Hands on: Philips OLED 901F 55-inch 4K TV review

A bold new direction for a proud old brand

What is a hands on review?
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Our Early Verdict

Philips' first foray into the OLED world is excellent, although inevitably the television is on the pricey side.

For

  • Lovely OLED 4K panel
  • Ambilight is great
  • Nice simple design.

Against

  • Not cheap for a 55-inch panel.

The Philips 901F represents the proud old TV brand's first foray into the world of OLED - with its 4K 55-inch television catapulting the TP Vision brand in a whole new direction.

OLED brings some immediate benefits for picture quality - most noticeably the darkness of the blacks being displayed and the vibrancy of the colors.

Philips' 901F certainly shows up these big improvements; the picture itself is beautiful with the 4K UHD display vibrant and immediately engaging.

OLED

The color gamut is actually 99% DCI-P3 WCG for those that care about that sort of thing and pretty bloody good for anyone who has less love for the details and is more worried about the real-world impact on the picture.

OLED also brings great and consistent performance from all angles, which should benefit those not sat directly in front of the panel.

A huge part of the next generation of TV is around HDR, and this television brings the highest current certification and plays nicely with HDR 10 standards.

Of course, the technology that has become the big differentiator of Philips in the TV world is its Ambilight offering. This technology lights up the wall behind the television to enhance viewing, and it's genuinely both clever and effective.

Ambilight

Because this is Philips' technology this represents the first time that OLED 4K televisions have had Ambilight, and it gels well. The Philips 901F OLED is definitely a television which will be appreciated by those who enjoy a bit of extra color in their lives.

Sound wise, it's harder to give you a completely fair impression when you're at a show, but the 901F's does boast a 6.1, 30W sound system with six front firing drivers mounted in a slim-line, aluminum sound bar and a backfiring Triple Ring speaker with an included bass port.

Speaker

From a design point of view, it's a nice looking television and the slim bezel definitely helps the Ambilight to have greater impact. The stand itself consists of a pair of simple silver feet - which is absolutely fine when your screen itself is the center of attention.

That soundbar - separate but only by a sliver and looking to all intents and purposes like part of the television itself is certainly not invisible and might be annoying to some, but if it improves the sound we'll live with it.

LIfestyle shot

It's an Android TV, which is an OS that has come a long way but will always remain a little divisive among Smart TV aficionados, and the quad-core processor should keep things whizzing along.

Philips' first foray into OLED brings an interesting new competitor for LG and Samsung, and it will be fascinating to see how much Ambilight can help the brand stand up to the big boys.

Dark darks

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What is a hands on review?

'Hands on reviews' are a journalist's first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it's like to use, even if it's only an embryonic view. For more information, see TechRadar's Reviews Guarantee.

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