Review: The Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 gaming monitor is a behemoth in performance, size and cost

The Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 gaming monitor
It's going to set you back over $3000 if you want one, but can that cost be justified? Photo credit: Supplied / Samsung

I'm not renowned for my perfect timing.

During the first COVID-19 lockdown I spent way more money than I should have on a 38-inch curved widescreen monitor so my home office would be as good as possible.

Just weeks later I was made redundant and suddenly I was left with something I didn't need any more. There was only one thing to do…

Sell it? Of course not. What kind of geek would I be if I did that. No, I did the only thing that was reasonable in such circumstances - I bought a gaming PC so it would be useful.

I don't regret that for a second, of course. My LG monitor is an absolute beauty and it has pride of place still in my office.

However when Samsung asked if I wanted to test out their new 49-inch Odyssey Neo G9 gaming monitor, there was simply no chance I was turning it down.

I've been using the Odyssey Neo G9 for a couple of weeks now and here are my thoughts.

The good

There's only one place to start with the G9 and that's to say it is, without a shadow of a doubt, the best monitor it's ever been my privilege to use.

I tried one of Samsung's other monitors last year and I was seriously underwhelmed - the functionality didn't match the promise. This is not the case here.

The massive curve on the 49-inch screen is just beautiful. It's so pronounced that even without playing a game you feel you're being enveloped by it.

The Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 gaming monitor
Photo credit: Supplied / Samsung

There really was only one choice for me to test this out as best I knew how - and that was with Microsoft's Flight Simulator. And it nearly blew my mind.

I love to do a couple of things when I'm playing to relax - the first is buzzing my house just for a bit of fun. God knows how many times I've crashed into my back garden. The second is flying around Scotland picking out my favourite spots.

Given the pandemic it's the closest I'm going to get to Ibrox Stadium in Glasgow for a while yet, so it fills my heart being able to feel that close to home.

With earphones on it was an experience that I couldn't wait to repeat. The world looked amazing, while the size, 32:9 aspect ratio and curve of the screen tricked my brain into thinking I was actually flying.

That's aided by the quantum Mini LEDs which provide a staggering maximum brightness of 2,000 nits and a depth of colour and clarity which ensured a digital world never looked as realistic as this one did. 

The same mini LED technology is used in the company's top-end televisions, so that gives you an idea of the overall quality you can expect from the monitor.

It also has a maximum refresh rate of 240Hz, which is going to give a sense of smoothness and fluidity with any compatible games that is breathtaking - providing you connect via the Display Port.

Combined with a 1ms response and refresh time, that could be the difference between winning and losing for competitive gamers.

It's also G-Sync and AMD FreeSync Premium Pro compatible but I suspect that means as little to most of you as it does me. 

Once set up, it's very tidy. All inputs and cords are hidden away by removable panels on the back so you can keep what's left of your desk clear.

As well as the Display Port, there are two HDMI 2.1 inputs, two USB-A inputs, a single USB-B input and a 3.5mm headphone jack for your necessary headphones, which should be enough for most people.

It also has additional functionality to aid gamers - including the ability to add virtual crosshairs for First Player Shooting (FPS) games and a black stabiliser that increases the gamma to make opponents in shadows more visible.

As amazing as the gaming experience was - and it was - I actually spent the majority of my time using the monitor for working, a factor of largely being stuck at home at the moment.

Given it's built for gaming, you might think working on it might not be ideal, but I loved the freedom the maximum 5120x1440 resolution offered.

The Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 gaming monitor
Photo credit: Supplied / Samsung

Being able to split the screen up into different zones - a browser window here, a writing window there, a Slack window over there - was transformational and enabled me to work quicker and faster than normal.

It also does picture-by-picture functionality, allowing screens from two different inputs to be displayed side-by-side at their native resolution as well as picture in picture so you can view your chat window as you game.

I've just realised this means I could have plugged in a gaming console and had that running alongside my work. It would have meant never having to get out of my chair. Damn, I wish I'd thought of that sooner. I'm guessing my boss is glad I didn't.

I am going to be sorry when I box this up tomorrow and send it back to Samsung and return to my previous ways of working. Working and gaming life is just not going to be the same.

The bad

It won't come as much of a surprise, but a 49-inch monitor isn't exactly subtle.

I've got a large desk and I am used to having screens on either side of my current monitor so I can keep an eye on different things during the day.

It's nearly impossible to do that here, with both my iPad and laptop hanging over the edge of the desk so their screens can be seen properly.

It's also heavy, coming in at over 14kgs with its stand. It's a big stand too, the legs pushing the screen itself over half way across my desk meaning it's right in my face all the time.

That does give it a sense of engagement you won't get from other monitors, but it can also feel a little too much at times.

The Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 gaming monitor
Photo credit: Supplied / Samsung

I think the only real option for a monitor this size is to wall mount it at a height that allows you to use your desk as you want. It should definitely be a consideration when thinking about buying one.

I was also a little disappointed there were no speakers on the monitor. Thinking about it logically, it makes sense. Serious gamers also have serious headsets or speakers which offer much better sounds than any monitor would.

While gaming it wasn't an issue for me, with comfy over-the-ear padded headphones ensuring I didn't miss any of the action. But when using it for work, it became a pain as it meant either wearing headphones all day or missing notifications.

Finally, with that resolution of 5120x1440 pixels and a maximum refresh rate of 240Hz, you're going to need a PC with some grunt to get anywhere near the best out of it.

To be fair to Samsung, none of these negatives are likely to apply to those who are able to spend more than the $3000 you'll need to get this monitor.

If that's something you're considering you either have the money to spare, or your gaming is important enough to consider it an investment for the future.

It's only when viewed through my worker lens does it suddenly seem a touch extreme.

The Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 gaming monitor
Photo credit: Supplied / Samsung

The verdict

Samsung's Odyssey Neo G9 is an absolute behemoth, in size, weight and performance.

Of course, with a price tag of somewhere between $3050 and $3300 depending on where you buy it from, that should be a given.

Make no mistake, this isn't a device for those who want a nice option for their home office - the intended market for the G9 are those who take their gaming very seriously indeed.

I used to be that person, but as I've aged and my eyesight and reaction speeds have diminished then I tend to stick to flying around familiar landmarks without online abuse or being killed every two seconds.

No, this monitor isn't for me. But I will have regrets every time I fly a plane over the Forth Bridge in Edinburgh on my gaming PC from now one because my 38-inch LG just doesn't cut it in comparison.

I've been spoiled by being able to play with it for a couple of weeks. If you can afford it, you can spoil yourself. Otherwise, get used to just feeling jealous.

Newshub was supplied with a Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 49-inch monitor for this review.