Sony is one of the best-known television makers, and it offers dozens of models. The company has a reputation for superb image quality and cutting-edge design. Here are the best of its current offerings.

Specs to Consider

Screen Size

For most people, it’s best to buy the biggest screen that you can afford and that will fit into your space. The 55-inch size has become standard these days and works best for most people as it offers plenty of real estate without being overwhelmingly large. If you want to go bigger, there are plenty of choices in the 65-inch range. For a truly cinematic experience, look for TVs in the 75-inch range and above. Just be prepared to house them—they practically demand their own room. Smaller TVs in 32-inches and 40-inches work well for close quarters.

Resolution

Resolution is the number of pixels that make up the picture on a display. More pixels mean sharper images and finer details, so higher resolution is usually better. The default for televisions has become 4K, and nearly all of the TVs on our list are at least this resolution.

You can also buy even higher resolution screens such as 8K, but there’s little content available now that makes use of this technology. And 8K screens tend to be very expensive. So, essentially you will be buying an 8K television in the hopes that it’s an investment for years to come. For most people, 4K is the right choice.

Display Technology

The least expensive TVs tend to have LCD or LED panels that use panels of liquid crystal pixels. LCD TVs are bright and durable. But LCD panels often have limited viewing angles and don’t control light in the picture as well as other technologies.

Top-shelf TVs use quantum dots that provide more comprehensive color ranges than you can get with most LCD panels. The technology uses tiny particles in different sizes that allow each size to emit a different color.

The latest trend in high-end TVs is OLED technology that uses organic phosphors. Each pixel can generate its own light, which makes for better contrast and light precision compared to LCD screens. OLED TVs can be seen from wider viewing angles than LCD models without losing color or reducing contrast. But OLED TVs tend to be very pricey and don’t get as bright as LCD TVs.

How We Selected

I’m a technology journalist who regularly reviews gadgets of all kinds. My work has appeared in The AtlanticThe GuardianThe Los Angeles Times, and many other publications. I spent more than a dozen hours reviewing the specifications of Sony TVs for this roundup. I evaluated each on its size, resolution, cost, and overall quality. I also saw the TVs on this list in person and was able to compare them to other models.

BEST OVERALL

Sony X80J

Key Specs

  • Size: 55 in.
  • Resolution: 4K Ultra HD

The X80J offers a terrific balance of features at a reasonable price. As you’d expect from Sony, this model delivers a smooth and clear picture, full of rich colors and detailed contrast. Sony touts the included Triluminos Pro technology that’s intended to reproduce more colors than a conventional TV. In a test, I found this system does provide picture quality that’s natural, precise, and closer than competitors to real life.

EST BIG SCREEN

Sony A80J

Key Specs

  • Size: 55 in.
  • Resolution: 4K HDR

Live large with the big screen on the A80J. At 55 inches, you’ll need plenty of room for this set, but your reward is the crisp, clear picture. The OLED technology allows for excellent contrast with pure blacks and lifelike brightness. The A80J uses Google TV to power your smart experience, which is my favorite way to navigate all the streaming possibilities.

BEST BUDGET

Sony KDL32W600D

Key Specs

  • Size: 32 in.
  • Resolution: 720p

This smart TV is among the cheapest models that Sony offers, and it skimps on the specs with sub-par resolution and weak sound. Most people will be better served with a more expensive model, but this could be the one for you if you are looking for an inexpensive second TV or are watching your budget. The picture is surprisingly sharp and clear despite its older technology.

BEST MID-RANGE LED

Sony X90J

Key Specs

  • Size: 65 in.
  • Resolution: 4K Ultra HD

If you want excellent picture quality and lots of screen real estate but don’t want to spend the big bucks on OLED technology, the X90J is a solid choice. The LED screen delivers bright, vivid colors, and it works with Google TV and Alexa for all your smart TV needs.

BEST MID-RANGE OLED

Sony Bravia XR A90J

Key Specs

  • Size: 65 in.
  • Resolution: 4K Ultra HD

The A90J is among the best TVs for most people on the market if you can afford the high price tag. The OLED screen offers dramatic blacks and vivid colors. Sony boasts high-quality motion processing for fast-moving, blur-free pictures. This feature was particularly noticeable while watching sports and action-packed movies.

 

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