fbpx

Sony Bravia XR A90K review: Superb 4K images

Sony A90K

The Sony Bravia XR A90K would have been the flagship OLED TV from the Japanese consumer electronics giant in previous years. But with Sony launching a QD-OLED TV (A95K) this year, the A90K is instead Sony's top TV for smaller screen sizes (42″ and 48″). The A95K, which isn't available in Singapore yet, only comes in 55″ and 65″ sizes. And if you're looking for a larger 77-inch Sony OLED TV, you'll have to consider the Sony A80K, which sits a tier below both the A90K and the A95K. All that aside, the A90K is a superb, albeit pricey TV that excels particularly in the picture quality department.

Quick specs

  • 4K resolution with HDR10, Dolby Vision, and HLG
  • 2x HDMI 2.1 ports ([email protected]), 2x HDMI 2.0 ports
  • Comes in 42″ and 48″ (tested) sizes
  • Supports ALLM, VRR, and eARC

I tested the larger 48-inch model with a raised stand. There's just enough space underneath to fit a soundbar, or a compact game console like the Xbox Series S. There's also a low-profile stand (see photo above) if you are using the TV speakers, or even better, Sony's wireless speakers that support spatial audio. Two actuators and one subwoofer vibrate the screen to convey sound as if it's coming from the display. The audio is good for TV speakers, but a decent soundbar will give more bass and greater clarity. The A90K has a plastic rear with an attractive grid pattern. Most of the ports are hidden from sight, with just a couple at the side for easy access. The TV has the usual four HDMI ports, though only two (including the eARC) are HDMI 2.1 ones that support 4K 120Hz.

Sony A90K
The slim Xbox Series S slides right under the A90K's raised stand. Credit: Vincent Chang/Can Buy or Not

The A90K comes preloaded with Sony's Bravia Core streaming service. It offers over 300 movies from Sony's movie division, such as the Spider-Man and Men in Black franchises. You get 10 Bravia Core credits with the A90K. They can be redeemed for 10 movies on the service. You can also stream several unlimited streaming titles without spending any credits for up to 2 years. Needless to say, the Bravia Core only works with Sony TVs (and Sony Xperia smartphones). While the streaming quality is better than average — Sony also says it has the largest number of IMAX Enhanced movies — the movie selection is limited. However, I doubt I really need another video streaming service, even if it doesn't require a subscription. The A90K runs the Android-based Google TV, which has significantly more apps than other TV operating systems. A nice surprise — the compact and handy remote control has backlit buttons.

Sony A90K
Key ports like the audio input (for select Sony speakers) and the mic on/off switch for the Google Assistant are found at the side. Credit: Vincent Chang/Can Buy or Not

Despite using LG's OLED panels, Sony manages to eke out slightly better picture quality than LG's OLEDs. I preferred the A90K, especially for things like skin colour, over the LG C2. Images looked more natural and nuanced on the A90K. But I had the benefit of having the A90K and the C2 side-by-side during my testing. I doubt I can tell the slight difference otherwise. That's a problem for Sony, since the A90K is much more expensive than the C2 (48-inch C2 starts from S$2,199). And that's before you consider the four HDMI 2.1 ports on the C2 compared to two on the A90K. Gamers can have an Xbox Series X|S, a PlayStation 5, and a Dolby Atmos soundbar connected to the C2 at the same time — all enjoying the full HDMI 2.1 bandwidth. You can't do that for the A90K, which also lacks Dolby Vision in games.

My 48-inch Sony Bravia XR A90K review set is currently selling at S$3,299. Sony includes the Bravia Cam (S$299), an optional webcam accessory for voice calls, gesture controls, and power optimisation, for free with the A90K. It mounts at the top of the TV, though I didn't manage to test it. Personally, I would rather skip these extras (Bravia Core and Bravia Cam) in exchange for a lower price tag. As is often the case with Sony, the price is the main sticking point. That aside, the A90K is an excellent TV for movies. It's also great for games, unless you have multiple game consoles/PCs. It's available now from Sony and Lazada.

See Also
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max

Note: Review unit provided by Sony.


Any purchase you make through our links may generate a commission. It supports our work, but does not dictate our editorial reviews. See our FAQ here.

Verdict



CAN BUY

Best picture quality for a 48-inch TV, but it's gonna cost you.

Buy it from Sony
Available at Lazada

© 2021 Can Buy or Not
All Rights Reserved.