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This Sony A95L review explores the artistry and precision of a QD-OLED TV as it executes different aspects of picture quality.
The Bravia A95L is Sony’s flagship TV for 2023, and the manufacturer releases it just in time for the holidays. Can the Bravia A95L beat the picture-perfect excellence of its predecessor? A deep dive into the abilities of this Quantum-Dot and OLED hybrid should answer the question.
Sony A95L review: Product concept and market
Sony positions the Bravia XR A95L as the crown jewel of its 2022 and 2023 lineup. It’s hard to imagine how Sony could improve on the perfection of the A95K in 2022, but the company is giving it a try. Towards this noble pursuit, Sony acquired a Quantum Dot and OLED hybrid from Samsung.
The A95L panel is brighter than its predecessor; with a larger color palette and greater processing power. You also get excellent motion handling and useful perks for gamers. Different features of the A95L should come together to deliver a decadent user experience.
Buyers will pay a premium for the top-tier performance that the Bravia A95L advertises. The 55-inch model is the runt of the pack, and it costs just under two thousand dollars as of September 2023. It then follows that the 65-inch and 77-inch models will cost even more. Now we look at the value this QD-OLED TV delivers, across different performance metrics.
Build and design
The exterior of the Sony A95L is a tough plastic chassis with a metal frame around the edges. Ultra-thin aluminum bezels sit flush against the screen, making them hard to notice as you watch TV. There’s also a pair of aluminum feet to support the TV if you choose to place it on furniture. The TV feet are height-adjustable, just in case you need extra room for a soundbar.
Together, the different elements of the chassis form an elegant design. The checkerboard pattern at the back and sides of the panel is the defining touch that marks Sony’s signature aesthetic.
Sony’s A95L may lack the paper-thin side profile of earlier OLED models, but the panel remains slim. The extra depth is the result of including a QLED layer and a heat sink. You can still execute a neat wall-mount install, thanks to the even side profile of the A95L panel. Better still, the column of ports at the left end of the TV remains accessible in a wall-mount setup.
Sony A95L review: Connectivity
You get two HDMI 2.1 ports that support high-resolution content with a frame rate of up to 120fps. Unfortunately one of these high-speed ports also doubles as the eARC port. This effectively leaves you with one free HDMI 2.1 port if you use a soundbar. An entertainment center with a Blu-Ray player, a gaming console, and sound equipment needs more than two high-speed HDMI ports. On this count, the Bravia XR A95L falls behind comparable TVs from competing brands.
The Sony A95L also has two HDMI 2.0 ports and an optical port. The rest of the ports provide connections to legacy devices.
WiFi and Bluetooth provide wireless connections to link the Bravia A95L with all kinds of consumer electronics.
Sony A95L review: Setup and ease of use
Physical installation should be the most challenging part of the setup. Once you power the panel, the only hurdle you have to clear is logging into your Google account. Next, follow the series of prompts from the Google TV installer. In a few minutes, the Sony A95L should display your home page, which you can customize to your liking.
Sony ships the A95L QD-OLED TV with a Bravia webcam that has multiple uses. In addition to making video calls, the camera doubles as a calibration tool. The camera and the TV software work together to calibrate the sound and picture settings of the TV. This means that you can adjust the TV output to match the ambient light and acoustics of your space.
Smart TV platform
The Bravia XR A95L runs on Google TV, with an overlay of Sony’s proprietary modules. This means that in addition to the regular Google platform, you get a set of convenient menus from Sony. The extra modules in the A95L include:
- A gaming menu
- Bravia’s camera module for calibration and video calls
- An eco settings module that helps you manage the display’s energy consumption
A high-performance processor makes light work of the Google TV operating system. This means that you get a responsive user interface with numerous features that enrich your user experience. Take the multi-view feature, which splits the screen so you can view content from two different sources. The feature lets you keep an eye on your security feed as you catch up with a Netflix series.
There are many more smart home features that work seamlessly with the larger Google ecosystem.
Smart TV platform: Game menu
Sony presents the game menu as a pop-up panel that remains on standby during gameplay. The menu offers quick access to your game settings, allowing you to optimize your gameplay without taking long pauses. Here are some of the adjustments you can make to this convenient menu:
- Choose a cross hair that gives you an advantage during gameplay
- Tweak the black level equalizer to enhance detail and clarity in dark images
- Adjust the window size downwards to make it as small as 30% of the screen
- Reduce motion blur
Changing your game settings on the fly allows you to take full advantage of the TV graphics. In other words, Sony’s gaming menu could give you an edge over your competition.
Sony A95L review: Performance
The Bravia A95L combines an OLED panel with a quantum dot layer to create a bright TV with deep, dark blacks. Sony’s image processing module then uses the native brightness and vast color palette of the Bravia A95L to render accurate, natural color. These native capabilities allow the Sony Bravia XR to recreate color, light, and shadow; exactly how the cinematographer’s lens captures it.
Contrast, depth, and detail
Traditional OLED panels have infinite contrast, and the Sony Bravia A95L comes close to this benchmark. In a way, the far brighter Sony A95L outperforms a regular OLED panel without a QLED layer. Again, Sony’s image processor harnesses the native contrast of the QD-OLED panel to create digital art.
The A95L will display detail with perfect clarity, both in bright and dark sections of an image. It gets better, as the QD-OLED panel executes depth and dimension with great accuracy. This means that the Sony Bravia A95L will easily immerse you in 3D graphics that transport you through a wormhole, the unending expanse of space, or the rabbit hole to Wonderland.
QD-OLED panels have perfect black and gray uniformity, thanks to even light distribution in the quantum dot layer. The result is zero banding, zero shadows, and zero light bleedthrough.
From a viewer’s perspective, you get to watch field sports where the baseball pitch retains its original color. You get to watch dark scenes without the annoyance of banding on what should be a rich, velvet-smooth dinner jacket.
Color, contrast, and brightness remain constant at all angles, so everyone you invite for movie night gets the best seat in the house.
Low input lag and responsive pixels allow the Sony A95L to respond to an input signal in less than 10ms. This number translates to smooth motion that is free of blurring and judder. Again, Sony’s image processor harnesses the panel’s speed to render demanding AAA game titles at high resolution.
Motion handling and gaming
The Bravia A95L renders 4K/120 content with a stunning level of detail. For gamers, crisp graphics that showcase minute details may reveal clues that improve the chances of winning. Gamers also get a TV that eliminates screen tearing, thanks to a variable refresh rate that will match a game’s changing frame rate.
- Thoughtful design and an elegant aesthetic
- High-quality build
- Peerless picture quality makes the A95L one of the best displays in the market right now
- Precise image processing that doesn’t exaggerate color saturation, contrast, and other aspects of a picture
- Powerful smart TV platform with plenty of convenient features
- This TV can render 4K/120H games while VRR and Dolby Vision are active
- This premium TV comes with a premium price tag
- A slight blue tint may be visible on pale colors, but a small adjustment removes the inaccuracy
- The A95L has fewer HDMI 2.1 ports than competing TVs in the same price range
Sony A95L review: This could be the best TV in the market right now
Currently, Samsung is the sole manufacturer of QD-OLED panels, including the panel that powers the Sony Bravia A95L.
While Samsung and Sony use the same panel for their products, Sony’s image processing harnesses the hardware to paint beautiful art. Sony outshines Samsung’s QD-OLED TV with images that have the perfect amount of color saturation, brightness, and contrast.
This Sony A95L review reveals a premium TV that delivers on every aspect of picture quality. Click here to learn more about this television.