Samsung S34BG85/Odyssey OLED G8 Review: 3440×1440 175Hz FreeSync UltraWide Curved Gaming Monitor

Samsung S34BG85/Odyssey OLED G8 is a 34" 3440x1440 175Hz ultrawide curved gaming monitor based on a QD-OLED panel.

Bottom Line

The Samsung S34BG85 is an excellent HDR gaming monitor, but since its pricing and warranty varies across regions, you should consider other 34″ QD-OLED ultrawide models too.

Design:
(5.0)
Display:
(4.9)
Performance:
(4.9)
Price/Value:
(3.5)
4.6

After almost a year since the Dell Alienware AW3423DW was released, we’re finally seeing more models (by other manufacturers) using the same QD-OLED panel.

Was it worth the wait? Let’s see!

Image Quality

The Samsung Odyssey OLED G8 uses the same QD-OLED panel as the Dell AW3423DW/F, the MSI MEG 342C and the Philips 34M2C8600.

Therefore, you can expect similar image quality and performance.

The main differences between the models come down to design, connectivity options, factory calibration, exclusive features and personal preference. Pricing and warranty also play a big role, both of which can vary between different regions.

As it’s the case with all OLED displays, the Samsung S34BG85 offers an infinite contrast ratio with true blacks and since it doesn’t rely on a backlight to produce an image, there’s no backlight bleeding, IPS/VA glow, blooming or similar artifacts.

This makes for an incredibly immersive viewing experience, especially in dark rooms.

In comparison to LG’s W-OLED panels, the QD-OLED panel also provides you with a wider 99.3% DCI-P3 color gamut, slightly wider viewing angles and higher peak brightness.

While W-OLED panels can reach up to 160-nits for a 100% white window in HDR, the Samsung OLED G8 easily maintains around 250-nits and reaches up to 1,000-nits for small highlights. This also means that it’s noticeably brighter in SDR for everyday use.

 100% White Window Max Brightness (SDR)100% White Window Max Brightness (HDR)10% White Window Max Brightness (HDR)1 - 3% White Window Max Brightness (HDR)
AW3423DW,
AW3423DWF,
Samsung G8,
MSI 342C
250-nits250-nits500-nits1000-nits
Dell AW2725DF250-nits250-nits500-nits1000-nits
Dell AW3225QF
ASUS PG32UCDM
MSI MPG 321URX
250-nits250-nits500-nits1000-nits
Samsung OLED G9
250-nits250-nits500-nits1000-nits
ASUS PG34WCDM270-nits270-nits750-nits1200-nits
ASUS PG27AQDM250-nits160-nits850-nits900-nits
LG 27GR95QE200-nits130-nits650-nits650-nits
LG 45GR95QE160-nits160-nits650-nits800-nits
Corsair Xeneon Flex190-nits160-nits650-nits800-nits
LG OLED42C3180-nits130-nits700-nits700-nits
ASUS PG42UQ200-nits120-nits800-nits800-nits
LG OLED48C3200-nits150-nits800-nits800-nits
Gigabyte FO48U110-nits110-nits500-nits600-nits
LG 48GQ900130-nits130-nits600-nits600-nits

*PC Mode, Game Optimizer enabled
**Uniform Brightness enabled

While the differences in brightness between these models might not seem that big on paper, it’s important to keep in mind that QD-OLED panels also have a notably higher color volume, resulting in increased color saturation and vibrancy, which further increases the perceived brightness.

For the best HDR results on the Samsung Odyssey OLED G8, we recommend using the ‘Custom’ Picture Mode and making sure ‘Game Mode’ and ‘Peak Brightness’ options are enabled. ‘Game HDR’ should be disabled and ‘HDR10+ Gaming’ set to ‘Advanced.’

At the moment, there’s an issue that limits peak brightness to ~450-nits with AMD GPUs when using FreeSync Premium Pro. Hopefully, it will be resolved with a firmware update soon.

The monitor also has an sRGB clamp that can be activated by changing the Color Space option to ‘Auto.’

Moving on, keep in mind that QD-OLED panels have a triangular RGB subpixel layout, which causes minor fringing on tiny text and fine details. It’s not noticeable in games and videos, and most people won’t be bothered by it at all.

However, if you work with a lot of text, you might find it bothersome. You can use Better ClearType and Mac/FreeType to alleviate this issue in some applications.

LG’s W-OLED panels also have a different layout (RWBG) from the common RGB stripe layout, so they have a similar issue too.

Next, you should keep in mind that all OLED displays have a risk of permanent image burn-in and temporary image retention when displaying an image with bright static elements for too long.

However, as long as you’re using the monitor sensibly and taking advantage of Samsung’s Panel Care features (Pixel Refresh, Pixel Shift and Adjust Logo Brightness), it shouldn’t be an issue.

NOTE

Sadly, unlike Dell’s 3-year warranty that covers burn-in, Samsung only offers a 1-year warranty that doesn’t even cover burn-in, at least in the US.

Finally, the 3440×1440 screen resolution looks great on the 34″ sized screen of the monitor as you get a high pixel density, resulting in plenty of screen real estate with sharp details and no scaling necessary.

It’s also not nearly as taxing on the GPU as 4K UHD, while the 21:9 ultrawide format provides you with a wider field of view in compatible games and a generally more immersive viewing experience.

Performance

freesync and gsync

Another big advantage of OLED displays is the instantaneous pixel response time speed, which results in no ghosting or overshoot regardless of the refresh rate.

Input lag performance is also excellent with ~4ms of delay, which is imperceptible.

Variable refresh rate is supported via AMD FreeSync Premium Pro, NVIDIA G-SYNC Compatible (not officially certified) and HDMI 2.1 VRR for tear-free gameplay up to 175FPS.

Just like on all OLED displays, some near-black gamma shifts can be observed when using VRR. It mostly occurs in particularly dark scenes and at low frame rates, so it won’t bother most gamers.

Features

Samsung Odyssey G8 OLED Remote Controller

The Odyssey OLED G8 features Samsung’s Tizen OS with plenty of applications, including Gaming Hub, voice assistant, TV Plus, Microsoft 365, SmartThings, etc.

To access the OSD (On-Screen Display) menu, you can use the directional joystick at the rear of the monitor, the provided remote controller or the SmartThings app.

It also has an integrated light sensor that can automatically adjust brightness according to ambient lighting, CoreSync RGB lighting, crosshair overlays and a low-blue light filter, but there’s no PiP/PbP support.

The monitor even supports MBR (Motion Blur Reduction), but only with a 4K 60Hz signal and Game Mode disabled (which significantly increases input lag to over 50ms), so it’s useless.

In addition to HDR10, the Samsung Odyssey G85SB also supports the HDR10+ and HDR10 Gaming+ formats, but you won’t find a lot of compatible content.

Design & Connectivity

Samsung Odyssey G8 OLED Monitor Design

The stand of the monitor is fairly sturdy, while the screen is very thin. You can adjust the height of the screen by up to 120mm, +/- 3° pivot and -2°/20° tilt or VESA mount it via the 100x100mm pattern.

Further, the screen has a moderate 1800R curvature, which improves immersion without distorting the image, and it has a glossy finish for more vivid image quality in comparison to matte coatings that add graininess.

However, the glossy finish also makes the screen more reflective and it raises blacks when hit with direct lighting, so make sure no lights are directed at the screen for optimal image quality.

Connectivity options include mini-DisplayPort 1.4, micro HDMI 2.1 with 40 Gbps, dual 5W built-in speakers, WiFi, Bluetooth, a USB-C port with DP Alt Mode and 65W Power Delivery and an additional USB-C port with 10W PD.

The monitor also supports 1080p/1440p 120Hz with VRR on the PS5 and Xbox consoles. The PS5 also supports HDR at 1440p 120Hz, while the Xbox Series/One S/X consoles can only do HDR at 4K 60Hz. Keep in mind that you’ll have black bars at the sides of the screen since consoles don’t support ultrawide formats.

Unlike the Dell AW3423DW and AW3423DWF, the Samsung Odyssey OLED G8 doesn’t have a cooling fan and its DisplayPort has DSC support, allowing for 3440×1440 175Hz with true 10-bit color depth.

With 10-bit color depth, the AW3423DW and AW3423DWF models are limited to 120Hz and 144Hz, respectively, but there’s no noticeable difference when using them at their maximum refresh rate with 8-bit color as the GPU adds 2-bit dithering anyway.

Price & Similar Monitors

The Samsung Odyssey OLED G8 goes for $1,500. Considering that the Dell AW3423DWF goes for $1,100 and offers a better warranty, we highly recommend going with Dell’s model.

In some countries, Samsung offers a 3-year warranty that does cover burn-in and costs the same as the Dell AW3423DWF – in this case, you can simply choose whichever model you personally prefer as both models offer similar image quality and performance.

There are 6 monitors that use the same QD-OLED panel, offering a similar image quality and performance. However, they still have some differences in features, warranty, connectivity options, price, HDR accuracy, etc. Here’s how they compare:

 Dell AW3423DWFDell AW3423DWMSI MEG342CMSI 341CQPSamsung OLED G8Philips Evnia 34M2C8600
Max. Refresh Rate165Hz (120Hz 10-bit)175Hz (144Hz 10-bit)175Hz 10-bit175Hz 10-bit175Hz 10-bit175Hz 10-bit
Ports2x DP 1.4,
1x HDMI 2.0,
4x USB
1x DP 1.4,
2x HDMI 2.0,
4x USB
1x DP 1.4
2x HDMI 2.1
1x USB-C (65W PD)
4x USB
1x DP 1.4
2x HDMI 2.1
1x USB-C,
2x USB
1x Mini-DP 1.4,
1x micro HDMI 2.1
1x USB-C (65W PD)
1x USB-C
1x DP 1.4,
2x HDMI 2.0,
1x USB-C (90W PD),
4x USB
Cooling fans121NoneNone1
HDR
(AMD GPUs)
GoodGoodGoodNot TestedBad*Bad**
HDR
(NVIDIA GPUs)
GoodGoodGoodNot TestedGoodBad**
PiP/PbPYesNoYesYesNoYes
Ambient Light SensorNoYesYesNoYesYes
Updatable FirmwareYesYesYesYesYesYes
Other Notable FeaturesN/AG-SYNC moduleKVM switchKVM SwitchTizen OSKVM Switch
Ambiglow RGB
Price (MSRP)$1,100$1,300$1,100$900$1,500$800
Burn-in Warranty (in the US)3 years3 years3 years3 yearsN/AN/A
*Limited to ~450-nits unless VRR is disabled
**HDR Game Mode reaches ~1000-nits but over-brightens the image, while True Black Mode is limited to ~450-nits and some scenes are too dark

The pricing and warranty can vary by region. Generally, we recommend going with the Dell AW3423DWF due to its price and warranty that covers burn-in.

Note that ASUS released a 34″ 3440×1440 240Hz ultrawide 800R curved monitor based on LG’s W-OLED panel, the ROG Swift PG34WCDM.

We’re also expecting more 34″ and 39″ W-OLED models, as well as monitors using Samsung’s third-gen 34″ 3440×1440 240Hz QD-OLED panel in 2024. Check out our OLED monitors article for more information.

Check out our best HDR monitors buyer’s guide to ensure you’re getting the best model for you!

Conclusion

Overall, the Samsung Odyssey OLED G8 is an excellent HDR gaming monitor, but it’s hard to recommend it at $1,500 and without a proper warranty.

Specifications

Screen Size34-inch
Resolution3440×1440 (UWQHD)
Panel TypeQD-OLED
Aspect Ratio21:9 (UltraWide)
Refresh Rate175Hz
Response Time0.1ms (GtG)
Speakers2x5W
Adaptive-SyncFreeSync Premium Pro (48-175Hz)
PortsMini-DisplayPort 1.4, micro-HDMI 2.1,
USB-C (DP Alt Mode, 65W PD)
Other PortsUSB-C (10W PD)
Brightness (1 – 3% White Window)1000 cd/m²
Brightness (10% White Window)450 ~ 550 cd/m²
Brightness (100% White Window)250 cd/m²
Contrast RatioInfinite
Colors1.07 billion (true 10-bit)
99.3% DCI-P3
HDRVESA DisplayHDR 400 True Black
HDR10+, HDR10+ Gaming
VESAYes (100x100mm)

The Pros:

  • Instantaneous response time, low input lag, VRR up to 175Hz
  • Infinite contrast ratio, wide color gamut, high peak brightness
  • Plenty of useful features
  • Built-in Tizen OS
  • Ergonomic design

The Cons:

  • Only 1-year warranty that doesn’t cover burn-in (in the US)
  • Expensive
  • No USB hub, mini/micro-sized display connectors
  • Limited brightness with AMD GPUs (future firmware update could fix this)
  • Text clarity issues due to the uncommon subpixel layout

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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.