Philips OLED+935 TV Review

Ambilight on all sides...

by Phil Hinton
SRP: £2,000.00

What is the Philips OLED+935?

The Philips OLED+935 is the flagship OLED TV for 2020 and a replacement for last year’s OLED+934. It features the proprietary Philips Ambilight system and for the first time, this is on all four sides of the TV. As well as featuring gimmicks such as the lights behind the TV following the video content or music, there is also a bias light feature with ISF settings and the ability to measure and correct the static white light behind the TV to D65 white. The benefits of this are less fatiguing viewing in dark rooms as the bias light prevents the eyes from getting tired due to changes in the contrast between scenes of the film or TV show you’re watching. You can adjust the brightness of the Ambilight to match the viewing material so you don’t introduce crushing of the detail within the image. If you’re a gamer you may want to use the ‘follow video’ feature to create more immersion with bright and vivid games.

 

... the design has a European flair

This is a premium luxury TV and as such the design has a European flair with the use of exotic materials, like the Scottish leather on the back of the newly designed remote control or, the Kvadrat material which is used as speaker cloth over the Bowers & Wilkins speaker bar.  The speaker bar has been redesigned this year to feature a chrome-covered tweeter-on-top design, which will be familiar to Bowers & Wilkins fans, as well as making it a 3.1.2 system. There are 19mm titanium-dome tweeters for the LCR channels with the centre in the tweeter-on-top separate enclosure. All three are decoupled from the enclosure for the best possible audio reproduction. There are also four 50mm midrange drivers with two located centrally and the other two placed for left and right channels in a front-firing configuration, with a further two units used as upward-firing Dolby Atmos ‘Elevation’ units. Bass is provided by a rear-ported 100mm x 65mm subwoofer unit which is used as the LFE channel for discrete multichannel playback. The speaker bar design is used as the TV stand using a unique chrome-plated adaptor for table mounting, which places the bar below and decoupled from the panel. For wall mounting, Philips provides you with a second chrome stand unit so the soundbar remains below the panel, but all can be mounted together.

Philips 55OLED935

The OLED+935 also features HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision and HDR10+ high dynamic range systems along with DTS and Dolby Atmos sound, so it is well equipped to playback most well-used formats. Changes this year include the introduction of Filmmaker Mode (FMM) which is available under the Movie picture preset. This switches off all unnecessary picture processing such as motion interpolation and noise reduction, as well as other image manipulation features while putting the TV in the correct aspect ratio, Rec.709 or BT.2020 colour spaces, D65 white point and either BT.1886 or ST.2084 for SDR or HDR content. This means that in the Movie mode you are seeing content as it was mastered and intended to be seen by matching the industry standards.

Philips is also well known for its picture processing technologies and the OLED+935 features the 4th Generation P5 chip with AI+ features. New features include an anti-burn-in feature for logos and other static items where the panel will intelligently dim down such items to reduce the possibility of image retention. You also have what Philips call the five pillars (hence P5) which are Motion, Contrast, Colour, Sharpness and Source and processing is designed to help improve the image quality in those categories, with AI a new feature this year for on the fly adjustments. Obviously, if you are an image purist most of these features will remain switched off as they fundamentally change the content away from the creator's intent. But there are also benefits for items such as motion, with two new additions to the motion menu. The Pure Cinema mode introduces 5:5 pulldown for 24fps playback in a 120Hz signal without any induced judder and Movie adds a small amount of de-judder to counter blur sometimes caused by the sample and hold technology of OLED panels without adding any soap opera effect. 

The OS and Smart TV system on the Philips OLED+935 is Android TV 9 (Pie) backed up with a decent dual-core processing chip and 3Gb of RAM, so it is fast and stable in use. There is a good choice of apps available on the platform including Disney+, Prime Video, Netflix, YouTube, BBC iPlayer and the Google Store. There is also support for Alexa and Google Assistant voice control as well as DTS Play-Fi for use with compatible devices to create a multi-room system.

Video Review

Design, Connections and Control

While any design will always be subjective, I personally think that the OLED+935 is a stunning TV with the soundbar so well integrated within the design of the panel. The use of unusual materials, like the Kvadrat material covering the soundbar, makes it stand out from the crowd and gives it a European design language. Making a black rectangle look different and stylish is a hard task, but Philips pulls it off with the 935.

Philips 55OLED935
The design is stylish...

There is a nice minimalist feel to the actual panel with no logos and just a 1mm metal strip surrounding the edge. The stand is the Bowers & Wilkins speaker bar integrated with a metal loop which connects to the bottom and rear of the bar. This then moves outwards from the rear of the bar before looping upwards and connecting with the central bottom edge of the panel. There is a cable which is also routed through this heavy metal stand and connects the speaker bar to the TV. The TV feels sturdy and there is a decent weight to the bar and stand that make it rigid.

Philips 55OLED935
Rear connections...

Around the back of the TV, we have the Ambilight strips on all four sides and the connections, which are sideways and downwards facing. Sideways you have a CI slot and two USB ports, a headphone jack and three HDMI 2.0b slots. Downwards is a fourth HDMI 2.0b slot, digital audio out, a satellite and terrestrial antenna, LAN port and a subwoofer pre-out. All of the HDMI ports are ARC compatible with ALLM but there are no other HDMI 2.1 features available, such as eARC. 

Philips 55OLED935
New remote control...

Also new for the OLED935 is a redesigned remote control with backlight. This, in my opinion, is a vast improvement over the old QWERTY design that never quite fit in the hand comfortably, as you were always pressing the keys on the rear when trying to press a button on the front. The new design is minimalist with a reduced button count and more direct access keys such as VOD services and direct Ambilight controls. The remote feels premium in design and materials with a leather back and a nice weight that makes it feel solid. It is a big improvement on the old remote and fits with the TV's design and quality.

 

Making a black rectangle look different and stylish is a hard task, but Philips pulls it off with the 935.

Measurements

Out of the Box

As we always do with our reviews, we measured the out of the box picture presets to find those that get as close as possible to the industry standards. The idea is that a TV must get close to these standards in at least one of its picture modes so end users can see content as it was mastered and intended to be seen.

We use Calman colour calibration software, a Murideo Seven Generator and Klein K-10A meter for measurement and calibration.

After consulting with Philips following our OLED805 review, the company stated that Movie mode is the Filmmaker Mode (FMM) for 2020 and a named option will appear on 2021 models going forward. As such, we used the Movie mode for our out of the box measurements as this should be the closest to the standards and also switch off all unnecessary image manipulation and processing.

Philips 55OLED935
Filmmaker Mode out of the box greyscale

Looking at the greyscale we can see that FMM is very accurate indeed with red being slightly low and green a little high, but our DeltaE errors are three and below, which means that only the error at 100% brightness is visible. When watching normal TV and film content you will not see any visible errors with the greyscale. Gamma also tracks well, with just a slight issue at 90% where it is slightly bright.

Philips 55OLED935
Filmmaker Mode out of the box Rec.709 colour gamut

The Rec.709 colour gamut results are also very good in the saturation tracking graph above, with just a slight push towards cyan in the white point as per the greyscale errors. However, all the major points are there or thereabouts with DeltaE errors well under three, so no issues will be visible within film and TV content viewed in FMM. Overall, for an out of the box preset the Movie mode, which is also Filmmaker Mode (FMM), is very accurate.

Calibrated 

The Philips OLED+935 has a whole suite of calibration controls available through the ISF picture modes. We used ISF night as our base for a full calibration.

Philips 55OLED935
Calibrated greyscale

As you can see in the greyscale, we managed reference level results with incredibly accurate tracking of the greyscale with DeltaE errors all under 0.5 which is well below the visible threshold of three, so invisible to the eye. We did still have a slight brightening of gamma at around 90% stimulus, but this didn’t affect actual film and TV viewing.

Philips 55OLED935
Calibrated Rec.709 colour gamut

As with the greyscale, our Rec.709 calibration results are also very good indeed with 75% and under points all where they should be, with just small errors at 100% which are still invisible to the eye when viewing actual TV and film content. Overall, the Philips is accurate out of the box and reference level once calibrated.

HDR Results

As we always do with TV reviews we measure the peak brightness at various window sizes to see how the sets handle HDR peak brightness, as well as how aggressive the ABL circuit can be with a full field white pattern. We did this in the most accurate HDR picture mode to D65 white and ST.2084/BT.2020.

Philips 55OLED935
Peak vs. window

The Philips 55OLED+935 measures in at 760 nits at 1%, 780 nits at 2% and 5% windows and on the industry-standard 10% window the result is 680 nits. These are slightly down on the recently reviewed Philips OLED805 which managed 780 nits on a 10% window, but we do expect to see some differences between panels and sizes. 680 nits is still an impressive result for a 2020 OLED. Full 100% white comes in at 139 nits. Obviously the important thing is how Philips deals with tone mapping content to use the peak brightness effectively.

Philips 55OLED935
PQ EOTF out of the box

The 935 manages to track ST.2084 well within the PQ EOTF results with a decent track that rolls off gently to preserve as much detail as possible before hard clipping. It uses the exact same tone mapping for 1000 and 4000 nits mastered content and best results are obtained with HDR perfect minimum engaged.

Philips 55OLED935
DCI-P3 colour gamut within BT.2020 out of the box

Saturation tracking of the DCI-P3 colour gamut (within BT.2020) is impressive. Most colour saturation tracking points are very close to where they should be within the colour space, with 100% points not quite reaching the full gamut width. Obviously, the downside for all OLED panels is a lack of colour volume, but this doesn’t overly affect the OLED+935 or its HDR colour performance with actual HDR content.

Philips 55OLED935
BT.2020 coverage

We measured BT.2020 coverage at 69% XY and 72% UV. P3 measured 95% XY and 97% UV. 

Philips 55OLED935
P3 coverage

Performance

The OLED+935 is available in 55- and 65-inch screen sizes and we are reviewing the 55-inch, However, both screens sizes should be similar in performance.

Out of the box results with the use of Movie Mode, which is the Filmmaker Mode, are very impressive and while the 4th Gen P5 chipset can do so much in terms of picture manipulation and processing, the OLED+935 can also be accurate for purists who want to see the content as intended. Plus, the OLED+935 has very good calibration controls within the ISF picture modes to dial in reference results.

While the 935 has Filmmaker Mode it doesn’t have Dolby Vision IQ, where the TV uses the light sensor and dynamic metadata to produce an accurate image for brighter viewing rooms. Philips has stated that, while it is looking at the technology for possible use in future TVs, it isn’t available on the OLED+935 and can’t be added either. The OLED+935 does, however, feature all available HDR formats such as HDR10, HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma), HDR10+ and Dolby Vision.

 

... the P5 processor is a powerful tool... to enhance images to make them sharp, detailed, colourful and with silky smooth motion

Panel uniformity is excellent on the Philips OLED935 with almost invisible stripes and banding on a 5% window when viewed in pitch-black surroundings. It is so faint that it is not visible within actual viewing material such as TV shows or films. Other brightness levels are also very clean with no Dirty Screen Effect (DSE) or vignetting meaning sports viewing is clean with no issues seen. We also found just above black shadow detail was very good with no major issues with black posteristation from poor bit-starved TV or streaming viewing. We did see mild black flashing in the tricky pitch black scenes within Stranger Things when Eleven is searching and walking through water. However, this is torture material for any OLED panel and we couldn’t replicate this with any other content we viewed on the 935. 

Thanks to the 4th Gen P5 chipset, the video processing on the OLED935 was very good indeed. Upscaling of content from 576i, 1080i and 1080p was excellent with no signs of edge enhancement or ringing to straight edges and jaggies suppression was very good. Poor quality broadcast SD couldn’t be saved from looking soft and murky, but we have yet to see any 4K TV rescue these channels, but with DVD the Philips was capable of presenting a watchable image with decent quality, but you don’t buy a 4K TV to watch SD. With HD channels and Blu-ray disc, the Philips does an excellent job of upscaling and presenting the content without any artefacts. The P5 processor can, of course, do much more than this, but for purists looking for accuracy, this is about as far as you will experience the P5’s influence. 

 

The sound quality on offer with music and movies is incredibly good

Motion is also a strong point on the OLED+935 with excellent 5:5 pulldown for 24fps material thanks to the Pure Cinema setting within the menu system (it is also set to default in Movie Mode). Film content looks excellent with no backdoor interpolation or noise reduction being added, instead, images look sharp, detailed and very cinematic. There is also a new Movie setting in the motion menu which adds a small amount of de-judder to content which Philips claims gets around the sample and hold of OLED, without introducing any Soap Opera Effect (SOE). We found this mode worked best with fast-moving sports content without adding any SOE and remaining natural and fluid. Philips has really spent the time with these new additions to offer as many options as possible for those who want accuracy and natural-looking motion without the usual drawbacks. They understand that while P5 can do many fantastic things with vivid mode settings and ultra-smooth motion, not everyone wants to watch content like that and those who want to watch as the director intended can do that with the OLED+935.

On that note and moving away from talking about image accuracy for a second, the P5 processor is a powerful tool. Philips uses it to enhance images to make them sharp, detailed, colourful and with silky smooth motion. The company certainly take a lot of pride in developing the Natural Perfect picture settings and features and probably create the most balanced Vivid mode on any TV, where they don’t go for full-on garish colours, but rather something that looks colourful but more subtle than other manufacturers' attempts. We did find that adding too much frame interpolation and processing did introduce artefacts with fast-moving objects as well as edges looking a little too processed for our tastes. It will however no doubt appeal to many viewers who are not interested in image accuracy. 

 

... those who want to watch as the director intended can do that with the OLED+935.

We found the picture quality on offer in the accurate SDR Filmmaker Mode to be superb on the OLED+935. It manages to handle everything from game shows on terrestrial TV to Blu-ray disc with no issues at all. Blacks are deep and fluid with plenty of just above black detail in the shadows to give images fantastic depth and dynamic range. Colours are also incredibly accurate with superb skin tones on offer. Motion is also excellent with correct 5:5 pulldown for film content at 24fps with no signs of induced judder at all. Even broadcast TV looks excellent with solid motion and no issues with skipping or frame drops. SDR film content looks incredibly cinematic with the CGI Lion King on Sky Movies showing off the excellent colour accuracy and depth to the image with superb sharpness and detail. 

HDR performance is also superb with excellent dynamic range, colour accuracy and specular highlight details on display. The opening of John Wick: Chapter 3 takes place in a wet New York with sumptuous deep blacks, copious amounts of detail in the shadows along with bright, colourful and detailed neon signs punctuating the blackness. Lights are reflected off the wet ground and puddles with Taxi headlights creating real dynamic range and punch. Dolby Vision really looks great but so does HDR10 with Mad Max: Fury Road taking brightness, colour and gritty looking landscapes to the next level. Explosions not only have a superb impact, but specular highlights are also detailed without being immediately clipped. All our favourite test clips passed with flying colours on the Philips 55OLED+935 and we can confirm the Philips is more than capable of accuracy and impactful cinematic images in both SDR and HDR.

Philips 55OLED935

We covered the four-sided Ambilight in the introduction to the review, but having all sides now covered on the OLED+935 does add a nice touch that will work better for wall mounting. Obviously, as image purists, we would push users towards using it as a static bias light with the ISF mode. But for those who want to have the lights following the video or music content, there are plenty of options to allow that and for gaming use, it may add some immersion. We found it to be far too distracting for critical movie watching, especially something like Mad Max in HDR, as the explosions, flashing and brightness was overpowering. Your mileage may vary and you have the choice available.

With gaming, the 935 was a reasonable performer with input lag measuring in at 37ms on our Murideo Seven Generator in both SDR and HDR. This is slow compared to all of its peers, but Philips is not aiming this TV at the gaming community.

 

Colours are also incredibly accurate with superb skin tones on offer.

Finally, the real performance highlight with the Philips 55OLED+935 is the Bowers & Wilkins speaker bar. The sound quality on offer with music and movies is incredibly good, and a massive step up on the 934 from last year. The redesigned enclosure along with better drivers and the tweeter on top design brings a much improved sonic experience. Music sounds far better than many dedicated soundbars with excellent separation and stunningly clear vocals mixed with convincing instruments. I used the speaker with Spotify for most of the week or so it was in my living room while I worked, and it sounds brilliant with a real dynamic range and weight, mixed with a warm melodic mid-range and treble you associate with the brand’s speakers.

Philips 55OLED935

Of course, the party trick is the upwards firing Dolby Atmos channels. It’s best to get straight to the point here and that is: yes, the height channels work and can be heard, but with no rear speakers, it is very front heavy. There are no occasions while using the 935 where I was fooled into thinking there was a 360-degree sound field. But what was presented was weighty, dynamic and wide, with excellent effects and dialogue placement along with a decent amount of bass. Obviously, you can’t reach the depths that a stand-alone subwoofer would give you, but with movie soundtracks, the speaker bar was very impressive. If you do want to add a subwoofer, you can do this using the RCA pre-out at the rear of the TV.

 

It’s a luxury TV that makes good on its promise of accurate pictures and excellent sound quality

Overall, the Philips OLED+935 is a big step up on last year’s 934 with a much better speaker bar and incredibly good picture quality rounding off a well-designed luxury TV.

Verdict

The good

  • Accurate SDR image quality
  • Excellent HDR playback
  • HDR Peak Brightness of 680 nits on 10% window
  • Dolby Vision & HDR10+
  • Dolby Atmos and DTS sound decoding
  • Excellent just above black performance
  • Bowers & Wilkins speaker bar
  • Stunning audio quality from the speaker bar
  • Superb motion and video processing with P5 AI+
  • Four-sided Ambilight
  • Excellent new remote
  • Superb design of the TV and speaker bar
  • Good smart TV and OS

The not so good

  • Not a gaming TV - 37ms input lag
  • No HDMI 2.1 inputs

Philips OLED+935 TV Review

With the OLED+935, Philips has set out to create a luxury all-in-one solution and with the results we have seen within our review, they have achieved that goal. The design is stunning with excellent use of materials and it looks good enough to be the centrepiece of any living room.

The speaker bar looks gorgeous and it sounds superb with music and movies. The new tweeter on top design and drivers all come together to offer a speaker bar that will put most separate soundbars to shame. The Bowers & Wilkins sound DNA is present and correct with stunning music playback with impressive and weighty movies soundtracks. All that is missing is a little more low end for some action movies, but it is easy to add a subwoofer using the RCA pre-out if desired.  

The picture quality is excellent with SDR film and TV content with superb greyscale and colour accuracy out of the box in Movie mode as well as reference calibration results. Films look cinematic and image quality challenges that seen on other brands at this price point. Skintones look lifelike and there is excellent dynamic range and depth to SDR images, with deep blacks and plenty of shadow detail visible. 

HDR content is also excellent with stunning dynamic range, colour accuracy and specular highlight details on display. The tone mapping ensures there is not only visible detail within the specular highlights but just above black shadow details are also present and correct. Motion is also very good with 24fps movie material with no signs of induced judder. 

Images in SDR and HDR are accurate and cinematic in the best settings and of course, if you are not all about the creator’s intent, you can go mad with the picture manipulation controls thanks to the P5 processor. If Vivid mode is your thing, then Philips does it better than any other manufacturer out there. 

Added to the excellent picture and sound performance from the OLED+935 is four-sided Ambilight which we think makes a superb static white bias light that helps to combat eye fatigue in dim room viewing. Plus, just like accurate vs. vivid mode in picture terms, you can also have Ambilight follow the video or audio and create colour changes across the walls behind the set, turning your living room into a nightclub. Ambilight may also help create immersion for gaming on the TV with the lights following the action, but with an input lag of 37ms and no HDMI 2.1, the OLED+935 is perhaps not the strongest choice for gamers. 

The OS and smart TV system is Android TV (9.0) and we found it to be fast and stable throughout our testing period. There is a good choice of apps and terrestrial catch-up services to keep most users happy and the interface is slick and intuitive. Being Dutch, there are also more adult choices available in the app store should you be interested, sir.

We really think Philips is on a roll at the moment with its TVs and there is no doubt that the OLED+935 easily competes with the LG, Sony and Panasonic models in terms of picture quality and sound system designs. It’s a luxury TV that makes good on its promise of accurate pictures and excellent sound quality and it comes highly recommended!

Highly Recommended

Scores

Contrast/Dynamic Range/Black Level

10

Screen Uniformity

.
9

Colour Accuracy

.
9

Greyscale Accuracy

.
9

Video Processing

.
9

Picture Quality

.
9

SDR Picture Quality

10

HDR Picture Quality

.
9

Picture Quality Out-of-the-Box

.
9

Picture Quality Calibrated

10

Sound Quality

.
9

Smart Features

.
9

Build Quality

.
9

Ease of Use

.
9

Value for Money

.
9

Verdict

.
9
9
AVForumsSCORE
OUT OF
10

Our Review Ethos

Read about our review ethos and the meaning of our review badges.

To comment on what you've read here, click the Discussion tab and post a reply.

Related Content

LG 48-inch CX (OLED48CX) TV Review
  • By Phil Hinton
  • Published
Panasonic HZ1000 (TX-55HZ1000) OLED TV Review
  • By Phil Hinton
  • Published
Sony A8 (A8H) 4K OLED TV Review
  • By Phil Hinton
  • Published
LG CX (OLED55CX) TV Review
  • By Phil Hinton
  • Published
Panasonic HZ2000 OLED TV Review
  • By Phil Hinton
  • Published

Latest Headlines

LG TVs to get Google Stadia and GeForce Now gaming in 2021
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
TCL announces first Google TV for 2021
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
TCL unveils new OD Zero Mini-LED technology
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Top Bottom