It was December 2020, the end of a year when a lot of us spent most of it working from home, and I was looking for creative ways to check tech that could improve my way of work. So I reached out to Samsung Switzerland to ask if it would be possible to test their Odyssey G9 49″ ultra wide monitor for a review, and some weeks later they came back to me with a review unit! Yeah!
The main specs
As you can imagine a monitor of this size comes in a big box, a very big box, but although its size, the unboxing and setup was quite straight forward, something quite appreciated on a screen of this size. This is one of the latest ultra wide monitors from Samsung. In the specs’ arena you can find:
- 1000R curvature
- 1Ms fast response
- 240Hz Max Refresh rate
- Samsung QLED display technology
- Native Resolution 5,120 x 1,440
- Peak Brightness (Typical) 1000cd/m2
You can read more specs details on the Samsung website here.
Testing it for productivity
I was not looking to test the Odyssey G9 for gaming (sorry gamers), as I barely game, but I was intrigued about the experience of working with this monitor instead of with the two separate screens in my current setup. I never had the experience of using a curved monitor, and this 49″ beast was one of the units that seemed to stand out from the crowd in 2020.
So, how is it to work with a 49″ ultra wide screen? Well, personally I got used to it quite fast, one of the things that I enjoyed the most was the immersiveness experience of it. My standard setup is a composed by a 34″ LG Ultra wide screen and an Acer 27″ screen side by side which allows me to use two different computers at the same time. The immediate benefit I noticed when I plugged the Samsung G9 was how easy I was able to reach to both extremes of the content on the display (left or right). The general experience was that I felt content was more accessible to me.
Several friends were aware that I was testing this unit, and were intrigued about how it was to work with a curved monitor. I thought it would take more time to get used to it, but it didn’t. With the 49″ screen I was benefiting from almost the exact physical size compared to my existing setup, but with a better resolution overall. As expected a single 49″ inches screen looks way better on a desk than two different screens which also have different designs. Samsung did a great job to make sure the screen looks good on your desk.
Working with two computers with this monitor its sort of meh, the reason is that while the monitor offers to have input from more than one source, it creates a strange split between the two wasting space in the center showing a black bar, so was not very useful to be honest.
A friend also wanted to check this monitor out, so he brought his 13″ MacBook Pro (I think his model is from 2018), but unfortunately the laptop didn’t have a dedicated graphics card so it was unable to pull the native resolution and everything looked quite blurry.
On the below images you will be able to have a sense of the unboxing experience and how this screen compared to my existing setup:
I was quite surprised to notice that as one of the latest Samsung monitors it did not have a Thunderbolt 3 or USB Type C (or USB 4 if you prefer that name) connector. This would irritate more than one Apple user, but it can easily be sorted out with a DP to Thunderbolt cable.
You won’t be able to find any real hub either as you can usually find with big screens like these. Other brands are adding Ethernet, additional USB 3/ Thunderbolt ports, card readers and so on, but Samsung didn’t focus on this with this model, maybe on the next one.
Unfortunately some units of this model apparently suffer from some issues. After a couple of days using it, I started hearing a noticeable audible (and annoying) crackling sounds, it felt as coming from the embedded speakers in the monitor, but even after muting the speakers I was not able to stop it. I did a quick search online and found others having the same problem but without being able to find a solution. For a monitor that costs USD 1400 (in Switzerland) (USD 1200 in the US as of today) I would expect these problems to not exist, I guess they should be covered by warranty if you would purchase the unit.
The Odyssey G9 is a very nice monitor, which gives you great screen real estate to work and do plenty of gaming which should be super smooth with the offered 240Hz refresh rate. If Samsung fixes the crackling sounds and adds USB 4 connectivity in future models with power through technology to charge your laptop, it could easily become the preferred screen for many.
I would like to thank Samsung Switzerland for sending me this monitor for some days, so I could review it. It would be great to test the future enhanced models of this unit, which I will write about on this same blog if Samsung sends me another unit to review.