Panasonic TX-50AX802 review

Size doesn't matter when it comes to this 4K TV

Panasonic TX-50AX802

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Typically available for around £2K, the TX-50AX802 can be considered fine value. This is an impressive 4K UHD panel capable of an outstanding picture performance.

Colour fidelity and black level performance are particularly noteworthy. The implementation of Freetime, with a roll-back EPG and full complement of mainstream TV catch-up services, also makes a refreshing change from having to launch individual channel apps.

There's no getting around the fact that the set's inability to play Netflix 4K content could prove difficult to ignore for many though. Overall design and build quality is admirably high.

We liked

The TX-50AX802 delivers cracking picture quality with Full HD sources and is capable of a stunning native 4K performance. The Freetime roll-back TV programme guide makes catch-up part of the regular linear TV watching experience. Panasonic's my Home Screen launch page makes it easy to create a bespoke UI, and the curated my Stream content recommendation engine is a fun addition.

We disliked

There's no getting around the fact that the Bluetooth Touch Pad controller is awkward to use. Despite having an HEVC decoder, the set is incompatible with Netflix 4K. Arguably Full HD upscaling is not quite as effective as that seen on rival screens.

Final verdict

Make no mistake, the Panasonic TX-50AX802 is a stand-out 4K UHD TV in most every sense. With its metallic trim and crafty hidden pedestal, the set looks superb and (pedantic niggles aside) its picture performance is a richly hued wow. Throw in a superior connected feature roster with snazzy Freetime roll-back programme guide, and you're more than halfway a winner

The fly in the ointment, and it's difficult to know if this is a big fly or not, is its unfortunate incompatibility with Netflix 4K (wrong type of chips apparently). That said, it sells for considerably less than its nearest rivals, which should sweeten the deal.

Steve May
Home entertainment AV specialist

Steve has been writing about AV and home cinema since the dawn of time, or more accurately, since the glory days of VHS and Betamax. He has strong opinions on the latest TV technology, Hi-Fi and Blu-ray/media players, and likes nothing better than to crank up his ludicrously powerful home theatre system to binge-watch TV shows.