Sony BRAVIA A1

OLED Good­ness on An­droid

HWM (Philippines) - - Con­tents - By Ng Chong Seng

The BRAVIA A1 se­ries is Sony’s first large­screen OLED TV. A 4K UHD TV that sup­ports HDR10, Dolby Vi­sion, and Hy­brid Log-gamma HDR for­mats, the A1 also touts a new X1 Ex­treme pro­ces­sor with tons of horse­power to han­dle all the real-time pro­cess­ing re­quired to make the eight mil­lion self-il­lu­mi­nat­ing pix­els look good. Like all re­cent BRAVIA mod­els, the A1 runs on An­droid TV.

The other big story with the A1 is its Acous­tic Sur­face sound technology. There are four ac­tu­a­tors at the rear of the TV that vi­brate to pro­duce sound through the screen. The re­sult­ing ex­pe­ri­ence was sur­pris­ingly good, as I did get the feeling that the ac­tor’s voice came from his mouth, and not some speaker at the bot­tom of the TV. All that said though, un­like LG’S OLED of­fer­ings, the A1 doesn’t sup­port Dolby At­mos.

To fur­ther re­al­ize this idea of the TV be­ing a gi­ant can­vas, Sony has elim­i­nated the tra­di­tional un­der-tv pedestal or stand. Much like a photo frame, the A1 is propped up with a flap-like stand on its back, which is well hid­den from view when you’re stand­ing in front of the TV.

Out of the box, the Cinema Pro pic­ture mode gave me the most ac­cu­rate colors. My fa­vorite test ma­te­rial, and

looked splendid on the A1, with su­per-deep black lev­els and su­per-high con­trast in ev­ery scene. Cou­pled with a wide view­ing an­gle with no ma­genta cast when the screen is hit by light, the A1 makes for a good liv­ing room and day­time TV, too.

With a peak bright­ness just over 700 nits, HDR ma­te­rial looked great on the A1. The only two things that made it into my notes are that Sony seems to tone-map dif­fer­ently than LG, which means de­tail in spec­u­lar high­lights on LG’S high-end OLED TVS is a tad more re­veal­ing. But I was pix­elpeep­ing when test­ing the TVS, and I doubt typ­i­cal users would no­tice any dif­fer­ence. On the other hand, the A1’s Smooth Gra­da­tion setting dealt large color blocks marginally bet­ter, of­fer­ing fewer in­stances of band­ing and pos­ter­i­za­tion. Fi­nally, gam­ing per­for­mance was de­cent on the A1, though at 47ms (in 1080p), it’s no match for LG’S 22ms. With 4K, it came down to about 31ms.

My chief gripe with the A1 is its price, which is okay if LG didn’t have more af­ford­able mod­els with sim­i­lar im­age per­for­mance. But price isn’t ev­ery­thing. If you’re look­ing for the best 4K HDR An­droid TV, then the Sony BRAVIA A1 is with­out peer.

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