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Philips Evnia 27M2C5500W review: Fast and curvy

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £430
(Inc VAT)

Cheaper than we expected, this entry-level Evnia gaming monitor is quick, curvacious and colourful, with I/O ports aplenty


  • Very bright and colourful
  • Good gaming performance
  • Excellent value with a USB hub


  • All the ports are on the back
  • No speakers
  • No Ambiglow lighting

Philips’ new Evnia (Greek for “good thinking”) range of gaming monitors and peripherals was announced back in October 2022 and, while undoubtedly desirable, the prices when announced were a little on the high side. Thankfully, the Evnia range is now hitting retail channels in the UK at prices lower than initially stated. Case in point: the 27in M2C5500W I’m reviewing today was initially pegged at €579, but is now on sale for £430.

Philips Evnia 27M2C5500W review: What do you get for your money?

The 5000-series Evnia monitors sit in the middle of the range. Above them are the high-end 7000 and 8000 series machines, and below you’ll find the 3000 series (once they launch). For the money, you get a 27in VA panel with a 1000R curvature and a 2,560 x 1,440 resolution, which equates to a 109ppi pixel density. You’ll also find a USB hub on the back and support for AMD’s FreeSync Premium Pro, as well as a VESA DisplayHDR 400 certification. 

All that goodness is wrapped up in a smart and solid, albeit plastic, black and grey case. For a 27in monitor, it’s pretty compact, measuring up at 606 x 370 x 108mm. The bezels are reasonably slender at 9mm on the top and sides and 25mm at the bottom, while the whole product weighs 6.25kg, of which 1.25kg is the stand.

Adjustment is limited to three directions with 130mm to play with up and down, a -5 to +20 degree tilt and 30 degrees of swivel to left and right. There’s no pivot movement whatsoever, which isn’t surprising for a curved display.

The base – called a Compact Ergo Base – is a good trade-off between weight, size and stability, and doesn’t take up too much desk space. As is the norm these days, the base/stand assembly clips to the back of the panel with a quick-release bracket, below which you’ll find a 100 x 100m VESA mount.

One feature that’s missing from this cheaper member of the Evnia family is the Philips Ambiglow reactive LED light show, the PC monitor implementation of the Ambilight system found on Philips TVs that comes as standard on the 7000 and 8000 series monitors. But since you can buy the LED light strip separately that’s not a deal breaker.

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Philips Evnia 27M2C5500W review: What type of connections does it have?

Video connectivity is well catered for, with two HDMI 2.0 and two DisplayPort 1.4 ports. The same is true of data I/O, thanks to a USB-B upstream port and four USB-A downstream ports, all 3.2 Gen 1 or 5Gbits/sec spec. Two of the USB-A ports support 7W fast charging and the whole hub promises low input lag so peripherals react as fast as possible (not that you’ll notice). Lastly, there’s a 3.5mm audio jack, a necessity given that the Evnia doesn’t have any speakers.

That’s a decent selection of ports at this price point, though as ever with gaming monitors, I’m confounded by the absence of USB-C. Philips provides DisplayPort, HDMI and USB-B to USB-A cables in the box alongside the power cable (no power brick here, thankfully) and documentation.

I’m not a great fan of Philips’ idea of putting all the ports around the back in a downward-facing direction. In the absence of any rotation in the stand, I found myself having to tip the entire monitor over to swap cables. Putting at least one USB port on the side would have made life a bit easier.

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Philips Evnia 27M2C5500W review: How good is the image quality?

Technically speaking, the M2C550W panel is rather impressive. It’s extremely bright, with a maximum output of 599cd/m², far exceeding the requirement for this monitor’s HDR 400 certification. Combine that with a low black luminescence of just 0.22cd/m² and you end up with a contrast level of 2720:1 – that’s normal for a VA panel but a good result nonetheless. There’s colour aplenty, too, with 98.5% coverage of the sRGB gamut (and 119% volume) along with 83.7% DCI-P3 and 77.4% Adobe RGB. 

The only specific colour profile you’ll find in the Evnia’s menus is an sRGB clamp setting within several of the image modes (it’s the usual suspects: FPS, RTS, Racing, Movie, EasyRead, LowBlue, Economy and two user-definable settings). When I measured the Delta E colour accuracy against the sRGB profile in Standard, the Delta E colour variance came in at a very impressive 1.3, which means colour registration is pretty close to perfect. Out of the box, the gamma measured a perfectly reasonable 2.15.

While VA panels tend to boast a great contrast ratio, the payoff is viewing angles that are less broad than you’ll find with IPS or OLED displays. This isn’t really a problem with the M2C5500W because the combination of a 27in diagonal and a 1000R curve means that your line of sight is seldom far off 90 degrees. Even when you deliberately look at the screen from an oblique angle there’s no noticeable chromatic shift. 

Given the level of brightness and the curvature, I was concerned that there would be quite a lot of variation in the brightness across the screen, but I needn’t have worried. Measuring the brightness of 25 zones in a 5 x 5 pattern with a colourimeter, the 15 central areas all fell within the recommended tolerance, while the outer ten all fell within nominal tolerances, meaning that what deviation there was couldn’t be discerned by the naked eye.

In pure gaming terms, the Evnia is clearly a quick monitor in all senses of the word, with a G2G response time of 1ms – especially impressive for a VA panel – and a 240Hz refresh rate (via DisplayPort; connect over HDMI and you’re limited to 144Hz) so gameplay always looks supremely fluid as long as your GPU is up to the job.

Out of the box some ghosting is apparent, but there are three overdrive settings (SmartResponse in Philips’ speak) and I found that the middle one, Faster, did a decent job at reining it in. The highest setting, Fastest, as is typical of these systems, overshoots and replaces mild ghosting with far more noticeable inverse ghosting. Throughout my testing, I struggled to notice any significant smearing or motion blur. 

Support for HDR content is pretty basic given the display’s HDR400 certification. In the absence of any sort of local area dimming you’re not going to get true HDR, but the high brightness and excellent contrast ratio mean that HDR content looks more impressive than on an HDR400 IPS display. 

The Evnia supports AMD FreeSync Premium Pro, which beyond basic frame syncing purports to make games look better in HDR thanks to what AMD calls “meticulous colour and luminance certification”, which sounds impressive if vague. Horizon Zero Dawn (one of the few supported titles) certainly looked good in HDR with very vivid colours and great contrast, but then again so did Halo Infinite, which isn’t supported, so it’s hard to tell if what I was seeing was down to the monitor’s raw ability or AMD’s rigorous processes.

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Philips Evnia 27M2C5500W review: Are there any other features I should know about?

The OSD for the menu system is controlled by a single little joystick on the back of the monitor on the right side. It’s quite far around the back (7cm in from the edge) which will be an issue if you’re sitting at a deep desk with the monitor further away than I have it. That aside, it works well, with navigation helped by an always-on graphic showing you what each direction press does in any given context. 

The joystick has three handy shortcuts to save you some time: push it up and the Input menu opens, push it down and the Game Settings menu pops up, while a right push opens the SmartImage menu.

Philips also bundles in the same PIP/PBP mode found in its office monitors so you can display video feeds from two devices at the same time.

Philips Evnia 27M2C5500W review: Should I buy it?

For the price, it’s very hard to knock the 27in Evnia. The panel is bright and colourful and exhibits all the strengths but almost none of the weaknesses traditionally ascribed to VA displays. Gaming performance is impressive thanks to the innate speed of the panel, while the abundance of accurate colour makes it a good buy for someone who wants a monitor for work and play. The USB hub is a handy addition, and although the lack of speakers is a shame, I would much rather have a hub than a pair of tweeters that would no doubt be pretty dismal.

Let me put it this way: I’m currently in the market for a new monitor for less than £600 and the M2C5500W is now at the top of my list.

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