What is the Philips PUS7601?
Connections & Control
Features & Specs
The Ultra HD 4K (3840 x 2160) 10-bit panel has a 200Hz frame rate and full array LED backlighting. The 7601 also includes support for High Dynamic Range (HDR 10) with up to 500 nits of overall brightness and 700 nits of peak brightness, along with Micro Dimming Premium local dimming. There's also plenty of image processing technology, including Ultra Resolution Upscaling, Perfect Natural Motion and Perfect Pixel Ultra HD, although there's no support for 3D.
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Philips 65PUS7601 Recommended Picture Settings
Picture Settings – Out-of-the-Box
You can find our recommended picture settings for Day, Night and HDR modes in the video above but if you'd rather just set the TV up yourself then you can follow the steps in our PicturePerfect Guide.
Picture Settings – Calibrated
Picture Settings – High Dynamic Range
We have reviewed a number of Philips TVs recently and the 7601 has many of the strengths that we would expect such as excellent video processing and motion handling. The TV was extremely capable when it came to deinterlacing and upscaling lower resolution content to match the 4K resolution of the panel itself, so when it came to standard and high definition content both looked very good. As far as the frame interpolation features were concerned, we would recommend avoiding Perfect Natural Motion with film-based content but it's certainly worth experimenting with when it comes to sports-based action.
The accurate colour gamut, after calibration at least, resulted in some natural-looking images and the decent greyscale and gamma performance delivered a very solid picture. Thanks to the use of a full array backlight with 128 zones, the screen uniformity was excellent and aside from some minor banding on camera pans the screen was pleasingly free of other annoying artefacts like DSE, clouding, bright corners or bright edges. We have yet to see a TV that uses a full array direct LED Backlight that doesn't have banding to some degree or another, so it was to be expected and forgivable considering the 7601's price.
Since this is a Philips TV the 7601 includes Ambilight and this can be very useful when it comes to improving the perceived black levels. If you're unfamiliar with Ambilight, it's essentially a series of small LEDs built into the rear of the chassis that light up the wall behind the TV. We're not really fans of the various modes of Ambilight that create different colours to match what is on screen, that makes it look like there's a disco behind your TV but the ISF mode is very useful. This produces a neutral bias light behind the TV that not only results in a comfortable viewing experience at night but also improves the perceived black levels, making them look better.
The 7601 delivered a great picture when it came to standard dynamic range content and whether it was standard or high definition content, the excellent video processing deinterlaced and scaled the content to effectively match the native 4K resolution of the panel. The resulting images retained all their inherent detail and the decent colour accuracy and motion handling meant that whether you were watching broadcast TV, streaming services or Blu-ray the results were always highly enjoyable. Naturally the better the source content the better the image but the 7601 proved a very solid all-round performer.
When it came to Ultra HD content the 7601 could use its 4K panel to take full advantage of the extra resolution to reveal every detail, with the larger 65-inch screen size helping to create a more immersive experience. Although the peak brightness isn't as high as some other TVs, the 7601 uses the specular highlights effectively, so the HDR images still had some impact and were free of haloing. The same was true of the colour gamut and although it was somewhat restricted, the Philips still managed to tone-map the content and track DCI-P3 with a reasonable degree of accuracy, resulting in some very watchable images.
Philips 65PUS7601 Video Review
Input Lag & Energy Consumption
In terms of energy consumption the 7601 was extremely efficient for such a large TV and using a full window 50% white pattern we measured the Standard picture style at 91W and our calibrated ISF Night style at 75W. Naturally once we moved on to HDR the level of energy consumption increased, with the Philips drawing 134W with our optimal settings but even so that's still an impressively low power number when you consider the screen size.
How future-proof is this TV?
|4K Ultra HD Resolution|
|Colour Space (percentage of Rec.2020 - 100% best)||54%|
|HDMI 2.0a Inputs|
|HDCP 2.2 Support|
|4K Streaming Services|
|Smart TV Platform|
|Picture Accuracy Out-of-the-Box (score out of 10)||5|
- Good black levels and contrast ratios
- Excellent backlight uniformity
- Impressive video processing
- Ambilight can be a useful feature
- Great onboard audio
- Decent level of build quality
- Energy efficient
- Out-of-the-box accuracy poor
- HDR performance limited
- Minor backlight banding
- Oversensitive remote control
Philips 65PUS7601 UHD 4K TV Review
Should I buy one?
If you're in the market for a full array LED TV with local dimming then you should definitely consider the Philips 65PUS7601. It isn't the best performing TV that we've seen this year and it certainly isn't perfect but for the price you'll be getting a really solid TV that does just about everything and does most of it well. The design is minimalist but the build quality is excellent, whilst the connections should cover any eventuality. There are plenty of features including 3-sided Ambilight, Android TV and a dual-sided remote control, although in the case of the latter it was a bit oversensitive sometimes. The sound quality was actually very good, the energy consumption was excellent for a screen of this size and at 38ms the input lag should please all but the most demanding gamers.
The biggest disappointment when it came to the 7601 was the out-of-the-box greyscale, which had way too much blue in it. Although we suspect it's a firmware glitch that could be easily fixed and we were able to correct it using the calibration controls, there's no doubt the Philips lost points because of this aspect of its performance. However, the colour accuracy was much better and the image processing was excellent, so once we had calibrated the greyscale the performance of the 7601 was much improved. The black levels, contrast ratios and backlight uniformity were equally as impressive, aside from some slight banding. So whether we were watching standard or high definition content, the Philips was capable of lovely looking images.
When it came to High Dynamic Range (HDR) the performance was good but not quite as good as with standard dynamic range content. The 7601 could deliver a peak brightness of over 600 nits and it could do so without producing haloing or other unwanted artefacts. The images didn't have quite the impact when it came to specular highlights as brighter TVs and the colour gamut was rather limited but overall the Philips was still able to deliver an enjoyable HDR experience. So if you're looking for a large screen TV with a full array backlight and local dimming that can handle both standard and high dynamic range content effectively, whilst also delivering plenty of other features at an attractive price, then take a look at the Philips 65PUS7601.
What are my alternatives?
At a price point of around £2,000 and a screen size of 65 inches there really aren't that many alternatives. In fact the only viable option when it comes to full array backlight models is the Panasonic DX902. You can pick up the TX-58DX902 for £1,849 and the TX-65DX902B for as little as £2,499, which is incredibly cheap for 65-inch THX and Ultra HD Premium certified TV with active shutter 3D. The DX902 isn't perfect but you won't find a better TV in terms of colour accuracy and the Panasonic can deliver fantastic images for both standard and high dynamic range content. So depending on your budget the Panasonic DX902 could make a great alternative, although in terms of price the Philips 65PUS7601 remains a hard act to beat.
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Contrast/Dynamic Range/Black Level
Picture Quality Out-Of-The-Box
Picture Quality Calibrated
Ease Of Use
Value for Money
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