Although you don't have to spend more than Rs. 40,000 to get a 55-inch Ultra-HD TV these days, increasing your budget does usually get you better features and performance. This also means being able to choose from more brands, including well-known and established options that offer somewhat more assurance of quality and performance. One such brand is Philips, which has positioned itself a step above the entry-level segment.
Officially priced at Rs. 89,990 (but usually available at Rs. 69,990), the Philips 55PUT8115/94 TV is in roughly the same segment as the now-discontinued Philips 8200-series TV range. On paper, its support for Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision, smart connectivity through Android TV, and 20W sound output seem impressive. Is this the best television you can buy for around Rs. 70,000 right now? Find out in this review.
Philips positions itself a bit higher than competing brands such as Xiaomi and Hisense, and aims to take on the likes of Samsung and Sony
Philips 55PUT8115/94 Ultra-HD LED Android TV design and specifications
The Philips 55PUT8115/94 Ultra-HD TV is positioned against more premium players such as Samsung, LG, and Sony. However, Philips will also have to take on the technically superior quantum dot LED TVs that value-focused brands have launched, such as the Hisense 55U6G which retails for under Rs. 60,000.
The Philips 55PUT8115/94 television is fairly straightforward and efficient in its design. The point of a television is to put the screen at the centre of the viewer's attention, and this Philips TV does that well with discreet, slim black borders all around the LCD panel and a simple Philips logo in the bottom left corner.
The television isn't slim but it isn't very thick either, and maintains a reasonable aesthetic profile regardless of whether it's wall-mounted or table-mounted. To the left of the screen, facing outward are one HDMI port (with ARC support), a USB Type-A port, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and the antenna socket. The rest of the ports are bottom-facing, and these include three HDMI ports, one USB Type-A port, an RJ45 Ethernet port, and the Optical Audio Out (Toslink) port.
Disappointingly, the power socket faces backward, which can cause a plug to bend a bit when the TV is wall-mounted with a low-profile mounting kit, and that doesn't feel very reassuring. The bottom-facing ports were very difficult to access once the TV was wall-mounted, and even the side-facing ones were a bit tricky to reach. A wall-mount kit isn't included in the box, so you'll need to confirm with your retailer whether wall mounting will be provided for free or as a chargeable extra as part of the installation of the TV.
You'll want to ensure you have all of your connections attached before putting the TV up on a wall, but this won't be much of a problem if you're table-mounting the TV, since it weighs a reasonable 11.5kg (11.8kg with the stands attached) and can be moved around a bit if necessary. The TV stands for the Philips 55PUT8115/94 TV are included in the box and attach to the TV near the corners, so you'll need a wide enough table to place the TV on.
The television sent to me for review is the 55-inch model, and it has an Ultra-HD (3840x2160-pixel) LED panel. The TV supports HDR up to the Dolby Vision and HDR10+ formats, and has a refresh rate of up to 60Hz. Connectivity options include Bluetooth 5, dual-band Wi-Fi, and Ethernet. Audio return channel (ARC) for HDMI is supported. For sound, the television has a bottom-firing box speaker system with a total rated output of 20W, and support for Dolby Atmos. There is 4GB of storage for apps and app data.
Philips 55PUT8115/94 Ultra-HD LED Android TV remote and features
Although minimalist remotes with fewer buttons and smaller dimensions are trendy for televisions these days, I always appreciate a traditional remote for the flexibility and control it offers. The remote of the Philips 55PUT8115/94 is large, with a number pad, playback controls, hotkeys for some streaming services, and a large and tactile D-pad which makes navigation easy even in the dark. It also has useful options for invoking Google Assistant, source selection, and more.
The full-sized remote of the Philips 55PUT8115/94 TV has hotkeys for Netflix, Google Play, and YouTube
The remote is powered by two AAA batteries (included in the sales package), and is light and easy to handle. It uses both infrared and Bluetooth for connectivity, although the latter only works for Google Assistant voice commands. Although infrared requires a line of sight to work, the remote was able to work well for me even if not pointed directly at the TV. This will also ensure more conservative battery use, since Bluetooth drains batteries a lot quicker.
Like other televisions running the Android TV platform, the Philips 55PUT8115/94 has full-fledged Google Assistant capabilities and built-in Chromecast. Apart from this, there is also support for HDMI ARC and HDMI CEC.
Philips 55PUT8115/94 Ultra-HD LED Android TV software and interface
Android TV is the operating system of choice for many TV manufacturers because of its quality and ease of use, and the Philips 55PUT8115/94 runs Android TV 10 with the refreshed Google-TV-like user interface. This is a well-established and very reliable software experience, and it's likely that many buyers will have seen or used it in some form or the other already. Over 5,000 apps are available for Android TV through the Google Play store.
For the most part, my experience with the TV's software was good. Apps and content were usually quick to load, and there were no buffering issues with content on a fast Internet connection. Navigating the interface was smooth, and basic functions such as switching source devices or invoking Google Assistant yielded the desired results with no trouble at all.
However, I did begin experiencing a recurring issue around two days after a reboot of the TV. Subtitles were slow to load, the sound would cut out at odd times, and eventually, whatever app was running (usually Netflix, but occasionally also Disney+ Hotstar) would crash and take me back to the Android TV home screen.
The Philips 55PUT8115/94 TV runs on Android TV 10, with the stock Android TV user interface and access to the Google Play Store for apps and games
A full reboot of the TV – that is, powering it down and turning it back on – would fix this issue, until it resurfaced again after a couple of days. I faced this with the Philips TV throughout the entire review period, and while the fix was easy, it was still time-consuming and bothersome to have to go through the drill every couple of days. No software updates were pushed during my time with the TV, but I'm hoping Philips releases a software patch for this soon.
Philips 55PUT8115/94 Ultra-HD LED Android TV performance
Philips occupies a niche in the big-screen TV segment when it comes to pricing; it's more expensive than competing products from brands such as Xiaomi and Hisense, but a bit more affordable than similarly-specced TVs from brands such as Sony and Samsung, such as the Samsung 55AU8000 TV.
On paper and in the real world, the Philips 55PUT8115/94 does offer a lot for its street price of around Rs. 70,000. However, it's not quite as impressive as the now-discontinued Philips 55PUT8215/94, and falls short when compared to decent QLED TVs on some parameters such as brightness. While this TV is undeniably good when it comes to picture and sound quality, the feeling I got was that performance didn't quite match up to its price.
I watched varied content across resolutions and HDR formats, including The Bubble, No Time To Die, Community, Kim's Convenience, and Severance. Apart from this, I also streamed live sports content (Formula One) and played some standard definition videos from YouTube, to cover a wide range of genres and viewing habits.
Although the picture is sharp, brightness on the Philips 55PUT8115/94 isn't very good
Ultra-HD Dolby Vision content looked visibly better than anything else on the Philips 55PUT8115/94 television, but certain types of content seemed to suit the TV's picture signature and muted approach a bit better. This TV doesn't get as bright as some of its competitors, but it does manage to deliver plenty of detail despite this, particularly in content with a muted colour tone and palette such as Severance and The Bubble.
I did need to darken my room as much as possible to get the best results with such shows, as bright indoor lighting or sunlight hampered the viewing experience. Even with the enhanced brightness on offer with Dolby Vision and HDR10+ content, the Philips TV didn't quite match up to what a decent quantum-dot LED TV in this price range can offer.
On the other hand, I liked how sharp and detailed the picture was, as well as the smooth, clean motion handling of the Philips 55PUT8115/94 TV with Ultra-HD content. The snow-filled outdoor landscape and the windowless office spaces in Severance looked sharp and on-point, achieving the mood that the show aims to set. Fine details in the facial expressions and moods of the characters were brought out capably and reliably by the television. Motion was definitely easy on the eyes, and made it possible to watch content for long stretches with little discomfort.
Sitcoms, including Community and Kim's Convenience, felt lively because of the brightness of the content and gentler camera work, but still seemed a bit dull in comparison to what the competition can reproduce. That said, I seldom encountered any motion artefacts or picture flaws; the television pretty much did its job in a straightforward and simple manner. It eliminated distractions and let me focus on what I was watching.
I watched a full-HD stream of No Time To Die on Amazon Prime Video, and only detected minor differences in sharpness between that and other Ultra-HD content I had recently streamed across platforms. Although Dolby Vision and HDR10+ content was visibly a bit brighter, SDR content didn't feel like too much of a step down, given the toned-down brightness of the Philips 55PUT8115/94 TV.
SDR and lower-resolution content didn't feel like too much of step down, given the muted brightness levels of the TV with HDR content
Formula One live-streamed with Disney+ Hotstar, as well as standard definition content showcased some issues with sharpness and ability to upscale and process lower-resolution content. In some cases, particularly with the Australian Grand Prix, this wasn't bad at all, and about as good as can be expected when watching this kind of content on a 55-inch television.
Sound quality on the Philips 55PUT8115/94 was acceptable, but it did not get quite as loud and wasn't as refined as I've heard on similarly priced competition such as the Mi QLED TV 4K. While the sound was clean, I often felt a need to bump the volume up in dialogue-heavy scenes when watching The Bubble, only to have to quickly decrease it when the soundtrack took over or when action scenes played out.
Although these volume spikes and drops were never too drastic, this did affect the sound experience a bit, and you might want to invest in a basic soundbar to overcome the weaknesses of the TV's speakers. Dolby Atmos did seem to provide a bit more width and depth to the sound with supported content, but this could only really be heard at high volume levels.
Competition in the mid-range television segment is fierce, and the price of the Philips 55PUT8115/94 ends up holding it back, compared to its peers. Although the picture is sharp, detailed, and often gets the mood of content right, its inability to get bright enough and its below-average sound quality hold this TV back. I also experienced some software issues that could simply be a bug or a result of poor implementation.
This TV costs perhaps Rs. 10,000 too much, in my opinion, and better value-for-money options can be found from competing brands. Both Xiaomi and Hisense sell quantum-dot LED TVs at around the same price or less. That said, if you want picture quality that delivers on most counts, this Philips TV could work well for you. It might also be worth looking at the Philips 55PUT8215/94 TV, which although officially discontinued, might still be available at some retailers, as it offers better overall performance.
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