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Philips 43PUS7805/12 Review

Verdict

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The Philips 43PUS7805/12 is an attractive-looking TV, equipped with immersive Ambilight technology, an easy-to-use OS and clear audio. It’s a shame then that image quality isn’t on the same level as the design.

Pros

  • Attractive design with Philips Ambilight
  • Speakers display a good sense of bass

Cons

  • Image quality leaves something to be desired
  • Audio can sound a bit cluttered
  • No Disney Plus or Apple TV Plus apps

Key Features

  • Philips P5 engineControls TV’s colour reproduction, contrast and motion
  • HDR supportSupport for HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision
  • Dolby Atmos Offers immersive audio
  • Smart interfaceSaphi OS offers apps and streaming services
  • Ambilight LED lights surround the edges of the display

Introduction

The 43PUS7805/12 is a 43-inch TV from Philips’ 2020 TV range. 

The TV is a looker with its slim, gun metal bezels and matching feet. It packs Ambilight to boost the atmosphere during movie marathons and gaming sessions, along with Alexa for hands-free control. 

On the inside, there’s support for Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision, as well as HDR10 and HLG HDR formats. The TV is powered by the Philips’ P5 engine, but can the 43PUS7805/12’s picture and sound quality keep up with its forward-thinking design? 

Availability

  • UKRRP: £399

Design

  • Gunmetal bezel and silver feet look stylish 
  • Ambilight is a great addition 
  • The remote comes with Alexa built in 

The Philips 43PUS7805/12 is a good-looking 4K TV. The 43-inch display is bordered by a slim, gun metal-coloured plastic bezel that looks more expensive than the price would suggest, but doesn’t distract from the content on the screen. 

Philips 43PUS7805 bezel detail

The TV stands on two silver feet. The groove details at the front add some interest and the feet don’t stick out far, meaning they should be able to squeeze onto stands. Add Philips’ Ambilight technology to the mix and the 43PUS7805/12 makes for a great statement piece for your living room. Ambilight beams a soft glow to the wall behind the TV that changes colour in response to the content on-screen. 

Philips 43PUS780512 detail of the feet

The remote is matte black with shiny plastic edges. There’s a standby button, volume, play, pause and a home shortcut button to toggle through your apps, among others. There’s also an Ambilight button, and dedicated shortcuts for Netflix, Freeview Play and Rakuten TV. 

One of the most useful buttons is the Alexa shortcut, which allows you to use the mic in the remote to move between channels and control your smart home using your voice. 

Philips 43PUS7805 remote

Features

  • Supports Philips’ Saphi OS 
  • Plenty of apps onboard
  • Alexa and Google Assistant support

The 43PUS7805/12 runs on Philips’ Saphi operating system. The interface, which can be accessed by hitting the home button on the remote, feels simple and intuitive to navigate. 

There are five sections to flick through: Sources, Watch TV, Apps, Search and Settings. While the last two are self-explanatory, the first tab allows you to choose between sources, such as screen mirroring, network, USB and HDMI, and Watch TV is where you’ll find satellite TV and recordings. 

Philips 43PUS7805 display with Saphi OS

In Apps you’ll find, well, apps. There’s a good selection to choose from including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, Freeview Play and YouTube, among others. There’s an app gallery packed with other options – but, Now, Disney Plus and Apple TV are absent. If you’re looking for content from the latter, you’ll want to invest in a streaming stick alongside your TV. 

The Apps tab is also where you can find the TV’s web browser and the Amazon Alexa app. The TV isn’t just compatible with Alexa, either. While you can use the Amazon assistant to flick between channels, move to your game console and control smart home devices, you also have the option to use the Google Assistant to navigate your TV. 

Philips 43PUS7805 Ambilight LEDs on rear panel

As far as connectivity options go, there’s a headphone jack, an HDMI, SERV.U and USB ports, plus a CI slot on the side of the TV.

On the rear is a digital audio out (optical), a USB, Ethernet, satellite, antenna and two HDMI ports. While the HDMI ports support ARC, there’s no eARC or HDMI 2.1 support on this TV.

The latency tested at 19.3ms in Game mode, making it pretty decent in terms of lag. 

Picture quality 

  • HDR mode is rather weak
  • The image lacks in detail and contrast 
  • Smooth motion and decent 4K upscaling

The Philips isn’t bad in HDR mode, but the image isn’t as cinematic as that of the similarly priced Panasonic TX-43HX580B. Comparing a 4K Blu-ray of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse on both TVs, the Philips offers more contrast and more detail in certain areas, but the colours simply don’t look as punchy or vibrant.

The blues are lighter and the purples and greens darker in the finale of the film, which gives the image some punchiness. However, the overall look is not quite as expressive for a movie meant to resemble a comic book come to life. 

Philips 43PUS7805 smart features

That said, the additional detail over the Panasonic TV is nice, and the Ambilight adds an immersive touch to the whole viewing experience. There’s some bleeding in the black bars at the top and bottom of the display that makes them appear more blu-ish in tone.

In other instances, the Philips lacks detail next to the Panasonic. A playthrough of Dunkirk on 4K Blu-ray fails to bring out the same level of definition in the Philips in the scene where Cillian Murphy’s Shivering Soldier gets into a scuffle onboard a boat.

It is particularly noticeable in the smoother texture of a bandage and the less distinct individual hairs in an eyebrow. There’s less texture to the skin, too, and skin tones appear cooler and less lifelike when compared to the Panasonic.  The Philips falls behind with regards to contrast, too, with the blacks offering less depth in Blade Runner 2049.

I cycled through a number of motion settings on the 43PUS7805/12 and found Movie offered light smoothing with no awry edge definition, while the Smooth style looked slicker but opened up a few issues such as stuttered arm movements and duplicated objects. The Standard setting offers a good compromise, with a decent level of smoothing and fewer artifacts. 

Philips 43PUS780512 close up of Ambilight LEDs

4K upscaling offers fluid results, too. An upscaled 480p stream of Arrested Development on Netflix produced a smooth image and natural skin tones. The yellows and blues of the banana stand were beautifully vibrant, even more so when upscaled from HD. The upscaled 1080p version also offered a smooth image, albeit again at the expense of detail. 

Sound quality

  • Decent bass
  • Decent detail
  • Clear enough sound

The audio has a decent sense of bass for a flatscreen TV, but could still benefit from the help of a soundbar

A chase scene from Mission: Impossible – Fallout allows the TV to flex its sense of dynamism with the sounds of impacts coming across fairly well. The dialogue is clear, but it busier action scenes effects can get lost in the mix. 

That said, the sound effects in Fallout were nicely detailed, from squealing tyres to laboured breaths. In some instances the sound felt it lacked clarity – but, generally speaking, the Philips does a good job for its size. 

The drivers won’t be big enough to generate ground-shaking bass (for this, you’ll need a soundbar), but the speakers do a good enough job that you could go without for daytime TV.

Philips 43PUS7805 rear panel with Ambilight

Verdict

The Philips 43PUS7805/12 is an attractive-looking TV, equipped with immersive Ambilight technology, an easy-to-use OS and clear audio. It’s a shame then that image quality isn’t on the same level as the design.

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Should you buy it?

You want an attractive-looking TV The gun metal bezel and modern-looking feet make this TV a great pick if you want something that will look good in your living room.

You want detailed, natural-looking images The Philips isn’t bad, but its HDR performance could definitely be improved. While the motion settings and 4K upscaling perform well, the contrast and colours displayed on-screen fall behind when compared with those of similarly priced rivals, while detail is hit and miss.

FAQs

What is Ambilight?

Ambilight uses LEDs around the edge of the TV to cast the colours on-screen against your wall in real-time.

Which streaming services does the Philips 43PUS7805/12 support?

The TV offers apps for Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, Freeview Play and YouTube – but doesn’t support Now, Disney Plus or Apple TV without a streaming stick.

Specs

UK RRP
Manufacturer
Screen Size
Size (Dimensions)
Size (Dimensions without stand)
Weight
Operating System
Release Date
Resolution
HDR
Types of HDR
Refresh Rate TVs
Ports
HDMI (2.1)
Audio (Power output)
Colours
Display Technology

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