Skip to main content

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.

MORE: Best Computer Monitors


MORE: How To Choose A Monitor

MORE: Display Calibration 101

MORE: The Science Behind Tuning Your Monitor

MORE: All Monitor Content

  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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?
    Reply
  • WhyAreYou
    Looks like a nice monitor. Nice review and thanks!
    Reply
  • theusual
    Their manual says it can handle up to 76 hz vertical refresh rate. Have you attempted this?
    Reply
  • theusual
    Oops. I see that is at 1440x900. Only 60Hz at full resolution. I wouldn't want you to damage your monitor attempting it.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • uglyduckling81
    19385794 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.
    Reply
  • wreck3r
    Which is the one reviewed, BDM3270QP2 or BDM3270QP ?
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply