Philips 436M6VBPAB review: The 4K monitor built for console gamers

Philips has made a TV with some of the benefits found in a PC monitor.

Philips Momentum 436M6VBPAB
(Image: © Windows Central)

Windows Central Recommended Award

TVs are the go-to displays for console gaming, however, with a push for 4K, High Dynamic Range (HDR) and other cutting-edge technologies, monitors are increasingly worthwhile. Sporting frequently reduced input latency, improved response times, and other performance gains, monitors can often draw the best from your console.

Philips' new 43-inch Momentum display offers a unique hybrid solution, positioned as a monitor for console gamers. Despite the TV form factor, it bears characteristics synonymous with traditional monitor panels, combining the best (and worst) aspects of the two. The result sits among the best monitors for consoles, despite cutting conventional living room features.

What you'll love about the Philips 436M6VBPAB

The Philips 436M6VBPAB is packed with traits expected from both TVs and monitors, uniquely positioning itself between two product categories. The technology behind the display stems from monitors, while its simple out-of-box-experience and intuitive control feel familiar to those accustomed to TVs.

The Philips 436M6VBPAB display brings out the absolute best of Xbox One and PS4, in glorious 4K.

As expected from any gaming TV replacement, this 43-inch LCD vertical alignment (VA) panel packs support for 4K resolution (3840 × 2160) at 60Hz with compliance for the open HDR10 standard. This is also the first VESA DisplayHDR 1000 monitor, achieving an eyeball-burning impressive 1,000 nits peak brightness level. This achieves a sharp image that simultaneously draws intense colors, pulling the most from any console.

A formidable 4ms gray-to-gray response time comes from roots as a monitor, meaning reduced latency for games. Paired with Adaptive Sync support, Xbox One users to leverage AMD FreeSync, reducing screen tearing and smoothing out gameplay.

While a monitor under the hood, the Philips 436M6VBPAB still fits into any living room with its TV-style body. It's a sleek exterior is paired with comparable bezels and the streamlined stand features a simple vertical tilt to improve viewing angles. The wide base remains sturdy on flat surfaces and the 200 × 200 mm VESA mount provides further flexibility.

You'll also find other common TV features, including a remote control for adjusting volume for the DTS speakers, among other settings. You won't use this remote regularly, but it's an extra step that will make TV converts more comfortable. HDMI-CEC is also supported, allowing select devices to control your TV over the HDMI cable.

And for a stylish finish, a row of downward-facing LEDs powers Philips Ambiglow, projecting custom colors or adaptive lighting below.

What you'll dislike about the Philips 436M6VBPAB

The Philips 436M6VBPAB packs features common across TVs and monitors, but finds itself in the middle ground, missing some expected from both. These are small criticisms, however, and don't hugely detract from the focus on raw gaming performance.

One key issue is the limited port offerings, featuring PC-oriented inputs, despite its console audience. You'll find a single HDMI port, rather than the expected four of TVs, failing to provide flexibility with multiple inputs. DisplayPort, Mini DisplayPort, and USB-C are available, but just aren't as common beyond the desk.

The limited port selection may be frustrating for some.

You'll also be missing a TV tuner, among a variety of other entertainment-focused features of similarly-priced smart TVs. That's not a deal breaker, but when paired with its limited ports, it's hard to recommend this for general entertainment use.

As with many LCDs, the display suffers from backlight bleeding, failing to achieve true blacks in some instances. Viewing angles of the VA panel also aren't ideal for a display of this size.

Should you buy the Philips 436M6VBPAB?

The Philips 436M6VBPAB is a well-rounded monitor for gaming on the big screen, packing features often omitted by traditional TVs. While closer to a monitor, it's a great entry point for gamers drawn by its gains, without sacrificing the comfort of a couch. Full-fledged console gaming comes at a cost of some features, making this harder to justify as a complete TV replacement.

The Philips 436M6VBPAB costs $999.99 in the United States, with orders currently accepted at Best Buy.

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Matt Brown

Matt Brown was formerly a Windows Central's Senior Editor, Xbox & PC, at Future. Following over seven years of professional consumer technology and gaming coverage, he’s focused on the world of Microsoft's gaming efforts. You can follow him on Twitter @mattjbrown.