Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

First Impressions

With an upgraded MLA OLED panel and powerful 8th Gen P5 AI Dual Engine processor, the Philips OLED959 looks to be a fabulous flagship in waiting. Our first look at an early prototype has left us hungry for more…

Key Features

  • MLA PlusNewly optimised Micro Lens Array display squeezes out more brightness
  • Ambilight PlusThe first big update to Philips lounge lighting technology will usher in more precise picture mirroring.
  • New Game BarImproved interface means more options than ever for console and PC gamers


Philips high-end OLED+908 4K TV may only have seen the light late 2023, but there’s already a step-up model on the cards.

The Philips OLED959 (also known as the OLED+959) won’t ship until the autumn of 2024, but I’ve already had a sneak peek at what this highly advanced 4K display will offer, at a range preview held by TP Vision, Philips TV brand owner, in Barcelona.

This new model will bring with it a raft of newly baked telly tech (some of which is still in the development oven).

The set is built around the latest MLA (Micro Lens Array) OLED screen, and an 8th Gen P5 AI Dual Engine processor

So is the Philips OLED+959 worth waiting for? Read on for my first impressions…


  • Minimalist, metallic bezel
  • Kvadrat dressed integrated sound system
  • Aluminium floor stand

When it comes to design, high-end Philips TVs always turn heads, and this newcomer is no exception. A slimline profile, crafted from aluminium and steel, speaks of minimal sophistication, while the light grey wool Kvadrat fabric which fronts the speaker array adds practical style.

Philips OLED959 design
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

This set already claims an iF Design Award (Philips clearly didn’t waste any time getting it submitted).

I like what Philips has done to its remote control design. The slimline zapper now supports wireless charging, so no more faffing around with battery cells


  • Ambilight Plus
  • New Game Bar
  • Gaming MEMC

Philips’ signature room illuminating Ambilight technology gets an upgrade on the OLED959, with the arrival of Ambilight Plus. By adding multiple lenses to the individual rear-mounted colour LEDs, Ambilight Plus is able to create larger, more responsive halos that extend further beyond the screen.

It’s great to see some development of Ambilight, but I’m not entirely sold on this revision having seen it up close. One of the things I like about Ambilight in general is that it adds to room ambiance. By refining Ambilight projection, the colourful shadows dancing around the TV frame more clearly mimics what’s depicted on screen, which I found a little distracting.

It’ll be interesting to see just how this works when final development is complete. 

Philips OLED959 Ambilght Plus LEDs
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Gaming chops have been boosted too. The OLED+959 extends VRR support to 144Hz, and includes support for Dolby Vision Gaming.

I like the look of the new Game Bar. It offers up a host of information, including resolution, real time FPS info, HDR, adjustable edge and shadow enhancement, and shadow detail, in an easy to navigate menu overlay. You can also customise the onscreen Crosshair by colour, thickness and size.

Normally, extraneous processing is anathema when gaming, as it can impact input lag. But here, Philips has taken a leaf out of Samsung’s book, and is offering a gaming mode that makes motion smoothing a viable option.

Gameplay at 60Hz with interpolation off is quoted at 13ms. Putting MEMC on increases latency to just 31ms.


  • Increased HDR brightness
  • Ambient Intelligence V3
  • Detail Enhancer

At its Barcelona preview, I got to see the OLED959 alongside 2023’s OLED908. Now, the OLED908 is a strikingly fine TV, but the prototype OLED959 looked demonstrably better.

Of course, there are caveats. Remember, I’m seeing this panel very early – I might even suggest that this particular sample was hand built just for me to ogle – but nonetheless, overall screen brightness looked higher in direct comparison, and I’m not just talking about specular highlights.

Philips OLED 959 comparison Thor
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Philips is describing the META 2.0 MLA panel in the OLED959 as MLA+. The Micro Lens Array mirrors have been tweaked for greater brightness, and a new META Multi booster algorithm applied. There’s also a new Detail Enhancer at play, which improves greyscale representation.

The result is a significant improvement in clarity and dynamic range. Philips is quoting a peak brightness of 3000 nits (in a 3 per cent measurement window), which struck me as not too hyperbolic.

There’s some seriously ambitious processing at play here, which I hope isn’t going to be too obvious when the set is released.

That new 8th Gen P5 AI Dual Engine processor allows Philips to stack its processing routines high. There’s Perfect Natural Reality 2.0, coupled to AI Machine Sharpness V2, which enhances detail and realism in images, and Smart Bit Enhancement V3, able to extend video precision to near 14-bit quality, which theoretically minimises or eliminates banding, without detail loss in other parts of a picture.

Philips OLED 959 comparison
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Philips offered vivid comparisons of a rocky hill with graduated sky behind. While the 2023 panel struggles to retain rocky details when combating gradations in the sky, the new 2024 processor could handle both.

Ambient Intelligence V3 improves over V2.0, by adding HDR optimisation. This allows the set to better react to ambient lighting conditions in your viewing room.

Audio gets a revamp over the sound system in the OLED+908, but it’s not as overtly audiophile as the old OLED+935, which had a separated Bowers & Wilkins bar with tweeter-on-top design and up-firing Dolby Atmos speakers.

Philips considered the audio configuration in the OLED959 as a 5.1.2, and it has a cumulative power output of 102 watts.  So what did it sound like? No idea. It wasn’t available for demonstration at the Barcelona event.

What I do know is that the thing features 18 drivers strategically placed throughout the TV, to handle dialogue, mid-range, and bass. 

Philips 959 with demonstrator
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

First Impressions

Philips is clearly feeling bullish about the OLED959, to offer up such early access to a screen which clearly still has plenty of development work and tuning still to be done.

What I can tell is that it should be a significant step-up on the OLED908. The big news is the new META 2.0 MLA panel and potent 8th Gen P5 AI Dual Engine processor, which looks a potent combo.

Expect more news on availability and pricing this autumn.

Trusted Score

Sign up for the Trusted Reviews Newsletter

A 'hands on review' is our first impression of a product only - it is not a full test and verdict. Our writer must have spent some time with the product to describe an early sense of what it's like to use. We call these 'hands on reviews' to make them visible in search. However these are always unscored and don't give recommendations. Read more about our reviews policy.

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2003, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.

Trusted Reviews Logo

Sign up to our newsletter

Get the best of Trusted Reviews delivered right to your inbox.

This is a test error message with some extra words