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Philips 19PFL5602D review

Small is beautiful with Philips latest LCD

Our Verdict

A neat, well featured set with decent pictures and price tag


  • Good looks
  • Comprehensive spec
  • Great overall performance


  • Visible backlight
  • Some user issues

Not many 19in LCDs pass our way these days and even fewer as pretty as this. Philips' TV quashes the notion that anything smaller than 26in is a jumped-up computer monitor with the styling and build quality that entails.

Its solidly gorgeous white frame is iPod-like with its rounded edges and its sturdy, glass and metal stand is in a different league to anything we've seen on a second set.

Not that there's anything at all secondary about this TV's connectivity. The back panel sports a pair of HDMIs, a component video input and a brace of Scarts, plus most other ports you'd expect except a stereo audio output.

The remote is an attractive mini-sized replica of Philips' full-sized version. It's thoughtfully laid out, but slightly fiddly in its mini form.

The onscreen menus have been similarly shrunk so they can be difficult to read from afar and the translucent pop-ups don't help.


The Philips benefits from being blessed with all the advantages of LCD (colour, detail) displayed at a size that minimises the technology's shortcomings (motion judder, processing noise). The result is eminently watchable and ranks among the best we've seen on a sub-20in television.

Hues are crisp and well saturated, the level of detail is impressive from any source (the extra resolution gained from HD discs isn't irrelevant on a set this small) and edges are well defined, while the approximation of three dimensions is reasonably convincing.

Movement is still an issue, but as mentioned before, it is markedly less distracting than on a bigger, 32in set. If there is one blatant weakness it is with the darker end of the spectrum.

Contrast is fair, but is undermined by a backlight that manifests itself as an all-too-visible 'X' when the action gets properly gloomy.

Even so, the 19PFL5602D has enough talent to be a superior bedroom set or even, at a push, a main TV in a smaller front room.