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Is this TV worth splashing the cash on? Find out in this Philips OLED +936 TV review.
The OLED+936 is a top of the range OLED 4K TV with a Dolby Atmos sound system devised and tuned by renowned Hi-Fi brand Bowers & Wilkins. When it comes to picture and sound, it’s one of the best 4K TVs currently available.
Key attractions include a new generation of AI-enhanced picture processing and Philips proprietary Ambilight systems - which, if you haven’t seen it before, is a ring of LEDs on the back of the screen that project coloured light onto the wall behind. Ambilight is a great way to add atmosphere and pizzazz to even the most mundane of TV shows.
For more TV recommendations, head over to our best smart TV guide.
The OLED+936 is a superb 4K OLED screen that pushes the picture envelope. It reveals detail, nuance and colour richness in all sources, and elevates TV audio to something that sounds convincingly like Hi-Fi. Throw in the Philips Ambilight room lighting system, and you have a spectacular telly package. But all this comes with an appropriately hefty price tag.
Price: You can buy the 65-inch OLED+936 at Currys for £2299.
The 65-inch OLED+936 sells for £2299. It’s also available in 48- and 55-inch screen sizes (48OLED+936, 55OLED+936), priced around £1499 and £1799, respectively. The OLED+936 can be considered one of the more expensive OLED TVs available right now. The price tag on the 48-inch model is particularly onerous. On test here is the 65-inch model.
You can buy the 65-inch OLED+936 from Currys for £2299
You can buy the 48-inch OLED+936 from Currys for £1499
You can buy the 55-inch OLED+936 from Currys for £1799
There’s no doubt that you’re paying a price premium for this fancy flagship but break the package down. It’s actually good value: the OLED screen and associated picture technologies are leading-edge, the integrated Bowers & Wilkins Dolby Atmos sound system is equal to many standalone soundbars that cost upwards of £500, and the Ambilight smart lighting system is a unique attraction. So, overall, we reckon this big 65-incher is competitively priced! The 48-inch model is less attractive, not least because the separated audio system makes it difficult to recommend for close quarter viewing.
This screen uses the Android smart platform, here in its v.10 iteration. It packs in a huge array of streaming services, including Netflix, Prime Video, YouTube, Disney+ and Rakuten TV. There’s also Freeview Play onboard, so that’s all catch-up TV services covered, plus access to hundreds of free-to-view box sets guaranteed.
The OLED+936 is DTS Play-Fi enabled. This means you can use it as part of a wider Play-Fi whole home audio system. Play-Fi may not be as popular as Sonus, but it does much the same thing and works across a variety of compatible brands.
One novel feature that will interest gamers is Philips latest anti-screen burn technology. It uses AI to constantly monitor for static images, then selectively dimming any offending objects to make image burn virtually impossible.
With its stylish steel frame and micro bezel, the OLED+936 looks on-trend. Its Bowers soundbar is definitely on the right side of swish, with an aluminium micro-mesh grille facing forward and grey Kvadrat cloth rooftop disguising upfiring speaker drivers.
The audio system may look like a soundbar, but it’s very much integrated into the overall design. You can’t separate it from the panel; it’s linked by a dedicated lead.
Rear connections comprise four HDMIs, two of which are able to accept 4K at 120Hz from a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X games console. The screen also offers VRR (Variable Refresh rate) for NVIDIA G-Sync and AMD FreeSync, making it suitable for use as a PC games monitor. HDMI 2 is eARC enabled, but we can’t think why you would want to route audio away from that Bowers and Wilkins speaker system to another sound solution.
Setting the screen off is four-sided Ambilight, which surrounds the screen with LED light. This can be either a static colour or a wash of colours that reflect what’s happening on screen. Ambilight can also be synchronised with a Hue smart lighting system.
Straight from the box, the system holds your hand during set-up, so you’ll soon be up and running.
Long story short: image quality is terrific. The OLED+936 uses the latest (fifth) iteration of Philips well-reviewed P5 picture engine, here in a new AI Intelligent Dual Picture Engine guise, which we’ll assume offers double the goodness.
Ambient Intelligence automatically manages brightness and contrast based on the ambient light in your room, and it’s compatible with Dolby Vision and HDR10+ sources.
Peak HDR brightness is high, making this one of the best HDR performers we’ve seen this year. This Philips also handles colour really well. Images are vivid without looking over-stretched.
If you love movies, watch the screen on its Home Cinema setting; you’ll enjoy cinematic imagery with deep blacks, great shadow detail and lush hues.
Serious gamers should note that this is not one of the best TVs for competitive gaming. We measured input lag at 21.6ms in Game mode (1080/60), which is average at best.
Fast motion handling is above average, courtesy of a new Fast Motion Clarity setting. This makes the set a good option for F1 and footy fans.
We’ve seen a number of Philips/Bowers & Wilkins TV collaborations over the past couple of years, but this is unquestionably the best sounding. Under the hood, there has been all manner of component changes, including the use of new, stiffer speaker cones, which seems to have added greater sonic precision.
The soundbar has both volume (70W) and musicality. Bowers’ familiar Tweeter-on-Top ensures excellent dialogue clarity and helps anchor centre channel action to the screen. The left and right drivers cast the stereo image wide, while those up-firing cones give soundtracks big-screen height. Unusually for a TV, the sound system also has quite profound bass. Good for when you’re watching blockbusters.
If you’re hankering for a top-flight OLED TV with a kick-ass sound system, this Philips warrants a very close look. Picture quality is outstanding, particularly with 4k HDR sources, and the Bowers and Wilkins sound system is excellent. The only model that comes close on both fronts is Panasonic’s rival JZ2000 model.
File under ‘Fabulous’.
You can buy the 65-inch OLED+936 from Currys for £2299.