Sony Bravia 7 Review: A Solid Choice So Long as You Don’t Mind Following the TV’s Lead

Sony Bravia 7 Review: A Solid Choice So Long as You Don’t Mind Following the TV’s Lead

Bravia 7 Mini-LED QLED 4K TV

It doesn’t quite meet the bar set by Sony’s own Bravia 9 mini-LED, but it’s still a great TV, so long as you ignore the off-angle viewing issues.

In a crowded market for QLEDs, Sony’s Bravia 7 doesn’t do too much to stand out. Still, its bright, beautiful display makes watching colorful films a real treat with some excellent HDR. The biggest issues come from its bad off-angle viewing experience and unflattering glare in direct light, but if you’re set on a Bravia, this is a good choice for the price. Starting at $2,394 at 55 inches (Reviewed at $2,875 at 65 inches)


Great HDR capabilities
Relatively clean Google TV-based interface
A good choice for PlayStation 5-specific gaming


Glare issues in direct light
Off-angle viewing is quite bad compared to more expensive options
There’s only one 4K 120 Hz HDMI port

Sony is pushing its mini-LED TVs hard, harder than one might expect when it has its Bravia 8 OLED TV up for sale simultaneously with last year’s A95L QD-OLED. Sony positioned that ultimate high-end OLED in the same flagship tier alongside the Bravia 9 mini-LED with its incredible new driver technology. OLED is an expensive panel to produce, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for less when picking out your big, expensive TV.

The Bravia 7, on the other hand, is your bread and butter 4K QLED TV. It’s not as cheap as some of the best 4K mini-LED TVs you can buy, but it’s darned good, even if it’s not the brightest on the block. It starts at $2,394 at 55 inches and will set you back $4,294 if you opt for 85 inches.

Sony’s push for mini-LED is subtle and overt throughout the latest Bravia line. If you’re getting a Sony TV, you can get a larger size 4K mini-LED for the same price as a smaller OLED. That’s something we reviewers are more keen to point out, but Sony positioned its TVs similarly. That’s why Sony’s pushing the XR Backlight Masterdrive technology on the LCDs, something that’s not there on the Bravia 8. TCL is also making its mini-LED TVs on par or better than comparative OLED,

Can the Bravia 7 beat OLED? No, not quite. The Bravia 9 has better overall quality, but the last time I looked at one in person was back in April. Once you settle for something closer to mid-range, you’ll see the tiny differences in colour contrast and how deep the blacks go. The Bravia 7 is easily one of the top contenders in the 2024 realm of high-quality 4K QLEDs with some excellent HDR settings. Can it match up to QD-OLED? Not quite.

It makes a really solid attempt, though. The blacks are very close to ink-deep. Watching a movie like Spider-man: Into the Spiderverse on the Bravia 7 is a treat with all that impeccable choice of colour. Still, it’s not nearly as bright as the Bravia 9, and you’ll see it if you’ve ever sat long enough in front of Sony’s more expensive offerings. An already dark movie like the horrendous Madame Web might only feel a little extra muddy. I also found some pretty big issues with viewing angles that detract from the experience if you’re not watching the screen dead-on.

You can easily compare the Bravia 7 to the Samsung QN90D 4K QLED in terms of overall picture quality, costing hundreds of dollars less. It’s a Google TV, so take that as you will, but Sony still has room to grow by fixing its settings menus. It doesn’t play as nicely with non-Sony gaming products as with PlayStation.

Sony Bravia 7 setup and usability

Why Can’t We Have More Than One 4K HDMI?

Photo: Artem Golub / Gizmodo

The setup on the Bravia 7 was not too different from any other big TV, save for the feet that slot into the underside of the display. That’s because you can position the feet in the center and sides of the screen if you have a smaller cabinet or want more room to place a soundbar. I rocked and quaked the TV, but everything seemed solid. The Bravia 7 is about 2.5 inches along the back, so consider that if you plan on hanging it from your wall.

You’ll first notice that while there are 4 HDMI ports, only one supports 4K at 120 Hz eARC/ARC. That’s annoying if you have multiple game consoles or players that support high refresh rates at 4K. It also needs to be said that it’s pretty irritating that the power cable is on the other side of the TV from its box with two USB-A, four HDMIs, and ethernet. You probably want to plug everything into the same outlet, but you might need an extension cable just for the TV. The plug in the box wasn’t nearly long enough to reach the outlet.

Getting a good picture quality going is another story. The TV’s default IMAX Enhanced picture mode was fine for the most part, and then Professional was suitable for most other kinds of content. It takes a lot of effort to find and then turn off the damn motion smoothing setting, though, at the very least, you can pin Picture Settings to the quick settings menu on the remote. The Picture & Sound menu. After that, I realized my picture was dipping in brightness and graininess. I quickly learned that the automatic ambient light setting was deep under Ambient Optimization Pro under the Picture & Sound menu.

Sony likes to stick many buttons and options in its menus, but I wish the company could clean up its UI so it’s easier to turn off all these unwanted options that greatly impact the viewing experience. It would also be nice if you could tune more of these settings with the Bravia Connect app, but all that does is act as a secondary remote with some quick access to Voice Zoom, picture mode, and brightness settings.

The Sony Bravia 7 isn’t as high-flying as the amazingly bold claims made about the Bravia 9. They’re both mini-LED 4K televisions, but this year’s flagship Sony TV boasts incredible driver technology and amazingly high stated brightness. It’s not quite a match for the best OLED screens, but it still has some excellent contrast.

Sony’s base remote is already good enough you don’t need the app.

It’s a Google TV, which, for all its faults, felt like an easy, breezy setup after dealing with the LG QNED 90 T and its frustrating UI. There are a few other Sony-exclusive accouterments in the Sony tab on the main page, like PlayStation remote Play on Android TV and a few Bravia how-tos that could be useful.

This TV likes it when you use other Sony products with it, like a PlayStation 5. The TV automatically detected it when plugged into the singular eARC HDMI, and it automatically turned on the Game Menu and game-specific picture quality options. You can turn on settings like a black equalizer to eliminate shadows or add a crosshair directly in the middle of the screen. You can also directly see your current resolution and refresh rates. There’s another option for picture-in-picture, in case you want to watch YouTube at the same time you play your game. It’s probably not the most important thing for most people, but it’s handy to know it’s there.

Sony Bravia 7 picture quality and sound

Looks Great, But Not From Any Off Angle

There are some obvious glare problems on the Bravia 7 when under direct light.

This TV is not as exciting as the big Bravia 9 with its excessive dimming zones and driver technology. Still, Sony says this similar mini-LED TV uses the same lighting control technology with fewer dimming zones, so you’re not getting as much color definition as you would from the more expensive model. Essentially, Sony is saying you’ll get the same image quality as its previous flagship X95L from last year, though at a fraction of the cost with a lot more zone control than the previous X90L model.

What any of that means in practice is pretty nebulous, but it’s still pretty good image quality for the price. Sony likes to boast your Sony Pictures Core app, and its 4K HDR movies are equivalent to a physical Blu-ray DVD. I’ve watched both on the TV, and yes, the 80 Mbps streaming from Core was pretty damn nice overall, and I didn’t notice any problematic blooming.

Gaming is equally nice, though on titles like Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, I needed to bump up HDR brightness and black point to get the most of the visuals. That’s with the Black Equalizer in the Game Menu turned off and on the Standard mode for visuals. FPS mode greatly increases overall brightness but blooms the color to a cartoonish degree.

Photo: Artem Golub / Gizmodo

What you’ll also find is that the viewing angle on the Bravia 7 isn’t too great. Take a few steps out of line, and the picture looks washed out. I was only 30 to 40 degrees off-center before seeing a dip in image quality. Another big issue that becomes apparent quite quickly is how reflective the screen can be. There’s a good deal of glare during some daytime viewing or whenever any lights shine nearby.

So this TV wants you to be in perfect viewing conditions; otherwise, it will falter. It’s not too hard to keep your couch in a straight-on view of the TV, and if you have the dosh for a large 4K TV, you probably have a living room space without many spotlights on the TV itself. Still, I’ve seen it done better on cheaper televisions than the Bravia 7.

The base speakers on Sony’s TV are nothing to write home about. They work well enough, but there’s very little bass, and it only serves until you can get a quality sound system or sound bar. Sony advertises that you’ll get an interesting soundscape with a Bravia Bar 8 or 9, where the sound comes from the TV speakers and the bar simultaneously, though I couldn’t test that. I also used the Bravia Theater U with Sony’s latest mini-LED, but you can find a separate speaker system if you want a quality audio setup.

Despite the quibbles, the Bravia 7 is a solid entry in a crowded market

Photo: Artem Golub / Gizmodo

There’s no perfect TV out there, but the field is so full of good 4K mini-LEDs that you’ll be min-maxing on features and price. The Bravia 7 is taking a lot of good things from the Bravia 9, including a piece of that backlight driver, but I wouldn’t say it has much better quality than the other staples coming out this year.

If you have enjoyed Sony’s TVs in the past, you’ll feel right at home on this new beautiful screen. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t shop and perhaps find the best deal. It’s not a perfect TV, but if you play Sony’s game (in the case of the PlayStation, literally), then you’ll have a grand time with some excellent picture quality. Just don’t expect to reach flagship heights on what’s still an upper-mid-range TV.

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