What Hi-Fi? Awards 2021 winner. It’s every gain, no pain for Philips’ 2021 OLED TVTested at £1999

ByWhat Hi-Fi?04 October 2021

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Philips is a little bit of an enigma, specifically when it comes to TVs. It works to its own schedule, publication the an initial of its yearly models after many brands have a whole variety in shops; it has an idiosyncratic method with snapshot settings and also presets; and its TVs have LEDs ~ above the rear that prolong the on-screen action onto the wall surface around the collection in the form of coloured light.

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Enigmatic it might be, but it’s strategy that has developed results in the past, many notably in 2020, once a Philips OLED TV take it What Hi-Fi? Awards in ~ two different sizes. The OLED806, reviewed right here in 65-inch guise, is the instead of for the Award-winning TV, and it builds upon that success in deeply superior fashion.


The Philips 65OLED806 introduced at a price of £2299, but it’s currently dropped to £1999. Its an essential rivals space the Sony XR-65A80J (£2199), LG OLED65C1 (£1899), Panasonic TX-65JZ1000 (£2199) and also Samsung QE65QN95A (£2099).

If 65 inch isn’t the appropriate size for you, the OLED806 is also obtainable as a 48-inch, 55-inch and 77-inch model. We can’t vouch because that those versions without trial and error them specifically, but OLED TVs carry out tend to range up and also down well.

(Image credit: Philips)

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the OLED806 doesn’t differ much to the outgoing OLED805 in regards to design. Perceived straight-on, it’s the same mix of key black display screen surrounded by an extremely thin black color bezels and also an also thinner silver accent. There’s a small IR recipient unit that interrupts the bottom sheet on the right-hand side, yet that’s the only blemish on one otherwise perfect rectangle – suspect you’re wall-mounting. If you’re not, then you’ll be making use of the two dainty feet, each of i beg your pardon is, fairly ingeniously, fifty percent bright silver- and fifty percent dark silver, so friend can choose which finish is clearly shows by merely mounting lock one way or the other.

Viewed indigenous the side, the Philips has the usual mix of super-slim dashboard section and also thicker plastic enclosure that residences the connections, handling hardware and speakers. Unequal non-Philips TVs, the OLED806’s plastic part is ringed through coloured LEDs for the Ambilight system. The actually has actually four-sided Ambilight, together opposed come the three-sided version of the OLED805, v the extra LEDs being placed to a lip in ~ the bottom the the set’s rear. This appears to have added an extra centimetre come the depth measurement, v the OLED806 comes in at 6.8cm. Because that reference, one 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 v a new, shining silver complete and an extremely minor adjustments to switch placement and labelling. It’s a pretty zapper overall, v a stylish appearance and also satisfying buttons, but those buttons room a little close together and hard to identify from one an additional on touch alone. That is backlit, though, i m sorry is hugely useful when you’re going totally cinematic.


(Image credit: Philips)

One that the just downsides the the OLED805 to be its absence of HDMI 2.1 sockets, and also it’s an concern that Philips has addressed because that the OLED806, which has actually two of them. These are full-fat 48Gbps sockets (many rivals usage 40Gbps HDMIs, not that it currently makes any practical difference) that assistance 4K
120Hz, VRR (Variable update Rate) in all of its existing forms (G-Sync certification is in progress), and also ALLM (Auto low Latency Mode), making this a really well-specified gaming TV. The really low intake lag of around 14ms absolutely helps matters, too, together does the HGiG mode, which generally results in much more accurate ton mapping the HDR games.

One point to be afflicted with in mental is that among the two HDMI 2.1 sockets is additionally the one that handles eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel), which way that if you have actually two HDMI 2.1 resources (an Xbox series X and 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 that we’ve experiment that have two HDMI 2.1 sockets and, unequal those others, Philips walk somewhat alleviate the concern by sustaining standard ARC via its various other three HDMI sockets. This won’t get you lossless, TrueHD Dolby Atmos, yet it will gain you Atmos in the Dolby Digital+ format, and we doubt that plenty of will hear lot 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)


At the love of the set is Philips’ new fifth Gen P5 chip, i beg your pardon boasts amplified AI functions over that predecessor. The update is largely focused approximately the intelligent identification of the contents being played and the adaptation of this come ambient lighting conditions. The idea is the the TV will get the finest out the what you’re watching there is no you having actually to make any type of adjustments. In truth, we’re not completely sold on these certain elements, yet the chip is clearly doing an excellent job in various other regards, together you’ll view below. It’s additionally responsible for Philips’ unique anti-burn-in technology, which lowers static photo elements such together logos without impacting the rest of the image, and also adds a brand-new Fast movement Clarity feature, i beg your pardon is essentially the Philips take on black frame insertion.

On the HDR front, the OLED806 has pretty lot the complete house, with HDR10, HLG, HDR10+ and Dolby Vision all supported. HDR10+ Adaptive is ~ above board, too, permitting the TV to automatically readjust HDR10+ content to approximately lighting conditions, and while Dolby Vision IQ isn’t official supported, Philips claims the combination of conventional Dolby Vision and also its AI-powered light sensor efficiently does the exact same thing.

Philips is sticking v the Android TV 10 platform because that its 2021 TVs, fairly than opting for the newer Google TV operating system, but many of the latter’s better features have now been included to the former, so having the enlarge OS is no good hardship. It’s very well appointed for apps, too. Netflix, Amazon prime Video, apple TV and also Disney+ room all current in their complete 4K, Dolby Vision and also Dolby Atmos glory (Amazon features HDR10+ contents as well); Google Play movie & TV (soon come be merely ‘Google TV’) has actually 4K Dolby Vision content, too, when Rakuten is in 4K HDR10; you gain BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, all 4 and also My5 courtesy that the Freeview play platform; the integrated BT Sport app will be useful for many; Plex and VLC can handle playback the your very own media files; and also Spotify, Tidal, Amazon Music and BBC Sounds room all on board. The only real absence of note is Now, and that won’t be a deal-breaker because that many.


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

By default, Dolby Vision contents triggers the HDR an individual preset, which is miles away from the on purpose of Dolby Vision. It’s a bizarre technique – some might say a contempt arrogant one – but it’s in ~ least easily solved by manually convert to a much more appropriate preset.

That said, Dolby Vision Bright, i m sorry is the preset ideal used because that Dolby Vision content as soon as viewing in ambient light, isn’t just a brighter version of the most accurate Dolby Vision Dark preset, yet one v a number of other settings also altered. If you do view Dolby Vision contents in a lit room, or you merely enjoy a punchier Dolby Vision delivery (as we do), you’ll require to minimize or revolve off these settings to avoid photo that’s overly sharpened – minimize sharpness for this reason it’s at 3 in ~ most, turn off Ultra Resolution and noise reduction, and also switch Motion formats to Movie or Pure Cinema.

Make those adjustments and also fire up Our Planet ~ above Netflix and you space in because that a jaw-dropping treat. As David Attenborough sets the scene, we see the moon resolved with the lumps, bumps and also craters identified in impressive detail and with palpable three-dimensionality. The irradiate from the sun gleams turn off the craggy surface ar in beautiful comparison with the key black an are beyond, top top which literally millions of stars, numerous of i beg your pardon are lost to the dark once watching on a competitor TV, sparkle brightly. Together the earth comes right into view, it’s possible to make out specific continents, despite the great distance, and there’s lovely shading to the bright white cloud formations and also vibrant blue oceans. It’s one astonishing picture that soon illustrates the OLED806’s biggest strengths – the sharpness, detail, punch, perfect blacks and also vibrant colours.

Of course, this intro to the series is CGI, but the Philips is simply as superior with ‘real’ content. A scene in i beg your pardon a raft the penguins (whoever knew a cumulative of swim penguins was referred to as a ‘raft’?) dives beneath the icy ocean’s surface is rendered with impressive clarity and detail. Every one of the pudgy bird stands out from the water approximately it thanks to a perfect combination of crisp definition, elegant shading the distinguishes the black-grey colouring on their backs native the deep blue-grey the the sea, and a pure, punchy means with whites that renders their tummies and necks stand out. The bubbles, meanwhile, shine nearly as brightly as the stars in the episode’s introduction.

(Image credit: Philips)

As a camera glides end the snowy surface of Antarctica, it’s apparent that the OLED806 can’t produce the brightness peaks the a flagship LCD TV such together the Samsung QN95A, yet it’s a dazzling picture by OLED standards, and also the detail included within its highlights combines v stunning contrast and that supreme sharpness to make the icy mountains pop indigenous the screen. It is, in short, stunning, and also made every the an ext so through the lover Ambilight.

The Philips is simply as impressive as soon as playing Interstellar in HDR10, yet we again discover ourselves having to make more picture adjustments than have to really be necessary. In the end, us stick with the HDR house Cinema preset yet reduce Sharpness, rotate off Ultra Resolution and Colour Enhancement, switch turn off the noise palliation features, switch Light an increase to Maximum, HDR Perfect to Adaptive and also turn turn off the light Sensor. You’ll probably want to change the Motion styles setting, as the default conventional is good at times yet too often looks over-processed. You’re much better off choosing Movie or Pure Cinema, depending on taste.

That’s a lot an ext effort 보다 you have to make to gain the ideal out that most contemporary OLEDs, yet it’s an initiative that’s well worth making. As the camera pans across the household farm in ~ the start of Interstellar, separation, personal, instance stalks that corn space distinguishable in the large field. There’s nuanced selection 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 think that they’re practically the exact same colour.

The scenes in space are predictably spectacular. Together the ship ideologies the black color hole, it’s exquisitely crisply rendered and also brilliantly white where the light hits it. The black color hole chin is a tantalising, shimmering sphere against the pure black room around it, and the distant, pin-prick stars room pure and bright.

The only slight flaw v the OLED806’s delivery of Interstellar is that it doesn’t suppress the film grain in the method that some various other TVs do, also when noise palliation is switched on. One could easily argue, though, that the film grain is part of the presentation, and also it’s absolutely not something that we uncover off-putting.

Confronted by our normal motion-handling stress and anxiety test, Blade jogger 2049, the OLED806 gets much less flustered than its predecessor. In fact, the maintains a tight on K’s automobile as that flies right into LA almost as well as the Sony A80J. Slow pans room handled in smooth and also sharp style, too, however there’s no soap opera effect and tiny to no advent of digital artefacts. V the whole, deeply an overwhelming film, there’s simply one ar that trips increase the OLED806’s Movie motion setting, and that’s in a slow, birds-eye pan end LA at the start of chapter two, i beg your pardon is delivered in bizarrely juddery fashion. Us failed come recreate the concern with any kind of other content, so we’re happy sticking with the Movie setting, however you deserve to opt for Pure Cinema if you like – this reduces the lot of processing, leading to occasional bits the blur yet also fully removing the inexplicable judder of that details panning shot.

Switching come Django Unchained in HD and also SDR, the OLED806’s settings require toning down when more, but it put in great performance as soon as that’s done, producing a picture that’s sharp however subtle, vibrant but controlled, punchy yet not exaggerated. In the attempted ambush scene, the torches the the masked riders space so bright and rich that you can practically feel the warmth, and also they comparison strikingly versus the pitch black night sky. Importantly, shadow detail hasn’t been sacrificed for those deep blacks, for this reason you can still see everything you’re claimed to.

Drop appropriate down come the bottom the the resolution ladder through a little of standard-def from the integrated tuner, and the OLED806 impresses however again, specifically in regards to punch and sharpness. Some rivals are simply slightly cleaner here, but couple of can complement the Philips’ dynamism.


(Image credit: Philips)

For sound, the best alternatives are the Original and also Movie modes. Initial is best suited to regular TV content, which it reproduces clearly and faithfully, albeit through a touch of sibilance in ~ the top and also a little boominess in the bottom.

Original is a bit too narrow to deliver on a film’s epos scale, though, and this is wherein Movie comes in. Switch it on and the presentation opens up significantly, spreading sound impressively to the political parties and an are above the TV. The slight boominess remains, but the general weight and heft to the sound are satisfying, and also there’s how amazing dynamic headroom, v Blade runner 2049’s weighty, drum-driven monitor at the start of thing two proceeding to develop long after many an in similar way priced TVs have actually hit your peak.

Switching come Movie mode does hamper the directness and also projection of dialogue, and the speaker mechanism isn’t quite crisp and clean enough to maintain complete control at particularly cacophonous moments, yet for an combined sound systems at this level, it’s good. You have to still budget for a soundbar or house cinema system if you’re may be to, though.


The Philips 65OLED806 is an certain superb TV the performs even better than that Award-winning predecessor while throwing in the next-gen HDMI attributes that would have put off hardcore gamers critical year.

It renders you work harder to obtain the ideal out the it 보다 it should, but the effort is more than worth it. There’s no a better TV easily accessible at the price.

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Picture 5Sound 4Features 5


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 spending plan to premium

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