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AOC AGON AG352UCG review: Now replaced by the AOC AG352UCG6 Black Edition

Christopher Minasians
3 Dec 2019
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
720
inc VAT

With a fantastic build quality and a 1440p resolution, this gaming monitor is ideal for casual gamers; now replaced by the AG352UCG6

Pros 
Excellent contrast ratio
Good build quality
Impressive screen uniformity
Cons 
Subdued colours
Expensive
Inverse ghosting on Strong Overdrive
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Update: Back in the summer of 2017, I reviewed the AOC AGON AG352UCG, which you'll find below. Since its release, the monitor has been replaced by the newer and much-improved AOC AGON AG352UCG6 Black Edition. The new revision brings an all-black design, 120Hz, perceivably better colour reproduction and is now better equipped for competitive gamers.

Continue on reading my review of the older variant and at the very bottom of this article, you'll find a detailed comparison between the two models.

AOC AGON AG352UCG review

Following on from my review of the AOC AGON AG352QCX, I was intrigued to see how the Taiwanese manufacturer could push the limits of its MVA panel technology. The AG352UCG is a 35in curved monitor that utilises this technology to push an impressive 1,440p resolution at 100Hz.

READ NEXT: AOC AGON AG352QCX review: A curved monitor made for competitive gamers

AOC AGON AG352UCG review: What you need to know

There’s much to like about the AG352UCG: it’s well built, has an excellent contrast ratio and has an impressive screen uniformity for a screen of its size. Granted, it's not the fastest panel you can buy, nor one with the most tantalising colour accuracy, but its ultrawide aspect ratio and 1440p resolution offer an immersive gaming experience for casual gamers that standard monitors can’t match.

With Nvidia G-Sync built in, the AG352UCG also provides Nvidia graphics card owners tear-free gaming. It’s an expensive monitor, at £720, but you’re getting a lot for your money.

AOC AGON AG352UCG review: Price and competition

The price of £720 might seem like a lot of money ($900 in the US) for any monitor, but its direct competitors are nearer the £950 mark. This means the AOC is actually pretty good value. There are three other monitors available that offer similar specifications: the Acer X34A at £915, Acer XR341CK at £1,050 and the ASUS PG348Q at £990.

The Samsung CF791 is closer in price to the AOC, costing £729, but that comes with AMD FreeSync rather than Nvidia G-Sync.

READ NEXT: Best monitors

AOC AGON AG352UCG review: Design, features and build quality

The monitor is good to look at. It comes in a silver and black colour scheme that lends it an understated, classy appearance and, if you prefer your gaming monitors a bit more garish, a selection of LED strips at the rear can be used to add a pool of red, green or blue light to your desk.

Despite its size, there’s a fair degree of positional flexibility on offer. The monitor can be tilted in the range of -5.5 to 29 degrees and swivelled from -30 to 30 degrees, making it easy to move around and adjust on any desk. Plus, if you want to use your own choice of stand you can attach a 100 x 100mm VESA mount.

There’s a handle at the top of the stand that allows you to carry it around (although given how big and heavy this 35in screen is, you probably won’t be doing this all that often) and a retractable arm in the top left-hand corner for hanging your headphones on.

OSD settings are easily adjusted via a downward-facing joystick found at the bottom of the monitor, which grants access to the monitor’s OSD settings. Here, you’ll be able to adjust the monitor’s brightness, contrast, overdrive settings, and colour profile and toggle the monitor’s blue light filter mode on and off.

As for connectivity, the AOC monitor has single HDMI 1.4 (3440 x 1440 @ 50Hz) and DisplayPort 1.2 (3440 x 1440 @ 100Hz) inputs, 3.5mm input and output jacks for your headphones and mic, two USB 3.0 ports beneath the screen, one of which has fast-charging capabilities. There’s also a pair of two 2W speakers, which means you can listen to music directly through the monitor, however, it’s something I’d avoid given the poor sound quality.

Finally, the AOC AG352QCX has support for Nvidia G-Sync, which is excellent if you have a compatible Nvidia graphics card. AMD FreeSync is not supported.

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AOC AGON AG352UCG review: Image quality

The Agon AG352UCG’s resolution is a stunning UWQHD (3,440 x 1,440) and a major step up over the 1080p AOC AGON AG352QCX. Its MVA panel allows the monitor to run natively at 100Hz, and I can confirm that it doesn’t suffer from any frame skipping like the AOC C3583FQ.

Image quality is pretty good, too. In sRGB mode, the AG352UCG covers 99.3% of the sRGB colour space. This means colours are vibrant and, coupled with its 1,958:1 contrast ratio, the monitor is capable of dredging details from the darkest of scenes in movies and games.

What isn’t quite as impressive, however, is colour accuracy is not quite as impressive, though, with an average Delta E of 1.85. That’s not completely disastrous but, to the naked eye, colours lacked the pop I’d expect from an MVA panel.

Brightness, however, is on point, reaching a maximum of 335cd/m2, meaning you’ll be able to use it in bright, sunlit rooms. I was impressed by backlight uniformity across the panel as well with variance limited to 11%, an impressive feat in a gaming monitor of this size. However, there is a slight shift in colours at more extreme viewing angles, something that’s subtle, but still noticeable if you look out for it.

READ NEXT: Samsung CF791 review: A stunning quantum dot 34in curved gaming monitor

AOC AGON AG352UCG review: Gaming performance

With a 100Hz refresh rate available at native resolution, there’s lots of gaming potential here. You’ll want to first make sure that you have a DisplayPort 1.2 compatible graphics card with enough horsepower to drive a high-resolution at its 100Hz refresh rate. I’d pick a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 as my go-to graphics card for this monitor.

Initially, when testing the monitor in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, I found its response time a little slow and that’s due to the default Overdrive settings being set to “Off”. Boosting pixel response with the monitor’s “Fast Overdrive” setting improved things a lot, but also incurs a lot of inverse ghosting, which typically takes the form of shadows around objects and is distracting to the eye. The “Medium Overdrive” setting reduced the ghosting considerably without slowing the response time too much.

Input lag is also a mixed bag, with it not being fast enough to cope with competitive games such as CS:GO, but perfectly acceptable for less demanding games like Battlefield 1. As someone who plays competitively every day, I feel the monitor is best suited for casual gamers.

AOC AGON AG352UCG vs AOC AGON AG352UCG6 Black Edition

On paper, the new and improved AG352UCG6 Black Edition monitor looks to be almost identical to its predecessor, but after testing it I found there were a few stark differences.

First of all, both monitors share virtually all the same specifications, apart from one: the refresh rate. The new AG352UCG6 is now factory overclocked to 120Hz. Those 20 extra frames might not seem like much to an avid gamer but coupled with Nvidia G-Sync means the monitor will lock-in more frames per second.

To achieve the overlock, simply dive into the monitor's OSD to enable it. As a reminder, the monitor comes with HDMI 1.4 (3440 x 1440 @ 50Hz) and DisplayPort 1.2 (3440 x 1440 @ 120Hz) inputs. So you'll want to ensure you've got a DisplayPort input free on your graphics card.

Lots of inverse ghosting also took away the benefits of the AG352UCG's Strong Overdrive setting. That's no longer the case with the AG352UCG6 Black Edition, which has perceivable less ghosting, making the new variant a lot better for competitive gamers. Still, there's a degree of inverse ghosting on the monitor, so dialling it down to the Medium setting is still, to me, the optimal mode for most gamers.

Input lag seems to have improved, too. From my tests, I felt the new model responded well to mouse flicks and clicks. Still, no match for some of the best gaming monitors out there, such as the Acer XF270HUA, but among as far as Ultrawide monitors go, the AOC AGON AG352UCG6 Black Edition is definitely the best I've come across.

The monitor has an inherently good colour reproduction. Much like its predecessor it has an impressive colour accuracy and is also calibrated to the sRGB colour gamut. However, it one-ups its older sibling with its vibrant colours.

As for the design, AOC decided to include an all-black colour scheme. From the monitor's triangular stand to the small headphone arm around the back of the monitor, it's all black and it suits the monitor very well indeed. The bezels have also changed, no longer are they glossy and attract fingerprints; the AG352UCG6 Black Edition has matte black bezels.

Finally, unto its price: since writing the review, its older sibling seems to have increased in price, now at £745. Its newer sibling is actually cheaper, as at the time of updating this article the AG352UCG6 Black Edition costs £730. In the US, the new monitor is $100 dearer.

If you're contemplating between the two monitors, get the newer, improved variant instead. It's better in every single department, making it the best ultrawide gaming monitor on the market.

READ NEXT: Acer XF270HUA review: The best gaming monitor on the market

AOC AGON AG352UCG review: Verdict

The £720 price tag is hard to swallow, but that doesn’t negate the fact that the AOC AGON AG352UCG packs in a lot of pixels and features. It might not be the monitor of choice for a serious competitive gamer but it’s one that’s great for everyone else.

In short, if you’re looking for a do-it-all monitor and can accommodate its huge expanse on your desk, there are few in the market that can truly compete with the AOC AGON AG352UCG, though, if you can find the new AOC AGON AG352UCG6 Black Edition (see above), then that's hands-down the best ultrawide gaming monitor money can buy.