Review: Sony Bravia A1 OLED TV
The Bravia A1’s visual appeal starts with the fact that it doesn’t have the common table-top stand design, and instead has an integrated kickstand to prop it up. The A1 leans back by about 5 degrees, very similar to the W95D series—in fact, you will find viewing this more comfortable. Sony has kept the design minimal. Perhaps the biggest improvement is that the Bravia A1’s frame itself sits directly on the table—this means you don’t need a table as wide as the TV itself. In fact, we placed the 65-inch variant, which measures 145.1cm in width, on our table, which is just 117cm wide.
The kickstand has a fabric cover, and you can remove it to access the connectivity options, such as the HDMI ports. The only drawback is that if you plug in an Amazon Fire TV Stick (even with its HDMI extender accessory), this cover cannot be clipped back on properly.
The Sony Bravia A1 is available in 55-inch and 65-inch variants. The OLED panels are 4K (3,840×2,160 resolution) and support the HDR10 standard at the moment. Sony has confirmed that Dolby Vision HDR standard support will also be added via a software update, which makes this one of the very few TVs that will be compatible with all 4K HDR content on platforms, including Netflix and Amazon Video.
One look at this OLED screen, and you know why this technology is undoubtedly the future of televisions. The sheer vibrancy and depth of detailing is unmatched. Sony’s image-processing algorithms do a fine job and no colour pops out more than the others. Fast-moving visuals are handled well for the most part, though during some sports broadcasts, we did notice the occasional ghosting of the ball as it slid across the green grass.
Incidentally, the screen is the speaker itself, called the Acoustic Surface. There are actuators placed behind the screen, which will vibrate the screen and that will produce sound. There is a woofer integrated within the kickstand, for handling lower frequencies. What you hear is significantly better than what standard speakers can produce. Movie dialogue are rich, and the sound fills even a large room easily. But bass isn’t powerful and distortions become apparent at really loud volume.
It is remarkable that this is Sony’s first OLED TV, and already surpasses everything LG has made thus far, even though the latter had a headstart of a couple of years. The Bravia A1 nails the picture quality, and when you add the rare kickstand design to the mix along with the futuristic audio tech, it makes for an attractive package.