Usability

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First, let's raise a glass to Sony for finally ditching its increasingly irksome 'Xrossbar media bar' GUI for its main menus.

In its place on the Sony 55W905A you get a much more attractive and vastly easier to follow new 'list'-style menu that also includes a handy new History option showing you the inputs and programmes you've watched most recently.

Far less praiseworthy, though, is the apparent backward step Sony has taken with its smart TV interface. Press the SEN button on the remote and you just get a long list of all the apps available on Sony's online service.

Aside from Sony inevitably putting its own Video and Music Unlimited services at the top of this list, there's seemingly precious little sense of a logical running order to the list. Nor can you separate the list's contents into app types to streamline your searching, or manually change the app running order - which means you could regularly find yourself having to scroll downwards over as many as 20 multiple rows of apps before you arrive at the one you want.

Sony Bravia KDL-55W905A review

Making this situation look all the more weird is the fact that if you take the long-winded approach and access the SEN menus through the normal Home key then it is possible to pick your favourite online 'channels' and have them appear at the top of the list.

Sony has made no attempt to introduce any voice or gesture controls to its latest smart interface - which may sound a blessing to some, but it would have been nice to have seen Sony trying to do something a bit different, at least.

Nor has Sony provided a touchpad remote like those found with Panasonic and Samsung's high-end TVs. It has, though, provided a second remote, complete with a handily streamlined button count and - best of all - NFC.

This means that if you touch an NFC-enabled device to the remote's rear you can mirror that second device's screen on the TV - a brilliantly simple way to share content between devices.

Sony Bravia KDL-55W905A review

The last thing to consider here is Sony's TV SideView app. There's much to admire in the graphics-rich presentation of this app, and it's great to find it providing a one-stop shop for everything from browsing a TV guide and your multimedia content without having to disrupt what's showing on the TV, to being able to control the TV via an attractive virtual remote.

The lack of a way to stream video from the TV to your smart device is an oversight, but it arguably makes the TV SideView app easier to use.

Sound

It would be a shame if pictures as good as those produced by the Sony 55W905A weren't joined by at least a respectable audio performance. But we needn't have worried, because in fact they're joined by a great audio performance.

The key to its success is another Sony innovation going by the rather unfancy name of Long Ducting. What Sony has done is manage to squeeze a coiled duct 1.2m long into a 'box' on the TV's rear so that there's plenty of room for air to shift and thus create a more convincing, open, powerful and bass-laden soundstage than you get from the vast majority of flatscreen TVs.

Sony Bravia KDL-55W905A review

Also contributing to the Sony 55W905A's audio quality is an angled flap hanging beneath the down-firing speaker outlet that redirects the audio waves forwards, so that it arrives at your ears more directly.

Value

With its £2,399 (around AU$3,646 / US$3,714) asking price, the Sony 55W905A will clearly be beyond the reach of most consumers. But that doesn't mean that it's poor value.

On the contrary, for a flagship 55-inch TV delivering such imperious picture quality, its price seems entirely fair. It's worth stressing that it's £100 cheaper than the Samsung UE55F8000 too - though Samsung's TV does add a more sophisticated and video-rich online service to its offering.