The A8 series of Sony televisions are the most upscale of the manufacturer. OLED panel, Android TV, impressive finesse and non-existent edges, this is what the Japanese firm seeks to offer with its range. But does it deserve to spend more than 2000 euros on this type of product? Answer in this test.
Sony has proven its expertise in televisions time and time again. With this new A8 range, the manufacturer seeks to appeal to those who are not afraid of breaking the bank in an ultra high-end product. The brand indeed offers its best in this series available in two versions.
The A8 television is indeed available in two sizes. The KD55A8BAEP model which is 55 inches (1999 euros) and the KD65A8BAEP model which is 65 inches diagonally (2999 euros). Better to have room in your living room! It is this last model that we are testing today and as much to say that we were seduced. But how far?
|Dimensions||WxHxD (without stand) 144.5 x 83.5 x 4.6 cm|
|Weight||Weight with stand: 23.6 kg
Weight without Stand: 21.8 kg
|Screen size||65 inches (165 cm)|
|Definition||4K (3840 x 2160 pixels) Upscaling UHD
Optical output: 1
Headphone socket: 1
USB Port: 3
Antenna input: 1
Satellite input: 1
Ethernet Port: 1
|Consumption||Consumption (in operation): 161 W
Consumption (standby): 0.5 W
Average annual cost: 223 kWh
ECO class: A
|Connectivity||WiFi 802.11a / b / g / n / ac
A design that focuses on finesse
A TV isn’t just a screen for viewing, it’s also an object that sits in your living room. So better that this black mirror is beautiful. This is the case with this A8 screen, which is very successful in terms of design. The first thing that catches the eye here is its finesse. The main slab does not that 5 millimeters thick, sit less than a smartphone.
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At the rear, the screen is equipped with a box that contains the connectors, but also the Sony X1 Ultimate processor as well as the Acoustic audio system, consisting of two subwoofers. This one is logically thicker, but is only 4.6cm thick, which again is thin.
Finesse is still the word that comes to mind when it comes to screen edges. These are 7 mm, and are therefore hardly visible. A real pleasure for the eye, but not really unprecedented for this kind of product. The screen-to-facade ratio is logically very high, at over 90%.
The screen rests on two feet, which only fit into the holes provided for this purpose. Installation is easy and only takes a few minutes. These feet are located on the sides of the screen, in order to balance it as much as possible. An understandable choice for Sony, since it allows them to make them as small as possible.
However, this choice has a rather painful impact: you have to have a suitable TV stand and keep in mind that these feet are spaced one meter apart. We would have preferred a central foot, perhaps more imposing, for greater flexibility in the installation. Note that Sony has all the same planned the blow if you want to place a sound bar or another object (PS4 or TV box) under the screen, since the feet are adjustable in height (two positions depending on how you have them). screwed). In their lowest position, the screen rises only 3 centimeters from the surface on which it is placed. A small detail that is important. Note that they are hollow to pass wires through them if necessary.
Connection side, everything is obviously placed on the rear case. Two port locations are offered, one in the center for the ports you want to stay plugged in, and one on the left side of the screen. At the rear, we therefore find three HDMI ports (not 2.1), an Ethernet port, a USB 3.0 Type-A port, two satellite inputs, a TNT / cable input, an optical port and Ethernet.
On the side, easy to access for plugging in a booster terminal, we have an HDMI port as well as two USB 3.0 Type-A ports in addition to the microphone and headphone ports. Complete connectivity, well camouflaged and easy to access.
Finally, Sony of course delivers a remote control to control its product and we can’t say she’s doing it in sobriety. It has indeed a multitude of rubber buttons, as we have seen for years. We are far from Samsung’s remote controls, which have completely redesigned the way we use this object by putting as few buttons as possible. Note the presence of a large button Netflix (which allows direct access to the service, you can imagine) and Google Play.
The TV button is in the center, just below the directional pad. The Home button is relegated to the right, which causes the user to press TV reflexively, at least initially. In the age of connected boxes and multimedia, that’s a bit of a shame. On the battery side, it works with two AAA batteries. Nothing very extraordinary there.
Top screen quality
What interests us on a screen of this type is the quality of the panel. Here, Sony serves us a high-end 4K OLED panel! With a size of 65 inches (with a 55-inch variant), it offers a definition of 3840 x 2160 pixels as well as HDR10 compatibility. We analyzed the image using a probe and the conclusion is clear: Sony has done a very good job. In standard mode, the TV shows just perfect temperature at 6570K, which is practically the video standard placed at 6500K. In practice, this means that the screen does not look red or blue when white is displayed on the screen.
Respect for the colors displayed on the panel is present with an average Delta E of 4, which is good but not excellent, especially in terms of the greens (but nothing dramatic). The brightness is just under 700 cd / m², which is good for this type of screen and will allow you to watch a movie serenely in a living room in broad daylight. OLED requires, the contrast is endless. The blacks are deep and the whites are brilliant.
The TV offers several types of images to best suit the use. For example, photo mode increases the temperature (which exceeds 7000K) but respect for colors is reinforced with an average Delta E of less than 2, which is excellent. The game mode, which activates automatically when a PS4 is launched, tends to saturate colors for better readability and reduce motion blur. Of course, the user can choose to change their profile as they wish.
It is possible, for those who want image quality suited to their needs, to change all this data in the parameters, which are very complete and very clear. If you are not familiar with the notions of image, the profiles established are already very good.
There is even a Netflix mode (which doesn’t activate automatically, so you have to go through the menus), which adjusts the picture according to the content you are watching. In practice, this mode is used very well and the image of the programs on the platform is always perfect.
In use, the TV is a real pleasure for the eyes, whether watching a movie or video, or playing games. The HDR10 also works wonders in the gaming part, bringing another dimension to the title which you play.
A success. One of the only regrets would come from the reflectance of the panel. Even with its high brightness, there will always be reflections (visible only in dark scenes) when using it in broad daylight. A bit annoying, but far from dramatic compared to other similar models on the market.
The sound part is well managed, with bass present and clear sound. We regret, however, an unpleasant effect of vibration in the treble, especially on the vocals, but nothing really bad. This is because the speakers are integrated directly below the screen to direct the sound towards the viewer.
Finally, note that the power consumption of this 65-inch model is 161 watts in operation. Sony forecasts a consumption of 223 kWh per year, which is relatively high, but not exaggerated for this type of product either.
Android TV for a full experience
Sony chose Android TV for its navigation and we can say that it was a good decision. We are thus entitled to the classic interface of the OS with an overlay designed by the manufacturer to adapt to its screen. We therefore find everything that makes the charm of this OS, such as a clean interface or a wide variety of applications, which can be downloaded directly from the Play Store. More so, it allows a very high flexibility in useFor example, by allowing videos or photos to be played on a USB flash drive using third-party software. Partnership with Netflix requires, the application is installed by default, just like Disney Plus or Prime Video.
Android TV allows voice navigation thanks to Google Assistant, which can be activated here using the microphone included in the remote control. Note that the TV can also work with Amazon Alexa if you are equipped. Finally, it should be noted that the A8 logically has an integrated Chromecast, which is always interesting, and is AirPlay compatible.
Sony of course added its overlay to the OS to personalize the experience. For example, the parameters can be accessed simply via a button on the remote control. This makes it possible to adjust the image settings in two clicks, allowing you to switch from standard mode to photo mode very quickly if you want to show vacation shots on the big screen. The brightness changes in the same way (in addition to an automatic adjustment), ideal if you’re in the dark, and it’s even possible to schedule an automatic screen off for those who are used to it. fall asleep in front. Finally, the source can be changed with a simple press of a remote control button, which allows you to quickly switch between your TV box and your PS4, for example.
Everything is fluid and above all practical in use. A philosophy opposite to that of Samsung, for example, which chooses to go through its home OS. The latter involves much more navigation in the menus, an aspect reinforced by a remote control with few buttons.