Philips 4K HDR TV choices for 2018: OLED 973, OLED 873, OLED 803, 8503, 8303, 7803, 7303, 6503 compared

After a successful 2017, TP Vision is betting even bigger on 4K HDR TVs this year. The manufacturer will release a stack of televisions under the Philips brand in 2018, including five new OLED models.

They will all feature 4K Ultra HD pixel resolutions and HDR 10 support. Those at the top end will also be HDR 10+ compatible.

In addition, more of its sets this year will sport the company's proprietary P5 Picture Engine - which ensures the very best pictures a Philips TV has ever been capable of.

Here then are the Philips 4K HDR TVs you should look out for.

Philips OLED 973

  • Screen sizes: 65in
  • OLED, 3840 x 2160 pixels, HDR10+
  • Price: £TBC

The flagship of the new range is a 65-incher of the highest quality.

As well as the latest OLED panel and P5 picture processing, its minimalistic design incorporates a 6.1 60W soundbar, eliminating the need for a separate solution.

It has six front-firing drivers in an aluminium and Kvadrat cloth covered housing, with a backfiring Triple Ring speaker and bass port providing the low-range bass notes. The soundbar can be wall mounted, as well as laid in tabletop mode.

Like most of Philips 4K HDR TVs, the OLED 973 comes with Android M as its operating system for smart TV functionality. This means that you get access to hundreds of apps on Google Play, including many of the streaming services for TV shows and movies. A quad-core processor ensures that it all runs smoothly too.

Because it is an OLED TV, colours and contrast are both excellent - with bright, saturated yet natural tones and deep, dark black levels. Brightness is quoted at 900nit.

Like all Philips-branded TV, Ambilight is found on the rear. The OLED 973 has three-sided Ambilight - left, right and top - which reacts to the images on screen to provide an extended colourscape. You can also sync it with a Philips Hue lighting system.

Philips OLED 873

  • Screen sizes: 65in
  • OLED, 3840 x 2160 pixels, HDR10+
  • Price: £TBC

The Philips OLED 873 is essentially the 65-inch version of the 2017 Philips OLED 9002.

That means it comes with rear-firing integrated speakers and a thin, attractive tabletop stand that runs along the bottom. The bezel is just as thin and almost invisible.

The OLED panel is the same as the 973, as is the picture processing, with the 873 also sporting the P5 Picture Engine. That results in better all round picture performance than on previous Philips TVs.

It is HDR and HLG compatible from the box and, also like the 973, comes with Android M for smart TV and app support.

There is three-sided Ambilight, which casts colour behind the set left, top and right. The big difference between this 65-inch model and the previous 9002 is that it is capable of peak brightness of 900nit (over 750nit). It comes with Ultra HD Premium certification.

Philips OLED 803

  • Screen sizes: 55in, 65in
  • OLED, 3840 x 2160 pixels, HDR10+
  • Price: £TBC

The OLED 803 is a completely new set brought in for 2018 and it sports the exact same picture performance to the 973 and 873, with 900nit brightness and incredible colours and deep, involving blacks. It also runs on the single-chip P5 Picture Engine.

Where it mainly differs is in design. Like the 873, it comes with a Triple Ring rear-firing speaker system, which stays out of sight, but this time you can barely see the tabletop stand. It rests on two small rectangular feet. Those, combined with the superthin bezel, make the TV look like it is slightly hovering in the air.

Android M is once again employed for smart TV functionality, with all the apps you care for. And when Google Assistant launches for Android TV later this year, you'll be able to voice control the television and your smart home from the set.

Three-sided Ambilight immerses you further into the action on screen.

Philips 8503/8303

  • Screen sizes: 49in, 55in, 65in, 75in (8303 only)
  • Edge-lit NanoLED, 3840 x 2160 pixels, HDR10+
  • Price: £TBC

If OLED is a little too pricey or not quite your thing, Philips also has a premium range of LED TVs to suit your tastes.

The top of the range 8503 and 8303 are both Nano LED models, meaning they come with a layer of 1nm nano particles to absorb excess light waves, thereby producing more natural colours. It also widens the viewing angle a touch - something OLED beats LED on hands-down usually.

All 8503 and 8303 models come with Android M as the smart TV operating system, and therefore all the apps and services available on Google Play. They also each have a quad-core processor to run the smart features, while the P5 Picture Engine makes its way down the range this year to the LEDs too.

Both models have DTS HD Premium sound although the big difference between them is that the 8503 has a visible sound strip along the bottom of the screen, while the 8303 has a small stand at the bottom so the sound is rear-firing instead.

They each come with three-sided Ambilight.

Philips 7803

  • Screen sizes: 49in, 55in, 65in, 75in
  • Edge-lit LED, 3840 x 2160 pixels, HDR10
  • Price: £TBC

The Philips 7803 comes in sizes up to 75-inches, so there's something for every sized room. It has an edge-lit LED backlight and is capable of peak brightness up to 400nit.

Again, the P5 Picture Engine runs the show and Android M is on board, while the panel used is 100Hz rather than 200Hz on its stablemates above.

There's no HDR 10+ on the 7803, but it is compliant with HDR 10 and HLG - the expected broadcast standard for the BBC and Sky.

A few of the other proprietary Philips technologies, such as Perfect Natural Motion and Micro Dimming Pro are reserved for the 8303 and above, so you get standard versions here. However, with the P5 processor in full flow, you still get an awesome picture for the money.

Three-sided Ambilight is on board.

Philips 7303

  • Screen sizes: 43in, 50in, 55in, 65in
  • Direct LED, 3840 x 2160 pixels, HDR10
  • Price: £TBC

The 7303 is effectively the entry-level P5 set. It is the lowest in Philips' vast range that sports the full P5 Picture Engine and is therefore capable of great images no matter the source.

It's a direct LED TV, which means it has a rear lighting system rather than edge, so is chunkier than others in the range. It is also a tad lower in brightness, coming in at 350nit at peak.

Other than those specific differences, the 7303 is similar to the 7503, with three-sided Ambilight, Android M for smart TV features and a quad-core processor.

It also has DTS HD Premium sound.

Philips 6503

  • Screen sizes: 43in, 50in, 55in, 65in
  • Direct LED, 3840 x 2160 pixels, HDR10
  • Price: £TBC

The 6503 is Philips' entry-level 4K HDR TV and swaps out many of the more premium features.

It is a direct LED TV, like the 7303, but doesn't employ the P5 Picture Engine. Instead, its images are commanded by the Pixel precise Ultra HD picture processing as used on many 2017 models. It still offers great pictures, but not quite as spectacular as the P5 is capable.

Android M is also missing, with Philips' own, brand-new Saphi smart TV platform utilised instead. It'll still give you the usual video applications, smart home integration and is driven by a quad-core processor, but you won't get Google Assistant control at a later date.

In terms of the panel, the 6503 has a 100Hz refresh rate and peak brightness of 350nit.

There is three-sided Ambilight as on every other TV above.



Thursday, March 15, 2018 - 12:41