Samsung Odyssey G9 gaming monitor review (2024)

Our Verdict

Samsung’s insane 49-inch gaming beast packs an incredible punch, but flawed HDR implementation is disappointing.

For

  • Incredibly immersive 49-inch panel
  • Fantastic pixel response for a VA panel
  • Great all-round feature set

Against

  • Only 10 edge-lit local dimming zones
  • Form factor can be problematic
  • Very pricey

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Unlike most PC components, monitor tech used to progress gradually. Not any longer. Just a few years ago, it would have been hard to imagine a 49-inch monster like the Samsung Odyssey G9 with its outrageous 1000R curve. In a couple of years’ time? It’ll be totally obsolete.

Screen queens

Samsung Odyssey G9 gaming monitor review (1)

Best gaming monitor: pixel-perfect panels for your PC
Best high refresh rate monitor: screaming quick screens
Best 4K monitor for gaming: when only high-res will do
Best 4K TV for gaming: big-screen 4K PC gaming

We’ll get to the reasons why imminently. But first, let's square away what makes the Samsung Odyssey G9 spectacular in the here and now. Obviously, it all begins with that ridiculous 49-inch panel. The 5,120 by 1,440 native resolution arguably isn’t all that exciting given the size and aspect ratio. Certainly, it makes for an unimpressive pixel density of 109 pixels per inch. A high DPI experience this ain’t.

Instead, it’s the sheer scale and the outrageously tight curvature that separates the G9 from just about every other monitor. The 1000R curve means that if you extended the panel to complete the circle it is partially describing, said circle would be just one metre in radius. Bonkers.

Samsung Odyssey G9 gaming monitor review (2)

The panel’s other key features include 240Hz refresh, FreeSync and G-Sync support, HDR 1000 certification including a peak brightness of 1,000 nits, 2,500:1 contrast, 95% coverage of the DCI-P3 gamut, and 1ms response. That’s one heck of a list. Then there’s the panel type. Samsung has gone for VA technology, which is usually great for contrast, less so for response.

Anyway, it also doesn’t hurt that the G9 looks like a million bucks from almost any angle. OK, the chassis is plastic. But the glossy white finish looks classy, while the ‘Infinity Core’ LED lighting is slick and funky. The overall effect is something akin to a big-budget sci-fi prop. We like.

Samsung Odyssey G9 specs

Screen size: 49-inch
Panel technology: VA
Native resolution: 5120 x 1440
Aspect ratio: 32:9
Refresh rate: 240 Hz
Response tune: 1ms GtG
HDR: VESA DesplayHDR 1000
Contrast: 2,500:1
Color: 95% DCI-P3
Brightness: 420 nits SDR, 1,000 nits HDR
Connections: HDMI 2.0 x1, DisplayPort 1.4 x2, 3x USB 3.0
Other: G-Sync Compatible, FreeSync Premium, 3x USB 3.0 hub

We also like most aspects of the Odyssey G9’s performance. A lot. First up, let’s attend to any doubts over response due to the VA panel. Samsung has included three user-configurable levels of overdrive in the G9’s OSD menu. Subjectively, they’re difficult to tell apart. But the important conclusion is that the G9 is properly fast and comparable with 1ms IPS monitors. Phew.

There are a few slight snags. Overdrive isn’t available with either adaptive refresh or low input-lag mode. But response still looks good with FreeSync or G-Sync available and there’s no discernible latency whether you enable the low input lag mode or not.

The major issue involves HDR performance. It’s a bit of a mess. For starters, while the G9 does have local dimming, as you’d expect from an HDR1000 panel, it’s limited to just 10 edge-lit zones, which makes it pretty much entirely pointless. In mitigation, the inherent contrast, rated at 2,500 to one, of the VA panel ought to help boost HDR performance. But in practice, HDR content is underwhelming on the G9 and lacks the visual highs you’d normally expect from an HDR1000 panel.

So, this monitor does its best work as a particularly punchy SDR screen, in which mode it’s good for 420 nits. In PC gaming terms, you haven’t lived until you’ve seen CyberPunk 2077 running in all its ray-traced, DLSS’ed glory on the G9. It’s something very special. A lot of that is down to immersion. The outrageous 32:9 aspect, plus the very tight curve and mega 49-inch proportions, make for an incredible wrap-around experience. Just remember that you’ll need one heck of a graphics card to drive this screen smoothly in the latest games. The overall pixel count is nearly as high as full 4K.

Samsung Odyssey G9 gaming monitor review (3)

Of course, the extreme aspect isn’t a winner in all game types. The wider available field of view is inevitably deemed an unfair advantage in online shooters including Call of Duty: Warzone and battle royale fodder like Fortnite. So, you have to choose between stretching a 16:9 field of view across a 32:9 panel, or running with huge black bars left and right.

More generally, the uber-wide aspect may or may not be a good fit with the UI of any given game, your mileage will vary. Similarly, it’s not much good if you share your monitor with a games console. And from a productivity perspective, the mediocre pixel pitch and shallow panel height limit the G9’s appeal. At this price point, there are far better options for getting work done.

Oh, and that obsolescence we mentioned? Samsung is already plotting a follow-up to the G9. It will have a mini-LED backlight with dramatically more dimming zones, probably two thousand or more. It may be even more expensive. But then if you can afford this G9, you can probably afford whatever comes next. With that in mind, as impressive as the G9 is in many regards, in this specification with the flawed HDR implementation it feels like a stepping stone, a beta version of what will likely become an absolutely stellar monitor with an upgrade to mini-LED tech.

Samsung Odyssey G9 gaming monitor review (4)

It’s also worth noting that Samsung offers the CRG90 with a similar 49-inch feature set, but gentler of curve and only humming along at 120Hz, for a lot less cash. All of which means the G9 is an incredible screen. But it’s tough to unreservedly recommend.

The Verdict

84

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Samsung Odyssey G9 gaming monitor review

Samsung’s insane 49-inch gaming beast packs an incredible punch, but flawed HDR implementation is disappointing.

Samsung Odyssey G9 gaming monitor review (5)

Jeremy Laird

Hardware writer

Jeremy has been writing about technology and PCs since the 90nm Netburst era (Google it!) and enjoys nothing more than a serious dissertation on the finer points of monitor input lag and overshoot followed by a forensic examination of advanced lithography. Or maybe he just likes machines that go “ping!” He also has a thing for tennis and cars.

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As a seasoned tech enthusiast with a deep understanding of monitor technology, I can provide valuable insights into the Samsung Odyssey G9, the subject of the article. The Samsung Odyssey G9 is a 49-inch gaming monitor that boasts an impressive array of features but also faces certain drawbacks, notably in its HDR implementation.

Let's break down the key concepts and features discussed in the article:

  1. Panel Specifications:

    • The Samsung Odyssey G9 features a massive 49-inch panel with a native resolution of 5120 x 1440.
    • The aspect ratio is 32:9, providing an ultra-wide screen experience.
    • The panel technology is VA (Vertical Alignment), known for its superior contrast.
  2. Display Properties:

    • The monitor offers a 240Hz refresh rate, ensuring smooth and responsive gameplay.
    • It supports both FreeSync and G-Sync technologies for adaptive sync, reducing screen tearing.
    • HDR 1000 certification with a peak brightness of 1,000 nits enhances the display's dynamic range.
    • A contrast ratio of 2,500:1 and 95% coverage of the DCI-P3 color gamut contribute to vibrant visuals.
  3. Design and Aesthetics:

    • The monitor's design includes a notable 1000R curve, providing an immersive viewing experience.
    • The chassis is constructed with plastic, featuring a glossy white finish and 'Infinity Core' LED lighting, giving it a sleek appearance.
  4. Performance:

    • The article highlights the positive aspects of the Odyssey G9's performance, especially its response time. The VA panel includes three user-configurable levels of overdrive for improved responsiveness.
    • The monitor performs exceptionally well in SDR (Standard Dynamic Range), achieving a brightness of 420 nits.
  5. Issues and Drawbacks:

    • One major concern addressed in the article is the HDR performance, which is described as a bit messy. The G9 incorporates only 10 edge-lit local dimming zones, limiting the effectiveness of HDR.
    • Despite the VA panel's inherent contrast, the article suggests that HDR content on the G9 may be underwhelming and lacking the visual impact expected from an HDR1000 panel.
  6. Use Cases and Considerations:

    • The ultra-wide 32:9 aspect ratio, tight curve, and large screen size contribute to an immersive gaming experience, especially in titles like CyberPunk 2077.
    • However, the article notes that the monitor's extreme aspect ratio may not be suitable for all game types, particularly those where a wider field of view could be considered an unfair advantage.
  7. Future Developments:

    • The article mentions that Samsung is planning a follow-up to the G9, incorporating mini-LED backlight technology with significantly more dimming zones, potentially addressing the HDR issues. This suggests that the G9 might be considered a stepping stone to a more advanced version.

In conclusion, while the Samsung Odyssey G9 impresses with its immersive gaming experience and high refresh rate, the article emphasizes the importance of considering the HDR limitations and potential advancements in future models. As an expert, I would advise potential buyers to weigh their priorities, especially if HDR performance is a crucial factor in their decision-making process.

Samsung Odyssey G9 gaming monitor review (2024)

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