Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 review
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The Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 review
The Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 aims to become one of the best gaming monitors in the world, just like the original Samsung Odyssey G9 before it – and it certainly has the size and specs to grab our attention. It’s an absolute beast of an ultra-widescreen monitor.
As with its predecessor, you get an impressive 49in screen corner-to-corner and a tight 1000R curvature of the monitor, so you’re really part of games (and movies, too). The screen resolution also remains the same as before, with 5,120 x 1,440 pixels.
In our Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 review, we’ll outline everything you need to know about this giant monitor – from its gaming performance to the time it takes to set up up to the connectors and ports you have available so you can decide if this is the right purchase for you.
If you’re not put off by the gargantuan price tag, rest assured that the Odyssey Neo G9 is worthy of your attention. The Odyssey Neo G9 performs admirably in its standard SDR configuration, although you’ll need to activate HDR in Windows 10 to really push the throttle and push the screen to its intended limits.
Right out of the box with dynamic brightness disabled, the Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 covered 99.6% of the sRGB color gamut and 91% of the DCI-P3 gamut. That’s about the same as our results from the Odyssey G9, as are the measured peak luminance of 453cd/m² and a contrast ratio of 2,431:1.
It’s worth noting that with Dynamic Brightness enabled, the Neo G9 achieved an impressive contrast ratio of 6,491:1. This is proof that the Mini LED backlight is at work.
In our tests, the default picture mode was the most accurate. The mean color variance (delta E) of 2.0 means you are unlikely to notice quirky or unnatural colors – only color errors above a delta E of 3 are humanly detectable. Given the price tag, you can hope for an even better figure, but this is a solid result. Whether you’re watching movies, gaming or using a web browser, the panel’s SDR performance is very good indeed.
Unfortunately, my aging PC would never be able to manage 240 frames per second at 5,120 x 1,440, but a quick look at the Blur Busters UFO test confirmed that the 240 Hz refresh rate functioned as intended – although you do have to enable it in the OSD.
Likewise, my response time tests turned up nothing out of the ordinary. The Neo G9 has four response time modes that produce more and more ghosting as you cycle through them. The fastest, Extreme Motion Response Boost, produced what I’d call an annoying amount of ghosting, but overall the monitor feels effortlessly responsive.
The mini-LED technology makes the Neo G9’s backlight unique among gaming monitors – and the arrival of full array local dimming (FALD) on the Neo G9 completely overshadows the edge-lit local dimming found on the Odyssey G9. There are now a whopping 2,048 individual local dimming zones under the panel of the Neo G9, a huge improvement over the disappointing 10 zones on the G9.
This allows the Neo G9 to achieve blisteringly high luminance levels – I measured 2,200 cd/m² on a 10% white window. As a result, anything you choose to play in HDR – I’ve picked Far Cry 5, Battlefield V, and Star Wars Battlefront II, as well as HDR sample videos on YouTube – looks absolutely stunning.
The Mini LED backlighting helps to produce impressive levels of detail, from the brightest highlights to the darkest corners, and colors in HDR content look suitably rich and vibrant. Star Wars Battlefront II was a particularly good example, with dark corridors with streaks of sunlight giving way to neon blaster fire and shiny lightsabers.
Whatever you decide to play, you should keep the Neo G9 in Dynamic HDR mode if you want the highest peak brightness. The standard HDR mode reduces the maximum luminance to around 1,100 nits, so it can be a good choice for dark rooms and late-night gaming.
The Neo G9 is a seriously heavy monitor. Weighing in at 14.5kg including the stand, you may want to enlist the help of an assistant to both assemble the monitor and place it on your desk. Like its predecessor, the Neo G9 takes up a huge amount of space, so check the dimensions before you buy. However, despite the huge panel, I found that the Neo G9’s spindly stand left plenty of room for my PC speakers and other desktop essentials.
Assembly of the Neo G9 was delayed by the annoying absence of a manual, but turned out to be quite simple in the end. There’s no denying the impact of the gaudy, futuristic rear panels; my partner gasped audibly when she came across the Neo G9 in our office. I personally think it looks pretty cool, and it’s a nice touch especially if your desk isn’t right up against a wall.
It’s also an amazing productivity monitor: the 1000R curve looks stern from behind, but it’s perfect for holding two large windows side by side without hurting your neck.
Playing with the onboard settings is intuitive. The OSD is navigated via a joystick and button combo that never confused me. You must check the different possible combinations of features: HDR is not available when using, for example, frame-by-frame or picture-in-picture mode, and the response time/input delay controls are grayed out until you turn off adaptive sync. My only problem is that changing an important setting (e.g. switching color mode) closes the OSD completely, meaning you can’t quickly adjust these settings.
I find it odd that the Odyssey Neo G9 lacks the expected gimmicks like USB-C ports or built-in speakers, yet has a ring of RGB “infinite lighting” that circles the point where the monitor meets the stand. Sure, it’s nice that it can respond to what’s happening in-game (like Philips’ Ambilight TVs), but at this price point, we’d prefer connectivity over LED lighting.
The Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 is an excellent gaming monitor and only improves upon the foundations laid with last year’s model. Many aspects of this monitor’s performance have remained unchanged in the new version, but that’s a good thing, given that Samsung has already been at the forefront of motion performance, especially with a VA panel.
Overall, I think gamers will be very impressed with how fast this monitor is. It has a 240Hz refresh rate, elite response times, and no issues with smearing dark levels that have plagued previous VA panels. The variable refresh rate experience is great, it’s a huge and very immersive monitor with a perfect resolution that is still playable with modern GPUs. I’m not the biggest fan of curved monitors, but even I think the 1000R curve adds to the experience when gaming with this super ultrawide.
Wrap up Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 review
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