Philips OLED+986 (65OLED986) TV evaluation: it is a large plus

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The agency might not admire it, however there doesn’t appear to be a lot alternative however to name the Philips OLED+986 ‘a comeback’.

For the previous few years, Philips TVs have modulated from ‘there or thereabouts’ to ‘among the many finest pound-for-pound televisions you should purchase’ – and the corporate’s collaboration with hi-fi legends Bowers & Wilkins for the audio programs fitted to a few of its extra up-market fashions has paid dividends too.

This new OLED+986 is as up-market as Philips TVs at the moment get. It’s solely out there in a 65in display dimension, it’s fitted with a big and purposeful-looking Bowers & Wilkins audio system – and it’s a quid shy of £4K. Which is quite a bit for a 65in OLED in anybody’s e-book – even when it does have a promising-looking sound system kind-of inbuilt.

So does the OLED+986 proceed the comeback? Or is it an costly step too far?

Design and construct: a TV of two halves

Philips OLED+986 TV against wall

So far as the ‘tv’ portion of the OLED+986 goes, there’s not a lot right here that’s out of the atypical. At 65in it is a large display, clearly, however all 4 of its bezels are very slim and handle to minimise the impression of bulk just a bit. As is common with OLED TVs today, when seen in profile the Philips is extraordinarily skinny besides within the locations the place it isn’t. At its deepest the OLED+986 is a fraction greater than 47mm deep – though a few of that relative bulk is defined away by the four-sided Ambilight that’s fitted right here (there’s a lot extra on simply what a superb characteristic that is within the – hey! – ‘options’ part).

Beneath the underside of the display, although, all of it takes a flip for the slightly uncommon and undoubtedly premium.

The OLED+986 is provided with a two-piece stand. If the TV goes to face on the ground, each items are required; if it’s being wall-mounted, you solely want the primary piece. In both case, the massive Bowers & Wilkins speaker enclosure wants attaching – it’s a big and purposeful unit, however due to a number of perforated metal and the ever-present Kvadrat acoustic material end, it doesn’t dominate the look of the TV because it in any other case would possibly. And that signature ‘tweeter on prime’ association provides the form of design flourish you simply don’t get with different televisions.

So far as construct high quality goes, nicely, a weight of just about 32kg (with stand hooked up) or 23.5kg (with out) tells a part of the story. This can be a product constructed seemingly with out compromise – even the plastics that make up the rear of the display are heavy-guage and tactile.

Options: each characteristic after which just a few options extra

Even earlier than it’s plugged in and doing its factor, there are of course just a few expectations for a telly costing as a lot as this. However there’s no want to fret – the OLED+986 has each characteristic you would possibly moderately anticipate – after which chucks in just a few extra for good measure.

First off, that is (in fact) a 4K TV. However as a result of it’s a Philips 4K TV, it’s appropriate with each worthwhile HDR commonplace – Dolby Imaginative and prescient, HDR10+ and HDR10+ Adaptive are all included, and Dolby Imaginative and prescient Sport Mode is on board too. Solely Panasonic is as beneficiant with its HDR compatibility – all the opposite manufacturers are too busy point-scoring to place the buyer first.

Talking of gaming, half of the OLED+986’s 4 HDMI inputs are HDMI 2.1-standard, and so will help all of your next-gen console’s intelligent options like ALLM, VRR, HGiG and [email protected] Effectively, to be completely correct the Philips solely helps [email protected] up to some extent – the corporate has prioritised film image efficiency over gaming efficiency, which implies the 986’s twin-chip processor halves the decision of a 4K 120Hz sign earlier than displaying it. Which is a) lower than splendid, however b) higher than some different TVs can handle.

The dual-chip processor is essentially the most up-to-the-minute model of Philips’ P5 processing engine, which is now on its fifth era. It’s in control of certainly one of LG’s super-bright OLED panels – the Korean producer reckons it’s 20% brighter than its earlier efforts.

On the rear, Philips has deployed its ‘Ambilight’ characteristic throughout all 4 sides. In the event you’re accustomed to Ambilight, you’ll understand how worthwhile and efficient it’s – and if not, be assured it’s quite a bit much less gimmicky than it may appear when written down. Rows of LEDs shine mild onto the wall behind the display, both as static colors or (extra impressively) matching the predominant colors of no matter’s onscreen. The halo of sunshine it casts makes the display appear even bigger than it’s, makes the pictures it shows appear much more immersive, and reduces eye-strain. Which, in anybody’s language, is a win/win/win – and it really works superbly.

After all, there’s greater than Ambilight within the ‘distinctive options’ column right here. The Bowers & Wilkins sound enclosure (as a result of it’s nothing as gauche as a ‘soundbar’, not in your life) is one other distinctive promoting level – and in contrast to Ambilight, it doesn’t cover itself away till the display is powered up.

Behind the sound system’s perforated metal grille are three mid/bass drivers and a pair of tweeters, with a 3rd tweeter positioned on prime of the cupboard within the method Bowers & Wilkins has been deploying for years now. The uncovered tweeter encompasses a Nautilus tube in a drive to cut back the impression of backward-travelling soundwaves, and the mid/bass drivers are made out of the identical woven ‘Continuum’ materials the corporate makes use of for its flagship 800-series loudspeakers.

The entire drivers face forwards, slightly than making an attempt to ship an impression of spatial audio. However the upgraded crossovers, improved amplification and reworked motor assemblies all level to Bowers & Wilkins’ standard disinclination to compromise.

Interface: many many menus

The clichés about how Philips TVs take an eternity to arrange and about how Philips TVs have menus that go on longer than an episode of Stranger Issues have solely turn out to be clichés as a result of they’re true.

And so it involves go that the OLED+986 has set-up menus which are logical, apparent of their objective and straightforward to navigate – however that additionally go on and on and on. And don’t even get us began on the sub-menus. If there’s even a suggestion of OCD in your character, you would end up fiddling across the edges of this TV’s efficiency for days on finish.

Fortunately, the provided distant management within reason smart, each in its structure and the dimensions of its buttons. The truth that it’s backed with sustainable Muirhead leather-based helps it really feel a reduce or two above your on a regular basis distant management, too.

In addition to interminable set-up menus, the distant management means that you can navigate the OLED+986’s Android TV sensible interface. It’s filled with all of the apps you need and fairly just a few you don’t, options Freeview Play and is, as per standard the place Android TV is worried, laid out just about at random. Nonetheless, aside from Disney+ all of the apps that may characteristic Dolby Atmos and/or Dolby Imaginative and prescient achieve this. Which is sweet.

Philips OLED+986 Efficiency: hey there good trying

Philips OLED+986 TV in living room

That the set-up menus ramble on and on is made much more annoying by the truth that this Philips TV is fully depending on the best way you set it up. Not ready to place the onerous yards in? Then don’t anticipate to see the remarkably lifelike, vibrant and engrossing pictures it’s able to.

As a result of make no mistake, as soon as it’s correctly arrange the OLED+986 rewards like only a few different TVs. As soon as it’s correctly arrange, there’s actually no side of picture-making at which it doesn’t excel. As soon as it’s correctly arrange, it’s a totally immersive and endlessly watchable TV.

With a 4K UHD Blu-ray of Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, the OLED+986 is masterful. The color palette is extraordinarily broad and naturalistic, element ranges are staggeringly excessive, motion-control is absolute, and edge definition is clean and plausible. Depth of area is spectacular too, and skin-tones specifically are massively various and all the time convincing.

As LG assured everybody, the panel of this TV is considerably brighter than that of the Philips OLED984 it replaces. It’s not simply glare, although – vibrant tones carry loads of element and variation, and after they’re mixed with the deep, lustrous black tones which are the hallmark of a great OLED panel, the ensuing contrasts are assured and wider than a really vast factor.

There’s no equivocating right here – given the most effective content material to work with, the OLED+986 is an virtually luxuriously achieved watch. It’s sharp however not edgy, detailed however not fussy, endlessly delicate however by no means imprecise.

Ask it to upscale some Full HD content material and the Philips continues to impress. In the event you haven’t put the hours in on the ‘set-up menus’ coalface then upscaled pictures could be a little onerous and edgy, however element ranges stay excessive, edge-definition stays convincing, and the breadth of its contrasts (together with the intensive nature of its color palette) make it by some means naturalistic and cinematic on the identical time.

All of this great things carries over to the best way the Philips handles gaming by way of a next-gen console. Movement-control is absolute, the display handles the lighting and distinction of video games like Gran Turismo 7 with full confidence, and tremendous element retention is exceptional. Even a comparatively leisurely enter response time of 22m/s might be principally imperceptible to all however essentially the most devoted avid gamers.

So picture high quality is achieved and satisfying throughout the board – however the identical could be mentioned for some equally sized OLED TVs that value a great chunk of cash lower than this. This OLED+986, although, makes fully good on its asking worth while you take its sound high quality under consideration.

The easy truth is: this Bowers & Wilkins audio system is the most effective a tv was ever fitted with. You’ll be able to spend nicely over a grand on a soundbar that may try to provide an impression of spatial audio, however none of them will sound extra direct, higher balanced, or extra instinctively right than this set-up.

The soundstage it creates is vast and deep (although not in any means tall), it’s rigorously organised and straightforward to know, and there’s simply as a lot consideration paid to element as to the presentation as an entire. Tonality is naturalistic and convincing, drive and dynamism can be found in amount, whereas low-end punch and presence can have you glancing round to seek out out the place the subwoofer is.

Philips OLED+986 verdict

The Philips OLED+986 is barely costly till you correctly give it some thought. A 65in OLED with related picture efficiency will value the thick finish of three grand, whereas reaching the identical form of fulminating-yet-delicate sound high quality means spending one other thousand kilos on a soundbar.

You gained’t obtain an aesthetic something like as harmonious that means, although, and also you gained’t get any Ambilight brilliance both. This could be the most effective all-round TV you may at the moment purchase.

Philips OLED+986 technical specs

Display screen dimension 65in
Decision 3840×2160 w/ 120Hz refresh price
HDR HDR10+ Adaptive, Dolby Imaginative and prescient,
Inputs 2x HDMI 2.1, 2x HDMI 2.0, 2x USB, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Ethernet, Optical
Good TV OS Android TV
Weight 32kg
Dimensions 1449x1338x382mm (with stand)


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