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Philips Evnia 42M2N8900 Review: 42-Inch OLED Goodness

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Philips Evnia 42M2N8900 Gaming Monitor

This 42-inch 4K OLED could replace your TV if it didn’t take up so much space.

The Philips Evnia 42M2N8900 Gaming Monitor is a beautifully designed 42-inch, 4K OLED that supports a 138Hz refresh rate and HDR and ditches the typical gamer aesthetic.

Buy Now for $1,100

Pros

Lovely Design

Gorgeous Colors

Cool Ambient lighting

Cons

Low brightness

Stand takes up a lot of space

Cheaper 42-inch OLED options out there

If you’re like me, your desktop monitor often does double duty as a TV. The Philips Evnia 42M2N8900 4K gaming OLED, released last year, wants to be that and look good while doing it.

Evnia is Philips’ gaming peripheral line offering both PC gaming monitors and accessories whose designs shift away from the aggressive gamer look to a more aesthetically pleasing vibe.

But don’t worry, you’re still getting all the perks from a premium gaming OLED. 4K at 138Hz with a .01 ms response time and a tasteful amount of RGB lighting. It supports Freesync and G-Sync. And, of course, the bonus that comes with OLED, great color, excellent contrast, and deep blacks.

At 42 inches, it’s easy to toy with the idea of making this display work as a TV replacement in a bedroom or office. It’s nice if you’re looking to avoid a bloated TV OS filled with apps you’ll never use and a clunky UI.

Photo: Jorge Jimenez / Gizmodo

Philips Evnia 42M2N8900 Design

The gamer aesthetic has evolved.

What can’t be understated is the look of the Evnia. Much like the rest of the product line, this modern chic-ness is a nice departure from your standard gaming monitor. The off-white colorway gives it a more adult look than the usual black and red we’ve seen on a million monitors in the past. It’s something seen with Alienware’s new OLED that embraces performance and aesthetics. I’m here for it.

While the size works for me, what doesn’t are the two massive feet that protrude out from the desktop stand. It simply takes up too much space where you can’t put anything under the monitor. So, if you want to set a sound bar or have some stuff on your desk, it’s a bit of a pain. However, the benefit of the Evnia’s stand is that it can swivel and tilt to a degree, which offers some versatility if you can put up with losing some desk real estate. It does come with the swappable VESA plate for easy mounting.

Thin profile.

Thin profile.
Photo: Jorge Jimenez / Gizmodo

Philips Evnia 42M2N8900 Picture Quality

Better than most TVs

The Evnia delivers fantastic picture quality by default; it’s well-calibrated for gaming and watching loads of anime, and I’m assuming other forms of media as well. It works well as a TV, assuming you plug in a streaming device or a gaming console to stream from all your favorite services. I did find that leaving the sRGB setting off gave the colors a bit more pop.

Where it falls flat is brightness. Philips says the Evnia can hit a peak brightness of 450 Nits in HDR and an average brightness of around 135 Nits in SDR, which is definitely on the lower side. If you play in a room that gets a lot of light, consider getting curtains. That’s been a problem with a lot of gaming OLEDs released in 2023, not just exclusive to Philips. It’s not too bad of a compromise you have to make if you want both stellar picture quality and performance.

OSD Menu.

Plenty of options.
Photo: Jorge Jimenez / Gizmodo

Philips Evnia 42M2N8900 Gaming Performance

It plays as good as it looks.

The Evnia is, first and foremost, a heck of a gaming monitor. PC or console, I found the gameplay to be incredibly smooth. Of course, you’ll need a pretty beefy gaming rig to make the most of the 4K resolution at 138Hz, but even on Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5 (which supports 4K, 120Hz thanks to its two HDMI 2.1 ports), everything played well. I’m still obsessed with Last of US 2 Remastered’s No Return mode.

Low Brightness aside, I enjoyed the vibrant colors in games like Fortnite or Ghost of Tsushima without oversaturating them. It’s getting the best of both worlds with good color and speed, which most non-OLED gaming monitors have to make you choose.

Where the Evnia shines (or does not shine) is how it handles deep blacks in moody horror games like The Last of Us 2: Remastered or Dead Space. There’s nothing like doing horrible things to horrible people in a filled office building or being chased by aggressively stabby monsters in a derelict space station.

Last of Us 2 Remastered on the OLED.

The Evnia does dark and spooky pretty well.
Photo: Jorge Jimenez / Gizmodo

Philips Evnia 42M2N8900 Features

Heck of a light show

The Evnia has everything you’d expect from a gaming monitor. There are tons of settings and image presets, all handled through a remote or rear OSD joystick. However, the biggest feature I was pleasantly surprised by was Ambiglow, which appears on Philips TVs.

It will automatically change the ambient lighting of the Envia to match whatever the most dominant color onscreen is. So, if you’re dropping from the Battlebus in Fortnite into a snowy area, the monitor’s rear will glow blue and white.

Shockingly, the pair of 10-watt speakers are punchy, though enabling DTS Sound seems to be the better way of listening to your content. I’d recommend finding a decent soundbar if you’re looking for solid audio.

You’ve even got four USB 3.0 ports (two of them are fast charge) and a USB-C port with power delivery, so I could second screen my Macbook Pro for work for work. You can never have enough ports.

Rear view of the Philips Evnia monitor.

Ambiglow lights dynamically change to what’s displayed on the screen.
Photo: Jorge Jimenez / Gizmodo

Verdict

Philips Evnia 42M2N8900 is a fantastic OLED, a perfect size if you’re looking for a big but not too big screen. It’s speedy, colorful, and feels like a gaming monitor. It launched at $1,400, which was pretty steep, considering you can buy 48-inch OLED monitors much cheaper. Even at the reduced price of $1,100, it remains a little pricey compared to other 42-inch OLEDs (which aren’t many around), like the LG C G3 for only $900. Still, if you want something stylish with killer performance, this Evnia is a good choice, even at a higher cost.

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