Dell S3222HG 32-inch Curved 165 Hz Gaming Monitor Review: Big Fun on a Small Budget

Dell’s S3222HG is a 32-inch curved VA FHD 165 Hz gaming monitor with extended color, Adaptive-Sync and a low price.

Dell S3222HG
(Image: © Dell, Shutterstock)

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Uncalibrated – Maximum Backlight Level

The S3222HG is in the “not super bright but bright enough” category. It’s rated for 350 nits, and that’s what it achieves with a little room to spare. There is plenty of light available, and one should consider that a large panel like this won’t benefit from greater output, especially when HDR isn’t part of the feature list.

The 0.0981-nit black level is the principal reason to buy this monitor. It’s an excellent example of VA technology, the only LCD panel type that can achieve true blacks without shutting off its backlight. The resulting 3,591.3:1 contrast ratio means you’ll see a picture that pops with a wide dynamic range and saturated color.

After Calibration to 200 nits

Calibration resulted in a small gain in contrast which is a rare and good thing. Now, the S3222HG is sporting 3,685.1:1 which makes a small but visible difference in picture depth. Calibration is certainly worth performing here, which results in this excellent performance.

The S3222HG slips one spot in the ANSI test, but 3,298.2:1 is excellent. Though my sample showed a gamma anomaly that hurt performance slightly, it delivered a satisfying picture with realistically saturated color and three-dimensional qualities. I’ll talk about the gamma results on the next page.

Christian Eberle
Contributing Editor

Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He's a veteran reviewer of A/V equipment, specializing in monitors. Christian began his obsession with tech when he built his first PC in 1991, a 286 running DOS 3.0 at a blazing 12MHz. In 2006, he undertook training from the Imaging Science Foundation in video calibration and testing and thus started a passion for precise imaging that persists to this day. He is also a professional musician with a degree from the New England Conservatory as a classical bassoonist which he used to good effect as a performer with the West Point Army Band from 1987 to 2013. He enjoys watching movies and listening to high-end audio in his custom-built home theater and can be seen riding trails near his home on a race-ready ICE VTX recumbent trike. Christian enjoys the endless summer in Florida where he lives with his wife and Chihuahua and plays with orchestras around the state.

  • Endymio
    Describing a 32" 1080p monitor as "relatively low" pixel density is quite an understatement. The most popular monitor segment of 27" @ 1440p is nearly twice the pixel density, and a smartphone may have more 6 times the density.