Philips PUS8848 Review: Feature-Packed TV that delivers on all aspects
Tech Week score:
The name of the Philips 55PUS8848 TV “The One” is no coincidence. The manufacturer is trying to emphasize that this TV is designed to be a well-rounded presentation and will definitely have a place within the four walls of your home. If you take a closer look at the price classification, it becomes clear why this is not a “jack of all trades.”
In terms of quality, the 55-inch TV with model code 55PUS8848/12 comes from the manufacturer in good build quality and has no visible manufacturing defects. In this review of the Philips 55PUS8848 / 12 4K HDR with Ambilight, using a 55-inch diagonal model as an example, we’ll find out how good this TV is and whether the PUS8848 is worth buying.
Philips PUS8848 review
The procedure for unpacking and installing the Philips UHD TV 55PUS8848/12 is not quite complicated. A uniform silver color adorns the front of the case and makes a good impression right from the start. The narrow aluminum frame flows smoothly down into a flat stand located in the middle of the panel.
The stand gives the structure enough stability to stand firmly on the cabinet and effectively prevent swaying. If the need arises, you can attach the TV panel to the wall using a VESA 200 x 300 wall mount.
In addition to four HDMI ports and a variety of other interfaces, the rear panel features built-in Ambilight LEDs. Since this is a relatively inexpensive model, the illumination of the rear wall does not extend downward.
The soundbar can be easily placed in front of the screen without worrying about it obstructing the bottom edge of the display. There is a clip on the back of the stand for routing connecting cables. Although the Philips 55PUS8848 TV is not particularly striking in its design, the overall build quality does not leave much to be desired.
The menu structure of Google TV’s Android operating system can be easily navigated using the remote control, which, combined with the black-labeled buttons, is still easy to see even in the dark. You can also use the built-in microphone to send voice commands to Alexa or Google Assistant.
All relevant streaming apps are available on Google TV OS. Since everything can be solved using built-in resources, the user can easily do without additionally purchased gadgets with a different operating system. However, he will not find Apple support in Philips “The One”. You will also have to give up Watch & Rekord due to the single tuner.
The Phillips PUS8848 TV’s HDR performance is not 100% perfect when compared to top-end models. Sometimes some details get lost in dark places. However, such an image is enough for a full viewing. It is also possible to use the game mode. Ambilight in gaming mode does exactly what lighting was designed to do. It enhances the already good images in games even better.
Unlike the two 10-watt speakers in our review unit that power low-end TVs, the 55PUS8848’s sound system has four 10-watt speakers. On the one hand, this is vastly superior to a system with 2.0 sound, which is sufficient for simple everyday use.
On the other hand, under no circumstances can you demand multi-channel sound from such a system. The recommendation for choosing a reasonable soundbar for this TV comes based on your usage and budget. To experience Dolby Atmos to its full potential, of course, you need a powerful home theater system.
One such option could be the Philips Fidelio FB1 soundbar with 15 speakers with an output power of 310 W. This soundbar has 7.1.2 audio with support for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X . If you connect this system via HDMI eARC , the user will receive the corresponding sound in uncompressed form. Coming to features, the PUS8848/12 definitely wins when it comes to connections.
Audio playback can be easily transferred to an external speaker via the so-called DTS Play-Fi. This way, you can simply transfer the sound to another room and continue listening there. With The One Mimi Sound, you can customize the sound to suit your hearing.
Using room calibration, the TV can compensate for the acoustic characteristics of the room where it is placed. In addition, Philips is making its already well-known Mimi Sound models accessible to people with hearing impairments. If necessary, you can use the appropriate application to create appropriate compensation sound profiles for people with hearing loss.
The processing of image content in the Philips PUS8848 TV with IPS panel and Direct LED backlight has certain optical advantages. At the same time, this configuration also carries certain disadvantages. Before proceeding, it is worth noting that Philips installs the above-mentioned display type from the 55-inch version onwards.
Versions with diagonals of 43 and 55 inches are equipped with VA high contrast technology. However, the disadvantage here is the relatively weak viewing angle and poor color rendition. Returning to the model under consideration, it should be noted that the positive aspect of IPS is good color rendering quality. Colorization looks natural.
Transitions and contours appear sharp without causing too much impact on the retina. If positioning at an angle to the screen cannot be avoided, then there is nothing to worry about. After all, the impression of the image does not change significantly compared to the VA matrix. However, these advantages are immediately offset by two significant disadvantages.
This is the low contrast that screens with IPS technology have. Additionally, the Philips 55PUS8848 TV has a peak brightness of around 520 nits. Because of this, the highlights do not have enough peak brightness to make the image truly impressive to the viewer. This is less noticeable in bright light.
However, on a Philips TV, this flaw becomes noticeable in the dark, which can ruin your viewing pleasure. Also, the contrast value is not really what we call ideal. On the other hand, the gray color uniformity on this TV is excellent. There is no dirty screen effect.
When it comes to combating glare, the Philips 8848 TV shows quite satisfactory results. The device does not like a lot of daylight and additional sun, so it has a hard time coping with the incoming light rays. Since The One is not equipped with Mini- LED backlighting , you may sometimes experience blooming in dimly lit scenes.
As usual, the soap opera effect isn’t far behind, but panning shots are rendered cleanly and there’s limited loss of detail. This is ensured by fast response times at the level of top models. The minimum latency in game mode is 4ms.
The highlight of the Philips PUS8848 is, of course, the intelligent Ambilight backlight, which has been around for many years and is still only found on Philips TVs. In addition to synchronizing with the display on the screen, this function can work slightly differently as part of the additional Aurora function.
If you wish, you can create your own atmosphere based on predefined images, videos and sounds. You can also combine them into separate sequences – for example, for parties. Ambilight music flickers in tune with background noise and envelops the room in a light show to the beat. This system can be easily expanded with compatible Philips Hue bulbs .
Three-sided Ambilight immerses the background in colors that match the content. In addition, it indirectly gives the viewer the impression of a larger screen surface. It is also possible to adjust the strength of the effect and match the color to the wall.
Thanks to the additional lighting distributed throughout the room, your eyes won’t have to strain as much, which is a positive side effect. In fact, this feature is actually more impressive than you might think.
Therefore, it is rightly considered a strong selling point. When Natural Motion is turned on, P5 Perfect Picture Engine Gen 7 makes the necessary calculations and delivers a smoother visual experience.
To ensure adequate data transfer rates, Phillips has equipped the first two HDMI ports with the 2.1 standard. Other features such as variable frame rate support via AMD FreeSync Premium, Dolby Vision games for Xbox gamers, and a low-latency input mode for faster command transfer are also available.
All these functions are clearly presented on the Philips PUS8848 game panel and can be changed directly during the game. Cloud gaming rounds out the list of features and lets you have fun even without a console or PC by directly streaming your favorite games when paired with a compatible Bluetooth controller.
The device is also equipped with two USB ports, CI+ and Ethernet-LAN RJ-45 interfaces, a 3.5 mm audio output for linear headphone connection, antenna inputs and a digital optical audio output. Wireless connections include Bluetooth 5.0 and dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11ac.
To conclude the review of the PUS8848 from Philips, it remains to add that color rendering and viewing angle stability meet expectations. However, HDR brightness and contrast range are the Achilles heel.
With a built-in 120Hz panel and HDMI 2.1 interfaces, gamers can take advantage of next-generation features including Dolby Vision Gaming on today’s Sony and Microsoft consoles. Another plus is the extensive equipment package, which includes the popular, albeit three-sided, Ambilight.
In addition, the consumer gets a wide range of DTS Play-Fi features, Mimi audio personalization, Hue support, Ambilight features and much more. If you’re looking for a relatively inexpensive model with Ambilight and good features and are willing to compromise on picture quality, this TV could be a great option for you.