Should I buy a Philips Ambilight TV?


When shopping for a high-end TV, you’ll see a lot of talk about OLED and QLED. OLED is a display type, and QLED is Samsung’s LCD-based alternative to it. Ambilight is another term you need to school-up on. It's one of the most interesting TV features. 

Ambilight is a proprietary Philips technology that has striking effect you won’t see in any other manufacturer’s TVs. It uses LEDs around the set’s sides to project color onto the wall behind the TV. 

It may sound like a gimmick, but it isn’t. By matching these colors to those of the on-screen content, perceived contrast is increased, and the whole image becomes more immersive.  

All but the cheapest Philips TVs use Ambilight nowadays. And they can also hook up with Philips Hue smart lightbulbs, to let the colours of the TV image flood your room, rather than just bleeding out behind the screen. With Amazon Prime Day 2018 in full swing, here's some of the best current deals around the screens:

Philips 65-inch 4K Ultra HD HDR Plus | was £1,300 now £909
The power of Android is the brains behind the Philips 65PUS7303 65-inch 4K Ultra HD Android Smart TV with HDR Plus and 3-sided Ambilight. The Ambilight tech means the TV emits a wide glow from the screen to the wall behind it, which creates a more immersive experience - especially for movies and gaming. View Deal

Philips 55-inch 4K Ultra HD HDR | was £1,499 now £1,199
Save £300 on the Philips 55POS9002 55-inch 4K Ultra HD OLED TV with Android Smart TV, Ambilight on 3 sides, HDR Perfect technology, Freeview HD and a 30w sound system.View Deal

Should I buy a Philips Ambilight TV?

Philips’s TVs may not earn quite as much attention as the latest Samsung or LG OLEDs, but Ambilight is a pretty compelling reason to choose a Philips model over everything else.

Not every Ambilight TV is made the same, though. Low-end models have “2-sided” Ambilight, meaning colour emanates from the left and right of the TV. The rest have a “3-sided” array, with LEDs pointing upwards too. For the full Ambilight experience, you want this feature.

Philips has even made a couple of 4-sided Ambilight TVs, including the Philips 9800 series. These project colour below as well. However, right now Philips’s top models max out with three sides of LEDs. 

While Ambilight separates Philips TVs from the rest, there’s still a lot to consider within the company’s own range. It offers many models, from budget LCDs all the way up to the glorious OLED Philips 9000. 

Philips’s higher-end TVs use Android TV software, just like Sony’s sets. It’s known for being a little flaky at times, but does grant access to loads of apps, many of the same ones you can download for your phone. 2018 mid-price TVs use Saphi TV instead, Philips’s own interface. 

Its latest 2018 TVs also have excellent “P5 Perfect Picture” processing, which ensures great motion handling and color reproduction.

Whether you’re after an affordable LCD like the Philips 43PUS6262 or something closer to the fantastic Philips 55OLED873 OLED, you get something not seen anywhere else. Yep, we’re talking about Ambilight again. It's the main reason to "buy Philips".

Most of the Philips TVs we’ve reviewed recently have fairly mediocre on-board sound. But this is nothing to worry about if you plan to use your own speakers or a surround system, which we always recommend.