This year the battle to offer the best OLED on the market is being really interesting. LG, Panasonic, Sony and Philips have refined their high-end models by fixing potential problems from previous models and adding new features. We already had the opportunity to test the Panasonic GZ2000, the top of the range from the Japanese manufacturer. So today we bring you the analysis of the Philips OLED 854, an OLED TV with a P5 Perfect Picture processor and compatible with Dolby Vision and HDR10 + .
In addition to betting on both dynamic HDR systems, Philips maintains some of the features that have made its OLED televisions so attractive . For example, it goes back to betting on the Android TV system, which in this model will arrive in its 9.0 Pie version. The Ambilight backlighting system, one of the features that differentiates Philips from the competition, is also maintained. And on the other hand, this year Philips OLED TVs are compatible with Dolby Atmos audio.
But before going into the pure analysis of this television, it is worth placing the Philips OLED 854 within the range of OLED televisions of the manufacturer. Like LG or Panasonic, Philips has increased its range of OLED televisions and this year we can find up to 5 different Philips models on the market. The most basic of the range is the Philips OLED 754, a model with an OLED panel but without an Android TV system. They are followed by the OLED 804 and this Philips OLED 854, two models with the same characteristics and whose difference is in the design of the base. And at the top of the range we have the two models of the 9 series. The Philips OLED 934 offers a design with a sound bar integrated into the base, while the Philips OLED 984 opts for a separate sound bar and a stand that will allow us place the TV directly on the floor. And now that we have it located within the range, let's see what the new Philips OLED 854 offers us.
|Diagonal||65 inches (also available in 55 inches)|
|Resolution and technology||4K, HDR10 + / HDR10 / HLG / Dolby Vision|
|Processor||P5 Pro Perfect Picture Engine|
|Operating system||Android TV 9 (Pie)|
|Control||Remote control with keypad|
|Sound||2.1ch (2 x 10W mid / high speakers, 30W subwoofer), 50W total power, Dolby Atmos, DTS-HD|
|Connections||4 x HDMI, 2 x USB, 1 x Component, CI +, Optical digital audio out, RJ45, Audio L / R in, Headphone out, Satellite connector|
|Wireless connectivity||802.11ac 2x2 Dual Band WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2|
|Support||Straight metal center base, VESA compatible 300 x 300 mm|
|Others||3-sided Ambilight compatible with Philips Hue bulbs|
|Dimensions (with base)||144.8 x 85.7 x 24.3 cm|
|Weight (with stand)||30.5 kg|
Discreet and elegant design where the panel is important
We could say that the Philips OLED 854 is how an OLED TV should be, elegant and with premium finishes. The panel is "framed" by a thin gray metal frame that is about 3 millimeters thick. In addition, when we turn it on we will see a black frame surrounding the image, also about 3 mm. It is common on televisions, even high-end ones.
Regarding the stand, Philips has opted for an elongated metal base with a chrome finish . The base is of good quality, you can tell right out of the box and check its weight. However, on the 65-inch model, which is the one I've tested, the TV moves quite a bit just by touching it. It is something that usually happens with this type of central bases.
Of course, the base of the Philips OLED 854 has two advantages. The first is that we will only need an 80-centimeter piece of furniture to place it (although in my opinion it is more than advisable to have some space on the sides). And the second is that the base allows you to turn the TV left and right about 20 degrees . It is something that I had not seen in a high-end model for a long time.
If we go to the back of the TV we will see the usual finish of most OLED models. That is, a very thin upper part (3 millimeters) with, this time, a metallic finish in a dark color. And, on the other hand, a much thicker lower area (5 centimeters) in which we find all the electronics and connectors.
This second thicker part has a high quality plastic casing. And surrounding it we find the LED strips of the Ambilight system . This time Philips has used a three-sided system , thus not having lighting at the bottom. Some users may like the Ambilight, but for me it is one of the great reasons to choose Philips televisions. I personally love it and think it offers an even more complete viewing experience.
In addition to the Ambilight, in the back we also see three woofers that are part of the sound system that we will talk about later. On the other hand we have the TV connectors, located on the left side (looking at the TV from the front). The power cord is attached to the opposite side.
We have side and bottom connections with a good distribution between types and positions. On the side we find the IC, two USB ports, the headphone output and three HDMI 2.0 inputs. And down we have an additional HDMI 2.0 input, the YPbPr connector, the optical digital audio output, the antenna inputs and an Ethernet port. The four HDMI inputs are ARC, 4K 60p compliant and support Dolby Vision, HLG, HDR10 and HDR10 + signals .
And we finish with the design section talking about the command. The remote control that comes with the Philips OLED 854 is made of high-quality plastic and has a QWERTY keyboard on the back . This comes in really handy when filling in passwords for services or doing searches.
On the front we have direct access buttons to Netflix and Rakuten TV, as well as the Ambilight lighting system . Perhaps given the price of the TV we could expect a somewhat more premium remote, but it does its job properly.
And now that we have seen what it is like on the outside, let's see what it offers inside. The Philips OLED 854 has two great novelties compared to last year's models, Philips OLED 803 and 903. The first is the new P5 Pro Perfect Picture processor , which comes with improvements over the previous model. And the second is that this year Philips OLED models are compatible with both HDR10 + and Dolby Vision . They thus become, together with the Panasonic models, the only ones capable of working with both formats.
Like the rest of the OLED TVs of 2019, the Philips OLED 854 offers impressive black levels, with excellent shadow details and a magnificent dynamic range . The truth is that all OLED models of this year are very even in terms of image quality and only small details differentiate the proposals of the different manufacturers.
Philips is known for always having a pinpoint sharper than other televisions . Perhaps for the most purists this makes the image more artificial, but it also makes it somewhat more striking. The image quality with 4K HDR content is, as you can imagine, sensational. We see some small improvements in HDR performance over last year's models , with better tone mapping and excellent color reproduction. Also, last year's minor posterization issues with certain material seem to have disappeared .
Once again, the Philips OLED features a somewhat more aggressive ABL (Automatic Brightness Limiter) than the competition . If we deactivate the HDR Perfect, the HDR image looks somewhat darker than in other 2019 models. However, what we can do is use the HDR Cinema mode, since it has the value of HDR Perfect set to Minimum, this being the best settings for 1,000 to 4,000 nits content (almost all HDR content).
Otherwise, the Philips OLED 854 offers perfect color reproduction, excellent blacks, a high level of dynamic range and a lot of image sharpness . Playback of content in Dolby Vision and HDR10 + is also excellent, with Dolby Vision content shining a bit brighter in my opinion. Of course, if we want to use the Dolby Vision Brightness mode, it is better to review the rest of the options, since it comes with some of the processing options activated.
SDR image quality is also very good, with great color rendering and a highly detailed image. We have excellent shadow detail, great sharpness, and excellent blacks . In fact, some movies I've tested on their 1080p Blu-Ray version could pass for a 4K picture perfectly at first glance.
Movement is good with 24p content too, no obvious issues. The interpolator included in the Philips OLED 854 is quite aggressive and adds soap opera effect even in the minimum settings , so we must be careful. Even so, we can activate it at the minimum value to achieve greater fluidity in complex scenes.
And what about DTT? Well, a bit the same as always. HD channels look pretty good, you can tell the new processor does a great job of scaling . However, channels with lower resolution show large pixels that are quite visible. This occurs in almost all 4K televisions and becomes more noticeable the larger the television is. And the model that I have tested is 65 inches.
Dolby Atmos Compatible Sound
It is very likely that if you spend 3,000 euros on a television you will also plan to get a sound system that is up to the task. However, it is always good to know if the sound of the TV will be able to offer a good performance when we do not want to use the external equipment.
So the Philips OLED 854 is a TV with decent audio . It doesn't offer the same sound as the soundbar models, but overall it's fairly balanced audio.
But perhaps the best of the OLED 854's sound section is its compatibility with Dolby Atmos and DTS HD . But, without even having a soundbar, how can you support these multi-channel formats? Being compatible means, on the one hand, that it can play these formats. And, on the other hand, that it is capable of passing them to a compatible sound equipment.
Of course, it has certain limitations. For example, the Dolby Atmos audio from Netflix can be passed to a compatible AV receiver . However, the TV is not capable of playing mkv files with this type of audio and passing it to the receiver. As for the DTS HD, the television is compatible, but only the core , that is, the DTS , passes to the AV receiver .
Philips returns to bet on the Android TV system
We are reaching the end of the analysis and we have to talk about the operating system that the television includes. One more year Philips bets on Android TV, which this time comes in version 9.0 Pie . The overall system moves quite fast thanks to a quad-core processor, but it is still not the fastest on the market. Otherwise, it is a fairly stable system, although when switching between videos for tests I had a cut in which the screen went black and I had to turn it off and on again. It is the only problem that it has given me in almost 3 weeks of use.
Regarding applications, it has the same as any other Android TV system. That is, we will have access to Netflix and Amazon Prime Video in 4K Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos (in the content that has it available). We also obviously have access to YouTube and for a few months to HBO .
What else do we find on Android TV? Well, we have Rakuten TV, Plex, A3Player, Movistar +, Spotify, Kodi, VLC, DAZN, MiTele, Orange TV, several options for IPTV and much more. And we do not forget the wide collection of games that we can download directly to the television.
So most likely the only great absence at the moment would be the Apple TV application , which at the moment we do not know if it will reach Android TV. As for Disney +, it appears that the mouse company is negotiating with manufacturers rather than systems, as it has been announced that Sony televisions will receive the app.
Conclusions and price
The Philips OLED 854 is an OLED TV capable of competing with the best on the market . It has a very nice design, in my opinion, with some exclusive features like the Ambilight lighting system.
In terms of image quality, it is very similar to its direct competitors, the LG OLED C9 and the Panasonic GZ1000. I did notice that the HDR image can be a bit darker compared to these, due to the more aggressive ABL and greater drop in the tone map . However, from the configuration menus of the Philips OLED 854 we can modify multiple factors, being able to determine a brighter HDR among many other options. And I don't forget that extra point of sharpness that televisions from this manufacturer always offer.
For the rest, few drawbacks we can put to this impressive TV. Perhaps the most recurrent would be that they have not taken advantage of to place four HDMI 2.1 ports . Considering that the television has both Dolby Vision and HDR10 +, the incorporation of the latest HDMI standard would have been key to having a television prepared for the next few years.
The Philips OLED 854 is available in 55 and 65 inches . The model I have tested is the 65-inch one , which has an official price of 3,000 euros . As for its little brother, the 55-inch model , it is available with a price of 2,000 euros .