Philips 55OLED803 review: 4K OLED TV on Android TV
By: Alex Chub | 08.02.2019, 11:59
Philips 55OLED803 is a top TV of the manufacturer at the market and it fully corresponds to this status. It will please its future owners with a chic picture on an OLED display (not only with 4K-content), which will be highlighted by Ambilight’s brand-name dynamic background illumination and the entire set of Philips proprietary image enhancement technologies.
In recent years Philips supplied only certainly good LCD-TVs. We can tell this from getting acquainted with Philips 49PUS8503and 49PUS7803. But finally a more advanced OLED803 line became available, with the OLED matrix, as we can guess from its name. Although this is not the only interesting feature of the TV: considering the combination of functionality, technology and price, it may become one of the most interesting TVs currently available on the market. But let us check whether this is so in practice. For this purpose, a 55-inch version has been delivered to our editorial office.
What kind of interesting features Philips 55OLED803 has?
The main and most important difference from the previous Philips TVs that we have seen in our edition is the matrix. This is a 10-bit 120Hz OLED with 4K resolution, manufactured by LG. The main advantages of such panels are as follows: "real" black color, maximum contrast, excellent color rendition, deep picture and maximum viewing angles. The declared brightness is 350 cd/m2 and the peak value – 900 350 cd/m2, the standards of extended dynamic range HDR10, HDR10+ and HLG are supported. It is argued that the color gamut of the TV is 99% of the DCI-P3 color space. But an excellent matrix without a proper processing will not be able to provide the maximum image quality.The well-known proprietary Philips P5 Perfect Picture Engine is responsible for processing at Philips 55OLED803, and if to speak more precisely, its next generation - the Philips P5 Pro is used for this series. The Ambilight dynamic backlighting is also available, as at almost all of the Philips TVs. It is three sided. The sound system is updated, two speakers for high and medium frequencies, plus an active subwoofer with two passive radiators are used.The total root mean square power is 50 Watts. The DTS HD Premium Sound and the Dolby Atmos technologies are supported. Philips 55OLED803 runs on the Android TV platform.
What kind of things the set consists of?
In the standard package, in addition to the TV, there are legs, instructions, adapters for component video input, a power and audio input cable and two remote controls. One of them is standard, the second one is ultra-compact with a microphone and a touch trackpad.
What does the Philips 55OLED803 look like?
A feature of modern OLED TVs is the ability to make the panel itself very thin, and the frame around the perimeter of the screen is minimal, which made the design extremely minimalistic and elegant, as befits to a top-class modern TV.
Instead of the usual wide stands, a pair of small chrome legs are used in case of Philips 55OLED803. They look harmoniously in combination with the panel and are almost invisible when looking at the TV from the sofa, for what it is actually intended for:
The TV turn out really very thin thanks to the use of the OLED panel. In the upper part it is a glass base with a matrix. The lower “thicker” part of the body contains all the electronics and allows the TV to stay more stable:
A three-sided, full-color Ambilight dynamic background backlight is used at Philips 55OLED803. It looks elegant and visually expands the image space, has a bunch of modes, can synchronize with Philips Hue smart lamps. It is especially good at Philips 55OLED803 due to the combination with the OLED-panel and minimal frames. The Ambilight makes the background behind the TV lighter, making the picture on the screen look more deep and contrast:
The back panel is made of a black textured plastic. There is an active subwoofer with a Philips Triple Ring suspension and two passive radiators in the middle. There are VESA 300х300 standard holes for mounting to the wall. Ambilight LEDs are installed on its sides and on the top of TV. On the top they are triple. This kind of solutions is for the illumination equability: the side ones are located much closer to the edges of the TV because of the structure specification.
There are panels with connectors on the right side, and a joystick for handling without a remote control – on the left side.
The first remote is habitual for Philips TVs: a large one with a standard set of buttons on one side and a QWERTY keyboard on a reverse. The second remote is much more interesting, it looks like a kind of “magic wand”. A thin one with several main TV control buttons, a touch trackpad and a microphone for a sound search:
What about the connectors and the connections?
The connectors are traditionally placed on two panels: one is pointing down, the other one - to the side. The TV has 2xHDMI 2.0 (with 2160p/60 support), 2xHDMI 1.4. Two in different directions, one side supports the MHL. There is a connector for wired LAN connection, a component video input (Y Pb Pr - L R), digital audio output (optical), 2xUSB, both are on the side panel, one of them is in 3.0 version. There is also a Common Interface slot (CI +), a standard 3.5-mm headphone jack, a service connector and connectors for cable and satellite TV. EasyLink (HDMI CEC) and ARC (Audio Return Channel) on each HDMI are supported.
How good the picture is?
The Philips 55OLED803 is equipped with a 55-inch 4K OLED matrix. The picture on OLED displays looks great, this is also applicable for Philips 550LED803: incredibly rich colors, maximum viewing angles, deep black color and extremely high contrast due to the fact that individual pixels are simply turned off when displaying black. And no highlights or uneven backlighting due to its lack of technology.
Now let’s talk about the matrix and technologies in more details: A 10-bit, 120-hertz LG matrix with the WRGB subpixels is used. The brightness is 350 cd/m2 [candela per square meter], the peak value is 900 cd/m2 (can be achieved on separate sections of the matrix with the short-term display of bright objects), the standards of the extended dynamic range HDR10, HLG, and dynamic HDR10 + are supported, the Dolby Vision is not supported. The TV's color gamut is 99% of the DCI-P3 color space.
Philips P5 Perfect Picture processor of the second generation is responsible for image processing. This is a system-on-chip, which includes several processors that are responsible for improving the signal quality, increasing the resolution to 4K, reducing the noise, increasing the contrast and improving the smoothness in dynamic scenes. We should also mention the new Perfect Natural Reality technology, which is responsible for converting SDR content to HDR, and High Dynamic Range Perfect makes the picture as realistic as possible. All these technologies together with a high-quality OLED-matrix make the picture really great.
There is no doubt, that the 4K HDR content is especially good on the Philips 55OLED803. The perfect option is the HDR10 + standard, in which information is transmitted for each individual scene, but not for the whole video, which allows you to dynamically adjust the brightness in dark and light scenes, this was previously possible only in case of Dolby Vision. But the more common HDR10 looks gorgeous, including the fact that the skin tones look natural (sometimes there are problems with it). The SDR content to HDR converting works quite well, just like the upscale to 4K from a lower resolution. Yes, depending on how low the quality of the original picture is, artifacts or blurring can sometimes skip. But it is clearly visible only if you specifically look closely at close distance.
Is the sound good?
Philips 55OLED803 got an updated 2.1 audio system. It consists of two silk dome-shaped speakers for high frequencies, two paper cone-shaped speakers for medium frequencies and an active subwoofer with two passive radiators. This solution has been dictated by the small thickness of the TV body. The Philips Triple Ring technology increases the speaker's mobility in the subwoofer, which makes possible to get a louder and a deep sound, and using separate speakers for different frequency ranges makes it more detailed.
The audio system supports the DTS HD Premium Sound and the Dolby Atmos technologies. The total root mean square power is 50 Watts. The audio system produces a powerful and detailed sound with a wide frequency range. The power is more than enough for any habitual living room. Philips 55OLED803 is still not a competitor in regard of the sound for individual high-quality audio systems, but the sound is very good considering the TV category. There are plenty of operation modes and settings.
It sounds very deep, especially considering that this is a television audio system, and not a separate specialized system. The power reserve is more than enough: a 49-inch TV obviously will not be standing in a huge hall. But more important is that this 2.1 solution reproduces a really wide frequency range much better and Philips 49PUS8503 does not sound ‘’flat’’. The special effects, explosions, engines roar are very good in movies and games. For music, audio quality is also enough for most of the users. Yes, this is not an “audiofile” solution, but such users usually already have a good audio system with a receiver and/or an amplifier.
How convenient and easy is to use the Philips 49PUS8503 and what Android TV can do?
The TV is equipped with two remote controls. The size of the first one is standard. There is a full set of standard buttons on one of its sides, including the playback and recording control. A kind of Philips chip in the form of a physical QWERTY-keyboard is on the reverse side. It is not the most convenient one, but it is quite suitable for using and precisely more convenient than the on-screen keyboard.
The second, smaller remote control is more interesting. It is very small in size, but all the most necessary control details are available on them. Six buttons: volume, “Home”, “Back”, “Power” and voice search. A small touch trackpad is used for navigation. Perhaps in 90% of cases, this remote will be enough.
Philips 55OLED803 uses the traditional for its flagships Android TV as a smart platform. The TV runs now on Android 7 Nouga, but in the near future there should be an update to Android 8 Oreo, since the previous Philips LED TV series with Android TV have already begun to be updated. The TV supports voice search, the Google Assistant feature full support will also be available after the update. A 64-bit specially designed for smart TVs quad-core processor MediaTek MT5596A, 2 GB of operational memory and 16 GB of internal memory response for the hardware performance of the Android TV, memory expansion up to 64 GB is supported using a USB drive.
In past reviews of Philips TVs, as well as in the reviews of Philips 49PUS8503 and 49PUS7803, we have already many times viewed the Android TV platform by itself. There is no sense to review them again in such details. The interface of the current version is made in the form of blocks with tiles by sections: content related recommendations, recommendations from Philips (in this case), installed applications, installed games and settings:
The main advantages of Android TV are the flexible setting options and a plenty of various applications. The Google Play app store presents exclusively Android-optimized apps and games, but do not forget that Android and APK can also be installed, including Chrome instead of a regular browser:
The TV is designed for viewing media content foremost and a regular player copes with this. MX Player, VLC, Kodi, Plex are available in the app store for fans of other solutions:
There are also available corresponding applications for streaming video services Youtube etc.
The TV settings are divided into subsections quite logically, everything is clear and visible, so that it will be difficult to get lost:
There is a Philips TV remote app (Android and iOS, iOS iPad) for controlling from smartphone and for stream content. Stock Android TV Remote Control (Android and iOS) from Google is less convenient to use. Using Google Cast, you can broadcast a picture directly from the application to the TV.
There is a lot of games at the app store. Some part of them is optimized for remote control, while the other part requires a gamepad to be available. Just like the keyboard with the mouse, it can be connected either via cable or a Bluetooth.
Philips 55OLED803 has a game mode, with a reduced input lag for connecting game consoles or PCs for gaming. It is 39 ms in this case, which is not a record, but is quite comfortable for most of the gamers.
The bottom line
Philips 55OLED803 is a top TV of the manufacturer at the market and it fully corresponds to this status. It will please its future owners with a chic picture on an OLED display (not only with 4K-content), which will be highlighted by Ambilight’s brand-name dynamic background illumination and the entire set of Philips proprietary image enhancement technologies. The TV sounds very impressive and is equipped with all modern wired and wireless interfaces, including Wi-Fi 2.4 and 5 GHz with MIMO 2x2 support. Due to the Android TV, you can significantly extend the functional possibilities. All of the OLED TVs are very expensive so far, but if you compare the Philips 55OLED803 with its closest competitors with similar price, the Philips version looks advantageous due to the Ambilight and Android TV lights. Yes, the alternative platforms of the competitors are more simple and a bit faster, but functionally they cannot be compared with the Android TV.
6 reasons to buy a Philips 55OLED803 TV
excellent picture quality;
Ambilight active backlight;
stylish, minimalist design;
functional “smart” Android TV platform;
high-quality built-in audio system;
complete set of wired and wireless interfaces.
2 reasons not to buy Philips 55OLED803 TV
OLED-TVs are still very expensive;
The Android TV seems to be too complicated and/or there is no desire to deal with it.
Philips 55OLED803: the flagship 4K OLED TV on Android TV. The main and most important difference from the previous Philips TV sets that we visited is the matrix. This is a 10-bit 120-Hz OLED manufactured by LG with a 4K resolution. I believe that the main advantages of such panels are known to everyone: the “real” black color, maximum contrast, excellent color rendition, juicy picture and maximum viewing angles. In Philips 55OLED803, the well-known proprietary Philips P5 Perfect Picture Engine is responsible for processing, and more specifically, its next generation Philips P5 Pro is used for this series. Ambilight dynamic backlighting is also present, as with almost all Philips TVs. The sound system is updated, using two speakers for high and medium frequencies, plus an active subwoofer with two passive radiators. The total rms power is 50 watts. DTS HD Premium Sound and Dolby Atmos technologies are supported.