Samsung S49AG95/Odyssey Neo G9 Review: 5120×1440 240Hz 1ms FreeSync HDR Curved Gaming Monitor

The Samsung S49AG95 is a 49" 5120x1440 1ms super-ultrawide curved gaming monitor with FreeSync Premium Pro and a 2048-zone FALD mini LED backlight.

Bottom Line

The Samsung S49AG95 Odyssey Neo G9 delivers an amazing SDR and HDR gaming experience thanks to its high resolution, high refresh rate, VRR, fast response time, and 2048-zone mini LED FALD.

Currently, there are some firmware or driver-related issues affecting some units when it comes to HDR performance in some games, but once those are sorted out, the Neo G9 will undoubtedly be the best LED-backlit gaming monitor available as long as you’re a fan of the 32:9 format. We’ll keep updating the article as new firmware/driver updates become available.

Design:
(5.0)
Display:
(4.9)
Performance:
(4.8)
Price/Value:
(4.0)
4.7

The Samsung S49AG95 Odyssey Neo G9 (sometimes also referred to as Samsung G95NA) is the anticipated upgraded version of the popular Samsung Odyssey G9.

It maintains the same 49″ 5120×1440 240Hz 1ms VA key specifications, but replaces the underwhelming 10-zone local dimming system with an impeccable mini LED 2048-zone FALD solution for a drastic improvement in HDR image quality.

Image Quality

Unlike the original Odyssey G9, the Neo G9 is based on a VA panel developed by CSOT as Samsung stopped manufacturing/developing panels for LED LCDs.

However, the native performance of the panel is very similar.

You get a static contrast ratio of 2,500:1, a peak brightness of 420-nits, dithered 10-bit color depth support, 95% DCI-P3 gamut coverage, 178° wide viewing angles, and a rapid 1ms GtG pixel response time speed.

What makes the Neo G9 exceptional is its mini LED backlight which allows for the stellar 2000-nit peak brightness and 2048 individually dimmable zones – these zones can dim parts of the screen that need to be dark without affecting the image parts that should remain bright, thus effectively boosting the contrast ratio.

As a result, you get incredibly bright highlights as well as deep and inky blacks, while the wide 95% DCI-P3 gamut ensures vibrant colors.

An sRGB emulation mode is also available with adjustable brightness (but other settings are locked). Just how accurate this mode is will vary across different units though.

Of course, FALD (full-array local dimming) is not perfect. When there’s a tiny bright object in the dark, some light can bleed into the surrounding dimmed zones, creating a halo/bloom effect.

Related:What Is FALD Blooming Or Halo Effect?

Because the Samsung S49AG95 has a high native contrast ratio and over 2000 dimming zones, the blooming is only visible in really demanding scenes (stars in space, night sky, etc.), so it’s tolerable or even negligible.

In fact, the blooming is a lot less noticeable than it’s on the more expensive ASUS PG32UQX which uses an IPS panel with a lower native contrast ratio and fewer 1152 mini LED dimming zones.

As far as LED-backlit monitors go, the Samsung Neo G9 offers the best HDR viewing experience with the least amount of blooming.

You can use local dimming with both HDR and SDR content.

There is an issue, however, regarding its HDR performance. There are two HDR modes: Dynamic and Standard.

The Dynamic HDR mode allows the monitor to reach its specified 2,000-nit peak brightness for short periods of time for punchy highlights, but some colors are off.

In the Standard HDR mode, colors are on point, but the peak brightness maxes out at ~1,300-nits. This still delivers an outstanding HDR viewing experience, but the brightness is below the specified maximum.

This appears to be an issue that will likely be solved via a firmware update to either fix the maximum brightness in the Standard HDR mode or colors in the Dynamic HDR mode (or both). We’ll update the article once (or if) there’s a fix.

Some users also experience issues with HDR in some games when using NVIDIA graphics cards. Hopefully, a firmware update or new NVIDIA graphics drivers will address this as well.

Performance

The Samsung S49AG95 has a screen resolution of 5120×1440, which when displayed on its 48.8″ screen results in a high pixel density of 108 PPI (pixels per inch).

This means that you get plenty of screen real estate as well as sharp details and text, without the need to use any scaling.

It’s essentially equivalent to two 27″ 2560×1440 put side by side, just without the bezels in-between them.

Keep in mind that such high resolution is quite demanding to drive (though still not as demanding as 4K UHD), so you will need a high-end PC rig to take full advantage of the monitor.

You should also make sure that your favorite games support the 32:9 super-ultrawide aspect ratio (either natively or via mods and other fixes). Otherwise, unsupported games will have black bars at the sides of the screen.

The Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 monitor has a rapid 1ms GtG response time speed and three overdrive modes (Standard, Faster and Extreme).

However, when you enable VRR (variable refresh rate), the overdrive settings disappear as you get a single mode that efficiently prevents ghosting without adding overshoot across the entire refresh rate range.

Another good news is that at 240Hz, the Neo G9 has noticeably less overshoot than the old Odyssey G9.

VRR is supported with a 96-240Hz range and it has both NVIDIA’s G-SYNC Compatible (though not yet officially listed on NVIDIA’s website) and AMD’s FreeSync Premium Pro certifications for smooth tear-free gameplay up to 240FPS.

Below 96FPS, LFC (Low Framerate Compensation) is triggered and adjusts the refresh rate to multiples of the frame rate (95FPS -> 190Hz, 80FPS -> 240Hz, etc.). This way, each frame is refreshed multiple times, which is invisible to the viewer, but since all frames are whole and synchronized, you won’t get any tearing.

If you set the Samsung S49AG95 to 120Hz, the VRR range is 48-120Hz.

Some VRR brightness flickering can be observed with FPS fluctuations on some units of the monitor, but you can use the ‘VRR Control’ option in the OSD menu to prevent this.

Input lag, that is, the delay between your actions and the result on the screen, is imperceptible at just ~2ms.

Features

The OSD (On-Screen Display) menu can be accessed and easily navigated via the directional joystick placed beneath the bottom bezel of the screen.

Useful gaming features include Black Equalizer (improves visibility in dark scenes), Virtual Aim Point (crosshair overlays) and various pre-calibrated picture presets (FPS, RTS, RPG, AOS, sRGB, Cinema, High Brightness and Custom).

You’ll also find plenty of image adjustment tools besides the basic ones (brightness, contrast, color temperature, etc.), including sharpness, gamma, and saturation.

Picture in Picture and Picture by Picture modes are supported as well, but you are limited to 120Hz and cannot use HDR, local dimming or VRR.

The backlight of the Samsung S49AG950 is flicker-free and there’s a low-blue light filter (Eye Saver Mode).

Further, at the rear of the monitor, there’s the CoreSync RGB lighting that can be synchronized with on-screen content.

Design & Connectivity

Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 Monitor Design

The stand of the Samsung S49AG95 monitor is robust and offers height adjustment up to 120mm, tilt by -5°/15°, swivel by +/-15°, and 100x100mm VESA mount compatibility.

The screen has a matte anti-glare coating that eliminates reflections and a steep 1000R curvature for added immersion.

Connectivity options include DisplayPort 1.4 with DSC, two HDMI 2.1 ports, a headphone jack and a dual-USB 3.0 hub.

Keep in mind that the HDMI 2.1 ports of the monitor don’t support DSC, so you are limited to 144Hz at 5120×1440. On the old Samsung Odyssey G9, the HDMI 2.0 ports maxed out at 60Hz at 5120×1440.

Variable refresh rate is supported over both DisplayPort (96-240Hz) and HDMI (48-144Hz).

Price & Similar Monitors

The Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 price amounts to $2,500 which is reasonable considering its 2048-zone FALD mini LED backlight.

The ASUS PG32UQX, which only has an 1152-zone FALD mini LED backlight, goes for $3,000 yet it’s based on a slower IPS panel. So, between the two, we definitely recommend the Neo G9.

Another option worth considering is the LG OLED48CX TV. It offers an infinite contrast ratio and no backlight bleeding, but it doesn’t get as bright and you have to be careful regarding burn-in. For a lot of users, a 48″ 16:9 display is also too big for regular desktop use, so you might want to wait for a 42″ OLED variant (though we don’t know when such model will be available).

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

Conclusion

Overall, the Samsung S49AG95 offers an incredible gaming experience thanks to its giant 49″ curved screen with high resolution, high refresh rate and fast response time.

HDR content is breath-taking (when it works as intended) as the 2048-zone mini LED FALD solution allows for stellar brightness and high contrast ratio with minimal blooming or other visual artifacts.

There are some issues with HDR performance, all of which should be fixable with firmware/driver updates. These issues also seem to only affect some units of the Neo G9, so your particular model might work perfectly fine.

Either way, we’ll keep track of these issues and potential fixes and update the review once something comes up.

Specifications

Screen Size48.8-inch
Screen Curvature1000R
Resolution5120×1440 (DQHD)
Panel TypeVA
Aspect Ratio32:9 (Super-UltraWide)
Refresh Rate240Hz
Response Time1ms (GtG)
Adaptive-SyncFreeSync Premium Pro (96-240Hz)
PortsDisplayPort 1.4, 2x HDMI 2.1
Other PortsHeadphone Jack, 2x USB 3.0
Brightness420 cd/m²
Brightness (HDR)2000 cd/m²
Contrast Ratio2500:1 (static)
Colors1.07 billion (8-bit + FRC)
95% DCI-P3
HDRQuantum HDR2000
BacklightMini LED, 2048-zone FALD
VESAYes (100x100mm)

The Pros:

  • 2048-zone mini LED FALD offers exceptional contrast ratio with minimal blooming
  • High 2000-nit peak brightness
  • Wide color gamut, high pixel density
  • Plenty of features including VRR up to 240Hz
  • Rapid 1ms GtG response time speed
  • Ergonomic stand

The Cons:

  • Some firmware/driver-related issues with HDR
  • Expensive

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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.