- 1 Solid workmanship and sleek design
- 2 Philips 804 OLED: Infinite contrast ratio and perfect blacks
- 3 Motion handling works very well
- 4 Gaming on the Philips 804
- 5 Acceptable sound
- 6 Great Smart TV features
- 7 Variants of the Philips 804 OLED
As every year, the Dutch-Chinese company Philips launches new OLED TVs which are currently supposed to have the best upscaling on the market. The Philips 804 OLED scores with the powerful P5 image processor and extensive High Dynamic Range - image/video with more dynamic range (contrast range) support. Find out what technology is behind the panel and what makes it special.
Solid workmanship and sleek design
As usual from Philips, the workmanship and design are fantastic. Optically, it slightly resembles the Philips 7304 “The One”. The wedge feet make it perfect for wall mounting. On a sideboard, the Philips 854 does better due to its T-shaped stand that allows for rotating it by 20 to 30 degrees. Both TVs have a very high-quality finish and score with their sleek design. Only the atmospheric Ambilight, which is available exclusively from Philips, really makes it pop out.
Philips 804 OLED: Infinite contrast ratio and perfect blacks
Since the 804 is an OLED TV, it offers the usual advantages of an OLED panel. It delivers perfect blacks with incredible depth and theoretically infinite contrast, since Since individual pixels can be switched on and off. Interestingly, the 804 uses the same panel as the LG C9, since the subsidiary of the South Korean company, LG Display, currently produces all TV OLED panels available.
In addition, the viewing angle is extremely wide, which current LCD = Liquid Crystal Display - a type of screen using liquid crystals for creating the image TVs fail to deliver. The brightness of the 804 alone is not as high as that of the competitor Samsung Q90R. This makes OLED TVs more suitable for dark rooms.
The Philips 804 is equipped with the P5 image processor, which is also used in the Performance Series. The predecessor Philips 803 also uses this processor, although here it is a weaker generation. The new Model has an improved generation processor that delivers extra clear, vibrant colors and impressive sharpness. The manufacturer itself states a performance increase of 20 percent. The 804 is therefore an excellent choice for demanding HDR videos.
As one of only a few manufacturers, Philips TVs support all HDR formats. This includes HLG or Hybrid Log Gamma facilitates the transmission and reception of signals by combining the SDR and HDR signals. If the device supports HDR, the HDR part of the signal is used, otherwise the SDR part., which is used in broadcasting, HDR10 Media Profile - HDR with a color depth of 10 Bit in the Rec. 2020 colorspace (for Blu-ray and streaming) as well as License-free, dynamic HDR-format in competition with Dolby Vision, and Dynamic HDR-format with a color depth of up to 12 Bits and Mastering of up to 10,000 Nits. Philips included a separate second chip for Dolby Vision picture processing so an update for older models cannot be expected.
Motion handling works very well
The display of fast content, for example in video games or action films, works great on the Philips 804. Delays are hardly visible to the naked eye. At the same time, motion handling hardly produces any undesirable side effects, such as artifacts.
Gaming on the Philips 804
The 804 is also a good choice for gaming. The input lag, i.e. the rendering of content on screen, is 15 ms. This can be surpassed by other TVs, but is still a very good value. For this, the dedicated Game Mode has to be used. Occasional gamers, who are more into movies and series, will find exactly what they are looking for with the 804.
However, if you are really serious about gaming and are looking for an OLED TV for this purpose, you should look for another TV. Neither HDMI 2.1 nor Variable Refresh Rate - synchronizes the display's refresh rate with the output refresh rate of the graphics card are supported by Free-Sync or Variable Refresh Rate for Nvidia graphics cards. If you need this, the LG C9 is much better.
For the extremely flat design of the OLED TV, the sound is surprisingly good. The 804 houses a decoder for Object-based surround sound format with 3D-Sound from any direction (Multi-channel-sound-system for up to 5.1 channel Surround Sound Plus) and the built-in loudspeakers have 50W of power. All in all, the TV can be quite loud in a room. Dialogues sound clear and are easy to understand. Of course, no quantum leaps can be expected here: As usual, the bass is rather weak and should be amplified if desired. Various soundbars and fully developed HiFi systems are suitable for this.
Great Smart TV features
The built-in operating system is Android 9.0 Pie, which initially released in Q3 2019. The app selection in the Google Play Store is huge, from streaming services to games, everything is included. Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are of course pre-installed. Android 9.0 still allows practical voice control via Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. This requires an external device. A microphone is included in the Philips remote control, which is activated by the mic button on the remote. The remote control also has hotkeys for Netflix or Amazon Prime Video.
Variants of the Philips 804 OLED
Philips 754 OLED
If you don’t like the TV sound of the loudspeakers housed in the thin chassis, you might be interested in the OLED+ series, which was presented exclusively at IFA 2019. The Plus symbol does not stand for improved screen quality – it is the same – but for an upgrade in sound.
In collaboration with Bowers & Wilkins, the Philips OLED+ 934 features a built-in Dolby Atmos certified soundbar that brings picture and sound quality to a nearer level. This imitates 2.1.2 channels. In addition, the 934 has a 3-sided Ambilight. This television is available exclusively in 55 and 65 inch versions.
Philips OLED+ 984
The top model Philips OLED+ 984 is another step up – it doesn’t get any better at the moment. There are no picture differences to the “basic model” Philips 804. With the naked eye, however, you can immediately see that a huge Bowers & Wilkins soundbar rests under the TV: A 3.0 system consisting of three 100mm diameter midrange woofers and a small additional center speaker for dialogues.
The TV can be mounted on the supplied stand, but it looks equally good on the wall. It cannot be used on a sideboard because of the sound bar. In addition, the 984, which is only available in 65 inches, has a 4-sided Ambilight, which is unique in the current lineup.
The more affordable Philips 754 OLED is a speciality in the Dutch lineup. Android TV is completely dispensed with here. Instead, the smartOS runs on SAPHI, Philips’ own operating system. The manufacturer advertises it with an extremely simple, intuitive operation and addresses it to people who are looking for a simple and high-quality OLED TV.
Due to the weaker processor (P5 Gen 2), the picture is not as sharp and vibrant as that of the 804, which again pays off in the price. All HDR formats are also supported and 3-sided Ambilight is included. It is available in the sizes 55 and 65 inch, which is dictated by the available LG OLED panels.
Philips 854 OLED
Technically, the Philips 854 and 804 are absolutely identical. The only difference is the stand, which allows the 854 to rotate the panel about 20 to 30 degrees. The 804, on the other hand, has its feet firmly mounted to the chassis. Of course, Philips Ambilight is also available here.