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LG UltraGear 27GR95QE OLED Gaming Monitor review: A pricey but glorious buy

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : 899
inc. VAT

LG’s UltraGear 27GR95QE is a high-quality OLED monitor with excellent motion handling thanks to a 240Hz refresh rate and fast response time

Pros

  • Glorious OLED image quality
  • Top-notch motion handling
  • Good HDR performance

Cons

  • Matte coating is a matter of taste
  • Whole-screen brightness can't match Mini LED or VA rivals
  • On the pricey side

When OLED displays come with such benefits as superb motion handling and incredibly high contrast ratios, you might ask why there aren’t more of them around. Quite simply, the reason is price.

Much like the broadly similar Asus ROG Swift PG27AQDM – which will set you back more than a grand – this LG UltraGear is not cheap. At £899, it may cost less than its direct competitor, but it’s still a lot for a 240Hz 1440p monitor, no matter how flashy it is. Especially given that there are options like the excellent Agon AG325QZN, which is bigger but less than half the price.

And then, of course, there is a worry regarding longevity, or the lack thereof due to burn-in. Not to mention that OLED monitors tend not to be as consistently bright in a whole-screen context as their Mini LED or VA competition.

LG UltraGear 27GR95QE-B review: What do you get for your money?

As soon as the LG is out of its box, it’s obvious that it is very much like a premium product with a stylish and gamer-orientated design. The display itself is only 5mm thick, and the box at the back that houses all the electronics and ports is also very slender due, at least in part, to LG opting for a laptop-style external adaptor instead of building one in. The screen’s bezels may not quite be the narrowest I’ve ever seen; however, they are only 8mm at the sides and 10mm at the bottom, so I’m not exactly complaining. All in, the monitor weighs 7.35kg, with the stand accounting for 2.3kg of that.

The rear of the 27GR95QE is home to what LG calls the Octagon Lighting system: two rows of LEDs on either side of the main monitor housing and a single bright LED below the centre of the display. Unfortunately, you can only set the lights to show a static colour or cycle through a selection – this is not as clever or immersive as Philips’ Ambiglow system.

Not all 27-inch monitors have 90° pivots – allowing you to turn the screen from landscape to portrait – but the LG does, albeit only anticlockwise. The side-to-side swivel is limited to just 10° each way, but the -15° / +5° tilt and 110mm of height adjustability are as good as any of the competition.

The stand is relatively compact and attaches to the monitor via a quick-release bracket that conceals a 100 x 100m VESA mount. LG also bundles a plastic clip to keep your cables nice and tidy, close to the stand pillar.

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LG UltraGear 27GR95QE-B review: What kind of connections does it have?

On the rear, you’ll find three video inputs – two HDMI 2.1 and one DisplayPort 1.4 – a USB-B upstream, and two USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 downstream data ports for connecting peripherals. While that’s a decent selection for a gaming monitor, a full-spec Type-C port wouldn’t have gone amiss.

Without any built-in speakers, you have to connect something to either the 3.5mm audio jack or the TOSLINK optical digital audio output. The 3.5mm audio jack supports DTS and DTS:X virtual 3D audio passthrough for your headphones and has three modes: Sports, Entertainment, and Game – while playing Returnal with my Sennheiser headphones plugged in and using the Game setting, I was impressed by the directionality of the sound effects.

LG UltraGear 27GR95QE-B review: How good is the image quality?

The 27GR95QE has all the benefits you’d expect of a good OLED panel. Thanks to the absolute blacks that only OLED panels can produce, the LG technically has an infinitely high contrast ratio, which makes both SDR and HDR content look stunning.

Measuring the colour gamut volumes, the LG generated 140.3% sRGB, 99.4% DCI-P3, and 96.7% Adobe RGB, which is a very solid set of results. Switching to sRGB mode gets a Delta E colour accuracy of 1.74, which, again, is a good showing and means the LG can be used for colour-critical work right out of the box. If you want to improve colour accuracy further, you can use LG’s Calibration Studio software, but you will need to have one of the listed colorimeters to use it.

Like the Asus ROG Swift, the LG’s screen has a matte anti-glare finish. Whether this is a positive or a negative depends greatly on personal preference and requirements, since matte finishes will keep reflections at bay but full gloss finishes tend to look sharper and be more immersive.

Brightness is, as ever, a hard thing to pin down on OLED displays. In SDR mode, peak brightness came in at 404cd/m² from a 5% screen area. Expand the measurement area to the whole screen, and the brightness drops to around 160cd/m². The highest level I recorded in HDR mode was 652cd/m² from a 5% area.

It lacks a VESA TrueBlack stamp of approval, carrying just a basic HDR10 tick, but, certification aside, the LG has the colour and brightness to do full justice to HDR content.
Motion handling is superb, as you would expect from a screen with a 0.03ms GtG response time and a 240Hz refresh rate. There was no ghosting in any test scenario, and there is official support for both Nvidia’s G-Sync and AMD’s FreeSync Premium adaptive sync systems.

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LG UltraGear 27GR95QE-B review: Are there any other features I should know about?

You can access the on-screen display using a stubby toggle under the centre of the display, but it’s not the easiest thing to master. Better to use the very nice remote control as this allows you to access the entire menu system at the touch of a button and has some useful shortcuts – including one that cycles through the DTS headphone settings.
For die-hard gamers, LG offers a frame counter, a selection of cross-hairs, a black stabiliser – which makes it easier to see what’s lurking in the darkness – and what it calls Dynamic Action Sync, which reduces input lag and is switched on by default in any of the gaming modes.

There are several systems designed to prevent burn-in which can be accessed from a dedicated menu using the remote. These include Screen Move, which shunts the entire display around by a few pixels, the self-explanatory Screen Saver, and the more invasive Image and Pixel Cleaning, which take ten minutes and one minute to run, respectively.

While some manufacturers set these sorts of features to run automatically if the user does not initiate them within a given timeframe, LG depends on its customers’ gumption to run them.

LG UltraGear 27GR95QE-B review: Should I buy it?

If you have £1,000 in your pocket and you want an OLED gaming monitor, should you go for the LG UltraGear or the Asus ROG Swift? There’s really not much in it, other than the fact that the Asus ROG’s stand has more adjustability and features a quarter-inch tripod thread on the top to mount a camera or bracket. However, LG bundles a remote control, which Asus does not, and I like the LG’s remote control – it’s the most convenient I’ve come across with a PC monitor and makes accessing the on-screen menu extremely straightforward.

If I had to pick one aspect to criticise, it would be the rear lighting as it lacks the reactive features of the Philips alternative; however, it’s hardly a requirement of a gaming monitor, so a very minor quibble. If it were my money, I’d simply buy whichever was the cheapest at the time.

Specifications

Panel size:27in
Panel resolution:2,560 x 1,440
Panel refresh rate:240Hz
Panel response time:0.03ms GtG
Panel type:OLED 10-bit
Adaptive Sync Support:G-Sync Compatible, FreeSync Premium
HDR Support:HDR10
Ports:HDMI 2.1 x 2; DisplayPort 1.4 x 1; USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 x 1; 3.5mm audio x 1; SPDIF x 1
Speakers:No
Other features:Hexagon Lighting, DTX HP:X
Stand ergonomics:90° swivel, 110mm height, 10° swivel, -15° / +5° tilt
Dimensions (with stand):604.52 x 350.52 x 45.72mm
Weight (with stand):7.35kg
Price:£899

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