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Sony A9G vs A9F Review (XBR55A9G vs XBR55A9F, XBR65A9G vs XBR65A9G)

by on July 31, 2019
 



Sony A9G vs A9F Review

Sony A9G is the top model of Sony’s 2019 4K HDR OLED TV. Meanwhile, the Sony A9F is the predecessor, also the top model of Sony’s 2018 4K HDR OLED TV lineup. Since they both use the OLED panel that have the same technical platform, can be ascertained, the main difference between them is about the feature that offered and design. In the market, the Sony A9F comes in two screen sizes only including 55 inch (XBR55A9F) and 65 inches (XBR65A9F). On the other hand, the A9G comes in 3 screen sizes. In addition to 55 inches (XBR55A9G) and 65 inches (XBR65A9G), it also comes in the huge screen 77 inches (XBR77A9G). Meanwhile, which one is cheaper between them is depending on the screen size.  For the 65 inches model, they both have almost the same price while for the 55 inches model, the A9G is sold hundreds dollar more expensive than A9F. But even so, their price certainly is not fixed and can still change with the passage of the time.

Specs and Features of Sony A9G and A9F

Sony A9G vs A9F Key Specs

Specs and Features Sony A9F Sony A9G
USB Ports 3 (USB 2,3: USB2.0, USB1:USB 3.0) 3 (USB 2,3: USB2.0, USB1:USB 3.0)
Sizes Available 55 Inches (XBR55A9F), 65 Inches (XBR65A9F) 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 4K HDR Processor X1 Ultimate 4K HDR Processor X1 Ultimate
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, Object-based Super Resolution
Contrast Enhancement Dynamic Contrast Enhancer, Object-Based Remaster, Pixel Contrast Booster Dynamic Contrast Enhancer, Object-Based Remaster, Pixel Contrast Booster
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 Refresh Rate) Supports No No
Smart TV Platform Android 8.0 Oreo Android 8.0 Oreo
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 3.2 channel 2.2 channel
Sound Output 13 W + 13 W + 13 W + 13 W + 13 W + 13 W + 10 W + 10 W 20 watts + 20 watts + 10 watts + 10 Watts
Speaker Type Acoustic Surface Audio+ Acoustic Surface Audio +
Speaker Configuration Actuator X3, 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

Features and Technologies of Sony A9F and A9G

Panel Technology

As we have known, the Sony A9G and A9F both use OLED panel. But even so, as we have mentioned, instead of use its own OLED panel, Sony uses the LG’s OLED panel for both. This means, the OLED panel of Sony A9F and A9G has the same technical platform to the all models of LG’s OLED TVs. And since most of OLED TVS which available in the market also use LG’s OLED panel, can be ascertained, there is not much significant difference in picture quality produced by them. And as we have known, the LG’s OLED panel uses WRGB pixel structure. In addition to standard RGB sub-pixel, there is additional white sub pixel for boosting peak luminance. And of course, since OLED panel has individually self-lighting pixel, this allows both the A9G and A9F have pixel dimming level and can produce nearly-perfect black level.

Image Processor

 

Sony X1 Ultimate Engine

Even though the Sony A9G is the newer model, but it is still use the image processor used by the A9F predecessor, which is 4K HDR Processor X1 Ultimate. As we know, this processor is claimed has performance two times more powerful than the X1 Extreme found on the lower series like A8G or A8F. The main difference between two, if the X1 Extreme processes any content frame by frame, the X1 Ultimate processes the content based on the object. This means, in each frame, the X1 Ultimate will process each object separately. This certainly makes the picture produced has better fine details.  Additionally, in addition to the features bring by the X1 Extreme like Dynamic Contrast Enhancer, Object-Based Remaster, Dual Database processing, , Precision Color Mapping, Super Bit Mapping HDR, the X1 Ultimate also comes with some additional features like Object-based Super Resolution, Pixel Contrast Booster and others. Expected, with this processor, the Sony A9G and A9F can produce better picture quality than the lower series, particularly in fine details.

HDR Supports

The Sony A9F and A9G support the same HDR formats.  In addition HDR10, they both also already support HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma) developed by NHK and BBC for TV broadcast. This means, they both allow you to watch TV shows with HDR quality. Additionally, they both also already support Dolby Vision, the proprietary HDR format by Dolby Laboratories. Unlike HDR10 and HLG that use static metadata, Dolby Vision already use Dynamic metadata that certainly makes HDR images produced will be more accurate. But unfortunately, they both don’t support HDR10+, the other dynamic HDR format developed by Samsung and its alliance.

Motion Technology

X-Motion Clarity

In addition to the OLED panel have instantaneous pixel response time that means it is great for motion, for maximizing their performance in handling motion, they both are supported by MotionFlow XR Technology. Additionally, they both also have an optional 60 Hz BFI (Black Frame Insertion) mode that very helpful to make motion looks smoother and clearer, particularly when they are playing 60 fps content. This BFI mode also can be used to minimize the image stutter since they both have instantaneous pixel response time. Furthermore, since they both have native 120 Hz refresh rate panel, both Sony A9G and A9F also can interpolate the lower frame rate content up to 120 Hz.

Connectivity

As their major connectivity, both of the Sony A8G and A8F are equipped with 4 HDMI ports. All of their HDMI ports already support HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth, HDCP 2.2, HDCP 2.3, and CEC. Additionally, one of their HDMI ports (HDMI 3) also already support ARC (Audio Return Channel) and eARC (enhanced Audio Return Channel). And since one of their HDMI ports already support eARC and Dolby Atmos, they both can pass through the Dolby Atmos signal via TrueHD. But a bit unfortunate, their HDMI ports don’t support HDMI 2.1 Full Bandwidth. They both might be able to play HFR (High Frame Content) like 4K @120 Hz via USB or Streaming, but since the limitation of bandwidth of HDMI 2.0, they both cannot accept HFR signal via their HDMI ports.

In addition to 4 HDMI ports, they both are also equipped with 3 USB ports. Two of them are USB 2.0 while the rest is USB 3.0. Additionally, they both also have 1 RF IN (Antenna In), 1 Composite In (AV IN), Ethernet Port, Digital Audio Out (Optical), Analog Audio Out (3.5 mm Mini-jack), and IR In. Special for their AV IN, to use this input, you need and adapter and the adapter is sold separately.

Smart TV Platform

Android TV 8.0 Oreo

As their smart TV platform, both Sony A9G and A9F run the same version of Google Android TV, which is 8.0 version or Android Oreo. Combination of faster chipset and the latest version of Android OS makes their smart TV platform is much faster than the lower model of Sony’s TVs.  With other words, their smart TV experience is the fastest and the best Android TV OS until now. The main interface is well organized, very smooth, responsive, and relatively easy to use. Additionally, it also provides a lot of selections of preinstalled apps. There are VoD service like YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Videos, Hulu, and others, Live TVs, Games, Web Browser, and many more. Not only that, it also gives you access to Google Play Store. As we know, Google Play Store is the most complete apps store that supported by tons of developer.  It also already has ChromeCast built-in, allow you to cast your favorite entertainment like Netflix, YouTube, or other from your personal device. Additionally, their smart TV platform also already support, Google Voice Assistant, Google Home and work with Amazon Alexa. In general, Android TV is one of the best smart TV platforms that have complete features and apps.

Check the Latest Price
Sony A9G Sony A9F
55 Inches Sony XBR65A9G on Amazon Sony XBR55A9F on Amazon
65 Inches Sony XBR65A9G on Amazon Sony XBR65A9F on Amazon
77 Inches Sony XBR65A9G on Amazon

The Differences

Design

The major difference between the Sony A9G and A9F is about their design. The design of the Sony A9F is similar to the A1E the predecessor where it comes with a design called “One Slate”.  The A9F doesn’t have a stand under the screen. This means, when it is place on the table, the bottom of the screen rests on the table, so there is no gap at all between the TV and the table. Nevertheless, actually the screen doesn’t directly rest on the table beneath it. There are small rubber feet under the screen that prevent the screen from slipping. Meanwhile to support the TV, there is a stand at the back that supports the TV extremely well. Nevertheless, the use of the stand at the back makes the TV to lean back at a slight angle. With this design, from the front, the TV looks very minimalistic without visible stand, but on the other hand, it requires larger table than other TVs which have the same size.

Sony A9F vs A9G Design

Meanwhile, the Sony A9G doesn’t continue the design of the predecessor A9F or A1E. Instead of use the “One Slate” design, its design is very different to its predecessor.  The screen is supported by a small flat stand, so if you nudge the TV, it will still wobble a little. But even so, overall, the stand supports the TV extremely well. Additionally, even though the TV is supported a stand under the screen, but the stand doesn’t lift the TV from the table much. This only leaves the small gap between the screen and table. Nevertheless, overall, the design of A9G looks excellently on your table.

Sound System

Sony Acoustic Surface

Just like other model of Sony OLED TVs, both Sony A9G and A9F use a technology called “Acoustic surface”. As we have known, instead of use the conventional speaker, this technology utilizes their screen as the speaker membrane that is vibrated by actuator to produce sound. The advantage, this will give an impression as if voices are coming directly from the actor’s mouth or object on the scene rather than a speaker unit below the TV.  Meanwhile, the difference between them is the number of the speaker channel.  Sony A9F comes with 3.2 channel speaker, while the X9G comes with 2.2 channel speaker. Additionally, each actuator of the A9F has 13 watts of power output and each woofer has 10 watts of sound output. On the other hand, each actuator of the A9G only has 10 watts of power output and each of its woofers has 10 watts of sound output. This means, the total sound output of the A9F is 59 watts while the total sound output of A9G is 40 watts. Nevertheless, even though Sony has downgrade the number of audio channel and power output of the A9G over the predecessor A9F, but Sony says that the actuator of A9G has updated to deliver wider sound field between bass and treble.

Remote

 

The other difference between the Sony A9G and A9F is about the model of their remote. The remote of A9F has black tint while the remote of the A9G has metallic tint and their remote also have different layout. Nevertheless, they both have rubberized back and soft touch button. Additionally, they both also have a lot of buttons. Both of them also have two dedicated buttons for Netflix and Google Play, allows you to launch these apps without entering the menu. These remotes are also equipped with built-in microphone and a voice navigation button to access Google Voice Assistant. This allows you to make some certain voice command the TV. And to use the voice navigation, the remote must be connected on the TV via Bluetooth and it doesn’t need direct line-of sight to the TV.

Check the Latest Price
Sony A9G Sony A9F
55 Inches Sony XBR65A9G on Amazon Sony XBR55A9F on Amazon
65 Inches Sony XBR65A9G on Amazon Sony XBR65A9F on Amazon
77 Inches Sony XBR65A9G on Amazon

Sony A9F vs A9G Performance

Picture Quality

Contrast and Black Level

Just like other models of OLED TVs, Sony A9G and A9F both have infinite contrast and perfect black level. As we have known, the OLED panel doesn’t have backlight and the lighting is produced by its own pixels. Additionally, this also allows them have excellent black uniformity. So, when they show black, the pixels in black area switch off without affected by the condition of other pixels surrounding. The result, black produced is nearly-perfect. Even when they are set in a dark room, black produced by them still looks really black. Indirectly, the perfect back produced by them also make dark colors produced by them looks very accurate. And since black level is one of the major aspect of picture quality, the nearly-perfect black produced make the picture produced by them is really excellent. So, when they are showing HDR images, shadow details look clearly that certainly makes dark scene also looks excellently. Until now, there is no LED TV that can match the performance of OLED TV in producing black.

Winner: Draw

SDR Peak Brightness

In producing black, the OLED TVs including A9G and A9F might be superior to LED TV. However, its peak brightness is not as bright as LED TVs, particularly if compared premium LED TV which have similar price. With real SDR content, the peak brightness of Sony A9F and A9G is not too bright.  With around 280 nits, this makes them is more suitable when used in an average lit room or dimmer, while in bright room with a lot of lights or sunny windows, their peak brightness is not quite bright to overcome the glare. Even when they are showing large white scene (all area of scene is white), their peak brightness is dropped by ABL (Automatic Brightness Limiter) to around 150 nits.

Keep in mind, this result is hit by setting the “Picture Mode” to “Custom”, “Peak Luminance” to “High”, and “Color Temperature” to “ Expert “1”. The different setting might get the different result, even brighter peak brightness, but this will make the picture lose the accuracy.

Winner: A9F

HDR Peak Brightness

With HDR content, both of Sony A9F and A9G can get brighter than with SDR content. But for this case, the A9F can get a bit brighter peak brightness than A9G. With real scene, the A9F can hit brighter than 600 nits while A9G is a bit less than 600 nits. Meanwhile, with test window, the brightest peak brightness is hit by them on 2 % window (2% of screen is white while the rest is black) where the Sony A9G hit around 380 nits while A9F hit around 420 nits.  But just like with SDR content, their peak brightness is dropped by their ABL to around 150 nits. With their peak brightness characteristic, they both actually can still show small highlights in a dark scene looks excellently, but unfortunately, the bright white scene looks too dimly. Overall, as long as you don’t pace them in a very bright room, their peak brightness is bright enough to make small highlights looks fairly bright. But even so, since its peak brightness is still far from 1000 nits, they cannot show highlight of HDR images like intended by the content creator, which is at 1000 – 4000 nits of brightness range.

Winner: A9F

Color Performance

Sony A9G and A9F both can deliver wide color gamut. But compare between them, the A9F can deliver a bit wider color gamut than the A9G. In DCI P3u uv, the color gamut of A9G can cover around 99% of color space, while the A9F cover around 97% of color space. Meanwhile, in Rec.2020, the A9G can cover around 74% of color space, while the A9F can do a bit wider, which is around 76%. Nevertheless, their difference actually is not too noticeable in normal content. Ignoring their difference, their color gamut actually is very impressive and there are not many TVs that can match them. While they both have impressive color gamut, their color volume is only decent. They both might be able to produce deep dark colors fairly well, but on the other hand, they both cannot produce saturated bright colors, especially very bright blues. As we know, their OLED panel have white sub-pixel on their pixel structure to boost their peak brightness, but on the other hand, this will desaturate the pure colors at high brightness levels that make them cannot show bright saturated color fairly well. With their flaw in producing bright saturated colors, overall, color of HDR images can shown fairly accurate on their screen, regardless they are playing HDR10 or Dolby Vision Content.

Furthermore, they both also have excellent color gradient, even is including the best ever. Color gradient of 10 bit content like HDR images can be shown very smoothly. Some banding might be still visible in certain colors, but this is very minimal. But even so, if you still feel bothered by the banding that might be visible, enabling the “Smooth Gradation” can help to remove the banding. But on the other hand, this can cause the picture lose some fine details.

Winner: A9F

Side Viewing Angle

One of the advantages of OLED TVs than LED TVs is they have good side viewing angle while at the same time, they also have nearly-perfect black level. This is different to LED TVs where a LED TV with good contrast ratio usually have poor side viewing angle and on the contrary, a LED TV with good viewing angle usually have poor native contrast ratio. Meanwhile, Sony A9G and A9F have both. They both can maintain black level produced and their peak brightness without significant degradation at up to around 70 degrees off center and front. Additionally, even though the color still shifts and loses its accuracy at moderate angles, but this is still better than LED TVs. The result, the picture displayed on their screen still look remains accurate, albeit you watch the TV from side angle. This certainly makes them as the good choice for you who have a room with wide seating arrangement.

Winner: Draw

Motion Handling

Both Sony A9F and A9G can do a great job when handling motion. As we know, the OLED panel has instantaneous pixel response time that means it is great. The result, when they are showing fast moving images like fast sports, fast movies, or others, the picture produced looks very clearly and smoothly with almost no visible motion trail following fast moving object. But even so, since each frame is held static on screen for nearly the entire time, this will make the image to stutter that may bother some people, particularly when they are playing low frame rate content like 24p movies. Nevertheless, this issue can be minimized by enabling BFI (Black Frame Insertion) mode or Motion Interpolation.

Furthermore, since they both don’t have backlight, to dim their screen, they don’t use PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) dimming system. This allows their screen is almost flicker-free. Nevertheless, on the other hand, this will cause some persistence blur, particularly when they are playing 60 fps content likes sports or video games. For you who are bothered with persistence blur that might be produced, they both have an optional BFI mode that flickers their screen at 60 Hz. This will help to minimize persistence blur that certainly makes motion looks crisper, but on the other hand, this will makes the screen’s flicker is noticeable for some people. This means you have two options. If you feel bothered with screen’s flicker, you can disable this mode. On the contrary, if you feel bothered with persistence blur, you can enable this feature. To enable their BFI mode, for A9G, you just need set the “MotionFlow” to “Custom” and “Clearness” to “Min”. Meanwhile, for the A9F, in addition to these two settings, the “Clearness” must be also set to “High”.

Meanwhile, when playing 24p movies, the both can do an excellent job. Regardless the type of source, whether it is native 24 content like Blur-Ray or DVD movies, 24p content via 60 is signal like movies from satellite TV, 24p content via 60p signal like movies from streaming devices or PC, or 24p movies from native apps like Netflix, YouTube, or others, all of those can be shown clearly and smoothly with judder-free. To remove the judder from 24p content, for the A9F, you must set the “MotionFlow” to “Custom”, “CineMotion” to “Auto”, and “Smoothness” to “Min”. Meanwhile, for the A9G, in addition to these three settings, the “Clearness” must be also set to “Low”.

Winner: Draw

Input Lags

The use of X1 Ultimate as their picture images engines brings some improvement in their input lags in comparison with the other model that use lower level image processor like A8G or A8F. In “PC” and “Games” mode, with 60 fps content, regardless the resolution, their input lags is around 27 ms that means it is good for any games. Meanwhile with 120 fps content, they have a difference at 1440p resolution. At 1080p resolution, their input lags is almost similar, which is around 20 ms. Meanwhile, at 1440p resolution, the A9F has lower input lags, which is around 20 ms, while for A9G, its input lags is around 45 ms. And since their HDMI ports doesn’t support HDMI 2.1 Full bandwidth, their HDMI ports cannot accept 4K at 120 Hz signal. Overall, their input lags might be not the best, but this is fairly low to make them very responsive for playing games, even for fast paced games which require fast reflexes.

Winner: A9F

Check the Latest Price
Sony A9G Sony A9F
55 Inches Sony XBR65A9G on Amazon Sony XBR55A9F on Amazon
65 Inches Sony XBR65A9G on Amazon Sony XBR65A9F on Amazon
77 Inches Sony XBR65A9G on Amazon

Conclusion

As we have discussed a lot above, overall, the Sony A9G and A9F have excellent picture quality and their picture quality is almost similar. Even though the Sony A9G is a newer model, but in some aspects like peak brightness and color gamut, it cannot perform as well as the predecessor A9F.  Additionally, the A9G also comes with downgraded speaker channel. Fortunately, their difference is not too significant, so this doesn’t have a significant impact on the normal content. While they have almost no difference in performance, their differences are precisely on their design, the number of speaker channel and sound output and also the type of the remote.

Overall, as long as you don’t use them in a very bright room, both Sony A9F and A9G are great TVs for mixed usage. Regardless you use them in a dark room or bright room, for watching movies, sports, TV shows, playing games, smart TV experience, HDR experience, they will not disappoint your albeit you have spent thousands dollar to get one of them. But keep in mind, just like other models of OLED TVs, they both have a risk to permanent burn-in, particularly when they are showing static image for a long time. This means, playing the same game for over long time should be avoided to prevent this issue.

Which is a better choice between them? As we have mentioned, with the same screen, for a 55 inches model, A9G is sold hundreds dollar more expensive than A9F, while for 65 inches, their price is almost similar. Since they both have almost the same performance and features, now the decision comes back to you according to your own preference, particularly your interest in their design.

Check the Latest Price
Sony A9G Sony A9F
55 Inches Sony XBR65A9G on Amazon Sony XBR55A9F on Amazon
65 Inches Sony XBR65A9G on Amazon Sony XBR65A9F on Amazon
77 Inches Sony XBR65A9G on Amazon
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