Samsung CHG90 49″ 32:9 Gaming Monitor Review
Update 04/07/18: This article initially mentioned that the Samsung CHG90 was priced at Php69,999. We have since updated it to the correct SRP of Php70,560.
We’ve taken a look at a few awesome gaming monitors over the years, but nothing like this one from Samsung. If you haven’t already heard about it, this is the CHG90, a 49-inch curved monitor with an aspect ratio of 32:9. If that isn’t enough for you, it also has a refresh rate of 144Hz, 1ms response time, and support for FreeSync, ensuring smooth gameplay. Additionally, it uses Samsung’s QLED Quantum Dot technology and supports the HDR10 standard.
Before we dive into this review, we pose the question – is it actually a worthy consideration for those with the budget, or is it just dank? Let’s find out.
Design and Construction
After taking it out of the box, a process that is easier said than done and will absolutely require two people, you marvel at its sheer width. You will need a large desk to accommodate a monitor of this size, and we actually had to move the gaming rig down over to the floor.
The main display looks pretty sleek, with slim bezels overall, though the bottom one is slightly thicker, which is understandable. There aren’t any buttons visible in front, with only status LEDs gracing the bottom bezel. It’s an 1800R curved panel, which we found to be a good amount of curvature given the size.
Height, tilt, and swivel can be adjusted a little bit, though prospective users will likely only do minimal tweaks. The base is very sturdy but adds a lot of depth to the whole package. This, of course, means that your desk doesn’t only need to be wide enough, but deep enough to accommodate the monitor plus your keyboard, mouse, and other things you have on the Z-axis.
The arm has a few nice cable features, including a removable cover that can keep the cables out of sight, as well as a double-sided plastic hook for easier routing.
There is also a pop-out headphone hanger at the back, which we thought would be pretty useless and inconvenient. Not to mention that this will also add to the depth of the entire setup.
Moving on to I/O, we have a full-size DisplayPort 1.3, mini-DisplayPort 1.3, and two HDMI 2.0 ports for video inputs. All of these have HDR support. Then, there are headphone and microphone ports, a USB 3.0 hub (supports fast charging), and of course the AC power input.
This set of ports is standard for a monitor and provides users with all they essentially need. That being said, we would have been more impressed if there was a Thunderbolt 3 USB-C port. There is also an included cover to make overall appearance cleaner, as well as aid with cable management.
As for controls, the CHG90 opts for bottom placement, which we find to be better than rear placement.
There is a joystick for power on/off and menu navigation, which is very convenient to use as it is paired with an intuitive menu system. Beside it are three buttons that you can assign presets to.
The CHG90 is certainly a beast not just in terms of its size, but also because of its overall construction. Take good care of it and you can get many, many years of use.
Usage and Performance
The CHG90 uses a 49-inch diagonal curved VA panel with a resolution of 3840 x 1080, refresh rate of 144Hz, and response time of 1ms. We found that the use of QLED technology helped a little bit in terms of brightness and color, but we think 1080p isn’t a sufficient resolution when it comes to overall clarity. It’s not super pixelated or anything, but 1440p would have been better suited to a monitor of this size. I digress though, as I’m well aware that this would have made the price skyrocket. The CHG90 is also marketed as a gaming monitor, and resolution isn’t the defining factor of such a product.
First off, you can see above what a 32:9 desktop looks like. We outfitted ours with a 32:9 wallpaper to make it look more presentable.
When you see a monitor as wide as this, the first thing that comes to mind is multitasking, which we tested out. The experience of putting two windows side-by-side is pretty much like having dual 27-inch monitors.
We were even able to put four windows side-by-side and everything still fit very comfortably. The only problem, if you would call it a problem, is that using this monitor will make you turn your head a lot, as there is just so much left in your peripheral vision.
A lot of hardcore or professional video editors use a dual or even triple monitor setup, and we can say that is still the way to go despite the existence of a 32:9 monitor. The only foreseeable benefit is that you’re getting is a longer timeline.
As for browsing the web, you will be certainly required to put a couple of windows side by side for a comfortable experience, as most websites don’t know what to do with a 32:9 aspect ratio and don’t scale at all.
Watching movies is okay, as long as you don’t have a problem with black bars on the side. Even movies with the 2.39:1 anamorphic aspect ratio will have black bars.
Moving on to gaming, your mileage will definitely vary with this. There are certainly games that will natively run 32:9, but others may just zoom in, or even stretch the image. If it works out well, the extra horizontal screen real estate may even give you an advantage in some games.
Gaming performance was silky smooth since this monitor also has a refresh rate of 144Hz, 1ms response time, and support for FreeSync (if you have an AMD graphics card).
For the game streamers out there, this is oddly a very good choice. Some streamers have one monitor for playing the game and have their streaming software and Twitch chat on a second monitor.
We utilized the entire monitor for all three of these things, having the game running at a 16:9 aspect ratio in the middle, OBS on the right, and our Facebook Live stream on the opposite side.
For creative work, color and contrast are very decent, as the display is factory-calibrated and has over 100% coverage of the sRGB color space.
Viewing angles and brightness are also good, and we didn’t have any problems with screen glare.
To answer the question I posed in the introduction of this review, it’s both; the Samsung CHG90 gives the user a lot of possibilities and is definitely a capable gaming monitor, but it’s also quite dank, though not in a bad way.
Dual monitors are still definitely in, and you can still get a lot of multitasking capability from a 21:9 Ultrawide display, but if you’re crazy enough to go for a 32:9 monitor? Well, Samsung has just the display for you.
Aside from the unique aspect ratio, it has a great design that is both aesthetically pleasing and functional, solid construction, nice display quality, and is silky smooth for gaming.
The Samsung CHG90 has an SRP of Php70,560.
Samsung CHG90 specs:
49-inch Full HD (3840 x 1080) QLED VA panel
1ms response time
144Hz refresh rate
350cs/m2 max brightness
3000:1 max contrast ratio
178° viewing angle
125% sRGB, 92% Adobe RGB
5~120 mm height adjust
2x HDMI 2.0
USB 3.0 hub w/ fast charging
Headphone & microphone ports
1202.944 x 525.526 x 381.508 (with stand)
15.01kg (with stand)