Best OLED TV Sony A90J

Introduction

Excellent picture quality at home doesn’t get much better than OLED, and with the technology improving each year, there’s so many OLED TVs to choose from.

And with the introduction of Samsung’s QD-OLED display, the market has broadened even further as that technology looks to offer even wider viewing angles, brighter performance and more accurate and varied colours. But each brand will put their own spin on the underlying technology from picture to sound, design, and features to differentiate. We test each TVs in a number of ways, from brightness, colour performance, motion processing, sound and smart features to judge how good they are.

And while OLED TVs are great for films, they are also great for gaming with their higher refresh rates and more responsive experiences. There are disadvantages to OLED, such as image retention and lack of comparative brightness but that’s an issue being improved with every generation.

If you’re in the market for a new TV, this list is a great place to start in finding the best OLED TV. If it’s not an OLED that you are after then our Best TV list features LCD LEDs and Mini LED sets. Our best 8K TV has TVs on the cutting edge of what’s possible in the TV world, while our best 4K TV are there for the best HDR models and our best Cheap TVs if your TV ambitions are more modest.

Best OLED TVs at a glance

  • Best QD-OLED TV: Sony XR-55A95K
  • Best 4K HDR OLED: Panasonic TX-55JZ2000
  • Best all-in-one OLED: Philips 65OLED+936
  • Best OLED for movies and sport: Sony XR-55A90J
  • Best mid-range OLED: LG OLED65C1
  • Best Samsung OLED: Samsung QE65S95B
  • Best small OLED: Sony KE-48A9

How we test

Learn more about how we test televisions

Every TV we review is put through the same set of tests to gauge its picture performance, usability, and smart features.

Tests are carried out over several days and are done by eye but supported with technical measurements. Testing by eye involves an expert watching a wide range of material to understand and determine a TV’s performance in fields such as brightness, contrast, motion processing, colour handling and screen uniformity.

We’ll consider the design of the TV in terms of build quality, study the spec sheets and see if the TV’s connections are up to spec, as well as playing video and audio content to ensure that the set handles playback as it claims. We also take note whether a product’s compatible formats and features are in line with industry trends or not to gauge whether it’s relevant for you.

Comparison to other related and similarly priced products is also important, to see if it’s missing any vital features and whether it impresses as a whole. After all this, we’ll come to a judgement on how the TV performs as a whole.

If you want to learn more, please visit our detailed page about how we test televisions.

Sony XR-55A95K

Best QD-OLED TV

Pros

  • bright, detailed and balanced images
  • fine sound
  • good upscaling (up to a point)

Cons

  • Unarguably expensive
  • Only incrementally brighter than LG’s brightest OLED
  • Bravia Cam seems gimmicky

The A95K is a blend TV of OLED and Quantum Dot colour to created a QD-OLED TV that offers the best of both technologies. Priced at $2999 / £2699, the A95K incurs a premium cost over Samsung’s S95B QD-OLED and LG’s G2 OLED, but in our view this TV is one of the best 55-inch TVs available.

The A95K continues Sony’s mission of creating minimalist screens, though the stand is noticeably chunky and might cause issues for some set-ups given its size. It can be placed in two ways, with the rear position ensuring you won’t see it from your viewing position. The grid panel on the rear is just a fetching pattern either, as they can be switched around to conceal cables and cover inputs.

And those inputs cover two HDMI 2.1 inputs with support for eARC, VRR, ALLM, and 4K/120Hz. Compared to the LG C2‘s four HDMI 2.1 and that means if you have a soundbar to plug in then that leaves only one HDMI 2.1 input to use for any other devices. A set of connections you don’t often see are a pair of speaker binding posts if you want the A95K to serve as the centre channel in a (Sony-centric) surround sound system.

Our reviewer didn’t find this was a TV that was geared towards all gamers. If you have a PS5 there’s the Auto Tone Mapping feature that optimises the HDR performance but with no support for AMD FreeSync or Nvidia G-Sync, this wouldn’t be as suited for gamers as either the Philips OLED936 or Panasonic JZ2000. While an input time of 21ms is absolutely fine, the LG C2 can hit 12.9ms for a quicker response time.

We found the TV delivered Sony’s usual level of picture excellence, showcasing superior and natural colour fidelity detail levels to the brightest non-QD OLED screens, with excellent ‘true’ blacks, and the ability to find and reveal all the detail possible for a spectacular looking picture. However, brightness for HDR content is not a huge leap over the LG G2, but enough to have a positive impact.

We were less impressed with how it handled lower resolution content. While HD is handled with confidence, 480p content looks soft and edgy, and not all that pleasant. On more solid footing is the A95K’s motion handling, the TV displayed an unerring confidence and authority in marshalling sports like tennis without smearing or pixelation. It’s a class-leading performance.

Sound quality is big in size and accurate in terms of where effects and dialogue are placed on the screen thanks to the Acoustic Surface Audio+ system that uses actuators to vibrate the screen. This is good enough that you’ll need to spend a fair bit more to really elevate the sound quality on this TV.

Reviewer: Simon Lucas
Full Review: Sony XR-55A95K

Panasonic TX-55JZ2000

Best 4K HDR OLED

Pros

  • Delicious, dynamic imagery
  • Dolby Vision IQ, HDR10+ Adaptive support
  • 360-degree Soundscape Pro audio system
  • 4K/120fps HDMI inputs

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Sound system may be unnecessary for AV fans

Both the Philips OLED+936 and Panasonic JZ2000 have been replaced, or are in the process of being replaced, by newer models; but the price drop for the JZ2000 means it jumps ahead of the Philips if you’re after an all-in-one TV with integrated sound system.

Where Philips goes for a bold and saturated image, Panasonic takes a lighter and more nuanced touch. There’s a reason why Panasonic OLEDs are used in the grading of Hollywood films, with the colour performance of the JZ2000 tuned by actual Hollywood colourist Stefan Sonnenfeld.

And the addition of Dolby Vision IQ and HDR10+ Adaptive help give the Panasonic the edge over the Philips, using the TV’s light sensor to adjust the image depending on ambient lighting conditions. We measured brightness at 950 nits, and despite the LG G1 boasting its high brightness Evo OLED panel, the Panasonic delivers better specular highlights for a more intense and brighter HDR performance.

Upscaling of lower-than-4K content is terrific, as is the TV’s motion processing, though we found the Sony A90J a better fit for sports and movies for those who want to leave processing on, though the JZ2000 is not far off. With its Filmmaker Mode it offers excellent colour and picture accuracy, a feature the Sony does not boast.

We observed its audio performance to be second to the Philips OLED+936’s Bowers & Wilkins sound system, with convincing Dolby Atmos height effects placed above the TV and the new side-firing drivers extending the width of the presentation. The JZ2000 has now been replaced (and bettered) by the LZ2000, but its reduction in price makes an appetising option for those who don’t want the clutter of a sound system to go with their TV.

Reviewer: Steve May
Full Review: Panasonic JZ2000

Philips 65OLED+936

Best all-in-one OLED TV

Pros

  • Superb image quality
  • Multi-HDR support (Dolby Vision, HDR10+ Adaptive)
  • Two 4K 120fps HDMI inputs

Cons

  • Input lag isn’t class-leading
  • Expensive

OLEDs typically can’t go as bright as LCD TVs, but they can still go bright enough for HDR when they need to. If you’re after one of the brightest OLEDs on the market, then the Philips OLED+936 must be a consideration.

We measured brightness at a peak of 950 nits, matching Panasonic’s JZ2000. This high level of brightness matched with OLED’s excellent black performance and Philips’ bold approach to image quality ensures the OLED+936 dazzles with rich and dynamic contrast levels.

HDR support is more comprehensive than the similarly priced Sony A95K, with HDR10+ supported ensuring you get optimised HDR performance from any possible source. We found the audio performance from the Bowers & Wilkins sound system to be less immersive than the Panasonic’s built-in system but to our ears it sounded better overall.

Gaming is an area Philips has made strides in recently, and while it lags behind the LG G1 for breadth of features, it’s not too far behind with its VRR support and input lag that we measured at 14.6ms, ensuring speedy performance with games such as first-person shooters.

What sets Philips’ TVs apart from any other is its Ambilight feature, available in its four-sided form that replicates the colours shown on screen and beams them onto the surface behind it. As this is Philips’ patented technology, no other brand can use it, so if you want a light show to go with your gaming and films, Philips OLED is the best TV for that experience.

The OLED+936 is to be replaced by the OLED+937 in October 2022, which has improvements to picture, processing and sound. If you were considering the OLED+936, you may want to hold off until the new model comes on the market, although it is likely to be more expensive.

Reviewer: Steve May
Full Review: Philips 65OLED+936

Sony XR-55A90J

Best OLED for movies and sport

Pros

  • Superb picture quality
  • Great new OS and remote control
  • Some HDMI 2.1 compatibility

Cons

  • Some HDMI 2.1 omissions
  • Quite pricey

While OLEDs such as the Philips OLED+936 and Panasonic JZ2000 have more comprehensive HDR support, when it comes to watching films and sports there are few better than the A90J.

It boasts OLED’s typically excellent black levels, but when combined with whites that are brighter than the OLED norm, and a palette that’s wide-ranging in the colours it can display the Sony A90J produces a fabulous image. And it can hit around an impressive 900 nits of brightness, which is without the Evo OLED panel that ships with LG’s G1.

We found it to be brilliant at upscaling non-4K images, more nuanced and retrieving more detail than the LG C1, while its ability with motion of any type bests the Panasonic JZ2000, especially with sports, resistant to any stutter or artefacts that could cause a distracting performance and keep the viewer focus on the action in front of them.

Gaming-wise the A90J wouldn’t be our first recommendation, as while it has been updated to support ALLM and VRR technologies, input lag without VRR isn’t as quick as the C1 and it doesn’t support Dolby Vision Gaming that improves picture quality with supported games, a feature the LG, Panasonic and Philips have.

We found the Acoustic Surface Audio+ audio system that vibrates the screen to produce sound to be enjoyable performance, better than most flatscreen TVs are often capable of. We would add a soundbar into the mix such as Sony’s own HT-A7000 to deliver the high-end audio performance this TV deserves. The A95K is a better OLED but if the high cost of the QD-OLED is too much then the A90J is a less expensive alternative.

Reviewer: Simon Lucas
Full Review: Sony A90J

LG OLED65C1

Best mid-range OLED

Pros

  • Super gaming performance
  • Excellent contrast and sumptuous HDR
  • Wide-ranging connectivity and smarts

Cons

  • Weak sound
  • Not the strongest motion stability
  • Potential for image retention/burn-in

If you can’t stretch your budget to afford the TVs above in this list, the LG C1 is a more affordable model given it’s dropped in price over the last year to $1599 / £1599.

And as an all-round TV we found the C1 to be one of the most attractive propositions on the market. Input lag was tested at 12.5ms, better than the premium Panasonic JZ2000, and it also beats its gaming performance thanks to its complete set of VRR technologies (standard, Nvidia, AMD). During testing this meant we were able to reduce latency to virtually zero when we connected a gaming source that supports VRR, like the PS5.

HDR picture quality is also very impressive with terrific blacks and rich whites across a range of HDR sources. We assessed detail levels to be superb, bringing out plenty of nuance and subtlety in the content we watched. The C1’s motion skills aren’t as good as the Sony A90J, making it less adept at movies and sports if you watch with motion processing on.

The sound is lacklustre, especially its Dolby Atmos performance, which we found to be rather restricted in terms of size and scale. It is an improvement over the G1 model, which we observed to be more sibilant in tone with its AI Sound mode in play.

Reviewer: Kob Monney
Full Review: LG C1

Samsung QE65S95B

Best Samsung OLED

Pros

  • Impressively slim screen
  • Great for gaming
  • Expressive and colourful picture performance
  • Big, loud audio performance
  • Great viewing angles

Cons

  • No Dolby Vision
  • Sluggish smart remote
  • Picture settings require tweaking
  • Speakers suffer from bass distortion

Samsung was one of the first brands to launch an OLED when the technology first came to prominence, but sidelined it in order to focus on its QLED range. After nearly 10 years its back, and in the S95B it looks to cure Samsung’s perceived ills of OLED technology.

It is a Quantum Dot OLED (QD-OLED for short), much like the Sony A95K that tops this list. It’s brighter than the Sony in terms of HDR punch, hitting over 1000 nits in almost all of its picture modes for vibrant, punchy and colourful viewing experience. It’s not much brighter than LG’s G2 OLED, but as this is a first-gen panel, we can expect even better brightness once brands have gotten use to Samsung’s new panel technology.

Like the rest of Samsung’s TV output, the S95B is great at upscaling lower-than-4K content, supplying HD programming with good clarity, sharpness detail for natural looking images that aren’t overly processed. Motion processing is still in area where we feel Samsung could improve in, its Auto setting creates too many distracting artefacts, although its Custom setting is more natural. We’d still place Sony, Panasonic and LG above Samsung sets when it comes to providing smooth motion.

We’re also not too fond of its picture out of the box in some settings, the colour balance and brightness isn’t quite right, requiring some tweaking to get the images up to the standard we like. Once done, the S95B delivers terrific images, but getting there feels like hard work.

So while we wouldn’t place the S95B above the Sony A95K as the best QD-OLED TV, we would say it offers more value, especially for gamers. Latency is class-leading at 9.2ms, all four HDMI inputs support 2.1 with ALLM and VRR available across all inputs. All the big cloud gaming services are included with Google Stadia, Xbox Game Pass and GeForce Now, and the Super Ultra Wide Game View feature for PCs offers a bigger, widescreen image to enjoy. All the streaming video apps you could want are included, but Samsung’s steadfast refusal to support Dolby Vision still irks.

And the audio performance is better than LG’s OLEDs, delivering plenty of punch, clarity and detail to films and TV shows. It struggles with bass, which causes distortion in particularly bass heavy soundtracks, so the TV’s sound system could be bettered with an external one.

Sony KE-48A9

Best small OLED

Pros

  • Flat-out beautiful picture quality across all sources
  • Impressively polished but minimalistic design
  • Good built-in sound system

Cons

  • No support for 4K at 120Hz, VRR or ALLM next-gen gaming features
  • Not as bright as some rivals

We haven’t tested many small-sized OLEDs since they’ve hit the market, but out of the ones we have tested, the A9 takes the top spot – just about.

If you’re interested in gaming, this Sony OLED won’t be for you. LG’s smaller C1 (or C2 models) or Philips’ 48OLED806 are better choices as the A9 OLED lacks VRR, 4K/120Hz support, and ALLM technologies, though Sony’s A90K has replaced the A9 if that’s of interest.

What this OLED focuses on is picture quality, and in that department it delivers in spades. At the time of review, we found black levels were an improvement on the instability that LG’s OLEDs suffered from. Our reviewer felt colour performance was exceptionally refined, with HDR performance given a lovely intensity and immersiveness. Peak HDR brightness was measured at 665 nits, compared to the LG CX’s near 800 nit output, so this isn’t a particularly bright OLED and more suited to use in darker rooms. It’s still a beautiful performance, nonetheless.

Sound quality is also very good for a flatscreen TV, much like Sony’s bigger A90J. It pushes sound out into the room, tracking sound across the screen and delivering clean and clear dialogue. Bass performance is lightweight, though, and Atmos sound isn’t as expansive in scope but again, we’re talking about a 48-inch TV. It’s very respectable by flatscreen standards.

While it’s available at $999 / £999, it’s a good and more affordable option for anyone after a small-screen OLED. The A90K is a slightly better choice for gamers in that it supports PS5 exclusive features, but compared to LG’s OLEDs, the A90K still lags behind. If you’re after picture quality, then the A9 is still a cheaper bet than the A90K.

Reviewer: John Archer
Full Review: Sony KE-48A9

FAQs

What is an OLED TV?

OLED stands for Organic Light Emitting Diode. Each pixel is self-emissive, which means it can produce its own light. This produces high levels of contrast as a pixel that’s ‘on’ can sit next to a pixel that’s ‘off’. This also helps to deliver the deepest black levels in the TV world, wide viewing angles and excellent, vivid contrast levels.

Is OLED TV worth it?

Absolutely. There’s no type of TV that offers quite the same contrast, black levels and viewing angles. For brightness it is bested, but you’ll still need to pay as much to get that level of HDR brightness. And while burn-in/image retention is an issue, it’s not something you’d encounter with the precautions manufacturers have taken.

Are OLED TVs good for gaming?

OLEDs are one of the best displays for gaming with LG’s OLEDs supporting every form of Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) for smoother gameplay and faster response times, High Frame Rate (4K/120Hz) and low latency gaming, with input times less than 10ms. Panasonic will be jumping into the gaming fray with their 2021 OLED TV range, too.

Comparison Specifications

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