Philips 50PUS6703 review

What Hi-Fi? Awards 2018 winner. This Ambilight TV has a picture to brighten up your day Tested at £600

TODO alt text

Our Verdict

A punchy, insightful, and nuanced picture for the money. Whatever you’re watching, the 50PUS6703 will do it proud

For

  • Popping, dynamic image
  • Great handling of detail
  • Good range of streaming and catch-up apps
  • Ambilight

Against

  • Dull user interface
  • Amazon Prime Video isn’t HDR
  • Uninspired remote
  • Difficult to set up

If TV manufacturing were a sport then Philips’ 50PUS6703 would be a Bolt, or a Williams, or a Pelé. Compared to the competition, it’s almost unfair they’re in the running.

The 50PUS6703 is a superb TV at a startlingly low cost. For £600, you get a 50in 4K HDR panel, with three-way-Ambilight thrown in for good measure. And it looks darn good too.

Video

Picture

We’d love to go straight to the pic de résistance (boom tish), but Philips doesn’t make it easy. There’s a multitude of menus to go through to get it looking its best.

You’ll have to turn off the default ‘Eco’ mode, undo all the noise-reduction settings and adjust the contrast and brightness. Then you’ll have to do it all again for HDR content, because the television treats this separately.

For non-HDR content we use the Movie preset, pushing up the colour a little while toning down sharpness, contrast, and brightness.

Colour Enhancement gets put on minimum, and Contrast Mode should be tuned so it’s “Optimized for Picture”. When the TV detects an HDR source, we prefer the “HDR Vivid” mode for top-notch performance.

It’s well worth it, though. The 50PUS6703 has the same great qualities as its predecessor, the 50PUS6272. We begin with a 4K HDR disc of Kingsman: the Golden Circle and there’s the sort of distinct punch and pop from this television competing sets have difficulty matching.

When the cybernetically-enhanced Charles Hesketh (Edward Holcroft) stands in front of the neon signs adorning an amphitheatre, the glowing yellow and red are both striking but nuanced. This television walks the fine line of bringing you bold colours while also offering a range of hues within those colours.

This same quality makes its handling of skin-tones so good too. Against the bright whites of a padded cell, Harry Hart (Colin Firth) and his puffy pink complexion looks natural and well handled.

MORE: 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray – all the discs on sale and coming soon

There’s a great deal of texture to fabrics, hair and background detail - fluffy white clouds sailing around mountains both stand out against the skyline and show off the differences between their thick bodies and wispy outer strands.

Dropping down a notch in detail with Spider-Man: Homecoming on Blu-ray, the close-ups on Adrian Toomes’ (Michael Keaton) face as he drives his daughter (Laura Harrier) and Peter Parker (Tom Holland) to the homecoming dance show off the pores on his skin and the furrows of his brow while he mulls over whether this young child is indeed a superhero.

Last year’s 50PUS6272 does all of those things too, but there’s no denying this television simply does it better.

With broadcast television, the 50PUS6703 upscales and renders a perfectly enjoyable image. It’s not the last word when it comes to detail or definition – more expensive televisions are better at upscaling – but you won’t need to update your DVD collection just yet.

If there’s one slight criticism we have with this set, it’s that its black levels – while striking – can occasionally obscure detail a little. With Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and the first shot of the planet Sovereign, some of the faint lights of the stars are lost amongst the vast blackness of space.

However, this is more than a fair compromise - the greater sense of depth and richness of colour that comes from the Philips’ black levels more than make up for any minor loss of detail.

MORE: The What Hi-Fi? archive of 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray reviews

Sound

Compared to its predecessor, the 50PUS6703 has improved sound quality.

It’s more authoritative on both a small scale with dialogue, and on a larger scale when cars crash through mounds of undead flesh or into the walls of gas stations in Zombieland.

For its price it’s certainly acceptable, but should your budget allow it we would always recommend pairing this television with an appropriate soundbar (such as JVC’s £60 TH-W513B).

MORE: Best soundbar and soundbase deals 2018

Features

Top of the feature list is the three-sided Ambilight, which projects the colour palette of whatever’s on screen to the surrounding walls via little LEDs. The effect helps make the action look more dramatic, but you can turn it off if you don’t like it.

Much like Philips’ other televisions, the 50PUS6703 comes with the expected streaming apps, including Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. Only the former gives you full 4K HDR, however, as Amazon’s app still lacks HDR.

On the catch-up side, iPlayer, ITV Hub, All4 and Demand5 all make an appearance - apps are housed in a newly designed horizontal panel that pops up when you press the home button on the remote.

MORE: HDR TV – What is it? How can you get it?

This is definitely easier than the user interface on older models, but it’s still not as smooth as the Android TV interface that the company’s more expensive televisions have - and definitely less colourful.

Searching the range of content in the golden age of streaming TV should be exciting, but the “Saphi” operating system this television uses (which is based on Linux) is too dull.

The remote has a Netflix button, so you can skip straight to the content, but we’d still like a better-designed control. The arrangement of buttons is cluttered, and they feel a tad too spongy for our liking.

MORE: How to set up your TV and get the best picture

Verdict

While those small flaws can’t be entirely ignored, the quality this television provides means that, on the whole, it remains a great choice at a relatively low price.

For competing manufacturers, the 50PUS6703 will be the one to beat.

See all our Philips reviews

Specifications

View All

General Information

Product Series6700
Product NamePhilips 50PUS6703
Product Model50PUS6703
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.philips.co.uk
Brand NamePhilips
Product TypeLED-LCD TV
ManufacturerPhilips Electronics
Manufacturer Part Number50PUS6703_12

Interfaces-Ports

HDMIYes
CI+Yes
USBYes
Total Number of HDMI Ports3

Energy and Performance

Energy Efficiency ClassA
Viewable Screen Size126 cm (49.6")
Energy Consumption per Year109 kWh
Maximum Resolution3840 x 2160
Off-Mode Power Consumption300 mW
Operating Power Consumption74 W

Physical Characteristics

Depth with Stand23.1 cm
Weight with Stand Approximate13.30 kg
Width with Stand112.8 cm
Weight Approximate12.80 kg
Height with Stand69.5 cm
Width112.8 cm
VESA Mount Standard200 x 200
Depth6.8 cm
Height66.3 cm
ColourDark Silver, Aluminium
Dimensions66.3 cm (H): 112.8 cm (W): 6.8 cm (D)

Technical Information

FeaturesUSB Recording, Progressive Scan, High Dynamic Range Plus, Teletext, Micro Dimming, Media Player, Web Browser, Game Mode, Auto Volume Control, Wall Mountable, Ambient Lighting, Screen Mirroring, 4K Upscaling, Ultra HD Logo, Pause Live TV, Smart Sound Mode, Audio Return Channel (ARC), Auto-off, Mobile High Definition Link (MHL), Micro Dimming Pro, High Dynamic Range (HDR), Pixel Precise Ultra HD
Streaming ServiceHbbTV, Netflix, YouTube
Aspect Ratio16:9
Backlight TechnologyDirect LED
Internet AccessYes
Horizontal Viewing Angle178°
Smart TVYes
PC StreamingYes
Electronic Program GuideYes
Vertical Viewing Angle178°
Screen Size127 cm (50")

Network and Communication

EthernetYes
Wireless LANYes

Audio

RMS Output Power20 W
Sound SystemDTS HD, Dolby Digital, Surround Sound

Video

Digital TunerDVB-S2, DVB-C, DVB-S, DVB-T, DVB-T2
Motion Interpolation Technology1100 Picture Performance Index
Video Signal Standard4K UHDTV
Scan Format2160p
Standard Refresh Rate50 Hz

Miscellaneous

Environmentally FriendlyYes
Package Contents
  • 6700 Series Ultra Slim 4K UHD LED Smart TV
  • Remote Control
  • 2 x AAA Batteries
  • Power cord
  • Quick start guide
  • Legal and safety brochure
  • Tabletop stand
Environmental CertificationRoHS

Power Description

Input Voltage230 V AC

Warranty

Limited Warranty24 Month