Philips Momentum 328M6 curved monitor
A huge screen with a relatively small price.
PRICE $ 649 www.philips.com
Just $650 buys you 32 inches of gaming monitor today. It’s a VA panel -- but a very good one. You get a 1900R curve which is fairly shallow but definitely enough to appreciate. And, it refreshes at up to 144Hz. Very nice! Its QHD (2560x1440) resolution is the sweet spot for looking sharp enough in gaming, and is practical enough to hopefully hit those 144Hz highs if you have enough GPU power available. At this price you get FreeSync, not G-Sync.
The Philips also throws in quantum dots, so primary colours really pop. There’s also an HDR mode but in practise we thought it looked better with it off.
There’s also an unusual input lag compensation mode. It works best when the panel’s overdrive is also set to its fastest mode, bringing the response rate down, close to its claimed minimum of 4ms.
The best results in gaming were to be found with the monitor running at 144Hz. Action on screen was extremely fluid and smooth and no artifacting was apparent. This is all excellent for what we’d definitely consider to be a budget model.
Around the back is a single d-pad button that accesses all the controls. It’s in a slightly awkward position, forcing you to really lean forward and reach around.
It’s not a particularly bright panel. For general non-gaming use we judged it to be enough, but only barely. Whites on documents or in a browser look just a bit muted, and contrast against blacks suffer slightly as a result. In its favour the screen presents a very even spread with no inconsistencies in any areas, including the corners.
With it set to sRGB mode-on the brightness defaults to maximum, and trying to reduce it switches from sRGB to a new custom setting. It would be nice to have brightness adjustable while still in sRGB mode, this isn’t by any stretch a professional monitor, but the sRGB mode is impressively accurate and well calibrated out of the box, and to our eye the sRGB mode simply looked the best (including compared to the built-in game presets), so some flexibility there would have been a bonus.
Ambilight is included, which is Philips’ ambient lighting system that attempts to beam a general replication of what the screen is showing at any given time via built in LEDs. These shine downwards onto your desk. While in-game the effect is more candy than immersive, we ended up disabling it purely because in regular desk use out of games it would shine document white or browser colours most of the time, which was distracting.
At a very reasonable price this is a fine gaming as well as general purpose monitor. Colour accuracy is very good, it has an unusually solid stand -- though it can’t be rotated horizontally. All up it’s one of the best 32in screens we’ve seen and unless you need G-Sync is a red hot buy.
At a very reasonable price this is a fine gaming as well as general purpose monitor.