Philips has launched Evnia, an all-new gaming brand bringing a fresh unique aesthetic style and cutting-edge performance
On Thursday, 20th October 2022, myself and around a thousand journalists were flown out to Paris for a spectacular presentation announcing the launch of the brand new Philips Evnia gaming brand. More than just a twist on the familiar formula, Evnia represents a massive leap for Philips with a distinctive, clean and modern aesthetic, and impressive performance.
Let me set the scene: Our coach pulled up to the Stade de France amidst a rain-soaked sky, as beaming lights shone from the top of the towering arena. Just as we arrived, spectacular forks of lightning radiated out behind a huge “Esports ready” banner – as far as making an impact goes, they couldn’t have planned it any better.
Driving into the cavernous tunnels that ring the stadium, we were dropped off on a red carpet and guided through a series of dark, mist-filled tunnels illuminated by flashing RGB lighting that was not dissimilar to the Philips Ambilight found on their TVs and monitors (a nice touch of foreshadowing, as it happens). Eventually, we reached the stands of the stadium itself. After a brief interlude, we reentered the stadium and were led to our seats in a small theatre for a presentation announcing the Evnia brand and its values.
In the words of Philips; “The word Evnia (Greek: Εύνοια) consists of eu (good) and nous (mind), which literally means “well mind” and “smart thinking”. Evnia is used as a word to show interest to support and protect someone or something. It’s often used in the context of luck. Everyone can be a gamer, and Evnia, true to the name, supports the joy of gaming for all.”
“Philips Monitors believes that the joy of gaming should be accessible to everyone. Our goal for Evnia is to provide today’s gamers, in all their diversity, with the monitors and accessories they need to get the most enjoyment out of every gaming session, whether in terms of performance, graphics, or overall user experience. Evnia, true to the name, encourages gamers to bring their most genuine selves to their sessions and to reconnect with the original purpose of gaming.” -Xeni Bairaktari, Global Marketing Lead and Senior Brand Manager EU at MMD Monitors & Display
Although the Evnia mantra is “Reinvent the Rules”, there weren’t any outlandish design innovations on show. As it turns out, “Reinvent the Rules” refers more to aesthetics than technology; Evnia is designed to challenge the preconceived notions of who gamers are. Despite gaming being the largest media and entertainment market and enjoyed by people from all walks of life, gaming is still widely perceived as the domain of teenagers and basement-dwellers, and products have reflected this with aggressive styling and the use of darker colours like blacks and reds. Evnia aims to flip this on its head, with premium styling and bright, welcoming colourways that will elevate your gaming setup.
However, make no mistake, Philips Evnia is still bringing out some premium displays and products, featuring desirable and cutting-edge specs such as OLED panels, 4k ultrawides and fast VA panels, along with keyboards, mice and headsets. We got to go hands-on with their new range, and colour me impressed, it was a fantastic showcase of their new products.
The Philips Evnia Range
The Philips Evnia monitors (and peripherals) will be launched in several series, the 3000 series (good), 5000 series (better) and 7000/8000 series (best). Although this echoes the naming convention established by the Momentum range, I still wish they’d taken the opportunity to simplify or clarify the names. Knowing which is the newest and best in the range isn’t immediately apparent, which will be compounded in years to come as new products are announced. Take the Evnia 34M2C8600, in layman’s terms, the first two numbers are the screen size, followed by a designation indicating the screen tech/features, and finally, a four-digit number indicating the series and model number. It’s a little confusing, but that’s why tech and review sites are so helpful (I still refer to other sites if it’s a product we haven’t tested).
Long-winded names aside, I have nothing but praise for the Evnia products. These monitors are packed with features gamers require, like low input lag, fast refresh rates and adaptive sync, but Philips has also included Ambiglow (the monitor version of the Ambilight system found on its TVs) which syncs to the image on the screen, illuminating the wall behind your display.
Some monitors in the range have HDMI 2.1 ports running at 48 Gbps, which finally allows devices which don’t have DisplayPort connectivity (such as high-end gaming laptops) to utilise the full performance of the displays. Many products in the Evnia range also support USB-C with DisplayPort alt-mode, with integrated USB hubs and KVM switching.
These are beautifully designed monitors, with smooth lines contrasted by subtle angular patterning and textures, but I was impressed that they have retained proper ergonomic adjustments, even on the larger screens. Most BFGD monitors tend to be fixed in position, or maybe have a small amount of swivel, but the Evnia range we saw has full height, tilt and swivel adjustments.
The Evnia monitor launch will be spearheaded by the curved ultrawide Philips Evnia 34M2C7600MV, which launches this December, followed by the 42M2N8900 (42” OLED flat screen), 34M2C8600 (34” QD OLED curved screen) and 27M2C5500W (27” VA curved screen) in mid-January.
We have a little longer to wait for the accessories, with two keyboards (SPK8508 and SPK8708), two mice (SPK9508 and SPK9708), two headsets (TAG5208 and TAG7208), and one mouse pad (SPL7508) expected from June 2023 onwards.
Philips Evnia 7000 34M2C7600MV
The first model available in the range will be the Philips Evnia 34M2C7600MV, a 34″ 1500R curved ultrawide WQHD (3440×1440) display. This Mini-LED VA panel has DisplayHDR 1400 certification (1400 nits at 10%/900 nits centre), 10-bit colour depth (8-bit+dithering) and 1,152 dimming zones, as well as a 165 Hz refresh rate and adaptive sync. As one of the new breed of “fast-VA” panels, it has a specified G2G response time of 2.5ms, which should go some way towards combatting the dreaded VA smear that afflicts many VA panels.
Along with a DisplayPort 1.4 and two HDMI 2.1 ports, it also has USB-C DP alt mode connectivity and a four-port USB hub with KVM.
This is a mightily impressive display, with an SDR peak brightness of 720 cd/m². It looked great in motion, but I didn’t get the opportunity to fully check the responsiveness of the VA panel. Rest assured, once we receive a review unit I’ll be fastidiously testing every facet of the performance. Initial impressions, however, were very good.
The 34M2C7600MV is part of the 7000 series (best), and this is the most expensive of the new range at €2,069. Surprisingly, this is more expensive than the similarly sized 34M2C8600 which has a QD-OLED display.
Philips Evnia 8000 42M2N8900
This was possibly my favourite display at the event. The 42M2N8900 is a 42″ 4K UHD OLED monitor, with a 138 Hz refresh rate. OLED has been gaining popularity amongst gamers since manufacturers have managed to get a handle on avoiding image retention, but aside from a couple of notable examples from ASUS and LG, it has been mostly found on TVs. This was my first look at a true OLED gaming monitor, and it’s one that I’d definitely want for my setup.
The 42M2N8900 has two HDMI 2.1 inputs, a DisplayPort 1.4 port and also has USB-C (DP alt mode) connectivity. This makes it ideal for those with a mixture of new-gen consoles, laptops and desktop hardware. Connectivity is rounded out with the now obligatory four-port USB hub and KVM switch.
The expanded screen size may not be ideal for serious competitive gaming, but if you’re like me and use your monitor for PC and console gaming, watching movies/TV and productivity, this strikes the perfect middle ground between something like the Momentum 329M1RV and 559M1RYV. It’s big enough to be enjoyed whilst reclined in your chair, but it can still fit on a modest-sized desk.
Thanks to the true blacks of OLED, the 42M2N8900 is perfect for nighttime/dark room viewing without the light bleed that is common in many IPS and VA panels. Although FALD displays do a great job with HDR content, larger displays still have an issue with haloing – on a screen this size the improvement of OLED is immediately apparent.
I got to test this display playing F1 22, and I was impressed by the motion handling, with no unwanted blur or smearing and rapid input response.
Launching in January and priced at €1,959 (global prices to follow), this is certainly at the premium end of the pricing scale, but you get a heck of a lot of monitor for your money, and picture quality that’s up there with the best I’ve ever seen.
Philips Evnia 8000 34M2C8600
The 34M2C8600 is a 34″ ultrawide WQHD 1440p monitor that features a gentle 1800R curve. This stunning QD-OLED panel should hit over 1000 cd/m² peak brightness, while the self-illuminating pixels produce inky blacks and incredible contrast. The 34M2C8600 also has a 175 Hz refresh rate and a specified 0.1ms G2G response which should be even better suited to fast-paced games.
Priced at €1,849, this is once again an expensive monitor, but it’s understandable that Philips would focus on its flagships for this event.
The rest of Evnia
Of the monitors, only the soon-to-be-released 34M2C7600MV had a full spec list provided to us, so it’s hard to dive too deep into the specs just yet, but having seen them in person I’m very excited to get them on the test bench and put them through their paces. In addition to the premium examples above, the 5000 Series 27M2C5500W was also on display – at €579 this 27″ 1440p monitor is affordable, with performance on par with competing products on the market. Although it follows the Evnia styling, this monitor comes in dark grey and sadly doesn’t have the awesome AmbiGlow lighting system.
It wasn’t just monitors, though, with the Evnia range set to include headsets, mice, keyboards and even mouse mats when they release in June next year. Lots of these peripherals were wireless, and those I tried seemed to have good responsiveness. Although none of the peripherals looked to be bringing anything innovative to the table, I like the way that they tie into the Evnia aesthetic, complete with RGB lighting that can be synced via Philips’ new control software, Philips Control Centre.
The new Evnia 7000 headsets feature dual wireless connectivity via both 2.4 GHz and Bluetooth, though it’s not yet known whether these can be used for simultaneous connectivity similar to the Audeze Penrose. Some fellow attendees commented that the headsets sounded distorted, but the Evnia 7000 wireless headset I tried sounded great (although I did turn the volume down somewhat). Featuring a split suspension headband and luxuriously soft fabric earcups, it was very comfortable, and I loved the white and grey colourway broken up by an LED strip down the centre. Again, I’d need to test these in a controlled environment to be able to properly comment on the sound quality, but I’m optimistic.
With only a couple of months before these products start making their way to the shelves, it won’t be long until we can start bringing you reviews. We’re expecting more news in the run-up to the launch, so check back in for detailed news, reviews and opinions on the brand-new Philips Evnia range.