Philips 65OLED935 TV review Page 2

To be clear about this, the TV isn't sustaining across these fullscreen, bright sequences the 900 nits (in Vivid mode) or 806 nits (with the slightly better balanced Natural preset) it hits for relatively small peaks. But it still dazzles in a way that OLED technology typically does not. And the TV's HDR prowess doesn't only impress at the extremes; its ultra-fine control of light lends every image an exquisite three-dimensional feel.

Sat at the opposite end of the HDR light spectrum are superb black levels, and the extremely difficult to handle subtle light shifts of It's sewer sequence, where Patrick Hockstetter bites the dust, also appear immaculate. Noise stays hidden in the darkness where it should be, while the extreme contrasts of Patrick's lighter explode with genuine fiery potency.

A very small amount of shadow detail can be lost with the most extreme images, perhaps. But this is a tiny price to pay for the consistency and excellence of the 65OLED935's black level performance.

In The Clear
The TV's native 4K pictures are sharp and detailed. Unlike some previous screens, however, the sharpness here – even with Philips' Ultra Sharp option active – isn't over-egged. There's no grittiness to it, no sense of stressy object edges, and no shimmering or moire noise. It feels like the sharpness is now dedicated to bringing out every last pixel of detail from a good 4K source, rather than sometimes drawing too much attention to itself.

This clarity can remain almost completely intact, too, when there's a camera pan or lots of motion to contend with. This is particularly true with the default Standard setting of Philips' motion processing tool, which does an outstanding job of removing judder without going too heavy on the soap opera effect. It can cause some noticeable haloing around some moving objects, though, so overall you're better off using the Movie option or, best of all, Pure Cinema setting for 24p material.

Colour delivery appears improved over 2019's Philips OLEDs. There's still a vibrancy and punch to it (outside of the relatively flat Movie preset), but this is combined with much more balanced, nuanced and natural tones.

There's more good news when it comes to the 65OLED935's picture modes. The Vivid preset is the most flat-out spectacular, and is much improved on last year's version, partly because it uses the new AI processing, and partly because it has toned down some rather over-aggressive colours. Certainly, if you want to get the most out of this TV's features, you could do a lot worse than start with the Vivid preset and then gradually tone things down in specific areas if you find anything (such as the rather enthusiastic default motion and noise reduction settings) becoming distracting.

I did find an issue where the Vivid mode can cause some relatively bright highlights to look a bit stressy, such as the white uniforms of the Nostromo engineers during the first 'breakfast' in Alien on 4K Blu-ray. Vivid can also slightly exaggerate source noise – especially with grainy or very dark sequences. Even so, for sheer impact a slightly tweaked Vivid mode will prove hard to resist for mainstream users and could even be a guilty pleasure for hardcore cinephiles armed with pristine sources.

The new HDR AI mode, meanwhile, tones things down a bit from Vivid while still using all the new tech – again I'd recommend lowering the noise reduction and motion processing from the default settings.


HDR Natural offers an excellent middle point between the accurate/Filmmaker Mode-emulating HDR Movie preset, and as such probably delivers the all-round most balanced, engaging and immersive picture. The HDR Movie mode honestly feels painfully dull after experimenting with all the other options, but if absolute faithfulness to standards is a must for you, it delivers that well, particularly regards shadow detailing and dark tones.

The Game mode, finally, keeps pictures looking punchy, but reduces the time the screen takes to render images to around 36.5ms. This is a solid result that shouldn't be an issue for anyone but the most competitive of trigger-response Call Of Dutyers, but it is true that most rivals this year have got input lag down to under 20ms.

One other huge strength of the 65OLED935 is its upscaling of HD sources. The new AI-driven processor converts HD as well as any other TV I've seen, adding so much detail and sharpness, even to relatively grubby or noisy sources, that such content truly looks like 4K at times. It can be worth keeping a touch of noise reduction in play, although the level of polish and fine detail the set delivers is outstanding.

While Philips has thrown the kitchen sink at making the 65OLED935 excel with HDR, its SDR performance is also exemplary, showcasing inky blacks and a finessed approach to the limited colour range. The Perfect Natural Reality engine expands SDR's light and colour so intelligently that all but the most die-hard purists will prefer to use it.

In truth, it's hard to find anything negative to say about this flatscreen's picture performance, something aided by the variety available via its picture presets. But just occasionally a skin tone can look a little too dark or brown, and on rare occasions a bright HDR peak can flare out with some of the more aggressive presets. Last and probably worse, the set falls prey to OLED's tendency to exaggerate compression noise in some streamed sources. The tricky Peeping Tom scene in Episode 12 of Vikings: Season 5, Part 2 on Amazon Prime Video is very prone to the old familiar mess using all but the TV's muted Movie mode.

Audio Precision
But it's back into positive territory – and then some – with the 65OLED935's audio. Its external speaker enclosure can handle dynamics without distorting or compression, and the scale and precision of the soundstage is remarkable, too. Sound spreads far and wide from the TV. This is particularly pronounced to left and right, but there is a palpable sense of height to the staging. The accuracy with which different elements are placed into that soundstage is also very impressive.

Channel separation is clear. Dialogue is fantastically handled; always clear, always authentic and well contextualised. With Atmos sources, at least, voices seem to be elevated so that they appear to originate from the screen rather than from the speaker below it. LFE information is present and correct with 5.1/Atmos content.

The drivers have excellent resolution, too – able to bring out the subtlest details, even at low volumes, or retain them amid a maelstrom. And to round it all off, there are no distortions or cabinet rattles despite the huge volumes and dynamics it's capable of producing.

I have only two complaints. First, it's a pity that the Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ apps provided with the 65OLED935's Android TV 9.0 smart system don't currently support Dolby Atmos. A Disney+ Atmos update is planned later in the year, but there's currently no word on when Atmos might be added to the Prime Video app.

The second niggle would be that bass delivery on my sample didn't kick in as readily as expected, needing the volume to be cranked quite high before it really made its presence felt, especially during stereo playback. It makes me wonder if bass could be improved further via firmware, given the clear physical quality of the components and everything else about the sound.

Despite this slight bass shyness the 65OLED935's audio performance exceeds the efforts of any rival TV 'bar, apart from B&O's vastly more expensive BeoVision Eclipse OLED model. And mentioning the premium-priced B&O highlights what ultimately makes the 65OLED935 something of a classic TV. Namely that it delivers a truly premium AV experience at a mainstream price.

HCC Verdict

Philips 65OLED935

Price: £2,700

We say: The 65OLED935 combines Philips' traditional flair for spectacle with a new-found interest in authenticity. Irresistible and, in the circumstances, great value.

Overall: 5/5


4K: Yes. 3,840 x 2,160 HDR: Yes. HDR10; HDR10+; HLG; Dolby Vision Tuner: Yes. Freeview HD/Play Connections: 4 x HDMI inputs; 3 x USB; RF input; digital optical audio output; Ethernet Sound (CLAIMED): 70W (3.1.2) Brightness (CLAIMED): N/A Contrast ratio (CLAIMED): N/A Dimensions (off stand): 1,448.7(w) x 930.8(h) x 299.4(d)mm Weight (off stand): 34.8kg

Features: AI and P5 processing engine; four-sided Ambilight; built-in external sound enclosure with upfiring Dolby Atmos speakers; Android TV; Wi-Fi; Bluetooth; DTS Play-Fi; Perfect Natural Reality (SDR conversion); Pure Cinema interpolation