Philips OLED804 (55OLED804, 65OLED804) TV review

Verdict

Unless you love the Android TV Smart System too much, you’ll appreciate the 55OLED804’s outstanding OLED image quality, sleek, well-built, Ambilight-enhanced design, aggressive pricing, and dual HDR10 + support. / Dolby Vision awesome, which makes it extremely difficult to resist.

Advantages

  • Extremely sharp, detailed and dynamic images
  • Supports HDR10 + and Dolby Vision
  • Very good price for what is offered

The inconvenients

  • Colors illuminate in Vivid mode
  • MPEG noise potential with dark streaming video
  • The sound is a bit light on the bass

Key specifications

  • Exam price: £ 1800
  • 55 inch OLED TV
  • Native 4K resolution
  • New P5 image processing system
  • Android TV Smart System
  • Supports HDR10 +, HDR10, Dolby Vision and HLG HDR

The OLED804 replaces the OLED803 range from last year. It is equipped with the 3-generation, two-chip version of the P5 image processor, which is more powerful than the previous iteration. The audio system is an integrated 2.1 effort, supporting Dolby Vision and HDR10 + formats, as well as room for Android 9 operating system support and Alexa integration.

The Philips 55OLED804 is the first of the latest range of OLED TVs from the venerable Dutch brand. It features an enhanced video processing system, Philips’ unique Ambilight design feature, and support for HDR10 + and Dolby Vision HDR dynamic systems. Of course, all the traditional advantages of OLED contrast and viewing angle.

Quality of design and manufacturing – The 55OLED804 is a minimalist and aesthetic OLED TV

The Philips 55OLED804 is a very beautiful thing. For starters, his bodywork goes to minimalism with a capital letter. The frame around the screen is about as narrow as you can imagine (it still sneaks into a style with a silvery outer border), and the screen’s depth is also remarkably slim over a large part from the back of the TV.

55OLED804

The Philips 55OLED804

The screen rests on a pair of thin metal legs that become virtually invisible as you watch TV in front of you.

Curiously, it is in the back that the design of the screen becomes more showy. Much of its back is finished in shiny and sturdy metal, with rows of LEDs that extend around its upper, left and right rear edges.

These LEDs are designed to transmit Philips’ Ambilight technology, which projects a colored light onto the wall behind your TV. The light can be set to the color and intensity of your choice, or follow the color content of the images you are watching. Choose this last option and Ambilight’s accuracy in terms of color tone and local color location is truly disturbing.

55OLED804

Both sides of the remote control for Philips 55OLED804

The Philips 55OLED804 remote control differs from the norm by offering a full QWERTY keyboard on the back. This is very convenient for typing passwords and search terms. The set also allows you to give verbal instructions via Google Assistant (or Amazon Alexa if you have an echo or similar listening device).

The main commercial aspect of the remote control is quite effective. The buttons are usually the ones you expect and include those dedicated to Netflix and Rakuten TV. The build quality is also good, with a lot of weight and a comfortable fit for your hand.

Features – The 55OLED804 is a TV capable, with HDR10 + playback and Dolby Vision a welcome presence

If you want the best of any 4K Blu-ray or video stream, the 55OLED804 has something new for you: it supports HDR10 + and Dolby Vision HDR formats. At the time of writing this article, the first batch of TVs has been offered this flexibility (as a result of Panasonic 50GX800 and the GZ1000) that we have tested so far.

55OLED804

The Philips 55OLED804

This matters because, for the moment, the vast majority of 4K Blu-ray and streaming shows only support HDR10 + or Dolby Vision – not both. Thus, only televisions like the 55OLED804 that support both can unleash the maximum performance of any HDR source.

The Ambilight feature mentioned earlier is another interesting attraction of the 55OLED804. In addition to being unique, it can reduce eyestrain if you watch TV in a dark room and increase the immersion in what you are watching. No other OLED TV brand ships with Ambilight.

Image processing is still a key part of any high-end Philips TV story, and it’s no different with the 55OLED804. As expected, we get an updated version of the Philips P5 image platform, named because of the way it focuses on what Philips sees as the five pillars of image quality: sharpness, movement, color, contrast and recognition of the source.

The P5 platform has already delivered quite impressive results with the previous Philips OLED TVs. But there are many improvements announced to look forward to. So, in fact, that Philips had to resume treatment on two chips, after bragging with the P5 TVs last year to have managed to put everything in a single pile!

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As for the clarity pillar, we now have new systems that both protect the details in very detailed sources and restore them to sources that may have lost them due to compression or compression. a low native resolution. These adjustments should also improve the sense of depth and three-dimensional space that you get with 4K images.

55OLED804

The Philips 55OLED804

A new feature designed to remove the step effect you can achieve with diagonal and slightly curved lines on pixel screens, while Philips noise reduction systems have been enhanced to produce results without generating as many artifacts of remanence and bands.

As for movements, the treatment is now more adaptive, to reduce the risk of artifacts and smoothness appearing on or around rapidly moving objects.

When it comes to HDR with previous Philips OLEDs, the very small details of very dark image areas could be overwritten. The company has sought to solve this problem, and the performance of the HDR color would also be expected to be improved, with more dynamism and more freedom to group bands on subtle mixes. Improved HDR tone mapping is expected to retain more tonal subtlety in high brightness areas.

The latest P5 enhancements are not restricted to native HDR sources. Many new routines are devoted to improving Philips’ already highly efficient system for converting SDR to HDR. These include better detection and the emphasis on bright highlights, better “understanding” of how different areas of a SDR image should translate into HDR and a new color preservation function of the HDR. skin. This last point is particularly welcome given the trend of the previous P5 release to let people looking a little overcooked after the HDR conversion.

Like Sony, Philips turns to Android TV for most of its smart features. This means that you can expect a lot of applications, including Netflix, Amazon Video premium, BBC iPlayer, Rakuten, GooglePlay Movies and TV, and built-in support for Chromecast.

55OLED804

The Philips 55OLED804

As you can expect, HDR and 4K are supported on Netflix, Amazon and YouTube apps. Moreover, thanks to the agnostic approach of the 55OLED804 format, both Dolby Vision and the HDR10 + streams will be read if available.

The 55OLED804 also works with Google Assistant Voice Control and can also handle Amazon Alexa if you add an Amazon listening device.

The use of Android TV is however accompanied by a few channels. First, the All 4 and My 5 catch-up applications are not supported for Channel 4 and Channel 5 respectively. And unlike Sony, Philips does not provide an alternative to this limitation by providing either YouView or Freeview Reading applications outside the Android ecosystem.

Although it has improved with the implementation of Oreo on the 55OLED804, the Android interface remains rather dominant compared to today’s smart TV standards. It is also very subject to software updates (even the remote has received one in my tests) and is less easy to customize than most competing platforms. The implementation of the 55OLED804 is rather fluid and has fewer bugs than what we usually see on Sony’s Android TVs, though.

The Philips 55OLED804 offers all the connections expected on a high-end TV, including four HDMI sockets, two USB sockets, and Bluetooth and Wi-Fi support.

55OLED804

The Philips 55OLED804

HDMI does not support all 48 Gbps HDMI 2.1 specification for future 4K high frame rate sources, but should support Dolby Atmos transmission at any given time. In fact, the TV supports built-in Dolby Atmos decoding and playback, provided via a 2.1 speaker system, which is expected to deliver 50W of power.

Setup – Although the 55OLED804 allows you to adjust the picture quality, the settings are not the easiest to use.

The complexity of Philips’ processing engine, coupled with the way Philips (rightly) allows you to adjust almost every aspect of its processing systems, makes the 55OLED804 rather complicated to use.

The menus are long and tortuous, and most often, the only way to find the setting that suits you best is trial and error.

However, I can offer some configuration tips to help you streamline the configuration process. First of all, most people will probably want to use the Personal Picture or Vivid HDR image presets for HDR viewing. Vivid uses virtually all of Philips’ image processing tips at quite high settings, providing the most dramatic image, rich in color and dynamics – an image with incomparable intensity and intensity compared to other OLED TVs.

For me, however, as I will detail later, the Vivid setting may generate some distractions from time to time. So, if you realize it systematically, setting the personal HDR image is a quieter alternative.

55OLED804

The Philips 55OLED804

The latest Philips noise reduction system is so sophisticated and adaptive that you can leave it on its Low setting with all sources, even 4K, without fear of causing the usual softness or smudging problems.

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Philips’ motion control makes it possible to reduce background noise without causing artifacts or softness like a soap opera. If you want to remove any noise while maintaining a maximum 4K resolution, the Smooth Smooth setting is ideally suited to doing so, without generating the kind of flicker and halo problems that all other motion detection systems cause. their highest settings.

It is essential to activate the game picture preset when you play, as this reduces the input delay to only 15 ms. This is where the best results achieved by LG, Samsung and Sony this year.

The Perfect Natural Reality system for converting SDR to HDR is effective, but it is best to leave the Low setting, while the Ultra Resolution system is smart enough to make the images sharper without the grain or unwanted line noise is worth keeping in all sources. .

Finally, I recommend that you make sure that the Dolby Atmos pitch option is enabled and set Ambilight to a relatively moderate level of brightness and responsiveness when tracking onscreen actions. Otherwise, it can become more annoying than immersive.

Performance – The 55OLED804 produces a consistent and immersive image for all sources

The latest enhancements to the P5 image engine make the Philips 55OLED804 a real step forward from its predecessor, which was already excellent. As you might expect, you do not need it, calling the aggressive style of the Philips brand. In fact, the beauty of the image quality of the 55OLED804 lies in the greatest improvements it brings.

55OLED804

The Philips 55OLED804

Take, for the moment, its HDR contrast performance. Although this may not seem extreme in terms of the range of light provided between the lightest and darkest parts of the photo, the OLED803 if there is much more subtlety in how to make the corners darker.

These are no longer dark details and deep color tones lost in the dark.

In addition to allowing you to see more details that are supposed to be there, it gives a more balanced picture full of scale and depth. Or to put it another way, just more right.

It is also important to point out that, although the 55OLED804 may not exceed such an extreme brightness (according to OLED standards) as the OLED803 series, it does a remarkable job insisting on the clearest points of a HDR image. No other OLED television can distinguish distant lights and stars in the night sky as brightly as the 55OLED804, especially if you are able to enjoy the support of the camera for the HDR10 + and Dolby Vision formats.

The noise management of the 55OLED804 has also been significantly improved compared to last year’s Philips OLEDs. Previously, some of Philips’ processing issues could lead to slightly exaggerated noise with less than clean titles, even 4Ks.

But the new, smarter and more localized approach to identifying and managing noise virtually eliminates this problem. And just as importantly, the NR (at least on its low setting) is far from being as likely to intrude unnecessarily into immaculate parts of the photo.

The net result of all this? Much more consistent and immersive images for all types of sources and qualities. It is also much less necessary to continue to consult the settings to optimize the results with different types of image compared to Philips TVs.

55OLED804

The Philips 55OLED804

The 55OLED804 continues Philips’ trick to reproduce the brightest colors in the OLED world, at least if you use the Vivid Image preset. There is a problem, however. In particular, the new parameter Vivid does not really know when it is time to lose weight, which results in saturations very bright and rich taking a kind of glow that makes them stand out too clearly from their environment.

The slightly too aggressive approach of brightly colored colors also allows them to see them whitened with subtle details and offsets of tones, so that they become flat and caricatural. This completely contradicts the accuracy and depth provided by the less extreme parts of the 55OLED804 Vivid image.

Fortunately, the Personal preset renders precision even in the extreme colors that define the images of the 55OLED804 as much as possible. And while this parameter must sacrifice maximum brightness and intensity, the precision found by Philips for its latest OLED TV makes it a worthwhile sacrifice in terms of the overall picture experience.

In all presets, except the Vivid preset, the color job of the 55OLED804 is a step ahead of what was possible with all the parameters of the previous models. There are fewer bands in areas of subtle HDR / wide color gamut mixes, and generally more subtlety and naturalism on the color palette, especially with regard to dark colors and skin tones.

55OLED804

The Philips 55OLED804

The Philips 55OLED804’s new levels of control over light, color and noise management also allow it to produce some of the clearest and most textured images in the OLED world. This is not the first time I said that about a Philips TV. But the bottom line is that the sharpness seems more organic; a natural result of various areas of precision performance rather than a dedicated treatment to the sharpness improvement.

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There are not only 4K native sources, nicely detailed on the Philips 55OLED804. The increased sophistication of Philips processing also allows sub-4K sources to switch to 4K screen resolution with more intelligence and smoothness.

As a result, high quality HD sources often look remarkably like native 4K images, while lower quality HD and SDR sources look more natural than ever before on Philips 4K TVs. Indeed, the processing is smart enough to apply its sharpness and detail enhancements on a more adaptive and intelligent basis.

The 55OLED804 does not just upgrade sub-4K content impressively. It also does a great job of converting SDR to HDR. The latest Philips Perfect Natural Reality treatment dramatically extends the color and light range of SDR content. So much – if you respect the Minimum PNR parameter – if you give the feature a chance, I imagine you probably will never want to look at native SDR content again.

That said, if your purist asks you to watch SDR without HDR conversion, the Philips 55OLED804 does just fine.

Aside from the brightly clipped Vivid mode, the only image problems encountered are the occasional appearance of macro blocking noise during some very dark streaming images; rare “blinking” of low level dark color transitions; and a strange problem with high black levels if you watch Dolby Vision from a Oppo 203 or 205 4K Blu-ray player. Other Dolby Vision players do not seem to cause the same problem.

Philips is studying this last problem and seems pretty confident about the idea of ​​finding a firmware fix at this point.

55OLED804

The Philips 55OLED804

The Philips 55OLED804 is embedded Dolby Atmos its decoding. And, in some ways, it makes it easier by providing a sound stage that contains at least a sense of height and width, and by placing the individual elements of the mix precisely in this sound scene. As a result, you have at least an idea of ​​the sound approach based on Dolby Atmos objects.

Although it does not have front-facing speakers, the Philips 55OLED804 also locks the voices well while on the screen and keeps them intelligible and clear at the same time. any time.

There is however a limit to the audio talent of the 55OLED804. Noisy and superimposed action scenes or dense scores can reveal a lack of raw power and dynamic range in the speakers – especially for bass. The lack of bass to complete the most intense moments of the sound stage can let things sound a little compressed and impetuous.

Should I buy a Philips 55OLED804?

The 55OLED804 delivers the most refined and natural images that Philips has ever produced from an OLED TV, without sacrificing the dynamism and dynamism of the brand. The set is also beautifully designed and Ambilight elegantly offsets its sparkling body. And its dual support for HDR10 + and Dolby Vision is an extremely user-friendly touch for the consumer that I would very much like to see adopted by all other brands as well.

New LG C9 The TVs are the closest OLED rivals of the 55OLED804 that 2019 has given us so far. The LGs offer a different design and a slightly more rounded sound, as well as the most dynamic and refined images LG has ever produced from an OLED TV and LG’s user-friendly WebOS Smart Interface. However, it does not have Ambilight, does not support the HDR10 + and, at the time of writing, costs £ 200 more than the 55OLED804.

If you want to further explore the full range of brightness HDR is capable of, you need to watch a very bright TV, such as the Samsung QE55Q85 at £ 1,900 (Q85R). These can also unlock more color volume with HDR content and deliver remarkably deep black levels that meet the standards of LCD TV technology. But they can not offer the same kind of localized light accuracy as the 55OLED804 and do not support Dolby Vision.

Score in detail

  • Characteristics 9
  • Value 9
  • Smart TV 7
  • Image quality 9
  • Design 9
  • Sound quality 7

Characteristics

Size (inches) 55
Type of display OLED
Max. Resolution 3840 x 2160
Full HD 1080p Yes (actually 4K)
Digital tuner Yes
Freeview HD Yes
Freesat HD No
3D Ready No
Refresh rate (Hertz) 100 (native)

connectivity

HDMI 4
Component 1
Digital audio output Yes
Headphone Yes
Ethernet Yes
Wireless Yes (integrated)

Physical specifications

Height (Millimeter) 705.6
Width (Millimeter) 1227.8
Depth (Millimeter) 49.3
Weight (Gram) 22000
Philips OLED804 (55OLED804, 65OLED804) TV review
Philips OLED804 (55OLED804, 65OLED804) TV review 1

If you do not like the Android Smart TV system, you'll appreciate the 55OLED804's outstanding OLED image quality, sleek, well-built, Ambilight-optimized design, aggressive pricing, and dual HDR10 + support. / Dolby Vision great, which makes it extremely difficult to resist.

Editor's Rating:
5
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