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Philips: MLA OLED is better than QD-OLED

27 Sep 2023 | Rasmus Larsen |

Philips has been evaluating QD-OLED but is so far sticking with WOLED as it believes that the new MLA panel delivers overall better picture quality than QD-OLED. Here is Philips' reasoning and demos.

Earlier this month, Philips hosted an event in Barcelona where Danny Tack, Senior Director of Product Strategy and Planning at TP Vision, responsible for Philips TVs in Europe, gave a demonstration of the new Philips OLED908 (MLA OLED) versus the Samsung S95C (QD-OLED) and the LG G3 (MLA OLED). The Sony A95L (QD-OLED) was omitted simply because it is not yet available in Europe.

His goal? To demonstrate why he believes that MLA OLED, the 2023 WOLED panel with a Micro Lens Array for increased brightness and energy efficiency, is superior to the novel QD-OLED display technology. It all comes down to brightness, including peak brightness in white, which according to Philips reaches up to 2100 nits on MLA OLED, making it higher than on QD-OLED.


For the demonstration, the three TVs were placed side by side, displaying vivid scenes of nature, flowers, cities, people, fireworks, and more. All the TVs were set to Vivid mode, which is always a controversial choice, but Danny Tack argued that this setting was selected to showcase the displays' full potential in terms of brightness, color, and more. His point certainly came across, as the Philips OLED908 delivered fireworks scenes with visibly higher peaks than the QD-OLED, resulting in extremely high contrast. Additionally, there was a scene of a woman sitting outside near some white cloth that appeared whiter and purer, thanks to the MLA OLED's very high white luminance. It was difficult to capture the effect in a (SDR) photo, but you might be able to notice it in these ones:


Samsung S95C QD-OLED (left), Philips OLED908 MLA OLED (middle), LG G3 MLA OLED (right). Photo: FlatpanelsHD


Don't focus on the strange color tones, caused by the camera, but on the bright highlights in the water. Photo: FlatpanelsHD

Some of the other demonstrations revealed differences related to the TV's video processing, motion interpolation and the manufacturers' differently-tuned Vivid picture modes, but we leave those out here to focus solely on the panels' capabilities. Danny Tack acknowledged that QD-OLED has an advantage in colors at high brightness, particularly red, which appeared notably more intense on the Samsung QD-OLED TV in a scene with red flowers. However, he believes that the higher brightness in white ultimately plays a more significant role. Also read: Samsung explains why two equally bright TVs have different perceived brightness This perspective naturally reflects Philips' viewpoint, but having reviewed the LG G3 (MLA OLED) and Samsung S95C (QD-OLED) already, FlatpanelsHD has observed and discussed some of the same aspects. Both MLA OLED and QD-OLED represent advancements in OLED technology, and from the consumer perspective the best part is the increased competition. FlatpanelsHD has just received the Philips OLED908 so stay tuned for our review.

Philips is not ruling out QD-OLED

In a post-event interview with FlatpanelsHD, Danny Tack confirmed that Philips has internally been evaluating QD-OLED and added that it is not ruling out QD-OLED for future models, depending on the further development of each panel type. Besides picture quality‚ Philips also takes into consideration LG Display's broader line-up, he added. QD-OLED is currently available only in 55, 65, and 77 inches. Regarding large-sized OLED TVs, Philips' largest is currently a 77-inch. The company is contemplating the introduction of an 83-inch OLED TV for 2024, although no final decision has been made, according to Danny Tack. MiniLED LCD TVs? Philips already offers some and may bring them a little higher in specification in the near future. However, Danny Tack emphasized that he does not see MiniLED LCD as a direct competitor to OLED in terms of picture quality. In 2023, Philips has transitioned to the faster and more capable Pentonic 1000 chip in many of its models, along with to the latest generation of its video processor, P5 AI Gen7. The Pentonic chip adds support for Dolby Vision Gaming, i.e. Dolby Vision in 4K 120Hz and VRR, with input lag as low as 8ms. Asked about HDMI 2.1 QMS support, he responded with a smile "not this year", leaving us wondering if we get it next year.

Improved anti-reflective coating

Another enhancement in MLA OLED, compared to LG Display's previous OLED panels, is the inclusion of a new anti-reflective coating known internally as 'Vanta Black.' FlatpanelsHD had previously demonstrated the effect in a video, but the event in Barcelona this month provided a good opportunity to compare it to last year's Philips OLED TV flagship (OLED EX) and the Samsung S95C QD-OLED. First, here is the Philips OLED908 (MLA OLED) compared to last year's Philips OLED907 (without the MLA OLED panel):


Philips OLED908 MLA OLED (left), Philips OLED907 from 2022 (right). Photo: FlatpanelsHD

And here is Samsung S95C (2023 QD-OLED) compared to Philips OLED908 (MLA OLED):
Samsung S95C QD-OLED (left), Philips OLED908 MLA OLED (right). Video: FlatpanelsHD
As you can see, reflections are greatly reduced in both the 2023 MLA OLED panel and QD-OLED as compared to previous OLED TVs. Philips OLED908 will be available in Europe in October in 55, 65 and 77 inches where it will compete for the crown with LG G3, Panasonic MZ2000, Sony A95L and Samsung S95C.

Philips OLED908 – specifications


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