Philips 55-inch Momentum 558M1RY – Design and Features
The Philips Momentum, based on its size, might look like a television, but its DNA is most definitely that of a monitor. This is most immediately evident by the -5 to +10 degree tilt, which can be a bit surprising when lifting it out of the box or if it ever needs to be moved. The monitor comes with its stand and soundbar attached, and it is heavy – weighing in at 58.3 pounds. It’s handy to not have to assemble anything, but be sure to have help to move it. The stand can be removed and there are 200x200mm VESA mounting points on the back for wall mounting the monitor.
Another monitor giveaway is the Momentum’s array of connections. It comes with a DisplayPort 1.4, three HDMI, a USB 3.0 hub (one upstream connection and four downstream, two of which are fast charge), and headphone out. The USB ports can be turned on even when the monitor is off in the user menu. The Philips site boasts that the Momentum “creates a new-level console gaming,” which brings to mind 4K/120Hz with the PS5 or Xbox Series X. The problem is the three HDMI are only 2.0 and therefore restrained to a 60Hz refresh rate at 4K. 120Hz over HDMI is only available in 1440p or less. If you want high refresh rate at 4K you’ll need to use the DisplayPort connection – which is only available on computers and not consoles.
Philips includes its Ambiglow technology on the Momentum, which utilizes a string of LEDs along the top and sides of the back panel. Ambiglow allows you to illuminate the wall behind the monitor with a single color or one that reacts to the images on the screen (the general term is bias lighting). It’s an interesting feature that could help with eye fatigue (especially by implementing a soft white light) while watching the bright screen in a dark room, but with colors I found it to be more of a gimmick at best. If bias lighting is your thing, the Momentum does a good job with it.
- VA LCD 55-inch panel
- 4K/60Hz over HDMI, 4K/120Hz over DisplayPort
- DisplayHDR 1000 certified
- 95% DCI-P3 color gamut coverage
- FreeSync Premium Pro
- 14ms low input lag
- 4ms response time (Gray to Gray)
- USB 3.0 hub with two fast-charge ports
- Philips’ Ambiglow LED lighting
- B&W 2.1-channel soundbar
The monitor comes with a small, light, black remote with a minimal – although sufficient – amount of buttons. The buttons are slightly on the small side, but spacing allows someone with larger fingers to use it easily without accidentally pushing wrong buttons. Since there isn’t a built-in smart interface (again, it’s a monitor and not a TV), all you need is menu navigation, input select, and volume for the soundbar.
Ah yes, the soundbar. The Philips Momentum comes with a soundbar by Bowers & Wilkins. For the unaware, B&W is one of the more trusted and respected names in premium audio (their Diamond line of speakers are some of the best I’ve heard) and in addition to Philips, they have partnerships with BMW, Maserati, and McLaren. As mentioned above, the 2.1-channel soundbar is already attached to the monitor in the box so it’s a bit unwieldy to move the Momentum around (make sure you have help). It has two tweeters, two drivers for mids, and a 20-watt woofer, and delivers sound far better than any other monitor.
Multiple audio modes with names like “RPG and Adventure” and “Shooting and Action” allow you to choose the frequency response for specific use cases (there’s also a Personal option for adjusting EQ bands). I found “Movie Watching” to be most pleasing to my ear and used that setting for everything. Dialogue came through easily with anything I watched or played. Bass response was decent, but lacking in the low rumble frequencies that let you feel explosions and car engines. It sounded as though the decibels rolled off starting around 80-100Hz, which is where you would generally have a home theater system cross over those low-end frequencies to a dedicated subwoofer. Still, great response for a soundbar.
The Momentum’s menus are just like any other Philips monitor. Menu categories for things like Ambiglow, Game Settings, and Picture are listed along the left side and selecting one opens up subcategory trees to the right. Navigation (especially with the remote) is easy. The Game Settings menu includes options for crosshairs (I never use them, but they’re there if you do), Low Input Lag (this can be left on without any visual repercussions), and Philips’ pixel response overdrive setting, SmartResponse. I left this in the fastest position and didn’t experience any ghosting.
Philips 55-inch Momentum 558M1RY – Performance
There are multiple picture modes listed under SmartImage in the picture menu that are designed for specific gaming situations like FPS, Racing, and RTS. The Momentum supports the DCI-P3 color gamut. Using Calman color calibration software from Portrait Displays, an X-Rite i1Display Pro colorimeter profiled with an X-Rite i1Pro3 spectrophotometer, and a Murideo Six-G signal generator I determined that the Gamer 2 picture mode had the most accurate grayscale and color measurements with average DeltaE values of 3.4 and 2.3, respectively. (DeltaE values are used to indicate how close to perfect an image is, with 3.0 or under being very good.) sRGB was virtually identical to Gamer 2 in measurements. The other picture modes aren’t nearly as good (mostly adding a blue tint to everything) and one that is meant to improve screen uniformity – cleverly called SmartUniformity – negatively affecting contrast. Performance is almost as good with the SmartImage picture modes switched to off and color temperature set to 6500K or Native. There’s a slightly red tint to light gray and white images, but it was only discernible with test patterns and never when playing games. Either choice is acceptable.
The Momentum is an DisplayHDR 1000-certified monitor and is able to surpass the required brightness to achieve that certification. In DisplayHDR 1000 picture mode it measures 1,118 cd/m2 (or nits), which means highlights in that mode really pop off the screen. DCI-P3 gamut coverage also matched the 95% claim that Philips makes, with green being slightly undersaturated but not enough to cause any visual aberration.
Since the Philips Momentum doesn’t have any built-in TV features, I used my Roku Streaming Stick+ plugged into one of the monitor’s HDMI to watch TV and movies and unfortunately the Momentum showed some of its flaws. The monitor is edge lit and doesn’t have any local dimming feature, which causes blooming around bright images in a dark space. The Millennium Falcon cruising through the Maw before running into the summa verminoth in Solo is a perfect example of this, and it can also be seen during credits. But more of an issue is a strange banding along the sides of the screen, as seen in the above photo, that was apparent on some streaming content. I will note that this was only when watching content via HDMI and wasn’t there with content from my computer over DisplayPort.
Philips 55-inch Momentum 558M1RY – Gaming
Gaming is where the Philips Momentum really shines. Sea of Thieves, still one of my HDR go-to test games, looked gorgeous both over DisplayPort from my computer and HDMI from my Xbox One X. The accurate colors were on display, especially the shades of blue and green in the ocean waves (the colors looked nice and vibrant on Outer Worlds as well). Bright highlights, like the burning sun during the day, practically popped off the screen and when my room’s lights were off, bordered on being too bright. Luckily switching to HDR Movie or Personal was able to cut that brightness a bit without anything else suffering. With SmartContrast turned on, there was also nice depth to the shadows while exploring some island’s caves for treasure chests.
On games like Call of Duty, where motion blur and accuracy are of utmost importance, the Momentum continued to perform well. With the SmartResponse set to Fastest, motion blur was reduced well without any ghosting being added (I left it in this setting for all of my gaming and never noticed an issue). Input lag was imperceptible for me as well. I had no issue getting the FreeSync adaptive sync to work with my Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Ti, and Final Fantasy XV was smooth with no evidence of tearing.
The biggest shame when it comes to gaming on the Philips Momentum is what’s missing. The company says the monitor will “take console gaming to the next level” but that next level for most, if not all of us is with the new consoles. The Momentum only has HDMI 2.0 though, and since the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S don’t have DisplayPort, there’s no possibility of 4K/120Hz gaming with either of them. That isn’t to say gaming on a console is a bust – as I said earlier both Sea of Thieves and Outer Worlds looked amazing – it just isn’t anything I would consider to be “next level.”