The Philips OLED 903 is one of the most attractive proposals from Philips. A 65-inch TV (also available in 55-inch) with OLED technology. That is, deeper blacks and vibrant colors for a premium experience . In addition, a Bowers & Wilkins audio system with differentiated speakers is also included to enhance the reproduction of treble, midrange and bass . It does not offer as powerful a result as that of a full home theater, but it is a fantastic solution for users who are not audiophiles but are looking for a higher point of quality.
And all this with a really fine design. The thinness of the panel and the minimalism of its two legs that protrude very little from the TV are impressive, and create the feeling that we are in front of a panel “floating” in the air . Nor should we forget its exclusive Ambilight technology on all three sides. It is a system of LED lights both on the top and on the sides that dynamically changes according to the images seen on TV. This system has not finished making its mark on the market, probably due to the difficulty of showing its appeal in the store itself.
Speaking of stores, the 65-inch Philips OLED 903 can be found in stores like El Corte Inglés for a price of 3,500 euros . The 55-inch configuration lowers its price to 2,500 euros. I have had the opportunity to test this TV for a couple of weeks. These are my opinions on this interesting OLED TV.
Philips OLED 903 65-inch datasheet
|Resolution and technology||4K UHD (3840 x 2160 pixels), Perfect Natural Motion, HDR Perfect, Micro Dimming Perfect, 4500 dpi|
|Processor||P5 Perfect Picture Engine|
|Dimensions (with base)||144.8 x 89.1 x 28 cm|
|Weight (with stand)||65 inch: 31.4 kg|
|Support||Two small metal legs|
|Operating system||Android Nougat|
|Apps||YouTube, Netflix, Online video clubs, Open Internet browser, Social networks, Television on demand|
|Control||Remote control with keys, minimalist remote control|
|Sound||Bowers & Wilkins Soundbar, 2.1ch, 50 Watts (RMS), Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, AC-4, Dolby Atmos, DTS-HD, DTS II|
|Connections||4 x HDMI, 2 x USB, Component, CI +, Digital audio out (optical), Ethernet|
|Wireless connectivity||Wi-Fi 11ac 2 × 2|
Google Play Store
Two options to control the TV
Little by little, year after year, it seems that the traditional command of the TV has its days numbered . In the case of Philips TVs, we are still in an intermediate step, which translates into the use of two different controls. The first of them is what we could call traditional, which I have been able to try in previous years. It is a remote that has a full keyboard on the back and a large number of buttons on the front too. It is difficult to get used to so many options and sometimes it is not entirely intuitive, but the truth is that after getting used to its use (something that has happened to me for a long time) it is a good tool to control the equipment in an advanced way.
The Philips OLED 903 can be controlled with two different controls
The second command is the one that involves a change. It reminds me a lot of Samsung's proposal with its touch control, but still smaller in size. In fact, at first it even went unnoticed in the TV box itself. This knob has an elongated and slim design, which reminds me of the shape of a thin pack of cigarettes. The number of buttons is kept to a minimum , with one for on / off, two to lower and raise the volume, one to return to the beginning and to go back (in a clear reference to the buttons on a touchscreen mobile).
We also have a central square panel that occupies the entire surface of the remote and that allows us to move with touch gestures through the TV menu. Like a trackpad, we can press it to confirm and hold it down to bring up the menu to switch fonts and other options (something that took me a while to figure out).
The touch pad is really slim
The truth is that there is still work ahead in the touch control of this remote . Normally he captures movements well, but there are times when the movement is not so comfortable. Personally, I think Samsung's touch pad is ahead in response. Also, I miss something that could be done with the Korean remote: it is about quickly switching between channels or options by holding down one side of the panel. In the case of the Philips remote, you have to make the gesture of moving your finger from one side of the panel to the other each time and if you have to move a lot it is tiring.
The last button on the remote is the one used to open the Google voice assistant. This assistant uses a microphone integrated in the remote and helps us to open different applications or search for configuration options quickly. As usual in this Google tool, voice recognition is fine and almost always captures voice commands at the first time. A good solution if you do not fully control the remote or want to try to control the Philips OLED 903 by talking to it .
Android TV has many of the most interesting apps, such as Spotify, Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube ...
Android TV ecosystem
And we come to what is the heart of the television ecosystem. Philips has opted for the Android platform, leaving aside its own developments . A good solution? Honestly, I who have been able to try another Philips TV in previous months have come to miss the old interface. The main problem with the Android ecosystem is that it is quite demanding in terms of power and processing capacity. From time to time it shows in the fluidity when moving through the menus and also when opening different applications.
On the positive side, we are talking about a very complete ecosystem that has a good handful of applications available. Today, it is the most powerful alternative to established proposals such as Samsung's interface with Tizen and LG's with WebOS. As expected, the greatest joys are found when using Google's own applications, such as YouTube. I also really liked the connection to different web pages with video content. If you are connected to the same WiFi network, you can stream the content directly on TV with just one click from your computer on platforms like Facebook.
In the case of being passionate about series and videos, it must be said that we have apps for both Netflix and Amazon Prime Vide o. Both are quite complete and we have hardly seen any flaws in the time we have been able to dive through them. Of course, if you are looking for HBO you will not find it to use it easily.
Netflix interface on the Philips OLED 903
Sound, Philips' big bet
Philips has teamed up with Bowers & Wilkins to offer this TV something different from what we can find in the competition. It's a somewhat different approach to the Philips OLED 973, which offers a soundbar built into the base of the TV itself. In the case of the Philips OLED 903, the bar is distributed through a strip that occupies the entire width of the TV and is between the panel itself and the bases.
The sound system is distributed across the entire width of the TV
The sound system is type 2.1. That is to say, immersive audio although without reaching the experience of a full home cinema. It consists of two titanium dome tweeters for the highs, two conical fiberglass speakers for the mids and a subwoofer for the bass. Each midrange speaker is rated at 10W, while the subwoofer is rated at 30W. In total, it is capable of offering us an output power of 50W.
You have to be honest. The work that has been done to introduce this sound system into such a fine television is commendable. The audio is crisp and the bass is decent , although there are certain moments when the aural sensation generated is somewhat artificial. But most of the time it offers us a complete experience for users who are not audiophiles or looking for a powerful multimedia equipment. In this case, you will always find a plus in the use of a home cinema system with a sound bar (especially to achieve more intense bass).
OLED image with an infinity panel
The panel of the Philips OLED 903 is downright impressive. The company has opted for an infinity screen design that feels even bigger . The frames are really small. In addition, it has the plus of Ambilight LED lights that I will talk about later. This TV is available in two formats, 55 and 65 inches. I have been able to test the second configuration in a room that is not very large. But despite my first doubts, it is a fantastic size to be able to enjoy a cinema experience in your own living room (once you go through a transition period to get used to that format).
Philips uses OLED technology in this TV, a type of panel that is more powerful than LCD in several respects. You can immediately notice the difference in the brightness and sensation that glass gives you, with brighter colors. But, above all, where this technology gives you the most play is when facing dark scenes. Unlike with LCD panels, the pixels of OLED screens can be turned off individually when it is dark and we achieve deeper blacks.
The work on the image processing is done by the Philips P5 quad-core processor . This chip brings a series of improvements that are evident if we activate them. Thus, we can enjoy images in which the contrast and vividness of the scenes is superior. Yes, I have missed a little more fluidity in the Android TV menus, but when it comes to treating the image - which really stands out on a television - I have not come across any but during the time that I have tested the television . By the way, if you see somewhere the addition of OLED + in this model, it does not refer to a change in the technology itself, but to the improvements that the TV includes through the new image processor.
The Philips TV frames are really small, giving that feeling of an even bigger screen
Is a curved panel missing? The truth is that no, especially now that the frames are getting thinner and this feeling of a larger format is created. As expected, we are facing a panel with 4K resolution of 3,840 x 2,160 pixels. I do have to comment that I have found that Philips has done a good job of scaling content with less resolution, but it has not seemed to me to be one of the strongest points of this TV.
Among the technologies that the company has included we have Perfect Natural Motion . With this technology, each pixel that is part of the panel is individually verified so that the lines of movement are smoother and image jumps are avoided. Of course, this TV supports high dynamic range HDR content . The designation HDR Perfect simply means that it supports HDR10.
The legs that work as a base are very elegant and short
Really elegant and slim design
There is no doubt. The Philips OLED 903 is a television that falls in love. For its simplicity, for its concept of elegance ... And for the way in which it has been carried out. Starting with the fineness of the panel itself. It is impressive that it is thinner than a finger and even generates the feeling of a certain fragility. It is only thicker in the lower area, where the rows of Ambilight LED lights also come into play (making it impossible to thin).
It is a TV that is very easy to hang on the wall thanks to its fineness and maintains a very competitive weight of 31 kilos. But personally, what I liked the most is its base system. Far from other more complex proposals and in which the support has a lot of prominence, Philips wanted to create a truly minimalist TV. Its two silver metal bases barely protrude from the TV front and back, and are so thin that they can easily go unnoticed. Of course, they do their job well and keep the TV in place. In addition, they have the detail of having the logos of both Philips and Bowers & Wilkins.
The lower frame area also stands out, in which a layer of dark gray fabric has been introduced, which is what hides the integrated sound bar. However, it gives me the impression that a different color - and even a touch - could have been chosen to make this area of the TV more attractive. All in all, it is a differential point that makes it unique compared to the rest of the competition, and that always adds up in a market in which designs are becoming more and more equal.
The Philips OLED 903 panel is thinner than a finger
Within the field of connections, we are going to enjoy a fairly complete set that meets the needs of any user. Starting with the presence of four HDMI slots to connect different devices to the television such as consoles, computers or decoders. We also have two USB slots designed to insert a microUSB memory or a hard disk. In this way we can view multimedia content such as photos or videos that we have stored in these units. The Philips OLED 903 supports a large number of video and audio formats.
In the case of video, you can play files in MKV format , one of the most used with high quality movies. It is also compatible with AVI, MPEG or WMV , in addition to the more classic subtitle formats such as SRT, SUB or TXT. Within the audio we can play songs in MP3, AAC or WAV format among others. In the case of images, we have support for JPEG, BMP, GIF and PNG formats.
We also have the option of using the hard disk or USB memory (if it reaches a certain speed) to be able to record the contents that we are watching on TV.
When it comes to connecting to the Internet, there are two options. On the one hand, we have an Ethernet slot to connect the TV via cable. It is an interesting option if we have the router in the living room, since the typical loss of signal that happens with the WiFi connection is avoided. Precisely, the second option is to connect the TV to the WiFi network. The Philips OLED 903 TV supports the WiFi AC protocol.
This protocol allows us to connect through both the 2.4 GHz bandwidth and the 5 GHz bandwidth. This first bandwidth is the one used by the vast majority of devices we use today. The problem is that we are not only talking about laptops and mobiles, equipment such as microwaves and other household appliances can also cause interference in this width. In addition, it is a bandwidth that is not designed so that there are many computers connected at the same time, something that goes against the reality that exists in more and more homes.
The 5 GHz bandwidth, on the other hand, is less congested and has been designed so that a large number of devices can be connected at the same time (up to 100). The result is a more stable and faster connection (it is also capable of handling higher speeds). To use this width it is necessary to have a compatible router, although today most of them are already compatible.
Sample Ambilight lights, an exclusive Philips technology
Ambilight on all three sides
It is, without a doubt, the technology that most sets Philips televisions apart from the competition. A different proposal and sometimes little valued in its proper measure. It is a set of LED lights that change color in real time depending on what you are seeing on the screen (although you can also leave it fixed if you only want ambient light). The grace is that these lights are projected on the wall where the television is placed, so that it becomes part of the experience of watching a movie or a series.
How could it be otherwise, the Philips OLED 903 TV uses an Ambilight system on all three sides, both on the top and on both sides. The power of the lights and the style can be configured from the TV itself to suit our preferences.
Is Ambilight worth it? This is a very personal question. There are many to whom this play of light seems little more than a curiosity and others who give it more value. I am between the seconds. I have heard from friends that when they come home they have told me that the lights distract them from what is really important, what happens on TV. The same thing happened to me at the beginning of making contact with Ambilight (a few years ago). But later, you stop staring at the sides and start to have an almost imperceptible feeling of being before a more intimate, personal experience. When I watch other TVs I miss this feeling, although it dissolves after a few days without seeing the LED lights.
In short, it is not - for me - a technology that makes the difference between buying a television or not, but it does provide a plus that makes you enjoy a richer and more complete multimedia experience.
Price and reviews
The Philips OLED 903 can be found in two configurations. The one we have tested bets on a 65-inch panel and is priced at 3,500 euros . It can also be found in a panel with 55 inches and 2,500 euros.
In short, I am left with the impression of having faced a really complete TV. The OLED 903 knows how to create an excellent balance between image quality, sound quality and elegant and differential design. It stands out from the first glance and also includes an exclusive Philips technology such as its Ambilight LED lights . It is not a feature that will please everyone, but I have liked it from the first moment I made contact with it. The idea that the lights play with the TV environment itself and bring the multimedia experience to the wall of the living room is a plus that I love.
Android TV main screen on the Philips OLED 903
The Bowers & Wilkins integrated audio system is another of its strengths. The TV creates an immersive and high-quality experience . Enough for many of the users who do not want to mount a home cinema in the living room. As a user, I like to enjoy a complete experience without having to search for other devices, although it must be recognized that it is still the most powerful option if you want to set up your small home theater.
On the negative side, it must be recognized that Android TV is the weakest Smart TV platform of the dominant ones today. Its synchronization with other devices is excellent, but the movement through the menus and the fluidity leaves to be desired. And that's even when compared to the very platform Philips used last year. A long way to go for Google's system.