What is the Sony A80J OLED? The A80J (or AJ80, as it’s called outside of the US and UK) isn’t Sony’s flagship 4K OLED for 2021 – that moniker goes to the A90J – but it could be one the best TVs to consider this year.
Sony has a great reputation for impressive OLED TVs, despite only putting out a small handful every year, and at times even continuing their lifespans with new model sizes long after the initial launch.
Smooth motion is a certainty on Sony sets, with impressive processing – previously on the company’s flagship X1 Ultimate processor, but going forward with a new Cognitive XR chip that could elevate the Sony OLED range to new heights.
But why should you consider the A80J? Well, last year’s A8H OLED was one of our favorite OLED TVs, packaging high specs at a reasonable price, and the A80J looks like a direct continuation of its capabilities.
It should get most of the perks and latest technologies utilized in the flagship Sony A90J, but at a lower price – and shoppers after a smart buy will no doubt be eyeing up the A80J to see if any compromises are worth it.
For a full run down of what to expect from the Sony A80J, including the likely price and release date, as well as HDMI 2.1 support, read on below.
Sony A80J OLED pricing and sizes
Sony’s UK site lists two versions of each screen size, which suggests there may be some slight variation, possibly with a different black/silver finish. The introduction of a 77-inch size is new for this year’s model.
Available to pre-order from March, the A80J starts at £1,999 (around $2,700) for a 55-inch size, going up to £2,699 (around $3,700) for a 65-inch and £4,199 (around $5,800) for a 77-inch size.
These aren’t small sums for most, certainly, but it’s still a big step down from the $2,999 / £2,699 starting price of the A90J. It’s slightly more expensive than last year’s A8H OLED, which started at $1,899 / £1,799 for a 55-inch size, and went up to $2,799 / £2,799 for a 65-inch size.
Sony A80J OLED release date
The Sony A80J will be available for pre-order in March, so we expect it to arrive with buyers near the end of the month (as with the A90J) or into the start of April.
Sony TVs tend to come to Australia a little later (the A80J isn’t even listed on Sony’s AU website yet) but it should happen eventually.
Sony A80J OLED specs and features
The Sony A80J looks to be getting most, if not all, of the picture technologies of the A90J model that sits above it. That means it benefits from the Cognitive XR processor with XR 4K Upscaling, XR Triluminos Color Pro and XR Motion Clarity – for crisp detail, popping colors, and smooth motion respectively.
It will make do with XR OLED Contrast processing, rather than the XR OLED Contrast Pro of the Sony A90J, though – so you can expect “exceptional levels of pure black contrast and peak brightness” as Sony puts it, but not to quite the level of the step-up model.
You’ll be getting 4K resolution, as well as 4K/120Hz video at 48Gbps through at least one HDMI 2.1 port, and both VRR (variable refresh rate) and ALLM (auto low latency mode). The A80J also supports Dolby Atmos passthrough, as well as HDR10 and Dolby Vision dynamic HDR. Input lag is recorded at “less than 8.5ms with 4K/120fps and dedicated Game Mode”.
The new Cognitive XR processor has been gaining attention for its potential to up the brightness of OLED panels – famously dim compared to their QLED counterparts – by better balancing RGB and White subpixels for extreme brightness.
This chip should improve the picture over the X1 Ultimate chip used in last year’s flagships, with Sony saying that it utilizes a “completely new processing method designed to replicate the ways humans see and hear”, detecting a so-called “focal point” in the TV’s picture to focus processing around the more important parts of the image.
The A80J will also make use of a Google TV smart platform, rather than the Android TV software usually seen on high-end Sony TVs, with baked-in support for both Chromecast and Google Assistant.
We’ll also be seeing the return of 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 much-marketed Netflix Calibrated Mode makes a return, too – even if we wouldn’t bother using it – but IMAX Enhanced is also supported for those with compatible content.
For those with narrow counters or media cabinets, too, the A90J comes with adjustable feet for customizable placement.