If you’re looking for a big and curved gaming monitor with a high refresh rate, a high resolution, and plenty of gaming features, the AOC CQ32G1 is the best such monitor under $400.
If you have ~$300 to set aside for a gaming monitor, and you want to get a display with the highest resolution, the fastest refresh rate, the biggest screen size, and the largest number of features you can get, you are going to adore the AOC CQ32G1.
Based on a VA (Vertical Alignment) panel, the AOC CQ32G1 delivers vivid black shades for stunning detail clarity when watching dark content thanks to its superb static contrast ratio of 3,000:1.
In comparison, other panel technologies (IPS and TN) have a contrast ratio of mere 1,000:1.
Furthermore, the monitor offers vibrant colors with true 8-bit depth and a wide 125% sRGB color gamut.
The extra 25% coverage of the sRGB space allows for more saturated and lifelike colors, but if you need to do some color-critical work, you can limit the color reproduction to the standard sRGB space in the OSD (On-Screen Display) menu.
Additionally, the AOC CQ32G1 curved gaming monitor has a decent peak brightness of 300-nits and wide 178-degree viewing angles, so the image won’t shift in color, contrast, and brightness when you look at it from an angle.
1440p resolution ensures sharp details and plenty of screen space even on a big 31.5″ (viewable) screen of the AOC CQ32G1. You get the same pixel density (pixel-per-inch ratio) as 1080p on 24″ which is roughly 93 pixels per inch.
So, you won’t get as clear details and as much screen real estate as 1440p on 27″ (108 PPI), but you get a decent pixel density plus a gigantic screen.
Since the screen is huge and curved, you can sit a bit further from it which will also make the pixels less distinguishable.
Add to that some anti-aliasing and along with the high contrast ratio and wide color gamut, you get a strikingly immersive viewing experience.
While AOC specifies a 1ms response time speed for the CQ32G1, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
The specified 1ms response time refers to the MPRT (Moving Picture Response Time) measure which is actually achieved via backlight strobing.
Now, the actual gray to gray (GtG) pixel transition time is actually 5ms which is standard for VA panels.
In order to get 1ms MPRT, you have to enable the Motion Blur Reduction (MBR) technology which essentially inserts black frames between the regular frames in order to decrease the perceived motion blur.
This method also introduces screen flicker, lowers the monitor’s maximum brightness while active, and cannot operate at the same time as FreeSync. Overall, it’s useful in competitive FPS games; otherwise, you can turn it off.
When not using 1ms MPRT, you will notice that the pixels cannot transition from one color to another as quickly which results in noticeable trailing of fast-moving objects, particularly when dark pixels are predominant in the picture and at higher frame rates.
This is the case with all high refresh rate VA panels, and the overall amount of ghosting and motion blur on the AOC CQ32G1 monitor is tolerable given the image quality, features, and the overall performance you get for the price.
To enable the 1ms MPRT backlight strobing technology, set the Overdrive option in the OSD menu to ‘Boost’. Other available options for the response time overdrive include Off, Weak, Medium, and Strong. You can also tweak the intensity of the backlight strobing via the ‘MBR’ setting.
The AOC CQ32G1 input lag performance is excellent with only ~5ms of imperceptible delay at 144Hz when the Low Input Lag option is set to ‘On’.
In the OSD menu, you will find plenty of useful gaming features including the Game Mode pre-calibrated picture presets for FPS, RTS, and Racing genres as well as three fully customizable Gamer profiles.
There are also the Shadow Control and Game Color options which allow you to quickly adjust the gamma curvature and saturation.
The AOC CQ32G1 has a low-blue light filter (LowBlue Mode) with four different presets (Reading, Office, Internet, and Multimedia). It’s also flicker-free (unless 1ms MPRT is enabled) which prevents headaches and eye-strain caused by prolonged use of the screen.
When the OSD menu is not open, you can use the monitor’s hotkeys as shortcuts for certain features including (from left to right) input source selection, Game Mode, Dial Point (places a custom crosshair on the screen), Menu, and power on/off.
Standard settings such as contrast/brightness, color temperature, aspect ratio, and three gamma presets are available as well. You can also use the G-Menu software to adjust all the OSD settings in a desktop application.
There are also the AOC e-Saver (adjust when the monitor goes to sleep, turns off, activates screen saver, etc) and Screen+ (splits the monitor into partitions for easier multitasking) applications available.
Last but not least, the AOC CQ32G1 1440p 144Hz gaming monitor supports AMD FreeSync with a 48-144Hz variable refresh rate (VRR) range.
Although the monitor is not on NVIDIA’s list of certified G-SYNC compatible displays, FreeSync does work with compatible NVIDIA cards. However, some users encounter brightness flickering when FreeSync/G-SYNC is enabled.
This only affects some units of the monitor and the brightness flickering is mostly present below 48FPS and/or when your FPS rate fluctuates a lot.
Sadly, this issue affects a lot of monitors based on Samsung’s VA panels and, hopefully, a GPU driver update will fix it at some point.
Design & Connectivity
The AOC CQ32G1 has a sturdy design with narrow bezels, but it’s tilt-only by -4°/21°. You can mount the screen via the 100x100mm VESA pattern though. The monitor has a 1800R curvature which nicely complements its big screen and helps eliminate distortion and improve immersion.
Connectivity options include DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 1.4 (max 75Hz at 1440p), HDMI 2.0, and a headphones jack. FreeSync is supported over both DisplayPort and HDMI 2.0 with a 48-144Hz range.
Price & Similar Monitors
The AOC CQ32G1 is usually available for around $350 which is a great deal for the price.
Alternatively, you may be interested in the Samsung C32HG70 which is a more expensive 32″ 1440p 144Hz curved gaming monitor with FreeSync 2 and HDR600, but with a slower response time speed.
If you’re looking for something similar but with a flat screen instead of the curved one, check out the LG 32GK650F.
Visit our always up-to-date best gaming monitor buyer’s guide for more information and the best deals available.
Overall, the AOC CQ32G1 is a great gaming monitor. You get a fluid performance and a stunning image quality as well as lots of features. While there are similar models that include HDR or G-SYNC, they don’t come close to the AOC CQ32G1 when it comes to value/price.
In case you can afford something a bit pricier, consider the above-mentioned models. Also, feel free to leave us a comment below if you need help picking a gaming monitor as there are many similar models with slight differences available around this price range.
AOC CQ32G1 Specifications
|Aspect Ratio||16:9 (Widescreen)|
|Response Time||5ms (GtG)|
|Motion Blur Reduction||1ms (MPRT)|
|Adaptive Sync||FreeSync (48Hz-144Hz)|
|Ports||DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 1.4, HDMI 2.0|
|Other Ports||Headphone Jack|
|Contrast Ratio||3000:1 (static)|
|Colors||16.7 million (true 8-bit)|
- Excellent value for the price
- High contrast ratio and vibrant colors
- Plenty of gaming features including FreeSync
- 1ms MBR
- Moderate ghosting in fast-paced games, mainly in darker scenes
- Tilt-only stand