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Philips Momentum 436M6VBPAB 4K Desktop Monitor Review

Klaus Hinum, 👁 Klaus Hinum, Katja Steyrleuthner (translated by Alex Alderson), 02/10/2019

A 4K giant with HDR. TV or monitor? This is the first question we had when we saw the Philips Momentum 436M6VBPAB display. The device lacks a TV tuner though, which makes it clear what the monitor is intended for. The Momentum also has 4K and HDR support, which is an interesting combination. Read on to find out whether the Momentum is suitable for desktop use and how it fares in our tests.

The 436M6VBPAB has massive screen real estate thanks to its UHD resolution and its 43-inch panel size.
The 436M6VBPAB has massive screen real estate thanks to its UHD resolution and its 43-inch panel size.
The Philips Ambilight is still gimmicky in our opinion
The Philips Ambilight is still gimmicky in our opinion

A look at the Philips datasheet highlights just how big the Momentum is, and just how many features the Dutch company has packed into the display.

Philips Momentum 436M6VBPAB/00

  • 43-inches
  • MVA Panel + Quantum Dot
  • 3840x2160 - 4K UHD
  • 5 ms response times
  • 60 Hz: FreeSync 48-60 Hz
  • 178° viewing angle
  • 14.7 kg
  • DisplayHDR 1000
  • Ambilight - ambient lighting on the bottom

The 436M6VBPAB looks like a typical TV and has a large stand that allows only for small viewing angle adjustments like a TV too. Moreover, we could not adjust its height, unlike traditional desktop monitors. The 436M6VBPAB has comparatively small bezels like many modern TVs and monitors, which we measure at 17 mm on the sides, 18 mm at the top and 25 mm on the bottom. The bezels are glossy though, so they will attract fingerprints and smudges.

By contrast, the Philips Momentum 436M6 has 25 mm bezels around the whole panel, which are not noticeably thicker than the ones on our test device.

Ports

As with most monitors, the 436M6VBPAB’s ports are slightly recessed into its rear panel. Their positioning keeps cables tucked away when the monitor is sat on a desk, but they become difficult to reach if the 436M6VBPAB is attached to a wall using a VESA mount. Hence, it would have been useful had Philips also added a more accessible USB or HDMI port for when the monitor is mounted to a wall.

Philips has equipped the 436M6VBPAB with a standard selection of ports for a monitor, but the company has also included a USB Type-C port that supports USB Power Delivery (USB PD). The port can charge a laptop, tablet or smartphone while outputting audio and video, and all with just a single cable. The port worked perfectly with an Apple MacBook Pro 15 2018, an iPad Pro 11 and an ASUS Zephyrus GX501, but for some reason, the 436M6VBPAB could not charge the Eve V. The latter uses Thunderbolt 3 like the MacBook and the Zephyrus, so please be aware that the Type-C port on the Momentum may not be able to charge all seemingly compatible devices.

HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort, Mini DisplayPort, USB Type-C with DisplayPort, Power Delivery (USB PD) and USB Hub support, 2 x USB Type-A, headphone jack
HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort, Mini DisplayPort, USB Type-C with DisplayPort, Power Delivery (USB PD) and USB Hub support, 2 x USB Type-A, headphone jack

User Interface

A look at the Philips Momentum 436M6VBPAB’s on-screen settings
A look at the Philips Momentum 436M6VBPAB’s on-screen settings

The settings menu is accessible via a recessed joystick on the rear panel or with the included remote. The latter is much easier to use in our opinion, while it also has brightness and volume buttons. The menu is logically laid out and easy to navigate, but some settings, like the HDR functions, take an unnecessarily long time to access.

Image Quality

Our test device has disappointing colour accuracy, especially for designers and photographers. The Photo mode achieved the best colour reproduction prior to calibration with an average DeltaE deviation of 3.5, which is a sixth higher than the ideal value of 3. Additional calibration reduces deviations to 3, below which the human eye cannot notice any colour discrepancies.

The panel is HDR 1000-certified and achieved an outstanding average maximum brightness of 769 cd/m², according to X-Rite i1Pro 2. However, our review unit has an unacceptably high 1.1 cd/m² black level, which results in a mediocre 722:1 contrast ratio. The 436M6VBPAB uses 32 zones of edge LEDs to achieve its HDR 1000 certification and allows some areas of the display to reach its quoted 1000 cd//m² peak brightness.

The 436M6VBPAB has largely stable viewing angles too, but we noticed that our test image looked washed-out at acute viewing angles.

CalMAN: ColorChecker - sRGB
CalMAN: ColorChecker - sRGB
CalMAN: Grayscale, HDR, 50% brightness
CalMAN: Grayscale, HDR, 50% brightness
CalMAN: Colour Space, HDR switched off – DCI P3 target colour space
CalMAN: Colour Space, HDR switched off – DCI P3 target colour space
CalMAN: Colormatch with VesaHDR on Windows
CalMAN: Colormatch with VesaHDR on Windows
CalMAN: Colour Space, HDR switched off – calibrated
CalMAN: Colour Space, HDR switched off – calibrated
CalMAN: ColorChecker, HDR switched off - calibrated
CalMAN: ColorChecker, HDR switched off - calibrated
CalMAN: Grayscale, HDR switched off - calibrated
CalMAN: Grayscale, HDR switched off - calibrated
CalMAN: Evenly distributed RGB peaks in normal mode
CalMAN: Evenly distributed RGB peaks in normal mode
CalMAN: Reduced blue levels with LowBlue mode activated
CalMAN: Reduced blue levels with LowBlue mode activated
719
cd/m²
705
cd/m²
652
cd/m²
752
cd/m²
794
cd/m²
743
cd/m²
818
cd/m²
871
cd/m²
867
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 871 cd/m² Average: 769 cd/m² Minimum: 97.5 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 75 %
Contrast: 722:1 (Black: 1.1 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 3.5 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.1, calibrated: 3
ΔE Greyscale 2.7 | 0.64-98 Ø6.4

Sub-pixel Array

Unfortunately, the sub-pixel used causes considerable colour dithering. Moreover, the edges of small fonts and single blocks of colour look blurry. However, you should only notice this when looking at the display from a short distance, so it should not be an issue in daily use.

Sub-pixel array
Sub-pixel array
We noticed some colour fraying around small fonts and some coloured banding in large blocks of colour
We noticed some colour fraying around small fonts and some coloured banding in large blocks of colour

Reflections

Philips has covered the panel in a semi-matte coating, which should diffuse harsh reflections while maintaining vivid colours. The panel performed well in our tests, as demonstrated below, but we preferred the glossy display in the MacBook Pro 15 2018.

A look at how the Philips Momentum 436M6VBPAB’s semi-matte display diffuses reflections
A look at how the Philips Momentum 436M6VBPAB’s semi-matte display diffuses reflections
A closer look at how the Philips Momentum 436M6VBPAB’s semi-matte display diffuses reflections
A closer look at how the Philips Momentum 436M6VBPAB’s semi-matte display diffuses reflections
A look at how the Apple MacBook Pro’s glossy display diffuses reflections
A look at how the Apple MacBook Pro’s glossy display diffuses reflections
An up-close look at how the Fujitsu 27-inch’s matte display diffuses reflections
An up-close look at how the Fujitsu 27-inch’s matte display diffuses reflections

Flickering

The 436M6VBPAB uses pulse-width modulation (PWM) to regulate its backlight. We measure the PWM frequency at 22.4 kHz, which should only cause problems for a select few people who are especially PWM sensitive. We did not notice any measurable flickering even at maximum brightness, and our eyes did not feel tired after a prolonged period of staring at the display. Again, your results may vary, but the PWM frequency should be high enough not to cause most people any issues.

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 22400 Hz ≤ 99 % brightness setting
≤ 700 cd/m² brightness

The display backlight flickers at 22400 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 99 % (700 cd/m²) and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 22400 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

Flickering occurs even at high brightness setting and may have an effect on the user during everyday use.

In comparison: 52 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9679 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Response Times

The response times on the 436M6VBPAB are difficult to measure because of its constantly flickering backlight. Hence, we read the reaction times manually using an oscilloscope, so there is a margin for error. Our review unit has between 9 and 14 ms response times, which are quite fast for an IPS display. Activating Overdrive reduces the reaction times to 8 ms too.

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
9 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 4 ms rise
↘ 5 ms fall
The screen shows fast response rates in our tests and should be suited for gaming.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 6 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (25.4 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
14 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 8 ms rise
↘ 6 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 7 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (40.6 ms).

HDR

One of the cornerstones of the 436M6VBPAB is its HDR support, including HDR 1000 certification, as we mentioned earlier. HDR can be activated in display settings on Windows 10, but you must enable it in the 436M6VBPAB settings too. Unfortunately, standard definition (SDR) content looks washed-out with HDR enabled, and increasing the brightness in Windows 10 Settings could not rectify this.

HDR videos look great though, particularly 4K HDR content on YouTube. However, we hardly noticed the difference in games like Battlefield V. In short, because of its SDR-related drawbacks and its lengthy switchover process, HDR feels more like a gimmick currently than a unique selling point in our eyes.

Power Consumption

The 436M6VBPAB is an energy-efficient monitor. Our review unit consumes only 0.05 W when switched off and 0.21 W at idle. The monitor consumes around 47.7 W at minimum brightness with Ambiglow disabled, which increased to 102 W when we upped the brightness to 50%, which corresponds to 350 cd/m². It is worth noting that the Ambilight only consumes around 1 W.

Our test device also consumes 155 W at maximum brightness, which rose to a peak of 182 W with HDR enabled.

Speakers

The built-in speakers are not outstanding but are good enough for occasionally listening to some music or while playing some casual games and videos. The speakers sound significantly worse than those in the MacBook Pro 15 2018, for example, despite having larger drivers; particularly with high-pitched tones.

We should also point out that the 436M6VBPAB operated silently during our tests. We measured no coil whine or other electrical interference even with a microphone.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2043.945.545.12531.734.134.2313231.1314031.23332.85033.228.136.26340.329.643.18044.430.347.610056.726.457.912562.433.465.91606428.96820068.129.171.525069.724.773.931573.624.276.640072.724.877.150072.821.877.463073.919.878.580069.718.974.3100064.917.769.1125064.617.568.4160062.417.365.9200059.51763.7250061.217.265.331506216.966.1400057.817.161.85000521756.2630052.517.256.5800053.517.157.61000052.417.156.51250052.717.1571600048.217.352.3SPL77.93182.1N42.41.654.5median 62.4median 17.5median 65.9Delta7.73.88.133.933.532.632.430.130.831.129.830.627.537.52846.425.557.525.664.625.267.523.966.822.871.521.970.521.872.820.874.320.474.519.771.218.870.318.570.91874.717.471.817.475.317.173.417.570.317.172.917.376.517.269.117.369.117.365.317.264.417.38583.430.270.561.21.4median 70.9median 182.91.8hearing rangehide median Pink NoisePhilips Momentum 436M6Apple MacBook Pro 15 2018 (2.6 GHz, 560X)
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
Philips Momentum 436M6 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (82.1 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | too much bass - on average 5.7% higher than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (10% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 6.4% higher than median
(+) | mids are linear (4.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | reduced highs - on average 6% lower than median
(+) | highs are linear (4.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (13.5% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 10% of all tested devices in this class were better, 3% similar, 87% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%
Compared to all devices tested
» 10% of all tested devices were better, 3% similar, 87% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Apple MacBook Pro 15 2018 (2.6 GHz, 560X) audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (85 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(+) | good bass - only 4.7% away from median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (8.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 1.8% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (3.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2.6% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (5.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (6% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 2% of all tested devices in this class were better, 2% similar, 97% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 18%, worst was 41%
Compared to all devices tested
» 0% of all tested devices were better, 0% similar, 100% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Verdict

The Philips Momentum 436M6VBPAB 4K desktop monitor review.
The Philips Momentum 436M6VBPAB 4K desktop monitor review.

The Philips Momentum 436M6VBPAB is a massive 43-inch monitor with 4K and HDR support. The monitor looks like a TV, but the absence of a tuner reveals the device’s intended purpose. Philips has designed the 436M6VBPAB for use with consoles, which people typically sit far away from. Hence, the 436M6VBPAB’s huge screen is well-proportioned for this use case.

HDR videos look great but enabling the technology in Windows is currently tedious and sometimes restrictive. Moreover, the sub-pixel structure that Philips has used prevents the 436M6VBPAB from being used as a large desktop monitor. We suspect that most people will notice frayed colours and blurriness around the edges of small fonts when sat at a desk. Additionally, the 436M6VBPAB can largely only operate in a fixed position and has no height adjustments. The USB Type-C port with USB PD is a welcome addition though, while the included remote control makes using the 436M6VBPAB easier than using the built-in joystick too. In short, the Philips Momentum is a fantastic 4K monitor, but its drawbacks prevent it from being as versatile as it could be.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Philips Momentum 436M6VBPAB 4K Desktop Monitor Review
Klaus Hinum, 2019-02-10 (Update: 2019-02-11)
Alex Alderson
Alex Alderson - News Editor
I got my first smartphone aged 11, my first PC aged 12 and I have been tinkering with electronics ever since. I like to keep abreast of the latest news and technology, which inevitably leads me to switch my laptop and phone every few months. When I'm not writing for Notebookcheck, you will find me seeking out new coffee shops, bars and trying to find some hidden gems in record stores.