Philips 328P6AUBREB review – HDR has been a hot topic in TVs for a while, and it’s now hitting the mainstream. From phones and laptops with HDR- capable screens, to streaming service providers such as Netflix and Amazon, HDR is everywhere – and that includes monitors such as the Philips 328P6AUBREB, which joins the Samsung CHG70 as one of only two HDR-capable PC monitors I’ve tested.
You turn HDR on by setting it to Auto in the on-screen display and – when hooked up through the HDMI port – it worked flawlessly with HDR-enabled Windows 10 games and apps. As ever, though, by enabling HDR within Windows the OS then misinterprets the colours in everything non-HDR related, resulting in washed-out colours on the desktop and any app that doesn’t support the standard. This has nothing to do with the monitor but rather Microsoft’s nascent implementation of HDR.
If you’re hoping to watch Amazon Video and YouTube in HDR, you’ll need to invest in a streaming stick. Netflix does support HDR through the browser, but there’s a specific set of requirements to get it working. For instance, you’ll need a seventh-gen Intel processor and an Nvidia GTX 1050 or above.
Shadow Warrior 2 is my go-to game to test a monitor’s HDR gaming capabilities. Here, the benefits of HDR are obvious: with HDR enabled the sun is visible in the sky and if it’s disabled it blends into the horizon. This monitor wouldn’t be my top choice for gaming, though. I found it sluggish and, with overdrive enabled, there’s inverse ghosting.
This is to be expected from a 60Hz non-gaming panel, and Philips makes up for it in overall image quality. The 31.5in, 2,560 x 1,440 IPS panel is 10-bit, which means you should see a richer, more vibrant range of colour.
It’s also one of the most colour- accurate consumer-grade monitors around. Tested with our in-house i1 DisplayPro colour calibrator, the Philips returned an average Delta E score of 1.09 and a decent contrast ratio of 1,271:1.
I was disappointed with the sRGB gamut coverage, though, which I measured at a lowly 89.7%. That’s fine for a budget monitor, but this Philips doesn’t fall into that category. Its Adobe RGB gamut coverage is better at 91.1% and colour accuracy improves a touch in Adobe RGB mode, too, with the average Delta E dropping to 0.87. Just shy of 500cd/m2 at peak brightness, the monitor is bright, too.
The biggest flaw is brightness uniformity. With a variance of up to 20% in corners from the centre of the display, the Philips lacks consistency. The variance is so great that I even noticed its ill effects when looking at my desktop wallpaper. If you’re a professional photo or video editor, this is a dealbreaker.
Most Philips monitors are well made and attractive to look at, and the 328P6AUBREB is no exception. Its “SmartErgoBase” stand provides -5 to 20 degrees of tilt adjustment, 180mm of height adjustment, and 340 degrees
ABOVE Head-on this is a terrific, punchy panel, but viewing angles let it down
LEFT This flexible stand can swivel 340 degrees and-as shown here-can pivot too
With HDR enabled, the sun in Shadow Warrior 2 is visible in the sky; with itdisabled, it blends into the horizon
of swivel, which is about as flexible as monitor stands get. It’s also possible to spin the screen 90 degrees and view it in portrait mode.
As for connectivity, Philips gives you a host of options to choose from. There’s a USB-C input supporting USB 3.1, meaning it will carry data, video and power to and from your laptop, tablet or phone. There’s also an old-school VGA input, plus DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 2, and 3.5mm headphone and aux in jacks. An Ethernet port and two USB 3 Type-A ports round off the connections.
The OSD is as comprehensive as the monitor’s connections and provides a feast of options, including the pre-calibrated Adobe RGB and sRGB colour profiles and LowBlue Mode, which is designed to reduce eye strain.
With HDR support, a colour-accurate Quad HD panel and stunning build quality, this is a top quality monitor. If you want a do-it-all screen that will cope with games, HDR movies and a little creative work on the side, it’s worth considering. With Windows 10’s HDR support still in its infancy, however, you might want to hold off on a purchase until its price drops or more competition arrives on the scene. CHRISTOPHER MINASIANS
Philips 328P6AUBREB review : SPECIFICATIONS
31.5in 2,560 x 1,440 IPS panel • 60Hz • 4ms response time • DisplayPort 1.2 • HDMI 2 • DisplayPort 1.2 • VGA • USB-C • RJ-45 • 2 x USB 3 • 2 x 3W speakers • -5 to 20-degree tilt • pivot • 180mm height adjustment • 742 x 270 x 477-657mm (WDH) • 9.7kg • 1yr RTB warranty
Packs in plenty of features, from HDR10 support to a USB-C port, but there area fair few flaws as well