Philips 5800 Series Smart TV review: Decent display, great sound but price could have been better
Philips may not necessarily be the first brand to come to mind when you're checking out a new TV, but the company has been providing some dependable televisions for many years now and can easily find a place among the likes of Sony, Samsung and LG. The company recently launched the Philips 5800 Series in India in 32-inch HD Ready and 43-inch FHD models, and today we're checking out the latter.
The 43-inch Philips Full HD LED Smart TV was launched at Rs 55,990, which makes it a pretty costly affair given the current competition in the market from the likes of Xiaomi and VU. However, you can find this TV for as low as Rs 33,000 via some e-commerce platforms. At this pricing, the Philips TV promises a sharp and vivid Full HD display, some smart features via the company's Saphi software along with a modern design and a powerful sound, among other things.
Design and sound
The Philips 43-inch Ultra Slim Full HD LED Smart TV is not a premium-looking television by any means. It has a very run-off-the-mill full-screen design. The borders around the display are slim, but not so much as to call it bezel-less. The Philips TV is fairly slim at 80.5mm and weighs 7.2 kg, making it marginally slimmer and lighter than a Mi TV 4A Pro, for example.
While the bezels aren't ultra slim, they still offer a distraction-free viewing experience. Yu can wall mount the TV or place it on a flat surface with the help of high-arched stands. The plastic stands help create a good amount of free space between the TV and the surface, in case you wish to place any connected device right below the television set.
There are a few vents on the mound of the TV for ventilation and speakers. Whether you place the TV on a table or mount it on the wall, the sound should maintain clarity and loudness.
The Philips TV offers a 20W sound output, which is good enough if you're keeping the TV in the living room or bedroom. The volume levels can get plenty loud and I found myself staying under 10 for the most part. The clarity is great as dialogues are easy to understand and music sounds are clear and distinct. There isn't a lot of bass output, though, so you may find it a little disappointing for some genres like say if you're watching an action movie.
Display and performance
The Full HD (1080x1920) display on the Philips 43-inch TV is quite enjoyable and immersive for the most part. You can select the Picture Style to choose options like Vivid, Natural, Standard, Movie, Game or Custom depending on the content you're watching. In the default Vivid mode, colours look deep and punchy including blacks, which looks especially great if you're watching cooking shows like Street Food on Netflix, for example. There's a good amount of saturation that makes pictures pop and look lively. You can select the Natural setting, if you want true-to-life colours, although it can look a little washed out on the Philips TV.
The panel used by Philips isn't the sharpest and you will notice some noise and pixelation even at full 1080p, if you look hard enough. I checked out Mission Impossible: Fallout on Prime Video over FireTV Stick and the picture quality looked decent, but lacked in sharpness and crisp clarity despite offering what Philips calls Pixel Plus HD. Viewing angles are excellent so you can easily view the screen if you're sitting off angle without any hindrance.
The Philips TV offers a variety of options to tweak the picture settings to help you get the best quality possible. You can adjust the colour, contrast, sharpness, brightness, temperature, gamma and noise reduction, among other things. I plugged in my PS4 to check out some titles like Spider-Man and God of War, both of which offered excellent sharpness and clarity, making the experience quite enjoyable.
The Philips Ultra Slim Full HD LED Smart TV has a few ports on the back that includes 1 HDMI, a TV antenna, digital audio out, network, headphone jack and CVBS. There is another HDMI port and two USB ports on the side of the TV. The connectivity options are pretty standard, but it's always good to have at least two HDMI ports as you can use one for a set-top box and the other might come in handy for a streaming device like a FireTV Stick or gaming console like a PS4. The Mi TV 4A Pro, in comparison, offers 3 HDMI and 3 USB ports, which is, of course, more convenient.
The Philips 5800-series TV runs on an operating system called Saphi, which is specifically designed for entry-level Smart TVs. It brings an intuitive and easy-to-use dashboard with a bunch of pre-loaded apps. The Philips-developed software is designed to be user-friendly along with reduced animations so that it feels snappy while navigating.
As easy as the OS is to operate, it is quite restrictive in that there is limited third-party app support. This is what makes the Android platform so attractive as you get access to a range of apps, whereas you only get a few apps to work with here. With the Saphi OS, you cannot add more apps and you won't be able to delete the apps that come pre-installed.
Since it is a Smart TV, you have apps like Netflix, Prime Video and YouTube pre-installed, which are always useful. There are a variety of gaming apps as well like Mahjong, Solitaire and other puzzles. Apart from this, you can't really do much. The Smart TV home screen shows categories like Entertainment, Games, Lifestyle, News and Video, but selecting any one of them gets you nowhere.
Should you buy the 43-inch Philips Ultra Slim Full HD LED Smart TV?
The 43-inch Philips Ultra Slim Full HD LED Smart TV does offer a few attractive features that make it worth buying. Its Rs 55,990 does make it more premium and it's true that you can find similar TVs at more affordable prices like the Mi TV 4A Pro or TVs from home-grown brand VU.
The Philips 5800-series is a pretty standard Full HD Smart TV that offers good picture quality and even better sound. It doesn't offer the sharpest clarity, but you won't find a lot to complain about when it comes to colour reproduction and viewing angles. The Saphi OS is limited in its usability and comes nowhere close to what an Android TV offers, but then again if your use case is limited then you won't have any reason to complain here.
Go for the Philips 5800-series if you're looking for a dependable brand name, but for everything else, you have a lot more affordable options out there today.