To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Philips 6400 Series (43PUS6401/12) review: Now with HDR

Philips 43PUS6401/12 android tv
Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £599
inc VAT

Now with HDR support, the Philips 6400 is a much better buy for those after a small 4K TV


Screen size: 43in, Native resolution: 3,840×2,160, Video inputs: 4x HDMI, Component, SCART, Tuner: Freeview HD, Dimensions: 623x968x204mm 

Buy the Philips 43PUS6401/12 now from Argos


Image quality

The out-of-the-box viewing experience is a little underwhelming. Colours are subdued and everything looks washed out, owing to a lack of contrast. Delving into the TV’s menus it becomes evident that it had defaulted to its Standard picture mode, which uses energy conservation. That’s all fine and good for the eco-sensitive, but if you’re looking to get the best image quality out of the TV you’ll want to choose a different picture mode. Using our colour calibrator to measure the Movie preset, the TV’s black levels of 0.23cd/m2 is rather high, while the maximum brightness of 251.9cd/m2 is rather low. All this equates to a rather disappointing 1,077:1 contrast ratio.

Colour accuracy of the sRGB colour gamut was 93.1% without any calibration, which isn’t a bad starting point. The ISF Day and ISF Night presets allow you a good amount of customisation for white balance and RGB levels, so with a little experimenting, you can improve the colour reproduction. Frustratingly, any changes you make are saved to that particular source, so you’ll need to manually repeat them for each input source rather than the TV letting you automatically duplicate your changes across sources.

The TV’s upscaling isn’t particularly good, either, especially on broadcast HD channels. Picture quality looks smeared and skin tones lack detail. Upscaled Blu-rays proved better but still looked a little soft. If you’re interested in gaming, I measured lag at 46ms on the TV’s standard mode, which dropped to 29ms when the TV is set to its dedicated Game mode. This is reasonable for most console gaming.

Philips has finally added HDR support, too, which rectifies several issues I had with the TV when I first reviewed it, so if you bought this TV before June then you’ll need to update it. HDR support comes in over a free over-the-air update, and provides a noticeable improvement to the TV’s overall picture quality. Colours look much richer and more vibrant, and there’s now a lot more detail in the very brightest parts of the screen as well as the very darkest. The update also includes Ultra HD streaming support for Amazon Video, giving you even more choice to getting the most out of its 4K HDR capabilities.

Philips 43PUS6401/12 lead

Philips Ambilight

Philips’ TV party trick makes a return here in the form of its Ambilight. For this model it’s the 2-sided version, meaning lights are emitted from either side of the screen onto the surrounding walls. You have a number of options as to how the Ambilight is used, such as adapting to what’s displayed on the screen or pulsing based on sound. You can select colours for mood-lighting too or even have it work in tandem with Philips Hue lights.

My favourite mode was just to have it use what was on the screen. I was actually quite fond of it, especially as you can always tone it down or turn it off completely at times when you do find it distracting; with a quick access button on the remote control to get to the settings. There are certain points where it does feel more immersive, and when those moments arise it is rather delightful.

Watching the trailer for The BFG on YouTube, for example, there’s a moment where a torch is carried across the screen and watching the orange glow emanate out of the side and follow the torch as it moved across the screen was impressive. Ambilight makes the most sense when there’s a focal source of light, like a cars headlights or explosion, perhaps less so when the green of a tree shines out the side of your TV.


The rear of the TV has two HDMI ports, a component input and even a SCART connection alongside a USB port. There’s a coaxial satellite connection as well as the aerial socket. The side of the TV has two more HDMI ports alongside two USB ports, one of which is the faster USB3 standard. The USB ports can be used to connect external storage if you want to record TV using its single tuner.

You can use the optical S/PDIF output on the rear for connecting a soundbar or alternatively any of the HDMI ports as all of them support ARC (Audio Return Channel, for sending audio from the TV out to other devices). Only the rear HDMI ports support HDCP 2.2, although that’s unlikely to be a big problem in the foreseeable future.


Like the manufacturer’s other entry-level 4K TV, the 40PUT6400, there’s a lot of the same problems where it comes to the interface and a lack of catchup services. The added HDR goes a long way to rectify some of the previous issues I had with the TV, however, and I’m very fond of its Ambilight capabilities, so I’ve bumped it up a star to reflect this improvement.

That said, it still faces a lot of competition from Panasonic’s Viera TX-40DX700B. Not only does it fall in the same kind of price ballpark, but Panasonic’s interface, built-in Freeview Play EPG, and overall picture quality are far superior, claiming my recommendation over the Philips 43PUS6401/12.

Buy the Philips 43PUS6401/12 now from Argos

Pages: 1 2

Screen size43in
Native resolution3,840×2,160
Aspect ratio16:9
Contrast ratioNot disclosed
Video inputs4x HDMI, Component, SCART
Audio inputsNone
Audio outputsOptical S/PDIF, HDMI ARC
TunerFreeview HD
Streaming TV servicesBBC iPlayer
Media StreamingDLNA

Read more