Samsung Neo G8 4K Curved Gaming Monitor Review

The Samsung Neo G8 is a monitor designed for the discerning gamer who wants the highest performance with the highest pixel density and color accuracy. This 32-inch 4K gaming monitor boasts a world-first 240Hz refresh rate on a VA panel with Samsungs patented Quantum Mini LED backlight system with local dimming. It gets exceptionally bright in all the right spots and impressively dark where it needs to. The combination makes for one of the best HDR experiences I’ve ever had.

And even with its deeply curved panel, its 16:9 aspect ratio and support for HDMI 2.1 makes it perfect for both PC and console gaming. As you’d expect, specs like these will cost a pretty penny — AUD $1,999 at the time of writing this. That’s a helluva lot of money for a gaming monitor , however, the excellent QD-OLED Alienware AW3423DW Ultra-wide gaming monitor costs the same. At the same time, you can get LG’s C2 42-inch OLED Evo for almost $500 less than the Neo G8 and still get one of the best desktop gaming experiences.

However, neither of those is holistically as good as the Samsung Neo G8 when it comes to size, performance and picture quality. After a month using this as my main driver, I don’t want to use another monitor.

Samsung Odyssey Neo G8 Review

Thie first thing you’ll notice about the Neo G8 is its rather distinctive design. The 32-inch monitor has a shiny white plastic back shell, super aggressive 1000R curve and a large RGB light ring that makes the monitor look like something straight out of Portal RTX. The stand shares the same aesthetic and offers a great range of motion — full 90-degree rotation being of particular note. However, the stand has pretty bad cable management; essentially a rubber strap on the back to tidy your cables and it is prone to a fair bit of wobbling.

Speaking of cables, the Neo G8 has most of the essential ports you’d expect which include a DisplayPort 1.4( which is the only way to get 4K at 240Hz), two HDMI 2.1 ports, a USB upstream with two USB 3.0 ports and a 3.5mm audio jack. Surprisingly missing is a USB Type-C port which is particularly favoured by modern laptops for single cable setups. The Neo G8 doesn’t have built-in speakers either which is odd for a monitor designed for gaming consoles. Another irritation is the use of an external power brick which adds to your cable management woes and I really don’t see why Samsung couldn’t keep it internal.

The front of the G8 is far less impressive looking than the back. You do get two subtle RGB strips on either end of the bottom bezel but nothing else other than black plastic framing. The OSD controls are easily accessible at the bottom middle of the bezel but the design of the d-pad style joystick is quite stiff and uncomfortable to use easily. Fortunately, you can also control the monitor via the CoreSync app for Windows when connected to the USB hub. The menu is simple and intuitive enough and offers all the essential game and picture controls you need.

Panel and performance

The main attraction of the G8 is its 4K, 32-inch, curved VA panel backed by a Quantum Mini LED backlighting system with a whopping 1,196 local dimming zones. That many zones on such a small surface allows exceptional contrast control with blacks that are not far from OLED. Samsung quotes a 1000 nit peak brightness and I can’t deny that. The picture, especially in HDR content, can get blindingly bright often forcing me to turn down the brightness. Even with such high brightness, I never noticed any blooming or halo effects that I typically see on bigger Mini LED TV’s.

Additionally, the color reproduction and accuracy is likewise stellar with a 100% coverage of Adobe sRGB and 95% DCI-P3 color spaces. So if you do a fair bit of photo and video editing or graphic design work, the Neo G8 is still a fine monitor to use outside of gaming. The 3840 x 2160 resolution is pin sharp thanks to a high pixel density afforded by a 32-inch canvas so text looks beautifully sharp at all times. And there’s no color fringing like you get with most OLED’s.

I’ve enjoyed doing all my daily tasks as a designer, writer and content creator on the Neo G8 though I should mention that the curved display does introduce some distracting distortion when trying to draw straight objects that some might find off-putting. In games however, that’s absolutely nothing to worry about. The curve is wonderful for immersion, almost giving you that perfect “I’m wearing a helmet with a HUD” feeling. The curve makes it easy to scan all corners of the display with far less eyestrain compared to an ultra wide.

Turn on HDR and games become something else. The Neo G8 produces some truly gorgeous imagery. Try The Witcher 3 Next Gen Edition, Plague Tale Requiem or Destiny 2: The Witch Queen and your eyes will be in heaven. Colors pop thanks to the exceptional contrast and the brightness means flashes from explosions can momentarily blind. Darker environments are still easy to navigate because of the great clarity and detail in shadows as well as the monitors built in black equaliser.

The cherry on top is the silky smooth 240 Hz refresh rate with AMD FreeSync Premium Pro and G-sync compatibility. And you’ll need it as most rigs aren’t capable of running AAA games at 4K 240Hz anyway. Even with my RTX 3080 powered rig, something considered monstrous just a year or so ago, I couldn’t really get more than 100fps in most games with HDR and max settings in 4K. Games like CS:Go and Valorant should easily get to 240fps but I highly doubt you would really be playing competitive shooters in 4K ultra to begin with. But if you do, then the Neo G8 is upto the task if your rig is.

Verdict

The Samsung Neo G8 may be one seriously expensive monitor but there really isn’t quite anything like it and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every minute of using it. We’ve seen other quantum dot 4K monitors like the excellent $999 MSI Optix MPG321QRF-QD or the monstrously expensive Asus ROG Swift PG32UQX which is also Mini LED but costs a whopping $3000. The Neo G8 combines the best of both these technologies to dramatic effect and averages out the price. It gets almost everything right and the few issues I have are practically inconsequential. This is the best 4K HDR, Mini LED, high refresh gaming experience you can get right now.


Samsung Australia kindly loaned the Neo G8 to PowerUp! for the purpose of this review

Samsung Neo G8 4K Curved Gaming Monitor Review
LIKES
Quantum Mini LED and local dimming
Fantastic HDR in games and media
HDMI 2.1 for consoles
Curve makes viewing easy
DISLIKES
No USB Type-C or KVM switch
So expensive
Poor cable management
5
Simply the best 4K HDR Gaming Monitor to date
Kizito Katawonga
Kizito Katawongahttp://www.medium.com/@katawonga
Kizzy is our Tech Editor. He's a total nerd with design sensibilities who's always on the hunt for the latest, greatest and sexiest tech that enhances our work and play. When he's not testing the latest gadgets or trying to listen to his three whirlwind daughters, Kizzy likes to sink deep into a good story-driven single player game.

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