Philips 328E1CA Review: Curved beauty

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Returning to 32-inch monitors with real 4K UHD resolution, we note that there is a fairly wide range of models available at the moment that are too expensive. But there are also more affordable models with VA matrices, where the set of functions is slightly limited.

Flat VA panels are used in a variety of Philips models. This time we will review the Philips 328E1CA review, which uses a curved VA matrix with a relatively low price. We won’t argue that a curved monitor is good or bad, but let’s try to understand the main characteristics of Philips 328E1CA.

Let’s turn to the main points. The Philips 328E1CA monitor uses a TPV panel from TP Vision based on SVA CELL. Maximum matrix frequency 60 Hz with W-LED backlight. The screen has a standard 4K UHD resolution of 3840 × 2160 pixels. The radius of curvature of the screen is 1500R. Some sources have information that the 328E1CA’s color depth is 10 bits (8 bits + FRC), but this is not so – the real color is only 8 bits. Pixel response time is stated at 4ms, although this parameter should be approached with caution due to the panel used.

Design

The Philips 328E1CA monitor has a minimalist look. The base of the stand is made in a square-ring style. The leg of the stand is metal, powder coated in silver color. The monitor has a small bezel. A thin bezel around the bezel on the sides and top of the screen is flush with the matrix plane.

The lower part of the frame protrudes slightly. The frame is made of hard black plastic on three sides. Top and sides frame size about 8 mm, bottom panel 24 mm. The bottom is made of matte black plastic with the Philips logo. The large curved screen is covered with a matte anti-reflective layer.

The OSD menu is controlled by buttons on the bottom right panel. The monitor is indicated by a white LED. A flashing light indicates a transition to a low power state. On the side, the 328E1CA is quite thin at only 12mm (at its thinnest point). The included stand allows you to tilt the screen 5 degrees forward and 20 degrees back.

The lower edge of the monitor from the table is at a height of 100 mm, the top clearance is 525 mm. To install the monitor, a niche depth of about 250 mm is required. This model is “economical” in terms of the occupied space.

The back housing of the monitor is finished in matte black plastic with texture. In the center there is a VESA mount 100 × 100 mm for alternative mounting. Wall mount not included. There is a K-slot in the lower right corner. The I / O ports are directed towards the back and are located in a recess above the stand.

Philips 328E1CA design

Connections

Interfaces include: two HDMI 2.0 ports, DP 1.2a, 3.5mm audio input, 3.5mm headphone jack, and power input. The built-in power supply is used. The monitor is equipped with a pair of speakers with a total sound power of 3 W. They are directed downward. The sound with this arrangement of drivers is above average when compared to some other models.

3840×2160 @ 60Hz resolution and Adaptive-Sync are supported on DP 1.2a and HDMI 2.0 ports. DP cable, HDMI cable, audio cable and power cable are included in the package.

Of course, you shouldn’t expect “oversound” from such a sound scheme. Better to use a separate sound system or headphones. On the other hand, a pair of monitor speakers provide decent volume. Some frequencies may be lost at high volume. In short, up to a volume level of 50%, the quality corresponds to the expected quality without severe distortion.

Picture

The Philips 328E1CA monitor supports a variety of presets. These are “SmartImage Game”, “FPS”, “Racing”, “RTS”, “Gamer 1”, “Gamer 2”, “LowBlue Mode” and “SmartUniformity”. Most of these factory presets other than “SmartUniformity” simply adjust various settings in the main OSD menu. But manual tuning is preferred.

The “Gamer 1” and “Gamer 2” presets provide complete flexibility in fine-tuning various monitor settings. Here are some parameters in the “SmartUniformity” mode. The maximum temperature in SmartUniformity mode reaches 6817K, although with Gamma = 2.6 this figure is 7399K.

Philips 328E1CA interfaces

Contrast and brightness

After image calibration, you can achieve the highest white brightness, lowest black brightness, and highest contrast ratio. So, at the factory settings and setting 100% brightness, we get an indicator of 319 nits (white), 0.13 nits (black), contrast ratio of 2446: 1. If everything is adjusted correctly in the custom mode, then the indicators will be as follows: maximum brightness 382 nits (white), 0.12 nits (black), contrast level 2938: 1.

The 328E1CA monitor does not use PWM to dim the backlight, but instead regulates the current to the backlight LEDs. This monitor model is considered “flicker-free”. Sometimes advanced users pay attention to this information in the characteristics of monitors.

Color rendering

The Philips 328E1CA color gamut was compared with the sRGB and Adobe RGB reference color spaces. The color gamut completely covers the sRGB color space (100%) with a small expansion. The palette covers 85% Adobe RGB. These values ​​enable the monitor to display all hues in the sRGB color space with some additional saturation.

Intlag

It makes no sense to describe in detail the procedure for measuring the time delay. Let’s just say the result. The Philips 328E1CA monitor “received” the input lag at 3.96 ms, which is a little less than a quarter of a frame at 60 Hz. Note that input lag depends both on the element you “see” (pixel sensitivity) and on the element you “feel” visually (signal lag).

This parameter corresponds to the one declared by the manufacturer – 4 ms. No measurement was taken with Adaptive-Sync (variable refresh rate) active. We add that AMD FreeSync technology (48 – 60 Hz) and G-SYNC are also present in this monitor.

Scaling

4K UHD resolution is comparatively demanding due to the significant amount of GPU power to provide a quality picture. Often, a lower input resolution is used, such as older game consoles. They don’t have native support for 4K output, so the monitor uses an interpolation process in this case.

The PC user must ensure that the graphics processor of the video adapter is not trying to take over the scaling functions. When using AMD GPUs, the monitor will handle scaling by default when playing games at non-standard resolutions. Those who use Nvidia adapters should go to the “Display – Adjust Desktop size and position” menu in the Nvidia control panel and select “no scaling” there.

Conclusion

The Philips 328E1CA’s curved 31.5-inch screen delivers an immersive experience with ample screen curvature. The image immerses the user in the visual process. The 3840 × 2160 4K UHD resolution blends beautifully with the large screen, delivering good UHD picture.

This is a large usable desktop space. The monitor’s appearance is not as inspiring as the more expensive models. But according to most users, it’s a sensible design. Lack of ergonomics (tilt-only stand) can be a bit of a drawback. VESA mount is provided for alternative mounting.

As you would expect, current Philips models offer good flexibility with different settings thanks to a good menu. Here we can note the presence of the mode “compensation for uniformity of the image”, in which the displayed picture is very accurate. In short, if you like a curved monitor, then the Philips 328E1CA is a must-have.

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