Price (RRP): $799
Philips 328P 4K, 32-inch with USB-C dock is a marvel – 4K crispness, high brightness for HRD600, 100% BT.709 colour gamut and a very cool design with a height adjustable swivel/tilt stand.
Review over – just buy it and be done as I have not seen a better 4K screen this year. The Philips 328P (model 328P6VUBREB/75) is a prosumer display and meets all my computing needs. At GadgetGuy our designers love it – fine, crisp black text, perfect 10-bit colour (with a DeltaE <2 – amazing), runs off USB-C (great for their new MacBook Pros) and importantly its easy on the eye when you have to work in front of it all day.
As usual, we have created a monster and designers are threatening to lay down stylus unless they can all have one. Except one – she wants the 43-inch version (GadgetGuy review here) – one can never have too much screen real estate.
Philips make nearly 60 curved or flat monitors in several standards. These include:
- Brilliance range (LED-backlit)
- Momentum (M-line with Ambiglow focuses on gamers)
- X-line (Brilliance curved)
- P-Line (Prosumer level QHD and 4K UHD with USB-C dock)
- E-line (high-end consumer FHD and QHD)
- Gioco (C-line) Gaming
- G-Line (Gaming)
- V-line (value)
- B-line (business)
- S-Line (entry-level)
- C-line (Clinical)
- BDL-line (Signage)
That is real niche marketing. In reality, you look at resolution, panel type, bezel size (for dual monitor use) and a colour gambit to meet your needs.
Review: Philips 328P, 4K, 32” monitor with USB-C dock (P-Line)
To be technical, it is Model 328P6VUBREB/75 (website here) and, while there are other Philips 328P variants, this is the one you want. It has a USB-C dock and an ‘amazing’ calibrated panel with BT.709 Coverage: 100%; DCI-P3 Coverage: 98%, sRGB 138%, and Adobe RGB 94% – perfect for professional or prosumer use.
In the box – Philips 328P
- The screen
- Fully adjustable stand
- 240V power cable (no power brick required)
- HDMI cable
- DisplayPort cable
- USB-C to USB-C 3.1
The Philips 328P is a 32-inch, 3840 x 2160 (4K), 16:9, flat panel, so it’s taller and a little wider than the 32” curved, 3440 x 1440, 21:9 monitor I use for content creation (word processing).
To segue it’s a long way from the old 14” VGA LCD of the 80s, 17” SVGA of the 90s, 21” XGA of the 00s, 24” FHD, and now 27” QHD monitors that people commonly use. Somehow dual 27” have become the norm in many offices and homes (GadgetGuy article here). Due to the 20mm bezels, I would not recommend this for proper dual use.
While 4K UHD was the exception this year, it will become the norm in 2019. The sweet spot is 32” – flat 16:9 or curved. FHD (1920 x 1080) is so yesterday once you are hooked on 4K.
Looks wise it has a very elegant curved stand and rounded base. The stand is fully height, tilt, and swivel in an ingenious design that allows portrait to landscape use. The frame has black/bronze/copper highlights with 20mm top/side bezels and a 25mm bottom bezel. The base is 26cm deep so watch this on a narrow 600mm desk – 900mm would be better although with 4K you can sit a little closer than the recommended ‘arm’s length’.
That gorgeous screen
It is a 31.5” (698.4 x 392.85mm), W-LED (back light), 4K UHD (3840 x 2160, 139.87ppi), HDR600, 16:9, 10-bit colour, VA panel with an 3H, anti-glare (haze 25%) coating.
Let me explain the relevant terms
Philips state that it internally processes 12-bit colour for over 68 billion shades but can display 10-bit colour – 1,024 shades of each primary colour with over 1,074,741,824 combinations. 8-bit shows only 16.7 million colours.
What this means is that it can display more colours than the eye can see so its perfect for photographers, designers, video editors and purists. It has a DeltaE (colour variation from reference colours) of <2. That is perfect as the human eye can only begin to see issues from about DeltaE of 4.
Philips claims a very impressive colour gamut BT. 709Coverage: 100%; DCI-P3 Coverage: 98%, sRGB 138%, and Adobe RGB 94%. Our tests show these are conservative figures and with some profile tweaking it can easily achieve 100% ADOBE RGB (for designers) and 100% DCI-P3 (video editors).
It is a VA (vertical alignment) LED screen
It focuses on picture quality, wider colour gamut, black uniformity and contrast. The only minor downside is that it has a narrower band of off-angle viewing – in a monitor that is immaterial except to gamers and if used in a TV panel. Contrast is typically 3000:1 but SmartContast is 80,000:1 because it has such good, almost OLED like blacks.
W-LED means it has a white LED backlight.
This enables 400 nits (typical) and 600 nits (peak) brightness – levels you don’t often see on a larger monitor. 600 nits is important to gain a VESA HDR600 certification. This means it has local dimming zones (instead of edge-lit) ensuring good colour and brightness uniformity over the entire screen. It also mandates black-to-white response times as 8 frames (4ms or less). There are no motion judders on this screen.
To be clear the typical (even 4K) monitor is flat out displaying 250-350 nits let alone 95% of sRGB (the smallest colour gambit).
4K UHD is 3840 x 2160 pixels.
In this 32” monitor that is 139.87 pixels per inch. You cannot see individual pixels as you can with a FHD panel.
Anti-glare 3H (haze 25%) coating
3H is the hardness coating (good) and 25% is the haze anti-reflectance rating (lowest I have seen is 10%). What this means is that in 500-lumen lighting it has no issues with reflectivity or lighting from behind the user.
- Flicker-free – yes
- Low Blue light mode – yes
- Text enhancement – easy read
- Smart Image – automatically select the right preset to enhances contrast, colour saturation and sharpness of different content, e.g. images, videos, office, entertainment
- Picture-in-Picture (PIP)
- Picture-by-Picture (PBP) dual connect two computers
Screen summary: As good as 4K gets. Perfect even.
- DisplayPort 1.4 ([email protected])
- HDMI 2.0 x 2 ([email protected]) HDCP 2.2
- USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 supporting Power Delivery of 60W
- 3.5mm audio in
- 3.5mm audio out
The USB-C means any Mac or PC with USB-C 3.1 or Thunderbolt3 supporting DisplayPort Alt mode (video) and USB PD 2.0 (power delivery 5V/3A;7V/3A; 9V/3A; 12V/3A; 15V/3A; 20V/3A) can drive the monitor and its USB-C hub that includes
- Ethernet 1Gbps port
- USB-A 3.0 (625MBps) x 3 downstream ports 5V/1A
- USB-A 3.0 (625Mbps) supporting BC1.2 power of 5V and from 1.5-5A
To put this in perspective it eliminates the need for a separate dock (usually around $300). It is possible to run dual 4K monitors with a USB-A 3.0 to 4K HDMI adaptor (about $150 at MWave). If you are shopping for a cheaper adapter, make sure it supports 3840 [email protected] These should work equally well regardless of whether you use a Mac or PC.
It has 2 x 3W stereo speakers driven by HDMI, DisplayPort, USB-C and 3.5mm audio in.
Maximum volume is 83dB that will fill an average sized bedroom and get the family complaining.
Remarkably it actually has some bass creeping in at 64Hz and gaining intensity to 500Hz – this is very unusual for a monitor speaker. Mids are relatively flat (good) and treble to 16kHz. While its not audiophile quality it is fine for personal computer, music and movie use.
It is not quite the perfect ‘warm and sweet signature’ but with a little EQ tweaking it could be.
You seldom find a stand that supports height adjustment (180mm), pivot (90°) and tilt (-5/+20°) in a 26cm wide base. With the stand is it 742 x 657 x 270 mm x 9.36kg.
The touch controls are the front bottom right. They are a little fiddly but do the job. The SmartImage hotkey includes presets for Easy Read,Office, Photo, Movie, Game, Economy, Low Blue Mode, Smart Uniformity, and Off. You can also play with brightness, gamma and almost all variations to get exactly what you want.
You can read the manual here for full details.
GadgetGuy’s take: Philips 328P 4K, 32-inch with USB-C dock
The Philips 328P with USB-C dock is a great monitor. By current standards it is 5-out-of-5 and I cant find anything to complain about. I have written this review without looking at the price – haven’t a clue so here goes.
It costs $799 (plus freight) online from MWave. I consider that an absolute bargain for what you get. Don’t forget there is a lower cost 328P6VJEB at $599 but it does not have nearly the same screen specifications (300 nits and much lower colour gamut) or USB-C dock.
Philips has surprised me this year. Top drawer stuff at very reasonable prices. Plus the good old fashioned truth in advertising – every specification is there for your scrutiny and verification. Can’t go wrong really.