Samsung Odyssey Neo G7 (S28AG70) review: Glorious 4K, mediocre build
The Samsung Odyssey Neo G7 is the latest in a prestigious line of Odyssey gaming monitors. The name is something of a misnomer: this is not a direct successor to the legendary Samsung Odyssey G7, nor does it bear any resemblance to the mini LED monster that is the Samsung Odyssey Neo G9. Instead, this is Samsung’s newest foray into a slightly different market.
With support for HDMI 2.1, the Neo G7 unleashes 4K 120Hz support for PS5 and Xbox Series X owners while also delivering 144Hz gaming for PCs. This is a true do-it-all monitor for console and PC gamers alike – but is it really worth the asking price?
Samsung Odyssey Neo G7 (S28AG70) review: What do you get for the money?
The £700 price tag of the Samsung Odyssey Neo G7 will raise a few eyebrows, but this is par for the course where HDMI 2.1 monitors are concerned. This is a 28in IPS monitor with a resolution of 3,840 x 2,160, a refresh rate of 144Hz, a quoted response time of 1ms G2G and support for HDR 10 decoding and DisplayHDR 400 with local dimming. It’s G-Sync compatible and supports AMD FreeSync Premium Pro, as well as VRR for the Xbox Series X (and eventually PS5 once Sony adds support via a software update).
The panel is balanced on a stand that provides 120mm of height adjustment, 92 degrees of pivot (ie. into portrait orientation), 15 degrees of swivel and 13 degrees of tilt. The stand has a basic cable management system in the form of a rubber loop attached to the bottom.
On the rear, you’ll find your connectivity options: two HDMI 2.1 ports and one DisplayPort 1.4 port for video duties and a two-port USB-A 3.0 hub (plus upstream USB-B 3.0 port) for your peripherals. Thanks to the HDMI 2.1 ports, your Xbox Series X or PS5 will be able to output in 4K at up to 120Hz. Aside from the monitor itself, the box contains a USB-A to USB-B cable and a DP cable alongside the power cable and setup guides.
Samsung Odyssey Neo G7 (S28AG70) review: What do we like about it?
The Samsung Odyssey Neo G7 gives the impression that its body mass is 90% panel. The stand is disproportionately petite: its spindly legs measure just 40mm at their thickest and extend no more than 200mm outwards. It’s a good-looking monitor, in my opinion. Countless lines fan out from Samsung’s trademark jet-engine rear, and customisable RGB LED lighting illuminates the rear and decorative “vents” on the front.
The on-screen display is intuitive and easy to navigate, controlled via a joystick on the bottom of the monitor. As with other Samsung monitors, you’ll have to adjust to the fact that switching on certain settings disables others – turning on adaptive sync, for example, disables most other settings in the “Game” tab. It’s still leaps and bounds above other monitors, though.
This monitor performed well on test. Motion handling is a highlight: there’s virtually no ghosting to note even with Samsung’s “low input lag” mode engaged. This is a great monitor for games that require rapid response times, although you’ll need a serious gaming PC (or a next-gen console) to take advantage of 4K at three-figure frame rates.
Out of the box, the Neo G7 produced 115% of the sRGB colour gamut and 82% of the DCI-P3 colour gamut, which is respectable if not class-leading. In its default picture mode, the Neo G7 produced a Delta E of 2.1 with sRGB content, which suggests that colour accuracy is sufficient for all but the most demanding colour-critical work. For gaming purposes, image quality is largely very good indeed.
The local dimming arrangement on the Neo G7 is rudimentary, but even eight edge-lit zones should be better than none. At the very least, the Neo G7 makes an effort to brighten or darken patches of the backlight to match what’s happening on screen, in an attempt to improve contrast when displaying HDR content.
Samsung Odyssey Neo G7 (S28AG70) review: What could be better?
The Neo G7’s inability to get really bright holds it back in HDR. In fact, there’s not a massive amount of difference in contrast or luminance between SDR and HDR modes; in testing, the monitor didn’t quite reach 400cd/m² and produced a distinctly average contrast ratio of 1,100:1. The result? Enable HDR mode, and the maxed out backlight and low contrast ratio leave black corners looking distinctly grey.
Unsurprisingly, the basic local dimming doesn’t work wonders. With only eight zones, it’s simply not refined enough to make amends for the IPS panel’s low native contrast ratio. It does make me wonder why the Neo G7 doesn’t use the same HDR 600-certified QLED Quantum Dot panel as the original G7, but I suspect it’s an effort to keep the price down.
The Neo G7’s build quality is disappointing. The size and weight of the panel is too much for the small, spindly stand to bear, and as a result the whole thing wobbles constantly. The problem is compounded by the fact that the plastic casing feels equally cheap and is prone to creaking when pressure is applied. It simply doesn’t feel like a £700 monitor.
It’s not a deal-breaker, but connectivity could be improved, too. To my mind, a monitor that costs this much should offer more than a £300 monitor like the Gigabyte G27QC, and direct rivals such as the Asus TUF Gaming VG28UQL1A (£750) up the ante with four HDMI ports.
Samsung Odyssey Neo G7 (S28AG70) review: Should you buy it?
It’s a shame that many aspects of the Neo G7 feel like afterthoughts, particularly given that Samsung is evidently capable of doing better. These missteps aren’t enough to drastically damage the overall rating – after all, panel performance is by far the most crucial element of any monitor – but if you’re a next-gen console gamer, I’d lean towards the sturdy and equally well-specified Asus TUF Gaming VG28UQL1A. If you’re a PC gamer, meanwhile, the original Odyssey G7 still reigns supreme.
That said, the Samsung Odyssey Neo G7 remains a capable gaming monitor that’s thoroughly enjoyable to use. The 28in panel is vibrant, pin-sharp and exceptionally responsive, and while HDR disappoints, the SDR image quality is excellent. Factor in the presence of HDMI 2.1 support and – if you find it for the right price – this could be a great buy.