Sony’s 2017 A1E OLED TVs were nothing but incredible. The 2018 XBR A8F models are now available and promise to continue on the success of its predecessors. The TV is strikingly similar to 2017’s A1E series since they both use the OLED technology with the same specs. Besides this, both models use the same panel, operating system, and processor.

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However, A8F provides a unique design that we will review in detail below. It is available in 55 and 65-inch screen sizes and delivers both in terms of sound and image quality. Sony XBR A8F is arguably the most outstanding set in the brand’s 2018 lineup.

 Sony XBR A8F Review

  • Design Sony OLED XBR A8F

The slate design that Sony used on this set is a switch from the kickstand pedestal in favor of a flat base. Sony XBR A8F’s rear features a unique blend of a chunky mid-section that hosts the set’s connections and processing and ultra-slim edges. The chunky part of the TV covers a little more of the rear compared to many OLED TVs. 

Sony’s decision to innovatively use cable channeling and plastic covers keeps the TV’s rear tidy especially when wall-mounted. The XBR A8F’s slim design means it won’t stick out too much if you decide to wall-mount it. The set’s chunky mid-section features a woofer which adds incredible bass to stereo sound that is produced by the screen. This presents a solution to the long-standing problem of speakers defacing a TV’s aesthetics. 


The Sony A8F TV similarly comes with an ultra-slim bezel featuring an eye-catching tiny silver trim. This allows you to fully immerse yourself in the on-screen action without getting distracted by the surrounding hardware. 

  • Picture Quality

Sony A8F TV produces remarkable picture quality. Sony used the OLED technology on this set and therefore, it produces deep blacks that will certainly make your on-screen action enthralling. The perfect black uniformity combines seamlessly with the infinite contrast ratio to ensure an excellent dark-room performance. The TV’s black levels will remain perfect irrespective of the viewing angle. Therefore, the set is suitable for installation in large rooms. 

In as much as the A8F’s screen doesn’t get that bright, it produces bright highlights that can adequately combat glare in rooms that are either brightly or dimly lit. You are guaranteed excellent peak brightness even with HDR content. The TV’s color accuracy is also remarkable, thus negating the need for you to undertake calibration. The outstanding wide color gamut helps bring out every detail of your images thus enriching your viewing experience. 

Sony A8F TV brilliantly upscales 480p content. The images won’t be overly sharp, and every detail will stand out well. 720p content from cable boxes can also be easily upscaled without any obvious issues. 1080p content from your game consoles or Blu-ray sources also gets excellently displayed on the A8F

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  • Motion Handling

Sony A8F performs well as far as motion handling is concerned. You will be blown away by the near-instantaneous response time. Besides this, the TV is flicker-free to ensure minimal motion trail and only a slight persistence blur. Motion interpolation is enabled by a black frame insertion feature to reduce stutter caused by the quick response time. 

The A8F easily interpolates lower frame rate content for up to 120Hz. This ensures on-screen motion appears smoother thus enabling you to savor all the action. Unlike similar OLED TVs in its range, the A8F set displays all 24p content without any quaver irrespective of the source. 

  • Sound Quality

Unlike other high-end OLED TVs which sacrifice sound in favor of image quality, Sony A8F performs admirably in both departments. The TV has an above-average sound quality to match its incredible images. The set produces crisp sound, which is backed by decent bass that doesn’t have any rumble or thump to it. 

The TV produces low distortion at moderate and low volumes. A low-frequency extension means that this set produces an incredible amount of punch. Even though this sound is adequate when the TV is installed in small rooms, dedicated sound bars or a sound system may be required in larger entertainment rooms.

  • Inputs

Sony A8F has an outstanding input diversity, which rivals that of most high-end TVs. The set’s inputs perform admirably and this is attested to by the low input lag especially when gaming. This TV feature 4 HDMI ports, 2 USB ports, 1 digital optical audio output port and one 3.5mm analog audio port. It also has an Ethernet port for Internet connectivity. The TV’s outstanding ~30 ms input lag makes it good for gaming. 

  • Smart Features

The XBR A8F TV runs on Sony’s custom-made Android TV interface which has a simple layout with multiple rows that lump similar functions together. This makes it easy for you to navigate the interface. Unlike other smart TV platforms, the A8F’s platform doesn’t feature any ads. Instead, there’s a row of suggested apps that can be easily turned off. Even though the TV’s interface is ad-free, most of the included apps feature pop-up ads. 

Some popular apps on Sony A8F’s smart TV platform are pre-installed. These include Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Video. The TV’s remote is strikingly similar to that of its predecessor. The easy-to-navigate buttons give you quick access to numerous functions. A microphone button at the top provides you access to Google Assistant thus enabling you undertake quick voice searches whenever you feel like. 

This TV performs incredibly in terms of picture and audio quality. The 55-inch version of the TV in particular, looks compact and delivers crisp images and sound, which will definitely make your home entertainment experience memorable. The TV’s slim design ensures that it blends well with your living room wall when mounted. The stylish finish gives it a modern look, which easily beats that of similar TVs. What’s more, this TV can be used for gaming applications due to its low input lag. 

The TV’s brightness tends to change depending on the type of content. Therefore, permanent burn-in is a possibility especially when streaming static content. The TV is also unable to produce bright saturated colors. In addition, the TV’s design is quite similar to that of the A1E. 

In terms of performance, the A8F is not much of an upgrade. It delivers the same level of picture and sound quality with its predecessor, in a more conventional design.

Unlike the A1 TVs which lean back slightly, Sony XBR A8F TV stands upright, offering a more traditional style. Both sets have smart cable management systems that ensure a perfect installation especially when you wall-mount them and both TVs have a similar design featuring a thick mid-section, which narrows down towards the top, however the A8F is noticeably slimmer. Lastly, the A8F sets also have speaker-less frames.

Both the Sony A8F TV and LG’s 2018 TV lineup come with the amazing OLED technology. Sony A8F TV performs admirably against LG’s C8 and E8 TVs. It nonetheless offers greater value due to its distinctive design, amazing picture quality, incredible picture temperature and wide color gamut. The sound quality of Sony XBR A8F is however poor compared to that of LG’s 2018 OLED lineup. Priced right in the middle between the LG C8 and the E8 series and other similar high-end TVs, and with most technical features being equally impressive, the ability to handle motion blurring and the individual perception of it to your own eye may determine which TV offers a better viewing experience. 

Here is a side-by-side comparison of the Sony XBR A8F models and the LG C8 and E8 models. If you have decided on purchasing an A8F TV, follow the price trends and be ready to buy when there is price reduction.

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