Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 gaming monitor evaluation

29

Our Verdict

The unique G9’s one apparent flaw was clunky edge-lit backlighting. In principle, the Neo G9 buries that with a cutting-edge mini-LED backlight. In apply, some stunning clunkiness stays.

For

  • Stupendous 49-inch, uber-curved VA panel
  • Outrageous peak brightness
  • Tremendous-fast pixel response and refresh

Towards

  • Mini-LED backlight implementation is clunky
  • Preposterously costly

The very best simply obtained an entire lot higher. That’s certainly a foregone conclusion for the brand new Samsung Odyssey Neo G9. In spite of everything, the unique Odyssey G9 was already Samsung’s tip-top gaming monitor. Now it’s been given the one improve it actually wanted. Yup, the Neo G9 is packing a mini-LED backlight.

The earlier Samsung Odyssey G9 had lots going for it, not least a monster 49-inch 32:9 side panel with an excessive wrap-around curve and the minor matter of some seven million pixels because of a local decision of 5,120 by 1,440. It was additionally good for an eye-popping 1,000 nits, whereas VA panel expertise delivered static distinction of two,500:1. Oh, and the unique G9’s pixel response was rated at 1ms grey-to-grey, an achievement usually solely attained by IPS and TN panels.

Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 specs

Panel dimension: 49-inch

Panel expertise: VA

Native decision: 5,120 x 1,440

Facet Ratio: 32:9

Refresh fee: 240Hz

Response time: 1ms

HDR: VESA Quantum HDR 2000

Distinction: 1,000,000:1

Coloration: 95 p.c DCI-P3

Brightness: 2,000 cd/m2

Video Inputs: DisplayPort 1.4 x1, HDMI 2.1 x2

Different: AMD FreeSync Premium Professional, Nvidia G-Sync Appropriate

MSRP: $2,499 | £1,849

As for options like 240Hz refresh and adaptive sync, they’re certainly givens on this class of uber high-end gaming show. After all, all that candy expertise was wrapped in some suitably costly, showbiz threads, together with the sort of chassis and stand solely a megabucks outfit like Samsung can engineer. By a number of measures, the unique G9 was positively peerless.

Nicely, the Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 has carried over all that great things. Out of the field, it appears to be like equivalent to the outdated G9. Deep inside, nevertheless, the unique G9’s single most blatant shortcoming has been addressed. After which some. The primary G9 delivered its theoretically spectacular HDR 1000 efficiency courtesy of a rudimentary edge-lit backlight. Sure, it was very highly effective. Positive, it had native dimming zones. However solely 10 of them. In actuality, that marketed native dimming was a little bit of a con. As an alternative, the G9 obtained by on account of the superb inherent distinction of its VA panel.

The Neo G9 nonetheless has a improbable VA panel. However its new backlight doesn’t simply have full-array relatively than edge-lit dimming. It packs a cutting-edge mini-LED tech with no fewer than 2,048 zones. This factor is a number of orders of magnitude extra subtle than earlier than. As if that wasn’t sufficient, the Neo G9’s peak brightness has doubled to a retina-wrecking 2,000 nits. What a beast.

Samsung 49-inch Odyssey Neo G9 has a serious curve.

(Picture credit score: Future)

As for added upgrades, the Neo G9 now helps HDMI 2.1. So you’ll be able to take pleasure in as much as 144Hz refresh over HDMI, together with 120Hz with the newest consoles. The complete 240Hz motion is on the market solely by way of DisplayPort. And do not forget that, for now, neither the Microsoft Xbox Sequence X|S or the Sony Ps 5 help the G9’s excessive ultrawide side ratio and determination. That HDMI 2.1 interface could turn out to be useful in the future, however proper now this epic panel isn’t a great match for any console.

Nor, to be totally candid, is it the technical tour de power we’d been hoping for. The issue with any backlight-based relatively than per-pixel native dimming expertise is that compromises should be made. Put one other method, an algorithm has to resolve how brilliant any given zone needs to be based mostly on the picture information. The outcomes are by no means going to be excellent.

Seen halos round small, brilliant objects are the type of problem you anticipate from full-array dimming. However the Neo G9 has its personal, surprisingly crude, backlight-induced picture high quality points. Admittedly, they’re most seen on the Home windows desktop relatively than in-game or watching video. However by the use of instance, in case you place a brilliant white window subsequent to an all-black window, the adjoining fringe of the previous visibly dims. Or let’s say you progress a small, brilliant object over a darkish background. The identical factor occurs. The small, brilliant object dims. Even uglier, if one thing like a brilliant dialogue field pops up throughout the divide between gentle and darkish components, the result’s a gradient of brightness throughout the field.

Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 straight on, hiding its curve.

(Picture credit score: Future)

For the report, all this is applicable to each SDR and HDR modes and, on the Home windows desktop, it’s all relatively messy and distracting. You would say, so what? This monitor isn’t designed for critical content material creation or workplace work. However at this worth level, it’s certainly a critical flaw.

The query of whether or not it’s a problem value placing up with in return for the in-game expertise is hard. All of what made the unique G9 so fabulous stays. For sheer gaming immersion, the loopy 1000R curve, enormous 49-inch proportions, and comparatively excessive decision mix to ship an expertise that few, if any, screens can match. Graphics-heavy titles akin to Cyberpunk 2077 or Witcher III are what the G9 does greatest. In that context, the Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 delivers arguably the perfect visible expertise on the PC in the present day.

It’s no slouch in the case of aggressive on-line shooters, both. We’re unsure how Samsung has managed to create such quick VA panels of late. But it surely’s spectacular all the identical. Even utilizing essentially the most aggressive of the three ranges of user-configurable overdrive supplied within the Neo G9’s OSD menu, there’s no discernible overshoot. Simply oodles of tempo. This factor is so, so quick. 

The identical goes for perceived latency. Operating at 240Hz, the Neo G9 feels lightning-quick, supplied you may have the megabucks GPU required to drive it at actually excessive body charges. Usually, that might be a major drawback. However in case you can afford this 49-inch monster, you’ll be able to in all probability stretch to the equally costly graphics board to go along with it.

Samsung 49-inch Odyssey Neo G9 takes up a lot of desk space.

(Picture credit score: Future)

The ultimate piece of the puzzle is HDR efficiency. Right here, the story is once more a little bit blended. At its greatest, HDR content material significantly sizzles. It’s additionally a lot tougher to select up on the backlight points which are so very apparent on the desktop. However the Neo G9 isn’t fairly as dramatic an improve over the outdated G9 as you would possibly anticipate from the massive uptick in dimming zones and doubling up on peak brightness.

What’s extra, SDR content material is dealt with poorly in HDR mode. Some screens could be set as much as render SDR virtually indistinguishably in both SDR or HDR modes. That’s helpful as a result of it means you’ll be able to merely toggle HDR mode and also you’re good to go. However with the Neo G9, you’ll want to leap between modes to get the perfect expertise. One other minor niggle—and a stunning oversight—is which you could’t have each pixel overdrive and adaptive refresh enabled on the identical time.

General, then, the Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 is each a stellar expertise and a conspicuous sufferer of the lofty expectations we implied up prime. Its progenitor was an excellent show with a reasonably apparent shortcoming involving backlight tech. On paper, the Neo G9 completely buries that. In apply, the Neo G9’s mini-LED creates as many issues because it solves. We can also’t assist however observe that, at this worth level, you may have so many choices. The obvious different, maybe, is a large-format 120Hz OLED TV with HDMI 2.1 connectivity. 

Samsung Odyssey Neo G9

(Picture credit score: Future)

Really, you’ll be able to have that for a lot, far much less cash and with it, even higher pixel response, plus excellent per-pixel lighting and no mucking about with dimming zones and clunky algorithms. Granted, that OLED possibility comes with its personal shortcomings, particularly as a PC monitor relatively than a console gaming panel. But it surely positive makes for an unflattering comparability in the case of worth for cash.

Samsung Odyssey Neo G9

The unique G9’s one apparent flaw was clunky edge-lit backlighting. In principle, the Neo G9 buries that with a cutting-edge mini-LED backlight. In apply, some stunning clunkiness stays.