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Review: Philips OLED805 (OLED855, OLED865)

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Philips is back with an upgraded line-up of 4K OLED TVs. OLED805, OLED855, and OLED865 sit just below the flagship OLED935 with more capable speakers. The 8 series OLED still features the company's latest technologies including Ambilight, multi-HDR support, and an 'AI' P5 video processor. It is powered by Google's Android TV platform and also comes with a redesigned remote control.

Here is our full review of the 2020 Philips OLED805 that is available in Europe in 55 and 65-inch sizes. We have the 65-inch version.

 Also read: Philips 2020 TV line-up


Price and retailers:

UK retailer
DE retailer

First impressions

OLED805 looks like many Philips OLED TVs that came before it. The OLED panel is impressively thin but the TV overall is thicker due to the electronics box that houses all electronic boards, ports, woofer, power supply etc. Like other OLED TVs, it has a slim bezel and an overall elegant appearance. OLED805, OLED855, and OLED865 are technical identical but there are differences in design. OLED805 is held up by metal feet, one on each side (with a Philips logo on one of them) where OLED855 has a centre-aligned swivel stand in both 55 and 65 inches. OLED865 has a swivel stand in 55 inches. Since OLED805 has metal feet you will see them reflect light from the screen. The feet can also be raised if you want to fit a soundbar underneath the TV. All ports face either down or to the side to ensure that you can mount it close to the wall and still gain access to the ports. However, be aware that Ambilight requires some free space behind the TV to function optimally. OLED805 has a 3-sided Ambilight system meaning that you see Ambilight on both sides and above the TV. Speaking of Ambilight, there are lots of menu options available to tweak the system, including an option to set the color of your wall to ensure that dynamic mood lighting looks right. There is also an option to set it to static bias lighting (white). You can sync it up with Philips Hue in your living room too. In addition, there is a TV lounge mode (for when the TV is off), a gaming mode (with low latency Ambilight), an AmbiSleep (to help you doze off), AmbiWakeup, and an Ambilight Music mode to sync lights to the beat of the music. As you can see the system has been expanded over the years to include much more than the classic function to sync lights to the picture on the screen.

User experience & features

Philips OLED805 comes pre-installed with Android 9.0 and is powered by a MediaTek MT5887 SoC with 2.5GB RAM and Mali-G51 graphics. It is an upgrade over last year's Philips Android TVs but performance is largely similar. The same goes for the user experience as Android 9.0 includes mainly bug fixes.

Operating system & smart TV

If you have read our Sony X900H (XH90) review you probably noticed that we included CPU/GPU benchmarks for the first time. Sony's latest Android TV is equipped with a faster SoC so we wanted to see how it compares to other Android TV devices. Already in our Sony review, we included unnamed benchmarks for Philips OLED805 as "Other Android TV" – we wanted to save a little extra for this review. As you can see, Sony's TV has pulled ahead but is still lacking behind the most capable Android TV device currently, Nvidia Shield. Of the three, only Nvidia Shield can be characterized as a gaming platform at this time. It will take more effort for these more general purpose Android TVs to reach the status of gaming platforms. Limitations are found not only in CPU/GPU, but also RAM, storage capacity, and more. Nvidia's GeForce Now service is available for Android TV via the Google Play store. It lets you stream games to the TV but you will have to wait for Android 11 to arrive for broader support for game controllers. We are also still waiting for Google Stadia to officially arrive on Android TVs. With game streaming services you are bypassing the internet GPU in the TV so at this time it is probably your best shot at getting some great games onto your Android TV without having to buy and connect a dedicated game console. Now we wait.

Philips OLED805 - CPU/GPU benchmarks

GeekBench 43D Mark - Slingshot ExtremeGFXBench - Manhattan 3.1 (offscreen)GFXBench - Aztec Ruins (offscreen)
Philips OLED805Single: 612
Multi: 1716
450failed142 frames
Sony X900H (XH90)Single: 1195
Multi: 2882
1148958 frames605 frames
Nvidia Shield TVSingle: 1400
Multi: 4100
42502765 frames2250 frames
Apple A10XSingle: 4000
Multi: 9500
-4500 frames3300 frames
Apple A12XSingle: 5000
Multi: 18000
-9570 frames6850 frames
FlatpanelsHD
We will not dive deeper into the Android TV experience here but instead refer to our previous reviews of Philips Android TVs for further information on the general user interface, features, and more. OLED805 does not support decoding of the new AV1 video codec. Let us instead examine some of the things that have changed.

Philips OLED805 review

Operation

Over the years, Philips TV remotes transformed from some of the best in the industry (in the days of cathode ray TVs) to cheap plastic clickers. Finally, we are seeing a move in the right direction again. OLED805 and some other 2020 models come with Philips' new remote control that is wrapped in leather underneath and on both sides. It also has backlit buttons that automatically lit up in the dark, although they do not remain lit for very long. The new remote control is an improvement. The hard leather has a nicer feel than plastic and Philips has removed the backside qwerty keyboard that never really worked. The remote still has a myriad of buttons including dedicated Netflix and Rakuten buttons, and the tactility of buttons could be better. It is a 'safe' design that is unlikely to cause too much trouble. Generally speaking, we still think it is time for many TV makers need to rethink the remote control, eliminate the clutter, and focus purely on the user experience.

Philips OLED805 review

TV audio

OLED805 has a 2.1-channel speaker system, with the .1 signifying the built-in 30W bass unit on the back of the TV. The 2x10W mid-high speakers take care of the rest. It does not match the B&W speaker systems found in Philips' high-end TVs but it does deliver over-average performance. In fact, compared to the Sony XH90 and Panasonic HZ2000 TVs that we had in for testing at the same time, OLED805 delivered better, more powerful sound compared to the Sony, and in some instances better sound than the Panasonic too. Overall, we were pleasantly surprised that such a thin TV can actually produce a little bass, although with limitations. The hidden built-in speakers units also have limitations and at times voices can sound a little mumbled. There is an option to make dialog clearer and an "AI" sound setting but we found neither particularly useful in solving a problem that requires better speaker units to begin with. While Dolby Atmos is technically supported by the built-in speakers there is little to gain. Rather, think of Dolby Atmos support as a way to pull down Atmos from streaming services and output it to an external system like a receiver or soundbar. In our testing, Atmos worked fine with the Sonos Arc soundbar over HDMI ARC (Audio Return Channel). However, be aware that OLED805 does not support HDMI eARC for higher-quality, lossless Atmos. We also have concerns about the absence of eARC in relation to game consoles as it may prevent gamers from enjoying Atmos in games. ARC can introduce conversion/delay with the PCM Atmos method typically used for Atmos on console game in order to minimize delay. Only eARC support PCM Atmos (Dolby MAT). Other audio features include automatic volume leveling, DTS-HD support, and a night mode. And of course there is also the new DTS Play Fi feature that lets you connect compatible speakers wirelessly to the TV for up to 5.1 surround, in addition to having the TV enter into a DTS Play-Fi multiroom set-up for music. At the time of testing, we did not have DTS Play-Fi products available so we cannot comment on performance. For now, these screenshots will have to suffice. The company is planning to launch its own line-up of soundbars with DTS Play-Fi support later this year.

Calibration

Normal consumers should not be bothered with calibration; buying a TV with accurate colors is a perfectly fair expectation to have. More recently, we have started measuring all of the relevant picture modes found in TVs, and included the results in our reviews. See the table to the right plus the highlighted results in the big table below. It is a simplification but you will want the vertical bars to be as low as possible (preferably lower than 3 for DeltaE) and the RGB line graph to track as closely to 0 as possible. The color dots should fall within the white squares in the color gamut graph to the right. The 2020 high-end TVs are Philips' first with an 'AI' video processor, which encompasses a new 'AI' picture mode alongside more traditional picture modes like Movie, Game etc. As you can see in our measurements of 'AI' mode, it largely resembles Philips' existing Vivid mode, now with a more dynamic content-dependent approach. We will expand on our findings in the picture quality section. For SDR, meaning everything that is not HDR, we found ISF Night to be the most accurate in terms of color accuracy, although a little too dark and not with spot-on colors. It is intended for dark room viewing so for daytime viewing you will want to increase 'OLED contrast' for a brighter picture to compensate for ambient light levels – or activate the TV's built-in light sensor. With some minor calibration tweaks, we managed to improve color accuracy as can be seen below. In SDR, Movie and both ISF picture modes respect the color space of the content while the other modes, including Game mode, expand the color space to make everything look more colorful. In HDR, we will on the contrary recommend against using ISF Night because its peak brightness capabilities are capped at around 350 nits. The ISF Day or Movie HDR modes deliver higher peak brightness (if the content demands it) while still adhering to the luminance curve (PQ) relatively well. There is a gradual roll-off near the top of the luminance range. As you can see, we measured more than 800 nits peak brightness in Movie mode. With some minor tweaks in settings, OLED805 can actually hit more than 900 nits, which is pretty impressive considering that Panasonic GZ2000, our Reference TV from 2019, needed a modified OLED panel to reach 1000 nits last year. The difference between 600 nits on for example a Sony OLED TV and 1000 nits is significant. The difference between 900 and 1000 nits is almost negligible. Like other OLED TVs, Philips OLED805 hits 96% of the DCI-P3 color gamut and 70% of Rec.2020.

Measurements

In our "measurements" section we include all measurements and our suggested calibration settings. If you want to learn more about our test methodology click here Note: We include calibration settings only for SDR, not HDR. For our calibration we have deactivated the ambient light sensor that automatically adjusts the backlight setting according to your environment. You may prefer to have it enabled.
Philips OLED805 review

Picture quality

Let us start with the headlining feature of Philips OLED805 and other high-end 2020 Philips OLED TVs; the 'AI' P5 video processor. AI, or artificial intelligence, is a buzzword in the industry. It is not actually AI but rather an approach where machine learning and a neural network have been used to analyze lots of pictures for a database. The processor in a TV like OLED805 can then vary its approach to picture enhancement for colors, luminance, sharpness etc. based on the type of content and picture composition in a particular movie scene.
As noted in our calibration section, the TV's 'AI' mode is in its general form very similar to the 'Vivid' mode, which has been available in Philips TVs for a long time. However, the new mode is more adaptive and dynamic, meaning that our measurements in the previous section do not fully capture what it does. There is actually an analyzer tool available in the TV (see pictures on the right) that will give you a better understanding of how it varies it approach dynamically based on the content. Philips' AI mode is a more dynamic but still very aggressive approach to picture enhancement. If you like Vivid mode, you will probably like AI mode too. Just be aware that it changes the look and feel of the picture, and in that sense it is the polar opposite approach to other new developments such as Filmmaker Mode that aims to present movies as intended (or in more technical terms; as the digital bits in the signal specify). Filmmaker Mode is not found in OLED805 but will be part of other Philips TVs in the future. You can largely mirror the Filmmaker Mode effect in OLED805 by going with ISF or Movie mode. Having both approaches available in a TV will give users choice but we have concerns about the power of default. This applies to all TV makers. Making modes like AI, Vivid or Standard the default mode means that an enhanced picture becomes the default. We would argue that the original, unaltered picture should be the default in any TV, with enhancements being offered on an opt-in basis.

Philips OLED805 review

Starting with SDR, meaning everything outside of HDR, OLED805 delivers wonderful pictures with our calibrated picture settings. A lot of it can be ascribed to the OLED panel with its excellent contrast, color accuracy, and consistency. Not much has changed in this area since the OLED panel from LG Display has only been tweaked moderately over the years, but it still manages to amaze all onlookers who happen to visit us to see the latest TVs. Compared to, say Sony XH90 which was also on the test bench at the time, pictures are so much more vibrant, accurate, and faithful, and with a lot more 'depth' due to very high contrast. You can engage Philips' motion system if you want smoother motion, although with the usual caveats like artefacts and its 'soap opera' look (mainly at higher levels for the motion system). There is also a new 'Pure Cinema' motion setting with 5:5 pulldown for 24fps content.
Turning our attention to HDR, this is where it gets interesting. OLED TVs typically deliver peak brightness of around 600-750 nits. That is effectively higher than most LCD TVs because OLED TVs are self-emitting displays; luminance can be controlled on the pixel level so you actually get those very bright stars, lamps, reflections etc. rather than just a brighter overall LCD screen with blooming and luminance inaccuracies. And because black is black, your eyes perceive those highlights as brighter, relatively speaking. But 600-750 nits is still not ideal and a far cry from what is theoretically possible under current HDR standards (4000, even up to 10000 nits) so we were thrilled last year when Panasonic GZ2000 was the first OLED TV to hit a milestone with 1000 nits consistently. Our sample of OLED805 exceeded 800 nits in the pre-configured picture modes, and with some tweaks it exceeded 900 nits. This is within reach of Panasonic GZ2000 as well as the 2020 version, HZ2000, both of which are far more expensive TVs. And HDR on OLED805 looks excellent. Inky blacks, relatively accurate colors, and lots of depth in pictures. You can expect that from most OLED TVs but with TVs like Philips OLED805 and Panasonic GZ2000/HZ2000 those extra nits help elevate HDR. It should also be noted that the latest Philips TV support all four, relevant flavors of HDR; HDR10, HLG, HDR10+, and Dolby Vision. So no matter which HDR format services or discs serve up the TV will comply.
A TV's gaming capabilities have perhaps never been more important than right now as we are getting very close to the launch of next-gen game consoles that take advantage of the new gaming features of HDMI 2.1. That is also why we are a little bummed to say that Philips OLED805 lacks HDMI 2.1 ports. It has only a single HDMI 2.1 feature that can be implemented on HDMI 2.0 chipsets, namely ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode) that can automatically switch into game mode. What it means is that the TV will be limited to 4K60 (4K resolution at 60 frames per second) with next-gen console games rather than the 4K120 that PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are capable of. There remains doubt over whether next-gen consoles will actually deliver 4K120 consistently but the option is there and together with VRR (variable refresh rate) the range from 60 to 120fps/Hz can also be utilized. 120Hz BFI (Black Frame Insertion) was introduced with a couple of other OLED TVs this year but there is no support for BFI on Philips OLED805. If you are looking for a TV to take full advantage of next-gen console gaming, OLED805 is not the obvious choice.
With that being said, it is still great TV for casual gaming. And compared to a mid-range LCD TV with HDMI 2.1, we would recommended prioritizing OLED805's great HDR picture quality over HDMI 2.1's 4K120 support. In the TV's game mode, we measured 4K HDR input lag to 33 ms, which is slower than TVs from competitors. Outside of Game mode we measured 73 ms. Here, it is probably also worth highlighting Philips' game mode is limited to 500 nits peak brightness but you can reach about the same input lag (33ms) by switching to Movie mode and deactivating all picture processing systems. The OLED panel in our sample was uniform. The edges were a tiny bit brighter, which could be observed in a dark room with dark grey on the panel, but we never noticed even a hint of it while watching TV. It had no apparent color bands or tinting issues either. And like any other OLED TV, viewing angles are excellent. You can enjoy even HDR on the screen from any seating position.

Conclusion

Available in 55 and 65 inches, Philips OLED805 replaces last year's 8 series OLED804. It also exists in OLED855 and OLED865 design variants with different stand solutions (i.e. swivel). It comes with Android 9.0 pre-installed but there is not much new to report. Android offers a rich selection of apps, built-in Chromecast, Assistant, and more, but the user interface can still be rough around the edges. The MediaTek SoC powering the TV does not match Nvidia Shield, and Android TV gaming remains an elusive field due to multiple factors. In, and even above, its price segment, OLED805 delivers excellent picture quality as we have come to expect from OLED TVs. Inky blacks, accurate colors, very fast response time, and just as important all of its picture parameters are consistent, not reliant on various boost or dynamic systems. OLED805 also delivers some of the best HDR picture quality on the market. With up to 800-900 nits peak brightness, it even comes close to our reference TV, Panasonic GZ2000, which is a more expensive TV. An area where OLED805 does not excel is in gaming. It lacks HDMI 2.1 ports, VRR, and other features, which means that it will not be able to deliver the full 4K120 gaming experience with some next-gen games on consoles like PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. Its input lag is 33 ms, which is also higher than TVs from competing brands. With that being said, it is still a perfectly good TV for casual gaming on current-gen consoles. There is a new leather-bound remote control and of course Philips' signature feature Ambilight (3-sided) that has, over the years, been expanded to include Hue integration, a bias lighting option, and more. The built-in speakers are surprisingly punchy for such a slim TV and above average for TVs, although not on par with the B&W systems in higher-end Philips TVs. OLED805 can perhaps best be summed up as a refined Philips TV. Its Achilles' heel is gaming but if you can accept that OLED805/OLED855/OLED865 is one of the best TVs in its class. This TV deserves our Highly Recommended Award.

Price and retailers:

UK retailer
DE retailer

Excellent SDR & HDR
Perfect blacks
Better-than-average speakers
Higher HDR peak brightness
New remote control
Android receives updates


No HDMI 2.1 ports, features
Only 55 & 65"
Android still rough around the edges







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