Reviews

Cheap and perfect: 55-inch OLED TV – Philips 55OLED804 Review

Image processing is always a key part of any high-end Philips television story, and it’s no different with the 55OLED804. Unsurprisingly, we get an updated version of Philips’ P5 imaging platform, named after the way it focuses on what Philips sees as the five pillars of image quality: sharpness, movement, color, contrast and Recognition of Sources.

The P5 platform has already produced rather dazzling results with previous Philips OLED TVs. But there are numerous improvements claimed to be waiting this time. So many, in fact, that Philips had to reprocess processing through two chips, after boasting with last year’s P5 TVs to get all in one.

When it comes to the sharpness pillar, we now have new systems to protect details in highly detailed sources and restore them to fonts that may have lost them due to native compression or low resolution. These settings should improve the feeling of three-dimensional depth and space that you get with 4K images, too.

The OLED804 replaces last year’s excellent OLED803 range. It features the third-generation version and two chips of the P5 image processor that is more powerful than the previous iteration. The audio system is an integrated 2.1 effort, with the compatible dolby Vision and HDR10 formats, plus space for compatibility with the Android 9 operating system and Alexa integration.

The Philips 55OLED804 is the first of the Dutch brand’s latest OLED TVs. It features an improved video processing system, Philips exclusive Ambilight design feature, and support for HDR HDR HDR HDR HDR 10 and Dolby Vision systems. All on top, of course, of the traditional advantages of OLED Contrast and Angle of Viewing.

The screen is located on a pair of thin metal feet that become virtually invisible when you are watching TV directly in front.

The back, oddly enough, is where the screen design becomes more showiest. Much of its back is finished in a polished, sturdy metal, with rows of LEDs running around its top, left and right back edges.

These LEDs are there to provide Philips Ambilight technology, which throws colored light over the wall behind the TV. The light can be adjusted to the desired color and intensity, or you can track the color content of the displayed images. Choosing the latter option and the precision of Ambilight in terms of color tone and positioning of the local color is really amazing.

It’s not just native 4K sources that look beautifully detailed on the Philips 55OLED804. The additional sophistication of SQ processing also allows sub-4K sources to be extended to 4K screen resolution with greater intelligence and finesse.

The result is that good quality HD sources are often seen remarkably close to native 4K images, while lower quality HD and SDR sources look more natural than ever on any Philips 4K TV. This is essentially because the processing is smart enough to apply its sharpness and detail improvements on a more adaptable and intelligent basis.

The 55OLED804 not only updates sub-4K content impressively. It also does a great job of converting SDR to HDR. Philips’ latest Perfect Natural Reality processing expands the color and light range of SDR content very well. So much so that as long as you keep the PNR setting minimal, that if you give the feature an opportunity, I guess you’ll probably never want to look at native SDR content again.

That said, if your purist impulses require you to look at SDR without any HDR conversion, then the Philips 55OLED804 does it very well.

The 55OLED804 offers the most refined natural images Philips has ever produced from an OLED TV, without sacrificing much of the brand’s dynamism and vitality. The set is well designed too, with Ambilight beautifully disturbing its glittering bodywork. And its dual support for HDR10 and Dolby Vision is an incredibly consumer-friendly touch that I’d love to see all the other brands they adopt as well.

Unless you hate your Android TV smart system to an unreasonable level, the excellent OLED image quality of the 55OLED804, the cute and well-built design, enhanced by Ambilight, its aggressive price and the brilliant HDR10/Dolby Vision support it make it extremely difficult to resist. photo:Philips

+
Extremely sharp, detailed and vibrant images
HDR10 and Dolby Vision support
Great price for what is offered

Colors are unleashed in Vivid mode
MPEG noise potential with dark video
The sound is a little light on the bass

  • Supported Display Resolution

    Computer inputs on all HDMI
    • up to 4K UHD 3840 x 2160 @60 Hz
    • HDR supported, HDR10+/HLG
    Video inputs on all HDMI
    • up to 4K UHD 3840 x 2160 @60 Hz
    • HDR supported, HDR10+/HLG
  • Android

    OS
    Android™ 9.0 (P)
    Pre-installed apps
    • Google Play Movies*
    • Google Play Music*
    • Google Search
    • YouTube
    Memory size
    16 GB
    • Processing

      Processing Power
      Quad Core
    • Tuner/Reception/Transmission

      HEVC support
      Yes
      Digital TV
      DVB-T/T2/T2-HD/C/S/S2
      MPEG Support
      • MPEG2
      • MPEG4
      Video Playback
      • NTSC
      • PAL
      • SECAM
      TV Programme guide*
      8-day Electronic Programme Guide
      Signal strength indication
      Yes
      Teletext
      1000-page Hypertext