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Sony A8G vs A8F Review (XBR55A8G vs XBR55A8G, XBR65A8G vs XBR65A8F)

by on July 18, 2019
 



Sony A8G vs A8F Review

Sony A8G is the lowest model of Sony’s 2019 4K HDR OLED TV lineup, below the A9G flagship. On the other hand, the Sony A8F is the lowest model of Sony’s 2018 4K HDR OLED TV and at the same time is also the predecessor of the A8G. Just like other models of OLED TV, both Sony A8F and A8G are also excellent 4K TVs with excellent performance in almost aspects of picture quality and features like perfect black level, excellent side viewing angle, instantaneous pixel response time, and others. But even so, Sony doesn’t use its own OLED panel for both and still uses LG’s OLED panel for them. This means, the characteristic and technical platform of OLED panel of A8G and A8F is not far different to LG’s OLED TVs like C8, E8, C9, E9 or others model.

In the market, both Sony A8G and A8F comes in two screen sizes options only, which are 55 inches (XBR55A8F vs XBR55A8G) and 65 inches (XBR65A8F vs XBR65A8G). Nevertheless, although the A8F is an older than A8G but in the market, they are priced with almost the same price. As a newer model, what new features offered by A8G over the A8F and which is a better choice between them considering they have almost the same price?

Specs and Features of Sony A8G and  A8F

Sony A8G vs A8F Key Specifications

Specs and Features Sony A8F Sony A8G
Sizes Available 55 inches (XBR55A8F), 65 Inches (XBR65A8F) 55 Inches (XBR55A8G), 65 Inches (XBR65A8G)
Panel Technology OLED Panel OLED Panel
Dimming Technology Pixel Dimming Level Pixel Dimming Level
Pixel Structure WRGB WRGB
Image Processor 4K HDR Processor X1 Extreme 4K HDR Processor X1 Extreme
HDR Support HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision
Clarity Enhancement 4K X Reality Pro, Dual Database Processing 4K X Reality Pro, Dual Database Processing
Contrast Enhancement Dynamic Contrast Enhancer, Object-Based Remaster Dynamic Contrast Enhancer, Object-Based Remaster
Color Enhancement Live Color Technology, Precision Color Mapping, Super Bit Mapping HDR, TriLuminos Display Live Color Technology, Precision Color Mapping, Super Bit Mapping HDR, TriLuminos Display
Motion Enhancement MotionFlow XR MotionFlow XR
Native Refresh Rate Panel 120 Hz 120 Hz
VRR (Variable Rate) Supports No No
Smart TV Platform Android 8.0 Oreo Android 7.0 Nougat
Google Assistant Yes Yes
Amazon Alexa Compatible Yes Yes
Apps Store Google Play Store Google Play Store
Remote Sony Voice Remote Sony Voice Remote
Voice Navigation Support Yes Yes
Sound Output 10 watts + 10 Watts + 10 Watts + 10 Watts 10 watts + 10 Watts + 10 Watts + 10 Watts + 10 watts
Speaker Type Acoustic Surface Audio Acoustic Surface Audio
Speaker Configuration Actuator X2, Subwoofer X2 Actuator X2, Subwoofer X2
Dolby Atmos Support No No
HDMI Ports 4 4
HDMI Supports CEC, HDCP 2.2, HDCP 2.3, HDMI 2.0, ARC, eARC CEC, HDCP 2.2, HDCP 2.3, HDMI 2.0, ARC
USB Ports 3 (USB 2,3: USB2.0, USB1:USB 3.0) 3 (USB 2,3: USB2.0, USB1:USB 3.0)

Features and Technologies of Sony A8F and A8G

Panel Technology

Sony A8G and A8F are parts of Sony’s OLED TV Model. Nevertheless, as we have mentioned above, they both still use OLED panel from LG. Can be ascertained, the characteristic and technical platform of their panel is not far different to LG OLED TV like OLED C9, E9 and others. The OLED panel of A8G and A8F use the WRGB pixel structure that means there is an additional white sub-pixel besides the standard RGB sub-pixel. And we have know, the OLED panel have self-lighting pixel that means each of its pixels can switch on/off/dim and emits its own light without affected by the conditions of other pixels surrounding.  When displaying black, the pixels don’t emit light at all, allow them can produce perfect black. But on the other hand, since it doesn’t use backlight, when displaying whites, the peak brightness reached is too dim. For this case, the white sub-pixel is needed to boost peak brightness.

WRGB OLED

In addition to perfect black, since it doesn’t use backlight, this makes the side viewing angle of OLED TVs including Sony A8G and A8F is excellent, better than LED TVs, even with IPS panel. And the other advantage offered, the OLED panel has instantaneous pixel response time, makes motion displayed on their screen looks very smooth.

However, this doesn’t mean the OLED panel doesn’t have flaws. Since the OLED panel has instantaneous pixel response time, this will cause stuttering, particularly when they are plying low frame rate content like 24p movies or 30 fps content. The other flaw of OLED TVs including A8F and A8G, they both have a risk to permanent burn-in, particularly when they are displaying static images for a long time. Additionally, since it doesn’t has a backlight, peak brightness reached by OLED TVs is also not as bright as the peak brightness reached by premium LED TVs like Sony X950G, Samsung Q80R, and others.

Image Processor

4K HDR Processor X1 Extreme

Even though Sony A8G and A8F are released in different year, but they use the same image processor, which is 4K HDR Processor X1 Extreme. Some models of Sony’s 2019 TVs like A9G or X950G might already use the new image processor called X1 Ultimate that has been integrated with AI (Artificial Intelligence). But unfortunately, even though the A8G is a part the Sony’s 2019 lineup, but it doesn’t yet supported by this processor. Even not as powerful as the X1 Ultimate, but the X1 Extreme has been optimized for HDR. There are some features of X1 Ultimate which have been optimized for HDR like Object-Based Remaster, Super Bit Mapping HDR, Dual Database processing, and others. All of them make HDR content displayed on their screen looks really excellent.

Motion Technology

For maximizing their performance in processing motion, Sony A8F and A8G both are powered by the Motion Flow XR technology. For delivering smooth and natural motion, this feature works by combining the native refresh rate panel, Frame Insertion, Interpolation, Image Blur Reduction. Meanwhile, Sony A8F and A8G both have native 120 Hz refresh rate panel. This means, the number of images they can play in one second are 120 images.  And with 120 Hz refresh rate panel, this allows them can interpolate lower frame rate content like 24p, 30 fps, 60 fps, up to 120 fps.

X-Motion Clarity

Since the OLED panel doesn’t have backlight, this allows their screen is almost flicker-free. Nevertheless, they both also have an optional mode that allows their screen can flicker at 60Hz. This feature can help to make the motion looks crisper, particularly when they are playing 60 fps content like sports or video games. Additionally, this feature also can help to reduce the stutter.  As we have mentioned, since OLED panel has instantaneous pixel response time, this will make the low frame rate content like 24p movies can appears to stutter.  But unfortunately, both of them don’t support any of VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) like G-Sync, Free-Sync, HDMI Forum’s VRR or others. As we know, the VRR technologies can produce almost screen tearing-free game experience with smoother images and more consistent input lags, particularly when you are playing a game a game console that also supports VRR technology.

Connectivity

As their major connectivity, both Sony A8F and A8G are equally equipped with 4 HDMI ports and their HDMI ports have the same ability. Their HDMI ports already support HDMI 2.0 Full bandwidth (HDMI 2,3), HDCP 2.2, HDCP 2.3, ARC (HDMI 3), CEC. Meanwhile, the HDR formats they support are also same, which are HDR10, HLG, and Dolby Vision. But even so, they both don’t support tHDR10+, the other dynamic HDR format beside Dolby Vision. Additionally, they both don’t also support HDMI 2.1 Full bandwidth. The resolution that supported by them are also same. With 60 fps content, they both support 1080p, 1440p, 4K, 4K @ 4:4:4, while with 120 fps, they both only support 1080p and 1440p resolution. They both don’t support 4K @120 Hz or HFR (High Frame Rate) content.

In addition to HDMI ports, both Sony A8G and A8F also have 3 USB ports where 1 port is USB 3.0 (USB 1), while the rest are USB 2.0 (USB 2,3). Additionally, they both also have Tuner In (RF In), 1 Composite In (AV In), 1 Digital Audio Out (optical), 1 Analog Audio Out (Mini Jack 3.5 mm), Ethernet port. Nevertheless, they both don’t have component In. And as their wireless connectivity, both Sony A8F and A8G are equipped with built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

Smart TV

Android TV 7.0 Nogat

Just like other models of Sony’s 2018 lineup, the Sony A8F run Android TV 7.0 as its smart TV platform. On the other hand, even though the Sony A8G is a part of 2019 lineup, it still runs Android 7.0 Nougat while most models of 2019 lineup already run Android 8.0 Oreo. But expected, both of them will receive an update to Android 8.0 Oreo soon. Nevertheless, despite of this strangeness, Android 7.0 has very simple layout. The apps which have similar function are grouped in one row, makes the navigation is easy. But even so, the Android 7.0 has a bit issue in performance. The interface freeze frequently and animations are choppy. Actually, this issue has been solved in Android 8.0 Oreo that offer smoother and faster navigation. With an update to Android 8.0, the performance issue on their smart TV platform can be overcome.

The most interesting thing of Android TV is about apps and features provided. In addition to a lot preinstalled apps like YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Videos, Web Browser, Live TVs, and many others, you can also download a wide selection of apps provided by their apps store called Google Play Store. As we know, the Google Play Store is supported by tons of developers that certainly make apps, smart features, contents that provided is also vast and very complete, whether they are free or paid.

Remote Control

Sony Voice Remote 2019

As their controller, both Sony A8G and A8F come with the same remote, which is Sony’s Voice Remote. The remote is large and have a black tint with soft touch button. It also has a wide array of buttons. In addition standard buttons like “Power On/Off” button, “Number” buttons, “Direction” Button, “Volume Buttons” and others, their remote also has some buttons which provide quick access to most functions. Additionally, it also has two dedicated buttons for Netflix and Google Play, allow you to access these apps without entering the menu. This remote is equipped with built-in microphone and a microphone button at the top, allow you to access Google Assistant Voice Search. And its voice navigation can work well. With your voice, you can open apps, change the inputs, increase/decrease volume, search within apps, ask some basic question, and others. This remote also has universal ability, allow you to control other devices connected on your TV with this remote.

Audio System

Sony Acoustic Surface

Sony A8G and A8F use Sony’s proprietary technology called “Acoustic Surface” as their sound technology. As we know, this technology doesn’t use conventional speaker. For producing sound, It utilizes the screen as the speaker membrane that vibrated by a couple of actuator. Meanwhile, for maximizing the low frequency or bass, they both have built-in sub-woofer. In addition to it can deliver clear dialogs, this will give an impression as if voices are coming directly from the actor’s mouth rather than a speaker unit below the TV.

The differences between Sony A8F and A8G

 As we see on the comparison table above, there is almost do difference between the Sony A8F and A8G. From the technologies o features offered by them, they are same. The only major difference between them is on their design, particularly on their stand. If viewed from the front, they look similar with very thin border. But even so, when viewed from the back, the back part as the house of electronic parts and connections look different. And if on A8F, the panel have grey tint and the house of electronic parts and connections has black tint, on A8G, the entire back of the TV is black. And if we look at the bottom part, they have different design of stand.

Sony A8F vs A8G Stand

The stand of Sony A8F has small footprints but can support well the TV. Since it has small footprint, this allows you to put them on most table. Meanwhile, for the Sony A8G, it has simple stand with “U” design. The advantage of its stand, it can be reserved. With “U” shape in back, the stand lifts the TV so that leaves a gap between the TV and table around 2.4 inches. This allows you to place a small sound bar in front without any part of the screen being blocked.  But even so if the stand is reversed or the “U” shape is in front, there is almost no gap between the TV and stand.

Check the Latest Price
Sony A8G Sony A8F
55 Inches XBR55A8G on Amazon XBR55A8F on Amazon
65 Inches XBR65A8G on Amazon XBR65A8F on Amazon

Sony A8G vs A8F Performance

Contrast and Black Level

Contrast Black Level

As we know, one of the most superiority of OLED TVs including the Sony A8G and A8F is about their infinite native contrast ratio and perfect black. Since it has self-lighting pixel that can emit its own light, it doesn’t need backlight. Additionally, each of its pixels also can switch on/off/dim individually without affected by the condition of other pixel surrounding. So, when they are showing black, the pixels in black part will switch off, while the pixels in bright part will stay on. Meanwhile, when showing totally black, none of the pixels are lit, make their screen doesn’t emit any light at all. The makes black produced by them is really perfect. This certainly also makes dark color can be shown fairly accurate. The result, dark scene of SDR images or even shadow details of HDR images can be shown excellently on their screen, even when they are set in a dark environment. For you who often watch movies in a dark room, they both are great choice for you.

Winner: Draw

Local Dimming Performance

As we have known, OLED panel doesn’t have backlight. This certainly also makes both Sony A8F and A8G don’t have local dimming. But even so, since it has individual self lighting pixel, this allows them has pixel dimming level. In comparison with LED TVs, this is equivalent to an LED TV that has local dimming with the number of dimming zones is the same to the number of pixel. If we assume they are LED TV with Full Array Local Dimming, with 4K resolution, they both have around 8 millions of dimming zones. This certainly makes them have extremely high lighting precision. The result, when they are showing small black object while the rest is bright, it still looks really black. On the contrary, when they are showing small bright object while the rest is black, there is no blooming visible. We can see this on the movies with subtitle where the subtitle can be shown very clearly.

Winner: Draw

SDR Peak Brightness

If OLED TVs including Sony A8G and A8F have superior black in comparison with LED TV, this does not apply to their peak brightness, particularly in comparison with premium LED TVs. Their panel might have white sub-pixel for boosting their peak brightness, but their peak brightness is not still as bright as LED TVs. But for OLED TVs, their peak brightness is excellent. And compare between them, their peak brightness is almost similar. With real SDR images, their peak brightness is around 270 nits. But even so, since they both have ABL (Automatic Brightness Limiter), their peak brightness in SDR content is depending on the scene of the content. The brightest peak brightness is reached when they are showing small bright object (less than 25% window) where they can hit around 300 nits. But even so, since they have ABL, on 50 % window (50% of screen is white, while the rest is black), their peak brightness is dimmed to around 250 nits and around 150 nits on 100% window. Their peak brightness is actually bright enough to overcome the glare in most bright rooms. But in very bright room, their peak brightness might be not bright enough to make the picture produced looks fairly bright. Meanwhile, since their peak brightness drop to around 150 nits on 100% window, the bright whole screen will look too dim.

Keep in mind, this result is hit when the Picture Mode is set to “Custom”, Peak Luminance set to “High”. The different setting might get brighter peak brightness. In “Vivid” mode, they even can get around 700 nits on 2 % window, but this will sacrifice the accuracy.

Winner: Draw

HDR Peak Brightness

With HDR content, they both can get brighter peak brightness. With real HDR content, they are able to hit brighter than 600 nits. Meanwhile, with window test, the brightest peak brightness is reached on 2 % window (2% of screen is bright, while the rest is bright), which is around 800 nits. Meanwhile, just like with SDR content, their peak brightness will drop along with the enlargement of bright areas. And when they are showing the whole screen is bright, their peak brightness even drops to below 150 nits. For OLED TVs, what reached by them is actually really good. Highlight can be shown fairly bright to really stick out. But when displaying large bright areas or bright scene, the screen will dim considerably. But in comparison with premium LED TVs, their performance is still far. Additionally, since they cannot get brighter than 1000 nits, they both also cannot show highlight of HDR images at 1000 – 4000 nits of brightness like the content creator’s intended. But once again, for OLED TVs, their HDR peak brightness is excellent.

Keep in mind, this result is reached when the Picture Mode is set to “Movie” with “Peak Luminance” set to “High” and “Color Temperature” to “High”. With other setting, the result might be different, they even can get brighter.

Winner: Draw

Color Reproduction

Sony A8F and A8G have excellent color gamut and their color gamut is almost similar. Their color gamut can cover more than 96% of DCI P3 color space, which is great for HDR content that mastered in DCI P3 like HDR10. Additionally, in Rec.2020, the can cover more than 75%, good enough for HDR content that mastered in Rec.2020 like Dolby Vision. But a bit unfortunate, they only have decent color volume. Since they both have perfect black level, they both might be able to produce dark colors fairly well. However, they both cannot produce very bright colors. As we know, the OLED panel uses white sub-pixel to boost peak brightness. But on the other hand, this will de-saturated pure colors at high brightness level.  The result, the both cannot produce very bright saturated colors fairly well, particularly very bright blues.  But even so, despite of their limited performance in producing very bright saturated colors, in general, they both can show their wide color gamut at entire their brightness range.  The result, colors of HDR images can be shown fairly accurate, makes HDR images displayed on their screen looks colorful and natural.

10 bit color gradient

Although not the best, both Sony A8G and A8F also have excellent color gradient and their color gradient is also not far different. Some bandings might be still visible in all shades of colors, but this should not be noticeable for normal content. But even so, if you feel the bandings still bother you, the bandings can be removed by enabling the “Smooth Gradation” features. This might make the color gradient looks far smoother, but on the other hand, this will cause the images loss some fine details.

Winner: Draw

Side Viewing Angle

As we have mentioned above, one of the advantages of OLED TVs including Sony A8G and A8F than LED TVS is about their side viewing angle. The excellence, even though they have good side viewing angle, their contrast ratio is still excellent. Different to LED TVs, if they have good native contrast ratio, their side viewing angle is usually poor. On the contrary, if they have good side viewing angle, its contrast ratio is usually weak.  But even so, the Sony A8G and A8F have both, infinite contrast ratio and excellent side viewing angle. As an illustration of its performance, if on the screen of LED TVs with VA panel, black level usually will raise started at around 15 degrees off center and front, on their screen, black level can be maintained at far wider angle, which is around 70 degrees.  As well as the brightness and colors accuracy, they both also can be maintained at far wider angle than LED TVs.

Winner Draw

Motion Handling

The other major advantage offered by OLED TVs including Sony A8G and A8F is about their instantaneous pixel response time. As we know, the pixel response time is the main aspect that has impact on TV’s performance in handling motion blur. And the lower or faster pixel response time of the TV, the motion produced will looks smoother with less motion blur. And since they both have instantaneous pixel response time, motion looks very clear and smooth with almost no motion trail visible behind fast moving object. But on the other hand, the instantaneous pixel response time will cause stuttering, particularly when they are playing low frame rate content like 24p movies.   Nevertheless, if you feel bothered with stuttering, you can enable Motion Interpolation or Black Frame Insertion to reduce the stuttering.

OLED vs LED TV Motion Blur

Since they both don’t have backlight, for dimming the screen, they both don’t use PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) system.  This allows them are almost flicker-free. But even so, on the other hand, the flicker-free can cause some persistence blur or duplications in certain scenes, particularly when they are playing 60 fps content like sports or video games. Nevertheless, both Sony A8G and A8F have an optional 60 Hz Black Frame Insertion) mode that flickers their screen at 60 Hz. This will help to make motion looks crisper by reducing persistence blur, particularly when they are playing 60 fps content. Additionally, a black frame insertion mode also can be used to reduce stuttering. But on the other hand, this will makes flicker is noticeable and might be bother some people. To enabling this feature, the “MotionFlow“ must be set to “Custom”  and “Clearness” to “High”. If you feel more comfortable with flicker, you should enable this feature. But on the contrary, if you feel more comfortable with stuttering or persistence blur, you should disable this feature.

Meanwhile, both Sony A8G and A8F can also do a great job when handling 24p movies. Regardless the video source, they can show them with judder-free. This means, no matter the source is native 24p videos like Blu-Ray or DVD’s movies, via 60i signal like movies from satellite TV, via 60p signal like movies from streaming devices or PC signal, or movies from native apps like Netflix, Amazon Videos, and others, you can enjoy them smoothly and clearly with judder-free. In order to they can show all sources with judder-free, you must set the “MotionFlow” To “TrueCinema” and “CineMotion” to “High”.

Winner: Draw

Input Lags

Since they both are powered by the same processor, this makes them have similar input lags in “PC” and “Game” mode. And their input lags are depending on the frame rate and resolution. Except 1080p resolution, with 60 fps content, whether the resolution is 1440p, 4K, 4K with HDR, 4K @4:4:4, their input lags is almost similar, which is around 30 ms. Their input lags with 60 fps content might be not as low as the competitor like LG C9 or Samsung Q8FN, but this is still acceptable, makes them is still responsive for any game, even for fast paced games. But unfortunately, with 1080p resolution, their input lag is around 50 ms. For casual games, this actually is still acceptable, but for fast paced games, this might be little disappointing. Meanwhile, with 120 fps content, their input lags at both 1080p and 1440p resolution is excellent, which is around 20 ms. This is low enough to play any 120 fps games responsively, even for fast paced games which require fast reflexes.

Winner: Draw

Check the Latest Price
Sony A8G Sony A8F
55 Inches XBR55A8G on Amazon XBR55A8F on Amazon
65 Inches XBR65A8G on Amazon XBR65A8F on Amazon

 

Conclusion

As we have discussed a lot above, among the Sony A8G and A8F, there is almost no difference between them. The only major difference between them is on their design, particularly on their stand. But even so, in term of technologies and features, they are the same. In term of picture quality, there might be a bit difference in performance on some aspects. In one aspect, the A8F might be superior, but on the other aspect, the A8G is superior. But their difference is not too significant and this is more caused by panel variance.

Overall, they both have excellent picture quality. They have perfect black level and infinite contrast, makes their performance in a dark room is really outstanding. Additionally, they both also have excellent color gamut, makes color of images displayed on their screen looks very accurate. But a bit unfortunate, their peak brightness is not so bright. With SDR content, their peak brightness might bright enough to overcome the glare in most bright rooms, but it is still not bright enough for an extremely bright room with a lot of sunny window.  Meanwhile, with HDR content, their peak brightness is less than 1000 nits, makes them cannot show highlights images at the brightness range intended by the content creator. But even so, since there is no OLED TVS that has very bright peak brightness, for OLED TVs, their peak brightness is still great. HDR images can be shown excellently with standout highlight.

Additionally, they both also have excellent motion handling and wide viewing angle coverage, makes them are as great TVs for watching sports, even with a group of your friend or your family. Additionally, their overall game performance is also great. Combination of excellent motion handling, low input lags, and wide viewing angle allows you to play a game responsively with smooth picture quality. But a bit unfortunate, its input lag at 1080p at 60 Hz is too high, so when you play 60 fps games with 1080p resolution, you might be a little disappointed. But except this source type, they both are great for any games.  The other flaw, the OLED panel has permanent burn in risk, particularly when they are showing the static images for a long time. . But even so, as long as you don’t often play the same game or watch the same TV channel for over long time, this should not be a problem. Overall, Sony A8G and A8F are equally great TVs for mixed usage.

Which is a better choice between them? As we have mentioned, the Sony A8F is the 2018 model while the Sony A8G is the 2019 model. Nevertheless, in the market, with the same screen size, they have almost similar price. Now, the decision certainly comes back to your according to your own preferences.

Check the Latest Price
Sony A8G Sony A8F
55 Inches XBR55A8G on Amazon XBR55A8F on Amazon
65 Inches XBR65A8G on Amazon XBR65A8F on Amazon

 

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