Sony A1E Vs LG OLED E7 Review (XBR55A1E vs OLED55E7P, XBR65A1E vs OLED65E7P)
Sony A1E is the first commercial OLED TV that released by Sony in 2017, while LG OLED E7 is part of LG’s 2017 4K HDR OLED TV. As a premium TV of each of their manufacturer, each of them is not just focused on picture quality, but they are also focused on their design. For this case, OLED E7 comes with an unique design named “Picture on Glass”, while Sony A1E also comes with an unique designed named “One Slate”. In the market, A1E comes with 3 screen sizes available including 55 Inch (XBR55A1E), 65 Inch (XBR65A1E), and 77 Inch (XBR77A1E), while LG OLED E7 comes with just 2 screen sizes options including 55 Inch (OLED55E7P) and 65 Inch (OLED65E7P). Since the sizes which available on both are only 55 inch and 65 inch, this comparison is as true to these screen sizes (XBR55A1E vs OLED55E7P, XBR65A1E vs OLED65A1E). When I was writing this comparison, for 65 inch, the price of OLED65E7P and XBR65A1E is relative same, but for 55 inch, OLED55E7P is sold about hundreds dollar more expensive than XBR55A1E. Nevertheless, their prices certainly are not fixed and could still change at any time.
Short Review of Sony A1E (XBR55A1E, XBR65A1E, XBR77A1E)
As we have mentioned, Sony A1E is not just focused on picture quality, but it also comes with a unique gorgeous design called “One Slate”. Leaving the traditional stand and conventional speaker, from the front, it looks very minimalistic without a visible stand. Instead, there is an easel-style stand that supports the TV from the behind fairly well. So, from the front, it just looks a giant pitch-black slate that sit on the top of the table. Additionally, A1E also comes with different approach in producing the sound. Instead of using conventional speaker, it uses acoustic surface technology that utilities its screen to produce the sound by attaching an actuator on back side of the screen.
On its screen, Sony A1E doesn’t uses OLED panel made by Sony it-self, but it was bought from LG. SO, if you expect there is a real competitor of LG OLED TV, you might be a bit disappointed. But of course, about the technology that supports its panel, Sony uses their own technologies. Coming with HDR technology, it already supports the number of HDR formats including HDR 10, HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma) and Dolby Vision. As its picture engine, Sony A1E is powered by 4K HDR Processor X1 Extreme where it is first used on Z9D series. On this engine, there are the number of Sony’s most advanced technology embedded including Precision Color Mapping and Super Bit Mapping 4K HDR for maximizing its color reproduction, Dynamic Contrast Enhancer for maximizing the contrast, Object-Based Remaster technology and Dual Data Base Processing for enhancing its picture clarity. Additionally, for producing wider color gamut and excellent rendition of colors, Sony A1E still uses TriLuminos Display technology. And since it comes with OLED panel technology, extremely wide viewing angle coverage certainly also becomes its main advantages, allow you to watch movies from any angle without losing picture quality.
Meanwhile, for maximizing its performance when playing fast moving image, XBR A1E is powered by Motion Flow XR technology. Combined to the extremely low pixel response time of OLED panel itself, result in smooth and clear picture quality with blur-free when playing sports or fast movies. The other interesting point that offered by A1e is about its smart TV platform where with Android OS as its smart TV platform, it allows you to enjoy tablet or smart phone experience on the big screen of Sony A1E.
Short Review of LG OLED E7 (OLED55E7P, OLED65E7P)
Like Sony A1E, LG OLED E7 is not just focused on picture quality, but it also comes with gorgeous design named “Picture on Glass”. Viewed from the front, the screen is surrounded by a thin border with black inner edge and translucent outer edge. On the bottom of the screen, there is a built-sound bar with a radiator style grill where along with stand on the base, its support the TV fairly well and stable. Meanwhile, since the main screen sits directly on the glass, from the side, the TV looks very thin on two third of the top. In a third of the bottom, above the sound bar, the TV looks thicker and in this part, all of electronic components, power supply, and all inputs are located.
Also coming with HDR technology, LG OLED E7 series is powered by Active HDR Engine that already supports most of HDR formats including by UHD Alliance, HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma) by UHD Alliance, Dolby Vision by Dolby Laboratories and Advanced HDR by Technicolor. Not just that, if Sony A1E has Object-based Remaster technology, OLED E7 has a feature called “ HDR effect” that improves the color and brightness range of the picture so you can enjoy any content in quality as close as possible to 4K HDR. Additionally, coming with OLED technology, infinite native contrast ratio and perfect black level certainly becomes the highlight of OLED E7, make it is including the best TVs when used in a pitch dark room. Otherwise, for maximizing its peak luminance so make it is also offer good performance when used in a bright room, there is peak luminance technology behind it. Meanwhile, for delivering wide color gamut with excellent rendition of colors, it panel uses 4 colors sub-pixel technology (RGBW) that supported by Tru Accuracy Color technology. And like A1E, OLED E7 also has extremely wide viewing angle coverage, makes the amazing picture quality displayed looks consistent from any angle.
The other advantage that offered by LG OLED E7 is about its excellent performance when handling motion blur, result in smooth and clear picture with almost blur-free when used for watching fast moving images like sports, fast movies, or others. Additionally, to present simple, attractive, and responsive smart TV experience in your home, OLED E7 featuring WebOS 3.5 as its smart TV platform. And as we have mentioned above, it also comes with built-in sound bar. In addition to it improves sound quality so more impressive, with a radiator grill style, makes the TV looks stand out in your room.
LG OLED E7 vs Sony A1E Key Spec
|Specs and Features||LG OLED E7||Sony A1E|
|Resolution||4K (2160 x 3840)||4K (2160 x 3840)|
|Size Available||55 Inch (OLED55E7P), 65 Inch (OLED65E7P)||55 Inch (XBR55A1E), 65 Inch (XBR65A1E), 77 Inch (XBR77A1E)|
|Dimming||Pixel Dimming||Pixel Dimming|
|Backlight||Self Lighting Pixel||Self Lighting Pixel|
|Picture Engine||Active HDR with Dolby Vision||X1 Extreme|
|HDR||HDR 10, Dolby Vision, HLG, Advanced HDR||HDR 10, Dolby Vision, and HLG|
|HDR Clarity Enhancement||HDR Effect||Object-Based Remaster Technology, Dual Data Base Processing|
|Ultra HD Premium Certification||Yes||Yes|
|Color Technology||4 Sub pixels technology (RGBW)||4 Sub pixels technology (RGBW)|
|Advanced Technology||Perfect Black Panel, Ultra Luminance, Cinematic Color, True Color Accuracy, etc||Dynamic Contrast Ratio, Precision Color Mapping, Super Bit Mapping 4K HDR, TriLuminos Display, etc|
|4K Up-scaling||Tru 4K Up-Scaler||4K X-Reality Pro|
|Platform||WebOS 3.5||Google Android TV (Nougat)|
|Features||Web Browser, VoD Service, Cloud Games, LG’s Apps store, etc||Full Browser, Google Play Store, Google Voice Search, Play Station Now, etc|
|Remote||LG Magic Remote||Sony Voice Remote|
|HDMI||4 (HDCP 2.2)||4 (HDCP 2.2)|
|RF (Terrestrial Cable)||1||1|
|Composite In (AV)||1||1|
|Wi-Fi Built In||Yes||Yes|
|Audio Channel||2.2 Channel||4|
|Speaker Type||Built-In Sound Bar||Acoustic Surface (Actuator + Subwoofer)|
|Total Audio Output||60W (Woofer: 20W)||10 W + 10 W + 10 W + 10 W + 10 W|
|Price||See the price on Amazon||See the price on Amazon|
LG OLED E7 vs Sony A1E Performance
Since both of Sony A1E and LG OLED E7 uses the same panel, that is OLED panel made by LG, this certainly makes they have similar picture characteristic. One of the main advantages of OLED panel, it has self-lighting pixel where each of pixel can switch on/off/dim individually without affected by the condition of other pixel surrounded, allow them have infinite native contrast. When showing totally black, the screen doesn’t emit any light at all, result in perfect black on the screen. Combined to their perfect black uniformity, this certainly makes dark scene of images displayed on their screen looks excellent, especially when set in a dark room where the effect of high native contrast ratio is very noticeable. Indirectly, perfect black level reached by them also makes dark colors of images can be shown fairly accurate where almost all of LED TV can’t do. Meanwhile, when displaying HDR, perfect black level reached by Sony A1E or LG OLED E7 can excellently reveal details of images in dark scene, make shadow details of HDR images looks excellent on their screen like what intended by HDR technology itself.
While both of them have similar native contrast ratio and black level, the peak luminance of LG OLED E7 is a bit brighter than Sony A1E, makes the picture displayed on the screen of OLED E7 looks a bit better than A1E when used in bright room. Nevertheless, their difference is not too significant, so we might be able to ignore it. When inputted by SDR signal, both of them can reach more than 300 nits of peak brightness, bright enough to fight the glare of the light on the bright room. Combined to their excellent reflection handling, this allow them can maintain their excellent picture quality when used in a bright room. On other hand, when inputted by HDR signal, with about 700 nits of peak brightness in 2% and 25% of window, this allows both of them can show the highlight of HDR images fairly bright. Additionally, their peak brightness is also brighter than 550 nits as the minimum recommendation to show highlight of HDR 10 video have set by UHD alliance for OLED TV. As we know, one of the requirements to get the Ultra HD Premium Certification, an OLED TV must have at least 550 nits of peak brightness, different to LED TV that must have at least 1000 nits of peak brightness. A bit unfortunate, both of them are not able to show highlight of HDR images at 1000 – 4000 nits where HDR image is usually mastered. This is far behind premium LED TVs like Samsung Q9F or Sony X930E where they can reach about 1500 nits of peak brightness. Nevertheless, for an OLED TV, what reached by them is already excellent.
Discussing about their color gamut, both of them also have similar color gamut where they are able to cover about 97% of DCI P3 color space. The result, most of colors of HDR image mastered in DCI P3 can be shown properly on the screen, makes the color of HDR images displayed on their screen looks very accurate. Additionally, their color gamut also can cover colors in Rec.2020 fairly well. But like most of modern TVs, in Rec2020, both of them are not able to show green color as saturated as blue or red color. Nevertheless, most of colors of images mastered in Rec.2020 like Dolby Vision contents still can be shown properly, makes color of Dolby Vision image displayed on their screen still look fairly accurate. Color gamut delivered by both of them is only a bit less than Samsung‘s 2017 QLED TV lineup as the TV with the best color in 2017. Meanwhile, discussing about their color volume, OLED E7 has a bit better color volume than A1E. But essentially, their color volume is good. Contrary from LED TVs where their wide color gamut usually narrows in darker colors, both of LG OLED E7 and Sony A1E can show their wide color gamut in darker colors fairly well. But otherwise, their color gamut a bit narrows nearly their peak brightness due their RGBW pixel structure prevents from that. Still about color performance, both of them also have smooth color gradient. But for this time, Sony A1E has a bit better color gradient than OLED E7. But essentially, color gradient of HDR images mastered in 10 bit colors looks very smooth without any major color imperfections. A bit some imperfections might still be visible in darker shades of color and grayscale, both overall, their color gradient are equally excellent. Combination of wide color gamut, good color volume, and smooth color gradient certainly makes their rendition of colors is excellent.
Unlike most of premium LED TVs where their picture quality looks degraded if viewed from an angle, both of LG OLED E7 and Sony A1 can maintain their picture quality from any angle, even from when viewed from extremely side angle. This is due they have far wider viewing angle coverage than LED TVs, even still better than LED TV with IPS panel that indeed designed for providing wide viewing angle coverage. This means when you are watching TV from an angle, the picture displayed on their screen will look as good as when viewed from the front. This certainly makes both of them are great option when you are searching a TV to be used a wide room with viewers watch TV from multiple angles.
Motion Handling and 24p Playback
The other great performance that offered by LG OLED E7 and Sony A1 is about their ability when handling motion blur of fast moving image. Their pixel response time is extremely low, far lower than the lowest can be reached by LED TVs. Combined to great performance of their motion clarity technology, they perform excellent job when handling motion blur. The result, when used for watching fast movies, sport or other fast paced videos, the picture displayed on their screen looks very smooth and clear with almost no motion blur visible. Following a fast moving object, there is only an extremely short trail where most of people might don’t notice it. Meanwhile, when used to play 24p contents, both of them also equally offer excellent performance. No matter they are playing 24p videos like Blu Ray Movies, 24p videos via 60i signals like movies from satellite TV, or even 24p videos via 60p signals like movies from streaming device, the picture displayed on their screen looks very smooth with judder-free. To remove the judder without adding “Soap Opera Effect”, you only need to make a certain setting on them. For A1E, you need to set to “MotionFlow” to “True Cinema” and set “CineMotion” to “High”, while for OLED E7, you need to enable “Real Cinema”, set “TruMotion” to “Cinema”, and set both sliders to “0”. Additionally, since both of them have native 120 Hs refresh rate panel, both of them also equally support both of 30 fps and 60 fps motion interpolation.
As their major connectivity, both of Sony A1E and LG OLED E7 are equally equipped with 4 HDMI ports and 3 USB ports. Their HDMI ports also equally already support most of HDR formats like HDCP 2.2, CEC, Audio return channel, and others. In addition to HDMI and USB ports, both of them also are also equipped with similar inputs/outputs including 1 RF In (Terrestrial), 1 Composite In (AV In), 1 Ethernet, 1 Digital Audio Out (Optical), and built-in Wi-Fi. Additionally, they are also equally not equipped with Component In, so if you still have old electronic device with Component as its major connectivity, you need an external adapter. While both of them equipped with the same inputs/outputs, OLED E7 have lower input lags than A1E in “Game Mode” and “PC Mode”. With about 21 ms of input lags at any resolution, OLED E7 is very comfortable when used to play any kind of games, even for fast paced games that require fast reflexes. On other hand, for A1E, it has variety of input lag depending on the resolution of the source. At 4K input, its input lag is fairly low, that is about 30 ms where it should be comfortable when used to play most of games. Meanwhile, at 1080p source, with more than 40 ms of input lags, it is only comfortable when used to play casual games, while for fast paced games, it might be a bit disappointing.
Winner: OLED E7
As their smart TV, Sony A1E comes with Google Android Nougat while LG OLED E7 comes with WebOS 3.5. Both of these OS equally have attractive user interface design. Although Google android TV has the same core with Android OS on smart phone or tablet, but navigate on Google Android TV is a bit confusing, particularly for first time user. Fortunately, there is an “Action Menu” button on the remote that provides quick list of common settings, so this is a bit relive its navigation problem. On the other hand, one of the advantages of WebOS than other OS is about its simple and easy navigation. With a strip bar across the bottom of the screen on its “its screen” contains quick access to many app and features, this allows you to launch them without leaving the home screen. Meanwhile, its home screen itself is split into three section including inputs, setting, and apps where each of the sections has quick menu, full menu and its quick button on the remote. Meanwhile, discussing about the apps available, both of them provide plenty of interesting and useful apps as their preinstalled apps. The exception of default features and apps from their manufacturer, apps provided by them are similar. There VoD service like YouTube, Amazon, Videos, Netflix, and more, Web Browser, Live TV, Games, and many more. As their apps store, WebOS comes with LG apps store while Google Android TV comes with Google Play Store. For this case, since it is powered by a lot of more developer, Google play store provides a lot of more apps, features, and contents than LG Apps Store. But on the other hand, this even makes it is less focused on what the users want.
As the Controller, both of them are equally equipped with smart Remote, LG OLED E7 comes with LG Magic Remote while Sony A1E comes with Sony Voice Remote. Both of these remote are large, nevertheless Sony Remote have more buttons than LG Remote. On LG Remote, there are dedicated buttons as the quick access to Amazon Videos and Netflix, while on Sony Remote, there are dedicated buttons as the quick access button to Netflix and Google Play Store. Both of these remote also equally equipped with built-in microphone for voice navigation. Additionally, both of them also have universal ability that means they can be used to control other device connected on their TV via HDMI ports, for this case, LG Remote works alone while Sony Remote works with IR blaster that included on its buying package. The advantage of LG Remote is “point and click” functionality where it has wheel button on the center of the remote that can be functioned like a mouse on PC.
Winner: OLED E7
AS we have mentioned above, both of these premium TVs are not only focused on picture quality, but also design and sound performance. LG OLED E7 comes with 4.2 channel built-in sound bar with 60 watts of total sound output, while Sony A1ER comes with a unique technology named “Acoustic Surface”. Unlike most of other TVs that utilize conventional speaker to generate sound, this technology utilizes the screen itself to generate a sound that vibrated by two sets of actuators. In term of frequency response and distortion, Sony A1E offers better performance, result in clearer sound quality than OLED E7, particularly when set in high volume. Nevertheless, since an actuator of A1E is not great in producing bass, it is helped by a small “sub woofer” that located on its stand in producing bass. On other hand, with a “conventional” sub woofer, the bass generated by OLED E7 is better and steadier than A1E. Nevertheless, for you who care about sound quality, what offered by them is not still enough and a standalone sound bar will help to solve your problem.
|Performance||LG OLED E7||Sony A1E|
As we have discussed a lot above, although each of LG OLED E7 and Sony A1E has advantages and disadvantages to each other, but essentially, they have excellent picture quality and great HDR performance. Since they use the same OLED panel, picture quality produced by them is also not far different. Combination of infinite contrast, perfect black level, excellent black uniformity, bright peak brightness, and excellent renditions of colors make the picture displayed on their screen looks excellent, no matter the light condition of a room where they are used. Additionally, since both of them have wide viewing angle coverage, this certainly also makes their amazing picture quality looks consistent when viewed from any angle. For this case, their picture quality can be said similar. Meanwhile, a bit advantage of OLED E7 is about its input lags where it has lower input lags than A1E, makes it is more comfortable when used to play games. Additionally, WebOS 3.5 as its smart TV platform also offers easier and simpler to navigate than Google Android TV. On other hand, a bit advantage of Sony A1E is about its sound quality. Although it cannot produce bass as steady as OLED E7, but its frequency response and distortion is better than OLED E7. While about their design, it is relative and depending on your own preference.
So, which is a better choice between them? As we have mentioned, for 65 inch, both of them are sold with similar price, while for 55 inch, OLED55E7E is sold hundreds dollar more expensive than XBR55A1E. But keep in mind, their prices are not fixed and could still change at any time. If you often play games or smart features becomes one of your main consideration in buying TV, OLED E7 might be a better choice for you due it has lower input lags. Otherwise, if you prefer the sound quality and unique design that offered, Sony A1E might be a better choice for you. With all advantages and disadvantages that offered by each, the decision certain comes back to you according to your need and preferences.