Updated on October 1, 2022

Philips OLED 805 Ambilight TV Review

A budget-friendly OLED display with premium performance.

With almost all OLED TVs beginning with identical panels, differentiating an OLED TV from the competition comes down to a combination of design, features, audio performance, and image processing – all of which the Philips 65OLED805 excels at.

With its Ambilight design, extensive feature set, powerful processing, and surprisingly full sound, it checks all the right boxes at an incredibly affordable price.

  • Pros
    • Great value
    • Excellent picture quality
    • Lovely design and build quality
  • Cons
    • Android TV isn’t the friendliest smart system
    • Needs careful setup to get the best results
    • Image retention potential

Despite costing a very reasonable £2,199 (approximately ₱150,909), the 65-inch Philips OLED 805 is not the cheapest 65-inch OLED on the market.

That distinction is reserved for the LG BX OLED.

Philips’ set, on the other hand, offers some genuine step-up features, as well as a premium, metal-backed design with a three-sided version of Philips’ patented Ambilight technology, all at a significantly lower price than direct OLED competitors such as the Sony A8H or LG CX OLED.

The smart features of the Philips OLED 805 are based on the latest (v9.0) Android smart TV system.

As is customary, this provides a plethora of apps and is aided by the inclusion of Freeview Play – and thus catch-up apps for the UK’s major terrestrial broadcast services – which is frequently omitted on Android TVs.

Additionally, the built-in Chromecast is always beneficial.

Television Television set LG 4K resolution Sony

However, Android TV can still feel unwieldy at times, and there is no support for Apple TV apps.

The Philips OLED 805’s primary performance enhancements over last year’s Philips OLED range include AI-based image enhancements and redesigned speakers with more significant mid-range speaker drivers and a new tweeter design.

Both of these enhancements produce significant results.

The images are vivid, sharp, and bright, keeping with Philips’ traditional bold approach, but with a more natural look and feel than the brand has previously achieved.

The audio reproduction – which includes built-in Dolby Atmos decoding – is detailed, dynamic, and clean, breaking free of the physical confines of the TV without sounding brittle or incoherent.

There are a couple of minor niggles with the Philips OLED 805’s picture – and as with any OLED, caution is advised to avoid permanent image retention (or ‘burn-in’).

However, its combination of price, design, and performance merits it, making a significant splash in this year’s ultra-competitive OLED TV market.

Price and availability

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Both the 65OLED805 and its 55-inch counterpart are widely available in the United Kingdom.

However, they are not available in the United States, where Funai owns the Philips TV brand name.

Both sizes of the OLED805 are priced aggressively at £2,199 (approximately ₱150,909) and £1,499 (about ₱102,871), respectively.

The 65-inch model, in particular, is priced significantly lower than the majority of the OLED competition.

At the time of writing, the 65OLED805 is £300 (approximately ₱20,587) less expensive than LG’s OLED65CX, $200 (about ₱10,123) cheaper than Panasonic’s entry-level HZ980, and £400 (approximately ₱27,450) more affordable than Sony’s entry-level KD-65A8.

All of these look even more impressive when you consider how few concessions Philips made with this set.

PHILIPS OLED 805 Specifications

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  • Screen Sizes
    • 55-, 65-inches
  • Tuner
    • Freeview HD
  • 4K
    • Yes
  • HDR
    • Yes
  • Panel technology
    • OLED
  • Smart TV
    • Yes, Android TV 9.0
  • Curved
    • No
  • Dimensions
    • 1448.7(w) x 880.2(h) x 58(d)mm
  • Weight
    • 27.9kg
  • 3D
    • No
  • Inputs
    • 4xHDMI 2.0
    • 2xUSB, RF
    • Optical Digital Audio
    • CI slot
    • Headphone slot
    • Ethernet

Design

Television Television set LG 4K resolution Sony

The Philips OLED 805’s exterior features a robust and minimalist design.

The frame that surrounds its screen is remarkably slim, and its two feet are nearly invisible when viewed straight on – even more so when the screen is positioned directly above them in the standard TV setup.

Philips thoughtfully includes two trim neck options if you want to raise the screen slightly to accommodate a soundbar underneath.

However, the Philips OLED 805 commands more attention when viewed close, owing to its exceptional build quality.

The silver metal backplate that supports the OLED film to the gleaming polished chrome feet appears far more expensive than its price implies.

However, when the Philips OLED 805 is turned on, the design truly comes to life, courtesy of Philips’ Ambilight technology.

This unique feature consists of an LED array mounted on the television’s rear that casts a vast pool of colored light around the display, calibrating in response to the brightness and color content of what is displayed onscreen.

  • Minimalistic frame and feet
  • Ambilight can enhance immersion if handled carefully
  • Outstanding build quality

As enjoyable as Ambilight is in its aggressive default settings, I’d recommend dialing it back to a relatively low brightness level and response speed to ensure it complements rather than detracts from the viewing experience.

A lovely remote control is included with the opulent television.

Its slim, elongated shape and Muirhead leather finish feel incredibly comfortable and balanced in hand, and the buttons are all backlit tastefully.

Although the buttons are somewhat crowded and small, the layout is logical, and the main navigation and select buttons are prominently displayed.

The Philips OLED 805 features four HDMI inputs, two USB ports, and a digital optical audio output.

A third USB port would have been excellent, but two are sufficient for the Philips OLED 805 display price.

What’s more unfortunate is that the Philips OLED 805’s HDMI ports cannot support several potentially helpful gaming features, including variable refresh rates, 4K playback at 120Hz, and automatic low latency mode switching.

By manually activating the set’s Game preset, input lag is reduced to approximately 33.1ms – though this is a good result by today’s standards.

Additionally, the HDMIs support only the standard audio return channel (ARC) system.

As a result, while they can transmit lossy Dolby Atmos sound through the TV to an attached AV receiver or soundbar, they cannot transmit lossless Dolby Atmos sound from 4K Blu-ray players.

Smart TV (Android)

Television Television set LG 4K resolution Sony

There was a time when using Android TV were an unpleasant experience due to its cluttered interface, lack of customization options, bugs, sluggishness, and lack of UK catch-up apps.

On the other hand, Philips has a long history of making Android TV work better than other brands, and this trend continues with the significantly improved experience offered by the latest Android TV v9.0 implementation.

There is virtually no lag now when navigating between the home screen app and content shelves. Bugs and lengthy app updates are much less common.

The system now allows for some customization and is less adamant about pushing content at you that you have no interest in watching.

It’s also fantastic to see Philips now offering Freeview Play within the Android TV environment, which means you no longer have to worry about Android TV’s issues with supporting all of the UK’s major terrestrial broadcasters’ separate catch-up apps.

  • Lots of content
  • Relatively slick and stable Android TV implementation
  • Android’s interface is still a bit clunky, and there’s no Apple TV

Android TV is still not as simple, flexible, or focused as most other ‘in-house’ brand-specific smart TV systems.

However, it is a million times better than it was previously, and there is no doubt that it contains an enormous amount of apps and content.

Including the major streaming services Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus, Freeview Play, Google Play Movies And TV, and Rakuten TV.

The only genuinely significant omission is the Apple TV app.

Additionally, because the 65OLED805 supports both the premium HDR10+ and Dolby Vision HDR formats, as well as the HLG format preferred by live broadcasters, you can get the best streaming performance possible from any service, regardless of the HDR format it supports.

There is built-in voice control via Google Assistant, or you can connect an external Echo or similar device to use Alexa.

Finally, the Philips OLED 805 supports the playback of a wide variety of multimedia files via network or USB, including AVI, MKV, H264, MPEG-4 AVC, MPEG-1/2/4, WMV9/VCI, VP9, and HEVC H.265 videos; AAC music, MP3, WAV, WMA (v2 to v9.2), and WMA-Pro audio files; and JPEG, BMO, GIF, PNG, 360

Picture quality

Television Television set LG 4K resolution Sony

The most significant improvement here is the boost to the Philips OLED 805’s video processing.

The new fourth-generation P5 engine incorporates all of the numerous image enhancement steps introduced in the third generation and adds a critical new AI element.

At the heart of this is neural network technology to analyze a wide variety of different image types and sources to improve the classification of incoming images and individual image elements by Philips’ latest televisions.

They’re now classified as Nature, Face, Motion, Dark, and ‘Other,’ allowing TVs to apply the most effective processing to them more quickly and effectively.

The ‘Other’ category receives the same blanket processing as the images on last year’s Philips televisions, while the more specific types receive new, refined processing algorithms.

Additionally, there is a new AI picture preset for both HDR and SDR sources, which incorporates AI features and the previous P5 image processing elements.

  • Vibrant colors and lots of detail
  • Exceptional handling of dark scenes
  • Clever new motion processing

While the AI applies to all picture presets, the dedicated AI mode provides saved minimum/medium/maximum adjustments for the intensity with which each AI element works.

This is a welcome addition for audiovisual enthusiasts who have their image preferences or know that even the most sophisticated processors do not always get everything right.

As is the case with virtually all of the AI-based picture enhancements we’ve seen on TVs this year, the one in the Philips OLED 805 makes a noticeable difference – and it’s overwhelmingly positive.

The most striking feature is how much more natural the new AI elements make images appear.

This may seem counter-intuitive, given that more computing power is being applied to the image rather than more minor.

However, this additional processing power is being used to improve the recognition and handling of various image and image object types – making them less prone to processing-related issues such as overblown colors, forced detailing, blurry halos, or flickering in areas of fast motion.

This is especially true in the case of Philips, as the brand has long had to accommodate some undesirable processing side effects to achieve its distinctively impactful images.

Now, however, you can accomplish that legendary Philips impact without nearly as many distracting elements.

The AI system in the Philips OLED 805 works in conjunction with a general – and reasonable – reduction in color saturation compared to last year’s models, resulting in elegant and authentic-feeling colors across the spectrum, in both dark and light scenes.

Skin tones, in particular, appear far more nuanced and consistent than they have in the past on a Philips OLED.

Television Television set LG 4K resolution Sony

Additionally, there is a more even distribution of tones across the screen.

While the majority of the set’s picture presets tend to boost the color, this now appears to apply equally to every color tone contained in an image.

No style is out of place, and the image is perceived as a beautifully vivid whole rather than a collection of flashy individual elements.

If the purist in you recoils at the mention of enhanced colors, fear not: Philips’ Movie preset produces an image that is mainly devoid of processing and is optimized for SDR and HDR video standards.

However, I’m reasonably sure that many users will succumb to the allure of alternative picture settings.

Additionally, native 4K and upscaled HD images appear incredibly crisp and detailed.

The AI system adds precision and object-based finesse to Philips’ already-impressive Ultra Resolution sharpness enhancer, ensuring that it improves clarity without exaggerating source noise in the vast majority of cases.

Nor does sharpness have to suffer when the image contains a lot of motion.

This year, Philips added two noteworthy enhancements to its always-powerful ‘Perfect Motion’ processing: a refined Movie interpolation mode and a new PureCinema mode.

The former employs frame interpolation to reduce judder and blur at a low enough level to avoid artifacts and prevent films from succumbing to the dreaded, overly smooth soap opera effect.’

PureCinema reorders the frames during playback, for example, converting a 24p movie containing a 3:2 60Hz signal to a 5:5 cadence 120Hz signal – and it works flawlessly.

Bright HDR content reveals that the 65OLED805’s images are also quite brilliant.

This is confirmed by a measured peak brightness output of nearly 750 nits when using the HDR AI preset on a white HDR window covering 10% of the screen (though this drops to between 620 and 650 nits in the Personal and Natural picture presets, and 700 nits in Movie mode).

Philips’ handling of HDR, particularly with the AI preset, results in images that appear much brighter than 750 nits, with the minimal bright areas – reflections on metal, gleaming eyes, torches, and so on – that contribute to HDR’s lifelike and enjoyable appearance.

Due to this ‘push’ for highlights, the Philips OLED 805’s HDR brightness and impact are on par with the LG CX.

As is customary with OLED televisions, the black levels are exceptional.

There is no hint of greyness in the deepest recesses of the darkest scenes – nor is there any hint of diminished intensity for bright highlights against dark backgrounds.

This is, of course, the best feature of OLED’s self-emissive pixel technology.

It’s also encouraging to see that the Philips OLED 805’s exceptionally and consistently deep black reproduction is stable, with little evidence of the noise or flashing issues occasionally associated with near-black content on OLED TVs.

Television Television set LG 4K resolution Sony

The new AI image preset is especially effective with high-definition SDR content.

It enhances the sharpness and detail of sub-4K images while also handling grain and noise well.

Sometimes, a scene may appear over-sharpened, the grain in a particularly grainy shot may seem exaggerated, or a peak highlight may appear stressed.

For the most part, however, the Philips OLED 805 excels at making HD appear to be 4K.

Outside of the accurate Movie mode, the SDR handling boosts the luminance of SDR sources to create an exceptionally bright, colorful image that occasionally resembles HDR – without appearing forced or artificial.

The 65OLED805’s images are not flawless (inevitably). To begin, a small amount of shadow detail can be lost in the darkest areas of the picture.

However, increasing the brightness by one step and decreasing the Gamma setting by one step can help a little.

Minor black crush is less noticeable when viewing Dolby Vision content, as the additional scene-by-scene data presumably aids the TV in refining its shadow detail resolution.

While the HDR AI mode is generally quite intelligent in its operation, it can result in the loss of resolution in scenes with a lot of detail and motion.

The beginning of Chapter 2 of Blade Runner 2049 on 4K Blu-ray, in which K returns to a misty city in his Spinner, reveals the city to be noticeably soft and even a little smeary in HDR AI mode.

While reducing the Source Perfection setting in the AI mode from the default Medium to Minimum restores much of the detail, the results are still not as satisfying as they can be in, say, the HDR Personal preset.

Additionally, I discovered that using the options available in non-AI modes resulted in slightly more natural-looking motion than using the AI mode’s simple Min, Med, and Max settings.

Faint vertical banding appeared in one or two dark – typically dark grey – sequences, including the Blade Runner 2049 BR2049 city approach.

The screen of the Philips OLED 805 is also quite reflective of ambient light, and there may be some slight color banding in areas of subtle HDR color blending.

Finally, Philips’ 2020 step-up OLED model, the Philips OLED+935, produces noticeably improved images due to its use of a more powerful image processing system. Keep an eye out for a review of this television soon.

None of this changes the fact that the Philips OLED 805 is an excellent value for money display that combines Philips’ penchant for bold images with an entirely new level of AI-inspired refinement.

Audio performance

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The exceptional build quality of the Philips OLED 805 and its three substantial open-speaker drivers on the rear contribute to a surprisingly satisfying audio performance.

The sound travels nicely to the left and right, far beyond the physical boundaries of the screen without losing cohesion or detail.

Indeed, the detailing is quite impressive for television that lacks forward-facing speakers.

  • Detailed and clean Dolby Atmos playback
  • Believable, distortion-free dialogue
  • Limited height effects and bass

The mid-range is also expansive and dynamic, and voices emerge even when there is a lot of background noise.

Due to these characteristics, the Philips OLED 805 derives reasonable value from its integrated Dolby Atmos decoder.

However, there are certain limitations to its Dolby Atmos capabilities.

For example, there is little sense of height, and while the bass is clean and lively, it does not attempt to plumb any great low-frequency depths.

This is preferable to the crackly, muddy mess that results when televisions try to deliver more bass than their woofers are capable of handling.

Should I buy the Philips 65OLED805?

Television Television set LG 4K resolution Sony

Buy it if…

You want the best deal possible. The town’s first OLED television
Despite its robust feature set and overall performance, the 65OLED805 is significantly less expensive than any of its closest 2020 competitors at the time of writing.

You desire a television that makes a genuine design statement
Along with being beautifully constructed, the 65OLED805’s sleek design is enhanced by Philips’ patented Ambilight technology’s light show extravaganza.

You require complete HDR support
Philips has chosen to disregard industry politics by supporting all major HDR formats – HDR10, HLG, HDR10+, and Dolby Vision – ensuring that you always get the best picture regardless of what you watch.

Don’t buy it if…

You are unwilling to exercise a modicum of caution regarding what you watch
OLED TVs are prone to permanent image retention if you do not exercise caution when watching content that contains static image content, such as channel logos.

You have an extremely bright room
While the 65OLED805’s images are pretty bright and detailed by OLED standards, its reflective screen and relative lack of brightness compared to premium LCD TVs are worth noting if your living room is typically lit by ambient or artificial light.

You’re a fan of gaming with a trigger-response system
While the 65OLED805’s input lag of 33ms in game mode isn’t excessive, it is at least 20ms longer than what we’re seeing from several big-name rival LCD and OLED TVs this year.

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