When at the beginning of writing a test, it is difficult to remember the flaws of a product, it is generally a good sign. When, in the case of a television, the only vague regret relates to its remote control, you can be sure that it is a high-flying screen, one of those that will undoubtedly end up in the awards at the end of the year. Philips OLED936 is of this temperament. Based on solid previous models, the addition of correction of small recurring defects and increasingly dependent on a particularly powerful processor, TP Vision has managed to offer a television with almost no defects.
Philips’ latest OLED TV incorporates an LG panel from last year, just the one that inaugurated the Evo technology, which also features the LG G1, one of our favorite televisions in 2021. The other great feature of this model is being equipped with a soundbar signed Bower & Wilkins which takes place directly on the foot. Finally, like any self-respecting Philips TV, this top of the series is equipped with the Ambilight system, which makes the manufacturer unique.
Design: the soundbar to enhance the screen
It is quite rare for a TV to have 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. Of course, Philips offers nothing more than a 55-inch rectangular screen, but it comes with a very nice soundbar that highlights its features and adds enough originality to the whole.
Too bad, however, that Philips failed to control more the thickness of its television. This is not problematic, far from it, but television is still slightly wider than average in its category.
After all, it is, as often, a really serious manufacturing work, with special attention to detail and an experienced quality of the very first order. Our only regret is the new remote control, which is very successful from an aesthetic point of view, but which does not really inspire solidity.
Image quality: close to perfect
While it does not offer the brightness that was promised when it was officially made, last year’s OLED Evo panel remains the best in this area (while of course waiting for the 2022 panel 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. On this OLED936, the Dutch brand has actually achieved a great feat in terms of image quality.
With a Delta E measured at 1.76 (in rec709), the Philips OLED is simply one of the best rated in our lab, as it is only surpassed by last year’s LG G1, QN95A from Samsung or Panasonic JZ2000. As a reminder, below 3, the human eye is unable to distinguish chromatic shades. The color temperature is quite close to the benchmark 6500K, but more importantly, it is stable.
The light peak is 996 cd / m2, again one of the highest values of all our measurements. On the other hand, despite several attempts, we were not able to obtain a reliable measurement of the viewing angles. These are excellent, OLED requires, but our tests do not quantify their value accurately.
Finally there is Ambilight. We no longer present the Philips lighting system, which projects an extension of the colors on the screen on the wall. Whether you like the process or are not aware of it, it is a fact that it is an exclusivity of the brand and a loyalty factor for its customers.
Android TV: the new benchmark?
We will quickly review the OS part of this Philips OLED936. In the case, OLED from TP Vision continues to entrust the keys to 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 TV.
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 feature).
Clearly, Android TV is only being beaten by Tizen fluently, but even at this point, it seems to be one of the most efficient operating systems.
Philips finally plays the game (video)
To say that Philips has previously rejected video games is an understatement. The TP Vision brand almost discovered the existence of consoles last year when it finally decided to reduce its input layer and offer an HDMI 2.1 port. With OLED936, the error is definitely forgiven. Admittedly, the input delay measured by our laboratory is only 21 ms, whereas the average of the OLEDs we have tested in recent months is 16.36 ms. The numbers do not lie, but it would be to forget how far Philips has come. At least that’s an area where he can still make progress.
For the rest, we go from one to two HDMI 2.1 ports, as the support of ALLN and VRR are both secured. OLED936 even allows itself to be greedy in this area by showing G-Sync compatibility (in case you want to make it your screen to play on a PC) and even Free Sync. Finally, the video quality in video mode generally does not suffer from any defect.
Sound: Bower & Wilkins, make the difference
The B&W 3.1.2 soundbar, which features the OLED936, is certainly one of the TV’s biggest assets. This consists 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. Externally, the chrome part corresponds to a “tweeter upstairs”, a distinctive Bower & Wilkins brand, both aesthetically and acoustically.
But a nice technical sheet is not always synonymous with sound quality. However, this is the case on Philips television, which shows impeccable reproduction and which proves to be just as interesting as a sound speaker for music as well as a soundbar for TV. The only slight downside is the Dolby Atmos rendering, which, while remaining honorable, does not have much to do with what some sound bars offer. At this point, no television 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 portion of a television still seems somewhat limited.