Sony's new 4K TVs with 'cognitive' CPUs are rolling out, VRR will follow later

New 2021 4K TVs with HDMI 2.1 are starting to reach stores, but these high-end Sony Bravias aren't cheap.


Just a couple of months ago Sony announced its new line of Bravia XR TVs for 2021, including both OLED and LCD models. Several high-end models will include a Cognitive Processor XR that tries to mimic the way your brain processes images by surveying each frame of video and picking out the most important zones to optimize.

Now the new TVs are starting to ship, including its 65-inch Bravia XR Master Series A90J OLED with the new chip inside. The incredible black levels of OLED and advanced AI processing won't come cheap though, as the sticker price starts at $3,999 (Amazon, Best Buy), although the 55-inch model is quite a bit cheaper at $2,998 (Best Buy, Amazon). Of course, for that price you could get last year's 65-inch OLED (Amazon, Best Buy) albeit without the souped-up processor and other improvements.

If you don't feel like going with OLED, there are cheaper LCD models available in the X80J line with Sony's standard (but always well-regarded) image processing, 4K, Android TV and even the extra high-quality Bravia Core streaming service. The 55-inch version costs $950 (Amazon, Best Buy) while the 65-inch is available for $1,149 (Best Buy).

One thing to be aware of on the new TVs is that they do include HDMI 2.1 features, but just like on the 2020 models, gamers will have to wait for my favorite one: VRR. Variable refresh rate is available via Xbox consoles and PC graphics cards, but not the PS5 at this time, and it keeps the display synced with the system's output to eliminate tearing and judder. When it works properly, it's incredible, and Sony said it will come to these TVs in a future software update but hasn't put a time frame on that.

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