Samsung’s been making gaming monitors for years now, but execs in the company’s display division say last year’s Odyssey G9 was its first flagship gaming monitor. Now there’s a new Odyssey in town, and from what we’ve seen so far, it handily claims the gaming monitor crown.
The new Odyssey Neo G9 is the same size and resolution as its predecessor, but for the newest model, Samsung has switched to a Quantum Matrix panel with miniLEDs and Quantum HDR support. It’s similar to what you find in Samsung’s high-end TVs, but a first for gaming displays. After checking this thing out in person, the impact that new panel has is profound.
On the Neo G9, peak brightness now tops out at a dazzling 2,000 nits (up from 1,000 nits on last year’s model), with 2,048 dimming zones providing much better contrast while almost completely eliminating the distracting halos you often see on displays with older tech.
As before, pixel response remains blistering quick at just 1ms, while the ridiculously wide 32:9 5,210 x 1440 aspect ratio display gives you more screen real estate than you probably know what to do with—or at least that’s how I felt. The Neo G9’s 240Hz refresh rate has also stayed the same and remains quite impressive for a monitor this big, and it also includes support for variable refresh rates via AMD FreeSync Premium Pro and Nvidia G-Sync compatibility, with both DisplayPort 1.4 and HDMI 2.1 connections around back.
In person, the Neo G9’s extreme curvature still seems almost comical, until you actually sit down in front of it and realize that its 1000R bend means that the screen remains the same distance from your eyes regardless of where you’re looking. This means your eyes never have to refocus like they would on a traditionally flat display of the same size, which, along with built-in blue light filters, helps you avoid eyestrain or headaches during long gaming sessions.
But that’s not all. Along with a fancy new panel, Samsung is stepping up the Neo G9’s design by doubling down on that big light orb in back. The old G9 was limited to an assortment of preset patterns and light combos, but on the Neo G9, Samsung has included a new CoreSync feature, which can automatically analyze whatever content you’re looking at and then project similar colors onto the wall behind the monitor, adding a bit of built-in bias lighting.
Samsung’s test setup didn’t do the best job of showing off the Neo G9’s new bias lighting in person, but when everything comes to together, what you get is a gaming experience unlike anything else on the market. In games with native HDR support like Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Doom Eternal, the rich shadows and dynamic lighting are downright enchanting, while that huge 49-inch screen wraps around you like a cocoon. And even in games without full HDR like Cyberpunk 2077, the Neo G9’s saturated colors and reflections still looked fantastic. And even though I did a tiny bit of pixel peeping, I had a really hard time spotting fringing or chroma subsampling, which can sometimes appear on high refresh rate displays.
Now here comes the bad news: With this much tech crammed inside, the Neo G9 commands an equally jaw-dropping price tag of $2,500—a full Grover Cleveland more than last year’s G9. So instead of idly wondering if this thing will fit on your desk (Samsung even makes an optional VESA mount for wall installations), it seems the G9 Neo may simply be fodder for big-time Twitch streamers who want to flex on their followers. But if you’ve got the funds and the space, the Neo G9 has just taken the crown as the most over-the-top gaming display money can buy.
The Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 will be available for pre-order starting July 29, with orders expected to begin shipping out sometime in August.