LG 32GQ850 Review: 1440p 260Hz 1ms FreeSync IPS Gaming Monitor

The LG 32GQ850 is a 32" 1440p 240Hz (260Hz OC) 1ms Nano IPS gaming monitor with DisplayHDR 600, HDMI 2.1 and an A-TW polarizer.

Bottom Line

The LG 32GQ850 is the best 32″ 1440p gaming monitor available if you need a refresh rate of 240Hz or higher thanks to its quick response time, wide color gamut, smooth VRR performance and A-TW polarizer.

Design:
(4.5)
Display:
(4.6)
Performance:
(4.8)
Price/Value:
(3.0)
4.2

The LG 32GQ850 is one of the few 32″ 1440p gaming monitors available with a refresh rate of 240Hz and above, so let’s see how it compares to its alternatives.

Note that the LG UltraGear 32GQ850-B also goes by a few different model names depending on the region, including 32GQ85X, 32GQ850L and 32GQ85B.

Image Quality

Based on a Nano IPS panel (LM315WQ3-SSA1), the LG 32GQ850 offers a wide 98% DCI-P3 gamut coverage for vibrant and saturated colors.

This is equivalent to around 135% sRGB gamut size, so you’ll definitely notice some over-saturation when viewing SDR content.

However, LG provides you with an sRGB emulation mode that can restrict the gamut to ~100% sRGB for more neutral and accurate colors when viewing content made with the sRGB color space in mind. You can adjust the brightness in this mode too!

The Nano IPS panel also ensures 178° wide viewing angles, so the image won’t shift in brightness, contrast, color and gamma regardless of the angle you’re looking at the screen.

Next, the monitor is factory-calibrated at Delta E < 5, which is perfectly fine for gaming and content consumption, but not quite ideal for professional color-critical work out of the box. You can get by with some basic content creation though.

In case you have a colorimeter, the 32GQ850 supports hardware calibration via LG’s True Color Pro application. This allows you to calibrate the display on a ‘hardware level’ (there are two profiles to store calibrations) instead of having to rely on ICC profiles.

LG True Color Pro

A lot of users might find the 2560×1440 QHD resolution to be too low for 32″ sized screens. You get a pixel density of 93 PPI (pixels per inch), which is equivalent to that of a 24″ 1920×1080 monitor, so you get the same viewing experience in terms of clarity and screen real estate, just on a larger screen.

4K UHD looks much sharper on 32″ displays, but it’s also significantly more demanding on your GPU/CPU than 1440p in video games.

Further, the LG 32GQ850 monitor has a high peak brightness of 450-nits, so it can get more than bright enough to mitigate glare even in well-lit rooms.

The contrast ratio ranges from 700:1 to 1,000:1, depending on the unit, so don’t expect as deep blacks as that of VA panels, which usually have a contrast ratio of around 3,000:1, but have other flaws of their own.

IPS panels also suffer from IPS glow. It’s characterized as visible glowing around the corners of the screen at certain viewing angles. It’s mostly noticeable when displaying dark content with a high brightness setting in a dark room.

Luckily, the LG 32GQ850 has an A-TW polarizer that significantly reduces the visibility of IPS glow and therefore improves the perceived black depth.

Moving on, the monitor supports HDR (High Dynamic Range) and has VESA’s DisplayHDR 600 certification. When viewing HDR content, the display gets a boost in peak brightness up to 600-nits, but there are only 16 dimming zones and since the backlight is edge-lit, they’re not very effective at increasing the contrast.

edge lit vs fald

In fact, only scenes where the dark and right objects are far apart get a notable boost in contrast. Particularly bright scenes get punchier highlights, but demanding scenes with dark and bright elements close together won’t get a big improvement in HDR.

In other words, you’re not getting the true HDR viewing experience, which would require an OLED panel or a decent full-array local dimming implementation.

Still, thanks to the monitor’s wide color gamut and decent brightness, some HDR scenes will look better than SDR. So, your mileage may vary depending on the content/scene.

Performance

freesync and gsync

The LG 32GQ850 has a rapid 1ms GtG pixel response time speed for zero trailing visible behind fast-moving objects, making it ideal for fast-paced games.

There are four response time overdrive modes: Off, Normal, Fast and Faster.

The ‘Faster’ mode adds too much overdrive, so stick with the ‘Fast’ mode for the best results across the entire refresh rate range.

You can also overclock the monitor to 260Hz by first enabling the ‘overclock’ option in the OSD (On-Screen Display) menu, and then setting it up in your GPU drivers.

Variable refresh rate is supported via AMD FreeSync Premium Pro, NVIDIA G-SYNC Compatible and HDMI 2.1 VRR technologies for tear-free gameplay up to 260FPS.

The backlight of the monitor is flicker-free and there’s an integrated low-blue light filter (the ‘Reader’ mode).

Features

There’s a directional joystick beneath the bottom bezel of the screen for effortless navigation through the OSD menu. Alternatively, you can use LG’s On-Screen Control and UltraGear Studio desktop applications for adjustments via keyboard/mouse.

Noteworthy gaming features include Black Stabilizer (improves visibility in darker games by altering the gamma curvature), crosshair overlays, a refresh rate tracker and various picture presets.

Besides the standard image settings (brightness, contrast, etc.), the LG 32GQ850 display also offers some advanced tools, including manual color temperature fine-tuning in increments of 500K, four gamma presets, 6-axis hue/saturation and sharpness.

Sadly, the monitor doesn’t support Auto Input Switch, PiP/PbP or MBR (Motion Blur Reduction).

Design & Connectivity

LG UltraGear 32GQ850 Review

The stand of the monitor is sturdy and has a good range of ergonomics, including up to 110mm height adjustment, -5°/15° tilt, 90° clockwise pivot and 100x100mm VESA mount compatibility. You cannot swivel the stand to the left/right though.

At the rear of the monitor, there’s the ‘Hexagon’ RGB lighting that can be customized (21 different colors), but you cannot synchronize the LEDs to on-screen video/audio like it’s the case with LG’s older Sphere Lighting RGB.

The screen has a light matte anti-glare coating that efficiently prevents reflections without making the image too grainy.

Connectivity options include two HDMI 2.1 ports (48 Gbps), DisplayPort 1.4 with DSC, a dual-USB 3.0 hub and a DTS HP:X jack with 3D audio simulation for headphones.

All three display inputs support 1440p 260Hz with 12-bit color depth. The monitor can also upscale to 4K 120Hz for the PS5 and Xbox Series S/X.

Price & Similar Monitors

The LG 32GQ850 price ranges from $700 to $900. There’s also the 4K 160Hz version of this monitor with DisplayHDR 1000 and 32 dimming zones, the LG 32GQ950.

At $900, it’s definitely too expensive, but the $700 price offers good value for money considering that the other 32″ 1440p 240Hz displays, such as the Corsair Xeneon 32QHD240, the Gigabyte Aorus FI32Q-X and the Acer XB323UGX, go for around the same price without as many features, such as the A-TW polarizer.

So, is the LG 32GQ850 for you?

Well, that depends on your use case. Although fast, its big 32″ screen isn’t ideal for competitive gameplay. For immersion, you can find a 32″ 4K 144Hz monitor at this price range, such as the M32U, that’ll provide you with a lot sharper details. When it comes to HDR, you can find the LG OLED48C1 on sale for $800.

On top of that, there are 32″ 1440p 165Hz displays that go for just $400, such as the Gigabyte M32Q.

Therefore, we only recommend the LG 32GQ850 if you actually have a good enough PC to run competitive titles at ~240FPS and aren’t too competitive to care about the suboptimal screen size.

To learn more about monitors and ensure you’re getting the model most suited for your personal preference, visit our comprehensive and always up-to-date best gaming monitor buyer’s guide.

Conclusion

All in all, the LG 32GQ850 is an excellent gaming monitor if you’re looking for something in this form factor. It has a fast response time, smooth VRR performance and gorgeous colors, while the A-TW polarizer noticeably helps with IPS glow.

Specifications

Screen Size31.5-inch
Resolution2560×1440 (QHD)
Panel TypeIPS
Aspect Ratio16:9 (Widescreen)
Refresh Rate240Hz (260Hz OC)
Response Time1ms (GtG)
Adaptive-SyncFreeSync (48-260Hz)
PortsDisplayPort 1.4, 2x HDMI 2.1 (48 Gbps)
Other PortsHeadphone Jack, 2x USB 3.0
Brightness450 cd/m²
Brightness (HDR)600 cd/m²
Contrast Ratio1000:1 (static)
Colors1.07 billion (8-bit + FRC)
98% DCI-P3
HDRDisplayHDR 600
Local Dimming16-zone edge-lit
VESAYes (100x100mm)

The Pros:

  • High peak brightness and wide color gamut (with sRGB mode)
  • Quick response time, low input lag
  • Plenty of features, including VRR up to 260Hz
  • Ergonomic stand, USB hub

The Cons:

  • Design lacks swivel option
  • IPS glow and mediocre contrast ratio (as expected from this panel technology, but A-TW polarizer helps minimize the issue)
  • Only 16 dimming zones

Related Reads

msi mag271r review
MSI MAG271R Review: 1080p 165Hz VA FreeSync Gaming Monitor
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.