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Philips 498P9Z review: An enormous, high-end super ultrawide for work and play

Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
1,000
inc VAT

The Philips 498P9Z is a formidable multipurpose monitor with impressive gaming credentials – but you’ll need deep pockets

Pros 
Huge, good-looking screen
Relatively versatile stand
Good gaming credentials
Cons 
Expensive
No USB-C
Minor panel issues
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The Philips 498P9Z is a staggeringly large super ultrawide monitor with a price tag to match. This 49in, 32:9 behemoth is about as big as you can get without slipping back into a 16:9 aspect ratio and graduating to a full-blown TV.

This is one of three monitors bearing the 498P9 product name. Unlike its siblings, both of which are productivity monitors through-and-through, the 498P9Z has a boosted refresh rate and HDR support, which in theory marks it as a good candidate for some after-hours ultrawide gaming.

As a result, the 498P9Z has a lot to prove, particularly since it’s a £1,000 investment. It also has to fend off some fierce competition from the likes of Samsung, whose 49in monitors dominate this corner of the market at the minute. So is it up to the task?

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Philips 498P9Z review: What do you get for the money?

At the time of writing, the Philips 498P9Z costs £1,000. That gets you a 49in VA panel with a resolution of 5,120 x 1,440, a curvature of 1800R, a refresh rate of 165Hz, a quoted response time of 4ms G2G and generic adaptive sync support.

On the rear, you’ll spot four USB-A 3.2 ports and a USB-B port to hook them up to your PC/laptop. You’ll also see three HDMI 2.0b ports, one DisplayPort 1.4 port and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Barely holding this mighty monitor aloft is a large, skeletal stand that provides 130mm of height adjustment, 20 degrees of swivel left/right and ten degrees of backwards tilt. The box contains DisplayPort, HDMI and USB-A to USB-B cables alongside the power supply and documentation.

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Philips 498P9Z review: What does it do well?

It won’t surprise you to read that the panel is the main attraction here. I found that, with a bit of resizing, I could fit three windows into the 49in of screen space quite comfortably (that is, without making them so small as to be impractical). The same arrangement on two 27in screens would result in the central window being split in half.

All that extra space is a huge boon to the user experience. Gaming on this thing is incredibly immersive: anyone who’s deeply invested in simulators such as Microsoft Flight Simulator will find that this monitor improves the experience markedly. And who doesn’t want to take in more of the beautiful open worlds delivered by the likes of The Witcher 3 or Valheim?

For office users, it’s great to have more of the windows you need visible at all times, plus it makes navigating large spreadsheets much, much easier. The monitor is also capable of displaying images from two different sources simultaneously and has picture-in-picture and picture-by-picture modes for maximum versatility.

The Philips 498P9Z performed well in testing. Out of the box the panel produced 115% of the sRGB colour gamut, which equates to 81.4% of the DCI-P3 gamut and 79.2% of the Adobe RGB gamut. These figures are good (albeit a bit lower than anticipated) and indicate that the monitor is vibrant to look at. An average Delta E of 2.07 in this mode tells us that the monitor is reasonably accurate – perhaps not ideal for professionals, but fine for everyone else.

Philips monitors have a multitude of SmartImage presets that conserve power and reduce blue light but, as ever, you will sacrifice colour accuracy if you choose to use one.

That said, the bottom line here is that this is a very capable panel with vivid, accurate colours and a blinding peak luminance – I measured 585cd/m² from the monitor on test here.

Officially, the 498P9Z supports DisplayHDR 400 and HDR10 decoding. Thanks to its high peak luminance, reasonably wide gamut panel and a contrast ratio of 3,565:1 with the brightness maxed out, this monitor is relatively good at handling HDR content for a monitor that lacks local dimming support. Pair that with the 165Hz refresh rate, 4ms response time and generic adaptive sync support and you’ve got a pretty capable gaming monitor – if your rig can handle it.

Aside from the panel, it’s also worth levelling some praise at the stand, which supports more adjustment options than ought to be possible given the size of the panel. For reference, the £1,749 Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 (another 49in behemoth) has a marginally less versatile stand.

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Philips 498P9Z review: What could be better?

At this size, the uniformity of the backlight was always likely to be an issue and it was immediately clear that the corners of the display were letting too much light through. This isn’t noticeable in normal use, but if you view dark content often you might spot the patches of light.

I’m also not certain that Philips has been aggressive enough with the curvature of this screen. The Odyssey Neo G9 has a 1000R curve that keeps the distance between your eyes and the screen reasonably equal from end to end; the 1800R curve on the 498P9Z, meanwhile, is pretty mild. Although it does have a positive effect on your periphery while gaming, you’ll be squinting a bit at the far corners of this panel.

My main concern, however, is that the 498P9Z doesn’t cater all that well to non-gamers given the price. I’m surprised that it lacks a USB-C port, and while I wouldn’t personally require something more niche such as an RJ-45 Ethernet port, there are those who might.

READ NEXT: Our pick of the best 4K gaming monitors

Philips 498P9Z review: Should you buy it?

The Philips 498P9Z is a capable all-rounder with a definite gaming skew. It suffers from a few issues typical of its panel size and type, but on the whole the experience is a good one, characterised by immersive gameplay and more screen real estate than even a prolific spreadsheet maker could ever need.

There are definitely reasons not to use the 498P9Z purely as a work monitor – the lack of USB-C or other niche ports is a shame – and it’s hard to look past the price tag, but if you have the funds and you want a top-end monitor for work and play, you could do much worse.

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