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Philips Evnia 49M2C8900 OLED review: The state of the ultrawide art

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : 1,243
inc. VAT

While not cheap, the 49in Evnia is the best ultra-widescreen OLED gaming monitor on the market

Pros

  • Perfect motion handling
  • Staggering audio quality
  • Accurate wide colour gamuts

Cons

  • Expensive
  • The remote control is a bit sluggish
  • All the ports are at the back

If you want an ultrawide 49in OLED gaming monitor, you have a choice between models from Asus ROG, Samsung, Philips Evnia and MSI. Picking the best should be straightforward until you notice that all four manufacturers use the same Samsung-made 5,120 x 1,440 QD-OLED panel.

We’ve already tested the 240Hz Samsung G95SC, and while the basic panel impressed mightily, the Tizen smart operating system and weird choice of ports didn’t.

Though we’ve not given the Asus ROG Swift PG49WCD a once over, it is rather let down by the 144Hz refresh rate. As for the MSI MPG 491CQP, well, despite being shown at CES in January 2023, it still isn’t actually on sale yet, and looks as though it’ll be a 144Hz affair like the Asus ROG Swift.

That leaves the Philips model in the form of the new 49M2C8900. Given how impressed we were by the 49M2C8900’s smaller 34in brother, the 34M2C8600, it’s not unreasonable to expect the Evnia ultrawide to blow the competition out of the water.

The new breed of ultrawide OLED monitors built around Samsung’s latest 49in quantum dot OLED 5,120 x 1,440 1800R panel are megalodons to other gaming monitors’ great whites. In size and performance, they’re in a league of their own.

Assuming you have the space and a GPU with the cojones to run AAA games at 5K resolution, monitors like the 49M2C8900 deliver HDR gaming of unparalleled quality.

They are also rather handy for watching movies, even if there is little genuine 32:9 content available. As for work – few things make multitasking easier than dividing up a 32:9 5,120 x 1,440 desktop into two 16:9 2,560 x 720 workspaces.

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Evnia 49M2C8900 OLED review: What do you get for your money?

You would have to be blind not to think the 49M2C8900 is one of the most stylish monitors on the market. Granted, it looks like a stretched version of the 34M2C8600, but that’s one of the other best-looking monitors, so who cares?

We’re big fans of the trademark white Evnia and the colourful speckles on the stand. It’s a clean, modern design that’s visually striking without trying too hard. It also walks a nice line between office sobriety and gaming extravagance, making it look right at home in all scenarios.

The top and side bezels are impressively slim, and even though the chin bezel is deeper in proportion to the huge width of the 49M2C8900, it really doesn’t look it. The panel itself is slender, even if that does result in a deeper central section at the rear, which contains the technical gubbins and the ports.

Just like the stand that comes with the 34in Evnia, the one that ships with the 49M2C8900 is a slender and unobtrusive affair with a cable tidy at the back. It offers 120mm of height, 20 degrees of swivel to the left and right and tilt between -5 and +15 degrees. That’s the same as the 34M2C8600, other than a 30mm less height adjustment.

The stand fixes to the back of the monitor with a quick-release mechanism. There’s a 100 x 100mm VESA adapter in the box that slots into the same mechanism, which lets you use a VESA mount without having to screw anything into the monitor case itself.

Given the width of the new Evnia (1.2m from side-to-side), stretching your arm out to reach around for the toggle that navigates the menu system isn’t particularly comfortable, but thankfully, Philips bundles a remote control. It’s not the fastest remote, but it’s better than nothing and an achy arm.

READ NEXT: Best monitors for work and gaming


Evnia 49M2C8900 OLED review: What type of connections does it have?

The range of ports on the 49in Evnia is much the same as on the 34in model, with two HDMI ports (now v2.1 up from v2.0 on the smaller monitor) and one DisplayPort 1.4 taking care of primary video duties along with a 90W PD Type-C port for secondary video input. For data, you get an upstream USB-B and four downstream Type-A USB ports, all 5Gbps spec. A 3.5mm audio jack rounds out the selection.

While the 34in Evnia located two of the USB ports on the side of the cabinet, the 49in model groups all the ports together at the back, facing downwards. If you need to regularly swap out USB plugs, you’ll soon learn to curse the name of whoever designed the 49M2C8900. Physically hoicking the big Evnia up to access the I/O ports is no easy feat given the 14kg weight.

All those I/O ports make the 49M2C8900 a KVM master, so you can use the same keyboard and mouse to manage two devices, one attached via the main video inputs and one via the Type-C port. With a wide selection of PiP and PbP modes and an automatic KVM switch for when you’re using a 50:50 split, managing multiple workspaces couldn’t be much easier.

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Evnia 49M2C8900 OLED review: How good is the image quality?

The Samsung QD-OLED panel is a known quantity in both 144Hz and 240Hz iterations, and I would have been surprised if its performance in the new 49in Evnia was anything less than stellar.

Colour gamut coverage is excellent, with volumes of 171.7% sRGB, 118.2% Adobe RGB and 121.6% DCI-P3. Along with the various bespoke colour modes, an sRGB clamp gave a Delta E colour variance reading of just 1.03, which is excellent.

Peak brightness in SDR mode came back at 247cd/m2 while in HDR mode, and from a small screen area (<10%), the peak was 771cd/m². Both those numbers are slightly better than the ones I got from the Samsung G95SC, though not by enough to be noticeable to the naked eye.

Phillips reckons the 49M2C8900 can pump out 1,000cd/m2 from a <3% screen area, which is perfectly possible, though my colourimeter wasn’t able to replicate that result.

Our test results were more than enough to warrant the DisplayHDR True Black 400 certificate that the 49M2C8900 carries. With such wide colour gamuts, high peak brightness, and the absolute blacks inherent in OLED technology, HDR performance was quite superb.

Two HDR games that always separate the men from the boys, Ori and the Will of the Wisps and the new Phantom Liberty expansion for Cyberpunk 2077 looked jaw-droppingly good in HDR on the 49M2C8900, the former better described as a work of art than a game when played on the big Evnia.

Another area where the 49M2C8900 excels is display uniformity. In the brightness and ISO 14861 tests, the panel performed faultlessly with minimal deviation from the recommended tolerance from one corner of the screen to the other. Again, the Samsung was good in this test, but not as good as the new Evnia.

The combination of a 240Hz refresh rate and a 0.03ms Grey to Grey response time is a recipe for perfect motion handling, and that’s what you get on the 49M2C8900: perfection. To the naked eye, there’s simply no blurring, ghosting or smearing to be seen.

The Envia is the first monitor we’ve tested that has been subjected to VESA’s new Certified ClearMR testing regime for motion fidelity. Monitors are tested using ultra-high speeds cameras and put into one of 11 categories ranging from ClearMR 3000 to ClearMR 13000. The 49M2C8900 is in the highest band, meaning that motion handling is as good as can be.

The 49M2C8900 is also G-Sync and AMD FreeSync Premium Pro certified, which means your monitor and GPU will work seamlessly together and keep screen tearing in check, no matter what the circumstances.

READ NEXT: Best budget gaming monitors


Evnia 49M2C8900 OLED review: What other features are there?

The DTS-certified speaker system buried inside the 49M2C8900 cabinet is simply outstanding. Turn it up to the max, and you get a genuine Maxell moment thanks to a whopping 30W power output. Thanks to the extra wide spacing of the drivers, the Evnia generates an exceptionally broad soundstage.

The system consists of a pair of ported 7.5W woofers and a pair of 7.5W tweeters, which between them generate 91dB(A) as recorded from a pink noise source at a 1m distance. They produce a deep, warm bass, crystal clear treble and abundant detail across the range. They are by some margin the best monitor speakers I have ever heard.

Philips’ excellent Ambiglow technology has really hit its stride in the 49M2C8900. If you’re unaware, this is the immersive rear-mounted LED lighting system that can be set to work in sympathy with what the monitor is showing or the speakers are playing.

Ambiglow has been a worthwhile feature on all the Evnia monitors we’ve tested, but on the 49M2C8900, it’s brighter and more in tune with the visual or audio proceedings. In a nutshell, it now works just as well as the Ambilight system on Philip’s high-end TVs, when previously it didn’t, even if it was still leagues ahead of the active backlight system on any other brand of gaming monitor.

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Evnia 49M2C8900 OLED review: Verdict

When the 49M2C8900 first landed in the UK, the gorilla in the room was the price: £1,649 is a lot of money for a monitor. More to the point it was £250 more than the Samsung and Asus ROG equivalents. But during the final editing of this review the price dropped to £1,243.

There may be nothing between the three in terms of panel performance other than the Asus ROG’s lower 144Hz refresh rate (which won’t be an issue for anyone without a very high-end GPU), but the Evnia’s astounding sound system, dazzling Ambiglow backlight and faultless motion fidelity are certainly worth the extra outlay.

At the time of writing, the Evnia 49M2C8900 is state-of-the-art when it comes to ultra-widescreen gaming monitors, and the only reason not to buy one is a shortage of money or space. We can’t recommend it highly enough.


Specifications

Panel size49in, 1800R curve
Panel resolution5,120 x 1,440
Native colour depth10-bit
Panel refresh rate240Hz
Panel response time0.03ms G2G
Panel typeQD OLED
Adaptive sync supportAMD FreeSync Premium Pro / G-Sync Compatible
HDR supportDisplayHDR True Black 400
PortsHDMI 2.1 x 2, DisplayPort 1.4 x 1, USB-C 3.2 Gen
2 x 1, USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 x 4, USB-B 3.2 Gen 1 x 1,
3.5mm audio x 1
Speakers7.5W x 2 tweeters, 7.5W x 2 woofers with flow
port
Stand ergonomics20° swivel L/R, -5/+15° tilt, 120mm height
adjustment
Dimensions (with stand)1195 x 544 x 359mm (WxMaxHxD)
Weight (with stand)14kg

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