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This Philips 50 Inch 4K TV review starts at the first selling point of this widescreen display: It’s unbeatable pricing. A little research on your part will reward you with a 50-inch smart TV that goes for around $300.
The people at Phillips follow this opening sales pitch with the feature-rich interface that is Android TV. Being a 4K TV, the Phillips 50PFL5604 also promises good picture quality.
Let’s jump right into our Philips 50 Inch 4K TV review to see how this television performs when we put it through its paces.
Philips 50 Inch 4K TV review: Unboxing
In addition to the TV, you should find a remote, a pair of batteries, a power cable, and some paperwork. There’s little in the way of media cables, and you’ll have to make do with the bare minimum. This is a small price to pay for a TV that’s as affordable as this 50-inch, 4K smart TV.
Design and build
By today’s standards, the design of the Phillips 50PFL5604 falls under the ‘retro’ category. For starters, the panel is chunky, and it will stick out if you put it on a wall. What’s more, the placement of the rear-facing ports is awkward in a wall-mount situation. You’ll need to install a few spacers to make the ports accessible.
The chassis of this 50-inch TV is made of black plastic that’s pretty sturdy. You’ll be happy with the solid build and the artistry that goes into assembling the chassis.
However, the low TV legs present some limitations if you choose to place the TV on an entertainment stand. The Phillips 50PFL5604 tends to hug the tabletop, leaving little room for a soundbar. On the flip side, the low legs add to the display’s stability.
Philips 50 Inch 4K TV review: Ports and connectivity
The Phillips 50PFL5604 has a set of easily accessible, outward-facing ports and a second set of rear-facing ports. You’ll be happy with the wide selection of ports that the panel has to offer:
- Three HDMI ports; one of which carries ARC support
- One USB port
- A digital optical audio output
- 3.5mm audio jack
- One composite AV port
- A 75-Ohm F-type antenna connector
These are enough ports to connect all of your gaming and audio devices at the same time. The HDMI-ARC port allows for audio pass-through and fewer cable connections. This port also supports CEC functionality, which lets you control the TV with a second CEC-compatible device.
User interface: Android TV
Earlier versions of Android OS for TV perform better after one or two software updates. This doesn’t take away from the sheer wealth of content that the Google ecosystem has to offer.
The Phillips 50PFL5604 likely runs Android 8 when you take it out of the box. This smart TV interface comes pre-installed with all the popular streaming apps, from Hulu to Netflix to HBO. Whatever else you want, you can find in the vast selection of Google Play Store.
Android is a versatile platform that lets you access, manage, and control various smart home devices. Add to this the versatility of Google Assistant, and you can turn the Phillips 50PFL5604 into a hub for your smart home.
Philips 50 Inch 4K TV review: Hardware and picture quality
The Phillips 50PFL5604 is an IPS-type panel with a native refresh rate of 60Hz and 4K resolution. It has a native contrast ratio of 1:1000, which is par for the course with IPS panels. To put this ratio in perspective, comparable VA panels usually have native contrast ratios of 1:3000 and above. We’ll go over what these numbers mean in upcoming sections.
As for color, this 50-inch TV has an adequate panel, covering a good portion of the NTSC color space. Let’s see how these specs contribute to the picture quality of the TV.
1. Picture quality: Color
Right out of the box, the Phillips 50PFL5604 displays accurate and vivid colors with a good saturation level. The true test of color accuracy is nature programming that has bright scenes and lots of dimmer images. You’ll be in for a treat when you stream Planet Earth II on this 50-inch 4K smart TV.
2. Picture quality: Contrast
A good native contrast ratio happens when a display can get really bright and dark. For some technical reason, IPS panels have limitations when executing deep, dark shades of black. The Phillips 50PFL5604 falls under the IPS category, which explains its low native contrast.
As you watch a dim scene with lots of detail and texture, the TV will struggle to make the small details stand out. The good news is that the brightness of the TV goes a long way in minimizing this drawback.
3. Motion handling
The Phillips 50PFL5604 is an excellent pick for light gaming, sports, and fast-action movies. The speed at which pixels switch colors prevents noticeable blurring as a ball, or a race car flies across your screen. You’ll also enjoy how responsive the panel gets as you navigate the Android interface or play a simple game.
- An excellent selection of ports
- Easy setup
- Android TV offers countless tools and streaming apps
- The Android platform carn transform the TV into a controller for compatible smart home devices
- 4K resolution
- Crisp picture and accurate colors
- Wide viewing angles
- The panel’s rear-facing ports are hard to access and manage when you mount the TV on a wall
- This TV is chunky by today’s standards
- Low native contrast ratio takes away from the panel’s ability to deliver startling contrast. Luckily, the TV is bright enough to mitigate this drawback
- The smart interface may become sluggish now and then
- You’ll need to perform a software update for Android TV to stabilize the OS. The interface will let you know when it’s time
Philips 50 Inch 4K TV review verdict: All the smart features you could ever want, at a bargain
This Philips 50 Inch 4K TV review finds a display worth what you pay for it. You get to enjoy a world of content, thanks to the well-stocked Google app store. Android OS is also versatile, with valuable tools that help you manage your smart home devices.
Add to this good picture quality in standard and HDR modes, and you have yourself a lovely addition to your entertainment system. Click here to learn more about this TV.