Samsung’s new range of gaming monitors is cured in appearance and offers an excellent gaming experience, even at high refresh rates.
Samsung has made some excellent gaming monitors in recent years. It is impossible to forget the CHG90, a one-of-a-kind screen that we can’t wait to try out its current evolution, which is called the Odyssey G9. Today, however, we will talk about the “entry level” range of the Korean company, we have used the quotes because it is still a high-end monitor, but the proposal to enter Samsung’s offer in the field of gaming monitors for this 2020 remains.
The Odyssey G7Available in 27 and 32 inch variants with a price of 699 and 899 euros, they are screens with almost everything complete specifications, which are positioned just below the enthusiast segment and offer excellent performance in daily use and gaming.
Samsung took special care of the design of the Odyssey G7. We have tried the 32-inch variant and the first thing you notice, once removed from the box, is high build quality. Plastic reigns supreme on the body, as always in the monitors, but it is a material that immediately transmits excellent sensations to the touch. The front bezels are reduced on three sides but the rear has also been made very well, a detail that even on high-end monitors is often put aside. The rear body has a particular texture that strikes the eye and continues up to the lower part of the monitor, where two elements equipped with LEDs reproduce the shapes of the air intakes of a car. Samsung has managed to make an aggressive design but not too much and where LED lighting is present but never annoying.
In addition to the two elements illuminated on the front, the pedestal anchoring area is also equipped with configurable lighting LEDs with different effects. The lighting, which can be deactivated, allows to have an even stronger visual impact and works well, a flaw is that it cannot be synchronized with other systems already present on the computer, such as mouse and keyboard.
The support allows you to rotate the monitor, raise and lower it and tilt it up and down, all that is needed for its correct positioning.
Speaking of positioning, the very pronounced curvature, with a radius of 1000Ron the one hand it increases the depth in-depth, on the other hand, it reduces the space occupied horizontally. The result is that the Odyssey G7 is easier to place on a desk and looks smaller than it actually is.
On the connections front nothing is missing, we find two Display Port 1.4 and an HDMI 2.0, together with the headphone output and two USB 3.0.
Samsung has long married VA panels for its gaming monitors and this G7 is no exception. In our opinion, VA screens are the best today for the creation of gaming monitors, because in the face of a lower viewing angle than IPS they offer deeper blacks and greater contrast, more important characteristics for a monitor, given that look closely and frontally. We must also consider that, in spite of the specifications, which we will see place Odyssey in the world of eSports, in a real-life context, not only is CSGO played but the monitor is also used for single-player titles, where greater contrast and good HDR management improve the viewing experience.
The Odyssey is equipped with HDR600 certification, not the highest available but still able to manage this format discreetly, thanks also to the 10-bit panel (8 bit + FRC) with Quantum Dot. Better to activate HDR only when necessary, because Windows 10 support for this format continues to be unsatisfactory. Who is looking for a high refresh rate will have no problems, thanks to full support at 240 Hz, also for this Samsung has opted for a resolution of 2560×1440 pixels.
Even so, it is difficult to exploit the refresh rate, to generate 240 fps you need very powerful hardware and you have to make compromises with resolution and level of detail, but for those who play competitive titles, the possibility of reaching this target is definitely a plus.
Odyssey G7 is also compatible with G-Sync and Freesync, with a declared input lag of 1 ms at 240 Hz and 5 ms at 144 Hz. We have no tools capable of verifying these data, the fact remains that the monitor, during our tests, has always proved very reactive, at confirmation of the “sporty” vocation of this display.
OSD and try
The management of the screen takes place through an OSD with careful graphics and with different settings to customize the display. Many gaming monitors use a small analogue stick to move around in the settings and the Odyssey also has one, positioned in the lower edge in the centre of the body. A rather convenient location that allows you to move quickly through the menus. The monitor arrives with the custom preset already set, within the menu, you can also observe the calibration report, which indicates a dE on the colour of 5, a value that we also found in our measurements. It is not exceptional but still suitable for use in gaming, after the calibration we reached levels of absolute excellence, bringing the dE to drops below 3, in line with the reference values. With the cinema preset we have instead detected a dE of 2.2 without touching any setting, but in this case, we lose the possibility of accessing some specific functions related to gaming.
Speaking of functions, from the menu you can set the Black Equalizer to manage brightness in darker areas the screen. The aim is to brighten the areas where an opponent can hide in the dark, facilitating his detection during multiplayer matches. By lowering the value of this setting, the shaded areas become significantly brighter, obviously to the detriment of the fidelity of reproduction of the content, but this is an evident advantage during the game.
Always from the menu, you can select different levels for local dimming, limited by the absence of the Full Led backlight but still present. It can be turned off or set in automatic mode, which activates it only in the presence of HDR content to increase the contrast or leave it always enabled.
In this price range, there are no Full Led monitors, in the case of the Odyssey the LEDs are all located on the bottom edge. Samsung has done a good job in containing backlight bleeding with active local dimming, all concentrated in the lower area of the screen close to the LEDs. In an illuminated room, it goes unnoticed, in the dark and a special test pattern is noticed, but these are conditions that hardly occur in a real game context.
The limits of the Edge Led backlighting remain, but the Korean house has managed to reduce them compared to other monitors that we have tried in recent years.
The gaming experience offered by the accentuated curvature of the Odyssey G7 is particular and brings a greater sense of involvement, in fact, it is almost wrapped in images. Monitors remained the last screens to take advantage of this technology, which may or may not like it, but it is certainly functional in this area in spite of the TV one.
The Odyssey G7 monitor is a well-made product and suitable for all gamers looking for a display capable of reaching 240 Hz. This feature, combined with the QHD resolution, brings the price to € 899, so if you think not to use them in any way, better to go on 144Hz displays, much cheaper. The race to Hz, in spite of what one might think, makes sense but only for a specific target, that is, players looking for the shortest possible response time, the Odyssey G7 is therefore ideal for competitive titles, not the case was chosen as the monitor for the T1 team’s training sessions in Korea.
Samsung’s display isn’t just fast though, it also offers very good image quality and discreet factory calibration, which becomes exceptional once it is calibrated to the dot.