Sony XEL-1: The world's first OLED TV

In October 2007, Sony announced the XEL-1 TV, the world's first OLED TV - if you can call this a TV, at only 11" in size. OLED displays are thin, efficient and bright, and the XEL had a highly regarding image quality for the time.

The XEL-1 was a small TV (11") - and very expensive (around 2,500$). Sony actually regarded it as a prototype - but one that the company decided to ship. They only made around a thousand XEL-1 sets a month until the XEL-1 was discontinued in February 2010.

The XEL-1 was just 3mm thin, and feature a 960x540 resolution, a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio, a terrestrial digital tuner, speakers, HDMI, USB and Ethernet jacks.

XEL-1 reviews

The XEL-1 was said to have an excellent picture quality - especially great contrast (true blacks). Obviously the small size was a disappointment, but again this was not truly a commercial product. Displaysearch estimated that the XEL-1 lifetime is only 17,000 hours (till the display is half as bright as a new one) - while Sony said that the lifetime is 30,000 hours.

Current Sony OLED TVs

Sony scrapped its own OLED TV panel production process many years ago, but the company does produce OLED TVs today - using panels produced by LG Display.

Sony Bravia XR A80J photoThe 55-inch Sony Bravia XR A80J (2021)