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Philips BDM4037UW 40in 4K Curved Monitor Review

Rating: 8.5.

Let nobody try to convince you otherwise: size matters. Bigger is usually better, even with smartphones, but it’s particularly true with monitors. So the Philips BDM4037U promises a huge experience with its gigantic 40in diagonal and 4K resolution. But that’s not all – it’s a curved screen as well.

The Philips BDM4037U cuts few corners (and that’s not a pun about the curvy surface). From the stylishly minimal stand to the specification, this is a distinctly high-end display. The TFT technology used is VA, so it has the potential for great image quality. Although the stated brightness is a fairly normal 300cd/m2, the contrast is 4,000:1, with a ludicrous 20,000,000:1 in SmartContrast mode (a dynamic system that varies backlight brightness to extend the range). So this should be good for viewing images and video.

However, this isn’t a display particularly aimed at gaming, more general entertainment. As with many VA screens, the response rate is just 4ms grey-to-grey, which isn’t terrible but won’t do you any favours next to a 1ms screen with latency-reducing enhancements. The maximum refresh is also 60Hz, with no overdriven option or adaptive sync functionality. If you’re a serious gamer, this probably isn’t the massive 4K screen for you.

There’s a reasonable selection of inputs including twin DisplayPort 1.2a, HDMI 2.0 and HDMI 1.4 (both with MHL support), but also legacy VGA, although not DVI. A USB 3.0 hub is built in with a quartet of downstream ports, and there is both an analog audio input and a headphone output, although all of these are on the back of the unit so not quite as convenient as side-placed ports. There are also precious few adjustments available – no swivel, no height alteration and just a little tilt.

Can the screen quality deliver on the promise of the dimensions? Let’s find out if Philips is ahead of the curve.

Specification:
Screen size: 40-inch, 16:9 aspect
Native resolution: 3,840 x 2,160
Refresh rate: 60Hz
Panel type: VA
Contrast ratio: 4000:1 (typical)
Brightness: 300cd/m2
Response time: 4ms
Display inputs: 2 x HDMI (one HDMI 2.0 only, one HDMI 1.4, both MHL compatible), 2 x DisplayPort 1.2a, D-Sub
USB hub: Yes
Tilt: Yes
Raise: No
Swivel: No
Other: No
Retail Price: £596.28 inc vat

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