Philips 55-Inch 8200 Series Ultra-HD HDR LED Android TV (55PUT8215/94) Review: Mid-Range Pricing, Very Good Performance
It’s possible to get a decent 55-inch Ultra-HD television for under Rs. 40,000 today, from popular brands such as Xiaomi, Hisense, AmazonBasics, and Vu, to name a few. On the other hand, premium options from brands such as Sony, LG, and Samsung cost well over Rs. 1,00,000 for the same size, and there are still plenty of takers for them. Obviously, picture quality and performance are the key differences, but the price difference is vast, and you might not want to go to either extreme.
Fortunately, there are plenty of 55-inch televisions priced in between, including the one we’re reviewing today. The Philips 8200 Series 55-inch Ultra-HD LED Smart TV can be found listed online at around Rs. 52,000 or so. It promises better performance than entry-level options, thanks to innovations such as the P5 picture engine, plus support for Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos Audio. Is this the best mid-range 55-inch LED TV you can buy right now? Find out in our review.
Philips 55PUT8215/94 Ultra-HD LED Android TV design and specifications
Affordable and mid-range TVs usually tend to stick to the basics. The Philips 55PUT8215/94 TV is quite plain to look at, but this rightly allows for the screen to be the centre of attention. The borders around the screen are narrow, with a slightly thicker bottom border. A small Philips logo sits in the bottom-left corner, while a module near the bottom-right corner contains the IR receiver for the remote, an indicator light, and the power button.
Although this isn’t a slim television by any means, it isn’t too thick either. It has a plastic back that bulges just a bit near the bottom. There are two sets of ports and inputs on the Philips 55PUT8215/94 – one facing to the left of the screen, and another facing downwards with a cutout to allow for plugs and cables to be inserted. Useful ports including one HDMI and USB port each face to the left and are a bit easier to access than the downward-facing ones, but are still quite hard to reach if you have the TV mounted on a wall.
The Philips 55PUT8215/94 weighs around 11.5kg which is fairly normal for a TV of this size, and was possible for me to wall-mount and set it up myself. The TV supports Bluetooth 4.2 and dual-band Wi-Fi.
In total, it has four HDMI ports, two USB ports, an S/PDIF audio output, a 3.5mm headphone output, an antenna socket, and an Ethernet port. Oddly, there’s no option to connect older component or composite devices to the Philips TV; you’ll have to depend on HDMI for all your sources. Fortunately, HDMI ARC is supported on all four ports.
As the model name suggests, this is a 55-inch television that I have for review. Philips does also sell the same TV in 50-inch, 65-inch, and 70-inch sizes as well, and all these size options are available across major online and offline retailers in India. The TV has an Ultra-HD (3840×2160-pixel) LED-backlit screen with support for the Dolby Vision, HDR10+, HDR10 and HLG high dynamic range formats, and a maximum refresh rate of 60Hz.
The sales package includes stands to table-mount the Philips 55PUT8215/94. These attach near the corners of the TV and you’ll therefore need a wide table or stand. You can wall-mount the television, but the equipment to do so isn’t included in the box and will need to be arranged for with the installation technician. The TV has a quad-core processor and 16GB of internal storage for apps and app data. Philips claims 16W of sound output, and support for Dolby Atmos Audio. On the software front, the TV runs Android TV 9, with both the stock Android interface as well as a separate proprietary interface by Philips.
Philips 55PUT8215/94 Ultra-HD LED Android TV remote and features
At a time when many manufacturers are opting for minimalist remotes with fewer buttons, Philips is sticking to the traditional, large unit with plenty of buttons including a number pad, full playback controls , a direction pad for navigation, and hot keys for YouTube and Netflix. Like most Android TV devices, there is also a microphone on the remote with a Google Assistant key which can be used to give voice commands to the TV.
Certain functions of the remote, such as power and volume controls, use IR, which means you need to point it at the TV. However, Google Assistant and voice commands use Bluetooth to communicate with the TV, and will work if you’re anywhere within range, no matter how you hold it. The remote is powered by two AAA batteries, included in the sales package.
Although long and somewhat oddly shaped, the remote is light and fairly easy to grip and use. Dedicated buttons for the Settings and Source let you switch between inputs and configure things quite easily, while playback controls work on most content and in most apps as well as the smart interface.
Other key features of the Philips 55-inch 8200 Series TV include Google Chromecast support and the Philips P5 picture engine, which promises better picture quality. Although not quite as feature-filled as slightly more expensive options from brands such as Sony and LG, the Philips TV does cover all the basics.
Philips 55PUT8215/94 Ultra-HD LED Android TV software and interface
Philips has been late to the Android TV party, with its earlier smart TV range running the company’s own Saphi OS – a proprietary interface that I found clunky and far behind in terms of features and capabilities. Things have changed for the better with the Philips 8200 Series televisions. However, a proprietary interface similar to Saphi can also be accessed through a button on the remote.
I found this custom interface – called Philips TV Collection – slightly improved, but still quite clunky and difficult to navigate. The selection of available apps isn’t too great either, but fortunately there’s a built-in solution – simply switch to Android TV. The Philips 55-inch 8200 Series TV runs on Android TV 9, with the Google Play Store providing access to apps and services. Netflix, YouTube, and a few other apps are preinstalled, while other popular ones such as Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ Hotstar, and others can be downloaded through the app store.
There really isn’t anything different about Android TV on the Philips 8200 Series; the experience is the same as what I’ve had with various Android TV products from various brands. It’s a reliable experience with apps that have been optimised for use on a TV and for easy navigation with typical TV remotes, and is among the most refined and well-designed options available today. Although it’s Android TV 9 while many competing devices are launching with Android TV 10 and even Android TV 11, the user experience is the same for everyone thanks to the stock Android TV launcher. However, this could lead to some performance issues in the long run.
It’s worth pointing out that the Apple TV app, which rolled out for Android TV in June 2021, isn’t available on the Philips TV at the time of writing this review. You’ll need a streaming device to access Apple TV content on the Philips TV.
Although the Philips 55PUT8215/94 television runs on Android TV, some modifications have been made to the stock interface, particularly involving the Settings menu. This is Philips’ own menu and not the one I’ve typically seen on other Android TVs. It has a different look and feel, and method of navigation.
Fortunately, this menu can be accessed from anywhere within the TV UI, including as an overlay when content is playing. In fact, most key settings can be accessed when content is playing. General setup options, Wi-Fi configuration, and software updates are only available through the full menu which takes over the screen. There’s a comprehensive set of features and tweaks that give you a decent amount of control over the picture, sound, and other settings on the Philips 8200 Series TV.
Philips 55PUT8215/94 Ultra-HD LED Android TV performance
The Philips 55PUT8215/94 Ultra-HD LED Android TV isn’t expensive by any means, but neither is it an entry-level product. It’s priced at over Rs. 50,000, while 55-inch Ultra-HD HDR TVs from brands such as Redmi, AmazonBasics, Kodak, and TCL, to name a few, retail for under Rs. 40,000. Naturally, this means that the Philips TV needs to be compared to premium options from brands such as Sony, LG, and Samsung, and can be seen as an alternative to entry-level quantum-dot LED TVs from brands such as Xiaomi, TCL, and OnePlus.
Philips puts a lot of faith in its P5 picture engine, which is said to work on five points to improve the picture quality, and indeed the results do show with the 8200 Series LED TV. Picture and sound performance were considerably better than on the Rs. 38,999 Redmi X55 Smart TV, with the 55-inch Philips 8200 Series offering a sharp, detailed, and enjoyable picture on the whole across content and resolutions. Although not quite as bright as the Mi QLED TV 4K 55 or other competing QLED options, there’s a lot to like about the Philips 8200 Series LED TV.
Support for Dolby Vision HDR on the Philips 55PUT8215/94 meant I knew exactly where to start with my review. I watched varied content on Netflix and Disney+ Hotstar including Formula 1: Drive to Survive, Loki, The World’s Most Amazing Vacation Rentals, and Kevin Hart starrer Fatherhood. Naturally, this kind of content brought out the best in the Philips TV, offering accurate colours, good contrast, decent black levels for an LED TV, and a sharp and detailed picture. The quality often came close to what I’ve seen on premium TVs such as the Sony X9000 series and LG CX series.
I found the picture to be easy on the eyes, with plenty of detail and accuracy in the colours, particularly in daylight scenes across the content I watched such as wide shots of the exotic locations in The World’s Most Amazing Vacation Rentals and the bright cars and lush greenery around the European racetracks in Drive to Survive. Again though, the picture wasn’t quite as bright, vibrant, or rich as similarly-priced QLED options. This moderated brightness also meant that it was a bit hard to watch the TV during the day without drawing the curtains, unlike with some other premium options.
Where the Philips 55PUT8215/94 particularly excelled was in handling motion. Interpolation was excellent, with barely any noise or artefacts visible as Formula 1 cars raced across the screen. The TV always seemed to know, almost intuitively, whether to smoothen motion or allow for cinematic blur. This was particularly visible even with standard dynamic range content such as Hyperdrive – which is available on Netflix in Ultra-HD resolution but without HDR support. Nighttime scenes on the Hyperdrive racetrack looked clean, largely devoid of noise, and beautifully detailed, with strong colours and good black levels.
While there’s definitely accuracy in the colours as well as clean motion for an overall sharp picture with Ultra-HD content, the Philips 55PUT8215/94 isn’t quite as impactful or vibrant as a good QLED TV. Content with dull colours, including 2021 Academy Award winner for Best Picture Nomadland, looked a bit too bleak, although this did seem to accurately match the tone and mood of the film. Even Loki on Disney+ Hotstar looked a bit dull at times, but Dolby Vision did help in bringing out a bit of vibrancy when needed.
Full-HD content looked reasonable despite the size of this TV, thanks to decent upscaling. Aquaman and 47 Ronin looked about as good as you can expect on a 55-inch TV, with clean motion and decent colours. Still, this seemed a bit duller and less impactful than good Ultra-HD standard dynamic range content. 720p and SD content – assorted videos from YouTube – naturally showed a few shortcomings in terms of sharpness and artefact levels, but was upscaled decently when it came to motion and colours. This is a large Ultra-HD television, and naturally will perform best with good native-resolution content.
The Philips 55PUT8215/94 TV has a rated sound output of 16W from a two-speaker system (8W each), which doesn’t sound like a lot for a television of this size and price. Even the smaller and more affordable Realme Smart TV 4K 43 has a rated output of 24W. While the sound is clean and good enough for basic viewing, it was expectedly not as loud as I would have liked, and I often needed to keep a hand on the remote to adjust it for sudden changes in the volume.
Speech and voices sounded a bit too soft, though sound effects and soundtracks were usually adequate. Dolby Atmos content did sound a hint better, with the soundstage and modulation improving across the frequency range, but the difference wasn’t a significant amount. The overall listening experience will be significantly improved by an external speaker system or decent soundbar.
If you have a budget of around Rs. 60,000 for a 55-inch TV, you’re likely to consider quantum-dot LED TVs from brands such as OnePlus, Xiaomi, and TCL. However, many buyers still feel some brand consciousness, and might not be too keen to spend big bucks on some of these newer brands. That’s where Philips’ years of experience come in, and the 55PUT8215/94 is a worthwhile option to consider for the price.
Although this is an LED-backlit TV, it’s a very good option in terms of picture performance with all kinds of content, especially if you have access to good Ultra-HD HDR video. Philips has also joined the Android TV bandwagon, making the smart TV experience smooth and hassle-free.
Although not quite as bright and vibrant as competing QLED TVs in the same price range, Philips more than makes up for this with clean motion, detail, and colour accuracy. All said and done, the Philips 55-inch 8200 Series LED TV is a very good option for the price, but it’s definitely worth considering options from Xiaomi and TCL, particularly the Mi QLED TV 4K 55 and TCL 55C715 as well.