Samsung CHG90 Ultrawide Gaming Monitor Overview

"Samsung's 49-inch monitor is one of the best gaming displays we've ever used."

  • A godless amount of screen real estate

  • The high refresh rate is perfect for fast games

  • The colors are accurate and vivid

  • Excellent contrast ratio

  • 3840 x 1080 screen could be sharper

  • Under 300 nits

  • No USB-C

Nobody buys a curved 49-inch ultrawide monitor because they need one. No, this is about extravagance. This is about luxury. This is about hubris.

If you fancy the excessive – or maybe just a spark of curiosity about what it could be like to play on the world's widest ultrawide gaming monitor – you have to believe the 49-inch Samsung CHG90.

You may need a larger desk

Curved, ultra-wide monitors could only have been a fad, but instead they're getting bigger and more exciting. The CHG90 feels like the culmination of this development and extends to a godless width of 49 inches. It looks like something that belongs on the bridge of the Enterprise spaceship.

Samsung CHG90 Ultrawide Monitor reviewRiley Young / Digital Trends

We had set it up in the office for weeks, but every day someone stopped to gawk as he passed. Who can blame them? It took up almost the entire width of a desk. The base is also large, dominates the surface and leaves little space for a keyboard, mouse or laptop.

What is the advantage of its size? You can open multiple browser windows or applications side by side in full screen mode. The experience with the CHG90 is no different than with a 27-inch dual monitor setup – only without the divider in between.

However, the CHG90 isn't just about productivity, even if it's great. This thing is a proven gaming monitor. As we have learned, such a large screen offers great advantages in games. When you sit in the middle of the monitor curve, your field of view is closer to that of the natural human eye. It is not a virtual reality, but it is the next best. It looks beautiful and can give you a competitive edge as you see an enemy sneaking up next to you in Fortnite or get a wider view from your sniper's nest in Battlefield V.

Samsung CHG90 Ultrawide Monitor review

Samsung CHG90 Ultrawide Monitor review

Samsung CHG90 Ultrawide Monitor review

Samsung CHG90 Ultrawide Monitor review
Riley Young / Digital Trends

The 1800R curve corresponds to what you find in monitors like the BenQ EX3501R. It offers exactly the right viewing angles when you sit exactly in the middle of the monitor and looks almost futuristic from behind.

The base, stand, and case are all made of plastic, but it's durable enough to keep the 26 pound pixels from falling off. While you don't have to pan and tilt a lot given the size of this monitor, Samsung still offers a reasonable amount of height, pan, and tilt adjustment. A comfortable viewing angle is easy to find.

Missing in USB-C

The ports under the display are a bit difficult to reach, but they make your desk look clean. The ports include USB-A, DisplayPort, Mini-DisplayPort and HDMI. Unfortunately USB-C is not available. Newer monitors such as the Dell UltraSharp 4K 32 offer a simpler single cable that can be used to power a laptop and at the same time expand the laptop's screen onto the monitor.

Samsung CHG90 Ultrawide Monitor reviewRiley Young / Digital Trends

The menu system is now somewhat confusing. The three physical buttons provide quick access to some game profiles where features like FreeSync, response time and black levels can be automatically adjusted. With a joystick on the right you have access to sharpness, contrast, brightness and volume. The options aren't as extensive as the BenQ EX3501R, but the basics are covered.

While we prefer intuitive menus, Samsung at least offered quick access to the brightness by pressing up or down and the volume by pressing left or right. Don't forget which one is which – they are not clearly labeled.

Image quality before calibration

The CHG90 could have been a gimmick. Fortunately, it has a panel worth taking over the entire desk, and we saw that in our imaging tests.

Contrast ratio, color accuracy or color gamut – the CHG90 is the leader. For game-focused monitors, it is common to see tight color scales or color accuracy in favor of large, lively features that businesses can easily market. Instead, Samsung delivers the goods in image quality. Everything it shows looks sensational.

However, it is not the brightest monitor in the world and reaches a maximum of 286 nits. Monitors like the BenQ EX3501R or the HP Z38c do a little better in this area.

After calibrating the screen, we did not notice any significant change in the image quality.

There is a long list of technologies that can be packed into a monitor. 4K? HDR? 144Hz refresh rate? G-Sync? These are all important functions that can affect the feel of the game. The CHG90 offers three out of five: a refresh rate of 144 Hz, support for HDR and a response time of one millisecond.

It all works to make games look incredible. Battlefield 1, which supports HDR, was a special highlight and offered an impressive sense of depth and contrast, making the game resemble a 3D image. While HDR is still an ugly affair on Windows 10, certain games benefit enormously from it.

The resolution is the only weakness of the monitor. It offers 3,840 x 1,080 pixels, which, when spread across this 49-inch monster, has the same pixel density that you would find on a 27-inch 1080p screen. Individual pixels are noticeable if you look closely. This can affect the overall beauty of the monitor. You'll notice it most in games with high-contrast graphics or in games that don't have great anti-aliasing options built in.

Samsung CHG90 Ultrawide Monitor reviewRiley Young / Digital Trends

It should also be noted that G-Sync is not available on this monitor. It's a feature designed to prevent screen tears on Nvidia graphics cards, but it often increases the price of a gaming monitor by hundreds of dollars. Since many players are willing to pay the additional price, we would like Samsung to offer a G-Sync option. As of now, only AMD cards benefit from the FreeSync support this monitor offers, and AMD graphics cards are far less popular with PC gamers.

Recalibration

Samsung immediately delivered a solid screen that should please those who are looking for precise color accuracy. After calibrating the screen, we did not notice any significant change in the image quality. The contrast increased slightly, as did the color accuracy, but the changes were relatively minor

This is in contrast to displays such as the LG Ultrafine 5K or the Dell Ultrasharp UP3218K, where the color accuracy has increased significantly after calibration.

Our opinion

A thousand dollars is a lot of money for a monitor, but given the other monitors that are sold for about the same price as the HP Z38c or LG 38UC99-W, the 49-inch laptop from Samsung seems to be a good deal. It is one of the most impressive monitors we have ever used.

Is there a better alternative?

Not yet. Samsung's 49-inch monitor is as big as they come, and how well they did it could be the king of the hill for some time. There are some great 38-inch monitors out there, though the additional 11-inches put this in a completely different category.

Dell recently launched a similar 49-inch monitor with a better resolution of 1440p, but it is $ 600 more expensive and is not a gaming monitor. It is also currently unavailable.

How long it will take?

This 49-inch monitor can sit on your desk for many years. It is well built and ahead of its size in terms of size. The monitor comes with a parts and labor warranty that lasts three years and is standard on expensive monitors.

Should you buy it

Yes. If you're ready to put a grand on a monitor, why not make it big?

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