Samsung Odyssey G7 32in review: A class apart

The Samsung Odyssey G7 marks a number of firsts in gaming monitors. It’s the first monitor we’ve seen to feature a dramatic 1000R curvature and the first with a VA (Vertical Alignment) panel to have a 1ms GTG (grey to grey) response time.

Groundbreaking as these features are, however, they aren’t the monitor’s only impressive stats. With a refresh rate of up to 240Hz, support for both Nvidia G-SYNC and AMD FreeSync Premium, and a QLED Quantum Dot panel reproducing up to 95% of the DCI-P3 colour gamut, the G7 is absolutely stacked with features.

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Samsung Odyssey G7 32in review: What you get for the money

The Odyssey G7 we’re testing here is a pretty big thing. It measures 31.5in across the diagonal and the large v-shaped stand is a substantial 30cm deep. It’s also available as a 27in monitor with the same resolution and features.

Despite the size, we’re not looking at a 4K monitor here. In many ways, that’s a relief. The lower resolution of 2,560 x 1,440 ensures games look reasonably sharp without the hefty performance hit of 4K. Plus you won’t need to splash out on a top-end graphics card to satisfy your craving for high frame rates.

Among its many impressive features, the G7 is also HDR600 certified, reaching up to a rated 600cd/m2 with HDR-enabled games and video content. That’s not as bright as the best HDR TVs get but, at close quarters (which is where you’re typically looking at a monitor from), it’s plenty bright enough.

Despite all that, the cost of the Odyssey G7 isn’t sky-high. Indeed, the list price for the 32in I have on test is £769 (although Amazon has it for £622) and for the 27in it’s £550, which would appear to be decent value for money compared with the other HDR gaming monitors we’ve seen recently.

Both the Razer Raptor 27 and ViewSonic Elite XG270QG cost more (than the 27in Odyssey G7), and yet, have inferior specifications. The former is certified at HDR400 and has a 144Hz IPS panel. The ViewSonic Elite XG270QG has a 165Hz IPS panel and lacks HDR altogether.

Samsung Odyssey G7 32in review: What connections and features does it have?

As with all monitors, the Odyssey G7 requires some assembly before you can use it. Fortunately, that’s not too complicated and you’ll be up and running in a few minutes.

Once you’ve hefted it into place on your desk, you’ll find that the stand is good and solid with some useful, practical features thrown in for good measure. It’s not wobbly in the slightest and it’s highly flexible, allowing the screen to be raised up and down by 120mm, rotated by 90-degrees into portrait mode, tilted and pivoted horizontally.

Connectivity, as you might expect of a gaming monitor, is generous. There’s no USB-C input but you do get a two-port USB hub with fast charging, a 3.5mm headset jack, a pair of DisplayPort 1.4 inputs and one HDMI 2.0 input.

The most noticeable physical feature of the Odyssey G7 is its dramatic 1000R curve. This takes a little getting used to at first but, after a short while using it, you’ll find it hard to go back to a flat monitor. Get up close and the way the image fills your vision is truly immersive. 

Other, less exciting features, include customisable RGB lighting at the rear surrounding the pivot point on the stand and shining down from the bottom edge of the panel. This is, thankfully, pretty subtle and can be disabled entirely if you wish.

And there’s also a hook that can be folded out at the rear of the stand, which is handy for keeping your headset out of the way and your desk free of clutter.

Samsung Odyssey G7 32in review: What’s image quality like?

The Odyssey’s VA panel has a matte finish, which all but eliminates the worst glare and, in normal use, without the fancy HDR mode enabled, it delivers excellent image quality.

With the monitor’s local dimming mode turned off and sRGB mode enabled, the panel reached a peak brightness of around 351cd/m2 in our testing and a contrast ratio of 1,861:1. Coverage of the sRGB gamut was 99.5% out of a volume of 119.2% while out of the box colour accuracy hit a decent average Delta E of 1.68. That’s not professional monitor standard by any means but in a world where colour accuracy and vibrancy are often sacrificed at the altar of responsiveness and high refresh rates, it’s actually pretty decent.

Enable Dynamic Brightness and that contrast ratio rises to an eye-popping 2,393:1 (at the expense of outright colour accuracy). With local dimming and Windows HDR mode switched on, peak brightness reaches a climax of 551cd/m2 with a 10% white patch on a black background.

Assuming your graphics card is capable of it, this all leads to some rather stunning-looking results with HDR content. Everything from Netflix shows like Altered Carbon to HDR-enabled games like Resident Evil 7 look eye-poppingly colourful and bright. The wraparound effect that the 1000R curve and large 32in panel have adds further to the sense of immersion and, if you’re finding it tough to make out shadow details, the G7’s black equalizer control is at hand to help lift details in the shadows.

The responsiveness of the panel is equally impressive. With its 1ms GTG response time (unusually fast for a VA panel), and 240Hz refresh rate, there’s absolutely no smearing or blurring to be seen at all.

Load up the UFO test (www.testufo.com) or a fast-paced game such as Doom and it’s mind-blowing how fast and smooth this monitor feels.

Samsung Odyssey G7 review: What don’t we like?

The only major negative is that the stand is quite deep and occupies a large amount of desk space at around 30cm from front to back.

Plus, I’m not a huge fan of having the OSD controls in the centre and below the display; I’d prefer them to be on the right- or left-hand edges, making them easier to reach. However, if you connect the monitor via USB, it’s possible to control the OSD, more conveniently via software so it’s not a massive problem.

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Samsung Odyssey G7 review: Should you buy it?

Other than that, there’s very little to dislike about the Samsung Odyssey G7. It has impressive image quality across the board, it looks wonderful in HDR, plus it’s super responsive and very smooth in the fastest paced games.

Couple all that with a price that’s very reasonable, especially for the 27in model and the Samsung Odyssey G7 is an instant hit. If your goal is high frame rate gaming but you don’t want to sacrifice colour quality, this is the monitor to buy.


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