Philips Evnia hands-on: Up close with new monitors & more
Philips has launched a range of monitors, headsets, mice, and keyboards under their new brand, Evnia. We got hands-on with the company’s new-ish approach to gaming.
Evnia, a Greek portmanteau of good and mind, translated comes out as ‘well mind’ or ‘smart thinking’ is how Philips lead with their presentation of their new gaming range. Lofty statements like ‘reinvent the game’ were set as the Wi-Fi password, at the event we attended, held in Paris. We were inundated with references to ensure that we all understood that this isn’t a fleeting fancy.
A great marketing trailer utilizing Kenyan esports star, QueenArrow, as the focus of tieing in the company’s new ambitions of becoming a staple of esports. One of Team Vitality’s owners was taken to the stage to announce a direct partnership, with the team using Philips Evnia monitors going forward.
It seems that Philips is deadset on setting in stone just how dedicated they are to this brand, even stating that it was the ‘first’ gaming-focused event, possibly hinting at more to come.
After lengthy and grandiose statements from various members of Philips’ management, it was revealed that the Evnia brand – which we were kept in the dark about – was in fact not so much a reinvention, but a contribution.
No one is changing the game here, instead, it seems Philips just wants in. Rightfully so, as they pointed out the industry is now hitting $200 billion a year.
Philips Evnia monitor price, specs & release date
Evnia’s first lineup will be split into four, but three focuses. The top end 7000 and 8000 equipment is what will be attached to expensive price tags. Below, 5000 seems like it’ll be middle of the road, but aimed at wider audiences. Then, 3000, which is the budget option.
Here’s the breakdown of each device – so far – and their prices.
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Despite focusing on the expensive side of things, as well as what Philips is calling ‘The New Standard’ with the 5000 series, nothing from the budget 3000 series was on display.
Of course, getting hands-on with the 5000 models did in fact reinforce the idea that these would be ‘standard’ and apparently have been priced as such. Compared to the 8000 and 7000 series models, it is significantly cheaper at €579.
Where Philips could have stepped in and offered a new solution was in pricing. While the 5000 series performs and still looks great in the sub-600 range, the 7000 and 8000 series monitors coming in at around, or above €2000 quietened our group down when told to us.
It was pointed out during a conversation with peers that these felt or looked very similar to Alienware’s recent releases. While excellent on their own, they’ve outpriced even Alienware, something we didn’t think was possible.
A flagship model – we’re assuming because it was the only one that got a full spec sheet in the press release – the 34M2C7600MV from the 7000 range was great to look at. Just a very slight curve, rather than going all in, looked weird at the start, but as we paced around the room, began to grow on us.
It uses Mini LED to get around the lack of OLED or QD-OLED. Instead, the VA panel still had that intended effect of being a super pop of color.
The Big One: Evnia OLED monitor
Each monitor was set up with a variety of either Spider-Man, Counter-Strike, Lego Star Wars, or F1 2022. It covered most bases that Philips hopes to dive into, but it wasn’t until you actually see Spider-Man flipping over the rocket during the tutorial or the sheen on the floor that it sinks in that these panels look great.
A darkened room might have helped out, but the vibrant colors, deep blacks, and rich smoothness were the front and center. We were especially fond of the 42″ OLED flat screen display, which features a 138Hz refresh rate.
Dubbed the 42M2N8900 (seriously), this 4K OLED monitor is designed to facilitate console gaming. Its odd 138Hz display was paired with PS5s, offering a full 120Hz, 4K experience. F1 2022 looked sublime as the various attendees failed to grasp the controls.
OLED has been a bit of an issue with achieving higher refresh rates. It’s why, even though it’s the best TV available right now, LG’s C1 is still a mild hindrance for PC gaming with its limit of 120Hz.
As the need to increase resolutions keeps growing, OLED appears to be stuck at 120. Right now, it seems engineers at Philips (and whoever else they might be partnered with) might be one of the very few to have cracked it.
Viewing angles are impossibly slick. We took photos from the sides and other than our view being impaired by reality, you could still make out images from almost any angle.
Philips has opted to go for the recycled angle, providing sustainability across every device. Speckled plastic can be seen inside the headsets, while the backs of the monitors are quite nice to look at.
Philips Precision Center: Evnia’s control software
Our personal preference regarding RGB did not get a favorable reception from us. On the back of each monitor is ‘Ambiglow’, which upon closer inspect are LEDs embedded inside, that connects with yet another piece of management software, Philips Precision Center.
We’re assuming that this new software will also work with their prior LED ventures, Hue, and have at least some kind of control over things like Razer Synapse and iCUE. You’ll be able to make alterations to not only your lights but your monitor settings as well. This can then be stored in the cloud to be used elsewhere.
Evnia mice, keyboards & headsets
Upon getting hold of the peripherals, we found them to be just fine, with nothing notable to actually talk about. The keyboard and mouse weren’t special or offered unique features outside of being integrated into the Evnia ecosystem.
A main concern and one that could be alleviated was that every headset we tested had distorted, horrible audio from bass being pumped in. We suspect that the headsets were altered to fight against the hundreds of voices and faint waft of jazz music from being too intrusive.
However, there’s still time for the headsets to be fixed ahead of release, as the peripheral side of the new launch won’t be happening until June 2023.