What is the Philips 9002?
Whilst the 55POS9002 also arrives rather late in the year, this time it's more competitively priced at £1,999 as at the time of writing (October 2017). It also has all the same features as the other manufacturers, with the exception of Dolby Vision, plus a few that are unique to Philips. So, along with HDR, Android and Ambilight, the 9002 also includes Philips's new P5 Perfect Picture Engine, which brings a whole new suite of image processing features to OLED. So is the POS9002 as good as its predecessor and can it do enough to stand out in a very crowded OLED market place? Let's find out...
Connections & Control
There are also two USB ports, both facing sideways, one of which is USB 2.0 and one of which is USB 3.0, with the latter intended for use with an HDD for recording and time shifting TV programmes. The 9002 also has a Freeview HD tuner and a satellite tuner, which is generic rather than Freesat, both of which face downwards. There's also a downwards facing digital audio output, a component video input and an analogue audio input that both use included mini-jack adapters and a LAN Ethernet port for a wired connection, although the Philips includes dual band WiFi 11ac 2x2 integrated wireless capability. Finally, facing sideways you will also find a headphone socket and a Common Interface Plus (CI+) socket.
We would still like to see a backlight added but thankfully Philips have ditched the overly responsive touch sensitive central navigation control, making it much easier to use the remote. There is voice control as well, which interacts with the Android Smart TV platform, but we generally found it was just quicker and easier to simply press a button on the remote. The inclusion of a QWERTY keyboard on the reverse side is a nice touch and certainly makes typing anything into the Android Smart TV platform easier and quicker. If you would rather use your smart device as a controller there is also a free app for both iOS and Android.
Features & Specs
The 9002 includes 3-Sided Ambilight, which means there are LED lights along the top and the sides but not along the bottom. These tiny LEDs are built into the rear of the panel and illuminate the wall behind the TV thus creating its own bias lighting. There are numerous different settings that allow the Ambilight feature to respond with colours that match the image, create mood lighting, change in time to any music you're listening to via the TV or provide dynamic lighting whilst gaming. Of greater interest to the video purist is the ISF Warm White Ambilight mode which creates a static and neutral bias light behind the TV that can make for a very comfortable viewing experience at night.
One of Philips's biggest innovations this year has been their new P5 Perfect Picture Engine image processor which was developed to address what they refer too as the five pillars of picture perfection. According to Philips these five pillars are source, colour, contrast, sharpness and motion, with the P5 image processor addressing each of the pillars in that specific order. The processor begins by applying advanced digital noise reduction and MPEG artefact reduction to the source signal before applying smart bit enhancement to eliminate banding in the signal. In the second step the P5 processor then applies Ultra Resolution Upscaling to upscale lower resolutions to 4K before applying a detail enhancer to that upscaled image. The third step involves the processor then boosting the colours to give images a more vivid gamut but also using a skin tone detector to ensure that flesh tones remain natural despite the more saturated colours. The fourth step in this process involves the P5 processor enhancing the contrast by bringing out details in shadows whilst still retaining deep blacks – this can be applied to both SDR and HDR/HLG content. The P5 processor can also apply HDR Upscaling to non-HDR sources to create a faux-HDR image. Finally the P5 processor applies frame interpolation using 4 billion pixel processing power to deliver smoother and more detailed motion.
The 9002 uses the Android 6.0.1 (Marshmallow) smart operating system and includes quad-core processing, along with 16GB of built-in storage that can be increased using additional USB storage. There is a well designed Electronic Program Guide (EPG) and we found the built-in Freeview HD tuner to be quite effective, whilst there's also the option of adding an HDD and using the 9002 as a PVR. The Android TV platform itself uses a series of selectable cards that are grouped into five main sections – Recommendations, Philips Collection, Apps, Games and Settings. You can scroll down through these sections and then scroll across to access something that interests you.
The Recommendations section offers recommendations for various content based upon your viewing habits, whilst the Philips Collection is a selection of apps provided specifically by Philips themselves. The Apps section is more generic and here you'll find Google Play Store, Google Play Movies & TV, Google Play Music and Google Play Games. There is a good selection of video streaming apps including Netflix, YouTube and BBC iPlayer, with Amazon to be added soon. The Games section provides access to gaming providers like Gamefly, whilst the final section provides access to the settings menu. In testing we were pleased to discover that the Android platform was both responsive and stable, and we had no problems with software glitches or crashes, as has been the case in the past.
Philips 55POS9002 Recommended Picture Settings
Picture Settings – Out-of-the-Box
Picture Settings – Calibrated
Picture Settings – High Dynamic Range
All these factors came into play when we measured the Perceptual Colour Volume, which uses the PQ EOTF out to 10,000nits and the Rec. 2020 colour gamut represented using the ICtCp colour graph which takes into account human visual perception. This measurement uses 393 data points and delivers a number expressed in Millions of Distinguishable Colours (MDC), with the 9002 producing an MDC number of 331 which is comparable with the competition.
Black Levels and Contrast RatiosSince the 9002 uses an OLED panel it shouldn't come as a surprise to discover that the black levels measured zero nits but the panel was also bright, easily hitting our target of 120 nits for a nighttime SDR mode. The result was a superb dynamic range and an infinite on/off contrast ratio, along with an ANSI contrast ratio of 240,000:1 which, whilst still a huge number, is probably a more useful figure than infinity and reflects real world viewing. When Philips released their 901F it was the first OLED TV to improve the above black performance and the 9002 continues that excellent work, delivering incredibly deep blacks without crushing shadow detail. The 9002 was also free of any of the macro-blocking that had plagued near black images on previous OLED TVs and the resulting overall performance was excellent.
Screen UniformityThe latest generation of OLED panels appear to have eliminated the problem of vignetting or dark edges that plagued earlier models or at least we haven't seen the problem on any of the OLED TVs that we have reviewed this year. We checked for vignetting using a full field grey pattern and we also used a full field white pattern to check for any dirty screen effect (DSE) or any discolouration. The latter wasn't an issue and the 9002 handled ambient light and reflections very well, although we would always recommend keeping light sources away from the screen.
The 9002 also performed well in terms of banding just above black and using a 5% grey pattern there were no obvious large bands. There was minor banding just above black, but we see this on every OLED panel and they weren't visible with normal viewing content, nor were there any issues with banding on football. We had no problems with image retention on the 9002 during testing, although we would recommend being careful and avoid leaving static images up for too long. Finally, as with all OLED TVs, the viewing angles were very impressive with no drop-off in contrast or colour in our tests, even at extreme angles.
Motion HandlingThe 9002 includes Philips's new P5 image engine that is designed to deliver superior picture processing in a number of key areas, one of which is motion. The 9002 delivered a fairly standard performance in terms of motion resolution with the motion enhancements turned off and, as we would expect from an OLED panel using 'sample and hold' the 9002 delivered around 300 lines of motion resolution in our tests. However there are also five motion styles that you can use – Movie, Sports, Standard, Smooth and Personal. The differences between each style seem fairly subtle and they all increased the motion resolution to 1080 lines using frame interpolation to deliver smoother and more detailed motion. As aways we wouldn't recommend using any of these styles with film-based content, even the Movie mode which still uses frame interpolation, and the ISF picture styles default to Movie mode on, so you'll need to ensure that is turned off for film-based content.
However if you struggle with the motion resolution of films, you could try using the Personal style, which allows you to customise the motion enhancement features using the Perfect Natural Motion and Perfect Clear Motion controls. You can then experiment with different settings in order to improve the motion without introducing excessive smoothing on films and TV dramas. However when it comes to sports, which is shot on video cameras, the various motion modes can be extremely useful and we found using the Sports style did deliver smoother motion and improved detail, without introducing unwanted artefacts. We did discover a slight software bug when testing the 9002 and sometimes, when switching inputs, frame interpolation was clearly being applied, even though the Motion setting was off. We could fix the issue by simply selecting one of the Motion settings and then selecting off again but clearly the TV shouldn't be doing this. We have reported the issue to Philips and it should be easy to fix with a firmware update.
Standard Dynamic Range ContentThe 9002 proved to be an excellent performer when it came to standard dynamic range content, delivering images that were both detailed and natural looking. The key to this impressive performance is the way that the 9002 handles the fundamentals, with the deep blacks and superb contrast numbers creating an image that had depth and impact. The accurate greyscale, gamma and colour gamut, along with the excellent motion handling, also play their part and the result was a lovely overall image, regardless of the resolution of the source material. Of course when the content is lower resolution than 4K, and most of what we watch is still high definition and even standard definition in some cases, then the excellent image processing has its part to play as well. Thanks to the P5 processor, the 9002 can clean up poor quality sources and upscale lower resolution images to deliver a better viewing experience. We certainly found that standard definition broadcasts and DVDs could look very watchable, despite their inherent limitations, and the 9002 handled them both with skill.
Of course the better the source the better the image and once we moved on to high definition content, the improvements in image quality were immediately apparent. The 9002 handled high resolution broadcasts extremely well and the P5 processor was able to address issues such as compression artefacts and banding on less capable broadcasts. When it came to documentaries on the BBC, the 9002 was able to deliver some gorgeous images, whilst new shows like Gunpowder also looked very impressive. When it came to football the 9002 again impressed, with natural colours, great dynamic range, excellent motion handling and no apparent banding to ruin your enjoyment of the game. Naturally the superior quality of Blu-ray took the performance of the 9002 up to another level and favourite test discs like Jurassic World and Moana looked particularly impressive on the OLED panel, with deep blacks, vibrant colours and plenty of detail. Even with these high quality sources the P5 processor was able to add value, perfectly upscaling the 1080p images to the native resolution of the 4K panel.
High Dynamic Range ContentThe 9002 proved equally as adept when it came to high dynamic range content, despite the inherent limitations in its peak brightness. Thanks to the pixel level nature of an OLED panel, specular highlights were delivered with exacting precision and the incredibly deep blacks meant that whilst those highlights might be limited to 600 to 700nits, they still had plenty of impact. The tone mapping was also excellent as long as you set the Video Contrast control correctly – you'll need to bring it down or the highlights are clipped – and the 9002 could correctly display a 4000nits image, as evidenced by the 'Arriving in Neverland' scene in Pan where the circle of the sun is defined as it sets behind the mountain. The 9002 also handled the Ultra HD images extremely well, taking full advantage of a native 4K production like The Revenant to deliver all the detail in the incredible photography. The same was true of Passengers, where the opening star field was rendered in breathtaking clarity and the highlights were delivered with impressive precision. The use of 10-bit video depth eliminated unwanted banding, whilst the wider colour gamut delivered richer and more vivid colours that had a greater sense of realism.
The Planet Earth II disc demonstrated all these benefits, with staggering levels of detail in some shots, vibrant colours and incredibly bright highlights. The hyenas at night sequence also allowed the 9002 to demonstrate the other strength of OLED, with deep blacks and well defined detail in the shadows. Thanks to the effective tone mapping the Philips was also able to handle HDR10 content without images appearing too dark, even in a room with ambient light. This can sometimes be an issue when dealing with a single maximum brightness number for an entire film, where scenes will vary with some brighter than others but the content is fixed to a specific peak brightness number (1000 or 4000 nits). The lower brightness of an OLED panel on a full field image can sometimes be an issue here but didn't appear to affect the 9002 adversely. The Philips was also impressive with HDR streaming content such as Star Trek Discovery and Mindhunter, both of which looked superb on the OLED panel. Overall the 9002 proved to be an excellent performer when it came to HDR and proved that peak brightness isn't everything and that the overall dynamic range, the precision of the highlights, the image detail, the video bit depth and the accuracy also play their part in delivering a superior HDR performance.
Philips 55POS9002 Video Review
Input Lag & Energy Usage
In terms of energy consumption the 55POS9002 was reasonably efficient and using a full window 50% white pattern we measured the Standard picture style at 132W and our calibrated ISF Night style at 95W. Of course, once we moved on to HDR the level of energy consumption increased, but even then the Philips was only drawing 154W in our optimal settings.
How future-proof is this TV?
|4K Ultra HD Resolution|
|Colour Space (percentage of Rec.2020 - 100% best)||70%|
|HDMI 2.0a Inputs|
|HDCP 2.2 Support|
|4K Streaming Services|
|Smart TV Platform|
|Picture Accuracy Out-of-the-Box (score out of 10)||8|
|What do these mean?|
- Superb blacks and contrast ratio
- Fantastic dynamic range
- Improved detail just above black
- Excellent picture accuracy
- Impressive image processing
- Wide viewing angles
- Minor software bug
- No Dolby Vision support
Philips 55POS9002 4K OLED TV Review
Should I buy one?The new Philips 9002 builds on the excellent performance of their earlier 901F to deliver an impressive 4K OLED TV at a more competitive price point. A lot more manufacturers have joined the OLED market since the release of the 901F but, although they all use the same panel, other features can help differentiate one from the other. In the case of the 9002 it includes many of the features we have come to expect from Philips, including their dual-sided remote control and 3-Side Ambilight. There's also the Android Smart TV platform and Philips's new P5 image engine that adds cutting-edge picture processing designed to enhance both lower resolution and poor quality sources, as well as boost the overall performance. We're pleased to see that Philips have reduced the input lag, compared to the earlier OLED, and although there's no built-in soundbar this time, the audio performance remains decent.
In terms of its performance the 9002 impressed with accurate out-of-the-box measurements and a near-reference performance after calibration – although it's about time Philips brought their calibration controls in line with the competition and added a ten-point white balance control. Thanks to the OLED panel the blacks were deep, the contrast ratios huge and the viewing angles were wide, whilst the panel handled reflections well. The performance above black was also impressive and the upscaling and motion handling were excellent. The 9002 impressed with both SDR and HDR content, delivering detailed and natural-looking images. The specular highlights in HDR content were delivered with precision and the tone mapping didn't clip. As is the case with all OLED panels there was slight banding just above black, although this wasn't visible with normal viewing content, but there were no problems with screen uniformity, vignetting or tinting.
Overall this was an excellent OLED 4K TV and our only complaints are the lack of Dolby Vision support and a slight software bug that turns on frame interpolation when it's supposed to be off. Philips have yet to take a position on Dolby Vision, or HDR10+ for that matter, but we have reported the software bug to them and that should be addressed with a firmware update soon. However the Philips 55POS9002 certainly delivers where it counts and is definitely worthy of recommendation.
What are my alternatives?There are a lot of alternatives these days when it comes to OLED TVs and not just from LG, with models now available from Panasonic, Sony, Loewe and Bang & Olufsen, and Toshiba due to join the market soon. If you like the idea of a built-in soundbar and you're happy to pay an extra £200 you could get the 901F, however at the £2,000 price point the main alternatives are the Panasonic EZ952 and the LG B7 and C7. In the case of the Panasonic TX-55EZ952 you can pick it up for £1,999 and, like the 9002, it doesn't support Dolby Vision, although Panasonic have declared their support for HDR10+. In most other respects the two are quite similar, which means that the choice is between unique Philips features such as Ambilight and P5 processing or the superior image accuracy of the Panasonic with its comprehensive calibration controls.
However in terms of features, performance and price both the 9002 and the EZ952 struggle to compete with LG's 55B7 and 55C7 – both of which are identical apart from their stand and can currently be picked up for £1,799. That's an incredible price for an OLED TV that includes Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos support, the WebOS Smart TV platform, comprehensive picture controls and a superb level of accuracy and performance. LG have even recently added Technicolor picture modes and the ability to accept Dolby Atmos via HDMI, adding to an already impressive feature set. The B7 and C7 are attractively designed, well made, include LG's magic motion remote and tick every box imaginable, making them tough acts to beat and the fact that they're also the cheapest OLED TVs on the market simply adds to their appeal.
MORE: Read All OLED TV Reviews
Contrast/Dynamic Range/Black Level
SDR Picture Quality
HDR Picture Quality
Picture Quality Out-of-the-Box
Picture Quality Calibrated
Ease of Use
Value for Money
Our Review Ethos
To comment on what you've read here, click the Discussion tab and post a reply.