Philips 436M6VBPAB 4K Monitor Review
It’s now come to a time where monitors aren’t just supposed to fit onto your desk. The Philips 436M6VBPAB is far to big to join a conventional PC setup, and has been designed around the console gaming world that traditionally took place in the living room. There’s however no TV tuner, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing now that we’ve been gifted with such a broad selection of on-demand services which can be accessed through our games consoles or set-top boxes.
The Philips 436M6VBPAB is part of their Momentum range and although not a new model, is still being sold in a handful of online retailers for just under £700. Quite an expensive model considering 4K HDR televisions at the same size can be found for around half the price now. There is however Philips Ambiglow technology, which is a spin off of their usual Ambilight tech, where by LEDs are places on the back glow outwards with matching colours to what’s on screen. The Ambiglow tech has a strip LED at the bottom only.
The design however looks like a television, although there are others out there with thinner bezels. At around 2cm though, and with a glossy finish, it’s not really an issue and not one that would put me off this model. It looks very stylish though with a spoked stand that emerges from the bottom as opposed to out the back like on a traditional monitor. Be careful when placing this monitor though, as the edges of the stand are rather sharp, which did cause me to damage my desk a tad. Definitely have a mate help you lift it into position as this thing weighs a ton.
The actual screen has a gloss finish too which helps with overall picture quality, but doesn’t do much good if you’ve got direct sunlight flooding through your window as the glare can be quite distracting. Nothing that a set of blinds won’t be able to fix. On the back again you’re met with full black gloss, and a very underwhelming number of ports for all your peripherals. There’s one HDMI 2.0, one DisplayPort 1.2, a mini DisplayPort 1.2 and a USB Type-C that can support video too. In my opinion, not enough if you’ve got a couple of games consoles as well as a Sky/Virgin box.
The actual panel of the Philips 436M6VBPAB uses VA technology, which sits nicely in between the great response times of TN and the ultra contrasty colour reproduction of IPS panels. VA is a comfortable medium, and in this case can support some pretty nice colours 97% of the DCI-P3 colour spectrum which is more thank enough for HDR10 standards. Response times are fast enough for smooth 60fps gaming, not to mention the variable refresh rate technology to prevent screen tearing. This works best with the Xbox One X by the way so sorry Sony fanboys. The maximum refresh rate is 60fps, so no intense tournament or ranked gaming here. Think more casual Call of Duty or even a few games of FIFA that don’t rely on minute movements to pull of those crazy mouse and keyboard head shots. To be honest, console gaming is all I would recommend on this monitor. It really isn’t something that’s built for PC gaming, with a sub-par refresh rate and response times compared to more traditional gaming monitors from Acer, Asus and MSI.
Although branded a HDR panel, the issue here is with the backlight zoning. Traditional HDR panels have local dimming LEDs, like OLED screens. Even though the Philips 436M6VBPAB has somewhat local dimming, the monitor is edge lit, so there’s only so much that can be dimmed at any one time. And while these LEDs are also zoned, as in several LEDs in one collective, accuracy isn’t as good as OLED or even LED backlit screens. The saving grace however is the fact the contrast ratio for a VA monitor is so high. It gives a much better reproduction of colour between the brightest whites and the darkest blacks. All in all, the picture quality when playing games, especially when I was playing Shadow of the Tomb Raider in 4K was exceptional. However for media consumption, there’s not much difference between non-HDR and HDR content.
For this reason, it makes me wonder if Philips were just ticking specification boxes when including HDR technology to the 436M6VBPAB . The contrast ratio is so large and looks so good even when watching non-HDR technology makes me think that it’s just a marketing ploy to stay competitive in the television and monitor market. It’s a strange direction for Philips to go in, as they’re generally known as a TV brand. It’s definitely a step in the right direction as traditional television is slowly being phased out by subscription services. Yes, this panel is expensive when compared to what you can get for the price on the television market, but for gamers looking for something that looks good and performs well for their console setups and don’t require a TV tuner, then the Philips 436M6VBPAB is a pretty nice way to go.