Sony KDL-55W905A review

Sony's new flagship TV raises the LCD bar, adding new Triluminos technology to its outstanding flagship LCD panel design

Sony KDL-55W905A review
Editor's Choice
The Sony KDL-55W905A with Triluminos colour tech boasts a great picture

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Sony's HX853 series from last year is a tough act to follow, but the brand's new high-end 55-inch 55W905A sets out a promising stall. The television's design is much trimmer and cooler than that of its predecessor, and its feature count is bolstered considerably by the introduction of Triluminos, which widens the TV's colour gamut by applying red, green and blue filters directly to each LED.

It also continues to use Sony's super-smart local dimming technology to raise its contrast to unprecedented levels, and backs up its outstanding visuals with some potent audio and a smart TV system that's reasonably rich in video if slightly lacking in features and GUI elegance.

We liked

The Sony 55W905A's pictures are sensational, with gorgeous colours and a huge contrast range. Its new design is smart too, and it's well connected, with good multimedia support. There's some powerful audio to accompany those cracking visuals, too.

We disliked

The set's effective viewing angle is pretty limited, and there's a minor amount of crosstalk visible in 3D mode. Also the set's smart TV interface feels a little off the pace of some rivals now.

Final verdict

With so much quality already coming our way from other brands this year, we knew Sony needed to up its game from last year's much-lauded HX853 series. And in the elegant, space-saving shape of the Sony 55W905A, that's exactly what Sony has done.

As well as looking more chic, the Sony 55W905A uses new Triluminos technology to deliver a much improved colour performance without compromising the superb contrast performance so beloved on the HX853 TVs.

Sony's online platform includes plenty of video content to keep us happy too, ensuring that not even a slightly unsophisticated smart menu and a surprisingly limited viewing angle can stop us falling for Sony all over again.

Also consider

The most direct rival from the TVs we've seen so far this year has to be Samsung's UE55F8000. This costs £100 more, but features an even more spectacular design, more top-notch online video services and a more advanced - if sometimes confusing - smart interface. Plus, handily, it boasts easily the best pictures Samsung has produced from an LCD TV to date.

For us, though, the Sony's pictures and sound both have the edge over the Samsung.

If you're after a decent 55-inch LCD TV with a much more affordable price tag, you could do worse than checking out Panasonic's L55ET60. This offers passive 3D and a 55-inch screen for as much as £1,000 less than the Sony or Samsung models, though it's let down by an uninspiring contrast performance.

Also worthy of consideration would be the 55-inch version of the Philips 42PFL6008, with its bold, Ambilight-driven design, passive 3D images and strikingly aggressive - by Philips' standards - price. The main compromise here is a sluggish and content-light smart system, and a less assured contrast performance.

John Archer
AV Technology Contributor

John has been writing about home entertainment technology for more than two decades - an especially impressive feat considering he still claims to only be 35 years old (yeah, right). In that time he’s reviewed hundreds if not thousands of TVs, projectors and speakers, and spent frankly far too long sitting by himself in a dark room.