Samsung has announced its first OLED gaming monitor, the 34-inch Odyssey OLED G8. It’s also one of the first gaming monitors from the company we’ve seen to include Samsung’s Gaming Hub, which allows people to stream games from services like Nvidia’s GeForce Now, Google Stadia, or Xbox Game Pass without needing a console or PC. (The feature, which also lets you stream movies from services like Amazon Prime, Netflix and the recently updated Samsung TV Plus, has been available on Samsung’s line of smart monitors, but they’re not really designed for gaming.) as an entirely reasonable display in its own right, there are a few confusing things about it, as well as some major unknowns.
Let’s put that aside for just a second, though, and look at the OLED G8’s specs: Its 3440 x 1440 panel can run at a 175Hz refresh rate, and it has a 1800R curve (which is relatively flat compared to monitors like the 1000R curved Odyssey G9 and LG’s OLED gaming monitor, the UltraGear 45GR95QE). It also supports AMD FreeSync Premium, which helps reduce stuttering or tearing while gaming by dynamically adjusting your monitor’s refresh rate to keep up with what your GPU is outputting. The monitor also comes with a height and tilt adjustable stand and has a built-in 5W stereo speaker.
In addition to its gaming and video streaming hub, the OLED G8 can also talk to and control IoT devices using Samsung’s SmartThings app. The company also says that the monitor has an improved version of its Core Lighting Plus system, which uses lights on the back of the monitor to splash your wall with colors that match what’s on your screen. As for the ports, the monitor has Micro HDMI 2.1, Mini DisplayPort 1.4 and USB-C.
Using both micro and mini variants of display connectors on such a large monitor is a bit strange, but there are a lot of things that are a bit strange about the Odyssey OLED G8. First there’s the name: I assumed this monitor would just be an OLED version of Samsung’s existing Odyssey Neo G8, but the two monitors aren’t really that similar. They have different sizes, refresh rates, resolutions, and curvature.
Stranger still is the display technology itself. Samsung has been leading the charge in quantum dot OLED, or QD-OLED, which has produced some very impressive results when put into gaming monitors like the Alienware AW3423DW. But Samsung isn’t exactly clear on whether it’s using one of its QD-OLED panels in the G8 OLED: the press release says the OLED panel is “associated with Quantum Dot technology.” The company did not immediately respond to the edgeThe request for clarification on which panel the monitor is using. Since Samsung is showing off the screen at the IFA tech show, we’re hoping to see it in person and maybe more information to boot.
Depending on the price, it could be a more than decent monitor. Samsung hasn’t released any details about it yet, but we should find out relatively soon: the company says it will be “available globally from Q4 2022”. Some of its features, like the improved lighting system and Gaming Hub, seem likely to make their way into the company’s 2023 gaming monitor lineup, so if this OLED G8 isn’t exactly what you’re looking for, it might worth waiting to see what else Samsung has in the works.