As a PC gamer, aside from the PC itself, there are four components that you really shouldn’t skimp on if you want to be part of the master race. These are the mouse, keyboard, headset and the monitor. For the best gaming experience, you really want those four to be top notch. We’ve reviewed plenty of gaming monitors on AVForums, with the majority tending to be at the very high end, including our most recent one, the Acer ConceptD, which was just 1p shy of £2000.
These wallet busting 4K all singing and dancing monitors offer the best currently available, but the price puts them out of reach of most PC gamers. Our review today is a slightly more affordable Samsung Odyssey G7. Available for around £630, this 32” curved monitor looks to offer a superb specification for the price with 1440P resolution, 240Hz refresh rate, G-Sync and Free-sync Premium Pro, Quantum Dot Technology, HDR 600 and 1ms response time. Together with the curviest curve you will find on a monitor. Read on to see how It performs in our review….
- Resolution: 2560 x 1440 (WQHD) 16:9
- Panel Type: VA - QLED – Quantum Dot
- Tearing Prevention: G-Sync and Free-sync Premium Pro
- Backlight: Edge Lit (8 Zones)
- Screen Curvature: 1000R
- Refresh Rate: 240Hz
- Response Time: 1ms
- Input Lag: 21.8ms
- Peak Brightness: 600 cd/m2
- Typical Brightness: 350 cd/m2
- Colour Depth: 10 bit
- Colour Support: 1.07 Billion colours
- sRGB Coverage: 125%
- Colour Gamut: Typical 95% - Minimum 88% DCI coverage
- Contrast Ratio: 2500:1
- Certifications: VESA Certified DisplayHDR 600
Design and Connections
With a curved screen size of 32” this is a big beast of a monitor. But Samsung have not only produced a large monitor with a very impressive specification, they have also created one with a reasonably pleasing design, as much as monitor can do. The monitor is all black with the Samsung logo below the screen and has a relatively thin bezel to the top and sides. The V shaped stand is all black. That sounds fairly basic, but the extra features are RGB lighting to the rear and the front. The rear lighting creates a nice glow behind the monitor and the front lighting is below the screen to either side. This may not be to everyone’s taste, but it does improve the looks above the usual monitor design.
The stand has a lot of adjustment, with the height adjusting from 475mm overall at its lowest to 590mm at the highest. The stand also tilts, pans and swivels. The stand is a bit cumbersome and extends 255mm from the centre of the monitor and 328mm at the edges. The Odyssey G7 is of course VESA mount compatible and weighs 6.48kg on its own and 8.21kg with the stand.
The connections aren’t massively generous with only 2 x USB 3.0 ports (one of which is a super charging port). It does have two version 1.4 DisplayPorts and a single HDMI 2.0 port but we would have liked to see a couple more USB slots. The ports are also located facing down rather than to the rear, which does make it a little fiddly when trying to connect anything, although the monitor does rotate so you can access them easier that way. Thankfully, unlike the recent Acer monitors we reviewed, the Odyssey G7 has no annoying fan.
The menu control is found below the monitor and is a single button, 4 axis control. Positioned below the monitor, it gives better control than some we reviewed which had a fiddly joystick style control to the rear of the monitor. As soon as you press the control, the on-screen display appears, which is located to the bottom of the screen in the centre. It’s very easy to use and is one of the better designed control systems we’ve come across.
Pressing the centre gives you quick access to the source, power, PiP and the main menu system. Left and right will access the source setup, down for volume and up for sharpness, brightness and contrast controls. Within the main menus are comprehensive settings for Game, Picture, PIP/PBP, Onscreen display along with System and Support settings and information.
Within the Game menu, you have settings for refresh rate, black equalizer, response time and turning the adaptive-sync on. If you do that, the monitor goes into Game mode and some of the settings are unavailable. The Picture menu has settings for the picture mode and the brightness, contrast, sharpness and various other controls such as colour tone, gamma and the RGB saturation levels, plus access to the calibration report.
Within the System menu you can configure the RGB lighting to front and back, back only or off altogether. You can also change the lighting effect from static, rainbow, flash and breathing. Not sure why you would want anything other than static, but each to their own. Along with numerous other settings, you can also update the monitor's firmware via a USB stick.
When you alter any settings, the picture mode is changed to custom. Unfortunately, there is no way of saving monitor settings to different configurations, such as gaming, movie or CAD for example.
For our monitor calibrations we use SpectraCal software.
The G7 is calibrated at the factory and the certificate can be found inside the monitor’s picture menu. Out of the box, it does look to be nicely calibrated with a ColorChecker error of just 2.12 and Greyscale error of 0.7. Below 3 is the accepted target, so this monitor does not need any further calibration. We did anyway just to see what it could do and with a further calibration using the Calman software we reduced the ColorChecker error to just 0.25 and Greyscale error to 0.4, which is amongst the lowest we’ve ever got with a monitor. The maximum screen luminance detected was 416 cd/m2 and with HDR turned on in Windows it was slightly higher at 423.1 cd/m2.
Testing and Display Quality
For our testing we use a Leo Bodnar input lag tester. This measures the delay (latency) that it takes a video signal to pass from the point of input until it is displayed on the monitor. With this monitor we had results of 21.8ms, which is comparable to the other monitors we have recently reviewed. It is also worth pointing out that the Leo Bodnar works best at 1080P native resolution, so there will be a small margin of error with monitors above that.
It’s important to note that input lag is not response time. Response time is often the headline number that monitor manufacturers use in their advertising, such as ‘very low 2ms’ for example. Response time is how quickly a display can change its pixels from black to white or grey to grey. A high response time will mean you are more likely to see ghosting, which is the blurring that you see behind fast moving objects.
The Odyssey has an excellent 1ms response time which is about the lowest you will find on most gaming monitors. Coupled with the lag test results and the G-Sync and Free-sync Premium Pro, this gives you a monitor that performed superbly during our tests with no ghosting or screen tearing. During our gaming tests we had almost no issues at all and at 240Hz (not that our rig could get close to that with any recent games of course) the monitor gives silky smooth images. The only issue we did have is that with Adaptive Sync enabled and using G-Sync, you do occasionally get a screen flicker. This only presented itself in one of the several games we tested but it was annoying when it appeared. With Adaptive Sync turned off, the flicker disappeared. At time of writing Samsung are looking to fix this issue with a firmware update.
Whilst it isn’t 4K, we find a good 1440P monitor at a decent size is a perfect sweet spot between cost and performance. A 4K gaming monitor may be great, but many will not have a PC capable of getting the best out of it. In our opinion, 1440P 120/144/240Hz will give a far better gaming experience than 4K 60Hz.
The display quality itself is excellent. With the 125% sRGB coverage the colours really pop out at you together with crisp and clear text. The black levels are excellent but as it is edge lit, you do unfortunately get some minor light bleeding. With our full black test image this was particularly noticeable from the bottom of the screen with the top and sides to a lesser degree. It’s not noticeable at all during gaming but could be a slight issue for watching movies.
As it is a VESA certified DisplayHDR 600, the monitor is required to have 10-bit processing, real-time contrast ratios with local dimming and the peak luminance of 600 cd/m2. Setting HDR on in Windows and correcting the brightness levels (as Windows sets it far too dark) you can really see what the Odyssey is capable of. If anything, we had to turn the brightness down a notch to save our retinas burning out! But, perhaps to keep the price point down, it only has limited dimming zones so may not compete with the significantly more expensive FALD monitors.
VESA DisplayHDR 600 is the lowest you would want to go on a monitor to consider it HDR (which even then is open to argument). The DisplayHDR 400 for example is a certification that simply shouldn't exist.
Now onto the most important part of this monitor, the curve. With TVs, curves were definitely just for design and were a fad that has now disappeared thankfully. They may look good sitting there turned off but had no real benefits when in use. But with a PC monitor, where you are sitting much closer and directly in front of it, a curved monitor allows for much better immersion.
At 1000R the Odyssey G7 has the curviest curve of all the monitors at this size. Most curved monitors of this size range have a 1800R curve, the increased 1000R curve here matches the curvature of the human eye, which Samsung claims gives maximum immersion and minimal eye strain.
The curve may initially take some getting used to when you first power it up, but very quickly you will become accustomed to it and wonder how you ever used a flat display. Compared to our usual monitor, a 27” Acer Predator, we found the 32” curved G7 to give a huge improvement, not only in screen real estate, but the curve did actual give a much better immersion across the board in the games we tested and we couldn’t recall any issues with eye strain, even after long gaming sessions.
- Lightning fast 240Hz refresh rate
- 1000R curve gives immersive gaming experience
- Excellent quality display
- 32" and 1440P is gaming sweetspot
- 125% sRGB coverage
- VESA DisplayHDR 600
- G-Sync and Free-sync Premium Pro support
- Screen flicker with G-Sync
- Stand is a bit too big
- Not enough USB ports
- No way of saving different display configurations
- Only 8 zone edge lit
Samsung Odyssey G7 32" Curved Gaming Monitor Review
The 32” Samsung Odyssey G7 curved gaming monitor, available for around £630, offers the perfect package for the PC gamer. The 1440P resolution, 1000R curved display gives a superb gaming experience that adds another level of immersion to your gaming when compared to a traditional flat monitor. Coupled with the 125% sRGB colour space, VESA Display HDR 600, the 1ms response time and lightning fast 240Hz refresh rate, plus the other features such as the RGB lighting to the rear and below the monitor, and both G-Sync and Free-sync Premium Pro support, all mean you really do get a significant amount for your money.
The display quality is excellent with superb colours, brightness level, sharpness, complete absence of ghosting and a menu system that allows for a good level of tweaking to get the image exactly as you would like it. It arrives pre-calibrated from the factory to an exceptionally good level so you should have no issues out of the box.
It’s not all perfect though as there are a couple of issues. The main one is an intermittent screen flicker with G-Sync which hopefully will be fixed with a promised firmware update. The other ones are minor in that the stand does stick out quite a bit, so a redesign to reduce it would be welcome and they could have been slightly more generous with the USB ports.
Overall, the G7 offers the perfect balance between cost, performance, features and resolution. You can spend significantly more for an all singing and dancing 4K FALD HDR display, but then the G7 is about a 1/3 of the cost of those. Plus, once you’ve been gaming for a few hours with the 1000R curved display you won’t ever go back to a flat one or even an 1800R curved display. At this price point there is nothing to match it in terms of specification. This is a worthy winner of our AVForums Recommended award. It would have scored higher had the screen flicker firmware fix been released by Samsung at time of writing.
Out-of-the-box accuracy sRGB
Black Levels & Contrast
Bright Screen Uniformity
Dark Screen Uniformity
Value for Money
Our Review Ethos
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