Sony A80L OLED 4K HDR TV Review

Sony A80L OLED TV

XR65A80L 120Hz Google Smart TV

Review Summary
Sony A80L

Product Name: XRA80L

Product Description: Cognitive Processor XR | XR OLED Contrast Pro | XR 4K Upscaling | XR Triluminos Pro | OLED Self-illuminating Pixels | NextGen TV ATSC 3.0 Tuner | XR OLED Motion | Google TV interface | Acoustic Surface Audio+ | Game Menu | Auto HDR Tone Mapping for PS5 | VRR, G-SYNC, ALLM for Gaming

Brand: Sony

  • Sony A80L
5

See full review below

Model year: 2023

Screen size reviewed: 65”

Bottom Line: The Sony A80L is an excellent 4K OLED TV. And since it’s an OLED display you know you’re guaranteed great picture quality, especially from the likes of Sony. OLED’s self-illuminating pixels can turn on and off independently of one another which enables the very best in contrast and black levels as well as outstanding color reproduction. Top it off with Sony’s excellent Cognitive Processor XR video processing, and you’ve got the recipe for some of the best picture images currently available.

Dimensions:

With stand: (W x H x D) 57 1/8” x 34” x 13”
Without stand: (W x H x D) 57 1/8” x 33” x 2 1/8”

Weight:

With stand: 54.9 lbs.
Without stand: 51.4 lbs.

Warranty: One-year parts and labor

Pros

  • Excellent picture quality
  • Excellent video processing (including great 4K upscaling)
  • Great wide-angle viewing
  • Above-average sound quality
  • Google TV smart TV platform
  • Impressive gaming TV (low input lag)

Cons

  • Only two HDMI 2.1 ports (inputs)
  • Limited SDR and HDR peak brightness

Into

The A80L is part of Sony’s current lineup of OLED TVs offering three models. It sits below the A95L and above the A75L. It’s available in 55”, 65” 77” and 83” screen sizes. All models are available now.

Design & Features

Sony A80L side view

Side View

Like most other premium models on the market, the A80L’s minimalist design means it has very thin borders that don’t detract from the images on the screen. The screen is illuminated with self-illuminating OLEDs which produce infinite picture contrast and absolute black levels. The TV screen surface contains a semi-gloss coating and provides very good reflection handling. When viewed from the side the A80L has a very slim profile which adds to its aesthetic appeal.

The screen is supported by metal feet that provide a choice of three mounting positions including a “standard” setting that focuses you on the picture, a “narrow” setting for smaller shelves, and a “soundbar” setting for placement beneath the TV’s screen. The feet provide good stability for the TV panel. The chassis has good build quality and is made of sturdy plastic.

Sony A80L Stand position

Stand Positions

Feature highlights:

  • High Dynamic Range (Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLG) extends picture contrast and brightness when viewing HDR content
  • Self-illuminating OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) display panel produces infinite picture contrast and absolute black
  • OLED’s pixel-level dimming enables each of the panel’s pixels to brighten, dim, or power off completely, displaying exceptional picture detail, contrast, and depth
  • Cognitive Processor XR uses powerful real-time processing based on a human perspective for a true-to-life picture
  • XR OLED Contrast Pro increases brightness and enhances color contrast in high-luminance scenes
  • XR 4K Upscaling intelligently re-creates lost textures and detail in lower res content
  • IMAX Enhanced certification for improved performance with IMAX Enhanced 4K/HDR content
  • XR Triluminos Pro display technology for a wider, more natural color palette
  • 120Hz refresh rate with XR OLED Motion for sharp, smooth motion even during fast action content
  • NextGen TV ATSC 3.0 tuner can receive over-the-air 4K broadcasts (antenna required)

Smart TV features:

  • Google TV interface lets you browse live TV, movies, and TV shows from across many streaming services all in one place
  • Remote has built-in Google Assistant and allows control of basic TV functions and compatible smart home gear, search TV’s streaming services, set timers, and more
  • Netflix Adaptive Calibrated Mode mimics the settings on Netflix’s mastering monitors to ensure an accurate picture
  • Compatible with Apple AirPlay 2 for wireless streaming from compatible Apple devices
  • Includes access to exclusive content on BRAVIA CORE

Sound features:

  • Acoustic Surface Audio+ makes the entire screen a speaker
  • Built-in 3.2-channel speaker system (50 watts total power)
  • Acoustic Center Sync synchronizes TV speakers with compatible Sony soundbars for fuller, more immersive sound
  • 3D Surround Upscaling uses XR signal processing to upscale even two-channel sources to simulated 5.1.2-channel sound

Sony Acoustic Surface Audio+

Gaming features:

  • 4K at 120Hz for smooth, stable graphics
  • Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) and G-SYNC support reduces stutter and frame tearing for smoother gameplay
  • Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) for reduced input lag
  • Auto HDR Tone Mapping for PS5
  • Game Menu offers easy access to settings including screen size, black equalizer, and motion blur
Sony A80L Rear ports

Rear Ports

Connectivity

  • 4 HDMI (two 2.0b inputs 1 &2, two 2.1 inputs 3 &4) all inputs are HDCP 2.3 compatible
  • HDMI 3 and HDMI 4 inputs support 4K/120Hz, Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM), and Variable Refresh Rate (VRR)
  • eARC support (HDMI input 3)
  • 1 Composite video input (3.5mm A/V minijack)
  • 1 Digital optical output
  • 1 RF input for antenna and cable signals
  • 1 Ethernet input
  • 2 USB inputs (one 3.0)
  • Dual-band Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac)
Sony A80L rear panel

Rear Panel

Performance

Note: For the most accurate picture quality use the “Custom” picture mode and the “Warm”, “Expert 1” or Expert 2 color temperature settings.

The Sony A80L uses a traditional WRGB OLED panel which is a step down from the latest OLED panel technologies such as QD-OLED and Micro lens Array (MLA). But don’t let that deter you from checking out the A80L. The A80L delivered the top-notch picture quality that OLED TVs are known for, which translates to infinite contrast and absolute black levels, amazing detail and clarity, as well as a vibrant color palette, with accurate color rendering. The A80L has an excellent HDR color gamut; allowing colors to appear vibrant and life-like. It has nearly perfect coverage of the commonly used DCI-P3 color space.

It seems I’ve just summed up the overall great performance of this A80L in the previous paragraph. So, all that’s left is for you to hurry to your local brick-and-mortar store or online retailer to obtain this impressive OLED TV. Of course, I’m just being a bit humorous now, and I have a lot more to say about the performance of the A80L.

As I mentioned earlier the A80L has outstanding contrast and black level performance, and vibrant color reproduction.

If you want the deepest black levels in your picture images, then put an OLED TV on your shortlist as this technology outperforms even the very best LED-type TVs. Due to a great contrast ratio, dark scenes on OLED displays deliver absolute black levels allowing bright highlights to truly stand out in dark scenes, especially with HDR content. Another great attribute of OLED TVs is the elimination of halos and blooming around bright objects or subtitles set against a dark background, which is attributed to the self-illuminating pixels in OLED TV panels (screen).

The A80L also did a great job with shadow detail in semi-dark scenes without crushing the highlighted areas in these types of scenes.

Generally speaking, OLED TVs aren’t as bright as LED TVs. However, as technology has improved with OLED displays, they can now achieve very bright picture images that rival many LED TVs currently on the market. But this latest achievement doesn’t apply to the Sony A80L since this technology isn’t integrated into this model. However, Sony’s top OLED model, the A95L, does have better technology and achieves much better peak brightness performance with both HDR and SDR content when compared to the A80L. The following info is the peak brightness output for the A80L:

*SDR peak brightness: 10% window 383 nits

*HDR peak brightness: 10% window 654 nits

Picture detail and clarity are first-rate on this TV delivering well-refined and realistic picture images that are typically seen on OLED TVs. Image depth was also great, allowing for a more three-dimensional picture presentation.

The A80L had great off-angle viewing performance and maintained color saturation and contrast regardless of the seating positions around the TV’s screen. In addition, the TV handles screen reflections well.

The sound quality of the A80L was above average due to Sony’s Acoustic Surface Audio+ technology which places three actuators (speakers) and two woofers directly behind the TV screen. This unique design adds to the overall sound quality. The sound was enveloping with a very wide soundstage. Sound effects were placed and emitted with pin-point accuracy and aligned perfectly with the action on-screen; and when the action moved across the screen, the sound followed in precise unity.

Dialogue sounded great too and was processed with excellent clarity and intelligibility. The Acoustic Surface Audio+ technology also allowed voices to sound more natural and to emanate precisely from the actors wherever they were positioned on-screen. Music also sounded very good coming from the A80L; the soundstage had good separation and instruments were placed precisely within the sound field and were produced with good musical clarity and detail.

The A80L delivered very good sound quality in the mid and high frequencies, however, it was lacking in bass output. Whether it was music or movie sound effects, the bass wasn’t very deep and didn’t have a lot of punch. But I wasn’t totally surprised by this performance since the TV’s speakers are too small to produce deep bass.

Motion handling was very good on the A80L, and I didn’t detect any motion artifacts, such as motion blur, with the fast-paced content I viewed during my evaluation. With normal TV watching, I usually leave all motion-handling features turned off unless needed. However, if you do find the need to eliminate motion artifacts, Sony has the necessary motion-handling features to reduce or remove motion artifacts.

The A80L is a great TV for video gaming. The Game Mode optimizes the TV for your gaming consoles. The TV has low input lag: 1080p @ 60Hz is approx. 17.0 ms, 1080p @ 120Hz is approx. 8.0 ms, 4K @ 60Hz is approx. 16.0 ms, and 4K @ 120Hz is approx. 8.8 ms.

Google TV on Sony A80L

Google TV

Conclusion

The combination of superb contrast and black levels in addition to excellent color rendering and stunning detail and clarity make the A80L a great choice for an OLED TV that delivers Sony’s renowned picture quality and video processing at an affordable price due to its mid-tier status.

Overall, the A80L delivers very good picture quality that adheres to OLED standards. It has the features that are most important to consumers such as a good smart TV platform (Google TV) and is compatible with voice control assistants which include Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.

Its biggest drawback in my opinion is its lack of high peak brightness with both SDR and HDR content. That being said, the brightness output with SDR content is still satisfactory. And its HDR performance is still very good. So, for most consumers, the brightness output should be a non-issue.

I highly recommend the Sony A80L if you’re looking for an excellent OLED TV from a name-brand manufacturer at a reasonable price point.

Check back regularly for model-year closeout pricing.

Check out HDTVs and More’ YouTube video review for the Sony A80L here.

Sony A80L room view

*Source: Rtings.com

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