When our contact at Philips recommended this product, it seemed like a great opportunity, but after using the AOC AG273QCG, almost every other screen seemed to pale in comparison. Well that’s what I thought at first. The Phillips Momentum 326M is marked as a display designed for use with consoles, which is pretty inaccurate if you ask me.
Is it a monitor or a Tele?
Most console gamers play on a Tele, and most modern TVs have 4K HDR support as standard. As for gaming monitors, they usually clock at 1ms refresh rates with either free-sync or G-sync. The Phillips Momentum 326M offers a bit of both worlds, but not quite enough to dominate in either camp, or so I thought.
You see I was informed that this was not a display meant for PC gaming, and thus it would be unfair to compare it to screens designed for that. Since this came from the source, I took it to heart in my initial week with the display and didn’t even consider messing about with the setting outside of resolution and HDR.
Do your own research
More than two weeks into my review, I remembered that this thing has adaptive sync, and that it works perfectly fine with G-Sync enabled GPUs, so guess what I did? That’s right, I enabled adaptive sync on the display, then on my GPU, and wow what a big difference.
After my first week I was prepared to tear into this one for being an overpriced unnecessary waste, but not anymore. At least not in the way I did before. The Phillips Momentum 326M is impossible to properly appreciate if not properly set-up with the right hardware. Running it stock out the box as a PC monitor results in a choppy unpleasant experience that no one wants.
Don’t do that!
In the box you get the display, it’s stand, display cable, HDMI Cable, and power cable. Once it’s all together it weighs a whopping 14.52 lbs. It also takes up an imposing amount of desk space, so If you’re the type to have two screens on your desk, then make sure it’s a massive one if you plan on using one of these. The screen is also fitted with audio-in/ out, 4 USB 3.0 (2 w/fast charging), and 5 W x 2 speakers with DTS sound.
It rides the fine line between being a PC monitor and a console display. Offering a smooth 4K experience on the PS4 Pro with very vibrant colours, as well as HDR support for games that support it. How impactful you’ll find that will depend on the HDR implementation in the games you play and your personal visual preferences. For me, I didn’t find HDR to improved my viewing experience as much as the deeper contrasts, and adaptive-sync.
Speaking of adaptive-sync, it works like a charm. Similar to G-Sync it improves transition between frames to reduce screen tearing. Unlike Nvidia’s G-Sync however, it doesn’t come at a premium. Adaptive-sync also works with G-Sync GPUs, and thus essentially diminishes the need for pretty much every G-Sync monitor on the market.
After enabling adaptive sync there was relatively no difference between playing on my G-Sync displays and the Phillips Momentum 326M. Games like Darksiders Genesis, and eFootball PES 2020 went from unplayable to magnificent. Add to that the impressive vibrant colors and higher resolutions, making this product way more than just a console gaming display.
But what about console?
As a console display, the Phillips Momentum 326M loses some of its appeal. You see, despite boasting impressive visuals with consoles like the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X it’s difficult to justify getting this display for purely console gaming purposes over a Tele. With 50inch 4K UHD smart TVs selling for as low as £300 in comparison to the Phillips Momentum 326M’s almost £500 price tag, why would anyone choose it?
ANSWER: Only people looking for a high end PC monitor and Console gaming display would, or should buy this, and the Display has more features which justify this statement.
One of these is the PIP and PBP features built into it. PIP or Picture in picture allows the user to have one video input viewed over the entire display while another is overplayed over a much smaller portion of the screen. As for PBP or Picture by Picture, it allows the user to have two inputs occupy equal portions of the screen at the same time. These two features enable one to play a game on their console while also working on something on their desktop, or play two games at the same time on a single display.
The screen also boasts a nice assortment of USB inputs and of course speakers which blow pretty much every other monitor I’ve heard out of the water. Add to that audio input/ out ports and you have a really robust package in a single product.
But it could be better
Realistically speaking, I actually like this device a lot, but find myself puzzled with some of its design choices. First of which is the lack of swivel or retractable headset holders. Yes, I know these are minor issues, but I’ve been spoiled.
Seriously though the main design puzzle is its resolution. 4K may be what everyone is looking for, but practically speaking, most don’t have the hardware to run 4K properly. Consoles don’t run games at full native 4K resolutions, and according to Steam statistics, the most common GPU used by gamers is the Nvidia GTX 1060, a mid tier GPU.
A much better max res would have been 1440p, similar to the AOC AG273QCG. Having a lower res could have even brought down the price and made this a much more appealing purchase for players looking for the best of both worlds.
Keeping in mind this isn’t a cheap screen at prices between £500 and £700, along with the fact that it’s more likely to be placed on a desk and connected to a PC and consoles, it’s difficult to recommend to anyone who isn’t looking for a single screen to do a bit of everything. The ideal consumer for this product is a university student who requires a Gaming PC monitor along with a display to play console games. Everyone else should be able to find better options in the Gaming Monitor or TV space for much less.
The Philips Momentum 326M used for our review was provided to us by its manufacturer Philips.