Philips 55OLED808 – Design
The thin OLED panel receives as few additions as possible from all manufacturers. The minimal dark border around the screen that seamlessly merges with the matte-finished back does not distract from the image.
All the character of the device comes from the foot; this year, a central metal foot plate without the usual chrome accents at Philips, but finished in a somewhat more sober dark satin color, certainly just as attractive as far as we are concerned.
The foot is very stable and functions as a swivel base, a handy detail. You turn the device very smoothly, with a finger if you want.
Philips 55OLED808 – Connections
At first glance, Philips does not seem to have changed the connections. Two HDMI 2.0 connections (18 Gbps) and two HDMI 2.1 connections with 48 Gbps bandwidth. They support ALLM, 4K120, and VRR. ARC/eARC is available on one of the HDMI 2.1 ports, but unlike last year, there is no ARC on any other HDMI ports.
The rest of the connections are unchanged. Three USB connections, digital optical output, a headphone output, wireless and wired network, and Bluetooth (for wireless keyboards, the remote, and wireless headphones). All connections face to the side or downwards.
Philips 55OLED808 – Ease of use and smart TV
This Philips is one of the first devices that run on the new MediaTek Pentonic platform. Aida64 identifies it as the MT5896 chipset, with a quad-core ARM Cortex-A73 2GHz, 3GB of RAM, and the Mali G57 GPU. Our first impressions are excellent; the device responds very quickly.
This year also marks the step to Google TV for Philips, with Android 12 under the hood. Google TV has fewer personalization options than Android TV, but in return, you get extensive recommendations divided by genre rather than by streaming service. The genres it proposes are based on your viewing habits but only include content from YouTube, Prime Video, Apple TV, and Disney+. No Netflix, although we hope that content from local apps will be added one day.
With the move to Google TV, Philips has finally adjusted its settings menus. These now partly fall under the Google TV structure. But the most important change is that settings appear at the bottom of the screen when you want to change them. This gives you a much better view of exactly what that setting does to the image. The organization has also been streamlined so that you can find everything more easily. Smart settings such as the automatic light sensor or optimization of color temperature and dark details can now be found more clearly.
The black remote largely resembles the remote of the PUS8807 that we saw last year. Some keys have been swapped, but the design and layout are unchanged. It is striking that there is now a button at the bottom right for the TV settings; the button at the top right (‘menu’) opens a quick menu.
The remote is light, pleasant to use, and has a smooth, clear keystroke. It offers three shortcuts for Netflix, Rakuten TV, and Prime Video and has a built-in microphone for Google Assistant.
The Philips 55OLED808 (OLED808 series) has a single TV tuner and one CI + slot. You can record on a USB hard disk, but watching another channel simultaneously is impossible. The media player played almost all of our files, including HDR video and subtitles. He only refused Divx and Xvid but did support DTS. However, there is no shortage of apps on Android TV that play Divx. No Airplay 2, but Philips remains the only TV manufacturer to opt for DTS Play-Fi. This allows you to record the TV in a multi-room environment.
Ambilight is still an exclusive Philips feature. This three-sided Ambilight Next Generation controls each LED individually instead of in groups of three. As a result, the Ambilight halo is more detailed and closely matches what is happening on the screen. The Aurora function is your screensaver when you’re not watching TV and use Ambilight. The built-in library of atmospheric images, moving scenes, and art has been supplemented with nature images from The Explorers and sports images from Red Bull Extreme Sports.
Philips 55OLED808 – Image processing
The Philips P5 processor has arrived in its seventh generation. This year, the underlying chipset has changed, so it is worth looking out for changes in image processing. We generally see the same excellent results as previous models, but there are also several places where we suspect changes. For example, noise reduction seems less efficient for random noise but slightly better for compression noise (block formation). Text overlays in the form of horizontal tickers can be slightly jittery.
There are also new features. In the settings, we find ‘Texture enhancement,’ with which you activate an advanced super-resolution algorithm. That accentuates the detail very well without appearing unnatural. It is only better to avoid DVD content of poor quality since you also highlight the errors more. Philips now also has an anti-banding algorithm in the OLED808 series but does not have a separate setting (it falls under the ‘Artifact reduction’ setting). It works, but results may vary. It is good with very moderate soft color bands but cannot eliminate worse effects. In addition, the Minimum setting is a bit too light, while the Medium already gives up some detail to avoid banding. In our dark test scene, this also gave rise to very visible dark areas that remarkably changed in size due to the torchlight. You avoid the maximum setting, which erases a lot of detail.
The light sensor in the 55OLED808 (OLED808 series) now measures light intensity and is an RGB sensor that also measures color temperature. This allows the TV to adjust its white point so that the image fits better in your ambient light. The area of operation is deliberately limited so that extreme green or red environmental colors, for example, do not influence the image too strongly. The result is fine, although purists will undoubtedly turn this off.
The OLED screen has very good motion sharpness and only hides the finest detail in fast movements. Moving objects hardly suffer from a blurry edge. This year, the Black Frame Insertion option is gone. But since it would only work at 60Hz, we don’t think that’s a big loss. For motion interpolation, Philips has had a very good solution for a long time, and we will see that again this year. If you want to smooth film images, you can choose the “Smooth” option, which incidentally causes very few image artifacts. For a more cinematic look, choose Movie or Standard.
|Picture mode: Filmmaker mode
Optimization Light level: On/Off
OLED Contrast: 70
Light Boost: Medium
Video Level: 100Contrast/Dark Details:
Black Level: 50Contrast/Contrast Enhancement:
Perfect Natural Reality: On/Off
Dynamic Enhancement Level: MinimumContrast/HDR Control:
HDR Effect: Minimum
Philips 55OLED808 – Image quality
The Philips 55OLED808 (OLED808 series) uses the same panel as last year, so no microlens array panel. In the dark uniformity test, we notice a very faint vertical band. The clear test shows a little blue tinge at the bottom. However, both issues remain invisible in normal content.
Filmmaker Fashion remains the ideal choice for the most natural image. On our test device, however, it was less well-calibrated than we are used to. The grayscale had a slight excess of green and red, giving the image a fine light yellow-green tint. That impacts the skin tones, but it was less noticeable in other colors. The Philips hides some white detail, which will rarely be a problem. The TV shows excellent shadow detail, partly due to the choice of a gamma value 2.2. But although you see a lot of detail, dark images such as the Harry Potter test sometimes seem harsh as if the screen is taking relatively large steps to go from black to lighter shades. We also saw that problem in the Game Of Thrones scene. To hide that a bit, you can bring the gamma to +2 (for gamma 2.4).
The result is still very good, but there is some room for improvement with a real calibration. You can calibrate the OLED808 automatically in Portrait Displays Calman.
Philips 55OLED808 – HDR
It remains an excellent asset that Philips can also handle Dolby Vision and HDR10 + Adaptive in addition to HDR10 and HLG. Dolby Vision IQ, in which the TV considers the light sensor, Philips captures by combining Dolby Vision content with its Ambient Intelligence features, which you then have to activate, of course.
There are no changes to the panel compared to last year, but Philips still managed to get a little more light out of it. In Filmmaker mode, we measure 812 nits peak brightness on the 10% window, compared to 715 nits on the OLED807. On the 2% window, the meter even goes up to 855 nits. The gain is smaller on the completely white field, where we measured 189 nits, while the OLED807 also achieved 180 nits. The improvement isn’t spectacular, but enough to elevate the OLED808 above last year’s competitors.
The color range of 97% DCI-P3 and 70% Rec2020 is excellent and unchanged from last year. The Filmmaker Mode is properly calibrated; it is less affected by that green deviation in the grayscale. We see the hand of Philips at work. Colors are correct regarding hue but often slightly darker than desired, although that is in exchange for more intensity. We also saw this approach in previous models.
We only find the HDR effect setting in the settings, which makes the image progressively brighter. Possibly useful with a lot of ambient light, but it is best to leave it on the minimum setting. The device respects HDR10 metadata, but we still lose a little white detail here and there, especially if the content is mastered over 1,000 nits. This may have something to do with the tone-mapping approach. Due to its focus on color intensity rather than brightness, it sometimes seems to flatten some light accents.
Or, in some cases, even to get some depth and contrast out of the image. This accentuation of color intensity can also have unwanted side effects, such as a color edge in a place where you would not expect it. It seems to us that Philips still needs to fine-tune the display. We reported these matters to Philips and reviewed them together. Philips has confirmed that it will adjust the tone mapping, and the software update will be available at the end of August. We see sufficient black detail in dark images, but just like in SDR, it lacks some subtle nuance; images can therefore appear a bit harder.
Gaming, Reflections, and viewing angles
As we are used to, the OLED screen has a very wide but not perfect viewing angle. If you sit very far to the side, some hue shift may be visible in the colors. Reflections are also well-controlled, but it is still best to avoid them.
Gamers get an input lag of 13.6ms in 4K60 and 5.4ms in 2K120. Dolby Vision is supported in 4K120. Switch the HDMI connection to ‘Optimal Auto Game’ for ALLM and VRR support (HDMI VRR, NVIDIA G-Sync Compatible). This mode does disable HDR10+. There is also an ‘Optimal Auto Game 120Hz Pro’ mode in which you have AMD FreeSync and HDR10+ as an extra. Via the game menu, you can view the image properties of the game or adjust settings.
Philips 55OLED808 – Sound quality
The OLED808 can boast excellent sound quality. The 4.1 70 Watt audio configuration offers a lot of power, and we hear a relatively spacious bass extension. The OLED808 supports Dolby Atmos and DTS: X. Within DTS Play-Fi, you can set the TV as a center speaker in a 5.1.4 setup.
You can count on sparkling dialogues, but this TV stands up for music and film. With very aggressive metal music, the sound remains clean, but there is no excessive distortion. With film music, you can enjoy a nice surround image, although the vertical component of Dolby Atmos is relatively clearly missing, despite the use of a 5.1.4 vertical and horizontal virtualizer.
Philips 55OLED808 – Conclusion
Philips presents this 55OLED808 as a very richly equipped OLED TV. We would like to see more than two HDMI 2.1 connections, especially now that Philips no longer offers ARC on all HDMI ports, which was the case until last year. Presumably, the new Pentonic chipset has something to do with that. Other things that can probably be traced back to the new chipset: the anti-banding algorithm is not very efficient, especially the tone mapping sometimes went too far with preserving colors. Philips has already adjusted the latter; the new software will be available at the end of August.
But it must be said; this OLED TV is indeed well equipped. Philips gets extra brightness from the panel, delivering good image processing with a touch of extra sharpness thanks to a new super-resolution algorithm. Ambient Intelligence can adjust the image to ambient light based on color and brightness and accentuate dark details without excessive effects. All HDR formats are supported, and for audio, you can use Dolby Atmos and DTS: X. This model is also the first to use Google TV, and with that step, the settings menus have become a bit more user-friendly. Gamers get a TV that meets all modern needs; Ambilight Next Generation gives the TV its unique Philips signature.
- Even improved peak brightness
- Ambient Intelligence
- Dolby Vision en HDR10+ Adaptive
- Excellent overall image processing
- Excellent audio, with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X
- Swivel foot
- Google TV and improved settings UI
- DTS Play-Fi and 3-sided Ambilight Next Generation
- Good input lag and gamer features
- The new anti-banding filter is only moderately efficient
- Tone mapping sometimes accentuates color too much (will be adjusted via software update)
- Only two HDMI 2.1 connections