Samsung C32HG70 Review: 1440p 144Hz QLED FreeSync 2 HDR Gaming Monitor

samsung c32hg70 monitor

Bottom Line

The Samsung C32HG70 offers an exceptionally good HDR image quality for the price. Its performance is good as well, though there is some pixel overshoot visible at lower frame rates and some smearing in darker scenes, but it's mostly tolerable. The monitor also offers premium design quality, rich connectivity options, and plenty of extra useful features.

Design:
(5)
Display:
(4.8)
Performance:
(3.7)
Price/Value:
(3.8)
4.3

Introduction

The Samsung C32HG70 is a 1440p 144Hz curved gaming monitor with a quantum-dot enhanced film (QDEF) layer, AMD FreeSync 2 (FreeSync Premium Pro), and DisplayHDR 600 certification.

Let’s see if its premium features are worth the extra cost over the standard 1440p 144Hz VA displays!

Image Quality

Samsung’s CHG70 series consists of the 27-inch Samsung C27HG70 and the 32-inch Samsung C32HG70.

Both models are based on Samsung’s 10-bit (8-bit + FRC) VA panels with quantum-dot enhanced LED backlights that boost the display’s color gamut to 125% sRGB (95% DCI-P3) for more vibrant and saturated colors.

Further, the displays have wide 178-degree viewing angles and an excellent peak brightness of 350-nits, which gets a jump up to 600-nits for HDR-compatible content.

Such high peak brightness and wide color gamut, along with localized dimming, earn the Samsung CHG70 monitors VESA’s DisplayHDR 600 certification.

The Samsung C32HG70 monitor has an 8-zone local dimming implementation. These eight zones help dim the parts of the screen that need to be dark, thus further increasing the static contrast ratio of 3,000:1.

Since there are only eight dimming zones, the contrast ratio won’t be drastically increased.

The more expensive HDR models, such as the ASUS PG27UQ with a 384-zone full-array local dimming system, can achieve a peak brightness of 1,000-nits and a contrast ratio of over 20,000.

By comparison, the Samsung C32HG70 offers just a glimpse of what HDR can truly do, but it does offer notably better image quality in comparison to the common displays!

On the 32″ CHG70 gaming monitor, Quad HD resolution of 2560×1440 pixels results in a decent pixel density of roughly 93 PPI (Pixels Per Inch).

This is equivalent to 1080p on 24″ screens in terms of screen space and detail clarity, but you get a much larger screen.

The 27″ model has a higher pixel-per-inch ratio of 108 PPI, which provides more screen real estate and sharper details.

Performance

Unfortunately, the performance of the Samsung C32HG70 144Hz gaming monitor is not as admirable as its image quality, mainly due to its response time performance.  

Samsung doesn’t specify the monitor’s GtG (Gray to Gray) response time speed, only the MPRT (Moving Picture Response Time) measure of 1ms.

The 1ms MPRT speed is achieved via backlight strobing, which you can enable by setting the ‘Response Time’ setting in the OSD (On-Screen Display) menu to ‘Faster’ or ‘Fastest’.

This causes the screen to insert black frames between the regular frames to reduce the perceived trailing and motion blur of fast-moving objects.

However, you cannot use this technology at the same time as HDR or FreeSync. Moreover, it lowers the monitor’s maximum brightness while it’s active, and it can only work at the following fixed refresh rates: 100Hz, 120Hz, or 144Hz.

This is typical for most monitors with backlight strobing.

The problem with the Samsung CHG70 is that it has no other response time overdrive options besides Standard, Faster, and Fastest.

Since ‘Faster’ and ‘Fastest’ automatically enable backlight strobing, you are stuck with ‘Standard’ when not using the 1ms MPRT technology.

The Standard option is well-optimized for high refresh rates. So, if you enable FreeSync and your refresh rate is around 100 – 144Hz, you will only get minor smearing behind fast-moving objects.

The smearing is mainly visible in darker scenes, which is standard for all VA panel monitors, and it’s entirely tolerable for all but hardcore competitive FPS gamers.

Now, if your refresh rate is around 40 – 80Hz, the Standard overdrive is simply too aggressive, and it will cause inverse ghosting. So, it’s not recommended to use the monitor at 60Hz if you have a console.

On PC, when your FPS rate is around 40 – 80FPS, you should disable FreeSync and use a fixed refresh rate of 144Hz instead if you get excessive inverse ghosting. It will vary across different games.

Moving on, the Samsung C32HG70 input lag performance is very good, with only ~5ms of imperceptible delay when the Low Input Lag mode is enabled (on by default).

Lastly, note that the Samsung C32HG70 uses PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation) to regulate brightness below 100%, which introduces screen flicker.

The flickering isn’t noticeable, but if you are sensitive to it, you may experience headaches and eye strain after prolonged use. The 27″ model doesn’t use this method, and it’s completely flicker-free.

Features

Samsung C27hg70 Review

The Samsung C32HG70 HDR monitor supports AMD FreeSync 2 (FreeSync Premium Pro), which provides a variable refresh rate (VRR) when using a compatible graphics card.

FreeSync removes all screen tearing and stuttering as long as your FPS (Frames Per Second) rate is within the dynamic refresh rate range.

The Samsung C32HG70 VRR range amounts to 48-144Hz/FPS (with the firmware update), and it also works with compatible NVIDIA GPUs (GTX 10-series or newer).

However, some users experience 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 (in the ‘Ultimate Engine’ FreeSync mode) 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.

Further, FreeSync 2 ensures minimal input lag penalty and optimal tone and gamut mapping for compatible games. You can also use HDR and FreeSync at the same time.

LFC (Low Framerate Compensation) is supported, which makes the display multiply its refresh rate when your frame rate drops below 48FPS (for instance, 47FPS -> 94Hz) for smoother performance.

Moving on, pressing the joystick placed at the back of the monitor opens up the OSD menu.

Next to the joystick, you can find three additional buttons that can be used as shortcuts the gaming presets.

Moving the joystick up and down adjusts the brightness while moving it to the left and right changes the volume.

Navigation through the menu is easy and intuitive, with plenty of useful features available, including ‘Black Equalizer,’ which alters the gamma curve for better visibility in dark parts of games.

There’s also ‘Eye Saver Mode’ for a more comfortable viewing experience at night.

You can manually enable/disable local dimming depending on which option you prefer. Unfortunately, there’s no support for PiP (Picture in Picture) and PbP (Picture by Picture).

Lastly, the Samsung CHG70 monitors feature the ‘Arena Lighting’ RGB technology with LEDs placed at the back of the monitor for ambient lighting.

Design & Connectivity

Samsung Chg70 Review

The Samsung C32HG70 offers premium design quality with matte plastics and full ergonomic support including -5°/15° tilt, 145mm height adjustment, +/- 15° swivel, 90° rotate, and 100x100mm VESA mount compatibility.

It has a light matte anti-glare screen coating, which eliminates reflections and a 1800R screen curvature, which makes the viewing experience more immersive.

Connectivity options are abundant and include DisplayPort 1.4, two HDMI 2.0b ports, a dual-USB 3.0 hub (one upstream and two downstream ports – one with fast-charging), a headphones jack, and a microphone jack.

Price & Similar Monitors

The price of the Samsung C32HG70 display ranges from ~$450 to $550, while the Samsung C27HG70 can be found for around $400 if you’d prefer a smaller screen with a higher pixel density.

Despite their issues with response time overdrive, the Samsung CHG70 monitors are the best 1440p 144Hz models currently available if you want a good HDR image quality.

Around this price range, though, you can also get a much faster 1440p 144Hz IPS model such as the LG 27GL850 (but without a high contrast ratio or as good HDR picture) or an ultrawide gaming monitor such as the AOC CU34G2X.

Visit our always up-to-date best gaming monitor buyer’s guide for more information and the best deals available.

Conclusion

If you want a 1440p 144Hz gaming monitor, the Samsung CHG70 models offer the best HDR picture quality with those specs, and if you can always keep your FPS rate over 100FPS, the overdrive issue won’t bother you.

While it’s not ideal, the Samsung C32HG70 does offer a unique set of specifications and features that will surely appeal to many gamers.

Samsung C32HG70 Specifications

Screen Size31.5-inch
Screen Curvature1800R
Resolution2560×1440 (WQHD)
Panel TypeVA
Aspect Ratio16:9 (Widescreen)
Refresh Rate144Hz
Response Time1ms (MPRT)
Adaptive SyncFreeSync (48Hz-144Hz)
*Firmware Update
PortsDisplayPort 1.4, 2x HDMI 2.0b
Other Ports2x USB 3.0, Headphone Jack
Brightness350 cd/m2
Brightness (HDR)600 cd/m2
Contrast Ratio3000:1 (static)
Colors1.07 billion (8-bit + FRC)
VESAYes (100x100mm)
HDRVESA DisplayHDR 600
8-zone Edge-Lit Local Dimming

The Pros:

  • High contrast ratio and strong peak brightness
  • Wide color gamut
  • Plenty of features including AMD FreeSync 2
  • Ergonomic design and rich connectivity options

The Cons:

  • Minor smearing in fast-paced games, mainly in darker scenes
  • Visible overshoot at lower refresh rates
  • Flickering below 100% brightness, unnoticeable but may be a problem to those sensitive to it

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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.