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2020 has arrived, and with it a slew of new TV announcements from the biggest and best TV brand out there – meaning we’ve had a good look at the next round of Sony TVs scheduled for release this year.
That means more 8K sets, more OLED panels, and more sound vibrating out of panels. Only so much of the 2020 Sony TV lineup has been announced, but we know enough to get a general picture of what’s going to be on offer.
Sony’s presence at the CES 2020 expo was certainly interesting, if just for its conservatism. Only two new television models were on display – the 8K LCD Z8H and 4K OLED A8H Master Series models – without many new features or eye-grabbing overhauls to speak of.
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Not that Sony needed to do anything drastically different; its TV lineup usually goes down well with us, so a continuation of previous visual quality in its televisions should still be enough to get us excited for the year ahead. (We felt a bit differently about the audio offering in its televisions, though.)
So what exactly has been announced, and what are we in the dark about? Here’s everything you need to know about the Sony TV 2020 lineup.
Sony 2020 TV technology
What’s new for 2020? Internally, not that much. Sony’s flagship televisions this year use the same X1 Ultimate processor as 2019, meaning that, while there may be some improvements in how Sony deploys and makes use of that processing power, these 2020 TVs don’t actually have any more computing power at their disposal.
One new feature is Ambient Optimization, which Sony describes as “a new technology that optimises picture and sound quality in any customer environment.” It will enable select Sony TVs to adjust the picture brightness automatically depending on the level of light in your living room (or bedroom, cabin, wherever), ensuring you don’t suffer from too much glare or struggle with dim images – say, as some may find with the low brightness of OLED models, of which Sony has several.
It’s quite similar to the new Dolby Vision IQ technology we’re seeing deployed by Panasonic in its new HZ2000 OLED TV, though it won’t be exclusive to only one HDR format, and will also be able to detect the layout of the room (furniture, curtains, etc) and fine-tune the acoustics of the sound being played by its speakers.
Several sets will continue Sony’s Acoustic Surface Audio+ technology, which uses motor-driven ‘actuators’ placed around the set’s casing to vibrate sound across the whole panel. It’s a neat concept in theory, though it can serve to muddy the audio somewhat as it spreads it around. The Z8H will use what Sony calls a ‘frame tweeter’ to enhance this, though it seems to be the same underlying concept as in previous years.
Sony TVs are well-known for their TV stand designs – which might be a weird reputation to embrace, especially as the tilted screens of previous years weren’t always received warmly. But the premium models this year will actually have adjustable feet below the television, allowing an element of customization that means you don’t need a counter / table as wide as the panel to prop it up.
We also can’t talk about Sony in 2020 without mentioning the next-gen PS5 console – and Sony has made sure at least some of its new sets will support the console’s advanced capabilities. The Z8H’s panel can display 8K gaming, for starters, while both it and the X900H 4K LED will support 4K play at 120Hz frame rate. (The X900H will need to wait for a software update sometime after launch, though.)
As ever, the new Sony TV range will make use of the Android TV smart TV platform, now in its Android 9.0 (Pie) iteration, with 4K HDR models coming with built-in Google Assistant, Alexa compatability, and Apple AirPlay 2 for casting from iOS devices. Sony also supports Dolby Vision rather than the competing HDR10+ format.
New Sony TVs for 2020
Sony Z8H 8K LCD (available in 75, 85 inches): Sony's flagship 8K display was one of two new sets shown off at CES this year, with an X1 Ultimate processor, 4K video at 120Hz, Dolby Vision / Atmos, Netflix Calibrated Mode, and even moveable feet for easy placement in your home. Its new 'frame tweeters' should enhance Sony's Acoustic Surface Audio+ tech, too.
There's no official pricing, but last year's Z Series cost £13,999 (around $17,675) for the 85-inch model, and as the flagship, it certainly won't be cheap!
US models: XBR-75Z8H, XBR-85Z8H
UK models: KD-75ZH8, KD-85ZH8
Sony A8H 4K OLED (available in 55, 65 inches): This 4K/HDR display may have lower specs than the Z8H flagship, but it's still a heavyweight in Sony's 2020 TV lineup. Its OLED panel will ensure deep blacks and incredible brightness control, with the X1 Ultimate processor, Dolby Vision / Atmos support, and Netflix Calibrated Mode to make it shine. This year's OLED also gets Sony's X-Motion Clarity technology for the first time, which should help smooth out fast-moving scenes.
US models: XBR-55A8H, XBR-65A8H
UK models: KD-55AH8, KD-65AH8
Sony A9G 4K OLED (new 48-inch size): Hold on, isn't this a 2019 model? Correct! But Sony is using the stellar A9G to introduce its first 48-inch OLED display. Other manufacturers such as LG will be doing the same in their TV ranges, but Sony will still be one of the first few doing so.
US models: XBR-48A9G
UK models: KD-48AG9
X950H 4K LCD (available in 49, 55, 65, 75, 85 inches): Another LCD set with the X1 Ultimate processor, Dolby Vision / Atmos, and the Sound-from-Picture Reality tech for pinning audio to its source onscreen. The 55-inch, 65-inch, and 75-inch models have a flush design with minimal bezel, too.
US models: XBR-49X950H, XBR-55X950H, XBR-65X950H, XBR-75X950H, XBR-85X950H
UK models: KD-49XH9505, KD-55XH9505, KD-65XH9505, KD-75XH9505, KD-85XH9505
X900H 4K LCD (available in 55, 65, 75, 85 inches): A 4K/HDR set that uses the less advanced X1 processor. You won't get as advanced picture processing, but you still get the same format support and full-array local dimming for detailed brightness control.
US models: XBR-55X900H, XBR-65X900H, XBR-75X900H, XBR-85X900H
UK models: KD-55XH9005, KD-65XH9005, KD-75XH9005, KD-85XH9005
X800H 4K LCD (available in 43, 49, 55, 65, 75, 85 inches): Same X1 processor as above, but without the full array local dimming – meaning brightness won't be as consistent. UK shoppers will be able to choose between the XH80, XH81 and XH85, with each varying slightly in the design, feet, and sizing.
US models: XBR-43X800H, XBR-43X800H, XBR-43X800H, XBR-43X800H, XBR-43X800H
UK models: KD-43XH8505, KD-49XH8505, KD-43XH8196, KD-49XH8196, KD-55XH8196, KD-65XH8196, KD-43XH8096, KD-49XH8096, KD-55XH8096, KD-65XH8096, KD-75XH8096, KD-85XH8096
X70 4K LCD (available in 49, 55, 65 inches): Likely the cheapest 4K/HDR set in the Sony 2020 TV lineup, this UK-only set ditches the Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision support for simpler television offering. Expect lower-spec processing too.
UK models: KD-49X7052, KD-55X7052, KD-65X7052
Sony Master Series 2019 Models
Sony Z9G 8K (available in 85, 98 inches): An 8K wonder powered by Sony's X1 Ultimate processor, with a resurrected Backlight Master Drive from Sony's 2016 Z Series TVs delivers enhanced contrast and precision controlled brightness – as well as a dedicated viewing mode for watching Netflix. Intrigued?
The 85-inch model retails at £13,999 (around $17,675), while a monstrously large 98-inch model will jump you up to £84,999 (around $107,330). If the price tag doesn't puts you off – or even if it does – read more in our five-star Sony Bravia Master Series Z9G 8K HDR TV review.
US models: XBR-85Z9G, XBR-98Z9G
UK models: KD-85ZG9, KD-98ZG9
Sony A9G 4K (available in 55, 65, 77 inches): This second-tier Master Series set uses the X1 Ultimate processor to power some serious 4K visuals – as well as the same Netflix Calibrated Mode as the Z9G.
With an OLED panel, you'll also be getting some vivid color contrast and deep blacks, even if high-end LED tech is starting to give it a run for its money. Speaking of money, the 55-inch model will start at $2,799 / £2,999 (around AU$3,970). Check out our Sony A9G OLED review for why we gave it a full five stars.
US models: XBR-55A9G, XBR-65A9G, XBR-77A9G
UK models: KD-55AG9, KD-65AG9, KD-77AG9
Sony Bravia 2019 Models
Sony A8G OLED (available in 55, 65 inches): Featuring the same X1 Extreme processor and Acoustic Surface Audio as last year's A1 OLED, the A8G / AG8 sticks to 55 and 65-inch models, leaving the 77-inch size to its Master Series OLED counterpart. In a snazzy design choice, you can also adjust the height of the TV stand to make room for a soundbar. Starting at $2,500 / £2,299 (around AU$3,570) for the 55-inch model, and $3,500 / £3,199 (around AU$4,999) for the 65-inch.
US models: XBR-55A8G, XBR-65A8G, XBR-77A8G (available May)
UK models: KD-55AG8, KD-65AG8, KD-77AG8 (no release date)
Sony X9500G (available in 55, 65, 75, 85 inches): Now onto the 4K LCDs… This model still packs in the Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos support of its more expensive siblings, and the more advanced X1 Ultimate processor for enhanced upscaling and image processing. You get the welcome choice of four distinct size options, including a massive 85-inch display. Starting at $1,399 / £1,899 (around AU$1,972) for the 55-inch model – though given our Sony X9500G review, you may want to hold off.
US models: XBR-55X950G, XBR-65X950G, XBR-75X950G, XBR-85X950G (available now)
UK models: KD-55XG9505, KD-65XG9505, KD-75XG9505, KD-85XG9505 (all but 85-inch model available now)
Sony X9000G 4K HDR TV (available in 49 inches): A mid-priced, X1 Extreme powered version of the above – and coming in at a more size-friendly 49 inches. Currently only announced for UK.
UK models: KD-49XG9005
Sony X8500G 4K HDR TV (available in 55, 65, 75, 85 inches): A step down again, the X8500G / XG85 goes back to a simpler X1 processor (no Extreme or Ultimate upgrade) and more basic backlighting and dimming zones.
Last year's model came with edge LED lighting, which simply couldn't meet the demands of today's HDR pictures – but we'll reserve our judgement on this one until it's come in to review. Starting at $1,099 / £1,399 (around AU$1,549).
US models: XBR-55X850G, XBR-65X850G, XBR-75X850G, XBR-85X850G (available now)
UK models: KD-55XG8505, KD-65XG8505, KD-75XG8505, KD-85XG8505 (available now)
Sony XG83 4K HDR TV (available in 43, 49 inches): Like last year’s model, the XG83 only offers the most basic X1 Processor and 4K X-Reality Pro Upscaler. You'll still get 4K HDR pictures. but they probably won't look nearly as good as they will on the X9000F and above. That said, you can display HDR10 and Hybrid Log Gamma – and the XG83 sports a stylish aluminium body. Currently only announced for UK, starting at £999.
UK models: KD-43XG8305, KD-43XG8305 (available now)
Sony XG81 4K HDR TV (available in 43, 49, 55, 65 inches): Down to the X-Reality processor, meaning you won’t get as advanced picture processing as above, but you do get a far wider range of model sizes with the XG81 – with only a ‘brushed aluminium look’ though. Currently only announced for UK.
UK models: KD-43XG8196, KD-49XG8196, KD-55XG8196, KD-65XG8196 (available now)
Sony XG80 4K HDR TV (available in 43, 49, 55, 65, 75 inches): Comparable to the XG81, but more basic dimming zones, and a 75-inch model to make up for it. Announced for UK / US.
US models: XBR-43X800G, XBR-49X800G, XBR-55X800G, XBR-65X800G, XBR-75X800G (available now)
UK models: KD-43XG8096, KD-49XG8096, KD-55XG8096, KD-65XG8096, KD-75XG8096 (no release date)
Sony XG70 4K HDR TV (available in 43, 49, 55, 65 inches): This UK-exclusive set is the runt of the HDR litter: a 4K-resolution display with HDR10 and not much else. You’ll get sharper images than the Full HD sets below, though. Available in silver or black. Currently only announced for UK.
UK models: KD-43XG7002, KD-49XG7003, KD-55XG7073, KD-65XG7093, KD-43XG7002, KD-49XG7003, KD-55XG7073, KD-65XG7093, KD-43XG7002, KD-49XG7003, KD-55XG7073, KD-65XG7093, KD-43XG7002, KD-49XG7003, KD-55XG7073, KD-465 (no release date)
Sony Full HD 2019 Models
Sony WG6/W66G (available in 43- and 50-inch sizes): If you've got a hankering for an HDR-capable TV but aren't too keen on 4K, Sony's entry-level W66G (WG6 in the UK) is exactly what you've been looking for.
Perfect for Full HD HDR gaming, or just squeezing some extra-rich colors and depth out of 1080p resolution TV, this 2019 model is a smart compromise between cost and performance.
UK models: KDL-43WG663, KDL-43WG663 (no release date)
- Check out all of TechRadar's CES 2020 coverage. We're live in Las Vegas to bring you all the breaking tech news and launches, plus hands-on reviews of everything from 8K TVs and foldable displays to new phones, laptops and smart home gadgets.