At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) at the beginning 2017, there was a notable addition to Sony’s TV line, as it presented its first OLED 4K consumer model in a large screen format. Falling short of actually manufacturing the high quality screens themselves, Sony was able to launch its own offering by using LG OLED screens in its new model.
Far from being a token effort, the Sony A1E had a potent OLED display, offering everything you’d expect, but also with the infinitely cool ‘Acoustic Surface’ sound technology. Rather than opting for a conventional external speaker arrangement, they chose to use the smooth screen to generate sound, making it jump out from specific areas and adding to the realism for the viewer.
Fast forward 12 months and Sony move into year 2 of OLED TV production with the announcement of the AF8 series, its natural successor. Most obvious at first glance is its external styling with a more ‘conventional’ design of television, available with either a 55″ or 65″ screen.
Aside from being a little more minimalist, the AF8 eschews a the option of a futuristic stand in favour of a relatively plain, central metal stand. All this is academic however, as just like the A1E, the real talking points of the AF8 are in its picture quality.
Still present in Sony’s latest model is the visual quality offered by a combination of Sony’s proprietary X1 Extreme processor, HDR 10 and Dolby Vision. All of which go into making full use of the capabilities of the OLED panel. Its precise control of the colour and definition creates jaw-dropping 4K images that truly makes it stand out from the crowd.
You’d be forgiven for thinking in some respects, that you were look at the A1, as aesthetically speaking, not a great deal has been modified on the surface apart from some slight style tweaks like the aforementioned stand, which props the screen completely upright, in contrast to the A1, which leant backwards at an angle of 5 degrees.
As the saying goes “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” and the same can be applied to the A1E and its successor, the AF8. It retains acoustic sound, the X1 Extreme and it Android operating system and indeed, most of the features that made the A1E so popular in 2018.
At CES 2018, in Las Vegas, the A8F showed every bit of picture quality seen by last year’s model, largely as not a lot has changed aside from the external appearance.
As yet, we have no word on exactly how much the AF8 is going to cost, but word is, you won’t get much change out of £2,000 for the 55″ model. A princely sum indeed, but a marked decrease on the launch price of the same sized A1 from last year, which was available for around £3,000.
We won’t have a more accurate verdict ourselves until the Simply team have had it out of the box and had a play, but you’ll be the first to know when we do. Even if the AF8 just matches the A1E, it will still be quite some TV.
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