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Sony A90J vs A9G Review (XR55A90J vs XBR55A9G, XR65A90J vs XBR65A9G)

by on April 20, 2021
 



Sony A90J vs A9G Review

Sony A9J and A9G are the top models of 4K OLED TV from Sony’s Master Series. The difference is that the A9G is released in 2019 while the A90J is released in 2021. Nevertheless, since there is no A9H series in 2020, practically, the A90J is the successor of the A9G.  In 2020, Sony has actually released A9S series, but unfortunately, it only came in 48 inches variants. Apart from that all, the Sony A90J hopes attracts buyers by increasing brightness over the predecessor A9G or A9S. Additionally, the A90J also brings the new Cognitive XR Processor that expected can improve the picture quality over the X1 Ultimate used in last year’s flagship.

In the market, both of the Sony A90J and A9G come in 3 screen sizes options. Two variants have same screen sizes, which are 55 inches (XR55A90J vs XBR55A9G) and 65 inches (XR55A90J vs XBR55A9G). However, their biggest screen size is different where the A90J comes in 83 inches (XR83A90J) while the A9G comes in 77 inches (ABR77A9G). And of course, as a newer model, the A90J is sold more expensive than the A(G predecessor. So, what the upgrade offered by the A90J over the A9G? Is the A90J offers improvement in picture quality over the predecessor? Let’s discuss their side by side comparison.

 

Check the Latest Price
Sony A90J Sony A9G
55 Inches Sony XR55A90J on Amazon Sony XBR55A9G on Amazon
65 Inches Sony XR65A90J on Amazon Sony XBR65A9G on Amazon
77 inches Sony XBR77A9G on Amazon
83 Inches Sony XR83A90J on Amazon

Sony A90J vs A9G Side by Side Comparison

Sony A90J vs A9G Key Specification

Specs and Features Sony A90J Sony A9G
Sizes Available 55 Inches (XR55A90J), 65 inches (XR65A90J), 83 inches (XR83A90J) 55 inches (XBR55A9G), 65 Inches (XBR65A9G), 77 Inches (XBR77A9G)
Panel Technology OLED Panel OLED Panel
Dimming Technology Pixel Dimming Level Pixel Dimming Level
Pixel Structure WRGB WRGB
Image Processor Cognitive XR Processor 4K HDR Processor X1 Ultimate
HDR Support HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision
Clarity Enhancement Dual Database Processing, XR $K Up-scaling, XR Super Resolution 4K X Reality Pro, Dual Database Processing, Object-based Super Resolution
Contrast Enhancement Dynamic Contrast Enhancer, Pixel Contrast Booster, OLED XR Contrast Pro, XR HDR Remaster Dynamic Contrast Enhancer, Object-Based Remaster, Pixel Contrast Booster
Color Enhancement Live Color Technology, XR Up-scaling, XR TriLuminos Pro Live Color Technology, Precision Color Mapping, Super Bit Mapping HDR, TriLuminos Display
Motion Enhancement XR Motion Clarity, Auto Mode MotionFlow XR, Auto Mode
Native Refresh Rate Panel 120 Hz 120 Hz
VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) Supports No No
Smart TV Platform Android TV Ver.10 Android 8.0 Oreo
Google Assistant Yes Yes
Amazon Alexa Compatible Yes Yes
Apple AirPlay ? Apple HomeKit Yes N/a
Remote Premium Backlight Remote Sony Voice Remote
Voice Navigation Support Yes Yes
Audio Channel 2.2 channel 2.2 channel
Sound Output 20 watts + 20 watts + 10 watts + 10 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
Dolby Atmos Support Yes Yes
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, eARC
USB Ports 3 3

Contrast Ratio

Just like other models of OLED TVS, both of the Sony A90J and A9G have infinite native contrast ratio. This makes them can produce nearly perfect black. The result, black of images displayed on their screen looks very deep and inky even if they are set in pitch dark room. As we have known, each sub-pixel of OLED TV can emit its own light, so it doesn’t require backlight. So, when they are showing black, there is no light emitted at all from the black area. That’s why the OLED TV can produce nearly perfect black. Since they have nearly perfect black, this certainly makes them is very ideal for watching movies in a dark scene. Additionally, their nearly perfect black also makes small details of dark scene can be preserved well, just like what expected from HDR content. In general, contrast ratio of OLED TV is outstanding and there is no LED TV that can match OLED TV’s performance in producing inky black.

Winner: Draw

SDR Brightness

Just like what promised by Sony, with SDR content, the Sony A90J can get a bit brighter than the A9G. In, real scene, the A90C may be a bit dim than the predecessor where it gets around 280 nits while the A9G can get around 290 nits. But with white windows test, the A90J can get brighter than A9G.At 2%, 10%, and 25% white window test (2%, 10%, 25% of screen is white while the rest is black) the A90J is able to hit around 460 nits while the A9G only hits around 280 nits. Nevertheless, their peak brightness is not consistent and can change depending on he content. The larger screen get bright, their peak brightness is dropped by its ABL (Automatic Brightness Limiter). On 50% white window, peak brightness of the A90J drops to around 310 nits and A9G drops to around 230 nits while at 100% white window, peak rightness of A90J drops to around 180 nits and A9G drops to around 150 nits.

Separated from their difference, their peak brightness actually is bright enough to fight the glare in most bright rooms. But even so, in a very bright room, visibility can be an issue. And since the A90J can get brighter than A9G, in brighter room, picture displayed on their screen will look more obvious than the A9G.

Winner: A90J

HDR Brightness

With HDR content, the Sony A90J also can get brighter than the A9G predecessor. With real scene, on the screen of the A90J, highlight can be shown a bit brighter than 700 nits while on the screen of A9G, it can be shown at around 600 nits only.  Additionally, with white window tests, the A90J can also get brighter than the A9G. The A90J get its brightest peak brightness at 10% white window test where it hits around 850 nits for a short time and drop to around 780 nits after stabilized. On the other hand, on 10% white window test, the A9G hit around 600 nits and drops to around 330 nits after stabilized. On 2% window where the A9G hits its brightest peak brightness, it hits around 700 nits and drops to around 400 nits after stabilized. ON 2% windows, A90J even can get brighter than A9G where it hits around 800 nits for a short time and drops to around 750 nits after stabilized.

And just like their SDR brightness, the larges white area, their peak brightness is dropped by their ABL. But basically, no matter the white windows size, the A90J can get brighter than A9G. On 25%, 50%, and 100% white window test, the A90J can get around 600 nits, 325 nits and 175 nits while the A9G hits around 360 nits 250 nits and 125 nits. Overall, the A90J can show small highlight brighter than A9G, even better than most OLED TVs thus far. On the other hand, HDR peak brightness of the A9G is only good enough to show highlight in a dark room while in a bright room, highlights may be not as noticeable.

Winner: A90J

Local Dimming

Since OLED TVS including the Sony A90J and A9G have self lighting pixel, it doesn’t need backlight. So, they don’t have local dimming like LED TVs. But even so, they can turn individual pixel on/off/dim, so it is similar to LED TVs that have full array local dimming with the number of dimming zones is same to the number of pixel.  The result, when showing bright object, there is almost no blooming around bright object in a dark scene, making subtitle can be shown perfectly.

Winner: Draw

Color Gamut and Volume

The Sony A90J can get wider color gamut than the A9G. In DCI P3 xy color space, the A90J can cover around 98% of color space while the A9G can cover around 95%. Additionally, in DCI P3 uv color space, the A90J can also cover around 98% while the A9G cover around 97% of color space. In DCI P3, the A90J may be able to get wider color gamut than A90J, but in general, their color gamut is good enough to show colors of HDR images mastered in DCI P3 like HDR10 nearly perfectly. Meanwhile, in Rec.2020 xy and uv, the A90J cover around 71% and 72% while A9G cover around 70% and 74% of color space. On the other hand, In Rec.2020, although not as perfect as in DCI P3 color space, it is also good enough to show colors of HDR images mastered in Rec.2020 like Dolby Vision fairly accurate.

While they have excellent color gamut, their color volume is just decent. Since they both have infinite contrast ratio, they both can show deep dark colors excellently. However, you need to know, OLED TV has WRGB sub-pixels where there is additional white-sub-pixel to boost its brightness. The use of white sub-pixel may make them can produce pure white, but on the other hand, this makes them struggle to produce bright saturated colors.

Winner: A90J

Color Gradient

10 bit color gradient

Both of Sony A9G and A90H supports 10 bit depth of colors that means it can produce 1 million shades of colors. The result, they have outstanding color gradient. And just we have known, color gradient of Sony’s TV is relatively better than most LED and OLED TVs from the competitors. When they are showing 10 bit content like HDR10 images, there is only a minor banding in all colors, particularly on green and gray, but this should not be noticeable in normal content. But even so, if you still feel it bother you, you can enable their “Smooth Gradation” features to remove it. But keep in mind, enabling this feature may be causes some artifacts and loss of some fine details.

Winner: Draw

Side Viewing Angle

OLED vs LED Side Viewing Angle

The image is only an illustration

Side viewing angle is one of the major advantages of OLED TVs than LED TVs. Their side viewing angle is even better than LED TVs with IPS panel technology. When viewed from the side, black will look washed started at around 70 degrees off center and front. This means, when you watch TV from the side, black of images will look as depth as when viewed from the front and center. As well as their brightness, they both can be also maintained their brightness up to around 65 degrees off center and front.  But unfortunately, colors will shift started at around 30 degrees off center. Nevertheless, color of images displayed on their screen just looks washout started at around 50 degrees off center and front. This certainly is great for large room or wide seat arrangement.

Winner: Draw

Black and Gray Uniformity

Both of the Sony A90J and A9G have nearly perfect black uniformity. This is due they both can completely turn off individuals pixels. So, when they are showing totally black, there is no light emit from their screen at all. The depth of black level looks evenly across the entire area. Meanwhile, although not as perfect as their black uniformity, both of the Sony A9G and A90J also have excellent gray uniformity. The screen looks very uniform overall with almost no dirty screen effect. This of course is good for sports with wide field like football or golf.

Winner: Draw

Motion Handling

As we have known, OLED panel has nearly instantaneous pixel response time and this certainly is good for fast motion. The result, fast motion images looks very clear on their screen with almost no motion blur. But the other hand, their nearly instantaneous response time makes frames are held on for longer. This makes content can appear to stutter particularly when they are playing low frame rate content. However, this should not be noticeable for most people. Nevertheless, if you feel bothered by screen stuttering, enabling their Motion Interpolation or BFI mode can solve this issue. So, this should not be a serious issue for them.

Meanwhile, to dim their screen, both of the Sony A90J and A9G doesn’t use PWM. Actually, there is dip in a brightness every 8 ms, which is in-line with their 120Hz refresh rate. But this should not be noticeable.  So, in general, their screen is almost flicker-free, which means it is great. But even so, in certain condition, flicker is required to make motion appearance smoother, particularly when they are playing 60 fps or 120 Fps content. For this purpose, they both have a BFI (Black Frame Insertion) mode that will insert black frames into content at regular intervals, typically matched with the frame rate of the content. And for this case, The Sony A90J supports both 120 Hz and 60 Hz BFI mode. To enable 120 Hz BFI, “MotionFlow” must be set to “Custom” and “Clearness” to “1” or “2” and to enable 60 Hz BFI, the “Clearness” must be set to “3”.  On the other hand, the Sony A8G only supports 60 Hz BFI mode. To enable it, you must set “MotionFlow” to “Custom” and set “Clearness” to High”. With the same setting, when playing 24p content, it will flicker at 48 Hz while when “Clearness” set to “Medium” or “Low”, it will flicker at 48 Hz.

In addition BFI Mode, they both also already support both 60 HZ and 120 Hz motion interpolation. This means, they can interpolate low frame rate content to 60 Hz or 120 Hz. As we have discussed above, enabling motion interpolation can help to remove images stuttering that caused by their nearly instantaneous response time, particularly when they are playing low frame rate content. That’s not only that, their performance in removing 24p judder is also great. Regardless the source of movies, they both can remove judder. But even so, special for A9G, when its BFI is enabled, the TV will be always judder. Meanwhile to remove judder, when the source is native 24p content, you don’t need do anything. But when the source is 24p via 60p/60i signal or native apps, on A90J, you must set “Cinemotion” to “High”, “MotionFlow” to “Custom”, and leave both sliders to “0”, while on A9G”, you must set “MotionFLow” to Custom”, “Smoothness” to “Min”, “Clearness” to “Low”, and “CineMotion” to “Auto”.

Winner: A90J

Inputs

As their major connectivity, both of the Sony A90J and A90G have 4 HDMI ports. All of their HDMI ports support HDCP 2.3, CEC, and HDMI 2.0 Full bandwidth. Additionally, one of their HDMI ports supports ARC and eARC (HDMI 3). Meanwhile, the advantage of the A90J is that it also already supports HDMI 2.1 while the A9G doesn’t support. Additionally, both of them also support the same HDR formats which are HDR10, HLG, and Dolby Vision and they both don’t support HDR10+. The resolutions and frame rates of content supported are almost same including 1080p @60 Hz, 1440p @60 Hz (forced resolution), 4K @ 60 Hz, 1080p @ 120 Hz, etc. But unfortunately, they both don’t support 1440p @ 120 Hz. A bit improvement is with 4K @120 Hz where the A90J already supports this resolution while the A9G doesn’t support. On the other hand, the A9G supports 1440p @120 (force resolution) resolution while the A90J doesn’t support.

Meanwhile, coming with new Cognitive XR processor, the Samsung A90J offers an improvement on input lags over the A9G predecessor. In PC and Game mode and at 60 Hz, regardless the resolution, the input lags of the A9G is around 27 ms while the A90J is around 17 ms. Meanwhile, at 120Hz, input lag of the A9G is around 19 ms at 1080p and around 43 ms at 1440p resolution while the input lag of the A90J is around 12 ms at both 1080p and 4K resolution. This means, when used for playing any games, the A90J is more responsive than the A9G. On the other hand, although not as low as the A90G, input lags of the A9G actually is low enough to play fast paced games responsively, except 1440p @ 120 games here its input lag is too high.

Unfortunately, they both don’t have any features like VRR technology or ALLM that can improve their performance when used for gaming. But even so, the A90J offers some improvement in resolutions for latest gaming consoles like PS5 and Xbox X Series. With these consoles, if A90J supports 4K @60HZ + HDR and 1080p@ 120Hz, the A90J supports more resolution. In addition what supported by A9G, it also supports 4K@120Hz and 4K@120Hz + HDR games.

Winner: A90J

Smart TV Platform

Google TV vs Android TV

 

As their smart TV platform, the Sony A9G runs Android TV 8.0 while the A90J runs Google TV 10.0. The Google TV actually is very similar to Android TV, but it is more optimized for TV, particularly on their user interface. On Google TV, basic menu navigation is zippier than it was in the Android TV years and the user interface is much easier to digest. Additionally, Google TV also runs smoother and has fewer bugs than Android 8.0 on A9G.  And talking about their apps and features, there are a lot of selections of streaming apps and most of them come pre-installed. That’s not only that, they both also have good selection of apps on their Apps store you can add on your Sony TV. They also already support Voice Navigation. In addition they work with Google Assistant as its own platform, they also already have built in Amazon Alexa.

As their controller, Sony A90J comes with a remote that has almost similar shape and button layout to the remote of A9G, but with a bit change in button’s functions like Google Play on the remote of A9G is changed to YouTube. In the newer remote, there are also two addition shortcut buttons for Disney and Amazon Prime. Except them, they are almost similar. They both also have built-in microphone for voice command through Google Assistant or other platform.

Images Processor

One of the major changes offered by the Sony A90J over the A9G predecessor is about their image processor. As we have known, the Sony A9G is powered by 4K HDR Processor X1 Ultimate, the top level of X1 Engine series. Meanwhile, the A90J is powered by a new images processor called Cognitive XR Processor. One of the major improvements offered by the XR processor over the X1 Ultimate is about their AI’s Algorithm with Sony saying that it utilizes a “completely new processing method designed to replicate the ways humans see and hear”, detecting a so-called “focal point” in the TV’s picture to focus processing around the more important parts of the image. “While conventional Artificial Intelligence (AI) can only detect and analyze picture elements like color, contrast and detail individually, the new processor can cross-analyze an array of elements at once, just as our brains do,” Sony says.

Design

At a glance they look similar like other high-end Sony’s OLED TV. They both have thin border and the width of their border is also almost similar, which is around 0,8mm. And of course, with their thin border, this will not distract you in any way. Additionally, they are also fairly thin and their thickness is also similar, which around 4 cm. This makes them look great when wall-mounted. Meanwhile, the main difference between them is on their stand. The Stand of the A9G is flat and located at the center. This is very suitable if you want to place it on a table that is not so wide.  But unfortunately, its stand is not adjustable and this will be a problem if you also have a soundbar. On the other hand, the Stand of the A90J is adjustable. You can set its stand flat, bringing the TV flush against the table, or rise up to give a space for soundbar. But even so, since its stand is located at the side of the TV, you need a large table to place it or at least its width is same to the width of the TV.

Sound Quality

The Sony A9G and A90J come with the same audio setups, which is 2.2 setups with 20 watts + 20 watts + 10 watts + 10 watts of sound output. They also come with same technology, which is acoustic surface. As we have known, for producing sound, this technology utilizes the screen of TV instead of traditional speaker. It uses two actuator that drive the screen and two woofers to produce bass. However, although they use the same technology, but the sound that resulted is a bit different.  At the Max Volume, the A90J can get around 96 dB SPL.  It is a bit louder than the A9G that can only get around 93 dB. But even so, frequency response of the A9G is better than the A90J. Although the A90J can get louder, but at volume, there are a lot of compressions at higher volume, resulting pumping. Meanwhile, at higher volume, although there is still compression, but it is not as much as A90J. Additionally, in producing Bass, the A9G is also better than A90J. It can produce lower low-frequency extension than the A90J. Meanwhile, talking about their distortion performance, the A90J is better. At most volume, there is more distortion in the sound produced by the A9G than A9J.

Winner: A9G is better in frequency response, the A90J is better in distortion performance

Check the Latest Price
Sony A90J Sony A9G
55 Inches Sony XR55A90J on Amazon Sony XBR55A9G on Amazon
65 Inches Sony XR65A90J on Amazon Sony XBR65A9G on Amazon
77 inches Sony XBR77A9G on Amazon
83 Inches Sony XR83A90J on Amazon

Sony A90J vs A9G Performance

For Watching Movies

Both of the Sony A9G and A90J are exceptional TVs for watching movies in a dark room. Their self-lighting pixel makes them have infinite contrast ratio, nearly perfect black uniformity, and pixel dimming level. This certainly makes them can show dark scene excellently with small details are preserved well. Additionally, their pixel dimming level makes they both can show highlight without blooming and this is good for a movie with a subtitle. Both of the Sony A90J and A9G can also do a great job in handling judder. So, no matter the source of the movies, you will watch them with judder free. Meanwhile, when you want to watch fast action movies, they both also have nearly instantaneously pixel response time and optional BFI mode that allows them can show fast moving images smoothly and clearly. And their great performance in up-scaling lower resolution content to 4K content allows you to watch movies in 4K quality, regardless the resolution of the source. Overall, they are great TVs for watching movies in a dark room and their performance is almost similar.

Winner: Draw

For Watching Sports

In general, both of the Sony A9G and A90J are also equally great TVs for watching sports in a bright room. They both have good motion handling and BFI mode, making sports looks clearly and smoothly on their screen. Their gray uniformity is also equally good, allowing then to show field of hockey or football without dirty screen effect. That’s not only that, with good side viewing angle coverage, this ensures all of you  to get the best viewing when watching a big games with a group of your friend or family. They both may be not able to get very bright, but their SDR peak brightness is good enough to fight the glare in most bright room. Additionally, they both also have good reflection handling. So, except in very bright room, glare should not be an issue for them. Meanwhile, since A90J can get a bit brighter SDR peak brightness than A9G, in brighter room, the picture displayed on its screen will look more obvious than A9G.

Winner: A90J

For Playing Video Games

In term of picture quality of games produced by them, they may be similar. As we have discussed above, in addition they have excellent picture quality, they also have excellent motion handling. So, although you play fast paced games, the picture displayed on their screen will look smooth and clear. Additionally, their wide viewing angle also allows you to get the best viewing when you are playing multiplayer games with your family or friend. Meanwhile, coming with newer processor, the Sonny A90J offers an improvement on input lags. And since it has lower input lags in any resolution and frame rate, this makes the A90J is more responsive than the A9G and this will be more pronounced when you are playing fast paced games. But even so, although not as low as the A90J, input lags of the A9G are also low enough to play any games responsively. The other advantage of the A90J over the predecessor is about the support of latest game console’s features. With PS5 or XBox Series X, you can play 4K @ 120 HZ + HDR games on A90J, while on A9G, you cannot. Overall, A90J is better for playing games, but performance of the A9G is also good. But unfortunately, although they are good TVs for games, they both don’t support any VRR technology like FreeSync or GSync that can improves their gaming performance. Their HDMI don’t even support ALLM, so you must manually change to game mode when you will play game.

Winner: A90J

HDR Performance

Both of the Sony A90J and A9G also have excellent HDR performance, particularly in showing shadow details of HDR images. Since they have infinite native contrast ratio and nearly perfect black uniformity, dark scene of HDR images can be shown excellent with a lot of small details preserved well. Additionally, their excellent color coverage in DCI P3 and good color coverage in Rec.2020 makes colors of HDR images can be shown fairly accurate on their screen, no matter they show HDR10, HLG, or Dolby Vision Images. Still about color performance, they both also have outstanding color gradient, allowing them to show color gradient of HDR images smoothly without noticeable banding. Meanwhile, as long as you don’t use its in very bright room, their HDR peak brightness is also bright enough to bring out small highlight in HDR. But of course, they are not as bright as premium LED TV like Samsung QN90A or QN85A. Meanwhile, compare among them, in term of shadow details and color reproduction, their performance may be almost similar, but in bringing out highlight in HDR, the A90J is better since it has brighter HDR peak brightness than A9G.

Winner: A9G

Conclusion

As we have discussed a lot above, overall, Sony A90J offers some improvements over the predecessor A9G, particularly that influenced by performance of their image processor. So, even though they use the same OLED panel, but the A90J is relatively better than the A9G. In addition it can get brighter, it also has better BFI mode and Lower input lags. This certainly makes A90J is a bit better when used for watching sports and playing video games that require good motion handling and low input lags. On the other hand, the replacement from Android TV to Google TV makes its smart TV platform is easier to use and smoother than the predecessor. Nevertheless, separated from the superiority of the A90J to A9G, overall, they are equally great TVs for any usage. Which is a better choice between them? This certainly comes back to you according to your budget and own preferences. The A90J may be better than A9G, but it is sold more expensive.

Check the Latest Price
Sony A90J Sony A9G
55 Inches Sony XR55A90J on Amazon Sony XBR55A9G on Amazon
65 Inches Sony XR65A90J on Amazon Sony XBR65A9G on Amazon
77 inches Sony XBR77A9G on Amazon
83 Inches Sony XR83A90J on Amazon

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