£449 inc VAT • philips.co.uk
This budget UHD set may lack Philips’ trademark Ambilight mood lighting, but it’s still bright enough to warrant close attention. The first of the company’s Android-powered connected TVs, it’s a smart-looking flat screen, with much to commend it.
Cosmetics are neat and tidy, with a thin black bezel and wire frame pedestal stand. An illuminated logo pouts from the bottom of the panel; thankfully brightness can be moderated or switched off.
The set’s connections include four HDMI inputs, though only one supports HDCP 2.2 copy protection, required for 4K content sources. There are also three USB ports, ethernet, SCART and component, plus a digital optical audio output. Integrated Wi-Fi is dual band, there’s also Wi-Fi Direct.
The Android interface here is better managed than we’ve seen from Sony’s Android offerings. The platform’s baffling system settings and interface controls are buried away in the main Settings menu, resulting in a cleaner, more inclusive, Android user experience. The set supports Google Cast, offering a reasonable level of interaction with compatible mobile apps.
Onboard apps include YouTube, Netflix, iPlayer, Dailymotion and some lesser content options. Beyond the BBC, there’s no catch-up provision. You do, however, get a wide selection of casual games. 8GB of local storage is provided, although this can be extended if you really need it. The set has an integrated HEVC decoder, and as a result has a 4K Netflix client. Spotify Connect is also provided.
For a relatively budget set, this 6 Series model offers a high level of image control and personalisation – gamma, dynamic control, noise reduction. Most users will elect to stay with the presets, which comprise Personal, Vivid, Natural, Standard, Movie, Photo, plus ISF Day and Night modes. Philips image-processing tricks include a UHD iteration of its Pixel Plus image engine, with Philips Natural Motion.
Similarly, there are a large number of audio parameters, including Incredible Sound – billed as a surround mode. There’s also support for additional Bluetooth wireless speakers. Media playback from USB and across a network is excellent. The TV instantly identifies DLNA sources and will play all popular video formats, including MKV. Audio support covers FLAC, AAC, MP3, WMA and WAV.
The picture quality is impressive. The set looks sharp and that UHD panel eliminates any sense of a pixel grit. Backlight uniformity is good. Micro Dimming Pro works with an on-set light sensor to enhance contrast and ensure blacks remain on the right side of dramatic. HD sources also look extremely crisp and cinematic. Colour fidelity could be better – the set displays deep reds as orange. While Freeview HD channels are sharp enough, there’s no doubt Blu-ray and 4K Netflix look better. Marco Polo (Netflix 4K) has an abundance of detail, with lush textures and finely delineated fabrics, which convey well on this display. Unfortunately, audio, despite all its parameter control, remains thin. You’ll want to add a sound bar. VERDICT: Overall, this Philips is solid value. It’s a good advert for Android and image quality is great. Despite the relatively small screen size, there are benefits to having 4K resolution on a 40in panel, though you need to get close to the screen to appreciate it.