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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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  • Daedalus

    Please, please, please, can we have some monitors for doing real work on. Not this wide screen format but 4:3 or even 1:1. Many of us never play games or really watch movies on PC’s, other than some YouTube or similar. I want a monitor that’s 4000 by 3000 pixels wide and tall, so I can fit spreadsheets and databases on it. Something with a 32″ diagonal would be nice.

  • Olen Ronning

    You want a surface studio then.

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  • WhiteSkyMage

    VA… No Variable Refresh… 60Hz… NOPE, That’s not for me! I will be buying this Acer XR38CQK – 37.5 inch IPS, yes it is $1300, but it is a freaking IPS! 75Hz and with a FreeSync. No thanks Philips.

  • Martin_H_Andersen

    I have ordered one, getting it next week. I am only going to use it for programming. Hope that text are sharpe and that the overall picture quality is good enough for web design

  • Mischko

    So, not a single comment about 8.5 stars under a photo of Amber Heard? But..why?

  • Si C

    *faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaap*

  • Si C

    I have the LG 38UC99. You’ll love the Acer 😉 B|

  • Zero’clock Gaming

    Idk how an aspect ratio would stop you from viewing spreadsheets….

  • Zero’clock Gaming

    38 inch 21:9 vs 40 inch 16:9…quite a difference tbh, hard to compare.

  • JKloiber

    The contrast results are nonsense.
    The Spyder device is incapable of correctly measuring black levels, get something from X-Rite instead.
    The contrast is around 3650:1 across the entire brightness range.

  • WhiteSkyMage

    Well, Zero, let me give you a bit on a look of things – first BOTH of those monitors have THE SAME pixels per inch. I am not joking. Go to http://isthisretina.com/ and check it out. However this is what I found:
    4K (3840×2160) at 40″ = 110ppi <== those are not really for gaming…more of business
    WQHD (3840×1600) at 37.5" = 110ppi <== this is Acer XR38CQK and LG 38UC99
    WQHD (3440×1440) at 34" = 109ppi <== very high-end ultrawide gaming monitors
    4K (3840×2160) at 32" = 137ppi <== 4K high-end gaming monitors (ex. Acer, LG)
    4K (3840×2160) at 27" = 163ppi <== 4K high-end gaming monitors (ex. Acer, ROG)
    QHD (2560×1440) at 27" = 108ppi <== high-end gaming monitors (ex. ROG)

    And now the cheaper ones:
    WFHD (2560×1080) at 25" = 111ppi <== ultrawide gaming monitor
    WFHD (2560×1080) at 29" = 95ppi <== ultrawide gaming monitor
    FHD (1920×1080) at 24" = 91ppi <== standard gaming monitor (most people use this)

    I honestly think this 110ppi is the best you would really get, before you run into scaling issues. So they are comparable, and there are many Korean 40" 4K monitors, and they are as good as a 27" 2560x1440p monitor. Same ppi, but bigger. I do not really consider anything below 30" to be any beneficial out of 4K, it's pointless and a waste. That's why I chose this ultrawide monitor. $1300 is sure steep but this is basically the BEST I could get, that is both CLOSE to 4K resolution and at the same time, to have a higher than 60Hz refresh rate (75Hz) – AWESOME! After 75Hz, the difference starts to diminish. However going from a 60Hz to a 75Hz is significantly noticeable. I just hope that Vega 10 will give me the power to drive such FPS.

  • Robert Armour

    Well, did it arrive, and what do you think of it (I’m also looking for a large curved monitor for programming, and am wondering if the response time is a factor for me)

  • Martin_H_Andersen

    The Philips was the second monitor I tried in my search for a new monitor. Before the Philips I had the Dell U3417W 34″ monitor for a week. It was OK but colours was dull and the contrast was not very good.
    But it convinced me that widescreen monitors was the way to go.
    When I heard about the Philips I just hade to try it at work so I ordered one. It was BIG but was looking very good. very nice design. Text was clear, colours out of the box not so good. But for me the big turn of was that colours in front of you was OK but when looking down or to the side the colours was washed out. thats the weakness of a VA panel.
    Another thing is that the screen is just to high. You will get pain in the neck if you try to read from the top or the bottom of the screen. After a day I found that I was placing my program in a stripe across the screen not using the top / bottom 10-15 cm. So I was using it as 21-9 widescreen.
    It was interesting to test out the screen but I returned it.
    A few weeks after I bought the AOC U3477PQU and it’s a keeper. It is the best monitor I have ever had in my 23 years as a programmer. The uniformity, sharpness and colours are just amazing It like reading from a pice of paper.

  • Robert Armour

    Interesting feedback.
    One of the points of the 3840×2160 is the extra height that’s gained – but your comments about 21:9 do raise some points (even if they may just be personal preference)
    The VA panel always looked to be the weak point, so I guess I’m now looking for an IPS panel, at least – just need to decide if 3180×1440 is enough height. Would like to see one in the flesh before committing funds, though, and that could be tricky until they become more commonplace.

    Thanks

  • Darth Soros

    It has to do with your eyes. You see more in horizontal. 16:9 is tall enough anyway and no one forces you to buy ultrawide.

  • Peter Flemming

    WARNING: if you buy this monitor in the hopes that the EDID works in WIN2/WIN4 mode (multi-monitor) – you are out of luck. The monitor will identify itself as 4k no matter what mode it is in.

    Why is this bad? Because Windows, NVidia and all other programmes and drivers that uses the monitor and its resolution will think it is 4k. They will allow you to set WAY too high resolutions, that is not supported by the 1080p screens that the BDM4037 makes. Also, NVidia “Surround” – will NOT work. Let me repeat: You WILL NOT be able to make the two bottom screens into one wide-screen replacement, and the top two single monitors. The faulty EDID will make sure of this.

    Philips has so far done nothing to correct this.