Philips OLED754 TV delivers vivid pictures and a host of smart features. And its cost makes OLED technology available to many buyers. However, we were not impressed with the performance of the Saphi smart platform.
The main selling point of this model is definitely its OLED panel. At the moment, this technology is the best in the TV industry – we think that many will agree with this. And for many years, premium OLED models have been an unaffordable luxury for the average consumer.
But the market is evolving and competition is growing, which has led to the introduction of “budget” OLED TVs offering the same high picture quality. These include the model considered in this review, which is the initial step in the Philips OLED hierarchy after the 9th and 8th series.
However, do not be confused by the status of “little brother”: OLED754 will find something to surprise you.
The design is minimalist with a subtle black border around the super-thin bezel. Stylish chrome struts shouldn’t distract you from your viewing either.
The case expands from the bottom to 4.93 cm, as it accommodates the electronic stuffing of the TV, audio equipment and the unique Phillips – Ambilight mechanism.
This 3-sided LED backlight illuminates the background behind the screen from the top and sides. Its color scheme matches the viewed image. That being said, you can adjust the intensity of the background light or make it respond to sound rather than video.
Finally, Ambilight can function even when the TV is off to create a special ambiance in your room. And if you also own Philips Hue lamps, they work in sync with the Philips OLED754 backlight to create an incredible light performance in unison with the screen.
With regard to connections, everything is much simpler here. Choose from four HDMI ports, one of which is ARC compatible. Some might be disappointed by the lack of HDMI 2.1 with accompanying VRR (variable refresh rate) gaming, but we don’t think this is a big problem for most potential buyers.
Further, there are two USB ports through which you can connect set-top boxes or flash cards with audio and video files, an Ethernet network port, digital audio output and headphone output. Wireless connections are provided by the built-in Wi-Fi module.
The remote is pretty basic and has a dedicated button for Ambilight. It has a built-in microphone and a button to activate the virtual assistant Alexa for voice commands. We put a “plus” for this.
What news should we start with? You probably guessed that with the bad one. The older brothers Philips OLED754 uses the well-proven Android TV program as a smart platform. However, in this case we are dealing with Philips’ own development, Saphi, based on Linux.
First, it doesn’t offer the same variety of apps as its competitor from Google. Secondly, you will not find support for Chromecast technology (for wireless connections of mobile devices) in it.
Saphi’s interface isn’t impressive either. To be fair, we note that the platform works quite quickly thanks to the quad-core processor, but the menu structure is too complicated, forcing you to go through several steps to perform simple operations.
TV picture quality (HD / SDR)
At the heart of the Philips OLED754 is far from the newest OLED panel from LG, and the P5 GPU is second generation, while the more expensive models use a third generation chip. However, the TV shows excellent picture quality, especially when compared with its relatively low price.
The first time you turn on the Philips OLED754, you get a pleasant and rich picture in HD resolution from your cable TV. The P5 video processor does an excellent job of upscaling HD to near 4K quality. If you notice excessive anti-aliasing or, on the contrary, excessive sharpening in his work, then these effects can be easily eliminated by the settings – just experiment.
We were especially impressed with the work of the Perfect Natural Reality function. It is a clever algorithm that adjusts contrast to transform an SDR image into visible HDR. It works great at emphasizing highlights while still delivering crisp shadow detail without the blur or halo distortion found on some other TVs.
4K / HDR image quality
As we expected, the Philips OLED754 screen performed superbly in 4K HDR. This TV supports HDR10 +, Dolby Vision and HLG, and this combination is quite rare.
OLED technology is renowned for its ability to produce deep blacks, and on this Philips TV we were also impressed by the excellent gray areas in dark scenes.
Dolby Vision Dark (for a dim room) and Dolby Vision Dark (for a bright room) setting provide a brilliant picture. Dynamically adjusting TV tones brings every scene in the movie to life, while accurate color reproduction creates highly realistic on-screen action.
When displaying fast moving objects at the default settings, we noticed some traces of blur and other distortion with a duplicate effect. However, after several adjustments that reduced the intensity of the image processing by the processor, dynamic scenes became smooth and clear.
In addition to the lack of support for the HDMI 2.1 standard, which will fully allow you to enjoy the quality of games on the next generation consoles, we also note a rather large input signal latency at the level of 33 ms compared to competing LG and Samsung models.
This figure may not suit some serious gamers playing highly dynamic games, but for most ordinary users this lag should not be a problem. To Philips’ credit, we add that in gaming mode, OLED754 provides excellent color and contrast, surpassing many analogues.
Today’s TVs are getting thinner and more difficult for manufacturers to fit good audio equipment into. However, the Philips OLED754 looks like an exception to this rule.
The slight increase in the enclosure that Philips went for to install Ambilight may have played a role, but the sound in the 40W 2.1 channel configuration provides quality that we did not expect from the built-in speakers. We were pleased with the clean dialogues, and we even felt a noticeable heaviness in the low frequencies. The TV also benefits from support for Dolby Atmos surround format. Of course, no built-in speakers can replace an external audio system, but the sound in the Philips OLED754 is self-sufficient and you don’t have to spend money on additional equipment.
In testing, however, we encountered one unpleasant effect: the TV arbitrarily stopped sending audio to our Onkyo receiver via the HDMI ARC connector. To fix this problem, we had to do a factory reset.
Many years have passed, and it seems that we have waited until the days when premium quality OLED is becoming more or less affordable.
The Philips OLED754 is still high-end in terms of the entire TV market, but it strikes a great balance between functionality, performance and picture quality. It is not without its drawbacks, the main one of which we consider to be the underwhelming Saphi platform.
But as soon as you turn on the Dolby Vision movie and Ambilight sparkles with magical light in sync with the plot, visually enlarging the screen and making you feel like you are in a cinema, you begin to realize how much the advantages of this TV outweigh its disadvantages. The Philips OLED754 definitely deserves our recommendation as it offers one of the best value for money in its class.