The Philips Momentum 558M1RY is a 55-inch gaming monitor with a VA panel. The screen has edge LED, meaning that the lighting is controlled from the sides. It has a small-mesh local dimming of 144 zones (its predecessor had 32), a maximum peak brightness of 1200 nits and a wide colour gamut (95 percent of DCI-P3) for HDR reproduction. But is this a monitor that can satisfy gamers?
There is support for AMD Freesync Premium Pro, with a range from 48 Hz to 120 Hz. This ensures an incredibly low input lag of 2.4 ms over one of the three HDMI 2.0 ports (maximum 4K resolution at 60 fps) and 1.5 ms over the DisplayPort (maximum 4K resolution at 120 fps). If you connect your hardware via the HDMI port, you will get a refresh rate of 120 fps, but the maximum resolution will be stuck at 2560 by 1440 pixels. This is because HDMI 2.0 is not built with 4K at 120 Hz in mind (This is supported with HDMI 2.1).
As a gamer, if you want to get the most out of this display, you will want to connect your PC or laptop via the DisplayPort. That is a type of connection that is lacking on modern televisions, whether we are talking about LCD or OLED. The matte finish ensures that you can always see the screen well in a highly lit environment. There are also four USB ports and a headphone connection. Incidentally, there is no operating system or other parts of a smart TV. We do find Ambiglow on the back, a variant of Ambilight with which are seen in Philips televisions. Ambiglow is on both sides, as well as the top of the screen.
Monitors and televisions with an LCD screen sometimes suffer from black spots on the screen. This has to do with the local dimming and the amount of lamps that are used behind the display. The fewer lamps there are (or when those lamps are incorporated in the edge), the greater the chance of black spots that are especially noticeable on plain images. The Philips 558M1RY has 144 zones for local dimming from the edge, which reduces that problem dramatically. We didn’t notice anything on the screen itself; only in the corners do you see a dark grey haze over the screen.
The monitor has several picture modes, which should optimize the picture for different types of games. The difference between the modes is quite significant and in many cases it complements the experience. Nevertheless, we are also glad that Philips lets us arrange the settings ourselves, so that we are not completely at the mercy of the gods when something really does not suit you. It’s the best of both worlds; being in control of something is always better.
From HDR-stand with a high number of nit is also a really nice addition, because that way you can be sure that you can also enjoy high dynamic range in bright environments. The screen’s matte finish also helps with this. Not only against the reflection of the light, you also do not look at your own head during dark areas or loading screens. Apart from that, the TV has a maximum brightness of 1200 nit. That is just fine and a decent number.
The image quality is generally good. The image is calm and gentle on the eyes. We have also not noticed ghosting or other forms of graphics that are disappointing. Although the screen can handle color well and that range is quite wide, it is sometimes a bit pale. That is inherent to LCD. If you are not used to an OLED screen, you probably will not notice this. Moreover, you can adjust a lot with the image modes and according to your own insight.
Ambilight is a valuable addition to Philips televisions, especially when you are gaming or watching movies. Ambiglow is virtually the same technology, but on your monitor. However, you will not get the exact same experience. Where Ambilight transitions beautifully from color to color, it is noticeable that the lights on the back of this monitor sometimes flicker or change very hard. That produces an annoying and conspicuous flash that is distracting while playing. It does not happen often and only when the picture also changes abruptly. Despite this, it remains annoying when it happens.
Furthermore, we miss the option to turn off the screen when you just listen to music, for example. Granted, it’s not television, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use it like that. Especially when you have oneChromecast (Ultra)or media player, so you can take it with you in your multiroom speaker setup. Bluetooth is also present, so that the soundbar can only be used when the screen is also on.
Another hangs between the screen and the basesoundbarfrom audio manufacturer Bowers & Wilkins. That soundbar has a maximum power of 40 watts. The 2.1 channel sound is realized by two tweeters, two speakers for the tones in the center and one subwoofer.
Here, too, different modes can be found, for different types of games. Think of shooters or sports games. When you choose such a mode, certain parts, such as car engines, come into their own much better. But you can also choose a movie mode or adjust the audio to your own taste, which is something we recommend. Very often the modes blow up the audio parts just a bit too much, which sometimes makes the sound unpleasant.
Part of the price is also in this soundbar, of course. If you have good speakers yourself, they probably sound better than this. The bass in particular is quite disappointing, despite the reasonable size of the sound box. As an extra part for the Philips screen, it is fine, but in terms of sound we simply heard better from speakers in general. This just sounds too ordinary, too blasé. Especially when the sound is busy, it sounds cacophonic. At quiet moments, however, crystal clear and easily understandable audio comes out.
While the Philips 558M1RY isn’t a bad monitor, there are some snags to the experience. Not only do the sound quality and Ambiglow disappoint a bit, the fact that HDMI 2.1 is not present also throws a spanner in the works. Philips markets the monitor as a future-proof monitor (also intended for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X), but the product will be hopelessly outdated when those consoles appear on the market.
You can expect a little more from a screen that costs almost 1,300 euros. Fortunately, the image quality is good and the audio quality – provided it is not too busy – is of reasonable quality. The monitor is therefore fine for the current generation of game consoles and computers. But we already know, for example, that monitors will appear with HDMI 2.1 on board later this year, making them more resistant for the future than this product. And that’s a shame, because basically the Philips 558M1RY is not a bad monitor.
In addition, you may also wonder out loud why you want to pay 1,300 euros for an LCD screen, when there are already a lot of OLED TVs (with 4K and 60 Hz support) for about the same amount (or just a little more). . Only if you as a PC gamer are looking for a monitor that makes it possible to play comfortably from the couch, then you can consider this product. For the console gamers among us, there are better options.