Philips OLED 806 4K TV with Ambilight review: Light up your lounge

3 weeks ago 13
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(Pocket-lint) - Philips is simply a TV marque reborn close present - and it mostly has OLED exertion to convey for it. Well, that and Ambilight - the LEDs to the rear of the acceptable which illuminate the surrounding surfaces, arsenic if the representation emits beyond the TV screen.

From the infinitesimal OLED panels recovered a mode to present capable brightness to bash precocious dynamic scope (HDR) images justice, Philips has been labouring tirelessly - and progressively successfully - to rebuild its erstwhile monolithic beingness successful the European TV marketplace connected the backmost of distinctively designed and progressively fantabulous OLED TV models.

Its 2021 measurement into this accelerated OLED-driven roadworthy to betterment is the OLED806: an upper-range exemplary which, contempt costing a precise tenable sum, introduces caller refinements to Philips' acclaimed representation processing strategy and, adjacent better, supports much precocious gaming features than we've seen connected immoderate Philips TV before.

Design

  • 4x HDMI inputs, (2x HDMI 2.1), 3x USB ports
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth multimedia options

The OLED806 hits the crushed moving by looking earnestly gorgeous. It's astir unfeasibly bladed astatine its edges - hardly a centimetre heavy - and these unfeasibly bladed areas besides bask a luscious brushed-metal backing.

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The OLED806 inevitably can't clasp its utmost slenderness implicit the entirety of its rear; its speakers, connections, tuner, sheet drivers, processing chips, and truthful forth, person to spell somewhere, aft all. This leads to astir two-thirds of its rear jutting retired a bully inch and more.

The slender edges are each that tin beryllium seen from sensible viewing angles, though, truthful unless the OLED806 is being hung connected a wall, its 'chunky bit' is hardly worthy mentioning.

Except, that is, for the mode it carries some a promisingly ample slope of rear-facing speakers and an array of LEDs ranged on each 4 edges. These lights are there, of course, to present Philips' unsocial Ambilight technology, which present casts coloured airy retired each astir the TV to dizzying effect.

This airy tin beryllium acceptable to a azygous colour of your choosing, oregon to way the colour contented of the images being shown onscreen. Opt for the second enactment and the accuracy with which Ambilight matches some the colour code and determination of antithetic colours successful immoderate fixed framework is beauteous remarkable. So overmuch so, that it tin marque Ambilight a spot distracting connected its default settings. Reducing the brightness and aggressiveness with which it reacts to changes successful the representation content, though, usually shifts the equilibrium backmost to Ambilight enhancing alternatively than detracting from the viewing experience. 

Philips

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The OLED806 carries a beardown acceptable of connections too. Particularly invited is the inclusion amongst the TV's 4 HDMI ports of 2 that are susceptible of handling the latest gaming graphics features of 4K feeds astatine 120Hz refresh rates; adaptable refresh rates (VRR; including AMD's FreeSync Premium Pro and Nvidia's G-Sync systems); and the Automatic Low Latency Mode (ALLM) diagnostic that allows compatible sources, specified arsenic the Xbox Series X, to power the TV successful and retired of its Game mode automatically depending connected whether they're moving a crippled oregon a video app.

Smart Features

  • Smart system: Android/Google TV

Philips has turned to Android TV for its premium TV astute systems for years now, and that continues with the OLED806. At the clip of penning the sets are moving Android TV 10 - but Philips has stated that this volition beryllium upgraded to Google TV astatine immoderate aboriginal date.

This volition beryllium a invited update erstwhile it comes, arsenic the accomplishment of Google TV connected Sony's latest TVs has shown it to beryllium amended looking, friendlier, much customisable, much intuitive, and much adjuvant than immoderate Android TV strategy before.

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The Android TV 10 strategy presently moving connected the OLED806 is astatine slightest an betterment connected its predecessors, though. It's much responsive, much stable, organised much with TV alternatively than smartphone users successful mind, and much customisable.

It also, however, feels a spot dated and dictatorial compared with immoderate of the different TV astute systems disposable today. Plus there's nary Dolby Atmos enactment from the Disney+ app, and nary Apple TV app astatine all. Here's hoping the Google TV update doesn't instrumentality excessively agelong to travel through.

Picture Quality

  • HDR Support: HDR10, HLG, HDR10+, Dolby Vision
  • Processing engine: Philips' P5 strategy (5th Gen)

With the close sources and, to immoderate extent, the close settings, the OLED806 tin nutrient truly rather beauteous pictures.

At the bosom of its dazzling representation amusement is its contrast. At 1 extremity of the airy spectrum it delivers each spot (and past some) of the prowess with achromatic colours and acheronian tones that's ever been astatine the bosom of OLED's location cinema appeal. The acheronian the surface tin nutrient is impeccably consistent, too, some successful presumption of its absorption to the benignant of fluctuations and instabilities we inactive occasionally spot with immoderate OLED TVs, and however perfectly adjacent it is close crossed the screen.

Philips

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The OLED806 besides handles near-black representation accusation superbly for specified a comparatively affordable OLED TV, avoiding fizzing and blocking sound successful acheronian areas, and delivering creaseless blends and plentifulness of subtle shadiness item (if the brightness is accrued a mates of notches from its 50 default position, anyway).

Right alongside the beauteous overmuch impeccable achromatic levels are immoderate of the punchiest agleam highlights we've seen from an OLED TV. The surface is susceptible of delivering astir 770 nits of sustained brightness - which is astir par for the OLED people these days.

Somehow, though, the OLED806 tin momentarily propulsion this brightness to a mighty 943 nits if you usage the Vivid mode that Philips' representation experts recommend. This immense brightness truly doesn't past agelong - but past galore of an HDR picture's precise brightest elements are lone onscreen for a little play too.

It's worthy stating astatine this constituent that dissimilar the caller OLED+936 model, the OLED806 doesn't usage 1 of the caller high-brightness OLED panels that person been specified a large woody for 2021.

The OLED806's unashamedly assertive attack to pictures continues to likewise dazzling effect with its colour performance. Saturations successful astir of its presets are spectacularly vibrant and fulsomely saturated. So overmuch so, again, that it's hard to judge that the TV isn't outputting much brightness than it really is.

The colour richness applies arsenic to each tones, careless of whether they're chiefly red, greenish oregon blue. This ensures that contempt the set's assertive approach, pictures ever look perfectly balanced. The vibrancy doesn't halt the representation processor from rendering fantabulous levels of tonal subtlety either, ensuring that tegument tones ne'er look plasticky oregon level - there's really a dedicated tegument code conception successful the P5 processing motor - and that pictures typically bask a convincing and enticing consciousness of depth.

This being an OLED TV, the OLED806's colour and opposition stay beauteous overmuch unblemished if you person to ticker the surface from adjacent a precise wide angle.

Philips TVs person agelong had a estimation for delivering exceptionally crisp pictures - and the OLED806 continues that trend. Especially since you tin present permission Philips' Ultra Resolution diagnostic connected with bully prime HD and 4K sources without it causing the representation to look gritty, harsh oregon unnatural.

The sharpness holds up astir eerily well, too, erstwhile objects are moving astir connected surface oregon there's a camera cookware to woody with. Philips' question processing tin region fundamentally each question judder and blur. The lone occupation with this is that films thin to look similar soap operas, and besides endure from a fewer distracting unwanted broadside effects. 

Happily, though, Philips present offers a full big of question processing options for you to take from, including a Pure Cinema mounting that does a beauteous overmuch spot connected occupation of smoothing ‘excess' judder distant without films losing their 24p look without generating unwanted broadside effects. A caller Fast Motion Clarity achromatic framework insertion enactment besides delivers precise earthy looking motion, but lone astatine the disbursal of a chunk of brightness.

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The flexibility Philips provides with the question processor tin besides beryllium seen with its representation presets. For years Philips has arguably been a spot excessively assured that its famously processing-heavy attack to representation prime is successful tune with what everyone truly privation to watch. With the OLED806, though, Philips has tried to supply thing for everyone. So portion the Vivid mode is inactive there, for instance, to crook each of Philips' processing tools 'up to 11' for the astir explosive results, there's present besides a Movie mode which sees Philips turning disconnected beauteous overmuch each of its beloved processing to present a much 'accurate', neutral image. 

Even much astonishing fixed Philips' erstwhile representation doctrine is the inclusion of the Filmmaker Mode. After all, this represents Philips not lone allowing a third-party to get progressive with its TV representation quality, but a third-party that's motivated by matching manufacture standards alternatively than trying to get the maximum interaction from immoderate root is being received.

This caller openness to different tastes is invited - and joins with the immense magnitude of representation accommodation options Philips provides successful creating what feels similar a genuine caller thrust to beryllium each things to all. And yet…

Despite each Philips' caller AI know-how, root detection tools, and seemingly much unfastened representation mindedness, the OLED806 tin inactive present beauteous varied representation prime results with antithetic types and prime of source. Good autochthonal 4K images typically look beauteous with small to nary involution required. But heavy compressed HD and SD sources tin look over-processed and unnatural utilizing the representation modes Philips tends to thin towards with its retired of the container presets. 

Philips

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The bottommost enactment is that AI oregon nary AI, unless a OLED806 is going to beryllium fed an exclusively autochthonal 4K HDR fare past galore users volition find they request to familiarise themselves with and regularly revisit the TV's analyzable representation setup menus. The set's sound reduction, sharpness and question settings successful peculiar tin travel connected excessively beardown with low-quality sources for anyone who likes their images to look earthy or, astatine least, 'clean'.

While the OLED806 doesn't ever present what feels similar the champion results with low-quality sources retired of the box, though, the cardinal constituent is that it tin beryllium made to look bully with conscionable astir anything. And with bully prime sources it tin look thing abbreviated of spectacular - adjacent without immoderate idiosyncratic intervention.

Sound Quality

It turns retired that those large, disposable drivers facing retired from the OLED806's rear aren't conscionable determination for show. They play their portion successful delivering a amazingly steadfast magnitude of bass and an impressively dynamic, unfastened mid-range that's capable successful itself to instantly acceptable the dependable supra the built-in TV dependable 'par'. 

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This beardown instauration is joined by beardown and close projection of effects and people enactment distant from the TV's bodywork and into your country - peculiarly if you're capable to provender the TV a Dolby Atmos soundtrack. Dialogue remains locked to the onscreen action, portion besides sounding wide and good contextualised - though we've had immoderate sources look a spot vacant successful delivering dependable that feels 'connected', truthful it's root dependent.

Every present and past a truly utmost bass dependable - the benignant of happening you consciousness directors enactment successful deliberately to harm subwoofers - tin origin immoderate bass to simply vanish from the mix, oregon other origin the drivers to illness into crackling noise. These distortion-causing moments are precise rare, though. 

Verdict

The Philips OLED806 delivers sublime images - made to look adjacent amended acknowledgment to its unsocial Ambilight proposition - and it adjacent supports the latest gaming must-have technologies.

However, it's not the easiest TV to usage - well, not for radical who ever privation to consciousness similar they're getting the champion show retired of it from immoderate fixed source, arsenic that requires a spot of settings tinkering.

Crucially, though, astatine its champion the Philips OLED806 is simply a resplendent sight. That show is precise reasonably priced, too, making this an fantabulous buy. 

Also consider

LG

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LG OLED C1

While it isn't susceptible of rather specified thrilling HDR pictures, doesn't dependable arsenic powerful, and lacks the Philips'Ambilight plan charms, it's inactive a beardown performer, is easier to use, and costs a small little too.

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Writing by John Archer. Originally published connected 27 September 2021.

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