV Review

Updated Jun 14, 2019 at 09:26 am
Sony A9G OLED Picture
Usage Ratings - Version 1.3
8.8
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: LG B9 OLED
9.4
Movies
8.5
TV Shows
8.7
Sports
8.9
Video Games
9.1
HDR Movies
8.8
HDR Gaming
8.4
PC Monitor
Type OLED
Sub-Type
WRGB
Resolution 4k

The Sony A9G is a remarkable OLED TV that delivers excellent picture quality. Like all OLED TVs, the A9G has an emissive technology that allows it to display perfect blacks by switching off individual pixels. It is better-suited for an average-lit room as it can't get very bright in SDR and can't overcome glare in a very bright room. It has a remarkable HDR performance thanks to the wide color gamut and the decent HDR peak brightness that deliver vivid colors and bright highlights. It has excellent reflection handling, and the image remains accurate when viewed from the side. Motion handling is excellent with a fast response time that leaves almost no blur trail behind fast-moving content. Finally, the TV has a low input lag that will satisfy most gamers.

Our Verdict

8.8 Mixed Usage

The Sony A9G is an excellent TV for almost any usage. It delivers a remarkable performance in a dark room and watching movies or HDR movies is outstanding. It has excellent motion handling with minimal motion blur and low input lag, great for most gamers. Unfortunately, like all OLED TVs, the A9G has the risk of permanent burn-in, but we don't expect this to be an issue for most people.

See our Mixed Usage recommendations
9.4 Movies

The TV delivers an outstanding movie performance. Thanks to its emissive technology, blacks are perfect in a dark room and this helps the overall picture quality look amazing. The TV can display judder-free movies from any source and has a motion interpolation feature to please the soap opera effect fans, which can also help if you are bothered by stutter in movies.

See our Movies recommendations
8.5 TV Shows

This is an excellent TV for watching TV shows. It's not the best choice if the room is very bright, but in an average lit room, the picture quality really shines. It can handle reflections well, and the viewing angles are good, allowing you to move around during your favorite TV show without experiencing deterioration in image quality. Upscaling lower resolution content, like from a DVD or a Blu-ray, is good with no obvious artifacts.

See our TV Shows recommendations
8.7 Sports

Remarkable TV for watching sports. The response time is extremely fast, and fast-action sports are displayed with minimal blur. The gray uniformity is excellent, which is great news for sports fans. Finally, the TV has wide viewing angles and is good for watching the game with a few friends, as no one would mind sitting on the side.

See our Sports recommendations
8.9 Video Games

The Sony A9G is a remarkable TV for playing video games. This is thanks to an extremely fast response time that delivers very crisp motion, and the low input lag that will keep most gamers happy. Unfortunately, the A9G doesn't support any of the variable refresh rate technologies, like FreeSync, and there is a risk of permanent burn-in.

See our Video Games recommendations
9.1 HDR Movies

The Sony A9G delivers a remarkable performance when it comes to watching HDR movies. It has perfect blacks, a wide color gamut, and can get decently bright. This makes HDR content display with vivid color and highlights that pop. The TV supports most major HDR formats, so you won't miss any movie if it's only available in one format.

See our HDR Movies recommendations
8.8 HDR Gaming

Playing HDR games on the A9G is a remarkable experience. The TV can display HDR content with vivid colors and bright highlights, has a low input lag in HDR mode, and feels very responsive. The fast response time helps deliver an image that has only minimal blur and looks very crisp.

See our HDR Gaming recommendations
8.4 PC Monitor

This is a great TV to use as a PC monitor. It can display the most common resolution with proper chroma 4:4:4 without issue. It has excellent wide viewing angles so the sides look uniform when you sit up close. Unfortunately, like all OLEDs, it has the risk of permanent burn-in. A prolonged use of the TV as a PC monitor might increase your chances of experiencing permanent burn-in.

See our PC Monitor recommendations
  • 8.8 Mixed Usage
  • 9.4 Movies
  • 8.5 TV Shows
  • 8.7 Sports
  • 8.9 Video Games
  • 9.1 HDR Movies
  • 8.8 HDR Gaming
  • 8.4 PC Monitor
Pros
  • Almost-instantaneous response time.
  • Remarkable dark room performance.
  • Excellent wide viewing angles.
Cons
  • Brightness is limited in white scenes.
  • Possibility of permanent burn-in with static content (see here).

Check Price

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Market Context
Market Context
Market Context

The Sony A9G is a high-end 2019 OLED TV, and directly replaces Sony's 2018 A9F. All OLEDs deliver very similar overall picture quality, so the design and the additional features are the main differences from one to another. The main competitors to the Sony A9G are the LG B9, LG E9, LG C9, and Sony A8G. The main LED competitors are the Sony Z9F, the Samsung Q90R, and the Samsung Q80R.

Design
9.5
Design
Style
Curved No

The design is excellent and very different from last year's A9F. The TV is very slim and has a flat stand that supports it well. If you nudge it, it will wobble a little, but not much. The stand is not adjustable, unlike the stand on the Sony A8G. The back of the TV looks nice and has a few small panels that help cover the TV's inputs and guide cables to a single exit. The build quality is excellent and we don't expect you to have any issues with it.

Design
Stand

The A9G has a flat stand that supports the TV well and only allows minimal wobble. The stand doesn't lift the TV from the table much, so there's not enough space to put a soundbar in front of the TV without blocking some part of the screen. The stand is not adjustable, unlike the stand found on the A8G.

The footprint of the 55" model is 18,3" x 10.1"

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 300x300

The back of the TV looks good, featuring a nice design with squares. It's made both of metal and of plastic. The metal part of the back helps support the thin screen, whereas the part that hosts the electronics is made of plastic. The plastic part has a few panels that help cover the inputs and also help guide the cables through a single exit to serve with cable management.

Design
Borders
Borders 0.31" (0.8 cm)

The borders are thin and elegant and won't distract you in any way.

Design
Thickness
Max Thickness 1.59" (4.0 cm)

Just like most OLEDs TVs, the A9G is very thin. It won't stick out much if you wall-mount it.

Design
Temperature
Maximum Temperature
101 °F (38 °C)
Average Temperature
92 °F (33 °C)
9.5
Design
Build Quality

The build quality is excellent. The TV feels premium and is very solid with no gaps or loose ends. You should have no issues with it.

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

The Sony A9G is an OLED TV and as such, it's able to turn off individual pixels. Therefore, it essentially has an infinite contrast ratio.

10
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
No
Backlight
N/A

The A9G does not have a local dimming feature. The TV uses a self-emissive technology and has no backlight. Since it is able to switch off individual pixels, there's no need for local dimming and there is no noticeable blooming around bright objects in dark scenes. Subtitles are displayed perfectly.

7.2
Picture Quality
SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
281 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
347 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
346 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
346 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
256 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
147 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
282 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
283 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
282 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
236 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
147 cd/m²
SDR ABL
0.044

The Sony A9G has decent SDR peak brightness in the same ballpark as other OLEDs like the A9F, but it isn't as good as LED TVs like the X950G. It's more suitable for an average lit room, as it won't be able to fight bright room glare.

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

If you don't care about image accuracy, you can obtain higher brightness levels. We were able to momentarily reach 768 nits with the 2% window using the default settings of the 'Vivid' Picture Mode, Brightness set to 'Max', Contrast set to 'Max', Peak Luminance set to 'High', Adv. Contrast enhancer set to 'High', and Color set to '60'.

7.2
Picture Quality
HDR Peak Brightness
HDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
593 cd/m²
HDR Peak 2% Window
689 cd/m²
HDR Peak 10% Window
584 cd/m²
HDR Peak 25% Window
437 cd/m²
HDR Peak 50% Window
258 cd/m²
HDR Peak 100% Window
130 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 2% Window
380 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 10% Window
336 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 25% Window
363 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 50% Window
252 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 100% Window
126 cd/m²
HDR ABL
0.070

The Sony A9G has decent HDR peak brightness, good enough to display bright highlights in HDR as long as you are not in a very bright room. It's in the same ballpark as the Sony A9F, but can't reach the HDR levels of LED TVs like the Z9F.

We measured the peak brightness, using 'HDR Cinema' Picture Mode, with Brightness set to 'Max', and Color temperature set to 'Expert 1'.

If you don't care about image accuracy, you can obtain higher brightness levels. We were able to momentarily reach 794 nits with the 2% window using the default settings of the 'Vivid' Picture Mode, Brightness set to 'Max', Contrast set to 'Max', Black Level set to 'High', Adv. Contrast enhancer set to 'High', and Color set to '60'.

8.7
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
1.296 %
50% DSE
0.117 %
5% Std. Dev.
0.555 %
5% DSE
0.111 %

Excellent gray uniformity on the Sony A9G. There is no noticeable dirty screen effect, which is great news for sports fans. It has the same good performance in darker scenes, as well. Like previous OLED TVs, there are some very faint horizontal and vertical lines noticeable in a pitch black room when displaying near-black scenes.

8.8
Picture Quality
Viewing Angle
Color Washout
51 °
Color Shift
31 °
Brightness Loss
65 °
Black Level Raise
70 °
Gamma Shift
67 °

The Sony A9G, just like all OLED TVs, has excellent wide viewing angles. The image remains accurate when viewed from the side and the TV is an excellent choice for those with wide seating arrangements. Brightness and blacks remain accurate for large viewing angles. Colors, however, shift and lose accuracy at moderate angles. This is still better than the Sony Z9F and the Samsung Q80R, which have VA panels with a special filter that improves the viewing angles at the expense of contrast ratio.

10
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
0.269 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
N/A

Perfect black uniformity, as expected from an OLED TV.

9.5
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Glossy
Total Reflections
1.5 %
Indirect Reflections
0.1 %

The A9G has excellent reflection handling. The glossy filter greatly diminishes reflection intensity and you should not have any issues with distracting reflections. The filter adds a slight purple tint, but it's not noticeable in normal use.

7.1
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
White Balance dE
4.25
Color dE
2.38
Gamma
2.11
Color Temperature
6076 K
Picture Mode
Custom
Color Temp Setting
Expert 1
Gamma Setting
0

The accuracy of the TV with our pre-calibration settings is decent. There are noticeable errors in the brighter grays, and some enthusiasts will also pick out the errors in the colors. The gamma does not track the target well and most scenes appear brighter than they should be. The color temperature is a little warm and the TV has a slight reddish-yellow tint.

9.5
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
White Balance dE
0.40
Color dE
1.07
Gamma
2.20
Color Temperature
6506 K
White Balance Calibration
10 point
Color Calibration
Yes
Auto-Calibration Function
Yes

After calibration, the Sony A9G has nearly perfect accuracy. The errors in the grays almost entirely disappear and the errors in the colors are very hard to notice, even for enthusiasts. The color temperature is spot on target and the gamma follows the curve almost perfectly.

The TV features an auto-calibration feature, but you still need a colorimeter.

You can see our recommended settings here.

8.0
Picture Quality
480p Input

The A9G upscales 480p content, like DVDs, well, with no obvious upscaling artifacts.

8.0
Picture Quality
720p Input

720p content, like cable, looks good and is displayed without any obvious issues.

9.0
Picture Quality
1080p Input

1080p content, like Blu-rays or older game consoles, looks excellent.

10
Picture Quality
4k Input

The A9G, just like the LG C9, uses an WRGB pixel structure. 4k displays perfectly.

8.4
Picture Quality
Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
Yes
DCI P3 xy
94.50 %
DCI P3 uv
96.95 %
Rec 2020 xy
69.59 %
Rec 2020 uv
74.13 %

The Sony A9G has an impressive wide color gamut. It is slightly worse than last year's A9F and most of the other OLED TVs we've tested. This, however, is not noticeable in normal content. The EOTF follows the input stimulus well until it starts a sharp roll off towards the TV's peak brightness. The 'Game' mode EOTF is almost identical as you can see here, although some brighter scenes might be slightly brighter than they should be.

If you find HDR too dim, check out our recommendations here. With these settings, the A9G is significantly brighter in HDR, as shown in this EOTF.

7.1
Picture Quality
Color Volume
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage ITP
76.7 %
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP
38.3 %
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
64.7 %
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
29.3 %

The color volume is decent. It's similar to the LG C8, but worse than the A9F, which has better performance. We even did a side-by-side comparison and verified this. The A9G has difficulty displaying bright saturated colors, as the use of the white subpixel to boost brightness desaturates the pure colors at high brightness levels.

9.3
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
10 Bit
Red (Std. Dev.)
0.066 dE
Green (Std. Dev.)
0.079 dE
Blue (Std. Dev.)
0.059 dE
Gray (Std. Dev.)
0.069 dE

Excellent gradient performance for the Sony A9G. Very minimal banding is visible. The TV gives you the option to correct this by using the Smooth Gradation feature that removes most of it (some enthusiasts might still notice some) at the expense of the loss of some fine details.

9.9
Picture Quality
Temporary Image Retention
IR after 0 min recovery
0.05 %
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 A9G has a very faint temporary image retention that is not noticeable in normal use.

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.

1.0
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 A9G do have the possibility of experiencing burn in.

The Sony A9G has two features to help mitigate burn-in. We recommend enabling the Pixel Shift option and run the Panel refresh procedure once a year or less, as Sony recommends.

You can read about our investigation into this here.

Picture Quality
Pixels

Like all other OLEDs, the A9G uses 4 sub-pixel structure, but all 4 sub-pixels are never on at the same time. This image shows the green, white, and blue sub-pixels. You can see the red sub-pixel in our alternative pixel photo.

Motion
10
Motion
Response Time
80% Response Time
0.2 ms
100% Response Time
1.9 ms

The Sony A9G, just like all OLED TVs, has an almost-instantaneous response time.

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

The TV does not use PWM to dim. However, there is an imperceivable dip in brightness at the TV's refresh rate of 120Hz, or at about every 8ms.

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 TV has an optional Black Frame Insertion feature. When activated the BFI feature inserts black frames to simulate flicker, which can help motion appear clearer. It only supports 60Hz 'flicker', and this can be bothersome to some people.

BFI is enabled on the A9G by setting Motionflow to 'Custom' and Clearness to 'High'. When BFI is enabled, it causes judder when playing back 60p content.

10
Motion
Motion Interpolation
Motion Interpolation (30 fps)
Yes
Motion Interpolation (60 fps)
Yes

The A9G can interpolate lower frame rate content to 120Hz. This will introduce some Soap Opera Effect, which might bother some people. When interpolating at 120Hz, you might notice some artifacts, but in general, Sony has one of the best interpolation implementations. If there is too much motion, the TV will stop interpolating, thus avoiding the creation of artifacts. This sudden change in motion can cause the image to appear jerky.

See here for the settings that control the A9G's motion interpolation feature.

4.9
Motion
Stutter
Frame Hold Time @ 24 fps
39.8 ms
Frame Hold Time @ 60 fps
14.8 ms

The A9G has a nearly-instantaneous response time, and this will create some stutter in movies. If you're bothered by the stutter, then motion interpolation and BFI 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

The A9G displays movies judder-free no matter the source. However, when BFI is enabled, the TV has judder when playing back 60p content.

See our recommended settings to remove judder here.

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

The A9G has a native 120Hz panel, but like all Sony TVs, it doesn't support any VRR technology. This is one of the major differences with the 2019 LG C9, which supports HDMI Forum VRR.

Inputs
8.7
Inputs
Input Lag
1080p @ 60 Hz
27.3 ms
1080p @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
102.3 ms
1440p @ 60 Hz
27.0 ms
4k @ 60 Hz
27.2 ms
4k @ 60 Hz + 10 bit HDR
27.1 ms
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
27.0 ms
4k @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
93.8 ms
4k @ 60 Hz With Interpolation
85.6 ms
8k @ 60 Hz
N/A
1080p @ 120 Hz
18.8 ms
1440p @ 120 Hz
43.5 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 Sony A9G has an excellent low input lag. The TV feels responsive as long as you are in 'Game' or 'Graphics' mode. To get low input lag and display proper chroma 4:4:4 you can use either, but 'Game' mode is recommended.

Just like all Sonys up until now, the A9G does not support low input lag with motion interpolation and doesn't support Auto Low Latency Mode.

Note: the 1440p @120Hz input lag measurement was done using another PC, as the TV could not display the 1440p @ 120Hz resolution from our laptop. This should not have a significant impact on the measured input lag.

9.6
Inputs
Supported Resolutions
1080p @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes
1080p @ 120 Hz
Yes (native support)
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 A9G supports the most common resolution and refresh rates. We were not able to display 1440 @120Hz from our laptop but we were able to do so from our desktop. This was strange, as we had not such issues with the A9F.

To properly display chroma 4:4:4 in all supported resolutions, you must enable full bandwidth by setting the 'Enhanced format' from the External inputs menu and choose 'Game' or 'Graphics' mode.

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

The TV has speaker terminals, so you can connect it to an external AV receiver.

Inputs
Inputs Specifications
HDR10
Yes
HDR10+
No
Dolby Vision
Yes
HLG
Yes
3D
No
HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth
Yes (HDMI 1,2,3,4)
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 TV is marketed as supporting HDCP 2.3, but we have no way to test this at the moment. It supports HDMI 2.0b and also supports eARC properly.

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