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Sony A8H vs A8G Review (XBR55A8H vs XBR55A8G, XBR65A8H vs XBR65A8G)

by on July 26, 2020
 



Sony A8H vs A8G Review

Sony A8H is the lowest series of the Sony’s 2020 OLED TV lineup.  On the other hand, the Sony A8G is the predecessor, also the lowest model of the Sony’s 2019 OLED TV lineup. Just like other models of OLED TVs, both of them can deliver incredible picture quality for any type of content in a room with any light condition. As we have known, one of the flagships of the OLED TVs is they have infinite native contrast ratio that makes them can deliver nearly perfect black.  Additionally, nearly instantaneous pixel response time and wide viewing angle coverage are also the other advantage that offered by OLED TVs. But on the other hand, OLED TV is not as bright as LED TV. It is also vulnerable to permanent burn-in when displaying static images over long time.

In the market, the Sony A8H and A8G are equally available on 2 variants of screen size, which are 55 inches (XBR55A8H vs XBR55A8G) and 65 inches (XBR65A8H and XBR65A8G). Meanwhile, with the same screen size, the A8H is priced more expensive than the A8G. But of course, this more due to the A8H still has almost full price while the price of A8G has drop. So, what the upgrades are offered by the A8H as a newer model over A8G the predecessor?

Short Review of the Sony A8H and A8G

Sony A8H vs A8G Key Specification

Specs and Features Sony A8H Sony A8G
Sizes Available 55 inches (XBR55A8H), 65 Inches (XBR65A8H) 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 Ultimate 4K HDR Processor X1 Extreme
HDR Support HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision
Clarity Enhancement 4K X Reality Pro, Dual Database Processing, Object-based Super Resolution 4K X Reality Pro, Dual Database Processing
Contrast Enhancement Dynamic Contrast Enhancer, Object-Based Remaster, Pixel Contrast Booster 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 X-Motion Clarity, Auto mode MotionFlow XR
Native Refresh Rate Panel 120 Hz 120 Hz
VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) Supports No No
Smart TV Platform Android 9.0 Pie 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
Audio Channel 2.2 channel 2.2 channel
Sound Output 10 watts + 10 Watts + 5 Watts + 5 Watts 20 watts + 20 watts + 10 watts + 10 Watts
Speaker Type Acoustic Surface Audio Acoustic Surface Audio
Speaker Configuration Actuator X2, Subwoofer X2 Actuator X2, Subwoofer X2
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 the Sony A8G and A8H

Panel Technology

As we have known, the Sony A8H and A8G use OLED panel technology that has the same technical platform. They both use the OLED panel made by LG. This means, their OLED panel also has the same technical platform to the OLED panel that used by LG TV. As we have known, The LG’s OLED panel has WRGB pixel structure. The white sub pixel is required to boost their peak brightness. Additionally, OLED panel also has pixels that can emit their own light individually. That’s why the OLED panel doesn’t need backlight. This also makes it has pixel dimming level. Since it doesn’t has backlight, when showing black, there is not light at all emitted from its screen, makes black produced by OLED panel is nearly perfect. On the contrary, when showing small highlight in a dark scene, the pixels that emit its lights is only in bright areas, while the surrounding pixels are off, makes the OLED panel can show small highlight without blooming.

Image Processor

The Sony A8H brings an upgrade in its images processor over the predecessor A8G. If the Sony A8G is powered by 4K HDR Processor X1 Extreme, the Sony A8H is already powered by 4K HDR Processor X1 Ultimate, an image processor that is also found on the A9G, the top model of Sony’s 2019 OLED TV. There are two features that found on the X1 Ultimate but not found on the X1 Extreme, which is Object-based Super Resolution and Pixel Contrast Booster. The Object-based Super Resolution makes them have difference in processing images. If the X1 Extreme processes images frame by frame, the X1 Ultimate processes images object-based.  In the X1 Ultimate, each object will be rendered separately in any given frame. Meanwhile, pixel contrast booster makes the A8H can enhance the contrast and color of the pixels on the bright part of the picture for more lifelike shades and hues.

Motion Technology

Both Sony A8G and A8H have native 120 HZ refresh rate panel. This allows both of them can accept any content with the frame rate up to 120 Hz. Additionally, this also allows them can interpolate lower frame rate content up to 120 Hz. But unfortunately, they both don’t have any VRR technology and any gaming features like found on LG TVs or Samsung TVs. As we have known, VRR technology can further improve the TV’s performance when used for gaming by removing screen tearing.

X-Motion Clarity

Meanwhile, just like other OLED TVs, since they don’t have backlight, to dim their screen, they both don’t use PWM Dimming system like on LED TVs. This makes their screen is flicker-free, which means it is excellent. But even so, in certain conditions, flicker is required to further improve motion appearance. And for this purpose, they both have an optional BFI (Black Frame Insertion) that will make their screen flicker at certain frequency. For this case, on the Sony A8G is called Motion Flow XR while on the A8H is called X-Motion Clarity. Both of these technologies actually have slightly difference in algorithm. The A8H support both 60 Hz and 120 Hz BFI mode while the A8G only support 60 Hz BFI mode. This means, BFI mode of the A8F effectively to make motion smoother for both 60 Hz and 120 Hz content while the A8G is only effective for 60 Hz content. On the Sony A8H, to enable its 60 HZ BFI mode, you just need to set “MotionFlow” to “Custom” and set “Clearness” to “3”, while to enable its 120 Hz BFI mode, you just need to change the “Clearness to “1” or “2”. On the other hand, to enable BFI mode on A8G, you just need set “MotionFlow” to “Custom” and “Clearness” to “High”.

Connectivity

The Sony A8G and A8H both have 4 HDMI ports as their major connectivity. Their HDMI ports already support HDCP 2.3, CEC, and HDMI 2.0 Full bandwidth. But even so, none of their HDMI ports that support HDMI 2.1.  Additionally, one of their HDMI port (HDMI 3) also supports ARC (Audio Return Channel). The advantage of the A8F, even though none of their HDMI ports support HDMI 2.1, but its HDMI 3 also supports eARC (enhanced Audio Return Channel) that let it can accept high quality audio via HDMI connection. On the other hand, the A8G doesn’t support eARC.  Meanwhile, in addition to HDMI ports, they both also have 3 USB ports, 2 ports are USB 2.0 and 1 port is USB 3.0. They both also have 1 Composite IN (AV In), 1 Tuner In (RF In), Digital Audio Out (optical), and Analog Audio Out (3.5 mm Mini Jack). But even so, to connect them via Composite In, you need to but an adapter separately because adapter is not included in their buying package. And to connect on the internet, they both provide two options, Ethernet port and Wi-Fi for wireless connection. They also have IR port for IR Blaster.

Smart TV Platform

Both of the Sony A8H and A8G run Android TV as their smart TV platform. The difference is the A8H runs Android 9.0 or Android Pie while the A8G runs Android 8.0 or Android Oreo. There are not many changes brought by the 9.0 version over the 8.0 version in their interface. Their interface is simple and easy to navigate. Additionally, Android TV also runs smoothly on them without any serious issues. Meanwhile, talking their apps, they both provide a lot of pre-installed apps. Almost all streaming services are provided such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Disney Plus, and Tidal (including Dolby Atmos Music support). There are also Live TVs, Games, Web Browser, etc. Additionally, they both also supports out of the box for Apple Air Play 2. But even so, currently, they both don’t support Apple TV Plus Streaming service. Meanwhile, as always with Android TV, they both also have an app store called Google Play Store that has great selections of apps. They both also provide built-in ChromeCast support. Android TV also already has built-in voice navigation that can work with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.

Check the Latest Price
Sony A8H Sony A8G
55 Inches XBR55A8H on Amazon XBR55A8G on Amazon
65 Inches XBR65A8H on Amazon XBR65A8G on Amazon

Sony A8H vs A8G Performance

Contrast Ratio and Black Level

The image is only an illustration

As we have discussed above, perfect black level or infinite contrast ratio becomes the flagship of OLED TVs including the Sony A8H and A8G. Since OLED panel doesn’t use backlight, when they are showing black, there is no light at all emitted from their screen. This certainly makes black produced by them is nearly perfect. This certainly is excellent for a dark room where the impact of native contrast ratio is very sensitive. Additionally, in addition perfect black, this also makes them have nearly perfect black uniformity. On the other hand, when they are showing small highlight in a dark scene, it can be shown excellently without blooming surrounding due to its excellent pixel dimming level.  The result, dark scene is really excellently with more detail look, particularly when they are playing HDR content, even when they are set in a pitch dark environment. Overall, performance of the Sony A8G and A8H in delivering black is undoubtedly.

Winner: Draw

Peak Brightness

While they both have the same performance in producing black, the Sony A8H brings a bit improvement over the A8G in SDR peak brightness. With real content, SDR peak brightness of the A8G is around 275 nits while the A8F is brighter, which is brighter than 300 nits. Meanwhile, with window test, on 2%, 10% and 25% where they both hit their highest peak brightness, the Sony A8H also can get brighter, which is brighter than 400 nits. Meanwhile, with the same window sizes, the Sony A8G only hit around 350 nits. But even so, to prevent the use of excessive power, on 100% window, their peak brightness is dimmed by their ABL (Automatic Brightness Limiter) down to around 150 nits for the A8G and 180 nits for the A8H. With these characteristics, can be ascertained, their SDR peak brightness is actually only bright enough to fight the glare in dim to moderately-lit room, while in bright room with a lot of lights, their peak brightness is not bright enough. Meanwhile, since the A8H has brighter SDR peak brightness than the A8G, in brighter room, the picture will look more obviously on its screen than on the screen of its predecessor.

With HDR content, both of them can get brighter than when with SDR content. Overall, with real HDR content, the Sony A8G hit around 600 nits while the A8H can get brighter, which is around 650 nits. But even so, just like with SDR content, with window test, their peak brightness also varies depend on the content.  They both hit their highest peak brightness at 2% window where the A8H can hit around 700 nits while A8G hit around 475 nits. Still on 2% window, for a short time, they both actually can reach brighter than 750 nits, but once it is stabilized their peak brightness will drop to those values. On each window, the A8H also can get brighter than the A8G. On 10%, 25%, 50%, and 100% window, the A8H hit around 650 nits, 470 nits, 300 nits, and 150 nits while the A8G hit around 400 nits on 10 and 25% window, 250 nits on 50% window, and around 140 nits on 100% window.  With this value, can be ascertained, the Sony A8H can show brighter HDR images than the A8G. It even can show small highlights excellently the way they should in HDR. On the other hand, even though not as bright as the A8H, the Sony A8G also can deliver pretty good HDR image in most bright rooms, except in a very bright room.  But of course, their HDR peak brightness is not as bright as Premium LED TV like Sony X950H or Samsung Q90T.

Keep in mind, all of these values are reached by making certain setting. With other setting, they may be able to get brighter, but this can cause their picture lose their accuracy in certain scene.

Winner: A8H

Color Reproduction

Both of the Sony A8G and A8H can deliver excellent color and their color gamut is almost similar. In both DCI P3 uv and xy color space, the both can cover around 97%, which means this is remarkable. This is great for HDR content that mastered in DCI P3 color space like HDR 10 where almost all of their colors can be shown fairly accurate on their screen. In Rec.2020 color space where Dolby Vision Contents are mastered, their color gamut coverage is also pretty good. In Rec.2020 xy, the A8H can cover around 73% while the A8G cover around 71%. Additionally, in Rec.2020 Uv, the A8H cover around 77% while the A8G can cover around 75%. The A8H may a bit better than the A8G, but their difference doesn’t have a significant impact in normal content.  While their color gamut is almost similar, in term of color volume, the Sony A8H is much better than the A8G, particularly in bright colors. They both may be able to produce deep dark shades of colors fairly well. They both also can produce their wide color gamut at almost their entire brightness range. But because peak brightness of the A8H is brighter than A8G, it can produce bright colors better than the A8G. But even so, just like other OLED TVs, the use of white sub-pixel makes them can produce pure white, but on the other hand, this will de-saturate pure colors at high brightness levels. This makes them can produce very bright saturated colors fairly well. But in general, combination of their excellent color gamut and their color volume makes colors of HDR images can be shown fairly accurate and vibrantly.

10 bit color gradient

Discussing about their color gradient, the use of X1 Ultimate makes the Sony A8H has better color gradient than the A8G. On the screen of the A8G, there is some banding in almost all colors, while on the screen of A8H is only on some certain colors. But even so, in normal content, they should not be noticeable and in general, their color gradient is really excellent, better than most TVs. Nevertheless, if you feel banding still bother you, they both have a feature called “Smooth Gradation” that can help to remove banding. But keep in mind, enabling this feature may be able to remove banding, but on the other hand, in certain scene, this can cause the picture lose some fine details.

Winner: A8H

Side Viewing Angle

OLED vs LED Side Viewing Angle

The image is only an illustration

Just we have discussed above, side viewing angle is also the other flagship that offered by OLED TV including the Sony A8G and A8H. Their side viewing angle coverage is really excellent, better than VA TVs that use additional optical layer or even IPS TV. On their screen, black level can be maintained up to around 70 degrees off center and front. Additionally, their brightness level will also be still consistent up to around 65 degrees. This means, from any angle you watch TV, black and brightness level of images will look consistent. And even though at certain angle, colors of images will be fade and lose its accuracy, but it can still maintain better than LED TV.  You will take this advantage particularly when you watch TV with a group of your family who sit together on wide seating.

Winner: Draw

Motion Handling

Pixel response time also becomes the strong point of OLED TVs including Sony A8H and A8G. They both have nearly instantaneous pixel response time, which is around 2 ms. It is much faster than the fastest response time of LED TV, which is around 10 ms. The result, when they are playing fast moving images, motion looks very clearly on their screen. There is almost no faint trail following fast moving object. But even so, the lack of blur may cause screen’s stutter that may bother some people, particularly when they are playing low frame content. But even so, this issue can be solved by enabling their motion interpolation or BFI mode. As we have known, they both have an optional BFI mode that can help to make motion is smoother, particularly when they are playing 60 fps content like sports or video games. Meanwhile, their performance when playing 24p movies is also excellent. No matter the source of the 24p movies, they both can show them with judder-free.

Winner: A8F

Input Lags

The Sony A8H brings a significant improvement over the A8G on their input lags in Game mode.  With 60 fps content at 1080p resolution, the input lag of the A8G is around 50 ms while A8H is much lower, which is around 18 ms. On 4K resolution, whether native 4K, 4K with HDR, or 4K @ 4:4:4, the input lag of the A8G is lower than on 1080p resolution, which is around 30 ms. But the input lag of the A8H is also much lower, which is around 18 ms. Meanwhile, with 120 fps content, the Sony A8H also has lower input lag than the predecessor A8G. On 1080p resolution, if the input lag of the A8G is around 21 ms, the input lag of the A8H is around 10 ms. Keep in mind, both of them don’t support native 1440p resolution at both 60 Hz and 120 Hz.

With their input lags, it can be ascertained that the A8H is much more responsive than the A8G when used for playing games. No matter you are playing fast paced or casual games, 4K or 1080p games, 60 fps or 120 fps games, you will be pleased by its input lags. Nevertheless, its input lags are still not as low as the competitor from LG or Samsung.  On the other hand, although not as responsive as the A8F, the input lag of the A8G is actually pretty good. But even so, when used for playing 60 fps games with 1080 resolution, its input lag may be too high. Additionally, overall, the input lags of the A8G are also significantly worse than other high end TVs.

And unfortunately, they both don’t support any VRR technology that can further improve their game experience. Additionally, their HDMI ports also don’t support ALLM (Auto Low Latency mode).

Winner: A8H

Check the Latest Price
Sony A8H Sony A8G
55 Inches XBR55A8H on Amazon XBR55A8G on Amazon
65 Inches XBR65A8H on Amazon XBR65A8G on Amazon

Conclusion

For Watching Movies

Both of the Sony A8G and A8H are the outstanding performers when used for watching movies in a dark room. Combination of their nearly perfect black, perfect black uniformity, and pixel dimming level makes dark scene looks outstandingly on their screen, even when they both are set in a pitch dark room. Shadow details of HDR images can be shown excellently the way expected in HDR. Additionally, their pixel dimming level also makes small highlight looks excellent without visible blooming surrounding, excellent for a movie with a subtitle. Additionally, they also have good SDR and HDR peak brightness when used in a dark room. And their good performance in handling 24p judder allows you to watch movies with judder-free.

Winner: Draw

For Watching Sports

When used for watching sports in a bright room, performance of the Sony A8H and A8G is also great. In addition excellent picture quality, they both also have nearly instantaneous that makes motion looks clearly with almost no blur. The screen stutter that may be resulted due to their instantaneous response time, but this can be minimized by enabling their motion interpolation or BFI mode. Their BFI mode also can help to make motion smoother. Additionally, they both also have good SDR peak brightness that is bright enough to fight the glare in moderately-lit and dim room. So, combined to their good reflection handling make the picture produced looks clearly without bothered by glare.  And when you are watching a big game with a group of your family or friends, their excellent side viewing angle ensure all of you to get the best viewing. Meanwhile, in comparison, the A8H is a bit better than the A8G due to it has brighter SDR peak brightness and support both 60 Hz and 120 Hz BFI mode.

Winner: A8H

For Playing Games

When used for playing games, the Sony A8H is better than the A8G. They both may have excellent motion handling that makes fast sports look clearly with almost blur-free. They both also have excellent picture quality that makes images of games looks excellently on their screen. But as we have discussed a lot above, the input lags of the Sony A8H is much lower than the A8G on both 60 Hz and 120 Hz. This certainly makes the A8H is much more responsive than the A8G and this will be more pronounced particularly when you are playing fast paced games that require fast reflexes.  But even so, although not as good as the A8F, performance of the A8G can also be said well. And unfortunately, both of them don’t support any VRR technology like FreeSync, GSync, etc, that can improve their games experience. And just like other OLED TV, they both are vulnerable to permanent burn-in when showing static image over long time. And since most games have static images, play the same games for over long time should be avoided.

Winner: A8H

HDR Experience

Both Sony A8H and A8G also have great HDR performance. Their infinite contrast ratio is more than enough to show reveal details in dark scene of HDR images excellently, makes dark scene of HDR images can be shown excellently with more details look. Additionally, they both are also able to deliver outstanding color gamut. Combined to their smooth color gradient makes colors of HDR images can be shown extremely accurately with very smooth color gradient.  They both may be not as brighter as high-end LED TVS like Sony X950G or Samsung Q90T, but for OLED TV and as long as they are not set in a very bright room, their peak brightness is bright enough to show pretty good HDR images.  They both also can bring out small highlight in HDR. Meanwhile, in comparison, the Sony A8H certainly is better than the A8G. This is due to it has better color gradient and brighter peak brightness like we have discussed a lot above.

Winner: A8H

Summary

As we have discussed a lot above, even though they both use the OLED panel that has the same technical platform, but the Sony A8H bring upgrades in some aspects that influenced by the improvement of its image processor over the predecessor A8G. The A8H can get brighter in both SDR and HDR. In motion technology, it also brings an improvement on 120 Hz content. Additionally, it also has much lower input lags that make it more responsive than the A8G when used for playing games.  Not only that, in smart features, it also brings some new features like Apple Home Kit, Apple Air play 2, etc and also an improvements in some Sony-specific features likes menu setting, EPG (Electronic Program Guide), etc.  Overall, the Sony A8H is better than the predecessor A8G.

Check the Latest Price
Sony A8H Sony A8G
55 Inches XBR55A8H on Amazon XBR55A8G on Amazon
65 Inches XBR65A8H on Amazon XBR65A8G on Amazon

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