Sony's top 2021 OLED TV is finally on sale — if you can afford it

Sony Master Series A90J OLED TV
(Image credit: Sony)

The Sony Master Series A90J OLED TV is the best OLED TV Sony has to offer this year, but it won't come cheap. The new TV begins selling today, with a starting price of $2,999.

Available in 55, 65 and 83-inch sizes, the Sony Master Series A90J OLED TV is the best 4K smart TV in the Sony 2021 TV lineup, pairing a brilliant OLED panel with Sony's impressive XR Cognitive Processor and the latest Google TV smart software, not to mention an array of other impressive features. But Sony's not known for it's affordable pricing, and the A90J is priced like the premium smart TV it is.

Sony's best 4K TV may be a lot of things, but it's not cheap. The 55-inch models sells for $2,999 starting today, and the 65-inch model goes for $3,999, making it one of the more expensive models on the market.

There's also a larger 83-inch model coming in May, but Sony has not yet announced the price. Retailer B&H Photo lists the XR83A90J with a note that pre-orders start on May 17.

Sony has a well-earned reputation for making some of the best OLED TVs on the market, often offering better picture quality and sound than even the top choice LG OLED TVs, despite the fact that Sony uses LG-manufactured panels. Sony achieves this in a number of ways, but a lot of the difference in quality comes down to Sony's video processing.

The A90J is touted as offering Sony's brightest ever OLED picture and fine-tuned contrast to not only offer great HDR performance, but also to handle black levels exceptionally well. OLED displays can often turn subtle shades of black and grey into undifferentiated black blobs, losing distinction and detail where they are needed most.

Sony counters this with XR OLED Contrast Pro, a combination of video processing and physical technology. The screen itself uses aluminum lamination to provide better heat management and prevent the hotspots that sometimes keep OLED displays from displaying their brightest.

Sound should also be top-notch, with the A90J boasting Sony's impressive Acoustic Surface Audio+, which uses actuators behind the OLED panel to create sound that comes from the screen. Compared to traditional TV sound, which uses speakers around or behind the display, the technology offers a more immersive viewing and listening experience, pairing the sound with the objects and actors on screen.

Even setting aside the OLED display and advanced audio technology, Sony's 2021 TVs have a lot to offer. The A90J OLED has 4 HDMI ports, with two of those connections supporting the HDMI 2.1 standard.

On the software side, the entire Sony smart TV lineup is switching from Android TV to Google TV, the rebranded version of Google's smart TV platform that adds new features and account options that sound like a genuine improvement for smart TV users.

Finally, Sony TVs will also have its own exclusive streaming service, called Bravia Core. With a mix of unlimited streaming and free credits that can be cashed in to watch premium 4K movies. Sony is promising a large library of content with both Sony movies and a large collection of IMAX Enhanced titles, but it's also claiming lossless 4K quality, with streaming movies that offer Blu-ray quality that beats Netflix and other streaming services.

Brian Westover

Brian Westover is currently Lead Analyst, PCs and Hardware at PCMag. Until recently, however, he was Senior Editor at Tom's Guide, where he led the site's TV coverage for several years, reviewing scores of sets and writing about everything from 8K to HDR to HDMI 2.1. He also put his computing knowledge to good use by reviewing many PCs and Mac devices, and also led our router and home networking coverage. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he wrote for TopTenReviews and PCMag.