To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Philips 221V2SB review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £95
inc VAT

This monitor's excellent image quality, low price and dual inputs make it the perfect budget buy

Often a budget monitor is cheaper because it misses out on features or image quality isn’t as good as with a more expensive display. It’s good to see that the Philips 221V2SB has the best of both worlds: a low price and excellent image quality.

Philips 221V2SB back

Image quality settings are basic: you get brightness, contrast and colour temperature controls, and the latter are limited to Warm, Cool, sRGB and User settings. There’s also a dynamic contrast option, but we didn’t notice any difference with it turned on – which is a good thing, as normally this setting results in distracting changes in luminosity.

Despite these basic controls – or possibly as a result of so little processing – image quality is great. Contrast was superb, with a wide range between light and dark areas that made reflections and dark shadows stand out as they should. Colour was natural and vibrant thanks to a bright, even backlight, with no trace of a cast using the sRGB colour temperature setting.

Philips 221V2SB side

We were really impressed by the 221V2SB’s performance in side-by-side tests while watching the Blu-ray version of Casino Royale. In the dark casino scenes, the glitter of sweat on Bond’s face is in stark contrast to the deep black of his suit, but detail is still visible in both, and the candy colours of the chips stand out brilliantly against the green baize of the card table.

The 22in 221V2SB’s plain, matt-black case is a welcome change from the glossy black plastic found on most other monitors, and the thin bezel doesn’t distract you from the image. Clearly-labelled physical buttons to control the menu system are arranged in a line under the screen, and the menu system itself is clear and logically organised.

Philips 221V2SB ports

Although the monitor doesn’t have an HDMI input it has DVI with HDCP, so you can use a cheap HDMI-to-DVI adaptor, plus there’s a VGA input, so you can hook up two devices. There are no speakers on the monitor, so for audio you’ll need to hook up a set of external speakers.

Considering the brilliant image quality and low price, the 221V2SB is a brilliant buy and wins a Budget Buy award.

Basic Specifications



Viewable size21.5 in
Native resolution1,920×1,080
Contrast ratio1,000:1 (300,000:1 dynamic)
Horizontal viewing angle176°
Vertical viewing angle170°
Response time5ms
Response time typeblack-to-black
Screen depth68mm
Base (WxD)220x181mm
Screen elevation83mm


Portrait modeno
Wall mount optionyes
Height adjustableno
Internal speakersnone
Detachable cablesyes
USB hubnone
Integrated power supplyyes
Kensington lock lugyes
Display extrasnone
VGA inputyes
DVI inputyes
S-video inputno
Component inputno
Composite inputno
HDCP supportyes
Audio inputsN/A


Power consumption standby0W
Power consumption on41W

Buying Information

Warrantythree years onsite

Read more