Philips’ Momentum 329M1RV is feature-packed and perfect for new-gen consoles
- Manufacturer: Philips
- Model: Momentum 329M1RV
- Display Type: IPS Gaming Monitor
- Resolution: 2160p (4k/UHD)
- Refresh rate: 144Hz (120Hz on supported consoles)
- Price when reviewed: £800 (estimate)
- Supplied by: Philips
Philips Momentum 329M1RV Review
The Momentum 329M1RV joins the 559M1RYV and 279M1RV as part of Philips’ Designed for Xbox range of monitors. As you’d expect for a display bearing that moniker, the 329M1RV comes with a host of features designed to get the most out of the Xbox Series X, including bespoke picture settings (handily labelled, Xbox).
I’ve been lucky enough to use this monitor as my daily driver for over a month now, which has given me plenty of opportunities to discover lots of things to love about this monitor, and very little in the way of complaints. The Momentum range released in 2020 was already fantastic, so it would have been easy for Philips to bump the refresh rate up to 120Hz and call it a day, but they’ve gone above and beyond.
Even though the basic design hasn’t changed, the overall picture quality is a big step up from last year’s models, with vastly improved gamut coverage and a significant increase in brightness. The connectivity options have also been improved, with a huge amount of ports that should keep even the most demanding of users happy.
Much like the 559M1RYV, it took a little experimentation to find the best combination of settings to get the most out of the 329M1RV (objectively, as everyone’s tastes are different). Fortunately, the out-of-the-box calibration is decent and should be suitable for the majority of users. If you prefer a more vivid and saturated image, that can be easily obtained without sacrificing subtleties in colour or crushing in dark scenes.
For content creators, the monitor responds well to calibration and can be brought to high levels of accuracy suitable for colour critical work, however, the AdobeRGB coverage isn’t quite up to the levels of high-end panels so this wouldn’t be my first choice for using in a professional setting. This is a gaming monitor, though, and for that, it excels.
Unboxing, accessories and assembly
The Philips Momentum 329M1RV is securely packaged, with the majority of the internal packaging now made of cardboard rather than the environmental disaster that is polystyrene. The weighty stand comes in two pieces and uses a tool-less screw to join it together, with a simple clip-in attachment to join the monitor to the stand.
Inside the box is the monitor, stand, power cable, and a high-speed HDMI 2.1 compatible cable, DisplayPort cable, and USB-C to C cable. Pleasingly, the power adapter is integrated into the display, so you don’t need a chunky power brick under your desk.
Considering the Momentum 329M1RV supports KVM with auto-switching, I was surprised that there was no USB-B to USB-A cable included. They can be picked up for next to nothing from online retailers, so it’s not really of concern, but I’d recommend picking one up if you like to connect multiple devices to your monitor.
Design and build
The Momentum 329M1RV has very subtle styling, bearing more in common with modern TVs than most gaming monitors. It could be viewed as a little plain, but the excellent build quality instead gives it more of a restrained and premium feel.
The majority of the back is plain matte black textured plastic surrounded by the Ambilight LEDs, with a glossy triangular section breaking up the top of the panel. It’s not as eccentric as many over-styled gaming monitors, but that suits my tastes just fine, as I rarely have my displays positioned where I get to see the back anyway.
Supporting the monitor, the chunky, weighty stand is exceptionally sturdy. Most of the stand is metal, with the whole thing weighing just shy of three kilos. The sharp angles and gunmetal grey finish give the Momentum 329M1RV a very stylish aesthetic, but I find it protrudes out too far for my liking.
From front to back, the stand is a hair under 30CM – the display itself doesn’t jut out as far, but the front of the stand extends out halfway across my sizeable desk, and I needed to rest my keyboard on the stand to achieve my usual typing position. Fortunately, the Momentum 329M1RV is VESA mount compatible, so you can use a monitor arm or third-party stand if you need to save some space.
There is a full range of ergonomic adjustments: Height can be adjusted by 130mm, tilted by -5°/+15°, and swivelled +/-20°, but the display cannot be pivoted and used in portrait alignment. Although there is no cutout for cable management, there is a clip at the rear of the stand for hiding cables away, made all the easier by the width of the stand’s downtube.
The joystick that controls the various functions and menus is tucked at the back on the right side of the monitor. I liked that it is almost silent in use, and only really makes noise when you click it in. Flicking through the UI is rapid and intuitive, with sensibly laid out menus and instant joystick response.
The 329M1RV also has Philips Ambiglow which works extremely well. I leave it set to ‘follow video’, where it follows the colours around the screen and extends them out around the display. It’s such a simple concept, but it makes a huge difference to the immersion of games and movies. There is a very subtle delay in the reaction to colour changes on the screen, but it’s a marked improvement over last year’s implementation.
In addition to following the action on the display, the Ambiglow can also pulse along with your music, be set to a static colour of your choosing to provide bias lighting, or it can display a few other colour shift effects, too.
Connectivity and Supported Resolutions
The Momentum 329M1RV has an outstanding suite of connectivity options: 3x HDMI 2.1, USB-C and DisplayPort 1.4 are available for connecting your displays, with a USB-B upstream port to connect the USB 3.2 hub to your PC, 4x USB-A ports (including two fast charge B.C 1.2), and a 3.5mm audio out.
The Momentum 329M1RV supports the following optimum resolutions:
HDMI 2.1: 3840*2160 @ 144Hz
DisplayPort: 3840*2160 @ 144Hz
USB-C: 3840*2160 @ 120Hz
Thanks to the increased bandwidth of HDMI 2.1, you can hit the full 144Hz refresh through both USB-C and HDMI, and I love that Philips has made every HDMI port support HDMI 2.1. It is a genuinely great selection of ports that should suit even the most demanding of users. I was using it for my Series X and S, as well as my work laptop via USB-C, another desktop PC and my gaming laptop.
There is no G-Sync support, official or otherwise, but Freesync Premium has you covered if you’re playing on console or have an AMD GPU in your PC/laptop. It’s rare that consoles stray far from their fixed frame rates, but in all the games I tried the action was kept buttery smooth.
On one of my gaming laptops, which has an older AMD GPU, frame rates fluctuate significantly, but the Momentum 329M1RV managed to keep it running smoothly. When it dipped below the Freesync window of 48Hz it became noticeably juddery, which highlighted just how good a job the adaptive sync was doing.
The USB-C port was a significant addition for me, as the KVM capabilities allowed me to quickly plug in my laptop and use my mechanical keyboard and mouse, as well as take advantage of the 65W charging capabilities to keep the battery topped up. It’s a great alternative to needing to keep a USB hub floating around the desk.
The integrated KVM switch worked flawlessly, automatically switching from my desktop to my USB-C connected laptop. If you are using your two KVM devices in PBP mode, it prioritises the primary input or you can manually switch between USB-up and USB-C.
When switching between input sources there is a longer than expected delay of around 3-5 seconds, but that’s a minor inconvenience that won’t trouble most people unless you frequently need to swap inputs. Auto input-switching works well, and if you have multiple devices connected (I had two consoles, two laptops and a desktop all connected simultaneously), a quick flick upwards on the joystick activates the input selector shortcut.
The Momentum 329M1RV has been designed for high-end console gaming. It has an excellent IPS panel, with a maximum refresh rate of 144Hz when connected via DisplayPort or HDMI 2.1. You also get Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) support, decent if unremarkable HDR performance, Auto Low Latency, and beautifully vivid wide-gamut colour.
This monitor is primarily targeted towards console gamers who don’t have the ability to calibrate their displays. The default settings will need some tweaking to get the most accurate display, and as mentioned earlier, I had to test multiple combinations of settings to hit the sweet spot.
In this review, I’ve identified the best settings to use to achieve the industry standard base level for the display. Using the monitor’s settings I adjusted the colour temperature, brightness and gamma to match, as closely as possible, 6500K colour temperature, 200 cd/m² brightness and a 2.2 gamma curve.
Optimal settings (all other settings default):
|Picture >||SmartImage >||Off|
|Colour >||User Define >||Red 98|
There are additional presets for low blue light, movie watching, some gaming presets and an sRGB mode. They could be useful in certain scenarios, but I prefer a natural image for all uses. sRGB mode will likely disappoint anyone who needs to use or prefers that setting, as it only works at 100% brightness (changing the brightness in sRGB mode changes it to 6500K).
The FPS gaming mode adjusts the brightness and raises the black level to make sighting enemies in dark areas easier, but shifts the colour temperature significantly to the cool side. It’s a similar story for the other presets, where they do make a notable difference to the image but stray far from what could be considered an optimal image. It will be down to personal preference whether you enjoy the picture they produce, but their inclusion is still welcome.
Viewing the UFO ghost test, with overdrive (labelled SmartResponse) turned off there is a slight amount of ghosting at the trailing edge of moving objects. Switching SmartResponse to Fast alleviates this, creating a crisp and detailed image with no perceivable blur, artefacts or ghosting. Bumping SmartResponse to faster or fastest slightly improves the responsiveness, but it introduces colour distortion at the leading edge. Small gains can be made to responsiveness, but the resultant loss in image quality makes it an undesirable option.
Brightness, contrast and colour
The Philips Momentum 329M1RV has an excellent peak brightness of 621 cd/m², which makes the monitor easy to see in a brightly lit room. Unfortunately, at full brightness, this raises the black level to 0.61 cd/m² which gives dark scenes a grey hue, though it doesn’t negatively affect the level of detail visible in dark areas. The contrast ratio of 1020:1 is average for an IPS display. With the brightness optimised at 200 cd/m² the black level reduced to 0.22, which is far better and suitable for viewing in dark rooms, though contrast reduced to 910:1.
I tested the 329M1RV with the various colour temperature presets, and found the Native colour setting most closely matched the ideal 6500K white point (6600K). Brightness and black levels remained fairly constant across all of the presets, however, the colour temperatures varied significantly from how they were labelled. I’d recommend Native as the best choice for most users, though you can try my user-defined settings to see how it looks to you.
The average DeltaE was 0.71, which is perfect for most users and well below the perceptible limit of deviation. The display gamma was slightly out using the default setting, with the 2.2 setting measuring 2.0. This made the image overall too light – adjusting the OSD gamma setting to 2.4 brought the gamma curve closer to the ideal line, with a more consistent Gray Ramp.
Gamut coverage and HDR
Colour saturation is very good, and although the 329M1RV only has average levels of contrast, the excellent gamut coverage makes this a beautiful display for gaming and media consumption.
The panel in the Philips Momentum 329M1RV is 10bit (8bit+FRC), with wide colour gamut support. The sRGB coverage is very good, measuring in with 100% coverage and a massive 130.9% volume. AdobeRGB has 81% coverage with a volume of 90.2%, and DCI-P3 has 87% coverage with a volume of 92.7%.
This relatively high DCI-P3 coverage helps the HDR image look suitably vivid, but considering the high peak brightness of 621 cd/m², I’m a little disappointed that Philips didn’t add any form of local dimming, as this would have made HDR performance much better and vastly improved the perceived contrast.
Of the HDR image options, DisplayHDR has a balanced colourspace and is the most natural, and looks great on games like Red Dead Redemption 2 and on movies or TV shows that have a more restrained palette. The HDR Game preset enhances the peak brightness, lowers the black levels and bumps up the colour saturation. Although it looks less natural, it makes for a fantastic viewing experience and is great for games like Halo and Ori, Marvel movies and anything that has bright neon colours or a cartoony aesthetic.
If HDR is important to you, I’d recommend checking out the Philips Momentum 559M1RYV (if you have space for a 55” display, that is), which has stunning HDR performance.
Viewing angles and uniformity
Viewing angles are excellent; the 329M1RV maintains colour saturation and clarity even at extremely wide angles. Brightness uniformity and colour accuracy are also consistent across the whole display, with imperceivable deviations in the corners that require measuring equipment to detect.
Although IPS glow is almost non-existent, there is quite a bit of backlight bleed, evidenced in the higher than expected black level of 0.61 cd/m² at max brightness, which can be seen as a slight grey tinge to dark colours and blacks. Fortunately, you don’t lose any detail in dark scenes, but very dark scenes can look a little washed out. When the brightness is lowered to 200 cd/m², the drop in black level to 0.22 cd/m² makes this far less prominent and is great for nighttime viewing or gaming.
Pricing and availability
The 329M1RV is currently out of stock in UK retailers, and I couldn’t find an up to date price. The 279M1RV retails for £719.99, and the much larger 559M1RYV for around £1200, so I would expect the 329M1RV to come in at around £800-£850, which is reasonable for the spec on offer.
The Philips Momentum 329M1RV is an excellent larger sized monitor for console gaming on the Xbox Series X (and PS5), as well as high-end PC gaming (if you can actually find a decent GPU without being price-gouged). Owners of the Series S or even One X will still get some of the benefits of the advanced features, even if it is overkill for those consoles, but if you’re thinking of upgrading down the line it’s definitely worth future-proofing your purchase.
The 329M1RV ticks lots of the right boxes, and it makes for a fantastic multi-use monitor. If you use multiple devices, you’ll love the extensive connectivity options and KVM capabilities. It’s bright and vivid enough to be enjoyed in all lighting conditions, and colour accuracy is very good. Responsiveness is also excellent and it works great for fast-paced games.
There are a few areas it could be improved, though: Contrast is merely average, and the elevated black levels at full brightness tarnish the experience when viewing very dark scenes in games or movies. The out of the box settings are usable, but it takes a bit of experimentation to get the picture just right.
Overall, I’ve loved using the Philips Momentum 329M1RV. If you’re looking for a larger monitor for console or PC gaming this is a great choice. Despite the minor drawbacks in contrast and black levels, those are more than overshadowed by the superb colour and gaming performance. Even after a month of using this monitor, I’m still impressed at how punchy and immersive this display is. Anyone choosing this monitor will surely be immensely happy with their purchase.