A great LED TV with small imperfections
Detailed review of Panasonic LED TV TH-55FX800D
Buying a flagship TV usually means buying an OLED TV but if you are someone who watches TV in a brightly lit environment or in a room with plenty of sunlight, chances are you will need something that can withstand the glare. One of the problems with OLED TVs is that they are not ideal when viewed in brightly lit rooms due to their highly reflective panels. This is where the flagship LED TV comes in handy. They may not have the same deep black found on OLED TVs but the lack of deep black is more than what is created when viewing content in a well-lit room. Today we have Panasonic’s flagship LED TV – TH-55FX800D. The TV boasts some impressive technology under the hood and comes at the same price as the LG C8 OLED TV. Is it a worthy competitor?
Key specification at a glance
Panel size: 55-inch (also available 65-inch)
Panel type: IPS LED
Panel resolution: 3840 x 2160 – 4K
Panel Refresh Rate: 60Hz (for 4K content)
HDR 10 support: Yes
Dolby Vision Support: No.
Weight (including stand): 32.5 kg
HDMI port: 4
USB port: 3
Speaker: 2 x 10W
Built-in storage: NA
Price: MRP: 2,39,900. Sale price: 1,65,000
Construction and design
The first thing that comes to mind when you keep your eyes on the Panasonic TH-55FX800D TV is the extremely well built. The metal stand has some folds, but holds the TV firmly despite the small footprints. The TV panel has a very thin bezel and a glass border around the TV. Although the TV panel is extremely thin, it has a bulge on the back that contains all the components and input sources. Without the stand, the TV measures just 5.4cm which makes it really thin.
The speakers are located at the bottom of the panel which makes them fire down the speaker We’ll talk more about speakers in our audio section.
In the connection options, the ports are distributed between the side and back of the TV. Next we have headphones, 2 HDMI ports, one of which is ARC, digital audio out, 1 USB port and antenna port. On the back, the TV has Ethernet and AV input with 2 HDMI ports and 2 USB ports. One of the great things about connection options is that they are well hidden behind a panel and have good cable management for routing your cables.
Overall, the build of the TV is absolutely premium, well made and the stand is quite strong. The stand has a small footprint so if you have a small table or recreation center it will fit right in. The TV can be wall mounted if you want
Display and image quality
Image quality is the heart and soul of any TV. All the rest is an added feature. Before we go into detail about the image quality through our various tests, find out that the 55-inch Panasonic TH-55FX800D is available at Rs 1,65,000. It is a 4K TV with HDR support but no Dolby Vision support. At the same price, we have the LG C8 from LG’s 2018 OLED TV (read our review here). So how will the Panasonic TH-55FX800D fit our test?
The TV has a built-in Netflix app and supports content playback in 4K HDR. We played a few of our standard Tests from more 1080p content like Daredevil, Star Trek, House on Haunted Hill and John Wick. 4k content looks really good on TV and photo presets vary depending on the content you’re using. By going to the photo settings you can see that the backlight automatically fills up when viewing the HDR content, otherwise it is about 50 percent of the normal preset. This is bound to change when you change presets to animated ones and the like. Since these presets are more suitable for 1080p content, we will cover them in the next section
In terms of output quality, it’s pretty bright. Now an inherent disadvantage of LED TVs compared to LED TVs is that the blacks are not as deep. This is not the case most of the time here. The black layers of the TV are fairly good especially when you consider that it is an LED backlit LCD TV. The only downside is that when you look at the contents of a dark room you notice that there is some light bleeding at the bottom of the TV so in the bottom right corner. This is especially visible when you are viewing the content when the content is black in the corner but bright in the center. For example, a burning sun in space in the middle of the screen. In most cases, it’s like that little scratch on your car. Unless you know where it is, you won’t notice it even if you’re looking at it. However, if you know where it is, it will catch your eye every time.
One good thing about the TV is that when viewing HDR content, the panel can be really bright and to say bright I mean backlight not brightness setting. TV backlights are especially good for shows like Daredevil and Star Trek Discovery on Netflix. In some cases, like the Sony A9F, some daredevil content looks darker than I like and on the Panasonic TH-55FX800D it looks crisp and bright which is good.
Overall, as long as you’re using 4K HDR content from the built-in apps, you should have a good viewing experience.
This is another place where TV performs quite well. Prime Video and Netflix have a lot of content in 1080p and that content looks good on TV. This is where other photo presets come into play. We found that keeping the preset normal but raising the backlight to about 68 (in a relatively dark room) was a sweet spot for us. We’ve seen content like Wonder Woman, Spiderman in the Prime video, and John Wick on Netflix, and it looked pretty good. However, there are times when I noticed some blooms, especially during John Wick’s Red Circle Fight Sequence. Blooming occurred occasionally.
We played our standard suite test game using an Xbox One X on TV. These games start with Gears of War 4, Forza Horizon 4, Red Dead Redemption 2 and many more. Gaming looks really good on this TV. The ones that offer HDR capabilities look stunning There is negligible input lag. Again, some games where the night is – pitch dark, you’ll have some light bleeding and bloom but that’s only if you can play. Pitch Keep some light on in a dark room or natural light is coming into the room and it is not as clear as darkness.
Two 10W speakers may sound frustrating on paper but the only thing frustrating about the speakers on the Panasonic TH-55FX800D TV is the lack of a bus. Other than that the speakers can be loud, clear, especially for dialogue and can do a great job when watching news on shows or TV shows like Big Bang Theory or Young Sheldon. Our standard set of test files includes Cyberpunk 2077 Trailer, Blade Runner 2049 and of course games. Simply put, investing in a good sound bar or a home theater is understandable in order to truly enjoy content on TV. But for everyday TV watching and sometimes for movies or games, you can do it with a TV speaker. Can cover a large house and get really loud, at 50-60% volume.
You need to stop creating intelligent frames to get rid of the super smooth picture effect
The Panasonic TH-55FX800D TV remote control is the traditional Panasonic remote control found in other models. You have a curved back that adds grip. Similar to the remote control found on Sony TV, the Panasonic remote control has all the possible functions including Netflix’s shortcuts, volume and channel control, playback control and much more. The remote control seems easy to use and very traditional. The lack of a dedicated voice control button is missed because it is a flagship TV and also, has no motion capabilities found in the LG remote control. Overall, the remote works best.
When it comes to the UI of a smart TV, we have seen that Android 8 has evolved and brought LG web OS and both the UIs work very well to offer them. Android certainly has the advantages of Google Assistant and Google’s own Play Store, and LG has done a good job with voice recognition on the web OS. This is our first outing with Panasonic’s own My Home Screen version 3.0. It is a simple UI with a clean interface where all the apps are listed You can add your favorite apps as shortcuts if you want and there are also popular apps like Netflix and Prime Video.
The TV can be set up with your smart home speaker for voice control and there is also a mobile app that goes beyond the traditional control of the remote control. But, if you don’t own a smart speaker, there is no voice control functionality in the remote control that you can use.
A special mention should be made about the UI settings of the TV. They offer you all the relevant information like photo presets, brightness, contrast, backlight control and make it easy to access deep, complex settings. Another thing is that the brightness and backlight controls are different, that’s how it should be. Some TVs label the backlight as bright, which results in poor calibration of the display’s illumination. It’s nice to see the difference between the two Panasonic.
The last row
As we mentioned above, the MRP of Panasonic TH-55FX800D TV is Rs.2,39,900 but it is selling at Rs.1,65,000. It has a very strong build, good image performance, smooth UI and wide viewing angles. However, at the same price you can get a 2018 flagship OLED TV from LG’s home – the LG C8. The LG C8 also has excellent image quality and since LG has been in OLED games for years, they have made maximum use of technology. When it comes to image quality and performance, OLED has to go. However, the Panasonic TH-55FX800D has a use case where it can perform somewhat better than an OLED TV – in a brightly lit room. Panasonic TVs have good performance in a bright room or a room that can’t go dark. Although the pitch is dark, the performance of the LG C8 is even better.