Samsung C49HG90 Review: No More Dual-Monitor Gaming

HDR Grayscale, EOTF & Color

To run HDR benchmarks, we add an HD Fury Integral to the signal chain to simulate HDR10 content from our Accupel DVG-5000 pattern generator. This enables us to measure the C49HG90'S grayscale in 5% increments, track Electro-Optical Transfer Function (EOTF), an electronic value in content that specifies brightness displayed on the monitor, and calculate color gamut capabilities within a Rec.2020 container.

Grayscale Tracking & EOTF

Given the contrast results recorded, we had high expectations for EOTF accuracy. The C49HG90 did not disappoint. Luminance ran slightly light, but that error didn't detract from this panel’s high contrast. Samsung’s zone-dimming edge backlight worked really well here. The green errors in the mid-tones were not too bad when viewing actual content. Our RGB chart includes luminance errors, so it’s not quite as grievous as the measurements make it look. Viewing a grayscale step pattern didn't reveal any concern-worthy issues. It is unfortunate though that the color controls are grayed out. Being able to calibrate grayscale would enable an improvement.

Color Gamuts Within Rec.2020

The C49HG90 has the best color tracking we’ve seen thus far from any HDR monitor. Starting with the Rec.2020 chart, you can see that it hit all the inner targets until running out of available color. It approximated 100% saturation by altering hue towards the perimeter of the triangle. This is a technique used by many extended color displays. 

The DCI and Rec.709 charts are near-perfect as well. It’s important to address accuracy here because you will find most content mastered in UHD will have been created on a DCI-P3 monitor. And in some cases, transfer teams still use Rec.709 along with HDR and UHD resolution. Since there are many interpretations of the standard, a monitor must be flexible and able to adapt. The C49HG90 is the best example we’ve seen yet.

Ultra HD Blu-rays

We encountered a few challenges when watching movies on this monitor. On the plus side, it accepted a full-resolution signal from our Philips BDP-7501 UHD Blu-ray player.The monitor supported both 60 and 24Hz frame rates, and both HDR and extended color found on our copies of Creed and The Martian worked just fine. The flaw is that there are no aspect ratio modes that will properly show cinemascope content. The 2.4 aspect ratio is common on Blu-ray and UHD Blu-ray, but it this display (and every other ultra-wide monitor we’ve tested), lacks a vertical stretch mode. Without it, you can’t eliminate the black bars encoded into the top and bottom of the image. Furthermore, the C49HG90 does not have a 21:9 option among its aspect choices. You can simulate several sizes of 16:9 and 16:10 images, but that is all.

It would seem that an AV-oriented source component is not the best choice for viewing video content here. You could achieve better quality with streaming software, which allows you to watch in a sizeable window. That way, you could use maximum screen real estate without distorting the image.

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  • WildCard999
    It's beautiful!
  • lhughey
    1080p? Hard pass on this. It needs at least 1440 and 1600 would be better. I know that diminishes the market for this, but people willing to pay $1000 for a monitor are going to be have a strong video card. Nvidia is about to drop a new generation of cards also, so the entry to 3840*1600 is about to move down to GT2070 series.
  • Fait
    When someone comes out with one that is 4k HDR10+ G-sync and 144 or 240Hz, then I will get excited. The specs here just aren't that impressive.
  • milkod2001
    Dear Samsung. Drop the facking curve, make it 32'' 4k, 100Hz, factory calibrated and we all be happy. Kind regards Most customers.
  • SkyBill40
    I saw one of these in the wild recently. It was, in a word, impressive. That said, the 1080p resolution is likely a no go for many despite the high refresh rate and excellent quality VA panel. The curve doesn't appeal to everyone but having a smooth rather than flat view in terms of peripheral vision is pretty much a requirement for something of this size. If I had the desk space for it, I would definitely be in the market... much to my wife's dismay.
  • Alpha Gametauri
    Ehh, i think i will stick with my Alienware 3418DW's at 3440x1440 res, 120hz, and GSync. Plus, i'm dual screening either way.
  • 10tacle
    Yeah I immediately lost interest when I read it was 1080 on the vertical resolution. I can't stand that pinched look and lacking in vertical resolution with a super wide screen even at 21:9 aspect ratio, let alone this one at 32:9. To me it's like looking at a monitor with eyes half closed. I remember losing my 16:10 ratio 25.5" Samsung 1920x1200 monitor and upgrading to a 16:9 27"1440p monitor. It took a while to get used to the loss of vertical height even though it was a resolution upgrade.

    But it's nice to see a true 10-bit panel of this size in a sub-$1,000 (USD) price range, so kudos for Samsung on that. Just give me more vertical resolution on these extreme ulrawides and I'm sold.

    1442759 said:
    If I had the desk space for it, I would definitely be in the market... much to my wife's dismay.


    That's what kills me about women. We men have to fight for a little master bedroom closet space for our few clothes and shoes while they pack it wall to wall with their ever growing clothes and shoe collection from weekend shopping trips. Then we are lambasted for wanting our tech toys which are only purchased once every several years.
  • acme64
    @milkod that's literally a different monitor entirely.
  • SkyBill40
    202972 said:
    1442759 said:
    If I had the desk space for it, I would definitely be in the market... much to my wife's dismay.
    That's what kills me about women. We men have to fight for a little master bedroom closet space for our few clothes and shoes while they pack it wall to wall with their ever growing clothes and shoe collection from weekend shopping trips. Then we are lambasted for wanting our tech toys which are only purchased once every several years.


    To be honest, she's really not that bad. She doesn't like that gaming is a hobby of mine and feels it to be a wasteful time sink, but she is fine with me doing my thing when I feel like doing it. Beyond that, I just have some exceedingly expensive hobbies: firearms, computing, high end A/V, and cars. :/

    While I could probably make it work (or any other for that matter), I hold off due to her sacrificing for the greater good and spending money on our house and such rather than expensive individual things with limited purpose. It's fine... though I won't lie that I *am* in the market for a new display as my 1920*1200 60Hz Samsung is long in the tooth and holding back my beastly 1080.
  • bolkar
    Such a waster opportunity. 1080p vertical? really? This beast have half the pixels of my 27 inch 4K monitor, even though this is 49inch. Double the pixels on both directions then we have something to talk about...
  • salgado18
    Everyone complaining about resolution, but make it 1440p vertical, and even if you don't lose that 144Hz refresh, it could cost up to 50% more. Samsung should release another one with higher resolution, but keep this one like it is.
  • gaborbarla
    They need to also start concentrating on a bit more vertical space on monitors. This could be the ultimate monitor if they just made it taller. Immersion also needs vertical space and any proper work also needs it.
  • WildCard999
    The games that do support 32:9 must look amazing on this thing, although the price is a bit much for what your getting, maybe $700 would be a bit more reasonable.
  • therealduckofdeath
    At that physical size they really should have gone with 1440p or made it smaller, like two 24" displays. As a casual gamer, I like the idea though. And the super wide desktop has many uses for others, too. I rarely only have one program running when I'm on my PC and if you only need the 1920x1080 space you can always switch to that resolution to get a single centred display size, which is another thing you really can't do with a dual display setup.
  • Mopar63
    Do not judge based on resolution until you have sat down and used the monitor. For gaming the lower pixel density is a none issue due to the distance you need to sit from this monitor for comfortable viewing. Is an amazing gaming experience with games that support the aspect ratio properly.
  • giovanni86
    196347 said:
    When someone comes out with one that is 4k HDR10+ G-sync and 144 or 240Hz, then I will get excited. The specs here just aren't that impressive.


    Exactly how i feel. Here'es to hoping someone out there is working to get those monitors to us ASAP!
    Though i'd like to add i would like mine to be curved as well. Its a niche market i know, but hey i'd like that as well.
  • Kevin_138
    $1K, 2018 and still 1080p?
  • Giroro
    This would be pretty nice if it had a manageable aspect-ratio, more vertical space, no curve, and QHD resolution. And, considering the price, OLED instead of a backlit LCD.

    Also, Windows needs a pretty significant update to window management because the user experience on ultra-wide monitors is horrid right now when it comes to productivity and even web browsing.
  • Alpha Gametauri
    127277 said:
    196347 said:
    When someone comes out with one that is 4k HDR10+ G-sync and 144 or 240Hz, then I will get excited. The specs here just aren't that impressive.
    Exactly how i feel. Here'es to hoping someone out there is working to get those monitors to us ASAP! Though i'd like to add i would like mine to be curved as well. Its a niche market i know, but hey i'd like that as well.


    But problem is it might be a Black Hole when it comes to money, a 240Hz 4k HDR10+ Gsync might be WELL into the thousands, wouldn't be surprised if it was.
  • branden.moe
    Why are people giving suggestions for products that already exist "Dear Samsung make *this product that I can easily find with a 2 second google search*, if you want a 4k monitor that's smaller, just get that" I get the complaints about the resolution though.
  • Ninjawithagun
    Samsung's only mistake with this monitor...not giving us a G-Sync version. Sad!
  • SkyBill40
    146263 said:
    Samsung's only mistake with this monitor...not giving us a G-Sync version. Sad!


    Agreed. If it had it, this beast would already be on my desk. :(