HP Omen 25i 165hz Monitor Review – A Contender in the Refresh Race

    Product: 25i
    Intended Use: Gaming
    Manufacturer: HP Omen
    MSRP: $349.99

Many components make up a PC, especially high-performance machines. While building a PC, it’s easy to get caught up in the CPU’s, GPU’s, Ram, and other performance-based parts. Sometimes, we forget how important a monitor can be to completing your desktop build.

Everything your computer has to offer must be ported through a screen, so realistically, the monitor is essential. It will decide what your overpriced gaming build will look like. Luckily we have many great options in gaming displays, just like our brand new HP Omen 25i 165hz display.

Style / Feel / Build / Hardware

The Omen 25i offers a firm build, using quality metals and plastics to create a nonadjustable height stand for the screen. It also serves as a headset stand with wire management. It was effortless to assemble out of the box with no questionable snaps or clicks when attaching the stand to the screen.

The stand may not be height adjustable, but it offers good maneuverability for tilt, along with a rubber sticky base. I would have liked to see the monitor itself be a little taller because it falls short in comparison.

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Omen’s 25i features a subtle textured feel to the exterior. The general design is clean and simple, leaving the glass display to the edge, creating a frameless look. I’d also like to point out that the 25i is decently heavy, which isn’t bad. I find weight brings a little more stability and less shake. It appears that Omen is staying true to its sharp edges diamond shape brand, with the back and base of the unit shaped like their logo. I would have liked to see some RGB on the base logo for aesthetic reasons.

Nonetheless, I can respect the diamond look. The diamondback also offers ventilation and Vesa mount support with an adapter. The screen appeared to be matte, allowing the eye-safe technology to do its work, reducing blue light intensity, as blue light is the worst for our eyes long term health. We see two USB 2.0 ports, 1 DP, 1 HDMI, 1 USB type B, desk lock, and a 3.5mm headset jack when it comes to input support.

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This seems like a decent variety to me. Correct me if I’m wrong. Lastly, the power and menu buttons could be lower because I feel like I am reaching halfway up the monitor to turn it on. It’s a weird criticism, but you’ll see what I mean. Other than that, the 25i shows up with a joystick menu control that was very easy to use and made it enjoyable to navigate the menu, which we will go over in more depth.

Performance / Hands on Use / Features / User Experience / Analysis / Etc.

I expect remarkably smooth gameplay and visuals, with vibrant bright colors coming from any 165hz in the modern-day market. Good thing the Omen 25i doesn’t just look nice but also offers that imagining buff you need. The high frame rate worked like a charm, pumping up my gameplay up to at least 120hz without my computer complaining. 165hz was a little tough to run consistently, but my computer isn’t in the best state to be pushing that. I recommend using a live FPS counter to confirm the frame rate is being improved because most settings have to be manually set to 165hz. Make sure you change all necessary settings.

In 2021, I’m over 1080p, but after using this monitor, I didn’t find it to be a bother. The screen was sharp and offered beautiful brightness up to 400nitz. Also, this brightness allows for almost perfect HDR output, HDR400 to be exact, taking advantage of updated video formats. Full HD also probably kept the cost down, as this 25-inch display goes for $349.99.

IPS panels are known for their wide viewing angles, but it seemed off only when I stood over the monitor when it came to blacks and shadows. It made me question if IPS is even worth mentioning. Most screens with the right processor and computers behind them can produce a better image than the screen next to them. To sum it up, the 25i viewing angle, great; just don’t sit above your screen.

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Touching on the borderless display, it isn’t borderless as the viewable pixels create a natural border, regardless of glass to the edges. I’m not complaining, more confirming my observation from the beginning. After making sure all settings were correct, I experienced no screen tearing and beautiful refresh rate vibes. You can see the difference between 60hz, 120hz, and 165hz. I am unsure about 144 to 165 as my robotic eyes fade at that point, but I can tell you, the motion is tack sharp, leaving no motion blur in its tracks.

Let’s dive into the menu and features of Omens 25i, as it does host a wide array of options. I won’t go over all of them, but some of them that stand out as important. First off, the menu is easy to operate, leaving organized categories to choose your settings from. Some settings include power and sleep settings, auto input switching, Picture in Picture, and the list goes on.

I want to focus on the gaming, image, and color tab. The gaming tab is where you can enable free sync and various gaming visual enhancements built into the display. Overall, I can only appreciate all of this customization the screen offers, as you can fine-tune your gaming experience even further, honing in on shadow tones and screen response time. You can also add your very own customized crosshair for centered shooters like counter strike. I actually enjoyed this feature as it’s easier than inserting code into a window for such a simple concept.

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In the image tab, you can greatly adjust the brightness to your eyes’ taste, along with sharpness level, which makes a substantial difference. Take your time and go through the menus if you buy this. Lastly, the Color tab hosts a wide variety of screen color tone and color output presets, like game mode, warm, cool, native, which I like the best, and even a remastered game mode for retro games like Pac Man. The Omen 25i is just a lot of fun if you like to customize your gear. I’d like to quickly throw in here that the power button on this thing is awesome. You don’t have to hold it down or click it in some rhythmic pattern. You just tap it, and it’s off; what a miracle.

Now, for a gamer, this thing is awesome in so many ways. The color is bright and colorful, the response time and fluidity are slick, and it just looks good. I do find that if you are looking for extreme color accuracy, you won’t find it here, as this monitor toys with the color a bit. A videographer, photographer, or serious designer might want to look for a better display, but if you’re not that picky, this monitor can serve as a jack of all trades.

Comparing the color of the 25i to my photo editing screen shows that the photo screen is noticeably more accurate. Other than that aspect, this gaming monitor puts its money where its mouth is. If you have been holding out on a high refresh monitor, I suggest you start looking into the future, and the HP Omen 25i is one place to start.

There were just a few things that really irked me for the price, such as non-adjustable height, the short height in general, and other things too, but we’ll leave that for a discussion in the comments.


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Mark DiMattei

Designer/Producer - Art is my Thunder Stone to your soon to be Raichu. Former video game nerd with a love for all things images and visual creativity. Currently waiting for Halo Infinite. Instagram: @markd_arts