Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 Monitor Lightning Review: Still great, still ridiculous, still gorgeous

The Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 has been out for almost six months at the time of publication, but there’s no doubt that it’s still a gaming monitor worth talking about, whether it’s about its overall resolution, ridiculous curves on its, or its massive physical girth.

Now that the monitor is in our lab, let me walk you through its size, features, and visual offerings.

What is that?

In many ways, the Neo G9 is virtually a carbon copy of the original Odyssey G9, save for a few obvious tweaks and improvements. It still has the same 1000R curvature, 21:9 aspect ratio with 5120 x 1440 resolution, as well as the same ultra-high 240Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time. Oh, and it’s also an NVIDIA G-SYNC compatible monitor, which means you can take full advantage of Team Green’s anti-screen tearing technology.

What’s different with the Neo G9 is that Samsung has increased the HDR brightness level from 1000 nits to 2000 nits, made possible through the use of Samsung’s Quantum Mini LED display technology. It also makes it one of the brightest desktop displays I’ve ever tested, as well as being the widest.

Finally, and on another aesthetic note, the back surrounding the Neo G9’s knuckle retains the same CoreSync LED technology, allowing customization to suit your color palette and gaming system.

Is he good?

At 5120 x 1440 resolution, the Neo G9’s pixel density is just narrow enough that icons and words seen on the panel are crisp enough to identify or read.

But let’s talk about something the Neo G9 is designed for: gaming. Playing at a 21:9 aspect ratio obviously means that a lot of scenes that you don’t normally see in the corner where your eyes are are now visible and can prove beneficial to your gaming experience. At least, to varying degrees various. For example, first-person shooter titles like Cyberpunk 2077 and Far Cry 6, or even action RPG titles like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt benefit greatly from the extra screen real estate. Plus, the 1000R curvature is a godsend, especially if you’re down for deeper immersion.

Combine that with the HDR2000 feature and you’ve also got a screen that can produce deeper, darker blacks, while other colors in the palette look brighter and pop. Almost to the point that they would punch you in the face if possible.

From a productivity standpoint, the oversized monitor also means I can open a total of three browser windows, allowing me to view the most important documents and articles and reducing the time I usually spend switching between different tabs and windows.

The bad things. Tell me.

Due to its size, the Neo G9 is also terribly heavy. Even on its own, taking it out of its box and setting it on the table makes me feel like I’ve accomplished a task of herculean proportions.

As for the mini LED panel of the screen, it is far from perfect and has some flaws. For example, there are glare points that can be seen, both from the edges and from the middle of the screen. The good news though, if you could call it that, is that this edge bleed is only noticeable when watching or looking at something with a dark background or having black areas.

Of course, there’s also the matter of the viewing angle for the Neo G9. Due to his enormous waistline, you will somehow be forced to turn your head to the far left or right, in order to see any documents or items you have hung from two sides, or anything in-game counter that is not optimized for ultrawide display and is stretched all the way to the edge. That, and the fact that some titles come from the warp effect, where the depth perception of certain elements (e.g. guns being held in first person shooters) are noticeably pulled and seem much more stretched than they should be.

Another disadvantage of the Neo G9 is its price. At RM7999, the ultrawide monitor costs almost as much as an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti or RTX 3090, or a modestly specced desktop gaming PC.

Should I buy it?

At RM7999, recommending the Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 will take some convincing, especially since it’s not your standard or average gaming desktop monitor. Incidentally, it’s also one of the most expensive gaming monitors out there, but that said, you’re paying for all that extra space and features.

However, if you’re willing to look beyond those proverbial paint spots and are in the market for a curved monitor, then I can confidently say that the Neo G9 could very well meet both your gaming and productivity needs.

Photograph by John Law.

Robert M. Larson