Review of Philips BDM4037UW
The Philips BDM4037UW is a stunning 40-inch 4K curved monitor from one of the biggest names in home electronics. The BDM4037UW features a VA panel with a gentle curve that is capable of excellent contrast levels and 4ms response time, and an 8-bit color interface without dithering, all wrapped in a refreshed exterior designed to make minimalist fans swoon. The looks and the specs on paper look convincing, but let’s take a deeper look into how this svelte product performs to determine if it is well worth its middling price tag.
Philips BDM4037UW Specifications
- Screen Size: 40 Inches
- Resolution: 3840 x 2160 4K
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Panel Technology: Vertical Alignment (VA)
- Refresh Rate: 60Hz
- Response Time: 4ms
- Contrast Ratio: 4000:1 (Static)
- Brightness: 300 cd/m²
- Built-in Speakers: Yes 2 x 5 Watts
- Stand: Height –No
- Stand: Tilt – Yes (-5°/+10°)
- Stand: Swivel – No
- VESA Compatibility: Yes 100 x 100
- Connectivity: DisplayPort 1.2 x 2, HDMI 2.0 x 1, HDMI 1.4 x1, USB 3.0 x 4, 3.5mm Audio Jack (In/Out)
- Dimensions with Stand(WxHxD): 35.79” x 25.32” x 9.72”
- Weight: 24.25lbs
Design and Features
The first thing you notice about the Philips BDM4037UW is it is a desktop juggernaut at 40 inches, making it look like a regular sized TV more than a PC monitor. A glossy 3000r curvature screen dominates the face of this product with a light AG coating, surrounded by thin bezels with a silver color. Each side is only half an inch thick except for the bottom strip which is .75 inch, and they have a two piece construction which comprises a power-coated metal inner and a plastic outer layer. The borders are almost unnoticeable when the screen is turned on, and the shiny silver treatment gives the product a classy touch which also enhances the TV-like look which is refreshing in a market which is dominated by matte black. From the side view, the product looks extra thin except for the bulge at the lower half of the cabinet, which seems fair since this is where the controller and other internals are neatly tucked.
One significant factor Philips does not disappoint on is the richness of their product’s I/O layouts. Like most of the products from the company we have come across, the BDM4037UW also features a plethora of signal inputs which include two DisplayPort 1.2 slots, a slot each for HDMI 1.4 and HDMI 2.0, a USB 3.0 hub, plus jacks for audio in and out. All of these connectors are located on the lower half of the dominantly glossy white rear cabinet. One of the USB slots has fast-charging for mobile devices, but these receptacles’ inconvenient placement makes it a hassle to reach from the front even if the screen sits 4.33 inches above desk level. Philips also included cables for each of the ports, and although these may vary from region to region, all have gray coatings or insulators which go well with the monitor’s color scheme.
To complete the package, the Philips BDM4037UW also has a pair of built-in speakers which have 5 watts of power each. This set has acceptable volume levels for most uses, but clarity and bass response is lacking, much like all the other built-ins, we have seen so far. This huge model also features a crescent-shaped base on its stand, but the mechanism only offers tilt from -5 degrees to 10 degrees. We like a wider range of ergonomics for any display product, but we figure that most users would find little reason to swivel or raise a 40-inch curved behemoth for maximizing view angles. You can also choose to mount this model on aftermarket solutions, if you wanted more freedom of movement or if your desk space isn’t wide enough. The BDM4037UW also features a 4-way JOG joystick for easy OSD navigation while doubling as the power switch.
Display and Performance
The Philips BDM4037UW boasts of an expansive 40-inch VA panel from TP Vision which is rated to have a 4000:1 ratio and a native 3840 x 2160 resolution. Our tests reveal that this product is capable or around 3300:1 to 3650:1 depending on brightness and color settings, making it excellent for grayscale performance and inky-black outputs. Gamma slightly misrepresents on some occasions, but thankfully, Philips included different gamma modes, with the 6500K option being the most ideal for white balance. Screen uniformity is also excellent as far as we have seen, but take note that this aspect varies from unit to unit. We also did not witness deviations across the massive 40-inch screen, but for minor issues, Philips included a Smart Uniformity mode to correct a few flaws. Pixel density is at 110.15 PPI, almost the same as a 27″ QHD monitor with 108.79, but this monitor still runs 4K, so you will need a mighty graphics card to run thing smoothly.
The colors on the Philips BDM4037UW also has positive results even from out of the box, with 100% sRGB gamut coverage plus a little extra oversaturation on the green and red coordinates. While this result does not present an issue for most users, you can opt to use the sRGB emulator built into the OSD. This option, however, limits sRGB coverage to 96%, but it also corrects the oversaturation to produce more accurate colors. Both the high contrast and color capabilities were apparent in our Battlefield 1 tests since this modern AAA title makes use of murky or foggy atmospheres to accentuate old-age objects and environments. The khaki and olive drab colors which dominate a lot of in-game objects appeared subdued against the sand and mud, providing an excellent visual experience the game conveys.
The screen gently curves at 3000r, which felt natural more than intrusive, although, for immersion enthusiasts, the discreet radius might not make a huge difference. As for input lag, the Philips BDM4037UW commands a respectable 11.4ms based on our tests. For the most part, this result will not cause any noticeable delays between control input to display, preserving the immersive promise of screens in this size. When the action became intense such as when we encountered firefights in the bunkers of the Argonne forest map, we did witness a bit of blurring, ghosting, and interlacing between transitions. These flaws aren’t significant enough issues if you are less neurotic about these things since, for the most part, the Philips BDM4037UW still offers a decent eye-candy performance. There is a Smart Overdrive mode in the OSD, but the mid and high settings did not have any positive effects for these flaws. There are products which are substantially better at handling motion and smoothness, but we can’t say that this model is an entirely bad product.
Although, for 4K movie viewing, the Philips BDM4037UW is slightly better, especially when you consider its size. Viewing content on a 40-inch screen from a decent three to four feet is awe-inspiring in its respect. You can affix refresh rates to 23Hz, 24Hz and 30Hz to match the lower cycles of Blueray or 4K UHD recordings. This monitor functions perfectly in those conditions without any frame skipping. But if you play 60Hz content, the image artifacts mentioned above will also appear on the screen. The BDM4037UW is also an excellent display for document processing and regular computer tasks, completing the multimedia purpose Philips intends for this offering. Finally, this model utilizes a flicker-free backlight, unlike its predecessor, making it friendly on the eyes even for extended usage.
The Philips BDM4037UW is an enjoyable, big all-purpose monitor with excellent color and contrast performance, making it capable of eye-popping graphics and imaging for both games, and media. The design is beautifully executed making it look less like a monitor and more like a high-end TV, but we wish Philips added more freedom in ergonomics. On the contrary, the home electronics giant drops the ball in the pixel response department, where image artifacts plague the screen in fast moving transitions for both games and movies. But for the less meticulous, or the individuals who are contented with lower FPS content, these flaws become less noticeable especially if you consider the amount of virtual viewing space your eyes have to process. The 3000r curvature felt natural more than the more aggressive counterparts we have reviewed, but the size is better at producing depth or immersion in games or movies. This fact, however, varies from every individual. You will find a lot of things to like about the Philips BDM4037UW, but hardcore users will have to look elsewhere.