The Philips Evnia 42M2N8900/01 is a gaming juggernaut with 4K detail, awesome refresh rates, and a price tag to match them both.
Immense 4K display
Extremely well built
Not primarily a Mac display
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Philips is a household name when it comes to making great displays, and Evnia is its new industry-leading gaming brand. I was fortunate enough to attend Evnia’s global launch in Paris last year, and saw three standout monitors in action for the first time. The star of the show was this, the Evnia 42-inch OLED gaming monitor, a 4K behemoth with ultra-fast response times, insane contrast ratios, HDR 10, and more. While this is definitely a gaming monitor first, a couple of sneaky USB-C ports and premium design make this a dark horse for any gamer who also needs some extra screen real estate for their Mac.
Philips Evnia OLED Gaming Monitor: Price and availability
The Philips Evnia 42M2N8900 is available from Amazon in both the U.S. and the UK, as well as retailers including B&H Photo, Ebuyer, Overclockers UK, and more. In the UK prices sit anywhere from around £1,500 to as little as £1,399. Prices in the States are broadly the same in USD, also.
Philips Evnia OLED Gaming Monitor: Display Quality
The Philips Evnia 42M2N8900 is, in a word, stunning. It boasts a 4K UHD resolution of 3840 x 2160, a typical contrast ratio of 1,500,000:1, HDR 10, and more. As soon as you plug it in and switch it on, you’re wowed by the display quality. I usually roll with 4K on a 32-inch display and was worried the hefty size would dilute the detail, but there’s no sign of that here. It has an awesome 138Hz refresh rate so is perfect for any console gamer, and all but the most hardcore, dedicated PC gamers with the fanciest rigs. The colors across the board are to die for, as are the deep blacks which really aid the contrast. In my extensive testing, I’ve not seen any screen tearing, artifacts, or anything to suggest that this monitor is anything except magnificent. The screen also boasts a luscious matte finish.
Connected to a MacBook Pro via USB-C, the monitor does struggle to keep up with Apple’s Liquid Retina XDR display. To be fair, all monitors do, even ones I’ve tested with special MacBook color reference modes.
It’s to Mac users that I would add a word of caution about the 42M. While this monitor is an able Mac companion, useful for some graphics tasks, and certainly excellent for HDR viewing on Apple TV Plus, it is not primarily a Mac monitor, but a gaming monitor. As such, graphic designers, animators, photo editors, and movie makers might struggle to get the color response they really want, and the monitor is certainly overkill if you want a monitor simply to expand your Mac’s screen real estate. It also lacks some of the features, such as specific color reference modes, that professional users might be looking for. The Philips Evnia 42M is a gaming monitor first, and a capable Mac monitor second.
Philips Evnia OLED Gaming Monitor: Stand out feature
For me, the standout feature of the Evnia 42M is the whole package. That might sound like a copout, but there’s no other monitor I know of that offers so much all in one place. It comes at a cost, but you’re getting truly breathtaking gaming performance, excellent Mac compatibility, immense build quality, and more.
Philips Evnia OLED Gaming Monitor: Build and features
The Evnia 42M boasts almost infallible build quality as far as I can see. It comes out of the box with an enormous, brutish metal stand. You simply attach your monitor with two screws and off you go. The up-and-down adjustment mechanism feels sturdy and smooth, as is the left and right tilt.
My only gripe is that the monitor feels a little unsteady in situ. Not that it would fall off the stand or topple over, but there’s a distinct wobble to the massive panel. I think the epicenter is the join where the monitor meets the stand. Given the monitor is so large, it needs a degree of flex here, but it’s just something to watch out for. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not a big deal, however.
Other nifty features include the plethora of ports at the back, although they’re quite spread out and a little tricky to reach. The same can be said of the power button on the back. Thankfully, Philips supplies a remote so you can control all of the settings through the on-screen display with ease.
Another cool feature is the built-in Ambiglow lights at the back, which cast a colorful RGB glow on the wall behind the display. These can be tuned to a variety of settings including following your audio or video, as well as various generic light patterns. The brightness isn’t tremendous, but it’s a very nice touch and if you don’t have any other lights to speak of in your setup, it’s a lovely addition.
The monitor does have speakers, and while they’re a little louder than most poxy monitor offerings, the quality is distinctly subpar and no self-respecting gamer or content enjoyer will want to use them anyway.
Philips Evnia OLED Gaming Monitor: Competition
The Evnia 42M competes with ASUS ROG’s Swift OLED PG42UQ, as well as the Strix XG43UQ. If you want a cheaper option, there’s Gigabyte’s Aorus FO48U, or an even cheaper FV43U that doesn’t have OLED. If you’ve read this and decided you don’t want a gaming monitor, the best monitor for Mac right now is the Philips 27B1U7903, closely followed by the BenQ PD3220U 4K.
Philips Evnia OLED Gaming Monitor: Should you buy it?
You should buy it if...
- You want a massive gaming monitor
- You need 4K resolution and high refresh rates
- You also have a Mac you could partner with your monitor
You shouldn’t buy it if…
- You aren’t a gamer
- You want a budget monitor
- You’re constrained on space (it’s massive)
Philips Evnia OLED Gaming Monitor: Verdict
So there you have it, the Evnia 42M is a truly marvelous display. It’s absolutely huge and boasts impeccable build quality and features. Where it matters, on-screen, the Evnia 42M shines as one of the best all-around gaming displays I’ve ever used. The only monitor I can think of that surpasses it is the Porsche Agon monitor I tested out a few months back. Otherwise, the Evnia 42M is pretty much peerless as far as I’m concerned.
The ultimate gaming monitor
The Philips Evnia 42M2N8900 is an expensive option for Mac users, but one that gamers will cherish thanks to its awesome image quality, great build, and myriad of features.
Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.
Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9