Philips 48PFT5509 review

Philips's rehabilitation continues with this great-value TV

Philips 48PFT5509 review

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The 48PFT5509 isn't exactly the sort of TV we've become accustomed to seeing from Philips over the years. Rather than bristling with cutting-edge tech with an eye-watering price tag to match, it's stripped back and seriously aggressively priced.

The biggest and best surprise about the 48PFT5509, though, is how well it carries off this new Philips approach, managing to deliver more picture, sound and even design prowess than you've any right to expect of a 48-inch TV that costs just £530.

Obviously we'd love to see Philips also get its high-end groove back on in the UK next year if its high-value TVs prove successful. But in the meantime, the 48PFT5509 is a very welcome reminder that Philips is still a TV force to be reckoned with.

We liked

Despite being very aggressively priced for a nearly-50-inch TV, the 48PFT5509 is a great picture performer with HD sources. There are a generous two USB ports for multimedia files, and the network options support multimedia streaming from DLNA-enabled devices as well as access to both Philips' ring-fenced online content and an open Web browser. Its sound is also much better than average for a high-value TV, and its slinky design is space-saving, deceptively robust and bang on trend.

We disliked

One more HDMI would have been nice, as would a few more video on demand/catch-up TV apps. The menus are little slow, with some frustrating lag, and there's no Ambilight or 3D (although this could be a perk for 3D-haters). The set isn't particularly great at upscaling standard definition broadcasts, either.

Final verdict

The 48PFT5509's aggressive price and relatively basic specification may not tally with what we usually expect of a Philips TV, but that hasn't stopped the Dutch brand from making it a resounding success. Its picture, sound and build quality combine to make it a rare budget gem in a year which, for the most part, has been a far from vintage one for the TV world.

John Archer
AV Technology Contributor

John has been writing about home entertainment technology for more than two decades - an especially impressive feat considering he still claims to only be 35 years old (yeah, right). In that time he’s reviewed hundreds if not thousands of TVs, projectors and speakers, and spent frankly far too long sitting by himself in a dark room.