Philips Evnia 25M2N5200P review - is 280Hz worth the Full HD sacrifice?

The Philips Evnia 25M2N5200P review on the stealthoptional website

The Philips Evnia 25M2N5200P review on the stealthoptional website

While the rest of the world is focused on boosting resolution higher and higher, the Philips Evnia 25M2N5200P gaming monitor is more focused on delivering pure speed. Compared to the current trend of gunning for high resolutions at 144Hz, Philips instead offers a standard 1080p panel running at a frenetic 280Hz.

The Philips Evnia 25M2N5200P is a monitor designed for a very specific type of gamer. As the panel crushes the boundaries of current-gen console games, and modern AAA experiences are still not hitting 280 frames-per-second on any hardware, it’s a panel designed presumably entirely for hardcore CS:GO, Valorant or League of Legends gamers.

Priced at £269.99, the new Evnia display is not a cheap option compared to its contemporaries, but it is a fair price for a device with an admittedly niche demographic. However, with a decent feature set, and a remarkably crisp — for 1080p — panel, ’ new panel is still a great time for any FullHD gaming you may be interested in.

The panel behind the Philips Evnia 25M2N5200P boasts 400-nits brightness, allowing for rudimentary HDR support, but nothing spectacular. Despite this, and the lack of local dimming, the panel gets bright, especially for a small 25-inch monitor that you’ll be pressing your eyes up against.

Philips Evnia 25M2N5200P Review - - look at the UI of the monitor
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Philips’ UI appears to have taken a step back with too much nesting and slow response time

Unfortunately, Philips’ automatic HDR conversion of standard dynamic range content is nonexistent, or simply doesn’t work from our experience. Running SDR content on the display leads to more washed out colours and dull visuals than typical SDR content should have. However, there is a way to remedy this.

In the monitor’s rather finicky joystick-controlled menus, there is an option to turn HDR on and off. This means that you will have to manually turn the feature off every time you plug in a non-HDR device; you'll also need to manually adjust the monitor’s settings accordingly. While it isn’t too much of a hassle, in an age of auto-HDR detection it does feel a tad out-of-date.

In our experience, the monitor’s entire user experience is riddled with minor issues like this that didn’t hinder past Evnia displays. For some reason, the UI is clunkier with aggressive nesting and bizarre separation of its major options. Alongside its more-fiddly-than-usual joystick controls, the UI has a habit of making you confirm the majority of choices instead of allowing you to just move to the next option.

Nevertheless, the chassis design of the 25M2N5200P is reminiscent of more expensive alternatives, despite its cheaper, plastic build. Philips has wonderfully created a sleek and simple build with slim bezels — and a moderate chin — and a simple but effective Y-shaped base, keeping the monitor with a minuscule footprint on your desk.

This simple-but-vast design also moves into the myriad ports available on the device. The Philips Evnia 25M2N5200P comes with two HDMI 2.0 ports, 2 USB 3.1 ports and an additional 2 USB 3.1 always-on ports for charging devices. There’s also a single DisplayPort 1.4 port available.

Philips Evnia 25M2N5200P review ports shown at the bottom of the monitor
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The addition of a USB-C port would have been nice, but it isn’t essential.

Unfortunately, the Evnia 25M2N5200P doesn’t include a single USB-C port, a very important option for modern gaming laptops, iPad connectivity and more. It’s not a huge deal for the hardcore PC audience fans that Phillips is obviously targeting.

The most important part of the Evnia 25M2N5200P is its remarkable high-speed, which, for its affordable price, is still captivating. It is certainly not the fastest monitor on the market, ASUS’ monstrous 500Hz ROG Swift is certainly a contender there, but it is very fast.

Despite the 1080p panel, games running at — or close to — the monitor’s target 280Hz refresh rate look remarkably smooth. Image clarity is amazing in motion: gunning through Ascension in Halo 2 or popping headshots in CS:GO’s Dust 2 feels almost unreal at such smooth refresh rates as pixel smearing is completely eradicated.

Nevertheless, there’s still the issue of demographic. Who exactly is the Philips Evnia 25M2N5200P for? With the introduction of image upscalers like DLSS and XeSS, high resolutions on PC are more achievable than ever, and more gamers are willing to go for them and during my time with the 25M2N5200P, I did start to miss the opportunity to run games and watch content above standard Full HD quality.

The Evnia 25M2N5200P achieves exactly what it set out to do, but it is undoubtedly a bizarre product. With the standard of PC monitors now being 1440p at 144Hz, there is a worry that Philips’ new gaming monitor is too niche to make a dent in an already crowded market. Despite this, if the 25M2N5200P’s blazing speed speaks to you and you don’t mind sacrificing resolution, it absolutely is a great and affordable monitor.

Philips Evnia 25M2N5200P
The Philips Evnia 25M2N5200P is a blazing fast gaming monitor, but it might be too niche for the current market.
gaming monitor
7 out of 10
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