Philips 328E9FJAB review

euskalzabe

[H]ard|Gawd
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May 9, 2009
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I recently got this Philips monitor from Newegg - it's original price is $330 and it went down to $289 a few days ago, so I figured, why not. I was debating between getting a 1440p 32" VA 144hz panel or a 75hz one with great colors, and the discount made the decision for me. Maybe my next one will be 144hz in a few years.

For now, let's see what this offers:

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32" 1440p 75hz VA curved panel
122.6% sRGB color gamut coverage and 102% NTSC
5ms response time
AMD FreeSync 48-75hz
Flicker-free
HDMI, DisplayPort, VGA, audio in & out, VESA compatible

Straight out of the box, it was plug and play. Windows 10 found the driver, which came down with its own ICC profile - although you can get it from Philips product webpage too.

The monitor is stupid bright. It came at %100 as usual, all the pictures you see here are at %10 brightness - I need no more. The gamut coverage extension means sRGB looks punchier than usual, but never obnoxiously exaggerated. It's NTSC coverage is equivalent to 90% DCI-P3, but that's not advertised as it doesn't actually support P3 - but the color reproduction is very close to it. All this to say that colors look nice and deep, getting excellent contrast in smooth gradations thanks to the VA panel. The images often look striking:

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There is no HDR10 support - then again, after 3 years trying with different displays, I've come to the conclusion that current HDR support in Windows/monitors is complete utter garbage, so I've stopped trying. When FALD displays come down to $500, that's when I'll buy a new monitor. So, I'm guessing 2022-2025. Even so, the color reproduction is worth it to me as it's visible constantly, unlike 144hz which only really benefits you with sources that can render that fast (aka, video watching or text reading won't see much benefit, 2 of my 3 main activites - the third one being gaming which would benefit from the high refresh).

The panel is curved, which I was willing to try after reading that it helps with eye-strain. Some of you will notice I have had my share of issues in that respect lately. For the past 3 days, I've been experience more comfort in my viewing, but that can be to a variety of factors: new flicker-free monitor and new glasses. Either way, the 1800R curve is noticeable but not by much. The first couple days it was obvious, now it's mostly faded away. It's unobtrusive in regular work use, it definitely feels a bit more immersive in videos and games - as in, it makes you feel like you're going a bit into the scene. Neither amazing, nor lackluster. I will point out that the viewing angle is definitely better than other VA panels I've used, probably due to the slight curvature.

Now, color rendering:

Black - super deep, very stable. No backlight bleed anyhere. I'm impressed, actually. I'm not going to do the stupid thing of blowing up ISO to "see" if/where it leaks, because you don't have Xray vision and that's not what it would look like to anyone IRL. What you see is what it looks like in real life, surrounded by 2 floor-to-ceiling windows on both sides. Blacks look perfectly black.
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White - uniform, no issues. Again this is %10, if I shoot up to %100, it's retina burning bright. Not recommended unless you're using the monitor directly on the surface of the sun.
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Red - uniform, no issues. Very punchy.
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Red - uniform, no issues. Very punchy.
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Red - uniform, no issues. Punchy, but less than reds and greens.
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Gaming on this monitor is quite smooth. I fired up Gears of War 4 - which I still hadn't played until last week - and it's what you expect from a VA panel. Great contrast, nice colors, specially those reds and greens that jump out. Surprisingly I'm noticing little to no black crush, which I've had in other VA panels. Same for when you move your camera fast on a dark background with bright spots (like a night sky), the stars don't "disappear". Working well.

You probably can't tell after taking these pictures with my camera, but the red parts in this menu are VERY red. A depth of color I've only seen in my Vizio P55-F1 HDR TV. Doom and The Witness hopefully give you a better idea of the punch colors pack in this Philips.

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I'm a fan of 16/9 displays for work, but enjoy forcing 21/9 custom-res often. This 32" panel becomes effectively a 29" ultrawide setting it up to 2560x1080, and makes it a 29" curved ultrawide which you really can't buy on the market. Assassin's Creed Origins looked very nice on it, both at 16/9 and 21/9 (picture came out a bit blurry, sorry). No issues with the forced custom-res, and the black bars are so deep they just melt away. They do for me anyway, but I know some people are terribly annoyed by this kind of thing. I found vertical black bars on my previous Ultrawide insanely more annoying when watching 16/9 video (which happens way more often for me), partially because of IPS glow that is orders of magnitude worse than VA glow.

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For those who care about response time, here you go. I don't know what the image below means, or what the 5ms response time is supposed to feel like. All I can tell you, and all I care about, is that things feel responsive, looks fluid and smooth. I guess that's not enough for those of you on 144hz panels playing FPS competitively, but that's not me. Things look just fine at 75hz.

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Best of all, there are no skipped frames. This I've noticed on other displays and it used to bother me, so I'm glad Philips isn't lying about it. Flicker-free and no skipped frames, thank you very much.

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So there you have it, that's the Philips 328E9FJAB. At $350 (with tax included), I was hesitant to spend the money on something that wasn't 144hz. If you find it sub-$300, I'd definitely recommend it if you don't need the high refresh rate. If you care about color quality, I certainly recommend it. 144hz monitors today are not as good at reproducing color, and this had more value for me - for now. If you have questions, ask away. I hope this is helpful for some of you.
 
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