Philips BDM3490UC; An In-Depth Review


There are already a number of curved 34-inch monitors sporting 21:9 Aspect Ratio and 3440x1440 resolution in the market today. Many of which have already been reviewed here in Dual Monitors Guide, such as Dell U3415W and Samsung S34E790C, and the brothers from Acer - Acer Predator Z35 and Acer XR341CK. One of the latest additions to this list is the Philips BDM3490UC, the brand’s flagship product to this kind of market. But what makes this specific model unique, if not better than other products of its kind in the market today? Check out this in-depth review from Dual Monitors Guide to know more.

Who is it for?

Philips BDM3490UC is for people looking for a premium curved screen monitor, without the bells and whistles of a monitor dedicated for specific use. It’s an excellent all-around monitor, as the curved 34-inch curved screen, 21:9 Aspect Ratio, and 3440x1440p resolution works great for work, entertainment, and even gaming.

 

Benefits

Philips BDM3490UC is a 34-inch curved monitor sports a bright IPS screen with 21:9 Aspect Ratio and runs 3440x1440p resolution. That information alone is enough to give us a good idea of its excellent visual performance for work, entertainment and even games.

 

Impressive Picture Quality for Various Tasks

Philips BDM3490UC (image from Amazon)


Picture quality is definitely the biggest factor for reviewing computer screens, and in this area, Philips BDM3490UC definitely excels. As mentioned above, it uses IPS panel, which is the best panel technology out there for picture quality. It has better colour accuracy, brightness level and viewing angle than TN (Twisted Nematic) and VA (Vertical Alignment) panels, with some exceptions of monitors out there doing a good job in working around their panel. Though TN is still has the fastest and smoothest panel for gaming, while VA has the best contrast and black levels.

Colors in this screen are punchy, yet natural. Contrast is also good, as dark and light elements of test pictures were displayed strong.

 

The out-of-the-box colour temperature is at 6631K, which is close to the ideal 6500K. Black level is also impressive, setting a score of 0.235nits. Combine that with maximum brightness of 261nits and contrast ratio of 1117:1 and you will get really good image quality.

Also impressive is the screen uniformity. The most, brightness level drops off by -12.16% in the bottom right corner of the screen compared to the center. Maximum colour shifting is only at -4.68%, still at the bottom right corner. This is considered decent, for a screen of its size. The central 2/3 of the screen is within the 5.06% brightness and 1.94% colour variance.

For Input Lag, Philip again, scored an impressive score of 10.7ms, way better than the threshold of 16ms. Though this is short for high-speed gaming, it is still pretty impressive for screens running at 60Hz Refresh Rate.

 

Beautiful Curved Screen for Impressive and Immersive Viewing

 

Philips BDM3490UC (image from Amazon)


People are starting to take notice on the advantage of curved screen, and this Philips monitor is a good example of its benefits. The 21:9 Aspect Ratio fills the screen for a more impressive and immersive viewing experience, not only great for work, but also for watching movies and playing games. This is of course, assisted by the curved screen.

Games have wider field of view, excellent for First-Person Shooter games. Also, the 3440x1440p resolution adds great details.

 

Edge-to-Edge Narrow Border for a More Seamless Appearance

Philips BDM3490UC features ultra-narrow bezel, allowing for minimal distractions, maximizing the screen for viewing size. It’s an excellent choice for multi-media, graphic design, professional applications, and of course, gaming. It’s also excellent for dual monitor or even multi-monitor setup, though it’s hard to imagine putting two to three 34-inch monitors side by side.

 

 

Design and Features

Philips BDM3490UC (image from Amazon)


One of the first things you will quickly notice when you pull this monitor out of its box is how huge its screen is. With 34-inch ultra-wide screen, Philips BDM3490UC really does require a lot of space, with dimensions that may dominate your desk. The 3440x1440p resolution looks like a wider version of the standard Full HD 1080p resolution we normally find from 27-inch monitors.

While it’s a hefty piece of equipment, Philips made sure that their consumers won’t be hassled in the setup of this monitor. It comes fully assembled.

The bezels are black, with a slight grey tone at the lower section. The read side of the cabinet is white and covered with a glossy and reflective plastic, which really adds quite an elegant look to the whole monitor.

The screen comes with a matte coating, which effectively minimizes glares and reflections, despite the curve.

 

Buttons and Controls

Under the right bezel is the 4-way joystick, which provides convenient and intuitive access to the On-Screen Display (OSD) menu of the monitor. The joystick is such a joy to use; it makes flipping through the list of options and settings, moving up and down easy than the traditional physical buttons. It may require some learning curve, but once you get a hang of it, it is very easy to use.

 

Connectivity Options

Philips BDM3490UC (image from Amazon)


For its connectivity options, BDM3490UC has four display inputs strategically placed at the backside of the cabinet. It’s quite a generous selection of inputs/outputs, comprised of HDMI ports (one is an HDMI 2.0 port), and DisplayPort 1.2 connector. Like most 4K monitor out there, these two connectors are enough to run this display at its full native resolution at 60Hz Refresh Rate. You will be limited to 30Hz if you connect the computer to either the HDMI 1.4 port, causing chopping house movement, unless you manually lower the resolution.

 

There are also four USB 3.0 ports, which offer fast-charging feature for mobile devices such smartphones, tablets, etc. Obviously, USB ports will make everything convenient for the user, especially for people who are looking to use this screen for their work.

There’s a pair of 3.5mm output jack for your headphones.


With a Pair of High-Quality 7W Speakers for Entertainment

As said earlier, Philips BDM3490UC is also a good gaming monitor, and its built-in pair of 7W speakers is a great feature for that purpose. The speakers sound excellent, and definitely way better than what normally comes with other monitors. Plus, it also supports DTS, an audio-processing solution designed to optimize playback of music, streaming shows, movies and games on PC, regardless of form factors, leaving users with more immersive virtual surround sound experience. It comes with dialogue enhancement and rich bass, as well as maximized volume levels without any clipping or distortions.

 

 

Nicely Designed Stand, But with Limited Adjustability, No VESA Though

Philips BDM3490UC (image from Amazon)


Large monitors obviously need large stand to support its weight. The crescent-moon shaped monitor of this Philips curved screen monitor is no different, as it provides excellent support for the massive screen. The support strut that connects the base to the screen is made up of solid metal. Unfortunately, like many large ultra-wide screen monitor, this Philips monitor doesn’t offer adjustments for its stand other than forward and backward tilt.

Also, the way the stand sits on the desk doesn’t really offer good stability, as it can be prone to falling over if one tip happens to rest on a gap in between desk or on the edge of a table. A stand with more area of flat contact would secure the massive screen better.

Also, as with other ultra-wide monitors of its size, it doesn’t come with VESA-compliant mounting holes. This is quite reasonable though, as monitors of this size and weight is usually hard to find a monitor stand with adjustable arm to pair with, and definitely not something we often use for dual monitor and multi-monitor setup.

 

Tech Specs

Bottom Line

 

Curved ultra-wide monitors with 21:9 Aspect Ratio have only become available recently, and they provide really interesting competition against monitors with 16:9 Aspect Ratio, even those that runs in 4K resolution. Ultra-wide monitors really provide great alternative, especially for movie watching and playing games.

Philips is the latest manufacturer to jump into this market, putting their best foot forward with their flagship product Philips BDM3490UC. As with other Ultra-wide curved screens, it has great viewing angle performance, providing excellent peripheral vision, which is often crucial for gamers. 

Aside from its superior IPS screen technology, BDM3490UC is definitely a premium display in every aspect, from attractive aesthetics and solid build design, up to high-quality speakers. It may come with quite an expensive price tag, but compare it to other displays out there with the same Ultra-Wide Aspect Ratio, it’s definitely a good deal for a lot of reasons.

Combining top-notch aesthetics, ultra-wide 34-inch curved screen, image quality, generous selection of connectivity, and wide set of convenient features, Philips BDM3490UC is definitely an excellent monitor in so many areas.

It may be a little more expensive than other 34-inch competitors of the same build quality and performance, but Philips really added tons of things in this monitor to justify its price.    

Obviously, there are areas they could really improve on, such as the lack of VES-compliant mounting holes, which would have been convenient for users looking to wall-mount this massive display for a more elegant setup. Also, for avid gamers out there, this monitor lacks the high-speed and G-Sync and FreeSync technologies from AMD and Nvidia, respectively. Which means it’s not the most impressive curved screen for gaming. In this regard, Acer Predator series edges Philips in this aspect.

Nonetheless, if you’re only looking for a premium curved screen monitor, Philips BDM3490UC has some nice things for you. It is arguably the most desirable monitor upgrade available out there; it looks good physically, image quality is impressive in almost all areas, while its ultra-wide 21:9 Aspect Ratio improves any aspect of computing, be it for work, entertainment, or even gaming. It is a bit pricey, but it’s largely worth it.

For more in-depth reviews like this, check out Dual Monitors Guide today!



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