The Samsung Odyssey Neo G8 has the kind of spec list that will have PC gamers salivating. For starters, it’s the world’s first 4K gaming monitor with a 240Hz refresh rate, and the high-end tech just doesn’t stop there.
Beneath the 32-inch curved screen you’ll find Quantum Mini LEDs – Samsung’s take on the mini-LED technology that’s been making waves in the TV world. Delivering deeper black points, brighter points, and more nuanced contrast compared to regular gaming screens, they should make games brighter, richer, and more vibrant.
Elsewhere, the Samsung Odyssey Neo G8 offers RGB LEDs, AMD FreeSync for buttery smooth gameplay and a sensational physical design, but it costs £1299 – and you’ll need a monster graphics card to power that panel.
Is it worth breaking the bank to get the Samsung Odyssey Neo G8 in your gaming den, or is that just too much to pay no matter what it brings to the table?
Design & built: enlightening
The Samsung Odyssey Neo G8 has plenty of adjustment options, which comes in handy when you need to find the perfect position before enjoying your game. It can move 120mm vertically, with 22mm of tilt and 30 degrees of pan. The Neo also attaches to 100mm VESA mounts, so it works with monitor arms.
Impressively, the Neo G8 can also pan to portrait mode. Most people don’t need to use portrait motion, but larger curved displays often omit it, and it’s useful when you want a second screen to show additional game info or secondary apps. And let’s face it, a big curved vertical screen looks pretty cool too.
The older Neo G9 has a ring of RGB LEDs on the back, and the Neo G8 adds two strips of front-mounted lighting. Samsung also employs a feature that syncs the LEDs with on-screen images to provide ambient lighting during gameplay.
That sounds great, but the lights aren’t much cop. The rear LEDs aren’t bright enough to make an impact unless you’re playing in the dark, and if you want to manually adjust there’s only 52 shades to choose from – not from the 16.7 million options in the RGB color space. Considering the different quality of the Neo G8, the lighting disappoints.
perfomance: Hertz look away
The Samsung Odyssey Neo G8 lives up to its enormous potential. These Quantum Mini LEDs deliver incredible black points and a contrast ratio of 9,600:1 – far beyond what a standard IPS or VA display can achieve. Switch to HDR mode and the panel’s brightness jumps to over 1400 nits and its contrast jumps to over 70,550:1. That’s just sensational.
The panel’s Delta E of 2.41 is good, meaning accurate colors, and Samsung has done a great job rendering every part of the sRGB color space and nearly all of the DCI-P3 color space used for HDR content .
That’s a lot of numbers, but they have some direct implications. If you choose to play games in SDR mode, you’ll get accurate colors, incredible depth, and tons of punch and vibrancy. Switch to HDR and you get more in every way alongside the kind of backlight nuances you don’t typically see from gaming monitors.
The 240Hz refresh rate is enough for everyone but the most demanding esports gamers, and animation is crisp and smooth on this panel. Combine this with the premium image quality and high resolution and you have a premium gaming experience.
Screen display: Fiddle me this
Too bad the Samsung Odyssey Neo G8’s joystick is annoying and fiddly, because Samsung’s on-screen menu is excellent. Launch it and you’ll see a range of important information for gamers, like refresh rate and response time settings, and many of the most important gaming switches are immediately visible.
In addition, you will find detailed options for tweaking the color and contrast settings, adjusting the RGB LEDs and updating the firmware. The menu is well-organized, colorful, and responsive, making it easy to adjust various options – even if the navigation D-Pad is constantly irritating.
Competitors Samsung Odyssey Neo G8
That £1299 price certainly seems steep, but you get plenty of tech for your money – and notably you get panels with inferior refresh rates when you’re spending that much on alternative 4K displays. Widescreens like the Alienware AW3821DW are wider but offer lower quality, while huge 43-inch behemoths like the Asus ROG Strix XG43UQ offer a living room-style experience at the expense of refresh rates.
Until other companies catch up, the only panel that comes close is Samsung’s own Odyssey Neo G9, a Quantum Mini LED widescreen at 240Hz and priced at a whopping £1749.
There are other costs to consider, though: if you don’t already have a beast of a PC, you’ll likely need to buy a monster graphics card to run top-tier games at 4K 240Hz.
You’ll need an RTX 3080 Ti to stand a chance in less demanding titles like the latest esports games, and an RTX 3090 series GPU would be better for top single-player games. Even then, no current card will run every game smoothly at 4K 240Hz, so you’ll need an upgrade going forward.
Of course, you can also save huge if you don’t need the Neo G8’s high-end hardware. If you want 4K but don’t need 240Hz or Quantum Mini LEDs, you can spend £800 and get a great screen. If you prefer 240Hz operation at 32 inches, Samsung’s own G7 runs at 1440p and costs £599.
Samsung Odyssey Neo G8 verdict
The Neo G8’s Quantum Mini LEDs ensure sensational contrast, incredible brightness and brilliant black levels, along with great color and depth in SDR and HDR games. Combine that with the high resolution, 1000R curve and smooth 240Hz performance and you have a display that will make any game look incredible – as long as you have a powerful graphics card.
The display from Samsung looks good and offers many setting options. It’s not physically perfect, but none of its issues are deal-breakers – and the world-leading gaming performance more than makes up for that.
And while the £1,299 price tag is steep, especially when you need to add a graphics card, the Neo G8 is actually surprisingly good value when you compare it to the rest of the market and consider that it’s at the top of its class Game will stand for years. The Neo G8 is the best 16:9 gaming display in the world, and it doesn’t even come close.
Samsung Odyssey Neo G8 Specifications
|refresh rate||240Hz AMD FreeSync Premium Pro|
|ports||2x HDMI 2.1, 1x DisplayPort 1.4, 2x USB 3.2 Gen 1|
|Dimensions||739mm x 607mm x 310mm, 8.9kg|