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Samsung Odyssey Neo G8 review: The best 4K gaming monitor money can buy

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £1299
inc VAT

The Samsung Odyssey Neo G8 is a devastatingly good mini-LED gaming monitor that puts performance first


  • Stunning HDR
  • Gorgeous panel
  • Immersive curvature


  • Expensive
  • No USB-C or speakers
  • Mild backlight bleed issues

Samsung’s Odyssey Neo G8 has been designed with one purpose in mind: to lay waste to the competition. This no-expense-spared 32in monster matches a suitably space-age exterior with the latest in display technology, and in this case that means a curved 4K VA panel with a mini-LED backlight composed of 1,196 individual locally dimming zones. The result? Mind-blowing HDR.

There’s plenty more to marvel at, too. This is a next-gen-ready monitor, which means HDMI 2.1 support for adaptive sync, 120Hz refresh rates and ALLM (automatic low-latency mode) on PS5 or Xbox Series X/S.

But it’s the mini-LED backlight that really steals the show here. With nuanced HDR performance that far outstrips even the most exceptional – and expensive – of rivals, the Odyssey Neo G8 is a triumph of a gaming monitor.

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Samsung Odyssey Neo G8 review: What do you get for the money?

The Samsung Odyssey Neo G8 costs £1,299, which makes it the most expensive 32in 4K gaming monitor with HDMI 2.1 I’ve tested thus far. That gets you a 32in VA panel with a resolution of 3,840 x 2,160, a refresh rate of 240Hz, a 1000R curvature, a quoted response time of 1ms G2G, AMD FreeSync Premium Pro support and Nvidia G-Sync compatibility. Incidentally, this is the first 240Hz 4K monitor to hit the market.

The Neo G8 has a Quantum HDR 2000 certification, but as this isn’t officially recognised by VESA the exact level of HDR support is hard to pin down – although Samsung quotes a peak brightness of 1,000cd/m². It does, however, have a mini-LED backlight with 1,196 local dimming zones delivering full array local dimming (FALD). Local dimming can be switched on or off at any time, or set to automatically turn on when viewing HDR content.

On the rear you’ll find two HDMI 2.1 ports, one DP 1.4 port, a two-port USB-A 3.0 hub (plus USB-B 3.0 hub enablement port) and one 3.5mm headphone jack, which you’ll be using often as the Neo G8 lacks speakers. The stand, meanwhile, provides 120mm of height adjustment, 90 degrees of pivot (into portrait orientation), 15 degrees of swivel left and right and 13 degrees of backwards tilt. The box contains a DP 1.4 cable plus a port cover and assorted documentation.

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Samsung Odyssey Neo G8 review: What does it do well?

The Samsung Odyssey Neo G8 is built to make an impact, but it’s not all about exuberance. I’m partial to Samsung’s jet-engine rear and glossy white panelling, but it also intrigues me that these eccentric design choices are largely hidden when facing the monitor head-on. Intentional or not, the result is that the Neo G8 blends rather well into a standard office setup – until, that is, you catch a glimpse of its rear panels. 

Musings aside, the Neo G8 is a good-looking monitor and one that will undoubtedly appeal to gamers (especially if you own a PS5, as the aesthetic is similar). And while it isn’t the most practical gaming monitor I’ve ever encountered, it does at least do ergonomics very well. The 1000R curvature is severe enough that it keeps the 32in panel from feeling like a wall, and I was very pleased to discover that the stand offers ample adjustability for maintaining good posture. 

As ever, though, performance is the most important metric. Out of the box, the Neo G8 produced 126.3% of the sRGB colour gamut (89.5% DCI-P3 and 87% Adobe RGB), which is a smidge under Samsung’s quoted figures but still great for a high-end monitor with HDR aspirations. 

Then we have colour accuracy. In its default mode, the Neo G8 managed an average Delta E of 2.48 when measured against sRGB and 2.44 against DCI-P3. Ultimately, while these results aren’t going to impress any creatives who work in these colour spaces, they do indicate that most people won’t notice any wayward colour reproduction. I would, however, advise that you stay away from the monitor’s various other colour presets (sRGB, Cinema and so forth) as they do nothing for the image quality. 

Motion handling is very good for a VA panel, with only a small amount of motion blur and ghosting visible in testing. Increasing the level of responsiveness from Standard through Faster to Extreme introduces more ghosting but nothing that I’d describe as off-putting. There’s a low input lag mode that you should leave on at all times, and a fourth response time setting labelled Extreme with MBR that drastically reduces motion blur while introducing a more noticeable amount of ghosting (normal behaviour for MBR). This is only available at 120Hz or lower but will appeal to gamers who enjoy shooters.

Finally, we come to HDR, and backlight performance generally. For comparison’s sake, I measured a peak brightness of 342cd/m² in SDR, which is enough for the brightest rooms. Switch HDR on, and that figure jumps to a peak of 1,050cd/m², which is an impressive result for a gaming monitor – that’s brighter than most of the TVs in our best TVs roundup, although the comparison isn’t quite fair. Still, this bodes exceptionally well for HDR performance.

Local dimming is the final piece of the puzzle. With the mini-LED backlight delivering FALD via 1,196 zones, I measured a contrast of 10,774:1 in HDR on a 10% patch against a black background, which is a big increase on the native contrast ratio of 3,018:1 with local dimming switched off. Thanks to the full-array dimming and high number of zones, you won’t be able to spot the backlight at work, nor will you notice much blooming around bright objects. OLED technology might deliver superior contrast, but it’s even rarer than mini-LED in the gaming monitor industry. 

This all adds up to one incredible gaming monitor. The Neo G8 is a joy to use, delivering ridiculously vibrant scenes with pitch-black shadows that can almost become overwhelming if not correctly calibrated in-game. I largely played on PS5, in this instance using Deathloop and Control to subjectively determine the responsiveness and HDR performance; the latter in particular became a different game, with the mini-LED backlight producing astonishingly deep shadows and dramatic contrast. Immersive, responsive and guaranteed to singe your retinas, I cannot speak highly enough of the Neo G8’s panel.

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Samsung Odyssey Neo G8 review: What could be better?

There is, however, one chink in the Neo G8’s armour, albeit a small one. You might notice that in certain circumstances and from certain angles, the Neo G8’s screen faintly glows blue. This is a backlight bleed issue, and it’s one that will only be noticeable when the monitor is displaying a uniformly black image without local dimming engaged, but it’s worth noting all the same.

Otherwise, however, my niggles are minor. The lack of USB-C and speakers should be noted, as this is an expensive product – I had the same problem with the 49in Odyssey Neo G9, which is similarly poorly equipped despite costing £1,849. That said, I can forgive both omissions: gamers won’t use USB-C, and I’d always recommend a good gaming headset or a pair of PC speakers over built-in monitor fare anyway.  

The Neo G8 is also top-heavy, which is another issue I’ve encountered with other Samsung gaming monitors. The stand is simply too spindly to hold this hefty 32in monitor still, so it has a tendency to nod if it’s sitting on a desk near a keyboard. The cable management is also poor, a slim rubber strap that barely clings to the bottom of the stand. It’s nothing damning, but I’ve certainly tested cheaper and sturdier 4K gaming monitors.

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Samsung Odyssey Neo G8 review: Should you buy it?

If you can afford it, absolutely. The price is par for the course where mini-LED monitors are concerned, and it’s not hard to see where your money is going. The sensational performance far outweighs any minor niggles I might have with the practicality of the monitor itself; after all, this is a gaming monitor, and performance is paramount. 

You could spend a bit less and pick up Alienware’s famed QD-OLED AW3423DW for similar HDR performance with superior contrast, but that’s an ultrawide monitor, and as such it should be avoided by owners of the PS5 or Xbox Series X. The fact is, there aren’t that many 4K gaming monitors for next-gen gaming on the market at present, and as far as I’m concerned, the Neo G8 is head and shoulders above the best of them.

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