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Sony Bravia XR A95L review: Simply the best

Sony Bravia XR A95L review: Simply the best

Sony A95L

The Sony Bravia XR A95L is the best OLED TV of 2023. The LG G3 and Samsung S95C come close, but if money is no object, the A95L should be your pick. With Sony reportedly focusing on Mini-LED TVs this year, the A95L will likely remain Sony's flagship QD-OLED TV in 2024. But I can't see it falling off against the upcoming TVs this year. At least not in picture quality. However, the A95L still has only two HDMI 2.1 ports — two fewer than its main rivals. But that's about the only downside.

Quick specs

  • 4K resolution with HDR10, Dolby Vision, and HLG
  • 2x HDMI 2.1 ports (4K@120Hz), 2x HDMI 2.0 ports
  • Comes in 55″, 65″ (tested) and 77″ sizes
  • Supports ALLM, VRR, and eARC

The A95L uses the same second-gen QD-OLED panel as the Samsung S95C. But Sony's expertise in picture processing is evident here. The A95L produces the most natural-looking images. Everything from skin tones to scenic landscapes look life-like, and realistic. Meanwhile, HDR content looks great, with sufficiently-bright highlights, and rich colours. Reflections are also handled excellently, and are barely noticeable. I did find the more accurate Professional picture mode to be relatively dim in a well-lit room, especially when watching SDR content. But it's fine when the lights are off. You can also choose the Cinema mode, which looks brighter, and a bit more vivid. Or you could manually adjust the brightness to your preference.

Sony A95L
Credit: Sony

Bundled with the Sony A95L is Bravia Cam, a camera module that sits on top of the TV screen. This camera serves a couple of functions. For example, it can optimise the picture, and the sound according to your environment. The Bravia Cam also lets you control the volume, and video playback with hand gestures. Personally, I'm not a fan of such adaptive picture adjustments. And while the gestures do work well enough, they are not quite as fast as using the remote control. I guess they are useful in a pinch if you have wet or dirty hands. I can see why the Bravia Cam is an optional accessory — the A95L is one of the few Sony TVs to include it. At least the camera has a built-in privacy shutter. Also included is Bravia Core, which streams movies from Sony's own studios at a relatively high bitrate.

Sony A95L
Credit: Vincent Chang/Can Buy or Not

Sony hasn't neglected the audio aspect. The A95L has a 2.2ch speaker system that sounds balanced and clean for a TV. The soundstage is wider than expected, dialogue comes across clearly, and the sound doesn't distort at higher volumes. But as you'd expect, the bass could be more pronounced. The A95L itself is slim, and well-built. Its two metal feet are set to the extreme ends for my 65-inch review set, though the 77-inch version lets you put the feet closer to the centre. The height of the screen can also be adjusted to accommodate a soundbar. All the TV ports, including two HDMI 2.1 ports (one of which is also the eARC) are conveniently located at the side. A built-in cable management system keeps things neat, while the ports can be concealed.

The Sony A95L runs Google TV, though with some tweaks. For example, there are more descriptive help text and images in the settings. Like other 2023 Sony TVs, there's a Game menu for gaming settings like VRR. The interface is mostly smooth, and didn't crash during my testing. But the TV occasionally didn't work properly with my Sonos Arc — a restart fixed it. At the time of this review, Sony only has the 65-inch (S$6,199) available in Singapore. Compared with the flagship 65-inch OLED TVs from LG or Samsung (around S$5,000), the A95L is significantly more expensive. But if you value picture quality above all, it's simply the best right now. Else, the LG or Samsung with four HDMI 2.1 ports may be the better option for gamers with multiple game consoles and PCs. Get the A95L from Sony, or from its official stores on Shopee, and Lazada.

See Also
Lenovo Legion Go

Note: Review unit provided by Sony.

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Simply the best

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