Philips 803 OLED evaluation: Ambilight and a number of delights

(pocket-lint) – The 803 is the primary Philips OLED flatscreen TV to function the model’s second-generation P5 Good processing engine, which claims to have double the image efficiency of its predecessor. Contemplating that the unique silicone was no slouch, that set our expectations excessive.

The 803 additionally contains Philips Ambilight room lighting – discover our explainer right here to see why it is at all times a crowd pleaser – and a rated audio system (so there’s theoretically no want for a soundbar), With a price ticket that is on the appropriate aspect of a beneficiant OLED panel like this.


In truth, it is just about the identical pound-for-pound as Philips’ already wonderful LG C8 OLED. Are you drooling but? You should be. This is the reason Philips is on the very prime of its recreation on the very finish.

our fast take

General, the Philips OLED 803 is a robust contender within the already spectacular 2018 OLED discipline. Ambilight provides this a novel benefit, and it has one other winner in Good Pure Actuality, maybe the very best SDR-to-HDR picture processor we have seen since Sony’s object-based HDR remastering.

Nevertheless, the shortage of catch-up is a bottleneck, however given that almost all customers can have ITVHub or one other system providing the All4, that should not be a deal breaker. The dearth of Dolby Imaginative and prescient can show to be a significant deterrent, particularly in comparison with LG’s C8 OLED, however solely if in case you have a appropriate participant and software program funding.

What Philips has lastly acquired is the worth: at round £2000 it is an excellent display for the cash, simply in a position to tackle LG’s OLED counterpart. The OLED recreation simply acquired much more thrilling because of this Philips set.

Philips 803 OLED TV (55OLED803)

5 Stars – Pocket-Lint Editors’ Selection


  • superior picture processing engine
  • Spectacular HDR image efficiency
  • minimalist design
  • Pure Good Actuality SDR Up-conversion
  • Ambilight Provides Mobility

  • Android Oreo software program replace cannot come quick sufficient
  • Restricted catch-up TV choices
  • Lack of Dolby Imaginative and prescient assist
  • The one two HDMI inputs are HDR10



  • Three-way Ambilight Lighting
  • Blade-thin panel (4mm, full set width is 49.3mm)
  • 4x HDMI (2x 4K succesful), 2x USB, Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Optical
  • Two remotes: full dimension with bluetooth pointer and keyboard

The 803 seems as enticing as you may think. The Philips minimalist design options an ultra-thin bezel with a sensible brushed metallic end. The panel is, predictably, blade skinny, swelling solely to accommodate electronics and inputs.

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The 55OLED803 gives 4 4K succesful HDMI inputs with HDCP 2.2 assist (to make sure 4K streaming and supply compliance), however solely two full-fat 2160/60p codecs – so you will have some issues if in case you have loads. There could also be 4K plug-in units. There are additionally twin USB sockets and AV minijacks for composite and part hook-ups. Ethernet enhances the built-in Wi-Fi. There’s additionally an optical audio output to be used with an exterior sound system.

The display comes with two remotes. One is a finger-skinned Bluetooth pointer with a small touchpad, the opposite a extra conventional clicker, albeit with a full keypad on the flip.

sensible platform

  • android television working system
  • 4K Companies: Netflix, Amazon Video and YouTube

The 803 runs Android N and has 16GB of expandable onboard reminiscence. To be sincere, Android is a tricky TV working system to like in its present guise, as we at Sony TVs previous and current have stated. The excellent news is {that a} software program improve to Android Oreo is on the playing cards, together with a brand new consumer interface (UI) and Google Assistant voice management performance. Alexa customers should not really feel alone, as there is a talent set for the Amazon Voice system that can convey the Amazon system underneath management.

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An unlucky consequence of Android TV isn’t any Freeview Play (each do not play ball for some cause), which suggests no roll-back TV information and restricted catch-up TV choices. The Freeview HD Digital Program Information (EPG) is disappointingly fundamental, with no picture-in-picture (PIP) and even audio overlays. Main apps embody iPlayer, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Google Play, Rakuten TV, Dailymotion, BBC Information and Sports activities. Netflix and Amazon are 4K HDR succesful, as is YouTube 4K. However you’ll discover that it lacks All4 ITVHub.

New panel, new processor

  • Excessive Dynamic Vary Format Help: HDR 10, HLG and HDR 10+
  • 4K/Extremely-HD (3840 x 2160) decision
  • Brighter sub-pixel design than earlier than

The panel itself is 2018 contemporary, with the brand new sub-pixel design (seems vaguely like a musical word in purple and inexperienced underneath the microscope). This has elevated the sunshine output by about 10 p.c in comparison with the earlier technology mannequin.

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That further brightness brings higher excessive dynamic vary (HDR) efficiency with quite a lot of supported codecs. Further details about them may be present in our amenities, the hyperlink beneath.

HDR10 and Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG) HDR assist are commonplace. The 803 additionally options Philips as a signatory to the HDR10+ Alliance. This dynamic metadata open commonplace is establishing itself as a rival to Dolby Imaginative and prescient (which Philips is notably missing), however software program assist is conspicuous by its absence… for now. HDR10+ guarantees extra element in shadow areas, because the picture is analyzed and optimized on a frame-by-frame foundation.

So what in regards to the 803’s total image efficiency? It is undoubtedly one thing particular, although you will must navigate a jungle of settings to get the very best out of it.

Philips engineers have additionally fine-tuned the set in a number of areas. Pores and skin tones look exceptionally actual even towards overly saturated backgrounds. Native Distinction Enhancement, which attracts out particulars from areas that get misplaced in shadow, additionally works properly. There are baggage of distinction within the pictures.

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Superior Digital Noise Discount (DNR) is ready to cut back indiscriminate haze that usually happens when a processor errors it for grain. MPEG noise discount has additionally been improved to cut back mosquito noise and cut back macro blocking. General, the 803’s picture is constantly clear and crisp.

After all, many of the content material you see on this display is prone to be commonplace dynamic vary (SDR), which is the place the brand new wizard, referred to as Good Pure Actuality, comes into play.

Upgrading SDR to HDR

  • Good Pure Actuality Processing
  • A number of HDR Viewing Modes

Good Pure Actuality, unique to the second-gen P5 processor, is a distinction enhancing cocktail that makes use of an clever distinction algorithm to boost pictures (brightness, sharpness and distinction) in each scene.

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The impact can typically be very delicate, however is at all times efficient. In Batman v Superman: Daybreak of Justice (UHD Blu-ray), Ice Monument features an extra distinction edge with this mode, when Clark Kent heads to the mountain after the Capitol Hill tragedy, and encounters Pa Kent.

Image presets embody Private, Vivid, Pure, Customary, Film, Sport, Monitor Mode, plus ISF Day & Evening. The 2 most constantly pleasing viewing modes are commonplace and pure.

Together with HDR content material, the presets swap to HDR Private, HDR Vivid, HDR Pure, HDR Film, HDR Sport, plus ISF Day & Evening. Selecting between them can considerably have an effect on efficiency.

Take a look at patterns affirm that HDR film decision reaches full 4K decision, nevertheless it seems positively delicate in comparison with HDR Pure or HDR Vivid. See opening textual content in crawl Star Wars The Final Jedic (UHD Blu-ray) In HDR film mode, half the celebrities disappear. HDR Pure and HDR Vivid held them again.

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The 803’s HDR efficiency is true up there with the competitors. We solely measured a most brightness of 830nits (with a 5 p.c HDR window). It is definitely adequate to have a good time the specular highlights on such an OLED panel, inserting it roughly on par with the LG OLED C8.

Movement dealing with and gaming efficiency

  • good pure movement
  • good pace

Movement dealing with although is on a glove or off the glove. Choose Film mode from the Image Kinds choice and you may take pleasure in pictures freed from movement artifacts, albeit with little justice and lack of movement readability. The opposite choices (Sport, Customary, Easy and Clear) all enhance pan stability and element, however convey with them movement artifacts that halo round transferring objects. The Private setting lets you tweak the Good Pure Movement and Good Clear Movement settings, and it is right here that you must experiment to search out a suitable therapy for fast-moving sports activities footage.

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The 803 represents an inexpensive proposition for avid gamers. Hook up your console and play utilizing the usual picture presets and you will be confronted with a 55.4ms enter lag. Choosing the devoted recreation setting drops this to 38.8ms. It isn’t an distinctive efficiency, nevertheless it’s unlikely to disrupt most console video games.

sound show

  • 2.1 channel system
  • Complete output energy 50W

The audio high quality is sort of enticing contemplating the slimness of the set. An extended-throw, rear triple ring woofer (derived from a design made by the Philips Vooks Audio offshoot), supported by two passive radiators. The result’s a plausible quantity of bass. Complete output energy is quoted at 50W.

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A brand new oval mid-range driver, in addition to a separate delicate dome tweeter, improves stereo separation. So, we do not suppose you will be in any hurry so as to add a soundbar.


to recap

In relation to image high quality, Philips has created a hummingbird of OLED teles. Add a slick design, respectable audio, and crowd-pleasing Ambilight, and it is a set for the shortlist—offered you may dwell with the elegant Android TV working system.

Written by Steve Might. Modifying by Stuart Miles.

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