Sony A8F vs LG C8 (XBR55A8F vs OLED55C8PUA, XBR65A8F vs OLED65C8PUA)
Sony A8F is the 2018 model of Sony 4K HDR OLED TV and also the successor of Sony A1Ewhile LG OLED C8 is part of LG’s 2018 4K HDR OLED TV lineup and also the successor of OLED C7. Sony A8F is available with 2 screen sizes option those are 55 Inch (XBR55A8F) and 65 Inch (XBR65A8F), while LG C8 comes in 3 screen sizes options including 55 Inch (OLED55C8PUA), 65 Inch (OLED65C8PUA), and 77 inch (OLED77C8PUA). One thing that should keep in mind, although each of them are made by different manufacturer, but they use OLED panel that made by the same manufacturer that is LG. This certainly makes we cannot expect the real competition between them in term of their panel performance. This means, this completion between them is only limited on the technology and features that support them. Meanwhile, with the same screen size (XBR55A8F vs OLED55C8PUA, XBR65A8F vs OLED65C8PUA), A8F is priced hundreds dollar more expensive than OLED C8. But even so, when I was writing this comparison, both of them are equally recently launched, their prices may be still full. But of course, their prices certainly are not fixed and still can change at any time. So, which one is superior between them?
Short Review of Sony A8F (XBR55A8F, XBR65A8F)
As we have mentioned above, Sony A8F is the successor of Sony A1E, the first of Sony OLED TV with big screen size. But even so, A8F no longer comes with “One Slate” design like the predecessor A1E. As the instead, it comes with design like most TVs. But even so, it has excellent design with very small footprint that will stand firm on the table and look beautiful in your room.
Like the predecessor A1E, A8F still uses the OLED Panel by LG which are powered by the number of Sony’s most advanced technologies for maximizing its performance. As its picture engine, Sony A8F is also powered by 4K HDR Processor X1 Extreme that maximized for HDR experience. Inside this engine, there are the number of Sony’s most advanced technologies embedded. Additionally, still for spoiling you in enjoying HDR experience, Sony A8F already supports most of HDR formats like HDR10, HLG, and Dolby Vision. For maximizing its color reproduction and color gradient, there are TriLuminos Display, precision color mapping and Super Bit Mapping 4K HDR technology which make it can produce wide color gamut, good color volume, and smooth color gradient. Additionally, for enhancing the clarity of images produced, there are Object Based HDR Remaster technology and Dual Database processing behind it. Sony A8F is also has a great performance of UHD Up-scaling engine called “4K X-Reality pro” that up-scale non 4K content to 4K resolution sharply and clearly. All of these technologies behind them make it can produce really amazing picture quality.
Meanwhile, for allowing you to enjoy attractive smart TV experience, Sony A8F is featuring Google Android TV 7.0 version as its smart TV platform. This platform now already supports Google Voice Assistant that allows you to do many things with your voice command. Additionally, it also already supports Google Home Assistant and Amazon Alexa, allow you to control and monitor your compatible devices via your TV. On the other hand, like most TVs which available in the market, A8F is equipped with 4 HDMI ports and 3 USB ports as its major connectivity, allow you to connect most of your devices at once. And that is unique is about its speaker system. Like the predecessor A1E, to generate sound, this TV doesn’t use standard speaker. But as the instead, it uses “Acoustic Surface” technology that utilize its own screen to generate a sound.
Short Review of LG C8 (OLED55C8PUA, OLED65C8PUA, OLED77C8PUA)
As we have mentioned, LG OLED C8 is the successor of OLED C7, one of the best seller OLED TVs in 2017. One of the major changes that brought by OLED C7 than the predecessors that is about its picture engine. Now, OLED C8 is powered by Alpha 9 Processor Intelligent. This processor is designed to improve its HDR performance, particularly on motion handling artefacts. Additionally, this engine also will fix color banding issue on OLED C7 the predecessor, make color gradient of HDR images displayed on the screen of OLED C8 will look smoother with less color banding. Not just designed for improving picture quality and HDR performance, Alpha 9 processor also control all things features by OLED C8, makes the performance of C8 is more excellent than the predecessors.
On its panel, LG C8 uses OLED panel where we know, it has self-lighting pixel that individually switch on/off/dim without affected by the condition of other pixels surrounding. This certainly make its OLED Panel can produce perfect black that becomes its major advantage. Meanwhile, for producing wide color gamut and good color volume, its panel uses 4 colors sub-pixel (RGBW) that supported True Color Accuracy Pro and other technologies. Otherwise, for improving its peak luminance, LG C8 is powered by Ultra Luminance Pro technology, with this technology, this doesn’t make its peak luminance brighter than premium LCD TV, but at least this makes its peak brightness is including the brightest for OLED TV. Like Sony A8F that has 4K X-Reality pro as its 4K Up-scaling engine, OLED C8 also has great performance of UHD Up-scaling engine called Tru 4K-Upscaler. With this feature, you are not just able to enjoy 4K experience from native 4K source, but also non 4K content.
In term of smart TV, LG C8 is featuring WebOS 4.0 version. One of the advantages of WebOS is about its simple navigation and LG’s remote. Like Android TV that has Home Intelligence app, WebOS also has its own Voice Assistant and Home Intelligence App called LG AI Think. No just that, it also already support Amazon Alexa. And like A8F, LG C8 also equipped with 4 HDMI ports and 3 USB ports as their major connectivity. And for delivering impressive sound quality, it is equipped with 2.2 channel speaker system with 40 watts of total sound output. Not just that, it also already support Dolby Atmos, allow you to enjoy Dolby Vision Experience with Dolby Atmos sound experience.
Sony A8F vs LG C8 Key Specs
|Specs and Features||Sony A8F (XBR-A8F)||LG C8 (OLED C8PUA)|
|Screen sizes available||55 Inch (XBR55A8F), 65 Inch (XBR65A8F)||55 inch (OLED55C8PUA), 65 Inch (OLED65C8PUA), and 77 inch (OLED77C8PUA)|
|Resolution||4K (2160 x 3840)||4K (2160 x 3840)|
|Dimming||Pixel Dimming||Pixel Dimming|
|Backlight||Self Lighting Pixel||Self Lighting Pixel|
|Picture Engine||4K HDR Processor X1 Extreme||Alpha 9 Intelligent Processor|
|HDR Formats||HDR 10, Dolby Vision, and HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma)||HDR 10, Dolby Vision, HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma), Advanced HDR|
|Ultra HD Premium Certification||Yes||Yes|
|Color Technology||4 Sub pixels technology (RGBW) Powered by TriLuminos Display||4 Sub pixels technology (RGBW) Powered by True Color Accuracy Pro|
|Other Technologies and Features||Object Based HDR Remaster, Super Bit Mapping 4K HDR, Precision Color Mapping, Dual Database, Dynamic Contrast Enhancer||4K Cinema HDR, Intense color, Billion Rich Color, Ultra Luminance Pro, etc|
|4K Up-scaling||X-Reality Pro||Tru 4K Up-Scaler|
|Platform||Google Android TV 7.0 version||WebOS 4.0 version|
|Smart Features||Web Browser, VoD Service, Cloud Games, Google Play Store, Google Voice Assistant, Amazon Alexa, etc||LG AI ThinQ, Web Browser, VoD Service, Cloud Games, LG’s Apps store, Google Assistant, etc|
|Remote||Sony Voice Remote||LG Magic Remote|
|RF (Terrestrial Cable)||1||1|
|Composite In (AV)||1||1|
|Channel||4.1 Channel||2.2 Channel|
|Total Audio Output||10 W + 10 W + 10 W + 10 W + 10 W||40W (Woofer: 20W)|
|Speaker type||Acoustic Surface (Actuator + Subwoofer)||Undefined|
|Support Dolby Atmos||No||Yes|
|Price||See the price on Amazon||See the price on Amazon|
Sony A8F vs LG C8 Performance
Black Level and Contrast
Since both LG C8 and Sony A8F use the same OLED Panel, this certainly makes both of them equally have perfect black level and infinite contrast ratio. As we have know, OLED panel has self-lighting pixel which switch on/off/dim individually without affected by the condition of other pixel surrounding. Additionally, since it has self-lighting pixels, to produce light, it also doesn’t need backlight. As the impact, when it is showing totally black, the screen doesn’t emit light at all. The result, black produced by both OLED C8 and A8F is really perfect, even when showing black small object. This certainly is great for displaying dark scene, even in a dark room where the impact of high contrast ratio is very sensitive. On the other hand, lack of backlight also makes its black uniformity is excellent. The result, combination of excellent black level and black uniformity make dark scene of images displayed on their screen really looks excellent. Shadow details of images looks very clear, particularly for HDR images that indeed is mastered with deep black level. What intended by HDR technology to show details of images in dark scene so look clearer can be shown excellent on their screen. And of course, there is no LED TV that is able to beat the performance of OLED TV in showing dark scene of HDR.
Although both of them use the same panel but LG OLED C8 can produce peak brightness a bit brighter than Sony A8F. However, essentially, their peak brightness is equally bright enough to fight the glare. When playing SDR images, their peak brightness is brighter than 300 nits, bright enough to make the picture displayed on their screen looks remains good when set in a bright room. Additionally, when inputted by HDR signal, both of them can produce brighter peak brightness, brighter than 600 nits that means it is good. Even when showing small windows for a short time, they can produce peak brightness up close to 1000 nits, makes a dramatic highlight of HDR images can be shown brighter and looks excellently on their screen. Their peak brightness even brighter than 550 nits as the minimum standardization set by UHD alliance for OLED TV to get Ultra HD Premium Certification. This means, both of them can show highlight of HDR image fully, particularly for HDR 10 like the recommendation of UHD Alliance as the developer of HDR 10 format. The other advantage, since it uses self-lighting pixel, when they are showing a bright small object in a dark background, there is almost no unwanted adjacent light or called “blooming” visible around small bright object. But a bit unfortunate, since their peak brightness is below 1000 nits, this certainly makes both of them cannot show highlight of HDR images at 1000-4000 nits of brightness range like the creator’s intended. Additionally, the other a bit unfortunate, when showing almost/all objects are bright, their peak brightness drops significantly below 200 nits due to the Automatic Brightness Limiter. Nevertheless, overall, their peak brightness is great for OLED TV.
Winner: OLED C8
Both Sony A8F and LG OLED C8 have nearly identical color gamut. Their color gamut is great, only a bit worse than Samsung Q8FN or Q7FN that has the best color gamut in 2018. Their color gamut coverage in DCI P3 is nearly perfect while their coverage in REC.2020 is fairly good. This makes almost all colors of HDR images in DCI P3 color space like HDR 10 contents can be shown fairly accurate. Additionally, most colors of HDR images in REC.2020 like Dolby Vision Content also can be shown fairly accurate. But unfortunately, their color volume is not too excellent and even is much under the color volume of Samsung QLED TVs. Since their peak brightness is limited by ABL, both of them cannot produce bright saturated colors fairly well. But even so, the excepting of bright saturated colors, overall, they are able to show their wide color gamut in their entire brightness range, even when showing their wide color gamut in very dark colors, its performance is better than Samsung QLED TV. The result, although cannot show bright saturated color fairly well like bright outdoor scene, overall, colors of HDR images displayed on its screen can be shown excellently.
While both of them have almost identical color gamut and color volume, about color gradient, LG C8 has better color gradient than Sony A8F. One the screen of OLED C8, color gradient of HDR images displayed looks very smooth and clear without any major imperfections visible. On the other hand, on the screen of Sony A8F, some color bandings are more visible in dark greens and reds. Nevertheless, this should not be a problem for most people and overall their color gradient looks fairly good.
Winner: OLED C8
Side Viewing Angle
One of the major advantages of OLED TVs including Sony A8F and LG C8 than LED TV is about their side viewing angle coverage. While the picture displayed on the screen of LED TV usually will look worse if viewed from larger than 20 degrees off the center and front, OLED TV can do better job in maintaining its quality of the picture displayed on their screen if viewed from the side. Color might still look shift at less than 30 degrees off center and front, but at wider angle, the color shift is not as significant as on LED TV. Meanwhile, black level and brightness can be maintained at extremely wide angle, even large than 75 degrees off center and front. The result, when viewed from the side, the picture will look as good as when viewed from the center and front. If you often watch TV or play games with group of your family or friends, both Sony A8F and LG C8 will become a good option for you.
Motion Handling and 24p Playback
In addition to side viewing angle and perfect black level, the other excellent performance offered by OLED TVs including LG C8 and Sony A8F is about their extremely low pixel response time. As we know, OLED TVs have far lower pixel response time than LED TVs, makes them can do far better job when handling motion blur. The result, there is almost no ghosting trail following fast moving object when they are used for playing fast moving images like sports or fast movies. Additionally, since they don’t have backlight, this certainly makes there is no flicker visible on their screen. But on the other hand, this will result some persistence blur. For this case, both Sony A8F and LG C8 have a 60 Hz BFI (Black Frame Insertion Mode) that will flicker the screen at 60 Hz. By enabling this feature, this will reduce the blur but on the other hand this will also makes the flicker is visible. To enable this feature, on OLED C8, you can set “On” the |”Motion pro”, while on A8F, “Motion Flow” must be set to “Custom” and “Clearness” must be set to “High”.
When playing 24p movies, Sony A8F can do a bit better job than LG C8, particularly when they are playing 24p videos via 60i signal like movies from satellite TV. For this case, on the screen of A8F, the movies can be displayed clearly and smoothly with judder-free, while on the screen of OLED C8, judder cannot be removed completely. Nevertheless, since most people don’t sensitive to judder, this should not be a major problem of LG C8. Meanwhile, the excepting of 60i contents, both of them equally can do a good job. Whether it is native 24p content like DVD or Blu Ray’s movies, movies via streaming apps like YouTube, Netflix, or other, or even 24p contents via 60p signal like movies from streaming device like Fire TV, Apple TV or others, all of them can be displayed clearly and smoothly with judder-free.
As their major connectivity, both LG C8 and Sony A8F are equally equipped with 4 HDMI ports. All of their HDMI ports already support HDCP2.2. Meanwhile, on OLED C8, all of its HDMI ports also already support HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth. On the other hand, on A8F, there are only 2 HDMI ports which support HDMI 2.0 those are HDMI 2 and 3. Additionally, both of them also have a port that support ARC (Audio Return Channel). For this case, on A8F is HDMI 3 while on OLED C8 is HDMI 2. In addition to HDMI port, both of them also equally have 3 USB ports. For Sony A8F, it has 1 USB 3.0 (USB1) and 2 USB 2.0, while for LG C8, it doesn’t have UBS 3.0 and all of its USB ports are USB 2.0. Additionally, both of them are also equally equipped with 1 Composite In (AV In), 1 RF IN (Terrestrial), 1 Digital Audio Out (Optical), Ethernet, built-in Wi-Fi, and also built-In Bluetooth and equally don’t have Component In. Special for A8F, it also has Analog Audio Out (Mini Jack) IR in for its IR blaster.
Talking about their input lags, overall, LG C8 has input lags than Sony A8F in PC and Game Mode. No matter the resolution, the input lags of LG C8 in PC and Game Mode are around 20 ms that means this is great for playing any game, even for fast paced games. On other hand, the input lags of Sony A8F are depending on the resolution. At 4K resolution, its input lag is around 30 ms and this is still quite low far playing fast paced games. Meanwhile, at 1080p resolution, its input lag is a bit high, even higher than 40 ms. This might be still low enough to play casual games, but for fast paced games, this will be a bit disappointed. But keep in mind, since they have risk of permanent burn in, play the same game for a long times is not recommended.
Winner: OLED C8
Both of them equally have excellent and attractive smart TV platform. Sony A8F comes with Google Android 7.0 version while LG C8 comes with WebOS 4.0. Overall, these platforms equally have attractive and intuitive user interface, but in term of navigation, WebOS is easier than Android TV. Android TV might have a lot more preinstalled apps than WebOS, but on the other hand, this will make its home screen is very long and crowded. To see anything, you must make a lot of scrolling. Meanwhile, although the preinstalled apps provided are not as many as Android TV, this certainly makes its home screen is simple and easy to navigate. At the bottom across the screen, there is a strip bar contains a lot of “tiles” as the shortcut to apps, setting, and input, allows you to launch them easily and quickly. Additionally, the many apps provided by Google Android TV also makes its performance is a bit inconsistent. When an app is launched, sometimes it needs 2-3 second before the app open. Additionally, animations are also choppy frequently. On the other hand, in addition it has simpler navigation, its menu also more responsive than Android TV, even than WebOS 3.5 version. A bit advantage offered by Android TV is about the apps provided by Google Play Store. Since it is supported by tons of developer, apps, games, contents provided also a lot of more than what provided by LG’s apps store as the app store of WebOS. The other interesting, both of them also have excellent Home Intelligence and Voice Assistant. WebOS comes with LGAI Think, allow you to control your compatible devices with your voice command via your TV. While on Android TV, it has Google Home and Voice Assistant that has similar function. Additionally, both of them also already support Amazon Alexa.
As the controller, both of them are equally equipped with Smart Remote. In addition to standard buttons, both of them also equally have some quick access button and dedicated buttons. Additionally, both of them equally have built-in microphone for voice navigation. With Google Voice Assistant for Sony TV and LG AI Think for LG TV, both of these remote can do a lot of jobs with your voice command. Additionally, both of them also equally have universal ability, allow you to control other devices connected on each of their TV with each of the remote. The advantage of LG remote, it has “point and click” feature. In addition to it has a clickable “scroll wheel” and direction pad which allow you to quick access to all menus, the cursor on the screen also can be moved by moving the remote. This certainly will make navigation is quicker and easier.
Winner: OLED C8
|Performance||Sony A8F||LG C8|
As we have discussed a lot above, since both Sony A8F and LG C8 has similar panel, overall, quality of the picture produced by them is also almost identical. Both of them equally have excellent picture quality and HDR performance with perfect black level, excellent color rendition, and bright peak brightness, excellent side viewing angle, and also excellent motion handling. But even so, compared between them, since it has a bit brighter peak brightness and a bit better color rendition, its picture quality is a bit better than Sony A8F. On other hand, Sony A8F has a bit advantage in playing 24p movies via 60i signals. But even so, their difference in performance is not significant and overall, their picture quality and performance is equally great.
So, which is a better choice between them? If you come for picture quality and HDR performance, this certainly is a difficult choice considering their performance is almost identical. But as the note, Sony A8F comes with “Acoustic Surface” technology for generating sound that becomes its own attractiveness and makes it is different to other TVs. On other hand, with the same screen size, LG C8 is sold hundreds dollar cheaper than A8F. Now, the decision comes back to you according to your preference. If you come only for picture quality, of course OLED C8 is a better choice for you due it has cheaper price. On other hand, if you are interesting with other features offered by Sony A8F, it is also a good choice.