LG 32UN650 Review: Affordable 32″ 4K IPS Monitor

Bottom Line

The LG 32UN650 is a 32″ 4K IPS monitor with gorgeous colors and wide viewing angles. Additionally, it supports FreeSync, HDR, and has a stylish design with a height-adjustable stand.

Design:
(4.0)
Display:
(4.7)
Performance:
(4.5)
Price/Value:
(4.5)
4.4

While there are plenty of 32″ 4K monitors available, most of the affordable ones ($350 – $450) use VA panels. The majority of the IPS models, on the other hand, are mainly intended for professional use, which makes them considerably more expensive ($700 – $800).

The LG 32UN650 closes this gap and allows you to enjoy the advantages of the IPS technology at a more affordable price of ~$500, but it comes without the premium features of the professional models.

Image Quality

The LG UltraFine 32UN650-W is based on a 31.5″ IPS panel by BOE Technology.

The main advantages this monitor has over the cheaper VA alternatives are the wider viewing angles and superior color consistency.

Even though VA panel monitors have specified viewing angles of 178° both vertically and horizontally, shifts in contrast, color, and brightness are obvious when looking at the screen from skewed angles.

The LG 32UN650 monitor, on the other hand, doesn’t suffer from gamma/saturation shifts associated with the VA technology, and the picture remains perfect regardless of the angle you’re looking at the screen.

Naturally, there are some minor brightness shifts, but only at impractical angles.

Of course, VA panels have their advantages too, mainly the higher static contrast ratio, which makes for deeper blacks.

The LG 32UN650 has a contrast ratio of 1,000:1, so blacks won’t be quite as deep and inky as that of VA monitors, which usually have a contrast ratio of ~3,000:1.

Moving on, the monitor has a good peak brightness of 350-nits and it supports 10-bit color depth via dithering for 1.07 billion colors.

The image quality is vibrant thanks to the wide 95% DCI-P3 color gamut (~125% sRGB) of the display. In comparison to the standard sRGB displays, you get more saturated and rich colors, especially reds and greens.

Srgb Vs Dci P3

Sadly, there’s no sRGB emulation mode which could restrict the native ~125% sRGB gamut of the display to ~100% for the accurate color representation of sRGB content.

This means that native sRGB content (most games and web content) will be over-saturated. For gaming and entertainment purposes, this isn’t a big issue as content can appear more engaging; in fact, some users prefer this.

However, for content creation and color-critical work, you will need a colorimeter to profile the LG 32UN650 display if you want accurate sRGB color output.

If you have an AMD graphics card, you can use the Radeon software to emulate sRGB color gamut by enabling ‘Custom Color’ and disabling ‘Color Temperature Control’ under the ‘Display’ settings.

Next, while the monitor does support HDR (High Dynamic Range), it lacks local dimming, brightness, and contrast for a noteworthy HDR viewing experience.

Its wide color gamut can make some HDR content appear a bit better than SDR, but you’ll mostly get over-saturated or washed-out colors and prefer to have it disabled.

This kind of HDR behavior is expected from a 4K display at this price range as implementing a decent local dimming solution would greatly increase its price.

Lastly, the 4K UHD resolution results in a high pixel density of 140 PPI (pixels per inch), which means you get plenty of screen space as well as sharp details and text.

Depending on your preference, you may need to use ~125% scaling to make small items such as text easily readable, though some users prefer not to use it at this pixel density.

As expected, some IPS glow is present, which is a normal drawback of this technology. The amount of visible glow varies across different units of the monitor.

Performance

The LG 32UN650 has a maximum refresh rate of 60Hz, which will not appeal to competitive gamers out there as you can get a nice 1440p 144Hz gaming monitor at this price range.

If you prefer slower-paced and more graphically-oriented games instead, and have proper hardware to run 4K UHD with decent frame rates and picture settings, the LG 32UN650 will suit you well.

Its input lag amounts to ~10ms, so there’s no perceptible delay between your actions and the result on the screen, while its 5ms GtG pixel response time speed is sufficient to eliminate prominent trailing behind fast-moving objects.

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

‘Faster’ introduces too much overshoot i.e. inverse ghosting, but ‘Fast’ works perfectly fine and we recommend using it since it provides noticeably better results than ‘Off’ or ‘Normal.’

Variable refresh rate (VRR) for tear-free gameplay is supported over DisplayPort (G-SYNC Compatible, AMD FreeSync) and HDMI (AMD FreeSync).

While the monitor is not officially certified by NVIDIA as ‘G-SYNC Compatible’, you can manually enable it. VRR performance is not guaranteed to work flawlessly and it can vary from unit to unit, but in most cases, it should work just fine.

There are two FreeSync modes: Extended (40-60Hz) and Basic (48-60Hz). So, below 40FPS or 48FPS, respectively, VRR will not work and screen tearing will occur until your frame rate is back within the supported range.

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

Features

The OSD (On-Screen Display) menu can be navigated via the 5-way directional joystick placed beneath the bottom bezel of the screen. Alternatively, you can download the On-Screen Control desktop application and make your adjustments there.

Besides the standard image adjustment tools including brightness, contrast, and color channels, you’ll find advanced settings, such as sharpness, four gamma modes, 6-axis hue/saturation, and manual color temperature fine-tuning (in increments of 500K).

Other useful features include Black Stabilizer (improves visibility in darker scenes), various picture presets (FPS, RTS, Cinema, HDR Effect, etc.), and Dual Controller, which allows you to connect two PCs to the screen and control them via one set of keyboard/mouse.

Design & Connectivity

LG 32UN650 Monitor Design

The stand of the monitor offers height adjustment up to 110mm and tilt by -5°/20°, while the screen is VESA mount compatible (100x100mm) and has a light matte anti-glare coating.

Connectivity options include two HDMI 2.0 ports, DisplayPort 1.4, a headphones jack, and dual 5W integrated speakers. All inputs support HDCP 2.2 allowing you to watch content in native 4K resolution on streaming services such as Netflix.

Price & Similar Monitors

The LG 32UN650 price ranges from ~$450 to $500, which is excellent value for the price.

Other 32″ 4K IPS models go for $700+, but usually have better factory-calibration with low Delta E, a dedicated sRGB mode, and more features.

So, if you want a 32″ 4K monitor, but don’t want narrow viewing angles and inconsistent colors of the VA models – and you don’t need a particularly color-accurate sRGB display out of the box, The LG 32UN650 is for you.

Visit our best gaming monitors under $500 guide for more information and the best deals available around this price range.

Conclusion

Overall, the LG 32UN650 is an excellent 32″ 4K IPS monitor for casual PC and console gaming, light office work and content creation – and everything in-between!

Specifications

Screen Size31.5-inch
Resolution3840×2160 (Ultra HD)
Panel TypeIPS
Aspect Ratio16:9 (Widescreen)
Refresh Rate60Hz
Response Time (GtG)5ms (GtG)
Adaptive-SyncFreeSync (40-60Hz)
Speakers2x5W
PortsDisplayPort 1.4, 2x HDMI 2.0
Other PortsHeadphone Jack
Brightness350 cd/m²
Contrast Ratio1000:1 (static)
Colors1.07 billion (8-bit + FRC)
95% DCI-P3
HDRHDR10
VESAYes (100x100mm)

The Pros:

  • High pixel density, sharp details, and plenty of screen space
  • Wide color gamut for vibrant colors
  • Wide viewing angles
  • Plenty of extra features including FreeSync up to 60Hz
  • Height-adjustable stand

The Cons:

  • No sRGB mode
  • IPS glow and inferior contrast ratio in comparison to VA models
  • Design lacks pivot and swivel functions

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Rob Shafer
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.