End User Testing
Testing by the end user is extremely subjective to personal tastes and attributes. Through this testing, I will be as unbiased as possible towards the monitor itself in regards to panel type and branding and offer my experience with the actual display itself.
I first set up a YouTube video with qualities ranging from 720p to 2160p; finally settling on this GoPro 4K video.
This video offers a great variety of colours and scenery to really put the visual aspects of this monitor to the test. In the factory stock settings with no calibrations, the colours were easily identifiable and during the ice scenes, the whites were superbly crisp. However, during scenes with more varying colour, the strength of the colours wasn’t as pleasing as it could be; they seemed almost washed out. When the calibrations of both monitor and software had been put in place, the entire video came to life with excellent differentiations between all of the colours, especially during the festival scenes with all of the different confetti and t-shirts. The blacks of this monitor are some of the best I’ve seen, the contrast between white and black is amazing.
One problem with a monitor of this size, however, is the screen brightness. It is Okay during a movie or game when you are a few foot away, but if you are working on this in a close proximity; the 4K resolution really makes you want to get up close. When you move in closer, the overall brightness of the screen is a tad overwhelming. You can turn the brightness down, but in the middle of the day that’s not ideal.
Now one thing I have noticed with this monitor, I am sat with my eyes directly at the centre of the screen and about 2½ – 3 foot away; the viewing angle isn’t as good as previously made out by Philips on the box. If I display a white background across the entire screen, the centre point is white, but the edges turn more of a grey and towards the corners is an even darker grey; the clock in the bottom right-hand corner is almost unreadable because of this and I have to move my head to clearly view it.
The brightness is accentuated through the camera, but you can clearly see the difference.
Now in the back of my mind this wasn’t that great of an issue due to the limitations of a flat screen display and uniform brightness across the entire screen, however, I moved the camera to directly head on with the top right corner and it proved that this particular monitor has poor brightness in the corners. This isn’t as perceivable through the naked eye and isn’t a fault, just something rather typical with large flat screen displays.
Generally speaking, built in speakers aren’t that good. They will do fine to tide you over for a week or two until you buy additional speakers with a subwoofer, but otherwise they’re poor. These sadly follow the same fate; the speakers are built into the bottom of the screen, so project sound relatively well thanks to the 3″ of clearance under the monitor; however, they are extremely focused on treble. You can hear every high point in a music video, but anything related to bass and you will be disappointed. Although, despite that they are very clear up to around 10 feet and the volume is great up to that point, with every word audibly clear and recognisable. I personally think if Philips offered either a sound bar or a small external subwoofer to sit within the base; this would make for a very good consumer sound set up.
For this test, I chose to run the benchmark tool for Grand Theft Auto V thanks to the diverse landscape, sounds and vehicles. What I am looking and listening for is picture immersion, picture clarity and sound clarity.
This was a hard call overall the experience was very good, however, there were some drawbacks. While the colours were vibrant in scenes such as the fair; every time the scene darkened for the night I could easily see a reflection of myself thanks to the almost glossy cover of the screen. That wouldn’t be an issue if you could completely darken a room or only play at night, but most users would require to use this monitor at all times of the day. The clarity was extremely good, sat at approximately 3 feet away I could still make out details throughout the test such as bolts on the plane or even the tread pattern on some of the car wheels. Sat at that distance also gave great audio quality, hearing speech and high tone sound effects clearly; however, scenes that required a little bass fell short of my expectations such as the closing scene with the explosion, it wasn’t as believable as it could be.