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Reviewed on Jun 14, 2019

Sony A9G OLED TV REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.3
8.8
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: LG C9 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.

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).

Test Results
Design 9.5
Picture Quality 8.7
Motion 8.8
Inputs 8.8
Sound Quality 7.3
Smart Features 8.0

Check Price

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.

9.5

Design

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.

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"

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.

Borders
Borders : 0.31" (0.8 cm)

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

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.

Temperature
Maximum Temperature
:
101 °F (38 °C)
Average Temperature
:
92 °F (33 °C)
9.5 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.

8.7

Picture Quality

The Sony A9G has excellent picture quality. Just like most OLED TVs, it delivers an amazing dark room performance with perfect blacks thanks to its ability to switch off individual pixels. The TV is more suitable for an average lit room as it can't fight the glare of a very bright one. It has a wide color gamut and can display HDR content with vivid colors and highlights that pop. The image remains accurate when viewed from the side, so you can place it in a large room with a wide seating arrangement and not worry about who will sit on the side. Like most high-end TVs, the A9G has remarkable reflection handling; however, like all OLEDs, it has the risk of permanent burn-in.

10 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 480p Input

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

8.0 720p Input

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

9.0 1080p Input

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

10 4k Input

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

8.4 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 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 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 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 Permanent Burn-In Risk
Permanent Burn-In Risk
:
Yes

OLED TVs such as the Sony A9G have an inherent risk of experiencing permanent image retention.

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.

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.

8.8

Motion

The Sony A9G has remarkable motion handling. The response time is nearly-instantaneous and the TV does not use flicker to lower its brightness. It has some nice features, like Black Frame Insertion and motion interpolation that can further improve how motion looks. The TV can remove judder from any source but does not support any Variable Refresh Rate technology, like FreeSync, G-SYNC, or HDMI Forum VRR.

10 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 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 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 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 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 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 Variable Refresh Rate
Native Refresh Rate
:
120 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate
:
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.

8.8

Inputs

The Sony A9G has excellent low input lag and the TV feels very responsive. It supports the most common resolutions, except 1440p @ 120Hz. When used as a PC monitor, the text looks clear, thanks to the TV's proper chroma 4:4:4 support.

8.7 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 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.

Input Photos
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 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.

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
:
No
5.1 Dolby Digital via Optical
:
Yes
5.1 DTS via Optical
:
No

In order to obtain eARC, you must set Speakers: to 'Audio System', eARC mode: to 'Auto', Digital audio out: to 'Auto 1'.

7.3

Sound Quality

The sound quality is decent. It's a TV that can get fairly loud and is good for most environments. It produces clear and well-balanced dialog and can deliver a good amount of punch to its bass, but it lacks thump or rumble and produces pumping and compression artifacts under heavier loads. For even better sound, dedicated speakers or a soundbar is recommended.

7.7 Frequency Response
Low-Frequency Extension
:
71.27 Hz
Std. Dev. @ 70
:
3.44 dB
Std. Dev. @ 80
:
2.96 dB
Std. Dev. @ Max
:
4.61 dB
Max
:
92.8 dB SPL
Dynamic Range Compression
:
3.33 dB

The frequency response of the A9G is good. LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 71Hz, and this is good for a TV. The TV has a good amount of punch to its bass, but it still lacks sub-bass, so it can't deliver any thump or rumble. The response above the LFE point is quite well-balanced, and the TV can produce clear and intelligible dialog. The A9G can get quite loud, but produces noticeable pumping and compression artifacts under heavy loads.

5.8 Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80
:
0.101
Weighted THD @ Max
:
6.760
IMD @ 80
:
1.94 %
IMD @ Max
:
48.56 %

The distortion performance of the A9G is sub-par. The TV can get loud and produce low amounts of THD at most volumes. However, under max loads, the amount of distortion becomes distracting.

8.0

Smart Features

Smart OS : Android TV
Version : 8.0

The Smart features of the Sony A9G are impressive and deliver one of the best Android TV experiences we've had up until now. Just like the X950G, the TV runs Android TV Oreo 8.0 and it's easy to find content. The main interface is very smooth and gives you access to the Google Play Store, where you will certainly find what you are looking for. The remote is the same as the X950G and allows you to quickly choose what you want to do. Just like the A9F and the X950G, this TV has a mic that is built into the body of the TV and can perform the same voice controls as the remote, without the need for the remote. All you have to say is 'OK Google' and then issue the command you want.

7.5 Interface