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 a television, the only, vague regret concerns its remote control, you can be sure that it is a screen of the highest order, of those which will undoubtedly end up in the selections of the end of the year. . Truce of unnecessary suspense, the Philips OLED936 is of this temper. Based on solid previous models, adding the correction of small recurring defects and relying ever more on a particularly powerful processor, TP Vision has managed to offer a television almost without defects.
Philips’ 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 to be equipped with a sound bar signed Bower & Wilkins which takes place directly on the foot. Finally, like any self-respecting Philips television, this top of the range is equipped with the Ambilight system which makes the manufacturer unique.
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 sound bar that emphasizes its features and adds enough originality to the whole.
Too bad, however, that Philips did not manage to control more the thickness of its television. This is not problematic, far from it, but the television is still slightly wider 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 a 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 shades. 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 requires, but our test does not quantify their value precisely.
Finally, there is the Ambilight. We no longer present 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 the matter, the OLED of TP Vision continues to entrust the keys of the truck to Google and Android TV. This is the same system that we were able to discover during the tests of Sony, TCL or Xiaomi TVs.
It is not only the most complete ecosystem on the market, but also the one that offers the most applications and flawless compatibility with smartphones, tablets or even computers (thanks to the Chromecast or Google Assistant function).
Obviously, Android TV is beaten by Tizen only on fluidity, but even on this point, it appears to be one of the most efficient OS.
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. With the OLED936, the error is definitely forgiven. 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.
For the rest, we go from one to two HDMI 2.1 ports, as for the support of the ALLN and the VRR, they are both assured. The OLED936 even allows itself to be greedy in this area by displaying G-Sync compatibility (in case you want to make it your monitor for playing on a PC) and even Free Sync. Finally, in general, the image quality in video mode does not suffer from any defect.
Audio: Bower&Wilkins, makes the difference
The B&W 3.1.2 soundbar that equips the OLED936 is certainly one of the TV’s major assets. This is made up of two 10W speakers as well as a 20W speaker dedicated to bass and two others of 12.5W directed upwards to ensure the Dolby Atmos effect. 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 the Philips television which shows impeccable rendering and which proves to be as interesting as an audio speaker for music as well as a sound bar for TV. The only slight downside is the Dolby Atmos rendering which, even if it remains honorable, does not have much to do with what some sound bars offer. On this point, no TV has managed to find favor in our eyes. Admittedly, the Panasonic JZ2000 is slowly approaching the expected standards, but for true Dolby Atmos, the audio part of a television still seems somewhat limited.
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