The Samsung Odyssey G9 is, on paper, the most complete gaming monitor ever created. It is also the most spectacular – whether there is paper or not – thanks to its 49 inches and above all to a prodigious 1000R curvature that envelops you and makes you not want to leave there. And it is also, inevitably, expensive.
We are facing the analysis of an aspirational product that probably any user would like to have at home . One of those wonders that show how far technology can go, and in fact, surprisingly, it can take a bit to take advantage of.
Samsung Odyssey G9 data sheet
The spec sheet of the Samsung Odyssey G9 is truly spectacular. This model (LC49G93TSSUXEN) is a true prodigy due to its 1000R curve, but also because it combines practically everything that any gamer could ask for in a video game-oriented monitor.
Thus, we have refresh rates of up to 240 Hz, HDR1000 certification and a response time of 1 ms (Gray-to-Gray), which is joined by the support of both Nvidia G-SYNC and AMD FreeSync Premium Pro for that adaptive frequency that prevents small aberrations during gaming sessions.
|PANEL||49-inch DQHD Curved VA LCD (1000R) with 32: 9 aspect ratio|
|RESOLUTION||5,120 x 1,440 dots|
|BRIGHTNESS||1000 cd / m 2|
|VISION ANGLE||178 °|
|RESPONSE TIME||1 ms (GtG)|
|CONNECTIVITY||1 x HDMI 2.0, 2 x Display Port 1.4, 2 x USB 3.0, headphones|
|COLOR SPACE COVERAGE||125% sRGB, 92% Adobe RGB|
|DIMENSIONS||1147.6 x 537.2 x 416.4 mm (with stand)|
1147.6 x 363.5 x 291.0 mm (without stand)
|WEIGHT||16.7 kg (with stand)|
14.1 kg (without stand)
Design: by its curve you will know it
Taking it out of the box is already imposing. The very cork with which Samsung protects this monitor is precisely designed to fit that curved screen, and although it is not excessively heavy (14.6 kg without the support, 17.2 kg with it) its dimensions (115 cm long) they make it respectful to mount it and leave it prepared.
Once on the table, many surprises. Some strange, such as the fact that the inverted V legs of the stand are not completely supported on the table , and in reality the support points are the central column on which the monitor is supported and the end of the mentioned two legs, that although they have a rigid appearance they are still plastic.
This support also allows some margin of maneuver in terms of the positioning of the monitor, which is slightly adjustable in tilt (-15 to 5 °) and rotation (-15 to 15 °), but not in pivot (logical in this format) .
A small height adjustment is also possible, which we can move 12 cm up or down, and if we prefer to use it with a VESA mount we can do so thanks to its compatibility with 100×100 mm mounts of this type.
That’s a minor minor evil in an otherwise absolutely stunning product. Although it is gigantic, the funny thing is that it is very easy (too easy) to get used to its size on the desktop , with that ultra-wide 32: 9 format that is perhaps exaggerated in length.
In fact, those who use multi-monitor setups are probably not so surprised by those dimensions because in essence this monitor has a similar resolution and dimensions to what we would get by placing two 27-inch 1440p monitors side by side.
That configuration does not have much to do with what this Samsung monitor offers, especially since in it we would have a clear division in the middle of the screen that it would be difficult not to appreciate even with thin frames.
Added to this is the defining characteristic of this monitor: its 1000R curvature . That kind of curvature is exceptional today in a world where the vast majority of curved monitors adopt a much less pronounced 1800R or 1500R at most.
With the 1000R curvature the effect is much more remarkable, and theoretically thanks to it our eyes should not adjust the focus distance because at the distance at which we usually use it all the points on the screen are basically the same distance from our eyes.
That theoretically implies less visual fatigue for the user, but whether that is true or not, that curve is simply spectacular from any angle . It is especially appreciated when the profile of the monitor is seen from above, but it is just as impressive whether you are in front of the monitor or if you see it “as a spectator” from outside the workplace in which you use it.
Its curvature precisely makes it important to bear in mind that we have to have a desk with a certain depth so that the monitor does not “eat us”. With the support, it touches 25 cm from the bottom, measuring in the central part of the wall (almost 42 at the ends along the curve), something that we have to take into account if we have it attached to the wall, because in reality it will not be. . You better have a generous table to place this beast.
Some of the details of its design, however, have the danger of being hidden. Its impeccable construction is neat even on a rear that most manufacturers do not pay much attention to.
That back part, of a bright white color, almost pearly, is equally striking, and in the part that makes it join the support we find a circular backlighting system with a system that we can configure to show different colors.
In my case, unfortunately, that option had hardly any impact on the experience, because I use the monitor attached to a wall and only completely in the dark was the halo created by that backlighting slightly noticeable.
In a different room and with the monitor exposed, the effect will undoubtedly be especially striking, and that detail joins another curious but impractical one: on the upper part of the support (made of metal, but with a plastic cover) we find a tab that we can rotate and put perpendicular to be able to hang the helmets from there .
It is not a particularly comfortable element since the dimensions of the monitor usually force us to get up to access that rear part, but the detail is there.
The support is precisely another element that shows Samsung’s attention to detail, which also conceives this support as a way to hide the cables . When we connect the monitor to power, to one or more computers and perhaps to a USB hub we can hide all those cables and cover them with the plastic cover of the support so that the organization of cables is much more careful on the desk.
Remarkable performance in practically all sections
We are facing a VA panel that according to Samsung achieves a contrast of 2500: 1 and that also has support for the ‘local dimming’ feature , a system that improves lighting locally with several light sources that are responsible for give light to the different areas of the screen to avoid dark places. The greater the number of lighting zones, the brighter and better the image.
This system, of course, only works in HDR mode, not in SDR , and it is made up of vertical lighting areas that stand out when an object is anywhere on the screen. If the screen should show black and the pointer goes through any, you can see how the areas light up. It is therefore not a system implemented in a particularly “fine” way, and it is one of the small buts that can be put on the panel.
Samsung also boasts of its VESA HDR1000 certification , which guarantees that it is capable of offering 1000 cd / m 2 of maximum brightness, and although we had no tools to verify that data, believe us when we tell you that when HDR mode is used and they appear areas illuminated by flashes or clarity in movies or games the effect is overwhelming: one has to squint because certainly the brightness of the panel is outstanding.
The viewing angles, as in most VA panels, are not particularly noticeable, but the effect is heightened in this curved panel, and when we move to the right or left the text loses some definition and the colors of the images are blurred. and clarify . Again, it is not a serious problem knowing that we are facing a curved VA panel, and it does not cloud the rest of the benefits of this monitor.
For example, its calibration. Samsung claims these monitors are pre-calibrated at the factory, and certainly the starting monitor quality level in terms of color reproduction is excellent . Of course it is always possible to tune and there are recommendations on the internet on how to set the different parameters of color temperature, contrast, luminance, RGB levels or even ICC profiles to calibrate that we can use.
Here, of course, each user’s own perception influences, and fortunately Samsung provides a sufficiently complete configuration menu in which to leave the panel calibrated to our liking. Even so, the profiles or predefined image modes are very useful for most users, and for example the FPS mode, which is logically oriented towards first-person video games, “abuses” the brightness and contrast to improve the impact of all the images. images.
The number of settings that we can access is very high, and they also affect the response time – which impacts on that annoying trail that fonts or images can leave when scrolling them quickly – or of course the refresh rate, one of the star options of a monitor that even with this resolution of 5,120 x 1,440 pixels is capable of working at 60, 144 and even 240 Hz . The monitor supports both FreeSync Premium Pro and Nvidia G-SYNC, and has a GTG (Gray-To-Gray, the most common way of measuring) response time of 1 ms. .
When configuring this last option in Windows 10 the mouse movement is surprisingly smooth , and although I am not one of those who detects many differences with high refresh rates during gaming sessions – it is a matter of perception, as I pointed out then – I do notice that smoothness and fluidity on the desktop.
There are other elements of interest that can be activated on the monitor, such as the peephole (crosshair) that we can use as a complement to the one provided by video games of the shooter genre, or a frame counter that shows which FPS we are playing at each moment.
However, the most striking additional feature is probably the Picture-in-Picture mode, which is complemented by the Picture-by-Picture . Both allow to combine images from two different sources simultaneously, being able to connect, for example, two computers to the monitor and control them with the same mouse and keyboard (for example, through some KVM hardware or utilities such as Synergy or Across).
Although a few months ago it was temporarily removed due to unwanted light leaks at one of the joints with the frames, the problem seems to have been completely resolved. At least in our case there was no such problem, and we were able to use the monitor without noticing any light leaks at any time.
In my case, the biggest problem I found in the so-called ‘inverse ghosting’ or ‘crowns’ effect , a problem that appears in games (where I have hardly noticed it) but of course also when moving the text up or down. When you move that text, a shadow appears in reverse, that is, lighter (brighter) than the white background of the web page on which the text is usually displayed. They explain it very well – of course – in Blur Busters , and in this Odyssey G9 it is clearly visible and although there are adjustments that help to alleviate it , I have not managed to eliminate it completely. If you are sensitive to this problem, it may bother you a bit, and although I notice it, it is not worrying enough to outweigh all the advantages (which are many) of this monitor.
Using the Samsung Odyssey G9 to work
As soon as you start the computer, one thing is obvious: the desktop background you had (probably) does not look good. Desktop wallpapers usually take advantage of and adapt to panoramic screens, but on ultra-panoramic monitors like this one, those backgrounds are “stretched”, which makes it almost mandatory that we look for a new wallpaper. That doesn’t cost too much, and trust me: those wallpapers often make the windowless workspace even more imposing. It’s almost annoying to have to start working and not leave the monitor in “frame mode”.
In my day to day I usually work with two browser windows facing each other. The rest of the applications that I have open I leave them in the background and I usually play with the Alt + Tab to put them in first or second according to my needs, so the prospect of using an ultra-wide monitor for a few days seemed fantastic to work.
The truth is that on my usual work monitor I could have more windows on a regular basis. A few years ago I bought a Dell UP2715K with 5K native resolution (5,120 x 2,880 pixels), but I always work with 200% scaling which allows me to have a working resolution of 2,560 x 1,440 pixels in which I enjoy a fantastic sharpness of all visual elements , especially fonts.
The disadvantage, of course, is not being able to have more than those two windows always in view, a sacrifice that in my case is valid because using the native resolution on that diagonal makes everything look dangerously small. So this was an excellent opportunity to test an ultra-wide monitor and the benefits of that enormous horizontal resolution .
The Samsung Odyssey G9 allows me to have a work area that would be equivalent to that of two 27-inch monitors with QHD resolution (2,560 x 1,440 pixels), which in turn would allow me to work with four windows like the ones I usually use on my work space.
The result is curious: after two weeks working with it I have realized that in my case 49 inches are too many , and 5,120 horizontal pixels too: I find it somewhat uncomfortable to sweep the screen with those four windows, and in fact in my case my ideal setup seems to be limited to three.
To my two browser windows I would add at most that third window with the Slack client in which the members of Engadget and Webedia work as a team. The fourth part of the desktop is usually empty , and only occasionally have I used it to play a video or auxiliary tools such as the notepad.
There is one more curious fact: although I have tried to open a fourth window in that last part – in my case, the one on the far right – I ended up feeling a bit like watching a tennis match : it is possible to scroll the entire monitor without moving the head, but at least I end up turning it from side to side.
It is something that I have noticed for example in something as innocuous as checking the time it was: I usually take a quick look at the Windows 10 system tray and that’s it, but with this monitor I have to turn my head a little to see it . It is an easily solvable detail, no doubt, but one that for me sounded a small alarm voice: that perhaps this ultra-wide monitor is too ultra-wide.
This huge horizontal can also be used in other ways, and here the outstanding feature is the PiP (Picture-in-Picture) support that allows us to have several sources displayed at the same time on the monitor. I connected my Dell XPS 13, for example, and the truth is that if you need a scenario like this, this monitor makes it very easy.
In the Samsung Odyssey G9 we find in fact a complete menu to control the PiP mode options and that allows us to select first which mode we activate: we can have a screen divided in half, one occupying one third and the other occupying two (or vice versa) and also another mode in which the secondary screen occupies only one corner of the entire monitor.
Selecting the font to use in each section is just as straightforward with that setup menu, and while the feature is great in many ways, it’s not perfect. It is a bit disappointing, for example, that when activating this mode we lose support for refresh rates of 120 or 240 Hz, and we can only use both sections with a refresh rate of 60 Hz .
The quality of the panel, by the way, is indisputable, and although in my case the jump has meant losing definition (due to that scaling that makes the fonts almost seem to be “on a sticker” of how good they look) I have no complaints whatsoever as for the clarity and detail of fonts and other visual elements.
The 240Hz refresh rate helps , too , and while it’s a much more gaming-oriented option, the smoothness with which the mouse moves or the windows scroll when dragging and dropping them on the desktop is astounding.
I did one more test at the time of work, and that is to use the Linux computer. On my work PC I keep a partition with ElementaryOS 5.1 “Hera”, and I wanted to test how the monitor behaved in this environment.
The bottom line is that it does it wonderfully, and there are no functional differences when working with one or the other. In Windows, for example, I installed and activated the renewed PowerToys and especially its FancyZones option , something that allows me to create sections within the screen to which to move the windows of each application with keyboard shortcuts.
In Linux it is possible to do the same with window managers “on tiles” or tiling window managers, and there are options for all tastes that allow you to have absolute control over the way you want to distribute the space on the monitor.
With a product like the Samsung Odyssey G9, these window managers get even more interesting. For the rest, I had no additional conflicts or problems when using the equipment in a conventional work session, and perhaps that helps those who doubted whether this monitor could be used well with Linux distributions.
A monitor with this horizontal resolution is probably also an exceptional option for anyone who works with video editing : that high horizontal resolution makes working in these types of applications a lot of room for maneuver, and the same can be said for other types of applications they can be perfect to take advantage of those dimensions, and we have a good example in Excel, that if we maximize so that it occupies the entire desktop it allows a dizzying number of columns to appear.
There is another important element to comment that departs a bit from the work scene and is more related to leisure: video content. The Samsung Odyssey G9 has a great format to work if you know how to take advantage of it, but not so much to watch movies or videos.
Its enormous horizontal resolution forces any video content to have two large black bands on both sides that make the image “constricted” and almost trapped in margins that seem to want to get out of there. The feeling is almost that of going back to the old televisions with 4: 3 formats, and it does not matter if the content is designed for panoramic formats, because those formats are not panoramic enough for this monitor.
Samsung Odyssey G9: Playing like this is almost too much to play
Yes, it is very good to take advantage of the monitor to work, but let’s get down to business : whoever buys this monitor – or who is considering buying it – does so mainly with a view to using it for one thing: playing games.
In fact everything in the Samsung Odyssey G9 is designed for that purpose. The support of a refresh rate of up to 240 Hz, the inclusion of both AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-SYNC, the preset picture modes for different genres, and of course the ultrawide 32: 9 format itself and that prodigious curve that you wraps invite you to play as we had not done before .
How is the experience? Imperial. Playing on this monitor makes the scenarios almost surround you and (once again, I insist) surround you. You have much more information than you have on a conventional monitor, and here it is logical for anyone to ask two questions. The first, if that makes the impact on the experience remarkable. The second, if you “play better”, that is, if this monitor and this format pose a competitive advantage for example in competitive online games.
The answer to the first question is of course affirmative: the experience improves, and that “window” to the virtual world posed by games suddenly widens and lets us see much more information. That has a small problem, be careful, and that is that to move all this information we will need a powerful PC .
We have evaluated the monitor with a normal computer in terms of most of the features (Core i5-8400, 16 GB of RAM, 256 GB of NVMe SSD) but not so much in the graphics, since we have been able to have a GeForce RTX ASUS 2080 Super to ensure total fluidity during gaming sessions, even those somewhat more graphically demanding.
That does not mean that this monitor is necessarily more demanding than others, beware: the enormous dimensions are deceiving, but this resolution of 5,120 x 1,440 pixels forces to move 7,372,800 pixels in total, but in a 4K UHD monitor that resolution is 3,840 x 2,160, which is equivalent to 8,294,400 pixels: we move more pixels on a conventional 4K monitor than on this theoretical beast from Samsung , so the workload is somewhat more relaxed on the Samsung Odyssey G9 compared to a game running at 4K.
When one tries to answer the second question, the thing is not so clear. I play ‘Battlefield 1’ as much as I can – which is not much – and I’m making jumps in the catalog of my Game Pass Ultimate subscription, and that has allowed me to experiment a lot with this monitor.
In all games the feeling is fantastic, and having that extra space in which the game – literally – expands is striking, but its practical utility, at least from my point of view, is very limited .
To show that expanded view, games often end up distorting the image slightly at both ends, something that can be greatly alleviated if we configure the field of view (FoV) parameter of the video preferences in each game. That makes that little conflict disappear or be reduced to a minimum, but in the end having that extra visibility is so striking as — I insist, in my experience — useless.
I have lived it over and over again when playing on the monitor. I’m no better at ‘Battlefield 1’ for having that expanded view . I do not see how the enemies approach from both sides until they are close to the “central” part of the action -which we would also see on a conventional monitor-, and if I wanted to do it I would have to turn my head from side to side to travel that enormous horizontal.
I doubt that’s a good idea in games like this, especially since those quick side-to-side glances are done just as well at the end with a mouse click. Precisely for that, players have the option of configuring the sensitivity of the mouse or knowing which one is the most appropriate with specialized calculators such as the one provided on this website.
Muscle memory and a well-configured mouse mean that experienced players probably do not need this huge horizontal because peripheral vision in these games acts as in real life : its relevance in our activity is very discreet, and except in exceptional cases it will probably be of little use in the gaming experience when it comes to being better in those sessions.
I have had that feeling constantly in the games in which I have tested the monitor. Titles such as ‘Watch Dogs: Legion’, ‘Battlefield 1’, ‘Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020’, ‘Forza Horizon 4’, ‘Metro: Exodus’ or ‘Shadow of the Tomb Raider’ are those that appear in the screenshots, but there are many others in which the same same. The monitor does not make us better, but that does not mean that we will not enjoy more of those games that now manage to capture us even more in the virtual worlds to which they transport us.
The peripheral information is fantastic and is capable of improving the immersion in the game and the experience, but the practical advantages of that are not clear. If that’s what you were looking for, this may not be your monitor. For everyone else, if you don’t mind that point, this is a monitor that delivers on everything it promises, and makes the experience in some games especially prodigious.
I especially noticed it in ‘ Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 ‘, which takes advantage of this ultra-panoramic format in a spectacular way and makes those flight experiences absolutely majestic. It looks like a game made for this monitor … and vice versa.
Taking a walk around any corner of the world, known or not, ends up giving fantastic moments that go beyond the experience as a simulator. The Odyssey G9 makes this game great, and never better said. It probably does this also in other games where visual exploration is part of the experience, but logically things change in games where the focus of the action is in the center of the screen and wherever we place the mouse pointer.
I have not played games of the MOBA genre like League of Legends because I am not familiar with them, but I sense that these players can also take advantage of that enormous horizontal vision. In the end, I insist, the monitor provides additional information that is there even if we don’t see it directly. That might make focusing on it easier later thanks to that peripheral glance, but at least in the games I’ve tried the practical effect is almost nil.