This article presents a review of comparison between three OLED TVs from Philips, Sony and LG. OLED TVs have settled comfortably in the upper TV segment in recent years. The immersive picture experience with its rich colors and perfect black is a pleasure to the eye. In this dossier we look at three recent models that are on the shelves for an affordable price. What is the best affordable OLED TV at the moment?
A word of explanation before three OLED TVs comparison
While conducting three OLED TVs comparison, we are looking for a 2020 4K OLED model, in 55 or 65 inch screen format. It doesn’t have to be the absolute top model, we rather aim for the most popular and affordable models. Due to the corona problems, the Panasonic model (the HZ1000 / HZW1004) did not reach us in time. You will find that device later on the website and in a next edition of FWD Magazine.
HDMI 2.1 or not?
The introduction of HDMI 2.1 has been behind us for quite some time, but still offering not all manufacturers support this latest version with all its features. For film and sports enthusiasts, HDMI 2.1 is not very important for the time being (we do not expect 4K HFR content any time soon), but all the more for gamers. Features such as ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode) and VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) are specifically for them. And the higher bandwidth of HDMI 2.1 that enables 4K High Frame Rate (HFR) content will also initially be important for the users of the latest generation of consoles (PS5 and Xbox Series X). A feature such as eARC can be interesting to prevent your soundbar or AV receiver from being a limiting link in the video chain. See also elsewhere in this magazine an extensive background article on eARC. Since a TV is only replaced every six to seven years, we believe that HDMI 2.1 should be given a certain weight.
High Dynamic Range
The market still has not determined whether Dolby Vision of HDR10 + for dynamic tone mapping will make up the bulk of the content offering. Maybe both will remain, or standard HDR10 with static tone mapping will remain the most important. Devices that support all HDR versions certainly have a trump card. What we do notice is that tone mapping, the step that translates the incoming HDR image signal to the possibilities of the screen, has become very good. And most manufacturers use a proprietary form of dynamic tone mapping under the hood (where the HDR display is tuned to the capabilities of the specific screen), so the absence of one of the dynamic standards is not necessarily a handicap.
Sound and Dolby Atmos
We have been saying for a long time that if you are looking for truly captivating sound, it is best to buy a soundbar or other external audio solution. Fortunately, we notice that high-end models such as these OLEDs still have excellent sound on board. All these models even support Dolby Atmos but with the TV’s speakers, good Atmos reproduction will often remain relatively limited. For true surround, choose an external solution.
Devices from last year?
Devices from last year (the LG C9, Philips OLED804 and Sony AG8) are often still available at a very favorable price. Are those good alternatives? Those devices also deliver excellent image and sound, but you give up the small step forward in image processing. Apart from that, it is best to check, just as with the current devices, whether the features that are important to you are present. Only with the Sony AG8 we have some reservations, because this device really lags behind the newer A8.
What is the best affordable OLED TV at the moment?
In this part of three OLED TVs comparison we discuss three affordable OLED televisions from Philips , LG and Sony. Below you will find the conclusions from each of the reviews, with a link to the full review.
LG CX series
LG CX series is first among Three OLED TVs comparison. The list of negatives on the LG CX series is very short. HDR10 + support is missing, which is a pity for a device that offers everything else. Our measurements also indicated that the CX series is slightly less bright than last year, but it remains clearly within the limits of typical OLED performance. The HDMI 2.1 connections give a maximum of 40Gbps bandwidth while on the C9 you got 48Gbps. We are not satisfied with the communication in this regard, it was unclear, but the impact on most consumers is non-existent. If you take a look at the review of the C9, you will notice that the OLED65CX6LA is really very close to its predecessor in terms of pure image quality. It mainly concerns small improvements (such as OLED Motion Pro, Filmmaker mode or Dolby Vision IQ). Yes, all those features further improve your viewing experience, but they are rarely worlds apart. OLED performance seems to have reached a plateau in recent years.
Anyone who explores the plus points will soon notice that the OLED65CX6LA has a lot to offer. Gamers can look forward to a TV that delivers fantastic results on both next-gen consoles and PC, and supports all the required features. Movie lovers enjoy the distinctive black, fantastic color reproduction and great HDR performance. Excellent sound quality and an extensive and handy WebOS complete this handsome television. The price for all that beauty is very high for the time being, but in line for the segment. The Samsung Q95T is slightly cheaper, but the toughest competition actually comes from LG’s own C9.
Philips OLED805 series
The second OLED TV in list for Three OLED TVs comparison is the 55OLED805 (OLED805- series). It is a worthy successor to the OLED804? He inherits a lot of things from his predecessor, that’s for sure, also a few weaker points. The Android chipset that could be a bit more powerful for this model, for example. And he still struggles with color bands in dark, low-quality images. However, we don’t think these are showstoppers. Where we are a bit disappointed is the lack of HDMI 2.1 connections and functions. That is especially a downside for gamers, but the lack of eARC can also be a disappointment for film lovers. Philips has also given its remote a make-over and although it now looks a bit nicer, we are less satisfied with the ease of use.
Excellent points are awarded to the Philips 55OLED805 for its general image processing. It got some extra muscle power with the addition of a touch of AI. The device also features a very accurate color reproduction and impressive black detail for a fantastic image result. In HDR, the TV combines that with high peak luminance and support for Dolby Vision and HDR10 +. With Perfect Natural Reality you can give SDR images a nice HDR effect. The sound is more powerful on this model, with a solid dash of bass. Philips has also thought in its design of people who still want to use a soundbar, the TV can be placed higher with the help of an adapter set. Finally, with the addition of DTS Play-Fi, Philips has given its TVs and its audio products a multi-room audio system and wireless surround at once.