The 49PFL6921 will not be winning any awards for design,but that is not what we're here for.
A thin black textures bezel frames this beautiful IPS panel. The black levels are excellent for an IPS panel and the are made better by the Full array local dimming backlight called Micro Dimming. Early reports stated it would have up to 128 dimming zones,but from my experience it seems to fall closer to about 20 zone (4 rows vertical and 5 rows across).
Blooming is noticeable when active over a small area. The adjoining zones will illuminate slightly causing halos around object.
This is not present during normal use,but if you have a small loading icon on a mostly black screen it can be noticeable (not a deal breaker).
I owned the 49PFL7900 earlier in the year and was disappointed in the gaming performance both in image quality and input lag.
Philips has hit it out of the park with the 49PFL6921 a dedicated HDR game mode offers stellar performance visually as well as very low input lag.
I have run the gamut from twitch based shooter (Doom) to slower paced adventure games (Infamous:Second son) and came away thoroughly impressed.
The monster lined halls of the Mars bases of Doom moved at a blistering pace with no sign of input lag.
The nighttime rain soaked streets of Infamous's Seattle were equally impressive.
The Neon reflection from shop signs to the fine detail and Neon glow of your super powers trailing behind you as you raced around the city.
Now with that said I have one slight knock against the display,but not from the visuals on hand.
The recent trend with TV's has been casting and the Philips employs Google cast.
Essentially the smart features aren't built into the TV,but are streamed from your smart device (IPhone,Galaxy,etc..) to the set itself via Wifi.
I so far have not had a successful casting session due to intermittent connection error or failure altogether. I will continue to test this feature as well UHD/HDR movies and will submit another review with further testing.
I took a chance on the 49PFL6921/F7 sight unseen with little to no reviews.
It had everything I was looking for in a display 4k,HDR and highly customizable settings.
This is reference level as far as how much this TV can be dialed in to your liking.
The 49" Model ships with an IPS panel,Full array local dimming backlight,10 bit wide color gamut panel and the BrightPro panel which promises twice the brightness of competing displays for outstanding HDR performance.
Let's start with the IPS the selling point for the display tech is better viewing angles less wash out at off angle viewing. It isn't as good as I have seen on some IPS panels,but I sit directly in front of the display therefore washout isn't an issue.
Let's move on to the Full array local dimming backlight (FALD). Early reports had this pegged at around 128 zone for the 49"-55",but from my experience the 49" is likely around 64-72 zones.
Having a FALD helps with one of the biggest issues with an IPS panel lower than average contrast ratio. Employing this dimming tech puts it on par with my wife's VA panel Samsung from 2014 w/o FALD.
There is a little stray light from the neighboring zone known as blooming,but is quite minimal and worth the trade off for improved contrast ratio.
The new buzzword recently in display tech is HDR. While the tech is old hat in photography circle it is in its infancy for television.
The 6921/F7 uses the open source version HDR10 which is the most commonly used currently.
Any UHD blu-ray player,PS4 Pro or Xbox one S will work perfectly with the display.
Using this with console refreshes like the PS4 pro has breathed new life into the aging consoles. What you get is more realsitic colors,deeper blacks and brighter brights without loss of finer shadow detail and color saturation.
As a gamer this thing is a dream,but not owning a Leo Bodner for measuring input lag I can only give you personal experience.
I have run the gamut from adventure games like Uncharted 4,FPS games like Destiny and twitch shooters like Doom and have no perceptible lag.
It offers a dedicated HDR setting in game mode to help taking advantage of this huge selling point without sacrificing performance.
Let's get to the only thing that is a bit of a downer,The smart features.
It doesn't have a built in Smart hub for apps such as Netflix,Hulu and Amazon for streaming.
Instead it opts for the newer casting method which uses a paired smart device like a tablet or cell phone to stream from the device to the display over Wifi.
While a cool idea in theory in practice I have found it cumbersome and have since switched to using my console for streaming.
While when it worked it was acceptable it never was stable or fast enough to compete with using a built in hub or attached box.
This isn't a deal breaker for me per se,but is worth noting to those expecting a full smart hub built in.
I can't express how blown away I have been with the picture quality on this gem. From gaming and cinema fan I couldn't be happier with the Philips. Just note a few of the niggles that may be cons for some.
Great picture, easy to use, I had this Tv for over 3 weeks now and so far can't said anything negative about it. Love the Google cast feature.
You cannot directly setup access to your own network; instead you have to go through a convoluted & complex process using Google Cast. The "hotspot" on the TV which is part of the setup process is flaky and made our setup take an entire afternoon. The remote that came with the TV has buttons for both Netflix and Vudu but neither work so I have no idea why they are on there. I tried looking in the manual but it shows a completely different remote. Once you are setup, in order to actually watch anything on apps like Netflix, you have to launch your show/movie from your mobile phone or tablet; requiring them to be with you. Overall there are better, truly smart, TVs out there that directly access the network and the apps instead of this weird Google Cast intermediary layer.