With an upgraded AI-enhanced image processor and new motion handling, this 55-incher could be the OLED to beat this year. Philips has even given Ambilight a facelift...
- Multi-HDR support with HDR10+, Dolby Vision and HLG
- Freeview Play
- Play-Fi compatibility
- No support for 4K/120fps
- No Dolby Vision IQ
- Review Price: £1500
- Dolby Vision HDR and HDR10+
- Android 9 TV OS
- Dolby Atmos
- WHD, mm: 1228 x 706 x 58
Philips’ OLED range is back with the 55OLED805, and it comes a few improvements over the previous year’s efforts.
Philips’ 805 OLED may look remarkably similar to last year’s 804 model, but behind the glass lurks a raft of new technologies, including an AI-enhanced iteration of the brand’s P5 picture processor.
We’ve been eagerly awaiting the first sample to roll off the production line – and the finished telly doesn’t disappoint.
Available in 65- and 55-inch screens sizes (65OLED805 and 55OLED805), we’re reviewing the 55-inch model here.
Philips 55OLED805 design — Minimalist and chic, but you’ll need a wide AV rack
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. That seems to be Philips’ motto here. The Philips 55OLED805 mirrors last year’s 804 with an ultra thin, dark metallic bezel and two widely spaced feet. You’ll need some wide furniture to accommodate the screen (that’s if you’re not wall-mounting, of course), but at least these boots are chromed and substantial.
Connections comprise four HDMI inputs, an AV analogue input, two USBs and an optical digital audio output. Supporting dual band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, plus wired Ethernet.
Also new with the 805 is a fancy backlit remote control, finished in a muirhead leather wrap.
While all the HDMIs are ready for full-fat 10-bit 4K sources, they’re not 4K/120fps enabled. At present this doesn’t amount to a hill of beans, however with both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles looming, this shortcoming may become significant down the road. Both next-gen consoles will be able to output high frame rate 4K games.
Philips OLED805 features — Android 9 meets refreshed Ambilight
Unlike Philips entry-level OLED754, the smart TV system employed here is Android (in its V9 guise). It comes partnered with Freeview Play, which means you’ll have access to a full hand of catch-up TV players (BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All4, My 5), as well as all the key streaming services, including Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+, and YouTube.
There’s also Chromecast built-in, so you can easily cast from mobile to TV with compatible apps, and voice control compatibility via Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.
The Ambilight implementation is three-sided, which is very much the norm, but there’s some subtle changes afoot.
New feature Ambisleep aims to send you off with a warm glow. It’s a companion to the Sunrise mode, introduced last year, which offers a faux sunrise lighting effect. Both seem to assume that the 805 will find itself in bedrooms, or that we routinely sleep in our living rooms.
The Ambilight Follow Colour mode, which allows you to cast a solid light onto surrounding walls, rather than have it change dynamically to match TV content, has also been renamed Lounge Light.
The Philips 55OLED805 is the first Philips TV to offer DTS Play-Fi compatibility. This means it can integrate with other Play-Fi wireless speaker systems, for whole home multi-room streaming. The Play-Fi standard has gained some traction in the US, but has yet to make much of a dent elsewhere against the likes of Sonos and HEOS. But this collaboration could well change matters. It’s certainly a welcome feature addition.
Philips 55OLED805 performance — AI enhanced picture processing is gloriously unsubtle
Philips P5 picture processor has proved its worth on numerous screens, but with the advent of AI image enhancement, this fourth-gen version offers a whole new take on image fidelity.
Auto AI with dynamic image optimisation is designed to take the faff out of image presets by managing image processing based on content. By and large, this works well.
At its best, native 4K images exhibit almost three dimensional depth and detail. Skin tones are textured and naturalistic, pictures crisp and eye-catching. The process does a fine job upscaling HD original content, adding subjective texture and nuance. There’s no sign of unwanted ringing artefacts.
Related: Best 4K TV
With most content, it’s akin to watching a smarter Vivid mode. When viewed up close, it can seem a tad too lively, but take up a normal viewing position and it looks stunning.
Additional picture modes comprise Personal, Vivid, Natural, Standard, Movie, Game, Monitor mode and ISF Day and Night, plus HDR variants. The screen offers full HDR support, with both Dolby Vision and HDR10+ handled, along with regular HDR10 and HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma).
The 805’s HDR performance is impressive. We measured a peak brightness of 900 cd/m2 (nits), which is bright enough for effective glinting reflections and lighting effects.
Unfortunately, the screen doesn’t support the new Dolby Vision IQ setting, which auto adjusts HDR playback to compensate for ambient room light, but we do get Filmmaker Mode…sort of. This isn’t accessible via a dedicated button on the remote control, as we’ve seen from Panasonic, but can be triggered by an FMM metadata flag in content. As this isn’t around yet, Philips advises enthusiasts to use its Movie preset.
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As you’d expect, the black level, and near-black level performance of the 805 is breathtakingly fine. Perhaps surprisingly (given that the brand likes to push the chroma envelope), Philips has detuned the oversaturation of hues in its Vivid mode, compared to last year, but the end result remains very palatable.
The other big change to picture performance this year can be found in its motion handling. Sport interpolation has gone completely, while a new Pure Cinema mode manages to maintain clarity yet keep a sense of cinematic judder. It’s a best-of-both worlds approach for film fans.
That errant Sports motion mode, in case you’re wondering, has been subsumed into the Movie mode, which comes with catch-all low level de-judder and de-blur.
So picture wise, the 805 is an almost total joy. If joysticks are your thing, though, the story isn’t so winning. Input lag was measured at a relatively poor 33.2ms (1080/60), and that’s with Game mode engaged.
Audio wise, the set equips itself very nicely. Once again, there’s been a revamp of what was heard on last season’s 804, with reshaped drivers and boosted bass. For everyday use, it cuts the mustard. The set is also Dolby Atmos compatible, and can bitstream immersive audio out over ARC to a waiting soundbar or home cinema system.
Related: What is Dolby Atmos?
Should you buy the Philips 55OLED805?
There are plenty of reasons to snap up Philips 805 tout suite, and few reasons to dither. Most significantly, Philips AI-enhanced P5 picture engine is very impressive, the screen exhibits incredible depth and pop. Ambilight is a second siren that’s difficult to resist.
Forward thinking hardcore gamers though may be better off with a panel that sports at least one HDMI input that supports 4K/120fps – but we admit, this is a niche niggle.
Overall, we rate this 55-inch Philips 805 OLED a blockbuster buy.