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Aorus FO48U 4K OLED Gaming Monitor Review: Contrast Beyond Comprehension

Phenomenal contrast and color accuracy

Aorus FO48U 4K OLED
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Aorus)

The FO48U’s Green picture mode is a true set and forget option. And it’s the default mode, which makes things that much easier. Just set brightness to taste, and you’re ready to rock.

Grayscale and Gamma Tracking

Our grayscale and gamma tests use Calman calibration software from Portrait Displays. We describe our grayscale and gamma tests in detail here.

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Gigabyte Aorus FO48U

(Image credit: Portrait Displays Calman)
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Gigabyte Aorus FO48U

(Image credit: Portrait Displays Calman)

The FO48U measures incredibly well out of the box. Grayscale tracking shows no visible errors with every value under 1 Delta E (errors are generally considered invisible to the naked eye if they’re under 3dE). Gamma, meanwhile, tracks the 2.2 line almost perfectly. If you’re measuring your own FO48U, or any OLED, make sure to use 25% window patterns. This overcomes the variable brightness inherent to all self-illuminating technologies.

In the sRGB picture mode, we saw some green errors in steps above 50% brightness. Gamma tracks reasonably well, but the green tint is visible in content. We consider this mode usable but just barely. After a few back-and-forth comparisons in-game, we stuck with the Green mode.

Comparisons

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Gigabyte Aorus FO48U

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Gigabyte Aorus FO48U

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Gigabyte Aorus FO48U

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Gigabyte Aorus FO48U

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The FO48U delivers professional-level accuracy without calibration, and so does the Acer CG437K. After all the monitors are calibrated, the Aorus is in fifth place, thanks to the group’s very high quality. Any score less than 1dE in this test should be considered reference-level.

The gamma results are similar. Though the FO48U is mid-pack, it’s only because the entire field is so good. All of the monitors in the group show excellent performance here.

Color Gamut Accuracy

Our color gamut and volume testing use Portrait Displays’ Calman software. For details on our color gamut testing and volume calculations, click here.

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Gigabyte Aorus FO48U

(Image credit: Portrait Displays Calman)
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Gigabyte Aorus FO48U

(Image credit: Portrait Displays Calman)

The FO48U’s default color gamut chart is nothing short of impressive. Every measurement is on its target. Blue shows a tiny bit of oversaturation at the triangle perimeter, but this wasn’t visible in actual content. Again, we’re seeing reference-level accuracy here.

The sRGB mode is very good as well with just a little undersaturation in red, magenta and blue, but these errors do not affect real-world content. If not for the greenish grayscale tracking, sRGB would be reference-level too. The mode is usable, but we ultimately preferred to stick with the FO48U’s full native gamut for both SDR and HDR content.

Comparisons

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Gigabyte Aorus FO48U

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Gigabyte Aorus FO48U

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Only a handful of monitors in our database can match color accuracy with the FO48U. That 1.02dE result is an average of 31 measurements, so this achievement is no small feat. The other screens, particularly the VA panels, also perform well here. The Aorus has certainly pipped its chief competitor, the AW5520QF.

Though the Alienware impressed us at the time with its 94.35% coverage of DCI-P3, the FO48U beats that score significantly. A little bonus blue coupled with full coverage of the other primary colors returns one of the best gamut volume scores we’ve yet recorded: 107.74%. We can’t help but notice it’s almost identical to the coverage of the FV43U, which is a completely different monitor and technology. If you’re looking for an OLED panel for your photo or video editing hardware suite, the FO48U more than qualifies and is far cheaper than a professional monitor.

Christian Eberle
Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He's a veteran reviewer of A/V equipment, specializing in monitors.
  • mihen
    Already able to see some very minor burn in after playing a game for 10 hours that has a fixed UI. Only visible on dark gray screens. I was at 100% brightness =/, went down to 30% as suggested by others.
    Reply
  • saunupe1911
    Why would I even consider this over a 48 inch LG C1 at $1299....$1596 with 2 year burn protection?
    Reply
  • deesider
    For people who use this size of monitor (or TV), how far away do you sit from it?

    I just can't imagine sitting at a desk with a 48" screen. I use a 27" as my main and prefer to sit at least 1 metre away.
    Reply
  • Bryman
    deesider said:
    For people who use this size of monitor (or TV), how far away do you sit from it?

    I just can't imagine sitting at a desk with a 48" screen. I use a 27" as my main and prefer to sit at least 1 metre away.
    I sit about 38 to 44" away on my LG c1 when using for gaming/pc and 48" when watching TV
    Desk is 33" deep
    Reply
  • larsv8
    deesider said:
    For people who use this size of monitor (or TV), how far away do you sit from it?

    I just can't imagine sitting at a desk with a 48" screen. I use a 27" as my main and prefer to sit at least 1 metre away.

    If you check my sig to the pcpartpicker build I had a custom desk built to place my 48 incher further away.

    It sits about 42 inches away, but its wall mounted so a little bit closer.
    Reply
  • Spike_xps720
    deesider said:
    For people who use this size of monitor (or TV), how far away do you sit from it?

    I just can't imagine sitting at a desk with a 48" screen. I use a 27" as my main and prefer to sit at least 1 metre away.
    I have Acer Predator CG437K 43" monitor and I am sitting 33" from it. I love this monitor. All 4K details are bigger and gaming experience is great.
    Reply
  • rdmetz
    mihen said:
    Already able to see some very minor burn in after playing a game for 10 hours that has a fixed UI. Only visible on dark gray screens. I was at 100% brightness =/, went down to 30% as suggested by others.
    That's just image retention no oled is going to burn in after 10 hours. It will go away with varied content.

    I've gamed for 1000's of hours (some at 100% for hdr the rest at 80%) on my 2019 lg c9 and have zero signs of permanent burn in.

    Almost all panels that exist today are just LG display panels and for the most part should have similar burn in protections.

    If you're talking about a panel pre 2018 then yes burn in was a bit more likely and even I, with the same game I've put thousands of hours in on my 2019 c9, saw permanent burn in on my 2016 after just 3 months and maybe 300 hours of said game.

    Today its very very difficult to burn in your screen unless your absolutely careless or are purposefully disabling protections built in and enabled by default.
    Reply
  • rdmetz
    deesider said:
    For people who use this size of monitor (or TV), how far away do you sit from it?

    I just can't imagine sitting at a desk with a 48" screen. I use a 27" as my main and prefer to sit at least 1 metre away.

    I game on a 65" C9 OLED and while I have a desk and keyboard mouse setup about 24" in front of it (it's wall mounted) but I do most of my gaming about 4 feet from it using a controller.

    My vision isn't great and honestly only with a large screen and pretty much "immersed" can I actually stay competitive in the fps type games I like to play. Seeing "deep" into the picture is hard for me unless my vision is pretty much dominated by screen. I've grown quite accustomed to it and just make sure any hud elements are pulled in as close to center as possible so I don't have to move my eyes too much.
    Reply
  • Friesiansam
    [URL='https://www.tomshardware.com/uk/author/christian-eberle']Christian Eberle[/URL] said:


    This is thanks to its ability to shut off individual pixels on the fly to create an infinitely low black level. The word infinitely is not an exaggeration.
    It is an exaggeration. To be infinitely black it would have to be invisible, emitting or reflecting absolutely no light whatsoever. Even Vanta Black still reflects a very tiny amount of light.
    Reply
  • mihen
    rdmetz said:
    That's just image retention no oled is going to burn in after 10 hours. It will go away with varied content.

    I've gamed for 1000's of hours (some at 100% for hdr the rest at 80%) on my 2019 lg c9 and have zero signs of permanent burn in.

    Almost all panels that exist today are just LG display panels and for the most part should have similar burn in protections.

    If you're talking about a panel pre 2018 then yes burn in was a bit more likely and even I, with the same game I've put thousands of hours in on my 2019 c9, saw permanent burn in on my 2016 after just 3 months and maybe 300 hours of said game.

    Today its very very difficult to burn in your screen unless your absolutely careless or are purposefully disabling protections built in and enabled by default.

    Thanks, I was worried when I noticed it.
    Reply