(Pocket-lint) - Philips has unveiled its latest flagship TV, the OLED+ 937, at a special event in Berlin.
The new set offers a 30 per cent increase in brightness, a jump to the next generation of Ambilight technology and dual AI image processing.
We were lucky enough to go hands-on with the OLED+ 937 right out of the gate, and here's what we found.
We've not tested the Philips OLED+ 937 for long enough to reach any kind of conclusion, but, it has certainly made a great first impression.
A top-of-the-line panel with extremely advanced picture processing results in a stunning image, this is complemented by the improved Ambilight effects, which look awesome dancing around the room in sync with your content. The audio solution, too, is impressive and we're looking forward to hearing more from it.
Philips OLED+ 937
- Gorgeous bright image
- Improved Ambilight effects
- Big sound
- Impressive AI tone mapping
- Sure to be expensive
- The speaker unit can look unusual when wall mounted
- Won't be available in the US
Design and next-gen Ambilight
- 65 and 77in sizes
- Integrated Bowers and Wilkins speaker unit
The design of the 937 is fairly similar to its predecessor, with its distinct Bowers and Wilkins speaker unit positioned on the base. However, the new model opts for a fabric covering throughout, doing away with the perforated metal front panel we saw on the 936.
We like this new look, it's fairly elegant and understated and retains the iconic central tweeter from the last generation. Elsewhere things remain very familiar, and of course, the signature Ambilight accent LEDs make an appearance on this new model, too, but they've seen an upgrade.
The next-gen Ambilight, or Ambilight HD, as it was sometimes referred to, utilises three separate LEDs for each part of the array, each with its own driver. The difference is fairly subtle, but it is noticeable. The area that stood out most to us, was the way the shadow areas were handled by the Ambilight, looking much more accurate and precise than previous models.
The 937 utilises LG's top-of-the-line OLED EX panel, and, as you might expect, it has absolutely superb contrast and black levels. Where it differs from your run-of-the-mill OLED panel, though, is in its brightness. The 937 can output up to 1300 nits, which puts it up there with the brightest on the market, and 30 per cent brighter than its predecessor.
Of course, this impressive brightness translates to some serious HDR credentials. This is further enhanced by the TV's dual AI image engine, which can do per-frame optimisation and advanced HDR tone mapping to enhance the look of sub-optimal sources. It can also remove artefacts and banding from low bitrate media, which really impressed us, and could come in handy when watching decades-old YouTube gems.
We got to see the set go head to head with the Sony A95K, LG G2 and Samsung S95B. All the sets were in vivid mode, and the content we were watching was selected by Philips, so it wasn't exactly the fairest of fights. Nonetheless, the performance was marvellous. All the sets looked good, but it was immediately apparent that the 937 managed to retain more highlight detail, thanks to the aforementioned Dual AI image processing. We also noticed far less artefacts from the TV's motion smoothing, which was more apparent on the Sony and LG sets.
Bower and Wilkins representatives made it very clear to us that the audio solution on the OLED+ 937 is not a sound bar, but instead, it's a speaker enclosure. This is because the amplification is handled elsewhere in the TV, and the entirety of the oblong speaker body is used to optimise its array of woofers and tweeters.
The speaker unit utilises three forward-firing speakers (left, centre and right) along with two upward-firing Atmos speakers, and dual angled speakers on the sides, which handle the rear channels.
We were listening to the TV at an event, in a temporary plywood demo room, so it was far from the ideal listening scenario, but first impressions are good. The sound is spacious, detailed and comes with plenty of rumble that adds some excitement to action scenes. When listening to music (traditional stereo mixing, not spatial audio) the TV appeared to have some nice musicality, too, with a warm and detailed signature.
The OLED+ 937 is shaping up to be one of the most impressive TVs of the year. We'll reserve judgement until we've tested in a more familiar environment, but upon first impression, it's a superb set.