Deep black levels
Precise 2D images
Smart TV disappoints
3D dogged by crosstalk
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The annual winter release of Philips' flagship TV has become a bit of an occasion at TechRadar, with the Dutch brand's 9000 Series regularly at the forefront of LED TV tech - and the arrival of this 46-inch TV doesn't change that.
We are slightly confused as to why Philips puts its top TV tech on a 46-inch TV rather than something huger, but the luscious-looking Philips 46PFL9707 is nevertheless welcome.
Its brushed metallic bezel measures 17mm (0.67 inches), which may not be the slimmest around (its depth of 46mm (1.81 inches) isn't class-leading at this price, either), but the Philips 46PFL9707 has plenty of cutting edge quality elsewhere.
The Philips 46PFL9707 receives the most comprehensive, three-sided Ambilight Spectra XL, whereby strips of LED lights line the sides and top of the TV's rear; during TV and/or video, dynamically changing coloured lights inspired by what's showing on the screen create a light show in the area of the wall behind the TV.
Adaptable to the colour of the wall, it's a feature that's said to reduce eye strain, but it's also got to be said that Ambilight is one of the few TV features left that's truly unique - and a real show-off feature.
It can also be set to an ISF (Imaging Science Foundation)-approved 'ISF Warm White', the science being that a soft white light behind the area of viewing helps create the illusion of deeper contrast.
The Philips 46PFL9707 has no truck with reflections, and nor does it need help with contrast, since the use of that Moth Eye tech helps create a spec that boasts of the highest figures we're yet seen; a staggering 150,000,000:1 contrast ratio. Blimey.
There is other tech at work in this department on the Philips 46PFL9707, though it's Philips' use of a 'direct' LED Pro Full HD panel - one of the few left in the flatscreen TV market - that helps the TV accurately display mixed brightness images. It has 240 separate segments each lit by an LED.
Net TV sees a refresh, as does the core user interface, while Zeitgest features such as Wi-Fi and digital file playback from USB flash drives and networked computers, as well as recordings from the Philips 46PFL9707's Freeview HD tuner, also feature.
Lastly, the Philips 46PFL9707 includes 3D Max, an active shutter-based 3D system whose extra dollop of detail (compared to passive 3D systems) is a no-brainer on a flagship TV destined for home cinemas.
The 9000 Series is always an exclusive collection, with our review sample, the Philips 46PFL9707, playing the starring role and being priced at £2,500 (around AU$3,833/US$4,029).
For the first time the Philips 9000 Series doesn't feature a 40-inch option, though there is a 60-inch version, the Philips 60PFL9707, which may also be coming to the UK. Sadly, it doesn't use a Moth Eye filter, though - the Philips 46PFL9707 is a true one-off.
Jamie is a freelance tech, travel and space journalist based in the UK. He’s been writing regularly for Techradar since it was launched in 2008 and also writes regularly for Forbes, The Telegraph, the South China Morning Post, Sky & Telescope and the Sky At Night magazine as well as other Future titles T3, Digital Camera World, All About Space and Space.com. He also edits two of his own websites, TravGear.com and WhenIsTheNextEclipse.com that reflect his obsession with travel gear and solar eclipse travel. He is the author of A Stargazing Program For Beginners (Springer, 2015),