The Sony Bravia KDL-55W900A is a performance powerhouse, most reviewers say, and its Quantum Dots technology results in color that's simply unsurpassed. Blacks may not be the deepest you can find, but they're deep enough to satisfy even picky viewers. The Sony's lineup of features isn't extensive, but aside from some quibbles with 3D, they work well. This set is only offered with a 55-inch screen.
A "Quantum" leap. At first blush, Quantum Dots technology, which Sony brands as Triluminos, sounds like typical marketing department hype -- but it isn't. Although experts say they can't be definitively sure Triluminos is responsible, they can't deny that the Sony KDL-55W900A's color performance is the best they've ever seen in an LED set. Black levels aren't as awe-inspiring, but they're deep by LED TV standards and elicit few complaints. Some minor backlight bleeding at the image edges is noted, which is typical on the vast majority of LED/LCD TVs. Off-center viewing is slightly better than average.
Some ups, some downs. The KDL-55W900A's list of features falls way short of what you can find in some sets -- notably the Samsung UN46F8000 (Est. $1,700) -- but still provides everything that's expected, including Internet streaming and 3D. Streaming works well and the interface has been improved. Although the number of partners pales in comparison to what you can find on some other sets -- such as the aforementioned Samsung set -- all major content types are well represented and some Sony-exclusive services are offered. This is the only Sony LCD TV that uses active shutter 3D and four pairs of glasses are included. 3D performance fails to impress; flicker is the most common complaint and CNET spots some strange artifacts. One of this set's motion-processing modes, called Impulse, does a better, more natural job of smoothing motion without the so-called soap opera effect. Sony puffs up the spec sheet when it comes to its enhanced refresh rate, but the native 240 Hz panel is as fast or faster than any offered on other LED TVs.
Elegant, but not ground-breaking. Great build quality and a slim, sophisticated design make the Sony Bravia KDL-55W900A a welcome addition in most settings. It has the tiny bezel that's common to today's high-end sets, plus a cut edge around the front that looks blue when light reflects off of it. The stand has a polished chrome look that some reviewers dislike, and it does give off light reflections. Connectivity is complete and comprehensive, including an MHL compatible HDMI input for use with mobile devices. A Bluetooth remote and a standard clicker are included.
That's more like it. One thing that struck reviewers at the time this set was released was its "ambitious" price tag. Sony has since cut the cost to something that's a lot more competitive, at least when compared to other high-end, non-UHD sets. Like most top-tier TV manufacturers, Sony has a unilateral pricing policy that makes bargain hunting a challenge. The minimum price at which the set can be sold by an authorized dealer is set by Sony, and the company won't honor warranty claims if the set is purchased from an unauthorized dealer.
CNET doesn't award the Sony Bravia KDL-55W900A its highest rating, but seems mightily impressed nonetheless. Ty Pendlebury calls it "a fine high-end LED LCD television, with excellent color performance and deep black levels." The value proposition improves markedly after a $1,000 price cut.
Review: Sony KDL-55W900A Review: Quantum Dots Make Compelling Argument, Ty Pendlebury, June 21, 2013
The Sony Bravia KDL-55W900A earns an Editors' Choice award here. Price, viewing angles and smart features that fall short are negatives, but when it comes to picture quality, there's little to complain about. "Color accuracy, motion performance, contrast – they're all superb on the W900A," says Josh Fields.
Review: Sony Bravia KDL-55W900A Review, Josh Fields, June 28, 2013
Home Theater magazine gives the Sony KDL-55W900A a Top Picks award and testing is comprehensive. Color performance is first rate and blacks are judged to be excellent. Some sets, like last year's Sony XBR-55HX950, provide blacks that are deeper still, but only by the tiniest margin.
Review: Sony KDL-55W900A 3D LCD HDTV, Thomas J. Norton, June 7, 2013
4. Sound & Vision Magazine
Sound & Vision magazine doesn't rate or rank the Sony KDL-55W900A, but Al Griffin leaves no doubt what he thinks of the LED TV. "Everything I watched on the TV, from reference Blu-rays and 3D movies to kids' cartoons, looked nothing short of stunning," he says. Value is a concern, with Griffin noting that other excellent sets are available and many cost less.
Review: Test Report: Sony KDL-55W900A 3D LCD HDTV, Al Griffin, June 18, 2013
HDGuru.com gives the Sony KDL-55W900A 4.5 "hearts" out of 5, which is about the highest rating the site has ever given an LED or LCD TV. Geoff Morrison calls it an excellent choice for those who won't consider a plasma TV. "The KDL-55W900A is a gorgeous television, with tons of features, beautiful color, lots of detail, and, you know, that whole quantum dot thing," he says.
Review: Sony KDL-55W900A LED LCD HDTV Review, Geoff Morrison, Aug. 12, 2013
The Sony Bravia KDL-55W900A earns a Highly Recommended award here. Cost is a concern, but the features and picture quality are more than enough to impress Dick De Jong.
Review: Sony KDL-55W900A Review, Dick De Jong, May 29, 2013