Sony A9G / AG9 Master Series OLED is the new flagship of Sony’s TV Group. It supports Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, and adopts the characteristic minimalist design of a number of state-of-the-art features such as Netflix calibrated module (of interest to many), and Imax enhanced certification (of interest to a few).
The AG9, a direct replacement for the 2018 Sony A9F / AF9 OLED, is available in 55-, 65- and 77-inch screen sizes. Size, and doubling that cost by 77 inches, you’ll never find it, as it has dropped to a manageable level.
In the Sony A9S / A9 (48-inch OLED TV) or last year’s A8H / A8 OLED (Sony ALED TV range) we saw a series of semi-successors and a new iteration. Screen (review here). Any of these will be smart enough to keep an eye on Amazon Prime Day 2021 sales. Since the A9G tooth is a bit long these days, we do not expect it to be readily available during the sales period. But if the 2021 Sony A90J successor can stay ahead of you, it will surpass all that. Starting price.
Whichever side of the pool you buy it from, this model sits firmly on the top edge of the OLED market and is worth more than the high sticker price.
The design of the flagship Master Series TV can be described with less confidence: following a more traditional stance, following the backward posture of those at the top of the Sony range, the board rests on a frame and is flat on the center pavement.
That means there’s no room to put a sound bar in front of it, but that shouldn’t be a problem, because this flat screen is powered by Sony’s AudioPrush Audio Audio + technology. In the absence of traditional bottom-facing drives, on-board vibration accumulators are used to produce audio, which is slightly lower than the A9F / AF9 and still produces a dynamic and immersive sound.
Connection options include four 4K HDMI inputs, all supported by 460: 2: 0, 10-bit 4: 4: 4 and 4: 2: 2, and HDCP 2.3 from 2160p to 60Hz. It has an AV minijack, headphone socket, optical digital audio output, a USB port (designated for HDD recording) and Ethernet, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
Users can choose from Bhumish or Satellite Tuner – but do not expect support for Freeview Play.
Normal stand is best suited for ordinary AV furniture and flat packed TV benches. This kit can be wall mounted with an optional switch bracket; Sony sells the SU-WL850 for this purpose. This allows the board to sit about 50mm from the wall; If you are going to do this, make sure you think about the power plug, you can go further if you put it on the back of the kit. Of course, it is also compatible with normal visa attachments.
Last but not least the TV comes with a single remote control. It has a smart aluminum face, buttons dedicated to Netflix and Google Play, and a pretty nice stick with an integrated microphone.
Design TL; DR: A9G / AG9 cools effortlessly with its minimal beard and cover frame. The connection with the full-spec 4K HDMI input is extremely good.
Smart TV (Android Orio)
Sony XBR-55A9G 55-inch TV: MASTER Series BRAVIA OLED 4K Ultra HD Smart TV
We’ve been trying hard to fall in love with the Android TV operating system in the past, but its latest Oreo iteration is an interesting step in the right direction: the menu structure has been simplified and added its own quick settings cover to simplify access to elements like Sony. Not to mention the addition of Amazon Prime Video, which has not been available on Android since the dispute between Google and Amazon two years ago.
Not only does it use Google’s TV operating system, it also supports Chromecast built-in. The screen can be used with Google Home and Amazon Alexa devices as well as Sony’s LF-S50G and SRS-XB501G smart speakers. Support for Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit is planned, but we did not have time to test them.
Smart TL; DR: Android Orio is becoming a solid, multi-functional smart platform powered by Chromecast Built-in. All the main streaming services are on the keyboard and you can also use voice control.
HD / SDR performance
This TV does not require large image modifications to shine: out of the box, with A9G / AG9 HD / SDR content.
Here’s how to put one together for use with HD / SDR images. There is a clear correlation between the image processor and the panel. Object-based HDR reconfiguration enhances dynamic resistances and provides a well-judged push without ever showing excessive cracking.
The image preview includes quirky, standard, cinematic, sporty, custom, graphic and photographic – each with its pros and cons. For everyday content in rooms with normal ambient light levels, Standard proves to be the best option. The custom image is compatible with Sony’s Pro OLED Master Monitor BVM-X300 and is extremely effective in full dark room conditions. Vivid is worth watching, especially with the animation (don’t lecture us on naturalness, have you? Have you ever seen it in real life?).
The gaming performance of the kit can also be considered very good. This lags behind the brand rivals (see what we did there), but in the A9G / AG9, as in the previous A9F / AF9, it is perfectly acceptable. Using the dedicated game mode, we recorded a fast enough input delay for a good FPS TV gaming experience.
HD / SDR performance TL; DR: Sony works exceptionally well with standard HD / SDR content. Object-based rearrangement ensures the full potential of this OLED board even the benefits of daytime TV.
4K / HDR performance
As you might expect from an OLED, the A9G / AG9 clearly turns black,
One of the features of Sony’s graphics silicon is that each activation is tailored to exactly any feature of the partner board; While this is a blessing in disguise for dynamic tone mapping for HDR, it often explains why HDR handling here does not take so much effort. The ratings are smooth, the detail high and the bit-sound stand out only in its absence. We note that there are no issues with UHD content. This is 4K UHD.
With a standard 10% HDR measurement window, we measure the maximum HDR brightness of standard HD at 750 cd / m2 (aka nits). However, this does not tell the whole picture. The panel can go even higher with real-world HDR highlights like bright lights and glowing reflections, fireworks and optical FX. This confirms that the maximum HDR performance is close to 900 nits when the measurement window is reduced to a 5% window.
Compared to the version we heard about in the A9F / AF9, Sony has made some changes to its AudioPrush Audio Audio + system. In some ways it is a downgrade.
The A9G / AG9 is a two-channel implementation compared to its predecessor 3.2 system and has a redesigned enclosure for the rear-facing dual warp.