What Hi-Fi? Awards 2021 winner. It’s all gain, no pain because that Philips’ 2021 OLED TVTested at £2299

ByWhat Hi-Fi?published 4 October 21

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Philips is a little bit of an enigma, an especially when it comes to TVs. It functions to its very own schedule, release the very first of its annual models after many brands have a whole variety in shops; it has actually an idiosyncratic method with photo settings and also presets; and its TVs have actually LEDs top top the rear that extend the on-screen action onto the wall around the set in the kind of coloured light.

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Enigmatic it might be, yet it’s technique that has created results in the past, most notably in 2020, once a Philips OLED TV took What Hi-Fi? Awards in ~ two different sizes. The OLED806, reviewed here in 65-inch guise, is the instead of for that Award-winning TV, and also it build upon that success in deeply exceptional fashion.

Price

The Philips 65OLED806 introduced at a price the £2299. Its crucial rivals are the Sony XR-65A80J (£2199), LG OLED65C1 (£1899), Panasonic TX-65JZ1000 (£2199) and also Samsung QE65QN95A (£2099).


If 65 customs isn’t the appropriate size because that you, the OLED806 is also available as a 48-inch, 55-inch and 77-inch model. We can’t vouch because that those versions without testing them specifically, however OLED TVs do tend to range up and also down well.



(Image credit: Philips)

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the OLED806 doesn’t differ lot to the outgoing OLED805 in regards to design. Perceived straight-on, it’s the same mix of pitch black screen surrounded by an extremely thin black bezels and an even thinner silver accent. There’s a tiny IR receiver unit that interrupts the bottom sheet on the right-hand side, however that’s the only blemish on one otherwise perfect rectangle – assuming you’re wall-mounting. If you’re not, then you’ll be utilizing the two dainty feet, every of which is, fairly ingeniously, fifty percent bright silver- and fifty percent dark silver, so girlfriend can select which finish is visible by merely mounting castle one method or the other.


Viewed native the side, the Philips has the usual mix of super-slim panel section and also thicker plastic enclosure that houses the connections, handling hardware and also speakers. Unequal non-Philips TVs, the OLED806’s plastic portion is ringed by coloured LEDs because that the Ambilight system. It actually has actually four-sided Ambilight, as opposed come the three-sided version of the OLED805, v the extra LEDs being mounted to a lip at the bottom of the set’s rear. This appears to have included an extra centimetre to the depth measurement, v the OLED806 coming in at 6.8cm. Because that reference, an LG C1 is 4.7cm thick, the Sony A80J is 5.3cm, and a Samsung QN95A measures simply 2.6cm.

Last year’s remote control is reused here, albeit through a new, glowing silver finish and an extremely minor adjustments to switch placement and also labelling. It’s a nice zapper overall, v a stylish appearance and also satisfying buttons, but those buttons space a small close together and hard to distinguish from one one more on touch alone. The is backlit, though, i beg your pardon is hugely valuable when you’re going fully cinematic.

Features



(Image credit: Philips)

One the the only downsides of the OLED805 to be its lack of HDMI 2.1 sockets, and it’s an worry that Philips has addressed because that the OLED806, which has two that them. These are full-fat 48Gbps sockets (many rivals use 40Gbps HDMIs, not that it right now makes any kind of practical difference) that support 4K
120Hz, VRR (Variable refreshing Rate) in all of its current forms (G-Sync certification is in progress), and ALLM (Auto low Latency Mode), making this a really well-specified gaming TV. The really low input lag of about 14ms definitely helps matters, too, as does the HGiG mode, which extensively results in much more accurate ton mapping of HDR games.

One point to be afflicted with in mind is that one of the 2 HDMI 2.1 sockets is likewise the one that handles eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel), which way that if you have actually two HDMI 2.1 sources (an Xbox collection X and also PS5 or a luxury gaming PC), you’re not additionally going to have the ability to send sound via eARC come a soundbar or AV amplifier. This is a limitation of all TVs the we’ve experiment that have actually two HDMI 2.1 sockets and, unlike those others, Philips walk somewhat reduce the worry by supporting standard ARC via its other three HDMI sockets. This won’t get you lossless, TrueHD Dolby Atmos, yet it will obtain you Atmos in the Dolby Digital+ format, and we doubt that many will hear much of a difference.



(Image credit: Philips/Star Trek reduced Decks, Amazon Prime)

Screen type OLED

Resolution 4K

Operating system Android TV 10

HDR formats HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision, HLG

HDMI x4 (HDMI 2.1 x2)

4K

At the heart of the set is Philips’ new fifth Gen P5 chip, i m sorry boasts magnified AI attributes over that is predecessor. The upgrade is mostly focused around the intelligent identification of the content being played and the adaptation the this to ambient lighting conditions. The idea is the the TV will gain the best out that what you’re watching there is no you having to make any adjustments. In truth, we’re not completely sold on these specific elements, but the chip is plainly doing terrific job in other regards, together you’ll watch below. It’s likewise responsible because that Philips’ distinct anti-burn-in technology, which dims static snapshot elements such together logos without impacting the remainder of the image, and adds a brand-new Fast movement Clarity feature, which is essentially the Philips take on black framework insertion.

On the HDR front, the OLED806 has pretty lot the complete house, through HDR10, HLG, HDR10+ and Dolby Vision every supported. HDR10+ Adaptive is on board, too, allowing the TV to automatically change HDR10+ content to approximately lighting conditions, and also while Dolby Vision IQ isn’t officially supported, Philips states the mix of traditional Dolby Vision and its AI-powered light sensor efficiently does the same thing.

Philips is sticking with the Android TV 10 platform for its 2021 TVs, quite than opting for the newer Google TV operating system, yet many that the latter’s much better features have actually now been added to the former, so having actually the older OS is no great hardship. It’s an extremely well appointed because that apps, too. Netflix, Amazon element Video, apple TV and also Disney+ room all current in their complete 4K, Dolby Vision and also Dolby Atmos glory (Amazon functions HDR10+ contents as well); Google Play movies & TV (soon come be simply ‘Google TV’) has 4K Dolby Vision content, too, while Rakuten is in 4K HDR10; you gain BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, every 4 and also My5 courtesy of the Freeview pat platform; the integrated BT Sport app will be helpful for many; Plex and VLC can handle playback that your own media files; and Spotify, Tidal, Amazon Music and BBC Sounds space all on board. The only real lack of keep in mind is Now, and that won’t it is in a deal-breaker for many.

Picture



(Image credit: Philips/Star Trek reduced Decks, Amazon Prime)

By default, Dolby Vision content triggers the HDR an individual preset, i beg your pardon is miles away from the intentionally of Dolby Vision. It’s a bizarre method – some might say a slightly arrogant one – but it’s at least easily solved through manually switching to a more appropriate preset.

That said, Dolby Vision Bright, i beg your pardon is the preset finest used because that Dolby Vision content once viewing in approximately light, isn’t just a brighter variation of the many accurate Dolby Vision Dark preset, but one with a number of other settings likewise altered. If you carry out view Dolby Vision contents in a lit room, or you just enjoy a punchier Dolby Vision delivery (as us do), you’ll require to minimize or rotate off these settings to avoid photo that’s overly sharpened – alleviate sharpness so it’s in ~ 3 at most, rotate off Ultra Resolution and noise reduction, and also switch Motion layouts to Movie or Pure Cinema.

Make those adjustments and fire up Our Planet on Netflix and you room in because that a jaw-dropping treat. As David Attenborough set the scene, we check out the moon fixed with that lumps, bumps and also craters characterized in outstanding detail and with palpable three-dimensionality. The light from the sunlight gleams off the craggy surface ar in beautiful comparison with the key black space beyond, ~ above which literally millions of stars, plenty of of i beg your pardon are lost to the dark as soon as watching ~ above a rival TV, sparkle brightly. As the earth comes right into view, it’s feasible to make out particular continents, despite the an excellent distance, and also there’s lover shading come the shining white cloud formations and vibrant blue oceans. It’s an astonishing photo that instantly illustrates the OLED806’s biggest strengths – the sharpness, detail, punch, perfect blacks and vibrant colours.

Of course, this intro to the series is CGI, but the Philips is simply as impressive with ‘real’ content. A scene in i beg your pardon a raft that penguins (whoever knew a collective of swim penguins was dubbed a ‘raft’?) dives in ~ the icy ocean’s surface ar is calculation with exceptional clarity and also detail. Every among the pudgy birds stands the end from the water about it many thanks to a perfect combination of crisp definition, elegant shading the distinguishes the black-grey colouring on your backs indigenous the deep blue-grey of the sea, and a pure, punchy means with whites that provides their tummies and also necks was standing out. The bubbles, meanwhile, shine nearly as brightly together the stars in the episode’s introduction.


(Image credit: Philips)

As a camera glides over the snowy surface of Antarctica, it’s apparent that the OLED806 can’t develop the brightness peaks of a flagship LCD TV such together the Samsung QN95A, but it’s a dazzling picture by OLED standards, and also the detail consisted of within the highlights combines v stunning contrast and also that can be fried sharpness to make the icy hills pop native the screen. That is, in short, stunning, and made all the an ext so by the lovely Ambilight.

The Philips is just as impressive when playing Interstellar in HDR10, yet we again discover ourselves having to make much more picture adjustments than should really it is in necessary. In the end, us stick with the HDR house Cinema preset yet reduce Sharpness, revolve off Ultra Resolution and Colour Enhancement, switch turn off the noise palliation features, switch Light boost to Maximum, HDR Perfect to Adaptive and also turn turn off the light Sensor. You’ll probably want to adjust the Motion formats setting, together the default conventional is good at times yet too often looks over-processed. You’re much better off picking Movie or Pure Cinema, depending upon taste.

That’s a lot more effort than you have to make to obtain the best out of most modern OLEDs, but it’s an effort that’s fine worth making. Together the camera pans throughout the family members farm at the start of Interstellar, individual stalks of corn space distinguishable in the huge field. There’s nuanced variety to the greens in this field, i beg your pardon are various shades come those in the surrounding lawn. Less well sorted TVs would have you believe that they’re almost the exact same colour.

The scene in room are predictably spectacular. As the ship philosophies the black color hole, it’s exquisitely crisply rendered and brilliantly white whereby the light access time it. The black color hole chin is a tantalising, shimmering sphere versus the pure black room around it, and the distant, pin-prick stars space pure and bright.

The only slight flaw through the OLED806’s distribution of Interstellar is the it doesn’t suppress the film grain in the way that some various other TVs do, even when noise reduction is switched on. One could easily argue, though, that the movie grain is component of the presentation, and also it’s certainly not something that we discover off-putting.

Confronted by our normal motion-handling tension test, Blade jogger 2049, the OLED806 gets far less flustered than its predecessor. In fact, the maintains a fixed on K’s car as that flies into LA almost as well together the Sony A80J. Slow pans are handled in smooth and also sharp style, too, but there’s no soap opera result and little to no introduction of digital artefacts. V the whole, deeply challenging film, there’s simply one section that trips up the OLED806’s Movie motion setting, and also that’s in a slow, birds-eye pan over LA in ~ the begin of thing two, i m sorry is yielded in bizarrely juddery fashion. We failed to recreate the problem with any kind of other content, for this reason we’re happy sticking with the Movie setting, but you can opt for Pure Cinema if you favor – this reduce the amount of processing, leading to occasional bits that blur yet also completely removing the unusual judder the that details panning shot.

Switching come Django Unchained in HD and SDR, the OLED806’s settings require toning down once more, yet it puts in wonderful performance once that’s done, producing a picture that’s sharp but subtle, vibrant however controlled, punchy however not exaggerated. In the attempted ambush scene, the torches the the masked riders room so bright and rich that you can virtually feel the warmth, and also they comparison strikingly against the pitch black night sky. Importantly, shadow information hasn’t been sacrificed because that those deep blacks, therefore you can still see everything you’re supposed to.

Drop right down come the bottom that the resolution ladder v a little bit of standard-def from the integrated tuner, and the OLED806 impresses yet again, an especially in terms of punch and sharpness. Some rivals are simply slightly cleaner here, but couple of can complement the Philips’ dynamism.

Sound


(Image credit: Philips)

For sound, the best options are the Original and also Movie modes. Original is best suited to constant TV content, which the reproduces clearly and faithfully, albeit with a touch the sibilance in ~ the top and also a tiny boominess in the bottom.

Original is a bit too small to supply on a film’s epos scale, though, and also this is wherein Movie comes in. Move it on and the presentation opens up significantly, spreading sound impressively come the political parties and room above the TV. The slim boominess remains, however the basic weight and also heft come the sound space satisfying, and also there’s surprising dynamic headroom, v Blade runner 2049’s weighty, drum-driven monitor at the start of chapter two continuing to build long ~ many likewise priced TVs have hit your peak.

Switching to Movie mode does hamper the directness and also projection of dialogue, and also the speaker device isn’t fairly crisp and clean sufficient to maintain complete control at particularly cacophonous moments, however for an incorporated sound systems at this level, it’s good. You need to still budget plan for a soundbar or house cinema mechanism if you’re may be to, though.

Verdict

The Philips 65OLED806 is an absolutely superb TV that performs even far better than that Award-winning predecessor while cram in the next-gen HDMI features that would have actually put turn off hardcore gamers critical year.

It renders you work harder to obtain the finest out of it than it should, yet the effort is an ext than precious it. There’s not a far better TV easily accessible at that price.

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SCORES

Picture 5Sound 4Features 5

MORE:

Looking because that the 48-inch version? Here"s the Philips 48OLED806 review

Read our LG OLED65C1 review

Also consider the Samsung QE65QN95A

The finest OLED TVs from budget plan to premium


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