Dell Alienware AW3225QF Review: 4K 240Hz OLED Gaming Monitor

The Dell Alienware AW3225QF is a 32" 4K 240Hz QD-OLED curved gaming monitor with HDR10, Dolby Vision, VRR and more!

Bottom Line

The Dell Alienware AW3225QF is one of the best gaming monitors currently available.

Design:
(4.8)
Display:
(4.9)
Performance:
(4.9)
Price/Value:
(4.5)
4.8

Update: Make sure you have the latest firmware for optimal performance.

The Dell Alienware AW3225QF is the first 32″ OLED gaming monitor with a high refresh rate, which is exactly what a lot of gamers have been waiting for a long time!

Image Quality

Based on Samsung’s QD-OLED panel, the Dell AW3225QF provides you with vibrant colors, covering 99% of the DCI-P3 color space.

It also boasts professional-grade factory calibration at Delta E < 2 for both DCI-P3 and sRGB color space modes.

Further, the monitor has true 10-bit color depth support for smooth gradients without banding and 178° wide viewing angles, which ensure that the image will remain flawless regardless of the angle you’re looking at the screen.

As it’s the case with all OLED displays, each pixel produces its own light, which allows them to individually turn off for true blacks, thus providing you with an infinite contrast ratio without any backlight bleeding, glowing or blooming artifacts associated with LED-backlit panels.

The downside is that OLED panels can’t get as bright as some LED displays, but the Dell Alienware AW3225QF can maintain a 250-nit peak brightness for a 100% white window, which is bright enough under normal lighting conditions.

In HDR, it can reach up to 500-nits for 10% white windows, and up to 1000-nits for small < 3% white windows, resulting in punchy and vivid highlights.

What’s more, the Dell AW3225QF supports Dolby Vision in addition to the standard HDR10 format, providing you with superior HDR image quality when watching supported content.

We recommend disabling Dolby Vision in monitor settings (the option is only available in updated firmware) when watching regular HDR10 content for optimal image quality. This is due to Windows’ poor HDR management. So, only enable Dolby Vision when watching Dolby Vision content.

There are several “Smart HDR” modes: Desktop, Movie HDR, Game HDR, Custom Color HDR, DisplayHDR 400 True Black and HDR Peak 1000. We recommend using the HDR Peak 1000 mode for the best results.

While some LG’s W-OLED panels may achieve a higher white window brightness, this is due to its extra white subpixel. The colors are actually brighter on QD-OLED panels, which in addition to the wider color gamut, provides you with a more saturated and vibrant image quality.

Additionally, the Dell AW3225QF monitor uses Samsung’s third-gen panel with an improved subpixel layout, resulting in sharper text and fine details; combined with the high pixel density of 139.42 PPI (pixels per inch), there’s no particularly noticeable text fringing that’s associated with older OLED panels (including both LG’s W-OLED and Samsung’s first-gen QD-OLED panels with lower pixel density).

The 4K UHD resolution on the 31.6″ viewable screen of the monitor provides you with plenty of screen real estate and crisp details, while the use of scaling is optional.

Gaming at 4K is still quite demanding, but thanks to upscaling technologies, such as FSR, DLSS and XeSS, it’s viable with mid- to high-end PC rigs.

Performance

amd freesync logo

For gamers, the main benefit of OLED panels is the instantaneous pixel response time speed, resulting in no noticeable trailing behind fast-moving objects, regardless of the refresh rate.

In combination with a high 240Hz refresh rate, the motion is buttery-smooth and you get a low ~4ms input lag for responsive gameplay with no perceptible delay between your actions and the result on the screen.

The Dell Alienware AW3225QF also supports variable refresh rate (VRR) with official NVIDIA G-SYNC Compatible certification, providing you with tear-free gameplay up to 240FPS. AMD FreeSync and HDMI 2.1 VRR are supported as well.

The main downside of OLED panels is the risk of permanent image burn-in and temporary image retention. However, as long as you’re using the monitor sensibly and playing diverse content from time to time, it shouldn’t be an issue.

Dell even offers a 3-year warranty that covers burn-in. Make sure that you’re using the monitor’s Pixel Refresh and Panel Refresh features regularly to maintain panel health.

When the Panel Health dot turns yellow, use Pixel Refresh. When it’s red, use Panel Refresh. These features should run automatically though.

Lastly, the monitor is flicker-free and there’s a low-blue light filter mode, allowing you to game for hours without straining your eyes.

Make sure you have the latest firmware installed for optimal performance.

Features

Dell AW3225QF OSD Menu

Beneath the bottom bezel of the screen, there’s a directional joystick for quick and easy navigation through the OSD (On-Screen Display) menu. There’s also a dedicated power button on the bottom bezel.

Alternatively, you can use Dell’s Alienware Command Center desktop application to make the adjustments using your keyboard/mouse.

Besides the standard image adjustment tools (brightness, contrast, color temperature, etc.), the Dell AW3225QF also offers some advanced settings, including hue, saturation, sharpness, aspect ratio (16:9, 4:3, Auto Resize) and automatic input detection.

Useful gaming features include Dark Stabilizer (improves visibility in dark scenes by manipulating the gamma curvature), a refresh rate tracker, on-screen timers and Alienvision (a resizable rectangle on the screen with zoom-in, heatmap, crosshair, increased sharpness or increased gamma effect).

The Dell Alienware AW3225QF also supports Picture in Picture / Picture by Picture and Console Mode (allows you to use tone mapping by device and change gamma/color settings),

Design & Connectivity

Dell Alienware AW3225QF Monitor Design

The stand of the monitor is sturdy and offers a good range of ergonomics, including up to 110mm height adjustment, -5°/21° tilt, +/- 20° swivel and 100x100mm VESA mount compatibility. You cannot pivot the screen into the portrait position.

Just like previous QD-OLED monitors, the Dell AW3225QF has a semi-glossy finish, which provides you with a more vivid image quality than that of matte screens.

However, the screen is also more reflective and it raises the black levels when hit by direct lighting. So, ideally, you should use the monitor in a dark room or with lighting placed behind the screen.

Further, the screen has a moderate 1700R curvature for added immersion. While some users don’t prefer curved screens on 16:9 displays, the 1700R suits this 32″ sized monitor rather well.

Connectivity options are abundant and include DisplayPort 1.4 with DSC, two HDMI 2.1 ports (one with eARC support for Dolby Atmos pass-through), a USB-B port, three USB-A ports with 5 Gbps, and one USB-C port with 15W power-charging and 5 Gbps.

There’s also customizable AlienFX RGB lighting, which you can use to adjust the LED color and patterns of the Alienware logo and number 32 on the rear of the monitor, and of the power button on the bottom bezel.

Price & Similar Monitors

The Dell Alienware AW3225QF goes for $1,200, which is an excellent price given its unique specifications and the fact that 32″ 4K 144Hz mini LED displays go for around the same price, such as the Innocn 32M2V and the Acer X32FP.

If you’d rather have a flat-screen model, ASUS, HP, Samsung, Gigabyte and MSI are all planning to release 32″ 4K 240Hz QD-OLED models in Q1 2024, though the exact release dates and prices are still unknown.

Besides having a flat screen, some of these models will also have different features, such as USB-C / KVM, a matte anti-glare coating, BFI (Black Frame Insertion), DisplayPort 2.1, etc. You can check out our comparison table here.

Check out the ASUS PG32UCDM and the MSI MPG 321URX flat-screen models – both with USB-C and KVM. ASUS’ version has Dolby Vision and BFI up to 120Hz and goes for $1,300, whereas the MSI variant can be found for $950.

Additionally, ASUS and LG also plan to release 32″ 4K 240Hz monitors based on LG’s W-OLED panel with a 1080p 480Hz Dual Mode in Q3 2024.

If you want to check out the best gaming monitors available right now, check out our dedicated buyer’s guide.

Conclusion

All in all, the Dell Alienware AW3225QF is one of the best gaming monitors currently available. While there are plenty of exciting models expected in 2024 – if the Dell AW3225QF ticks all of your boxes and you’re growing impatient, you won’t be disappointed by it.

Specifications

Screen Size31.6-inch
Screen Curvature1700R
Resolution3840×2160 (Ultra HD)
Panel TypeOLED
Aspect Ratio16:9 (Widescreen)
Refresh Rate240Hz
Response Time0.03ms (GtG)
Adaptive-SyncAMD FreeSync Premium (48-240Hz)
G-SYNC Compatible
PortsDisplayPort 1.4, 2x HDMI 2.1
Other PortsUSB-B, USB-C (15W), 3x USB-A (5 Gbps)
Brightness (1 – 3% White Window)1000 cd/m²
Brightness (10% White Window)500 cd/m²
Brightness (100% White Window)250 cd/m²
Contrast RatioInfinite
Colors1.07 billion (true 10-bit)
99% DCI-P3
HDRVESA DisplayHDR 400 True Black,
Dolby Vision
VESAYes (100x100mm)

The Pros:

  • Infinite contrast ratio, decent peak brightness, wide color gamut
  • High pixel density
  • Instant response time
  • Plenty of features, including VRR up to 240Hz & Dolby Vision
  • Ergonomic design and rich connectivity options

The Cons:

  • Risk of burn-in (though covered by 3-year warranty)

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Rob Shafer

Rob is a software engineer with a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Denver. He now works full-time managing DisplayNinja while coding his own projects on the side.