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Published Jun 28, 2022 7:00 AM

The best Samsung monitors offer a mix of home office and gaming screens with advanced specs and connectivity. One of the biggest names in electronics, you may know Samsung for its TVs and Galaxy smartphones, but it also makes some incredible PC monitors, including competitive gaming displays and high-end productivity displays. The cream of the crop from Samsung skews toward high-resolution curved screens. If you’re looking for a curved, 4K monitor, the best Samsung monitors have a lot to offer.

How we picked the best Samsung monitors

As a critic covering games and gaming hardware, I’ve tested and written about PC gaming peripherals and monitors, for Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, and NBC Select, among others. I’ve researched, tested, and reviewed dozens of gaming monitors, giving me a strong understanding of display technology, manufacturers, and what factors make a monitor stand out.

To make our selections, we relied on my mix of hands-on testing, peer recommendations, user impressions, and information from professional reviews. The best Samsung monitors feature a mix of gaming and productivity monitors for home offices. These groups have different needs—gamers need a fast screen while office workers need comfort and connectivity. We hope mixing these options helps a wider range of users the right monitor for their setups.

What to consider before buying a Samsung monitor

With a wide variety of product lines and naming conventions, Samsung doesn’t make it easy to learn about its various monitors. Some are clearly branded, such as the M8 Smart Display, while others are named with obtuse serial numbers, like the Samsung CF396, a budget-friendly curved monitor. Beyond odd names, monitors are highly complicated devices, and scrutinizing the minute differences between them takes a basic amount of technical know-how. You don’t need to be a scientist but understanding the terms “refresh rate,” “response time,” and “color gamut” will guide you to a basic understanding. Let’s walk through some of those key terms, so you know what to look for when it’s time to pick your next monitor.

Resolution and size

Resolution and size are two of the most important elements of any monitor. It’s tempting to assume the two have nothing to do with each other but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, picking a resolution and size that complement each other ensures that you get the sharpest possible picture without paying for more power than you need.

Resolution refers to the number of pixels your monitor uses to create an image. It’s measured in dimensions, so “1080p” resolution actually corresponds to a 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution, or 1920 pixels horizontally by 1080 pixels vertically. The more pixels your monitor uses to make an image, the sharper and more detailed your image should look.

There are three common resolutions for conventional widescreen (16:9) displays. Full HD, also known as 1080p (1920 x 1080 pixels), is the baseline for most PC monitors. Most utilities and apps look perfectly fine in 1080p. Games also look very sharp, so long as you keep your screen size small. Quad HD, or 1440p (2560 x 1440 pixels), is a middle ground that works well for gaming, as it offers a strong boost in visual fidelity that many dedicated gaming PCs can handle. Lastly, 4K UHD (2380 x 2160 pixels) is the gold standard but is still considered a luxury as you may not need it for everyday computing and only high-powered gaming PCs can reliably play games in 4K at high frame rates.

While resolution determines visual fidelity, your monitor’s actual performance may also change based on your monitor’s size. On the one hand, large monitors with lower resolutions may lack a certain sharpness as pixel density, or the number of pixels used to make each square inch of your image, declines. On the other, you may not be able to actually see the difference between a 24-inch 1440p display and a 24-inch 4K display, so why pay hundreds of extra dollars to buy a 4K display?

As a broad rule, we recommend scaling resolution and size in tandem: If you’re looking for a 24-inch monitor, 1080p works fine. At 27 inches, bump it up 1440p. If you want a large monitor, 32 inches or higher, break the bank and get a 4K monitor. There are great monitors that fit all of these pairs. We’ve also recommended some incredible displays that break these rules, though. Sometimes, other features elevate a monitor beyond this very broad, basic rule.

Refresh rate

Refresh rate, measured in Hertz (Hz), refers to the number of times your monitor can update what it shows you on screen every second. With a higher refresh rate, every animation moves more smoothly, from moving your mouse cursor to dragging a window to watching a progress bar fill up. 

That said, refresh rate disproportionally affects gaming, since a monitor’s refresh rate dictates your games’ maximum frame rate. With a powerful PC, games can run substantially faster on a monitor with a high refresh rate, showing smoother, more detailed animations.

For productivity displays, you don’t really need to worry about refresh rate: A basic 60 Hz-75 Hz frame rate is more than enough to allow for smooth animation in most PC apps. For a gaming monitor, we recommend looking for a 144 Hz monitor, which opens the door for many systems to run games faster than 60 frames per second. Competitive players may be interested in stepping up to a 240 Hz monitor or higher, but it isn’t necessary for most players.

Response time

Response time measures the amount of input lag created when your PC and monitor communicate. There is always a slight delay between when you press a key or move your mouse and when the results of those inputs appear on the screen. Even basic modern setups have it down to a matter of milliseconds, but gaming peripherals, including mice, keyboards, and monitors, are all designed to cut it down as much as possible.

Most gaming monitors advertise a very low response time, usually 1 millisecond or less. As with frame rate, competitive players will want the lowest possible response time since even a single frame can be consequential. Among non-gaming monitors, response time isn’t considered a crucial spec, so you’ll frequently see office-focused monitors with response times between 4ms and 5ms.

Panel type

Manufacturers use a few different types of display panels when making monitors, and the panel type can affect its performance in subtle ways. The vast majority of monitors feature one of three panels: Twisted Nematic (TN), Vertical Alignment (VA), and In-Plane Switching (IPS). Each panel type has pros and cons, and one is not inherently better than the rest. TN panels are fast and affordable, but can’t generate the brightest, most accurate colors. VA panels offer great color contrast but offer limited viewing angles. IPS panels are fast, colorful, and easy to view at an angle, but may wash out grays and blacks. We usually view panel type as an indication of how a monitor should be used, more than an actual barometer of performance, but you should still pay attention to it.

Variable refresh rate

There are a number of gaming-specific display technologies, but variable refresh rate is the most common and important. Variable refresh rate or “adaptive sync” allows your monitor to dynamically adjust its target refresh rate to mirror your PC’s performance. In games, where frame rates can change rapidly, variable refresh rate keeps your game running smoothly, and prevents graphical issues like screen tearing and visual artifacting.

The two companies that make dedicated graphics cards both have their own version of this technology: Nvidia is G-Sync and AMD is FreeSync. Though the basic functionality is cross-compatible in most cases, gamers should pick a monitor that pairs with their graphics card to get the best possible performance. For more information on the specifics of these features, please check out our explainers on the best G-Sync monitors and the best FreeSync monitors.

Screen curvature

When looking at a curved monitor, you’ll want to consider the depth of the display curvature. A monitor’s curve, measured in millimeters, reflects the distance between the screen and your ideal position in front of it. For example, you should sit 1000mm (1M) away from a monitor with a 1000R curve, or 4000mm (4M) from a monitor with a 4000R curve. Perhaps counterintuitively, monitors with a lower rating feature a deeper curve, as they come closer to achieving a field-of-view similar to your eye.

The radius of a curved display (R), measured in millimeters, indicates the depth of its curve and tells you how far away you need to sit to take in the whole screen. For example, a 1000R curve means the distance 

The smaller the number, the more drastic the curve. Sharp curves are better viewed up close, with wider curves being more comfortable from a distance. Common curvatures range between 1000R and 2000R, the “R” meaning radius and the number being a measurement in millimeters.

Curved displays convey a few advantages, including enhanced immersion in games and superior ergonomics. That said, using one is also an acquired taste. We recommend trying a curved monitor in a store before making the switch.

The best Samsung monitors: Reviews & Recommendations

The best Samsung monitors offer a mix of gaming and high-end general-use displays with high resolutions and great color reproduction. They are frequently cited among our favorite monitors, particularly the curved Odyssey gaming monitor series. Though many of these displays cost quite a bit, you’ll also find some affordable options.

Best Samsung monitor: Samsung S80UA

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Why it made the cut: The Samsung S80UA offers great value on a 4K monitor fit for everyday productivity.

Specs

  • Size: 27-inch
  • Resolution: 3840 x 2160 pixels (4K)
  • Panel type: IPS
  • Refresh rate: 60 Hz
  • Response time: 5ms
  • Ports: HDMI 2.0, DP 1.2, USB-C w/90W power delivery, USB-A 3.0 x 3
  • Ergonomics: Tilt, swivel, pivot, height adjust, VESA mountable
  • Variable refresh rate: N/A
  • HDR: HDR10
  • Speakers: 2W x 2
  • Curvature: N/A

Pros

  • Great value
  • DP Alt mode and 90W of charging via USB-C
  • 4K resolution

Cons

  • Weak speakers

The Samsung S80UA is a great all-around monitor for those of us who want 4K clarity for watching videos, office work, and everyday computing tasks. Normally, we recommend avoiding 4K monitors unless you have a very powerful gaming PC or plan to do creative work, like video editing. However, S80UA is very affordably priced, making it a reasonable option for workers who want to splurge on a nice screen.

It’s so affordable, in part, because it’s only 27 inches, which is smaller than we recommend for a 4K display. Given the price, however, you’re still getting pretty solid value. It’s an accommodating size for most workspaces, especially if you use more than one monitor. It supports video over USB-C and 90W of charging power, which makes it a great option for high-end laptops. It also offers wide viewing angles and extensive ergonomic adjustability. It’s a bit pricey for the average worker, but you’re getting a lot of useful productivity features and a luxurious picture in return.

Best for gaming: Samsung Odyssey G70A

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Why it made the cut: Fast speeds, versatile connectivity, and adjustable ergonomics make the Odyssey G70A an easy fit for most gaming setups.

Specs

  • Size: 28-inch
  • Resolution: 3840 x 2160 pixels (4K)
  • Panel type: IPS
  • Refresh rate: 144 Hz
  • Response time: 1ms
  • Ports: HDMI 2.1 x 2, DP 1.4, USB-A 3.0 x 3
  • Ergonomics: Tilt, swivel, pivot, height adjust, VESA mountable
  • Variable refresh rate: G-Sync compatible, FreeSync
  • HDR: DisplayHDR 400
  • Speakers: N/A
  • Curvature: N/A

Pros

  • Fast screen
  • Modern connectivity
  • Ergonomic form-factor

Cons

  • Weak color contrast

The Samsung Odyssey G70A monitor provides gamers with modern connectivity and more than enough power to futureproof their setups. Only the highest-end systems will be able to fully leverage its specs, running games in 4K resolution at 144 Hz. Having both available means gamers can pick and choose which to prioritize at any given moment.

The newest connections, HDMI 2.1 and DP 1.4, provide ample bandwidth to support high resolutions and high refresh rates. It also unlocks the highest possible specs for the PS5 and Xbox Series X, making it a great monitor for consoles.

The only things missing from this monitor are speakers, which may be a problem for the console gaming set. Realistically, though, we usually recommend using one of the best gaming headsets or desktop speakers over built-in speakers, anyway.

Best 4K: Samsung Odyssey Neo G8

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Why it made the cut: Mini-LED backlighting gives the Samsung Odyssey Neo G8 incredibly impressive brightness and contrast.

Specs

  • Size: 32-inch
  • Resolution: 3840 x 2160 pixels (4K)
  • Panel type: VA
  • Refresh rate: 240 Hz
  • Response time: 1ms
  • Ports: HDMI 2.1 x 2, DP 1.4, USB-A 3.0 x 2
  • Ergonomics: Tilt, swivel, pivot, height adjust, VESA mountable
  • Variable refresh rate: G-Sync, FreeSync
  • HDR: DisplayHDR 2000
  • Speakers: N/A
  • Curvature: 1000R

Pros

  • Excellent color contrast
  • Overkill speeds
  • Immersive curve

Cons

  • Very expensive

The Odyssey Neo G8 is an incredibly decadent display. This curved 4K, 240 Hz monitor’s upper limits were set with a top-of-the-line PC in mind. Even if you can’t hit them, though, it offers an incredibly bright, vibrant picture that outshines other monitors, even those with similar specs.

With 1,196 Mini-LED local dimming zones backlighting, the Neo G8 is capable of incomparable brightness—2000 nits—and incredibly bold, vibrant colors. Its deep, 1000R curve enhances the immersion of playing games in first-person, stretching the display to capture your peripheral vision.

As much as we love the Neo G8, we also recognize that it is very expensive. If you don’t need a 240 Hz monitor—and you probably don’t—the slightly less expensive Samsung Odyssey Neo G7 features the same curved, Mini-LED-powered 4K display, but with a lower 165 Hz refresh rate.

Best curved: Samsung CJ791

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Why it made the cut: The CJ791 is a curved ultrawide monitor that can easily replace two aging office monitors.

Specs

  • Size: 34-inch
  • Resolution: 3440 x 1440 pixels (21:9)
  • Panel type: IPS
  • Refresh rate: 100 Hz
  • Response time: 4ms
  • Ports: HDMI 2.0, DP 1.2, Thunderbolt 3 w/85W PD, Thunderbolt 3 w/15W PD, USB-A 3.0 x 2
  • Ergonomics: Tilt, height adjust, VESA mountable
  • Variable refresh rate: FreeSync
  • HDR: N/A
  • Speakers: 7W x 2
  • Curvature: 1500R

Pros

  • Powered Thunderbolt 3 ports
  • Smooth and fast screen, for an office monitor
  • Decent speakers

Cons

  • Poor contrast

One of our favorite monitors to pair with a MacBook Pro, the Samsung CJ791 is a well-considered curved, ultrawide display for the office, with a wide variety of features rare in a productivity monitor.

While it lacks the immaculate contrast of a screen for gaming or creative work, the CJ791 is a great single-screen solution for home office workers looking to consolidate from a pair of older monitors. The 34-inch, 21:9 display gives you plenty of screen space for documents, spreadsheets, video calls, and more. It is also unusually responsive for a general-use monitor, with a 100 Hz refresh rate and FreeSync compatibility.

For hybrid office workers, its Thunderbolt 3 port features 85W of charging power, so plugging in via USB-C will both output video and charge the laptop. Plus, you get two additional USB-A ports for a little extra connectivity. It’s a functional mix of size, speed, and connectivity that’s rare among luxury office monitors.

Best ultrawide: Samsung Odyssey G9

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Why it made the cut: The gigantic 49-inch Samsung Odyssey G9 delivers top-of-the-line everything in a super ultrawide form factor.

Specs

  • Size: 49-inch
  • Resolution: 5120 x 1440 pixels (32:9)
  • Panel type: VA
  • Refresh rate: 240 Hz
  • Response time: 1ms
  • Ports: HDMI 2.0, DP 1.4 (2), USB-A 3.0 (2)
  • Ergonomics: Tilt, swivel, height adjust, VESA mountable
  • Variable refresh rate: G-Sync compatible, FreeSync
  • HDR: HDR 1000
  • Speakers: N/A
  • Curvature: 1000R

Pros

  • Huge 32:9 screen
  • Great brightness
  • Fast and responsive

Cons

  • May not physically fit on your desk

Why settle for ultrawide, when you can go for a super-ultrawide gaming monitor? Super-ultrawide monitors like the Samsung Odyssey G9 feature a 32:9 aspect ratio, pulling their display out to the point where they surpass the width of multiple monitors. The Odyssey G9, with 5120 x 1440p resolution and 240Hz refresh rate, pulls out all the stops in this very niche form factor, giving you the biggest, most intense version of the curved ultrawide experience possible.

The screen also is very bright, fast and colorful. It uses Samsung’s QLED backlighting to generate 1000 nits of brightness on a VA panel, providing richer color and contrast than most gaming monitors, especially when compared to IPS panels. At 49 inches, this is as big as a TV, so you’ll need to sit pretty far back from it to get the full effect. Still, there’s nothing quite like it.

Best budget: Samsung CF396

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Why it made the cut: The Samsung CF396 offers a great deal on a decent, if feature-light, curved display.

Specs

  • Size: 23.5-inch
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Panel type: VA
  • Refresh rate: 60 Hz
  • Response time: 4ms
  • Ports: HDMI, VGA
  • Ergonomics: Tilt, VESA mountable
  • Variable refresh rate: FreeSync
  • HDR: N/A
  • Speakers: N/A
  • Curvature: 1800R

Pros

  • An affordable way to try a curved display
  • VA panel provides good contrast
  • Intuitive onboard controls

Cons

  • Not very adjustable

If you want to find out if a curved monitor is right for you, but don’t want to spend too much, the Samsung CF396 is a good way to test the waters. Its 1800R curve is more modest than top-of-the-line gaming displays, which may help you adjust to the curved monitor lifestyle.

Beyond the curve, the CF396 is a fairly basic display—1080p at 60 Hz is perfectly fine for everyday office work and web browsing, but isn’t going to make a strong impression. It does feature a contrast-emphasizing VA panel, which may make reading and word processing a bit easier on the eyes. The real selling point is that you’re getting a curved Samsung monitor for less than $200.

FAQs

Q: Is Samsung a good brand for monitors?

While it may be more well-known for its smartphones and TVs, Samsung is also a top brand in the monitor space. It makes some of our favorite gaming and productivity monitors.

Q: How much does a Samsung monitor cost?

Samsung monitors range in cost, from budget options priced below $200 to cutting-edge displays that cost $1,500 or more. Many of our favorites cost between $600-$900, but the brand’s cutting-edge displays all cost well over $1,000.

Q: What is the best Samsung monitor for work?

Our list includes a couple of very strong productivity monitors, including the Samsung S80UA and Samsung CJ791 ultrawide. Both feature strong features and specs that make them well-suited for the office.

Final thoughts on the best Samsung monitors

The best Samsung monitors are a good fit for gamers and office workers alike. Its Odyssey gaming line delivers 4K resolution without compromising on the speeds gamers need. Meanwhile, its many productivity monitors offer similar resolutions with ample connectivity for daily drivers and accessories.

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