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Philips 55PUS6753/12 review: The £700 4K TV you’ve been waiting for

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £700
inc VAT

Philips' 4K TV is a superb all-rounder for the money


  • Ambilight deepens perceived blacks and reduces eye strain
  • Deep blacks and natural colours for an LCD
  • Low input lag


  • Peak brightness too low for effective HDR
  • 60Hz panel impedes motion clarity and smoothness
  • Limited viewing angles

Philips’ owner TP Vision released a brand new range of OLED TVs at the IFA consumer electronics trade show in September 2018. Of course, these all cost a fortune, and so to soothe our anxious wallets the firm preceded the show with a few affordable LED LCD televisions. The Philips 55PUS6753/12 was the first out of the gate, a 55in 4K HDR screen priced at only £700. 

That model number might resemble a particularly unmemorable password, but can it unlock some picture quality goodness for well under £1,000? Let’s find out.

Philips 55PUS6753/12 review: What you need to know

The Philips 6753 uses direct-lit LED backlighting, and while it lacks the local dimming technology of pricier sets, that omission is easy to forgive at this price point. It also lacks the critically acclaimed P5 processor and Android TV system found on higher-end models, but still manages to find room for the three-sided Ambilight integrated bias lighting technology for which Philips TVs are renowned. This is not RGB lighting gimmickry: Ambilight genuinely improves the perceived image quality.

HDR flavours supported include the open-standard HDR10 and broadcast-friendly HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) formats. The onboard Saphi Smart TV platform is Linux-based, offering access to a comprehensive collection of streaming apps such as BBC iPlayer (with support for 4K HLG HDR during the World Cup and Wimbledon trials), Netflix (4K HDR) and Amazon Prime Video (4K but not HDR).

Philips 55PUS6753/12 review: Price and competition

While we haven’t reviewed other 2018 TVs around this price bracket, competition will come mainly from LG’s SK series (wider viewing angles but shallower blacks due to IPS panel used) and Samsung’s NU range, but none will have the PUS6753’s Ambilight technology.

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Philips 55PUS6753/12 review: Design and connections

The styling of the Philips 6753 belies its relatively affordable price point. The matte-grey bezel and the chassis are thick by modern LED LCD standards, owing to the TV’s direct-lit LED backlighting, but the strip of transparent perspex bearing a Philips logo that hangs beneath the screen adds a slight touch of sophistication.

Build quality is so-so, but really, what do you expect for £700? We’re inclined to forgive Philips in this regard, and especially when you consider that the Philips 55PUS6753/12 is equipped with the brand’s proprietary Ambilight integrated bias lighting system which can improve perceived blacks and reduce eye fatigue. It does this by gently illuminating the wall behind the TV, and subtly adjusts the colour of the lighting to suit on the onscreen content. The Ambilight version implemented on the PUS6753 is three-sided, which is the same as the company’s top-end OLEDs.

Three HDMI connections are found at the back of the television, but like many modern TVs (even high-end models), only two – namely HDMI2 and HDMI3 – are full-bandwidth HDMI 2.0b ports that support UHD (ultra high-definition) content at higher bit depth, frame rate or chroma resolution.

The supplied remote control is standard issue, and sound quality is as you’d expect for a flat-screen TV: passable for day-to-day viewing but far behind an external soundbar or home theatre speakers.

Philips 55PUS6753/12 review: Picture quality & gaming responsiveness

The Philips PUS6753 uses a VA-type LCD panel. This has the usual pros and cons: it produces deep blacks by LED LCD standards, but suffers from limited viewing angles. It’s also worth noting that the LCD screen is fairly reflective if you watch in a brighter environment.

That said, the TV can be calibrated to deliver natural-looking colours for SDR (standard dynamic range) material, and despite the fact that the on-screen display only offers single-point white balance controls rather than the multi-point controls of pricier sets. Upscaling from sub-UHD resolution is good even in the absence of the firm’s advanced P5 video processor. There’s mild dirty screen effect (DSE) and darkened corners on our review sample.
It’s no surprise, however, to find that Philips has had to resort to a 60Hz LCD panel. As a result, motion resolution isn’t as smooth as it could be, and slow panning shots in 24fps movies exhibit more judder than on TVs with 120Hz panels.

Although the Philips 55PUS6753/12 supports HDR (high dynamic range) playback, you should keep your expectations in check. Peak brightness measured only 270cd/m2 on a 10% window in the most accurate [HDR Movie] preset, going up to 340 nits in the overly blue-tinted [HDR Personal] mode. As you can imagine, this is far, far too dim to provide an acceptable HDR picture, and leaves movies looking horribly flat and washed out. Still, gamers who don’t mind forgoing HDR will be happy with the Philips’ performance. Input lag measured 25ms in both SDR and HDR game modes, making the Philips 6753 a decent choice for gaming.

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Philips 55PUS6753/12 review: Verdict

It comes as no surprise that a £700 TV isn’t capable of producing ‘proper’ HDR – if you really want a decent HDR performance you’re better off saving up and spending over £1,000 on a mid-range set. If, however, you just want a good-quality 4K TV for sensible money, then the Philips has exactly what it takes. With a 55-inch screen, Ambilight technology and low input lag for only £700, the Philips 55PUS6753’s trump card is sheer value for money.

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