The Philips Momentum 559M1RYV has been marketed as being the first real 4K gaming display that’s optimized specifically for Xbox Series X. It’s a lofty claim to be sure, but with its three HDMI 2.1 ports, HDR support, and 120Hz refresh rate, this panel certainly does enough, on paper, to be a potential contender for the best gaming monitors released this year.
However, that’s only theoretically. Being that the best Xbox Series X monitors are rivaling the best TV for PS5 and Xbox Series X, and this display is large enough to directly compete with some of the best gaming TVs on the market, does the Philips Momentum 559M1RYV do enough to justify its £1,299.99 price tag?
Keep in mind, if you are interested in this particular gaming monitor, it's currently not available in the US, but will be launching holiday season for $1,599.99.
Philips Momentum 559M1RYV review: Design and Features
Aside from its size, there’s little that would catch your eye regarding the aesthetics of the Philips Momentum 559M1RYV, save for the exception of the soundbar underneath which is something fairly uncommon on gaming monitors even to this day; there's also a small remote included, which is another rarity on displays of this ilk. Be advised that there’s a decent weight to the monitor, so if you’re intending on moving the unit around, you should probably employ the help of someone else; it could be especially tricky to line the display flush against a wall to bring out the best of the Ambiglow (Ambilight but for monitors) features.
Speaking of Ambiglow functionality, however, it is one of the more disappointing additions to this particular Philips monitor. Given that the company has been honing this technology for years, it's a genuine shame that it didn't seem to work properly on our particular review unit. No matter which of the customizable modes that we tested (we normally settled on ‘Follow Video’ to allow the display to blend into the background), the panel always defaulted to a harsh static green after we made changes on-screen; including but not limited to: changing the HDR modes, adjusting the color saturation, and opening the menu.
The viewing angles aren’t the best. Given that the Philips Momentum 559M1RYV is a gaming monitor, you’re going to want to be sat dead center in front of it, with the screen titled to your liking. No matter where I sat (or stood) at any angle close to, or far away from, the display, I was met with aggressive greying as opposed to deep blacks. This comes back to the panel type itself though, you’re not getting the color production potential of an IPS panel, and you don’t benefit from the likes of OLED or QLED which, given that this gaming monitor retails for as much as it does for a decidedly average picture, is disheartening.
Things are better on the audio front, however, the Bowers and Wilkins soundbar below is suitably loud and sufficiently clear with its 40w 2.1 channel stereo. It’s not the most bass-heavy speaker that we’ve ever heard, but it’s distinct enough to make your games sound the way they should. The Xbox Series X features Dolby Atmos surround, too, so either way, you’ll be getting far superior audio quality compared to internal speakers on some monitors and gaming TVs.
Screen size: 55-inch
Resolution: 3840 x 2160 UHD 4K
Panel type: VA
Refresh rate: 120Hz (HDMI 2.1); 144Hz (DisplayPort 1.4)
Response time: 4ms
Aspect ratio: 16:9
V-Sync method: Adaptive Sync
Contrast ratio: 4,000:1
Ports: HDMI 2.1 (x3), DisplayPort 1.4 (x1), USB-C (x1), USB-B (x1), USB 3.2 (x4)
Philips Momentum 559M1RYV review: Performance
From a technical perspective, the Philips Momentum 559M1RYV includes all the ports that you would hope to find on a premium gaming monitor, complete with one DisplayPort 1.4 and 3x HDMI 2.1. We primarily tested this panel hooked up to an Xbox Series X running games at 120Hz (or High-Performance mode as it’s called in certain games that support it). However, we did also test the Momentum's capacity as a big-screen PC monitor with one of our Razer Blade laptops to less enthusiastic results at 144Hz.
While our time testing PC games on the panel was consistently smooth and aiming around those kinds of frame rates, the overall picture quality was a little dull and muted, and lacked the vibrancy of what was possible on Xbox Series X. Because of this, we wouldn't recommend it as a PC gaming monitor. Regardless of the platform, as far as pure performance was concerned, we found that variable refresh rate (VVR) and Adaptive sync went a long way in reducing visual artifacts, screen tearing, and ghosting, though there’s one major caveat to this rule as far as the actual picture quality is concerned.
The VA LCD panel used is more than serviceable when in motion, especially utilizing the ‘Xbox’ HDR mode that’s been formulated for use with the system, but the blacks (and darker colors of any kind really) are prone to some serious, ugly blooming. It’s most noticeable when the screen goes dark, as is common in such games as Ori and the Will of the Wisps, Doom Eternal, and Devil May Cry 5, where excessive white bloom and ghosting would completely blow out the picture quality and made for an overall unpleasant gaming experience in those moments. Considering the 4000:1 contrast ratio, the blacks just aren’t up to par, and we found that the colors were washed out regardless of HDR setting when plugged into our gaming laptop setup regardless of which HDR mode we took advantage of.
Now, it's worth remembering that despite its size, the Philips Momentum 559M1RYV is a gaming monitor, meaning it misses out on the Dolby Vision HDR format that has begun to be rolled out on the platform. That said, the included SmartImage HDR modes (HDR Game, HDR Movie, ‘Xbox’, etc.) all generally looked pretty good, with faithful color reproduction as you may expect from a panel with sRGB 125% coverage. However, the advertised mode, DisplayHDR 1000, looked lifeless and dull, especially in vivid games like Doom Eternal with its dark orange and bright red visual design. We recommend keeping the monitor in ‘Xbox’ mode for the most consistent picture quality, unless you intend to stream media, then HDR Movie is more than fine.
With all that said, how does the Philips Momentum 559M1RYV hold up when gaming at 120Hz in some of the latest games? Well, performance is stable with no flickering, ghosting, or distortion when in motion. We touched upon above about how the colors can be disappointing when you’re specifically watching for it, but when gaming, in Dirt 5 and Doom Eternal specifically, the onscreen action is silky smooth at all times, with no discernible stuttering or frame rate dips to speak of.
Philips Momentum 559M1RYV review: should you buy it?
In a world where high-end gaming TVs, such as the LG OLED CX (which is our number one pick for best TV Xbox Series X) retail for a similar rate to the Momentum 559M1RYV, and offer superior picture quality and features yet, it becomes a very hard sell. Console gamers after high refresh rates in Ultra HD are much better off with choice cuts from our best 120Hz 4K TV roundup in all honesty.
Not unlike some other high refresh rate monitors, the Philips Momentum 559M1RYV trades performance for picture quality and ultimately suffers for it. While everything on the display looks great in motion and benefits from vivid colors, the overall package is harmed by weak blacks and poor viewing angles, which could make everything else that you do on this monitor far from ideal when you're not just gaming.