This 49-inch beast is for those who want to take their gaming experience to the next level.
Monitors don’t get any bigger than Samsung’s behemoth 49in CHG90 QLED curved gaming monitor. It’s so big that it didn’t even fit on my desk when I unboxed its gigantic frame from the surfboard sized box it arrived in. As a result, Samsung’s LC49HG90DMEXXY (aka CHG90 for short) ended up on the kitchen table for this review, much to my partner’s chagrin. If you have any interest at all in this big boy, you really need to get the measuring tape out before splashing the cash, otherwise you’ll end up in my embarrassing situation.
The dimensions of the CHG90 and its stand, if you’re wondering, are 1203mm wide, 525mm high and 381mm deep. Despite the size of the screen, unboxing it simple and attaching the stand is a piece of cake. I managed to place it on a table on my own - just. You might need someone to help you lift it once it’s assembled. Don’t break your back for a monitor!
Hooking it up to your gaming rig is just a matter of deciding between HDMI 2.0 or DisplayPort 1.3. There’s a tidy modesty panel for the ports at the rear and the stand has a hole to neatly thread cables through. The CHG90 exudes quality, with an extremely solid stand with swivel, height adjustment and tilt support, as well as smooth materials on the display’s exterior. The rear also has a USB 3.0 hub, and a 3.5mm headphone out - handy considering your PC is probably not going to be that close to this display.
Samsung’s attention to detail on the CHG90 continues with the on-screen display, which is easy to use and full of features, such as picture by picture, thanks to the CHG90’s 3840x1080 resolution that works out to be exactly two 1080p monitors side by side. The bottom of the display also has three buttons where you can store pre-set options, so your most commonly used features are only a quick tap away, instead of wading through a menu every time.
Colour accuracy on the panel is quite good, with 120% sRGB and 92% Adobe RGB out of the box thanks to factory calibration. Not that you’d buy the CH90 to do professional colour work though. Samsung says it supports HDR, which means it supports most of the DCI-P3 colour space. Unfortunately, it doesn’t do well with the Rec.2020 colour space, which is what most games consider HDR. Whilst it’s better than most ordinary monitors (you’d hope so for $2,500), it’s not going to look as good as Samsung’s flagship QLED television sets. Games do look more rich and vibrant however.
The only real downside to this monitor is the resolution. For such a large screen, the resolution is quite low, at “only” 3840x1080, resulting in a very average 81.41 pixels per inch. If you’re not sitting too close (i.e. like a TV), it’s not a problem, but at the typical distance you sit from a computer monitor (approximately arm’s length), things look blocky and web-browsing/productivity is unpleasant.
Viewing angles are bit of a problem too, unless you are dead centre. For this monitor’s primary use, gaming, it’s not that big of an issue, as smack bang in the middle of this glorious curved monster is where you belong. But if you’re using it as a TV with other people around, image quality goes downhill quickly.
Pair the CHG90 with a fast graphics card, turn off the lights, crank your speakers up, fire up your favourite FPS and all that nit-picking quickly fades away. There’s absolutely no denying that this monitor, when used for what it’s designed for, is almost magical. The subtle curve wraps around your head, filling your peripheral vision with 49-inches of glorious pixels. If you have the cash and want to build the ultimate rig, you’ve got to get yourself a Samsung CHG90.