It is a common misconception that all current 4K OLED TVs on the market use the same panel from LG Display and have the same image quality, not true. After spending plenty of time time testing the Philips 55POS901F alongside a two year old LG OLED, we found image quality improvements in several areas owing to Philips superior picture technology.
The first noticeable change is onscreen motion. Not only does the Philips handle slow panning shots from 24p movies smoothly without excessive judder, the TV also offers a truly remarkable Perfect Clear Motion setting that improves motion clarity without introducing visible interpolation artefacts. Amazingly, there aren’t even any of the usual side effects to black frame insertion/backlight strobing, such as visible flicker or drop in screen brightness. We watched plenty of different sports on the Philips 901F, and the display delivered the clearest artefact-free motion we’ve seen from a 4K OLED television yet.
OLED image quality
All OLEDs can produce true, perfect blacks, the let down with OLED technology has been that it struggles to discern between black and very dark grey colours. We tested several dark film scenes on the 55POS901F, and it consistently displayed those tricky almost-black greys with clarity and little noise or blockiness. Meaning that films on the Philips look just that bit more solid and immersive, which seriously improves the viewing pleasure.
Philips’s big boon is Ambilight. The 901F OLED uses a 3-sided version, with three strips of LEDs at the rear of the chassis projecting ambient lighting through the back of the TV. While some viewers prefer to watch OLED TVs in a pitch-black room to enjoy the inky blacks, it can lead to tired eyes as your pupils constrict and dilate in response to brighter and darker scenes on screen. By providing a subtle amount of background lighting to prevent your pupils from being overworked, Ambilight is extremely effective at reducing eye fatigue.
OLED display technology has much major plus points. Ultra-wide viewing angles mean that there’s no significant drop-off in contrast and colour saturation even if you’re viewing the TV well off-centre, and there’s also no need for bulky backlights or layers of filters and TFTs panels, so it’s possible to create stunningly slim TVs. Philips have embraced this advantage with the 55POS901 which features a super-slim panel and bezel, luxurious-looking brushed metallic silver finish, and includes an integrated 6.1 soundbar. The supporting feet are positioned at either edge of the base, so buyers will need a surface at least 120cm long on which to place it.
While its integrated soundbar has a Dolby logo, the Philips 901F doesn’t support Dolby Vision. Having said that, the Ultra HD Premium-certification means that the 55POS901’s HDR10 playback from 4K Blu-rays and streaming was as good as we’ve seen from any OLED television.
HDR and gaming performance
None of the current crop of OLED TVs can go as bright or resolve as much highlight detail as top-end LED TVs, but as these suffer from various image quality issues such as blooming, haloing or elevated blacks in HDR mode, none of them are perfect.
Philips TV's are not renowned for their gaming capabilities, with the likes of online games where reaction speed is a factor. Input lag measures at around 59ms in Game and HDR Game modes, which whilst not that bad, isn’t quick enough for a perfect gaming experience either.
It’s not surprising to find that Philips’ first OLED TV is something truly exceptional. The Philips 55POS901F/12 is the best TV Philips have ever produced, and it’s also the best OLED TV we’ve ever had the joy to experience due to its superior motion sharpness and black handling. If you’re looking for the best OLED TV on the current market then this is it.
Also see: Hisense N6800 Review: A 50in 4K HDR TV for under £600 – that's not bad you know