Sony Bravia 8 OLED TV hands-on — this looks impressive

 Sony Bravia 8.
Sony Bravia 8.

The Sony Bravia 8 might not be the biggest change compared to last year's Sony Bravia XR A80L, but it is Sony's premium OLED TV for 2024. It's also the introduction to a fresh — and much simpler — naming system for Sony TVs.

Although the Sony Bravia 9 Mini LED TV with its innovative backlight driver might be the most compelling of this year's lot, Sony still makes a strong case for its traditional OLED option. The Bravia 8 builds upon the previous-generation version with an alleged uptick in brightness and a slimmer build that makes it look about as sophisticated as an OLED TV comes.

We got to spend some time with the Sony Bravia 8 to see how the TV and its Bravia XR processor it might stack up against the best TVs of the year. We still need to run our benchmarks in order to assign the Bravia 8 a star rating, but for now, here's what you need to know about this 4K OLED TV.

Sony Bravia 8: Cheat sheet

  • What is it? The Bravia 8 is Sony's new premium 4K OLED TV for 2024.

  • When is the release date? We'll learn the official release date in the coming weeks.

  • What sizes does it come in? The Bravia 8 comes in 55-, 65-, and 77-inch sizes.

  • How much does it cost? The Bravia 8 starts at $1,999.

  • Which smart TV platform does it use? Google TV.

  • What is the standout feature? A slimmer chassis than before.

Sony Bravia 8: Price and availability

Sony has not yet shared the release dates for its 2024 TV family, though we expect an update on availability in the coming weeks. In the meantime, we know that the Sony Bravia 8 starts at $1,999 for the 55-inch size.

The pricing makes it a more affordable pick than the Sony Bravia 9, in part suggested by the new branding Sony has implemented to help shoppers better understand their TV options. That said, the size options for the Bravia 8 feel a little limited. By comparison, the LG G4 OLED TV and LG C4 OLED TVs both come in at least five sizes, giving customers more flexibility to find what works for their space.

Sony Bravia 8: Design

At a glance, the Sony Bravia 8 looks like most OLED TVs these days, the A80L is little more than a single, thin panel attached to a thicker control box in the back. But upon closer inspection, it's clear that Sony managed to make the Bravia 8 all that more impossibly thin with a 31% reduction in thickness. The bezels are also 29% slimmer than those on the A80L, resulting in a sharp-looking TV that has the appearance to match its price tag.

Sony Bravia 8
Sony Bravia 8

The Bravia 8 features a checkerboard pattern on the back and a port array hidden by a detachable panel. Regrettably, only two of the Bravia 8's 4 total HDMI ports are HDMI 2.1. These days, a full array of 2.1 ports is a standard for other premium OLED TVs and QLED TVs.

Sony Bravia 8: Features and performance

Sony might not make its own OLED panels, but the company usually makes up for it in the processing department. The Bravia 8 packs number of picture quality-enhancing features such as the Bravia XR processor for handling color reproduction and refining contrast, XR Triluminos Pro for elevating the richness of HDR, XR Clear Image for reducing noise, and more.

From watching sample clips, we experienced the perfect blacks OLED has to offer, plus the wide off-center viewing angles that customers tend to appreciate about OLED technology. Sony also claims the Bravia 8 has a bit of a brightness boost compared to the A80L, but we'll need to test that ourselves to see just how much improvement the newer set offers.

We usually recommend pairing a soundbar with your OLED TV, but Sony hasn't settled for mediocre built-in sound quality in recent years. The Bravia 8 notably has a feature called Acoustic Surface Audio+ that turns the panel into a speaker for much bolder sound than you'd expect. Then, if you pair the Bravia 8 TV with Sony's matching Bravia 8 soundbar, you can also take advantage of the Acoustic Center Sync feature that allows a soundbar to work in conjunction with the TVs built-in speakers.

Sony Bravia 8: Outlook

Whether the Sony Bravia 8 is one of the best OLED TVs of the year can’t be determined quite yet. LG and even Samsung OLED TVs have beat out Sony's traditional OLED, with only Sony's QD-OLED landing among the best overall we tested last year.

That said, it looks convincing from our first impressions. All that's left is to get it into our lab for further testing.