Philips BDM3270 32-inch VA Monitor Review

Conclusion

With today’s monitors divided into distinct usage categories, it’s pretty much impossible to identify any of them as perfect. Gamers want different things than graphics pros, and business users have no need for features like G-Sync or wide gamuts. But some monitors stand out for their exceptional image fidelity. The Philips BDM3270 is one such product. With unmatched out-of-box accuracy, fantastic contrast, and a simply gorgeous 32” VA screen, it strikes us as one of the best panels we’ve seen.

With a slew of gaming products sporting G-Sync or FreeSync, refresh rates of 144, 165, and even 200Hz, coupled with impressive motion processing, it’s hard not to be drawn to them when considering what “the best” is. But in our sphere, getting work done is often the top priority, which is why we prize contrast, clarity, and color accuracy above all else. You can have the fastest panel and the smoothest framerate, but if image depth is lacking and color doesn’t look right, can that display truly be called “great?"

The BDM3270 is not a gaming monitor, that much is plain. It runs at 60Hz and doesn’t offer any sort of adaptive-refresh. SmartResponse, or overdrive, works well at reducing motion blur, but that’s the only attention paid to video processing here. Philips’ efforts have all been spent on creating the most accurate monitor you can buy. And that’s without calibration. Our test results in the default 6500K image mode were better than what we see from just about any other professional display after adjustment.

And lest you think this all comes at a high price, think again. While we wouldn’t consider the BDM3270 inexpensive (what 32” monitor is?), it’s selling for less than $700 at this writing, clearly an excellent value. We might be tempted to deny it professional status because it doesn’t offer a wide gamut option, but with accuracy this good, we’re willing to make an exception. The BDM3270 is, quite simply, as close to perfect as we can possibly imagine. For class-leading contrast, amazing out-of-box accuracy, image clarity, and build quality, we’re giving it our Tom’s Hardware Editor’s Choice Award.

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  • Anonymous
    Terrific black levels and contrast ratios there! Those are main things that I hate about IPS panels. Wish it was 4K though, since I'd rather not downgrade in PPI from the 27" 1440 display I got half a decade ago.
  • anort3
    Nice to see VA panels getting some love. I've had a 32" Samsung S32D850T for about 2 years now. It uses the same panel as the BenQ BL3200PT mentioned on the first page. I wouldn't trade the picture quality for anything and I use it primarily for gaming.
  • sillynilly
    Nice review and panel - confused though you say it is selling for less than $700, but the link shows $379 (which is amazing if it is the same monitor). At that price point it is a great monitor for everyday use and I may be buying one to replace my old 1440 IPS used for daily tasks.

    EDIT: It is the same, but just not available for at least 1-2 months, which I read to mean as never. Maybe being phased out?
  • WhyAreYou
    Looks like a nice monitor. Nice review and thanks!
  • theusual
    Their manual says it can handle up to 76 hz vertical refresh rate. Have you attempted this?
  • theusual
    Oops. I see that is at 1440x900. Only 60Hz at full resolution. I wouldn't want you to damage your monitor attempting it.
  • mapesdhs
    It's a shame you've not reviewed the Philips BDM3275UP, an UHD model using similar technology.

    Re the page about the OSD, one thing is missing: are the menus decently readable? I've read compaints about this concerning Philips monitors on seller sites. Also, re the model I cite above, several owners report annoying vertical banding issues which required model replacement; did you see any sign of this with the 3270?

    Ian.

    PS. Please do something about these stupid popup videos, they are really annoying. They block the navigation menus and are visually very irritating. Whoever thought they were a good idea, they're wrong.
  • uglyduckling81
    117741 said:
    PS. Please do something about these stupid popup videos, they are really annoying. They block the navigation menus and are visually very irritating. Whoever thought they were a good idea, they're wrong.


    Add NoScript to your Firefox browser. Allow tomshardware.com, ajax.googleapis.com, and best of media.com

    Add on Ublock Origin.

    You won't see videos or ads. Makes for a great browsing experience. Of course you have to set up which scripts to allow for each site you go to. WCCFTech for instance has about 30 scripts of which I allow 1 maybe 2 to get the full experience but still block all the spying and data wasting downloads.

    I'm on very limited download quota this year so every byte counts. Plus it speeds up my web page loading.
  • wreck3r
    Which is the one reviewed, BDM3270QP2 or BDM3270QP ?
  • hixbot
    I'm still waiting for a QHD/4k PVA 120hz+ panel with strobing and Gsync/freesync that isn't curved!
    I can't stand the contrast ratios of IPS, and I'm not interested in all these curved PVA gaming panels. I want a flat PVA gaming panel that is atleast QHD.
  • mapesdhs
    464372 said:
    Add NoScript to your Firefox browser. Allow tomshardware.com, ajax.googleapis.com, and best of media.com


    I'd rather sites just didn't use annoying popups in the first place. Makes it more likely users will go elsewhere.
  • sunny420
    Thank you for the review. This monitor looks great. Being a gamer though, I just wish it was a little faster (Hz) with less lag (ms)..
    Maybe I missed it but, you stated your go-to monitor was a 27" 2560x1440. Which one?
    Also, it was compared only to other IPS type panels and it would have been nice to see a comparison to another VA monitor, such as the BenQ BL3200PT or Asus PB328Q. Perhaps they were not available.
  • Niva
    Yes the pop-ups are terrible. Recently on my phone I clicked on a th link from facebook and redirected me to some virus ridden website within seconds. I'm reconsidering my regular visitations now.
  • mapesdhs
    979031 said:
    Thank you for the review. This monitor looks great. Being a gamer though, I just wish it was a little faster (Hz) with less lag (ms). ...


    Unless you're on the edge of performance FPS gaming, you'll never notice it. People comment a lot about lag wrt IPS panels, but not from personal experience. I've been using a 1920x1200 IPS for several years, it's great for gaming. I could never tolerate the narrow viewing angles of TN. I want to move up to 4K, but only if I can get a decent IPS, hence my mention of the other Philips model which I've been considering. I don't know much about VA panels though; my one concern are comments I've read about vertical banding on Philips VA models.

    Ian.
  • drkolo
    if im correct this monitor was release in 2015, maybe a new verion with BDM3270QP"2" ?
    it has good feedback indeed and one bad point concerning touch buttons for settings which are too sensitive. I dont know if they fixed it.
  • mapesdhs
    I've seen the same comments made about the newer UHD model i mentioned, re the overly sensitive buttons, so presumably it's still a problem.
  • burniemac
    What is the motion blur like on this monitor. My old 23@ HD IPS display is terrible for motion blur and any dark scenes are ruined by ghosting and blur.

    How does this monitor perform when watching video?
  • mapesdhs
    Sad to report the 32" 4K model I mentioned has vanished from the seller site I referenced. Weird, I thought it was a new model.
  • nlevitas
    This is a paper release. They produced a few for site reviews. They gave some to Amazon to gain legitimacy and to get some real consumer reviews. Today is March 8 2017. Try to buy one. Amazon drop 1 to 2 months wait time to temporarily out of stock after I asked them if this is a paper release. $700 mentioned in the article is a reasonable price considering Dell 30" IPS with real PRO colors $879. But Amazon advertised $379 price was too good to be true. I would not expect this from Philips. Toms Hardware cannot know and question companies about this. But this practice is unfortunately not the first. May be they should take a note for future reviews
  • Tom Griffin
    I would love to have this monitor since I use an IDE all the time developing software; the desktop real estate and the rest of the jazz is just icing on the cake.