Sony's A9 range isn't really a range, because it only comes in one model: this 48-inch OLED TV. But Sony promises the best OLED image quality it can muster even at a smaller size, and seeing as our Sony A8/A8H review just gave Sony's other new OLED five stars and installed it into our list of the best OLED televisions, that sounds great to us. The A9 Master Series KD-48A9, is now available to pre-order from the Sony Centre UK online store for £1,799.
The only slightly odd element here is that as well as making some of the best OLED TVs money can buy, Sony is also lining up the new PlayStation: the PS5. You might reasonably assume it could make THE best gaming TV for its own next-gen console. Or since 48-inches is quite small as televisions go, perhaps the best 4K gaming monitor for it.
Alas, at least at launch, the Sony KD-48A9 doesn't support playing 4K games at 120fps over HDMI 2.1, or variable refresh rates. The latter is a way of syncing the TV's speed at which it updates the display to match the speed at which the console is outputting new frames. This helps to make make games look smoother where supported, but it's not on the A9. Coincidentally, there's also some debate over whether Sony's Ready for PS5 TVs are actually ready for PS5
For TV and movie lovers who aren't getting a next-gen console, or want one but aren't bothered about having absolutely all the visual bells and whistles, this is not a problem, of course.
- Looking for a 48-inch OLED with these features? Check out our LG CX review
- How to reserve a pre-order PS5 now
- More of the best 48- to 50-inch TVs
Sony A9 48-inch Master Series 4K OLED TV: the good news
The good news for non-gamers is that you get Sony's X1 Ultimate image processing, which is phenomenal at pulling out as much detail as possible from pictures, including upscaling to 4K, refining detail in Ultra HD streaming movies.
It's the best around for turning SDR video into something close to HDR without making things look artificial.
Sony's motion processing is also famously excellent, and 2020's TVs have X-Motion Clarity tech for the first time, which is basically the bee's well-defined knees for making sport and other fast action look extra smooth and clear without coming across as robotic.
As part of Sony's 'Master Series' range, this is designed to deliver images as close to what the directors intended as possible. That includes a special Netflix calibrated mode – when you watch Netflix original content, the TV processing tweaks so the output is the same as the mastering monitors used by Netflix's studios.
One of the showpieces of Sony's range is its Acoustic Surface Audio system, where the screen panel itself is used as a speaker, meaning the sound is pointing straight towards you, which isn't always the case with thin TVs, and that can affect how clear the sound is a lot.
Dialogue especially is much easier to hear out of the box, and a subwoofer at the back to add some meat means the sound overall is good enough that you won't feel the need to immediately add a soundbar, so it may end up saving you a bit of cash.