The EX3415R has three HDR picture modes. Two are labeled with BenQ’s HDRi moniker and will work with both SDR and HDR signals. HDRi makes some fairly significant changes to color temperature and luminance tracking, and we consider it unsuitable for HDR content. The third preset, Display HDR, is intended to be an unaltered on-spec setting for HDR content only. We performed our tests in that mode.
HDR Brightness & Contrast
The EX3415R comfortably exceeds its DisplayHDR 400 rating but not by as great a margin as the other screens. Ultimately though, it’s not about maximum brightness but overall contrast, and that depends on black levels and whether or not a monitor has dynamic contrast.
The BenQ does not have dynamic contrast and, therefore, offers no more dynamic range in HDR mode compared to SDR. It posts roughly the same ratio, 902.7:1 in both HDR and SDR modes. At least the VA panels have greater native contrast, but you can see that the top finisher is an IPS monitor. A variable backlight should be considered a must in any HDR monitor, let alone the best HDR monitor.
Grayscale, EOTF & Color
The EX3415R gets the grayscale, luminance tracking and color part of the HDR equation right. Grayscale is free of visible errors, and luminance tracking is almost perfect. Its only error is at the bottom of the brightness range, where black levels are too high and rise too quickly from 0-10%.
The HDRi modes have deeper blacks but clip shadow detail and ultimately make the image look murky in dark scenes. Color tracking is nearly the same as what we saw in SDR mode with slight oversaturation and accurate hues.