Philips 221V8LB Review

7.5 Total Score
Excellent

The Philips 221V8LB is an affordable 1080p monitor that’s very easy to recommend. It delivers a bright, sharp, and colorful image out of the box, all at a very affordable price tag.

PROS
  • Insanely low price
  • Ultra-high contrast ratio
  • Full sRGB color coverage
CONS
  • Modest resolution and screen size

The Philips 221V8LB is a basic multipurpose monitor with a minimal feature set and a very low price tag. This isn’t your dream gaming or productivity monitor, rather, it’s a traditional budget monitor with limited connectivity and the kind of stand that needs an extra stand if you need it raised to a suitable height.

 It’s a novel example of a reasonably cheap monitor that doesn’t make any remarkable sacrifices and manages to deliver all the basic features you’d want in a budget monitor for your home office. There are few frills here, but this monitor delivers where it matters; the panel is well-rounded, and considering the price, I would expect very little else.

Philips 221V8LB Specifications

Panel Size (Corner-to-Corner)22 inches
Native Resolution1920 by 1080
Aspect Ratio16:9
Screen TechnologyVA
Rated Screen Luminance250 nits
Rated Contrast Ratio3,000:1
Pixel Refresh Rate100 Hz
Video Inputs1 x VGA, 2 xHDMI
Dimensions (HWD)‎8.6 x 19.4 x 14.5 inches
Weight‎9.48 pounds
Philips 221V8LB Review front

Design and Features

Budget monitors come with modest design and the Philips 221V8LB is no exception. This budget monitor sports a minimalist design with slim bezels on three sides a thick chin to accommodate the Philips logo and a rounded base that holds the screen on your desk.

On the rear, you’ll find one HDMI 1.4 port and one VGA port for video connections plus a 3.5mm port for audio. The stand offers basic 15 degrees of backward tilt, and the 221V8LB is VESA compatible, so you can invest the money you saved on an aftermarket monitor arm. In the box, you’ll find HDMI and VGA cables alongside the power lead and assorted documents.

Image Quality

We never expect great image quality from budget monitors, but in my view, this makes image quality even more important when shopping in the budget category. Any $1000 monitor like the Samsung Odyssey G93SC (49-inch, 5,120 x 1,440 resolution) can offer a quality picture. However, the same can’t be said for a below $100 monitor. Fortunately, Philips 221V8LB is ideally one of the better monitors in the budget category.

Brightness comes in at a maximum of 250 nits, an above-average result in this category. Many competitors in this nice are closer to 200 nits; that means the 221V8LB can appear bright and vivid even when used in a bright sunlit room without blinds or curtains. If your office has some light control, you can set the monitor at around 60 percent of its maximum brightness.

The Philips 221V8LB delivers a respectable contrast ratio of 3,000:1. While not the highest, this is still better than what you’ll find in most budget-oriented monitors on the market and avoids a plain, washed-out look. The lack of depth is noticeable in HD movies and games, however, and some content might look less immersive. The LG 32UL500-W is a better choice for entertainment and creative projects, but it isn’t the best when used for gaming.

Color gamut is respectable at 100 percent of sRGB, a 100Hz refresh rate. This sets a better precedent over alternatives that have a narrower sRGB gamut. In particular, it helps the monitor to display clear pictures and color have less banding than many in the budget category. A 1440p monitor is better, yes, but you’ll have no issue using this 1080p monitor to write Word documents or edit spreadsheets.

Philips 221V8LB Review back

Sceptre claims that the 221V8LB is capable of gaming, but it doesn’t have the motion performance to compete with modern gaming monitors out there. For basic gaming, the 100Hz refresh rate, and 4ms response time are fine but don’t expect anything more than that. It’s nowhere near as crisp as a 144Hz IPS gaming monitor but it’s free of the more serious ghosting and smearing issues that are common in the budget niche.

Overall, the Philips 221V8LB offers solid picture quality for its price. The monitor has decently HIGH brightness, good color gamut, and fine color accuracy that make for a realistic and lifelike image. It lacks the extra flair of more expensive monitors but is enjoyable enough for day-to-day productivity and casual gaming.

Philips 221V8LB Review: Should you buy it?

Absolutely. The Philips 221V8LB is a very affordable monitor that easily scoops our Best Buy award, delivering features and design that most other cheap monitors fall at along the way. Surprisingly, Philips has managed to cram lots of functionality into a monitor costing less than $100.

As long as you don’t mind the lack of advanced features, there’s little else out there that offers bang for your buck like the Philips 221V8LB.

Philips 221V8LB Review
Philips 221V8LB Review
$69.99
Digital Weekly
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