Test: Philips 55OLED936, the TV that borders on flawless

When at the dawn of writing a test, it is difficult to remember the defects of a product, it is generally a good sign. When in the case of Philips’ the latest OLED TV incorporates an LG panel from last year, precisely the one that inaugurated Evo technology, which also equips the LG G1, one of our favorite televisions of 2021. The other major feature of this model is being equipped with a soundbar signed by Bower & Wilkins which takes place directly on the foot. Truce of unnecessary suspense, the Philips OLED936 is of this temper.

Design: the soundbar to enhance the screen

It’s pretty rare for a TV to feature a design that sets it apart from the crowd. It must be said that the format has something restrictive and that it is anything but easy to get out of this framework. Philips does not offer anything other than a 55-inch rectangular screen, of course, but it comes with a very nice soundbar that emphasizes its features and adds the right amount of originality to the whole.

Too bad, on the other hand, that Philips did not manage to control the thickness of its television. This is not problematic, far from it, but the television is still slightly larger than the average in its category.

For the rest, it is, as often, a really serious work of manufacture, with particular care given to details and perceived quality of the very first order. Our only regret concerns the new remote control, very successful from an aesthetic point of view, but which does not really inspire solidity.

Image quality: close to perfect

Although it does not offer the brightness promised when it was made official, last year’s OLED Evo panel remains the best in this area (while waiting for the 2022 panel of course, and who knows the QD -OLED from Samsung). You still need to know how to use it. In this little game, Panasonic and Sony are a reference, but it will now be necessary to add Philips to this duo. Indeed, on this OLED936, the Dutch brand has achieved quite a feat in terms of image quality.

With a Delta E measured at 1.76 (in rec709), the Philips OLED is quite simply one of the best rated in our laboratory since it is only surpassed by last year’s LG G1, the QN95A from Samsung, or the Panasonic JZ2000. As a reminder, below 3, the human eye is unable to distinguish chromatic nuances. The color temperature is pretty close to the benchmark 6500K, but more importantly, it’s stable.

The light peak is 996 cd/m2, again one of the highest values of all our measurements. On the other hand, despite numerous attempts, we were unable to obtain a reliable measurement of the viewing angles. These are excellent, OLED requirements, but our test does not quantify their value precisely.

Finally, there is the Ambilight. We no longer need to introduce the Philips lighting system which projects an extension of the colors on the screen onto the wall. Whether you like the process or don’t pay attention to it, the fact remains that it is an exclusivity of the brand and a loyalty factor for its clients.

Android TV: the new benchmark?

We will quickly go over the OS part of this Philips OLED936. In this regard, the OLED of TP Vision continues to entrust the keys to the truck to Google and Android TV. This is the same system that we were able to discover during the tests of Sony, TCL and Xiaomi TVs.

Philips is finally playing the game (video)

To say that Philips has snubbed video games in the past is an understatement. The TP Vision brand almost discovered the existence of consoles last year when it decided to finally reduce its input lag and offer an HDMI 2.1 port. Admittedly, the input lag measured by our lab is only 21 ms, whereas the average of the OLEDs we have tested in recent months is 16.36 ms. The numbers don’t lie, but that would be to forget how far Philips has come. In any case, this is an area in which he can still progress.

Audio: Bower&Wilkins, make the difference

The B&W 3.1.2 soundbar that equips the OLED936 is certainly one of the major assets of the television. On the outside, the chrome part corresponds to a “tweeter on top”, a distinctive Bower&Wilkins mark, both aesthetically and acoustically.

But a nice technical sheet is not always synonymous with audio quality. This is however the case on Philips television which shows impeccable rendering and which proves to be as interesting as an audio speaker for music as well as a soundbar for TV. On this point, no TV has managed to find favor in our eyes.

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