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It's that time of the year when major companies are finally dropping their new TV lines, be it for purchase or just revealing what you can expect. This week, TV powerhouse Sony debuted its latest line of panels, including the A95L OLED smart TV.
If you have your heart set on a Sony TV but don't know which model is right for you or even what the primary differences are between each one -- no worries. ZDNET researched and compared the top five models and even found the best Sony TV overall.Read now
The Google TVs feature improved specs including Black Equalizer, dedicated adjustable (and optional) crosshairs, and even Auto Genre Picture Mode and Auto HDR Tone Mapping specifically for PlayStation5 gamers.
Another new feature across all the TVs? An Eco Dashboard and Light Sensor so you can adjust your TV to be more eco-friendly while still maximizing all of your streaming, gaming, and more. All of the panels offer compatibility with Amazon Alexa, Apple AirPlay 2, and Apple HomeKit, while offering the ability to run calls through Google Duo and Zoom with a BRAVIA CAM accessory.
Also: How to screen mirror from your iPhone to your TV using AirPlay
Sony invited me to take a look at a few of the models for first looks. Below are the panels I got introduced to -- and my initial thoughts on them.
Sony's A95L is by far the best panel launching in the Sony family. Firstly, it offers XR OLED Contrast Pro helmed by an enhanced XR Cognitive Process. Plus, the TV uses XR Clear Image and XR OLED Motion. Rounding out its specs lineup for dedicated streamers includes Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLG, and a special Netflix Calibrated Mode alongside IMAX enhanced and BRAVIA Core Calibrated modes.
The QD-OLED display can handle up to 120Hz for its Auto Genre Picture Mode for gaming, and the image quality is superb thanks to the upgraded XR Triluminus Max technology to make colors pop on the screen.
While there's a lot that goes into this TV, the gist of it is that this panel is Sony's best announcement in my opinion. Having seen it first-hand, the TV displayed a night view of the Tokyo skyline (or at least I'm pretty sure that's what I was looking at). The X-Wide, X-Anti Reflection design implemented into the TV meant that I could see the image on-screen with crystal clear clarity. Tokyo looked bright, beautiful, and smooth on each of its self-lit pixels. Like all models, I didn't get a chance to get a hands-on experience with the audio, but during some demos felt that the TVs delivered pretty solid sound.
One more awesome feature to note: The new stand can work for both narrow TV consoles but also can be adjusted to tuck a soundbar underneath the TV for those who need to maximize space. In other words, if I needed to, I could adjust it in three different ways.
While no word yet on when this will ship, you can expect the A95L to come in 55, 65, and 77 inches.
If you're in a brighter space and prefer to opt for the LCD display design, Sony also has you covered with the introduction of its newest family member: The X90L TV. Similarly to its OLED sibling, it packs a 120Hz picture into its screen alongside an XR Contrast Booster 10, XR Clear Image, and XR Motion Clarity.
Not only does it come with all of this, but you can expect a top-notch gaming experience worthy of even the best of gamers thanks to the Dolby Vision, HLG, and various modes that include Netflix Calibrated Mode and BRAVIA Core Calibrated Mode. I got to check out some Gran Turismo footage on the TV. The XR Triluminos Pro delivers great color that enhanced the bright racecar hues.
It doesn't come with an anti-reflective coating, so you'll get a glossy feel to the screen, but I didn't feel it detracted too much from the picture. The picture displayed bright picture that made me want to grab the controller, pull up a chair, and hit the gas. Even outside the Gran Turismo gameplay, I plunked around on the menu for a few minutes and felt that the XR Cognitive Processor responded without delay.
Sony upgraded the bezel from a plastic frame to an aluminum frame for extra sturdiness, too. Expect this panel to range from 55 to 85 inches for the ultimate gaming display.
Full transparency: I saw this demoed on a segment of my latest sci-fi obsession, Dune; and when I first saw it on-screen, I genuinely thought it was an OLED panel. My first thought was how much would it set me back to get this in my apartment -- because I was willing to pay for it without a second thought. As I was politely corrected during said demo, it wasn't OLED, but Mini LED/LCD.
That being said, that (gargantuan) mistake speaks volumes as to how awesome this display looks in a real setting. As a heads up, this panel will only be available initially in the 85-inch display.
If you're looking for something smaller and want to wait for the new line to drop, don't let this size discourage you from taking the 85-inch plunge. The Mini LED screen features a Backlight Master Drive alongside XR Triluminos Pro and XR Contrast Booster 15. Like the rest of the Sony drop, it will come with Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLG, and the previously-mentioned Netflix Calibrated Mode, IMAX Enhance, and BRAVIA Core Calibrated Mode.
The combination of Mini LED and all of these built-in software components made for a clear, vivid picture, nearly to the point of saturation. I didn't mind; however, it made the colors pop on-screen and gave me the opportunity to enjoy the detailed designs both on the characters and backgrounds. It really, truly masquerades as an OLED without the (presumably higher) price tag.
If you're looking for a great picture but don't want to opt for an OLED, this panel is the one that's best for your home. It's to be determined when we'll see it launch.